Today I recorded a podcast and discussed several issues regarding celiac disease and your sex life. It’s mature content but is not explicit. I don’t go into details about my own sex life, but I do offer tips from my own life to help you feel close to your partner again.
It’s something that many women struggle with and is not just a factor associated with celiac disease. However, having a chronic disease makes feeling close to people difficult because it involves trust and communication above and beyond any physical intimacy. This makes dating and finding a new partner extremely difficult. There are people out there that struggle with their current partner and feelings of guilt, frustration etc. when it comes to your sex life.
I talk about things to consider before rushing to celiac disease and gluten to blame for your lack of sexual desire.
There are tips on how to make it better for both of you and the importance of learning to compromise.
Hopefully, this podcast will allow you to think about the how’s and why’s of a slow sex drive and give you inspiration to try my tips to feel close to your partner without the negative feelings.
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.
Enjoying the roasted savory sweetness that makes up sweet potato fries isn’t a very difficult task to handle. I love them for any meal of the day and even the occasional snack! Sweet potatoes are downright awesome for you and they can complement almost any meal perfectly.
Plus sweet potato fries are naturally gluten-free and better for you than traditional white potato fries. As a result, they are perfect for a healthy, low-sugar, gluten-free and even paleo diet. This recipe is one of many that’s approved for clients that do my Gluten-Free Sugar Cleanse.What makes my recipe different from others out there is that I use a variety of spicing combos. I’ll share with you my five favorite options and each has no more than 5 ingredients. Make sure that the spices you choose are gluten-free (Frontier Natural Spices are always gluten-free) and have fun!
There are two tricks to cooking fries in your oven. The first is to cut your ‘fries’ to about the same size. Small fries will cook way too fast (and then burn) while the larger, beefy looking fries will stay soggy. Do your best to keep them relatively the same.The second trick is to lay all the fries out in one layer. Don’t pile them or they won’t cook correctly.Here’s the ‘thing’ with spicing… there’s no magic bullet for amounts of how much to use. I like to make sure that everything is evenly coated with both oil and the spices. I don’t worry so much about the salt because you can always add more salt to taste once they’re done baking. Plus no sweet potato is ever the same size, so the amount of fries you’ll get will vary. That’s why I’ll generally do about 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil, if you can tolerate it) and then add a nice light coating of spice. Combine them well. If the fries aren’t evenly coated with oil, they’ll dry out and burn. So add a bit more to the bowl and stir if needed.
Remember… you can always add more, but it’s difficult to take back too much spice. I don’t say this to scare you off if you’re someone who needs an exact roadmap to follow for cooking, however even with an exact amount, you could still find the flavor overpowering. That’s why I’ve taken photos (see above and click to enlarge the tray image) and you can get a sense from looking at them how yours should look!
White Pepper & Sea Salt
Chili Powder & Sea Salt
Dried Rosemary & Sea Salt
Garlic powder, Black Pepper & Sea Salt
Smoked Paprika & Sea Salt
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato(s), peeled & cut into 3″ long sticks
Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Spices (pick from list above)
Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Cover at least 1 baking sheet with foil (if you need more, then cover them as well since piling fries will not get you the results you’re hoping for).
Add your cut sweet potato fries into a mixing bowl. Start by adding about 1 tbsp of oil. Sprinkle a few pinches of salt and add a light, but even sprinkle of your spices of choice. Combine well making sure that the sweet potatoes are coated (they will dry out if you don’t). If you feel that you want more spice, add a bit more and mix again. Repeat this until everything is lightly coated to your desire. (See my photo above for how much my fries were spiced before going in the oven)
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes and then flip fries over. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until fries are nicely browned or are the consistency you like. Keep in mind that you won’t get that crisp “out of the fryer” feel that regular processed white potato fries get.
Also, you can save them in the fridge, but they will be more soggy at that point if you don’t mind.
Jennifer Fugo is the founder of Gluten Free School, a website dedicated to teaching gluten-sensitive individuals commonsense, simple and powerful steps to get healthy. She’s a certified Health Coach named a “Gluten Free Guru” by Philadelphia Magazine who co-hosts the popular “Gluten-Free Sugar Cleanse” that teaches gluten-free folks how to kick their sugar addiction, regain control of their diet and feel awesome again.
Jennifer is sought after speaker and expert for news contributions who has been featured on Yahoo! News, eHow, CNN, and Philadelphia Magazine.
Well, I’m off to Hilton Head on vacation and have some wonderful guest posts lined up for you this week while I’m gone. The first comes from Tiffany Hinton with her fabulous gluten and dairy free ice cream sandwiches!
