Dear Diary: I Think I’m Having a Tri-Life Crisis!

It’s a late night on our second full day of vacation and I’m sitting on our balcony, in the peaceful darkness, listening to the crashing of the waves with the sweet sound of cicadas chirping in the background. There’s a lot on my mind and keeping me awake.

When I think about the last few years of my life, the memories are filled with highs and lows, which seem like a never-ending roller coaster. Many of you may also think of your life in this manner too! I guess part of life is dealing the ebbs and flows as they come and developing the skills necessary to stand tall during the times of adversity. I’m proud to say I’ve gone through a ton of stuff and am still smiling and pushing forward to this day.

My first book coming out this fall is a self-help memoir about using these negative events, the lows as I would call them, to help propel you to the next chapter of your life. Looking back on all of the adversity throughout my lifetime, I realize that each one of these moments were life lessons to be used for the future. Sometimes though, you just want things to be easy.

I don’t want life to be easy, because I think frankly that would be pretty boring.

But, as I sit on a beautiful vacation, with my wonderful husband, in tears over all the changes we have going on in our life it really makes me wonder.. Am I doing something wrong?

Major life changes typically provoke thoughts and conversations that you didn’t even expect. I’m struggling with my sense of identity once we move to Washington DC next month. Who will I be there? What will I do? How will I fill my days?

Of course I will worry about my business in Columbus and our house we can’t sell. I’m sure I will have health issues to address and aches and pains to mend. The first few months will be filled with getting things settled in our new place, exploring the new city and making new friends. But, what happens after that?

I have an exciting opportunity to be whoever I want to be in a new town with new friends and create our new life, so why is this so stressful? Is it because I have too many options or am I having an identity crisis?

A Tri-Life Crisis? (I am in my 30′s so this is the term I’ve coined for struggling with your identity 30 years into life)

I know. I know. That’s ridiculous. (or is it?)

I will figure things out but right now I have a lot of things going on pushing me into panic mode! Never one to sit still, I will find things to fill my time. In a few months, my posts will be exciting and provide you will my fun gluten-free finds in the new city and some new opportunity that I found through my innate ability to network and connect with people.

But, I still can’t shake that feeling. The feeling of being the new girl in town and answering the question, “So, what do you do?”

I’m usually great at making major decisions and horrible at the small ones like, “where should we go for dinner?” or “What movie should we see tonight?”

In the end, it will all work out but for this moment I find myself questioning everything.

It’s okay to be in a funk!

Funk.

I. Am. In. A. Funk.

I’ve  been traveling a lot lately and I think it is starting to take a toll on my body. There is this funky feeling I haven’t had for quite some time now and I don’t know exactly how to put my finger on it.

I just feel off. Not on my A game.

Am I worried something might be going on with my body? Absolutely.

Do I think it’s probably a combination of stress, anxiety, traveling, how busy I’ve been and just generally trying to keep my head above water? Yes.

If you are reading my blog, you know all about feeling “off.” That feeling you get when something isn’t right and you aren’t quite sure if it was the food you ate, how you are sleeping or something internal. Ever since I was diagnosed with celiac disease and endometriosis, I think I am much more in tune to my body than every before. I pick up on patterns now and realize things much faster than before. But even now, I still get stumped by things.

My weight keeps on increasing despite attempts to get back on the fitness program. I know I’ve been snacking more lately and drinking alcohol more than normal but not to the point of where my weight is now. I recommitted to myself 4 days ago and am on the right track. I’m motivated and ready to go. So, then why have I had a migraine for 3 days? It’s like there is always something to get in the way lately and I haven’t been in the mood to push through it.

Sometimes I am hard on myself. I’m in the fitness industry, I own a gym and I write fitness articles so I assume I should look the part. But, on the flip side, I have a few chronic diseases that people can’t see which control my body in more ways than one. It’s frustrating. I’m frustrated. Actually, my therapist last year said that “frustrated” is just a nicer word for anger. Which is true, I am mad at myself and my body today.

I think it’s important to share my feelings on good days and bad days for all of you to know I’m not perfect (as much as I’d like to think I am though lol). I go through those periods where it just seems like everything goes wrong and you just want to watch TV all day. I’m trying now to pull myself out of it and it’s tough but I can do it. Last night the last thing I wanted to do with a headache was do a workout, so instead I took the dog for a walk. He enjoyed it and his happy tail wagging helped me with my mood. Aaron even came out with us last night and did a tour of the neighborhood. It was nice.

I’ll get through this! I know I will. I want you to know you will too. If you feel like you’re in a funk and just can’t get out of it, that’s okay.

Sometimes, we just need to hit the restart button.

