Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hope & Nourishment of a Different Type

Our lives have taken an interesting dietary twist recently. 

Patrick has, intermittently, for the past decade or so, experienced some severe digestive discomfort. It's not often, usually less than once a month, some a little more frequently, sometimes months could go by without an incident. Medical Dr.s have not come up with an explanation or solution, other than some medications to manage the issue, but that didn't address healing it. Alternative practitioners have recommended other various courses of action, non of which have worked. 

Recently, he began seeing a new acupuncturist. This time, we went in with a list of all symptoms he experiences, a longer list than in the past, including an unexplained skin rash that various prescription and over the counter creams had not lasting affect upon. This practitioner, after a week of treatment took another look, called in a consult, and the verdict was......Candida.  Which, if your not familiar with the term, is an overgrowth of yeast. Basic info to be found here

Candida is controversial, in that, for the most part, M.D.s give it no credence. But, at this point, with no other explanation for what's been going on, we decided to latch onto the hope that this might, just might, be the answer. 

For the past month, he's been on a very restrictive diet. I've been on various kinds of diets in my younger years, and more recently have concluded that balance is good. Some protein, some carbs (of the complex, unrefined sort), and lots of fresh veggies seem to work well. I'm not a saint, we do use white flour and sugar here and there, but they're not staples in our home. 

The Candida diet is challenging in that you can basically eat meat, eggs, some nuts and oils, and non sweet, non starchy vegetables. That's about it, as far as the commonly agreed upon safe (non yeast producing foods). There are many conflicting opinions on what other items can be included, especially in the first phase, which is the detox phase where you really starve the yeast and cause it to die off. Once you get past this, the list of what's okay gets even more confusing....but we're not there yet.

So far....for the first week or so, Patrick's digestive symptoms actually increased, and he has a hard time digesting much of anything...then they faded, and it's just been getting better and better since. The skin rash is almost completely gone (and he's not using anything topically now), he's lost a bit of extra weight (he only had a little extra) but is not losing much more quickly, and mostly feels pretty good.

This has been an interesting cooking adventure for me, and I'll share some of the successes soon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For Fun and Vicarious Adventure....

My baby brother (we're 14 years apart, and I did change his diapers, thank you very much!), and his friend Jon are hiking the Appalachian Trail, the whole thing!

They're blogging periodically, via cell phone post (I think), when service is available. 

You can visit their blog here, if you  like.

These days, hiking from the basement (laundry) to the second floor (where most of it goes) is a pretty good hike for me, but I'm learning and having fun following their journey. "Trail Magic, " for example, is a new term to me, meaning when someone provides food on the trail for the hikers. Often this is done by past "Thru-Hikers," or people who have already hiked the whole trail themselves. They provide meals and other treats for those doing the trail now.

They left a month ago, and plan to be home sometime near the end of the summer. I wish I had done more of this sort of thing when I was younger...maybe when the kids are grown:-)