Posts Tagged ‘eczema’

It all started almost two years ago when my boyfriend Matt and I moved to Vancouver, BC so I could go back to school.

Within 1 month of moving into an apartment in Burnaby, I had developed a really bad rash around my eyes and on my cheeks, forehead, lip and arms. I also got small scabs all over my scalp that were really itchy. I started getting really bad allergic reactions to everything, or so it seemed like. My eyes would water and itch and my eyes and face would swell up sometimes.

face rash 4    face rash 5    arm rash

I started seeing a doctor in Vancouver but it was at a walk in clinic so I pretty well saw someone new every time. I started experimenting with cutting out gluten and dairy from my diet, as I suspected food allergies. Eventually I had an allergy test and was allergic to mold, dust, smoke, and some grasses and trees. I was also allergic to rice which I was coincidentally eating a lot more of because of going gluten free. That is when I started to suspect leaky gut because it appeared that I was becoming allergic to whatever I ate a lot of.

So of course I cut rice out of my diet and within 24 hours my rash cleared up almost completely. I started to feel relieved because I thought the problem was solved.

2 days no rice

Sadly, within a few days the rash came rushing back. At this point I started reading about the paleo diet. I read Wheat Belly and The Paleo Solution and started experimenting even more with my diet.

I was starting to feel quite sick despite my dietary efforts and was often tired and out of it from taking so much benedryl for the allergic reactions. My school was suffering and I was getting stressed out.

I forget exactly how it happened but one day we were looking around in the kitchen and we moved a couple paint cans that were stacked up underneath the sink (which we had never moved before since moving in). They were literally sinking into the floor from water damage. Apparently the water had been leaking through the counter underneath for a long time, probably long before we moved in. We moved all the paint cans out and it became clear that there was a serious mold problem.

mold     mold

We immediately notified the landlord of the mold infestation. They had someone fix the leak and offered to have him come back to rip everything out from under the sink and fix it. We didn’t think that was a good idea while we were still living there so requested that we be let out of the lease.

Meanwhile, I got a doctors note to take 6 months off school and started seeing a naturopath in Vancouver. I had some tests done which determined I had multiple food and chemical intolerances/sensitivities including food colors/additives, MSG, Aspartame, yeast, beer and wine, all dairy products and most grains (particularly wheat), red meat, some nuts and a few random fruits and vegetables.

Other tests also suggested my body was experiencing systemic candida and fungal infection, gut disbiosis (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth – SIBO), leaky gut, blood sugar issues, digestive difficulties with breaking down food, compromised routes of elimination (which was why everything was coming out through my skin).

The naturopath immediately gave me anti candida supplements as well as detox support and suggested I follow the candida diet and look into alternative diets such as SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) or paleo.

We moved out within a month and came back to the Yukon. I continued doing more and more reading and research on the candida/SCD/paleo diets and tried out a lot of recipes. I was still experiencing the rash and allergic reactions even with being out of the mold.

swollen face and rash     swollen eye

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I knew my body was in seriously rough shape and I needed to make some major changes. I had to stop taking benedryl even when I needed it as it rendered me useless and actually made me feel really agitated.

I saw another naturopath in the Yukon and started another candida cleanse. It definitely helped a bit but even after the month I still had the rash! Throughout the last year and some I have continued to educate myself and experiment with variations and combinations of the paleo, Whole 30, SCD, GAPS, FODMAPs, Autoimmune paleo and candida diets. On most days I am essentially 100% gluten free and 80% paleo or some variation of it.

Since we got back to the Yukon almost two years ago, my health has come a long way and my rash and allergies have cleared up a lot but I still have to maintain a strict diet or my rash will come back within a day or two. Although now when I get it, it is usually only on my cheeks.

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I am still very sensitive to chemicals and scents, I have a lot of digestive issues, allergies, and food sensitivities. I absolutely know it was because of the mold because I had none of these problems before I went there.

I believe I may have been susceptible to feel such great effect from the mold because of eating so much processed, packaged and refined foods for most of my life before this. I may have paved the way to it happening, but the mold exposure sent my body and particularly my immune system off the deep end. Here I am almost 2 years later still dealing with it.

One good thing that has come out of all this is that I have become really passionate about eating and living naturally healthy. If it weren’t for everything that happened, I probably would never have started this blog in hopes that I might be able to help others out there going through the same thing as me…

paleo chicken bacon soup

It feels like I haven’t posted for so long! Oh right, that is because I haven’t.

I actually came up with this recipe a long time ago, and had posted it on my facebook page before I had a blog. I went back and tried it and figured, why not post it now? It’s delicious!

One thing I tried differently this time was I added parsnips. This seemed strange to me at first, but I had seen it done online in a few other paleo chicken soup recipes. Why the hell not.

I would highly recommend using Chicken Bone Broth for the stock. It has all kinds of health benefits! Plus… its the bomb!

Ingredients:

7 cups chicken bone broth
6 chicken breasts
6-8 pieces of bacon
2 tbsp bacon fat
1 large white onion
4 garlic cloves
4 parsnips
6 large carrots
6 stocks celery
2 cups spinach
1 stock green onions
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper

Directions:

If you are using chicken bone broth, you will want to start it 1-2 days before so you can slow cook it until you get all the good healthy stuff out of the bones!

Bake the chicken ahead of time, and cook until done. Also fry the bacon while the chicken is cooking and set aside. Save 2 tbsp of bacon fat. Yep, you heard right.

Put your bone broth in a large pot on the stove at medium-high heat. Peel and chop up your onion, garlic, parsnips, and carrots and add to the pot. Let boil for a bit until everything starts getting soft. Chop your celery and add it in along with the spinach, green onions, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper and let cook a bit longer until everything is soft. I find herbs can get intense pretty fast so I don’t use too much but feel free to add more basil and oregano.

Cut up your cooked chicken, crumble the bacon (if you haven’t eaten it all already. Ugh, I do that all the time) and add to the pot along with the bacon fat. Trust me, its delicious.

Serve right away or let cool and store in glass containers in the fridge for lunches!

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Christmas is always good for lots of leftover turkey, so of course I had to make something out of it!

First, I pulled all the leftover meat off the bones and stored it in glass containers in the fridge. I made bone broth in the slow cooker with all the turkey bones. You can find my recipe for bone broth here.

Then after 24 hours when the bone broth was done, I strained the broth out and poured it into a large pot. I made 12 cups of broth in this batch.

Here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

12 cups turkey bone broth
5 cups chopped turkey
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small cubes
10 large carrots (roughly 4 cups)
2 small celery bunches, chopped (roughly 4 cups)
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 large white onion, chopped
3 cups spinach or kale (or mix of both)
1/2 cup diced green onion
3 tbsp diced chives
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp oregano
2 tsp sage
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Pour turkey broth into pot and add sweet potato, carrots, celery, garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer until everything starts getting soft. Add remaining ingredients including turkey and simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

Let cool and store in fridge or freezer. This is great for lunches, I’ve been eating it all week!