Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Diets"

I came across this article today. Never thought I'd find it so intriguing. These are all diets I'm either on myself (probiotics and coconut) or know someone on them (green smoothie, paleo, and gluten free). The nice thing about the "diets" this time around  is that they're not, "Hey, take this diet pill and you'll lose weight." These diets are all about feeling good. People are sick of feeling yucky because of what they're eating. I know I am. Anyway, I just thought it was fun to find.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Week 2 re-cap: Just Listen

First of all, let me just say it's way easier to change your food habits than it is to send your kid back to public school. Way, Way easier.

I'm actually to the point where I've slowed down the fiber drink (actually, it kind of grows on you and now I miss it...) If you like hot cereals, it's pretty similar. My friend says not to compare foods, because then you set yourself up for expectations, but I did feel like it was this new cereal I didn't have to heat up every morning. I've also been able to enjoy myself with the foods I can eat, once I added the coconut and nuts back in, so I wasn't so spacey and losing weight so fast. It's time to start implementing regular foods back in (according to me and me only. Other people would tell me to wait. If I am going too fast, I'll try again after Christmas, but I am sort of modifying the plan to what  feels right to me. And to me, I feel as long as I keep a high quantity of garlic, probiotics, garlic, coconut, and herbs in my diet, and keep attacking this thing from all angles, I'll be able to stop being the girl that can't eat anything. And I'll stop having my friends think I starve myself.

So I haven't started adding too much yet. I'll start with a few fruits and veggies. I think grains will probably be the last thing added back in. And corn. I figure, my whole family is allergic to corn, so it's highly possible I jumped in that boat, too. But I refuse to stay allergic to everything. I don't know how much willpower really has control over it, but I've got it in spades. There are way too many treats and yummy things in life to stay allergic. I'll just remember to be careful with what I eat, and stick to whole, less modified foods. I've felt an inkling for a while that all the modified foods are killing the human race. I'm guessing that inkling is probably for a reason...

Also, in case you are wondering: it's not a good idea to become allergic to everything while you're trying to pull off a Halloween carnival (including 200 bags of cotton candy. In your kitchen), having your heartstrings pulled by a teacher who needs to raise money at a bake sale and had NO parents volunteer to help (I'm actually utterly disgusted), and donate your time and your baking skills to teach a class on how to decorate cupcakes for a local charity. You know, in case you ever get to pick when you form a major allergy. And in case you ever DO decide to become allergic to everything (decide... ha), don't expect people to understand. I think that's been the hardest part of all of this. People can't understand. They tell me it must be a gluten intolerance; that they felt like they were allergic to yeast, too, and it was just a gluten problem. Or that maybe if I just tried something I am leery of eating, I'd be fine. Or even how dare I not be able to eat anything with milk, grains, and sugars. I should just stop rocking the boat and eat what people make. That last one really gets to me. Really? You don't think I'd love to delve into all the delicious soups and stews? Or the cornbread? Even Mashed potatoes and gravy?

And oh! The pumpkin treats!

And when I decline, people think I'm starving myself. I almost wish I'd been a plus-size my whole life instead of skinny-mini. When you lose weight suddenly when you're bigger, people sing praises. When you are already too thin, people make you eat everything. Even if it'll make your throat swell shut.

I think I'll start running again. That'll really freak people out...  Actually, I intended to start running again soon, whatever people think. I figure, since I just did this major body overhaul, I might as well add the lbs back on healthfully.

