Rants, Raves, Reviews

“Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” Paul Tillich ~ Alone in Illness and Health.

“Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” Paul Tillich

~ Feeling Alone in Illness and Health is Not Necessary~

Sometimes, when dealing with illness, and modifying one’s life to accommodate new dietary issues, one can feel alone or discouraged about things.

I think the greatest lesson that I have learned over the past month and a half or so is how great the online community is!

There are so many creative people out there thinking around their problems, sharing resources and recipes and encouraging one and other. For that I am really thankful.

I receive email updates daily from various bloggers who have been incredibly helpful and encouraging.

Some of which will be mentioned below.

I am also a new member of a Gluten Free Global Community!!! Yes my friends, we are NOT alone. 🙂

Gluten Free Global Community

Some of the great bloggers that I have found that are extremely helpful, kind, and empathetic are as follows. I recommend signing up for their newsletters as they also share about other bloggers as well!

The helpful blogs and websites have been;
http://glutenfreelife247.com/
http://www.thepaleomom.com/
http://aiplifestyle.com/
http://tasterie.com/blog/health-nutrition/gluten-dairy-allergy/
http://againstallgrain.com/
http://www.glutenfreeschool.com/

Pinterest is a wonderful resource!!! You may follow my Pinterest board here:

Here I’ve pinned over 2000 entries and more are soon to follow!

While these are just a few references, I really appreciate all that everyone has done to offer creative solutions to a difficult situation! While everyone may enjoy a little solitude once in a while, we do not have to feel alone! 🙂

Please feel free to share your favorite blogs in response to this post!

Happy Reading and Eating,
~Christa~
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Rants

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” Francois de la Rouchefoucauld ~ Savoring what is and not mourning what is not.

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” ― François de La Rochefoucauld

~ Savoring what is and not mourning what is not.~

As I have approached the purpose and result of my eating in a new light, I think of things that I’d never really thought of before.
My mother, being the creative individual that she is, is also a foodie. When preparing to entertain, she will pour over recipes. Think of the flavors to savor and the intermixing of each ingredient of one dish and how it will meld or play off of another. For her, her language of love is food.

She loves to entertain, to try new things and to work freely with ingredients. My new necessity of going gluten-free has been a challenge to her as I must also be dairy, soy, egg, GMO, and nightshade free as well as other things. This has been her greatest challenge. The traditional family favorites and cultural norms can no longer be consumed and new discoveries must be found.

I did not realize the impact of my dietary changes until last week, when at a dinner party all of the foods set before me had ingredients that I could not consume. As the salad of kale, tomatoes and mozzarella, healthy as it may have been, was passed around with the garlic bread, (a very respectable start to a wonderful meal of pasta and finished off with a wonderful dessert), I quickly realized that I must prepare my own foods.

My health, my nutrition is my responsibility. Others need not be subject to it!

I simply prepared a salad that I could eat and sat to enjoy the company. Yes, there were bits of awkwardness as I’d finished far ahead of everyone, but that’s okay. Accept yourself and others will accept you for who you are.

In the future, when invited to dinner, my advice is to be gracious about it. Prepare ahead. When invited, explain to the host or hostess that you would love to attend, but bring your own food. Remove that burden from their shoulders as it is not theirs to carry.

Rather than feel awkward, offer no apologies, as there is nothing to apologize for! This is a necessity and not a fad! Briefly explain your situation (if you choose to), concentrate on the conversation, and enjoy the company! After all, we must eat intelligently. For those who must eat gluten and wheat free, this must be a science as well as an art.

In all of your study, however, do not forget to enjoy what it is you are eating as it is not only a source of nutrition, and a necessity, but also can be a source of enjoyment.

Rather than mourn the loss of the foods you once loved, think about it through the perspective of Karl Lagerfeld who said, “I never touch sugar, cheese, bread… I only like what I’m allowed to like. I’m beyond temptation. There is no weakness. When I see tons of food in the studio, for us and for everybody, for me it’s as if this stuff was made out of plastic. The idea doesn’t even enter my mind that a human being could put that into their mouth. I’m like the animals in the forest. They don’t touch what they cannot eat.”
― Karl Lagerfeld

Enjoy the positives, such as the way you feel now as opposed to the way that you used to feel. Only you can discern the difference you feel, and those around you will eventually realize the difference that they see, such as the healthier person that now stands before them.

Know that you are doing your body good and not harm, enjoy the things that you can eat!! Savor the flavors and try new things. Search the gluten-free foodie blogs for they, the bloggers, are the true talent behind eating gluten-free.

“And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart:
Your seeds shall live in my body,
And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.” Kahlil Gibran

You are no longer eating for just the “now” but also for your future!
Be glad, be healthy, and be free from guilt! There is nothing to feel guilty about. Just enjoy.

Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~

Be Strong! Carry on!

Be Strong! Carry on!

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Rants, Recipes, Reviews

“What happens when people open their hearts?… They get better!” Haruki Murakami

“What happens when people open their hearts?… They get better!” Haruki Murakami

As I have been dealing with recent discovery and changes due to that discovery in my life, the change at times could be a bit overwhelming.

There is so much to learn! And it seems, so little time to do it in.

I am thankful for Pinterest and our mini-snowmageden that occurred (rendering all travel impossible), thus allowing me the time to sit and study… to improve my work skills… and to research more fully the dietary changes in my life that I must make. Something life would not have afforded me any other way.

