On this trip to Japan, I don’t have access to farmers I know who sell meat from pasture raised animals or a kitchen so I had to rely on some affordable easy accessible packaged goods. I wasn’t going to make a bunch of food and bring it with me only to have TSA take it away from me.
I’ve been getting more comfortable with eating keto. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been looking at it as an opportunity for creativity in the kitchen and it’s actually relaxed my paranoid tendencies towards what potential food could be harming me. I just make sure my macros are on point. Usually a keto diet is 5% of the weight of your food is carbs, 60% is fat and 35% is protein (please note that this can be and is very different for different people, do what works for you or consult a doctor). When you look at it like that, it seems complicated if you aren’t already aware of what macronutrient ratios are in the foods you eat. Fortunately there are a lot of apps out there that can help you calculate it. It takes a little bit of work but after a week or so you should be able to figure it out without having to input every single ingredient.
Personally, things have been going just ok. My functional medicine doctor (FMD) wanted me to have more blood work done. She said that she could do it herself for a fee or send my General Practitioner a letter with the reasons for particular blood work and hope that he gives me the requisition which would then be covered through OHIP. Well, turns out I was way too optimistic because as I was telling the FMD how sure I was my GP would give me the requisition I could tell she had heard this before.
She was right.
My doctor opened up the letter in his files and closed the document in an instant and asked me how I was feeling. This was after I had told him that the FMD had sent him a letter and I had wanted the lab tests done. First of all he had told me that most people live with parasites and it’s normal to have them and secondly he didn’t give me (all of) the blood work the FMD recommended I needed. And then to throw all the parasite info out of the window he gave me an OHIP covered requisition for a stool sample when I had already done one (on my dime). I do respect that he has his own practice, though, and relies on his own morals. No hate to general practitioners!
So I decided to just go through my FMD to do the blood work which cost about $240. Not only was the (fasting) blood work a really uncomfortable 30min poking around looking for veins (not done by her by the way, it was at a lab) but she had written one of the blood sample requisitions wrong. Very annoying and disconcerting. She won’t charge me to retake the sample but I just wanted to get it over with. I was about to travel to Europe for a month and was hoping to get everything out of the way before I left so I could bring the appropriate supplements with me.
Either way, the update on my health is very positive. I feel like I have more energy, less crampage during my PMS and I’m REGULAR!!! Hallelujah. Yes talking about poop is TMI but I didn’t want to hold back in case you are also going through the same thing. But ya, I was borderline in IBS mode. Every. Month.
Before seeing the FMD I was obsessed with discerning what food was causing me to bloat instantly. It was maddening because it felt as though I would get incredibly painful bloating (I’m talking instant 3 month preggers look and, aesthetic aside, it was PAINFUL). It has only happened once recently and I wondered and wondered what I ate differently than what I had been since going keto and then it hit me – processed meat! Right? It was a generic ‘ham’ that I had while working on a film shoot that was in a frittata. Oh, bonus was that the eggs were from a carton however the ingredients on that were just eggs. Either way, I had a lot of processed food that day even though it was high fat. It was wildly painful.
I should also mention that I got a little too caught up on forcing my body to fast. I had mentioned it before but intermittent fasting (IF) is a common way of eating alongside eating keto. I was trying to push my breakfast too late in the day and waiting until noon to eat. I had felt so awful despite eating a normal amount of calories for my body. I did some research and although some people suggest eating within an 8 hour window (for example you only eat from 12 pm to 8pm and nothing before or after until the next day) women need to eat within a 10 hour window AND all I changed was that I just ate when I got up.
Unfortunately I succumbed to the hype that I would have superhero powers and only run on my body fat after being keto for a little over a month but nahhhh, that didn’t happen. Well, it is according to my daily testing (I test with pee sticks – fun!) I am in ketosis but I just cant fully function on stored body fat in the morning. My FMD said that I may not be genetically predisposed to fasting. Either way, I eat as soon as I get up and then eat two more meals during the day when I’m hungry. Snacking at night isn’t really a problem for me unless there’s popcorn or Doritos around.
Wait, what about Doritos flavoured popcorn?
