Double Chocolate Paleo Scones

Double Chocolate Paleo Scones

I thought I would throw my own offering into the paleo baked goods recipe pool by giving a shot at creating my own. I got inspired to create a paleo version of a chocolate gluten-free scone made by a local coffee shop here in North Idaho that makes excellent GF chocolate scones. But alas they use a traditional GF flour which still includes grains like rice and tapioca. GF flours can also often use legumes.

For those of us following the AIP with autoimmune issues and grain sensitivities, these are still a no-no. 😕

Another challenge I have with many paleo recipes is many use almond flour, and almonds for me are a high allergen. That plus many AIP’s can’t/shouldn’t eat nuts…

Not that any recipe is perfect for all people, but hopefully this chocolatey cakey scone recipe will be useful and yummy to some of my fellow AIP/Autoimmune/Lymie/Mast Cell/Histamine/“_______” friends out there ♥️. Gotta say I think these are a success 😋

Preheat oven to 350.

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup cacao powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup organic vegetable shortening

1 cup organic honey

8 organic eggs (from hens not fed corn or soy)

1 cup organic chocolate chips (soy-free)

Mix dry ingredients well, add wet ingredients until well integrated, then stir in chocolate chips.

Place batter drop style on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 12-18 minutes depending on size. Use toothpick if unsure of doneness.

GF

Paleo

Vegetarian

Eat in moderation, not a low calorie, low fat or low sugar food 😉

For Those Who Judge Posting “Personal Problems”, And Why Some Put It All Out There….

Deep breath, here we go. This isn’t going to hit everyone the same way. We are as individual in how and what we communicate as our fingerprints, and that carries over into our perceptions of how and what others communicate as well.

Now I will start by saying this is not going to be a broad-spectrum discussion on various topics, because (obviously) there are things we should be private about (problems in a relationship with a partner, keeping a confidence, etc) but I will focus only on sharing/not sharing/over sharing as it relates to health and illness.

There is such a whirlwind of differing opinions when it comes to how open we (for purposes of this post I am referring to chronic illness sufferers) are with our struggles and symptoms and the emotional states we find ourselves in because of said struggles.

See prior posts: Judgment & Scrutiny Living With Chronic Illness

The Mighty: Why the Ill Post On Facebook

When You Are Put Down For Being Your Illness

The foundation for me as to why, is at its most basic stated in this quote and these verses:

“God never intended that we should suffer alone, that we should suffer for nothing. “~Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni’s Testimony Here about 50 yrs as a quadriplegic

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer;”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-6‬ ‭

We are given many examples in the Bible how we are to bare each other’s burdens, share in each other’s suffering, comfort and come alongside those who are sick, hurting, broken….

When did it become an “unchristian” thing to be honest about what you are going through? Or when did it start meaning you lacked faith if you were suffering? If that is true let’s start scrutinizing and judging King David, the Apostle Saul, and well just about every writer and prophet in the Bible! (To say nothing of the entire New Testament!).

What if Joni had never shared her story? Never written? Was never honest about her suffering, but instead had just put on a brave face? I can guarantee she would not have a ministry, not have touched millions, and worst of all not fulfilled God’s calling on her life and His plan and purpose in her trials.

Have you ever read a biography about someone overcoming great difficulty? Were you inspired how they suffered and what they went through and yet kept going?

What about how much you were inspired by a person’s biography where everything went great their whole lives; lots of money, great health, everything went right in their lives….won every race and accomplished every goal? Yeah. Me either.

No not everyone is called to share their dark moments of the soul, or all the ways their bodies betray them on a daily basis, and that’s ok. But don’t judge the ones who are. The ones who share with purpose…to try and get help. To try and help others. To spread awareness. To invoke change.

True you may be “too close” to the person who has suddenly become a verbal geyser of health talk to see clearly why they do what they do; because you know who they were before, and make your own judgments as to their motives.

And I don’t know the truth in every situation, because there certainly are attention seekers out there… What I do know is that the vocal ones are changing the world one person and one community at a time. I thank God for the ones who have, and still help me, who post and blog and share. I learn from them. I am encouraged by them. I love forward in my own journey because of them.

