Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dairy allergy... Confirmed. Bummer.

I got kinda depressing news last week.  After getting some accidental dairy (whey in an English muffin, since a line cook didn't understand that whey is dairy), I just wasn't bouncing back.  Usually the worst of it is over in three days, but after about six without being fully back to normal, it was off to the doctor.  

She was very nice, did an exam, and checked on the raw spots.  And she gave me the bad news gently... She confirms that she believes I was correctly diagnosed with the dairy allergy. Ironically, the more careful you are with a food allergy and the more faithful you are to your new diet, the worse a reaction can be when you do have one. 

Without being too graphic, I'll share that part of the dairy reaction includes heartburn that could cripple a rhino and some swift, painful exits as everything in your digestive tract freaks out and attempts to abandon your body. It leaves you feeling a bit raw and burned. She gave me medicine to help that heal.  She suggested I try a different probiotic blend.  I found one that seems to have a miraculous result. (It pays to meet the employee who has a severe dairy allergy as well.  Vegan power!) 

I was still bummed. Well, despite the diagnosis in July, I'd been kind of hoping it was a misdiagnosis and maybe there was another, less permanent solution.  But it seems these dairy issues are well known and I'm a model dairy-allergic patient.  

I'm also mad because the tummy troubles of last week have yet again derailed my return to normal training.  I'm starting to feel like I'll have a mountain to climb to get back where I was. I had worked my way to a 7:47 mile, and 150 mile bike weeks.  I'm demoralized and gloomy, and I still haven't found a pool around here.  

Here's hoping that the new probiotic continues to work its wonders.  I'm hoping that this week, at last, I can have enough feeling-good time at once that I can work in some decent workouts.  Plus, it's cold out and I miss my usual bike route in the hills. It's kind of flat round here in DC. 

I think we have located a possible back route, though.  Stay tuned for bike experiments as the temps climb back out of the 20s. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bike trainer, lemon lentil soup, blender cocoa, journaling

Today I set up my trainer. I kind of intended to set it up in the study, but I wanted to watch TV while I rode today, since I decided I wanted to get a baseline 30 minute moderate effort to judge this year's training by.  By moderate, I mean hard enough to be work, but easy enough that I can still talk- basically, bike tribe riding speed.  I recorded my average speed, heart rate, and time, and we will see if there are improvements. I suppose I could measure other things too, like waist size and stuff like that, but I worry that it would not go to a healthy place for me. It is easy to get obsessive about numbers, and when I'm stressed, one bad number can put me in a funk.  So I'm sort of avoiding my scale right now. 

 I am going to work hard on my trainer this winter, for I love my bike and the trainer as hard as I loathe and detest the evil Dreadmill.  I will run outside, come hell or high water or ice or snow.  Well, actually, I will run outside on cloudy or sunny days when the temps are between 30 and 105 Fahrenheit. I'm wimpy like that. But it gets me my running mileage! I need my bike though.  Without bikes, the tension just builds and builds. Riding my bike- indoors or outdoors- is like a giant shot of happy and calm and mellow.  It's like some switch gets flipped and I believe in all things good on a bike. Except for the parts where I'm going up a hill or pushing a hard gear and there's all the swearing... 

Stress wise, things are actually pretty good. The things that we needed to improve have improved, and I hope we are in the last stage of M's job hunt.  But I was so tightly wound for so long, I'm finding it's actually quite difficult to release the anxiety. It was balled up in little knots in my shoulders, clicking through the stiff joints and nestling in the painful spot under my collar bone. The stress of the last year dug so deep I clenched a permanent gash into my gum- the dentist has me applying ointments to it to help it heal, but I still catch myself clenching.   

And it's all too easy to head straight back into Terror Territory. The smallest car rattle terrifies me.  Every receipt from the store makes me worry. Every cat sniffle had me frantic that I haven't found a vet yet.  I have to take a moment to remind myself: the car is under warranty, we are tracking our budget carefully and have been as frugal as possible throughout this whole 16 month process of fellowships, separation, and moving. 

I'd been so anxious and stressed for so long that I'd forgotten how to be relaxed and mellow. I think I'm going to work on that this year, and I might need some help.  Whether I choose to work with a therapist or a spiritual director or a guru, it is helpful for me to have homework to work on.  I wonder how this will go over, being released into the wild.  I don't usually talk about my anxiety issues.  But I am always trying to get the message out that strong people also sometimes need a helping hand.  So I'm going to turn on "Lean On Me" on repeat and use the "Everything Is Going to Be OK" graphic that I see everywhere as Ipad wallpaper. Learning how to mellow will be a new life skill. 

It was very good to bust out the trainer.  I miss my bike tribe. I miss being able to fall out of bed and be riding through wild country 20 minutes later.  There's no wild country or easy escape here in the Big City.  But with the Badass on its trainer, I can dream of the days when these sissy Virginians will go back outside.  Speaking of which, I always see bikes on the W&OD train, right near work, but I don't want to look like Stalker Girl, so I resist the urge to run up to them and ask who they ride with and where they take their bikes.  

Barre3 was all core today. Good for me.  Being back on the Badass highlighted how lazy I've been with core work, and I really, really need it.  

I made a fantastic lemon lentil soup for dinner- I do love lemon in things. I should just buy them in bulk instead of two or three at a time. That just doesn't last me a week.  We also recently picked up a Brita pitcher after realizing (when my dad refused to drink water) that the chlorine taste from the tap wasn't just us. It makes a HUGE difference in our milks and bean cooking so far. 

Overall, we are stumbling towards stability. We still have a ways to go, but I think by this time next year, we will be solid.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

Kimchi and Core Work

M has been busy in the kitchen- marinating and preparing his latest batch of kimchi, a sort of spicy Korean salad.  I usually measure out two or three ounces and have it as a side dish. He swallows whole bowls. So I'm glad he's learned to make his own! 

(Kimchi is nice in the winter- it was 21 degrees at 5 pm.  That is cold, and kimchi is so nice and warm!) 

I have continued with adventures in Vitamix.  It really makes a difference in almond milk and vegan cheeze sauces.  Today I also made a hot soup and a salad dressing.  

I got started on my resolutions.  I did a 30 minute core workout today. Tomorrow we are going to explore the nearby rec center for pool options. 

I had a bit of a dairy mistake a few days ago (I was not as vigilant with fast food as I ought to have been) and the heartburn has been fairly unrelenting.  I think I'm on the last day now, but I will be glad when this latest reaction is over.  

We just got our library cards and I picked up a book called Learning to Bake Allergen Free from the hot picks section.  Maybe I'll learn something!