Struggling with Lyme disease

A personal blog about nightshades, grains, dairy, Lyme Disease… oh my!
Also see my listing of Nightshades

Category Archives: Tips

TIP: More food addiction and insanity… Chlorella


A while ago I was reading through Dr. Mercola’s website and also read the post by Ty about how Chlorella is a great supplement that helps with detox.  There wasn’t anything in it other than broken cell wall organic Chlorella powder.  So, I thought I would give it a try.  I started at a lower dose than recommended, but shortly after starting to use it, I started getting that food insanity that I’ve written about before.  I couldn’t think of anything but bad foods.  Things like jelly beans, chocolate bars, chocolate covered custard filled bizmarks, the spaghetti the other night.    I couldn’t sit still.  Thinking constantly of those foods and trying to keep my willpower at max.  I’ve been putting off going to buy more wild rice because the store I get it from has an awesome bakery in it and I KNOW I won’t be able to keep myself from getting bizmarks if I go.

Then it struck me the other day.  I also have this same reaction when I eat things with Carrageenan in it.  Carrageenan is a seaweed.  Chlorella is an algae.  So, I stopped using the Chlorella to see what would happen.  I’m MUCH better today.  Calmer, too.  I wonder what it is about those two things that drive me absolutely insane about food? 

I need to remember to add it to my spreadsheet of foods and symptoms.

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TIP: Did you know that Black Pepper is actually fermented?


I just happened to be looking at the container of black pepper sitting in front of me… did you know that black pepper is actually a fermented food?  Here’s a snippet of what it says:

“Black peppercorns are unripe green fruits (berries) that are sun-dried after fermenting. They are then sold either whole or ground to different degrees of coarseness.”

So, if you really need to avoid fermented foods, keep an eye on your use of black pepper.  It’s not a nightshade, but I thought it interesting to comment on.

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TIP: Check the ingredients of your Baking Powder


Yeek!  Check the ingredients of your baking powder!  It might contain some form of potato starch.

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TIP: Oh, drat! Look at the ingredients of your salt!


Look at the ingredients of your salt.  Does it contain DEXTROSE?  Do you know the source of that dextrose?  It could be derived from potatoes.  I suggest checking with the manufacturer or switching to a different salt that does not contain dextrose. 

I wonder if this is the reason why I crave salt at home?  I’ll try switching salts and see what happens.

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TIP: Check the ingredients of milk


I was laughing with my daughter about how her Dad’s butter container said “contains milk”.  I thought, “duh!” and then jokingly said, “what if the milk container said ‘contains milk’!”  hahahaha!  So, I looked at the ingredients only to be shocked by reading “Vitamin A Palmitate” – potatoes!!  No wonder milk would make me sick.  Sheesh!  So, check your milk ingredients.

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Do you sit in front of a computer all day at work? Look at the Flow program


Every time I went to see my Chiropractor he would tell me that I HAVE to just get up and move every so often.  I work 8 hours a day+ and sit in front of a computer the entire time except for breaks and lunch.  Actually, I sit at my desk and eat my lunch, so I sit then, too.  So, what does a completely sedentary person do?

Well, enter the Flow exercise program for Windows/Mac computers.  Although, if you work in a corporation, it’s very likely that you do not have the computer permissions to install this program on your computer.  I’m in our IT department at work, and am an administrator of my PC, so I can do this.  Once you install this program, you can set it to interrupt you every 15 minutes, hour, two hours, etc.  I set mine to interrupt me every one hour.  The first time in the morning, it starts off with a few minute video of stretches to do.  Every hour, it will interrupt you and ask if you want to do the exercise video or skip it.  If you skip it 4 times in a row, you’ll get a little video where the instructor complains at you.  I usually don’t have my headphones on when that comes up, so I’m not sure what she’s saying.

