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Everything posted by Eli

  1. Yeah! New Challenge! I'm felling really great about this round. As some of you know from last time, I was having some rough times figuring out the cause of my mysterious illness! Well, I am 99% confident that I've been suffering from health issues as a consequence of my (until now) unknown allergy to gluten. I've kicked the gluten, and I'm feeling great again! I spent 2 months eating gluten-free with an 80% improvement to my health and then I took a "gluten challenge" the week after the last NF challenge. The "gluten challenge" meant I had to eat a minimum of 1 slice of glutinous bread every day...well, I ramped that up a bit to times 4. Summary: the first 3 days were purely gastro-intestinal related symptoms (pain, bloating, gas, pain...) but by the middle of the third day and beyond, I was back into the weird headaches, dizziness, confusion, exhaustion, extremely low energy (e.g. I went from walking 3.5 km twice a day to being completely exhausted after walking ONE city block). The headaches and other symptoms continued into the following week AFTER I'd gone back to my gluten-free diet. My digestion took a little while, as well, to get back to normal. I also severely broke out in acne and had some other bizarre health issues (which I won't discuss with you here). The whole point of the "gluten challenge" was for me to take a celiacs blood test. I know now that I'm gluten intolerant, but I would like to know if I'm actually celiacs instead. I'm still waiting to see my doctor to find out the results. Should know by Wednesday! Ok, so now that that bs is over with, I feel a lot better again and have much more energy. I played a game of Ultimate Frisbee last night and am happy to report that I: 1) had a TON of energy; 2) was running and sprinting like I haven't done since I was a track-loving teenager; and 3) didn't have to sub-off once during the entire 70 minute game (were were short 5 players)! It felt awesome! Maybe some of you remember when I was worried about heart issues?? Well, I'm starting to wonder if that wasn't also related to my gluten problem. CURRENT CHALLENGE! My main quest: to become the organized, disciplined person I have always wanted to be!! My inspiration, Kung Fu movies!...(if you don't immediately understand, then don't worry about it...). The goals I've chosen for this challenge are all things on my "life list" of things to do. I'm tired of sitting around wishing I was that person, and I'm finally going to work towards making it happen! I've started making lists for myself with weekly and/or daily goals. I find I work better and am more productive when I have a visible deadline. Since my supervisor has been MIA for pretty much the entire year (he has a new girlfriend), this is really helping me to keep on track with my Thesis progress. That leads me to my first goal... 1) Get Organized with School!!! a) I'm going to continue keeping weekly goals for my studies in my calendar and have a photo of them as my computer desktop image. I've attached my list for July below. b ) Every time I need to read a paper for my research, I'm going to write the author(s), date, and title in my notebook and include a short summary of the paper. I'm also going to make notes regarding particular things of interest and other papers that were cited which I may want to look up at a later time. c) Knitting of only simple, circular patterns will be permitted while reading scientific papers as this allows me to focus on reading. My mind has a tendency to wonder to other topics while I read; I discovered that knitting (because I've been doing it for so long that its automatic without looking) helps keep my wondering mind occupied and allows me to focus directly on reading. A bit of an ADHD cure d) Every week, I'm going to allow a few hours time to work on "studying". I find that I have forgotten a lot of basic, introductory knowledge from my undergrad degree and some of it is fairly essential to my study area. This calls for the old "make notes from the textbook and memorize 'em" method. I will be focussing on learning and internalizing a lot of definitions. The other thing I would like to do with this challenge is modify the way I spend my free time at home. I still haven't touched that novel on my night stand... I also haven't picked up one of my many instruments since Christmas! I also have a list of knitting projects that need to be finished. 2) Get 'er Done at Home!!! a) Each week (each day might be pushing it...), choose one thing to work on in my spare time. That may be practising an instrument (guitar, bass, bodhran, fiddle, dij) or reading a novel. These things will occur INSTEAD OF watching Tv/movies/netflix and must amount to AT LEAST 3 hours/week. Because knitting generally pairs well with tv, I won't include it in the time limit. I will just knit during the remainder of the time and attempt to finish AT LEAST TWO of the projects by the end of this challenge (Lonnie's cardigan, my Dad's bluegrass dobro socks, Cecelia's puffin toque, etc.). As I'm feeling a bit better and stronger, I would like to start jogging/running each week. Since I started Ultimate Frisbee, running has been an area of my personal fitness that has been found wanting. I keep pulling my