Thursday, January 31, 2013

How I'm going being dairy free

Well, the dairy free part is fine. I found some nice dairy free milk, and some absolutely amazing ice cream that even if I am not sensitive to milk I would happily eat. It is divine!
Image of a tub of Bessant & Drury's Dairy Free Ice Cream - chocolate flavour

I have been weak in other areas though... I gave in to coffee twice, and today whilst at the fuel station, I bought sweets and ate the whole lot!

My weight hasn't changed a great deal. I thought on the first day that perhaps it would - I guess we should wait until the week is up.

I also had a look at the results from before and decided that if I need to retest dairy then I should do a few other things too - like yeast, there was a significant rise after that, and I have noticed a rise with both soy sauce and vegemite since, which could be yeast.

Other than that, not much to report on this topic at the moment.

I'm off to eat some dairy free ice cream -just to be sure it really is as good as I thought it was yesterday!

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What I'm Eating this Week

As I mentioned before, Dr Mansfield provided some feedback on my raw data. His main concern was that I could have missed a sensitivity to dairy.

Here is the feedback I received, via the publisher:

1.  There is a definitely food sensitivity problem as she lost 3.5kg (7lbs) during stage 1. 
2.  I think she reacted to whole milk rather than the grapes, as most of the increase occurred before she ate the grapes.  This is important as she presumably thought the milk was safe and continued to consume it.  Her weight loss slowed down  - this could well be the result of having the milk as she thought it ok.  
3.  There appears a very likely reaction to the cheddar cheese - probably because of the milk sensitivity. 
4. She MUST remove milk, butter cheese and any other milk products for at least seven days.  This should promote better weight loss.  After the seven days she should retest, maybe twice in one day rather than two different products per day. 
5. She appears to have reacted to instant coffee, but was ok with the unchemicalised ground coffee, so continuing with the ground coffee would be fine. But she mustn’t put milk in it. 
6.  The reactions to grapefruit and oats were fairly obvious, although it is possible the oats reaction could have been confused if she ate them with milk (muesli, porridge) 
7.  Melon represents a possible reaction, retest at a later time.
I would never have picked this possible sensitivity to dairy up from my data - I gained only 300g after milk and before grapes and this was during the day, so it seemed normal. My first thought was that Dr Mansfield must have misread the table, but it does make sense in some ways, and it was a bigger rise during the day than some days are, and he has lots more experience of this than me... so I will try it. I also don't think oats are problem, I thought that was confused with melon, but I will retest.

I did say in a previous post that I was going to repeat Stage 1, but I just can't motivate myself to do it. Instead I have made my own list, which includes a lot of stage 1 foods, but not the ones I don't like. I am also adding in lots of other foods that I think are OK, including herbs and spices. 

I am keeping the carbs low. I plan on cutting out wheat, not because I think it is a problem regarding a sensitivity, but because I want to eat less of it. When I reintroduced it before it was 3 times a day for three days, and felt like a brick in my stomach. I will give myself 7 days clear and then allow it back in gradually and occasionally, rather than at every meal.

I am also cutting out refined sugars, alcohol and caffeine and NOT reintroducing them. Sugars are just no good for me. I know this. Alcohol and caffeine I am cutting out because of TTC. Caffeine I need to go cold turkey on so this is a good time to do it. 

I actually think I am sensitive to alcohol. I noticed before doing this diet that I was awake during the night after drinking some of a liqueur I was given for my birthday, and having just tested both red and white wine this also had the same effect. Thinking back, I had the same problem when we were on our holidays mid year drinking wine every night. At the time I blamed my night waking on eating dessert. Two glasses of red wine on weds night had me up with a dodgy belly and awake for 4 hours. Wine also makes my joints ache. This seems to be something that has happened since having a baby, so perhaps I developed this sensitivity in pregnancy along with my prawn allergy, or maybe not drinking for so long made my sensitivity show up. Anyway, its off the menu for now regardless, and though not really something I want to do, probably should be for good. I will reassess at a later date!

