Friday, June 1, 2018

FODMAPs - The beginning of the end of the beginning of the end of the beginning.

Hahaha. What the fuck, title? Clearly, if I'm somehow going to be a world famous blogger, I shall have to work on my titles. I dare someone to SEO that shit right there.

Let's get down to it. Let's talk about the goddamn low FODMAP diet. The diet I love to hate and hate to love. To refresh your memory, I was pooping my life away when the GI doc told me about this diet. I can't give it to you in a nutshell (so complicated) and there are other places where you'll get all the super specific and scientific information, but I'm going to give you the dumbed down, easy version.

I use Pixabay for my pictures and when I searched 'easy' this picture of carrots came up. Huh?? Good news, though! You can eat unlimited carrots on the low FODMAP diet.

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. Short chain carboyhydrates, sugars, blah, blah, blah, scientific stuff, shitty digestion, blah, blah, more scientific stuff. It doesn't really matter what the fuck FODMAP stands for because nobody cares. That's not entirely true, but it is a mouthful. It makes you look super scientific when you talk about it though, which may stop well meaning people from telling you that you just need more bone broth and kale in your life. Hahaha, no it won't. I will say that I have learned a ton about digestion and the more you know, the better care you can get because you can have a conversation with your doctor that involves more than yelling "What the fuck is wrong with me? Fix it! Fix it!"

This is about my level of scientist. Wearing gloves that don't fit, no safety glasses and pouring random blue liquid from one container to the next. Ahhh, science.

Fermentable Oligosaccharides - This has two categories - fructans and galactins. Sounds like a science fiction thing, but really it's just things like garlic and onion, beans and wheat. Oh - and nectarines, peaches and watermelon. And some other shit, but you can google it. I'm not here to list every food you can have what amount you can have, there's an app for that.

Garlic and onion are by far the hardest in this category. Garlic and onion are pretty much staples in seasoning for most folks and also found in almost all savory pre-packaged foods. I do feel better about not using ever since we went to a fancy French food store at Pike Place Market and they told me that garlic was a "cheap flavor enhancer". So now, it's not that I can't digest garlic and onion, it's that I'm too good for your cheap ass flavor enhancer. I do have helpful tips on how to cook without these two things ( if I cook! I will tell you what the husband does to the food.) but that's for another post.

Non - garleek eez for peepel viz bad taste. You, ma cher, are better zan zat!

Disaccharides - This seems to be a giant scientific term 'things with lactose'. That would be most dairy foods. The good news is that hard cheeses and butter don't have enough lactose to count AND they make lactose free everything these days. You have to shop at Whole Foods or PCC and plan on taking out a home equity loan for a tub of cream cheese, but it's totally worth it.

Monosaccharides - Fructose. Good ol' fruit sugar. Say goodbye to apples, apricots, cherries, pears, figs and mangoes. Kiss your honey goodbye(not that honey, the honey for your tea) and check lables for Agave Nectar and high fructose corn syrup (which is also in so many things. Like Ritz Crackers. Why, Ritz? Was butter not enough? You needed to add HFCS??). The good news is that you can have regular sugars. This will make your healthy friends and your healthy self sneer at you, but you can give them the finger. Sugar's all you get, so snort that shit right up your nose if you need to. **disclaimer - I am not a doctor and sugar is fucking terrible for you. You may be better off snorting cocaine. I think it's a toss up.

So bad. So good. So bad. So good. Really, it's just bad, but so is bingeing on Netlflix and we all do that too.

Polyols - Apples, cherries and nectarines are also in this category. Yeah, did I not mention that numerous foods show up in multiple categories? This is to fuck your shit up when you try to move out of the elimination phase and into the 'adding things back in' phase. Polyols also include mushrooms, but those are gross anyway, so no biggie. Additives like sorbitol, mannitol and crap they put in candy and gum also falls into this category. No more junk food for you. Just sugar by the bucketful with some cocoa powder and lactose free ice cream. That's called a goddamn chocolate milkshake and you can have that! 

The folks at Monash University are really the FODMAP gurus, so I'm going to recommend you get your ass over there if you want to learn more about this diet or start the elimination phase. This diet is best done in conjuction with a doctor or a dietician, but if you live in the middle of nowhere or you don't have insurance and you need help RIGHT NOW, you do what we all do. Visit Dr. Google and get to work. **disclaimer - I want to point out again, that I'm not a doctor and none of the bullshit that spews from my mouth should ever be construed as medical advice.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I Bought The Farm!

