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Journal 21st August – 12th September

Monday 21st August

Just as I had written my journal yesterday I felt the energy to do yoga – so I did get a little done. Later in the afternoon my son and I went for a walk that was a little longer than usual.

I had Bonebroth with veggies and chicken all day. In the afternoon I added 2 cups of carrots and it actually helped my energy a bit – I think that it has been good for me to go very low carb for a while, but that I need a little more carbs now and I don’t seem to be reacting to whole foods based carbs anymore, so I will have a little every day. I will keep eating soups with GAPS approved veggies and meat for a while, and then see if I can add some egg yolk to it in a week or so. I will drink Kraut juice every morning, and add ACV to my water.

I will be away all day and need to pack a lunch, and get to the vet with a little abandoned puppy that was left more or less on my doorstep yesterday. So I will fly!

Tuesday 22nd August

Yesterday I did absolutely no training – the new puppy took up quite a bit of time: I took him to the vet and they washed him, and got rid of fleas and ticks (not deer ticks, but goat ticks), gave him a de-wormer, all for free! They thought I was a hero for taking in the dog – but how could I not? He is adorable! The vet told me that he is a cross between a bodeguerro (bit like a Jack Russel) and something else. I absolutely love that vet – they are so sweet.

Afterwards we went to see my friend who lives further inland – we were meant to go up to the dam nearby, but since I got there so late it was 4:30 by the time we had finished lunch and the kids were hanging out in the pool, we decided to postpone to another day. I was home by 9 – so I quickly fixed the kids a little food before I went to bed.

My daughter woke me up around 3:30 with growing pain. I can’t help but think that she had gluten yesterday and that might be why – she used to have them all the time, and now hardly ever.

I couldn’t fall asleep again, so at 4:30 I got up and sat in the living room and read some articles about carb-cycling. I had been feeling sluggish for a while and added a little carbs back in the last few days. I feel a lot less sluggish, and my eczema is still improving. I have only eaten a litte carrots and some butternut squash – so only high quality carbs. Not really sure weather I should carb-cyckle or just keep eating 1-2 cups of these a day… but I will try to go with the flow and see where it leads me. Since this GAPS thing really feels good and my eczema continues to improve I will follow that path, at least for a while ((but good god I miss coffee and chocolate).

Around 6 I did some yoga flow for core and hips, after that about 10 min meditation and then 15 min of Wim Hoff breathing – that is really invigorating. Today I am going to pick up a box of organic meat I have ordered, and take my car to the garage, since the servo is gone, and the battery is low again (3rd time in 2 years we have to replace batteries… think there is something wrong with the car).

I will sprint today and walk, but for now I have a sleeping puppy on my lap and cannot do anything.

Wednesday 23rd August

Yesterday I managed to get a walk and a sprint in with my son, who is now very very much faster than I am – a few months ago he had asthma and was just as slow up the mountain as me. It pleases me immensely. He says that he likes running – but the asthma has kept him back because he just gets SO scared when it sets in. Yesterday he managed to run in all 4 sprints and ended up running the last 2 in circles under the oak trees on top, because he didn’t want to run the down hill part to the well.

I actually timed my walk to the well yesterday – and even if my son says that I was really slow I noticed that it no longer takes me 10 minutes to walk up there – so I will have to make my walk longer if I am to continue to walk 20 min every day (and I would actually like to walk 30 mins, so that I don’t have a “should” of 2 hours extra hanging over me every week). I will try to time it today too. I also think that I will go swimming with the kids today.

I also installed an automatic watering system for the chickens, so that they can’t soil their water and I don’t have to give them fresh water all the time. Today I will move the compost bin in there, so that I can empty the compost there – the run is pretty much rat safe, so it would make a huge difference around here (until the pup grows up to chase them I am putting poison out). Eventually I want the black soldier fly larva bin in there too – so that I can clean the coop into that, and the chickens can eat the grubs when they crawl out, instead of the wasps as it is now. I can’t wait to get our own eggs!

This morning I did that same yoga sequence as yesterday and I can feel my strength balance and flexibility improve every day. I can feel my carpal-tunnel syndrome (which improved dramatically after I stopped eating gluten) improving – it has almost disappeared. Afterwards I did 15 min of Wim Hoff breathing – I certainly cannot hold my breath for 3 minutes yet – but I feel so energized afterwards! And then 5 minutes listening to delta-waves (I need to find out which waves are good for what and when).

Food-wise I continued to have bone-broth with meat and veggies, except I had one piece of grilled pork – which had pepper on them, and a mouthful of cashews with dates. My eczema is still getting better, but I have those little blisters with pus inside popping up… very very small, but they are still there. My biggest problem with this is that I cannot find a Doctor down here to treat this, one will just prescribe cortisone creams and the other will put me on an alkaline diet… so I just keep searching. I will order some extra virgin cod liver oil online, and some pro-biotics (any recommendations are very welcome) and hope that my Thorne K2/D3 will come soon. I am currently drinking one shot of kraut juice every morning, but not eating the kraut.

Thursday 24th August

OK – this GAPS intro thing is 100% unsustainable for me… I’ve just had a giant cup of bullet-proof coffee with butter in it… OMG I have missed that! I have no idea how to navigate this eczema thing… but I need coffee – not every day, but once in a while.

Yeah – I was very much neither AIP or GAPS or Wahls or anything in that direction yesterday… I was pretty primal though 🙂 I had coffee and dark chocolate with raspberries and strawberries and I enjoyed every bit of it. I’ve had coffee this morning too. And I will continue to have coffee and dark chocolate when-ever I feel a deep need for it… Or something. And I will also continue to fast once in a while, and to take some GAPS days once in a while, and let most of my meals be primarily Wahl’s inspired, and not beat myself up over a little chocolate once in a while, because life is just too short for that. If dark chocolate and a bullet proof coffee is my version of a “cheat day” then I have come a long way from doughnuts and coke at the gas station when ever I was there without the kids (reality 2 years ago).

I did not walk yesterday, but did go to the river to swim – and I swam a few laps in the pool there (there is a natural pool in the river, full of fish of all sizes). Today we have a birthday party, so I will probably not get any walking in either, but I will bring my swim suit and play with the kids in the pool.

Saturday 26th August

I haven’t been doing very well today – I’ve had a bad stomach the last couple of days and slept badly. Poor sleep = chocolate cravings… well – as long as it isn’t worse than that. I need to find a golden middle ground, where I am not too strict on myself, and also help my eczema heal… that is a little hard right now. But I might have found a functional medicine practitioner who can help me in Madrid (through the ADAPT academy).

Tuesday 29th August

So the weekend was not good… I wasn’t straying from a primal diet more than twice (a little potato chips and a little pasta), but I was WAY off the AIP and sunday morning I was tired and had blisters all over my pinkie… yet I continued down that road, and monday morning I had no skin on half my pinkie. It is oozing, red, itchy and painful. These are the foods outside the AIP that I have eaten: Coffee, Chocolate, Sugar (in the chocolate), Wheat (not until Sunday evening, so not sole culprit), paprika, almonds, tomato (not undtil Sunday night), Cheese (cow, organic, hard), Potatoes (baked and chips), PUFA (in the potato chips), white wine (1 glass). The saddest thing about it is that I might have been 100% symptom free had I not slipped up, because I was almost symptom free last week (my eczema was healed 99%, but the skin was still thin and fragile). I might be able to drink coffee, because I did so from Wednesday and I woke Friday with more inflammation in my eczema (had used a little cream in my coffee Thursday night), but still not those darned blisters that just turns my skin into an oozing mess, but now I won’t know for a while because I have to start over again to heal.

