Still itching: time to find the unknown allergen

I’m still struggling with this allergic reaction that started in February. I initially thought it was the Keto rash and tried coming off the ketogenic diet to get rid of it, without success.

I then thought histamine intolerance, so I went low histamine, which cut out a huge amount of staples for me, including my main fat sources. So I added dairy back in.

This full body itch persists, I’m not sure what it is and it just won’t go away!

So I’m redoing my food list. I’m going dairy free again, nut free, caffeine free, as well as low histamine and Keto! It’s going to be tough.

I’m going to see if I can eliminate the itch by identifying the allergen. The doctors just prescribe antihistamines and I was told not to change my diet, but frankly I’m sick of them prescribing bandaid solutions rather than figuring out what the cause is. Continue reading

Too much of a good thing

If you’ve been following my journey, you will know that I’m currently experiencing an improvement in my condition thanks to the ketogenic diet I started earlier this year.

I thought it would be a great opportunity, having just passed international ME Awareness Month, to continue raising awareness and funds for ME research by setting myself a challenge.

Considering that I was almost completely bedridden for quite some time until last month, this is quite a huge deal.

I decided 1000 steps was a good place to start as that was what my fitbit was indicating. I have recently moved to a new home and through the packing and unpacking, I was reunited with my fitbit.

I wore it for a few days and noticed I was nearing 1000 steps a day, somewhere between 700 and 1000. I was so surprised and super pleased with the progress I was clearly making.

I started my challenge on 1 June 2017 and have managed to hit my target almost every day!

The idea is to aim for 1000 steps a day to raise £1000 for ME Research.

By keeping track of my progress with the fitbit and its app on my phone, I have noticed some behaviour patterns are emerging.

This past week I have managed to stay above 1000 steps daily, until yesterday. The problem was, as you can see from the image above, I overdid it on a few occasions and the flare day, yesterday, was inevitable. Continue reading

Took me 30 years to learn this truth about the Gospel

I grew up believing every word of the Bible. I still do, but my understanding has changed dramatically. It was all head knowledge, but I didn’t know the character of God.

I didn’t understand His ways or His plans for us as his creation. I certainly didn’t understand how salvation didn’t require jumping through hoops and sacrifices if that’s what God required in the old testament. It didn’t make sense to me.

I spent my life filled with guilt and fear. Fear that I wouldn’t make it to heaven, that I’d end up in that pit of flames. I tried so hard to be good, and by human standards I was quite a good child, I think, but I knew it wasn’t good enough according to God’s standards and that was my problem. Continue reading

One of those days, again

Today is one of those days… 
I’ve overdone things this week. Went out to GP on Monday and although I was in wheelchair, it knocked me hard and I then also went into Sainsbury’s afterwards to get my meds, should have stayed in the hot car rather than going with into the busy supermarket, but the pharmacy had a delay in preparing my medication, so we thought the cooler shop would be better. 

Then the next day I somehow almost doubled my step count! Not sure how that happened, I was in the house all day. I really felt it in the evening though, so much pain… Not good. 

Last night my knees were on fire again and today I’m just drained. I didn’t even wake up until 10am! That is unusual. Silly me! I’m always too enthusiastic when I’m feeling good and then I overdo it. I’m sure a full day of complete rest will be good for my body though.

Be kind to yourself, your body works hard, listen to it, nurture and nourish it and don’t forget that rest is a vital part of life! 

No step goals today, just rest goals! 

Regardless of how weak I’m feeling, it’s a gorgeous day again, one can’t be anything but happy on a day like today! 

Hugs, Char

The randomness of ME/CFS symptoms

The following post was originally written in 2015, just a month after diagnosis, but I thought I’d share it for some insight into what day to day life is like with ME/CFS. I was still getting new symptoms constantly and they were all so new and bizarre to me.

Throwback to June 2015

This week I’d say my main issue has been pain. I’d wake up in pain, in the night, in the morning, I’ll have aches all day, toothache, headaches, migraines, stabbing pain, hip pains, light sensitivity pain… All sorts.

I’d still have a bunch of other symptoms, but I’d say it’s been a relatively good week.

I can function in the house with pain. I read, draw, cook, eat, maybe wash some dishes after, and I can rest whenever I need to. I sit down most of the time anyway, praise God my whole studio flat is probably the size of your average bedroom so there’s not much walking to be done!

