Monday, November 30, 2015

Paleo Changes You: High Fructose Corn Syrup Smells Bad and Tastes Worse

     I remember my first encounter with high fructose corn syrup. I was taking a shopping trip with my mom, and we stopped to get a snack. I loved chocolate milk, so I grabbed a small snack-sized carton and some crackers. I opened the carton and drank, and then I wondered what was wrong with the milk. I read the ingredients to find that it had been made with HFCS. Within a few minutes of drinking the milk, I started feeling sick, and my head started hurting.

     Soon, high fructose corn syrup started popping up everywhere. There was no escaping it in the land of junk food. I began to grow accustomed to the ill feelings and headaches. I even, eventually, got used to the strange taste.

     Then I switched to Paleo. We switched in January of 2014, and by Halloween, everyone was ready for a break. The kids wanted candy. I wanted candy, so we broke down, and I allowed the kids to save a couple of pieces of candy before tossing the rest. I grabbed a little something myself and immediately regretted it. I've since found that I'm mildly allergic to corn products of all kinds. What happened? Well, it tasted terrible, my tongue became a sore in my head, my skin broke out, I got an instant headache, and my stomach cramped up.

     I'm not saying that I'm immune to cravings. I still want candy every once in a while, but every time I give in, and the candy contains HFCS, I regret it immediately.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Paleo Changes You: Dairy Smells Bad

     I grew up on skim milk. I drank it every morning in my cereal and every night before bed. And if I had some cookies, there was a glass of milk. There were only a few time (when the milk was really fresh) that I would say it tasted great, but I enjoyed it.

     Then Ray and I decided to cut dairy out of our diets. I can't begin to explain the excruciating process that I went through. There were times I thought I might die from the stomach cramps. I felt like I was going through what I've heard addicts go through as they get off drugs. There were times that I felt like the only thing that would help me was to drink some milk. I would lie on the floor, curled up, and cramping.

     Then things changed. I started to feel better. I started to realize that not only was I addicted to dairy, but it also didn't agree with me. When I had dairy, I got bloated and gassy. After dairy, it just didn't happen anymore.

     Then last Halloween, we took the kids trick-or-treating on the square, and Alex had to go to the bathroom. One of the stores open that had a bathroom was an ice cream shop, so we went in, and the smell was disgusting. The entire place smelled like milk gone bad. Yuck! Ray said something about it, and I told him that dairy had been smelling bad to me for a while, but the ice cream shop was worse because of the concentration of dairy.

     These days, I prefer coconut milk. It's rich, creamy, makes a great ice cream, and it doesn't smell bad or make me feel terrible.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Paleo Changes You: Grains Smell Bad

     I used to love to bake bread. I would start my yeast, mix and knead my dough, let it rise, punch it down, let it rest, shape it, bake it, and eat it. I was a bread geek. My favorite loaf in the whole world was an Ethiopian honey dabo. I would make it and take it to gathering where we would eat it with butter and honey, and people would fight over who could take the leftovers home.

     What I'm not telling you is that while I loved the smell of bread and the taste of bread, the pseudo-food would grow in my mouth causing me to drink massive amounts of liquid just to get through a sandwich, but I ignored the feeling. I ignored the gagging.

     Last winter, we were trying to get more people to get flu shots at our pharmacy, so we were promised a reward if we would ask people to get their shot. The "reward" was pizza. The pizza was brought in, and it smelled pretty bad, but I figured it was just the type of pizza.

     Then last spring, I walked into a restaurant that bakes fresh bread daily, and I was horrified. The entire restaurant reeked! I had never smelled anything quite like it. I looked to my family, and they looked just as appalled as I did.  I looked around at the people eating, wondering if they could smell the same thing. Then someone behind me said, "That bread smells delicious." It was then that I realized that I was smelling fresh, baked bread, and that I was no longer enamored of its smell.

     Now that I've been Paleo for over a year, and bread doesn't even smell good anymore, it's so easy to continue to eat this way, and I'll never go back.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

October: A Wrap Up of the Month (with lots of pictures)


     October is always a crazy month around here. It starts with my birthday and ends with Victor's birthday and Halloween.  This year, I turned 38, and Victor turned 9.

     My birthday was truly awesome because I have such a wonderful family. Lydia made me a fall/Halloween candle mat; I got several Disney Infinity 3.0 figures; Ray gave me a wax warmer with a spider on it; and the boys made me cards and Lego sets. Ray made me egg salad and banana pancakes for breakfast. We spent most of the day outside because it was so beautiful. We walked along our back country roads and in our woods. The fall in Alabama is like a second spring. There are beautiful flowers everywhere and bees buzzing around. The only real difference is the colors. For my special birthday dinner, I had an Elvis burger with baked sweet potato and cookie dough fudge for dessert. Then we had my birthday with my parents, who fixed me shrimp with salad, sweet potato chips, and steamed veggies. Then we had my birthday with Ray's parents. Since we were already doing the 21 day sugar detox by this time, we had to order pretty carefully at our favorite restaurant, but we got a steak burger and steamed veggies with butter, and it all worked out well.

     After my birthday, we had a Marvel Movie Marathon, which you can read about here.

     Then it was time for our local museum's Pioneer Days, which I hope to put a post out on A Geek Girl's Guide as well.

     Then I decided that it was past time to clean out the closets, so with the help of my children and the hope of finding the controllers to my old Nintendo, we tackled the playroom closet. We didn't find the controllers, but we did find several pictures, a few missing books, some smaller jeans that Ray can almost wear now that he's lost weight, and we managed to condense a closet-full of crap into three boxes of stuff we just can't get rid of.

     With the end of the month drawing every closer, it was time to get our costumes done in time for Halloween and plan Victor's ninth birthday. The boys wanted to dress as Mario and Luigi, and we found their costumes. Ray, Lydia, and I wanted to go as character from Adventure Time, and we wanted to make our costumes. They turned out really nice, and while we were out and about on Halloween, we got asked a few times to have our pictures taken with various people. It felt like being a celebrity. It was such a blast!

     We had a cookout for Victor's birthday dinner the day before his birthday because we had a full day planned the day of. He wanted hamburgers, hotdogs, sweet potato chips, and cookie dough fudge, but I also made some marshmallows. He got a few Lego sets, a stuffed elephant for his collection, some papercraft toys, and some Minecraft figures. Then on his birthday, we went to a local arts and crafts fair, then ate lunch at Earth Fare, where we made ourselves some great big salads, then we headed over to Toys 'R' Us to look around before going trick or treating. Then we finished off the day with a pizza movie night and watched Hocus Pocus.

     All-in-all, it was an awesome and exhausting month. I hope to get more writing done in the next few months, but we'll see. I hope your October was awesome as well.