mango cilantro smoothie, a minor vent and a few boston pictures

Happy weekend dear readers!

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To be honest, as I write this I am not feeling my best. I got results from my doctor the other day and despite our best efforts, my iron levels have not improved, in fact they have gotten worse somehow and my B12 levels aren’t great either, despite taking supplements. He’s ordered a whole new panel of tests for me to get done because we’re clearly missing something. This is so frustrating especially since those silly iron supplements have been making my stomach upset for a month and a half. I have been doing everything right. I eat loads of greens, have given up coffee and take my supplements. It’s disheartening too because my doctor isn’t really asking me how I feel about anything or asking about my diet. All his messages are relayed through a nurse. To add to that he’s not able to see me again for more tests until the end of August. Until then he hasn’t given me any suggestions, I’m just supposed to sit here. I am a little lost as to what I’m supposed to be doing and feel like I’ve been hung out to dry. It’s like I’ve been slotted into a category which has a pre-determined, step-by-step process assigned to it, rather than being considered as the individual I am. We all have different lifestyles and bodies so shouldn’t approaches to health be more personalized? I know my health issues do not even come close to what many people have to deal with, but I can’t help but be a little disheartened. Have any of you experienced situations like this with your health and/or your doctor?

While my journey towards solving my energy and digestive issues has hit this hitch, I’m trying to remain positive! I’m going to continue seeking out dietary sources of iron (but I’m stopping those pills) and start taking regular digestive enzymes and probiotics. Clearly my body is having difficulty absorbing nutrients for some reason or another so I’m going to to support it best I can. I’ll also try and stay active, but honour how I’m feeling and take rest days as needed.

I’m also trying to keep optimistic and I’m hoping the power of positive thinking works wonders.

=)

Oh Barney, so wise!

Listening to this adorable song has been helping loads too :)

Ok, that little vent is now OVER! No more wallowing in self-pity, I promise.

The real purpose of today’s post is to share with you a new smoothie recipe! Inspired by this Snappy Cucumber Mango Salad by Daily Bites, it packs quite the flavour punch!

This is definitely an interesting and intriguing smoothie, one that invites you to discover new components each time you sip! The ingredients list might seem a little out there compared to other fruit smoothies but I promise it totally works.  The cilantro gives it an Indian-inspired flavour, the ginger adds a little kick and the cucumber and lime keep everything fresh!

In addition to having all sorts of crazy flavour, this is also incredibly detoxifying and will help aid digestion. Cilantro has a detox effect on the body where it binds to heavy metals like mercury and helps remove them from the body. It is also produces digestive enzymes and stimulates digestions through peristalsis (the movements and contractions of the stomach). Mango produces digestive enzymes as well and ginger is a great stomach soother.

I hope you all give this smoothie a chance! Coriander lovers only though ;)

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Mango Cilantro Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free, Raw)

This smoothie is a little sweet, a little savoury with a definite kick. Perfect for hot summer days, or even cool summer nights.

  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup cucumber (quartered and sliced)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut water (or more to desired consistency, could also use plain water)
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp agave (might need a little more if you are using water)
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • pinch sea salt

Throw it all into a smoothie and blend. Serve with a cucumber slice for a cocktail feel!

I am submitting this recipe to Allergy Free Wednesday and  Wellness Weekends.

Now before I go, I owe you guys a few pictures from the Boston trip I took last month! I’m a little late on these so please forgive me!

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where the declaration of independence was read

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Pride celebrations

awesome patio set! i can imagine having a tea party here

vintage market garden party furniture :)

hand ring holder

more of the market

creepty statues on the way to Sam Adams

crazy sculptures near the Sam Adams brewery

so many trees all over boston. i think it's why my skin stayed so good there- clean air!

so many trees all over Boston! I think that’s why skin stayed so clear here. Usually when I go to a big city I get flare-ups.

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a pretty church

more Harvard

Harvard campus- so green!

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pretty flowers in the Public Gardens

again

enjoying the moments- staring at the clouds

another one! So cute

Hmmmm: cute frog statue outside a playground in the Boston Common

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Beacon Hill

IMG_4346bathroom doors! women

His and hers bathrooms at the Thinking Cup Coffee Bar

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We loved Boston :)

And with that, I’m heading to Montreal for a couple days. See you all back here soon, and enjoy your weekends!

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94 thoughts on “mango cilantro smoothie, a minor vent and a few boston pictures

  1. Wonderful post! Chin up, my dear, you’ll get those levels up to snuff sooner or later (and beautiful recipes like this one will definitely help with body AND mind!) Love all of your day-trippin’ photos too…such a pleasure to visit the veggie nook :)

  2. oh.. i hear ya about the docs. i think you got a lot of great things to try out form the comments:) when i was anemic and needed a procedure done within 2 weeks, mom fed me beet smoothies, lotsa raisins, dates and other similar dried fruit. anemia though runs in my family. hope you find a solution soon. hang in there.
    that mango smoothie is almost a fresh salad in a drink! yumm

  3. Great Smoothie!! You may already know all this.. but do you take your iron with Vitamin C (like OJ)? Vitamin C enhances your bodies ability to absorb iron. On the other hand.. Calcium, Zinc and Magnesium reduce absorption… so check what you’re eating with your iron and also the multivitamins you might be taking. Hope you feel better soon!

