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Zoethe

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Continued health experiments [Jun. 1st, 2010|11:21 am]
Zoethe
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Giving up beef and pork has not made me feel appreciably different, unlike other changes. I need to get into the doc's office for a cholesterol test to see if it's had any effect on my system.

Drinking more milk had the almost-immediate effect of curing me from the chronic colds I seemed to always be suffering. I've been germ-sick twice since I started drinking more milk, as opposed to the continually sick I was the year before

Since we started the fruit smoothie routine, I can report that my allergies have been massively reduced: at this time of year I would usually be taking two prescription drugs and supplementing them with OTC antihistamines at least 4x a day, and instead I'm taking one prescription drug, and not even every day. This is a HUGE improvement. Also, my hacking cough and chronic sore throat (both probably the result of post-nasal drip) have pretty much disappeared.

So, what's next? For most of you this is probably a no-brainer, but I'm giving up artificial sweetners for a month. This is probably the biggest hardship so far, because I rely on Lipton Instant Peach-Flavored Iced Tea for my caffeine delivery. I got up this morning, the first of the month and the day I'd told Ferrett I was starting this project, and for a moment I considered pretending that I'd forgotten all about it. But I was good: I brewed up a large cup of Good Earth Sweet and Spicy Original, added some honey, and then poured it over ice.

It's...okay. It's definitely more of a sipping drink than a chugging drink, so I'm forcing myself to get some of it down my gullet so that I don't get a caffeine withdrawal headache. I can tell, though, that this is going to be tough. If I don't see a definite change in my health during this month, I will not be motivated to continue on this part of the regimen. But I'm willing to give it a month because of the major changes in health brought on by the other changes. I can do this for a month. I hope.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: frito_kal
2010-06-01 03:25 pm (UTC)
Have you tried using fruit juice to sweeten your tea?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 03:38 pm (UTC)
No, I never thought of that.
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[User Picture]From: chipuni
2010-06-01 03:45 pm (UTC)
I rely on tea to get me up and through the day.

Find some peach nectar that doesn't have artificial sweeteners. (Sadly, that eliminates Kerns and Goya peach nectar.) R. W. Knudsen Peach Nectar seems safe.

Since you like to chug your tea, brew about two quarts of a lighter tea -- possibly green tea -- to pour over ice. Sweeten with the peach nectar. Enjoy!

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 03:58 pm (UTC)
I don't really prefer chugging, but sometimes you need to get that caffeine into your system.

I may try the peach nectar idea. My problem is I love that stuff so much that it's dangerous for me to have it in the house - juice has a lot of calories!
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[User Picture]From: firerose10
2010-06-01 03:53 pm (UTC)
Lipton Cold Brew Tea Bags!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We take a gallon jug, add about 1.15 cups of sugar and then drop in the tea bags. Shove it in the fridge and it is drinkable (if a bit weak) in about 10 minutes. We usually wait about 30 minutes and start drinking. Whoever drinks the last glass makes a new jug before sitting down. Since it is so easy to make, we almost always have a jug sitting there. I've been cutting back the sugar gradually, since none of us really need it, but you can add fruit juices to give it a different flavor. It's not instant, but pretty darn close!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 04:00 pm (UTC)
I'm hesitant to create yet another pitcher of stuff in our fridge, but it's not a bad idea!
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[User Picture]From: mplsindygirl
2010-06-01 04:12 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry that your allergies were ever so severe as you describe. That sounds like living hell. Keep on doing whatever works!
I've been using stevia drops to sweeten my coffee for quite a while. Expensive, but then coffee is a luxury item for me, too. I have avoided artificial sweeteners for years, as well as HFCS. I've made other changes along the way I can hardly remember now. I sure feel better than I did 10 or even 20 years ago.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 04:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, my allergies were beastly, and it's amazing to me that I've been living in misery so unnecessarily for so long. Live and learn.

