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Lately {Health, Life, & My Big Move}

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Life happens.  And holy moly has it been happening for me lately!

Three weeks is a pretty long blogging break for me.  But to be honest, blogging has been the furthest thing from my mind.  You’ll soon find out why <– enter suspenseful music.  But before I get to those major life changes, I want to update you a bit on my health.  It has been a while since I last shared how I am doing, and I have a few new things to add to my sickness and health story.

Health Updates

When we last left off, I was experiencing chronic joint and muscle pain, acid reflux, exhaustion, ear fullness, acne, and an irregular menstrual cycle.  I was also following a pretty clean, gluten-free diet.  From that time until now, quite a bit has changed.

1. You saw me successfully complete a Whole 30.

2. I stopped taking my thyroid medication because it was actually making me more tired and causing pretty crazy hair loss.  Unfortunately, that hair loss has not improved since going off of the medication.  I know hormonal changes can cause hair loss and it can take a while for your body to adapt, but I will be looking into medical assistance for this issue if I don’t see improvement soon.

3. I had a stool test done.  Yes, that it about as fun as it sounds.  I actually had to collect my own samples and FedEx them to the lab.  What an experience!  It was also crazy expensive.  My results showed that I had high levels of fat and protein in my stool, which could potentially  mean that I am not properly digesting and absorbing these nutrients.  It also showed high levels of certain types of bacteria.  I am now doing two things to combat this.

digestive_enzymes_CandicynI am taking Candicyn to get at the “bad” bacteria.  I have also been taking digestive enzymes with every meal to help increase my chances of digesting as many of the nutrients I am eating as possible.  It would be a shame to eat so healthy and yet digest very little of it!

4. Since completing my Whole 30 at the beginning of August, I have continued eating a Paleo diet.  I also took it a few steps further.  Not only have I been eating grain-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free, and legume-free, but I have also eliminated nightshades, eggs, and nuts.  This is essentially the AIP diet, but I have still been eating seeds.  What can I say?  I don’t want to give up my chia pudding!  At least not yet.

5. I stopped taking my PPI (Lansoprazole) for my acid reflux after taking it for about seven years.  Since PPI’s eliminate acid in your stomach, I have a strong feeling that being on the PPI for so long has contributed some to the issues I have been experiencing.  Without stomach acid, I suspect have not been able to properly digest my food.  I also suspect that since I have had little to no stomach acid, the “bad” bacteria has been able to thrive in my gut.  Over the past almost two months without my PPI, I have felt pretty good.  I think my diet has played a major role in keeping my acid reflux under control, especially with eliminating nightshades.  When I ate them about a month ago, I felt awful for almost two weeks.  After that two weeks passed, I have not had any serious issues with heartburn, reflux, or nausea.  I also just had an upper endoscopy and everything looked great.

GI_encapOne additional thing I have been doing is taking GI-Encap when symptoms creep up, and Zantc if I feel like I need serious relief.  I have only taken the Zantac about three times over the past two months.  I don’t want to jinx myself, but I look at this as a small improvement.  Is my reflux completely gone?  No.  But it is so much better than it was before PPI’s and most of the time while I was on PPI’s.  I am also extremely excited to hopefully be getting away from them for good.  The side effects are just not worth it.

6. I have been working hard to heel my gut.  I have been consuming fermented foods and drinks like crazy, which I am not complaining about one bit.  I am slightly obsessed with sauerkraut and kombucha right now.

collagen_peptides_bone_brothI have also been taking collagen peptides and drinking bone broth, both of which are supposed to be very healing to the body.  This has become my morning ritual.  Now I just need to learn how to make my own broth since it is certainly not cheap to buy!

7. It is sometimes difficult to tell, but I think my joint and muscle pain has improved some.  It certainly acts up a lot if I am active (I have been sticking to walks a few days per week and restorative/yin yoga), but I think the day-to-day pain has subsided a small amount.  Am I where I want to be?  No.  But it is somewhat encouraging.  I hope it means that if I continue with this not-so-fun diet, I will see good things to come.

8. My period has become pretty regular.  It is not the 28-30 day cycle that I am used to, but generally shows up around every 35 days.  I’d like to get it back to my “normal” before I went on the pill, but right now I am just excited to have it back and to be off of hormonal birth control.