I have been back on track since yesterday, I can already feel that my skin is less itchy, but this will take a few weeks to heal I suspect – and I will have to remain on track while going through my husbands birthday party… THAT won’t be easy. I need to focus on the eczema and the healing and not so much on the weight loss until I am on the other side of this. I know if I stay 100% AIP my eczema will heal – I have been there before, I just need to stay.on.track.

Thursday 31st August

Today I have been following the Autoimmune protocol strictly for 3 days. I woke up at 5 o’clock this morning and spent almost an hour just lying in bed waking up slowly (stretching a bit, meditating a bit). Then I got up and did my yoga workout, 15 min meditation and 15 min Wim Hoff breathing technique.

Yesterday I heard Robb Wolf interview Dr. DiNicolantonio about salt, and almost simultaneously Mark Sissons offer for his new keto book lands in my inbox – both talk about how a keto diet drastically increases your need for salt (Mark writes 2 tsp a day extra on a keto diet). While I have been taking extra salt and extra minerals it has not been anywhere near 2 tsp. I have now bought the book “The Salt Fix” and am reading it. Yesterday I took two “salt shots” of around 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp kelp, and 2 cl lemon juice – and even though I was tired after lunch, and regained my energy after resting for half and hour.

My eczema is getting better, but I have also used some prednisone cream – I will stop doing that in a few days, but I figured that it was important to heal it, to avoid infections – and then when I am healed a little more I can stop using the cream to make sure that I am not consuming anything that aggravates it. I will be calling two Functional Medicine practitioners today to hear if we can get some testing going to figure out why I am becoming more and more allergic…

Monday 4th September

So I talked to a Functional Medicine practitioner from Madrid yesterday – we talked education and also some about my journey towards better health. He actually ended up giving me about an hours consultation for free and recommending me some tests to get done – a stool test and a hair test (to test for mycotoxins and heavy metals). He suggested the hair test instead of the triple test, because it is cheaper – I am not sure if it would be better to just do the triple test first. I might also want to order a test for fungus in our house… I have a feeling – the other day I was sitting in my husband’s office for 15 min and I felt completely congested after I left… I did the VCSTest.com and scored below “normal” which does indicate that I have something disturbing my vision – and at times it does feel like my vision is worse (even my functionally blind left eye feels more or less blind on certain days) than others and it feels “chemical” – just like my mood-swings… like it is my brain and not my eye that has a problem, and the the problem is inflammation – now that I now how to eat to make it go away, I can certainly see that it isn’t something I jut have to live with…

I have had one piece of chocolate and one potato this weekend – and have had no reaction. The potato was totally by accident: I had made them for the rest of the family, but when I started eating I just put it on my plate and started eating… a few years ago I was wheat, dairy, egg and nut free for 2 years and I had no problems with potatoes. I am guessing that potatoes cross with something and that I can eat them when I am not eating a lot of other stuff that affects me.

The FM practitioner I talked to pretty much agreed with my suspicions – the AIP diet is keeping me free of trigger foods (I am not sure which at the moment), but not healing my gut, nor clearing my system of any toxins I might have been exposed to (he thinks that some kind of toxic load is keeping my gut lining open which is why I keep being more and more sensitive all the time). I know for sure that I have been exposed to myco-toxins, several times in my life, starting at birth – my eczema usually clear up when I live in a house that isn’t infested, so I have a feeling that this house is… I have also recently had an amalgam filling removed that was broken (and had been so for a while), so that is possible too. AND living in Denmark most of my life, most of the fish I have eaten have come from the Baltic sea which is where most of the rivers in Easter Europe and Russia ends (hurraa for communism) – heavily polluted… it is no longer recommended to eat fish coming from there but that was unknown when I was a kid when to pollution levels were at it’s worst… Now I need to find a way to heal. I will be looking at that the next week. Even if I did find him knowledgeable, and not woo-woo I still feel a need to double check everything he says… just a habit after 11 years of checking Doctors before trusting them.

Well anyways – after now almost 7 days of (almost) strict AIP my brain functions normally again, I sleep normally and I have normal energy-levels. I think I can start re-introducing foods in a week, but I will stop the prednisone cream as of today to see if I am still reacting to something. I hope I have learned my lesson from last weekend: It is such a waste of time to be on this extreemly strict diet, just to fuck it up right before I am symptom free – it stalls me finding out what I am actually reacting to (and I don’t think it is everything on the AIP). I also do not want to waste 3 out of 7 days just for a snack… not worth it. I was actually on the way to being way way too tired Sunday already and I knew it the moment I opted for making pasta with tomato sauce – because I was too tired to cook… I shouldn’t have pasta in the house at all (now I don’t have more fortunately) – I am just too cheap to throw out food…

Tuesday 5th September

Today I bought chicory coffee – because that is where I fall in every time. So now I can have a cup of bullet proof chicory coffee (without butter though) if I really really feel like it. I think that will help a lot! I am also not too strict on the low carb currently, AIP is limited enough – and then when I am symptom free I can maybe add some more foods in, which will make low carb a little easier.

Yoga in the morning really feels like a rutine now – I don’t feel right the days I don’t get up and do it. The challenging exercise I found last week hardly feels challenging anymore (yay me!). I would actually like to do a longer sequence now – but that is conditioned upon me waking up earlier in the morning, and that is conditioned on me feeling better – sleep is still more important than exercise.

Thursday 7th September

Tuesday was my husband’s birthday and I cooked him a full English breakfast – only to realize when I was almost done that I coulnd’t eat *any* of the food I had cooked… including the bacon bc. the organic store had stopped carrying it, since I was the only costumer buying it – so I had bought regular bacon at the supermarket. But since we had breakfast at 7:30 I wasn’t hungry anyway so I just had a few strawberries and ate some sweet potato later in the morning.

For lunch I made a big ass salad for all of us, and hubby and the kids had some of the left-over bread from breakfast – they have actually not touched the bread since, that is how used they are to not eating bread by now, that they forget it is there!

In the evening we went out to eat at a Japanese restaurant and had teppanyaki – they were very sweet and made mine with glutenfree soy sauce (yes soy sauce – not allowed) and without butter. It was delicious! I also had spicy salmon sashimi salad for starter and wakame salad and teppanyaki broccoli. Not 100% AIP but pretty close – the soy sauce, the chili on the spicy salmon, and maybe some MSG (my son whispered to me while eating my beef “I think this might contain the third spice – damn it is GOOD!” – but he didn’t have a reaction at all). We didn’t get home until 0:30 – way past my bedtime. I was very tempted to not ask for gluten free soy sauce, and be too polite to not ask them to cook my meat without butter, when everybody else had butter… and to eat the rice, and have a drink etc. But the podcast I had been pointed to helped me quite a lot – feeling grateful that I am able to heal myself and get better. We had invited one of my husbands’ colleagues and his wife out for dinner, as they were in the area – they visited us 3 years ago before they had their baby – and she has become very sick with fibrosis (not cystic – something else), after they had their baby, and has gained 20kg because of her medicine (prednisone) – I talked to her a bit about my diet and how it helped me, but my condition is not at all as serious as hers, I have no idea if it would help her? But I do have a feeling that if I hadn’t found this path 3 years ago, I would have been going down a route that would be far more like hers, than where I am now…

Yesterday I felt really good and completed 2x12min of yoga exercise, made a huge portion of my anti-inflammatory sauerkraut, cleaned the kitchen, made lunch – and then crashed completely. Took a nap, and then proceeded to clean half the house (with the help of my family). And then we hung out on the terrace enjoying the early fall and the fact that we live such a beautiful place.