And I also thank God that I have also been able to help others.

None of which would have been possible had we stayed silent.

I am far from perfect, I have over the years been confronted with a lot of my own ugliness; both what has sprung forth from a sick brain, and what is just apart of my fallen self that has needed weeding. That said, I would like to think that with Christ’s help I am here for the right reasons, I refuse to waste my suffering, and I will not stop being open and raw and real as long as God has me in that place, no matter what stage I’m at. And if I’m healed I will not forget or close the door to those who come behind me, who need to read a blog about how they are not alone and that others have walked the path before them.

The Judgement & Scrutiny Of Living With Chronic Illness 

(*disclaimer at the bottom of article)
Judgment. 

Scrutiny.

 Those words immediately evoke feelings of negativity. Living with chronic illness is negative and difficult in itself, but have you ever stopped to think that almost every person batting a chronic illness also gets “insult added to injury” (literally) by being judged and scrutinized in everything they do?….. What they post on social media, every choice they make, every event they attend or don’t attend, everything they eat and every purchase they make? Yes. This is a huge part of living with chronic illness. 
   Can you imagine suffering from a condition and all of a sudden even “normal” activities and decisions come under the watchful and judgmental eye of everyone you know?
What do I mean? 
Example: “Shelley” suffers from chronic Lyme. All her friends and family know this. They know treatments are expensive and Shelley spends a lot of time at the doctor. Shelley also says no to a lot of family functions and activities with friends. Shelley also shares her struggles on social media and everyone knows she is struggling financially as well due to all her medical expenses. Some of Shelley’s family are very negative; they knew Shelley when she was active and vibrant and can’t understand how this sickness seems to go on and on without end. They think her posts about illness are attention-getting and that Shelley is needy, especially being that she is single and they think therefore she is trying to get sympathy. They think she is pathetic. Some of them let her know and express their anger. Some of them no longer speak to her at all.
Shelley also feels like she can’t win when it comes to socializing….
(NO) When Shelley says no to an event or dinner (or has to leave early or rest in the middle):
People think Shelley is being a drama queen again, or lazy, or being anti-social, etc. 
“She always says no so why bother asking”
“She is so self-absorbed with her problems. If she just got out more and acted normal she would feel better”
“Sickness has become Shelley’s identity. If she just stopped owning it she wouldn’t be so sick” 
“Shelley is not as sick as she thinks she is. Lyme is an excuse”
“Shelley has some kind of social disorder and is using sickness as an excuse”
“There she goes again, lying on the couch in the middle of a party. Apparently she wasn’t getting enough attention…”
(YES) When Shelley says yes to an event, or dinner: People think
“how can she be sick in bed yesterday and out today looking normal today?”
“She is such a liar, she said she couldn’t go out his morning and there she is tonight out with friends”
“She must be getting better, finally this Lyme thing is going away”
“You look good! You look healthy, you must be better”
“How can she afford to go out when she was just posting her Gofundme yesterday?”
“All this posting on social media about being sick, and yet when I see her she looks fine”
“Should she be eating that?”

You see I am Shelley. If you are ill and reading this, you are Shelley. And I know dozens and dozens of Shelleys that have the same experiences. 
Most people don’t think twice about going out to eat, taking vacations, hanging with friends, going to movies, buying a pair of shoes…

But when you deal with chronic illness things are a little different. Have you ever considered how much judgment someone who is sick receives? And this is on top of all the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and financial suffering. 
That’s why I write. Because most judgment comes from naivety and simply not understanding. 
I have to deeply think before I post anything regarding my illness; TMI? Who’s my audience? Sharing info with fellow Lymies versus relatives that are going to roll their eyes at another health post?

Am I going to get negative backlash?

Are people going to get the wrong idea?
I also think twice before I post anything about going out, being with friends, or anything that has to do with spending money….. 

You see guy can buy new shoes if you need them without a second thought. But if I do I have to assess who might judge me knowing that I struggle financially. See what I mean? And I also don’t want to hurt that friend that I said no to yesterday when I felt super fatigued when they see me out with someone today because I rested and feel a little better.

