The One Where Madison Rambles and Updates You on Life

Happy Friday everyone! I hope if you are experiencing cold weather right now you are doing your best to stay warm and are toughing through it. And if you are currently experiencing warm weather… eh, I don’t have anything nice to say to you. Except give us back the sun!! 😉

Today is going to be a rather short post since I have a surprise for you.

I made a vlog!

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After doing a Blogilates workout on my TV I was inspired to make my own video and give you a little update on what has been going on with me stomach-wise. I swear that I am not hyped up on anything in this post, despite what my wandering eyes and random tangents may lead you to believe…

A few thoughts about the video:

  • Sorry again for the horrible lighting and earthquake-like shaking that resulted from me holding the camera by hand for 15 minutes straight.
  • Oh ya, and sorry for the 15 minute length too. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- with strangers I’m a closed book, but if you can get me talking I’ll never stop!
  • The Blogilates workout that I did today was this one. And the one I did yesterday was a bit longer as a Whole Body Workout. I highly recommend either, and despite their fun titles, those are some serious workouts!
  • Yes, I was still in my pajamas when I recorded the video. Well, I actually took a shower and changed back into them to do the exercise video, so that’s a little better, right?
  • I realized why it was so dark in my living room AFTER I was finished recording– my mom closes the drapes at night to help with insulation and the temperature inside, and we had yet to open them for the day. *Head smack*
  • Of course I will let you know what I find out with the health tests with my new doctor.
  • These are the PaleOMG pancakes that I was talking about. I’ll share more about my adjustments in a future post.
  • While I didn’t take any medicine for my fever, I want to assure you that if my fever had gone any higher or hadn’t broke that day, I would have definitely taken some medicine to bring it down. Test or not, I’m not willing to risk my health for something like that.
  • I am feeling much better but still need a little recovery time. Hopefully by Monday when I return to school I’ll be back to normal.
  • Seriously, I AM excited to go back to school. Call me strange if you must 😉
  • Obviously I am linking up this post to Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud because I literally thought out loud. Ha.

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Now, once again, happy Friday! I hope you all have a marvelous (warm) weekend and I’ll talk to you soon.

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Questions for you:

  • Have you ever made a vlog?
  • Do you prefer video or word posts?
  • Has the cold spell passed where you live?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?

Food for the…

I was very tempted not to post today but since Wednesday was the only day that I blogged so far this week I decided I had better put something up. Also, I kind of already had this all planned out ahead of time (I love when that happens!) so it wouldn’t take as long as usual. For the past week I’ve been carrying around a notebook with me and when I get the rare free moment before class I’ll jot down some blog posts ideas or notes. For Wednesday’s I actually had the entire intro written out by hand before typing it up. I would really recommend this for those, like me, who get spurts of inspiration on the go, promise yourself that you won’t forget your aha moment, and then when it comes down to finally write… nothing but blank space and musical crickets in that noggin of yours up there.

Before I get into all of the articles, links, pictures, etc. that I want to share, I suppose that I should probably explain briefly why I didn’t want to post today. Quite simply I just don’t feel well. Even though I haven’t mentioned it for awhile, my stomach and allergies are still battling with me full-force. Not a day goes by where I can go without stomach pain (or a number of other problems), not want to scream over my boring bowl of vegetables and meat, or feel like things will never get better.

I’ve been thinking lately about what I would do if we really did undergo a zombie apocalypse like so many have been gunning for. Most likely my companions would abandon me after a day or two of not being able to keep up. My reasoning behind this statement is  that my body would be rejecting the canned/boxed foods that I would be forced to eat and I would be no help.

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“Give me the box of funfetti cake mix, a bottle of water and a fork, and let me die in blissful stomach-wrenching indulgence!”

You see, I had to be practical here. When I eat “normal” food I am literally incapacitated to the point where I cannot function at even 50% so the most likely scenario is that those who I was trying to escape the grips of zombies with would have to leave me so that they had a chance of survival. But if I had to die, I would want to at least die eating cake batter with a fork straight from the box.

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We’ve got to think of all of the possibilities here folks. I would also take a jar of nut butter if deemed necessary.

