Friday, April 25, 2014

What I am eating these days

People are always curious about what I eat. What I eat won’t necessary work for you. I had a lot of food testing done and found some slight food allergies and have done a  lot of trial and error. In the past 6 months I have slowly assumed a slight variation of the Paleo diet. I was feeling quite alone on this journey and with my  personal views on nutrition as a person with GP. I have obtained a huge (slightly disturbing) book and cook book collection on nutrition, diet, and Paleo and I find with all my research and personal common sense avoiding all processed foods, sugar, gluten, dairy made sense for me with an already fragile digestive tract and a slow functioning digestion.
When I was doing some reading today I came across Living well with Gastroparesis blog and revisited  her posts and discovered she is also leaning toward this clean eating lifestyle and away from the “standard” GP friendly diet. I admire her work so profoundly. I own all her books. My only issue with them was the recipes and diet because they just didn't sit well with me even though they were “low fat “low fiber”.   I am excited for these ideas to become a more common and researched subject for people suffering with GP.  It made me feel oddly less alone in this food/lifestyle journey. I have gotten a lot of comments some harsh about what I am eating not being “Gastroparesis Friendly”. I would have to agree I find the standard publications on Gastroparesis dietary guidelines to be poisonous for me. Everyone is very different and no one thing will work for everyone.
However a  healthy, clean, organic eating does make a huge difference on side effects, symptoms and your overall health.
My Diet, Life and GP Management plan are a constant work in progress. Below are some staples that work well for me. This list does not cover everything I eat but does give an over view of what I consume the most frequently. I try and eat 100% Organic, grass fed hormone free meats, and unprocessed (unaltered) foods.
What I eat:
Well tolerated: Organic Grass Fed lean ground meats: Ground Turkey, Chicken,Venison, bone broth made from  Chicken or Turkey,
Wild Caught Salmon and Trout, some Tuna and Tilapia
Soups and Stews,
Slow roasted organic vegetables, Sweet Potato, Acorn Dquash, Butternut Squash, Parsnips, Spaghetti Squash, Carrots, Yams
 Slowly steamed or sautéed veggies Spinach, Kale, Carrots, Apples, Pears, 
**Personal allergies, wheat, dairy, peanut butter
** Personal choices,  eliminated sugar, all processed foods, dairy. Dairy is the toughest for me to avoid but I notice a huge difference when I am a 100% dairy free
**No skins, I cook a lot of fruit and veggies with skins then remove them post roasting.
Organic eggs ( we have our own chickens)
Organic fruits, banana I eat raw or in a smoothie, melons, watermelon, raspberries, kiwi, otherwise I cook the  fruit,
I do keep my diet low fat and fiber to help aid digestion time and I eat small meals 6 plus time a day
I drink a lot of water 2-3 liters a day
I drink a lot of smoothies, You can always find one made and ready in my Fridge
Fresh squeezed juices, spinach, cucumber, apples, ginger, celery, carrots to name a few favorites ..
Unsweetened Organic Almond milk,
Unsweetened Organic Coconut milk
Organic Coconut oil, it is great for healing for your gut and an excellent source of healthy fat
Avocado, Olive oil, are some other healthy fats I consume
Organic Sunflower butters and Almond butter both unsweetened and without salt
Honey, Homemade Maple Syrup. I have cut back on Honey and opt for Maple Syrup since looking into FODMAP diet.
Not Paleo**eaten rarely rice, some quinoa, chia seeds, wine, chocolate 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Happy Spring! 

I have been busy preparing for my spring classes to begin, working, being a mom and wife. I have also been busy trying to expand my website and Facebook pages. I have added a new website and Instagram account "healthy friendly living" it will include more meals, recipes and pictures of my families meals. They will all be Gluten and refined Sugar free recipes but not 100% Gastroparesis Friendly. 
I have very excited about the addition. I have also started receiving emails with questions which has been very exciting and fun for me. I am studying to become a Certified Health Coach so this is giving me some practice.
I hope everyone is well and enjoying the spring weather


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gastroparesis Friendly Living

Good morning, 

I deeply appreciate the support from my readers. I love hearing how this blog, recipes, ideas help or haven't helped with your GP. I have this blog and now website to have an outlet of sorts for my daily choices and food experiments. I am fully aware that sadly a lot of these foods may no longer by GP friendly for everyone. I know that Gastroparesis often progresses so drastically that food of any kind is really no longer an option. My heart aches over that realization. I am purely trying a different approach for myself, my GP and where it is right now. I have poured over health and diet books and combed through all of Crystal Zaborowski's work. She has such an amazing, positive and health concious approach to managing her Gastroparesis it gives me a great sense of hope. I love and admire her work! 
I have found the Paleo Challenge (edited to be more GP Friendly) extremely helpful so far. We are on day 13 and I have noticed some very positive health changes so far. I still have terrible days, vomiting, pain, weakness. But I feel overall healthier if that makes sense. Clearer head, less groggy, less sore, less bloated, more regular, more energy even on bad days. I would like to thank Becky and Carmen again for their undying support, good humor and sense of adventure for throwing in the towel and joining me the past thirteen days. I couldn't have made it this far without you both, the daily texts, picture messages, dates make it all so much more fun, manageable and enjoyable. I realize Gastroparesis isn't well know and a lot of people have no idea what it is let alone what it actually does to a person, mentally and physically. Knowing this makes me really deeply appreciate my family and friends that have educated themselves on this disease and been such a positive, loving support system for me. It makes world of difference. Having a community of Gastroparesis "sisters" has also made a huge difference. It's comforting to feel the support and kindness this community of people have for one another. I have never read kinder comments on blogs, websites, social media accounts then on GP ones! It's inspiring! 
I took a huge personal step this week and signed up for college classes to become a Certified Health Coach. I am hoping to complete the program with in a year and start practicing in my area. I deeply believe in the power of nutrition and am extremely excited to start learning more.
I am aware this will make a huge impact on me, my health, family and finances, but my husband John and I feel that this will be a very positive thing for me and our family. It's cute how enthustiastic my two older daughters are about "mama going back to school" especially my nine year old who is thrilled with the thought of a homework buddy:)
The next year is bound to be an exciting one.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Honey Glazed Butternut Squash