I also struggle with guilt and and moral questions whenever I do something fun or spend a little money. Am I “allowed” to have fun? Can I justify a purchase for myself? Even though I am. It by any means extravagant (I rarely go shopping, buy clothes, and almost never eat out) I feel funny when I do and feel I have to answer for myself to everyone I know. 
Conclusion. 

This isn’t a perfect essay, and I didnt touch on a lot (including judgment and negativity from the mainstream medical community that doesn’t understand certain chronic illnesses), but there are tons of bloggers out there and they are doing a great job being a voice for this community. All we can do is try our best, and have an extra dose of grace as we raise awareness to those who would judge us. 
*Please note that this essay is on the topic of judgment and scrutiny; There are a LOT of kind and understanding people who do take the time to learn, ask questions, talk and give support. Thank you all my friends and family that fall in this category. 💚

  

A “Good Day” To Be A Lymie

Today is a good day; it’s currently 12:10pm on a Saturday and it’s still my “morning”, being that I’m still convincing myself to get moving and I haven’t done much yet.

I am coming off of several weeks of an antiparasitic/antiviral treatment that was pretty hardcore, and it was phase 2 having completed phase 1 the month before last. I feel like it takes a while for my body to reset and rebuild after the onslaught.  I had a UVBI blood treatment on Monday and I’m still not sure what my reaction is being that I felt energized the day of and not so good the rest of the week. (I was told I could experience some die off).

I’m tired. Even though I’m done with that particular protocol I’m still on a TON of supplements, and as of a few days ago three new prescriptions. Still have to deal with Candida, hormones and other stuff. I’m tired.  But body pain today isn’t too bad, fluid retention (my pesky persistent minion) is at about a medium. All things considered today is a good day relative to how crappy I have been feeling. I might even try and go for a walk.

I am mentally troubled this “morning” as I contemplate where I’m at as far as treatment protocol and what the rest of the year holds as far as medical expenses and whatever the doctors will want to do next. 11,000 went on the credit card just the last 6 weeks for our family’s medical needs 😳

That said; I got confirmation from my main two doctors this week that the protocol to kill the viruses and parasites was very successful and I’m in good shape as far as that goes. Which leaves the remaining battle being the autoimmune disorder factor in this long-term disease, and that’s been a huge battle. 

Bottom line my body hates itself and I hate it. Not a happy cohabitation. So my Mast cells and histamine, cytokines and gut all need to decide to start getting along or my slow decline into self-destruction will someday be successful. 

That said I am hoping that the remaining months of this year will see big changes, that I will start to experience what “normal” feels like, and that next time I have a “good day” it won’t be in parenthesis because of relativity, but “good” will actually be good


Lyme Fund

Biography And Treatment Update

Hi my name is Jennifer, and I am not sure how long I have had Lyme because my and my family’s health history is rather complicated;

In 1990 when I was 11 and my sister was 9 we moved into a house on 5 acre property, it was a dream to have lots of animals and acreage. There were some great memories living there, but it ended up being a disaster. I cannot remember the time frames of everything but I will just do a quick overview. After a time our family started having various health issues ranging from chronic fatigue, depression and asthma to chronic sinus infections and a lot of other stuff. It took years but we eventually discovered that there were 13 different kinds of mold growing in the house including black mold. Also we were on a well and we discovered that there was suspected chemical dumping in the ground.