right hamstring during frisbee!!! (and yes, I am warming up before the game...) 3) Jogging!!! a) I will go jogging for a minimum of 30 minutes, 3 times a week. I have discussed this with my partner and he is willing to try going with me. Lately, we've been extremely lazy in the mornings and have slept through our jogging dates. However!! If I can hold myself accountable on NF, I might actually do it Those are the goals! Through all of this, I will continue to eat clean and gluten-free. I have been pretty good with my diet through the challenges, so I don't feel as though it's something I need to document here any more. I'm stable at 133 lbs. which is only 3 pounds over what I was as an undergrad (some 10 years ago...). I feel great at that weight and really don't have any desire to lose or gain. I'm more interested in toning my body which is why I'm starting with jogging. My thighs have always been a frustration of mine, so I'd like to do something to get them a bit leaner. I will also continue walking to school as I have been and doing my daily yoga routine. Grading on the goals will be as follows: Goal #1 = completion of deadlines as laid out in my weekly schedules will be graded in terms of percent. Completion of task on time or early will result in 100% grade, while late completion will result on a lower percentage as determined by the total allotted time of the original task (e.g. task was given 4 days to complete, each day late will be 25% decrease; task was given 5 days, 20% for each day late). I will allow for 3 grace days (strikes) during the entire challenge to accommodate for unforeseen disturbances/problems (e.g. error in my core logs requires me to go back to the core lab for a day, thus upsetting the schedule). Award: +3 CONS, +2 WIS Goal #2 = three hours each week of either music or novel reading. Only ONE may be chosen each week. Grade will be a percent rating on time completed. Knitting will also be rated in percent of the two required project completions by the end of the six week challenge. Award: +2 CONS Goal #3 = jogging a minimum of 30 minutes, 3 times per week (total 90 minutes per week). This excluded the time spent walking to school each day and the time spent running during Ultimate Frisbee games. Grading will be based on percent completed. Award: +3 STR, +3 STA
  2. Hey MadScientist! Nice to see you back at it I love the goals! Really great, not too complicated; I think they are very achievable! I think I might borrow your idea for swapping out games for music. In my case, it will be swapping out tv/movie/netflix watching for music I've been trying to learn bass guitar for a a couple years now (was given a beautiful accoustic/electric bass for my birthday). I should also work on my fiddle playing...and guitar, bodhran, dij...sigh Good luck with the challenge! Eli
  3. Wow! Great goals! I'm wishing you the best of luck in this challenge Question: you're working on a dual thesis??!! (i.e. quoting "Get 2 thesises done until September 30."). That's amazing! Good luck! Eli
  4. Congrats on finishing the challenge!! I think you did awesome!
  5. Oh! Here it is!! Day 3.5 of gluten eating and I have my first major headache! Fascinating!! A bit sooner than expected, but very interesting
  6. Eli

    Druids report!

    Well, this has been an eventful challenge! I started with a lot of enthusiasm and seemingly great health only to be thwarted by my mysterious illness once again. I think I spent 1 or 2 weeks recovering before I had to start over again...? And by "start over" I mean, I really started over...new thread and all! I had to trash many of my goals and modify others. I'd still like to keep working towards those goals but it may take a lot longer than I'd like. This challenge hasn't progressed me in the direction I originally wanted to go, but it has been a highly enlightening experience! I feel as though I've learned a lot about myself, about my illness, and I now have an overall better feeling about life to come. My revised goals (when I started over) were simple: 1) eat clean and gluten-free; and 2) pace myself and don't over do it physically. I think I managed to follow my own advice most of the time. I was extremely strict with the diet and I was careful to pace myself even when I wanted to do EVERYTHING. I will admit that pacing myself was a REAL challenge and I'm not 100% sure I've learned my lesson there yet (I may have done well this time, but I have a short memory, so....). As I didn't allot any points to my goals this challenge, I am content to award myself with +1 WIS. I really have learned a lot and I can look back on my experiences this month and know that I've grown. I'm not sure that this constitutes a level up (what do you think??) but I'm happy with my 1 point of wisdom for now I look forward to next challenge! Eli
  7. Oh really?! That's interesting! I can tell you that there is definitely a lot of burping but also a lot of the other one. But there certainly are also a lot of solid and liquid by-products (sorry folks, I'm trying not to go into too much detail here). I'll do some reading on GERD though! All I know is that it hurts, a lot, and it starts after eating gluten. I didn't have gluten until 2pm today and I was completely fine up to that point. See you in the next challenge as well, MadScientist!
