I’m allergic to… WHAT?!

In an attempt to continue to narrow down my health issues, last week I made an appointment at the awesome Petaluma Health Center.  A few hours later, I was up on the chair getting three vials of blood drawn to be tested for food allergies and an assortment of other stuff.  I was expecting the results to be for other stuff, but instead, it came up abnormal for six foods I regularly eat – some of them on the daily.

At the top of my list stood WHEAT.  Not gluten, but WHEAT.  Ugh.

Next up came rice.  Then oats… and then strangely enough – apples, bananas and oranges.

Dude.

I eat bananas on the regular and maybe all the headaches I am combating are not for no reason at all.. maybe I have been having an allergic reaction in the form of headaches all along.  Besides bananas, wheat is definitely a daily part of my diet.  My typical breakfast is either wheat cereal or oats – with a banana.  Since finding this out I been experimenting with other sorts of fast breakfasts but so far am having issues eating things besides fruit and eggs.

I’m still struggling with how to process this new information and deciding on which steps I should take to handle my allergies. I feel like my symptoms of food allergies aren’t incredibly difficult to deal with.   Besides the headaches, tummy troubles are a typical issue and I do get super bloated after eating even very little.  I also wonder if my food allergies are what have been making it so difficult for me to lose weight.

Now, I know for sure that I am not alone out there.  I would say about 5% of my network, that I know of, has some sort of food allergy.

If you do – how do you deal with it?  How long did it take you to adjust to your new way of eating?  Do you feel better now?

Thanks for all your guidance!

Peas and no wheat,

AprilSignatur

 

Time flies

Wow, it has been three weeks since I last wrote!  Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could announce that within those three weeks that I lost a whole bunch of weight!?  Well, I didn’t. I’m actually the exact same weight I was on May 9th.  I was going to go to Weight Watchers this morning but after taking Nyquil last night as a final resort to stop my hundreds of sneezes, cough, and overall feeling of horribleness – I was knocked out for ten hours and totally missed my meetings! Oops.

I have spent the past three weeks embracing love for the people around me,  worrying about finishing up my semester (I ended with a 3.57 so yay!) and setting my plans for the summer.  I landed a job with the Humane Society to teach at their summer camp so I am extra excited for that.  I start on Tuesday and I’m a bit freaked out as I haven’t worked a regular job in five years.  Hopefully adapting won’t be too hard.

I also have been crafting together training walks for the 3-day sixty mile journey I’ll be taking in November with Alyssa and our two buddies Monique and Aubrey.   I have two set for my town of Petaluma but am also planning one on Saturday July 12th to walk seven miles through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.  If you’re local to the bay – or happen to visiting – you should totally join our walk!  You don’t have to do the full seven miles, I can map out shorter routes that will be easy to just turn around when you’re ready.

 

* Click here for the Facebook invite *

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I have been doing multiple walks myself to prepare for doing much longer adventures and am proud of myself for that.  I can already feel myself getting in better shape for it.  My first walk in Petaluma is Monday June 16th and we’ll be doing five miles then.  I’m excited because of a few of my local friends are joining in and I even got a fellow Komen walker to come too!  If you live in Sonoma County, feel free to join us for this night-time walk!

So far I am $95 into my goal of $2,300 but I have plenty of faith that I’ll be able to do a lot of fundraising this summer once I’m able to shift my focus from school and my new job onto planning ways to come up with the money.

If you have ever done a walk like this before – what are some ways that you found best in raising funds?  I hate asking people for money and I know I just need to get braver at it, especially if I want to raise another $2,205.

 

I hope you all have a glorious weekend!

 

Peace and many walks,

AprilSignatur

 

A Friday check-in for April

Hello, blogging world!  It has been an exciting past week and I’m happy to announce that I lost 3.2 pounds!  I was quite proud of myself as I stepped on the scale this morning at Weight Watchers and saw that I was back on the road of losing, rather than the past two weeks when I was creeping up.  I finally shed my birthday weight!  Haha!

I spent last weekend on an impromptu trip to the incredible Yosemite and Mono Lake.  Even though I’ve been a nature lover my whole life, this was only my first time in one of the United State’s many gorgeous national parks.  My spectacular adventure pal, his schnugglific dog, and I basically “camped” in my car for Friday night, ten thousand feet up beneath a snow covered Mt. Dana.  It was just 28 degrees so while I was actually pretty warm in my car, the lack of sleep made it very motivating for me to try to act ultra healthy after I returned from the trip.  My body needed it.

