Insta-Moment: cooking tips

Want to be a better cook? If a recipe calls for milk, use either heavy cream or half and half Instead. Also, use real butter and don't be afraid to use a little extra! #cookingtips #blog | February 26, 2018 at 05:56PM

Want to be a better cook? If a recipe calls for milk, use either heavy cream or half and half Instead. Also, use real butter and don’t be afraid to use a little extra! #cookingtips #blog


Updated Labs

I started seeing a new Internist in October of 2017.  Her name is Mary Sain and she is affiliated with St. Vincent’s Hospital in Little Rock, AR.  I switched because my doctor was leaving her practice and Dr. Sain was recommended by an acquaintance.

During my initial visit, I was told that my thyroid meds weren’t strong enough and several of my vitamin levels were really low.  She increased Synthroid from 200 mcg to 225 mcg and told me to start taking supplements for Iron, B12, Vitamin D, and Folate.

I went back for a follow up yesterday and she told me my labs were looking better – even though I dont feel much better (I am starting to give up hope of ever feeling normal again). With my current dosage of Synthroid, I have to pay for 2 prescriptions because they dont manufacture my dose. I asked her to try something else because I couldnt keep paying for 2 prescriptions ($80!). She is going to try me on Nature-thriod 146.25 and rerun my labs again in 2 months.

Here are my labs:
Ferritin – 34.6 (was 19.1)
Folate – 13.10 (was 7.44)
Iron Level – 77 / % Sat 24 / TIBC 294
T3 Free – 3.55 (was 2.37)
T3 total – 1.2 (was .9)
T4 Total – 12.5 (was 10.10)
T4 Free – 1.6 (was 1.1)
TSH – 0.107 (was 9.850)
B12 – 538 (was 432)
VitD – 37.2 (was 11.9)

Conversations with littles 

I have to go to the doctor this morning so Genevieve is going to her Granny’s house. I am bringing a Package of these 2Z dolls for Genevieve to play with while she’s there. She loves the little things. 
Me: are you going to let granny play?

G: they are too little (She often equaits the size of the toy with the size of the person who should play with it )

Me: When granny worked her job was to play with little kids, So I think she knows how to play with little toys 

G: ok. Then she can take their heads off to!

Genevieve Broke Her Finger

Tuesday, November 28th started out like any other day – hectic and overwhelming.  Just a normal day.  After I got off work, I drove to Genevieve’s preschool, the Arkadelphia Early Childhood Center.  When I arrived one of her teachers met me in the lobby (a coincidence in timing) and when she saw me she told me that I needed to sign an incident report.  She told me that in just moments before I arrived Genevieve had scratched her finger when a parent opened the classroom door on Genevieve’s hand.  She told me she had put some ice and a band-aid on it, but that it was just a scratch.

I went to the classroom to get Genevieve and she was noticeably upset.  This was not a surprise to me because I had been warned of the incident and Genevieve is a very sensitive child. It did strike me as odd though that she cried uncontrollably for the entire 30 minute drive home.

When we got home I told MG what happened and we looked more closely at Genevieve’s hand.  Her pinky finger was scraped and her index finger was slightly swollen.  A few minutes later, Genevieve had calmed down and was watching a cartoon.  …

A few hours later MG walked by where Genevieve was sitting and her hand caught his eye.  He looked at it more closely and got my attention.  Her index finger was crooked, swollen at least twice its normal size and the knuckle on that finger was starting to show a bruise.  We both were shocked at the change in her finger.  We had noticed that she was cranky, but we just took it for granted that she was fine because the school said she was fine.

I took her into the ER at CHI Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Hot Springs, since it is part of the same system as her pediatrician, Zac Henley.  The ER doctor saw her fairly quickly and agreed that he thought it was broken.  He sent in an X-ray technician to take some images of her hand.  The X-Ray technician was amazing!  He was wonderful with her and he even gave her a little doll to distract her.  I really need to see if I can find out his name because he really is the picture of how medical professionals should be! The nurse on the other hand, was definitely not good with children.  She didnt even do a great job.  The doctor looked at the x-rays and determined that Genevieve’s finger was fractured.  He ordered a brace put on her arm and fingers.  I don’t remember what the brace was called, but it was comprised of a pad that was soaked in water which was placed on the underside of her arm/hand/finger with a hole for her thumb.  After a minute the material hardened in place. The whole thing was then wrapped in an Ace bandage.  The doctor had asked for it to be placed with support under her fingers and I noticed that the nurse was not placing it high enough, but when I commented on it she told me I was wrong and kept doing what she was doing.  When this was done we were told we could leave and to follow up with our pediatrician in one week.