What I'm eating

Below is a list of what I am going to be eating. It is a mixture of stage 1 foods from the elimination diet, other foods that I found to be OK, and has been cross referenced with The Fertility Diet. I will also be sticking to eating 'foods with only one ingredient', so no processed stuff at all, and I will absolutely know what I am eating. I believe it to be a good, healthy balanced diet for anyone, and exceelent for those TTC - we'll see if it works!

Meat and Fish

Chicken, ham, cod, haddock, sea bass.

Other Protein

Lentils, eggs, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, cashews, peanuts.


Rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnips, carrots.


Courgette (zucchini), brocoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, spinach, mushroom, bean sprouts, capsicum (peppers), onion. 


Avocado, olives, celery, tomatoes, lettuce, watercress, cucumber, spring onion, beetroot


Apples, pears, plums, pineapple, mango, lime, lemon, orange, kiwi, bananas, peaches, apricots.


Water, herbal teas.


Salt, pepper, herbs, spices, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar.

What I'm not eating

Milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt, wheat, oats, grapes, grapefruit, melon, alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar.

What I'm testing

After 7 days I will start to reintroduce some of the above, taking a whole day for each.

Sunday 3rd Feb - Milk
Monday 4th - Grapes
Tuesday 5th - Grapefruit
Wednesday 6th - Melon
Thursday 7th and Friday 8th - Oats
Saturday 9th - Cheese

I am starting now, with a quinoa salad, though it's nearly 8pm already, so I will count tomorrow as day 1.

I have recently discovered another blogger who is putting herself through this. She just finished stage 1 and lost 5 lb. You can follow her progress here.

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snow week

Over a week since my last post!

It's been good to have a little blogging holiday after the elimination diet assignment and then the donor daddy drama. I thought it time to have a catch up though.

Despite my lack of blog posts, the week has still had some significant events. First of all I wondered if BB had Chicken Pox. His friend H has a really bad case of it and last Thursday BB came out in spots and had a super high temperature. He was very clingy, and also off his food for several days which is most unlike him. The spots were many but tiny, and only 20 or so actually became little blisters - and then they faded away to nothing. His temperature has been fine since Saturday, and his appetite returned to normal at the start of this week. Apparently it is possible that it could have been Chicken Pox in a super mild form, I also wonder if my immunity could have helped him as I am still breastfeeding on demand (and demand was definitely greater when he was sick). I guess we'll never know, even if it was Chicken Pox it is likely that he will get it again, due to the mild form and the possibility my immunity coming into play. At least he is well again. His poor friend H is still suffering, bless him.

DD came to visit at the weekend. All is good to go ahead next cycle, if we can manage to be in the same place at the right time. PP is happy with things. We have discussed the idea of moving closer though. DD would like to be closer to us, but PP needs to stay in London for work. In a few years, once I am back at work I am more than happy to move closer to London, but at the moment it is out of the question, we just can't afford housing any closer than we are already. In the mean time I think they are planning to move to our side of the city so that it is a bit easier for them to come and visit.

Speaking of money, I have also moved into a financial position where I am no longer on any benefits at all. This is a combined result of working and my 'assets' (ha ha). In reality it means that I am currently £50 a year worse off, which is the irony of the benefit system (my Aussie friends always joke that benefits are a 'lifestyle choice' in the UK), but hopefully my business will continue to grow and I anticipate I will be better off in the not too distant future. It certainly feels good. I am really grateful for the support I have had from the 'system', to move from being employed, through maternity leave, to self employment which can sustain our family. It couldn't have happened in many countries.

With regard to the diet I have been having a rest. The result of drinking wine was not weight gain but pain in my joints, enough to put me off. It is only white wine and green grapes that I have tested though and a concerned friend suggested I try some red, thanks to a late Christmas pressie, I am putting that to the test, but I anticipate the results will be even worse, as I have noticed red wine makes my knees hurt in the past.

