Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lately I've been thinking

about my diet.  I have a sensitive stomach so I have been doing a bit of internet reading.  I know that if I don't eat regularly my stomach complains.  Also on the weekends I tend to not eat but then I get that fatigued feeling and light headed.  Sometimes while riding I get a dizzy feeling and I know that I have to stop somewhere and have something quick to eat.  I carry emergency candies in my top case so I can get a quick sugar fix.  I must be borderline diabetic so I have cut down on sugar intake.  I use sugar in my coffee so I only have one cup a day, instead of the 6-8 cups that I used to drink.   The rest of the day I just drink boiling water.

I also know that when I eat less meat, especially red meat I tend to feel better.  I love food but I have also tried to trim down the quantities that I consume, preferring more balanced meals that include more vegetables.  I have also found that smaller, more frequent meals makes me feel less bloated

I started to read food labels more carefully.   Many years ago I took a gourmet cooking class at night school and learned a few things that I quickly forgot.  Then I got into baking as a hobby, this was when I started to accumulate OUR kitchen appliances.  You know the Cuisinart, KitchenAid, blenders and other hand accessories to make the baking task easier, like the microplaner, stainless whisks.   So in OUR kitchen we have a lot of OUR equipment to use.

It all started with Cream Puffs.   We have a well known French Bakery which we used to purchase various pastries, and I would often go there on Saturday mornings to buy their cream puffs and most often they are sold out.  Sometimes I could buy 6, and other times only 1.  I have also walked away with NONE.   The lady said to me "why don't you order them ahead of time".  I thought for a moment and said to myself "how would I know a week ahead  if I wanted a cream puff".   This put me on the quest to make them myself and for a while our family always made a point to ask me to make some for our special dinners, you know, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.  Then it expanded to cheese cakes, pound cakes and after our dinner we would set up the dessert table.

I am a hobbyist, whether it be remote controlled cars, remote control airplanes or developing photos in a wet darkroom with enlargers and chemicals . . . to me it is the challenge of learning how to do things and understand the procedures.

Last week I was looking at some recipes that I wanted to try out and I had no idea where I would be able to find the ingredients I needed.   Last Saturday I made my way to this store and spent some time wandering around the aisles, looking at labels and seeing what was available.  It's amazing !   Stuff that I never knew existed.

I'm still a bit confused as to what is actually Vegan, and whether Organic is Vegan or not and how gluten-free relates to all of this.  I was hoping that one day I could get some first hand advice from someone who knows.

I decided to take a simple recipe and produce a batch of Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies.   I purchased Earth Balance Vegan Margarine, a package of Whole Spelt Flour, and a box of Ener-G non-dairy eggs with Carob chips.

Then disaster . . .

The head release on OUR KitchenAid Mixer would not release so I couldn't swing the head UP.  I didn't want to force it too much but I was getting a bit frustrated, so I dug out my screwdriver and took it apart

The lever on the right is attached to that cam with that wire connector and it wouldn't move, so I used the screwdriver to gently nudge it

You have to move the head UP to attach the stainless bowl to the mixing stand, and also to change the mixer attachments

That's better, now I can proceed to mix my ingredients

I'm hoping that the brown & white sugar is Vegan.  I cut down the sugar content a bit to make the cookies less sweet.  I have made the non-Vegan version many times.   When I first try any recipe I follow the quantities precisely, then I modify it to my preferences.

This is the first time I have tried Spelt flour

The texture of the batter seems a bit drier than what I am used to, perhaps because I normally use butter instead of Earth Balance

I didn't want to mix the spelt too much but I nearly forgot to add the carobs

I wasn't sure how high it would rise so I used an ice cream scooper, made little balls and just spaced them out on my cookie sheet

I normally don't "stack" my cookies on different levels but this oven is convection so I thought that the air would be fan circulated

8 minutes later at 350°F and they looked ready

They were too delicate to remove so I had to let them air cool for a while

and later I was able to use my metal spatula to place them on my cooling racks

Mmmm, my first attempt at Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies  . . .


