Monday, May 30, 2011

Spicy Dry Rub

I made this rub yesterday for a pork shoulder roast and a beef shoulder roast that we put in the smoker. Both roasts weighed around 4 1/2 pounds yet I had some of the rub leftover so it makes quite a bit. I had not intended for it to be spicy but it had a little bit of a kick to it.

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons celtic sea salt
  • 1 tablespoons oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons  onion Powder
  • 1/2 tablespoons  basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger

Mix all spices, rub on meat, prepare as desired.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beef Liver Pate with Beef Heart (Dairy Free)

I love liverwurst but most store bought brands have ingredients I cannot yet tolerate. So I decided to make my own, or something like Pate, and use up some of the beef liver and heart Tracy Monday from Laurel Creek Meats in Knoxville gave me free. This is my second try - it's good IMO but I will probably experiment some more. I am using pork fat in this one since I can't have butter yet and it has a softer consistency than tallow. For people who do not like salt this recipe may be a bit salty.

Beef Liver Pate with Beef Heart (Dairy Free)

  • 500 grams grass-fed beef liver
  • 250 grams grass-fed beef heart
  • 190 grams grass-fed ground beef
  • 190 grams lard
  • 2 tablespoons celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (15 grinds roughly)
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon sage
  • 1 cup beef broth (from boiled liver/heart/ground)

Bring heart to a boil, remove foam, then reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours (or until tender). In a separate pot, bring liver/ground to a boil, remove foam, reduce heat then simmer about 20 minutes (or until tender). Save broth from both. Place meat, fat, broth, and spices in food processor and process until smooth (or desired consistency). Place in fridge. Enjoy!

You can freeze the rest of the broth to use in other recipes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Slowly Figuring Things Out

I skipped the SR potassium yesterday and it seems my heart rate is not quite as high this morning. I find that odd since potassium is supposed to help with tachycardia, but there it is. Diane from the adrenal/thyroid Yahoo group recommended staying off of it for one week, taking in at least 2 tsp of sea salt a day, then adding it back in and retesting after 3 weeks.

My trip to Austin is not happening this week. I couldn't find a free flight with decent dates. I could have left Wednesday and come back Sunday, but we are supposed to have wicked thunderstorms this Wednesday and I can't leave Mojo all day. This is so crazy. We really need to figure something out regarding Mojo's fear of thunderstorms. I cannot re-arrange my entire day because of him every time there's a thunderstorm.

Anyway, looks like I am re-starting intro TODAY. I think I am just not going to worry too much about boiling meat for every meal and will focus on getting some of the ferments in. Incidentally there are messages going around on the GAPS Yahoo group regarding using fermented foods only and no commercial probees. I guess it's worth a try. I have Beet Kvass, fermented carrot ginger brine, and sauerkraut brine in little dropper bottles so I will start with one drop a day. It seems ridiculous to start with such a small amount but hey - whatever it takes. I did eat 3 medium sized water kefir grains yesterday and I have a headache and backache this morning, feel worn out, swollen eye lids, etc. - all the usual die off symptoms. A friend from GAPS had an interesting theory about me feeling worse. She said the following, referring to the blood donation:

"I think something happened in your system- maybe by concentrating your blood and getting rid of extra iron storage- it got some critters out of hiding since critters love love feasting on iron and now they are on the surface causing you misery and you are flaring.  I think the way we define flare for every individual body is withing a given context to that specific body.  Knowing you after all this time- this is one of the ways you flare."

See, I think this makes sense and is very possible but I know if I say something like this to Dr. Cowan he will think I am nuts. I never did have my appointment with him yesterday. Apparently he was out sick so it was rescheduled for tomorrow.  