  8. Hi Sunmage! Thanks! Really, this test is just about "do I have celiacs OR am I gluten intolerant?". It's pretty clear from the past few days that my body doesn't react well to gluten. The other thing I'm interested to see is whether my headaches come back from this week-long gluten experiment...so far I've had a lot of immediate digestive issues surface but only mild, short-lived headaches. My hypothesis (from this challenge) was to see if not eating gluten would "cure" my headaches, so it should follow that eating gluten will give me headaches...? I think the headaches are a result of long terms effects of gluten on my body, because it took a month of eating gluten-free to get rid of them. I'm expecting to experience those effects next week after I've gone back to gluten-free. I just gotta know for sure! The hardest part of this whole experience (since May 2012) has been NOT KNOWING what was wrong with me. I really just need the closure so I can move on Thanks for the support everyone!!! You're all super amazing and I don't know of I would have figures all of this out without you! I'm serious about that!! Writing and reading your posts on NF has really been a huge help. It's why I've stayed sane
  9. Hey! I know, right!? I always used to think it was normal to feel "full" after a meal (which really is extremely painful now!!). I also used to think it was normal to be so gassy and uncomfortable all the time. It's really amazing to look back on my life before going gluten-free and think of all the weird and mysterious health issues I had which abruptly stopped when I cut gluten from my diet! The headaches and associated symptoms, that started in the last year, are only one of many health problems that just DISAPPEARED! It's crazy!! It sucks that this is how I have to do it for the testing to show anything of use. It is, however, a very inciteful experience! I'm learning a lot about my body, my health, and how to improve my life for the future! Even if the test comes up negative (which would be great, because I'd rather not have celiacs) this wont be for not! As I said before.... FOR SCIENCE!!!
  10. Thanks MadScientist! Ya, I really would like to lay the question of celiac to rest. Day one...I had no idea that eating gluten made me feel SOOOOOOO full! I mean, I know that's what it does, but it's kind of shocking just how different I feel after eating gluten now as compared to my gluten-free time. Wow...I am soooo full! BBQ sausage in a wheat bun...that's it! And burping!! I don't think I've burped for months! I am expecting slightly more adverse reactions to begin to materialize in the nex few hours...ugh. I just feel terrible generally! Just awful...
  11. Ok, so apparently the celiac test that they will be conducting with my blood will only work if I'm eating gluten again... sooooooo.....sadly... I have to throw up my hands and surrender to the terrible evil that is GLUTEN.... "FOR SCIENCE!!!" Because I've been gluten free for so long, they recommend a minimum of one week but also recommend up to 10 weeks of eating gluten to get accurate test results. I think I will try for the 1 week minimum...they recommend eating 1 piece of bread per day, but I think I can ramp that up to more. The reasoning behind it is: the test looks for a chemical in your blood that indicates damage to the small intestines as a result of gluten consumption. I figure I just have to eat enough gluten to damage my intestines over the next week and then I can go gluten-free again ...I'm kind of joking, but also not really. This sucks. Looks like I'll be back to my same old crappy life again! Hurray! Gluten eating starts today at supper time. Which basically means my challenge is over...or at least, my first goal is over. But I gotta do it sooner than later! I would prefer to start now (rather than wait until after Sunday) and get this over with fast so I can focus on recovering again. Wish me luck everyone!! Eli
  12. Hey! Thanks for the advise! My doc set me up with a bunch more blood work and she's referring me to the cardiology department!
  13. Hey! Ya, I've had a lot of full blood tests in the last year since the headaches started and they all came back perfect. I also rarely drink alcohol and I have one small coffee after lunch most weekdays. I also drink 2L of water at school each day and probably 3-4 cups at home. And since the relapse, I haven't dropped any more weight! I've stabilized at 133 lb now. I also eat super healthy and take a daily multivitamin I don't really know what's up, but I am going to go for a check up tomorrow! Maybe they can do another blood test (free here in Canada). Perhaps they could also do one of those heart monitor tests while I run on a treadmill. Thanks for the replies! I think it's an important part of the investigation process to seek other opinions! Since this headache thing started up last year, I've been a little edgy when it comes to weird health issues...I might be over-reacting a bit when it comes to my heart I'm probably just out of shape in the cardio department. And that's probably due to the gluten-headache crap! Thanks for reminding me that headache means stop!
