• Murphy Digs to China & My VSL#3 Experiment

    May 31, 2013

    Hey there!

    I’m off to Annapolis for ZOOMA this morning. I’ll be away for approximately 30 hours, so I packed light and threw together everything in about 10 minutes, which is definitely a PR for me. Usually, it takes me days to pack for a trip.


    Included in my packing was all of my drugs and probiotics. I’m starting Uceris tomorrow, and I’ve been taking a ridiculous amount of VSL#3 for the past two weeks. I found a study online where 77% of patients, who took 8 packets (not the pills – they’re just easier to travel with, which is why they are in my photo below) of VSL#3 (= 3,600 billion bacteria) daily for 6 weeks, went into remission. In two weeks, I haven’t seen any improvement, but I’m planning to truck along until the 6 week mark to see what happens. I hope it works. Otherwise, it was a really expensive experiment!

    IMG_0862 (600x450)


    Last night’s dinner was one of my favorites ever: Chicken Bacon Alfredo from PaleOMG. I de-paleo-fy it by adding about 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan to the sauce, but it’s still incredible without the cheese. The bacon, herbs, and spices give it so much flavor. Love. It.


    For the Murphy-lovers, here’s a video of him from last night. On occasion, right before bed, a screw gets loose in his brain and he either “elephant butts” around the bedroom or tries to dig to China through our bed. It’s almost like he’s trying to get out his last bit of pug energy before he goes to bed. He’s such a weirdo.

    Question of the Day

    What’s the weirdest thing your dog (or cat) does?

    Do you think Murphy is trying to dig to China or is he doing something else? His digging is sort of rhymic, isn’t it?

    P.S. Here’s another testimony to “everyone can do CrossFit:” 7 am Indestri group doing partner Tire Flips. Awesome!

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    { 36 comments… read them below or add one }

    Kylie May 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Ha! My dog does that when he thinks something is under a blanket, his bed, or the couch. Usually it’s a bone or toy he’s after. When he tries to explore under the couch he gets on his side with his paws going up and down and you can see half of his body.


    Ashley May 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Oh my gosh dogs are so cute. Mine digs at the floor when her toys go under the couch because she thinks that will help?


    Lynn May 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    You probably have, but have you ever tried Kefir? It has tons of probiotics and you can get it plain and unsweetened. It’s thinner than yogurt, and I enjoy it. I add it to protein shakes or make a “pudding” with chia seeds and fruit. Just a thought!


    Millie Jones May 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    We had one pug for the longest time and he did the exact same thing every single night before he went to bed. This past weekend we just rescued a brother and sister pug pair and in just one week they do the same thing too! Must be a pug thing for sure!


    Lynn May 31, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    also just read this online: kefir probiotics in it number in the trillions, and it has the ability to actually colonize the gi tract.


    Tina May 31, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Trillions? Which products?


    Mary Slagel May 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I ate the exact same thing last night. I put spinach into mine that is one of the only differences. It was delicious.


    Ellen May 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Glad you’re trying the VSL3! Have you been taking the packets too?


    Tina May 31, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I’ve only been taking the packets. They have 450 billion bacteria per packet versus 112.5 billion in one of the pills. I just bought the pills because I’m traveling so much in the coming weeks, and they’re a lot easier to deal with.


    Alyssa @ Road to RD May 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I just read a study today that Dr. Andrew Weil wrote about probiotics and IBS! I know you don’t have IBS, but it seems like probiotics are great for any GI issue. Hope they work for you!


    Caitlin May 31, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    My cat is a munchkin, so everything he does is extra goofy and adorable. My favorite is he stands on his hind legs to peer at things, similar to a meerkat.


    Bobbie May 31, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    OMG! I thought our dog was the only whacko who does this!! The same EXACT thing!


    Rosee May 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    My heart seriously can’t take any more Murphy-isms. He is just the best pug on the PLANET! I’m officially obsessed and in love with your dog. Cutest video EVA!!!


    Tina May 31, 2013 at 1:56 pm



    Erika May 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Hahaha my dog likes to burrow under blankets and pillows. He also likes to rearrange his bed…usually by moving it across the room. He is a nut lol.