I did get my blood test results from last week yesterday. My iron is slightly higher but ferritin has dropped from 75 to 44, RBC, hematocrit, and hemoglobin are back to normal but at the low and of the range, sodium and potassium are both still low normal. I noticed that my WBC was 5.2 the day I went to the ER and now it's back to 3.8 which is too low. I do wonder why my WBC fluctuates so much.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What would have been GAPS Intro Day 28

I finally figured out why my tachy issues came back. The day I started back on GAPS Intro (4/25) I went to donate blood. Later that day is when my heart was racing like crazy. It took me two weeks to realize that I was dealing with low blood volume due to the donation. Long story short, I even went to the ER one day and now I seem to be anemic. Well, I was that day but have been eating beef liver like crazy since then. I was retested last Wednesday and hope to have the results tomorrow. My sodium was also below normal and potassium was low normal. I eventually asked Dr. Cowan for some SR potassium which he actually prescribed. I am still not back to where I was, but it's better now. What a setback.

Because of all this GAPS intro really has not been going well at all and I sort of fell off the wagon Thursday night. We went to the new Brazilian restaurant in town and I decided to have a glass of wine. I had a big buzz from that one glass, despite all the food I ate, and on the way home chewed a piece of gum. At home I had dairy kefir that I had made from regular, store bought heavy cream and I put some Splenda in it. Not the end of the world and it's not like I ate a whole cheesecake, but considering the state of my health, digestive and overall, that really wasn't a smart thing to do. I am still sort of dealing with the reaction from dairy.

Of course now I am toying with the idea of starting over AGAIN. It's the perfectionism driving me to "do it right". I am even considering going off most of my supplements, including the progesterone cream and testosterone cream I had added back in, and starting from scratch adding one thing at a time. That would really be the biggest change and going back to eating boiled meats which I am not looking forward to. The other consideration is to use fermented veggie brine only - no commercial probees. I stopped the Custom Probiotics and the Berberine supplement about 3 days ago and I feel better. Not only am I having daily BMs, but I don't wake up with pain and a stiff body every day. I really wish I could figure out why I am reacting so strongly to beneficial bacteria.

All of this has put me in sort of a depressive mood. I am getting to the point where it's hard to see the end of the tunnel or where I believe that there is someone out there who can figure this out. I put a lot of hope into doing GAPS intro again, but that hope is slowly fading as well. If I can't increase beneficial bacteria then I am not really doing GAPS. So where does that leave me?

I still think that the strep and scarlet fever incident last year caused some kind of lasting problem - but how and why? That is what I want to discuss with Dr. Cowan tomorrow. I am tired of him ignoring the fact that I have not gotten better since then. There HAS to be some significance to it.

Today marks 915 days (or roughly 30 months or roughly 2.5 years) with a distended, uncomfortable abdomen as well as a host of other symptoms that have not improved. I feel overwhelmed, disappointed, scared, and don't know where to go from here. Spending one more day feeling the way I feel seems unbearable. Needless to say my ED issues are rampant right now. It's the only way I feel I can cope. I pray, I ask God for guidance, I ask Him for comfort but I feel nothing and I hear nothing. It's very discouraging...

Back to starting over....I will probably go back on proper GAPS Intro but will have to wait a while. Rachel, our former neighbor from Austin who is like a grandmother to us, is not doing so well. I am hoping to go see her next week and I won't even attempt to make broth there or take broth with me. I will just eat GAPS legal food and won't worry about the rest. This time I also plan on going to The Saltlick, my fav BBQ restaurant, while I am there. Last time I went to Austin I chose not to go and then regretted it. looks like I will be re-starting GAPS Intro June 1 which is perfect because Bob goes to LA for 7 days on June 2nd. Now if I could just wean off coffee by then that would be great. I have read for the third time now that coffee can mimic the gluten protein and if you are gluten intolerant you could react to coffee. UGH! I tried reducing a few days ago and the depression got even worse. I need to find something to replace the coffee with. Unfortunately green and black teas make me feel nauseated on an empty stomach (and stain my teeth horribly) and I don't eat anything in the morning. Maybe I just need to bite the bullet and go off cold turkey the same time I go back on intro. Sound like suicide? I think it does!!!