I am planning to go back to eating stage 1 foods for a week starting on CD1. This is because I am not in the right frame of mind for it at the moment, but I do believe that foods I ate at that time were great for me and my fertility, so I figure I will be on that day. I do believe it is a good eating plan for fertility, and it will mean I cut out caffeine and drink lots of water and all the other things. After 7 days on stage 1 I will retest milk, grapes, grapefruit, melon, and then, with any luck, DD and I will be able to coordinate another attempt at creating a sibling for BB.

I have also started investigating the adoption and fostering routes too. Although seeing your own genes in a child is amazing, I really feel that I could love an adopted child just as much as I do BB. To me it doesn't matter what the genes are, our family is great little collection of interesting people already, so some different genes could only add to our wonderful mixture as far as I am concerned. With regard to fostering, it is something I have always had in mind. I did volunteer work with some 7-9 year olds in a special school about 20 years ago, most of whom were fostered, then as a secondary teacher I discovered an innate aptitude for working with troubled teenagers. One of my sisters works in social care with foster kids and their families, and I do believe I would be good at working with young mums, helping them to deal with the issues of being a teenager and a parent. There is also a new initiative in our county which they call concurrent adoption. This is when young children/babies are placed with a foster carer that may eventually become their adoptive parent if things work out that they can't return to their birth parents. Whilst I realise that could be a huge wrench if the child does get returned to their family, it is also something that I feel I could do.

In a way then, PP's panic has given me more options than I had before. I have signed up to attend information sessions on both adoption and fostering in the coming months.

I have saved our most fun news 'til last. It has been snowing here. Although cold, everything looks beautiful. BB did get to see the snow last year, but neither appreciated or remembered it. This year he LOVES it. this video shows him when he was just getting used to the idea... now he doesn't want to come inside, and a trip in the car requires an snowy adventure both before and after!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Diet

I know - another diet post, but Dr Mansfield has looked at my raw data and thinks I interpreted it wrong. He says that to him it looks like a sensitivity to whole milk, rather than to grapes, and that I stopped losing weight when that was included back into my diet.

He could be right.

I think I am going to do stage 1 again and then try milk again, and the other things that have a question mark... maybe starting Thursday.

But right now I am testing wine!

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version

Happier now

I thought I would write a little post to fill you in. PP is on board, he even called me himself tonight to let me know that and explain how he was feeling before and to apologise for delaying the 'proceedings'. It's all good, I fully understand his perspective as I said before. I am pleased he rang though and that we had a chance to talk about it all. I even managed to laugh about it with my mum earlier. Somehow I didn't get onto a relationship and have a child with a man in the usual way - yet here I am, essentially with 2 of them!

It has left space for a new quandary though - during the last few days the adoption idea has really grown in my mind. I even had a phone call today from a social worker in adoption services at our county council. I was totally honest about our situation and where I am at in my thought processes and she didn't seem put off. They do have a policy of a 2 year gap between siblings, and the whole process takes about two years, so that would mean looking at adopting an 18month old in 2 years time. 18months is generally the time it takes to have made a decision that the child can not live with the birth family so that would work. She did also explain that most of the babies they deal with have some issues, often to do with substance abuse by the mother during pregnancy, and that these issues may not all be apparent at 18 months, so I wouldn't necessarily know what I was getting. That's good to be aware of, but you don't really know what you are getting with a child you give birth to your self either do you?

So, now its down to me again to make the decision of which path to pursue. In some ways it was easier when the decision was out of my hands. I will talk with DD and see what he thinks, but I am thinking maybe we could try for a couple of cycles first and see how we go, but I wont go on trying forever - and an info pack re adoption is on the way in the mail. Right now I am too tired from all the emotions to make a decision anyway - hopefully the right one will come to me in time.

Monday, January 14, 2013


I am feeling very sad today. I think at the weekend I didn't really have time to think. At first I was shocked, then annoyed, then angry (both at PP and at myself for going the KD route and so exposing us to this risk), then I started focusing on alternatives, so All in all my mind was busy. Then after speaking with DD on Saturday there was hope again. He thought he might be able to visit on Sunday if he spoke with PP again that night. But I heard nothing more. No visit, no text, no phone call. I still haven't heard how discussions are going. With the busyness over, the reality sinking in and the lack of communication, today I just feel empty and sad. I have cried a lot.

