Monday, March 2, 2020

health update

I went to my new lyme doctor a few weeks ago and she wanted to take more blood for even more testing.  she wanted to do a better lyme test with one of the best labs to find lyme and co-infections just to see if we can tell for sure what I'm fighting.  igenex is the name of the lab, and, while they still do have some trouble finding the nasties because nasties like to hide, they have a better chance at finding what tick-born infection(s) is/are raging in me because they have been perfecting finding Lyme disease since 1991.  it's all they do!  I've been waiting, not so patiently, for the results which could be back any day now... or in a few more weeks.  who knows.

the doctor also wanted to see if I have any food related allergies, so I ticked off all the foods I eat and might eat and we had them all tested.  basically I omitted any meat, minus chicken, as I still ate a bit of chicken 'bacon' with my eggs at breakfast.

turns out I'm having to re-adjust my whole life again.  these tests range in allergy from 0- 5 and the highest I tested was a 2 on egg whites and white beans, and I tested at a 0/1 on many things, including egg yolks.  the doctor wanted me to omit the level 2 allergy foods and limit the other ones, which include;
cow milk,
kidney beans,
green beans,
and yogurt.

while I havnt had actual milk in a long while, I did enjoy my cheese and yogurt at times;  eggs were a must for me;  bananas were getting into my regular daily diet for muscle cramps and helping create a creamy healthful smoothie lately; almonds seem to be a substitute for gluten free items; and I still have no idea if "white beans" is a type of bean, or any white bean (a search defines "white bean" as "a white kidney bean, such as cannellini bean", but that still doesnt answer my question, since kidney bean is on my dont eat list, too.  and I just noticed that garbanzo beans aren't on the list tested at all, so are they related or in that group and I shouldn't have them???  if so, thats a HUGE issue*)...  so, after getting this news I kind of slipped into a woe is me kind of funk, not having any clue what I was going to eat and wishing I could forgo eating altogether.

*edit; sweetie did a further search and found white beans to be concerned about are kidney, navy and pinto.  hopefully that will be the end of my confusion over the 'bean issue'

I eat a large, yummy salad for lunches these days

Lyme disease patients hold several diets close for healing (and the diets are different for every person, but some do paleo (high meat), some do vegetarian or vegan, so its another confusing situation, and one to work through with my own body symptoms).  my bariatric diet says to limit, or better to do away with, things that bulk up in your tummy; rice, pasta, grains...  and now these new limitations!

smoothies with coconut yogurt are a staple still, minus the banana

boy am I glad for the internet, guys!  I have found many helpful vegetarian and vegan food blogs and am compiling recipes and tips galore.  the first few meals I've tried have been tasty and I know they are more healthy for me than store-bought foods.  it's strange shopping for ingredients and coming home with hardly any ready-to-eat stuff.  the biggest issue I'm having with it is that I dont yet have the energy to chop and cook most of these dishes, so sweetie has been stepping up YET AGAIN to do the cooking that I need.

sweetie has bought a cabinet 
and is in the process of building it into our peninsula
for my pantry goods.  
he's planning on building a shelf on the side for some cookbooks, too.

it's been about 2 weeks of eating better, and 1 week of in depth research (how much research am I going to have to do for all of my issues!?), and I'm feeling a bit more confident that this might be more do-able than I had feared.  I didn't think this new limitation would be sustainable for me in the slightest.  and I'm still just winging this whole thing.  if eating vegan means I have a little bit of brown rice in a certain meal, then I've decided to do it every once in a while.  with all my modifications, I've decided a bit of 'living' here and there won't hurt.

I've not gained any energy yet, but have let go of 3 pounds so far, so it's a step in a good direction, and I dont mind going 'mostly vegan'.  I do eat fish, but the rest of my diet is pretty close to vegan.  never thought I'd get to this kind of eating, but I'm happy to do so.  for the critters and for myself.

here are a few links to vegetarian/vegan sites that have intrigued me, in case you're in the lookout, too;

Jessica in the kitchen; has free printables of how to stock the kitchen, budget friendly tips and the most yummy sounding coconut chickpea curry recipe that I'm excited to try

she likes food; is a mostly gluten free vegetarian/vegan blogstress that has lots of one pot meals, kid friendly food, and Mexican inspired dishes.  I'm excited to try her spaghetti squash enchilada boats

forks over knives; is a wellness site with health information as well as tasty, plant-based recipes that are free for all.  I'm looking to try their chickpea omelet first!

holistically engineered;  follows a low-carb, grain free, paleo diet, so not vegetarian at all, but has some good vegetarian and gluten free recipes.  just use the search engine to find something suitable.  I tried their cinnamon "rice pudding" and it is yummy!

