Wednesday, June 30, 2010

testing one two

electro-dermal testing results from today (yes, i can be pretty skeptical about "alternative medicine", but this was pretty much bang on):

high sensitivity (avoid! avoid!)
- caffeine, especially coffee (but as i mused to allegra, shouldn't coffee be high-sensitivity for everyone...? like, if it were low-sensitivity, would it even give you the jolt?)
- gluten (no surprise at all)
- lactose/dairy (but only cow dairy -- sheep & goat ranked as tolerable), including milk and basically every form of cheese possible, though cow yogurt is moderately okay
- red meat (likely because conventional beef is raised on a grain diet, which is obviously high in gluten, so i'd definitely be feeling the trickle-down effects -- so i'm hoping grass-fed beef will be alright)
- beer (which i'm not a huge fan of to begin with)
- grapefruit and citrus (i've been having stomach problems with those fruits for years)
- corn anything (on the cob, popped, in syrup, oil and sugar forms, etc)
- things i wouldn't ingest anyway, including red and yellow dye, aspartame, msg, and honeydew melon

the things on that list (and there's many more, but those are the biggies) have always given me digestive trouble -- heartburn, an acid-y feeling in my stomach, bad cramps. i was off dairy and red meat for a long time, so i wonder if my tolerance plummeted or something. huh. (it's also funny how every single form of sugar possible, natural or otherwise, showed up in my top high-sensitivity foods -- the doctor asked if i had a sweet tooth, because the test definitely showed as much, and i really do)

so basically, all the low-sensitivity stuff for me is natural "clean" foods like nuts, chicken, salmon and almost every other kind of fish (crustaceans ranked more in the "once or twice a week" moderate-sensitivity range), spinach and lettuces, flax and hemp, eggs, almost all vegetables (my lowest-ranked sensitivity was, weirdly enough, swiss chard), berries, any "milk" that's not cow or soy (rice, almond, goat), and even stuff that i'm not ingesting as i'm on the primal diet (rice, teff, quinoa, stevia).

anyway! it's not a hard-and-fast restriction guideline, just a list to consult if my digestive system starts acting up for reasons i don't understand. (the diagnosis written on my receipt for my health-care plan was "i.b.s. (stomach)", which is probably spot on -- doctor also recommended i take a good probiotic and olive leaf extract before each meal to help reduce the symptoms) not something to take a strict diagnosis, but something to keep in mind. fascinating stuff, really.

though sorry, doc, i think i'm keeping the coffee. ;)

p.s. got my testing done at red paw, up in yorkville here in toronto. if you're interested, give them a call, but be prepared to wait - they're currently booked straight up until mid-august.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

not sick, not well

the good appointment this week: tomorrow's electro-dermal testing session at red paw, to determine any possible food sensitivities or general body wackiness.

the not-so-anticipated appointment this week: thursday morning's dental gum graft appointment (first of two this summer -- bottom left and, once that heals up, bottom right). i had one done five years ago, and as this guy puts it, it basically is "the procedure from hell." all i can recollect is searing, agonizing pain from the location where the tissue was taken from, and basically pouring naproxen down my throat for at least two weeks. (i stupidly continued to work quite a bit at the time, so i had to give codeine a wide berth)

anyway, my dentist has told me that he has "new techniques" that he uses now - rather than the typical razor-blade-and-stitches that was done back in 2005 - so i'm clinging to that with any optimism i can muster. maybe it won't be as bad this time. maybe i'll have a faster healing time. maybe it'll be less intense since it'll be a smaller area, and it won't be at the front of my mouth this time.

or maybe i'll spend the entirety of canada day (and the day after, and the day after...) strung out on codeine, washing my stinging mouth with salt water, living on an all-liquid diet (if i can even ingest anything more than water), whimpering from the pain and hoping i don't swallow too much of my own blood.

news flash: i'm a big suck when it comes to injury and sickness. you'd think i would have learned to live with it by now, given all the years i spent living by myself, but it's still depressing when there's nobody to take care of you post-op.

anyway, here's hoping i have the ovaries to go through with this on thursday and not cancel out (no matter how much i want to, especially given the hefty price tag on it). i'll have one more graft to look forward to after this one...ugh.

i'm cheerful today.