Now, in school news, my little anti-reader reads at grade average. Now you may think "grade average, whopety doo" but for a kid who hates reading, and who has NEVER been grade average at reading (hence why she thought she was stupid at the end of last year), that is a HUGE victory. A HUGE victory.of course, all she sees is that she's in the red dots now and still not good enough for the yellow (stupid system, killing the victory), but for a kid who read 30 words per minute at the beginning of homeschooling to jump to a 59... how do you not celebrate inside? How do you not stand up and say, "we did that! We, my homeschool kid and I, WE did that." That's something they can't take away. And as far as math... yeah, she knows how to add and subtract and compare numbers up to 500. In school, they are still learning the 10's value place. I told my math wiz to tell the teacher it was too easy, and my way too obedient kid tells the teacher "my mom says to tell you I'm bored and my math is too easy." I thought, great. Now they'll peg me as manipulative. So  I decided I needed to talk to the teacher myself. And I'm pretty happy with that conversation. I didn't get the opportunity to teach her math myself, which is what I would have loved (but didn't really expect); but I was understood. And I understood the teacher. And that made it totally worth it. At first, the teacher had her walls up pretty high. Too used to defending a system she knows is broken. I said the math was too easy, and she said that that's funny because she thought the math was too hard. That had me confused for a bit, but guess what... all of the problems are story problems. They can't just learn 376+212 any more. They have to learn "Johnny has 12 apples, Peter has 2 apples."

Once I found out that all math was story problems and why's now, I was really pretty disgusted with the system. Lets teach my pro-math, anti-reading kid that she has to do math by reading! That sounds like she won't end up hating both, if ever I heard it... So I used an analogy I've heard teachers use over and over again. I said "sometimes I feel like my fish is being told she has to climb a tree." And all of the sudden all the walls came down. We talked about how my fish doesn't rock the boat. Ever. If she's told to be less than she is, she becomes less than she is. If she's told to be more than she is, she never draws attention to the fact she's not. If she doesn't understand a concept, she wont ask for help, because that's rocking the boat. If she's smarter than the average student, she won't let anyone know, because that's rocking the boat. And she's terrified that if she knows something no one else knows, she must be wrong, so she NEVER answers the questions. If there were any of Ranger's DNA in her, I'd blame him. He doesn't rock the boat, either. And I was BORN to rock it. How are we supposed to go where we need to if no one ever rocks the boat!?! But the teacher got it. It clicked. She said, "yeah, that describes your child perfectly! She's so hard to gauge! I have to constantly check where she's at, because she doesn't draw attention at all." I was singing Hallelujah. This teacher sees my kid. This teacher SEES HER!

And after the walls were down, and we were both talking about a kid we love who is in a system we don't, doors opened. This teacher knows that we are equals. I respect her for all she's doing in a system that wont listen to her. She respects me for all I'm doing in a system that wont listen to me, either. And we both respect my kid. And the system is not hearing her either. But her mama is. And her teacher is. And right now... That's a miracle.

But that's not all! Happy dance! THIS CHICA STOOD UP FOR HERSELF! When it was math the next day, she said, "This stuff is EASY! I'm already done!" And the teacher listened. The teacher saw that she knew it. My girl had the strength to rock the boat! I was pretty leery of letting her "eavesdrop" while I talked to the teacher, but something told me to pretend I didn't notice. Something really subtle, that I wouldn't have even pegged as anything important until today. But now I'm so glad she was listening. She heard her mama say she was smart. She heard her mama say she knows this and doesn't want to rock the boat. And she heard a teacher understand her. And that made her feel safe enough to celebrate herself! If I never get to homeschool again, it will be enough. My girl knows she can celebrate herself. She knows she's worth it. And that is priceless.

That. Is Priceless.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Routine

The past two days have been better. No sign of that emotional breakdown over a silly coconut. And he didn't ruin it... Too badly. I'm getting into this routine, now. Fiber with breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and throwing the few things I can eat together in "different" mixtures that are rather similar. A positive about this new diet is the freedom to experiment and get creative with only a few basic ingredients. I'm learning a ton about food and how it cooks and how to capture the best flavors. And I thought food science class was great!

With all the homework my poor student had yesterday, she didn't get to touch her toys at all. Today either. I think more than anything, that's convinced her more than anything else. She's getting so strained. Oh, and she's about 3 months ahead in math. And her reading level is on level. I was worried they'd throw a big fit about it. I took her from average, and now she's bored at school and stuck doing homework at home.