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And with those images left fresh in your brain, I’m moving onto some of the recent things that I’ve found interesting on the web:

FOOD FOR THE MIND

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Whose Responsibility is It? — from Long Drive Journey

The Air Diet — from Healthy Helper

Looks Can Be Deceiving — also from Healthy Helper

This is Not a Joke — from Picky Runner

The Comparison Trap with Blogging — from The Big Man’s World

Keep Calm… and Rest — from Running with Spoons

Journaling: Yes or No? — from Jessie Loves to Run

Here’s the Deal — from Gluten-Free Girl

The Shrinking Woman — from Kath Eats Real Food

FOOD FOR THE BELLY

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Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt Dip — from Nibbles and Noshes

Apple Gouda Quiche — from Clean Eats Fast Feets

Bean Balls and Spaghetti Squash Noodles — from The Little Honey Bee

Simple Chorizo Butternut Squash Hash — from PaleOMG

Pumpkin Pie STUFT Paleo N’Oats — from STUFT Mama

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie — from Peachy Palate

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles — from The Healthy Maven

Cranberry Streusel Cheesecake Bars — from Peas and Crayons

Everything Puppy Chow — from Me (Arman, this is fueled by your Instagram comment 😉 )

FOOD FOR THE EYES

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The Brown Eye Blue Eye Experiment — from Jane Elliott

Maleficent Trailer — from Disney

Divergent Trailer — from Summit Entertainment

Hilariously Awesome Dance 3 — from Carroll Senior Powderpuff Cheerleaders

What’s New on Netflix this Month — from Vulture

New Catching Fire Clip — from HG Fansite

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

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Happy Birthday! — Slices of Sarah Pie

Congratulations on First Place! — from Peanut Butter Lover

Awesome Figure Competition — from Sprint 2 the Table

Ironman Finisher (and amazing recap) — from Meals and Miles

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Questions for you:

What is your weekly Food for the… Mind, Belly, Eyes, and Soul?

What are you thoughts on some of these articles? A couple of them are pretty thought-provoking and controversial. I have mixed feelings on a few and would love to hear your input!

What food would you want to be left behind with in the event of a zombie apocalypse? (Yep… if you skipped the first part of this post you missed a doozy!)

Gastric Emptying Test Results (WIAW Edition)

First of all… Happy Wednesday! We are (almost) half way through the week! 🙂

Second of all, yesterday I wrote a guest post for the lovely Olivia at Liv Lives Life while she was on vacation. In my post I share 5 Surprising Foods That Contain Eggs. It’s a must-read for vegans, those with egg allergies/intolerances, or just for people looking for some interesting tid bits.

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Next up I need to share a health update because I realized yesterday I have been promising that for a week or two now and have failed to deliver. I’m just going to throw it all out there and then move on because I’m still kind of frustrated with this whole thing… ready? 😉

(This is obviously not your usual WIAW, but as always thanks to Jenn for hosting this weekly party!)

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Okay. So two and a half weeks ago approximately I went in to have a gastric emptying study performed at my local hospital. A gastric emptying study is basically where you eat food that has been injected with radioactive markers and then for 1-4 hours depending on that particular hospital’s protocol they x-ray your stomach to track how fast it is digesting the food. They usually will feed you a few eggs but in my case I had to bring in my own gluten-free oatmeal because of my egg and wheat allergies.

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(Source)

At 7:00AM that morning I went the hospital with my mom and checked in. 30 minutes later the nurse took me back to a preparation room where she made my oatmeal in a styrofoam cup and I ate it while answering some basic health questions about my symptoms. The nurse asked if I wanted any sugar or splenda which I politely declined. She was quite impressed by my ability to eat all of the oatmeal. At one point she actually said “Try your hardest to get it down.” I was slightly confused. I’ve always preferred plain oatmeal and since I hadn’t had it in forever (on account of hit hurting my stomach) I was glad for an excuse to have some.

After I ate the oatmeal I asked if she wanted me to just throw it away. She quickly said no and pulled out a brand new trash bag to put it in. I didn’t quite understand until she tied up the bag and put it in a radioactive waste bin and secured the lid. I laughed and told her that I almost forgot that it was full of harmful chemicals.

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When the prep was done she took me back to a dark room where a kind of futuristic machine was located. I had to lay down on a skinny, padded slab and she put in elbow props and a pillow beneath my knee so I was more comfortable. Then she raised the platform so I was high off the ground, and moved me forward so that my stomach was beneath the white x-ray contraption. She told me that it would last 1 1/2 hours and that it would go by quickly if I tried to fall asleep.

