Monday, March 16, 2015

Spiffing Things Up Post-Norbert and The Terrible News About Ubiquitous Emulsifiers

Those of who who've been keeping up on events chez Priem will remember that we sustained damage when the remnants of Hurricane Norbert barreled into town.  Chandler, where we live, is even listed in this wikipedia article on the storm!  Here's a little quote . . . 

In Arizona, rainfall peaked at 6.09 in (155 mm) near Chandler. During a seven hour period, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport recorded 3.30 in (84 mm) of rainfall, breaking the 75 year old daily rainfall record. It was also the highest precipitation in a single calendar day, but fell short of the station's 24 hour rainfall total. The rainfall was more than the city's average summer rainfall. About one of every three Maricopa County rain gauges set all-time records. Accumulations in Chandler and Mesa were deemed to be a 1-in-1,000 year event while Phoenix was calculated to be a 1-in-200 year event. 

A 1-in-1000 year event - how exciting!!!

We had water running down some of our walls and we learned afterwards that our roof wasn't in great shape to begin with due to being on the elderly side.  So in January we had our roof all fixed up and it should be good for another 20 years.  And now we need to fix the inside!

We had the contractor out today to check stuff out and he's working up an estimate for us.  He was a nice guy and seemed to know his stuff.  For our damaged floor, he recommended replacing the warped laminate with wood-look tile, and we're considering it because tile is so much more durable (and water-resistant!)  Something like this, maybe . . .
can you believe this is TILE?!

. . . or maybe this slightly ligher one (though I like the above one best):
We also need some drywall repaired and a bunch of painting done, so it will be busy around here for a while once everything gets underway, but I'm confident we'll be happy with the results!

Happy news: I've been feeling REALLY good!

I have been feeling SO good that I have been slowly cleaning and tidying everything.  So far in the last week I have organized the laundry room shelf, ​under the kitchen sink, the cabinets in the guest bathroom, and the left-hand cabinet in the master bathroom.  I have cleaning one cabinet, shelf, or closet per week as my goal, but when I'm not fatigued, it's easy, so I've done more. *Everything* is easier when I'm not fatigued!  (Praise Jesus!)  Today I vacuumed and cleaned both bathrooms.  When I'm sick, just one of those things is too much.  I am not zooming around too much, though; I'm still being careful because I don't need to use up every bit of spunk I have!  

Have you read the new research about emulsifiers, 
by the way?

The articles have been everywhere . . . and it's terrible news!

I was dismayed to find out that emulsifiers (ingredients that enhance texture and improve shelf life) appear to cause chronic digestive inflammation and specifially Crohn's!  They also appear to increase abdominal fat and obesity.  They do these things by changing the lining of the intestines in a harmful way.

Emulsifiers include:
soy lecithin
polysorbate 80
xanthan gum
guar gum
 and MANY more . . .   


They're in most packaged products, sadly, because I now believe them to be poison.

I knew that Crohn's is an inflammatory disease and that inflammation has become chronic in our Western world (I will probably do a post soon all about this because I went to a fantastic conference on it just a few weeks ago!), but I always wondered WHAT caused the inflammation to become chronic and damaging in my particular body.  I didn't believe that I lived a particularly inflammatory lifestyle, though I did spend five years in graduate school during the same time I got sick, and I now realize I squelch a lot of my stress even though I don't realize I'm doing it.

And sadly, the thing that helped my original digestive distress the most (being gluten-free) might have led to the diagnosis of Crohn's, because gluten-free products contain more emulsifiers than traditional products.

NO WONDER everyone I know has digestive trouble all the time now.

But this brings me hope - maybe I can cut them out and keep getting healthier.  Perhaps my gut biome will return to a good balance with good care and keeping.  And maybe it helps explain a piece of why this illness exists in the first place.  Obviously, some people still have more sensitivity to things than others, since we aren't all sick (at least on the surface!), but there's more to it than just that, I think, since the rate of these sorts of illnesses keeps rising and rising.

 So I am slowly weeding the emulsifiers out of my diet, but I keep forgetting to check products.  I'm shocked that chocolate and mayo (even organic!) are risky foods now.  Pretty much all chocolate contains soy lecithin.  But I just learned yesterday that this brand makes chocolate that's CHOCOLATE without those things (and I can get it at Sprout's!)  
buy here

buy here

And it turns out that even "healthy" sliced meats have carageenan or other emulsifier(s), so I'm not going to eat them regularly, either.  I decided that when I want a sandwich, I can used organic canned chicken (just organic chicken and water!) or canned wild-caught tuna and whatever else I would put on there (lettuce, tomato, cheese, mustard, etc).  

buy here

There's no such thing as gluten-free bread with no emulsifiers (because it won't rise and be soft) unless I bake it myself, and I've failed come up with a satisfactory result too many times already, so I'm not ready to start the trials again quite yet.  

Until that time, I've substituted these great little crackers I found that are made of nothing but whole grain brown rice and salt (of course I found them at Sprout's!)  These aren't organic, but they contain no GMO ingredients, and they really are the best option for "bread" because they're so thin.  They also add a little crunch, which is nice!  I am doing this almost every day for lunch now and it's easy, quick, healthy, and tasty (not very expensive, either)!
buy here

Well, you've gotten your science lesson today!  If you weren't up on this topic before, hopefully now you are!!!

Happy Monday!

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