Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saturday, July 30th - Happy Birthday C!

I wish my living room looked like the above room.   But it isn't shaped this way.

I just finished making 7 pints of zucchini bread and butter pickles.  The house smells like vinegar.  Which is a good smell.  The A/C is working to cool the family room/kitchen.  Boiling water for an hour can heat things up.  I always enjoy looking at the filled jars at the end of "canning" and... after washing all the bits and pieces of equipment, I enjoy pouring the boiling water down the drain and running the disposal.  Everything clean and sanitized.

My lunch was a cooked down bag of frozen roasted cherry tomatoes from last summer.  I added onion and garlic to the tomatoes and cooked them slowly till the mixture was thick and "jammy". I ate the sauce with zucchini noodles I had spiralized and left to air dry.  First on the countertop  overnight and then for two days in a colander topped with clingfilm (as the Brits call it) in the fridge.  Chewy. Firm. Dry.  Perfectly decent faux pasta.  Did not taste like zucchini.

I also made the brown rice flour "tortillas" from the Elimination Diet.  Not anything like flour tortillas.  But if one (like me) hasn't had anything resembling bread or tortillas in over a month--well, I ate three. I am truly addicted to bread.  I had one tortilla with a half avocado and lime juice.  Delish.

I also had all the stuff to make "Life Changing Bread" which is just a combination of oats, seeds, nuts, physllium husk and chia seeds.  It came together so much better this time.  It actually got mushy and sticky like a "dough" (leaves me wondering what I did wrong the first time I made it).  It's in the fridge now.  Doing whatever it needs to do before being baked. Yes, I am concerned about the oats.  I know I can make another batch of the "dough" and make it into crackers.  Adding a few spices and herbs to make the crackers savory.  Poppyseed, garlic powder, rosemary etc.  Life Changing "Everything" Crackers.

The thing I did differently with the "Life Changing Bread" and the rice flour tortillas was measure everything on the scale.  In grams.  No cups or spoons.  "head smack"

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Garden Production/ Canning Jars

I filled my first quart jar yesterday with cucumbers, dill and garlic.  All from my very own garden. I made refrigerator pickles.  I also sliced (on a Japanese slicer) zucchini, red pepper (from grocery), onions (from grocery) and jalapeño (from grocery) into a two gallon restaurant container, salted it all, topped with ice cubes and left it to rest in the porch fridge.

Today the zucchini will become bread and butter pickles.

I have carrots and a very nice cauliflower and will use them to make a jar of salt cured pickle for my daughter.  How quickly we moved from wondering if the garden will "grow" to having to manage the produce as it comes into the house. I always find it shocking.

I was actually quite surprised to find so many large zucchini and yellow squash out there yesterday.  The time before there had been only two medium to small squash and no pickles.  the pickling cakes are going to be difficult to find due to the way I arranged the plants.  It's going to be "hide and seek" out there--and hopefully no hidden cukes growing to monster sizes.  That shuts down production.

I am moving onward to testing beef.  The nightshades were good.  No reaction.  In fact, no bloating and good elimination.  The eye rash is caused by dust, pollen, not food.  Goes away as soon as the Zyrtec starts working.  The ozone alerts have been worse.  My breathing issues get so much worse and there is stress on my heart.  Rescue inhaler is being used.

I have added coffee back into my diet.  It isn't supposed to re-enter until months from now.  But I felt I needed something to drink besides water and smoothies.

Yesterday I had a banana muffin, the kale strawberry pineapple smoothie and Jasmine rice with peas, and fried yellow squash.  I also had cold chicken wings.  I was supposed to have a large salad with the wings but didn't.  I was just too lazy I guess.  All that food was spread out over the day.

Today I have had the last of the smoothie, coffee so far.  I will be making a chopped salad (I have a list of possible ingredients from Food52's morning email) which I hope will be very good.  Dinner I think will be pasta.  My own cherry tomato sauce with rice noodles or zucchini noodles.  So far, the rice products have been pretty darn awful.  The flour is gritty, sandy.  The milk is --well, it's water. I am ambivalent about trying the rice pasta I bought.  At best, it would be "not as awful" as I thought. At worst--it would go down the disposal.

I have come to the conclusion that if one is allergic to gluten--one should just give up on substitutes. None of them are anything like the "real" thing.  I was going to try the "most favorite" recipe in the Elimination Diet Cookbook.  The rice flour tortillas.  I may have enough rice flour left in the bag. But wonder if I want to waste the time on making them.  I can't see how they would hold together as the muffins (even with so much banana) crumble into a pile of moist sand at the first bite.  The sand does taste good-- but it's not a muffin.

Any readers out there on a gluten free diet?  Do you bake?  I was tempted by the tiny loaves of  (expensive) rice bread in the freezer section by the bakery.  But they had ingredients (like eggs) that I can't add to my diet yet. Toast is a favorite of mine--topped with avocado.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash

I am hoping there are a few out in the garden today.  There are piles of them at the grocery from a local farmer.  But the cost is high.  $2 a pound.  And a standard pot of fried squash at my house uses at least 4 or 5 pounds.  And the grocery had okra.  Now, a truly Southern vegetable plate must have fried okra.  And big slabs of juicy tomatoes.  And some sort of cooked shell pea, like Purple hull peas.

I guess I will wait. Edit:  It was a good thing to wait as when I went into the garden to water I found a whole bunch of large yellow squash.  Ready to pick.  And they weighed in at over 5 pounds.  They are now cooking on the stove.  I also found enough large zucchini to make a full batch of zucchini bread and butter pickles.  Got a really hot jalapeño to go in the mix.  And, if that wasn't enough garden joy--I found enough cucumbers to make a quart jar of refrigerator pickles.  Life is good.

G and I did errands yesterday.  I needed an annual sticker for my car.  Town tax to own a vehicle. The bank needed paperwork.  Bills to the post office.  And then lunch on the open porch of a local restaurant with the river running beneath our feet and the summer breezes softly brushing by. I ordered the market salad with grilled chicken.

We watched the Democratic convention from 10 to midnight, as usual.  What a wonderful speaker our President is and always has been.  The audacity of hope.  And I agree.  He inherited a country that was in the deepest hole (money wise) than even the Great Depression.  And now the stock market is higher than it's ever been in history.  And the Republicans say we are "in deep trouble?" We were in deep trouble with Bush.  Not now.  The only other time people felt good about the economy was the Clinton years.  I feel good about putting a campaign sign in my front yard.  Wearing a campaign button and even volunteering to help.  Wow.  Never thought I would write that. Audacious.

My weight gain seems to have gone.  Took a few days of eating less and less but now I am back to where I was.  The nightshade family doesn't seem to be bothering me.  Another day or two and I will be testing beef.  Steaks, burgers and taco-less tacos.  I had already tested beef on the Plan and it was good.  And the next test is pork.  I know that is good also--but not with soy sauce.  After that I move on to tree nuts.  Walnuts and Pecans first.  I know,  It's a very strange path.  But they are having us test the least reactive foods first and then build to the worst offenders.  Eggs, Corn, Sugar, Gluten, Wheat, Yeast, Dairy and the very last one-- Soy..  Isn't this the list of foods certain popular diets exclude?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Zucchini Noodles for Dinner

Now that I am testing the Nightshade Family and can eat tomatoes--I decided to try a batch of zoodles to go with my own homemade sauce.  I am also trying out the "drying" method.  You cut the noodles in your spiral cutter and then let them air dry on a cookie sheet--giving them a toss every few hours.  So they dry evenly.

