Charming Nelson

One thing I know for sure… I dislike driving Highway 3, Crowsnest Pass. The road is winding which is awesome, but the hills. Those hills killed me. My ears were popping and hurting like crazy. It was such a slow highway and add in the curves and hills, took a lot of mental energy.

Now that I got my complaining out of the way, we arrived 7 ½ hours later. Nelson is such a cute little town. I instantly fell in the love with its charm. The downtown was full of old buildings and big trees. Lots of the little boutiques and shops lined the streets.

We stayed at Villa Motel which was about a 30-minute walk to the downtown area and after the driving we had done I was more then willing to walk a lot.

The first night there, I barely had enough energy for a shower and to eat. We hung out at the motel and had our sushi delivered via cab. There was no way either of us wanted to walk and there was no way I was going to drive somewhere until we left Nelson. The sushi was probably the worst sushi I had, it fell apart once you tried picking it up and didn’t taste that great. Since I was hungry I ate it anyways.

The next day we wander around and went to several coffee shops. Oso Negro was recommended by a friend for their coffee and treats. I had their coffee before and remembered it being so yummy. After that we walked around and went into a bunch of shops. I bought a ring, which was made by a local Nelson artist.

Lunch was down by the river on the patio. I was looking forward to this salad. Sadly, the salad or something that was in it irritated my stomach something fierce. I thought I could taste butter but I didn’t understand where it would come from since the meal was diary free and gluten free. It did taste amazing and the picture the server took of me with my meal just shows pure joy.

The weather yet again did not cooperate with us and it was cold and windy which eliminated SUP (stand up paddle boarding). One of these days I will try it. We opted to walk around some more and had coffee at another little shop.

On our way back to the motel we stopped at the restaurant we would be dinning at that night to check the menu to give us an idea of what we could have. The menu was pretty extensive with gluten free options.

After some much needed rest and reading we got ready and headed back to the restaurant for dinner. The restaurant is located inside the Hume Hotel and has a lounge as well as a restaurant. We decided to sit in the lounge which was last renovated in the 1970s. The decor and the  history of the Hotel is actually quite interesting.

I opted to go for a simple, easy on the stomach and whole food meal. I had a steak salad; mixed greens, carrots and beets, steak with oil and lemon for a dressing. Tasted amazing and no side effects. I had there Mango Sorbet which was fantastic, once I scrapped off the whip cream. Sigh, not vegan at all.

Breakfast the next morning was another failure. My stomach turned into a pit of acid. Other then the poor experiences with some of the food, I did really enjoy Nelson. I think I another trip would be needed and maybe a little more research into eating options.

Until next time Nelson…

XO Nicole

Camping food is the best food!

Just thinking of these meals again, makes me hungry!

I spent more time on food prep and planning then anything else for the whole trip. If I got hungry then there would be problems. Especially since I did not know what would be available around Tofino and did not want to take chance.

We did eat out once at The Sea Shanty. I had their shanty salad which was fresh and glorious. I learn’t something new here. The salad had hazelnut crusted goat cheese. I reacted with a upset stomach, itchy tongue and feeling unwell which is very similar to how I was before with Walnuts prior to the swollen tongue.

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Now camping is where I was in my glory. Everything that I cooked camping I had done at home and knew it was going to work for me. The logistics of how well it would cook and how long was a different story.

Breakfasts weren’t anything special. One morning we had bacon and the other sausage with hash brown’s, coffee and fruit if we wanted. Lunches usually consisted of snacks, fruit, cracker, bars or whatever else we wanted, see this post.

First Dinner
This turned out to be the healthiest out the three dinners we had, burgers and a salad in a bag. It was simple but very tasty. I did not have any dressing on my salad and we chopped up some tomatoes for a little more veggies. I ended up eating my burgers like steaks. I have yet to find a bun that I can have which meets all of the foods.

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Second Dinner
Pizza! This is where things got a little harder; I have never cooked a pizza on a fire.

Toppings: Homemade pesto, sauté peppers mushrooms and onions, bacon and crumbled goat cheese. This pizza was overloaded with amazingness! I had pre-made the pesto at home and froze it in ice cube trays so I brought two for the sauce. The crust was pre-made from a company in Calgary called Care Bakery.

I toasted both sides of the crust before adding the toppings. Now with no lid to cover the pizza and no way of heating the top and melting the cheese I got a brilliant idea. I took a piece of tin foil and folded the sides and put a piece of kindling on one end to make a little mini oven. It workout out really well and the pizza tasted really good and was hot.

Third Dinner
Since starting the elimination diet I have had an increase in my love for chicken wings. Ordering them out is basically out of the question now, so when the craving strikes I make them at home.

I make chicken wings on the BBQ a couple times a month. It’s quick, not messy and doesn’t heat up the house. Win, win! I figured cooking them on the fire would be just as easy. I also made little foil packages of potatoes, carrots and red onions.