Monday, June 21, 2010

weekend edition

friday/saturday/sunday of gloriousness:

- drinks at my apartment with longtime good friends
- c'mon at the gladstone hotel down the street
- solid gym workouts
- running errands across town in the sunshine
- kensington market on foot
- making the most amazing primal salad ever
- c'mon at cherry cola's
- more drinking with longtime good friends
- extensive and luxurious sleep-ins with the boy
- lazy sunday
- vodka lemonade for breakfast
- drinking on the drake hotel patio on a sunny afternoon
- massively impressive lobster dinners
- cuddling on the couch and watching movies

the little things bring the best happiness and the fondest memories, i've found.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


ever since vancouver - since, well, the first time the boy had been on tour while in a relationship with me - i've carried out the nerdy personal tradition of making him over-the-top "care packages" for when he goes on tour. basically, i stuff a giant bag full of treats and other goodies (like lip balm, mints, bottles of pain reliever, etc) for him to take along in the van, so he and the rest of the band can have a snack supply to dip into while on the road. like i said, it's something i started when i was still living in vancouver, and it's almost bashfully fun for me.

my boyfriend is not like me at all, metabolism-wise; he's one of those lucky jerks who can get away with cramming pretty much anything down his gullet and not gaining weight. he actually loses weight more often that he puts it on, which is of no little distress to him. (like most guys, he'd rather bulk up than slim down) as such, i have very little discretion when it comes to care-package selections, other than keeping in mind that 1) he loves salty, savoury and spicy foods; 2) he craves protein like a fat kid craves cake; and 3) he has very little to no sweet tooth, except on occasion when he will rampage through the cupboards looking for dark-chocolate relief.

thus, this year's first tour care package:

- multigrain wheat thins
- bacon crackers
- oatmeal granola bars
- $10 tim hortons card
- small bag of kettlecorn
- two bags of kettle chips (salt & pepper and sea salt & vinegar)
- chocolate-covered espresso beans
- black licorice
- little bag of cocoa snap cookies
- salted mixed nuts
- dried mango slices
- wasabi rice crackers
- ginger-mango chews
- small bar of chili & spice dark chocolate
- two protein bars
- three links of landejager (dried smoked bavarian sausage)
- small jar of peanut-hazelnut butter

i take care as best i can, and i do these things because i want to. i've always had a maternal instinct when it comes to my rock star boys, after all.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

good ol hockey game

thanks to all you hockey-loving peeps who liked/reblogged cbc's farewell to the 2010 stanley cup playoffs! gets you right 'ere, it does.

anyway, introduction to me + my love of the game (because most people tend to be surprised and/or look at me funny when they find out that my tattooed ex-band groupie self is a hockey fan):

i grew up a tomboy out in the countryside (where, despite numerous frozen ponds, i never learned how to play hockey -- or to properly skate for that matter), and because there was only my sister and i, i somehow got it in my head that my father would have wanted a son. (absolute light-years from the truth, btw.) so, i was much into the dude-ly things, which included collecting hockey cards (i have a pavel bure rookie card around somewhere) and watching hockey night in canada with my dad on saturday nights -- a tradition repeated in many a canadian household.

this was the 1990-92 era. the pittsburgh penguins were my favourite team; mario lemieux and jaromir jagr were my favourite players.

i lost interest in hockey for a long while, mostly because i got way into music[ians], and rock and jocks don't mix. (oh wait, what?) i sort of dipped a toe back in it when i was living in vancouver in 2007-08, because watching canucks games while drunk was a saturday-night tradition with friends, and also because it was becoming more acceptable for anybody to be a hockey fan -- punks, rockers, whoever.

then, while visiting my old home of toronto, i went out for the first time with the man who would become my now-boyfriend, and what did we do? watch a leafs game at the local pub, because the boy was an uber-passionate leafs fan and didn't want to miss the game that night. suddenly, i had more than enough reason to dust off my old love of hockey. ha, ha.

so there you have it: i've been an intermittent hockey fan over the years, but given that bonding over leafs victories (more often leafs heartbreaks) is a cornerstone of my relationship with the boy, it means that much more to me now. and i'm so, so happy i got back into it, because now i'm old enough to realize what an amazing, emotional game it is, how awesome individual players are (i don't have any real favourites these days, but i do love me some insane mikhail grabovski and smashy-smash colton orr), and just how much fun it is to watch.