My vegetable soup yesterday was awesome.  I ate my way through two bowls of it.  And I have three quart jars of soup in the fridge.  Like money in the bank!

My eyes are itching.  But I think it's dust in the air and some plant pollen outside that I am allergic to.  Zyrtec to the rescue.  The scale isn't moving but clothing that hasn't fit in a very long time--fits. My walking buddy was the recipient of much of my "too small to wear" wardrobe years ago and each week she brings a item or two and gives the clothing back.  Yesterday it was another (OMG) pair of black linen pants--a medium-- whatever that means-- and they fit.  Now loose like I like, but okay.  Summer time clothing should be loose and airy.

It's very hot and humid.  I have to check the garden.  Water if necessary.  But I think G and I will go do a few errands first.  Unless he falls asleep first.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Very Hot & Humid Today

A day when sensible people don't go out for a walk.  But I did and it wasn't too bad.  But I was happy to get back into the house.  With the A/C running.

Our house is well insulated (now) and we have new windows which keep out ultraviolet rays.  So, even with one very small unit set on 74--the house is very, very comfortable.  The entire house.

I follow the summertime rules I learned from my mother.  All windows closed during the day and opened only after full dark at night.  All blinds and curtains pulled over the windows on the sunny sides of the house.  I don't have any curtains that can be pulled over windows.

Contrary to my mother's rules, I am making a full pot of Grandma Judy's Vegetable Soup from the Hollyhocks & Radishes cookbook.  Author is Mickelson.  I bought this cookbook at the old Senter's
Department Store (remember when these existed?) in downtown Brunswick just after the snow melted my first winter in Maine.  My mother served potato salad and sandwiches in the summer.  With a side of homemade refrigerator pickles.

The vegetable soup is usually started with 3 slices of bacon lightly fried in the large soup kettle.  But bacon isn't on the list.  So I subbed in some smoked paprika.  Since it's a nightshades test for the next three days we are supposed to pile on the nightshades.  Smoked paprika.  Diced red potatoes.  Two cans of diced tomatoes.  There is also green cabbage, carrots, onion, green beans and one yellow squash.  It's a very colorful and "pretty" soup.  Delicious with the bacon flavoring.

I made another batch of the pineapple, strawberry, mint and kale smoothie.  The pineapple was looking like it needed to be used up.  I have noticed the smoothie is a better breakfast choice than anything else.  Stays with me.

Yesterday I had some of G's white Jasmine rice with my grilled vegetables.  No bloating or gas.  Like I have when eating the healthier short grain brown rice.  It seems that eating "healthier" is sometimes not the best choice.  The Elimination Diet book recommends an overnight soak of the dry rice with some cider vinegar to make it more "digestible". How does that work???

I have some bananas on the counter and I have plans to make the Elimination Diet Banana Muffins later today.  No egg.  Brown rice flour.  Cider vinegar.  Coconut sugar.  Coconut oil.  If it is as awful as the cobbler topping-- that may be the last of the "baking" I do with their recipes.  I will be moving forward with my plans to make another rhubarb custard pie.  I did eat that a couple of times while on the Plan and it didn't bother me at all.  Wonder of wonders.  No rash and no weigh fluctuations. Wheat flour, white sugar and eggs.  Three of the Horsemen of Dietary Distress.

Okay--I am off to the remove the darts from yet another LL Bean shirt.

Monday, July 25, 2016

My Favorite Knife

G purchased this for me one Christmas and it was backordered for months and months.  I think I actually got it last July.  And it's been the one I use everyday. I love the Wusthof classic knives and have used them since the early 1980's.  I add a new knife whenever I see one that looks "useful".

I have been this the knife quite a bit for this Elimination process.  Chopping pineapples, zucchini, carrots, onions & leeks, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, whole watermelons, and kale and more kale, etc each and every day it seems.  Most of July.  All of July.

This week's smoothie was strawberries, pineapple and kale with mint leaves.  Sweeter but still a dirty green in color.  Pond scum.  G tasted it and said it tasted much better than it looks.  High praise, indeed.  One taste was all he wanted. I have a large bag of mixed frozen fruit to add to the next smoothie. Cherries, peaches, strawberries etc.  I found it in the freezer section of my grocery.  I have a few frozen bananas still in the freezer to thicken a watery smoothie and avocados.  And all the kale in the garden. And a quarter of the pineapple still in the fridge.  The Vitamix has never been this busy.

The citrus test ends today and tomorrow I begin to test the nightshade family.  Nightshades are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes.  I plan to begin with a vegetable soup which will include tomato and perhaps some potato alongside the usual onion, carrot and kale.  But I could decide to use green beans instead of the potato for the first test meal.  I am really looking forward to soup with a tomato base.  But today I will be having a chopped salad for lunch (from the Plan) and sautéed kale with garlic and onion with a side of steamed broccoli with lemon oil for dinner (also from the Plan) and perhaps some grilled carrots.  

Right now I am going out to water the vegetable garden.  We are expecting rain later this evening, but it's hot and sunny right now (and it might not rain) and the garden is just starting to be productive so needs water.  I "harvested" five good sized zucchini yesterday and a basket full of blueberries (I think the birds are eating them also).  I have a great deal of kale ready also.  The beets are still too small.  The garlic may be ready to pull and dry.  I still have bean seeds to plant.  There are nice sized tomatoes (green) on the Early Girl plants.  I am optimistic.  A gardener has to be optimistic.  So many things can go wrong.

I have a recommended book to pick up at the library "It Starts With Food" and I am reading "Keep You Close" by Lucie Whitehouse.  Supposed to be as good a thriller as "Girl On The Train".  So far, it has me a bit nervous--a good sign.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Addition of Citrus To The Diet

I just deleted everything I just wrote.  Sigh.  I am in this rut.  I am also on this diet plan.  I am wanting to not be in either place. I am adding citrus to my food for the next three days.  Forcing a reaction if there is going to be one.

Brown rice is a "safe" food on both of the Elimination Diets I have been working my way through this past month.  All of July it seems.  I eat the brown rice and my body turns into a gas factory. The good thing is the manufacturing of gas has eliminated (such a joke) the constipation problems.  Do I write that up as a "reactive" food and eliminate it from my diet for the rest of time as we know it?

Also the eyebrow rash seems to not be influenced by food.  It seems to be directly influenced by my presence in the living room, on the couch watching television, or here at the desk (in the room with the couch) typing on the computer or reading things on the internet. Dust.