I felt ovulation yesterday which is a rare thing for me. It was horrible to know that a precious egg was going to waste. I was so primed for it too, having spent six weeks preparing for that moment, both physically with the diet, and mentally, having accepted the loss of BB2 and become ready to take the journey again. I was convinced it was our month. It's probably not rational but today I am feeling like I missed my last chance. Even if by some miracle PP changes his mind and we do get to try again and I do get pregnant and the pregnancy does not end in miscarriage, (so many ifs) I would be a minimum of 42 when the baby was born. The odds just aren't good are they!

I knew our chances were slim even before this happened. I was prepared to give it 3 tries, and if I didn't get pregnant, accept it and move on. I also decided that it there was another miscarriage to accept it then too. Maybe there are just too many signs that this wasn't meant to be.

The whole episode has also given new life to the old idea of adopting. I am wondering if perhaps this is the path I should be taking. It was what I originally planned. There are lots of things going for it. Giving a home to one of the many children already on the planet that need one, not having to be pregnant at 42 and looking after a 2 1/2 year old at the same time, not having to go through the whole process of getting pregnant (I am sure that's much more fun in a normal situation, but lets face it, it is not fun with a syringe!), I wouldn't have to put my body through it all again. Of course the adoption route would be an emotional roller coaster too, I do realise that, and there may be different challenges to face.

I think I mentioned somewhere back in a post about losing BB2 that I just wanted that pregnancy to be over (though of course not in the way that it was! - I felt very guilty for those thoughts after the miscarriage). I did love being pregnant with BB, but actually I am not all that keen on being pregnant again - I just want what is at the end of that journey. Maybe this too is a sign that I am off the my path by pursuing pregnancy when I could be adopting.

DD might be disappointed though. I am not sure how he would feel. He did say that the most important thing to him is a sibling for BB. I do want to take his wishes into consideration too, but there is only so long I can hang around in limbo waiting for them to decide my destiny. If they get it sorted soon, perhaps I will give the second and third of cycles that I had in mind a try. Maybe I could even be persuaded for another one after, seeing as we missed the first, but maybe not too - that would be a baby born in 2014, the year I turn 43. It just seems too old.

Meanwhile, as I wait for them to decide what they want, I feel the need to do something myself. To bring some form of control of my own and BB's futures back into my own hands. I have just filled in an online form to my local authority to register my interest, and to receive info packs on both adoption and permanent fostering.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Are Blogging Assignments a Money Wise Strategy or a Waste of Time?

As my regular readers will know, I am a stay at home single mum, working when my child sleeps, and attempting to bring in enough dough to keep us going with our relatively simple but fulfilling life. I work as a Virtual Assistant doing all manner of tasks, and I help people with the creation of small business websites and related social media.

I also blog.

I have been blogging for some time, but it's only in the last few months that I have started to think about the idea of generating an income from my blog. Lots of people do it. I have been cautious about the whole idea as I don't want to compromise my blog. I'd hate for my need to make money to take the authenticity out of what I write.

However, towards the end of last year, I thought it might be worth a try.

The first thing I tried was google ads. I have a made a few pence, but that is all.

I have also added a couple of affiliate ads to the side bar. I have been told that 4 sales of the Baby Care DVD (code BLISS to save yourself £5!) are a result of people reading my review, that's good to know, and I should see a little income from this. Writing this review did not compromise my integrity, so it's all good so far.

After going to Mumsnet Blogfest in November I thought I might try and take it a step further. I responded to an advert for bloggers to follow an Elimination Diet. I liked the sound of the diet because it was about identifying your own issues rather than following a rigid plan that someone else has written and you can never stick to - so I made further enquiries. I kind of hoped it would be paid, (that was one of my first questions) but no! What they offered was to promote my blog through their 'extensive networks' and bring me more traffic, and a free copy of the book.