My husband and I was talking about supplements, and decided that if quality supplements were that expensive we would rather put that money into quality meat (specifically CQ10 and A,D,E,K and O3) – so we searched the web for places that sell beef harts (most butchers don’t carry them) – and I found a place that sell them online for €1.5/piece – free range though not 100% grass feed or organic, but it is the best I can do at the moment. I did find a butcher in Madrid, that delivers to the whole country who has 100% grass fed (the organic are given grains, just organic grains) – and he has packages that he calls “Caveman packages” of 10kg of beef/€150 – I think I will send him an e-mail to ask if he could source some offal too, because then I would def. buy from him. My neighbor has given me a baby goat that he keeps in his stable until we have found a butcher who will be willing to come up here and butcher it for me – damned EU laws makes that really really hard…

This morning I woke up a 6:15 – spent 15 min in bed, just waking up (love that about waking before the alarm) and then got up because I really wanted to have time to do a longer yoga series. So I found one that was in the same style as what I have been doing lately – but more challenging and 25 min. Then 15 min meditation and 15 min Wim Hoff breathing. I feel really good.

I had a green keto smoothie for breakfast (cucumber, avocado, kale, parsley, lemon, EVOO, salt, kelp, aloe vera juice), cucumber with liver paté and sauerkraut.

Three things that I am grateful for today:
– I am grateful that I am able to be a stay at home mom and not be stressed with raising kids AND a job AND healing my self – but can focus on my healing, while also having time for my kids.
– I am grateful for the fact that even if I am a stay at home mom, my husband makes enough money for us to be able to source healthy food for us.
– I am grateful to be able to live in such a beautiful place and be able to just go out on the terrace and gaze over the mountains, to have my favorite hiking path right at my back door.

Now I will continue to clean the house – so that we are ready for 20+ people for brunch on Saturday.

Friday 8th September

Yesterday I was feeling really good right up until 8 PM where I completely lost my wind and just could not continue. This is one of those signs that really indicate that I am on the right tracks – when I am eating poorly I get tired at 4-5 o’clock, and I am not rested no matter how many hours I’ve slept. OTOH my eczema is really bad – but only on one finger… considering that I had virtually no skin on all fingers on one hand last year, and eczema on my thighs and behind my knees. I did have a little potatoes yesterday and the day before, plus Wednesday I was cleaning the guest bedroom and my husbands office – and he has had an old box from his parents house standing on the floor and it had mold on the bottom and it was on the floor. We also had a lot of bottles of Aquavit sitting in the guest room, which were in boxes that had been water damaged – and as I removed those they completely fell apart from mold. After I had cleaned the floors and ventilated both rooms I felt a little bit like I had a cold coming on – sort of sore throat and sinus irritation. So this finger thing is probably a reaction to breathing in those spores or eating potatoes.

I woke up pretty early this morning – but couldn’t really get myself out of bed. But in the end I decided to get out because I didn’t want to miss out on my yoga practise. I only did the 12 min video because it was already 7:10 when I got up – but at least I did a little.

Today I am grateful for:
– the fact that what I call “bad” eczema is 10x less than it was a year ago
– the fact that doing yoga can motivate me to get up in the morning
– the fact that I have such a sweet and loving family

Later that day

I didn’t wear gloves or a facial mask as I was cleaning out the mold – I should have… I mean usually I wear gloves for doing dishes – but I didn’t think about it when I was almost done…

But I can feel my eczema clearing – and tomorrow is DH’s birthday party… and he has made all the stuff he loves, and I cannot eat much of it. And I get it – he really misses bread and chorizo etc. And he makes the best bread – one of my friends started crying when she ate his cinnamon rolls at his birthday party last year, because they were like her granma’s (and she’s from Mississippi living very far away from her granma). I need to be strong and hold on to the thought that I am grateful for the fact that I *can* heal by sheer will and stubbornness.

Tuesday 12th September

I discovered a new dish for my husbands birthday – gravad lax salad: Gravad lax (home made by DH), cucumber, avocado and kale chips – mmmm! That was goood! I ate that, and mushrooms with bacon all day – plus olives, kombucha and fruit. Thankfully the guests cleared out the cinnamon rolls – so I didn’t have those to tempt me all Sunday  I stayed on the straight and narrow path I have chosen for myself – and felt quite proud of myself. I had no new blisters Sunday morning.

Today (tuesday) I am back at waking up around 6:30, my eczema is healing and my brain feels awake and non-cottony. I am proud of myself for holding ground, and I am thankful that there are people out there who research this kind of thing. One thing is the eczema – but I cannot imagine how my life would be if I had to continue to live with the brain fog and fatigue that I get when I stray from the diet.

I have a few suspicions about what is causing the flare ups – and will not introduce those things first: Almonds, eggs, dairy, sugar, potatoes – those are my primary suspects. Maybe tomatoes, other nuts. Not Coffee, black pepper, peppers. I don’t think I am allergic to seeds, but I might have eaten too many compared to how much fish and other O3 I ate (and they are also relatively high carb).

Again I can note that the more low carb I am, the better my brain works. The past few days I have been eating massive amounts of fatty fish – and it is sooo god for me! I will try to get some small fatty fish as often as possible.

– I am grateful for having discovered this diet, so that I can heal my brain and my skin
– I am grateful for having discovered that I can participate in a party and not have to stuff my face with all the sugar I can possibly find
– I am grateful that I don’t have to think about food 24×7 because I am not constantly hungry anymore

Journal

I have started a journal over at marksdailyapple.com – but I thought that I would post my entries here too – to the people who are following my thoughts about diet it might bring you something.

I am also micro-blogging on Instagram. You can follow my Instagram feed on the right side of the blog and click any picture to go to my Instagram account.

Tuesday 08-15-2017

So – I have been on the Autoimmune protocol (AIP) for some 3 months now. Today I am starting a 7 day fast – I will have bone-broth, so it will be a bit GAPS-like – and when I break fast, I will try to do it with GAPS friendly foods. I am doing this because ever since my summer holiday I haven’t been able to get rid of my eczema. Last time I fasted I didn’t get enough electrolytes and ended up with a horrible head-ache. I haven’t been 100% strickt on the AIP since I came home from holiday – and I know I need to be to get rid of the eczema.

My reasons for being primal/paleo is the following: I have just reached a BMI of 30 – I would like to get to 25, preferably 22. I have eczema – when I started the AIP I had eczema on my legs and my hands (really really bad on my hands). I had seasonal hayfever – which became worse and worse every year, and the season became longer and longer. After starting AIP, my hayfever has dissapeared. To get rid of the eczema I have to be really low carb – I more or less follow the guidelines in Wahls paleo plus, and have a max of 2 cups of cooked tubers pr. week. I had joint and muscle pain, it dissapeared with removing gluten from my diet. When ever I ate a little sugar my hart would start racing, it was incredibly scary and I really want to improve my insulin sensitivity.

All of my complaints have been improved on this diet. Now I need to stick to it, and only reintroduce foods slowly so that I know what I react to.

Yesterday I had icecream with my kids – the first time all summer. It was an organic chokolate icecream – a teeny tiny little cup, not even 1dl I think – and on my way home my eyes itched, and my legs where I used to have eczema. Last night we were at a birthday party and I also had some birthday cake. What I noticed was that even though I did feel bloated afterwards, I did not have the racing hart that I have experienced 3 months ago before going on the AIP.