I'm glad to hear that you feel better. I'm hoping to continue that trend myself.
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[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2010-06-01 04:15 pm (UTC)
Trader Joe's kettle brewed green and white tea with a hint of mint. It's completely unsweetened and absolutely delicious. Not sure how much caffeine it's got.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 04:36 pm (UTC)
I'll try to remember the next time we go over there!
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[User Picture]From: dylia
2010-06-01 04:37 pm (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, are you including HFCS in the artificial sweeteners category, or just Saccharine, Suclarose, etc? If so, I'd love to know how you fare since there's so much out there that it likes to hide in. I'd love to switch my family to all natural ingredients.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 04:43 pm (UTC)
I have been trying to avoid HFCS for some time, though not with any religious zeal. I am at more risk for coming across it, now that I am not drinking no-cal soft drinks, so I will up my vigilance.

It's not as hard when you don't have kids and therefore don't need to have snack foods readily available at all times. Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2010-06-01 04:51 pm (UTC)
I love milk. This is the first I've heard someone with allergies say milk has been beneficial.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 10:24 pm (UTC)
It's awesome stuff and I'm really glad that it doesn't bother me.
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[User Picture]From: fortuna_juvat
2010-06-01 05:02 pm (UTC)
Peach/black tea brewed in the sun is divine.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 10:25 pm (UTC)
I need to get a sun tea pitcher.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-06-01 05:16 pm (UTC)
You're making me feel very complacent in my own diet--despite the fact that I have been keeping up well with a couple of big changes I underwent 5 or more years ago: Got rid of caffeine (one cup of coffee first thing in the morning was still screwing with my sleep that night) and dropped a lot of the unnecessary fat and calories from my diet (lost 30+ pounds, mostly fat).

Still, once the changes stopped feeling like Something I'm Doing and are just the way I eat, it seems like I should be Doing Something. Probably involving eating more fresh vegetables. Sigh.

With how sudden the effect from drinking milk was, I'm wondering if you weren't suffering from a vitamin D deficiency. Still, whatever works.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: audacian
2010-06-01 05:46 pm (UTC)
"you weren't suffering from a vitamin D deficiency.

Was thinking this myself, too. Most people north of the hemisphere have a vitamin D deficiency to some degree, and some are more sensitive to it than others. Your doctor can tell you what your deficiency is with a simple blood test, and how much you should take in supplements or via diet.
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2010-06-01 06:16 pm (UTC)
Since we started the fruit smoothie routine, I can report that my allergies have been massively reduced

That is most excellent! I'll have to try that out, thanks.

I ended up dropping caffeine. It wasn't a conscious choice, I just started drinking less and less of it as time went on, and stopped missing it. The main problem is that when you go out to eat there are very few uncaffeinated options other than water.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-06-01 08:15 pm (UTC)
You think that's bad, try finding something that doesn't have caffeine OR sugar.

-Alex
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From: jennb45
2010-06-01 06:38 pm (UTC)
Does Stevia count? Its a zero calorie sweetner, but its also made from plants. No artifical chemicals or flavors.
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From: thetisra
2010-06-01 07:04 pm (UTC)
Some information about why it's not approved by the FDA... All things in caution/moderation
http://www.cspinet.org/nah/4_00/stevia.html
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[User Picture]From: zianuray
2010-06-01 06:46 pm (UTC)
I was going to mention Stevia, but [info]jennb45 beat me to it!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 10:45 pm (UTC)
She's sneaky like that!
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[User Picture]From: jmfunnyface
2010-06-01 07:37 pm (UTC)
Have you looked at the different types of honey that Teavana has or their unprocessed rock sugar? Sometimes the type of honey you use can make all the difference.

If you like your tea cold-Paradise Iced Tea is awesome: http://www.cw-usa.com/tea-paradise.html
It's what they brew at the Cheesecake Factory, and I love it. I don't even put sugar in it (and I normally put 2 teaspoons of sugar in regular tea). My mom fills my Christmas stocking with boxes of this tea every year, and I look forward to it every year.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 10:50 pm (UTC)
I will have to try that tea next time we go to Cheesecake factory. Thanks for the tip!
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[User Picture]From: kudilu
2010-06-01 08:27 pm (UTC)
I wish you luck.
I don't know if you're trying to loose weight at all or just be healthier, but my parents recently dropped pretty much all artificial sweeteners from their diet, and they are both feeling better and have lost weight and size. They still use Stevia, but all of the actual artificial ones (NutraSweet, Splenda, Sweet&Low, Equal, etc.) I'm not entirely certain how long it took, but my mom stopped when she went to visit her parents and was gone for about a month or a month and a half, and was seeing effects at that point. dad stopped about the same time, and had easily visible weight loss when we went down to Alabama to bring her home.
As i mentioned in a comment to another comment above, my parents are drinking the Stevia-sweetened Sobe LifeWaters - maybe you might want to check those out? they're a dollar at Wal-Mart for probably about 20-30 ounces. (i'm not sure on the size, but i think they're about double a soda can)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 10:54 pm (UTC)
I will definitely look at those, thanks!