The deposit I was asked to pay before we could leave was ridiculous!

The next day I started to question the timeline for Genevieve’s follow up and her brace was not staying on her hand.  Her preschool also told me that in order to keep her inside from the playground ( I was sure that her brace would not survive the playground and it would get filthy!).  I called Dr. Henley’s office and I was told that patients are normally seen the day after their ER visit – not one week out.  I scheduled the appointment for Friday,  December 1st.

Dr. Henley look at Genevieve’s hand and told me that she definitely needed to see an orthopedic specialist and that he wasnt trained to do any other type of bracing than she already had.  He referred us to Dr. Justin Waldon, who is said was also with the CHI group and a young pediatric specialist.

Over the weekend, MG had to make a replacement brace for Genevieve because we had to cut off the one the ER had put on her.  The hospital’s brace was cutting off the circulation to her thumb and it was swelling and turning purple.   It was so much better than the one the hospital put on.

We were able to get in to see Dr. Waldon on December 5th.  MG was able to go to this appointment with us and I was glad he did, because I didn’t like Dr. Waldon and he had the same reaction. He wasnt very child friendly at all. He was brisk and didnt talk to Genevieve at all.  He cut off her brace and told us that the brace was “overkill” and that all she needed was a small piece of tape securing her index finger to her middle finger.  He said she didnt need the extra protection of the brace because she would naturally protect her injury.  He taped her fingers together and told us to come back in 3 weeks for another x-ray.

The tape doesnt seem to actually do much and as of today, Decmeber 9th, her index finger is still bruised and swollen.  She also has several blisters on her hand from the hospital’s brace.  Genevieve remains cranky and whiny.  She says her finger doesnt hurt, but she doesnt really understand how to explain things like pain and/or not feeling good.  I may see if MG can make her a smaller brace that just secures the finger a little bit better.  She really doesnt have the spacial awareness to protect her hand – she knocks into anything and everything, runs and jumps everywhere, and is pretty oblivious to where he body is in relationship to anything and everything else.

Update about our interaction with the preschool about this incident in a later post.

AIP Diet – Week 1

This is my first week of the AIP Diet.

Day 1: Monday, September 18, 2017

Breakfast – None

Snack – Banana

Lunch – Pork Rinds

Dinner – Crockpot chicken with kale, sweet potato, onion, and carrots.

Dessert – Skillet apples with cinnamon

Drinks – water with lemon

Cravings – chewing gum


Day 2: Tuesday September 19, 2017

Breakfast – Banana

Lunch – Crockpot chicken with kale, onions, sweet potato, and carrots

Snack – pork rinds

Dinner – tuna and olives

Drinks – water with lemon and green tea

Cravings – chocolate and corn chips

*evidently I already failed at compliance because I didn’t realize my tuna had soy in it or that my tea had caffeine

Day 3:

Breakfast – Bacon

Snack – None

Lunch – Chicken with Kale, Sweet Potato, and Carrots

Snack – Green apple and a few cherries

Dinner –  Chicken with Kale, Sweet Potato, and Carrots

Cravings – Cake and waffles

Day 4:

Breakfast – Banana

Lunch – Turkey, cabbage, onion, and mushroom

Snack – Banana

Dinner – Shrimp and asparagus

Snack – Pork rinds

Day 5:

Breakfast – None

Snack – Banana

Lunch – Turkey, Onion, Cabbage, and Mushroom


Shrimp and Asparagus (AIP Friendly)

Simple easy AIP compliant dinner. Shrimp and asparagus (both on sale and both with coupons!) sauteed with onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, basil, fresh lemon, and a oilve oil/coconut oil mixture. #aipdiet #simplecooking  #healthyeating #dinnertime #blog | September 21, 2017 at 08:23PM

Simple easy AIP compliant dinner. Shrimp and asparagus (both on sale and both with coupons!) sauteed with onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, basil, fresh lemon, and a oilve oil/coconut oil mixture. #aipdiet #simplecooking #healthyeating #dinnertime #blog

For this dish I used 1 small bag of large raw frozen shrimp (Shelled) and 1 bag of microwavable frozen asparagus.


Microwave frozen asparagus for 1/2 the  cook time stated on the package. Drizzle pan with olive oil and coconut oil.  Add frozen shrimp (do not defrost) and partially cooked asparagus to the pan.  Season with 1/2 large lemon (squeezed) and garlic powder, onion powder, and salt – to taste.   Cook until shrimp are done.

Easy, Quick, Delicious, Healthy.

