Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nothing New

Why do I never get around to blogging anymore? I still find it so enjoyable, yet never write. Bah.

I'm still doing the raw vegan thing. Still loving it. There are multiple "forms" of going raw so I've decided to venture into a specific area. In a nutshell it focuses on increased fruit intake which means it has lower fat intake. I enjoy fruit so I see this being a positive thing. As always, only time will tell, but I'm willing to try it and see if it "works" for me.

Spencer's doing well. I'm thankful that we've started to taper off of his steroid. He was to the point of needing to go outside every 2 hours and having accidents in the house. He's a good boy though and found the puppy pads all by himself (we have them setup for the other dogs and everytime he's used them). Unfortunately I feel horrible when he has to use the puppy pads. Although he's relieving himself in the right area, in his head I know he thinks he's having an accident. He knows he is only supposed to go potty outside, so I know it's probably a mental battle as he tries to hold it as long as he can. Thankfully mom and dad have been able to check on him which has limited his need for accidents. I'm looking forward to continuing to taper off his steroid and getting to the lowest dose possible. Within the next week we also hope to start to transition to the other anti-convulsant medication.

Other than that nothing much has been going on. Warmer weather is around the corner. We're ready. Both of us have been sick over the past 2 weeks with head colds and just want to feel better.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Put The Lime In The Coconut

Over the past few weeks I've had the opportunity to have some new food experiences. Nothing too exciting, but all the same, different. Most everyone has experienced coconut is some way, including myself. However, on all of my vegan/raw sites people recommended or some recipes call for a young coconut and/or it's milk. Young coconuts aren't the easiest to come by. But, when we made a trip to Whole Foods last week I had two catch my eye. We bought them and they've been sitting in our fridge since then...until today.

It takes some work getting them open, but finally it happened. First we tried the juice, and then the meat. I had no expectations. It was different. The first sip I was unsure. However, as I've found with this diet change, most things seem different, because they are. For instance, changing from chocolate to carob or cacao. But after a few bites, your taste buds and brain align and you find that things are pretty good. Same deal with the coconut.You must forgive me for my lack of skills in describing food. It's just not my thing and I personally can hardly ever understand people's descriptions of food, wine, beer. I just think, "it's good," or "it's bad." I'll try my best to explain the coconut. The water consistency is the same exact consistency as plain water, just a little cloudy in appearance. It tastes like water with a very slight sweetness and a woody (?) undertone. As for the meat, it tastes almost the same way. It's cool looking at it because it's so white. I describe the consistency as that of drying Elmer's glue while David says it's like fish. I have no idea about the fish thing. Either way, our descriptions are very unappetizing, so we didn't think much of that as we ate the mild tasting meat.So, how do I rate a young coconut and it's milk? I like it. I like it a lot. It's something different. It's something good. I'm sure others would say, "meh, not much taste. nothing special." Unfortunately although I like them, they're not that easy to come by and the buggers are decently hard to open. With that being said, they'll be a special treat for me when I make a trip to Whole Foods.

Oh yeah, most may not know this, but I share darn near all of my food with the kids. Yeah, some may be grossed out by that. Either way, I enjoy it, they enjoy it, and they have a wide palate ;) They love their fruits and veggies. Now they can add coconut to their list of foods they've tried. And how did they rate the coconut?
Spencer says, "Nom, Nom, Nom!"
Vikings says, "Everyone else is trying it. I'll try it. Yum!"Lily says,"You know I'll eat anything. They don't call me the vacuum for nothin'. I was so fast eating it, mama couldn't even take a picture."

Saturday, March 13, 2010


After 3 weeks of going raw I was surprised that I wasn't going through the "detox" that everyone spoke about. I figured that maybe I had switched over gradually (already being vegetarian) that my body wasn't in shock. Then, this past Wednesday I noticed some signs that lined up with what others call detox. However, Thursday evening came around and I started to feel sick....allergy-type sick. As the night went on I felt worse and on Friday, even worse. I was able to function regularly, I just didn't feel right. This morning I woke up still feeling yucky. Once again, not deathly sick, but congested, headache, GI upset sick.

So, what is this about? I can't chalk it up to being only detox. My guess is that it's a cold that started Wednesday and has continued on. Not exactly sure. Otherwise, I'm still doing great. No problems on the food front.

Spencer's Results

Spencer's results arrived this week. We had several possible diagnoses and one was proven correct....lymphoplasmacytic neutrophilic gingivitis. It's also known as Lymphoplasmacytic Stomatitis (LPS). It's a for of immune-mediated inflammatory response. Unfortunately there is no known cause. In addition to occurring in dogs, it can also occur in cats. With cats, often full mouth extractions are necessary. With dogs it usually is easily controlled with excellent dental hygiene, antibiotics, and long-term steroids. Other changes (i.e. diet) can also assist in treatment.

Unfortunately, treatment for Spencer may not be so easy. Considering his previous diagnosis of epilepsy and already being on an anti-convulsant we'll have to make some changes to his pre-existing medications. There are many ins and outs of his treatment, but I'll simplify it.....Due to drug interactions our current plan is to wean him off of phenobarbital onto potassium bromide while on prednisone (steroid). After changing, if steroids are required long-term, we will then switch to a different steroid. In addition, he will be put on an antibiotic for the next 3 weeks since an underlying infection was also found.