    – Raj

  4. Hi Gabby – I have to admit I read through all of this to get caught up and see that you’ve gotten some great suggestions from other readers! I am a little late to the party, but thought I’d take a minute to weigh in :)
    The naturopath is a good route indeed, and in my experience there are likely a couple of things a good naturo might look at starting with food intolerance testing and getting you on good potent pro-biotics to assist in digestion and assimilation. Weakened digestion seems to stem from stress to the system in some form as it sounds like you are doing everything you can! Sometimes despite our best efforts, the body can’t use what it can’t assimilate (I know this from personal experience).
    Also If you haven’t read her books yet, Natalia Rose is a strong believer in proper food combining for digestion (I have followed these principals roughly for almost 20 years now but she is the modern voice behind the theory). Worth checking out!
    Finally, I know this might not help you as someone who is dedicated to veganism, but I suffered from extreme fatigue in my early twenties for years, it was frustrating and the more I did the more it seemed nothing helped. It (truthfully) wasn’t until I relaxed about food and started incorporating a little dairy back that I felt whole and good (pregnancy triggered these cravings). I haven’t looked back and still maintain a mostly dairy free diet. I also believe in fasting periodically to rest the digestive system and allow it to restore itself – a practice I find indispensable.
    I don’t know if any of this will help at all, and I am sure you will sort it out (we all go through these times!), but the single most important thing that helped me was letting go! (Just a little) of course ;) Sending strength your way…

    • Hey Shira! Thank you so much for all this advice :) I seriously appreciate it! I’m hoping to see a naturopath as soon as I’ve moved. I am really hoping to be able to develop a relationship with my next health care provider so it seems like a good idea to wait until I’m settled in one place for at least a few months! You’re right about weakened digestion and if that is the case, no wonder things seem to be going down! I have had digestion issues for years so I really wouldn’t be surprised.

      I haven’t read anything by Natalia Rose but the name is familiar! I will definitely look into her books. I have tried to practice proper food combining principles before but I could never stick with it. I had a hard time since the combinations we are supposed to avoid are the ones I would eat the most often. But it’s definitely worth looking at and I think I am sufficiently motivated to give anything a shot right now!

      While incorporating dairy isn’t something I am quite ready to try, I would never completely discount the idea. I think for me right now, I’d like to try and explore other options first and then take it from there. I have heard of others experiencing the same healing when incorporating some dairy and that’s so great it helped you :) I’ll be sure to come to you for advice should I decide to go that route!

      Thanks so much for your kindness and wisdom my dear :) I feel so lucky to have met you!

      Oh and guess what arrived for me today ;)

      • So good to hear! I am always careful as I never want to be preachy at all – everyone has their own journey and it is a beautiful one!
        I am so excited the package finally arrived! Awesome! Let me know what we might have in store (have fun with it!) – I might even have a t-shirt to send your way too, but don’t tell anyone ;)

  5. So sorry about your poor experience with your doctor, I know absolutely how you feel, when I was at my sickest it took me a few years to find the perfect doctor who was absolutely amazing – he put me on the road to recovery, then when I was well enought I decided to stop the medication and continued to treat my illness with a plant based diet, the most important thing I learned was to really listen to my body and how different foods made me feel – I was on a pretty harsh medication and am so happy that I am off of it.

    Sending lots of loved and positive thoughts that you will the right combination of things to make you feel better!

    and this smoothie sounds amazing- I love the addition of cilantro!

    • Thanks Heather, it’s such a shame that our medical systems are strained to the point where doctors don’t take the time to listen to their patients. It also makes me sad that in a time when nutrition is known to play a critical role in prevention and treatment, our doctors are still not taught it! Ah well, hopefully change will happen in the near future and until then we can only stay positive and continue searching for solutions!

      That’s so inspiring though to hear you have improved so much! I t must feel so great to know you are only putting good nourishing foods in instead of harsh medicines!

      Thanks for your support my dear- it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy :)

  6. I’m so sorry to hear about your troubles, friend. :( And I totally empathize with your health care related frustrations. I recently had an experience with poor communication skills from a doctor. Not cool. :(

    I apologize if this has been mentioned in the comments, and/or if you already do this, but I really believe juicing is an ideal way to get nutrients into your blood. I remember you commenting on one of my WIAW that you don’t own a juicer, but do you maybe have a place near you that you could get fresh green juice from sometime?

    I had a friend who had to take those iron pills, and she said they were awful. I’m glad you’re going to stop those, and I hope you’ll find away to get a hold of some green juice! The nutrients from fresh juice are so potent, and I have a hunch they could help you!

    • Hi Raechel~ Just a friendly tip from a former juicer. Juicing vs. Blending; Juicing is a wonderful thing and it has it’s place and some do prefer a thinner, more water-like texture over the thicker textures of green smoothies, but that thickness is from the fiber, which is so very important because it keeps us “clean” inside (think brushing and mopping out our alimentary canals). Fiber also keeps us full. Juicing is good for those with sensitive stomachs, or those who, for medical reasons, can’t tolerate too much fiber. Juicing is utilized to provide nourishment to the digestive tract without taxing it. One simply needs to do what works best for their individual needs. The important thing is to make sure we’re getting enough greens! (read “Green for Life” and “Green Smoothie Revolution”, both by Victoria Boutenko. I believe that these two books will most likely be thee most enlightening and eye-opening info one could ever read on nutrition.

