Tuesday, March 10, 2015


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I'm entering the world of making my own whole juice. I've been drinking cold-pressed juices to help absorb nutrients for months. Finally, we got a great deal on a Blendtec designer series blender so my dreams of home juicing came true.

I’m completely new to juicing so I’m still tinkering with ingredients combinations, ratios, etc. I’ve followed some recipes I found but was underwhelmed.

I’ve been keeping a “juicing journal” listing my juice concoctions. Once I hit on a good one and can make it consistently I will start posting juice recipes.

Mr.Surly is being such a good sport about the whole thing. He understands that there will be lots of trial and error as we embark on incorporating fresh juices into our diet.

Please note we are NOT juicing for weight loss. We are juicing for heath, especially mine. My GI disorder makes is difficult for me to absorb nutrients from whole foods, juices are easier for me to digest and absorb nutrients. I’m choosing to juice nutrient dense foods to help maintain a healthy lifestyle and ease GI distress.

I can’t wait to hit on some yummy recipes. I’ve got a yummy green juice for morning almost perfected. Be on the lookout for that recipe soon.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: V&V Supremo Products

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queso blanco

For some reason I have been CRAVING creamy, restaurant-style queso blanco. Why, I have no idea. There was this great little Mexican restaurant down south we frequented that had the most amazing queso. This is unusual because I’m not a fan of cheese (or any dairy product for that matter). But this queso was something I always ordered; my mouth still waters thinking of Monterey’s queso blanco.

Anyway, I was contacted by V&V Supremo to review a product. I explained my craving for queso blanco and inquired if they had a cheese that would be suitable for making it.

I was shocked when a large box arrived with a lovely gift basket filled with products. Chorizo, a various assortment of cheeses, and sour cream (a dairy product I have no problem slathering on various foods).

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sleeping Beauty; A Sleep Study

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surlykitchensleep photo sleep_zpswzzcaya5.jpg

I have always wanted to have a sleep study done. I have been an insomniac for as long as I can remember and as I got older I developed restless leg syndrome (RLS), or as Mr.Surly affectionately calls it “jimmy legs.” Neither of this worried me nor warranted a sleep study.

However, after being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (2010) a sleep study actually made sense. Was I getting enough REM sleep to combat my daily fatigue? Would increased sleep quality help me have more energy? Very valid questions in my opinion and my neurologist’s.

Going into the study I wasn’t sure what to expect. At The Clinic you are given many choices and options for the location. I chose a hotel and scheduled it the day before a follow up with my GI dr. The Clinic is 4 hours away so I was able to end my sleep study and go to my GI appt without 8 hours of driving in one day. Bonus.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

The Long and Winding Road

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So I’m finally able to think a bit clearer than I have previously due to decreasing my medications. As I reference my favorite recipes for dinner I’m appalled at the majority of my posts. They are incoherent, full of grammatical errors (not so much spelling errors thanks to spell check), and extremely dull. Sometimes it’s just a recipe and a brief, garbled description that may or may not make sense. I started this blog to help document what I was eating & how it affected my GI issues. Some of the pictures are ok, others blurry; depends on how lucky I was with my double vision that day. Looking back at those posts make me realize how far I have come to regaining some of my mental facilities. I’m still not operating at a “normal” level but I’m progressing (at a much slower pace than I would like).

I’m embarrassed about the pictures and text (not the recipes, they are delicious) and sometimes I fix errors when I spot them. I have no clue how I got any followers! The purpose of my blog was, and is, to bring awareness to people with rare, chronic diseases. When diagnosed with eosinophilic gastritis back in 2009 & nutcracker syndrome in 2010 I found very little information on the internet. I thought if I started a blog about my issues & what I could eat as my stomach healed I could help provide information to others looking for answers. I was overwhelmed by the emails I received from people suffering from the same (or similar) symptoms. I love hearing from people knowing I’m not alone. And share information and tips. It means so much to me.

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

I can’t be the only one

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I believe there must be other people out there who have experienced severe pain attacks. I have been suffering from them monthly for the past 5 years. It starts off as a burning in my abdomen that quickly spreads to my chest. Then BAM….instant pain coursing throughout my body. It feels like a vice is around my rib cage, squeezing all the air out of my lungs. In addition to that, I feel an elephant or bowling ball is on my chest. Also, it feels like someone is pouring hot oil all over from my hips to my pelvis. Intense pain between the shoulder blades. Stabbing, “fire poker” pain in my left, upper abdomen, behind my ribs. This “fire poker” pain feels like a sharp, searing pain, followed by a feeling of ripping out of my flesh; like someone is repeatedly stabbing me with a fire poker. It feels like a hamster is trying to scratch & crawl its way out from behind only my left rib cage. I break out into a sweat, yet my teeth are chattering and I’m freezing cold (I have been told that this feeling of being cold despite sweating is my body going into shock). I lay in a fetal position crying, wrapped in a blanket, trying to gain control of my breathing. I lie there, in intense, debilitating pain, until the attack ceases; anywhere form 30-60 minutes. Once the pain becomes tolerable I’m weak, spent, exhausted. All I can do is drink water and curl up to sleep. I’m dazed, light headed, unsteady.