I can wash the walls and windows in this room, vacuum the area carpets daily, take down the curtains and wash them until they are rags (like my mother did when my brother was allergic to everything), and cover everything I can't wash with washable covers.  I can do that.  Just to rid myself of this rash. Because I am sensitive to DUST.  And this room is most likely full of dust.

And, thanks to the Elimination diet so far, I know nothing I eat causes the rash.

BUT.  To muddy the waters even more, I had a bowl of shredded wheat biscuits for breakfast with rice milk.  Wheat is the only ingredient listed on the box.  So, pretty quickly, I should know if it is reactive.  I need to eat cereal (a bulky cereal) in the morning to not be constipated.  But right now--I need to get out of this dusty room.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Zen Of The Garden

The garden is where I go to find comfort, quiet and a sort of Zen.  It is counter productive to try and find order there.  I try to plan straight lines.  I try for weed free.  I try for even numbers.  But the garden decides.  

My herb garden has been allowed to grow in the most haphazard ways.  Right now two very tall mallow plants are blooming.  I didn't plant them.  The garden did.  But I appreciate the lavender pink flowers against a background of fennel fronds, dill seed heads and the blue borage flowers. the parsley this year is lovely.  The spearmint is abundant.  The tarragon is enormous.  The sage (started in January in the milk jug experiment) is sturdy and very healthy.  I have transplanted (purchased) sage starter plants into this bed many many times.  They all died.  So, this is quite a pleasant surprise.

I am vacuuming the floors, washing dog towels and bed covers, mopping the floors today.  Riley has been getting into mud holes on the daily walk with G--looking for a drink of water.  G washes him off with the hose before bringing the dog inside--but he still manages to make quite a mess of the floors.
And dogs smell.  And they shed.  And it all makes Joanne a very sneezy, teary eyed girl.

So--another huge, day long clean up and spray everything I can't wash with Febreze.

The Elimination Diet continues to............well, in truth there is no elimination no matter how many Senokote I take before bedtime or how much water I drink (100 ounces).  I am eating fruits and vegetables.  Brown rice in very small amounts.  Everything going in and nothing coming out.  I don't know what to do.  Today is sort of a "time out" as I finish all the soups and smoothies in the fridge. Eat the chicken.  Have a salad.  Drink water.  Eat my watermelon chunks.

What is that saying?  Do everything the same and hope for a different outcome.  Insanity?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Elimination Diet- Day Six

Well, the adventure continues.  Daily smoothies (is this really MY life?).  Daily soup--but not completely pureed.  Vegetables.  Vegetables.  Vegetables.  I am rotating my way through the zucchini, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, beets, carrots, cabbage, lettuce.  I just discovered I can have PEAS.

It will be 2 weeks before I test nightshades--my favorite vegetable group (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers) and add things to soup that I actually love eating.  Like my tomato escarole soup. Corn is one of the last things to test--very reactive. It just doesn't seem like summer without it.

My meals have been interesting and tasty.  My rash came back last night but I can't pin point a food as the source (dates?).  It could have been dirt. Dust.  I was reading and tearing out interesting pages from a stack of very old magazines.  And I could (did ) rub my eyes.

My new recipe yesterday was a "truffle" made of well ground sunflower seeds, Medjool dates, some EVOO and a few teaspoons of maple syrup (pure) to bind everything into a sticky mass.  (or mess).  Roll into 24 equal sized balls and roll in fine shredded coconut.  I have them in the fridge.  This was something new I ate yesterday and then the rash.  So, no "truffles" today and we'll see if it stays or goes. When things get added, we get to eat them three days in a row to be sure.  So, I may have to eat those delicious things--in the name of science.

I ordered the new Martha Stewart book from the library and will be picking it up after our meeting at the bank.  Clean Slate with the lovely Shira Bocar as the author of the recipes.  I love her videos on the Martha Stewart site.  She also made a date and coconut "candy" in a video but she added walnuts to hers.  When the walnut/pecan test time arrives I will try her recipe.  Her recipe for the baked sweet potato was on a post (2 back).  That was delicious.  Her recipes dovetail with the Elimination Plan perfectly.

Watered the garden late yesterday afternoon (and will water again this afternoon).  The summer squash plants are getting very big.  That raised bed looks very rambunctious as do the cucumber plants.  The herb bed also looks wonderful and I plan on cutting some herbs to make a Green Goddess salad dressing.  My first homegrown zucchini is about 4 inches right now.  Can't wait for the cucumbers.  I have a grape vine now and can add grape leaves to my pickles like my grandmother and my mother did with theirs.  So excited.

Today, I watered the front porch plants  and got myself dirty repotting the small fig "bush" (it doesn't look like a tree) which is going crazy and needed a bigger pot.  I had to water it twice or three times  a day.  When you have to water a lot to keep the plant from wilting--it needs a larger pot and more soil.  The plants in containers are also getting a little "something" added to their water every three or four days.  Blue stuff.  Microbe stuff. Fish fertilizer.  They seem to enjoy the blue stuff as much as they enjoy the fish emulsion.

I can't find rhubarb on any of the approved food lists.  It would be nice to have some for snack.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Elimination Diet- Day Two

I forgot we needed black peppercorns for the pepper grinder.  But I did remember to buy a roasted chicken.  And, even before putting it in a suitable container for storage, I ate the two legs and two wings.  Standing at the counter like a cave woman. Oh, how I have changed.

I went to the grocery with my friend Patty..  She drove by while I was walking along the road, on the way home from my walk.   But before going to the grocery we went to lunch.

My lunch wasn't holding.  I had a huge plate of lettuce and grated carrots in my "chef's salad" but no dressing (none were legal), no tomato, no cheese, no peppers.  I did have some turkey on top.  My lunch partner gave me her homemade dill pickle which was in reality--- just a cucumber that had been sitting in vinegar for one day.

I also purchased a roasted turkey breast which G and I will share for dinner.  I will have turkey, baked sweet potato (no butter) and steamed or roasted green beans.  G will have gravy and Stove Top stuffing with his.  I will try not to be unhappy about the gravy.  Or the lack of cranberry sauce.

The chicken is for tomorrow and I also purchased a package of frozen wild salmon which is supposedly the only kind I can have.  I'll have that on top of a salad or wilted greens on Wednesday. My grocery fish counter had only farm raised salmon.  Which I am not supposed to eat.

I also purchased short grain brown rice because the gal, Shira Bocar, on the Martha Stewart videos "eat clean" used it in three recipes so I guess it's good stuff.

That's all I have to say.  My friend wasn't sure it was me walking on the side of the road today.  She said I looked different---- thinner.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Detox Diet Done

Now I move into the two weeks of eating the Elimination Diet.  The author says this part is the most restrictive.  It seems like a "holiday" to me as I get some food to CHEW.

Lunch will be as pictured above.  A roasted (baked) sweet potato, stuffed with greens sautéed with onion and topped with slices of avocado (from Martha Stewart- Clean Eating).  Breakfast was the Green Pineapple smoothie with the addition of a frozen banana to give it a bit of thickener.  I added too much water when I made it.  I was thinking "blender" instead of "Vitamix".  The Vitamix needs far less liquid to do the job.  I found out I appreciate a very thick smoothie.  I am planning to make the red cabbage one again with blackberries this time.

