Thursday, July 26, 2012


New Clean Eating Magazine Day!!!!

Today my August/September 2012 issue of Clean Eating showed up on my tablet. Which, of course, means fuck yea, more culinary exploration!! And I wasted no time getting started. As soon as I read pg. 51's Spicy Raspberry Balsamic Chicken Breasts, I knew what I would be indulging in tonight.

I had to alter the recipe slightly to accommodate my food allergies. Broccoli never agrees with my stomach, and, of course, my bullshit gluten drama. So instead of Bulgur and Broccoli, I made brown rice and a steamed mixed vegetable medley.

Commonlaw Spouseoid immediately put it on the 'favorites' list. The sweetness of the honey and raspberries is the perfect compliment to the tanginess of the white wine vinegar. And adding the tiniest bit of heat with the chili flakes, no flavor was too overpowering. I think I may have set a land-speed record in eating, it was plate-licking good.

I'm glad that this week, we're back on the healthy eating train. Commonlaw Spouseoid was out of town for 10 days a few weeks ago doing techie brainy stuff for Calgary Stampede. Fireworks, audio, lighting, all that jazz. So while he was gone, I not only ate UBER-HEALTHY, but I ran a lot and worked out a lot.


And I was really excited to see him. It's the longest that we've been away from each other since we started dating, and I missed him terribly. (Didn't help that, since he had been gone, I had read the entire trilogy of "50 Shades of Grey" and watched "Magic Mike", so... you know... there was that too). Anyways, aside from THAT, there was no working out, there were a few celebratory drinks, dinners, late night snack and gab sessions, etc. Couple that with the fact that Snoop Dogg was in town a few days after he came back, and Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators played 2 days after THAT... there were a lot of quick eat and run moments, followed by late LATE night snacks and NO SLEEP. And just when I was feeling SUPER-GUILTY about the destruction of my healthy scheduled lifestyle....


Me and Slash. We're tight. (SQUEE!!!)

And suddenly I regretted nothing, and determined that one week's worth of no sleep, bad eating habits, no breakfasts and no workouts was 100% worth it. Because Slash is basically the coolest fucking cat on the planet. And I can not only scratch something off of my bucket list, but light it on fire and dance on it to the tune of Paradise City, because it was THAT COOL.

(For those of you who are interested, Slash was incredibly kind and sweet. He went around individually, shook our hands, asked our names and personally thanked us for coming to the show, then he signed whatever we wanted and took photos. And then he made sure to say goodbye, and thanked us again for coming. NO SLASH. THANK YOU. He's a true professional and a BLOODY GOD.)

So, now I've (mostly) caught up on my sleep, and can get back on track. Tonight after our delicious Spicy Raspberry Balsamic Chicken, I made a Jerk Marinade from last month's issue of Clean Eating Magazine that I have been DYING to try. It's a clean, low fat/calorie version of Jerk Chicken, and I can't WAIT to try it tomorrow. It's marinading in the fridge right now, the marinade smells divine. I'm thinking of making a Lime-Peanut Slaw that's in the same June/July issue of CE. Not sure if it will pair, but because it's a cold salad and might offset the heat of the jerk chicken, I think it'll be a safe bet. Time will tell! As will my guests.... usually I test a recipe before feeding it to others, but I'm going balls to the walls with this one.
Pre-Puree Marinade
Post-Puree.... Jerk Vomit, no?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Warning: Rant Territory.

It's certainly not easy to have a significant allergy in this society.

Although it has become much easier and more accommodating, it's unfortunate that some people don't understand what it's like. And why would they? When they can eat whatever they want and not sit on a throne for the next few hours.

Obviously, this is all inspired by recent events, however, not an uncommon occurrence.

"We're going to this pub tonight. You guys are coming."
"Oh, well, they really don't have a gluten free menu at all, so I think I'll eat at home quickly and meet up with you later."
"Uh, they have salad..."

Awesome. Because that's exactly what I really want to eat while everyone else is diving into their wings & beer. I really want to be munching on a pub salad. Which we all know, is made up of iceberg lettuce, a piece of grilled chicken flavored with salt and pepper, a few sliced tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers (if you're lucky), and Kraft dressing. Hold me back, yo.

Who DOESN'T want to go out and pay out the nose for this? Me. That's who.

I think it's common misconception that fit people LOOOOVE generic salads. Like, we sit at home in front of the TV and munch lettuce leaves like they're potato chips. And maybe some people do, (See my previous posts Flippin' For Kale Chips and Kale Chip Chronicles: Pt II). I'm not judging anyone. In fact, maybe that's the secret to that little bit of stubborn belly fat that I can't seem to get rid of. Unless we're talking about a wicked good Asian chicken salad with peanut sauce, or a strawberry balsamic spinach salad, or a cedar planked salmon salad... that's something with some flavor and substance. That's a meal. It's not weak grilled chicken on iceberg lettuce. Now don't get me wrong, I don't expect pubs to start stocking champagne berry mixed field greens. This isn't the establishment's fault.

 My point is, that, when I'm finished a long day's work, I would like to put something in my stomach that
A: Has some kind of nutritional value
B: Satisfies my appetite
C: Tastes relatively good.

And by only having one.... that's right, one option on the menu that was gluten free, I didn't have a choice. Iceberg lettuce with chicken it is. 

If I eat something quickly at home, and then meet up with you after dinner (which would only make me late by about 3/4 of an hour), I shouldn't be treated like I'm an idiot or antisocial. It means that I actually want to fuel my temple so that I can enjoy your company even more, without being distracted with the disappointment of what I'm picking at and the aftereffects of feeling unfulfilled and hungry. Because what did I do when I got home later that night? I binged. I ate anything I could get my hands on that was in the fridge. And then I felt like shit for the rest of the night.