I must say that Pinterest has been an unbelievable resource! I have started my own Pinterest board for Glutenwheatfree4me in which I now have over 1000 pins of recipes, modifications, educational materials, and suggestions as to how to better live life gluten free… healthier… stronger.

The purpose of my posts, and Pinterest board are found in the summation of Dr. Martin Luther King’s quote,

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” (source: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/healing)

Thus, Glutenwheatfree4me was born. My Pinterest board can be found here if you’d like to browse, follow, or pin! http://www.pinterest.com/becreative222/gluten-wheat-free-4-me/

One of the most instrumental, and healing posts that I’d found on Pinterest was found here : http://aiplifestyle.com/approach-difficulty-medicine/ Written by a woman who not only made things very real to me, but posted a very personal experience with which I could greatly identify! Without further guilding the lily, I would simply like to ask you to read her post, be blessed, encouraged and touched as I have!

Be Blessed!
Until next time, Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~

Be Strong! Carry on!

Be Strong! Carry on!

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Rants, Reviews, Uncategorized

“Let them eat cake…” Um… Huh?!

“Let them eat cake…” Huh?!

Historically speaking, Marie Antoinette, reputed for having said this, did not say it exactly, but the attitude was clear, and actions can speak more loudly than words!

Sadly, while many may understand the effects of extremely visible illnesses, they may not understand those whose symptoms that remain unseen…. Guilty!

I have been pouring over various posts and blogs throughout the web over the past week trying to educate myself before seeing a nutritionist, and many writers of gluten free posts have expressed the embarrassment, frustration and disappointment at the reaction of others to their dietary plight. For their hurt and frustration I am sorry!!

Having gone through extreme dietary changes in junior high school, (one of those humiliating times in every person’s life), I learned very quickly to leave the lunch room to eat my rice cakes and peanut butter to avoid mockery.

Later in life, it was also experienced when having to go “red-meat free” and eventually vegetarian for a while only to be told by others… “Meat is for the belly and the belly is for meat.” Yes, they were adults. There’s no point in getting angry at ignorance. Should they, those who say such things, ever come to deal with such restrictions, they will face their own frustrations and then will also understand… Ignorance is not bliss. 

So, as an adult, is your best idea to lock yourself away from the living? NO!!! 🙂

Your best attitude is to Arm yourself with knowledge and know the ramifications of physical discomfort should you cave!! JUST DON’T DO IT! In a momentary lapse of judgment, you may be tempted to succumb to peer pressure, but DON’T DO IT!!!
Be Strong! Carry on! Remember what you went through to get where you are… gluten free… and how much better you are starting to feel… If you’ve past the wheat and dairy “D.T.s” (yes, there are withdrawl symptoms), think about going through them again or worse, how bad you felt before giving them up! Mine have been pretty yucky. I don’t recommend dropping Gluten/wheat, dairy, eggs, and caffeine all at once if you can help it. 

Time for the Illustrative, Dramatic, Theatrical Scene:
Dun..Dun..Dun…
A bunch of friends are getting together from work, and you are invited… you are now gluten free… What do you do?…
What DO you do? 
Suddenly…
The clouds part…
The pigeons are loosed…
Low and behold, a list inscribed by the gods is now placed in your hands… Ting!!

A list of fast food restaurant and links to their gluten free sections. YOU ARE SAVED!!! ( Just kidding… after all, it’s just fast food, but it’s a start).

REMEMBER!!!! Just because these say that they are gluten free, mistakes do happen , so don’t go into things blindly, research… research… research! After a while, it will become second nature and you won’t really even have to think about it anymore. 🙂

So anyway, here we go. Some of these are in pdf form while others are an actual app you can use on the website or smart phone. I’ve also included another link to a page that has an in depth listing of various websites! I suggest that you keep a ready planned meal list for each restaurant for fast and easy (and hopefully embarrassment free) ordering.

Bon Appetit mes amis!

Wendy’s – http://www.wendys.com/redesign/wendys/pdf/en_US_gluten_free_list.pdf
Bojangles- http://glutenfreeguidehq.com/bojangles-gluten-free-menu/
McDonalds http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/ingredientslist.pdf this is a little complicated and you must read each item’s ingredients, but it does tell you what allergens they contain. Make your meal plan before going.
Chick-fil-A- http://media.chick-fil-a.com/Media/pdf/GlutenFreeItemsList.pdf
Arby’s http://cds.arbys.com/pdfs/nutrition/gluten-free-menu.pdf
Burger King- http://www.bk.com/cms/en/us/cms_out/digital_assets/files/pages/MenuGlutenFree.pdf
Red Robin is the best! They provide an actual app on their website under the menu section that lets you chose the allergens that you’d like to avoid! FABULOUS!!

You can avoid wheat/gluten, soy, eggs, and much more! The link is displayed in the picture below, but if you have difficulty, here is the pdf.  https://www.redrobin.com/pdf/Wheat_Gluten_Allergen_Menu.pdf

For assistance with more restaurants such as Chipotle and others, please see this link! 
http://glutenfreepassport.com/allergy-gluten-free-restaurants/fast-food-chains-allergy-charts/
Remember!
Be strong..
Stay warm, stay safe, and Enjoy Reading and Eating!!
~Christa~

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