Archive for the 'General rants' Category



16
Aug
11

The Sulfite Addiction. And other rants.



It’s like crack.

This addiction to sulfites.

It’s making me an insane woman.  I mean, MORE insane.

I almost long for the days when I would get a reaction that would disable me.  Then I would be forced to avoid everything I can’t eat like the plague.  Now it takes a really large amount of sulfites to effect my RA on the OUTSIDE.  So I cheat and I slowly feel like crapola.

Here is my sulfite haiku:

food with sulfites

shoved in mouth

walk with limp

***********************************

Seriously, who is with me here?  It’s like any diet.  I do okay in the morning.   I am a spitfire of self-control and will power.  But then my light starts to flicker just the ttttiiiiiiiiiiiinneeeesssttt bit near lunch time when I have to make the kids’ food.  So I make the grilled cheese.  My picky children (say outloud with whiniest voice possible) “…need the crusts off…..ppllleeaasee Mommy?”

NO NO NO because MOMMY WILL EAT THE CRUSTS.  THE LITTLE CHEESE-FILLED PIECES OF CRUSTS, WHERE THE CHEESE OOZES OUT THE SIDES.

Cheese that used to render me a virtual paraplegic from the neck down before my meds came into my life.

Now, it’s a slow poisoning.  It’s a gradual bloat all day. By dinner, I am practically shoving olives, laced with vinegar, garlic and jelly in my mouth. I look in the mirror before bed, and I stare at the moon pie face.  And I feel nothing but guilt for sneaking grilled cheese crusties into my mouth…or a few left over nuggets…

It’s like a drug addiction. True dat.

I NEVER considered myself having a food addiction.  Facebook?  Hello, obvious.  Booze?  Sure, why not.  Sex?  Thor wishes.  But, food has never been a really big thing for me.  I don’t care where or what I eat, as long as my tummy doesn’t hurt and I get rid of my low blood sugar grumpies.  But I am addicted to the sulfite DRUGS that are put in our food to keep them from getting moldy.

I have been thinking about trying this HcG diet, but because of some of my medical problems, I am weary.  and SELF! Wake up!  (Smacking myself on the head.)  I don’t need to do anything but eat clean again.

Why is it so hard? whywhywhywhywhy

Summer’s End and a beaten shell of a woman.

I am so tired.  I am a broken woman from this summer.  Done.  Flip me over, take me off the grill, I have had it.  I love my babies but I long for routine, organization, a clean house, a moment to cry and minute to go to the bathroom without someone walking in on me with the DVD case, asking me to put on a movie.  THEY NEED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL.

There.  I said it.  Hey, lady..you…over there, PerfectMom…shaking your head. Stop being horrified.  I said what most mothers are thinking right now, but are too worried about being labeled as a bad mother to admit it.

I think some people who don’t get it or don’t want to understand might look at me and say:  “Oh.  Boo.  Poor shell of a woman.  I feel so bad for you that you got to stay home and go to the pool 3 days a week and go to Great America and wear your jammies until 10am and not be in an office.”

And I do love my job.

Correction: Job(S).

Besides the fact that I run a small Entertainment PR firm from my office, I perform as a vocalist and I have over 15 vocal students, I also “work from home” as a mommy and I have to say that my office is not THAT different from other offices where I have worked.  Except:

  • The water cooler is fulled with Cherry Capri Suns
  • My bosses are all under the ages of 12 and they are also my clients.  They can also be intimidating.
  • All  traveling occurs in a dying minivan with little people whipping skittles at my head, yelling at me to turn up the volume on the movie
  • My printer is jammed with 147 print-outs of Hello Kitty coloring pages
  • My work luncheons occur at the snack area of Target
  • All office supplies are made by Crayola
  • I network at the pool
  • The conference room apparently has a toilet in it.

Perks:  Bambi makes me beautiful pictures to decorate my office and helps oversee the “small neighborhood children running all over my house” department. 

Cracker lightens up the office atmosphere with giggles, dancing, messing up every room 12 minutes after I have cleaned it and changing her outfits multiple times a day.