The point of this rant is, don't treat people with distain based on their own concern regarding something that they can't control. I certainly don't want to be gluten intolerant, but I am. At least I have control over how I can handle it. And if it's by altering my lifestyle slightly to accommodate it to live as normally as possible, I shouldn't be looked down upon. It's not like I've hermited myself in my house and don't ever go out. I go out all the time. I think I've done a damned good job of not letting my social life be affected by my new allergy, and most people respect the compromises I have to make. But I don't appreciate being bullied.

I leave you with a link to a hilariously entertaining little site, called Shitty Salad.

That is all.
End Rant.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

General Hooper

Wow, has it REALLY been that long since I've posted anything? Sheesh..

Well, for starters, I've got the motivation to kick my ass back into summer. I got 3 tweetbacks from my hero, the almighty Tosca Reno, and it has absolutely motivated me to shut up and work out! And that's probably why I have been absent, because I have been working on new fun ways to make working out more enjoyable for myself. Also because it's all thunderstormy.

RUNNING: A little while ago, I got back into it. And then my knee started giving me troubles. So I took some time off, let it heal, and then got back to interval running. But instead of pushing myself, I eased into a walking/running routine, and really focused on my pace, my form and my feet.

 I don't think I've ever payed attention to what my body is doing while I'm pounding the path, and the first time that I made myself conscious to my alignment, my body responded with no pain (aside from a bit of stiffness the next day, but that's to be expected after a break)!
I also downloaded a kickass app called "Zombies, Run!" on my Android. It's tres cool. It gives you 'missions' and starts telling you a story, and in between songs on your phone, it propels the story, and you have to outrun hordes and pick up supplies, and then once you're home (like, have physically run home), you can transfer them to your 'base' on your computer. I know, I know, it sounds super-nerdy. But it actually is pretty neat motivation! I'm totally into the story, and want to go for a run so that I can hear more. Hey, whatever gets you out, it's worth it!

I also took up a new hobby. I've got a friend who does hooping. I know, it sounds like one of the Hard Limits of The Contract in "50 Shades of Grey". But it's not sexual, however, I've got some guy friends who would likely beg to differ. It's hula hooping!
I used to hula hoop as a kid, in fact, I did it a lot, and was pretty good at it. We had this 'circus day' in my elementary school, and I was practicing to be 'Super Hooper' (yeah yeah, I would have laughed my ass off as a parent as well). And I hooped with 10 hoops. And I thought I was shizzle-bomb-bizzle. But then I saw my friend hoop as an adult, and she totally kicks my 10 year old ass. She dances, does tricks, and makes all of us that can just make it go round and round our waists look like giant pussies. So I wanna know how to look kickass and cool like her.

I made my own hoop out of 3/4 inch PVC underground sprinkler tubing that Commonlaw Spouseoid had lying around (only HE would be the kind of person where you would say, "I gotta go to Totem to get some 3/4 inch PVC underground sprinkler tubing", and he'd be like, "Oh, I've got miles of that in the garage." OF COURSE YOU DO. HOW STUPID OF ME.). I bought a $0.49 connector, and then Commonlaw Spouseoid brought gaffe tape home from the theatre for me to decorate it with. Voila. My own custom hoop.

And after hours of backyard training, I knocked my glasses off of my face 3 times, almost lost it over our backyard hill 5 times, hit the window 1 time, and got countless bumps and bruises on my hips, arms, ribcage, face and legs.... I can now do the 'lift up' and the 'corkscrew down'!! Even though they look clumbsy and not graceful in the least. But it's a start. Anyways, it's a GREAT ab workout, very challenging!

Monday, June 18, 2012


I've been blahging a lot about food recently. Because food is delicious, and I've been going through a bunch of bullshit regarding gluten and whatnot, so it's been forefront in my mind.

 But now it's time to talk about fitness.

So in April and May, I worked my skinny white ass off running, zumba-ing, doing ab excercises and all like, 10 pushups I had worked myself up to. Because I had this crazy-wild project I was working on. I have an amazingly talented friend who is a bodypainter, and she had this great idea to do a nude bodypaint session using blacklight paint. And then have a super-amazing photographer of my choice do a photoshoot using blacklights. Yeah, I know. Badass as Hell.

Thankfully, the body painter is a good friend of mine, and through the power of theatre, has likely seen me nude (or damned close to it) many times backstage. So the awkward scale was dramatically reduced. It was tickly and cold, and lots of FUN.

All of the hard work paid off, and the photoshoot ended up AMAZING. Ming Loo is the most talented photographer that I know, and DeeDee's Facepainting is... well, the pictures speak for themselves.

So after all of my hard work, I've fallen from the workout train. I mean, I haven't gained anything, but I haven't resumed my maintenance either! Where did those lovely abs go!? Time to find em again. And I know JUST the way:

LIKE, OH MY GOD YOU GUYS!! I TOTALLY got a part in the chorus of Legally Blonde: The Musical!!! So it's time to whip my ass into shape. Get this gluten crap sorted out, keep with the Lean, Mean, Clean and GlutenFree, and get stretchy again! Summer fun, here we come!

I started by planning out my week's meals.

Individual veggie bowls for every day of work this week for snacks, I made a HUGE Roasted Vegetable Egglplant Parmesan from pg 180 of The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook 2 by Tosca Reno that I can warm up this week for lunch or quick suppers, baggies of almonds and cranberries, and a meal plan for this week.

Now if only this weather would cooperate so that I can go for a run! My city has been blasted by rain and thunderstorms this week, which really should be no excuse... but you know. I get cold easy, I'm a skinny bitch.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Phallic Foodstuffs

Honestly. Are there many things funnier than phallic looking food??