It's been a while since I've last blogged. I've been navigating this world of health and wellness, cooking for those with dietary restrictions or wanting a reset for a number of years now. I'd love to share with you what mistakes I've made and what approach I am taking now.
No, there are no fun photos or videos associated with this, yet. Enjoy!
I just got back from a Functional Medicine doctor, a naturopath with an integrative approach to medicine. I asked my General Practitioner friend what she had heard of Functional Medicine. She replied, "nothing". She asked why I wanted to go see one and I told her that Functional Medicine doctors look for the cause of what's ailing people. She responded by saying that all doctors should be doing that... UGH.
I was nervous to proceed with the appointment with the naturopath. I only have the initial visit covered by my health insurance and I had already been to several doctors with the following results:
2 GPs (test results = I'm fine)
1 allergist (not allergic to anything but here, take this Epi Pen prescription for that anaphylaxis you experience)
1 allergist for NAET diagnoses and treatment (remedied my ailments for 1 year)
1 herbalist intermittently for herbal tinctures and lifestyle advice
1 gynaecologist using an ultrasound and not finding any cysts or weirdness
Maybe I should go over what's ailing me. I want a solution for my dismennoreah, or FUCKING PAINFUL PERIODS that make me bed ridden for 2-4 days of my period. I had already cut out gluten (and most grains as I was told to do by my second allergist visit) and since then, (not expecting it either!) the grain elimination got rid of my depression, cognitive difficulties (think hearing things and feeling the floor falling from me) and am no longer anaphylactic to what I now know was caused by sulfites. However, I can't afford to or WANT to be bed ridden for 2-4 days anymore.
How was it seeing a Functional Doctor?
Good! She seemed legit which was nice. After some recent experiences, I've been weary of anything self-help that's of the 'alternative' variety.
We went through the progression of my periods throughout my life and other big events in my life like surgery, development of allergies, living conditions, supplement and medication history, what and when had my symptoms improved or nah.
I am going to do a stool sample (WHAT I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO - YAY!) to see if I don't have an underlying parasite, bacteria, dinosaur, etc living in there that's wreaking havoc.
I've also got some supplement advice. I had already been taking some that I had suspected had been helping me but I was corrected on dosage (aka WHY YOU SHOULD SEE A PROFESSIONAL).
Last but not least, I was told to eat a.. dun dun dun.. ketogenic diet! BOO! I have come to love my plantain chips and fruit yoghurt but I'll try it. I almost eat that way anyway. I feel like this, however, is a gateway to moving into a new career path.
Reaction to a Dietary Change Verdict
I'm tired of being tired. I takes so much for me to recover from the trauma of the pain of my periods. I need healing.
Honestly.. how I feel is a loss of identity. Loss of my chef identity.. loss of cultural identity.. I know this could be interpreted as a bit of an extreme, but I want to be part of innovative cuisine. Hell, I have a plethora of bad-ass gluten free recipes that taste like the real thing, damnit. I want to EAT IT but at least I can still share it.
Another frustrating part is that I don't know if this all means I need to MOVE. I know that health is also a function of lifestyle. The only time in my life where I was the most consistently happy and period pain-free was when I lived in IRELAND. When I look at my time there, I was doing all the things that a Ketogenic or Paleo - centric medical professional refer to in terms of nutrient intake and lifestyle.. lemmy break it down:
- only eat high quality fats (nothing we cooked with was pre-made.. we only ate pasture raised animals, raw milk dairy for butter, milk and cheese)
- bone broth (we made it every morning and used it in many many dishes)
- locally and seasonally, mostly vegetable diet
I know that it's possible to recreate that in Ottawa but it was so easy over there... maybe keep an eye out for me in Ireland.
Pozzies (positive aspects)
At least I'm practicing what I preach by doing what I've been telling people who ask me what kind of diet to eat, "find a professional to help you.. don't blindly just try diet or lifestyle changes without someone to measure the results". Why? You are removed from your own biases and inclinations. It's motivating to see lab test results as they improve with your efforts under the watfchfull eye of a professional.
Alright, stay tuned for more posts! Let me know if you are going though the same thing below. Navigating through the online world of health and wellness can be confusing I know. I've been obsessively listening to podcasts with experts and can't wait to share more resources with you!