Nope, I didn't die. And actually, no I didn't buy a farm. Part of me wishes I did, but another part of me knows that owning a farm means you work ALL THE DAMN TIME on your farm and it's hard to take vacations. Also, I like being able to walk to the grocery store, the library, the movie theatre, restaurants. Redmond may not be the epicenter of high culture, but at least I can get out and about!

What I DID do, was get my own website domain for this blog. So, please join me over at where I promise to blog regularly (because FUCKING A I PAID FOR THAT SHIT!) and keep you posted on My So Called Boring Life. Hahah!

Hope to see you all over there. And while you're there, give me your goddamn email address because if I have to go out and get a jobby job, I won't have time to dick around and write overly wordy blogs.


p.s, Here I am as a My Little Pony. I can't decide if this is a proud parenting moment or a personal failure. But it's very colorful and girly, so there ya go.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Poopariffic - the neverending SIBO/IBS saga

Man, I don't even know where to start. I'm not a huge fan of re-hashing the past so I'm struggling with even finding a starting point. Also, - it's hard because I thought this all started in 2014 with horrible diarrhea, but then I found out in late 2017 that it probably started in 2006 with the birth of my child. I think I'm just going to tell you in the order i found out. It will be more exciting that way. You can follow along - Ooooh, as I typed that, I had flashbacks of the Disney Read Along records we used to have when we were kids. You would play the record and read the book and it would say "You can follow along. You will know it's time to turn the page when Tinkerbell rings her bell like this" and then the bells would chime - uh....where was I? Oh yeah, you can follow along with me and watch the journey unfold just like I did. Except, hopefully, you will be just following along while you munch on potato chips on the couch feeling perfectly healthy instead of following along with me suffering the same symtpoms. That would suck.

Mmmmm....potato chips. 

January 2014 - Captain's Log. Haha! Nope, I'm not a Trekkie. Though what's his face that plays the new young Captain Kirk with the bushy eyebrows is pretty good looking, even if he is a bit extra hairy.

January - I had an upset stomach one morning. No biggie. Then the next day. And the next and the next. I drive Charlotte to school in the mornings and it got so bad at one point, that I would drop Charlotte off at her school (ten minutes from our house) and then have to call up a friend who lived by the school and ask if I could drop in to use her bathroom. Nothing says friendship like running into someone's house yelling "Thank you! Sorry! Thank you!" as you dash for the bathroom. Then I'd have to hang out for another ten minutes after that to make sure I could make it home. There isn't enough wine in the world to thank that person! You know who you are, but I'm not sure you want to be called out as the friend who's house I used to poop in. This same friend also had extra baby wipes from Costco that she gifted me, so not only is she a life saver, she's also a butt saver.

"And it burns, burns, burns. The ring of fire. The ring of fire."     -Johnny Cash

If you don't know what the ring of fire is, ask someone who's gone through childbirth. Or better yet, don't. I'm sure you get the idea.....

This went on for about three months. Then I went to the doctor. Who did tests and tests and scans and ultrasounds and found nothing. So I tried another doctor, just to be sure. Then I did some Ayurvedic medicine. And some supplements. Some herbs. Another diet change. Some woo woo healing energy work. And I continued to poop my guts out every day. I also had terrible migraine headaches, but didn't connect that to the stomach stuff (insert foreshadowing music here...duh, duh, duhhhhh!)

Finally, my regular doc sent me a GI doc (that's gastroenterologist for those who want the fancy terms). More tests. More nothing. So the good doctor says "Welp, we'll just call this IBS". Except he said it in a more doctor-y way. "No cure, sorry." When I asked what IBS was, he basically said "It's when you have digestion issues and we can't figure out what it is." He also used the term "trashcan diagnosis", meaning they dump all digestion stuff in there if they don't know what it is. Nothing screams confidence like knowing you have a 'trashcan diagnosis'.

"Well, Ms. Sterling....the fuck if I know what it is."

The good part of this is that the GI doc recommended a diet that saved my ass (mostly) for the last few years. It's complicated as fuck and it's not easy to start, but if you're doing Olympic Gold Medal level pooping and your butt is on fire from so much wiping, then you will do what it takes to survive (which is totally a line from a fantastic song from Hamilton that you should listen to). What was this magic diet? It's called the low FODMAP diet. I'll explain it in all it's glorious OCD detail in another blog post.

Until next time, may your poops be happy and your butt content.