I have a ton of stuff going on in my personal life that I can’t talk about publicly yet (all good stuff!) but they are major life changes (no I’m not pregnant) and have consumed a lot of my time and life the last few months. I need to pay attention to everything wonderful in my life and just keep treading water until things get better!

The Adventures of Hives and Prednisone

For the last few months, I’ve been feeling much better. My sleep patterns are more consistent and my energy levels are through the roof.

But every once in a while something will hit me and send a reminder through my body that I’m human and have a chronic disease. Most recently it was the mysterious hives which appeared over night on my arms and legs causing me to ferociously itch my body. Imagine the paranoia going on in my mind!

Dermatitis Herpetiformis?

Bed Bugs?

Poison Ivy?

Carpet Beetles?

What the heck were these things?? Nothing was working to curb the itching, stinging or them from forming again. They were localized to my ankles/calves and wrist/forearms. I searched in the internet for pictures of different bites and things but nothing seemed to resemble what I experienced. They were much worse than what I captured in this picture.

The mysterious hives
The mysterious hives

I’ve never suffered from poison ivy or any other skin problems like this so I didn’t know what to do or how to narrow it down.

My instant fear of having bed bugs flipped me into over drive. I went through our entire bedroom scouring the carpet, mattress and more for bugs. I even ripped the box spring open to see if they were clustered in the corners like I read online! Bed bugs were not something I wanted to deal with right now.

Then I thought, fleas? But I didn’t see anything resembling that on either of our dogs and my husband didn’t have one mark on him. I made an appointment with the dermatologist and was fortunate they were able to fit me in right away. He determined it was a contact dermatitis from something in our garage or the park where I take our dog swimming and gave me prednisone to take. Within a couple of days they were healing and now a week later, they are almost gone.

The prednisone made me so HUNGRY! One night we went to dinner and I ended up eating 2 dinners. I forced myself to eat as many salads and protein as I could consume to prevent me from over eating on bad foods. I’ve never felt such a tremendous need to eat in my life. I ate a whole meal and then felt compelled to eat more because I didn’t feel full. I advise anyone who is taking prednisone to avoid eating sugar filled processed foods because there is a huge potential for weight gain due to the hunger issues.

I just find new things every once in a while to keep me on my toes. It’s so frustrating at times that nothing is ever wrong with my husband! Can he get a hang nail or something so I feel a little bit better about having stuff always wrong with me!?!?!

Have you ever experienced anything like this?

Do you find since you went gluten-free and were diagnosed you are prone to more things like this?

 

May is Celiac Awareness Month! Get your Gear Here!

Celiac Awareness Shop
Celiac Awareness Shop

May is Celiac Awareness Month!!

This is my first celiac awareness month as a blogger and I’ve got to say this is an exciting month for me. I’m extremely busy, have a ton of projects going and am just loving being part of the gluten-free and celiac community.

I am thrilled to have some amazing products in my shop for you to show your #PLCpride! Did you already order something and love it? Make sure you post it on Facebook and Twitter to show your celiac pride.

I like to think of awareness merchandise as conversation starters! This is the perfect opportunity to educate and spread awareness when you wear the green.

So, what do I have my store? Limited quantities of headbands and lots of bracelets.

Shipping is FREE over $15 and there is a flat rate to Canada.

I’m randomly selecting people who purchase things this month to get a bonus gift with their package – will it be you?

 

The Ignorance about Gluten Free Living.

glutenfreeignorance-248x300

Since I started Pretty Little Celiac, I use a RSS feeder to send me articles relating to gluten-free and celiac disease to make sure I stay up to date on current trends and studies, but also to just see what the buzz is in the media. Today I woke up to the usual set of articles about gluten-free living and how the gluten-free “diet” isn’t necessary for most people and others that make it challenging for us to fight the gluten-free battle.

But, one article in particular caught my eye. Titled “Why the Billion-Dollar Gluten-free Industry is Secretly Laughing at All of Us.” I was intrigued. Were these new marketing techniques being used? Are there concerns with labeling I need to know about? Nope. None of these things were even addressed in the article by Dana Baaardsen from iVillage.com

The article started out fine at first talking about celiac and gluten-free popularity and then mentioned a blogger with celiac disease who came out against people eating gluten-free when they don’t have to. But then she went into a few sentences about gluten-free that really upset me. For instance, here is how she ended the article:

Here are some of the more ridiculous gluten-free products we found — mainly because most of them barely had detectable traces of gluten in them to begin with — if at all. Seriously, just eat more veggies:

Ridiculous? Really?

She goes on to identify a few products like sausages, potato chips, fruit snacks, make-up and juice while making outrageous comments like, “you shouldn’t be eating your make up anyway” and “This gluten-free stuff isn’t so hard after all.”