6am beneath Mt. Dana in Yosemite, California

This week I was able to integrate more salads into my day and by keenly preparing all my lettuce earlier in the week, it made it easy not to make an excuse not to eat it.  I started to work my hula hoop back into my nightly routine and am spicing it up by using my hand weights at the same time.  I use the timer on my phone because it makes it easy to build up the time I spend hooping and fluttering my arms like a baby bird trying to fly.  With that, more walking, more hiking, and a combination of some yoga and Pilates moves, my body is starting to feel much stronger.  Especially my core. 🙂

A rejuvenated April at Mono Lake

I have a nice rush of confidence after the past week.  Yosemite was great, the gorgeous views, fresh air, and seeing a BEAR made it easy to enter into the week with a rejuvenated energy.  I had a job interview on Monday to be a summer camp assistant for a Humane Society here, combining my love of working with kids with my love of science and animals.  I am SO STOKED because right after my positive weigh-in experience, I came outside to see that I had been chosen for the job!

So with a new job, a lighter weight, and awesome visual memories of a bear, I’m ready to continue on my path of awesomeness… AND I managed to get up to $95 in donations for my breast cancer walk!  I still have a long journey ahead of me but with all this confidence, I know that I’ll achieve my goals.  🙂

Thanks for the support everyone and I hope you all have a weekend full of new visions for you to focus on!

Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day

 

Love,

AprilSignatur

The water bottle.

Storing water has been a vital part of human life for an extremely long time.  I like to imagine the first water bottle was the hollowed out tusk of the great Woolly Mammoth, found already broken off the magnificent Mammuthus next to a convenient stream.  My cave woman ancestor would take notice at how the water conveniently stayed within the tusk and BAM!  Innovation at its finest.  The first water bottle.

Made from plastic water bottles, these art installations were put on the beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2012.

 

These days popular water bottles come in a much less durable form than a tusk from the ice age.   Unless you’re toting around a reusable water bottle, you may be adding to the MILLIONS of water bottles the United States goes through in a year.  And I’m not talking 3 or 5 million a year, all the varied statistics I found were well over 30 million water bottles a year being purchased.

The use of lightweight single-use plastic bottles to hold our water is a fairly new concept.  It wasn’t until the 1990’s that single use bottles started becoming popular and since then, the use of these bottles has been linked to all sorts of environmental issues as well as health issues.  I am proud to say that my local and beloved city of San Francisco, recently voted to ban plastic bottles under 21 ounces.  Joining in with our National Parks, and Concord, Massachusetts – single-use plastic bottles will no longer for legal for sale on city-owned property like the parks or numerous tourist attractions.

Like San Francisco, we as consumers can make the choice to rid single-use plastic bottles out of our lives.  Chances are, you probably already have!  I know many people who live without the single-use bottle with the help of their precious refillable bottle.  It is rare to find me without my Camelbak water bottle and when I don’t have it, I know I am missing it!  I can think of so many other people that are attached to their bottles too and each of us has our own reasoning for why our water bottles are best for us!

Personally, I like the Camelbak’s sippy straw. For some reason it motivates me to drink more water and getting down 75 ounces a day is no challenge!  However, even with all the ranting I just did about plastic, the bottle I use is made from it too, though it is 100% BPA free… so I’ve got that going for me.  I know a lot of my friends use glass bottles, I have yet to do so in fears that they may break while I’m mid-mountain on some hike.

Do you have a water bottle brand that you like the best?  Maybe you have a glass bottle that you have yet to shatter!  Let’s see what all of you are using out there in blog world!

And of course, enjoy your weekend!

Much love,

AprilSignatur

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m pretty attached to refillable water bottles, enough so that I have decided to dedicate a whole blog post to them.

Ticks.

Warning:  This isn’t relating to weight loss or fitness but it has a lot to do with health awareness.

Continuing on…

Ticks.   I hate ticks.  The very thought of them as I write this makes me feel like I have at least four on me right now.   Ideally, it would be great if you are reading this and you have no idea what this nasty little bugger I’m talking about is.  However chances are, since there are roughly 900 different species of ticks in the WORLD, you probably have at least heard of ticks.

Ticks have been a part of my life ever since I first discovered how magnificent nature is.  My family and I would do “tick checks” after our adventures outside and if one was found, my Dad would carefully pry it out of our bodies as we screamed in horror as if he was removing a toe.  What was just as bad though was when we failed to find the ticks on the dogs and they would go around for days before we discovered the sweltering beast on their bodies.

My motivation for this post came for two reasons: One is that I went for a hike on Sunday with Maggie, our golden retriever, and twice I found two different types of ticks on her.  I was so worried about finding another tick on her that I constantly was rubbing down her majestically fuzzy fur, picking out every tiny thing that wasn’t part of her coat.  I did the same to myself, scratching at my head on the drive home, thinking of the many times I had pulled ticks off me doing the very same thing before.

