Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I feel like a weight has been lifted. I wish it was from my chest, but it's off my shoulders at least.  After 4 days of steroids, I'm still hacking away at the slightest provocation of breathlessness and I'm desperate. I do love steroids sometimes, but I'd prefer to only need them once every few years. This is the third round in the last 9 months. Something's gotta give before my bones do (nothing like getting diagnosed with osteopenia at the age of 22 to make you feel old).

1. The first to go is farm work. I probably shouldn't have blogged about Urbavore immediately after getting home when I was tired, cranky, cold, and oh-so-sore. After a hot shower and a round with the neti-pot, I was left with yes, aching muscles and wheezing, but also the immense satisfaction of a job well done. Few things can be more fundamental and important as growing your own food and knowing exactly how it got to your plate. I feel very passionately about that. But 15 hours a week on top of my full-time job is a bit ambitious even without asthma in the mix.

There is 100% chance of soaking, revitalizing, but yes cold rain today and the high temps are only supposed to hit the low 40s. I do feel a little bit  really guilty and wimpy because the farmers (one of whom is 6 months pregnant) and interns are out in the field working in this weather. I came home from work last night in a panic because a cold and wet Therese is not an animal you want to encounter in the wild, but also because cold = bronchospasms and a day out in this weather would further lower my immunity. I had to tell Brooke. Fortunately, she was very understanding.

image from google search
We're still trying to figure out if my stipulations (avoid straw, hay, debris, mold, and dust) are conducive to actually being helpful on the farm once a week. If so, I'd LOVE to stay involved, even if it means picking pole beans for hours on end beneath the summer sun (mmm... sun). But for now, I'm at home recovering. And no matter what, I will be FULLY supporting the Badseed Farmer's Market and Urbavore Farm Stand all summer- if you're in town, I'd love to take you and introduce you to the people who have poured their lives into such an incredible and worthy endeavor.

2. The second thing to go, temporarily, is gluten. Homeopathic remedies seem to be hit-or-miss, but I'm desperate and there are a good number of people who swear that a gluten-free diet reduces inflammation. As much as I love baking and eating the fruits of the breadbasket of America, I need to give gluten-free another shot. My month of clean eating in February ended after two weeks because, let's be honest, it was a lot of work and it was also inconvenient/embarrassing in social situations. (I know, there are more important things, but really. We live in a society built around convenience.)

While my stomach never really felt better, my asthma did drastically improve during those two weeks. I'm not sure if it was the lack of gluten or lack of dairy (both of which have been blamed as inflammatory culprits), so I'm going to rule one out at a time. Gluten is the first to go simply because I just stocked up on Greek yogurt (protein and calcium intake are important to maintain while on Prednisone).

This doesn't mean buying fancy gluten-free cupcakes and processed food right now. The point is to veer more toward whole food: brown rice, quinoa, and millet are all easy to make in advance and eat throughout the week. (Easy for me to say now, but in a few hours I'll be eyeing those Almond Joy Cookie Bars in the freezer and wondering if I could make a gluten-free version with oat flour instead of wheat flour!)

3. My running game was finally improving again last week. I was up to being comfortable with 3.5 miles of a run 9 minute/walk 1 minute pattern. Of course now the thought of running just makes me want to cough and wheeze. I was too sore from farm work last Tuesday and Wednesday and obviously haven't been breathing well enough to run since then. I'm going to continue to take time off until this weekend and re-evaluate. Typical of my over-compensation, I am signed up to run a 5.3 mile leg of the Brew to Brew run with co-workers on April 3. Yikes!
Photo from BrewtoBrew.com
4. Of course, just taking things away is never a healthy attitude, so I'm making it a focus to ADD more of the important things to my life:

-Getting involved in a new church that's actually conducive to new member involvement (any recommendations in the Kansas City area?)

-Counseling (embarrassing to admit, but long overdue with my history of depression and anxiety).

-The Word of God. No self-help book could ever replace His love story.

-Quality time with Ross. When BOTH of us pulled long days every day for the last week, things got grouchy fast. We are so fortunate to be able to have some leisure time in our lives and we would prefer to spend some of it together instead of alone in the apartment at different times on different days.

-Foods that please my body and not just my tastebuds- though I always aim to please both!

-Dry brushing. I mentioned it last time, and I've kept up with it sporadically, but it's strangely soothing. I can see how it centers autistic kids when they get anxious. Try it!

In the spirit of starting off on the right foot, I had some liquid sunshine with my breakfast to brighten up this dreary day. A carrot, beet, orange, and coconut smoothie.

*Disclaimer: I am a Registered Nurse, not a Registered Dietician. At work we deal with calorie and protein ratios in milk, not big-kid food. What works in my life and eating style may not work for you. But please, give me feedback on my recipes and feel free to share your own!

Liquid Sunshine serves 1 hungry girl
(you will need a food-processor or high-powered blender with these ingredients)

2-3 small steamed, peeled beets (I used pre-steamed organic beets from Hy-Vee-- don't confuse these with canned or pickled beets!)
1 orange
1 organic carrot, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup coconut milk (using unsweetened SO Delicious has been cheaper than buying cans of coconut milk and it has a very mild, creamy taste that's not overwhelming)
1/4 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt (or just add another 1/4 cup of another liquid-- OJ, milk, coconut water, etc.)
3-4 ice cubes

Add ingredients to food processor or blender and blend until smooth. This may take several minutes depending on how powerful the motor is.

Pour into a tall glass and garnish with shredded coconut or chopped almonds if desired, and smile: Today will be beautiful!

(Please don't think me a hypocrite. I know that after getting on my soapbox about local food, I made a smoothie from non-local ingredients. While I'd love to get to the point where 90% of what we eat is grown within 50-100 miles, it's not practical right now mostly due to extremely limited pantry and freezer space and the fact that the local climate doesn't grow fresh fruits and vegetables year-round. Probably my biggest disappointment over not being an Urbavore intern is that I will miss out on the FREE education about preserving local food so it can sustain you even through the winter. These farmers don't just talk the talk!)


  1. Commenting twice in a row to say : I make everything without using wheat, and if you want help in the transition, please please let me know. And definitely if you really feel better (fingers crossed!)

  2. Hey if you want advice/tips/recipes on eating gluten free, Ashley from Edible Perpective did a detox and did like 5 weeks without gluten, so there's tons of yummy recipes. (p.s. this is the ashley who redid the pics for Mama Pea's book!) This links to her recipe list with the gluten free stuff all marked. check it out, i love this blog! http://edibleperspective.com/recipes/

  3. Thanks, Erin! Clearly, we read the same blogs :o) Ashley was stressing me out a bit because her detox was so darn PERFECT, but she does have some awesome recipes. I will be making more of her coconut rice pudding this week. Have you tried it?!

  4. I haven't... everything on there looks so amazing but like you said, its all so perfect that I feel inadequate. But your buckwheat bake has me considering giving it a shot... she made oats sound so good ive really gotten into experimenting with that. I LOVE that the healthy food from there and my other food blogs is starting to influence my life... I'm all about whole grains and fresh produce these days. With a healthy dose of cheddar jalepeno cheetos, of course!