Well, I wish I had known that before or I wouldn’t have worn my contacts. I did manage to fall asleep a few times, but each time I did I had pretty crazy dreams about pizza, my stomach being a monster and trying to eat me… and probably even more but I forget now.

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The 1 1/2 hours passed by quite slowly but eventually I was done and she lowered the slab so that I could get off. After that she walked me back out to my mom in the waiting room and we left.

Then I just waited to hear back my results from the hospital.

That next week I called in and after a wild goose chase of me calling them, them calling me, my mom calling them, them calling me… I finally got through to hear my results. The nurse told me that my gastric emptying study showed delayed (or slow) gastric emptying.

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Gastroparesis is the technical term for delayed gastric emptying.

*I put an asterisk by the symptoms that I frequently have below.

The most common symptoms of gastroparesis are:

  • Chronic nausea (sometimes)
  • Chronic diarrhea (or constipation)*
  • Vomiting (especially of undigested food)

Other symptoms include:

  • Palpitations (sometimes)
  • Heartburn*
  • Abdominal pain*
  • Abdominal bloating*
  • Erratic blood glucose levels (I have been able to control this with lower sugar meals)
  • Lack of appetite*
  • Gastroesophageal reflux*
  • Spasms of the stomach wall*

Morning nausea may also indicate gastroparesis. Vomiting may not occur in all cases, as sufferers may adjust their diets to include only small amounts of food (this would be me, but thankfully while I have severely limited my diet to prevent nausea most of the time, I am getting enough calories in to maintain my weight and energy for the most part)*

Source: wikipedia

Here are some common complications due to gastroparesis:

  • Fluctuations in blood glucose due to unpredictable digestion times (in diabetic patients)
  • General malnutrition due to the symptoms of the disease (which frequently include vomiting and reduced appetite) as well as the dietary changes necessary to manage it
  • Severe fatigue and weight loss due to calorie deficit
  • Intestinal obstruction due to the formation of bezoars (solid masses of undigested food)
  • Bacterial infection due to overgrowth in undigested food

Source: Again, wikipedia. They are just too helpful sometimes 🙂

There are a variety of treatment options, including:

  • Medication
  • Low fiber, low fat diet
  • Smaller meals
  • Liquid diet
  • FODMAPS diet
  • Surgery

Source: just general research on the subject matter

When the nurse told me that I had slow gastric emptying, she also said that I would need to schedule an appointment to speak with my doctor about medication options. Reglan and Domperidone were the two that she mentioned if I remember correctly.

I still haven’t been in to see the doctor since I live a few hours away and she is only available during the week with regular business hours. The other reason is that I kind of don’t have any plans to take the medicine that she is wanting to prescribe me.

That may sound crazy to some of you because of how much I complain about my stomach but just hear me out.

While gastroparesis may sound like a diagnosis, it’s really not. Much like IBS slow/rapid gastric emptying is just an umbrella diagnosis. There is no known cause for idipathic gastroparesis (slow gastric emptying without diabetes or surgery being the probably root problem) although there is much speculation.

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Gastroparesis just like my food allergies is most likely the result of some bigger cause like leaky gut, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, autoimmune disease, diabetes, etc. Medication will not heal me. It would just mask the symptoms somewhat if it actually was effective.

And that’s another portion of why I don’t really want to take the medicine. Reglan in particular is meant to be a short term medication used for only a few weeks.

wiaw-gp-reglan

Reglan can also have some terrible side effects:

  • Dizziness or drowsiness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tardive dyskinesia
  • Parkinson-like symptoms
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Mood changes
  • Headaches

Source: Health Central

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So you can see why I’m not too keen on taking it, right? Plus, it wouldn’t cure the underlying cause of all of my problems which is my ultimate goal.

I have been looking into some gastroparesis blogs for tips though on managing the symptoms. Most are ones that I already try to follow but I will let you guys know if I find anything particularly useful.

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There are many who say that they are amazed that I deal with the daily stomach pain, but I feel like this picture from Pinterest explains my thoughts on the matter perfectly:

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(Source)

 

Just share your thoughts for today!

Whatever you want. Inspirational quotes. What you ate for WIAW. Your plans for the rest of the week. I’m all ears 🙂

The One Where I Eat Radioactive Food and Turn Into a Superhero (WIR)

Happy Fourth of July to you all!

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(Source)

First, I want to start this post off by thanking everyone for the super sweet comments on my past few posts, especially on those from this week with my brother’s birthday cookie dough cake.