  1. I had Sunday brunch with a vegan friend earlier this year. I had a vegan breakfast burrito. When asked my opinion of it I said "If it had some bacon and shrimp in it, it would be great!"

    As for the diabetes thing, Bob, see your doc about a simple fasting A1C blood test. Not expensive and it will tell you where you're at. If you were diabetic your blood sugar would be too high (Hyperglycemia) not too low (Hypoglycemia).

    1. Doug:

      On the weekends I eat less, around early afternoon I get fatigued sort of like a balloon deflating. I also get light headed (dizzy) so this is a signal for me to eat something quick. Something with sugar works best. If I am riding I pull over and stop for a while. Isn't this low blood sugar ?

      I do agree with you about bacon and shrimp but we can't always be eating things with meat in it. I was thinking of being a Hybrid Vegan. We have already changed our diet to exclude lots of meat but I still wish to have a greasy hamburger once in a while with bacon & cheese

    2. Bob, diabetes is a problem with high blood sugar, not low. The dizziness from low blood sugar speaks to a different problem than diabetes and may just be related to the mix items and quantity of what you eat in relationship to your specific metabolism.

      I'm pretty certain many or most of us eat more meat than we need, I know I've cut back a lot over the last years but the whole vegan thing is too extreme for me. All things in balance, even meat.

    3. Doug:

      I guess it is low blood sugar, Makes me sort of feel like a balloon which is loosing air - deflated. It happens when I skip a meal or get hungry.

      I am not sure I could be complete Vegan either, but all things in moderation. And I don't mind experimenting with making Vegan desserts or meals. I also have diabetic friends so I will also be experimenting with dietetic desserts, after all, they don't want to be left out of the dessert table.

  2. Good for you Bob! The cookies look like they turned out great and you got to play mechanic on the mixer too. If you're not fond of the carob chips you can use dark chocolate chips, they're usually vegan.
    If you are concerned with the sugar in your coffee try using agave syrup, it won't spike your sugar levels nor give you the crash later.

    1. Troubadour:

      See . . . what did I tell you ? These are things you wouldn't know about unless you spent some time with people who know about these things.

      I also read about dark unsweetened chocolate but they say during the processing dairy products may have been included, so you can't be sure. I will see if this store carries Agave syrup, how about Molasses ? or Maple Syrup, would they work ?

  3. Bob

    I can heartily recommend "The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight" cook book .


    I used recipes from this book on holiday this year and Mrs N was very impressed!

    Best wishes from Knutsford, N

    1. Nikos:

      thank you, I will check into this. If it impressed Mrs N, then it must be good.

  4. Good luck on this Bob! But don't take away all the things you like all at once. You will go nuts. Back off the sugar mostly and you will feel so much better. Prepare for headaches.

    1. Martha:

      It is part of the quest to eat healthier. We have already found that having less meat makes you feel better, also smaller quantities. We have cut way back on sugar, but I love chocolates so what can you do ?

      I NEVER get headaches, but I did get a few recently. Don't know what is happening to me. I also bought some yogurt . . . need more good bacteria

    2. It's a good step in the right direction, Bob but take it slow. I did it the hard way switching from junk to Vegan, gluten free and sugar free and I wasn't feeling well for over a months (I felt like a druggy going gold turkey). It worked out for me, my health and weight at the end but it was not easy. I don't miss any meat, but I miss my sushi sometimes.

    3. PS: My radical change was due to underlying health issues, and I only found out by holistic approach (no thanks to doctors, I was treated for IBS and almost got diagnosed with Crohn's) that I have developed a gluten alergy and I have celiac desease.
      My approach was simply all food that could hurt me and start dieting "from scratch". This is why I ended up becoming Vegan...