I took one Butternut Squash, peeled, removed seeds and cube it.
I spread the cubes onto a coconut oil sprayed baking sheet and roasted it for 20 @375
Removing from the oven I drizzled the Squash with honey and gave it a nice toss. Back into the oven until soft. About another 15 minutes. 
Some I used as a mini meal the rest got refridgerated for the coming days:)


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Easy Paleo, Gluten Free and Gastroparesis Friendy Breakfast

I took 2 cups spinach and cut it into smaller pieces with my kitchen scissors. I steamed the spinach in a small pot with water for a few minutes until soft, drained and placed on a plate.
Then I cooked one egg over easy and placed it on top. Boom a healthy easy breakfast. 


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Random updates: Getting on board with social media, 21 day Paleo challenge

Yesterday I started a Gastroparesis Friendly Living Facebook page! It was a huge step for me and we will see how it works out. I really enjoy posting daily pictures on IG of my meals and life. The whole huge world of Facebook is honestly a bit intimidating to me. 

I also started a 21 day Paleo challenge with two of my sweet friends on March first. Today is day six and I have been noticing a lot of differences and shifts.
First off I have been vomiting less!(yay)! I made it four days vomit free which was huge. I have also been feeling a lot less bloated and sore. Usually my belly is swollen and sore a large amount of the time. During the past six days I have been noticing a huge difference in my swelling and pain. I can button pants without feeling discomfort, I can bend over and stand up with out wincing in pain. So that is phenomenal. I have almost been maintaining  my current weight as well which was a big concern for me since I have spent the past 4 months working hard on gaining. I have been feeling a lot more clear and hydrated which is a pleasure. Overall I have not experienced any negative symptoms. I have been missing my 0% fat Greek yogurts and my rice cakes with banana and honey:) but overall it's been a very positive and exciting six days! Fingers crossed this helps relieve some of the nasty symptoms we GPers experience. 

I have been working on a lot of new simple and clean GP friendly recipes and am I hoping to start updating my blog more frequently with them. 

- JVW 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

To eat or not to eat

So this sadly ( pathetically)  is more a venting post then anything else.
I had a flare up that started mildly on Friday and progressed into a mega beast over the weekend into Monday. I hate that even with being 98% strict with my diet, quantity, and quality I still can't mange or control these flare ups. Sometimes I am lucky and feel one coming and switch to fluids only (such a fun thing) making it disappears before becoming a full blown disaster. But mostly boom when one begins I am down and out.... Sometimes for days. 
On Monday the vomiting was so intense I started having nose bleeds. My poor two year old Charlotte was so freaked out it broke my heart. She couldn't stop trembling and crying about my "broken nose" for hours. Not something I had ever invisioned subjecting my children too. 
 I need food, I want food yet when I eat food I get sick. It's a mind game that sadly I feel like I am too often on the loosing end of. On a fluid only diet I am weak, loosing weight, cranky, sad, hungry oh so hungry and I miss the actually action of eating terribly. I still have to make meals and snacks for the family which is a whole different level of torture. I can loose anywhere from 2-10 pounds in a week from fluid only diet. Making me weaker and sicker feeling and looking. When eating small balanced meals like the ones I post I can maintain a healthier weight, enegery level and mood . But it seems like my flare ups and pain are stronger and longer lasting. It's also seems that they are becoming stronger in general. Like the GP is progressing. 
It's the new normal having mom walking around with heat packs and tea and getting up at any given time to go vomit and then return to whatever I was doing. Our youngest often asks me "how's your belly feeling mama" or I hear Ellie saying "oh moms going to throw up" if I leave the room suddenly and my oldest makes plans and then looks at me and goes " if you aren't too sick then". It's like I have become a unreliable person. And that is a first for me, I am use to being accountable and punctual. The kids, bless them don't seem to love me any less and are really starting to consider it all "normal". 
My husband is a trooper, having a suddenly sick often vomiting wife can't be fun. But he never lets on to that, and for that I feel so blessed. 
It has been getting me down that I no longer can function "normally". I am easily tired, often sore, weak, foggy, starving, anxious, overwhelmed and did I mention starving?! I once read this disease is like slowly starving to death and I think that person may have been right. Even when I am at a more healthy weight ( heighest BMI to date 17.6) I am still hungry, feeling deprived and feeling anxious about food because I know it's so fleeting and could be days again before the next meal stays down.  
All that venting said and done I know I am incredibly blessed and that I have numerous healthy days where I can act normally and pass as disease free. But the physiological part has been wearing at me. 
Hoping some day sooner then later they find a way to repair the Vagus nerve and this will all be just a bad dream!:)