I figured I had nothing to lose. The diet sounded interesting and more traffic would be a good thing, especially as I now had affiliate ads on my blog. There was also the fact that as a result of not being paid, I didn't have to lie, I just had to tell the story as it was with no obligation to anyone or incentive to increase sales. I liked that, but the thing really that sold it to me was the fact that if I was blogging about a diet, I would have to stick to it, and that might just bring me some results!

It did work, from the diet perspective. I lost 5kg and 32 cm and was never hungry. I learned some interesting things about my own body's response to certain foods and I did stick to it. I also think it is a healthy approach to eating.

My question for this post though is was it worth it as a blogging assignment? Was it worth the hours I invested. I wrote a total of 27 posts over 6 weeks and this is what happened.

Did it bring me extra traffic?

No. I tracked all the tweets and their retweets and found that in 27 blog posts I got only one visitor as a result. I also looked on stat counter at where my visitors have come from and have not found a single person that came from the 'extensive networks' they told me about.

Did it bring me more followers?

No. In fact I think it could have lost me a few. I have just been looking at my stats on feedburner and I lost a significant number of followers on 8th Jan - the day that I posted 4 items about the diet. I also had less page views in Dec that in did in previous months.

Did it bring me any income?

No. As I said there was nothing for the posting, and as far as I am aware none of my affiiliate ads generated any money during that time?

Was it worth it?

From a personal perspective yes, but as an income generator, definitely not.

What have I learned?

When someone says they have an extensive social media network check it out first! Their 'strategy' is twitter and Facebook, and the number of followers for each is very small.

Time is precious, especially when you only have the hours that your kid sleeps to generate an income for your family. I have used a minimum of 27 hours of precious money making time to generate zilch pounds sterling! This is NOT money wise!

It's not all about money -  I am still pleased I did it. I feel better, and lost weight and inches.

Will I do this kind of blogging assignment again?  maybe, but again only if doesn't compromise my integrity, and if it doesn't piss you off, and I will check out the 'promises' before I commit and hopefully benefit my family a little next time as a result of what I learned this time.

Is this real???

What can you tell me? I am curious to know your thoughts. 

If you are a regular reader, did it get on your nerves that I was blogging about this diet so much? Did you read less? Please be honest.

Are you a new follower that found me through the 'extensive networks' that the publisher provided?

Or did you start following though my own social media profiles because of the topic of the diet?

Are you a blogger who makes money through your blog? If so do you have any tips to share with me and other folk thinking about this idea?

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

The End (of the beginning)

So I have come to the end of the elimination diet. Or at least, to the the end of the beginning. I am planning on continuing, and retesting a few of the items that have question marks.

My final results are a 5kg weight loss and an amazing 32 cm loss, (thats more than 12 inches!) as follows



I am really happy with the results.

It was hard work at times, but actually not as hard as you might think, and worth it.

For now I am taking a little break, then I plan to do a reduced carb diet, sticking mostly to the foods in stages 1 and 2, and retest a couple of things, and observe what happens when I add other things that I love to eat back in to the diet.

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

BB Will Be a Brother Somehow

Thanks everyone who commented on my dilemma of yesterday. It's great to know you are out there and that you understand.

Just to clarify, it's not that I blame the partner (I am going to call him PP from now on to make things easier) at all. As I said, it was amazingly generous of him to let us have one child in the first place, and he is a great guy. I really don't think I could do it if I were in his situation. I do understand how hard it must be for him, and at the moment he is too busy caring for his own mum to be able to spend time in 'our' family, so he is both distracted and distanced.

However great PP is though, BB comes first. One thing I really want for BB is a sibling. I was an only child for 10 years and then I got sisters, so I have experience of both sides. Siblings are great (even if a bit annoying at times!). I want BB to grow up with someone else. I have also seen my mum as an only child have the burden of her aged parents all to herself. That's part of the reason I returned home, to support her with that. PP himself is an only child with a very sick mother right now, that's why we haven't seen him for months, and another reminder that BB needs a sibling. Yesterday was also the day that BB2 would have reached the magic 24 week milestone, so that was on my mind too. We could have had it done already.