This is one of the reasons that I usually have a butternut squash sitting in the middle of my kitchen island for decoration. It's just such a good lookin' gourd.

I saw this bad boy at The Market Center one day, and I had to have it. I realized that my life could not go on unless that DongSquash came home with me. And it did.


And it has been a glorious ornament on my island for a little while now. But, the time comes where, unless you want to end up on one of those unwatchable episodes of Hoarders, you need to put it to use, and make something delicious.

I decided to roast him, and use him in Butternut Squash Soup, from the Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno.

I sliced him in half, and then spent 15 minutes giggling my head off and taking pictures. It was PERFECT.

I then put my adolescent self away, and put him in the oven alongside some garlic and onions. After 45 minutes, I took him out.

And then my adolescent self returned for another round of giggling and pictures.

It keeps getting better and better

 Finally, I scooped it out and put it in the pot along with the garlic, onions, vegetable stock and lime juice. Let it simmer for 15 minutes, and pureed it.

Thankfully, it tasted delicious. Entertaining dinner, thy name is DongSquash.

(I realize there's really nothing of value in this post. Just pictures of a squash that looked like a wang. Because that's how I roll.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gluten is the Ginger Kid of my Intestinal Playground

New Zealand made me eat birdseed bread. No lie.
Moving on....
Oh, you want the explanation? Well fine, here it is.

2 years ago, I travelled to New Zealand. The night before I was to go home, I hadn't had supper so I had a quiet, unassuming late-night BLT sandwich in the hotel I was staying at in Auckland.
The furry things are actually samurai swords
The next morning, I felt like I was being repeatedly shanked in the stomach with a knife, but I wasn't involved in any coke-deals gone bad. And I was involuntarily evacuating my body out of every orifice my anatomy allows. This is 7 hours before my 14 hour flight to Canada.
Long story short, I miss my flight because I'm in the emergency ward of Auckland City Hospital, being treated for Escherichia Coli infection. Yes, I'm not talking the 'oh shit, they didn't cook the chicken thoroughly so now I have the poops' food poisoning. I'm talking, "CNN Breaking News: So-And-So Product Has Been Recalled Off Of Grocery Shelves Due To Contamination" food poisoning. E.Coli. Anyways, it wasn't pleasant it fucking sucked.

Fast forward to this past week. I'm at the doc's office, and as we're discussing the results of my body juice testing, I make a passing comment about when I had E.Coli poisoning they told me I was extremely low on calcium. She looks up, stares at me and says, "When you what?"

This is her theory. When I got E. Coli and my body violently said, "STOP THE MUTHAFUCKIN TRAIN, EVERYBODY OUT NOW!!!", wearing its dagger-cleats, it strolled out of my body like a riptide and tore the SHIT (no pun intended) out of my small intestine, carving it's name on the walls and dragging it's razor sharp tentacles across the floor. (Of course, she did not use this colorful description, but that's what my mind cooked up.) This damage sustained during Body Evacuation: Bacterial Edition likely created a lot of sensitivity to foods. One of which, being gluten. She said that my body may have already been allergic to gluten, but this damage made my tolerance of it worse, or that my small intestine just has decided that gluten is an irritant and doesn't want anything to do with it. Gluten is the ginger kid in my intestinal playground.

Now, of course, I don't know if that's true, I'm no doctor and she could have just fed me a line of bullshit. It sounds plausible though. Either way, advise was, just stay away from gluten. Maybe try it again in a year or so and see if anything changes, but take 'er easy.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Back on the Track

Rollercoaster, thy name is Zombiegyrl's Life.

I've been going through ups and downs with this Gluten-Free stuff as it is. This past week has been a hard one. I'm in a theatrical production that has been unorganized and chaotic since day one and it was opening weekend last weekend, so I've been max stressed out for weeks about that. Top that off with my grandfather's death last week, it's been hectic and stressful. But add a major new allergy that I'm struggling with sorting out to the equation, and all Hell breaks loose.

The problem has been that, haven't had the time to cook or meal-plan. So when it's tummy-rumble time, I've been getting frustrated and confused with what to make, and then throw up my arms and say "Fuck it!" and I resort to grabbing something small that's already pre-fab like GF crackers with homemade salsa, or veggies, or a quick salad... well, since it hasn't been very fulfilling, I get snacky later on. And when I get snacky, I get more frustrated. And when I get frustrated I suggest picking up ice cream. Or pizza. Or something that is the opposite of healthy.

SO. Time to regroup. Saturday I made one of my favorite recipes, Gluten-Free Taco Bowls. It was in the Jan/Feb 2012 Edition of Clean Eating Magazine, and I continually whip out my tablet to find the recipe, because it's just SO DAMNED GOOD.

Last night, I was all ape-shit excited about the brand new food processor I had just purchased, so I made Salmon with Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade and Lentils with Swiss Chard (Both from The Eat-Clean Cookbook by Tosca Reno). Then I made enough hummus to feed the Canadian Military. I love my new food processor.

AND I've been excited about cooking with all of the yummy fresh herbs I've been growing on my deck. I can't grow a proper garden because my house is Deer Foodcourt, and they're a bunch of pricks and eat everything they can wrap their furry mouths around. And when you walk up to them to say, "Get the hell out of here! Those are MY ROSES!" they just chew slowly and look at you like a defiant teenager as if to say, "I'll eat whatever I damned well please." and then you do the 'shoo! shoo!' thing at them and they slowly turn around and walk away, and if they didn't have hooves, I'm pretty sure they'd give you the finger too. Because they're a bunch of pricks.
So anyways, FRESH HERBS! I'm growing cilantro, chives, rosemary, salad greens, orange thyme, lemon thyme, spearmint, mojito mint, peppermint, parsley, dill, oregano and Italian basil. I'm also trying to grow potted tomatoes, peppers and chili peppers, but I seeded them quite late, so I might be eating fresh salsa in September. Best laid plans...