My left arm is bleh most of the time, feels numb or dead and painful all at the same time, so sometimes I can’t even draw without the shakes coming on. The pain is mostly bearable, but sometimes it gets to the point where I need to drop everything and lie down. And admittedly sometimes I cry… Especially if it’s the stabbing pains in my hips, they’re just horrible! Continue reading

How the ketogenic diet reduced my ME/CFS symptoms

keto for ME CFS BLOG

I often get asked what this ketogenic diet has done for me. What benefits have I had? Why should somebody give up those delicious carbs and starchy foods? Are the benefits really worth the sacrifice?

In this post I’ll explain my journey so far. In short, in my opinion, the answer is yes – it’s definitely worth it! Let me tell you why…

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How to get started on a ketogenic diet, part 1

Getting started on a keto diet BLOG

Transitioning to a ketogenic diet can be quite daunting!

Not only are you changing the way you eat, but the nature of this diet requires a long-term commitment. You cannot do it half-way, you cannot mix and match it with something else. Specially not if you’re doing it for healing purposes. You have to be all in for at least a few months.

The ketogenic way of eating literally goes against everything that we have been taught for decades. So why choose this diet if it contradicts what is being pushed as healthy in mainstream health education?

Firstly, and most importantly, there are the thousands of testimonies of people who have not only lost weight, but healed from all sorts of illnesses thanks to this way of eating. The proof is in the keto pudding!

Secondly, there’s no product to buy – so no corporate gains to be made by promoting the ketogenic way of life, just consciously making good choices, and of course there is also a lot of science to back this up, but I’m not going into any scientific explanations here – Google can help you with that.

If you’ve googled and chatted to ketonians online or in person, done your research and been convinced this is something you want to do, then this post is for you. My hope is that this post will help you to make this transition to keto as straightforward as possible.

In this series, I aim to provide a simplified step-by-step guide to getting started on the ketogenic diet. My goal is to help those with chronic illness to make the transition easily since many, like me, will suffer from brain fog which makes cognitive function and learning new things quite difficult at times.

The good news is that the ketogenic way of eating will improve cognitive function and it will all become easier.Continue reading

Paleo-ketogenic Menu Plan Monday, 10 April 17

Paleo-ketogenic Menu Plan

One of the first things I learned when I started a low carb diet 2 years ago, was that preparation is key.

Benjamin Franklin said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” and this is so true when it comes to changing your diet because you are literally changing your way of life. Everything needs to change. From the way you shop to the way you socialise, and it’s not only about what you cook, but also about the way you cook.

I see many people starting this new ketogenic way of life, struggling to meet their macros or stay within the limits of their nutritional goals. They could all benefit from menu planning. It makes such a huge difference and really makes life easier.

I used to take part in Meal Plan Mondays many years ago when I first opened Nemo’s Kitchen, back when I ate an extremely unhealthy diet and ignored my food intolerance. Nemo’s Kitchen has been resurrected, now in a much more health conscious format!Continue reading

Keto Rash: Relieve The Itch

I have been on the paleo-ketogenic diet for exactly 8 weeks now. As many of you know, I am using this diet as a way to help manage the symptoms of my severe ME/CFS (read more about my CFS here). Things are going well and I have seen some improvements in a few areas already.

People who switch to the low carb, high fat way of life often see great results in weight management and general health, so I am pleased that I also saw such improvements despite my chronic condition. I have less general pain, the heaviness that made moving very difficult and painful has lifted quite a bit, I feel lighter with more mental clarity, I don’t suffer from the munchies anymore, and when I brush my teeth, I no longer get heart palpitations and breathlessness!

This past week has been rather frustrating, though, I started itching all over my body!
I had been itching previously too, but put it down to the fact that I wasn’t showering very frequently due to my CFS.

With the paleo-ketogenic diet I have actually improved my condition slightly and have been able to shower every 3-4 days rather than only once a week. This is when I realised that the itching wasn’t related to the showers. I’d itch more in the evenings, even on days I’d already had a shower. Very strange!

Continue reading

Reflections After Two Years in Bed

Reflection after 2 yrs in bed

As the new month starts, I am filled with joy and anticipation. I love new beginnings, and for me, every new month is a new beginning. So is each new week, really. I enjoy celebrating the ordinary! In this post I want to share some very personal reflections as I look back at the road I’ve travelled and celebrate this new beginning.

Yesterday marked 2 years since I have been able to do any form of exercise that wasn’t just a short walk. My last workout was actually a bike ride. It was Easter break and I was visiting my family in Italy.Continue reading