I know it sounds a little confusing with the AIP, Wahls and the GAPS protocol all mixed in with each other… most of the foods on these 3 protocol are actually the same. But I will just clarify: I know that if I am strict AIP, and very low carb, my eczema is gone. The Wahl’s protocol guidelines is what I use as guidelines for quantities – I can feel that my brain benefits from this. The GAPS is again, very very close to the other two, and I will use it as a guide to reintroduce foods after my fast, hopefully seal my gut along the way. The most important though is the AIP/low carb, because I know it can keep me symptom free – the other two are more like references, because I think their guidelines are a good measure on how I can feed my gut and my brain optimally.

Exercise:

  • I do yoga every morning – depending on how I feel, I do anything from 5min to 20min (already a habbit)
  • I do the Primal Blueprint Fitness lift heavy things 2x a week (already a habbit)
  • I am working on getting a daily walk in – 20min (a habbit I am working on)
  • I will work to incorporate sprints in my walk once a week (next habbit to implement)
  • I need one longer walk every week on top of that (a habbit to implement)
  • The days that I don’t do the Primal Blueprint Fitness I play with my kids (swim, trampoline, dance, gymnastics, roller skating etc)

Sleep: I go to bed at 10PM on all weekdays, and get up at 7:30 at the latest (usually wake up at 6)

Anti-stress: I meditate every morning after yoga – yoga is also part of my anti-stress strategy, and is mostly stretching and balance exercise.

Food: After my fast get back on a strict AIP diet and stay there until completely symptom free. After that reintroduce one food at a time, to get as much lee-way as possible in my diet, without my health suffering.

Wednesday 08-15-2017

Yesterday I started my fast – and for some reason I was famished and sluggish! I think it might have been the cake and ice-cream from Monday? I only did 2 sun salutes for my yoga practise, but managed to get a little vinyasa flow into them, after that 5 min of meditation.

I had forgotten to put a pot on for broth, and when I put one on I took beef bones out of the freezer instead of chicken – so that took most of the day… So I didn’t have any broth before around 4PM. The sluggishness continued until after I had my broth, then half an hour later I was ready to go for a walk, and after I walked 20min I did 8 20sec. sprints uphill – it has been two weeks since I did them last, but I still did better than I did last – I am NOT a runner, and with some 10-20kg excess weight running is HARD – but I managed to run the first 3 sprints, and then just “power walked” the rest. Last time I only managed to run 2 sprints and walk the rest and gave up on the last one. I almost made it all the way up the hill on those 4 minutes, which is the walk that usually takes me 10 min.

I slept pretty bad… our neighbor moved a donkey and her foal in on his field next door and my little terrier went completely mad and kept barking at them, and my Sct. Bernard joined him, and then all the other dogs on our entire mountain… I finally came out and tied up the little one, but did so right under my bedroom window – and the result was that he was wimping all night… finally around 3 o’clock I closed the window and managed to go to sleep. The advantage of being a stay at home mom – and my husband not being at home this week – is that I can sleep until I wake up, which was at 7:30

I did 20min yoga this morning – and feel great: Not hungry, not sluggish – clear headed, just good. I signed up for Chris Kressers ADAPT academy this morning, can’t really get myself to leave the computer, it is SO interesting!

PS. My eczema is already noticably less – less scabbing, less redness and swelling. I am positive that it will be gone by the end of the week.

Thursday 08-16-2017

So yesterday I spent most of the day on the ADAPT site – really interesting stuff there.

In the afternoon I went for a walk – up to my well and back 10min either way on my mountain – and after that we went to the public pool in the village at the foot of our mountain for 3 hours. I mostly played with the kids but also swam some laps. When I got back home I was famished and tired – as always when I have been swimming. I took at cup of bone-broth, but after af few sips I couldn’t drink anymore, it is simply too much in this heat (~40C). Later I managed to put in half an hour of cleaning in my house. So not 100% sendentary yesterday.

Today I found a new yoga-video to try out – 17min – it was a little more challenging, without making me tired – just waking up the body. I plan on lifting some heavy things today, and going for a walk again.

I am not hungry this morning, the fast does not feel hard at all, and no head-aches – I think I must be fat adapted by now.

I have slept great, even if my terrier did go bonkers over the donkey again (I tied him up again and closed the bedroom window immediately). I woke up at 7 o’clock feeling rested and ready for the day.

Donkeys

Friday 08-18-2017

Yesterday ended up a little different than expected: One of my friends texted me and asked if we wanted to go swimming – the local pool was closed so we went down to the river where we stayed for hours, swimming in a small natural pool there, walking, playing etc. On the way home I went by the animal feed store and bought 3 chickens and a rooster – so when we came home we installed them in our rabbit pen (rabbits are dead due to a virus they caught from the wild rabbits around here). In about a month I should be able to get my own eggs. Now I just need to teach the terrier not to eat them… last night he egged the Sct. Bernard on to start chasing the donkey foal, tied the terrier up – and the Sct. Bernard just went back to the terrace and relaxed. Well at 8PM we were done – I warmed the kids some food, they ate and we went to bed.

I woke up around 4 this morning. I have already done yoga and meditated. I choose a more challenging video again this morning – I will do that a couple more times: I am still so locked in my right shoulder – I could do all the poses on the left side of my body, but simply couldn’t on the right.

My eczema is almost gone! It is amazing how this fasting makes my inflammation levels plummet – would have been interesting if I had done some blood work before I started. Anyway – I am not much into the whole quantified self, don’t have much patience for measuring everything – more into feeling how my body reacts. The fast has evolved into a water only fast – I can’t get myself to drink the bonebroth in this heat, I will have to do the GAPS type thing in the fall/winter.

Chickens

Saturday 08-19-2017

Well it was a good thing that I did a more challenging yoga session yesterday – because that was all I did that day. I am totally geeking out on the ADAPT acadamy (my kids are a little annoyed with my ADHD hyper-focusing…).

I had 3 cups of bone broth yesterday – and I was famished last night. Maybe I should just continue water fasting these 3 last days – it seems to work better for me. Also – maybe not cook a whole chicken for the kids… it smelled amazing. But they had run out of the stew I made them Tuesday, so they clearly needed something to eat.

I woke up quite a bit later this morning – 7:30, and usually I take that as a sign that I am to tired for yoga, but this morning I decided to do a session anyway – I choose a video that was a little longer, and it was def more challenging than what I have done in the past few weeks. A lot of balancing.

I also weighed myself this morning -3kg since last Saturday, including ice-cream and cake Monday. The measurements haven’t really budged, but I can see that my upper abdomen right under the ribs is flatter, I can now see my key-bone and my chin-bone is also more define. I also have more wrinkles – such is life, I am 41 and have been overweight most of my life. If I get out of this with minimal saggy skin, I am happy.

After my weigh-in and yoga work out, I decided to try the Wim Hoff breathing method. I have tried it before but came away from it. I did 3 rounds of 30 breaths – and afterwards I felt AMAZING. So full of energy that I dropped down and did 20 push-ups (hands-feet) in a row – for the first time in my life YAY! After that I figured that since I hadn’t lifted heavy things yesterday, I might as well do it immediately – so I did the entire Primal Blueprint Fitness lift heavy things workout, and took a cold shower afterwards. Man I feel good now. I have decided to try to do the Wim Hoff breathing thing every time I feel sluggish – I think it might be a good way to keep myself going. And then do it in the evening, but breathing through the nose, I have heard that it can drastically improve your sleep.

[QUOTE=DawnHoff;n3004926]So yesterday I cleaned the whole house before my husband came home – being preoccupied with the ADAPT academy was quite visible everywhere… the water-pump wasn’t working so I was worried that I had to do all the dishes by hand… fortunately it only delivers water to the washing mashine, the dishwasher and the toilets – the rest of the house is gravity fed. But mysteriously it suddenly started working again and I was able to run the washing mashine once and the dishwasher twice yesterday (Imagine doing two hole loads of dishes by hand!!).