The "elimination" part of my problems has worked it's way "out" with the application of Senokot.  G had a bottle from his heart surgery so I thought it would be safe.  It's gentle and works overnight.

I purchased a giant bag of young, thin, fresh green beans to eat.  To CHEW.  For my snack later in the day or I might just enjoy a bowl of watermelon chunks.

Discovered a nice Thai recipe (on Martha Stewart) to make with coconut milk, chicken, ginger, garlic and some of the pineapple left over from the smoothie making. I can't add the hot chili pepper but the ginger can be quite spicy on it's own.  I get to eat this with some brown rice.

Day Three is turning out pretty swell.  It rained overnight.  The garden is nice and wet.  I am going out to pick beet greens when I finish here (risking mosquitos) and then I think I will settle on the couch and read. But before I do that, I think I will go and watch more Clean Eating videos.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Elimination Diet Detox

I am giving another diet a trial.  The one authored by Malterie.

The two day, initial detox, is entirely pureed.  Smoothie, juice or soup.

Now, I am not a fan of the smoothie, but I had the ingredients here in the house (from the other diet) so I held my nose (so to speak) and started tossing things into the Vitamix. ¼ head of red cabbage, small avocado, blueberries, frozen raspberries, a small handful of  plump dry cranberries ( I didn't have frozen or fresh but I think they would add a "sparkle" of sour to the smoothie) and water.  It was a very pretty rosy red color.

Pretty didn't sell it.  But--it did taste good.  I drank it all.  Amazing.

Lunch was a pureed soup of leeks, carrot, cauliflower, chicken stock, thyme, sea salt and pepper and after the Vitamix--some chopped fresh parsley from my very own herb garden.  Hated the chicken broth.  Should have used plain water. While the soup contained things I really like--the sum wasn't equal to the parts and the chicken broth was disgusting. Now, I am sure if I made the chicken broth in the book it would have been better, I used what I had.

Dinner was Creamy Green Detox Soup.  Broccoli, zucchini, leeks, water, sea salt, small bunch of kale (I don't like spinach), fresh parsley and fresh basil.  Pureed in Vitamix till very smooth.  It was okay hot but when I poured the soup into a half gallon Mason jar for the fridge, I had about ½ cup leftover and ate that at room temp--very excellent.

Tomorrow I am making the Detox Pineapple Green Smoothie.  Pineapple, avocado, small bunch of kale, handful of mint (in the herb garden).

I didn't write any of the juice recipes down.  Yet.  But if the quality of the juices is equal to the taste of the soups and smoothies-- well, I might like juice.

I am supposed to note how I feel following each "meal".  So far, I feel bloated.  Like those commercials with the people with IBS and the blocks bunched up in their gut.  This is how bad things have gotten in my interior parts.  A complete roadblock.

Things can't get worse.  So, I am hoping by Sunday I will be feeling rejuvenated.

This detox is so much more delicious using the exact same ingredients from the other diet MINUS the flax granola.  Which I think is what is blocking my intestines.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day Twenty- The Last Day I Do This

I drank all the pints of water yesterday.  Followed the diet.  And was rewarded this morning by a TWO POUND WEIGHT GAIN.  Today is  day 20.  And I am done with this even though I think I know what caused the weight gain and the return of the eyebrow rash.  Fresh mozzarella cheese. I've eaten it before without any trouble.  But, yesterday, I got trouble.  Today--well, it'll be plain eating again.  All safe foods (well, the cheese was safe--but now it's not)

So, the premise of this elimination diet isn't really REAL.  You test reactive to something and then don't eat it.  Good enough.  But you test safe for something and then a few days later a reaction. Which leaves you wondering--is safe food really safe?  What exactly does a reaction mean? Can a food make you lose weight one day and then gain weight another day plus get your rash back???? What if I am suddenly reactive to the beets I had with the cheese and not the cheese?

Above is a picture of something I may make today for lunch.  Zucchini noodles with red cabbage, carrot, onion and kale.  There is an Asian dressing to pour over which does not contain soy.  Look in my sidebar for Simply Recipes.  It looks pretty and will be fun to "twirl" a fork into something for a change.  Unless I am "suddenly" now reactive to zucchini.

I have two books waiting for me at the library on elimination diets and the authors are actually doctors.  The Plan author is not.

Yesterday was not a good day for me.  Tired.  My skin around my eyes burning.  Trouble breathing. Short attention span.  Mosquitos.  Too hot outside.

I did notice, because I have one on right now --the Bean linen camp shirt has a pocket.  From now on I will just look for short sleeved linen Bean shirts with a pocket at Goodwill.  The pink shirt washed up nicely and the picked back dart lines vanished.  The shirt body itself looks good but the shoulders are cut narrow (you can see it clearly when the shirt is laid out flat) and the short sleeves are really skimpy.  You hardly see this shirt in the store or catalogs anymore (I would buy it).  I think, they redesigned it into oblivion.  You do see the elbow length sleeve--with bust darts and back darts.  I still buy those.  And remove the back darts.  And never button the sleeve buttons.  Cut too tight.  Pulls when you move your arms.

I do have one of the three quarter sleeve shirts in a 3X.  Super comfy.  I wear it all summer.  Loose, lightweight.  In the washer, in the dryer, no ironing and back in business as my go to summer shirt.
I've been wearing it nearly every day--two summers now--and it shows no signs of wear.  Would be a great beach cover up as well.  I don't wear a 3X usually but buying this shirt was a great deal for me.  All my other shirts are just plain XL.  And they fit loose.  BUT, the XL three quarter sleeve pulls from the shoulder to the elbow-- every single one of them.

Next post--whenever that is--will be business as usual.  No Plan.   Now, I am off to the library before the heat builds up.  Then the garden.  And then the shower and back to reading my book.  Thank you for your patience with this diet stuff.  Sigh.  It bored me to death as well.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Day Nineteen- Repeat Your Favorite Day

Now, the author of that phrase is referring to diet menu days.  But----- what if Fate asked you to repeat your favorite day in your life.  Wow.  Now that would take some thought.

On the diet--my favorite day was the day I had toast.  Remember I wrote that I very nearly swooned with delight over the toasted bread loaded with melted butter.

But that's not the day I chose to repeat.  I chose to repeat a day when I lost 1.5 pounds.

Weight has returned to it's lowest point in the 19 days and remained steady for two days now.  Even "restaurant day" which was an odd buffet of finger foods.  A plate of cold, beautifully arranged, broccoli florets, slant cut carrots (blanched I think), cucumber.  Like they knew I was coming.  There was a "slider" buffet with pulled pork, pulled chicken or portobello mushrooms.  There was a fruit plate with beautifully cut and fanned pineapple, melons etc with a few perfect strawberries.  Also a cheese platter.  I stuck with the vegetables and pulled pork--scooping up pork with my carrots.  One strawberry.  Three scallops wrapped in bacon.  I drank water even though it was an open bar.  After I had a small Whoopee Pie cone at the wonderful inTown ice cream shack.  Then Evita.