On the flip side, I found a way to make it to one of her homeschool co-op classes without it counting as missing school. She was SOOO happy. And that fed the "I want to be homeschooled again" fire inside her, so now it's raging. She has this idea that if she asks, her father will let her come back. I told her to go ahead and try it but not to be surprised when she couldn't convince him. For her sake, I'll pray she's got the strength and pull, but this is the dad that made her miss every soccer game this summer. I'm not holding my breath. Instead, I'm racking up the positive evidence for our January court date.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Some Days...

Some days are like ... you're supposed to take it easy but instead you end up busy all day and it takes twice as long to get everything done because you have to keep recounting for the sixth time because you can't remember what number you were on because you were supposed to take it easy and you just keep thinking that you have waited all day for a coconut because you've been losing weight too fast because you're on some diet to rid yourself of allergies and it's working too well on the diet side of it so you get to enjoy a coconut to help you stabilize because they are one of 3 fats (from what I can tell) that you can eat and they also have caprylic acid which is supposed to add extra warriors to the huge battle raging inside your body and you finally pick out your treasured coconut and cradle and coddle your coconut all the way to the checkout line and fight with your broken debit card at the checkout and then bring it all the way back home and do all the work to extract every drop of prized juice and then all the work to bust it open... And it's moldy.

And then your husband walks in the door when he's supposed to still be at work, which is not good for your nerves in this state, plays hero and goes and gets you a new coconut and pokes the holes his way, which isn't your way, and it'd normally be okay but it's been a very long day and you start bawling because he's ruining your second coconut.

Yeah, some days are like that.

And this post is only 4 sentences.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Easy Way

You know, the worst parts of my life were a result of people taking the easy way. I hate the easy way. I mean the right way can be easy, but the easy way is not always right. It's about responsibility. It's about work ethic.

I used to think I had to take responsibility for everyone else's mistakes. And then I realized how much that hurts everyone. They never grow, and I stay in constant pain. I had so much shame. I felt like Elva in Eragon. I was everyone's umbrella in a rainstorm, but I'd get royally chewed out if anyone got even a little wet. I was soaked but it was all my fault when they got a few drops. This came to a huge rearing ugly storm when my little sister got married. I don't blame her at all for how it went, but I do take the credit for how well it came together. I have no shame in saying I was superwoman. She's thanked me a thousand times, but I should thank her for teaching me that I am a human and not an umbrella. For some reason, she was the perfect catalyst. Maybe because she is and was so angelic and innocent. And naive. She is a butterfly that never got to fly until her mission, and then the mission was really a cage. She had no idea what she was capable of. I admit that a lot of that was my fault. I always protected her. She was far too beautiful and new to let her get tarnished and tattered by the world. But when she got engaged, I realized how much she was going to need to learn how to fly. And I had no right to claim protector on that arena. I tried to just help her with her wedding. She was a student, I was crafty and rather adept at weddings. I gave her her responsibilities. And I reminded her. And reminded her. And reminded her. Until the night before the wedding, I was making a wedding cake and overseeing the painting of a gazebo. And by night before, I mean 4 am morning-of. And naturally, it was all my fault.

When I spent 2 days bedridden afterwards, I had plenty of time to think. And I grew that day. I was no longer a minuscule umbrella, but a person with substance. I mean, I still slip into my hero roll every now and again. And I usually regret it afterwards, but my experience had taught me the meaning of responsibility. It changed how I interact with my family. It changed how i raised my daughter. It changed how I interact with society. It changed how I feel about myself. Suddenly, when I no longer carried the world on my shoulders, I became worth something. I, Keira, am worth something (And man does my ex hate it).

