Friday, October 18, 2013

Trying to Make a Comeback….

Hello long lost friends!!!  I am wondering if it is at all possible to make a “graceful” comeback into the world of blogging…it’s only been, ya know, three months!  For what it is worth, here goes nothing…

I think I left you all wondering whatever happened with all those doctor visits and lengthy tests.  Well, that has been a large part of my absence to blogging, but I finally have some answers to share. 

I will try and spare you all the details (I am still trying to figure out what it all means myself!) and give you the shorthand version…

#1:  I have a leaky gut….This was no surprise to me, although the surprise came with the results as to what is causing the leaky gut.  I had hoped to some extent that the Paleo lifestyle that our family had adopted for the last 9 months or so would have helped tremendously with several of my gut issues.  Was I ever wrong!  I discovered that the foods I thought were a “healthy” part of my diet were indeed the culprit to most of my digestive problems…celery, grapes, lettuce (all kinds…you know how much I LOVE salads!), chocolate, pecans, walnuts, peaches, broccoli, bananas, parsley, oregano, dill, etc…  YIKES, that’s a whole lot of food that I can’t eat!

#2: I have Celiac…Although I have taken on a gluten free diet for some years now, I never considered “cross-contamination” issues.  I am still learning more about the disease and trying to equip myself and the kitchen with the necessary tools to make life somewhat easy.  In addition to the Celiac my body has decided that it also wants to reject any sort of grain (though it may be gluten free) and cause me to go into a stomach upset like none other!  My doctor said that this is large in part because the little “villa” and “micro-villa” that line the intestines are so damaged that they can’t do their job and “chop” up the food in order to be easily digestible.  I am currently taking a digestive enzyme and lots of probiotics to try and mend this problem.  You can read more about Celiac here.

#3: My body is not making enough Serotonin….Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain which influences the functioning of the cardiovascular system, immune and gastrointestinal systems.  I didn’t realize what a large part Seratonin plays in digestion.  If you want to read more on this you can check out this article.

#4: I have a sulfur/sulfite intollerance….Sulfur is actually very necessary for your body’s metabolic functions, but excess sulfur can cause lots of problems.  What this means for me is the need for a low sulfur diet.  I have already been on this diet for 7 weeks and I am currently having to go another 8 weeks!  Let me tell you, this is one of the hardest things I have had to do!  On the low sulfur diet one CANNOT have onions, garlic, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, collards, turnips, radishes, arugula, pickles, raspberries, cranberries, dried fruit, animal products, eggs, soy, dairy, etc…  There is not a whole lot of options left my friends!!

#5: My body is not breaking down and utilizing proteins and fats…This is kind of a problem when I can’t have “meat protein” because of the sulfur issue.  My doctor okayed me to have a protein shake (or two) everyday and I am allowed a small amount of meat once a week…oh yeah!!  I am also upping my omega 3 intake…having flax, chia seeds and/or hemp seeds everyday along with my fish oil supplement. 

There you go, in a nutshell!!  Sounds crazy, huh?  IT IS!!

As I struggle to figure out what I can and can’t have to eat, meal planning continues to be quite a challenge.  While I have no problem coming up with great meals for the rest of the family, there seems to be far too many modifications that have to be made for myself.  Needless, to say I am trying to not let it get me down and realizing that this is just not my time to be creative.  It is more important that I strive to heal my body, rather than giving myself anxiety over creating a fabulous meal!  

Keep Calm Such a good reminder for me to have on the refrigerator door!! 

One “tool” that has made life a bit easier in the kitchen is this fun little gadget that my hubs got me for my birthday…a spiralizer!  I am making zucchini, yellow squash and butternut squash noodles like there is no tomorrow!  It’s quick and easy…just a little coconut oil in the pan, add your noodles, add some seasonings and saute for a couple of minutes!  I like to mix in a few other veggies for myself and for the fam I make homemade meatballs and spaghetti sauce.  Check it out,  Amazon has it on sale right now!

spiralizerI can’t wait to try potatoes and apples next!!

This dinner has become one of my favorites…and well-liked by the rest of the family too.

Harvest Vegetable Tacos


2 small eggplant

1 zucchini, chopped

2 Tbsp. coconut oil + more for roasting eggplant

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 red pepper, diced

2 tomatoes, skinned and diced

1/2 Tbsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp basil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper


1.  Heat oven to broil.

2. Rub some oil on the outside of each eggplant and place under hot broiler.  Cook until skin is blistering off, about 15-20 minutes (turn as needed).  Remove skin and cube eggplant.

3.  Heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil in a large skillet.  Add cumin seeds and toast for a few seconds.  Add red pepper and zucchini.  Cook until tender.  Add in tomato and remaining seasonings.  Cook and stir for a few minutes.

4.  Add in eggplant and cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes. 



I discovered these Grain-Free Flax Tortillas from Real Sustenance that are not only easy to make, but super tasty as well!

P1000927 They are pliable and don’t fall apart after you’ve filled them with yummy goodness!  And make for a good alternative to my usual lettuce wraps…missing lettuce!


This was dinner last night…and probably for a few nights to come (when I find something that tastes good, I usually make enough for a couple of days!).  It’s a combination of spaghetti squash, which I was already using as a base for the hubs’ and princesses’ shredded beef dinner, roasted mixed vegetables (mushrooms, tomatoes, and asparagus), and a little of last night’s Harvest Vegetable mix.  I tossed it all in a skillet with a little coconut oil, sea salt, pepper and some rosemary.

P1000931 Super easy, super quick, and super delicious!


Ahhh, it feels good to be back!   Through my victories and my struggles I am reminded to be thankful that I have a “rich” life in Christ and He continues to love me right where I am at!  The trials I face today are only temporary and for that I feel blessed!

Thanking God for trials Blessings,



  1. Hi J'Lene! I am sorry to hear about all the digestive problems and the lack of food you allowed to eat right now. I think I need to get tested as well, mainly because I am on the Paleo diet as well, but still feel ill a lot of the time with the nuts, fruits, and other things I eat that aren't supposed to make me feel ill. I also have trouble, ahem, going sometimes and want to know what the problem is. Leaky gut has been my issue for a few years, but I have never sought an official diagnosis. Guess its time to give that a try! Praying for you as you become more and more creative in your dishes! They look amazing to me and I will most likely be introducing them into my kitchen soon!!

    1. Melissa, I pray for healing for you! It is so discouraging when you can't figure out what is irritating your stomach and you think you are eating so well! I hope to keep the recipes coming:)

  2. J'lene! I just found your post here and I am SO sorry you are dealing with all of this!! How hard it must be. I can't imagine. Praying for you. Sending hugs too :) Love, Angela

    1. Thank you for your prayers! The past few months have been the most difficult for me, but I am thankful that I now know what I need to do to begin healing my gut. I am finding that I am quite impatient and have to remind myself that it's going to be a long road ahead in order to heal all the damage that's been done over the years! Love and hugs to you!