Once Upon A Midnight Dreary

While I pondered weak and daughter recited the opening to that poem in 4th grade and though I've long forgotten the bulk of it, I think often of those two lines as I'm awake at midnight. And again at 2am. And 3am. And again at 4am and 5am. I have become a guided meditation master, blowing through hours of Deep Sleep Meditations. They mostly do put me to sleep, but then I pop awake an hour later. Apparently, as you get older, your hormones want to party all night long and your body wants to sleep all night long. These days, the hormones are winning.

One of my favorite meditations is by a dude named Kenneth. Kenneth has a lovely accent and thanks me for being there with him every night. Oh, Kenneth. You're welcome. Then he reminds me that everything is okay. That it's okay to relax andit's okay if you fall asleep and it's also okay if you don't. I didn't realize until after I had listened to this meditation a half dozen times, that it also contains affirmations for "Unstoppable Courage and Inner Power". Probably because I'm always adjusting my headphones in the beginning when he mentions this and I fall asleep before he starts the actual affirmations. Considering how many times I've listened to this meditation though, I should have the heart of a lion at this point.

This is me in my fashion dress riding my giant lion that I manifested from all my meditations.

They say that your sleep score is important if you have insomnia. Turn off lights, shut down screens, keep your bedroom dark and cool...blah, blah, blah. As my fellow insomniacs can attest to, you can have a sleep score of 150 and still have your hormones (or for some of you it might be your thoughts or your body) screaming "We gotta fight! For the right! To PAAAAAAAARRRRRTTTTYYYY!" Of course they're screaming Beastie Boys songs from the '80s. They're old people hormones. Duh.

This is what my hormones would be using to play their funky music while I try to sleep.

I've also heard that melatonin is good. And lavendar, magnesium, CBD and a whole host of other fancy supplements. I've also heard sleep aid drugs are good. None of these work for me and the drugs are like being stuck in a horrible nightmare that you can't get out of. I'd rather just not sleep.

I should have happy ending to this post. Some sort of resolution or suggestion or at least something witty. But I totally don't. Howeer, I will leave you with some of my favorite bedtime meditations (not all of them, cause I do like 8 a night) and while they may not keep you asleep, they're lovely to fall asleep to. And if you can manifest millions of dollars or unstoppable courage while you're drifting off, why not?

What's better than a million dollars? A full night of sleep, that's what. This one is very relaxing, though you don't get to manifest anything. She has an incredibly soothing voice. like the message of this one and I REALLY DO want to manifest everything I desire, but I find his voice hard to listen to sometimes. He's trying too hard to talk quietly. Like when someone is trying to chew quietly, but it's right next to your ear. Still - if you don't mind chewing, you might manifest your dreams from this one. Like Australian dudes? Here ya go, mate.

Sleep well, my friends. And if you don't, know that I'm right there with you with my headphones on, listening to Kenneth tell me I'm a dear soul and that it's okay. It's okay.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Continuing Saga of Poop

I've been thinking about getting back into blogging for a while, but I've been hesitant because, quite frankly, my life does not seem that exciting. I'm a mom, but I'm not a mom who makes crafts or fancy lunches or make ahead dinners. I'm a coach, but whenever I write 'coachy' stuff, it just sounds preachy as fuck and goes FOREVER and is as dry as burnt toast without butter (gross). I don't do household projects and my house makeovers are not dramatic reveals that would inspire others. My world has just gotten a bit contracted and I wasn't sure where to start.

I was worried about talking too much about poop. And digestion. And illness. But then I realized that I spend a fair amount of time googling shit (literally) and that I'm always hoping to find others with stories that I can follow. I don't need to hear about grand adventures right now, I want to know that someone in my position was able to eat a whole avocao and not die! That's inspiration for me these days. They say to create what you want to see in the world, so that's what I'm doing. Sharing my long journey of health crisis and healing, motherhood crisis and healing, horse crisis and healing...see a pattern here?

Death by avocado is not a bad way to go!

I will likely be writing about all of my life (privacy? Who needs privacy?!) but there will be lots of talk about health stuff, poop, immune system and all that jazz. Also- it just occurred to me that a good blog needs pictures.....hmmmmm...nobody wants to look at poop pictures. Well, maybe me and all the naturopath doctors in the world would, because poop is actually super interesting. Did I really just say that? Did I mention that my world has gotten a bit smaller? Hahaha! I went from talking about dog and cat poop and digestion all day in the pet food industry, to learning about human poop and digestion. Moving up in the poop world! I wonder how many times I can say poop in this blog? Will the SEO for this blog be poop? Will poop lovers find this blog when they google poop? Poop. Poop. Poop.