  Alpha is definitely Head of Security, training on the Xbox and learning how to whack people with lacrosse sticks. 

We can’t forget the independent contractors:  (Or sometimes referred to as the workers in the “small neighborhood children running all over my house” department.) The multitudes of little neighborhood children (who I love).  These little cutie pies are constantly stopping in the house for little meetings.  The topics of these are usually strategizing about pulling out every toy in the house and throwing it on the floor, presentations painted on rugs with nail polish and snack breaks every 15 minutes to eat all the food we have in the house.  (These are, of course, supported practices, as most of MY little people in this office are doing them same thing over at their offices.)

Thor always wins employee of the day for coming home from his bigger office job and helps me sort out this hot mess over here.

  I love my co-workers.

  And after my shift is over, when hopefully the house is straightened, the dishes are  in the washer, lights are off and doors are locked ,Thor and I can crawl into bed.

It’s a charming scenario: me, happily sipping my chardonnay and Thor, quietly wanting to kill me for making him watch Toddlers and Tiaras.  No one said life is easy, but dayum, it sure is good.

Happy Anniversary Simple Dude!  I am a proud Simpleton.

31
Jul
11

Introducing a wonderful new website….


CHECK IT OUT

TA DA!!!!

A new website!

 

 

 

http://holdthesulfites.com/

It’s awesome, ya’all.

My friend Tracy, who I met through my awesome Dr. Unger, is my Sulfite-not Guru.  She has put together a really informative and easy to navigate website for peeps like us and she really has developed superior knowledge on the subject.  It also helps that she is also really handy in the kitchen.  She often helps me out on here with some great comments and suggestions, so make sure you add her to your useful site links.

I personally am looking for updated things to make, since I am starting up tomorrow on detox and eating clean again.  Thor is starting on his journey to lose 40 pounds by his 40th birthday in May.  It should get pretty interesting around here.

So I am making my shopping list for the week and I am making my meals list.

I am going to start by making a whole chicken today (with an apple shoved right in the cavity, thanks to Tracy’s suggestion…YOWZA).

EXCUSE ME. DO I KNOW YOU?

I will then save the broth and make a tortilla-esque soup (without the tortillas.  Should be a travesty.  Will take pictures.)

I am on a kick right now making smoothies with Greek yogurt, a bit of milk, frozen organic mix of berries, a banana and a touch of honey.  I will continue to mix that up for breakfast with some homemade bread I have cooking now…I usually put honey on that…breakfast is hard and I was thrilled to see a mouth-watering, spicy option on Tracy’s site…spicy sausage, so I am going to give that a try as well this week.

I love me some artichokes so I I am going to have that for lunch one day…and I will probably stick to salads with some of the Sunday chicken I am going to make.  I make my own lemon based dressing with fresh herbs from the garden.  I got addicted to Hidden Valley ranch again and for some CRAZY reason, it doesn’t seem to affect me, except making my ass really, really FAT.

Baked potatoes are great for lunch as well….and I am going to try some Hormel chicken breast lunch meat and maybe the ham for sammies…I hear that they are sulfite-free and people have had success with them.  That would be great in a salad, as well.

Dinners are going to be interesting because Thor is going to need to eat lean and I am trying to eat clean.  So I can have a nice whopping steak and he can only have one the size of Bambi’s fist.  Poor Thor.  It will be interesting all around to have to please all 5 eaters in this house that have restrictions.  The girls are just plain picky as hell.  Although,  Alpha, God love him, will eat anything…

Things I can’t do:

*Cut of the crust on everyone’s grilled cheese sammies and shove them in my mouth.  Then say, “Oh my.  I forgot to eat lunch.”  Wake up, fat ass.  You did, and it was a sulfite pit of hell.

*Do well all day and then blow it while watching Project Runway with a handful of Cheeze It’s at 9:45pm

*go ANYWHERE without some approved food with me.  The pool is Satan’s Sulfite Haven for cheating.  The snack bar literally has not one thing that I can eat, but I go there every day and if I forget to bring something to eat, I am lunging for a piece of pizza or sneaking nachos and evil cheese from my poor children, while yelling, “Bambi!  Look over there!” They hate me when I do that.  And I hate me, too.