This morning no weight gain and no weight loss so I think--it's okay.

Today I had bran flakes, coffee and water.  I made a little chart for my water consumption.  I finally got the Plan Cookbook from library loan and--well, things have changed quite a bit since the original book.  The Kale with Vegetables is much more that it was.  The coco sauce makes a VAT of sauce--more than anyone would ever need.  There is pizza.  There is pasta sauce.  So many things.  And there are changes to the "cleanse".  No liver detox capsules.  It's a totally different diet.  And there was an easy to use "drinking your water chart" which would have saved me much anguish.

Simply a pint jar.  At 7, 9, 12, 2, 5, 7.  Just fill the jar with water, chug it down, walk away.  I like making a mark next to each hour's water.  And the jar stays put next to the chart.  No wondering where I set my water glass or when and how much water I drank.  When I weigh less--less water.

Big deal yesterday--I wore one of my rings.  It fit on my finger.  I also wore a very pretty pin tucked white linen blouse that I have not worn in a very long time.  Because it didn't fit.  Last night it fit. I had to wear pants that were too large but-they were all I have. And because it was a special "occasion" I put product into my hair.  I am all about wash and wear hair. So product is a big deal.  I didn't bother with make-up--my tan is so dark (greenhouse) it wouldn't make any difference.

This morning the skin around my eyes is itching.  Allergies, I think.  I took my Zyrtec and am hoping it kicks in soon.  I don't think it's food related--that reaction happens pretty dark fast.

I'm going to try and manage the vegetable crisper drawers better.  I had more produce that I am comfortable tossing due to "forgetting" it was there--- then buying more.  It spoiled and is now in the compost pile.  I have quite a lot of kale, broccoli and watermelon.  More than enough zucchini. Five roasted beets.  Two pieces of chicken.  I need to test a new vegetable this week.  I am considering red cabbage.  For my salads.   But I could test it cooked in a stir fry as well.  the Plan prefers vegetables to be cooked not raw.  Now that sounds good.  Onion, cabbage, carrots, red pepper and broccoli stir fry.

Day Twenty is tomorrow.  The last diet post.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day Eighteen- My Favorite Number

I love it when things work out in a serendipitous way.  Like today in the Plan is "eat out at a restaurant" day.  And G and I were, a month ago, invited to a bank event and tickets to see Evita at the local, in Town, music theater.  I think they are serving us snacks at the Daniel Stone Inn.  And here it is theater day and eat out day. Like I was "planning" or something.

I also saw this zucchini noodle dish on Simply Recipes website.  I love making and eating zucchini noodles.  It's so playful.   On thePlan website the Plan author spends a great deal of time writing about her method with zucchini noodles.  She basically cuts them and then sets them somewhere to air dry.  Couple of hours or more.  Makes them dense, drier and more chewy.

The Simple Recipe (dot com) bowl up top, combines the noodles with 4 ounces of sautéed chicken and basil pesto.  The only addition that I probably can't have is the tomatoes.  I need to test tomatoes.  This might be a good time to do as the recipe only calls for a handful of cherry tomatoes for two servings.

Yesterday I watered my vegetable garden.  My broccoli had gone to seed.  Sadly.  But I cut the little broccoli heads with flowers an popped them in the FP with my greens for meatballs.  After watering and planting a few more things I mixed up and gave everyone a nice drink of fish emulsion fertilizer.  Then I need a good soapy shower to stop smelling like fish fertilizer myself.

I read some chapters in my new book (not sure I like it) ate my dinner of leftover brown rice and leftover vegetables.  Watched tv and then went to bed.  Allergies to pollen and mold are making me quite dim witted and sleepy.

The bran flakes and (now) daily cup of coffee are taking care of any constipation I may be suffering. I lost one pound overnight even though I had yogurt with blueberries and bran flakes.  Two items NOT on the Plan.  So, I am feeling a bit more successful today.

 I visited Goodwill and got myself another pair of summer (gardening) capri pants in my new, smaller size.  I also found an LLBean short sleeved PINK LINEN blouse.  PINK.  I picked out the two back darts they insist on adding to a classic shirt.  I hate the bust darts they also added (as well as shortening the sleeve length and making the shirt longer) but can't get rid of them without taking the entire shirt apart---which I have done.  I consider that experience as "making a pattern for future shirt making"  and not a mistake.

The original shirt was perfectly flat and square when I ironed it.  No darts no tucks.  Back section the same width and length as the front section (when buttoned).  I think it was called a "camp shirt".  Good length on the sleeves which were straight out from the side seams, not angled.  Classic.

You can still find some of the original camp shirts at Goodwill.  Not often.  But I have never before found anything PINK.  So this new shirt (even though not a camp shirt) is a treasure I will be wearing for the rest of my life.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Day Seventeen- We Are Experiencing Difficulties

The Southern pulled pork was extraordinary I removed the cover of the cast iron pot at 3 ½ hours (maybe 4) and left it at 325 for another 60 minutes or more until the meat was dark and crusty.  Gary was over the moon happy with it and I enjoyed my serving very, very much.  And I drank my water and had watermelon for snack.  Lunch was a repeat of the chopped salad with sunflower seeds. So enough bulk and enough moisture.

All in all, enough bulk to have produced some "elimination" since this is an elimination diet.  NOPE.
So, no weight loss this morning which makes two full days in a row (but no gain).  So, I went to the cupboard and got down the bran flakes.  Had a bowl with rice milk (water) for breakfast.

Now everything is as it should be, I think.  Bran Flakes.  A little breakfast miracle.

Today's menu: Flax granola with fruit.
Chickpea salad and butternut soup for lunch. Rye cracker with raw almond butter for snack. Approved protein on mixed greens with Vegetable Timbale (contains tomato which we have not tested).

 I had Bran Flakes. I won't be having the chickpea salad (hot chickpeas with cumin and wilted spinach) or the rye cracker.  I never bothered to make raw almond butter as the almonds seemed to bother me, not a lot, but some. The thought of making sunflower seed butter--makes me gag.

I will, instead, just have a salad with Romaine and carrots.  And for dinner I will have chicken with vegetables.  I may make the Fried (or baked) Little Green Balls from Food52.

The recipe is Plan friendly.  8ounces packed weight of any greens or stems of vegetable tops you have (beet greens, arugula that has bolted, carrot tops, parsley stems, kale stems) stuff you had planned to tuck into the compost bin.  Run it all thru the food processor until finely chopped (might want to start with stems and then add anything leafy).  It's good to have a mix of leafy and stems.

 Heat the fry pan with some olive oil and sauté a finely chopped yellow onion with some salt and garlic.  Add cumin seeds if you like it.  I don't. Cilantro if you like that.  I don't. Add the greens from the FP to the pan and continue to saute.  Meanwhile, add a slice of bread to the FP and make bread crumbs.  Then crumble up ¼cup of feta or any other cheese you have around by hand.  Dump everything in a bowl, let cool for 5 minutes and then start mixing and smooching with your hands.  Can add one egg to hold the mix into little balls (about 20) or two eggs if needed.  Can fry them or bake them.  The bake is 350 on parchment paper (will stick) for 15 min and then turn for another 10 to 15.  Serve like you would meatballs.  Can squeeze some lemon over the top.  Add pesto.  Whatever.  Instead of the garlic--try adding a few garlic scapes if you have them.