If you’re anything like me, you’re not fit enough to do a whole lot.  You’ll very likely not be able to do all of the exercises (I can’t do them all, either).  Just think of it as something to work up to.  Is all you can do just the stretches?  Then, just do that for now.  Anything is better than what you’re doing now, right?  I have days where all I have the energy for are the stretches once at the beginning of the day and that’s it.  I’m doing better, though, so it’s good.  I also skip the exercises that put pressure on my knees or I modify it and do something else that doesn’t require my knees.

The hard part is someone walking by or into your cube while you’re in some weird stretching position or something.  That’s a bit embarrassing.  My manager tends to come by when I’m doing a video.  D’oh!  I told him it was better than taking up smoking – the guy next to me takes quite a few smoke breaks during the day, so I figure if I stop and stretch (or whatever) it’s okay.  I have to get better or else I’ll miss more work.

Tips:  You’ll need something to sit on that does NOT roll.  If you sit in a cube, you probably have a chair with wheels.  I have a little ottoman that I keep under my desk that I drag out every time I do the exercises.  You’ll also want a set of headphones so that you can hear the music and exercise narrative that goes along with the video.

Also, it’s a bit glitchy on a Windows 7, 64 bit platform.  I was able to install Flash Square Beta and it works enough to use.

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TIP: Watch out for “Shellac Wax” on fruits and veggies


For those of you super sensitive to nightshades, watch out for Shellac Wax.  Shellac Wax comes from the secretions of the Lac Beetle (aka Laccifer Bacca or Coccus Lacca).  Ew, bugs.  I’m allergic to the cochineal bug, too.  So, I looked into the Lac Beetle.  Guess what I found?  “Lac insects are most commonly seen on Wolfberry (Lycium)”.  The Wolfberry is a nightshade!!!  Wolfberries are in Viagra, too, so beware those of you thinking of using that.  Here’s what I found Shellac Wax on (after the anaphylactic shock set in) – pretty isn’t it?  grrrr

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TIP: Get a phone app that has List capabilities


This probably won’t work for everyone, but I found it really helpful to download an app for my iPhone that allows me to keep lists of things to avoid.  I started a list of things that are either nightshades or are derived from nightshades.  Sure makes grocery shopping easier.

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TIP: Avoid “Vitamin A Palmitate” – it’s potatoes


Okay, so here’s my first tip for everyone.  Avoid foods with “Vitamin A Palmitate” in the ingredients list.  So far I’ve found this in the margerine that I use.  drat.

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TIP: Start your own food and activity journal


Okay, so here’s my first tip:  start your own food and activity journal.  Here’s what I use:

I bought a thick chubby spiral notebook, a pencil, and some of those stick-on flag things.  These flags are great in that I can write on them with my pencil and erase and re-use them for something else.  Gotta love my beige desktop underneath.  Everything here at the office seems to be beige.  sigh.

The little chubby notebook is great because it’s small, but thick, and fits right in my purse so that I have access to it at work and at home.  It’s also small enough to sit on my desk at work and not get in the way.

So far, I’ve made the flags say:  symptoms, avoid these, tips, recipes.  Then the rest of the pages are for my journal entries.  I keep track of the date, as well as the time, that I make the entries so that I know how long it took after eating something for the syptoms to appear. 

You don’t have to do anything that complex.  Even just writing down what you’re eating, and how you’re feeling, along with the date is a really great start.  For many many years I read about people saying to keep a food journal, but I never did.  Not sure why.  Probably just seemed like more work than I had energy for.

Here’s are some example entries:

10:00am cooked and ate 1 egg with salt sprinkled on top.  Hard boiled. Leftover from last night.
11:00am  still tired and my lower back is sore.  Have a headache at temples.
12:00pm  ate rice cake (brown rice, sea salt) with cashew butter (cashews, sunflower oil).  Had leftover chicken breast (cooked in olive oil with salt and black pepper)
2:00pm  feeling cold and can’t stay awake at my desk.

You’ll get the hang of it as you go.  Tracking those symptoms and exactly what you’re eating is really important.