*Forget that, even though my joints are not swelling to a point of paralysis, what I put in my mouth is making me very sick still.  So self, don’t F*ck up.  Love me.  Take care of me.  Let’s get some Stuart Smalley all up in here, lady.  It’s time to rock this OUT!

THE GREAT EXPERIMENT

I am hoping to have a phone meeting with my pal, THE VOICE, to get her on the same page.  We are avoiding each other because we do not want to take “before” shots.  And I don’t blame us.

Have a great rest of the weekend, all!!

26
Jul
11

And She is Alive….


….Hello…hello??? (Tap tap tap) Is this thing on????

(Such a stupid corny joke but I could not stop myself.)

I thought it might be time for an update…

Hello lovelies!

I have been under a rock for awhile.  Mainly because I didn’t know what to do about this blog.  Massive avoidance.

At first I was like, OMG!  I don’t have a sulfite allergy!  I have Rheumatoid Arthritis.  YAY!   Wait.  What?

Then I was like, oh.  That sucks.  Little did I know that I have BOTH.  Or more properly, I probably have a side effect or side disorder of this allergy that compliments the RA.  No one has been able to tell me that for sure.  My RA Doc insists that the sulfite thing is not true.  My lovable Dr. Unger is supportive.  I pick number #2.

But I thought all my worries were over with meds.  So what does one do?  Eat cheese.

You see, I started Enbrel and it sort of changed my life.  My RA has gone pretty much into remission.  (Or so I thought.)  I was actually able to EAT things again and still walk after 4 hours.

So then I was like, OMG.  The cure for a sulfite allergy is biologics!

Wait the the free world hears about this!!

I felt GREAT.  I was running up stairs.  I was eating garlic and onions!  I was chasing my kids and drinking yummy wine and….

was also about to stroke out. Or at least, paving the way to an eventual stroke or heart attack.

All of the sudden my BP was going nuts.  Now, granted I have all my kids home this summer and I am literally exhausted from entertaining them.  But I was starting to seriously bloat.  Like,

BLOAT

In my face and my ankles and my stomach…and of course, I always would get the notion to get it checked out on the weekends or Weds. when my awesome and lovable DR. is off.  Seriously.  It’s so Murphy’s Law.  He office is also far and going to see him takes about 5 hours out of my day.  I am living in the land of teaching, playdates, pools and Great America so instead of taking a day to myself, I just put it off.

In less than three months, I have gained 26 pounds.  HELLO LADY!

Truth.

My crazy woman self -diagnosing started kicking in.  I figured out that I was eating the sulfites and my body didn’t know what to DO with that information.   My body was like,” shit, wait, somethings not right…CURSES TO YOU, ENBREL, we can’t make her joints swell!  Let’s….um….I don’t know…spike her blood pressure….kick her kidneys so she doesn’t pee!…see how she likes that!”  It seemed that sometimes TMI I was having trouble peeing and when that happened, by BP would jump up.  Crazy shenanigans, I tell you.

I could say this: Thor is my witness that this is not just me eating 5 Buena Beefs with a side of cheese fries a day.  I am simply not eating enough to pack on that weight. Or am I?  I mean, REALLY.  I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE OBESE WOMEN CRYING ON JENNY JONES THAT I DON’T EAT ANYTHING!!!  (or wait, am I?)  Seriously, dude.  That did NOT take long for me to gain that. Renee Zellwiger would be very impressed.  But, seriously, the swell reaction is intense.  You can see my face a couple of hours after I eat something and I look like

THIS

So finally one day, my BP was high and it was stuck up there for a few days, I felt like crap and it was of course a WEDNESDAY, so I called my old dr around here who did me so wrong for years…so, so wrong…but they were actually civil and gave me a diuretic.  Which I just started.  Now I am tired, dizzy and I pee.  All. The. Time.  And I can’t go in the sun.  But I have to.  Because all I do is go to the pool with my kids.  So now I may get skin cancer. And pass out and drown in the water.  Or something.  Stay tuned.

