The War Within

On 1/27/2017, I was officially diagnosed with IBD – mild UC (UP) to be exact. I had been suffering with symptoms since around August, but was misdiagnosed until January. Being an otherwise active and healthy individual, this was not news that I took very well. After a few weeks of compiling a plan of attack, visiting my dietitian, and doing extensive research on my own, I was able to come up with a suitable battle strategy.

The illness is now begrudgingly referred to as my PITA (pain in the ass). I have been on Canasa for about two months now and was initially on the low-fiber diet plan to ease symptoms as I attempted to heal with meds. The websites that have been the most helpful for me are: healingwell.com, gibuddy.org, and breakingtheviciouscycle.info.

While on the low-fiber diet, I created an Amazon wish list for products that I noted as potentially helpful (such as supplements and probiotics). I had researched some diet alterations and was preparing myself for a war with my own body’s immune system. I am currently on prilosec, Canasa, and Jarrow Formulas IBS probiotic.

 

I have since been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for two weeks and am entering my third week. This is easily the first time in months where I feel so much like my “normal” self that I’ve forgotten to take my Canasa and had to get out of bed and retrieve it to do so. There are three other diets that I may or may not transition into or blend with the SCD. They are: Pain Free Foods, the pH diet, and the ever popular FODMAP. I leave FODMAP as a last resort because it is designed for IBS which is an illness that has the symptoms of UC without the damage. I don’t want to control symptoms. I want to find a permanent state of remission and heal my body from further damage.

 

On my Instagram page, I post a lot of food pictures and I am debating running an offshoot blog with recipes and pictures much like some of the awesome sites I have had the luxury of visiting: anaussiewithcrohns.com, scdrecipe.com, and pecanbread.com. Until then, my Instagram feed is public, so feel free to follow!

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trees

I’m weaving a blanket
with fabric the shade of green
that only midnight knows
in borrowed moments
between moonlight and rainforest.

Delicate strands of cypress
interwoven subtly in scattered places
will remind me later of the brevity of potential
and to accept that light always comes with shadows.

It — not I — will determine when it is finished.

Though there are no expectations,
the hope that it will be large enough
to wrap myself in on cold nights
will suffice.

Like a thousand sighs of contentment
strung together in transience
and permanently marked on the heart,
I wish to one day run my fingers
over its soft and familiar feel
while melting into its warmth
and remembering the tenderness
with which it was made.

Tomato-Free Ketchup & Crispy Baked Tofu

This is just a quick update to link two recipes I tried this week that I love.

First, I’m trying to get off prilosec because it’s been 2 years too long. I’m taking D-Limonene for now with a few issues as I explore what foods are issues for me. Anyway, I made a list of my favorite food items and found replacements to make this transition easier. Prilosec and similar medications need to be used as temporary relief. They are not supposed to be used permanently. They do a number on your body overtime. My list looks likes this:

  • Chocolate = carob
    • Carob is awesome. It works for me!
  • Marinara = 1) tomato free sauce, or 2) baking soda
    • You basically make the marinara as per usual and add baking soda at the end. It’s pretty good. I haven’t found a tomato-free substitute yet as number 2 is working for now.
  • Caffeine = ginseng & b vitamins
    • I’m hoping this really works for me, but it still sucks!
  • Ketchup = tomato-free ketchup

Second, I wanted to make a crispy tofu because I love homestyle tofu from chinese spots, but I can’t do the fried crap – especially without the prilosec. I found this recipe and I really, really like it: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2014/03/crisp-baked-tofu-recipe/

Hope you enjoy! Comment with any helpful links or tips regarding GERD. Thanks in advance.

 

Halloween 2015 – Broken/Cracked Doll

I have been neglecting this a bit, but I’ve been very busy for the past two months. Halloween, in my opinion, is the best month of the year.

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I decided to do a burlesque-style broken/cracked doll using this $20 corset off amazon and making about 50% of the outfit from scratch. The makeup was based off of this YouTube tutorial and the bustle – which I will have to update with pictures of – was made after watching this YouTube tutorial.

I bought a cheap stretchy white skirt from a local tween shop and made the bustle using a yard of white, somewhat stiff but fluid material. It was all hand-sewn. I glued on some tiny pearls and layered in strips of baby blue and pink toile. I made myself a doll tag – Sweet Lily – using the box from the baby doll I had as a prop.

The hat is my favorite piece. I ordered a plain white mini top hat off of eBay for about $2. I glued all kinds of crap to it and it came out perfectly, in my opinion. The shoes that I posted about previously ended up not fitting me due to all the layers of crap on them. I was so mad. Note to self to go up an entire size the next time I attempt that. Otherwise, they would have held up great. I luckily got a pair of really cool white shoes for $6 on clearance at a local cheap clothing store.

I made the choker and two bracelets as well as the gloves. The fishnets are generic white ones off of amazon for about $8. Instead of a garter (because I did want to be able to pee in under an hour), I used bed sheet grips. I cut them and sewed them to the skirt. I also made them a bit prettier. The wonderful thigh-high stockings were purchased here: SockDreams.