It's pretty much--use anything you would normally cut off and throw away.  IF you garden--then you can be making these little green balls from now until September.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Day Sixteen- Testing Protein for Lunch & Dinner

Since I have only chicken as an approved protein that I can eat more often than once a week, I will not be eating it twice in one day. Once a day is more than enough chicken.  Yesterday I had 2 flax crackers with goat cheese (as a test) for lunch and gained one pound overnight.  So, the goat cheese is now history. I'm only testing a food twice.

I didn't manage to drink all my water yesterday so that could be an additional weigh gainer. But I woke  up this morning feeling VERY energetic (reminding myself of the detox energy) and I scrubbed both of our bathrooms, washed woodwork, vacuumed the entire house plus the very dirty (we garden) sunporch which is our way in and out of the house for garden chores. I also washed the kitchen floor and have the area rugs in the washing machine.

Yesterday the only house work I managed was changing the linens on our bed.

I also have Southern Pulled Pork in the oven.  I am re-testing pork today to see if the reaction was more to do with the marinade (ketchup and soy) and less to do with the pork itself.  The pork has safe ingredients like brown sugar, cayenne pepper and garlic on it.  With apple cider vinegar as the liquid.

I've kept everything else today in the ultra safe category so the test will be a good one.  Breakfast being the awful flax granola (I once found it delicious), one cup of coffee and blueberries.  Lunch was a repeat of the chopped salad with sunflower seeds for protein.  Romaine, zucchini, carrot and avocado.  I could easily have added in 2 ounces of chicken.  But I didn't want to.

My husband asked how long I intended to do this "diet" and I answered quite truthfully.  If I eat safe foods and gain weight overnight--then I am done.  There is no point in continuing.  And, between you and I, it's been a few days since I lost any NEW weight.  I keep gaining and losing the same few pounds.  Up three, down two, down one, up one.  Which means the last time I lost any real weight was back on July 5th.

In the comments section of the only real source of information regarding this diet ( book reviews), this seems to be the experience of most who purchased the book and tried the Plan.  Weight loss the first few days (detox) and then up/down while testing.  Never really going down and staying there. A few have lost inches but not weight.  I think I am in that group.  Pants that fit me June 30th are very very loose today.

The diet in the book loses momentum starting tomorrow.  All the days read the same.  Approved breakfast, approved lunch and approved dinner.  No testing of any new foods for days 17 to 20. Mostly we test protein twice a day, double sized portion of some safe food and eating at a restaurant. So what I have is it. And then I sort of have to find my own way. The author says--if you want to eat something--then test it.  But first I have to get to a place where I am not going up and down constantly.  A safe food spot.

I am planning to call my doctor and ask to have two blood tests done.  ALCAT and C-Reactive Protein.  She won't want to order them.  But I am going to force the issue if I have to.  She thinks allergy tests are nonsense.  Her words.  I have also ordered two other elimination diet books that are highly recommended, in the Amazon comments, from my library.

I have started moving my diet and food test info to my desk calendar so I can see, at a glance, where I was, am and where I am going.  I can also see what foods I tested.

The huge rainstorms predicted didn't happen, but weather was pretty chilly.  Now the sun is coming out.  Next four days are going to be brutally HOT---- I don't do well, in brutally hot.  Which is why I am not working at the greenhouse this summer.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Day Fifteen - Another Protein Tested

I gave up on "following the rules" and used common sense instead.  I needed to have another protein other than chicken.  So, while out at the grocery store looking for more large beets to roast, I purchased steak.  One for me and one for G.  He was out doing work for a landscaper and arrived home hungry and tired.  We had steak and baked potato with a side of grilled vegetable kabobs while watching the horrible evening news.

Anyway, I decided to eat a new protein even though I was in the process of testing my new breakfast item--yogurt.  Well, I had steak and a third of a baked potato with lots of butter and this morning I was another pound down (so back to what I weighed Thursday before eating Chinese).  I also had a chopped salad for lunch yesterday.  I followed the recipe exactly.  One chopped carrot, one chopped zucchini, one chopped small head of Romaine, half an avocado, handful of sunflower seeds and oil and vinegar dressing.  It was delicious.  I ate it with a spoon.  I did not have my snack of potato chips.  When I went to see if I was indeed having potato chips for snack--I was on the wrong page in the diet book.

Now I have two proteins to add to the safe/tested list, a new vegetable (potato), and a new salad to make for lunch or dinner.  A "real" chopped salad includes meat and cheese but I won't be doing that anytime soon.  Tomorrow I am retesting pork.  Without the ketchup and soy marinade.  Hopefully on Monday morning I can report having three tested proteins to use in the remaining menus.  Each says the same thing "any approved protein".  Now, steak is just once a week.  Pork doesn't include sausage, bacon or ham.  Those would be separate tests. I am making Southern Pulled Pork in the oven with cider vinegar, garlic and cayenne pepper (a Martha Stewart recipe).  I am adding the brown sugar also as brown sugar was added to one of the recipes in the Plan book.  So it must be okay.  (who knows as there are so many odd things popping up in the recipe section that aren't in the Plan food list)

As you can tell, the longer this goes on and the further from the first three day cleanse we are--the more fragmented the actual Plan gets.

There are people who managed to get 30 or more days into this but they aren't on the internet helping others navigate.  Most blogging regarding the diet stops at the 8 day mark (I have searched and searched).  And here I am at 15.  Frustrated.  Confused.  Trying to stay on it and wanting to just give up.  BUT.  It's a loss of almost 6 pounds in 2 weeks compared to "maybe" a loss of 1 pound a week on the 1200 to 1600 calorie diet I have been on for 120 days.  And there is the general feeling that my body composition has changed.  From lumpy to elongated?  I'm not any taller but I seem to think I feel taller.  If I just eat safe foods--will I lose weight each day?  Will I stall?

Five days to go before the diet plan is all "any approved" relating to breakfast, lunch and dinner. As Elaine used to say on Seinfeld--"yada yada, yada"

Nothing new today. For me.  It's raining, dark and dismal here in Maine.  Tomorrow--pulled pork.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Day Fourteen- How Did It Get To Be Friday Already?

My days, not working, are whooshing past far too quickly.  It almost seems like I am "wasting" them. I know, I know.  Stop thinking those thoughts.  Relax. Enjoy.  Just "be".

Zucchini is my very favorite vegetable right now.  I love it fried with olive oil and onion until deeply browned.  I love it grilled (like in the picture) while still tender and small.  I do not like waiting for it to grow in the garden.  The plants (which I successfully grew from seeds) are looking perky and healthy.  But they are young.  No fruit yet.  So, I am off to the grocery today.