We're hoping that this treatment will give Spencer some relief. Something to keep in mind is that there are possible side effects from long-term treatment of both of his conditions, so we can only hope for the best. Although we haven't been down this road before, it's all too similar having been down another road with our other pets, especially Lily. But as we've found, this too shall pass. And if it doesn't pass, we'll adapt and overcome. We're thankful to have an answer and thankful to have a plan so that we can make Spencer feel better.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Keeping It Up

Alright here's an update for those that care....

Things are going excellent. I'm maintaining the raw diet and feel excellent. I think I can honestly say my endo hasn't bugged me once this past week. In addition I was able to run 4 (or was it 5?) days last week. Hiiiiyah! My goal of not having any non vegan/cooked sweets every night was met. I didn't really think about it really, so it was a non-issue. As expected I did have one "free" meal this past week. David and I headed to Cleveland Saturday and ate at Tommy's. Tommy's has a variety of foods, including many vegetarian and vegan options. So although my "free" meal was cooked, it was still vegan. At the same meal I had a tofu-shake. I guess I can't say I went 3 weeks without ice cream. Ah well. It was my first experience with Tofutti and I loved it. So technically, I've been vegan this entire past week. I'm not really into having to fit into a label so I'm not real sure where I fit yet....vegan/vegetarian. I'm definitely more than vegetarian but at the same time I haven't thrown out my leather belts, shoes, and all. So, that has yet to be determined.

A few more things I've noticed while going raw.....

It's expensive. At least to get started. Buying all the spices, nuts, fruits, and appliances adds up fast. With that being said, we're not eating out half as much, and when we do it tends to be a lot less. So, I'm hoping over time the expense wains. Even so, right now I'll take it. When you feel good and not in constant discomfort it's worth the expense.

I've always been adamant about being out of the kitchen. I despised cooking. I found it intense and non-relaxing. However, over the past few weeks I've spent more time in the kitchen than I've probably spent in my entire life. Cleaning, cutting, chopping, mixing. In addition I'm compiling recipes that I think are do-able. I'm having fun experimenting with the new dehydrator. I've already made some rockin' fruit leathers AKA fruit rollups and have some cinnamon apples dehydrating now. I also have cut-up potatoes marinating in vinegar right now so I can pop those in tomorrow, making salt and vinegar "chips."

When I sit down to eat a meal I've found that I get fuller faster. With that being said, I still need to watch my daily intake. It's easy to snack and not realize it.

So, this raw food thing is working out quite well. I don't know if I necessarily have a goal for this week. I think the plan is to maintain what I got going and see where it leads.

Monday, March 01, 2010


I've been going raw for 2 weeks now. The first few days were rough, but I'm digging it now. Although it's not quite second nature just yet, I'm getting there. I don't have to think about it as much now....What am I going to eat? What things can I put together to make a smoothie? Ideas for salad dressings. I'm coming along.

I'm not 100% raw, nor will I ever be, however I have been giving myself a "treat" every night, for instance, a few pieces of candy. In addition I allowed myself one meal a week that wasn't raw. I'm ready to take the next step. My challenge to myself this week is no "treats" at night. I haven't decided if I'm going to give myself my one meal a week this week or not. I have time to think about it. And if I do choose to give myself that meal, that will be the next thing I plan to cut out. Of course there will be times where we'll go out to eat and I'll allow myself to have a different dressing instead of the ol' vinegar and oil. When I'm at home it's easier to have more raw choices, given that I can make homemade dressings. I'm going to try my hardest to stick to raw options while eating out. At the same time I won't lose sleep over things that I don't have much power over. A salad, even with a non-raw dressing is still better than a burger (even if it is veggie).

Although people may see this as depriving myself of my wants I see it differently. It's just changing my mindset and eating patterns. In the end I feel better not having those things, it's just getting past the "want phase." Not to mention, I love challenges like this that I place on myself. It allows me to prove to myself that I am a mentally strong person and that I can do it if I put my mind to it....i know, cliche', but it is what it is.

So, with this diet change, these are the things I've noticed so far....

Last I checked I had lost about 5 pounds. Hmm, not too bad in my opinion. Especially, when I get to snack on things during the day....good things, of course. And this weight loss isn't even with steady running. With going on a business trip/work schedule/snow, I've been unable to keep a steady running schedule. Still trying to get to 3-4 times a week runs. That's getting better too. So I will only hope that the diet change and steady running may produce further weight loss, even though it's not my number one goal with changing my diet.

I was anticipating that traveling might throw a wrench in my diet. Not so. I was able to pack fruits that didn't require refrigeration and made up the rest of my meals with salads out and about.

My facial skin/complexion feels softer. It's not perfect, but just a littler softer and less bumpy.

My endo doesn't seem to be kicking on a daily basis. Although I don't think this is a direct correlation to my diet, I think it's indirectly associated with my bodily digestions that then effects my endo. Not a proven hypothesis, but I do see a difference.

I haven't had ice cream in 2 weeks. I'll say that again...I haven't had ice cream in 2 weeks. And that means real or soy ice cream. That's got to be a record. I won't lie, I'd like to have some, but I don't need it.

I believe that's all the changes I've seen so far. Once again, these may be related to my diet change, maybe not. The bottom line....I'll take them and I'll keep up this raw stuff.

Endometriosis Awareness Month

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