My terrier is gone! He has run away several times before – but always it has been because he was following us when we left and then couldn’t find his way back, this time he has left on his own accord. We really don’t have much luck with those terriers – the first one died less than a week after we got her – from internal bleeding (the vet said she had been in an accident before we got her from the animal rescue station, and they’d had her less than a day), the second was stolen (he was very pretty) and this third one keeps running away. It is a shame because I would really like to be able to keep rats away from the house without poison… My son is theorizing that he followed the donkey when the came to get her yesterday. I think I will go down to the village today and see if I can find him. Otherwise I will have to report him as lost.

I didn’t walk yesterday, but with all the cleaning I think I have achieved the same number of steps. At one point I felt myself completely lacking the energy to go on and went into the bedroom to lie down and do the Wim Hoff breathing – it completely revitalized me and I was able to finish cleaning.

At some point during the afternoon I had stomach pain, it kept coming and going – so at first I just figured it was a single cramp – but it came back several times, and in the end I decided to break my fast. I had a salad with lettuce (not iceberg – don’t know the name in English, not even in Danish – it is called Corazones de Lucas, small heads, like the ones you use instead of tacos), chicken, avocado, cucumber, EVOO, ACV, baked nori flakes and herbamare salt. Last night my finger, where the last bit of eczema is, was itching. I will totally die if I am allergic to avocado too! Sometimes I feel like I can’t eat anything. The stomach cramps disappeared though so that is good.

I had to pick my husband up at the air-port at midnight – I really hate those late flights, but the alternative is that he gets a plane so early in the morning that he has to take a taxi to the airport in Copenhagen, because the trains aren’t running yet. And the taxi fare would be more than the plane tickets (and the Danish government has closed down Über). I didn’t go to bed before 1 o’clock and then I couldn’t fall a sleep, so I am pretty tired now. Sleep hygiene is really important to me – not that I have to go to bed at a certain time – but the minute I feel tired I need to get in there, because otherwise I toss and turn. So I haven’t done any yoga today… I should be doing the Wim Hoff thing – but I am so tired I don’t really feel like not being tired … or something – I just feel like lying down with an iPad. I promised my son that I would do strength training with him today – don’t know if that is a good idea when I did it yesteday, but he was disappointed that I did it without him.[/QUOTE]

Sunday 08-20-2017

So yesterday I cleaned the whole house before my husband came home – being preoccupied with the ADAPT academy was quite visible everywhere… the water-pump wasn’t working so I was worried that I had to do all the dishes by hand… fortunately it only delivers water to the washing mashine, the dishwasher and the toilets – the rest of the house is gravity fed. But mysteriously it suddenly started working again and I was able to run the washing mashine once and the dishwasher twice yesterday (Imagine doing two hole loads of dishes by hand!!).

My terrier is gone! He has run away several times before – but always it has been because he was following us when we left and then couldn’t find his way back, this time he has left on his own accord. We really don’t have much luck with those terriers – the first one died less than a week after we got her – from internal bleeding (the vet said she had been in an accident before we got her from the animal rescue station, and they’d had her less than a day), the second was stolen (he was very pretty) and this third one keeps running away. It is a shame because I would really like to be able to keep rats away from the house without poison… My son is theorizing that he followed the donkey when the came to get her yesterday. I think I will go down to the village today and see if I can find him. Otherwise I will have to report him as lost.

I didn’t walk yesterday, but with all the cleaning I think I have achieved the same number of steps. At one point I felt myself completely lacking the energy to go on and went into the bedroom to lie down and do the Wim Hoff breathing – it completely revitalized me and I was able to finish cleaning.

At some point during the afternoon I had stomach pain, it kept coming and going – so at first I just figured it was a single cramp – but it came back several times, and in the end I decided to break my fast. I had a salad with lettuce (not iceberg – don’t know the name in English, not even in Danish – it is called Corazones de Lucas, small heads, like the ones you use instead of tacos), chicken, avocado, cucumber, EVOO, ACV, baked nori flakes and herbamare salt. Last night my finger, where the last bit of eczema is, was itching. I will totally die if I am allergic to avocado too! Sometimes I feel like I can’t eat anything. The stomach cramps disappeared though so that is good.

I had to pick my husband up at the air-port at midnight – I really hate those late flights, but the alternative is that he gets a plane so early in the morning that he has to take a taxi to the airport in Copenhagen, because the trains aren’t running yet. And the taxi fare would be more than the plane tickets (and the Danish government has closed down Über). I didn’t go to bed before 1 o’clock and then I couldn’t fall a sleep, so I am pretty tired now. Sleep hygiene is really important to me – not that I have to go to bed at a certain time – but the minute I feel tired I need to get in there, because otherwise I toss and turn. So I haven’t done any yoga today… I should be doing the Wim Hoff thing – but I am so tired I don’t really feel like not being tired … or something – I just feel like lying down with an iPad. I promised my son that I would do strength training with him today – don’t know if that is a good idea when I did it yesteday, but he was disappointed that I did it without him.

Actually – now that I look a little closer: My finger is actually noticeably better than yesterday. Cross my fingers I don’t have to cut out more foods!

Why Words Matter

In the last few days I have had several conversations about words, definitions and how they are used. It seems to me that some people feel a need to redefine the content of words to make them fit what they want them to mean.

I am of the exact opposite – I think words are important. I think definitions are important. If I do permaculture I don’t use tarp or a propane burner to kill weeds, I try to find another solution to my problems. If I unschool I don’t expect my children to learn certain things. If I Radical Unschool I don’t set limits to screen time or sugar intake.

Why is this important? It is important because we use words to communicate and tell the world what we think and feel, and when we change the meaning of the words we make communication far more difficult.

In my time in the attachment parenting community I have heard so many many people bend many many words and it has always frustrated me. I have heard of schools that use “natural learning” and “positive discipline” – while requiring the kids to be inside and “work” 4 hours a day and not let them outside and play at all for those for hours, these same schools used a “silent chair” where the children could “meditate on their actions”, while claiming to be “respectful” and “non-punitive”… I have heard people being “peaceful parents” while using “cry-it-out”, people using “baby lead weaning” while spoon feeding from 4 months. And I have even heard people say that they “unschool in the summer holidays” What is that anyway? Like you allow your kids to play in the summer without expectations about learning? Or does it mean that you put a whole lot of “learning” into the summer holiday so that your kids don’t even have that time to rest and play? When you point out to people that this isn’t actually what the words mean, then you are usually met with a comment about how judgemental you are. I also hear teachers talk about “offering children opportunities to read”, while the fact that the children don’t have a choice in reading is brushed over.

This is not about being judgemental, it is about communication. It is also very much about taking responsibility for your choices, and the consequences it has. Eg. I used to call myself a Radical Unschooler – but recently I have chosen to limit my children’s access to sugar and gluten, because I can see that we all thrive on a diet without sugar and gluten. I don’t say “we are Radical Unschoolers except for food”, because that isn’t completely honest. Honestly I don’t feel that I can be responsible as a parent if I let my children eat what-ever they want. This might have something to do with my connection with them (which has a lot to do with how I used to eat and how I felt when I ate that way), but it doesn’t change the fact that I have a fear that they will not get the nutrients they need or that their teeth will rot, and I simply would not be able to forgive myself if that happened. That – right now – is more important than their freedom, and much much more important than whether I can belong to a group that I think is super cool.