    4. Sonja:

      We never really have much junk food anyway so I don't miss it. But I do like a good greasy hamburger every so often. I don't think I have Crohn's because those are not my symptoms, I think I have something like Coeliac disease. Never heard of this before and I always thought I had IBS. Sometimes when I have something to eat it just runs right through and I have to find a washroom really bad. It makes sense now that nourishment doesn't get absorbed and all the food just passes by without stopping. I should just take your notes away from you, and thank you for all your "testing"

      I have always relied on Imodium but lately it seems to not work, thus my quest to find the solution this time. I need to find out before next riding season.

  5. mmmmmmmmmmmmm! personally i haven't been a big fan of spelt, but your cookies look like they turned out fabulously! ps, vegan basically = non animal. hugs to you both! hows mrs skoot?

    1. Ms M:

      I've never tried spelt until now. The texture is a bit different and of course it impacts on the taste of the cookies but everyone that has tried them say they taste good. I'm running out of cookies but I had another one yesterday and it tasted fine, perhaps I am getting used to them.

      Mrs Skoot is fine as a person can be with only one hand. Imagine tying a shoelace with one hand. You can't even fold a blanket. For dinner yesterday I had to cut her food into squares before I gave her the plate, so she only had to use a fork.

  6. Great job on the cookies Bob, and I think you were adventurous trying spelt flour. I've never tried anything but regular wheat flour.

    I know how expensive the Earth Balance and EnerG is down here so I can only imagine how expensive they are up there. Here is a chocolate chip cookie recipe that doesn't use either: http://trobairitztable.blogspot.com/2012/10/chocolate-chip-cookies.html

    MQ hit the nail on the head. Vegan is anything that doesn't come from an animal, not just the meat of an animal but anything that comes from it or is made from a part or secretion such as eggs, milk, and butter aren't vegan. When you look an ingredients just ask yourself did that come from an animal or was it made from the by product of an animal? Some things are tricky like casein. They put casein in a lot of soy products but it is actually a milk protein. One of the easiest things to do is look at the "allergy statement" on a package. If it just says 'wheat' or 'soy' you are fine, if it says milk or egg then it isn't vegan.

    PETA has a great resource called their Accidentally Vegan list. A list of all kinds of products you can find at the grocery store that are vegan but don't actually say they are vegan. Here is a link: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/accidentally-vegan.aspx

    They also have a great substitution list for substituting vegan ingredients in your baking: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/baking-cheat-sheet.aspx

    Take some time to poke around their website. Sure they can be a little over the top with their tactics sometimes when protecting the animals, but they have great resources and recipes.

    Organic and gluten free have no relation to vegan.

    Organic is raised or grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers or other synthetic inputs and actually Canada probably has a better definition of it that the USA. Our regulations are not as strict as the rest of the world.

    Gluten free means that the gluten protein has been removed or a product that does not contain gluten has been substituted. Here is a Wiki article you may find interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten_free

    Hope this helps a little bit. I'll try and answer any questions I can, but I am by no means an expert.

    1. Trobairitz:

      Without going into graphical detail, from your links I think I may have a gluten problem (Coeliac Disease), as those appear to be my symptoms. The non absorption of nutrients means whatever I seem to eat just rolls right on through so when traveling I have to make sure to always aim towards the next washroom. Remember I told you I had a problem which I was trying to figure out.

      You mean I could have just used regular flour instead of the spelt ? All this stuff was much more expensive than I thought it would be. I checked your recipe and your turbinado sugar has much larger crystals/grains. I used brown/demerara sugar mixed with regular white. My reason for trying spelt is because I am going to the next stage of trying to make dietetic desserts/cookies. I have to do more reading to figure out what sugar to use; splenda I hear is very good, but so is molasses or perhaps maple syrup.

      I am sure to ask you more questions but I am content for the moment to poke around the Peta site you linked. You are being too modest, you know more than you think . . . thank you again.