Gluten and Dairy Free Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe Guest Post
Tiffany Hinton bio –
Tiffany Hinton is a Super Mom, Business Owner, Best Selling Author, and Gluten-free lifestyle expert! Tiffany started writing several years ago, while going through treatments for infertility. Tiffany learned in 2009 she was gluten intolerant along with being lactose intolerant, turning her life up side down. Not know where to start and pre-made gluten-free items being too pricey. She started to experiment and explore cooking and baking; still wanting family favors to eat. With research and practice Tiffany can now turn any desirable recipe into gluten and dairy free, without sacrificing the taste.
Do you remember those hot summer days as a child where an ice cream sandwich brought the taste of chocolate and cold ice cream in an easy to hold treat…
This was the first time my girls got to experience this wonderful memory from my childhood. As a Mom with 2 little girls who have gluten allergies and one who can not have dairy, it is always an adventure.
Nummy, Nummy and Franki’s new word tasty! The repeated request for chocolate and I knew these were a huge hit.
To make your own you will need the Brownie Bite Recipe from Gluten Free Mom Certified and the Dairy Free Ice Cream from Summer Thyme. (both are fabulous cookbooks of mine)
Since my diagnosis of Endometriosis and undergoing a laparoscopy in January 2013, I’ve struggled with managing my endometriosis without the help of any medicine. I’m finding that my cramps are unbearable for 2 days of the month and I’m spending a whole week miserable with PMS symptoms.
My doctor suggested I go back on birth control because that is shown to help symptoms of endometriosis. Before trying to have a baby in 2011, I’d been on the Nuva Ring for almost 9 years. I never had any problems with it and liked not having to worry about taking a pill each day.
I decided to go back on the Nuva Ring to help control my endo. Well, 1 month later and I’m throwing in the towel.
Let me tell you why…
I didn’t put 2 and 2 together until last week but I’m fairly certain all of the symptoms I’ve had for the past month relate directly to the Nuva Ring. Obviously, with all my other issues from food, these could be related to some new food intolerance but the timing of when I started using the ring and when the symptoms started is just too coincidental.
For 4 days after insertion, I suffered from migraines. I was on a trip with my mother and continually popped Excedrine to control the pain. I was nervous because I typically only get them for 1 day at a time. The fact that it didn’t go away scared me.
The day I took the ring out, I enjoyed another wonderful migraine and finally the heaviest day of my monthly cycle came with a bang and a migraine that sent me to urgent care to get a shots in my butt. I’d never had a migraine in my right temple and it worried me that this one came with serious vomiting. I even had to do it outside of the urgent care with people walking by to go to the grocery store. Certainly, not one of my classiest moments. I despise vomiting.
One of the shots was a pain-killer and the other one was phenergen for nausea.
A few days before I took the ring out, I developed major anxiety and started having panic attacks for no reason. I spent a whole night crying in our kitchen over nothing and laying in bed with my husband sobbing. Eventually I started mumbling something about the word “gluten” and how much I was sick of hearing about it. I even pulled out some Buspar (anti-anxiety) from last year to help calm my nerves.
My usually normal complexion quickly filled with pimples and cysts on my face like a 14-year-old boy and I managed to gain 10 more pounds in just under 4 weeks. This puts my post celiac weight gain at 30 pounds instead of the 20 I already was frustrated with before going on the ring.
I’ve had the ring out for a week now and all of my anxiety is gone. No more panic attacks. I lost 3 pounds. My face is starting to heal and I hopefully am done with these headaches. I’m going to a new doctor in about 6 weeks so I’m going to track my symptoms and anything else that happens to see if they occur without being on the Ring.
It’s interesting there are also class action lawsuits on the Ring and CBS News even has an article about the potential fatal dangers of this drug. As with any drug, there are always risks but when they start piling up, that’s when maybe it’s needs a second look.
So, let’s recap –
In the first month of going on the Nuva Ring I had the following happen:
10 pound weight gain
Cysts and pimples all over my face
I made an appointment with a new doctor in just a few weeks and decided to cease using the Nuva Ring. My biggest concern is wondering why this time around I’ve seen such negative side effects when prior experience showed my body responded very well to the Ring. Weird.
I’ll post my progress over the next few weeks and keep you updated after I go to my new doctor. I hope he will have some answers for me! But I would love to hear from you, if you are comfortable sharing…
Have you experienced anything like this with the Ring?
What to do when you have a negative gluten free dining experience?
I travel frequently and love to try new places, despite living a gluten-free life. I put my health in the hands of strangers all the time but it never gets easier. The language barriers seem to be one of the hardest situations I encounter when explaining that I can’t consume gluten.
But through all the experiences, some are wonderful, positive and delicious and others leave little to be desired.