Here’s all the pics I have, enjoy:

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As a side note, I also did a very quick and half-assed Cheshire cat for an Alice in Wonderland whiskey tea party and I played around with latex for life-like mermaid scales when bored. Pictures below.

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Halloween 2015 – Refurbished Shoes

My cost was approximately $7.50:

  • Black patent faux-leather victorian-ish shoes from goodwill @ $5.99
  • FolkArt multi-surface whicker white acrylic paint @ $1.29

Other Items Used (I had these already):

  • Sponge/Sponge Brush
  • Paint Brushes
  • Polyurethane in clear satin
  • Rustoleum never-wet
  • Silver puffy fabric paint

Process:

  1.  Washed the suckers for a cycle on hot with some detergent. Air dried them. Cleaned them with acetone to soften any sealant on the faux-leather.
  2. Painted the booties white with a standard paint brush; 5 layers. Left them alone for a week to cure.
  3. Finished a final coat of white paint using a corner snipped off a dish sponge I had. I wanted to get rid of any brush strokes. It worked well.
  4. Hot-glued the original buttons back onto the shoes. I removed the metal anchors on the back to be able to do this. I painted them rough with silver puffy fabric paint.
  5. I took a tiny paint brush and painted the seams of the shoe with a silver paint and smeared it a bit to give a better definition to the seams as well as to help with the aged look of the booties.
  6. I took a fan brush and dipped it into the silver paint. I streaked the shoes for a worn look.
  7. Sealed with 3 coats of poly. Sprayed them for water protection with the Rustoleum never-wet.

Can’t wait to see how they hold up! Pics below.

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Here’s my collage of inspiration. I’ll post more as I move along with this project.

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Nature’s Candy in My Hand or Can or Pie

No, it’s not peaches. It’s apples. Over 30lbs of organic pink lady apples to be exact. I’m at the point that this video below is making me laugh hysterically.

So far I have made apple cider, apple butter, applesauce (from the apple cider apples) and I will be making applesauce pancakes with apple cider syrup and apple muffins. Did I mention: apples?

Here’s some recipes I created using very basic googled recipes to start with.

applesApple Cider

  • 10 apples + 1 orange, sliced
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 gallon of water

Add the fruit, spices, and water to a large pot. Simmer over medium-high heat for an hour. Strain.


 

Applesauce1sauce

  • 2 batches of apple cider cooked apples
  • ground cinnamon to taste
  • 1-2 cups of cider
  • 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice.

Blend half of the cook apples with the cider, cinnamon, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth. Mash the other half with a potato masher until lumpy. Mix the two batches together.


 

asyrupApple Cider Syrup

  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup sugar (I used brown)
  • 2 cups apple cider

Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until it is reduced by about 2/3 to 3/4. Used with applesauce pancakes.


 

abutterApple Butter

  • 6 lbs apples, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 3 C sugar (I used brown)
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Boil apples, cider, and 1 cup of sugar for 20 minutes covered with the lid tilted. Apples will be soft and most of the liquid will have evaporated. Stir often. Blend until smooth – I used my immersion blender. Add the rest of the sugar and spices. Simmer until thick (about 15 minutes). Let cool for about an hour. This will last 2 months in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer. It should make about 6 cups, though I ended up with about 10.


 

amuffApple Muffins (24)

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 10 eggs*
  • 1 cup maple syrup*
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium apples, peeled & diced

Preheat: 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift the dry. Whisk the wet. Mix the wet and dry together until smooth. It will thicken. Fold in the applesapdone. Bake for 15-20 minutes. For egg substitution in muffins: Banana (½ pureed Banana, about 1/4 cup = 1 egg) or Applesauce (1/3 cup applesauce = 1 egg or ¼ cup or Applesauce + 1 tsp Baking Powder ).

[I subbed 1/2 cup apple cider syrup for maple + 1/4 cup almond milk. I had 4 eggs, so I subbed 6 with: 1 mashed banana + 7/8 cup applesauce + 3 tsp baking powder. I added ground cloves because I ran out of vanilla and wanted another flavor]. Pictured with apple butter and apple cider syrup. Delicious!


 

Appapp2lesauce Pancakes

  • 3 cups of oat flour**
  • 2 + 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs*
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1/8 cup apple cider syrup (or maple)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • nonstick spray for cookingapp1

Whisk and fry. Each pancake @ 1/4 C of batter is around 100 calories. For egg substitution in pancakes: Banana (½ pureed Banana, abt 1/4 cup = 1 egg). [I cut the recipe in half and subbed run for the vanilla extract that I ran out of. I also use Almond milk for mostly anything calling for milk].


* For egg substitution in these and other recipes, please see visit this link.

** Oat flour conversion looks like this: 1 C AP or wheat flour = 1.5 C oat; Use 2.5 tsp baking powder to each cup of oat flour to make up for the loss of gluten.