      I have to figure this out before next riding season as I told Troubadour that I wish to ride SWIHNBB

    2. I think I can understand better than a lot of people when food goes right through you. Remember I have Crohn's and have actually had 8 cm of bowel removed.

      I personally don't seem to have a problem with gluten but apparently it was the meat and dairy that was getting to me. My system is 100% better having gone vegan. Sure wish I knew about that 20 years ago when I was diagnosed.

      Your family doctor can probably do a test for gluten intolerance. You might want to get an appointment to check and see.

      The turbindo/raw sugar does have large crystals but that is part of the charm in those particular cookies. You will find a recipe you like and stick with it. Half the fun is experimenting.

      if you check out the blog links on my food blog they are mostly vegan recipe blogs and can give you some ideas too.

      The main thing is to have fun with your food experiments. Some will come out well, some maybe not so much. Eat what makes you feel better.

    3. Trobairitz:

      I forgot about your Vegan food blog. I should have checked before I bought my ingredients, but I would have ended up with them anyways as it is Winter (Non riding season), so I have lots of rainy days to experiment in the kitchen.

      You've given me a lot to think about, plus lots of reading to catch up on with those links and your sidebar.

      thank you very much

  7. If you were diabetic, you would have high blood sugar not low so I wouldn't be too worried about that. But cutting down on sugar and carbs is always a good thing. The A1c test that Doug mentions in his comment is like a long term average of your blood glucose level. I generally use stevia as a sweetener as it has almost no effect on bg levels and is a natural product made out of leaves. Also any carbohydrate has a huge impact on bg levels so for me, that really has to be limited. I aim for 60-80 g/day. That's only abut 1 1/2 cups of rice of pasta or half a dozen small cookies per day.

    I discovered that I was type 2 diabetic when I taught a workshop in Albuquerque and the other instructor was vegan. After eating out with him for several days, I noticed that I felt much better. No more headaches or exhaustion. That's when I visited my doctor for a physical and a bunch of blood tests. I was thinking allergies at the time but it wasn't that simple.

    The cookies look like they turned out pretty good but I would vote for dark chocolate as well.

    1. Richard:

      I think I have low blood sugar, at times when I miss a meal, I get dizzy and feel like I am losing my vertical orientation. This is a problem when riding and I don't know what is causing this. It is easily solved by having a chocolate bar or something with lots of sugar, like candies which I carry in my topcase. When I am riding somewhere I tend not to stop for meals and I get dizzy/or light headed so I have to stop right away.

      I am trying to be careful as diabetes runs in my family. Every one has had it. My grandfather, my dad, my uncle . . . I know carbs turn to sugar so I have virtually eliminated bread from our shopping cart, but I also love bread with butter, esp crusty buns with soft centres.

      As you say, you were with your Vegan friend and you ate what he ate. I think it would do me good to be with other Vegan's for a weekend and just observe what they eat or buy and see if this makes me feel better.

      The cookies turned out fine and everyone liked them. Slightly different texture using the spelt flour. You would not have known they were Vegan if I didn't mention it. Next step is to find a recipe for Dietetic Vegan Chocolate Chip cookies and eliminate the sugar. I could probably just substitute Splenda for the white sugar, and add molasses for the brown, and adjust for more spelt to compensate for the extra liquid, or add a bit of baking powder. I'll figure this out

    2. "when I miss a meal, I get dizzy and feel like I am losing my vertical orientation"

      Seems simple, don't miss a meal. And you're probably right about the dizziness coming from low blood sugar. I occasionally have that problem but not unless I miss several meals such as no breakfast or lunch. The real solution is numerous small snacks so that the carbs enter your system over a period of time rather than a blast from a large meal.

      Better to just make wonderful, delicious chocolate chip cookies using your favorite recipe and just have one per day max unless you plan on being especially active. Being lactose intolerant and having had colon cancer, meat and dairy is also kept to a minimum. I think I'll just have the survive on the packaging...