So now, it's time to meal-plan. Or at least have something healthy on hand that I can whip up quickly when I'm pressed for time, or not in the mood to cook. Also, once this production is finished, it'll be summer, which means three things. Road construction, no hockey, and PLENTY of beautiful weather for working out OUTSIDE! Rockin' summer bod, here I come!

(Oh. Oh yeah. You see that? Moroccan Chicken and Lentils from the
Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook. Tonight's masterpiece. It's okay to be jealous.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

For the birds

Okay, I've been slack in the cooking department. Or, chickenshit if you want to be a dick about it. 

I've been reserved to staying safe, and just grilling chicken, baking salmon, but NO MORE! Tonight, I'm going to cook a roast beef, like I used to do on Sundays. Once I perused the recipes of my weekend favorites, I realized that there are a few that I'll have to alter because of the gluten free thing, but there are a few that I can make without worry, because they're already gluten free! So it's time for some Herb Crusted Roast Beef, with roasted veggies! Yum!

This recipe is a longtime favorite of mine. Of all things, it's from a Weight Watchers book. I've never followed a Weight Watchers plan, because I don't like math and can already read a nutritional info label and know if it's bad for me or not, but it's a cookbook that got me started on cooking when I moved out on my own. It included a lot of spices and herbs, stuff that I hadn't really worked with before coming from a household that kept meals simple in the spice department. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I really wasn't exposed to spice and herbs other than table salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder and chives.  So having recipes that called for thyme, rosemary, fresh parsley and cilantro was a big stretch for me! This book inspired my passion for cooking, and it's easy to tell if you look at the book. The pages are falling out, they all are stained, and there are pen marks all over the recipes. To be honest, you can flip through any cookbook I own and figure out which are my favorite recipes. The only thing clean about my cooking is the ingredients list. I am a VERY MESSY COOK. Thank goodness for my OCD Commonlaw Spouseoid who follows me around and cleans up all of my spills.

Zombiegyrl: "Where the hell did I put that spoon?"
Commonlaw Spouseoid: "I cleaned it."
ZG: "Where is the basil!? I'm sure I just had it here!"
CS: "Oh, I put it away. "
ZG: "Have you seen that metal bowl?"
CS: "Uh, I put it back in the drawer."
CS: *reaches into the dishwasher, hands me knife*

Not an exaggeration. Not even slightly.

So anyways, I found a product called "Gluten Free Pantry", from the makers of Glutino. It's a French Bread mix of dry ingredients that you just have to add milk, honey, vinegar, salt, butter and eggs to, and then let rise and bake. Since I don't want to start stocking my cupboards with a bunch of random flours that I don't exactly know about yet, I figured this is a safe bet.
Bread that does not look like melba toast.

***** 3 hours later *****

That shit must be good, because Commonlaw Spouseoid keeps ripping pieces off of the baked loaf and eating it. And commenting, "Mmm... that's good bread." And it is. It's really good bread. It's supposed to be a french loaf or pizza crust, but it's like regular bread. Go figure.

Oh, note of mention. You know how I had previously posted that gluten free food seems like just grains smashed together? Well, here's proof. My finicky lovebird Sawyer only likes her own food. Like, her pellets and her seed mixes and millet. The only "human" food she will eat is apples, Cheerios, corn (only if it's on the cob), and oranges (sometimes). Every other fruit or veggie I put in her cage she defiantly throws onto the floor. And if you're all, "She's a bird, she probably just dropped it.", then you obviously have never spent a significant amount of time around a bird. They let you know loudly and clearly when they like something and when they don't. In fact, in her old cage, she had removable seed cups, and when I put something she didn't like in it, she would remove the seed cup from the bars of the cage, throw it on the bottom and shit on it. I'm not even close to kidding.

Anyways... where was I going with this.... oh yeah. Gluten free. So to test what she likes, I'll hold food up to her to see if she'll bite it. It becomes immediately evident that she digs it if she thinks about it, tastes it, and then takes it from me. If she's unimpressed (normal response), she'll shake her head at it, waddle away and yell at me. When I held the gluten free bread up to her this morning, she happily helped herself. Then later, I was having some gluten free rice crackers, and I held one up. She went apeshit trying to get it from me, stole a big piece, dragged it into her bowl and munched on it until it was gone.

IN CONCLUSION: I apparently have to eat like a bird. Seeds, fruit and veggies. I feel like I'm the goddamn Black Swan, pretty soon I'm gonna sprout wings, have my knees turn backwards and "BWACK!" myself all the way to the pond. Commonlaw Spouseoid said that if I bite him, he's leaving. Or that if I start acting like Natalie Portman, he'll lock me up and stop feeding me. So if I start claiming that I'm Queen Amidala, make out with chicks, and begin pirouetting around town.... it'll time to send this swan to the pond in the sky.

This has been a very random post...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Devil in Disguise

Welp, that seems to seal the deal.