Look.  I gained this weight because I slowly started to eat crap again.  Do I think I am carrying 25 pounds of water weight?  Puh-leeze.  My blood pressure is also probably up again because I am a fat ass.  Werd.  But I need to get back on track here.  Especially since Thor is going to be 40 in 9 months so he is starting a regimen to lose 40 pounds by 40.  And he will lose it all quickly and I will want to stab him in his sleep.  So let’s do this bitch. I will NOT have him leave me in the dust and I WILL NOT have the man who does not blog, all of the sudden blog MORE that me.  GAME ON, MISTER.

Hopefully this will help.  Time will tell.  For  now, I have to say, I have to go back to clean eating.

GUEST ARTIST COMING SOON:

One of my dearest friends in the world, one of my BFF’s from high school, let’s call her…THE VOICE (lol she will appreciate that inside joke) is going to go on a little clean living journey with me.  So starts the trek.  I promise you a blogging world filled with nasty before and after pictures, 2 dorks in the kitchen, some possible sulfite-free  wine-induced blogging and most probably some bloody tears. She is really organized, stays on my ass and kicks it repeatedly, so there should be more follow through on this than the last little project of cooking and blogging that I started on here.

But I have to be honest with myself .

Dear Self,

Just because I have found a blessed band-aid for my disease AT THE MOMENT (these biologic meds have a tendency to stop working after awhile and sometimes riddle you with cancer.  Rah!) I know that I need to go back to staying away from sulfites.

Love,

Myself

Little sulfitenots, sorry I have been on a fat collecting, Brimstone Demon-filled vacation, but I am back now and ready to party, sulfite-free style.

WOOT!

07
Mar
11

I want to make out with an appliance.


(cue porn music here)

 

The Cuisinart CBK200 Bread Maker

Click on that hot little number and you can do a price check for the cheapest deal.

I make bread in that almost every day.

When I wake up in the morning, I can smell it wafting up the stairs.

The Barry White greatest hits soundtrack is running through my head as I float down to the kitchen and slither over to the machine, mouth drooling as I pull out the hot loaf that I had preset to cook overnight.

I leave the butter out the night before to be nice and soft and ready to spread on the hot, steamy deliciousness of homecooked, sulfite-free rosemary homemade yummernummerness.

No one talk to me until I am done.

Someone have a cigarette?

 

Seriously, this thing rocks.   In a world where I literally sometimes have to go two days without eating much of anything because I am too busy to prepare food, I can always fill up on some insanely amazing bread.  (I did not eat until 9:20pm last night after a crazy day of a kids birthday party, a lacrosse game and a 3 hour rehearsal downtown.  Wait.  Why am I not thinner?  Oh yeah.  Bread and Butter.) I have played around with different ingredients and last night I actually made the perfect loaf.  I not only have found the best flour, but the most amazing imported olive oil.

The recipe does not call for much, water, salt (I use sea salt, of course), dried rosemary (I used organic but in summer, I will dry out my own from the garden and use that), yeast, flour and oil.  The flour that I am using is Bob’s Red Mill unbleached flour, perfect for bread making.  I got mine at Whole Foods, but I am thinking I can probably get it in the organic section at The Jewel.  And the other key ingredient was this INSANELY OUTRAGEOUS amazing olive oil that I bought bootleg from my neighbor down the street, well call him Antonio (of course) and he has started to import goods from his cousin’s farm in Sicily.  He came over to our house with a basket of charmingly packaged items like olive pate, homemade marmalade, bruchetta, marinaded eggplant…I know SULFITE ALARM but I did buy the olive tapenade for Thor and one for my mom.  I got the bruchetta for me.  Yes, it has some garlic and onions in it.  Yes, I will risk it.   He was such a good salesmen, though…he was so cute with his thick accent too….he was like, “Oh-a, this, eh, marme-la-da, you pick-a da….orange?  And you pick it-a, PICK IT-A, (and he is acting it all out like little italian man charades) the orange-a and you-a, cut-a the orange-a and you eh, put it jar POOF!….”

Talking to Antonio, Thor and I were immediately taken back to our amazing Mediterranean cruise we went on two years ago and all hyped up with the reminiscent feelings of our magical adventure, were totally fooled and charmed, so we bought all this crap I can’t eat.  American suckers.