  14. Ps. Just to clarify: my heart jumps from 60 to 120/140 almost instantaneously. It's that short burst of energy and speed that triggers it and then I start to get black-out dizzy within about a minute. It usually gets better by the second half of the 70minite frisbee game, but then the black-outs are replaces by horrible throbbing headaches in my temples. booo...
  15. Ok! So I've been doing really well so far with my diet, pacing, and yoga... However, our first game of ultimate frisbee tonight was HORRIBLE! Well, it was fun and stuff, but my cardio sucks!!! I almost fainted! I actually started blacking out a bit. Not good. I had to sub-out a lot more than the other players which was a little embarrassing but necessary! So I'm going to start jogging! I really love frisbee and I'm like a puppy out there "gotta get the disc, gotta get the disc!"... I have a really hard time pacing myself during the game, but not because I push myself too hard, but because its just a fast paced game. If you don't stay on your man, they get the disc and that sucks... If that happens too often, you're pretty much guaranteeing that your team will lose. So really, what I need to do is improve my cardio so I'm not fainting from a bit of running, and that way I can "pace" myself while still keeping up with the other, faster, players. Does that make sense to everyone else? What do you think? I don't want to kill myself out there, but I also don't want to put myself in danger of another relapse from over doing it. I've been doing so well on the gluten free diet, that I really am convinced my headaches are a direct result of gluten consumption. So hopefully adding some cardio to my work out wont jeopardize my well being (assuming gluten=headaches and not CFS=headaches). Does anyone else have problems with their cardio like this? I've always had a bit of arrhythmia and I find my heart gets over-excited about the smallest bit of activity and will generally jump from my usual 60bpm to 120-140bpm...that's when I start to black out an get dizzy. It's always been a problem for me, even when I was a track and field loving teenager. I used to faint after 100m sprints. I've had a lot of heart tests done, and they always tell me I have a really healthy heart...so wtf cardiovascular system?!?!
  16. Hey! Just readin through some of your posts; love the goals! I feel you on the eating sugar when you feel bad! That's a hard one to crack...no pun intended, but I read somewhere that sugar actually has a similar effect to hard drugs on our brain chemistry. I guess that why we opt for sugar when stressed or feeling crappy. Plus it's addictive. I used to play fiddle when I was younger and just recently started again. I had to replace my bridge and haven't set it in properly yet so my tuning is off. Keep up the good work!
  17. Walked to school in 30 minutes today!! That's back up to my pace from last month when I was all healthy and stuff Accidentally bought vanilla yogurt last night instead of plain so my smoothie this morning was disgusting... But the carrot-cucumber-kale-apple-lemon-ginger juice I made will make up for it!
  18. That sounds like an amazing pork chop recipe! We actually have two pork chops in the freezer at the moment...hmmmm... Here's what I'm having for supper tonight!! Lime poached sole with oven chips and tomato-lettuce-onion salad (mixed together with olive oil, salt and pepper). Sorry if the photo is too small...uploading rules and such.
  19. Hey! It's been a while since I checked out your thread...HOLY CRAP there's a lot of posts on here!! Wow. I didn't read all of them, but I did browse Great work Silas!! (its really weird for me to call you that, just throwing that out there...) I'm stoked to hear that you're losing weight and gaining muscle and endurance! That's so awesome. And I'm super happy for you regarding the healthy food choices; that can be a challenge, especially in St. John's where most everything is battered and deep fried hahahaaa. I'm feeling A LOT better lately so I'm thinking I might be able to handle a hike sometime soon. Send me a text Congrats on the awesome progress!
