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!

Recipe: Clean and Gluten Free Rotisserie Chicken

chickendinner
Clean Rotisserie Chicken

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

Ingredients

-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

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. Cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes per pound. My 4.5 pound chicken was done in about 75 minutes
  6. We let it cool for about 1o minutes prior to cutting
  7. 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.

Gluten Free Pizza Delivery? Just Call Donatos!

Donatos Gluten Free Pizza
Donatos Gluten Free Pizza

Gluten Free Pizza Delivery? Just Call Donatos!

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!!!

Donatos Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza
Donatos Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza

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!

Sonoma Flatbread
Sonoma Flatbread

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!

Come to my BlogDay Party!!
Come to my BlogDay Party!!

 

Gluten Free Sausage and Wild Rice Recipe

Gluten Free Sausage and Wild Rice Recipe
Gluten Free Sausage and Wild Rice Recipe

Gluten Free Sausage and Wild Rice Recipe

Last night I made a random gluten-free version of a jambalaya with a few things we had in our kitchen and it turned out very clean and tasty! Who knew whole foods could taste this good and be this easy?

Ingredients:

1 cup Wild Rice
3 Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Chicken Sausage (yup they are gluten-free!)
1 cup Mushrooms
3 cloves Garlic
6  total of small red, yellow & orange Sweet Peppers
4 tablespoons grass-fed Butter
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 cups Spinach
1 can Cannellini Beans

 

How to make:

  1. Make 1 cup (dry) wild rice. I mixed it with water but you can also mix with gluten-free broth to add some additional taste.  It takes about 45 minutes to cook so make sure you get in on the stove in advance.
  2. About 30 minutes after you put on the rice – Grab a sauté pan and put 4 tablespoons of butter, 3 cloves of fresh garlic, 2 cups of fresh spinach, 6 small sweet peppers chopped into bit size pieces, 1 can of navy beans, 1 cup of mushrooms and 3 sausages cut up into bite size pieces. Mix them all together really well and throw the lid on it for about 10 minutes.
  3. When the rice is done, make sure all the liquid is drained and mix the rice in the sauté pan. Be sure to mix all the ingredients in very well. I threw in a little bit of garlic salt to add some extra flavor.
  4. Perfect for lunch leftovers! Enjoy
Trader Joe’s Spicy Chicken Sausage
Trader Joe’s Spicy Chicken Sausage

Your Top 6 Questions about Gluten Free and Celiac Disease Answered!

Your Top 6 Questions about Gluten Free and Celiac Disease Answered!

Tune in to hear what I have to say!

You can subscribe to my podcast from your iTunes player to make sure you don’t miss an episode.

6 questions I answer –

1. Do I really need to replace all my items?

2. Do I really need gluten-free beauty products?

3. What do I do when I find myself craving gluten filled foods?

4. How do I deal/cope with the frustrations of celiac disease?

5. Are those digestive enzymes like GlutenCutter safe for me?

6. How do I take control of my weight after going gluten-free?

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?

 

Red Apple Lipstick – Best Pretty in Pink Colors

Today I had the pleasure of doing a photo shoot for the Women’s Book feature in their next edition focusing on health and wellness issues! They are doing a story on me and opening Bexa Body Fitness along with all the things I’m involved with in Columbus, including the female athlete training I do with our local high school, Westerville Central.

Some of my athletes joined me today at the gym to participate in the photo shoot and be part of the group!

Needless to say, my Red Apple Lipstick order came just in time for the photo shoot!

My newest order are basic colors that I would wear every day. I absolutely love a light pink eye shadow for every day wear. It’s pretty and simple without looking dramatic or plain. You can’t go wrong with a pretty in pink shade like TUTU Cute.

I already have some hot pink lip stick colors and gloss so the gorgeous shine to the Pink Martini is the perfect complement to any lipstick and is gorgeous for an every day look. The key with every day make up is that you want it to look fun and fresh without going over board.

I use a brush to gently tap the eye shadow onto my eye. If you brush it back and forth, the shadow will fly all over your face and make a mess. You can use their eye shadows wet or dry. The wet look is more dramatic so for a day look, I would stick with the powder.

On my eyes, I have a light black liner and I use Buxom mascara.

Tomorrow I plan to do a video tutorial on how to get a flawless face with gluten-free make up. If you aren’t already subscribed to my YouTube page, make sure you do it now!

Red Apple Lipstick
100% Gluten Free Lipstick
Lipgloss & Liners.See New Summer Colors!

25 Things I’ve Learned from Celiac Disease

25thingsaboutceliac

It’s been an incredible life long journey for me (and many of you) until I finally got the answers I needed for all my medical problems. It seems as if it were yesterday that I was sitting in a doctor’s office, waiting to be seen, only to leave disappointed and without any hope or answers for what was wrong.