I've been extremely serious about my lactose and gluten free weeks. Lactose was relatively easy, but I didn't see a huge difference. Gluten free however... I've read labels, I've bought new confusing products, made new recipes, and even left restaurants that could not assure me of any of their dishes being gluten free. It hasn't been easy. BUT on the flip side, I've had great conversations with people who have read my blahg, and have spouses, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends or they themselves who are Celiac, gluten intolerant or have Crohns. I've also discovered new restaurants that have gluten free menus and options, and have found products that I would have never tried otherwise. And I've felt GREAT. Better than great, I've felt normal! First time in ages. Even when Commonlaw Spouseoid tricked me by making my morning Matcha lattes with not just milk, but 2% milk (which I never drink, I always drink skim). To no effect whatsoever. No problems to speak of, except maybe a bit of distrust, because trickery is just rude. But I appreciate him wanting to find some answers, even if it would have sent me racing for the nearest John. (BTW, why the Hell is a toilet called a John anyways? Was the inventer's name John? And did he proclaim, "I want to name this thing you crap in after me!" but Sir Edmond Toilet already had the patent? Things to Google later... )

Last night Commonlaw Spouseoid and I went to one of our favorite eateries, who always had a few dishes that could be made gluten free. To our surprise, the menu had been changed, and now excluded most of the GF options. Only 2 dishes remained on the menu that specifically could be altered to suit GF. When we inquired about the nachos, and how they made them Gluten Free, the waitress had no idea what we were talking about. We chose to order them anyways, and see what transpired.
When they came to the table, the tortilla chips were not any different than the regular ones. Long story short, I don't even know if they were ordered gluten-free or not, because the waitress seemed baffled when we even brought up the term 'gluten'.

ANYHOO. Well, sweet mother of all things sacred. About an hour after consuming said nachos, I felt sick. I mean, punch-in-the-stomach sick. I then locked myself in the bathroom for the next hour. Pain, cramping, nausea, and all of the lovely other things that come with an intestinal evacuation.

SO. In conclusion, I believe I have discovered the secret to my chronic stomach problems. The doc had asked me to do a week on IBS medication eating normally, but to be honest, I don't want to eat normally. Now that I feel great, I really don't want to poke the bear within. It's like, "Hey, your foot pain could be caused by gout, OR could be because of this giant needle sticking out of it. We'll remove the needle, and next week we'll put the needle back in and feed you cranberry juice." But once they take the needle out, you feel good, and you're all, "Wow! This feels fucking fantastic!" And then they're all, "Okay, let's put that needle back in for a week" and you're all, "Touch me with that thing and I'll murder you in your sleep, bitch." Well, that's where I'm at. But the needle is wheat.

I'm still going to keep a close eye on my reactions to things. If I feel shitty a few times when I know something was GF, I'll try the IBS thing, but for now, methinks I have a very different road ahead of me. One day at a time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Crazy Glue-ten

OH MY SWEET LORD!!! I can do 6 push-ups in one set!! (And then I get stuck and can't get back up, and I start giggling at myself, which doesn't help the whole 'up' part, and I collapse on the floor.) But really, WHEN did I write my post where I dedicated myself to doing a push-up? It was March 4th. In 2 1/2 months, 6 doesn't seem like much, but it's more than zero!! I credit the defenition I'm seeing in my arms, shoulders and chest on my efforts! I've certainly noticed a difference in my muscles, they're... you know... actually there!

Huh. Eating healthy and exercise... who knew?

On another note, today marks Week 2 of the Food Diary stuff. . Which is Gluten-Free Week.

So help me God, this shit's gonna kill me. I went to Superstore yesterday specifically to prepare for this whole gluten-free thing. And I found myself standing in the middle of the natural foods aisle going, "I... just don't even know where to START!" I decided bread was a good start, and chose some kind of sunflower flax rice bread and then loaded up on veggies and quinoa. I think I'll stick with what I already know is gluten free and go from there. Commonlaw Spouseoid started throwing a bunch of Gluten Free Protein bars in my cart.

Zombiegyrl: "WOAH WOAH WOAH! I don't even eat regular protein bars."
Commonlaw Spouseoid: "You're gonna need these though."
Zombiegyrl: "Why would I need that shit? That crap's for bodybuilders. Celiac bodybuilders who can't drink a protein shake."
Commonlaw Spouseid: "In a few days, you're going to get frustrated. On top of being frustrated, you're going to be hungry. And you KNOW how you get when you're hungry. I'm going to find you in the kitchen pouting and grumpy over celery and lettuce, complaining that it's the only thing you can eat because the doctor hates you."
Zombiegyrl: "... I want the coconut ones. "

So today I go to make a delicious chicken sammich like I normally would. It dawns on me.... I have no meat. Because deli meat is on the NO list. So, I pull a chicken breast out of the freezer throw in on my George Foreman grill.
I then pull my new bread out of the freezer (yes, it has no preservatives so it has to stay frozen.)
Guess which one is gluten free? Winner gets a puppy!
(Offer expires 10 minutes before you read this.)

Apparantly most GF's are munchkins, because that is basically melba-toast. I made a teeny little sammich that they serve with a traditional High Tea in London. Only there was no clotted cream and scones. Because they're NOT ON THE FUCKING LIST. I was wearing a hat though, so I see where the bread got confused.
Without going into detail, my melba-bread fell apart as I was eating the midget sammich, so I ended up basically picking chicken, pickles and lettuce off of my plate and eating it like that. And by the time I GOT to eat my sammich, it was time to go back to work because it took so long to Google "Does sriracha sauce have gluten in it?" (still don't know.)

After work, I went for a run because I was procrastinating making dinner. And now I'm blahging to procrastinate making dinner. BUT that salmon isn't going to make itself, I should probably get started. Google... you and I will likely be seeing a lot of each other this week.

Monday, May 14, 2012

No news is GOOD news?

Welp, remember when I had my awesome experience with my violating hospital test? Well... the results are in. 


Seriously. Everything is normal. I'm a LITTLE high for Celiac, but nothing to cause concern. I mean... that's great and all... but EVERYTHING IS NOT NORMAL. SOMETHING IS WRONG!
THEN she tells me, "This doesn't mean that you DON'T have a gluten allergy, or lactose intolerance. No tests can tell us that." .. ... ...  so basically I went through my day of violation for NOTHING. That's even better.