I actually forgot to include a picture on my WIAW to prove that it was actually I who made cake so here is that… 😉

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So proud!

Random factoid: Another thing that I forgot to mention was that my mom also helped out with making some pieces of the cake. In particular, this is her hand helping me put on the chocolate chips. One by one. As I freaked out because the frosting was melting. The original recipe poster mentioned that she had to throw the chocolate chips on the cake to get them to stick. I thought she was kidding at first but then when I reached that step I realized there is no easy way to attach mini chocolate chips to a vertical surface…

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Now with that out of the way I can get on to the bulk of today’s post: a short Week in Review via Meghan!

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My weekend officially started when I made some waffles for my parents.

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I found the recipe on Paleo Parents, and they were extremely simple to make. I made a total of three Belgian waffles in all.

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The recipe is much different than the usual grain-free recipe in that it doesn’t involve any almond flour, but a combination of an apple, banana, nut butter, eggs and coconut flour (I used coconut flour, but the original recipe called for arrowroot powder).

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I realize that these waffles look like they are chocolate-flavored; however, I guarantee that they are cocoa-free! It’s just the nut butter combined with fruit/eggs that caused the darker, golden color.

While waiting for the waffles to cook I hung out on the floor with Lilly. I miss her so much during the week so it’s nice when I get to come home and just relax with her on my lap. Or in this case convince her to look at the camera.

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Aren’t her expressions hilarious? I swear she only looks like that when she notices that I have my camera out and am taking pictures of her…

Later on that weekend after my brother’s party was over I experimented in making some “chocolate” chip cookies with homemade carob chips and grain-free flours. I also tried out a vegan version, which my mom said had a better taste, but unfortunately with the lack of egg didn’t stay together well enough.

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The dough on the left contains ghee and eggs, and the dough on the left is vegan with coconut oil and banana.

Here is a picture of the finished cookies with eggs:

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I still want to work on the recipe a little more before actually posting. Only the best for you guys!

And I visited my other dog Riley while I was outside taking cookie pictures. He started barking when he saw me and I couldn’t stay away. He is such a good boy!

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He even gave me a “handshake” when he starting pawing my arm as I was petting him… 😉

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Skip forward a bit to the middle of this week, I went shopping at Big Lots again. Last time I bought some birthday presents and scoped out the foreign foods aisle. This time I bought up 9 packages of Fourre biscuits in chocolate and strawberry (for some reason the product’s website only lists the lemon version…?) for my mom’s Reading Program snack on the first day.

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Random factoid #2: I just woke up after falling asleep around 10:00PM (It is now 12:41PM) and am working quickly to finish up this post so I can shut my eyes for real this time. It’s especially important because I have to get up at 5:30AM tomorrow to go the hospital for a gastric emptying study.

Yep. Another test. I’ll share more about the procedure once it’s done and I have the results, but basically I have to eat a bowl of instant oatmeal that they’ve injected with radioactive markers (not dangerous). During the study then they use an x-ray machine to trace the meal as I digest the food and measure how quickly my stomach is working on it. You can either have slow, normal or rapid emptying. I really am not looking forward to the test because my stomach does not like oatmeal. I haven’t had oatmeal in over a year because I always get bloated after eating it… Yay! 😛

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Today being a holiday my family gathered together to celebrate at Pizza Hut. We used to always go to my grandma and grandpa’s house and have big, fancy meals, but since they are getting older we try to make it easy on them.

Random factoid #3: I forgot to mention this, but a few weeks ago my grandma fell and broke her hip, so I slowed down a lot on commenting for a few days as I was just overwhelmed with that as she had to go in for a hip replacement surgery. She’s doing pretty well now though. I’d be really grateful if you kept her in your prayers for a speedy recovery!

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After getting back from lunch the four of us (my dad, mom, brother and I) all settle in and watched two movies: Warm Bodies from Redbox and Charlie Bartlett from Netflix.

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I really recommend watching both as they were quite good. Both were quirky, hilarious, and had really great casts.

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That’s basically all I have for today. Just know that while you are all still sleeping tomorrow morning, I will be eating radioactive food and possibly turn into a superhero. Or perhaps a zombie, which I realize is more likely, but I’m all about the positive today.

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What is your random factoid for the day?

How did you celebrate July 4th (or Canada on Monday for some of you)?

If you could be any superhero, which one would you pick?