But we were smart enough to buy two bottles of the Piazza extra virgin olive oil.  You can’t get this anywhere but here and Sicily, the operation is very covert and a bit Ian Fleming.  If you want me to hook you up, let me know.  They are getting wines in 3 weeks and Limoncello.  It’s all very slutty.  They have a website that they are still working on and I will let you know when it’s up.

My point is, find a really organic, fantastic EVOO.  We have a place called The Olive Tap near us in Long Grove, Illinois that has a wonderful section of not only olive oils, but vinegars.  (Vinegar not good for us sulfite-nots)  It’s also really cool in there because they have gorgeous Italian-inspired items, knick-knacks, crap I don’t need for my kitchen.

Now, a cookbook came with my breadmaker and truthfully, I can’t make a lot of the recipes.  I do love making the french bread and my favorite is the Rosemary bread.  The machine has been a lifesaver for me and I do recommend that if you are handy in the kitchen, like MOI, and don’t have a lot of time, invest in one and you too will find that there might eventually be lipstick imprints all over the stainless steel.

And I can just bet that your favorite cycle will be “knead.”  Enjoy!

 

 

 

19
Feb
11

Goal of the day: Do not stroke out.


Oh yeah.
So I go on Enbrel and my RA is amazingly in remission.
Dude. I RAN up the stairs the other day.
Thor said, “Heather. You just ran up the stairs.”

OHMIGOD!
Cool!

But for some wack-a-doo reason, my blood pressure is freaking out. AlrightalrightalRIGHT.  STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT.  Ok.  I have been cheating, people. A teeeeeeeeny bit.  I admit it. I thought I would test out the waters since I have been on the new meds.  I got a little cocky and decided to shove some ion SO2−3 in my mouth.  See what happens.


Funny.  It didn’t look like this in the grilled cheese sandwich I shoved in my mouth.

 

I think all this evil sulfite compound is doing is shaving important hours off of my life. I called my loving, adorable and very talented Dr.Mike (and Facebooked him.  Oops. He might just kill me at my appointment on Monday. Stay tuned for the results.) and he is going to fix me up but good.
I also talked to my Rheumy nurse to rule out this as a side effect of Enbrel and she said no but she was concerned about my BP (it’s hovering constantly around 160/107) but she told me to just take it easy this weekend…“lie in a darkened room and relax all weekend until you can get in to see Dr. Mike.”)
Oh, that’s rich. HA.  HA HA.  Stop….stop making me laugh…snorting….my rock hard abs hurt from laughing so hard….milk spittake ensues.
There is no resting in a dark room.  Not over here at the residence of  666 Chaos Lane, in CrazyHeatherville, USA.
I am a mother of three wild children, a vocal recital to run today…overnight guests coming and and a lacrosse game, just to name a couple of things on my dance card for the next 24 hours.
DAMN YOU, Regal Theatre movie pretzel with a side of cheese!
I CURSE YOU, baloney sandwich on Wonder Bread white. (Oh, hot dayum, that tasted good.)

So I am medicating myself with advil and much later, in my darkened room, a glass or 2 of wine.

*********************************

Is my BP high from the food?

We will see. I am going cold turkey and see if it will come down.  Is my body just really pissed at me because I am taking Enbrel and it won’t let me swell?  So now it like, ok bitch ,that’s how you want to play it….ZAP!  (blood pressure spike HERE!  and HERE!….and just when you think it’s going down to normal…HERE!)

I do have a really swollen lymph node in the armpit of my….armpit….lovely, no?  And it really hurts.  I feel like crap so I might just have some little bug. Enbrel basically kills my immune system and kids have been sick all around me this week.   Seriously.  Like one kid at a Valentines party sneezed right on me.  It was all over my arm.  Gag.  That, and Alpha sneezed on the butter the other day.  I mean it.  For reals.

Wish me luck, wish me willpower, wish me to live through the day…happy weekend everyone!

04
Feb
11

Pump Fake (quite literally)


Today was my training with Thor for my first Embrel injection.