I'm hoping that all of these changes gives me some tangible health benefits soon.  I'd like to gain some energy in order to start making my own meals so I might stick with it in an easier way.  and to give poor sweetie a little break from caretaking.

*EDIT; I have test results. 
I have an active babesia infection, possible (probable) lyme and tick born relapsing fever. she wants me to get on the cancellation list to get in sooner so we can discuss treatment, and told me of what she'd like to put me on. lets just say $$$. I've been researching others experiences on one of the most costly meds and most say it's a miracle drug. soooo... we'll see what this new chapter brings.

until later,

working again

I wrote this post on February 19th hoping to stay on top of the work, and then went back to couch living for a while.  I'm going through more health related stuff, so going with the flow.

I'm working on my newest painting after going back and forth with reference photos.  I have finally decided on a pose and started my first steps.

Sunday, day 1;

I cropped this pose from a photo on unsplash by Atikh Bana

I then made a quick sketch on the canvas just to get used to the pose and placement

since I want a drippy style and layers behind, I went all over the sketch with some bold color 

I then got back to sketching it back in on Monday; day 2 of working

Tuesday I took a day off so day 3 was Wednesday, and I added just a layer of mixed yellows and white, spraying with water and taking off some here and there with towel to have the purples show up.  now I can work the skin coloring and hair to make sure it looks ok with the background I wanted.

if I have to paint minutes at a time, it will be finished one minute at a time!

I knew this one is to speak about depression and getting back to life and the work I was meant to do in this lifetime.

She adjusted her rose colored glasses and went back to work with the good she creates in this world.  she never lets the bad days build up

and there she sits until I'm back to feeling the motivation and energy.

until later,

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

a new painting finished

I'm behind with posting my newest painting here.  although I've posted her on my other social media, I wanted to hold the story about her coming into being.

this painting was helped along as a response to Lets Face It class week 4 with artist Amy Beeman.  I had found a beautiful reference photo that matched what the class was doing, at my royalty free happy-place, unsplash.  I've wanted to learn how to paint red hair so was waiting to paint this model and was excited to dive into learning a little about using the Postershine app to help distinguish where highlights and lowlights are in the photo.

photo by branislav belko

(I go to unsplash to get ideas, color schemes, and inspiration for new paintings and to unwind and relax.  this is my happy place.  there are photos of places and cars and trees and just everything, within reason)

I used this reference loosely, as a guideline, but didn't care if I got it perfectly.  I just wanted the feel of her;  the long, red hair with highlights; the slight tilt to the face; the soft expression.   I did a quick sketch of the reference photo, just trying to get everything in roughly the correct places on the face.

I then went to town painting her.  didn't get any progress shots until the end.  it was a good day with motivation and I worked a long time, ignoring my own body pain and just doing the work.

"All You Need"

her title was the song that kept playing in my head as I painted her, so had to use it.  she makes me happy.

sweetie almost immediately put it up in my shops!

heres the society6 page for the art print

go to page and then scroll down to find more products 

society6 has new merchandise out, too!

I like how these notebooks came out

the redbubble site has changed.  I, for one am not a fan of change, and I find this one was counter-intuitive.  oh well.  

heres the link to the photographic print.  if you scroll down, you will see "available on +46 products".  click on that, and it will show you all the products that painting is on, and you can click on the one you'd like to see.

they have a new, second tote.  this one is cotton!

and here is their spiral bound notebook.

as I browsed my shops I have found I need to do some work to make it a bit more easy to navigate in redbubble, and I need to add my paintings into format for the newest products in society6.  I'm not the best when it comes to this tech stuff, so it might be a slow and frustrating process for me.  but, at least I know that things need to be worked on.  apparently some things change while one is dealing with life-stuff...  how rude!  time to play catch-up.

in the meantime, I look fondly at my new artwork, and know I am surrounded in love and peace.

until later,