The other reason I wanted to talk about ticks is because there is so much more to them than just finding them and picking them off.  The scariest thing about ticks isn’t that they fall down from the trees above you as they detect your body heat moving below and then latching on and burrowing into your body, filling itself with your delicious blood.   No no, as scary as that is, the most horrifying thing about ticks is that they CARRY DISEASE.

I know two women who have contracted diseases from a tick.  One case, not as serious, was my own mother.  While I can’t recall the name of what she got, I remember how she came down with it.  She found a tick in her arm and within a few days of removing it, she noticed the spot start to get really irritated.  After it got worse and worse, she finally went to the doctor and was put on medication to “cure” her.  She’s fine now, but it was a wake up call that no matter how careful you think you can be, there is still always a chance that ticks are out to bite you.

 

Stacy and her friend who organized the fundraiser, Sasha

Stacy and her friend who organized the fundraiser, Sasha
Click here to view Stacy’s Gofundme Page!

The next case, much more serious, is that of my high school friend Stacy.  Stacy got diagnosed with lyme disease a few years ago after being bit by a tick in the very county I live in today (Sonoma County).  Stacy started losing her hair and was constantly incredibly tired.  She would get migraines, blurred vision, heart palpitations, insomnia, sensitivity to light and sound, issues with speaking, memory loss… SO many symptoms that continue on.  Now that she is in the last and final stage of the disease, she described it was living with the flu, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Of course our American healthcare system doesn’t do much to help her situation unfortunately, people with lyme disease were often denied coverage. (I hope Obamacare will truly change that!)  Stacy has had the best luck using homeopathic remedies to relieve her awful symptoms.  There are some organizations out there that help people like Stacy, but people with serious diseases like Stacy could always use all the help they could get.

I was aware of Stacy having lyme disease for a while now but I didn’t know how severe it had gotten until her friend Sasha made Stacy a fundraising page and tagged her on it.  If you are able to help Sasha make Stacy’s life a little easier, please check out her Gofundme.com page!What steps do you take to avoid ticks?  Are they on your mind when you go out in nature?

Thanks for your attention, blogging world!

Love,

AprilSignatur

 

 

Buy the box weight loss

Even though I am currently “doing” Weight Watchers, it took me a while to get keen on  the idea of paying money to do a program that had already been determined for me before nothing was known of my own personal condition. But since I can’t resist a good deal and I knew I needed some sort of extra pressure to help me… I signed up.  As you guys saw with my last update, I have actually been having some success over the past few months.  Whether or not I could have done that on my own, who knows.  I do know that I counted points for like 2 weeks and the rest of the time I have just been eating my typical “earth food” that comes from the ground rather than a box.

I’ve got this issue with boxes with more than just avoiding food from them.  I also have a big issue with companies that try to fit their potential customers or current customers into a box.  Specially, weight loss plans.  Ever since I started gaining weight as a teenager, I’ve had suggestions of weight loss programs that I should do.  Slimfast.  Nutrisystem. Jenny Craig.  Weight Watchers.  Atkins.  Now, as an adult blogger, the suggestions come on even stronger.

The past few months on Weight Watchers has really confirmed my disliking of programs that are designed to place certain people in certain boxes.  For example, my daily point allowance for WW was based on my age, height, weight, and my suggested activity level.  The spectrum for everything is pretty broad though.  According to this handy blog by LaaLoosh, age groups are clumped within ten years and people who fall between 5’1 and 5’10 are clumped together as well.  So that means a 27 year old female who is 5’9″ and 200 pounds who is sedentary will have similar point values to a 37 year old female who is 5’2″ and 160 pounds and walks often.  I would like to believe it is balanced accordingly per person, but I just doubt the specific attention each member receives when determining what they should eat every day.

Weight Watchers gripes aside, my point is this:  I believe there is no program that works for everyone.  The weight loss industry in the United States is driven by one thing: money.  Our country feeds into this multi-billion dollar industry by quickly latching on to whatever they feel is going to be the easiest solution to their weight loss.  I know when I signed up for Weight Watchers, it was and is because I still feel like I need the weekly meetings in order to feel accountable for myself.  I had a feeling that I probably wouldn’t actually track points and  even without it, I have still been able to have success.  Whether or not it is because I’m enrolled in the program and going to the meetings, who knows.  I do feel more determined that ever to get this weight off so whatever it is that I’m doing, it is working.

However, I can not just go and say that Weight Watchers works for everyone.  I think the only sort of program I can really advocate for is one that a trained dietitian and nutritionist creates specifically for YOU.  Anyone that I have talked to about their successful weight loss has been on a journey that has consisted of what they have crafted together by what works best for their bodies.  There is no simple, by the box, weight loss program that works for everyone. The trick is just finding what works for YOU.

Lots of love,

AprilSignatur