My dilemma was that if it bothered PP so much if DD and I were to have another child, surely it would bother him just as much if I had one myself, either through another donor or by adoption, as there would still be another child in the family that DD would be 'dadlike' to (knowing him and how he is with all kids he wouldn't be able to help himself, that's just how his is!).  That made me feel a bit like I shouldn't do it at all if they were PP's wishes, and that is why I was asking myself if I were going to let him dictate what I do.

As the day went on yesterday with that in my head I realised that it wasn't a feasible option to let that happen. I would just resent him for it, and that is not healthy when he is DD's partner, and BB's God Father, and so likely in my life forever more.  So I decided I will have to find a way and hope he understands. After all, it wasn't actually him stopping me was it, it was me, thinking that he wasOnce I realised that, I decided I would look for other options, and it all felt much better.

I researched some clinics and it is great news there. When I last looked, back in 2009/10 there were only a few places in the UK that worked with single women, now most of them do. Age could be my barrier now rather than my singleness - some only go to 38, others 40, some 42, then a few at 44 and above. Prior to DD coming on the scene the plan was always to adopt a second anyway. I have no problem with there being no biological relationship (in fact it took me a while to get used to the idea that I would have to do it all a second time rather than adopt), and let's face it - I wouldn't be the first woman in the world to have a 2 kids by 2 different men, or to adopt a child!

Adoption also means there is no rush with my age. Even if it takes until BB is 5 he could still have possibly have a sibling within 2 years of his age. I looked on several adoption websites and there are lots of kids in need of a family. When I first started researching how I was going to become a mum, adoption was my first thought, but at that time it was actually easier to adopt as a single mum if you already had a child. I am not sure if that is still the case, I guess it gives them something to work with in regard to wether or not you can cope on your own. I have also chatted with people who have experience of adopting or being adopted with a sibling of the same age, which is a really interesting option that I think could work quite nicely.

Anyway, I spoke to DD tonight and after all that, it may be the case that PP will change his mind. They are talking out his concerns and we will see what happens. It would be great to have another child together, but it would be great to give a home and family to someone who needs it too. Although if I am going to get pregnant myself I do feel the need to get on with it due to my advancing age and the fact that I would like the kids to be as close in age as possible, the adoption option gives us time to get things right without anyone feeling the pressure.

So, crisis averted! Thanks to friends (IRL and online, both here and at FF), family and 24 hours thinking time!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Spanner in the works!

This is one of those posts where I feel like I shouldn't be writing it. The emotions are too raw and frantic. Then I remember this is part of the reason I blog! To sort it out in my head and get the support of my 'friends'.

At about 4 am I woke and saw a message on my phone from DD saying that there will be no TTC this weekend! Apparently his partner isn't ready for that and thinks they need to discuss the consequences for their relationship first! What can I do? Nothing! Yes of course they should have that discussion, but then again I can't see how a second is really going to make much difference to how things are already. His partner is great and I would absolutely hate for this to destroy their relationship. He has been amazingly generous to let us have one child - I have always thought that. I am not sure I could be so generous if it were my partner. Perhaps he didn't realise what he was getting into the first place, and now he knows what its like. Still, if DD is visiting one child it won't take up any more of his time to see a second while he is here.

It's such a blow - I have always wanted 2 since I began this journey. I was an only child for 10 years before my sisters came along and so I know both sides of the situation. Initially I was planning to give birth to the first and then adopt a second, but when DD came a long those plans had to change. If he was going to be an active Dad to one child it would make it hard on the second. He is an active Dad!

So where does this leave me? There are tons of things going round in my head. After the miscarriage I had a bit of a wobble and wondered if I could really go through with the whole thing again, but I have recovered from that. I was all set. Now what happens? I am 41! If I am going to adopt I should have started the process months ago, if I am going through a clinic I need to get that sorted too. Or is it unfair on the second child if BB has a Dad and s/he doesn't? I think, knowing DD, he would adopt a Dad like  relationship with that child anyway, so how would that make it any different from his partner's side? Does this mean that his partner is effectively going to dictate that I have no more children and BB is to be an only child? Should I let that happen? Can I?