      To further explain juicing vs. blending, juicing only gives you a portion of the nutrients and fiber, whereas blending gives you all. Also, not only is juicing more labor intensive (prep and clean up), the complete product (the juice itself) can’t compare to a “blended” drink (specifically a “green smoothie”) in terms of nutrition. Again, a green smoothie is complete (a whole food) and because so, can also be considered a “whole” meal. You are getting ALL the benefits of the fruits and leafy greens, etc. when blending, again, not just a portion.

      As Jane (from Blend it and Mend it – I mention her in an earlier comment, on July 7th, and also share a video she did on the “Top 10 Green Smoothie Practices”), as she simply puts it; ~ “More health less work”. She continues, “I have no anxiety using my VitaMix because it’s so easy to clean. You don’t have to take it apart. All you do is load, blend, rinse”. ~ And she is SO right. Our VitaMix was one of thee best purchases (if not THEE best) we have EVER made (besides our Dyson vacuum cleaner, that is). ;)  Jane also reiterates over and over again, her motto, “Keep it Simple Smoothie”. The key to staying in the game long term. If we complicate things, chances are, we’ll eventually give up. ~This I also share from experience. :)

      Hope this helps.  :)

      • Thanks for that info, Dana! I have definitely given attention to both camps in the smoothie v. juicing debate. I do both. And while I totally agree that fiber is important, I do think there is science to the fact that juices allow nutrients to get processed more easily and more quickly. And I do think it’s important to give our digestive systems a break. That said, I don’t think it should necessarily take the place of smoothies!

    • No one else mentioned juicing so thank you for you input! You know, juicing is something I really want to try and get into, but a juicer just hasn’t been in my budget and I don’t live near anywhere that it’s readily available! BUT I’m moving in a couple months and should have ample access to it then. I know I’m going to be living pretty close to a raw vegan restaurant :) Maybe by then I will have found a juicer too!

      Thanks for your support my dear!

  7. I totally understand your doctor vent. You know how your body feels better than anyone, and it can be so frustrating when you know something’s wrong and no one can figure it out. I am so sorry you’re having to go through this. :-/

    I love the idea of cucumber and mango together in a smoothie! I think you just invented my lunch for today. :-)

    • Thank Kristy :) I think it was the doctor’s attitude more than anything that upset me. Now that I’ve had a few days, all is good! I have received loads of suggestions and done some research so I will try and continue to work on things on my own for a bit! Who knows, maybe next time I go in for tests I will have miraculously cured myself lol

      I hope you like the mango and cucumber together! Cucumber gives smoothies such a fresh taste so I tend to put it in almost all of my fruit smoothies :)

  8. Sorry to hear about your doctor troubles. We should definitely be treated as individuals! I’ve changed from seeing an MD to a DO (osteopathic doctor) and it’s fantastic. I trust him and he takes the time to listen. And osteopaths are going to try other methods before pills. (they’ll prescribe pills when necessary, but it’s not their first response)
    Hope you feel better!

    • a DO sounds exactly like what I am looking for. Our bodies are all so different and when M.D.s try and put us in their clean little categories it completely misses this. I don’t love taking pills and while I accept the fact that here are certain things I might need to, I would love to be exploring other options to at least support the supplements!

      Thanks for your support :)

  9. Oh, how much I can sympathize with your situation…super frustrating how doctors communicate through nurses, tests take forever, and your diet and life-style is never explored enough… I also know how frustrating it is when you are doing the right thing yet things do not improve (like my headaches). I am working on an organic farm right now, and they showed me this little flower that is extremely high in iron (and you can eat it :P), I will ask what it’s called again. Perhaps you are eating something that decreases your body’s ability to use all that iron you are taking in? I hope you find an answer soon, take care!!

    • So nice to hear from you :) It’s funny I was actually thinking about you trough all this. I know your suffering has been terrible so I feel like I really shouldn’t be complaining at all! So I really appreciate your support on this, it means a lot!

      Definitely let me know about that flower and thanks for your advice. Working on an organic farm sounds so lovely! I hope you are doing better!

  10. That sucks you aren’t happy with your doctor. I think a lot of these commenters have the right suggestion to find another one that communicates better with you (isn’t that what doctors are supposed to do?) I also had the same feeling when I went in for a couple of visits regarding backaches. The doctor spent more time typing notes on her computer than examining me. Really didn’t feel like I mattered! :(

    I can’t offer any suggestions, sorry. The only “health diet” I followed was the Blood Type diet, which worked pretty good but I missed eating a lot of other foods. I still eat mostly veggies, though once in a while crave proteins in their meaty form. :)

    Your mango smoothie sounds interesting with coriander, and I have a nice plant blooming outside! It would make a great summer “soup” for lunch! Think oranges will work? Or even watermelon?? I don’t have mangos.

    • I do need to find a new doctor, I was just really hoping he could help out and save e the headache. But as I’m moving soon, I’ll probably need to find one anyway, so I’ll be sure to find someone who offers me more support and compassion. It’s terrible to feel like their schedule is more important than you, their patient!

      I think watermelon would be so delicious in here! Watermelon pairs so well with herbs and while I’ve never tried it with coriander, I bet it’s awesome!

  11. I’m dealing with a health issue right now that, like you, doesn’t seem to be improving despite my doing *everything* I can for it, and my doctors are similarly uninterested despite the fact that we’ve been here before. Like you, I know it’s minor in the scheme of things, but when I let myself think about it and the fact that it could screw up my trip I, well, start sobbing. So I understand. Chin up, dear!