Wait… What? You wrote a 500 word article about gluten-free living, found a few products online that had a “gluten-free” label on them and decided to not only make a mockery about how I (and thousands of others) have to live but that it’s “easy” because you found a few junk food items that had the words “gluten-free” on them?

I am sick and tired of reading articles like this. I am tired of ignorant people writing and saying things when they have no idea what they are talking about.

Gluten-free living is easy? Well guess what Dana, I challenge you to eat gluten-free for 30 consecutive days and see how “easy” it is. Go to parties with your friends and watch them eat and drink while you sit there starving because you can’t have beer or party foods. Go to weddings with your family and eat a Lara bar out of your purse because the only thing to eat at the wedding is filled with breadcrumbs and sauces with gluten. Go to eat where you get poisoned by something that makes you sick for a whole week and disrupts your entire life.

THEN you can write a truthful article about living gluten-free. THEN you might recognize why it’s important to have “gluten-free” labeling on foods so you can easily navigate the grocery store and find things safe for you to eat.

But I guess until then, you CAN have your cake and eat it too.

Rebecca

Comments

  1.  Amy Cox says:

    Are you kidding me? Easy???? Any traces of gluten in ANYTHING makes me sick for weeks! When I found out I had Celiac Disease I was 31 years old. I was mysteriously ill for my entire life before. Hospitalizations, tests, broken bones, organ damage, and even Psych treatment when people could not find what was wrong. I had Osteoporosis from not absorbing Calcium properly in my bones, also all of my teeth are damaged. The Calcium that did not make it to my bones and teeth had collected in the arteries of my kidneys and caused them to almost fail. I have been in terribly painful treatment for the calcification of my kidneys FOR YEARS since. I also had high risk pregnancies and two of the three of my kids have food allergies (no coincidence that kid number three, the one I was gluten free during the pregnancy, is my healthiest with no allergies). This is of course only secondary to the horrid damage to my intestines. I have to work very hard to make sure I absorb vitamins. Eat more veggies? I would LOVE to! I love veggies. Unfortunately when your Gastrointestinal Tract is damaged, raw veggies are not easy to eat. And when you cook them the vitamin content is lowered so you have to eat more. Also, “you shouldn’t be eating your makeup”. Did you pay attention to your Science classes in school??? Read about the skin and how we absorb what we put on it. That sentence alone just shows your unbelievable ignorance. Seriously, basic human anatomy. Pick up a book in the children’s section if the big words confuse you. Read about the intestines and the skin and how we absorb vitamins. Pay special attention to how the intestines are like layers of screens with small holes for vitamins to go into our bodies AND IF INFLAMED…….they don’t. They go to waste and if your kidneys don’t work well…..they stick inside of them. I could go on and on. But the last thing I want to say is, writing an article in an attempt to put down people with a medical condition that you CLEARLY have not even researched is a despicable way to live. And it is one of the biggest problems with this country. Good luck with life! You will attract great people with that kind of attitude! I prefer positive people who offer help and ones who, when they don’t understand something, they don’t assume they do and judge.

     

  2.  Lisa says:

    This makes me insanely mad! She has not a clue what it’s like and people who just eat gf for the fad don’t either! Unless you are one of the people who gets ridiculously sick for a week and have to miss work, school etc you have no idea. When a cute guy buys you a drink at the bar and you have to ask what’s in it because you don’t want to be sick all night and they look at you like a freak. Or when you go to a restaurant and the waitress asks you “gluten what?” Until you have lived the life of a true celiac then you have NO idea how hard it is. And you go ahead and eat vegetables from the time your 15 until you die, then we’ll talk.

     

  3.  McKenna says:

    Thank you for this. I have been recently diagonosed with Celiac. While some of my family has been supportive and understanding, not all have. I am constantly being told that a little won’t hurt me… Although I am new, I am doing fairly well and don’t really want to take chances, I know a slip up will happen from time to time, but I don’t need my family, friends and co-workers thinking a little won’t hurt or that this isn’t really a problem.

     

  4.  Alexandra Berger says:

    Thank you, Rebecca.
    I’ve had celiacs since i was 3, but didn’t really know about it until i was 26, about 4 years ago. fortunately, most people in my life are very supportive of my “diet” and try to accommodate me as best they can. It is so important to have people talking about our side of the story and the struggles we face everyday. Thank you for your work to broaden people’s understanding of eating gluten-free.
    Alex

     

  5.  Suzanne says:

    This is your very best post. Ever. Thank you

     

  6.  jeanne says:

    How is it that a writer who is clearly clueless can get published. Her arogance and lack of knowledge is pathetic. The funny thing is, it seems to me that she inadvertently made a point she didn’t realize she was making….why is it “special” that meat & potato chips & juice needed to be labeled gluten-free? Um, because too many of these products that should be – often aren’t. It’s ridiculous how food manufacturers use wheat/gluten when its not necessary – its in everything (because of its addictive properties perhaps?). This is torture for those of us living with celiac! I don’t buy the gf fad-diet-thing, there is nothing cool about gf lifestyle. But I do believe the over-use of wheat/gluten is unnatural & causing a problem for countless others who are finding they can’t tolerate gluten – or others, like moms I know who are going gluten-free because their kids are suffering with unexplained health conditions that seem to respond to a gf diet (such as eczema, adhd, migraines, other autoimmune disorders, etc).