In 1996 after being nearly bankrupted by medical bills and with my mom going through chemo, my parents sold the house as a tear down.
Fast forward, (there were a lot of years in between and too much to go into) although some health issues got better after leaving the moldy house there were a lot that still lingered. Personally I had a two year period around 2003-2005 where I cleaned up my diet got in shape and was doing fairly ok. I don’t think I realized at the time that some cognitive things I dealt with and other health things weren’t normal, it was just “me”, because I was functioning at what I would consider to be a normal level. But right at the end of 2005 I had a period of stress and started having a lot more GI issues. A lot tumbled downhill after that; systemic inflammation, food intolerances, fatigue, brain fog (insert lots of Lymie symptoms here). I did the usual rounds with the doctors, was told a lot of different things, I had IBS, fibromyalgia……nothing at all. I had tests and blood work and MD’s never found anything.
I Finally found a doctor in 2010 that did muscle testing and nutritional therapy that was able to help me with a lot that was going on by supporting organ functions and detox pathways, etc. After two years with her my experience is that she gave me a lot of help where I feel I might have literally died without her intervention, and yet in some ways treating my body was like her trying to patch holes in a leaky boat that kept springing new leaks. During my care with her she also ran  a lot of blood work and tests revealing things like Leaky Gut, MTHFR defect, high PM cortisol, etc. My doctor had been concluding that we were probably dealing with an autoimmune disease and sent me to an LLMD in Seattle. (I must note that my sister was also on a parallel journey with me). Long story short got diagnosed with Lyme and went through two years of treatment with antibiotics and herbal antibiotics. At the end of 2012 during the beginning of die off I was bedridden for 3 months and this was probably the darkest period of my life.

I would have to say that with initial treatment I got maybe 50%-60% better and really had a very sharp LLMD that also understood treating Candida and all the other stuff that was going on. That said I  had  a lot of symptoms that just wouldn’t go away and still wasn’t really living due to fatigue, body pain, neurological issues and other things. I have kept hitting brick walls over these long years with treatment.

I heard about Dr Smith late last year from a dear friend who is also a chronic Lyme sufferer and was in a worse place than me with her health. She had also been treated by a Seattle LLMD although a different one than myself and was not doing well. She went to go see Dr Smith late 2013 and has had nothing less than miraculous results. By chance (providence) I met several other mutual friends online who had also seen Dr Smith and were getting better.

I went for my first appointment with Dr Smith June 30th 2014 and had Lyme treatment in consecutive days. Despite the fact that I had been receiving treatment for 2 years Dr Smith found Borrelia, Bartonella, Babesia, Lyme virus A, Lyme virus B, a liver virus and parasites. There was both some shock and relief in the diagnosis because in my head I had thought I must be mostly over the Lyme, but I knew I was stil struggling so something must be wrong, and I had wondered “what now?”

Week 2-3 post treatment were the worst with the die off with chest pain and hard heartbeat, vertigo, mini seizures, panic attacks, severe brain fog and confusion, worse systemic inflammation… Toward the end of week 5 things started to ease up and I felt back to my normal sick self. Almost 2 months later I went back for a second appointment with Dr Smith on August 25th for some “touch ups” due to some kidney and liver problems, he ended up finding a few viral infections. Literally the next day after treatment I already felt better.

As of today September 27th 2014 I am approaching 3 months post treatment and I am doing pretty well. My mind is clearer than it has ever been to my recollection, I am not dealing with the brain fog, dyslexia, word recollection problems, etc. My energy is immensely improved and I have been getting on my bike a few times a week. I also went to my first yoga class in years and made it about 2/3 of the way through before surrendering to Child’s Pose. I have also been back to the gym a couple times and done 20 minute sessions on the elliptical. These are all huge steps compared to what my activity level has been for years. Also I have been more social and seeing my friends again.
I have a little ways to go with all this but I am hopeful that I may in the near future have good health for the first time in my adult life.

It is too much to go into but my sister is also in treatment with Dr Smith and both my parents will start their Lyme treatment with Dr Smith in October 2014  (yes all four of us!) having been diagnosed by Dr Smith as having Lyme during my first visit to Idaho.

Just ‘Cause You’re Sick Doesn’t Mean You Can’t…..

Image

Yes you are in bed most of the time. Yes you feel like that possum that got hit by the truck. Yes you are kind of stuck and down in the dumps. You can’t do most of the things you want to do, so it is easy to get depressed, feel worthless and a burden on society. We’ve all been there, no matter what point in our illness we are in right now.

So since it is so easy to focus on the “can’ts” (which lead to feeling worthless), here are some “can’s” you can do right from your bed. And please don’t put these ideas down as cheesy, maybe some are but it’s the little things that sometimes make the day brighter.

 

Image1. Write Thank You Cards “just because”. Are there people in your life that you love and appreciate? How good would it feel to surprise them with a random thank you. Don’t be afraid to fill it full of detail about everything you love about them. And don’t be afraid of the digital Thank You! Are cards a little passe for you? Or maybe you can’t even get to the post office? Send a Facebook message or tribute post praising your friends and family for how fabulous they are.