I am a mess. There is so much to consider. It's making losing BB2 hard all over again. Now I feel like I'm losing BB3 too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Sixth Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Have Thyroid Levels Investigated

The final secret is to have your thyroid checked out. Hypothyroidism is another cause of weight gain. It is a result of low thyroxin levels which can be replaced by medication.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Increasing weight
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • general weakness
  • thinning hair
  • loss of the outer third of the eyebrow
  • cold hands and feet
  • dry, rough skin
  • swelling around the ankles
  • temperature below 36.6ºC
Now, I do have the eyebrow issue, and a low temperature (I have been recording BBT for TTC purposes and over the last 11 days my temperature has ranged from 36.0 6- 36.4ºC, though I expect this will be higher after ovulation), but I am clear on the other things. I will try the low carb approach first and if I have no success with that, I suppose I could ask my GP about this.

There is no diet treatment for this - you need drugs, as a result the chapter in this is quite short. You do need a diagnosis though. Blood tests are commonly used to diagnose thyroid problems, but they frequently give wrong results due to changing levels of the thyroid hormones which are apparently released in spurts. Dr Mansfield recommends that blood tests be treated with caution and that the patient be treated as a whole person. He recommends contacting either Thyroid UK or The British Society for Ecological Medicine if you have troubles with a diagnosis.
Click here for other posts related to The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss Elimination Diet

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version 

The Fifth Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Reduce High Levels of Insulin

Hyperinsulinaemia is a condition of having high levels of insulin in the blood. This is caused by eating high amounts of carbohydrates. I definitely believe I have a problem with this. PCOS is related to this and I was diagnosed with that in about 2002. I also managed to control it with diet, which essential meant reducing my carbohydrate consumption. I believe I got this condition as a result of being (almost) vegetarian. I have never really liked red meat. As a result, I think I compensated for this by eating more carbohydrate than I should. Eating out as a vegetarian is getting better, but for a long time the only options really were high carbs (like pizza or pasta) and cheese - often there was no real protein source. As I said right at the beginning, my carb / sugar consumption has gone up since I had BB, and this is what I think needs to be brought into check.

I believe I was insulin resistant before, and I possibly am again. I can't remember the exact mechanism but it is described in The Atkins Diet, but basically it is a vicious cycle. Too much insulin leads to an accumulation of fat, the fat cells become insulin resistant, meaning you need to produce more insulin, and as a result you produce more fat cells, which increases insulin, which increases fat cells .... and so on!

Again the book has lots of info in this and more, such as how insulin resistance leads to diabetes and heart disease. It also talks about the Atkins Diet and a Low GI Diet. Dr Mansfield recommends both, but he does suggest you do the elimination diet first to rule out any sensitivities.

Another thing I know about carbs (from elsewhere) is that they provide energy. If you are going to exercise or do something else energy demanding, eat carbs. If you are going to sit on your bum all day, don't eat them! You may also have heard of people who don't eat carbs after a certain time of day, based on the idea that you don't need them when you sleep either!

During the last couple of weeks on the elimination diet I have introduced three types of sugar, wheat, corn, bread, chocolate... I think I have actually eaten more carbs that I usually would as is necessary to test for sensitivity. However, I plan on reducing them all again once the reintroduction of rye and oats is complete. We'll see what happens to my weight as a result (I do plan on keeping records still).

Click here for other posts related to The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss Elimination Diet

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version

The Fourth Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Treat Yeast Syndrome if Indicated

You may well have heard of Candidiasis, if not, you will almost definitely have heard of thrush. Both are caused by a common fungus Candida albicans. Yeast Syndrome is what happens when this fungus gets out of control in our bodies. From my research, it would seem that yeast syndrome as such is not fully accepted by the medical community,  however, there are many people that have noted problems related to the overgrowth of this fungus.

