Archive for April, 2009

My Misadventures with Autoimmune Disease

April 30th, 2009

weird eye
Well, it started innocently enough. My week. I’ve been having some issues with my eyes recently. One of the other of them likes to swell up/get red for no obvious reason.

weird eye 2
I wouldn’t have thought much of it particularly except that the last time I went to see the dentist, she made a point of mentioning to me that if I had any issues with my eyes I should bring it up with my doctor right away. That given my health history of late, this would be an important development.

What health history you ask? Well, that is a rather involved story. I haven’t been talking about it much. Partly out of hope that it would go away. Partly because I was waiting for an official confirmation of my suspicions. And partly because I was worried it might jeapordize silly things, like my job. But as I mentioned, this is a long story. You might want to sit down. Make yourself a cup of…well, MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE.

mex hot cho
OK. Comfortable now? Alright then…Where to start? Well, it all started about three years ago when I discovered that I had incurred a prolonged TOXIC EXPOSURE. I had been feeling not quite right up until then, but I didn’t know why. Well, not quite right evolved into a whole host of problems which I’ve posted about more EXPLICITLY in earlier posts. But essentially, my body went into a kind of severe detox mode. Violently purging things every which way…until I landed in the hospital with a liver gone haywire.

At the time, they told me that I just had a bunch of viruses…hepatitis A and mono. And this is what had caused my liver to malfunction. (What they forgot to mention to me at the time was that I had also tested positive for an autoimmune antibody, ANA.) Things seemed to be getting better for a while. I took a bunch of time off and really rested. This did a lot for me. But as soon as I went back to work, new issues started to emerge.

I was being really proactive about my health and doing everything I could, but I was still having problems. Chest pains. And these strange body twitches. Plus, I was still tired all the time. So I went back in to get checked out. To my surprise, I found out about the (whoops we forgot to tell you about this) positive ANA result. I also found that I was still testing positive for mono. Six months later. They repeated the ANA test to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Lo and behold, it was positive AGAIN. At this point, I got passed around to a few doctors who came to the conclusion that they weren’t sure what any of this meant. So the best thing to do would be…nothing. So, I waited. All the while stewing about little things that doctors/nurses had mentioned to me in passing. Things like …’You probably don’t have this but the ANA is positive in people with autoimmune disease’ … ‘permanent liver damage’ … ‘hepatitis A doesn’t make people vomit blood’ … ‘Is there anyone in your family who has lupus?’ … ‘i really don’t think there’s anything wrong with you’… ‘YOU have an AUTOIMMUNE disease and THEY need to diagnose you!’..’You didn’t want to have kids, did you?’. Needless to say, my experience wasn’t doing much to dissuade all the horrible things that people say about our health care system.

Anyway, to get on with the story, I went in Monday about my eye. This doctor I went to see is actually my favorite of the twenty or so that have examined me over the last few years. He seems the most well intended and willing to stretch. Meaning that he recognizes that there are weak points in the architecture. Cracks that people fall through. And he seems the most willing to try to reach for us. Anyway, he told me what I had long suspected. He thinks I should see a specialist. An autoimmune specialist.

I haven’t fully processed what this all means yet. And I can’t even get in to see him until August. Honestly, I’m not even sure if I want to see him. But at the very least, it means that I’m not crazy. And that things are starting to change. I’m starting to find some answers finally. Which also means that there is a whole host of issues that I need to consider. Things that I think might be best left to their own post. Lots of complicated issues. But, at least I’m out of the closet now.



April 29th, 2009

empanada plate
Fiesta continues with this raw version of empanadas from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW. Oddly, we were serving empanadas at work tonight (beef). They looked gross to me. Everyone said they were bland.

These empanadas were AMAZING. They were stuffed with marinated spinach and a pignoli sour cream (leftover from the CHOCO CHILI TACOS).

Then, dehydrated to perfection.

The sauce was this amazing cilantro mint chutney that I LOVED. I might even marry it. Or at least get engaged to it long enough to make a splash on celebrity magazines.


Mexican Hot Chocolate

April 27th, 2009

mes hot cho
I don’t know about you guys, but it is STILL COLD here. The other night, I whipped up some of this right before bed, and it hit the spot. It’s mexican hot chocolate. In honor of FIESTA week (in San Antonio – where I grew up) which just ended.

hot choc
Basically, I took some brazil NUT MILK and added some MOLE which was leftover from the Chili Rellenos I just made. Then, I blended it up in the VITAMIX until warm and sprinkled a little cinnamon on top. MMM. Happy Fiesta.


Chili Rellenos Tres

April 26th, 2009

To continue with our MEXICAN theme week, we made the chili rellenos recipe from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW. I’ve tried a few different VERSIONS of THESE from different recipe books, and I LOVE them.

warm peppers
These are some warm peppers fresh from the dehydrator.

The mole sauce for these was so good, I made it three times. I ended up with a lot more stuffing than mole. So I just kept making more peppers…


Chocolate Chili Tacos

April 14th, 2009

cc taco
This is an interesting little recipe from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW.

The taco skins have cacao in them. It was supposed to be cocoa powder, but mine have little nibs in them.

The filling is marinated tomatoes and arugula.

sour cream
Plus, pignoli sour cream.

beans and guac
We ended up making some BEANS and guac too…

…and making chalupas with the leftovers.


Avocado Tartar

April 12th, 2009

I knew that as soon as my boyfriend saw this recipe in ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW, he was going to have to make it.  He is ADDICTED to avocadoes.

It’s an interesting combo of Indian and Mexican cuisines.  These are the pappadams going in to the dehydrator.

The froth is kind of a mango curry mixture.  And the tomatoes are marinated in a tamarind sauce.  The guacamole is more traditionally Mexican.  I have to say though that although it was good, the recipe was a lot more work than it looked like in the picture.  It’s deceptively complex.  And for that reason, I probably won’t be making it again soon.  Unless I have a lot of time and something in mind to do with all the leftover froth.  I would definitely recommend making less froth.


Long Life Noodles with Ginger Sauce

April 9th, 2009

Not to be predictable or anything, but here is another recipe from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW. Long Life Noodles with Ginger Sauce.

copycatI’ve been on kind of a campaign lately. I suppose as far as addictions go, raw food recipe books is a relatively benign one. My boyfriend has gotten addicted to it too. Yesterday, I had a horrible split shift. And he made me something while I napped. And when I came home from my second shift, he had started something ELSE! This is the same guy who was MORALLY OPPOSED to eating at home when I started this.

plain noodles
I started with the spiralizer I scored for FREE from work and some unsuspecting jicama (truth be told, my boyfriend did that part).

no sprouts
I actually forgot to add the mung bean sprouts the first time I made these. But, it was still good. Really good. The ginger sauce has a really nice flavor. And the noodles are really light and less gooey than the traditionally sleepy kind. I’ll definitely make this one again.


Thom Ka

April 6th, 2009

thom ka
So, I finally took a break from my Matthew Kenney obsession to make some Thom Ka. This was a recipe from I AM GRATEFUL. Really simple. And really yummy.


Arugula Gnocchi

April 1st, 2009

Raw gnocchi?! It’s not something that had really occurred to me…

ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW (my latest obsession). I had to try it.

This particular recipe included chopped arugula in the jicama based batter.

Then, a little dehydration.

And topped with a red pepper sauce, arugula, and this amazing pine nut parmesan.