Losing weight would be a nice side-effect, but I'm really focused on health. I am interested in seeing what kind of effect dropping the artificial sweeteners will have. Right now I'm feeling like a junkie in withdrawal, but I'm sure it will improve.
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[User Picture]From: ladiefare
2010-06-01 08:40 pm (UTC)

I did the same with Aspartame

Since diet coke was my main staple after coffee with Equal.I changed to Splendaa and gave up diet coke for a month. Try finding zero calorie flavored water without Aspartame. I found one , at Family Dollar of all places. I still have diet coke on occasion but it's a twice or thrice weekly thing now.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 10:56 pm (UTC)

Re: I did the same with Aspartame

I dislike Splenda - there is something about it that hits me with a funny aftertaste - so no aspartame pretty much equates no artificial sweeteners for me.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-01 10:59 pm (UTC)
Argh, how frustrating and unfortunate!! The good stuff is trying to kill you!!!

I have some issues with certain fruits, and yeah, cooking changes the nature of those allergens enough to make them livable.
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2010-06-02 01:53 am (UTC)
My husband has bad allergies -- mostly to my cats :-/ -- but likes smoothies. Are you substituting smoothies for a meal (breakfast, lunch)? Or adding it in as a snack? In short, what would account for smoothies helping allergies? I'm curious to see if what you're doing would help him too!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-02 02:21 am (UTC)
Generally a substitution for breakfast or lunch--sometimes both, depending on the busyness of the day.

The smoothie recipe is here, though we make it will a couple more ounces of milk and juice. I can only suppose it's a micronutrient thing - might not work for other, but it's working for me!

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[User Picture]From: ravenofdreams
2010-06-02 02:25 am (UTC)
Have you thought about brewing your own iced tea ahead of time? I tend to like mine stronger than most people (more caffeine) so I make mine - a quart pot and three Lipton gallon-size teabags make a nice concentrated version that you can easily sweeten with honey while hot. (I use an eighth-cup honey and a good big handful of fresh mint leaves in mine.) Let it cool, pour it in a pitcher, and dilute with cold water to a gallon.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-02 03:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, I need to get a pitcher in which to store it, and it takes up more room in the fridge, but it will probably serve me well.
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[User Picture]From: ladyjaneinlace
2010-06-02 03:06 am (UTC)
If you want to try a tea that's sweet-tasting, but naturally caffeine-free, try brewing some african honeybush tea. I love the stuff, and it's fabulous cold. It's sweet enough that I don't even bother with sweetening it, artificial or otherwise.

Of course, I weaned myself off sweeteners years ago for nearly all drinks. Friends tell me the african honeybush is still quite sweet, even for their tastes.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-02 03:12 am (UTC)
Where do you find this amazing tea??!!!
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From: diatryma
2010-06-02 04:32 am (UTC)
You're drinking my tea. Only tea I can stand, actually. I hope you enjoy it.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-02 01:43 pm (UTC)
I used two teabags this morning and it is quite yummy. I have loved the Good Earth Original for years.
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[User Picture]From: fitfool
2010-06-07 03:18 pm (UTC)
Just drinking more milk seemed to improve your resistance to colds? Was it raw milk or regular milk? I hardly ever drink milk but am always game for keeping my immune system healthy!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-07 04:27 pm (UTC)
Regular milk. Sometimes unhomogenized, mostly just regular from the store, 2% in those gallon jugs at the grocery store. A lot of my symptoms were those of Vitamin D deficiency, so the Vitamin D enrichment was probably a huge part of the benefit, plus the calcium.

You should read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. A lot of really good and sensible information about nutrition.
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