    • Aww Hannah, I’m so sorry you are dealing with health issues too! Despite knowing the issue are minor in comparison to others, it can be so disheartening, and I too have shed a few tears. I guess all we can do is continue to support our bodies in the best way we know how. At least we are part of this super supportive blogger community right? Keep strong girl, we will get through this :)

  12. Gabby, I so sympathise with you – I know how frustrating this can be. Have you consider alternative advice, say, from a naturopath? Also when I was extremely anemic while preggo, I took this stuff – http://www.betterlife.com/product/spatone-pure-absorb-iron-liquid-packet/spatone-iron/41486 – it’s awesome as it has a really high absorption rate (even those crappy pills the dr gives you have a lower absorption % !!) Worth a try, and really gently on the stomach (the pills the dr gave me made me feel awful!) Anyway, just a thought x

    • Thanks so much for your support Lou :)

      I haven’t tried a naturopath, but I will definitely be finding one when I move in September. I think their philosophy and emphasis on healing will resonate with me so much more than an M.D.

      I will look into that supplement, thanks so much for the recommendation! I could definitely use something that’s easier on my stomach, that was such a ridiculous month and half on those other iron pills. I already have stomach issues, without adding a serious iron load to them.

      Hope you had a great weekend my dear!

  13. How frustrating that all sounds with your Dr! With reading some of the comments posted here, I agree with many who say to ditch the westernized medicine and seek out more natural ways to heal yourself! I have found Drs to be so useless when it comes to nutrient deficiencies, as most of them have received next to zero in nutrition education. For the most part, we have what we need in our diets in the way of food to nourish, replenish and adequately fix any deficiencies we may have.
    Are you getting enough vitamin C? Eating vitamin C foods will help with iron absorption.
    Has your Dr blamed your deficiencies on being vegan? I’ve heard that one before. Although being vegan can contribute to these problems, if you have a properly balanced diet, you can avoid that. Many people don’t like to believe that and take the easy road to say that being vegan is not good for you…not enough protein, not enough iron, blah blah blah…
    I hope you can find the way to correct these problems you are having in a wholesome, healthy way without having to medicate yourself!
    I love the Boston pics! So pretty there…I really must go! Those purple flowers are adorable! I love the cute froggie too…I want him in my yard!
    Have fun in Montreal!

    • I completely agree with you- I completely believe in the healing power of food, especially as it related to nutritional deficiencies. The fact that the first thing my doctor did was give me a pill and offered no nutritional advice speaks to the current attitude in the Western medical community. As a society it seems we would rather sweep problems under the rug rather than deal with them. I will definitely seek out a holistic health professional after I move in the fall. I’m sure their methods and approach will resonate with me so much more!

      He has told me that a vegan diet is problematic and while I disagreed with him, it was pretty clear he thought me to be a naive idealist. It really bothers me because while vegans so seem to present with nutritional deficiencies, it’s because we are so hyper-aware of nutrition! There are probably so many omnivores out there battling the same issues and simply not knowing because they don’t care to find out!

      Thanks for your support Shelby! I hope you had a great weekend!

  14. The smoothie sounds refreshing and wonderful. I’m not a huge fan of cilantro, but when it’s present in smaller doses it’s a welcome addition. =) Sorry about your health issues! I know that raisins have a good dose of iron in them, as well as some other dried fruit. I hope it all gets sorted out.

  15. I feel your pain of undiagnosed medical discomfort. I go through episodes of really aggressive stomach cramps that can keep me up at night and the delirium from the pain can make me sick. Fortunately I had a brilliant doctor who sent me for all kinds of tests and really seemed to understand my pain…unfortunately, still no diagnosis, but I’ve also not had an episode for 4 months *touches wood*. It must be really frustrating to not only be in the dark on whatever your issue is, but also not getting any real feedback from him. For me, a doc’s listening skills and ability to empathise are just as important as their ability to diagnose.

    On the other hand, I’m really intrigued by your smoothie recipe. I’ve been on green smoothies for breakfast for about 2 or 3 months but don’t really mix it up a lot (no pun intended!) so maybe this is the inspiration I need to kick-start experimentation!

    • Hi Hanna~ Not to sound pedantic, but because you mentioned not “mixing it up a lot” when making your green smoothies, I just had to share (only because this is vital info for anyone consuming green smoothies on a regular basis). Here is an excerpt from the book “Green Smoothie Revolution, The Radical Leap Towards Natural Health” by Victoria Boutenko (the pioneer of green smoothies). ~ “Plants carry a trace of alkaloids in their leaves to ensure that animals will move on to eat other green plants and will not exterminate any one species. Although alkaloids are poisonous in large quantities, in small quantities they cannot hurt you, and even strengthen the immune system. The science of homeopathy is based on this principle. However, if you keep consuming kale, or spinach, or any other single green for many weeks without rotation, eventually the same type of alkaloids can accumulate in your body and cause unwanted symptoms of poisoning. Most greens contain different kinds of alkaloids, which is why, by rotating the variety of greens in our smoothies, we can avoid poisoning and strengthen our immunity”. ~ Victoria’s other book, “Green For Life” is what ultimately got me started on drinking my greens. I believe her book, “Green Smoothie Revolution”, is the perfect “companion” book to her first.