Fact is that the genuine Radical Unschoolers I know, are some of the coolest people I know, and their relationship to their kids is the relationship I would most love to emulate with my kids. So I am greately inspired by Radical Unschooling – and most parts of our life is Radical Unschooling. But I cannot right now take the step to be there, and feel OK, so I choose not to use the label, because that is not who I am.

I can’t help but wonder if someone feels limited by definitions, why it is that they feel the need to use the words that limit them. Is it not more liberating to just say “that’s not me, so that isn’t what I do”, instead of saying saying “I am an unschooler – but”? I don’t understand it actually.

Experimenting With My Own Health 2

Two months ago I wrote how we had started experimenting with changing our diet. The diet we had chosen to try out were the AIP diet. Essentially the AIP is a paleo diet ex. nightshades, seeds, nuts and eggs. The reason for choosing this was that going paleo helped me a great deal, but it made my eczema flare – so I knew that something I was eating more than usual was problematic for me. My primary suspects were nuts and eggs, but I really wanted to have this process be as quick as possible, so I wasn’t willing to try one thing at a time and wait and see it out. Also – I am allergic to potatoes – or at least I am allergic to raw potatoes sometimes… so much so that an allergy Doctor once told me that I probably shouldn’t eat potatoes at all because you cannot be sure that they are completely boiled through and I definitely shouldn’t cut or peel them. I am allergic to nuts, and I didn’t mind trying to cut out the seeds for a while. Eggs were a definite suspect, because I have eaten A LOT on the paleo diet – and thinking about it, it probably isn’t healthy to eat the same breakfast every day – even if eggs are a “superfood”.

So during the first month on AIP I discovered that I would react to sugar – any sugar. Have and apple or a date and I would start sneezing like mad. Drink home made Horchata (tigernut milk), which supposedly should be primarily non-digestable starch, and my eczema on my legs would flare, same thing with sweet potatoes. I cut out more and more carbs, and  I felt better and better. I started waking up refreshed at 5-6 o’clock in the morning, like I also did last time I started paleo. I didn’t crash at 5 o’clock but could go on until 9:30 PM, where my body would send a clear signal that “now it is time to go to bed”.

It is a big challenge to keep this diet on a full term basis – because I really cannot eat out – not with friends nor at restaurants. I can technically eat at a restaurant – but the food I get is usually quite boring – esp. since Spanish restaurants all serve the same boring salads and most of the greens they serve in there come from a glass with citric acid, and/ sugar etc. So I will often end up eating a piece of grilled fish (fine) with iceberg lettuce and a few onions … not very interesting. If I am lucky they have fresh beets and carrots in the salad…

Along the way on this diet my appetite decreased significantly and I talked to my therapist about trying a fast, for a whole lot of health benefits including lowering insulin levels. At the same time my dentist recommended that my husband did a 3 day fast prior to a tooth extraction, and I was supposed to do the same when I have my wisdom teeth extracted, so I thought I would try the fast with him. So I did the three day fast, and when he finished after his tooth extraction, I continued another 2 days and felt even greater – the very last little bit of eczema disappeared, I was complimented for my skin, I lost weight (I’ll get back to that later in this post), and strangely enough I even felt that my left “lazy” eye was less lazy… (it is a really strange feeling, and really hard to explain since I am functionally blind on that eye).  I will definitely try that again.

Along the way I heard about the Wahl’s protocol, and started looking into that. I kind of bothered me that there seemed to be a split in the paleo community – on one hand were the keto people who seemed to be almost promoting and Atkins diet, many of them with very little vegetable, and on the other were people who kept saying that carbs are important, but they need to come from fruit and sweet potatoes. Now I really do think that we need to eat A LOT of veggies, just as firmly as I believe that healthy animal products are good for us, but my body was telling me that the carbs were not good for me – at least for now… So I needed to come up with something else. Enter Terry Wahl’s MD, science based, healed her own Multiple Sclerosis – not a whole lot of non-scientific BS there. I bought her book, and I am now trying to follow her Paleo Plus, which is a keto diet, but with a minimum of 6 cups of veggies and berries a day – 2 cups of leafy greens, 2 cups of sulphurous veggies, 2 cups of strong color veggies/berries (max 1 cup).

3 weeks ago it was my son’s birthday – and my husband looked at me and told me that we were not going to be those kinds of parents who would not allow sugar and wheat for their child’s birthday party, which I accepted – none of them are celiac or diabetics after all. And my son looked at me and asked me to please have a piece of his birthday cake, and I did. I was coming down with a cold of the day of the party and was pretty ill the next day – there was plenty of leftovers, and the thought of cooking something that was good for me was too much… I didn’t munch on cake though, but some bread and falafel and humus, and a few days later we left for England for 10 days. By the time we left for England I was noticing a little bit of a flare on one finger – but so very little I could almost ignore it.

So since July 2nd I have been off diet untill july 17th – 15 days. I did eat a very healthy diet in England by most accounts – kale/mushroom stir-fry for breakfast with a little bacon and an egg and salad for lunch most days (we would shop in either M&S or Pret-a-Manger for lunch), and then out for dinner most nights. I had one pizza in the beginning of our holiday, which sent my hart razing (though not as much as it would have prior to my fast), and at the end I allowed myself an English muffin and the last night a Tiramisu – again hart razing not pleasant feeling, don’t really want to do that again anytime soon. Even before the muffin and Tiramisu my eczema on my hand was flaring – ie. not carb or wheat related (except if it was the pizza?), my guess is eggs and cheese. The muffin and Tiramisu made the eczema flare on my legs, but it was gone the next day. By the time we got home the skin was peeling off of one finger – it was completely inflamed and the scabs and skinless patches had reappeared… I was also tired tired tired (but that could be all the traveling and site seeing). My joints were feeling swollen and stiff (I had a hard time closing my hands for all the water retention in them).

I have been following the Wahl’s protocol for a week now (combined with the AIP except I drink coffee and have a little bell pepper in my salad), and I still have a little eczema on my hands, but the inflammation is visibly less, the skinless patches are gone and the scabs too (so it is mainly just red). I am considering cutting back on the coffee – just for this week and the bell pepper, just because I know that I will heal completely if I am 100% AIP. My fatigue has not gone away completely – I wake up at 7 and I feel tired in the afternoon (but my son has also been sick and I have slept poorly the last week because of that), I still fell “weird” around my lazy eye… so I am not 100%. I am not retaining water in my hands anymore. One thing that I noticed is my waist circumference: During my fast I lost 5 cm around my waist. When I came back for England, those 5 cm had ALL come back – which has been one of my problems: I had to be completely orthorectic with my diet, because cheating just a little would send me right back where I started. I know that dieticians will tell you that you cannot gain 5 kg from eating one piece of cake – but that has happened to me many many times. Yes mostly water, but fact is it would take me weeks to get those 5 kg of water off again. But this week on the Wahl’s protocol, the 5 cm that I gained in England, has all come off! My guess is that the weight fluctuations are due to inflammation in my tissue, and water retention from that – ie. not fat, but not good either. It seems that I am now able to rid myself of that water retention in less than a week.

The funny thing is that I was doubting wether the whole eczema healing was just because I had used some new creams – I have made a coconut/beeswax cream and a moringa-oil/beeswax cream that my son and I use and we really like. But we brought both of those creams to England and still my skin flared. My son’s skin did not flare – actually it continued to heal while we were in England – which makes me think that what he is reacting to is something completely different than me (well – he didn’t have cheese and eggs, since he is IgE allergic to both…).