So, you had a bad gluten-free restaurant experience? Now what?
Anyone who lives a gluten-free lifestyle has survived a less than enjoyable experience in a dining establishment. Whether you deal with an agitated waiter or an uneducated kitchen staff, the experience still leaves a salty taste in your mouth. No one wants to go out to eat and have a great time, only to leave there a feel a gluten poisoning coming on to ruin the next few days of your week.
Most recently I entered into a dispute with a manager from a place I’ve eaten at before and received wonderful service from the girls working there, over their gluten-free menu. He told me it didn’t exist and when I asked for the orange menu from behind the bar with the gluten filled items scratched out on it, he told me the menu was exactly the same as the regular one. No kidding, I know it’s the same, but this one very clearly has it blacked out the items they can’t make safe for me and giant warnings about their chips not cooked in a dedicated fryer. He literally argued with me for 5 minutes about it before I just sat down and talked to my server about it.
I’ve been poisoned before and had a bad experience. Here are my tips on how to handle an unpleasant gluten-free restaurant experience.
Try not to fly into an immediate rage or hysterics. While certainly you are emotional and for all the right reasons, now isn’t the time to go into antics. Compose yourself and ask to speak to the manager.
Hopefully, the manager will offer to make it right or at least take care of your bill since they made you sick and it will end with them. But, sometimes you need to take it up the chain. One time I suffered from a horrible experience at an Asian themed restaurant where they served me an entire plate of regular sauced food and I was sick immediately. I barely made it out of there without changing my pants. The manager was less than sympathetic and assured me I received the correct meal. Clearly by my dash to the restroom before I even finished eating was a sign he didn’t know what he was talking about. I had no choice but to take it up a level.
I wrote an email to the corporate office of the restaurant. I explained the situation in a calm, descriptive manner. When they didn’t respond within 48 hours, I wrote a blog post about my experience.
The blog post was shared with their Facebook and Twitter pages and sure enough within 12 hours of the post, I received a message from them and spoke with their communications director who offered me a gift card in exchange for my experience.
Then I wrote a review on Yelp and copied it to other sites with the corrected information about how they made the situation better and finally responded to the problem.
I am NEVER quick to write a bad review. I believe the business has the right to remedy the situation prior to it escalating to a negative review or blog post. When I write the review, I will mention the problem and then clearly explain how they decided to make the situation better.
If the manager and/or owner fail to respond to my attempts to get them to remedy the situation, then I will make it known very publicly about the situation and my attempts to offer them the opportunity to make things better.
Have I gone back to a restaurant after having a negative experience? Yes. But, if I have a problem on the second time, I can tell you it will be my last time eating there.
There are also times where I’ve gone to places that I loved because I always felt safe and they failed me. It happens everywhere and we need to always have our guard up.
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!
Self doubt. I’m not immune to it. Some days it completely fills my thoughts.
Tackling a major project can seem so difficult. The goal looks so far in the distance and completely out of reach. It feels like you are never going to get to where you want to go. I started writing my book about 2 months ago and finally submitted it to my editor today!
Talk about time-consuming and feeling like you are never going to get something done. I’m celebrating at the park where I’ve been writing my book for the last few weeks and just enjoying blogging without feeling guilty for not allocating this time to writing my book. I apologize for the sporadic blog posts the last 2 months, but when you take on the project of writing 60,000 words for a book, its tough to keep going for a blog post. But, I didn’t forget about you, I promise!
When I took on this book writing project, I knew it was going to be difficult. It was doing to be hard. I went deep into my own life to share my rock bottom stories with you and how I moved on to see another day. A better, more positive day. I can’t wait to get this book to print!
Everything I read said “write every day.” And, I did. Even if it was 300 words, I added to my book every. single. day. The days added up and so did the words. I submitted the book a week later than planned. But had I turned it in last week, I would have been sub par at best. I needed more days and more time to fine tune it. I’m so glad I took that time. Although it’s just my rough draft, I’m happy with the first result.
I honestly doubted myself the entire way through this process.
Could I write this book?
Who will read this book?
I started Pretty Little Celiac with the same doubts and look where it’s grown to this day. If I gave up a year ago, we wouldn’t know each other and you wouldn’t be reading this blog! I’m writing my story to tell how I overcome adversity to live a happy and full live. I share my deepest and darkest secrets from my life to help you heal and move on – I swear, I am sharing EVERYTHING.
Make sure you sign up for my newsletter to stay up to date on the status of the book. It’s set to come out mid-October, just in time for my speaking engagement at the Food Allergy Blogger Conference in Las Vegas November 2-5.
Of course, I’m already planning my celiac book for summer 2014!
