Health Journey Part 8 - Ottawa Local Food Resources

The day has finally come – my parasites are all gone!

Well, sort of.

I haven’t written in a while - so much for my weekly recap! I’ve been going through some life changes which slowed down my blogging but I’m back. Happy new year! I also decided to answer some questions I get from people who want to eat more locally. If you’re in Ottawa, check out my resource list below!

The fall was spent with some fluctuations in my diet due to stress. I also slightly blame it also on getting a CSA. A Community Shared Agriculture ‘share’ is a buy into a season’s worth of vegetables directly from a farm. I decided to get it after reading The Plant Paradox. It reminded me how your health is directly impacted by eating locally, seasonally and organically. When you buy a CSA you pay a farmer up front for a delivery of vegetables. You take on the risk that the weather can affect what happens to the farmer’s vegetables and therefore what you get. What you receive, however, ends up as a net positive because you’re ensured cheaper vegetables than if you were to buy them individually and you often get a high variety of them too. Eating a variety of vegetables ensures you get a gamut of fibre, minerals and vitamins in your diet. It’s also encourages my culinary creativity as I’ve definitely been receiving vegetables I normally wouldn’t go out and purchase myself. 4 types of radishes? When would I ever think to buy them? When would I also ever be forced to pickle / ferment any of these because I don’t like to eat them as much raw. And they’re delicious!

Turnips, pre-pickling! 1 small beet, 2 turnips, 1 small onion, water, salt and a week at room temp!

Turnips, pre-pickling! 1 small beet, 2 turnips, 1 small onion, water, salt and a week at room temp!

Anyway, it’s been a slippery slope getting root vegetables including potatoes because as soon as I get a taste for anything high in carbohydrates, I justify eating them in other areas in life. The holidays makes it hard too of course. I haven’t been eating as strict keto as I’d like and I gained back all the weight I had lost, sustainably and slowly over the last 6 months, in 2 months. Kind of an aesthetic frustration but I’m also worried at how quickly I gained it back and what that may mean for what’s been going on bodily, stamina, skin and digestion-wise.

My periods have been regulating better, though. I have been able to feel a little relieved the week I’m expecting it because the pain hasn’t been as extreme. Over the past few years I would have so much anxiety leading up to it because of many factors. Would I have to cancel on a client which, as a sole proprietor, looks poor on me professionally? Would I have to cancel on friends or family when I am already kind of hard to get a hold of? Would it be shameful to share the real reason why I’m not able to leave the house?

I still get the anxiety leading up to my period and am trying hard to tell myself that the pain and IBS isn’t as bad anymore. I suppose this will take time to get used to my new stronger body.

After I received my 3rd results for my stool test and found that I still had a moderate amount of one parasite left, I was pretty disappointed. Fortunately I had remembered I had my name at another clinic and brought the test results in. I wanted to convince this doctor to give me a prescription for a strong pill to get rid of the parasites because I didn’t want to go through another 2 month and expensive natural herbal cleanse. My functional medicine doctor, the one who is helping me fix my dysmenorrhea, cannot prescribe me anything other than supplements. When I tried to approach my family doctor for help in blood test acquisition and the like, he was less than supportive.

I received the prescription from this other doctor and after 5 days of the most disgusting, nausea inducing antibiotics I’d ever taken, I did my last stool test. Since I submitted it before the holidays, it wasn’t until after that I got an appointment with my Functional Medicine doctor to find out what the results were. I was very impatient about that because I wanted to start a probiotic protocol as soon as possible. I know how bad antibiotics are and couldn’t wait to start incorporating probiotics into my diet again. Since having parasites for god knows how many years and then inundating my body with antibiotics (naturally as supplements and with prescription medication), my body is DUE for repair in a serious way.

Local eggs, apples & parsnips make delicious cake.

Local eggs, apples & parsnips make delicious cake.

I’m on a pretty high dose of pre and probiotics for the next few months. I can only imagine how much it’ll help boost my health, especially since I’ve also been drinking lots of bone broth and eating organic local produce exclusively at home.

It’s been quite the journey and am so happy to actually feel a difference in my body. I’m pretty run down still, however I’m optimistic that I can improve even more. What I’m most excited for is to be able to move my focus from my diet and more into other areas of my life like running my business successfully and perusing other life goals.

It has been so easy to let my health and wellness, or lack there of, drag me down. It takes a lot of effort to function in society independently when you have such wavering health. It has been very difficult to work for small companies who have relied heavily on me and to disappoint them with my unpredictable health. It’s been met with very little compassion, demotions and public shaming – mostly from women too. I hope that sharing this helps spread the word about dysmenorrhea and how there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are doctors that care.

To the new year!

Cookie bag with my egg and chicken delivery! Thanks Ferme Reveuse.

Cookie bag with my egg and chicken delivery! Thanks Ferme Reveuse.

My Ottawa Resources for Local Food in Ottawa

Ottawa Farmer’s Market
year round, various locations in Ottawa

Arc Acres - Pastured Beef
Purchase at the farmer’s market or their Fall bulk order

Ferme Reveuse - Pastured Eggs & Chicken
Delivered every 2 weeks, no minimum order!

Petite Brule - Wild caught fish & smoked fish
Sold at the Ottawa Farmer’s Market

Ferme Pleine Lune - Organic Vegetables
CSA vegetable delivery information here.

Grocery stores that sell local produce and hard to find organic products.
Market Organics, Herb and Spice Wellington, Herb and Spice Bank

Local meat grocery stores
Saslove’s Wellington, Lavergne Western Beef (local, affordable but not pasture raised),