Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Sweet 2009

It's that time of year again - everyone is thinking about and talking about those 3 little words: New Year's Resolution.

Every year at New Year's, I, like everyone else make my resolution. Only I don't just make one, two or even three. I make an entire list! But instead of calling them, "New Year's Resolutions for Sarah Kay Hoffman," I just call them, "X Year Goals."


This year is no different! And this year I am calling them a plethora of things:
  • New Year Goals. Inspirations. Passions. Motivations.
  • A Brand New Decade
  • 2010
  • Simplified
My father-in-law told me last year, "Let's just see if you can get through one goal!" To him I responded, "Thank you for the challenge!"

For my "2009 Year Goals" I had created upwards of 20 Goals. Of those goals, here are the achievements I was most proud of:
  • Ran my 1st half marathon
  • Figured out my food intolerances and how to help myself
  • Began a Blog
  • Built my Social Media Network
And then there was the Goal that was not on there as of January 1, 2009 - "Work for Nike as a Human Race Ambassador, promote via Social Media and win a trip to the Superbowl in 2010."  That, although unplanned, was my greatest success (Let's go Minnesota Vikings!)!

I have yet to make my entire list for the "2010 Year Goals," (and yes, it will be complete for tomorrow!) but perhaps what's more important for me to remember about this list I'm about to finish is this: The Possibilities are Endless.

I have proven to myself that no goal is out of reach. Whatever it is you want, with a ton of hard work, perseverance and passion, is possible!

They say that "the shortest distance between two points is a straight line." I know now, though, that even if I can't get from A to B in one, simple straight line that I can get there by never giving up - getting it done - "zig-zagging" if need be. And sometimes, the outcome is all the more sweet after you've taken the "longer way!" 2010 - Carry on! I'd love to hear all of your goals!

Happy last day of 2009!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm Hungry: What's For Dinner

In my last post I discussed, "Treatment for the GAPS Patient - Part I - Diet I."

Today is, "Treatment for the GAPS Patient - Part II - Diet II - I'm Hungry: What's For Dinner."

JUST because I can't really eat things "most people" eat, doesn't mean that I don't still need to eat! So, what will I eat?

The GAPS Diet is basically an "advanced" or "extension" version of the popular Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Dr. Natasha states (about the SCD), "There is a diet already invented, a very effective diet with a more than 60-year excellent record of helping people with all sorts of digestive disorders, including such devastating ones as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis."

The difference lies in the fact that the SCD allows lactose-free dairy products, GAPS Diet does not allow. Dr. Natasha says that "whether it is lactose or casein or allergies or a combination of factors, the clinical experience shows that GAPS children and adults should not consume dairy products until their digestive system is well enough to handle them. The only exception is for the milk fat, which contains virtually no milk proteins or lactose and is generally well tolerated. Pure milk fat is called ghee or clarified butter." 

Recommended Food List
  • Meats and Fish (Fresh or frozen, but not preserved)
  • Eggs (Especially raw egg yolk; I am actually very intolerant to the egg white, so I will stay away from that completely)
  • Non-starch fresh vegetables (Fresh or frozen, but not preserved or with any additives)
  • All fruit, including berries (Fresh, cooked or raw, dried and frozen, as long as there are no preservatives. They also need to be well-cooked in the beginning)
  • Nuts and seeds (Raw only. Not until stomach has completely settled)
  • Beans and pulses (Dried white, lima, string, lentils and split peas; must be soaked for several hours prior to cooking)
  • Honey (All natural honey, the only sweetener/sugar allowed)
  • Beverages (Water, freshly pressed juices and meat/fish stock. Weak tea and coffee without milk. Red win, gin, Scotch, bourbon and vodka on rare occasions)
  • Natural fats and oils
This is what I live off of. And beginning Friday, January 1st, I'm getting extremely strict with it! I'm going back to the beginning; back to Phase 1. The GAPS Diet worked miracles for me. I've been off it and I've been on it; I know what is best for my body!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Treatment for the GAPS Patient - Part I - Diet I

Now that I've discussed a little bit more about what GAPS is and how it is "born," the next question is, "How do we get rid of it?" 

The treatment for the GAPS Patient is three-fold:
  1. Diet
  2. Supplementation
  3. Detoxification and life-style changes
All three are very important. 

I will start today with the DIET Portion I.

Dr. Natasha begins with an explanation of The Gluten and Casein Free Diet. She states, "Gluten is a protein found in grains, mainly wheat, rye, barley and oats. Casein is a protein found in milk and milk products. GFCF diet aims to remove all sources of these two proteins. The theory behind this diet is sound, the problem is the application." What happens when someone goes on the GFCF Diet is that they make "substitutions" in the form of rice, sugar, potato starch, etc. and "these sort of foods will feed the abnormal flora in the gut just as much as the previous diet did, perpetuating the viciious cycle of a damaged leaky gut."

Dr. Natasha continues on by explaining all about our villi, how they work and how they are damaged. (I strongly recommend reading her whole book for in-depth explanations!)