Thank you for sticking with me and sharing your stories! It pushes me to work harder and help even more than I already do
Maybe I should have called this Fauxtisserie Chicken because it tastes like it but without cooking it the same way!
I’ve been pretty bored with our options lately at home and feel a rut coming on with dinners. In order to stop it, I found some ideas for clean gluten-free dinners and I’ll post them as we go each week. The first one was a home run and I’m thrilled to tell you about it!
I wanted to get a rotisserie chicken but I think we need to open our eyes to the hormones in those chickens and fillers to make them so cheap at the grocery stores. I guess technically this is a baked chicken but it looked and tasted just like a rotisserie so I’m going to call it that!
So, I ran over to Trader Joe’s to see what they had in the store that day. I found a small, organic, young chicken which weighed about 4.5 pounds. A little big for Aaron and I but I figured it would make great left overs.
Here’s how I made it
-Small Chicken – preferable hormone free and organic
-4 Tablespoons of coconut oil
-2 Tablespoons of fresh rosemary
-2 Garlic pieces – chopped or minced
-3 Tablespoons of unsalted grassfed butter – we use Kerrygold
-2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Clean the chicken with water and then put it in an oven save dish or roasting pan. I used a clear pyrex baking dish because that’s all I have to work with.
In a small saute pan – I threw it on low heat and mixed the coconut oil, garlic, rosemary, lemon juice and butter for about 5 minutes to let the flavors mix together
Once the chicken was clean I put it in the glass pan and grabbed a marinade brush to rub the dressing all over the chicken making sure it covered the whole surface and I poured the rest inside the chicken.
Cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes per pound. My 4.5 pound chicken was done in about 75 minutes
We let it cool for about 1o minutes prior to cutting
It was served with broccolini that I baked and threw some kerrygold butter on after taking it out
I was delightfully giddy when my husband cut into the chicken and the juices streamed into the pan. I don’t care for the skin but it was crispy as you can see from the picture! It was amazing. It’s very rare I venture out to try new things like this but I must say this was a home run. Something I will make in the future. It only took about 15 minutes to get ready so the cooking time took the longest.
Just a few weeks ago, I sat in my office with Laura and told her one of the things I miss the most about living gluten-free is the ease of just being able to order a pizza. For once, like the old days, I want to call a pizza place and have them deliver a safe, gluten-free pizza. It seems just a few days after this conversation, Donatos Pizza emailed us to work with them on launching their new gluten-free pizza with Udi’s gluten-free pizza crust.
I went to a meeting at their facility here in Columbus and actually was able to meet the chef that helped create this line for them. Her son and husband have a gluten sensitivity and their family is gluten-free. She presented the idea to Donatos and they decided to run with it. Now, here is the best part…
The take and bake frozen pizza’s are on Udi’s gluten-free crust and created in a dedicated gluten-free facility. However, Donatos offers two different ways to get their gluten-free pizzas.
If you go to the store or order one for delivery, you can get one made and cooked for you in the store. However, this option is typically only good for people with a sensitivity because there is a high risk of cross contamination. I mean it is a pizza place! They can’t be sure 100% of all surface areas are perfectly clean and sanitized so they want to make sure people are aware of that before ordering.
But, what if I told you there is a second option. A better option. An option every celiac has been waiting for….
Picture this…. Your family is over for a party and everyone wants pizza. You decide to call Donatos and place an order. While you are on the phone with them, you walk over to your oven and preheat it to 425 degrees. Then you order a FROZEN gluten-free pizza – free from cross contamination and cooked in a dedicated facility and when it arrives, you pop it in the oven for 11-14 minutes and are able to enjoy a pizza night with your family? You can order a cheese or pepperoni frozen pizza! Now, because of cross contamination issues, they cannot bring you extra toppings to put on your frozen pizza, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own at your house!
Well, the wait is over folks and this is now a reality! You can now have this pizza delivered to your house and safely enjoy it with your family!!!
If you are in the frozen food section of your grocery story, look for the Sonoma Flatbreads by Donatos. They have a gluten-free line also and are just as good as the Donatos gluten free take and bakes. We found them at Raisin Rack and Kroger grocery stores but they are quickly expanding, so be sure to check your frozen food section next time you are at the grocery store. You can also contact them online and see where you can find one near you!
Donatos gave me one of each pizza to try & I must tell you they blow the competition out of the water as far as gluten-free pizza. Especially the Donatos gluten-free take and bake. If you want something that tastes like regular pizza, then this is the one for you. Make sure you check with your local Donatos before ordering to ensure they have them in stock!
If you live around central Ohio and want to try them, Donatos is sponsoring my BlogDay Party on August 29th! Click here for more information or to RSVP!