      Also, for a plethora of info regarding green smoothies, is my favorite green smoothie gal Jane from Blend It And Mend it (www.blenditandmendit.com). What’s awesome is that she makes all of her recipes available on video so you will always have a visual (viewable either on her website or YouTube). In my opinion, when it comes to the subject of drinking your geeens, Jane is the epitome of inspiration and encouragement to all who know her or have seen her in action on her amazing website. Once you see and hear her, you’ll know why I say this. :)

      And if you’re interested, here is a great video of Jane pretty much summing up some important things to remember about drinking your green smoothies. “Top 10 Green Smoothie Practices”. Actually, she said she had subscribed to Victoria’s Boutenko’s blog and just the other day Victoria had posted her Guidelines To Green Smoothie Consumption which then inspired Jane to make her video. Please do watch.

      Again, I only felt the need to convey all of this info since you mentioned NOT rotating your greens. And I know if one person is doing this, many others are as well…and we all need to make sure we’re doing things right to avoid any unnecessary issues that we just might be creating ourselves unintentionally. :o

      Hope this helps. Cheers, Dana

      • Gabby~ (cringing) Please forgive me. I had NO idea that the link to Jane’s video was going to drop in a full-on video screen (holy…). I thought it was going to be a simple link. Oh boy. (still cringing!). I also hope you know that I’m only trying to help (by sharing knowledge that may in turn benefit someone else) and that I am, in NO means, trying to interfere or steal any spotlight here on your wonderful blog. – As if I could. I don’t think so. YOU are the bomb! ;)

        Cheers. And again, I hope you’re having a fantastic time in Montreal.

        Dana

      • Hi, Dana, I just read your comment and I’m glad you shared some info on the subject. I think part of blogging involves a bit of discussion between everyone, and not just “wow, that looks great!” comments (though lots of Gabby’s creations look great, indeed!) So thanks again for sharing! :)

      • I 100% agree! I love the dialogue going on right now. I like to think of my blog as a place where people can feel comfortable to share information and opinions so I’m very glad Dana has done so!

        And thanks :)

      • To thefoodery~ Thanks so much for your kind words. And you’re welcome! What you said makes sense. Because, since I do care, I feel it would be very remiss of me not to pass on that info to others (just as sweet Gabby is doing for all of us here on her lovely blog). :) ~Happy and healthy Sunday to you.

      • Thanks so much for that information Dana! I honestly had no idea about this and I’m cringing a little at the idea that for a few weeks now I’ve been totally dedicated to spinach and kale with very little variety in there. This was so eye-opening!

        And don’t worry about the video, I wouldn’t have had any idea it was going to do that either ;)

      • Hi Jennifer ~ (didn’t want to keep referring to you as “thefoodery” so I clicked on your name and yup, found your blog, so I could adequately respond by using your “real” name (hope you don’t mind). :) Oh boy, I can see spending much time there as well, but the whole bogging thing (following multiples) seems SO overwhelming to me. What I want to know is, how do people find the time? There are SO many great people sharing their passions, and when you find that they are intriguing or extremely similar to your own, you can’t HELP but want to delve into their offerings, their life. Again, overwhelming. :o

        To answer your question; Do I have a blog to share? Well, in a parallel universe I probably would (lol), but here and now, I fear that it would be too much of a commitment to actually keep it up and well, I also see it as too involving, for me anyway (I guess the passion to do it simply isn’t strong enough). It’s funny though, because my girlfriend has commented several times that I should and that she thought I would get great fulfillment by doing so.

        BUT, for now, I’m just someone (like you and many others) who is very passionate about health, health”ier” eating / clean eating. I LOVE to cook (albeit not following the “raw” diet lifestyle 100%, but willing to have a balance) and so preparing interesting and new dishes is right up my alley! …and I, too, am always on the lookout to learn more (that’s the most exciting part!). I guess that’s bound to happen when meeting people on blogs such as this…the people following tend to have similar interests. I love it. :)

      • Thanks for the reply Dana. I think you’d have a wonderful blog, you comments are so well-written and thoughtful. Gabby, sorry for the intrusion, and thank you! :)

    • That’s so great you had a doctor who was so committed to helping you get to the bottom of your pain. Even though you didn’t get an answer, sometimes the support and compassion a health care provider gives can be so beneficial. I hope you continue to feel better! I’ll cross my fingers for you!

      Hehe I hope you like the smoothie! Cilantro is such an interesting herb and packs a ton of flavour in!

  16. Hi Gabby~ The smoothie sounds great (not a huge fan of cilantro but will give it a shot since I DO understand it has great benefits. Plus, with only 2 Tbs. of cilantro, it shouldn’t be so prominent). As a dedicated “Green Smoothie” drinker (drinking at least a quart to a quart and a half a day), I understand the importance of “drinking” a variety of greens for optimal assimilation and incredible health benefits (go Green Smoothies!). :)

    Regarding your energy and digestive issues, as others are also suggesting, a good Naturopathy would be your best bet. Honestly, I would steer clear of an M.D./Western Medicine Dr. It is so true, most (not all, but yes, the majority) tend to want to put a “bandaid” over the issue by prescribing drugs, rather than getting to the “root” of the problem and curing it in a less “toxic” way. Western Medicine is all about medicating and chamouflaging with drugs. I am a huge believer in “natural” remedies (herbal remedies) rather than the toxic alternatives (drugs/medications) that society has been brainwashed to believe is thee best (or only) solution to what ails us. So many people don’t realize that most drugs, if not all, only lead to continual deterioration (albeit so gradual one doesn’t realize. It’s “toxic”, bottom line. There is no real “health benefit”!). And bombarding our bodies with these toxic substances SO often cause a domino effect, causing even more “health issues” (or even worse) than the original issue that got one started on a drug in the first place. And just as important, you nailed it right on the head when voicing your frustration and concern that you feel you’re not being treated as the “individual” that you are. This is also one of the biggest issues with most M.Ds (I say most, NOT all, for the small percentage of the exception that DO exist).