So, here's the new plan. Food Diary time. (You know, like I figured would happen.)
Week 1: Cut lactose completely out of my diet. Track results.
Week 2: Cut Gluten out of the diet. Track results
Week 3: Eat normally, but go on IBS medication. Track results.

I also need to get tested for parasites, because she found out I was in Mexico earlier this year. We stayed in a house so we shopped and made our own food, which could have been contaminated. If I find out there's some little Mexican parasite having a fiesta in my body, so help me God....

Well, I'm almost finished my Lactose Free Week. I haven't been able to 100% stick to it, because it's amazing how many things on menus are NOT labelled as having cheese added, but then come with cheese. Example: Grilled Chicken tacos... nowhere on the ingredient list does it say, "Cheese". But then, you get the tortilla, and it has been made with a covering of melted marble cheese on it! Frustrating! It's opened up my eyes to how much attention you have to pay to ingredients as well. But I've certainly been having at least 90% less lactose than I used to this week, and I must say, it HAS made a difference! Not a major difference, but I certainly feel better. Thankfully I like soy beverages, so it hasn't meant sacraficing a lot. But once you know you can't have something, you'd be surprised at how much you freakin' crave just a huge block of cheese.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Kale Chip Chronicles: Pt. II

Alright. A while ago, I had written a post reviewing kale chips and how I had purchased a bag of them prefab, and described how they tasted like ass.

I got a lot of feed back from that post. Cheers AND jeers. Some agreed, or said they were glad I had tried them, because they haven't had the guts to give them a go. However, the Kale chip fans (I'll refer to them from now as K-Fans) begged me to try them again. But this time, make them yourself, they pleaded. They gave me recipes. They gave me suggestions for flavoring. All the while raving and ranting about how good they are. Well, the K-Fans outweighed the Naysayers, and to give a completely accurate review to those who haven't tried them, I decided to give them another chance.

I followed the directions specifically. I even dressed them with 5 different flavorings, JUST IN CASE. I always have homemade garlic/lemon/spice infused Extra-Virgin Olive Oil on hand, so I sprayed them with that. I sprinkled some with garlic powder, some with chili flakes, some with chili powder... I even sprinkled some with salt & vinegar, and dill pickle popcorn flavoring. Popped them in the oven.

I watched them like a hawk. JUST to make sure that they didn't burn, but got crispy enough to be the consistancy of potato chips. I removed them at the exact right moment. They came out in golden perfection.

I had a bite.... Uh.... well, MUCH better than the cardboard that I ate previously. I had another one... hm. Uh... that's not TERRIBLE....

I fed one to Commonlaw Spouseoid. I cannot accurately describe his face, but this is a drawing of what it looked like.

I am no artist, but I think this accurately represents what I saw.
Then he so elequently gave his offical review, and this is quoted word for word.

Commonlaw Spouseoid's Official Kale Chip Review:
"This is what I imagine the underside of balls would taste like."

He is apparently not a K-Fan.
The more I munched, the more this disgusting aftertaste started creeping in.... and the more I wanted to avoid them.

My 2nd Official Kale Chip Review
So after their second chance.... Sorry K-Fans, I stand by my original review, however, it tastes less like cardboard than the pre-fab. I am still not a K-Fan, and will not be trying them again in the future.

Because they still taste like ass. Or, you know... the underside of balls.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Smart like dump truck

I like to think of myself as a reasonably intelligent young woman.
Until I do something incredibly stupid.

At a wedding this weekend, I thought, you know what? I don't know what's making my stomach Irish dance at random moments, so I'm going to just eat what I want, stop worrying about it, and enjoy a normal meal. I stayed away from the potatoes, creamy pasta salads, etc, and stuck with healthier salads, rice and roast beef. AND THEN CAME DESSERT. The dessert table was glorious. And enormous. I took a slice of some chocolaty-fudge-cream-caramel-oreo-orgasm-in-my-face cake, and savored every last bite.

Could've just skipped the dessert and went straight for this
I then spent the next 15 minutes in the ladies loo, missing the beginning of the toasts and speeches, because my Gastrointestinal Old Faithful decided to make an unscheduled geyser performance. Fantastic. Thankfully, after having a glass of water and a sit down, I felt fine the rest of the night.

So last night, I had to go to a buffet joint for dinner due to my grandmother's 80th birthday party. I bloody hate buffets as it is due to the incredibly minimal lack of healthy options (aka NONE), and of course, after the previous night's show-stopper, I was incredibly hesitant to put anything in my wordhole. My chosen food consisted of raw veggies and fruit. How ridiculous is that!?

My followup appointment is tomorrow. And if she says, "Your test results came back with nothing suspicious" or "inconclusive", I'm going to go Tazmanian Devil in the doc's office.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait

Well, I survived Operation: Barium Butt Blaster. And I don't even have any P.T.S. symptoms that I'm aware of. Well, except for that one time I woke up in a cold sweat screaming, "WRONG DOOR!!" But other than that, I'm cool.
I suddenly have a great tattoo idea...

I'd also like to thank everyone for their kind words- -I didn't realize how many people read my blahg. It's always a surprise when I'm in the grocery store, and someone comes up to me and says, "How are you? I laughed until I cried at your story. Oh and sorry about your colon." And a fine day to you too, Mrs. Peterson....