     

  7.  Dana Baardsen, Author says:

    Hi Rebecca, I’m including a response to your response! I’ve never done that before, but since you have used a corner of your website to address my article, I figured I would do the same to shed some light on these issues. I think it’s important. Thank you.

    http://danaelisebaardsen.com/5/post/2013/03/gluten-free-a-response.html

    Readers: This is a response to an upset blogger who read one of my fad-diet critiques on iVillage.com. She took the time to blog how she felt about my article on her website, so I am taking the time to kindly answer questions she raised and also provide some insight into who I am as a young journalist.

    Hi Rebecca from Pretty Little Celiac,

    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my article. I have taken the time to read and respond to yours. I hope you read my response with an open, grudge-free mind, as my writing has really been taken out of context. I know several other readers will take my article out of context as well, so thank you for giving me the opportunity to reply.

    My relationship with celiac disease:

    I do not live gluten-free, nor do I medically have to. I have studied Nutrition and Food Science for four years (this May I obtain my degree) and of course have studied the mechanisms of celiac disease. Not only is it a frustrating lifestyle to adhere to, but also a very serious medical condition. As stated in my article, “Gluten-intolerance (or celiac disease) is a legitimate medical condition and frustrating condition that irritates the small intestine and causes symptoms which range from diarrhea to nutrient malabsorption.” ßThough it is MUCH more than that.

    My response to my article and yours:

    This article posted on iVillage.com was to get people talking about certain studies recently conducted, which brought awareness to the fact that there is a much greater amount of people living gluten-free, compared to the amount of people who are medically diagnosed. In addition, companies may be taking advantage of the fact that there is a market for gluten-free foods.

    When large websites, like iVillage create content, the ideas are run through teams of editors and then assigned to writers, like myself. My content is then filtered through my top editors and then produced onto the website.

    This topic was assigned to me, as was the layout of addressing certain “gluten-free” products, which wouldn’t make sense for a NON-CELIAC to invest in. So of course, for someone who has celiac disease these products are great…but in the context that there are several individuals investing in gluten-free when they don’t necessarily have to, they may need to just make better food choices in general.

    Let me just give you an example of how these things work. I had inserted a line, which read, “So before letting the green flow out of your pocket, let it flow onto your plate (in the form of fresh veggies) and see how your body responds, before investing in a full-fledged gluten-free diet plan.”

    ^This line appeared right before the listing of gluten-free products, which a non-celiac may not benefit from investing in if it’s just processed foods in general which are making them feel down.

    However, one of my top-editors removed that line and inserted: “Here are some of the more ridiculous gluten-free products we found — mainly because most of them barely had detectable traces of gluten in them to begin with — if at all. Seriously, just eat more veggies:”

    I am responsible for this line, as it is under my name and so I am apologizing for the part of your response where you reference this line and include, “But then she went into a few sentences about gluten-free that really upset me.”

    I do not like upsetting anyone. EVER! If you read any blog post directly posted by me…it is always written with knowledge, love, and health in mind. I work with editors who edit like this too! However, especially for media-driven websites, my posts are given a certain personality. My diet-critic posts on iVillage tend to be written with research, but also with opinion, and sarcasm…which is normally turned up a notch (or few) by top-editors. I know it is bound to make people ANGRY.

    For example, I wrote an article regarding a diet, which originated in Britain. While I was brainstorming different words to describe a British individual, the term “Brits” popped into my head. Before I used it, I researched it and found that it can actually be considered racist, so I purposely didn’t include it. However, after the article was filtered through my editors, the term was inserted and there were people commenting how I’m borderline racist. The worst feeling ever!

    I work for iVillage though. If I said writing diet-critiques was my favorite thing to do, I’d be lying! I don’t like to criticize anyone, but I handle the assignment to the best of my ability. For iVillage, I’ve written lovely beauty and health articles, which I treasure… and I also work for iVillage by producing other writer’s content onto the site. I never turn down an assignment they give me, because I value my position there. Overall, iVillage is an amazing resource for women.

    I am sorry you have struggled with celiac disease, and you feel there are OTHER writers out there who ignorantly bash the condition. That’s unfair. You are doing a great service with your website by spreading knowledge about celiac disease.