    Please find a good Naturopathy. Chances are, their passions lie deep within their profession (since they made the conscious effort to become a Naturopathy in the first place, there has to be a “love” for health and life, but also a drive to want to help others find their “healthier” paths as well) and hopefully they will help you through the journey of getting to the bottom of your health dilemmas with not only great wisdom but with compassion (which is huge!). :) ~ Ok. I believe I’m done. And I do apologize for going on (believe it or not, I actually held back. Oh boy, as we all take a collective sigh of relief!). So much for ME being succinct.

    Do feel better (find a Naturopathy!) and enjoy your time in Montreal.

    Cheers, Dana
    Ps. And thank YOU for YOUR kind words on my post regarding you and your blog (left under your Lemony Millet Pancakes blog). ;)

    • Oops. Naturopath NOT Naturopathy. Simply a lazy/bad habit of mine. Naturopathy is practiced or you have Naturopathic practitioners, yes, but one finds a Naturopath. I just HAD to clarify. ;)

    • Let me know how you like the smoothie! Cilantro is such a interesting green and since it’s so flavourful, I find people are afraid to use it! But as long as you pair in with appropriate flavours, it’s excellent in smoothies!

      You’re so right about M.D.s looking for bandaid solutions and prescribing medications that will simply mask the problem. All this does is chain us to a medication, that we will have to continue to shelling money out for! I completely understand why much of our society believes medicine to be the end-all be-all, but I very much believe that we should be looking for root cause. We should also be focusing on prevention, so the medications aren’t necessary in the first place. I understand this is going completely against the drug companies desires but hey, it’s our bodies and I feel we have a right to heal and not just cover up the problem.

      Thanks for your advice. I really appreciate it- I am going to look for a naturopath in September. Since I’m moving, it seems silly to look for one now and then have to switch in 2 months. A naturopath sounds much more in line with my beliefs. It so important to have a positive and open relationship with a health care provider and I believe a naturpath’s compassionate spirit will be refreshing in this respect. In the meantime I will continue to eat nourishing foods and maybe look for an iron supplement that I’ll respond to better.

      I hope you had a lovely weekend. Thanks again and you’re welcome! How could I have anything but positive things to say? ;)

  17. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time. Perhaps you’ve already gone this route but honestly I got so fed up with doctors and tests and the medical system that I just went to a naturopath. They do all the same nutrient level tests and are super personalized. The only thing is you usually have to pay, unless your extended medical covers some of it. But here in Canada they’re not too too pricey. Hope it works out!

    • I haven’t gone to a naturopath, mostly because I wanted to see what help my doctor could offer me. But, it’s clearly not working out so I am definitely considering the naturopath route. I am moving in September so I will wait until then to seek one out. I think I might actually be able to get a discount to the holistic nutritionist affiliated with my school which will be great! Thanks for the advice :)

  18. Try chelated iron, or another ultra-softened iron supplement. Iron is known to cause gastrointestinal troubles in a lot of people when taken in too ‘hard’ of a form. I take HomeFirst Chelated iron for my anemia and I’ve never had trouble with it. Another thing to check for would be Vitamin D deficiency, or a sodium deficiency….I say that based on my own similar symptoms and diagnoses. Hope this was helpful!

    • Thanks Emily! Thanks for the tip on the iron supplement! I was taking the one my doctor recommended, but I guess I should know better at this point lol. I’ll definitely look into the other 2 as well. I do use salt in my foods moderately, but I should actually take a look at the amounts I take in so I have a better idea. I appreciate your suggestions :)

  19. I ADORE cilantro! This will be one I’ll be making this weekend!

    Sorry to hear about your results and the doctor experience. Have you looked into the possibility of Candida overgrowth? It was just a thought upon reading the post. I was doing all the RIGHT things for about two years but something with my health still wasn’t right. I was pretty sure I had yeast overgrowth according to questionnaire I took and a lot of the symptoms. I wasn’t assimilating nutrients properly, digestive unbalance, etc. I went on a candida cleanse for 60 days and got the buggers back into balance and have been feeling GREAT ever since.

    Glad you had a fabulous time in Boston. Would love to go visit there myself someday – I will! Have a great weekend!

    • I hope you like it Kibby!

      You know, I never even thought about that. I’ve heard of it before and actually worked with a girl who was doing a Candida cleanse, but never considered it as it relates to my own health! Do you have a resource for the questionnaire? I would love to take a look at it!

      You MUST go to Boston! It’s such a fabulous city- it’s gorgeous, has great history, great food and there’s so much to do!

      Hope you had a lovely weekend :)

      • Just my two cents — I’ve had problems with low iron for years, and also with candida. I’ve found that they are correlated — when my iron is bad, so is the candida. I don’t know if there is a causal relation though. In any case, my naturopath has helped me work on both, so I’d add my support to the others who are suggesting that. They’d be able to diagnose you.

        Also, there is an awesome liquid iron supplement called Floravit that is super easy on the stomach. I’ve tried about six different kinds of iron and this is the only one that didn’t destroy my tummy. It’s made by a homeopathic company, I think, so they sell it at health food stores — I haven’t seen it at any pharmacies.