Another doctor, another prescription and still no relief…

But the last few weeks, I’ve had some time to reflect and really think about what having celiac disease means to me and some of the major things I’ve learned over the last 18 months through my own personal experiences and the last 10 months as a blogger. If you have things you learned about gluten-free living or celiac disease, please feel free to post them in the comments so other readers know they aren’t alone!

  1. My celiac disease is not your celiac disease. I can’t emphasize this one enough! We all have different triggers and ailments so it’s incredibly important to pay attention to your own body versus what you hear from me or others on forums and websites.
  2. Celiac comes with other problems. Endometriosis, thyroid problems, arthritis and vitamin deficiencies for me!
  3. Vitamin & Nutrient levels should be tested on a regular basis to ensure you are supplementing properly to nourish your body with what’s missing.
  4. Gluten will make you feel crazy, act crazy, think you’re crazy and make you paranoid. It consumes you life and there are times when I just have to stop and think… at least it’s managed with food.
  5. It seems to be the only disease people don’t know enough about to tell me how to live my life. Now, gluten-free is another story but celiac disease usually doesn’t get too many unsolicited comments or advice from others.
  6. You have to be incredibly educated about celiac disease, living gluten-free and your body to be safe as much as possible.
  7. It’s essential to learn how to plan accordingly when traveling, dining out or anything out of the norm to prevent you from being stuck.
  8. A gluten-free emergency supply kit is a necessity not an idea.
  9. Poop can tell you so much about your eating habits and health of your body!
  10. I still learn about gluten in things and are surprised by it – tea bags are my most recent discovery!
  11. The gluten-free and celiac community is amazing and I am honored to be a part of it!
  12. I’ve come to realize that packaged gluten-free food is my worst enemy. For my health & my waist line – real foods is where it’s at!
  13. Celiac gave me the opportunity to see who my real friends are and learn the ones who care enough about me to always make me feel safe.
  14. Celiac and fitness is an interesting concept. I’m excited to come out with my program late summer!
  15. I’ve learned to accept the days when my body won’t cooperate and stopped beating myself up about feeling tired, having a headache or achy joints.
  16. Being curvy and healthy is more important than being lean and unhappy.
  17. Living gluten-free doesn’t have to be more expensive – you just have to plan better and eat clean to keep the budget tight.
  18. I’ve learned to look at life as a new adventure, instead of letting it stress me out every day.
  19. My family shouldn’t be burdened by my celiac disease, so I try to bring my own foods to events just to make sure I’m safe and not starving.
  20. Airports are the worst for living gluten-free and with celiac.
  21. Writing and blogging helps keep me sane and warms my heart when I’m able to help you too.
  22. There are no true gluten-free substitutions. Gluten free bread is not soft sourdough bread and it never will be. Gluten-free Oreos are not the ones I’ve learned to love over my lifetime an none can duplicate it either. I’m done trying to find substitutes and instead I’m learning to love new things instead.
  23. I’m proud to take charge of my health and not take no for an answer. I refused to accept that I didn’t have anything wrong with me and I was correct.
  24. I love my husband more now than ever. He has been the most amazing and supportive person through this and I certainly hit the husband lotto.
  25. I love my body more now than ever. All of it. All the problems. All the wonderful things people take for granted, I’ve learned to love and enjoy.

Comments

  1.  Sheryl Rex says:

    I have learned that ‘Gluten Guard’ meds, do NOT work on everything. It is easier just to go without.

     

    •  Rebecca says:

      What are “gluten guards?”

       

  2.  Atherton Baking Co. says:

    I’ve learned the GF is very supportive and generous. During a very low period I found Karen Morgan & Tim Lawson, they taught me how to be strong! The GF fam shares and supports all over the world! When you reach out, someone is always there!

     

    •  Rebecca says:

      I second that with the community! It is so true!!

       

  3.  Charlotte says:

    I’ve learned to be a better and more adventurous cook. I’ve learned that there is MORE to eat as a celiac than I ever ate pre-diagnosis and I was a pretty adventurous eater already even with a ton of allergies. I’ve learned to be my own advocate. I’ve learned that I have some AMAZING friends who support me and my GF life.

     

    •  Rebecca says:

      Those are awesome things! Thank you so much for sharing :)

       

  4.  Mindy says:

    I love the 25 things you have learned! Very inspirational for me! I still struggle with many things related to living with Celiac after almost 5 years of living gluten free.

    I also need to learn how to attend events without feeling so awkward when taking my own food. Right now one of my challenges is attending the service’s at church that offer crackers for the Lord’s supper practice. The preacher told me to just bring my own cracker’s. Still I dealt with a lot of guilt for awhile by not participating in the practice at church.