 

Image2. Movies! Make it through the AFI top 100 Films list….or Best Musicals…or whatever list you choose. Okay I admit to growing up watching a lot of movies, but it is something I really enjoy and I appreciate the old ones as well as the new. Sick in bed might be the perfect time to be able to say  to someone “Why yes I have seen every film starring the great Cary Grant. Who of course was born as Archibald Leach in England and was a circus performer.” (yes, bedridden=time) There is no shame in being a film aficionado! (and may I add that binge watching television series is a lot of fun as well). Make a check list and tick it off as you go, at least you will feel accomplished 😉

 

Okay, these next 2 might be tough for those suffering cognitive issues (I went through years of struggling with reading)

Image3. Catch up on the Classics. Pride And Prejudice, Moby Dick, Tom Sawyer…….. there is a ton of classic literature out there that most of us haven’t read. Sick in bed is the perfect time! Now like I said I went through years of having trouble reading, When I tried I would re-read the same sentence or paragraph over and over and just not be able to take it in. Plus I had Lyme-induced dyslexia and Lyme-induced reduced visual acuity. So what I found (that I still love) are audio books. Especially now with smart phones this makes audio books very accessible. Audible (an Amazon company) has basically saved my life!

 

Image4. Discover art. Whether you are artistic or not everyone can enjoy sketching or drawing. Get some good art paper and some nice pencils, or even water colors or pastels. You might awaken the artist in you.

 

Image5. Scrapbook. Get colored paper, stickers, fancy scissors, glue sticks…. have fun.

 

Image6. Photography. Subject matter is of course limited in your bedroom, but if you are able to take short walks or sit in the back yard just play around taking photos. Try different angles and lighting…. lie on the ground and look up, walk a few steps and look down…you will be surprised at the hidden treasures all around. Play around with your photos editing on your phone or computer. The possibilities are endless.

 

Image7. Get some fish. Fish are easy no-brainer pets. If you don’t want to mess with filters and taking on too much work, get a Betta fish, just make sure the tank isn’t too small. Fishy likes space too after all. Fish are therapeutic to watch and it is nice having something to care for.

 

Image8. Learn. If your poor diseased brain is up to it find subjects of interest and learn about them online. The information out there is limitless.

 

All these ideas are just a starting point. I think just making a list that fits the parameters of where your health is that you can check off will give you a sense of accomplishment. Whatever you decide to do take the step and do it, you deserve it.

It’s Not Over

I got asked an interesting question today… Do you think you are over the Lyme? Well I honestly don’t know. I have come SO far from where I was a year ago, and a year ago I was much better than six months before that. Of course few people who have Lyme are dealing with just Lyme, whether it be co-infections like Bartonella, heavy metals…..what have you. For me besides the Lyme it has been chemical toxicity, long term mold exposure, Leaky Gut, Systemic Candida, heavy metals, and MTHFR and one other genetic defect that prevents all this gunk from leaving my body…and the havoc all the above have caused along with way. 

The last couple weeks I have had a huge amount of physical and emotional stress and my body is just not recovering. There is deep fatigue that no amount of rest seems to alleviate. I know that there are multiple factors here because last Monday my doctor also tested me positive for some kind of new chemical exposure, and I was also having a massive histamine reaction that was causing a good deal of pain. And besides that I had reached the end of my RX for candida and it has been flaring right back up again. Sigh.

So with all this “stuff” I really have no idea what part any spirochetes Imageplay in all this. I am about 20 months into treatment and I know there is huge improvement, so I think the little guys are mostly dead. But they do cycle (every 7 months?) I believe, so it is a matter of being in treatment long enough to kill all the generations, and of course I don’t know when these cycles are happening but stress on the body can make a herxeimer reaction worse.

Anyway, at the end of the day the answer to the question is “I don’t know, we shall see”. Here is a link to an article by my LLMD on how to determine the end of treatment: (just “X” out of the pop up)

http://www.treatlyme.net/treat-lyme-book/finished.html