After a nice little week between semesters, and two weeks of class, I’m finally feeling like I’m back to the grind. I’m exceedingly excited because: a. I am starting at a new fieldwork site this week, b. I have one more semester of graduate classes, and c. after that semester of class, I start full-time fieldwork (and graduate and get a big girl job!). Craaaazy.
In addition, my birthday is coming up. I always look forward for a good reason to go out to dinner and what better reason than a birthday? I have a favorite vegan and gluten free restaurant in the city, so that’s where we’re planning on going.
Along with turning a year older, a few things got me thinking. The first of which is a doctor’s appointment. Last year, I had a positive ANA (antinuclear antibody), which can indicate an autoimmune disease. During my week break, I scheduled an appointment with a rheumatologist. I mentioned my celiac disease, my kidney condition (thin basement membrane disease), and my positive ANA. He ordered a flurry of blood tests, urinalysis and a chest X-ray. I had the blood drawn that afternoon and was told my results would be ready in a week. A week passed, and then another. Finally, after several phone calls, the office agreed to send me the results. The verdict? Another positive ANA, but this time, at a much higher titer. So what does it mean? I’ve been asking myself the same thing, but tomorrow I will be meeting with my doctor again.
So, the combination of all the above has led me to begin to make some changes, both big and small:
1. Drink more water!
2. Consistently take B-12 and probiotic (this blog isn’t called ‘Oh My Gut’ without reason!)
3. Rely less on prepared food items (above left, tofu “mayo” and above right, cashew cream)
This goal is inspired, in part, thanks to Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows and her lovely cookbook. I love recipes full of whole foods!
4. Maintain a somewhat regular exercise routine. This one is tough because I spend a lot of my day commuting, in class, cooking dinner, and/or doing homework. Right now, I’m happy to take a walk, or a quick jog on the treadmill. I’d love to have a regular biking day and plan regular workouts during the week.
5. Blog more! I love sharing recipes that I try or write, and I’d love to do this much more often!
6. Maintain use of vegan, organic beauty products and work on switching out more. I’ve traded shampoo and conditioners, deodorant, toothpaste, and most makeup products, but have a few more things to swap.
7. And more that I can’t think of, I’m sure.
I’m hoping that my appointment tomorrow will answer some questions and will get me pointed in the right direction. I try to be proactive about my health and hope that I can work to manage whatever else is thrown my way.
And now, a few random shots from the past week.