  20. Hello everyone! Yes, I'm doing great! I had a few little headaches recently but several of my friends also had headaches at the same time so we decided they were weather related I'm feeling a lot closer to my old self again and even went to the park on Canada day to play frisbee with some friends. I've also been walking to and from school again, which has been great. The diet is going well! I've been really careful about what I eat and am still 100% gluten-free. We bought a charcoal bbq and have been making home-made hamburgers which I've been eating with some gluten-free buns (rice flour; really good actually!). Still having smoothies every morning but occasionally I switch it up and have a poached egg, gluten-free flax and chia toast, and some fruit. Juicing now and then, but not as much as I used to due to our tight budget (produce can be expensive when you're juicing regularly, plus Newfoundland has ridiculously high prices). Lunches are still leftovers from supper the night before plus a coconut flour cookie to go with my afternoon coffee. Ultimate Frisbee starts this Sunday! I'm so excited!! The women's league is really a lot of fun and everyone is so nice. It's going to be a lot of cardio but I think I will be ok as long as I remember to pace myself. The shifts are usually short though my friend (who will be on my team, actually) reminded me that I never stop running when I play...so I will have to be aware of that She will hopefully let me know if I forget! That paper I finished last challenge was accepted for publication! I'm really excited to see it come out in print. I haven't touched my book for a while (Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson) which is sad... I never seen to make it through my novels! I'm going to revisit that goal next challenge. It was originally part of my goals for this challenge until I "started over", so maybe next challenge. Ok! I think that's about it! Guess I'll get back to working on school stuff
  21. I guess so! Though, I'm not really a designer of fjords, just an admirer
  22. Hi! I don't really specialize in any particular era at the moment. My work until this point has all been focused on the ichnology of fjord environments from Paleozoic, Holocene, and recent sediments. My current project actually has nothing to do with fjords! I'm being sponsored by industry to take a look at some of their oil baring rocks and figure out what the burrows are doing to the porosity and permeability. I would love to continue my research of fjord environments; I just really enjoy them. Maybe once this project is done! I don't do much with terrestrial or vertebrate ichnology. Mostly I stick to marine and brackish water environments and the little invertebrate guys that burrow there
  23. Update for this week! I'm doing so much better! It's incredible! I've 100% cut out gluten from my diet and am even avoiding cross-contamination where possible. I've been walking to school or from school at least one way every day which has really helped get my endurance back to where it was before (or close to it). I actually haven't been back to the acupuncturist for a month because my health plan is refusing to cover the cost. But even without the acupuncture, I'm feeling great! I'm really feeling positive about everything. I've been doing yoga everyday, sometimes in my office, and I've been doing a bit better at pacing myself. I am finding it difficult to REMEMBER to pace myself now that I'm feeling better so I have told my friends and boyfriend to keep tabs on me as well. I joined the Summer women's ultimate frisbee league! Games will start next Sunday, I think. I'm really excited for that! We are also planning to make some trips across the island to explore and camp. Tomorrow we are driving out to Ferryland, NL which is a beautiful place for a picnic! So far I'm doing ok! I'm really hoping it keeps up this way. I scheduled an appointment to see my doctor and discuss the possibility of me being celiacs. Thanks everyone for your replies! Is great to have more brains on the problem
  24. Hello MadScientist! Thanks for the reply! That's really interesting regarding vitamin B12 deficiency. I have a lot of bizarre allergies to foods which cause my diet to be fairly restricted. Last year, when my symptoms first appeared, I had full blood work done which came back normal. My doctor at the time didn't fill me in on the details, but I'd be interested to have full set of tests done now to see if anything has changed. Since cutting out gluten from my diet, I've had a 60-70 % improvement but I still have the odd serious relapse and usually have minor headaches daily or a few times a week. But I've greatly improved in the last few months, which is WONDERFUL! The strangest thing about this "illness" is that it began almost exactly when I arrived in Newfoundland! I did not suffer from it in Saskatchewan. My initial diagnosis by my family doctor was migraines in response to changes in weather, but my neurologist recently concluded that I wasn't suffering from traditional migraines at all (and then she basically said there was nothing wrong with me...sigh). That's when I started looking at my diet again; the only thing I hadn't tried was cutting-out gluten. I spent all of last year eating organic, clean foods but I was still making my own sourdough spelt flour bread, which was great!! ....but that's still gluten... I'm not a vegetarian because my allergy is to a stress protein found in the skins of fruits and vegetables. I don't think I could survive as a vegetarian...but perhaps as a meatatarian! Plants being stressed out and dying makes me sick, literally So what kind of mad scientist are you? I'm a geologist, who specializes in ichnology.
  25. Humpback whales!! from Sunday, June 23rd at Cape Spear, NL The black in the water is all fish!!Capelin roll, June 24th early early morning at Middle Cove, NL Dolphins!!
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