Today is day 14.  Today I had yogurt for breakfast.  One of the Noosa yogurts I had in the fridge before this diet began.  I choose to "test" the lemon one as I have lemon in my water nearly everyday.

Two of the three pounds I gained overnight on Thursday are gone. It was too much to hope that all three would disappear. I am trying to drink as much water as it is possible for me to drink.  Without gagging.  I wonder if other people gag when they drink water?

Yesterday was overcast and cool so I didn't water the vegetable garden.  Instead, I grabbed a shovel and starting digging professional sized weeds out of the front left bed.  Then I planted three tickseed "Polaris" in the, now, empty bed.  Then G went into the woods and hauled a very small percentage of the wood chips we have from the first trees taken down last summer.  It's been a year (almost) and they are now safe to use as mulch.  I mulched heavily.  We don't water landscaping, only containers. It's too expensive.

All that mulch is like money in the bank for a gardener like me.  I LOVE a heavily mulched perennial bed.  Keeps the weeds down, conserves moisture and just looks so neat and tidy.  The only downside is the re-seeding of biennials such as foxglove, echinacea etc.  They need bare ground contact for the seeds to germinate.  Not that I have either of those in the garden. The only biennial I worry about is Rose Campion with it's tall fuzzy gray stems and lovely magenta flowers balanced on top like tiny saucers.

Today's food (it helps me to visualize) is the TEST yogurt for breakfast and a cup of coffee, a chopped salad for lunch, one ounce of salt free potato chips for snack, chicken (my only protein so far) with steamed vegetables plus any leftover vegetable from yesterday (like that ever happens--though I do have a roasted beet I could term "leftover").

I have checked the coming days and there isn't another "protein test" so I am wondering if I will be stuck with just chicken for the next 11 days????  I could try to test a "new" protein but this seems like a rather substantial error on the diet author's part.  Anyone else reading this blog who have tried this diet?  Please contact me!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Day Thirteen- A Rest Day

Yesterday didn't go as planned.  Hardly any of the days do.  I try hard to follow the list of foods but I don't do a perfect job of it.  I never ate the red bell pepper.

Yesterday I was off Plan most of the time.  And by doing that I can't pinpoint the food that caused a significant episode.  I am thinking it is most likely the soy sauce in a restaurant meal of vegetable mui shi.   This Chinese restaurant is gluten free and doesn't use MSG.  The vegetables in the dish were all safe ones (onion, carrot, mushroom) with the addition of 5 snow peas and some bean sprouts.  No pancakes.  No egg.  I had brown rice and drank four glasses of water.

About 30 minutes to an hour after leaving the restaurant, my eyebrows started to burn and itch. Instead of rubbing them (which makes this much worse and makes my eyes swell shut) I got up and went to wash my face in very hot water (this seems to help).  Riley alerted to something not being right and came with me. I then applied cortisone cream to the area and took a Benadryl.


A reaction to something in the meal.  Soy sauce.  Bean sprouts.  Snow peas.

Each time I have had a reaction it has been in a little clump of three "new" items I chose to eat at the same time.  My same stupid mistake each and every time.  I NEVER learn. Usually it happens because I am not paying attention.  Getting confused by all the menu items.  Some I eat and other I do not care to eat. If it is the soy sauce (and soy in general) then I may not have tested reactive to the pork.  As there was some soy in the marinade on the pork.  I will need to test pork again.  Without marinade.

Not that my breakfast or lunch was according to the printed Plan menu either.  But it was all things that had previously been safe.  And, since the reaction was pretty much immediate--I am going with the Chinese food being the cause.   I was thinking it was an excess of sodium (I haven't been having much salt in my diet) but that wouldn't explain the sudden flare up of eczema.

Today is a rest day.  I may repeat the menu from Day One which was a cleanse menu. Try and get rid of toxins.

Today's menu comes with the warning to "make no changes" in the menu as it is laid out.

Breakfast: Flax Granola with 1 cup blueberries or a Chia fruit Smoothie. (just thinking of eating either is giving me acid reflux)

Lunch: One slice white bread topped with goat cheese, sunflower seeds and mixed greens. I can't eat goat cheese (it tested reactive and the author gave no replacement should that happen--same thing with the almonds and almond butter I can't eat) and I don't like the taste of sunflower seeds. Or a mixed greens salad, kale salad or spinach salad with 15 grams of vegetable protein (like broccoli, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds or goat cheese). I had chickpea hummus yesterday with carrots so can't have chickpeas today.  Which leaves me with broccoli.  On a salad.

Dinner: Chicken (because it is the only protein that has tested safe so far) with 2 cups of tested vegetables (steamed, grilled, roasted or sautéed) plus an approved salad.  (which is where I would have chosen to eat broccoli but now have to consider zucchini).

I am SO NOT a happy camper today.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Day Twelve on the Plan Diet-- A New Vegetable

Well, I had to choose from the diet author's vegetables.  Not mine.  So I had 5 snow peas as a choice, 4 Brussels sprouts, 1 small plum tomato, red bell pepper (no limit on size), or half a small potato. My new test vegetable is--ta da-- the red bell pepper mainly because I happen to have one in the fridge. And I think it will be a real perk having something other than green vegetables to eat in my stir fry.

Yesterday's pound was gone this morning.  It feels sort of magical when that happens.

So, skeptic that I am (naturally) I guess the inflammation thing is real.  Eat something that your body can't process and you gain weight.  Be it fat weight or water weight.  It's still weight.  And the body stores it, and stores it because you keep eating the food that causes the inflammation. Give the body a rest and eat safe foods and the water is released.

In another magical note--my hip bones.  I can feel them.  Which lead me up to the boxes of clothing in the attic before I even had my first 16 ounces of water or breakfast (toast with half an avocado) to see what fits today.  I brought down some more pants and a really cute blouse I love wearing.  I bought it when I had lost nearly 38 pounds in 2007 and had absolutely nothing to wear that fit.  I bought one blouse and two pairs of pants.  I didn't actually believe I could keep the weight off so why buy any more clothing?

Today is stinking hot here in Maine.  I already watered the plants in pots on the back deck.  Gave them plain water and then blue water.  The plants on the front porch will get water later--after I water the vegetable garden (and get very hot and sweaty).  I still haven't planted my bean seeds.  But I am wondering if I should as green beans are 70% reactive and G won't eat them.

Yesterday I had a long postponed mammogram.  It took all of 20 minutes from check-in to check out and wasn't nearly as "crushing" as I remember.  But I am nearly 70 and gravity has had it's way with me.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Day Eleven--Reactive with Flu Symptoms

I was looking forward to a "positive" ending to my Protein Test yesterday but instead woke up feeling ill.  Trouble swallowing my water this morning.  Then off running to the bathroom.  It feels sort of like the first day of the diet.  Like I want to crawl into bed and stay there. I also gained a full pound overnight.  So--a reaction to the pork.  My body is now fighting to process the pork and get rid of it.