But with that realization, excuses have
really begun to bug me. Hence my frustration with the easy way. Oh, and I bet that surviving a divorce comes into play, as well. If we're going to be fair here. My ex said he married me because it was easy (I made it that way. That was the biggest mistake I made in my past marriage. I let it happen). It was easy to marry me. When that got hard, he looked for other easy things. He had an affair because it was easy. He stayed married to me in the affair because it was easy. He finally sent divorce papers because it was easy (I got up the courage to demand action in one way or another).

So yeah, I hate easy. But sometimes... Sometimes I wish that didn't mean it had to be so hard. Today was hard. I let it be, I know. I let it all get to me again. I'll do better tomorrow.

"Hurrah for Israel."
Keira

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blessings Via Raindrops:week 1

I wanted to update and let people know how life's going.

Day 1 went well. Cooked up the broth, had my fiber, attempted the nasty nasty nasty liver drink, gave up on that for a garlic pill. I know its not as effective, but at least i can stomach it! This chica of mine ate all the veggies from the broth. She actually loved the cooked spinach, the weirdo. And the onions, but I didn't tell her what they were. There was actually no flavor or salt or anything, and she gobbled them right up.
We registered her for school, too. I have to say, after homeschooling, I saw so so so much sickness of society in my brief hall-loitering time while getting her all signed up. I was glad I had a friend there to keep me from screaming, "don't you all know how wrong this is?"

Day two of the diet really didn't' bother me much at all. I didn't even feel hungry unless it was time to ingest something again I spent a good chunk of the day in the temple. Maybe that helped.
It was also the first day of school. It went well. I wished there had been wailing and screaming and gnashing of teeth, but she had fun. And that's fair. I figured the rewind wouldn't happen all at once. Would have been nice, though. She actually has all of the problem kids from the past 2 years of public school in her class, except for 2, so I'm just watching on that one.


Day 3 of the broths and I was craving carbs something fierce. I'd think "man, I'd love a cinnamon roll," and "I just want a piece of bread. Just one!" my friends fed my daughter so I didn't have to. Her food looked amazing. I also felt pretty weak and tired, but not sickly. Following the path.
The girl enjoyed school this day, too. What she didn't enjoy was the lack of time once we got home.

Day four brought the headache they say is normal, but it didn't last long. I'm used to debilitating headaches, so actually I have to say I'll take this one over the others any day! At this point, I realized that if this was going to work for me, I'd have to modify the diet a bit. For the sake of not being too far in the TMI range, we'll just say I decided that you can't cleanse without something for the fiber to work with.so I had an egg, some spinach, and some garlic-onion-yogurt mixture I concocted myself in the hopes it'd taste semi-decent on vegetables. I I honestly couldn't eat very much.
This was Friday, and she actually had the day off. I was such a good mom, I told her that since it was a day off, that meant she needed to clean her room. I told her I wasn't going to let her slack off, even though she was in school. Needless to say, the whole day wasn't a big free-for-all and the room still is not clean. It's funny how fast her neatness and good habits slipped away. Before, I'd just say it needed done and it'd be a breeze. Now she needs micromanaged for every step. She said prayers tonight - she prayed she could be homeschooled again.

Day five, I had a Relief Society Meeting involving repurposing things, and I was teaching one of the mini-classes, so I went. It was exhausting all around, but I survived. The food smelled DIVINE! And none of it fit the bill. Everyone was reveling over the apple dessert. I got the recipe and downed my water. I did cheat a little bit and have some of the broth from one soup. It sounded safe-ish. I probably should have avoided it, just to be safe, but I felt fine with a little taste, so I had some. I let my girl eat all my corn and tomatoes. I followed the water-fiber-diet today with a green veggie-loaded omelet for dinner tonight. Amazing how good real food can be. And I included my yogurt and added extra garlic. Those two secret ingredient get rave reviews for killing a systemic infection. It was sooo good. I wish I'd let myself eat more. I think by the end of this, I'm going to be sick of garlic. And everything green. But they say, after a while, your body reprograms and you actually start going for them when you're hungry instead of getting sick of them. Also, I'm starting to talk myself into believing this is all in my head. If it hadn't have been for that obvious allergic reaction, I would believe it, too.
We had our first absolute whine today. Holy cow does this all come back fast. And the tummy aches. And the boredom. Every time she was entertained, it was by homeschool tricks. Measuring cups and light-properties. Oh, I guess there was that bit she played with her dolls. And they were discussing the pros and cons of public schooling. ;)

Anyway, I wanted to share this song I just heard (thank you Pandora). It sums up my impressions a lot lately.