    3. Richard:

      I have never told anyone else what I am about to tell you . . . so now everyone will know

      I bought my Vstrom in 2009. I tried to keep it vertical and I nearly succeeded. I took a day off work on October 19, 2009 and decided to spend the day riding "somewhere". I don't think I had anything to eat and I found myself south of Vancouver on a country road which went through a tree tunnel and then there were twisties which went up and then snaked downhill and then an abrupt nearly 90° angle at the bottom where there was a ravine with cement abutments. The trees were hypnotic and I got a bit light headed feeling and didn't reduce speed. I couldn't make the turn as I was going too fast. My bike skidded on the left side for a few feet until I hit the abutment which stopped me from going down the cliff into the ravine.

      I have played out this scenario many times in my mind and I don't know what happened. Could have been low sugar dizziness. If my photos have not yet been deleted you may see my post back around that time where I had to fix my crash bar. To this day I will not ride down that road.

      I have started to eat many smaller portions during the day to keep my stomach and digestion system in continuous operation mode, rather than One lump all at once. This seems to work much better

    4. You made me go look back to 2009 and read about when you picked up the Vstrom and subsequent repair. BTW, so far, all of the pictures are still showing up.

  8. Bob-
    Interesting...how did they taste?

    They LOOK delicious!

    1. Deb:

      Surprisingly the cookies tasted very good, not because I made them. I gave them away and everyone like them. They didn't even realize they were Vegan, but I mentioned this to them.

      I already know I have to modify this recipe to allow for a bit more flour, I like them to rise a bit more, perhaps add a pinch of baking powder to help. I am not used to using the Ener-G non dairy egg powder. Egg is used as the binder for the flour, which was a bit too dry and flaky after baking. The recipe calls for 1 egg equivalent, I am going to use 2 egg equivalent next time. This will give me a bit more liquid and perhaps I should add a bit more flour to dry the batter a bit.

  9. Those cookies certainly look tasty ...

    I won't comment on the vegan, gluten-free, organic questions as they are well covered in the comments. Just a general statement: What you describe with "less red meat and more smaller meals, less sugar and less coffee" is probably the healthiest of the choices you can make.

    Living vegan or vegetarian is a lifestyle decision for most, an allergy decision for some. A lot of people actually cannot live healthily with just vegan food, they will have nutritional deficits and their bodies can't compensate properly. Then they'll start taking supplements, which in the end isn't the right way either.

    But that discussion completely aside as I don't want to get into a yes or no to vegan / vegetarian food, a healthy lifestyle is one of moderation. Moderate amounts of everything your body needs, and also very moderate amounts of the the comforting snacks your soul needs. Like the sweets that make us happy, the coffee to give us the comforting "wake up kick", the chips and salsa with a good movie. Moderation means you're treating yourself properly with the right amount of everything you need. To eat healthy, but also to be generally happy.

    Being married to a dietitian certainly helps my lifestyle ... ;-)

    1. Guido:

      you are lucky to have Andrea . . . your personal nurse too, plus she rides, you are a lucky person indeed.

      I do have a problem which I am trying to solve. Perhaps it is the gluten content, this is what I am thinking. We are just attempting to be the healthiest we can be and still live our lifestyle. Everything in moderation as you say, is our goal.

      I don't think I could go completely Vegan, but perhaps a hybrid approach as I love my greasy hamburgers too much, plus the bacon & cheese. I want to be comfortable with all types of foods and know what to avoid. I don't think I wish to be deprived of being able to try anything . . . in your words: "To eat healthy, but also to be generally happy"

    2. Yes, I know how happy I am with Andrea! She's been playing nurse for a few weeks for me now after I got out of the hospital. And we generally live a fairly healthy life style - apart from too much work and too much stress.

      In Germany I know a few people who thought that they had a problem with gluten, too, but that was mainly because gluten is the the current most hip thing to be allergic against. Over time they all had really comprehensive tests done for food allergies and gluten wasn't the problem for any of them. Mostly it was nuts, generally very specific variants like peanuts or walnuts or so. Then some typical minor reactions to other food.