I will definitely continue this way of eating for the next long time, I will try to reintroduce foods once I am completely symptom free, but I will also have to figure out what to do in social situations. Currently I bring my own food, and let the kids eat what ever is served, and with the extra energy I have that is not really a big problem. But I do feel inhibited when I am out and I would like to be able to go to a restaurant and enjoy it with my family. I want to find a good balance there.

Solar Powered!

We are having solar panels installed today! Right now our solar guy is in my room hooking up the entire system to the house – and once he is done, we have power. Well actually that just happened! Which is super crazy – the truck was here yesterday, and now we have electricity without the noise from the generator, for the first time in over 3 years! No more generator – unless it is cloudy for more than 3 days in a row. I don’t know how many of those streaks we’ve had of those in these last 3 years… We’ve had one cloudy week this winter (we’ve had plenty of cloudy days, but seldom more than a couple in a row) – but I think that is the only time I remember… Maybe that is a little optimistic – but if that stat holds we will need the generator once every 3 years. Nah – I don’t think that will hold, but let’s see. This is a big milestone – a really really big milestone. 

Panels arriving yesterday


It will save us a lot of money – since Marcus has needed electricity for his job 8-9 hours pr. day…  Those savings will then enable us to move forward on a lot of other projects around here. Which will hopefully make us self-sufficient in food at some point. We should have done it from the beginning – but hindsight is 20-20, and we didn’t and now we have and that is good 🙂

The inverter??? (gosh and I pretend to be an engineer…)

I am super tired – stayed up way too late last night, and woke up at 5:30 (as I do now with this new diet), did yoga, meditated, made breakfast – woke up my son and had breakfast with him, went to Granada to the dentist (have found a wonderful holistic dentist that make the drive worth my while), back to pick up my daughter who was on a sleepover so she didn’t have to tag along. She was super tired and grumpy too – too little sleep on sleep overs… So I think I will lay down on the couch and enjoy the luxury of electricity 🙂

And the panels were up!

Oh – I just wanted to add this little picture: The fig-tree that died last year has sprouted from the root. To me it represents everything that we were struggeling with last year, which comes to fruition this year.

A little fig-tree sprouting from the root of a dead tree

Experimenting With My Own Health

These last couple of years I have been experimenting with my own health. I have been sickly most of my life – a real weakling, but never so seriously ill that it warranted massive medical attention. Frequent ear infections as a child (and thus frequent antibiotics), atopic-dermatitis, hay-fever etc. My mom took me to the Doctor and also to numerous different alternative practitioners, but none of it helped (well the Doctor prescribed antibiotics and antihistamines, but that does not solve the problem). So I grew up sceptical of alternative medicine – paying €100/h (that is the cost in Denmark) and leaving with massive herbal tinctures and homeopathic this that or the other – all sold by the lady prescribing the treatment and thus making her more money… and none of which helped… I did seem like snake oil was being sold to us. The final straw was when a kinesiologist told me that I weren’t harmed by smoking… (I had just started smoking back then). So I grew up believing in medical science and shunning all things alternative.

Fast forward a few years and I have a M.Sc. and I work in the medical industry – 3 things happen.

One – I get tendinitis in my hands and I am referred to a physiotherapist by my Doctor – I go every week for a year, but nothing she does helps more than a few days. At some point I can’t hold a knit to cut my food. My friend refers me to “her guy”, whom I thought was a chiropractor, but turns out he uses a kind of body-SDS (the name escapes me right now), which is very alternative and he fixes me in 4 session. He does the same with Marcus’ headaches – which he had also been seeing a physiotherapist for – it takes a little longer – but just like me he had been seeing the physiotherapist for around a year with no results. I would have never seen him had I known he was “alternative”.

Two – my son gets sick, with allergies and dermatitis, but much worse that what I have ever had, and we seek medical advise. We see a horde of Doctors in the coming years – none of which agree on anything… and they also disagree with the general advise given by the health authorities in Denmark. One says that my son definitely has allergies, the other that allergies are “hocus pocus”. Health authorities says that rare cases of allergies may react to traces of what the mother is eating in her milk, others say that that is “hogwash”. I end up reading and reading and reading (working for a medical company I had access to all the medical journals I could want), and knowing more than most Doctors on the subject. The “your google search does not compare to my medical degree” phrase has been spewed at me, until the realised I was quoting medical journals that they didn’t have time to read anymore. After 2 years of fighting, my avid reading sent me to THE allergy specialist in Denmark and finally my sons allergies were properly diagnosed and the fact that I told them that he was allergic to the hormone cream was taken seriously, and he got another hormone cream that we used for one week and not again for years.

Three – I had a massive stress reaction to all of this – and had sick leave from my work for prolonged periods of time. My employer payed for a psychologist to see me – and he suggested at my first visit that I get anti-depressants, I refused. His reaction to this was that it was funny how none of the employees from “that company” would take their own medicine (we produced anti-depressants). That made me think really hard about what I was doing, if I didn’t believe in the medicine I was developing…

As I have said before on this blog, I have depression symptoms on and off, mood-swings, PMS, brain-fog and extreeme fatigue. I am ower-weight even though I eat healthier than most people, and probably also move more – and two years ago I also started having severe pain in my feet – actually my entire leg and lower back was giving me issues. I thought maybe it was hard work here on the finca that had off-set the last thing, but actually the more sedentary I was the worse it was. I have also had far worse allergies that ever before, and my eczema flares in a pattern we had a hard time determining what was.

I kept reading and reading and reading,  – that is my thing, and everywhere I kept running into “gluten” as a possible culprit… so I decided to give gluten free a trial. At the same time my lower back completely locked and I saw a very good physiotherapist I know down here and she gave be a good massage and gave me a small ball to use to massage my feet every day. I used it for a couple of days and then my daughter played with it and I got lost. I was annoyed for a few days but then forgot about it – until a few months later when I found it behind the couch. I realised that the reason I had forgotten about it was that I wasn’t in pain anymore! Neither my legs nor my back nor my feed was hurting! Also my brain-fog was lifting, and my mood-swings and my PMS. My hardest problem was staying on the gluten-free diet. This is one of the things I work with my psychologist about – actually believing that I am important enough for me to do this work to feel good in my body!

Since then I have tried different things – it turns out that dairy really makes my seasonal allergies a lot worse, so I was paleo for a long while last year, and also on the ketogenic diet. But keto made me feel really really awful, and the vast amount of nuts and eggs made my eczema flare up worse than ever – the skin was literally falling off my hands – not to reveal more dry skin underneath but with oozing skinless patches. So I dropped it – all of it, and went back to a regular Real Food diet. Except even if I eat only organic, home-made sourdough bread – I still have mood swings, and my feet start aching. Not as bad as when I eat the RoundUp infested crap from the supermarket – but certainly bad enough. So now we are back on a diet – all of us – and this time more radical than ever: The Autoimmune Protocol Paleo diet – which is the paleo diet, plus no eggs, no seeds (incl. coffee and chocolate) and no nightshades. After a week I am feeling a lot better – still on and off, but improving every day. I am really curious to see what this will bring me, us as a family. I have a little eczema on my hands and none on my legs, my seasonal allergies are receding, the pain that came back in my feet is also declining. It is an extremely hard diet to keep, because there is no snack food, nothing that I can just grab and go – and since one of my problems have been fatigue, preparing a whole slew of foods that we can just grab on the go has not really been an option. So right now we are on veggies (sans legumes and nightshades) and meat and nothing else, and I prepare a warm meal three times a day, plus make bone-broth – but snack foods are veggies and fruit only, nothing that mommy has been preparing in advance.