    Mary May 31, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I’d love to hear how things go with the VSL. This topic is popping up everywhere for me this week – maybe its a sign. I just read a a couple of articles yesterday about the importance of gut bacteria in managing health. This one was a pretty good read: http://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/some-of-my-best-friends-are-germs/. My doctor recommended I try it years ago, but I could never get over the cost to try. Might be time to give it a try.


    Amber May 31, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I had a pug/cocker spaniel (weird mix huh?!) growing up. She would get on top of a basketball, which barely fit under her and she would growl, moan, and howl as if she were stuck and needed help…. but if she rolled off she would get mad at the ball and chase it and barking at it all crazy and then do it all over again! She was a nut 🙂 but it was hysterical to watch!


    Anais May 31, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Our pomeranian, Aubrey, does the same exact thing. She even gets angry and starts growling at the blanket, rug, her puppy bed, or whatever poor object she is taking out her frustration on. We laugh so hard whenever she acts all crazy.


    Olivia @ Liv Lives Life May 31, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    My dog does that same thing too! Only she does it way more than once a day to the point where it gets annoying!


    Emily J May 31, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Hahaha! What a goof ball!


    Erica @ For the Sake of Cake May 31, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Love the video of Murphy! All pugs must be hard-wired the same… they’re the best dogs!


    Abby May 31, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    One our pugs digs every night too! I love the alternating side sweep. I would love to know the objective…


    Jenny May 31, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I have a little rat terrier and he digs ever night to fluff up his pillow he sleeps on. And he twirls in circles. He is my favorite weirdo.


    Amy @ healthy and fit for real May 31, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    My parents’ dog digs like that when it’s bedtime too. He will either scratch at the carpets or on a rug. We figure he’s trying to “fluff” up his bed or something. Dogs are weirdos! Haha


    Hailey May 31, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Dogs do that bizarre digging thing because in the wild, their ancestors would make “beds” this way out of piles of leaves or a patch of grass. This is the way dogs naturally make themselves comfy before sleeping in their bed. Of course, modern sheets don’t make it really productive but I guess old habits die hard? Sometimes, my dog does this with a crumpled up blanket and actually succeeds in creating a his very own comfy bed. So cute! But of course, his favorite sleeping spot is curled up under the sheets next to me. 🙂


    Amy C. June 1, 2013 at 12:41 am

    LOL! My pug does the same thing….right before he lays down to go to sleep at night. It’s like he is making his bed or something! Haha!!!! Murphy is so cute!!!


    Sarah @makingitmyhome.blogspot.com June 1, 2013 at 9:33 am

    The chicken bacon alfredo looks delicious! I used to (still am) obsessed with the fettuchini alfredo at Cheesecake factory but 1. its SO unhealthy and 2. the creaminess doesnt really settle well in my stomach.
    This looks like a great alternative! Can’t wait to try it!!!

    My chocolate lab, Mulder, does some ridiculous stuff too!The best is when he makes his “old man, grunting and gruffing” noises as he curls up to go to sleep.
    Dogs make everything better.


    Alyssa June 1, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Our dog will howl as he chews on his toys 🙂 Especially if they look like other animals! It is really cute actually.


    CathyB June 1, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Murphy looks like he’s clearing crumbs away and saying….why.do.you.insist. on.eating.in.bed.and.not.sharing.with.me! He is adorable, thanks for sharing!


    Jenn June 3, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I think I’m the only person that had a complete fail with the bacon alfredo from Juli. I don’t know what I did wrong but the whole thing had to go into the garbage. 🙁 Yours looks so good!


    Safa June 4, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Omg! Your dog is so funny! x


    Tiffany R June 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    That dish always looks so amazing!!

    Do you use all spaghetti squash in the recipe or add a delicata squash like Juli??


    Tina June 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Spaghetti squash. Confession: I don’t even know what delicata squash is! Haha! I guess I need to Google it! 🙂


    Liz June 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    my maltese loves to try to dig to China as well… I got her a bathmat that we call her “portal to china” because all she does is dig dig dig on that mat. At least she’s learned to not do it on the furniture… silly dogs!


    Kassi August 1, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Hi Tina, I was just wondering if you ever posted an update about your experience with vsl#3. Did you think it affected your UC symptoms at all? I apologize if you have already addressed this, but I tried searching and couldn’t find any kind of update.


    Tina August 1, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Unfortunately, I don’t think it did anything for me. I think if I was in remission, it might have kept me well, but it didn’t help get me out of a flare.


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