*Nut Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nightshade Free, Sugar Free – AIP Compliant*

Toddler Test – Questions I asked Genevieve

I asked Genevieve these questions about a month ago and these were her answers…

Obviously some of these answers make no sense and some of her answers were not true to her actual preferences…It was hilarious hearing her answers.

  1. What is your name? Genevieve
  2. How old are you? 3
  3. When is your birthday? Rainbow
  4. How old is Mommy? Big
  5. What is your favorite color? Pink
  6. What is your favorite food? Green beans and green peas
  7. Who is your best friend? Ms. Erin
  8. What is your favorite song? Abcd
  9. What is your favorite animal? Cat and a sheep and a cow
  10. What are you Scared of? Ghost
  11. What makes you happy? Movie
  12. What is your favorite color? yellow
  13. What is your favorite toy? my hippo at home
  14. What is your favorite fruit? Oranges
  15. What is your favorite tv show? “that”
  16. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? People
  17. What is your favorite outfit? Animals
  18. What is your favorite game? Checkers
  19. What is your favorite snack? People
  20. What is your favorite animal? peacocks at the zoo
  21. What is your favorite song? Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
  22. What is your favorite book? Doggies
  23. Who is your best friend? Parker
  24. 1What is your favorite cereal? Checkers
  25. What is your favorite thing to do outside? play in the water
  26. What is your favorite drink? milk
  27. What is your favorite holiday? Santa Claus
  28. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Blankie and milk
  29. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal and milk
  30. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Checkers
  31. What do you want to be when you grow up? A big girl






The AIP Diet – A new adventure for my health and for my stomach

I have Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease, and most people probably know that, because I am pretty vocal about it.  I know the condition is fairly common and often easily treatable, mine never has been.  Even when the doctors tell me that my blood work is “within range,” I rarely feel like myself and constantly suffer from a broad range of related symptoms. More information about my autoimmune disease and my symptoms have been written about in previous posts (and I am sure I will post on that topic again).  However, I do want talk about food and its relation to Hashimoto’s and my health.

I have been on a gluten free diet for several years after discovering that this is often recommended for Hashimoto’s patients. There are lots of articles out there that talk about why gluten is bad, but basically eating gluten makes my body attach my thyroid more than it already is doing.  Here is a decent article on the topic: Gluten and Hashimoto’s Disease.  When eating a gluten free diet, I find that my symptoms are reduced somewhat and that my flares occur less often.

I was doing good as of last year was down to my pre-diagnosis weight!  I was so excited!  Then there was some major stress in my life and my thyroid levels over the last year have been going down and down.  I am up to 200 mcg of Synthroid a day!…my symptoms are all over the place, and my weight is back up to where it was at its highest (pre-pregnancy).

I have decided that something needs to change and I need to try something new.  I am looking for a new doctor and I am hoping to find a Functional Medicine Doctor that my insurance will cover, but in the meantime I have decided to take on the Auto Immune Protocol Diet.

I have been reading a lot about this Protocol and I am very optimistic that I will see positive results.  This protocol is often prescribed by doctors for patients with autoimmune issues and leaky gut.  I have been pulling my information from a number of sources, but my go-to has been Paleo Mom.  She gives a great overview of the protocol here.

What is the AIP diet?

The goal is to detox your system of foods and substances that often cause reactions.  The foods allows and disallowed are easily found online and Paleo Mom has some great reference charts.  This strict protocol is to be followed for a minimum of 30 days (although many people find that they are still symptomatic and need to follow it for longer) and then start reintroducing foods in a limited and specific way.  By reintroducing foods slowly, it should be easy to recognize which foods cause symptom flares.  Foods that cause a negative reaction should be removed and kept out of the eating plan for that individual.  The ultimate goal is to finish on the paleo diet with the addition of limiting food that that specific person also reacts too.

Wish me good luck and strength of will to stay on the AIP wagon!

Baked Stuffed Porkchops

My husband asked me to cook dinner because our schedules have been crazy lately and we havent had a good homemade dinner in a while.

I decided  that I would make baked stuffed porkchops, gluten free cornbread, and mashed potatoes.  I made black eyed peas too, but they were just frozen frozen peas that cooked in chicken stock.

Baked Stuffed Porkchops

  • Thick boneless porkchops
  • cream cheese
  • shredded Parmesan cheese
  • chopped garlic
  • Frank’s Seasoning
  • 1/4 Onion
  • Olive Oil

I cut a slit in the chops, seasoned them with Frank’s seasoning, and then seared them.  After I seared them, I stuffed the pork chops with a mixture of the onion, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese and then baked.