9. I am working on controlling my stress levels with yoga, meditation, and simply saying “no” more often.  I know stress is pretty awful for the body and our physical health, so it is something I want to work on.

10. My acne has been pretty well under control the past couple of months.  I sincerely hope it stays this way!

That about wraps it up for the health updates.  As you can see, I have seen both some positives and negatives.  I am trying to remind myself that this is a journey and I will get to where I want to be with time, patience, diligence, and hard work.

Now to the big news…

Life Updates + My Big Move

I cut back on my blogging schedule (in fact, I basically eliminated the schedule) before these life changes even began.  But then when everything went down, blogging had to take a back burner.  August is busy enough as it is when you work in higher education, but my August was even busier than normal.

If you have been reading CEVG for a while, you know that Jeremy and I have been living five hours apart for the past almost three years.  I was in Omaha and he was back in eastern Iowa.  The plan was always for him to move to Omaha, but that was just not working out on the job front for him.  He is in upper-management within his company, and those positions simply do not open as frequently as we would have liked.  So when I was perusing higher education job openings within the Midwest and an exciting position opened up at a state school in eastern Iowa, I felt called to apply.  I have very strong gut instincts and they are almost always right.  I just knew something felt pretty perfect about this opportunity, so I went for.

I interviewed for the position in late August and accepted an offer in mid-September.  The next two weeks were a whirlwind!  I put in my two weeks notice at my former job, found an apartment, wrapped up loose ends in Omaha, packed, said very sad goodbyes to my Omaha best friends, drove hundreds and hundreds of miles, moved, unpacked, and am now settled almost four hours away from Nebraska in Iowa City, Iowa!  While leaving Omaha was tough, I have to say that I am excited to soon be an Iowan again.  I am also quite excited to be living so much closer to family and friends.  While Jeremy and I are still not living in the same city, we are a mere hour and fifteen minutes away from one another instead of five hours.  Right now, I’ll take it!

Tomorrow marks the first day at my new job.  I am both nervous and excited, but I know it is right.  I am eager to learn new things, meet new people, and soak up all that the traditional college environment has to offer.  Before I leave you today (if you are still reading… this is a long one!), I want to share a few pictures from my apartment.  Mostly because I am obsessed with how beautiful my kitchen is.

iowa_city_apartmentGorgeous, right?  I absolutely love how open everything is!

iowa_city_apartment 2This may be the nicest kitchen I ever cook in, so I better not get used to it 😉

iowa_city_apartment 3My last apartment had an amazing pantry and this one does as well.  I honestly do not think I could live anywhere without one again!

iowa_city_apartment 4I’m closing things out with a picture of my huge windows in the living room.  I am thinking this just might be a good food photography spot, dontcha’ think?

So to wrap things up, I have seen positives and negatives with my health, I was offered and accepted a new job, and I moved back to Iowa.  It has been a whirlwind these past couple of months, but I am excited to get back into my groove.  Hopefully that will mean some more blog posts, too!

Are there any Iowa City bloggers out there?
What words of wisdom do you have for me going into my first day at my new job?

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Lisa C September 30, 2015, 7:58 pm

    I’m so glad to see you back! I’ve missed your blog. Thanks for the health update. What a journey you are on! Have you been tested for celiac or other autoimmune diseases? Congratulations on the new job and apartment. I hope you can blog a little more often because I’ve missed you!

    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 30, 2015, 8:50 pm

      Aw, thank you!! I have been tested for both Celiacs and autoimmune markers. Nothing clearly came back positive, of course that doesn’t mean I don’t have something. Unfortunately those tests are not always 100% predictive 🙁

  • Dani @ Dani California Cooks September 30, 2015, 8:12 pm

    Hannah! So glad you’re back!! Thank you for sharing what’s been going on with your health…it really is quite a journey of experimentation to learn what works for our bodies. I hope that now that this move is over and you’re closer to the fiance, maybe there will be less stress overall!

    Also – I took a class on fermentation and learned more about all of the health benefits of probiotics. They stressed the importance of variety of probiotics in your diet, i.e. just eating the same yogurt every morning is good for you, but you reap even more benefits if you eat the yogurt, plus sauerkraut in the afternoon, plus kombucha, and on and on. I guess different bacteria grow on different foods and we need all that variety of bacteria in our diet, just like we need variety of food in our diet! Thought you would find that interesting.
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks recently posted…Why I Went to See a Nutritionist – Part 1My Profile

  • ClnEatingVegGrl September 30, 2015, 8:51 pm

    That’s awesome. Yay for probiotics and all of the yummy food sources that contain them. And yes… I sure am hoping that my stress levels will be reduced!