How do you milk an almond??
Unfortunately, I won't get the results of my probe back until the beginning week of May. Which might as well be an eternity. I was told by my doc to absolutely NOT change my diet until then, just in case they need to do another round of tests. (If that was the PRELUDE to another test, I'll take a roofie-colada as my prep.) But here's my arguement: When you drink your favorite Matcha Latte and have to spend a few hours in a location near a toilet 'just in case', and you fear going in public after eating anything with wheat in it... it pretty much puts a halt to your social life. So I made my first Matcha Latte using Almond Milk. Honestly, I don't even really taste the difference. It's a little less sweet, but that's probably because I chose the unsweetened almond milk. I figure I can always add a few drops of agave nectar to it if I want it to be sweeter. I hope my tests come back as lactose intolerance, cuz this shit's easy.

I also downloaded an app for my tablet called 'Doc's Diet Diary'. You can write down what you ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and beverage and then also add 'symptoms' if you have any adverse reaction to anything. I figure that if the tests don't come back with any conclusive results (how optimistic!), I can at least have a week or two already tracked to try to narrow down what I might be having an adverse reaction to. Because I can imagine that's what the next suggestion will be from the doc.

I've been reading up on this whole gluten thing too. What a pain in the ass that'll be, if it comes back as such. It's not just as simple as staying away from wheats, barleys and whatever.... everything from the glue used to fuse teabags, to lip balms can contain traces of gluten. So you have to read every little label on everything you put near your mouth. What kind of bullshit is that!?

In some ways, I'm all, "Hey, it'll just come back as IBS, which I sum up as Chronic Upset Tummy, and I'll just have to live with it." On the other hand, after having my insides being blown out like an underground sprinkler system, I want there to be some fucked up parasite that I contracted from some foreign country that has a name that is made up with numbers and letters like HRG6DE89 Strain of the Colonflorenza Shittisalotus. And then I can be all, "Yeah. That's right. Good thing I did test. GET SCREENED, YO."
Sigourney Weaver has been a spokesperson for Irritable Bowel Syndrome for years.
Cute little fella, ain't he?

Time will tell. In the mean time, I had a great run yesterday which helped clear my head. I've been slack on this whole running program thing. My little ticker and lungs always give out far before my legs and body tire. So after feeling like I was gonna have a goddamn heart attack after running the stairs by my house, I walked for about 15 minutes, and then ran the rest of the way and did the stairs again. It's about time this body started doing what I want it to do.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Proceed With Caution!

Well, this post may be uncomfortable to read. But likely not near as uncomfortable as it is to write, and not even close to as uncomfortable as the procedure itself. But I think that it's important to talk about stuff like this, because it IS important. It's about a medical procedure, that many people have to go though, but no one really likes to talk about. I have always been an advocate of talking about uncomfortable health matters, because we SHOULDN'T be ashamed of tests, health and early prevention. We SHOULDN'T be embarassed to talk about the health of body parts that we all have been born with.

So here's your warning. If you don't want to read about it, stop here. If you do, then by all means.

So, I've been feeling very ill for the last few months. My stomach isn't right. I eat clean, I feel great otherwise, but every once in a while when I eat breakfast/lunch/dinner, I immediately have to run to the washroom. And it's out of nowhere, not a lot of warning. It's come to the point where I am hesitant to eat out, because I have to be aware of the fact that I might feel crampy and bloated, and alarmingly have to run to the facilities afterward. So when I'm out, I stick mostly to simple salads and fish, as I've found they don't give me much problems. After a recent trip out of town, a 3 hour drive through the prairies, and being uncomfortable for an hour of that from only drinking a latte, I decided enough was enough, and I needed to go to the doc.

I suspected a lactose intolerance issue. My doc suspects anything from a gluten allergy, to Crohns. SO. She ordered bloodwork, and a barium enema.
YES. You read that right. Barium. Enema.

Zombiegyrl: "Sooo... does that entail what I think it does? Like, a Barium Swallow but... reversed?"
Doc: "Yes. Basically."
Zombiegyrl: "You want to shoot white chalky stuff up my cornhole."
Doc: "Yes."
Zombiegyrl: "Sweet mother of God."

So, I shall now provide you with my experience with:

Operation: Barium Butt Blaster


Morning of prep: I can only drink clear liquids, such as coffee, tea, clear juices, broths, etc. Now, I sometimes skip breakfast because I'm in a hurry, with no problem at all. Why is it that, when you're instructed that you can't eat solids, you suddenly crave a giant block of cheese and half a cow for breakfast? Gah. Coffee it is.

I'm also getting nervous about this whole thing. I dunno if this was such a good idea. I question the sanity of my doctor, and wonder what I did to make her hate me so much?

12:00pm: Now, I'm home from work to begin my process. So, start with the 300mL bottle of Citro-mag. Staring at a huge bottle labled "LAXATIVE-PURGATIVE... with lemon/lime flavor" reminds me of that horrid syrupy medicine that our parents fed to us by the spoonful, with the promise that it tasted just like a grape popsicle. And of course, it tasted nothing like delicious grape popsicle. Instead, it tasted like liquid purple death. So since then, I think we have all been conditioned into realizing that anything medical-related tastes like goat-spit. And I was faced with a whole bottle to chug. So when it didn't taste like licking the underside of lemon/lime testicles, I was quite pleased, and chugged away. They then instruct you to drink 6 glasses of water. After glass number 2, I start questioning the actual size of my stomach, and whether or not 8 glasses of water will fit in there. Halfway through glass 3, I suddenly felt the immediate urge to check my voicemails. And turn the TV on. And change my clothes... Anything to procrastinate drinking more water. But that bolded and capitalized statement in my instruction pamphlet, "IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DRINK THE STATED AMOUNT OF WATER." kept playing through my head. If Facebook and Twitter have taught me anything, it's that when I read bold, capital letters, I read it in my mind as if that person is shouting at me. So, I plow forth with my water.

12:30pm: I feel and look like I'm pregnant. Pregnant with a gigantic 48oz H2O baby. It's kind of entertaining, but making me feel nauseous at the same time. I'm not gonna poke it, as I feel it would result in something quite unpleasant.