What we learned today:  I am a suckass wimp.

And so is Thor.

I had to go in to get my first shot shot today of this new biologic drug that is supposed to not only make me feel better, but basically make me symptom-free.  Which is just about perfect timing as yesterday I was calling friends to see if anyone had a cane lying around that I could borrow to walk around.  Jeez, Louise.

So we get there and because insurance is so annoying, they had to give me a sample.  They get me all prepped, (Thor was supposed to give it to me but he “assured” me that it was probably best and easier if I do it a.k.a.  Thor=pussy.)  Alright, so he’s not a pussy, he is very sweet,.  I am just trying to make myself  look better.

So I have to drop my pants

and get up on the table with Thor and Dr. Rheumy and Nurse Nice.  (She is very nice and helpful.)  Dropping trough in front of strangers is never fun.  And I wished that I hadn’t worn “that” underwear.

My rheumy is french and rather, well, hot.  And she is a very, very smart blonde and I have a feeling she can also really cook.  So she is trying to instruct me how to do it and I have to take the alcohol swab and rub it in a certain direction and then I do it but I bump my hand on it and I have “contaminated” the area we has just swabbed so we have to re-swab and well, there were a lot of disappointed french sounds being uttered but she was being as patient as she could be with a blonde trying to give herself her first injection.

And do I finally and do and it was cake! So Easy!  Didn’t hurt in the least!

Cause it was defective.

Total dud.  Absolute pump fake.  HEY!  Sue that pharmaceutical salesmen and let me kick his ass because now we have to wait another 10 minutes for the next sample to cool down and do shove it in my other thigh.

I put my pants back on and Thor and I stared at each other for another 10 minutes.

I know it worked the second time cause it freaken hurt.  And it takes about 15 seconds for it to all get in there so yeah, ow.  But I am a warrior and I plowed through.

“Oh Embrel, course through my body, heal all wounds and swollen joints, help me walk pup the stairs without tripping and falling into the wall.”
So far, so good.  I seem a bit more tired than usual, but I am not bleeding about the eyes and ears and that’s all that really matters.  The only really important thing is that I cannot get sick.  Really.  Like, don’t sneeze near me or touch me if you have an infection or rub on me if you are pussy or leaking anything.  And really just don’t ever really rub on me in any situation.

I was worried because I have heard that the quick pen version of how my meds are injected has preservatives in it but so far, so good.  I have read where some sulfitenots use the version of the drug where they have to mix it themselves and shoot it that way and that is just a little bit too Sid and Nancy for me, so I hope this one works…

I still have to stay on my steroids for now, and i think they mask a lot of my sulfite reactions, so I will continue to gain weight as I have been cheating and sneaking some little things here and there.  Like blonde oreos…cause…well…you know…

Happy weekend to all!
XO

Heather

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

31
Jan
11

Kale Chips


Crunchy Kale Chips

By Marge  (Found this awesome recipe from a great RA site, called RA Warriors.  Check out some of the other recipes that might be adjusted for us. Kelly Young’s RA Site.)


Ingredients

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ Tablespoons salt (or less, they’re pretty salty)  (USE SEA SALT, OF COURSE)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch kale, rinsed

Directions

Tear kale leaves from tough center stem.  Tear or cut leaves into 2 to 3 inch pieces. Put pieces in a large bowl.

Mix vinegar, oil, and salt in a small cup and drizzle over kale.  Then mix by hand trying to get all the leaves covered.

Place on 2 cookie sheets and bake at 350 F until they are crispy. It helps to flip them over and move them around with a spatula at about 10 minutes in to make sure they bake evenly.

After about 20 minutes, if it looks like they are not sizzling a bit or getting a little crispy, turn up the heat to 400°F. Time for baking varies depending on the size of your chips and desired crispness.

Note from Marge: Antioxidants are needed to help fight RA.  Kale is loaded with them.  If you’ve never been fond of green leafy vegetables, do not worry.  These crispy chips will fool you into thinking you’re noshing on something much more indulgent. Think potato chips with a kick.




Heather Moran

Crazed sulfite-free woman.

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