        Just started reading your blog and am loving the recipes so far. Thanks!

      • Thanks for you input Meg! I will definitely seek the help of a naturopath- everyone seems to recommend them so highly! I’ll have to wait till I move in September since it seems silly to find one where I live now then have to switch in 2 months.

        I looked up that supplement and they sell it in a few stores near me so I think I’ll pick some up today. It can’t hurt right? Plus anything to ease the load on my digestion is much appreciated.

        Thanks for your advice and I’m so glad you are enjoying my blog :)

      • Thanks for you input Meg! I will definitely seek the help of a naturopath- everyone seems to recommend them so highly! I’ll have to wait till I move in September since it seems silly to find one where I live now then have to switch in 2 months.

        I looked up that supplement and they sell it in a few stores near me so I think I’ll pick some up today. It can’t hurt right? Plus anything to ease the load on my digestion is much appreciated.

        Thanks for your advice and I’m so glad you are enjoying my blog :)

  20. That smoothie sounds delish, and I just love the Boston pics!:) As far as the medical stuff, you know I’ve been dealing with this, too. I can totally see why you’re frustrated. That was pretty much how I felt, too.The only thing I can say that might help is that I’ve noticed vegans and vegetarians are generally pretty amazing researchers, because we’ve had to be. If there’s a solution out there, I’m sure you can find it!

    • Thank you! I absolutely loved Boston, so I’m glad my pictures reflect the awesomeness of the city!

      You’re so right! I’ve been trying to do some of my own research and other bloggers and readers have been giving me resources which is great.

      It’s funny really how being vegan makes up hyper-aware of health and nutrition problems- at least we have the awareness to deal with then whereas omnivores might never think to look!

  21. aw Gabby I’m so sorry that you have to be going through that:( not having answers to health issues is so frustrating and disheartening. sending you a virtual hug! hang in there! on a lighter note, your smoothie sounds delicious! and i love boston — those purple flowers are my favorite — i call them lollipop flowers:) have a great weekend!

    • Aww thanks Caralyn, I love virtual hugs :)

      Thanks for your lovely words! Aren’t those flowers cool? I fell in love with them, I wish I knew what they actually were so I could plant them someday!

      Hope you had a fantastic weekend!

  22. Hey Gabby! I’m so sorry that you are having so much trouble finding the solutions you need to feel good. Trust me, I know how you feel, it took me 3 years to figure out what was wrong with my shoulder. Also, when I was younger I had a lot of problems where I’d have debilitating stomach and back pains and my Dr. was only intersted in prescribing painkillers rather than finding the problem. Needless to say I stopped seeing her shortly after. Have you ever thought of trying a homeopathic approach? I have a feeling you’d connect more with the person treating you and you’d probably find better solutions closer to your own philosophy. Your positive attitude is really inspiring, you are awesome! And I hope that you are able to find the answers so you can feel better!

    The smoothie looks great but I’m not really a fan of cilantro so I’d probably have to leave that out. I don’t know why but it tastes like soap to me. So strange! Love mangos though! Very cool photos of Boston! I am totally obsessed with that vintage patio furniture, the brown and blue mugs are so cute too!

    Have a great weekend!

    • It’s crazy how many people in the blogging world are having health issues and problems getting answers. It’s almost like we all blog as an outlet for our frustrations lol.

      Yes I am thinking about going for a more homeopathic approach. Since I’m moving in September I am going to wait until then to search for one, especially since there will be so many options in Toronto! You are so sweet by the way :)

      I heard once that liking/disliking cilantro is the result of a gene- so some people are genetically programmed to hate it! I always thought you cilantro-haters were crazy, but it’s definitely a legit dislike lol.

      I can’t wait to have a garden to decorate with furniture like that :)

      Hope you had a great weekend!

      • So excited for you that you will have a lot more options in Toronto and hopefully that will result in getting some answers! I love Toronto btw :) Such a great city!

        Haha yeah I heard that too. I wonder if that is why it tastes like soap when I eat it. It’s so weird!

        I’m going to be so jealous of your adorable garden!

        Thanks, you too!

    • Thank for the recommendation Kim! I have actually had that book saved on my Amazon Wishlist for ages, but had never bit the bullet. I just bought it though, based on your comment! If it worked for you, it’s definitely worth a shot!

  23. I’ve had low iron in the past too. Have you tried Floradix? It’s a liquid iron and vitamin formula; it’s very hard to absorb all iron from pill form, liquid is far better. http://www.florahealth.com/product_categories.cfm?category_id=4&prod_id=87. As a meat eater I was anemic; as a vegan occasionally taking Floradix, my iron is finally perfect. I also would suggest a naturopathic doctor, I love mine, she does way more for me than my GP. Good luck!

    Looks like a fun time in Boston! Have a great trip to Montreal; will you try Aux Vivres?

    • I second the recommendation for a naturopathic doctor! Love mine. Here is a list of vegan foods high in iron http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm
      and here is an article about b-12
      http://www.vegansociety.com/lifestyle/nutrition/b12.aspx
      I take a whole foods supplement containing both, but also eat lots of things that include iron and b-12.
      My favorite b-12 food sources are vegemite and nutritional yeast. Hope you feel better soon. Love your positive attitude! xoxo

      • Anytime Gabby, I thought a lot about you today, not in a weird stalker way ;) I was just thinking how we work so hard to put good things into our bodies and we still aren’t sometimes in complete control of our health :(

        Chef AJ makes a really awesome dressing that has a lot of nutritional yeast in it, which is an easy way to get your b-12 vitamins. Here is a link, I drown my salads with it because it’s so healthy and good.
        http://www.eatunprocessed.com/ep31-40.html#40

        Get well soon my friend!