Without tooting my own horn too much I would say the whole camping meals were a success. Out of the 5 meals I cooked I can’t say any of them disappointed.

If you have any questions or want more information leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

XO Nicole

A dash of spice

When it comes to food I am not overly worried about complex flavours and experimenting with different herbs and spices. I usually just buy pre made mixes. When my journey started and I begun reading labels I realized how much crap is in some of the pre made spice mixes.

I remember seeing barley as the last ingredient on one of my usual blends. I don’t know the exact purpose is but I am guessing it’s a filler. I begun reading all the labels of my parents spice blend, more stuff listed I can’t pronounce.

This set me off on a google hunt looking for homemade spice mixes that mimic the mixes you’d find on the store shelf. It was a great surprise to find lots of various blogs with some pretty great recipes.

Off to the bulk barn I went to pick up the spices.

All of the spice mixes were actually really easy to make. I used a food processor to blend up a couple of the mixes to make a powder but other then that it was consisted of combine, stir and put into jars.

I personally made the following:
Cajun Spice Mix (I used garlic and onion powder instead of dehydrated)
Taco and Chilli Mix
Montreal Steak Spice
Ranch Dressing  <– I have yet to try this, I haven’t bought goat yogurt yet.

I love love love the cajun mix, I think I have put it on everything. I am excited to see how it’ll taste on beef jerky!

I have found all the recipes on Simple Bites and Wellness Mama, such great resources. So many to choose from!!!

I have found it helpful to go to a bulk store to get some of the spices and herbs I don’t have on hand plus you can buy the amount you need rather then a huge bag. Plus it’s actually cheaper this way, $0.10 for smoked paprika is perfect.

Hope you enjoy and try making your own. It really is easy and fun 🙂

XO Nicole

 P.S. This is another resource (Imgur spice mixes)

Lessons Learned #5

Well its been over a month since I last posted a Lessons Learned. Now I wasn’t very happy during that one with all the issues with the Doctor.

I feel like I am in a better place now 🙂

Lessons Learned #5

1) Sometimes you make slip ups when ordering food and thats OK. I did learn that dairy still bothers my stomach.

2) It all becomes normal. I can’t even remember what it was like prior to starting this and that makes me happy.

3) Creating a support system is vital. Not just people who are helping you along your journey but others who are going through similar experiences. I have turned to social media (blogs and Instagram) for the virtual support.

4) Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to people going through similar things. You can learn more from them and who knows maybe make some new friends.

5) Be proud of your journey and don’t be afraid of telling your story when people are interested. You may just inspire someone to change their outlook on nutrition.

6) Experimenting with food becomes exciting. I have tried new recipes and found ways to recreate past favourites.

At my appointment with my Naturopath she was excited for me and the changes that have already happened. She believes that the change in my nutrition has resulted in my thyroid antibody being normal. With my medication being reduced with the hopes of still coming off of it, I am more determined then before.

I am beginning to believe that this will be a life long change with regards to my nutrition and eating. If it’ll nourish my body and keep me healthy and allow me to fight disease then why turn back.

XO Nicole

And we’re normal…

Now I am trying not to get too excited…

I got my blood work results for my TSH and the thyroid antibody yesterday. I am happy to say I am finally normal, well, my blood work is normal.

I don’t want to be overly happy or point fingers at what may have caused it but I think its a combination. We increased my medication a little over 3 months ago and 3 months ago I changed my diet completely and begun working on treating candida overgrowth. Not sure which to give props too but in 3 more months we can possibly rule one out.

The last blood work I have record of was Jan 14 and most recent is Jun 11. My TSH has dropped 3.29 to be at the lower end of the range and my Antibody dropped 23.9 to be just above middle of the range. 🙂 🙂

Now the thing that makes me happiest, is my Doctor suggested decreasing my Synthroid to see how I will respond. So now I am the happy owner of one notch less of Synthroid going into my body.

Like I said I don’t want to get my hopes up and think it is the natural treatments but I am optimistic. I have an appointment with my Naturopath next week, so we shall what she thinks and see how the course of my treatment may change.

I have been under a lot of stress lately so this is some of the best news I have heard.

XO Nicole

Lessons Learned #4

This is going to be one giant lesson learned…

Since starting some natural treatment for candida and my adrenals and with life being a little busy, I broke out into a rash. Like a contact rash by my arm pits and my chest. So Obvious places 😦 Thought it was maybe the dog I was watching but it didn’t go away once I wasn’t around the dog, no soaps or lotions have changed. Continue reading “Lessons Learned #4”

Lessons Learned #3

* this post was suppose to go up yesterday but the way I set it up didn’t work.

200! Thats how many days are left on this food elimination. Meaning 46 days have passed by already.

What have I learned..

Lessons Learned #3

1) Trip planning takes way more time now. Where I can eat will determine if I will be going to a city or town. More details on places to eat once I have actually eaten there. Continue reading “Lessons Learned #3”