      The issue is the following: if you are allergic against something it often goes along with being just ever so slightly allergic to some other stuff. Now, your body has a threshold where things get out of whack and you get really bad allergic reactions, your immune system suffers, you get sick with various weird things that are in no direct relation to the allergy, but come from the fact your body is weakened by the allergy. For example, let's say you are very allergic against peanuts, and just a little bit allergic to walnuts - now, you eat some peanuts one evening, but you haven't had some in a long time, your body fights it, it stays below the threshold, you don't have bad reactions, now the next evening you eat some walnuts - it pushes your body over the threshold and you might think "hell, I must be really allergic to walnuts".

      Or, even worse, somebody tells you that there are allergies that "jump", that cross from some things to others. I haven't seen that often, but in all cases it wasn't true. It was someone highly allergic to one or two things, and just ever so slightly against a few others.

      I can only recommend getting a really, really comprehensive check done. My mom had that done a few years ago - she thought she had gluten allergy. But that wasn't the case. She was allergic against some nuts and to a lesser degree some citric acids (oranges, lemons). Since then she knows what's going on and can avoid the real bad things, no talk about gluten free stuff anymore.

      Don't get me wrong, I know that there are people allergic to gluten. No doubt. But most people really don't know what they are allergic against, and Docs here in NA aren't the most thorough in checking for the real cause.

      Personally I think the best first step is to get away from all kind of processed food, avoid anything with too many ingredients that don't belong there (Anybody seen the salt that has sugar added?), eat more fruit and vegetables, and everything else in moderation. That likely solves about 99% of the issues. The rest should be properly diagnosed first.

    3. Bob Skoot:
      A lot of wonderful advice in this comment. I understand that it is a real hassle, but it would be worth a visit to a clinic instead of self diagnosis on the Internet. There are some "medical practitioners" around here who seem to just tell their patients that they must be allergic to this or that with no actual tests. We went through this with my stepson where the "medical practitioner" said must be a gluton allergy, followed by dairy, eggs, and a bunch of other stuff. It turns out that he has no food allergies.

      Guido's last paragraph is a wonderful starting point rather than random shots in the dark...

    4. Richard:

      I would be the last person who would ever voluntarily walk into a Doctor's office or Hospital as I have a tremendous fear of needles.

      I have only had foot issues the past few years. They did tests, xrays, I went to the Clinic and nothing was found, but still the pain is recurring. They don't know what is causing me to have these recurring bouts so I give up and don't see the Doctor anymore. I just hobble around for a week or so and it eventually goes away. Even the medication that was prescribed has no effect. I used to be able to walk all day, but now, not so much

    5. I used to be the same way, avoided doctors and clinics like the plague. Now, less so. I used to have to give myself shots twice per day now just once per week. If you don't like needles then you probably won't like the allergy testing. But still the random try this and try that seems counterproductive. Your foot problem could be related to your overall health as well and may even be related to diet...

    6. For example: Mikesworld

      I just ran into this moto-blog this morning and in this post he explains gout. How it is from chronic disease and/or diet and showed up as a pain in his foot...

    7. Richard:

      I did have a blood test when I went to the clinic a couple of years ago. No uric acid, and no joint pains. The tenderness comes from he achilles heal which I ripped due to a stupid accident. My ankle swelling has nothing to do with joints, besides I don't eat enough rich food like lobsters or crabs and anything with lots of butter or whipping cream, but I'll check out your link

    8. There is still a lot to be said to get a proper diagnosis. Granted, there are a lot of not so good docs out there, but there are also some really good ones.