  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul September 30, 2015, 9:54 pm

    Your new apartment is beautiful!!! I just wish it wasn’t so far away! 🙁
    Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted…Pumpkin Pie MookiesMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 1, 2015, 8:18 pm

      I know, right?! 🙁

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine October 1, 2015, 5:40 am

    Loving the new digs! Congrats on all the good changes and wishing you the best on your journey to better health still! xoxo

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 1, 2015, 8:19 pm

      Thank you!! I SO appreciate it 🙂

  • dixya | food, pleasure, and health October 1, 2015, 10:29 am

    it seems like ALOT has been going on within this past month or so..im glad to hear that your health is getting better and i hope it continues to be that way. love your kitchen, esp the counter top. do you brew you own kombucha? i have a kit and do it sometimes which is so much cheaper than buying.

    best wishes on your first day! you are doing to be AWESOME!
    dixya | food, pleasure, and health recently posted…Pumpkin Pie Chocolate CupsMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 1, 2015, 8:22 pm

      Thank you SO much!! I don’t brew my own kombucha, mostly out of pure laziness. I really should, though, since it is a lot more economical!

  • Heather @Fit n Cookies October 1, 2015, 11:11 am

    I was just thinking yesterday how I haven’t heard from you in a while! Glad to know things are going well. Can’t believe you got a new job and moved!! So nice you’ll be closer to Jeremy! Still sad the food and health front isn’t fantastic, but it sounds like some things are moving in the right direction!
    Heather @Fit n Cookies recently posted…Hospital Nurse’s BasketsMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 1, 2015, 8:23 pm

      Yes and Yes!! I’m trying to keep the positive thoughts going as much as possible!

      I can’t wait to see your sweet babe soon 🙂

  • melissa October 1, 2015, 12:30 pm

    glad to hear you’re slowly getting better!

    This may be TMI – but I would love a post on going on hormonal BC. I would love to but it doesn’t seem like there are great alternatives out there…

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 1, 2015, 8:29 pm

      Melissa,

      Not TMI at all! I’d recommend speaking with your OB/GYN about it…. and doing lots of your own research online. It is good to be educated on your own since some doctors really try to only push the hormonal options. I also think that getting off birth control is a lot easier to do when you are in a very committed relationship. But honestly the combination of condoms and tracking your ovulation/cycle is a pretty reliable method!

  • Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate October 1, 2015, 1:09 pm

    We’ve missed you! Congrats on the move and your new job- very exciting! I love Iowa City and I think you will too!

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 1, 2015, 8:30 pm

      Thanks so much, Katie! Iowa City is great, so I am excited to be here 🙂

  • Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut October 1, 2015, 4:49 pm

    so glad to see your move went well! And so happy you will be closer to your man! I know long distance is tough..Dave and I did that two years and it would have been four had I not moved to Minnesota!

    Yay for all of the positives and boo for never getting together with you while we were both in Omaha!! Maybe next time you visit? 🙂
    Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut recently posted…Banana Chocolate Chip Funfetti Cookie Bars with LemonMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 1, 2015, 8:43 pm

      Yes! I imagine I will visit often because I already miss both Omaha and my friends like crazy! 🙁

  • Ashley October 3, 2015, 9:46 am

    Oh my goodness you’ve had so much going on! I am so happy to hear that you are Jeremy are living so much closer to each other! That must be amazing for you guys! And huge congrats on the new job! Also, the hair loss – totally sucks right? I’ve been having the same problem after going off hormonal birth control … I’ve had tests done and talked to my doctor and everything is totally fine health wise – she said it’s just from the hormonal change after going off it. Ugh, it’s so depressing though! And I basically just have to ride to ride it out… I totally feel your pain!!
    Ashley recently posted…Healthy Weekly Meal Plan – 10.3.15My Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 5, 2015, 9:01 pm

      I hear you! It is SO depressing! Of all the things that are bothering me, the hair loss is definitely one of the worst. It is so hard being a women at our age and losing so much hair. I hate it 🙁