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Review: Hallelujah Diet Survival Bars

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When I was offered the chance to sample Hallelujah Diet’s Survival Bars I hesitantly accepted. I was a bit nervous about it being raw as my stomach does not tend to handle raw foods well. I’m pleased to announce that I suffered no ill GI effects. I’m constantly searching for filling, healthy snacks to toss in my purse. I like things that are filling. After a 4 hour drive to The Clinic and time spent waiting for the doctor, I’m usually starving by the time I’m finished. I don’t like to get fast food (greasy food=GI distress) and all I want to do is grab some Starbucks and a snack then start the long drive back before I fall apart.

This little bar saved me on one such trip. I had wake up at 5:30 am (imagine not being fully awake at this time as you are still under the influence of your nightly pills). Being the loving husband he is, Mr.Surly made me some bulletproof coffee that I grabbed as I stumbled out the door to start the long drive north for my appointment. I'm usually so stressed with the drive, traffic, & praying I make it on time for my appointment that food is the last thing on my mind; my body just kinda shuts down. After my appointment is over all bets are off. That’s when the ravenous I-haven’t-eaten-all-day feeling kicks in. This is where the Survival Bar saved me. I grabbed it out of my purse and devoured it on my way to the nearest Starbucks. This bar not only satiated my hunger but kept me full. I got home, put my jammies on, and collapsed into bed.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Must Have Winter Skin Products

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Since moving north our poor faces are not used to dry, freezing temps. Sure, it would get cold in the south but there was usually some humidity in the air to keep our skin from getting dry and chapped.

Mr.Surly and I have different skin types. My skin is dry (probably due to my multiple medications). His is oily but he suffers from eczema flares from time to time, on his arms especially.

I have certain products that have really helped our skin in winter months. My cheeks get dry and flakey. In addition to dry cheeks, Mr.Surly also gets severely dry on the sides of his mouth. He grows a beard for the winter for protection and warmth.

The following products have been live savers for our skin.

1. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser: This brand recommendation came from our dermatologist. We have been using this cleanser for years. If you want to try it for yourself go to the CeraVe website and they usually have a coupon.

2. Caudalie Moisturizing Toner: This toner is amazing. Mr.Surly probably loves it more than me, ha ha. On days when I have PT or don’t feel like washing my face I put this on a cotton pad & wipe it all over my face to “wash” it. If using it as a toner I like to pat it into my skin for ultimate moisturizing benefits.

3. Fresh Seaberry Oil: I started using this at the beginning of fall when I received a deluxe sample of it from Sephora. I fell in LOVE with it. I ordered a full size bottle and use it at night, focusing on my cheeks, lightly covering my T-zone. I like the smell of it. And it makes my skin glow. I use it morning and night.

4. Dr. Jart+ Sleeping Mask: I bought this last winter (our first winter up north in 7 years) because my poor face was so dry! By spring/summer the humidity picked up and I was able to stop using it. I didn’t rebuy it until recently when Mr.Surly requested it. I’d been rotating using the Seaberry oil and coconut oil (yes, the kind you cook with) as my nightly moisturizer. This year my skin is dry but not as chapped. Not the case for Mr.Surly. Poor guy is suffering around his nose and mouth and he needed the intense moisture this mask provides. It’s awesome for restoring moisture. Since he is oily, Mr.Surly only applies the mask to the dry areas of his face (cheeks, nose, mouth).

Coconut Oil: (not pictured) This is such a great, inexpensive moisturizer that provides so many skin benefits! I love it. I microwave it to liquefy then add thyme and eucalyptus oil, stir, then allow it to solidify. I keep it in small, 4 oz glass mason jar. (I got a 4 pk of them from Target)

The above are all pretty expensive (except for the CeraVe cleanser & coconut oil) but worth every penny. However, if you can’t stomach the prices I totally understand.

Another winter must is exfoliation. Gotta get rid of all that dead skin. My absolute favorite exfoilator is Dr. Brandt’s daily microderm abrasion. It’s incredibly expensive but amazing and lasts forever. You just need a tiny bit. It has the yummiest, lemony scent. The St.Ives apricot scrub is a popular drugstore brand but I don’t get the same level of exfoliation. Dr.Brandt's exfoliator has smaller, more gentle crystals. But I totally understand not wanting to splurge on the Dr.Brandt stuff. If you go to Sephora and ask for a sample you can try it out and it will last awhile because you only need a small amount. When I run out I'm going to switch to sugar as my exfoliator; I hear it works wonders.

Note: NOT a sponsored post. I bought all items with my own money and loved them so much I had to share

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