Loose Leaf Tea

My new obsession. I’ve always been a tea drinker (of all kinds, thanks mom!), but am learning that loose leaf is so much better. For flavor, anti-inflammatory properties, health, calming, and just overall wellness (bitter herbs for digestion, aloe for inflammation, etc…).

While I was in Breckenridge I was out shopping with my girlfriend, and we stumbled upon the Breckenridge Spice Merchants, a quaint little store full of loose leaf teas and spices. Here is what I purchased:IMG_3951[1]

Of course then I had to purchase a TeaZe Infuser, and I absolutely LOVE IT. The tea tastes a million times better, you can make more than just a mug, steep and then place it on top of your mug and the fresh brewed tea strains right into your mug. It also came with a coaster, so any drippage is caught. I always thought loose leaf tea was such a hassle, but with the right tools in your arsenal, it’s wonderful. IMG_3955[1]IMG_3959[1]IMG_3962[1]

I also have this handy to-go mug from Aladdin. Simply fill the basket with loose leaf tea, once it’s done steeping, just flip the lever, and the basket pops back up into the lid and you can enjoy a mug of hot tea.IMG_3964[1]

Ox Bile

So, I don’t have a gall bladder. One of the biggest things I regret is having it removed, but then, I didn’t know any better. I’m working on letting it go.

At the time the doctors said you don’t need it, the bile in your liver is sufficient enough to help you digest your food. Right……………it’s delivered differently, and I already couldn’t digest my food, so now that we take an organ out of the equation, it’s going to work better? Sigh.

Anyway, I started supplementing today with Ox Bile. I tend to be one of those “let’s get all the supplements we can at once and start them immediately” type of people, which does no good, because how the hell do you know what is having a positive or negative effect? So, I start this today and will continue for a period of time, before starting something else đŸ˜‰ It was recommended at the Balanced Bites nutrition seminar I attended about a month ago (which I highly recommend) for people lacking gall bladders. I’ve done some research on it and read lots of reviews, so here we go!Ox Bile

Digestion, Diabetes, and Paleo

Some people thing I’m crazy for being as passionate as I am about food, constantly reading, researching, and trying to understand my body; and furthermore, becoming even more strict as of late. I’m sure I annoy plenty. Not that it matters what anybody thinks, but I thought I’d shed a little insight about what has fueled this passion in me. Indulge me.

Exhibit 1: here is a look at what happens to me, as I progress throughout each day. By the end of the day after dinner, my abdomen is so distended that I can barely breathe from the pressure underneath my lungs and diaphragm. Sometimes, it’s painful and other times it’s not, it’s completely random. I don’t know about you, but (a small) part of the reason I exercise regularly is to not look as though I’m pregnant.Belly

Exhibit 2: this is what’s happened the last two nights:Digestion Effects 1Digestion Effects 2

See those giant spikes? Not cool. Both nights, I had a super healthy dinner (as always). Each night I ate, did a few things around the house, and went to bed a few hours later. Not until the middle of the night, did my food finally show up and digest. Why? No idea.

From the digestion standpoint: why doesn’t my digestion work? Why am I sometimes miserable, other times not as much? Why is it painful sometimes, and not other times? Why does what I eat, sometimes just sit in my stomach and not do anything for hours, and other times motility is fine? How much of what I eat is actually even being digested? These and so many other unanswered questions have remained for the last 16 years, following every diagnostic test and procedure (and 1 unnecessary surgery) possible, many different “diets” plus trying every OTC, prescription and sometimes supplements ever created. Yet, here I sit, with no answers. So, where does that leave me? Food.

From the diabetes standpoint: the digestion issues listed above, complicate the hell out of it. I can rarely if ever rely on my digestion (or lack there of), which adds a whole other dimension to diabetes management. Fun times (sarcasm).

Hopefully this sheds some light into why I have gone Paleo (to heal my gut, NOT cure my diabetes as that won’t happen, ever), and why I’m venturing even deeper into food, because really, what other choice do I have? I’ve had chronic digestion issues for 16 years, and then was diagnosed with auto-immune type 1 diabetes (now 6 years. Are they related? Probably, after all, a large majority of a person’s immune system is in the GI tract-and mine has been completely bludgeoned for years). Sometimes, when you’re doing everything right, and then diabetes slaps you in the face, it’s a reminder that not only am I diligently trying to heal one thing, but I also have to manage another thing that happens to be greatly affected by the first. A very vicious cycle.