"What if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? ...What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?"

I can't help but feeling, from day one, that this is all going to work out. That this is really the catalyst I've been longing for. That these trials are exactly what I need. When my friend was going through a hard time and would say things like that, it used to drive me nuts. I was way too cynical. I would think she was weird for always thanking God for her trials and saying bring it on. But when you listen... It all just... Feels so worth it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Storms a'coming.

original photo source unknown
It's been a hard day for me. A lot is changing very rapidly. I don't know where to start.

About a week ago (a little more than that), I went to my Aunt's house for Canadian Thanksgiving. Shortly after leaving her house, the roof of my mouth itched like crazy. I literally wanted to scratch it off. But I couldn't find relief in even attempting to scratch it. And then, as we were driving down the road, I noticed my tongue was beginning to go numb. And then, a little further, my nose was going numb and I eyes started tingling. I called Doctor Mom and she said pull over right there and go to the ER. The word anaphylaxis came up. But I was in the middle of no where, so instead of listening to mom, I bought some Benadryl, and it seemed to be keeping it at bay. I figured if worse came to worse, I had two worthy Priesthood holders in the car, I would be okay. Since then, I have tried and tried to figure out what I was so allergic to. At first I thought it was a spice in the food. I decided when I got better, I'd try out a few spices delicately. But I just wasn't getting better. Everything I would eat would aggravate my tongue. So I did my research. I noticed it happening more with breads and fruits. I suspected gluten, but a gluten intolerance is different, so I went back to thinking, researching, and listening to my body. And then, while contemplating how I've been feeling for the past year (honestly closer to 2), I kind of began to see a pattern. And it all comes back to yeast. I've felt for a while that I had too much yeast in my system, I just didn't know where to start or how to fix it. I knew antibiotics were the usual course of action, but it never felt right. I felt like if I took an antibiotic, it would kill everything, and then the candida that was thriving in my system now would come back stronger. I know I'm not a doctor, but I really feel guided in this. I can see it. I've talked to a few nature-paths and homeopaths, and people that know the body (besides a true-blue doctor), and they all say my assumption sounds spot-on. I know I should probably go to a doctor, but it doesn't FEEL right. I don't think a doctor could cure this, he could either make it worse, or treat the symptoms. And if I'm ever going to get better, I need to do more than treat the symptoms. And by going to a doctor, I'd be shuffled from an allergist to a regular doctor to intestinal doctors to woman doctors to nutritionists, and all of them would give me a different scenario. It's kind of like the story of the elephant and the blind men. Except I'm the elephant. And I have to pay the blind men.

The problem is, Yeast is in more than you'd think. And what yeast isn't in, sugar is, and the already-present yeast would feed and multiply on the sugars. So without treating the allergy and the infections and anything else going on, I would have to face getting sick every time I eat. For the rest of my life. And actually, I have, for a while, but it just wasn't an allergic reaction sick. I kept it at bay by eating super-healthy home-grown/cooked as much as possible, so I just thought my body was being picky. And I thought I was just too stressed. But I could never seem to shake the stress. Even when I wasn't stressed, I'd have stress symptoms.   So I talked to my resources, researched for myself, and have come to a plan of action. And it's not an easy one. It involves taking extra care of myself, detoxifying my system, cutting out yeasty and sugary foods (which is just about all of them) for some undisclosed amount of time (hoping I'll know when that is when I get there, but otherwise, I'll work with those that know better) while taking a probiotic, and then slowly introducing sugary foods and more grains, until I can return to a semi-normal diet. I'll probably never go back to over-processed carbs (as I pretty much gave them up anyway. Being a single mom working fast food can really show you what it does to  your system) because they weaken the immune system and feed the Yeast. Or at least I'll second guess myself on every sugary snack.