My entire family is on this too – Lucas has his allergies, and his teeth are also problematic (we are seeing a wonderful dentist to help him with this), Miriam has started having tommy-aches when we eat store bought bread, and also has started reacting to peanuts and wall-nuts. Marcus has seborrheic dermatitis and his sinuses clog up all the time giving him headaches (different from the headaches he had before). It is quite an endeavour – but I do hope that it will help us in the long run. I do wish that I could find a Doctor to help me – but it seems that people are either in the applied kinesiologist camp (complete hogwash IMO) or in the “just use steroids on that and come back in a week”. Finding something that is scientifically sound and outside the realm of steroids is really hard… I wish I could find a really good functional medicine practitioner nearby who could take me by the hand and show me the way. But I can’t so I continuing the experiment of N=1 (actually N=4, but who is counting?).

What A Week!

Man this has been a little crazy! I promised myself to write something every week – but we have just been up to our ears in a tummy bug all week, so it will be short.

We have guests from Denmark – lovely people whom we have met on Facebook, fellow unschoolers and homesteaders. I expected that we would be digging in the garden all week, but the first day they were here Lucas came down with “something” and threw up at night and was tired all of Monday – next came Miriam and then me, and now our guests are sick too… so all week has been spent with sick kids and ditto grow ups. 

We are leaving for Denmark tomorrow (our guests will house-sit for us), and it was my birthday Wednesday, so that makes for a bit of a crazy week all in all. 

I did however want to plant my elder-bush however – it needed to be done before it set flowers and it was very close to doing that… I would have done it last year but allergies kept me in bed all spring. 

So this was the year!

Wednesday – on my birthday – I accuriered the help of two little helpers, or guest’s children – and we dug a hole on the terrace where we have had a small stream running all winter and planted it. 

Elder is only borderline suitable for this climate – USDA says zone 10 is the warmest, but I have seen it grow in Granada, next to a stream, so I hope that I can keep the it alive here, maybe with irrigation, in the shade of the carob tree. I have kept it alive in a pot for 2 years – my mother gave it to me for my birthday 2 years ago. It is the only thing that I miss from Denmark that I cannot buy in the stores down here. Except actually I can because IKEA has elderflower cordial and the Danish herbologist in Fuengirola has organic elderflower cordial – but the is not the same as making your own. I miss making my own. It is just so intrinsically linked to spring in my mind. Hopefully I can make it thrive and grow here – enough for me to produce a batch once a year.

A Surge in Creativity

These days I am knitting like mad! I have hardly knitted since we moved to Spain – lack of knitting friends (eg. http://www.knittingdane.com) and carpal tunnel syndrome made me stop. Then we moved here and we didn’t have electricity most nights, which was when I had most time to knit… and it died down.

Well – my daughter started ballet classes and wanted to have a blue outfit – she loves Elsa from Frozen. Blue ballet outfits are not easy to find, but I managed to find one leotard in a dance shop in Malaga (I am amazed by how many dance shops there are in Malaga – way way more than Copenhagen, but most of them mainly sell flamenco dresses). The rest we bought in white promising her that I would knit the rest for her in blue. First of all we needed a hairnet for her ballet bun.

Hair net ready for ballet class tomorrow #frozen #ballet #diy

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And inspired by the Japanese tradition of repairing broken porcelain with gold (Kintsugi), I have started fixing my old winter jacket by adding embroidery on the sleves. I will also add some flowers later, to make it a little “Desigual” inspired. I like the idea of upcykling and fixing old things, it makes me feel frugal and creative at the same time.

Fixing my old winter coat before trip to Denmark #reducereuserecycle

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I have also started drawing again – that is one of the side effects of starting to be creative to me – it all just comes in and I can hardly keep up with my ideas – I have more projects in my head than I can possibly finish (that goes for the land around here too).

The Blue Ravine #blackpaper #carandache

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A few years ago I was less aware of the fact that my ideas were far far too numerous for me so I had an idea that I would actually be able to finish them all – or at least most of them… so I bought yarn, loads of yarn (it is most knitter’s addiction, not knitting but yarn…). When we moved here, and I stopped knitting, well it just lay there, but that didn’t stop me from buying… because now I couldn’t get any good yarn here in Malaga, I “had to” buy in advance whenever I was in Denmark – and then the bugs moved in, and I found wholes in knitting I hadn’t finished… and some that I had finished… and some yarn that had been left un-used would fall apart when I started winding it.  So I froze all of it last summer – to kill the bugs. When the rains came this winter the yarn was still in the freezer and the water got into our freezer (it stands out side the kitchen door), and soaked all my yarn, and froze it be solid (so now the moths should be dead!!). So I have had to unfreeze the freezer, and the yarn, and now I have yarn hanging to dry all over the house (this is only the reds…).

Drying yarn – after the rain… #knitting #knittersofinstagram

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Very inspiring indeed! And that leads to me… wanting to buy more! Shoot! I have this plan – that I want to make a sweater for my son: He has a favorite jacket, that he wears everywhere, including indoors. It bugs me… I know that is about me and not him, but it still bugs me. So  I want to make him a sweater that is like the jacket, but is a sweater, because it won’t bug me as much. But – I don’t have the yarn for it: I have two scraps, but that isn’t enough for a whole sweater, so I “have to” buy more yearn. Well … not have to … I need to take responsibility for my addiction right? I want to, and I will buy more yarn – tomorrow I think (we now have a Norwegian yarn store in Fuengirola, and I am going to Fuengirola tomorrow).

Designing next project #knitting #knittersofinstagram

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I am using some leftovers however – I am learning to steek (the art of cutting your knit fabric without ruining it), which of course led me to want to make socks out of this yarn – well actually I want to make a sweater, but I don’t have enough of these yarns, and I.will.not.buy.more – or is it shall? – so socks it shall be:

And some leftover merino yarn that I bought on sale a lot of years ago to make my daughter a poncho. My daughter does not care to get dressed, clothes are overrated. But the house is cold these days – it has been raining a lot this winter and it does get cold here, so she walks around the house with a blanket, and the blanket gets dirty, and she knocks things from tables etc. So when we found this load of pink and red chunky yearn that I bought when she was a baby, I decided to make a poncho for her. I also finished a pair of legwarmers that I promised her – for her ballet outfit (not yarn from the stash… I bought this – but only 100g – controlling that addiction).

Leg warmers done – poncho started! #knitting #knittersofinstagram #ballet

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That brings us full circle – great how fixing that one jacket can make me feel frugal right? You know – even being crafty can make me feel frugal, even if it is the.only.place where I have a shopping gene! I feel frugal, and thus I feel that I can afford to buy good quality stuff – thus my sons sweater will probably be €50-100 in materials. That is way more expensive than any clothes I would normally buy for him… Good thing that is the only place where I feel a need to shop. Good thing that I am aware of it. Good thing that I have a hobby that brings me happiness.

I hope the rains have more or less stopped now. I think I will get out into the garden this comming week. We finished the rabbit cage saturday, but I think we will wait with a buck untill we come home from Denmark.  I took strides towards starting another keyhole garden. I want to plant my elderbush before it sets flowers (and I am almost too late to do that…), I want to plant sunflowers beans and spaghetti squash. I want to find a solution to my dog constantly digging out my keyhole garden… I want to plant something next to my garlic. I hope that this year I don’t get hayfever – because I can feel the energy of spring getting me ready to go out and get going. At the same time we have more playdates than ever before – I am almost never home… Which is the down-side of homeschooling while living in a rural area… I whish there were more homeschoolers here on our mountain. It is actually a great feeling – that feeling that I don’t have enough hours in the 24 hours there is in a day, to do all the things that I want to do! Compared to a year ago – where I hardly felt like doing anything at all – not even get up in the morning 🙂

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