My own father actually became quite ill a couple of years ago. Having failed to get a satisfying solution through the conventional medical route he saw a naturopath who diagnosed yeast syndrome, and gave him some herbs and a low sugar, yeast free diet to follow. It made a massive difference to him. I do believe it. I have noticed that I get athletes foot if I eat too much sugar. I also believe my need to go to the loo during the night, and night waking, is related to sugar consumption, which fits with the yeast syndrome theory.

In the book there is a quiz to help you identify if years syndrome is likely. For a woman a score of over 100 makes it likely, over 180 s a certainty - I scored exactly 100. I would say that I do have yeast in my body and that sometimes, depending on what I have been eating, it can make a difference to my well-being, but I wouldn't say it has ever been high enough for me to be really sick. There is a medical test you can take, and drugs you can get, but they are not good if you are pregnant or breastfeeding so this is not on my agenda right now.

There are several websites out there that have a 'Candida diet', which is basically avoiding sugar and yeast (remember yeast is in bread, cheese and alcohol). There is possibly an equal number of websites that state that it is all rubbish but of course a diet low in or eliminating those things will make you feel better. I would say there is probably truth on both sides, and seeing as I plan on dramatically reducing sugar and yeast again anyway, I feel like I have this one covered, but it is something to have in mind.

Click here for other posts related to The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss Elimination Diet

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version

Rapidly becoming a non-believer

As the title says, I am rapidly becoming a non-believer. I don't think it is going to be as simple as avoiding a few foods forever and being thin. Well at least not in my case. In fairness, the book does say that this food sensitivity secret only works for 70-80% of people. So, it would appear I am in the 20-30% of the others. My weights have been all over the place, and steadily rising since I reintroduced sugar and other carbs.

My weights, from the beginning, are listed at the bottom of this post.

Without a doubt I lost weight at first, but my weight loss seemed to come to a halt and then I started reintroducing sugar on day 25. In the beginning there was no wheat, potatoes, sugar, dairy, but lost of good proteins like fish, and good fats, like olive oil, avocado and macadamia nuts. I have now re-introduced beet sugar, cane sugar, corn sugar, wheat, bread, potatoes, corn, cheese and chocolate and all the benefits I felt and saw from the early stages have vanished. I have less energy, feel more tired and sluggish. I'm not feeling anywhere near as young and vital as I was 3 weeks ago.

The process of reintroduction does involve a bit of an assault on the body really. For example reintroducing wheat was 3 days of eating wheat at every meal. I would never do that normally. Spoonfuls of sugar after each meal is also something I wouldn't do. While I appreciate it is necessary to challenge the body to see if there is an intolerance, it is not the best thing to do to your self.

So despite these thoughts and my weights, I have continued reintroducing food. I figure that if I do react to something there will be a big weight gain which will stand out. I have just a few things to go. Rye, which I am doing today, oats, cauliflower, and malt. I want to do them because it seems a shame to get so far and give up, but I do also want this over with. It is CD9, and I want to focus on TTC instead. According to the list I should also test aspartame and monosodium glutamate, but these are things I generally try and avoid and I am simply not prepared to flood my body with these chemicals at this point in time.

I am also questioning wether I really am sensitive to grapes or wether this results were just a fluke. As I mentioned Champagne had no effect. I will retest grapes as soon as the other foods are done.

So, it is time for me to look at the other 3 'secrets'. These are:

The Fourth Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Treat Yeast Syndrome if Indicated
The Fifth Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Reduce High Levels of Insulin (low carb diet!)
The Sixth Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Have Thyroid Levels Investigated

I will address each of these in a separate post, but I am thinking that Secret 5 is the one for me. I think knew this before I started this whole process too, but hey... It was good to do a disciplined diet and reintroduction process to prove to myself beyond all doubt that this is the case. It is also good that I have lost more than 5% of my bodyweight (essentially the weight I gained during my pregnancy which ended by miscarriage in October).

Here are the results!

am weight (kg)
pm weight (kg)


Click here for other posts related to The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss Elimination Diet

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version