(btw, my father is now quite proud of my leafs fanaticism; given that his family is from toronto/niagara region, he is also a fan of the blue & white, if not as much as a shaking-head realist as the rest of us. however, it's worth noting that my mother's family is from quebec, and as such, they are all habs fans. booooooooo! so glad i escaped that fate. thanks, dad!)

hockey-related websites i browse/haunt/stalk:
pension plan puppets - the headquarters of leafs excitement, disappointment, and snark.
down goes brown - see above, but make sure you have an oxygen tank handy because you'll be laughing too hard to breathe.
nhlol - hockey and lolz, together at last.
butterflies & black aces - steve's hockey-blog manifesto, coming soon to a computer screen near you.
pensburgh - despite bleeding blue and white, i still hold a candle for my girlhood favourite team.

also, my "hockey posse" list on twitter:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

weight of the world

update!: day 3 of being completely on the primal blueprint lifestyle.

am not dead. am not incredibly hungry between meals (actually, for the first time in maybe a year, i’m not craving anything extra after dinner). am not yet noticing a huge difference between my energy levels - my wallet is a different story, ha ha - but i’m not going through the “low-carb flu” yet or having any random cravings for sweets or bread, so that’s good. (i actually turned down the bread basket at lunch yesterday, for probably the first time in my effing life)

most surprisingly (though not really), my daily bouts of gastrointestinal distress have disappeared, furthering my suspicion that it was the grains causing my problems. i’m really starting to realize that, after years and years of being bombarded with grains and rice and starch and empty carbs, my body was beginning to go “okay, screw you” and rebel. which isn’t cool, but i gotta be in tune with what the body’s saying.

anyway, i’m a little fatigued and a little headache-y, but whether that’s my body going through processed-carb detox or simply reacting to the fact that it’s time for the red ladyflag to go up, i don’t know for sure.

nutrition totals: averaging 1300-1500 calories a day, with 80-90 grams of fat (as opposed to 35-40 g on my old regular diet) and 80-100 grams of carbs (as opposed to 250-275 g on my old diet). the first and last are right on target (carb amount will decrease slightly over the weeks, and that amount there is all fruit and vegetables); yet i actually should be ingesting more fat than that. what can i say i’m still shaking off the newbie fear/residual terror of eating more than 40 g of fat a day (shock! horror!). otherwise, no alcohol (yet); only drinking copious amounts of water and one cup of coffee/tea a day; sort of enjoying the feeling of cooking up two huge eggs in bacon fat for breakfast.

also important to note: this time one week ago, i weighed in at 131.2 pounds. today, the scale said 128.4. it’s allllll happening.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

gone primal

inspired by becca - and the fact that i've been reading mark's daily apple for years now, but have never had the courage to make the lifestyle change - today marks my first day of living on the primal diet. essentially, it's whatever cavemen ate (meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, healthy oils, etc) and very little that they didn't (a small amount of dairy is okay, but otherwise, no grains, legumes, processed food or refined sugars). so it's one of those high-fat, low-carb dealies.

i'm actually just glad because i can still drink coffee and green tea and red wine. and have a bit of dark chocolate now and then. antioxidant power!

apparently, this will pay off with higher levels of energy, a leaner body, and an improved digestive system. here's hoping - i think mine's almost given up trying to process wheat/corn/rice/and so on. i'm getting off the madness train of processed carb and sugar addiction.

now: to find out if the cure is worse than the disease. we shall see!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

doctor doctor

finally scheduled doctor's appointment for next thursday. failing that/irregardless of that, i have electro-dermal testing scheduled for the end of the month.

gonna have to finally admit that, after over a year of almost daily gastrointestinal distress (from what i can tell, it's small intestine-based), there's something wrong. and i don't think it's my hypochondriac side showing through this time.

my suspicions? it's either celiac disease or ibs. starting to lean towards the latter, given that i've tried out a few gluten-free days this week and there was no change.

now it's not so much at the point of being sick and tired of it (though i am)'s more starting to get a bit worrisome.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010