    As far as your challenge is concerned: I have challenged myself with restricted food-choices, like vegetarianism for one year after eating meat my whole life, but never would I subject myself to gluten-free living if I didn’t have to. I know it’s hard. But believe me, I am a journalist at heart, and if any editor ever asked me to live gluten-free for 30 days and document it, I would! I’ve pitched to do it with a juice-only diet for 30 days over a year ago, but the interest wasn’t high enough. That’s the type of reporting I would really love to do.

    I’ve heard of those with celiac disease who like that gluten-free is gaining awareness, because it offers more food choices for them. I’ve also heard others with celiac disease who can’t stand that the trend has gained popularity because it is making their products more expensive, and restaurants don’t take it as seriously because they just want to fit into the “trend”…so some people feel they are more likely to get sick eating out from contamination.

    One more note I’ve made for you: You addressed my article, “Why the Billion-Dollar Gluten-free Industry is Secretly Laughing at All of Us,” and you continue to share, “I was intrigued. Were these new marketing techniques being used? Are there concerns with labeling I need to know about? Nope. None of these things were even addressed in the article by Dana Baaardsen from iVillage.com”

    The FDA better not be mislabeling gluten-free! If it is labeled gluten-free, it SHOULD be. I have read about factories/companies producing foods with and without gluten within the same factory, but fears of cross-contamination shouldn’t rest within the realms of labeling. That fear, as you know, should stick to eating out at restaurants. (Right now, my labeling fears reside with GMO and the new politics regarding Monsanto…ugh!).

    But to follow up with you, (within the limited time) I was given to write the article, I interviewed a Food Scientist about the cost of gluten-free foods. (This was also cut by my top-editors)

    An excerpt from my first submission:

    Food Scientist, Dr. John Specchio adds, “Costs of gluten-free foods are higher than regular food products because there is a demand for it.” He continues, “If something is popular, there will be a market for it, which is why they can increase the costs on those products. In addition to that, the food product needs to be reformulated, since they are removing the Gluten. There is a lot of research that goes into creating a product which meets public demand… that costs money too.”

    Discussing Dr. Specchio’s insight on gluten-free food pricing, was to draw light to the fact that these foods tend to be pricier…so if you’re not medically diagnosed, why subject yourself to that?

    I can tell by your response, you had written and posted it with frustration and anger, and I never meant to stimulate that reaction within my readers. The least I could do was offer you (and others) a little insight into who I am, where I come from as a human being and freelancer, the possibility that a brain may be floating around somewhere in my skull, and to remind you why these articles are produced in such a way and that a lot of planning and editing actually goes into them.

    What have I done for the gluten-free community?

    Last year, I worked with a pizzeria in New Jersey to use and continue using gluten free pizza crust and offer gluten-free pasta (even though it’s more expensive and the chefs had a hard time because it takes longer to cook than regular pasta!)

    I also run a women’s health newsletter, and we are working on a gluten-free awareness newsletter right now, and I have run gluten-free awareness articles in the past under that newsletter, all authored by a gluten-free writer.

    If I ever do a gluten-free challenge, you will be the first to know.

    With love,

    Dana

     

  8.  Jess says:

    Here is my response to Dana which iVillage would not let me post:
    “You have done a huge disservice to the 6-8% of American with non celiac gluten sensitivity, in addition to the 1% of us who have Celiac Disease. Although you quote the Univ. of Chicago Center for Celiac Disease’s website, there have been several studies in the last 2 yrs showing that the incidence of non celiac gluten sensitivity is higher than 2-3% (check out Dr. Fasano on http://www.pubmed.gov). There are many with gluten sensitivity, who, due to activation of the innate immune system, have severe reactions to traces of gluten (including a few of my own family members). In addition, it was difficult not to take offense to your comment regarding gluten free cosmetics. Any mother of a child with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity needs to be extremely careful that her lipstick is gluten free.”
    Jess recently posted…Sun Dogs, Celiac, and GratitudeMy Profile

     