  • Catherine @ foodiecology October 3, 2015, 7:00 pm

    Wow…that’s quite the life update! I’ve missed your recipes and posts, but congrats on the move & new job closer to home. Sounds like it was meant to be! I hate you’re still dealing with health issues, but I’m glad there have been some positives. Hoping you continue to find answers and feel better. Hang in there! <3
    Catherine @ foodiecology recently posted…Fasting & Purging: 4 Months of Cutting Back on Spending & ClutterMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 5, 2015, 9:02 pm

      Thank you, Catherine! I so appreciate all of your positive thoughts 🙂

  • Cel October 5, 2015, 11:02 pm

    I used to love reading your plant based blog…you have such a shining personality! Please look up dr. morse on youtube and look into 801010 raw vegan lifestyle. you don’t have to do it forever….but raw fruits and veg heal! juices heal! isolated supplements and drugs do not! fruits are the most detoxing food you can eat! try it …i would love to see you feel better and live vibrantly again 🙂
    @celinaeliz on IG if you have any questions x

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 6, 2015, 7:15 am

      Thank you so much for the recommendation. I love hearing others’ ideas! I will absolutely do some research into that 🙂

  • Anne October 7, 2015, 5:52 pm

    I am local (most of the time) to your new location -not a blogger, but a person who reads blogs! Does that count? Anyway – my spouse and I are in the same type of situation, so I can sympathize. If you’d like to email me, that would be great! [I just found your blog, and this is my first time commenting…sorry if this is weird!]

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 8, 2015, 8:34 pm

      That’s so cool! I figured there were some IC people out there! Drop me a line when you get a chance. My e-mail is in the contact section 🙂

  • Hillary October 8, 2015, 9:26 pm

    I’m from North Liberty. I’ve been reading your blog for the past few years. This is so awesome that you’re now in Iowa City. Isnt Lucky’s Market great.? The brick oven pizza they serve there is amazing. Do you like to shop at New Pi Co-op too? I think you’d discover lots of different things your diet would approve of to eat from there. If you come to North Liberty you have to get the blueberry pancakes at Bluebird Dinner. It’s my fave spot to get breakfast. Her Soup Kitchen in IACity is the place to go for lunch. Love it.

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 11, 2015, 8:57 am

      I must say I miss Whole Foods and Trader Joes, but Luckys and the co-op are both great. I’d be lost without them! How cool that you are from North Liberty! Thanks so much for the restaurant recommendations. I’ll be checking them out!

  • jac October 10, 2015, 5:04 am

    I have kitchen envy!
    jac recently posted…Welcome To ThornburyMy Profile

    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 11, 2015, 8:58 am

      It’s pretty awesome, right?! Now if only I could keep it forever!

  • cel November 4, 2015, 6:09 pm

    i know what it’s like to not digest food properly<3
    good on you for really trying to heal your body naturally without meds…but try researching other eating alternatives too!
    try a high carb/dr mcdougal/plant based style diet! look up 801010 principals! or raw till 4! they are all low fat/low protein diets..just fruits and veg! they are the easiest foods on the planet to digest…something which you need right now (as evident by your stools:)
    i just want you too feel better….because I've been there! let me know if you have any questions.
    looks up dr morse on youtube too xx

    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 6, 2015, 9:29 am

      Thanks for the suggestions! I was previously mostly vegan and unfortunately my body did not have the greatest reactions to that 🙁

  • Catlin December 10, 2015, 1:56 pm

    Hey! I love your blog! I love your happy tones and your recipes… thank you for sharing. 🙂

    I was wondering….have you ever been tested for Lyme Disease? I was recently re-reading one of your posts (http://cleaneatingveggiegirl.com/2015/10/26/how-chronic-illness-helped-me-take-back-my-control-over-food/) – it has been really encouraging to me lately – and it seems like some of the things you’ve mentioned correlate with Lyme. The Igenex test is the one that tests for more strains that the traditional test…so you’re less likely to get a false negative (that’s how I was finally diagnosed).

    Thank you, again, for everything you share! I hope you are really feeling better. It’s amazing how much healing can come from just changing our diet! 🙂

    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 10, 2015, 6:16 pm

      Thanks so much for writing, Catlin. I appreciate it! I have not been tested for Lyme Disease, but I have thought about it. I am hoping to start working with a functional medicine practitioner again in 2016, so I’ll definitely have to look into that with them. Thanks for reading and sharing!

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