My worst nightmare.

Okay, I'm reining it back in. Anyways, hello from the suburbs of Redmond, WA (actually, I'm in downtown Redmond and not in the suburbs, but whatevs, it's barely a city) and I look forward to oversharing with all of you about all the details you never wanted to know.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Lipstick Mafia

First off, can I just pat myself on the back super hard for making this graphic ALL BY MYSELF.  I can't say I'm super talented at it, but I gets the job done.

I have a daughter.  She's 10 years old.  She rocks my world, sometimes in a fabulous way and sometimes in a cry myself to sleep at night with a bottle of wine kind of way.  She is in the second half of her fifth grade year and as her mind and body have begun to develop, she has been keen to continue her self expression.

First all, for those of you who have not met my daughter, she is a force unto herself.  She was born into the world with a strong sense of who she was and what she liked and didn't like.  She has been expressing herself loudly and passionately all her 10 years.  

So, she came to me a few weeks ago and said she wanted to wear makeup.  Okay, full disclosure, she has been coming to me for the last YEAR wanting to wear makeup.  Nope, nope, nope.  She's still more baby to me than girl, more starfish hand than elegant fingers.

I don't remember wearing makeup until I was 14, though I will admit that once the gates were opened I attempted full on goth makeup.  No, really.  Black hair, black eyeliner.  I don't have many pictures of that time period, but trying to have a pale white face and be all serious was a real stretch for me with my naturally rosy cheeks and exuberant personality.  Then I tried more of the punk scene, but I just wasn't really angry either.  I was like an alternative cheerleader who liked angry and depressing music.  Anyways.....back to my girl child.


Mom, I want to wear makeup.  Why can't I wear makeup?

Because you're too young.

Why am I too young?

Only grown ups wear makeup.


Because I want you to love your natural self first.  Because you're perfect exactly how you are.  You're flawless!

Moooooom, I do love how I look.  I just want to express myself differently.


But mom, it's just a form of self expression.

You're 10!  What the fuck?  (yes, I do drop F bombs in front of my child.  No, she's not allowed to use them in front of me.)  Self expression?  At 10?  Shouldn't you playing in a puddle or eating rocks or something?

God Mom.  (eye roll, dramatic sigh)  I'm not a baby.  And it's not like I want to wear regular makeup like to get boys or something stupid.  I just want to be able to show the world who I am.

I need to think about this.  Go away and let me think.


So, she goes off and I think about pouring myself a stiff drink.  My mind goes to all the usual places.  She shouldn't wear makeup because I don't want her sexualized at such an early age.  But then I think...wait, who's sexualizing her?  I'm not.  She's not.  Her friends aren't.  Oh, wait, the people that are sexualizing a 10 year old are the pervy people that would sexualize her if they saw her in her swimsuit!  Or her pajamas.  Or any clothes for that matter.  If you're sexualizing a 10 year old, it's NOT THE TEN YEAR OLDS FAULT.

 She shouldn't wear makeup because it's used to attract boys. Ha! Again, is that really true?  I know it's not for me. I wear makeup and it's not to attract men. Sometimes I wear makeup and I don't leave the house. Sometimes I leave the house and I don't wear makeup. 

So why SHOULD she wear makeup? It's fun to play around. It can feel like a small bit of armor , which shouldn't be inappropriately used but can feel comforting sometimes. When you're having a haggard kind of day and you throw on some lipstick and feel fancy, it's a little pick me up. It definitely can be a form of self expression.

So - we compromised.  She gets to rock the glitter lips she wanted to rock, but no other makeup.  She can occasionally use a little glitter on her face, but it can't be excessive (and I get to define excessive).  The gorgeous rainbow lips in the title are hers.  I like to think that she is teaching me her brand of feminism.  If the reason I'm making a decision is because of the patriarchy and the misogyny of men, maybe it's time I rethink my decision.

I encourage you, friends, to look at what part of your life you're making decisions just because. Just because you said so. Just because your mom did it that way.  Just because society thinks it should be that way. If you don't have a 10 year old teacher like I do, ask yourself the question Why. Again and again, until you reach the heart of the issue.  And as Martha Beck says 'you can tell it’s enlightenment because enlightenment always tastes of freedom. Not comfort. Not ease. Freedom.'