  9.  Becky says:

    The post in iVillage is certainly a Passive Aggressive buck shot to the Gluten-free community. The key identifies are as follows:
    1. Address the intended audience as if you have no clue who they might be
    Title suggests the food industry while the article addresses those with celiac’s disease/ gluten intolerant and those who choose to follow this diet without any medical indication of having this condition. The article’s lack of focus jumps from one view point to another leaving the reader with little information.
    2. Use of anthropomorphism
    “Gluten, the protein-complex mainly found in wheat products, has become a recent villain”
    “deflecting our ailments on to poor ol’ gluten”
    3. Stating the obvious
    “We are not discounting that.” This refers to the legitimate medical condition to which the article gives permission for those inflicted to pursue a gluten-free diet.
    4. Suggest highly improbable consequences
    “When someone cuts out “gluten-containing” foods, they experience feeling cleaner, more energized and healthier…but was it really the gluten that was getting them down?” Yes, it is.
    “You were not really eating sausages if your sausages had gluten in them” I suggest you read the labels of the foods you eat and research the different ways gluten is labeled.
    “You shouldn’t be eating your makeup, anyway.” Gluten in eye makeup causes immediate tears and welts after I’ve accidentally used the wrong brand.
    5. Suggests a solution to the problem that patronizes the reader
    “So why in the world would a non-celiac subject themselves to such torture?” Every medical test I’ve had for celiac’s disease has been negative. Yet, on a gluten-free diet I thrive.
    “people keep getting hoodwinked” You suggest consumers are subject to media hype and can not make decisions for food.
    “Seriously, just eat more veggies”

    If the iVillage editors deleted, substituted segments of your article, then may I suggest you post your original article on your website to clear up any misunderstandings towards you. As it stands, this article is inflammatory aimed to ‘anger’ the audience to which you have agreed to participate.

     

  10.  Becky says:

    The post in iVillage is certainly a Passive Aggressive buck shot to the Gluten-free community. The key identifies are as follows:
    1. Address the intended audience as if you have no clue who they might be
    Title suggests the food industry while the article addresses those with celiac’s disease/ gluten intolerant and those who choose to follow this diet without any medical indication of having this condition. The article’s lack of focus jumps from one view point to another leaving the reader with little information.
    2. Use of anthropomorphism
    “Gluten, the protein-complex mainly found in wheat products, has become a recent villain”
    “deflecting our ailments on to poor ol’ gluten”
    3. Stating the obvious
    “We are not discounting that.” This refers to the legitimate medical condition to which the article gives permission for those inflicted to pursue a gluten-free diet.
    4. Suggest highly improbable consequences
    “When someone cuts out “gluten-containing” foods, they experience feeling cleaner, more energized and healthier…but was it really the gluten that was getting them down?” Yes, it is.
    “You were not really eating sausages if your sausages had gluten in them” I suggest you read the labels of the foods you eat and research the different ways gluten is labeled.
    “You shouldn’t be eating your makeup, anyway.” Gluten in eye makeup causes immediate tears and welts after I’ve accidentally used the wrong brand.
    5. Suggests a solution to the problem that patronizes the reader
    “So why in the world would a non-celiac subject themselves to such torture?” Every medical test I’ve had for celiac’s disease has been negative. Yet, on a gluten-free diet I thrive.
    “people keep getting hoodwinked” You suggest consumers are subject to media hype and can not make decisions for food.
    “Seriously, just eat more veggies”

    If the iVillage editors deleted, substituted segments of your article, then may I suggest you post your original article on your website to clear up any misunderstandings towards you. As it stands, this article is inflammatory aimed to ‘anger’ the audience to which you have agreed to participate.

     

  11.  Dave says:

    Easy-yeah sure . when the family stops at krispy kreme for a few and you just watch or vistiing family in a small town usa. cant really eat out with others must prepare , bring or ???

     

  12.  Alex Kinsella says:

    I do a lot of event planning for my job. Since my diagnosis, I make sure to have the caterers include gluten free food and beverage options – not just for myself, but for other celiacs too. Makes a world of difference.

     

 

 

Why is Clean Eating so Dirty?

Clean Eating Shouldn’t feel so Dirty.
Clean Eating Shouldn’t feel so Dirty.

Why has clean eating become such a dirty topic of conversation?

I started this blog to take other people on the journey with me and not only share my experiences with you but to learn from others as time goes by. I make an effort to not push my beliefs or eating habits on anyone else. You will never find me telling someone to go gluten free or skip wheat but I have made suggestions and of course I’m always here to help those that are interested in learning more. It does however frustrate me when I’m bombarded with questions about how I live only to have people question what I’m doing or give me negative feedback.

It seems to me that the media has glorified fad diets and decided to lump gluten-free into the mix. It doesn’t help that celebrities say they are eating gluten-free and then are seen at a burger joint eating a giant glutenous sandwich. Doesn’t that just drive you crazy?

I just saw an article (I can’t remember so I apologize) that said 29% of people are trying to eliminate gluten from their diets. But why are these people try to eliminate it? It was interesting to have people comment on that when I tweeted it with responses of people that “try” but get to cheat with gluten. For those of us with gluten related health problems, that’s a dream for us. (or is it?) When I see articles like this, I can’t help but think the same few things.

1. It is a constant reminder of the lack of education regarding gluten related health problems in this country.
2. I remember how hard it was for me to get started on that journey.
3. I realize that the term “gluten-free” has developed into a negative lifestyle choice despite the health benefits for so many of us that eat gluten free.