12:55pm: Evacuation commences. That didn't take long.

1:06pm: Have you ever watched a dam being time-released? I am pissing out of my asshole. Everything I know about anatomy has been thrown down the toilet along with everything I've eaten my whole life.
Like this, but with less tourists.

2:00pm: MMM!!! Chicken broth for lunch! My favorite!! (Said no one ever.)

2:44pm: I want to have a nap, but my soon-to-be-violated sphincter has made that impossible. To top it off, every time I get up, my bird laughs hysterically at me. (any other day, I'd interpret the loud giggle-like chirping as happiness that I'm home. But I swear she thinks this is funny) And I'm starting to feel lethargic and light-headed. This cannot be good for you, and the people that invented this cleansing process likely have never had to experience it. Why would anyone do this voluntarily? Trying to distract myself with TV, I am grateful that I have a day job, because daytime TV is the worst form of garbage I've ever seen in my life. But no good movies on either. 'Contact'? Yeah. I'd rather get a barium enem.... oh wait.

(Too Much Information? Well for shit's sake, stop reading. Otherwise, onward ho!)


3:30pm: The 5 minute interval eruptions have subsided. Which is great, because I'm hungry and getting grumpy because I can't eat anything. Just went to grab a Perrier from the fridge, and noticed the time. This means in half an hour, is round two of the meds I was given. I hope it's a food-pill like we thought would exist by now when were wearing snap-bracelets, Jordache Jeans and cheering on a winning hockey team in Edmonton. I have subsequently put the bottle of Perrier back, because I'm going to have to haul through 6 more glasses of water in a half an hour. FML.

4:05pm: No such food pill exists in this regimen. It is instead, a small, unassuming, 45mL bottle of Phosphates Solution. Mix with 1/2 glass of cool water, and drink. Easy squeezy. I take a big gulp...

I can't describe it. But it is vile. It has natural ginger-lemon flavor. Nothing in that tiny bottle tasted lemony or gingery, it just tasted like a full glass of ass. I added more water to see if it would dilute it. BAD IDEA, because now I don't only have 3/4 of a glass of ass left to drink, I now, again, have a full glass of ass to drink.  So I gulp that motherfucker down as fast as possible, and then quickly follow up with the 6 glasses of water. Earlier, I had decided that the glasses I was using were far too large, so I switched to smaller glasses (they say A Glass Of Water, not specific measurements. HAHA! Eat it, semantics!). After consuming the glass of ass, the 6 glasses of water were relatively easy to consume in an attempt to push that shit as far away from my tastebuds as I could.

4:16pm: Oh good. Phosphate Solution is just medical code word for "Nuclear Colon Explosion". I swear to God, by the end of this, I'm gonna have an intestinal tract that Mr. Clean would be goddamn proud of.

I'll spare you the rest of the details of the night, but I'll tell you it involved my Backside Vesuvius like clockwork most of the evening. Thankfully it subsided enough for me to get a good night's sleep.

Operation: Barium Butt-Blaster

Launch Day

To the hospital I went. I walked down the hallway to radiology like a prisoner to the electric chair, wondering if I would ever return. The procedure took the the longest 15 minutes on earth. Thankfully, the radiology assistant and radiologist were more than kind. But I'll tell you, when they try to make pleasantries with you, when you know what they're about to violate you with, you just don't feel like talking about what you do for a living or how the weather is. Because you know what they do for a living. They stick a probe up your arse and take pictures like a fucked-up soldier on leave in Bankok. You really can't concentrate on what they're saying anyways, BECAUSE THE PROBE IS HANGING IN FRONT OF YOU LIKE A VULTURE BROODING ON A DEAD TREE OVER A DYING ANIMAL IN THE DESERT.

This is the actual size of The Butt Probe

This is how large the Butt Probe looks. Only it looks like it's winking at you. 

Here's my favorite part:
So now that I have been violated (which wasn't as bad as I thought the Ares V rocket going into my coal mine would be), the Radiologist comes in the room. He asks me, "Hi, how are you?"
... Are you kidding me right now.
I managed to respond with, "Um, I've had better days."
What I meant to say was, "I have a plastic stick stuffed halfway in my back field, on an exam table, about to be filled like a water balloon pinata and jostled around on a gyroscope table, whilst someone takes pictures of me like I'm doing a photoshoot for Canada's Next Top Digestive Tract Model. How the fuck do you think I am?"

Anyways, it was unpleasant, it was uncomfortable, and I certainly wouldn't ask to go back for a second date. Not only do they squirt barium up your intestines, but they shoot air up there as well like a clown blowing up a balloon. You half expect them to turn the monitor around of your fluoroscopy and see that they've turned your intestine into a french poodle. And not only are you now full of air and barium, but they start making you roll around like a rotisserie chicken to xray different angles. You know when you've eaten a gigantic Mexican dinner, and you're bloated, gassy and it hurts to grab the remote to change the channel? Try doing the hokey pokey on an xray table.

This is not me, just in case you were wondering.
In the end (no pun intended), I'm glad I had it done, especially if it results in a diagnosis of something, or an elimination of something more serious. I would have rather had a colonoscopy though, where they just shove a camera up you and look around like a National Geographic documentary. So, my boys, you have no excuse. You neither, ladies. YES, it's unpleasant. YES, it's embarassing. But on a serious note, hey... it could actually save your life.

If I can do it, so can you. :-)

(oh, and if you're wondering what happens with all of that air and barium.... I think you know exactly how it comes out. One more day of running back and forth from the couch to the latrine. You don't dare fart without being over a toilet, because it will likely result in a 'situation'.)