      I generally don't do all too much research into my issues, I check sometimes when I know I have a certain condition (like I did with my heart diagnosis), but then I spend a lot of time finding the right doctor. I'm generally healthy, so that's easy to say, but just consider my situation lately: a life threatening issue at hand, lots of information on the web to make you go completely bonkers. Didn't happen. First, I mainly ignored it and lived my life normally. When it was due for surgery I invested the time finding the right surgeon, not so much researching the procedure itself. I had the procedure done. I'm on my way back to normal.

      What I mean is that I strongly believe in the expertise of true specialists. I can read months and months on the web about allergies and how to diagnose them and do nothing else but this, but I will not reach the experience, knowledge, and expertise of a good doctor practicing this for 20 years or longer. No way. It's plain impossible.

      Therefore - apart from a generally healthy lifestyle, I try to have things done by people who know what they're doing. I do a lot of stuff on my bike myself, but I let a specialist set up my suspension. I do a lot of stuff around the house, but I have specialists do the harder jobs properly. Same with myself - I know my body pretty well, I'm careful what I eat and drink, I try to eat in moderate amounts (not always though ...), but when I need to know something - I spend my energy in finding the right person with the expertise to tell me what's wrong.

      It's just my approach, I know that I can do certain things only to a certain degree. I accept this and consult the expert when necessary.

      I wish you the best and that you find out what's wrong with your foot! One way or the other - hopefully you find out and can treat it properly. Eating less red meat is certainly a good start anyways.

    9. Guido:

      I am similar to yourself. I do the simple things and hire the experts to do the special stuff. Everything I have I take care of . . .

      the only thing I don't take care of is MYSELF

      I have given up on Specialists. I had a skin problem 20 years ago. I got a referral from my Doctor. I had to wait months before I could get an appointment, and when the day came he gave me 5 minutes and stupid advice.

      I was also in the midst of changing Doctors and there was a very good Doctor that I booked an appointment with. It took a long time to get in and finally I was given a time of 2:30pm. It took me an hour to get there and I arrived on time, before 2:30 and it seemed that everyone else in the room were given the same time. I was the last one to see him when they called my name at 5:30pm. His time may be precious, but I didn't like the idea of him not valuing my time either

      I have not had good luck finding the right Doctor so I am trying to self diagnose. I am sure I can figure this out.

      I get these stomach attacks every so often. Everything seems okay right now but two weeks ago it was like diarrhea which usually lasts for a couple of days. I worry that this will happen when I am touring somewhere on my bike. The immodium seems not to work anymore

    10. This is super tough. I know how it was when we were in Calgary. Health care in Alberta is abysmal. Insanely stupid wait times, disinterested doctors, bad advice. We had that, too.

      If BC is similar, I can certainly see your point, but I still wouldn't give up. There has to be a way to talk to someone with knowledge and the right attitude.

      As said before: I hope you can figure it out.

    11. Guido:

      I do appreciate all the help and comments and I understand what you are saying about having a specialist look into my problem(s).

      I have always been healthy, I have not taken a sick day in over 25 years, and for many years I did not have a physician to turn to. I have always done a lot of walking and cycling but lately things seem to be plaguing me, probably old age creeping in. Perhaps I am not as young as I think. Perhaps I should learn to slow down and accept these limitations. I have not had good experiences in finding a specialist, or perhaps I haven't been referred to the right people. It's like take "this" and hope it helps, and most often the medication doesn't work, so now I am turning to self diagnosis. I can keep a record of what I eat and then if I have a reaction I know what is doing it.

  10. I was gonna say...you've had all this access to Trobairitz and troubadour and you didn't think to ask them?? Hehe.

    Glad you are trying and having fun. In addition to Trobairitz's blog there are a couple others out there for vegan and gluten free with many recipes that their families are giving honest opinions about.

    1. Lori:

      Well, I'm learning as I go. I still have to find out what is triggering my reactions. We don't eat much, if any, processed foods but I have a sensitive stomach and I worry when traveling about finding a restroom when it is urgently required. When far from home I try to eat "safe" food, and not to be too adventurous

      Less red meat has already made things better