Clean eating, paleo, whole foods, gluten-free, organic, grain free, grass fed and wild seafood are all completely normal terms for our household. But for millions of us they are sources of discontent, frustration and confusion. We feel we can’t go out to eat and be “normal” because we eat this way. We feel pushed out of our social groups because our friends decide its too difficult to go out anymore with us because of our new “diet.” What is preventing us from being comfortable with our new lifestyle to educate others and be proud and strong when in public?

How is it possible our society turned something so wholesome into a negative choice?

How is it possible that everyone is comfortable talking about cigarettes, sugar, soda, medications and other harmful things yet when you start talking about healthy things others get uncomfortable?

I hate that people feel uncomfortable discussing health living with others because it always ends up in an argument. We shouldn’t be led to believe that fast food and junk processed foods are “healthy” for us because these companies have a lot of money for marketing. It’s become a culture that if it’s in the grocery store, it’s ok to eat. Which, many of us have come to realize it is most certainly not. Last time I checked, red coloring number 5 wasn’t a food group or natural anything and some of the ingredients should be in household products, not in our belly.

Please don’t be afraid to speak the truth about food. I’m not saying to go around and knock on your neighbors doors to tell them to put down the Fritos, but I am saying educating others is the only way we are going to get our food costs down and awareness for healthy eating!

Clean eating shouldn’t be a dirty concept or a filthy term yet so  many of us are afraid to educated others because we don’t want to be seen as the crazy healthy person!

A love letter to my dreamy husband Aaron – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is Valentine’s Day and I spent last night making Aaron a delicious gluten free meal that was completely different for us and outside the box. You see my husband is a simple man. And not stupid simple but basic simple. He just wants the basics to live debt free (which will never happen because I owe my life to the student loan industry), well fed, well rested and happy. He doesn’t need or want fancy things or to go on fancy trips to make him happy. I make him happy. He makes me happy. It’s amazing how time, life events and maturity can make life that simple.

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Valentine’s Day Roses dipped in Gold so they would last forever.

When I had a full time job making a good salary, I loved buying things. Nice and expensive things. I had Coach bags, designer clothes and shoes and we went on vacation a lot. But in life priority changes and situations change making you adapt or struggle. While I loved having a steady paycheck, I stopped loving my job. I was miserable and unhappy. Looking for ways to go out on my own. Aaron was and is my number one cheerleader. It’s funny how when the money went away, so did my desire to buy stuff all the time. Opening a business of my own was what I wanted to do and I couldn’t do the things we did before. We both made sacrifices for my business and Aaron did it with open arms (ok well with a few battles here and there).

I’m not going to say our life is perfect because it’s not. In the past 5.5 years of marriage we’ve certainly been tested. There have been fights, nights slept on the couch, trips to my mom’s house (alone), yelling, swearing but there have been many more times of laughter, love and joy. To say Aaron is my soul mate would be cliche but true. He makes me want to be a better person and perform at the top of my game. He also eats gluten free with me and makes me gluten free foods without complaints. I’d say that’s love right there…

In the past year and a half, I opened Bexa Body Fitness, was diagnosed with celiac disease, hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, a latex allergy, endometriosis and starting Pretty Little Celiac. It’s certainly been quite the journey. Aaron has always been there. I never had to question his love, dedication or happiness in our marriage. We accept each other for our strengths and flaws but I obviously have fewer flaws! (ha jk I’m a hot mess)

He tried acupuncture with me even though he never has anything wrong.
He tried acupuncture with me even though he never has anything wrong.

So for this Valentine’s Day, I listened to him and tried to make him a great dinner. Aaron usually cooks for us every night so I think he enjoyed coming home to a delicious dinner and gluten free desserts! Although whenever I make dinner it usually starts with , “Now I’m not so sure about this, I just made it up.” He did end up doing the rest of the dishes.

To my dearest Aaron:

You are the love of my life, my best friend and partner in crime. I couldn’t imagine my life without you. The last 8 years have been such a growing experience and I’m glad we could grow together. I really can’t wait to see what the next 50 years have in store for us, but I’m sure it’s going to be awesome. Now, let’s see if you actually read my blog.

I love you,

Your Pretty Little Wife

 

 

 

Why gluten-free menus are worthless…

…because very few restaurants educate their staff on gluten and how to protect customers.

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I’d like to say I’ve mastered the art of eating out with celiac disease but that would be a huge lie. I could say I’ve mastered the ability to order my meal but certainly not of educating each and every server I encounter.

We are all too familiar with bad restaurants, especially when it comes to gluten-free. The reviews are all over the internet and we keep speaking out but it seems no one is listening.