So, back to the drawing board as they say.  My guess is that chicken is the only protein I will be eating.  And, I have therefore gone looking for the Vegetarian Plan menu.  But, due to my befuddled state, I can't navigate the internet.  So, I settled for one item I do remember being on the Vegetarian Plan--Lentils.

I enjoy eating lentils and was lucky enough to have some in the pantry.  So, I cooked up one cup of lentils with as little seasoning as possible.  Quarter of chopped onion, a bit of sea salt and a grind or two of pepper.  I could have added a chopped carrot--but I couldn't manage standing and cutting up the onion.  I'll be eating the lentils with the remainder of the steamed brown rice or steamed broccoli.

Just as with the other reaction to Eggs--I have acid reflux.  Eyes are itching.  Rash is back.

Onward as they say.  I have a mammogram later today.  A garden to water.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Day Ten: The Plan Diet Moves Along

Carrots.  It's a good thing I like to eat them, grow them and make fabric art with them as the subject. I am eating pounds of carrots.  I eat them raw, I eat them cooked into a soup with onion and ginger root, I eat them rolled in olive oil and grilled on the grill.  I eat them sliced into planks to scoop up chickpea hummus which I make myself minus the tahini (not tested).

Day Ten dawns with me having started this elimination diet at 203 pounds and weighing in this morning  at 196.5.  That's one part of the story.  The other is the fact that my body shape is changing. The water and fat leaving is from long stored deposits.  Deep pockets of inflammation.  I wake each morning and notice bones in my knees I have't seen in years.  Feel hip bones. Some morning my ankles may even look thinner.  Why not hope for the impossible?

The other part of the story is the disappearance of the rash around my eyes.  And the rash on the back of my neck.  I occasionally (still) have some acidic water dripping out of my eyes (which makes my skin burn) but I now believe it's from pollen.  Tree pollen is high right now in Maine.  Zyrtec usually takes care of that.

New foods are coffee in the morning, avocado in my salads or on the newly tested white bread toast. Salt free potato chips (not very exciting) and today's new protein test--pork.  I got loin chops to marinate in a ginger soy (Chinese) marinade and grill.  I am hoping pork tests well.  My last protein-egg--did not. On Wednesday I get to test a new vegetable.  I can't tell you how much thought and consideration (on my part) goes into the choice of a new protein or a new vegetable.  It has to be something that will enhance the things I am already safely eating.  I start days before adding and eliminating choices before the BIG TEST DAY. G thinks it's pretty funny. Friday's test is tough. Yogurt, whole milk or Bran flakes--- any or all may be reactive. Which one to try?

And I have traveled into the attic to pull clothing out of the boxes of too small, just right and too big  looking for something to wear that isn't "too big".  I'm still extra large in shirts because I like shirts loose.  But I am now able to wear all the really cute flowered capri pants I have been buying at Goodwill over the years (in hopes of some day being able to wear them). I even wore shorts to the library and grocery shopping. The sizes don't matter as they are actually pretty useless in determining size.  So, I have to try everything on.  An 18 can either be too large or way too small.  An 18 can be smaller than a 16. I even have a treasured pair of 14 pants that fits no matter what size I am.

And, as I wrote to a Reader, I am an Energizer Bunny of Housecleaning.  So much pent up energy is coming out (with the inflammation) and needs to be used.  The carpets are vacuumed but I am thinking seriously of getting out the carpet washing machine and doing that.  I opened the door to let the dog out and then started cleaning the door and finally washing both sides of the glass in the door.  Then washed the paddles on the ceiling fans. And let the dog back in.

Out in the garden (with G's help), the carrot bed is finally weeded as are the other beds.  I have planted an additional 10 tomato plants (may test reactive),  all the zucchini I grew from seeds and the yellow squashes I grew from seeds.  The eggplant (but I may test reactive for eggplant in future).  I have green beans and potatoes left to plant.  The broccoli plants I started in the Winter milk jugs are now knee high and starting to produce little broccoli heads.  I covered the broccoli in floating row cover to keep the white moths from laying eggs and ruining them.  I also planted cucumbers which look awfully tiny.  I am planning to string some wire around a support so the cukes will have something to hang on to as they grow.  The peppers went in last week and most have peppers on them already.  I haven't tested peppers yet but it'll be a month before any are ready to eat.

I know I am writing too much.  Energy.  Keeps the fingers busy.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Day Eight- Feeling Better

I woke up feeling much better.  The steamed brown rice and broccoli calmed everything down.  I slept well.  Today I am testing: Bread.  Specifically, plain old sliced white bread.  The plain white that I like best (and why not test the bread I like?) is called English Toasting Bread at my grocery.  It's sold in the bakery section.  I had the heel of the half loaf I purchased, toasted and covered in butter. Butter is good.

The weight I gained overnight between day 6 and 7 disappeared this morning along with an additional pound.  So, for the 7 days of the diet (including one weigh gain from reaction) is 5.5 pounds.  Not bad.  What I like the best is that my ankles (cankles) aren't as swollen.  And my fingers don't feel "tight". It's only 5.5 pounds but my clothing fits so differently and I feel so different--light. And added to the 20 pounds I have struggled to lose over the one hundred and 20 days I was eating between 1200 and 1800 calories a day--well, it feels good.

We have Blueberries up top because I caved at the grocery this morning and purchased New Jersey berries which are on sale this week.  These berries are nothing like Maine berries, but, well, shoot me, I love the NJ ones.  Big fat and so juicy and delicious.  I am going back to buy many more cartons of them. It will be a few weeks until my berries are ready--the bushes are full.  So it will be a good harvest.

On the diet plan I am supposed to be eating a cup of blueberries every morning.  I haven't been. Because I didn't think I would like eating them.  I know.  My thinking defies logic.  I must have been thinking about fruits I enjoy eating on my daily (in the past) yogurt.  Never to extremely seldom did I add blueberries to my yogurt bowl.  Peaches, raspberries, cherries, grapefruit, mango, pineapple--yes.  Even rhubarb.  Blueberries--not so much.

I did some internet investigation, and eating as much whole flax seed as I am eating can also cause indigestion.  This morning I found my bowl of flax less "delicious" which is also the way the body lets you know it doesn't like something you are eating.  Which is why I am testing toast today.  Change up the breakfast choices.  I would consider oatmeal but oatmeal is extremely reactive. And I don't even want to know how bad the Bran Flakes might be for me.  Soy milk is in the 90% range.
 I was just eating so many potential food triggers.  No wonder I could never lose any weight.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Day Seven Of the Plan

Acid reflux.  (something I have had only once or twice in my entire lifetime)

I have had trouble with it all day.  Drinking water--not so good.  The soothingly bland carrot and ginger soup from Day One.  Okay for 30 minutes and then I could feel the acid creeping back.  Two Tums worked great until (the greenhouse was super hot) I had to have a few sips of water.

Now that I am home I have had some watermelon cubes (to help hydrate myself) and some leftover steamed brown rice.  Because I am hungry.

There are three possible "reactors".   Goat cheese.  Eggs.  Dark Chocolate.

I cannot move forward until my body calms down.  So I am stuck at Day Six.

Not the best start to my "summer retirement".