Posted in lorieb.com

Take the Wheat-Free Challenge Today!

Happy New Year!

If you have been thinking of eliminating wheat from your diet, why not start today?   I gave up wheat 18 months ago and have noticed a significant decrease in my cholesterol level, increase in my iron stores, and decrease in my asthma symptoms since then.  I have also shed 10 pounds of weight, most noticeable around my middle.

The good news is you don’t have to have an allergy or sensitivity to wheat to reap the numerous health benefits when you eliminate wheat from your diet.  You will be amazed at how fast you notice a change in your body!

Many of my friends and family members have shown interest in my wheat-free diet, so I thought I would start a blog on the subject…

Please send me your comments, questions, suggestions, and success stories; we can all motivate each other for a healthier 2013…

Posted in health and wellness, loreeebee.ca

The Joys of Juicing (and Smoothies)

Many years ago, when my twenty year old son was in grade two, I began to notice that his “bad days” at school were the days I couldn’t persuade him to eat breakfast.  He didn’t, and still doesn’t, like to eat breakfast soon after waking up.  He didn’t like school to start with; it was a constant struggle to keep him focused. 

Enter Juicing and Smoothies

While researching learning disorders, (his teachers suggested testing him for several of these) I found several articles on the correlation between brain function and food.  Basically, without food (the fuel) in his body, my son’s brain (the furnace) wasn’t able to function at full capacity!  I started making him (and his brothers) a smoothie (they call it “milkshake”) every morning, and have kept up this routine ever since!  His teachers and I started noticing a difference  almost  immediately; he has now graduated high school and college and is out in the work force.  He still loves his “milkshakes!”

How to Concoct your own Smoothies

You can use any ingredients you have handy; I use frozen strawberries, banana, yogurt, and orange juice as the base.  One son prefers just these ingredients, the other two like a bit of chocolate syrup (sugar reduced) added, and one likes some added peanut butter;   occasionally I put protein powder in too, especially when they have sports (all three play soccer and two play hockey) scheduled.    I just use a regular blender; I have been through quite a few over the years!  For cleanup, I simply fill with water, add a few drops of dish soap and blend.  I then put the whole container in the dishwasher.   This routine keeps even the small parts clean, without having to take it apart to clean each time.

More Reasons to Whip up Juices or Smoothies

A few months ago I read an article by the famed Dr. Oz about juicing to increase energy and lose weight and realized it was not a whole lot different than what I have been doing for my sons all these years.   I thought I’d give it a try since it worked so well for my boys.  I use spinach, blueberries, carrots, tomatoes, apples and green tea in my version. 

Occasionally, when I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to eat some form of grain and protein with my juice, I will add protein powder and a few table spoons of oats (the kind that cook fast) to the blender making it more of a “smoothie” and less of a “juice” My version doesn’t taste as yummy as theirs does, but it is not bad! 

I have lost approximately ten  pounds  and reduced my cholesterol level from slightly high to the mid normal range in six months.   I am also on a wheat restricted diet, so not sure which of the two changes (probably a combination of both) has contributed to these results.

Posted in family, food, lorieb.com, parenting

A smoothie a day

Many years ago, when my twenty year old son was in grade two, I began to notice that his “bad days” at school were the days I couldn’t persuade him to eat breakfast.  He didn’t, and still doesn’t, like to eat breakfast soon after waking up.  He didn’t like school to start with; it was a constant struggle to keep him focused.  While researching learning disorders, (his teachers suggested testing him for several of these) I found several articles on the correlation between brain function and food.  Basically, without food (the fuel) in his body, my son’s brain (the furnace) wasn’t able to function at full capacity!  I started making him (and his brothers) a smoothie (they call it “milkshake”) every morning, and have kept up this routine ever since!  His teachers and I started noticing a difference almost immediately; he has now graduated high school and college and is out in the work force.  He still loves his “milkshakes!”

You can use any ingredients you have handy; I use frozen strawberries, banana, yogurt, and orange juice as the base.  One son prefers just these ingredients, the other two like a bit of chocolate syrup (sugar reduced) added, and one likes some added peanut butter;   occasionally I put protein powder in too, especially when they have sports (all three play soccer and two play hockey) scheduled.    I just use a regular blender; I have been through quite a few over the years!  For cleanup, I simply fill with water, add a few drops of dish soap and blend.  I then put the whole container in the dishwasher.   This routine keeps even the small parts clean, without having to take it apart to clean each time.

A few months ago I read an article by the famed Dr. Oz about juicing to increase energy and lose weight and realized it was not a whole lot different than what I have been doing for my sons all these years.   I thought I’d give it a try since it worked so well for my boys.  I use spinach, blueberries, carrots, tomatoes, apples and green tea in my version.  Occasionally, when I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to eat some form of grain and protein, I will add protein powder and a few tablespoons of oats (the kind that cook fast) to the blender.   My version doesn’t taste as yummy as theirs does, but it is not bad!  I have lost approximately ten  pounds  and reduced my cholesterol level from slightly high to the mid-normal range in six months.   I am also on a wheat restricted diet, so not sure which of the two changes (probably a combination of both) has contributed to these results.

Posted in health and wellness, loreeebee.ca

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

For the past year or so I have noticed a significant decrease in my energy level and suffer from constant “brain fog”.  I can’t seem to concentrate on anything for very long and get distracted very easily.  Most people I complain to shrug and laugh saying “its just age” As just turned 50, I find that hard to swallow!

After a complete physical from my G.P. I was told my iron stores or ferritin levels were very low and I was put on an iron supplement.  My ferritin level is climbing back up, but still has a long way to go to “normal” levels.  My hormone levels are within the normal range; so I am classified as perimenopausal.  It was also suggested by two different doctors that I am suffering from depression. I also found that hard to believe, so I started digging deeper…

I found a naturopath online and went to see her.  Although I had to pay for this visit (my health insurance does not cover naturopathic treatments) it was well worth it.  She listened to my “story” and set up a plan.  She suggested testing for food allergies and/or sensitivities, again at my own expense.  I had the option of eliminating foods from my diet to see if I felt different/better (which could take months or even years) or a blood test.   I agreed to the blood test and received results within two weeks: I am allergic to asparagus and wheat protein.   Now asparagus is pretty easy to eliminate from my diet, but wheat?  Wheat is in everything!  Luckily I am not allergic to gluten as many others are so my diet isn’t quite as restricted. Gluten free products (which means no wheat to me) are sold in most grocery stores these days.  I can eat barley, oats, corn, rice, rye etc. so have switched my pastas and breads to these grains.  The bonus is, since I quit eating wheat, I have lost approximately ten pounds (most of which I notice has come off my middle) and my cholesterol level has gone down from slightly high to the mid normal range.

This naturopath referred me to a second one who is also an MD and so can order blood tests etc.  He suggested that although my thyroid test results were normal I may suffer from hypo thyroidism. (low thyroid function)  My other symptoms of low blood pressure, fatigue and the fact that I always feel cold fit this theory.  He suggested treatment with dried thyroid and although I gave it some consideration, decided to wait to see if my rising ferritin level and absence of wheat in my diet would make me feel better.  In the meantime I went to a thyroid specialist (also found online) who has suggested testing my saliva for adrenal gland function,  stools for dairy and egg sensitivities, and my blood for further thyroid function tests.   These tests are in progress, stay tuned!