      • Awww don’t worry I don’t think you’re a stalker- I think so much about blogging friends too :) You’re right about that, but I figure at least I am putting all these good things in my bosy- I could be so much worse if I wasn’t!

        Mmm I checked out that dressing- oh my I want some! I’m definitely going to make that later. What is it about nutritional yeast and tahini that just makes everything amazing?

        Thanks for your well wishes and advice :) Hope you’re having a great day!

      • Phew, I was worried you would think I’m a weirdo ;)

        I forgot that tahini is high in iron as well (like number 5 on a list of the top 10 foods high in iron) so it’s a one-two nutritional punch in a crazy good dressing!

        Hope you have a great day too. Xoxox

    • Thanks so much for this recommendation! I checked out where I could buy it here and will hopefully get some tomorrow! I knew I recognized the name lol.

      I am definitely going to look into seeing a naturopath, but I think I’m going to wait since I’m moving in September.

      I was only in Montreal for one night and it was for a family event, so not much time to go out and try restaurants. But I would love to go again soon and go to some of the restaurants there! They have some great options :)

  24. ah i can totally relate to your frustration! i am dealing with a severe and recent diagnosis of ibs-c and the doctors cannot get it under control despite tests and medication. every time i call my doctor i can only speak to his nurse and all they do is prescribe me new medications. i want to talk about my diet – and they want nothing to do with that. i am SO frustrated because i feel like they should be doing so much more. i have resolved that i am going to have to figure this out myself… good luck with your health stuff too! we will figure it out one way or another!

    • Thanks Sara, and I’m sorry to hear you are dealing with health stuff too :( I suffer from digestive discomfort and pain too so I completely understand! I understand doctors don’t have a lot of time and aren’t trained very well in terms of nutrition but I’d like to think they would help as much as they could and try to work WITH us you know? If nothing else I’d like a referral to someone more capable. Anyway, yes we’ll figure it out together! Good luck and hope you had a great weekend :)

  25. *HUG* Sorry to hear about your poor interactions with the doc and your test results. :( There are many reasons why your B12 and iron could be low so hopefully you find out something with the new battery of tests.

    Enjoy Montreal! I hear there are some great vegan restos there. :)

    • Thanks dear :) I am going to seek out a new doctor, perhaps a naturopath when I move to Toronto and just continue to find more ways to incorporate iron in my diet in the meantime!

      Montreal was lovely, although I didn’t have much time to go out- most of it was spent with family at a restaurant that pre-chosen for a birthday celebration. I still managed to get a pretty delicious vegan meal!

      Hope you had a lovely weekend!

      • Hey Gabby, Yeah, I figured everything would eventually change once you moved here! I am so happy you scored a delicious vegan dinner, even if it wasnt at yout choice of resto. I always feel compelled to ask for a vegan meal so that the chefs know there is a demand. Rob’s cousin picked out a resto for her birthday and there is nothing on the menu that is vegan. All the veg-options have cheese and all the salads have meat, too! I dont feel like putting up a fuss because if they just remove the shrimp and still charge me $20 I will feel like I was totally ripped off…. but since it is more about the company, I plan to come anyways, just not eat there. ;)

      • That always makes me angry too when I’m charged the same for taking the most expensive ingredient out of the dish! Occasionally I have been lucky and they substitute more of something else or some beans, but still!

        You’re right though, it’s totally about the company :) You can always eat before/later and get maybe a small snack at the restaurant. No biggy!

  26. Just reread your post Gabby. That’s why I gave up on MDs long ago, most aren’t into nutrition at all, or diet, exercise and really wellness. Only prescribing medicine, and my father was a wonderful country doctor, excellent at diagnosis and spending time with his patients. Even though my MD here isn’t into anything I am, she spends an hour with me! I really feel you should seek out another doctor, or osteopathic doctor. Fortunately my insurance covers NDs.

  27. Gabby, is it possible to find another doctor and get another opinion? I’m not a doctor, and I use NDs as much as I can because my MD doesn’t even suggest vitamins, I use her do I can get my asthma meds prescribed. I too take B12 supplements and always will, and think all vegans should regardless of well we eat. I don’t know much about iron, only that I was deficient when I was an omnivore years ago. Perhaps it’s related to your menses? I’m past that now thankfully! I really would try and find a doctor who will talk to you, not through a NP, that is not a good doc in my opinion, and my father was an Internist (mother and stepmother both nurses). Please consider seeing another Dr, getting a recommendation from a ND, if you can’t see an ND?

    • I am definitely considering seeing another doctor, because you are definitely right! I need someone to talk to and who will have a discussion rather than just talking at me. I am moving a couple months anyway so I am going to wait and try and see a holistic nutritionist or naturopath. Thanks for your advice :)

  28. I am sorry to hear about that my friend but with our vegetarian diets, I can sympathise as I have the same – we will work on it together :)
    I hope things get better soon (seriously listen to Barney ;))
    Lovely smoothie, looks so refreshing and thanks for sharing your lovely photos of Boston!

    Cheers
    CCU

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