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My Aching Feet

I have another theme for 2017.  Ya know, because failure wasn't hard enough.  The theme that keeps showing up in a big way for me (god if that isn't a life coach sentence....ugh.  Before you know it I'll be using words like juicy and delicious.) is small steps.  Tiny steps.  Think Dr. Seuss Who size steps and then go smaller.  Lilliputian size steps.
Or these dudes that hang out on pasta.  Pasta that would be super dangerous for this size person since it would be like a freefall down the tube of death.  I will now always think of Penne Pasta as the Pasta of Death!
In case you don't know me, I LOVE jumping in and working like a maniac.  I'm a 14 hour a day, yelling at the top of my lungs, getting shit done kind of lady.  I'm a bullet when I have a target.  I like making lists and then crossing shit off my list.  I like to feel achy muscles after I work out.  I'm fabulous with crash diets, cleanses and boot camps.  I get all amped up even thinking about it!  Yes!  Immersion!!  Progress!  Mmmmm.  It's as good as choc...wait...nevermind.  That's getting out of hand.  Let's just say I love to make a goal and then rocket towards it.

However, the world has other plans for me right now.  I have noticed a pattern emerging as 2016 stumbled into 2017.  It's called "Quit Looking at the Mountain and Just Lace Up Your Shoes".  QLMJLUY.  No, that doesn't work.  "Future uncertain?  Captains keep manufacturing evolution."  Uh......Right.  I just wanted the acronym FUCKME because that's what this lesson feels like.  Tiny steps.  Tiny progress.  And by tiny, I mean so small you can't see it, feel it, taste it.  You don't feel like you're doing much of anything.  Which doesn't give me any of those wonderful feelings of accomplishment.  Where's my dopamine?  WHERE'S MY GODDAMN DOPAMINE?????!!!!

I was trying to find pictures of mountains and came across this.  I just put this in here because holy fuck, these are Chinese tourists and they do this for fun.  They call this a hiking trail!  No...No,no,no,no.  
So, I'll be over here Ohhhhming in the corner and taking my lists and breaking them down.  Maybe you're struggling with some monumental task in your own life and would like to join me in making the smallest of the small steps?  If you're feeling me on this - lemme give you a quick breakdown.

1.  Pick your big thing.  Let's use 'I want to get in shape' because pretty much most people I know always have this goal.

2.  Break it down into a smaller list.  What would it take to get in to shape?  It might look like this.

  • Eat Healthier
  • Work Out
  • Get More Sleep

3.  Pick ONE of these things to starts with (though you can break them ALL down into tiny goals eventually, but for the sake of not making you read three thousand pages we're gonna go with one) and break it down.  Let's take Work Out and break it down into what "Work Out" would look like in smaller chunks.
  • Take an exercise class.
  • Walk more often.

4.  Break those two down.  We'll go with "Walk More Often".
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Take a daily walk.
  • Find a friend to walk with.

5.  Hey, guess what?  Yep.  Break it down again.  We're going to break down "Take a daily walk"
  • Pick a time.
  • Figure out clothing.
  • Check the weather.

I know these seems like over doing it and maybe it's not a thing for you, but if you're like me you HATE being the wrong temperature and it's way too easy to look out the window and go "Oh, it's raining and I don't have a raincoat."  or "It's freezing and I'm wearing the wrong pants."  I'm telling you, break this shit DOWN.   You put in on the calendar to hold your lazy ass accountable.  You check the weather so you have a vague idea of what you might need.  You make sure you HAVE shoes you can walk in.  Don't have the right shoes?  BREAK IT DOWN.

I will fucking walk EVERY DAY goddammit!
It may be that your first week of Getting in Shape entails getting up fifteen minutes earlier every day but NOT walking.  THAT IS PROGRESS.  I hear you bitching at yourself and at me how that isn't diddly squat, but you're wrong.   Pick a part of Getting In Shape that you can do and start doing it.  You do not have to jump into doing a Couch to 5k with your new Fitbit and $200 running shoes, you just need to find a part of this process that you can commit to.  Because, friends (and self), 2017 is about the commitment part of things.  It's about committing to action and then following through.  The action part does not need to be monumental, it just needs to be consistent.  And through consistency, we will find progress.  Inch by inch, we will get there.  Inch by goddamn inch.

I'll be right there with you, channeling my inner sloth who seems to be doing nothing but is making slow but steady progress towards goals that are so big they scare the living bejeesus out of me.

If I could seriously be as happy as this sloth, I would have it made.  This is some serious business contentment right here.  I'm thinking Sloth may be my power animal for 2017.  I'm not super sure what a power animal for the year is, but I've made it up and now I'm owning it.  2017 - Year of the Sloth!