I came to that conclusion on Sunday. And then Monday I had court. My ex called me names, and the judge let him. My ex says he refuses to let me home school, and the judge said she had her mind made up on homeschooling and there wasn't enough time to convince her otherwise. She wouldn't even listen to our arguments.  My girl was to be in public school starting today (Tuesday) until our next court day after Christmas break. So on top of preparing to go through the hardest mental and physical challenge of my life in order to achieve wellness, I have to send my thriving child back to a sick system. When I told her that, she spent all night bawling in my arms. I can't even talk about it without bawling myself. I am prepared to do whatever it takes and suffer whatever it takes for personal wellness. But knowing that my kid will have to suffer, and I'm about to put myself in a fragile state and may be unable to help just kills me inside. I know I have to do this, and I know I have to do this now. I can't let myself be sick for much longer. And She deserves a mom who's trying to be healthy in all respects.

And, for some higher reason, they feel connected. Like they were meant to be faced together. Like we are screaming to the world that we are willing to go through something horrendous to be in better health at the end. Both with school and with health. If I send her now, if I carefully balance helping her and letting her experience this on her own, the right things will happen. I knew I was supposed to home school. I knew it. And God doesn't make commandments I can't find a way to keep. Nephi and his brothers were commanded to get the Brass plates. They asked for the plates and they were told no. Laban had his agency. He had to be given the chance. And Nephi and his brothers needed to know how important this was. They had to be willing to sacrifice everything. And then they needed to know that God would cover the rest. I don't think that this will go to the extreme as it did for Nephi, but I can see the parallels. It's in God's hands. I was given a blessing after I got done with the court and the message I received was that this is no longer about my agency. God knows I'll do my part, and there are other agencies in testing right now. If I felt the need of home school so strongly, and there are more parents involved than me, they have the opportunity to hear the same message. And if it's screaming for me, it has to be screaming for them. But they have their agency. He has his agency. And after I've done all that I can do, it will work out. So, I've got to do all that I can do. And that begins by healing myself and convincing a biased judge that this is a viable option - not just for me, but for all other homeschooling moms or dads that are faced with this judge again. I'm up to that challenge, but it will most definitely not be easy.

So, we're preparing for the storm. We're making our house a sanctuary from the tempests surrounding us. We're getting better, whatever the sacrifice.

Keira

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What he doesn't see...

So my father-in-law was hanging out with my seven-year-old tonight and checking up on my homeschooling. You know, because he's totally sold on the idea. Well she said we only did half of school today. Man did I get a look. Just one more piece of evidence I'm messing up my kid. But what she didn't say is that this child who hates reading spent the whole day curled up with a book. Several of them.

And "school;" did I mention that we're rocking' it? We're ahead of schedule. And she's thriving. She's so smart, I skipped ahead or made it harder for her. We read Matilda in a week and a half. We sing silly songs all the time. We talk about states with real knowledge (Washington is her favorite. She thinks it looks like an elephant). Oh, and she can write cursive.

But I only did half a day of school today. What on earth would make me think I could do that?

P.S. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. Have I mentioned it's canning season? And just as I think I'm finally done canning, I go and buy 40 lbs of apples and tons of chicken. And pears. And my friend gives me green tomatoes. And another zucchini finds its way in my house. ... I'll post pics and such as soon as I catch my breath. And I actually mean that literally as well as figuratively. (oh yeah, ask my half-a-day-of-school-today daughter what those mean. We had lots of fun learning the difference while she was busting a gut over Ted Arnold). But, more on our adventures later. :)