Dr. Natasha gives a summary of what GAPS Patients MUST avoid:
  •  All grains and anything made out of them: wheat, rye, rice, oats, corn, maize, sorghum, barley, buckwheat, millet, spelt, bulgut, tapioca, quinoa and cous-cous. 
  • All starchy vegetables and anything made out of them: potato, yams, sweet potato, parsnip, swede, Jerusalem artichoke, cassava, arrowroot and taro.
  • Sugar and anything that contains it. 
  • Starchy beans and peas: soybeans, mungbeans, garbanzo beans, bean sprouts, chick peas, faba beans.
  • Lactose and anything that contains it: fluid or dried milk of any type, commercially produced yoghurt, buttermilk and sour cream, processed foods with added lactose.
  • Anything processed. Period.
Next up...."I'm Hungry - What's for Dinner?!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! It's almost Christmas:)

Monday, December 14, 2009

To: Lady A's Mommy

Last night we said good bye to Mike, Tracy and Lady A. And it was not fun for me. At all. But it reminded me of some things I want to share today:
  1. Gone is gone, but never forgotten: Just because someone leaves my life on a day-to-day basis, doesn't mean they are gone for good. It also certainly doesn't mean they leave my mind. I will think of them often; always with a smile.
  2. Thankful for every time we did spend together: They have made the past year so much more fun! How could I not be absolutely grateful for that? The memories will certainly make me laugh. I'll always have that.
  3. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Having Tracy around reminded me how important it is to have wonderful girlfriends to talk with, share with, laugh with, complain with and just be with. One of the last things we did together was a Pedicure Day. I never do that. I thank her for getting me out!
  4. Don't take things for Granted: Really. Don't. Take. Them. For. Granted. It was just a couple of months ago when they told us they were moving. Time flies.
Finally, I just want to write this "mini-letter" to Tracy, wherever she may be tonight (because I know that she reads my blog postings - and is always a fan:)).

To: Lady A's Mommy

First of all, tonight, as I was driving home, I hit Mountain House and my heart sank. It was a weird feeling. It really was. I NEVER needed to drive by the Carroll House. But tonight I just wanted to. And in the end...I didn't. I couldn't. Then, I pulled up to our house and remembered that, OH MY guys were really, really gone in Texas. 

I got home, made dinner....and I ate the last of the Carroll Lemons. They were really good. I put them on my grilled chicken - just like we always liked to do! I was so tempted to crack my bottle of Layer Cake. But since Ryan wasn't home, I didn't want to do it alone:) I will be baking the Coffee Cup you got me either tonight or tomorrow night. I added to it after you left last night, "2009 - Run, Wine & Tracy."

THANK YOU for being such a great friend to me. THANK YOU for going on the "running adventure" with me - I wouldn't have wanted to laugh (about being rad) or complain (about hills) with anyone else. THANK YOU for sharing many, many bottles of Red Wine with me. THANK YOU for always being up for anything and everything with Ryan and I. THANK YOU for including Avery in so many of our outings. THANK YOU for everything you helped me with for Nike. 

I could go on and on and on....THANK YOU for being YOU

I'm listening to Eric Church tonight - I know I'll always think of you when I hear him now! I hope you guys had a safe flight to Texas. I'm sure Lady A was good as can be. 

This weekend will definitely be so different without you guys here, but we pray that you'll get settled quickly and that Texas will be as good to you as you were to California! 

Sarah Kay
ps. Tell Lady A I found her diaper in the bathroom:) Precious little reminders!



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How Did This Happen?

Gut and Psychology Syndrome - how does this come about? WHY do I need to follow the GAPS Diet? Here are the 2 main reasons people develop abnormal gut flora:
  1. Antiobiotics
  2. Other Drugs
These factors can then also have an effect on the gut flora:
  1. Diet
  2. Disease
  3. Stress
  4. "Other"
Here is what I suspect in my case - years plus one constant year of nothing but antibiotics followed by years of improper diet. Let me explain:

Growing up,we all use antibiotics. We get sick, our parents want us better, we go to the doctor and more often than not we were given an antibiotic. And then it came about that the entire year before my tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, I was chronically sick. Tonsillitis - pharyngitis - strep. Each time I would go in, an antibiotic was prescribed. The antibiotic would clear it up, but typically very temporarily. Shortly thereafter, I was sick as a dog again - back on antibiotics.

Dr. Natasha states, "The damage is worse when antibiotics are administered orally and when the course of antibiotic is a lengthy one on a low dose, like the one prescribed for acne, chronic cystitis, chronic ear infection and other chronic infections." She continues to say, "Even when the course of antibiotic is short and the dose is low, it takes different beneficial bacteria in the gut a long time to recover."

Antibiotics have just become a "normal" part of the Western life. But with each new "course" of antibiotic I (we) took/take, the immune system actually becomes more damaged. The antibiotics "have a devastating effect on beneficial bacteria in the human body, not only in the gut but in other organs and tissues as well."


I believe that my 20+ years of improper diet also contributed to my GAPS. While the antibiotics and tonsillectomy stress may have been the main cause of gut "teardown," improper diet certainly did not help." Too many sugary foods and processed carbohydrates increase numbers of different fungi, Candida species in particular, Streptococci, Staphylococci, some Clostridia species, Bacteriods and some aerobic opportunistic bacteria. Processed and sugary carbohydrates (white bread, cakes, biscuits, pastries and pasta) also promote population of the gut with worms and other parasites."

I know what most people are thinking right now, "Yeah right - you eat so healthy." Two points I will make about that:
  1.  Growing up, I ate sugar, carbs, cakes and anything else consistently! I never once thought about food, until about a year ago.
  2. Even when I did think about food, "healthy" to me was fat free, sugar free. However, typically that meant 100-calorie packs of Oreos. And what that means is fake, artificial, preservatives
"Healthy eating" is not simply fat free, sugar free or the like. Dr. Natasha says, "Generally, when gut dysbiosis is caused exclusively by poor diet it is usually fairly mild and can be corrected by better eating habits. Unfortunately, in our modern world it is rare not to be exposed to other factors which would also damage your gut flora, antibiotics for example.

So, How Did This Happen? Seems fairly easy to understand how easily this happens, especially in our Modern World.

Next up, The Opportunistic Flora.  

Time to grab a probiotic and head to the gym!