A while ago, I wrote a post about successfully eating out gluten-free but the more I experience it, the more I realize we have no control over what we actually eat in a restaurant. You see the reality is some servers will really care about you, take their time with you and make sure you have an amazing meal. But, even a server with the best intentions forgets things and gets busy leaving us with a stomach ache.

The only true way to stay  completely gluten-free is to make all your own meals, all the time. Sounds great right?

We can’t even get companies and the government to regulate ingredients labels so we know what we are consuming, why would we think the restaurant business cares about gluten? And why would we expect them to educate their staff on gluten related issues, even when they offer a gluten-free menu.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – higher end restaurants with chefs not cooks are going to be your best bet. Those places care about bad reviews and bad experiences. Their servers typically make more money and provider a higher quality of service. Please don’t think I’m stereotyping cheap restaurants because I’m sure in our world out there some little chains really know what they are doing and get it right, but the girl working at Taco Hut or The Burger Shack making $7.50/hour are less likely to care about gluten.

I mean how many times have you looked up a place to eat online, selected your option only to get there and find out they don’t carry half the items on the gluten-free menu posted by corporate online?

Or how many times have you eaten out only to have food brought out still with croutons, breadcrumbs or something else incorrect?

Or how many times have you eaten off the gluten-free menu only to poop your pants and have a migraine for 3 days?

It happens. It happens probably more often than we think. But, until the government and FDA take gluten seriously, we can’t expect to be treated the same as someone with a nut allergy.

So, what we can do about this?

Advocate for food label changes. Educate ourselves about menus prior to going to restaurants. Read reviews online to see if people have difficult experiences there. Write reviews about our experiences both positive and negative. Don’t beat yourself up if you get sick after eating out. Learn to cook more gluten free meals at home. And lastly, remember you aren’t the only one going through this….

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Happy Birthday Pretty Little Celiac (me)!

In any sense of the word, I am a true Capricorn. My birthday is 12/30 and I was born on 12:30pm. This year, I will turn 31 along with all these other numbers. I’ve just been searching for a sign or some kind of significance to this to help guide me into my 30′s. Unlike many other people, I am thrilled to enter my 30′s. My life every year has been exponentially better than the last and I want to continue this trend into the future. Another year, Another milestone will be met.

Unfavorable Capricorn Characteristics

Imagine my surprise when I went into a little shop in Gahanna called Zodiac and met the owner Jennifer Lopez (that’s her real name). She provided me with my Zodiac Star Chart and blew me away. I’m a firm believer in understanding and recognizing your strengths to use them to the best of your ability. Seek jobs that thrive on your strengths and you will never be unhappy.

Here are some of my strongest qualities and personality information that she shared with me:

“Rising Sign    is in    18 Degrees    Aries
You are a free spirit and you must be first at everything you do. Very energetic, self-assertive and active, things must be done your way. You want to do everything full-tilt, 100 miles per hour! A great competitor, but a poor cooperator — you must learn how to lose more gracefully. Very self-confident, ambitious and passionate, you radiate positive energy. You are blunt and direct, but at times unfeeling and tactless, especially if anyone offers you any resistance. You fight for your beliefs, but your tendency to act first and think later often causes you much grief.

Sun is in    08 Degrees    Capricorn
Extremely serious and mature, you are capable of accepting responsibilities and do so willingly. Others expect you to be dutiful as a matter of course. You tend to get angry when people get rewards after not having worked anywhere near as hard as you. You are goal-oriented and an achiever by nature — you’re a hard worker and are justifiably proud of the tangible results of your efforts. You tend to have “tunnel-vision” — this allows you to block out extraneous matters that might distract others and to concentrate totally on the matter at hand. You are known for being totally persistent, tenacious and tireless in reaching your goals.”

The Wonderful Capricorn Stuff!

There are many books out there you can get from the library or the bookstore about strengths. Strengths Finder 2.0 is a great book to use to find out what qualities are your best and how to incorporate them into your every day lives.

Here are 2 great ideas on how to find out what your strengths are without even reading a book!

1. Ask your friends and family – they know you better than anyone and would hopefully give you great tips on what you are great at and how you can maximize them!

2. Ask yourself what you really enjoy doing – make a list of things you like doing and then try to break them down into reasons why. This should be a pretty difficult task but if you take the time to do it correctly, you will quickly be able to learn about yourself. Here is an example of mine – I really enjoy planning events. I never really thought about why until a few years ago. I am great at multitasking, organizing, following up on leads, assigning projects and really enjoy seeing the final product. These are all skills I am not using primarily in my role as an entrepreneur.

I hope these help you in your pursuit of happiness. They sure did help me find my way out of a job I disliked and into a career that is right up my alley. I’ve never been happier right now!