    I do still have days that I do not feel well mainly due to environmental allergies and other food allergies like dairy, soy, yeast and garlic which makes my eliminating other foods important.

    Am still trying to figure out how to get high protein (which of course helps the energy level) Not easy when I am not a huge meat person.

    Thanks for these wonderful comments!

     

    •  Chessie says:

      Mindy, I was diagnosed with celiac disease about a month ago (quite a shock) and I’m slowly climbing out of the deep hole of fatigue I was in. I hear you about protein, because I’ve been vegan for about a dozen years and most of the vegan “fake meats” out there are made with lots of wheat gluten. So, it’s beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds for me. I think I can get enough protein, but it will take daily thought. It’s too bad you don’t do soy, but there are lots of other beans and legumes out there.

      Oh, how I loved stuff made with “vital wheat gluten” (i.e., deadly wheat gluten). But yeah, turns out there’s a reason why it didn’t agree with me so much.

      Rebecca, thanks for the 25 tips!

       

      •  Rebecca says:

        Chessie-

        Thanks for listing some other sources of protein! I think people automatically assume that you can only get it from meats.

         

    •  Rebecca says:

      Mindy if you eat eggs – Pasturized egg whites are a perfect way to get protein into your diet. They don’t taste like anything and are protein packed. I put them in my juice and shakes. You can buy them in larger packages which are much more affordable through places like Egg Whites International. They come frozen and then you just keep them in the fridge and use them as you wish.

       

  5.  Brittany says:

    Do you have a post somewhere explaining:

    “A gluten-free emergency supply kit is a necessity not an idea.”

    What is that?!

     

    •  Rebecca says:

      An emergency kit is something that you would want to have in case there is a disaster like a hurricane, power outage, tornado or fire. It should filled with gluten-free foods that you can consume in case you don’t have access to anything for a few days.

       

  6.  Angela says:

    Wow I had never thought about tea bags. Thanks for the tips!

     

    •  Rebecca says:

      You’re welcome!

       

  7.  Martin says:

    re12: Great to see more celiacs avoid processed food and look into the real food/paleo diet

     

  8.  Amanda Yoder says:

    Love this! So true and so relatable!

     

  9.  Kay Gaumer says:

    I’ve been gluten free since February of this year. It has be a challenge to adjust my diet. I am also allergic to dairy and most grains. I think your comment about making mew ‘friends’ and not trying to substitute gluten free products for old ‘friends’ is an excellent idea. I lean toward a vegetarian diet and buy organic and GMO free products. I also try to buy local as the products are fresher and tastier that way.

     

  10.  Sherry says:

    I am glad I found this blog. I can relate so much to what you said!

Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act – Interview Congressman Tim Ryan

gluteninmedicine
Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act

I had the pleasure of interviewing U.S. Representative from the 13th District of Ohio, Tim Ryan,

about the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D)
Rep. Tim Ryan (D)

I am from North East Ohio and am proud to say this is Congressman Ryan’s district! Unfortunately, he was called to vote and I only had a brief 10 minutes to talk to him about the Act. But, you can listen to our conversation right here…

According to Congressman Ryan’s website,

The Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act has been endorsed by: American Celiac Disease Alliance, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, Celiac Disease Foundation, Celiac Sprue Association, Gluten Intolerance Group, North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and the American College of Gastroenterology.

So,  what can you do to help?

You can call or write to your local representative and tell them you support this Act! Most of our congressmen have email addresses that you can contact them. This bill was reintroduced this year, after failing last year despite thousands of letters of support to congress. Our letters got this Act reintroduced and it’s up to you to keep the momentum by reaching out and contacting your congressmen!

Click Here to find out who your congressman or woman is to contact regarding the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act!

Click Here if you need help with how to write a letter to congress!

Click Here if you want to contact Congressman Tim Ryan!

If you would like a good guide about the medications, http://www.glutenfreedrugs.com/ is a great resource and website for information on gluten in medications.

Do you have a story about gluten in medications?

Do you have tips for other people that struggle with gluten in medicine at the pharmacy or getting answers?

I wanna her about it – post in the comment section below :)

 

 

Should You Take Digestive Enzymes for Gluten?

digestiveenzyme

Should You Take Digestive Enzymes for Gluten?

No.

I am frequently asked about gluten enzyme supplements and I just wanted to give you my opinion on them.

These so-called enzymes do NOT give you the green light to eat gluten if you have celiac disease. They are not a cure for celiac! There is a false belief out there that it is acceptable to take these pills with a piece of cake and you will be fine. It’s not that simple. There is NO PROOF or medical research showing that these enzymes work. Why? Because they are not FDA approved and the companies can make whatever claims they want about their products except saying it cures and treats disease.

Now, some of you will say “Hey! I use them and they work.”

Do they really? How do you know what they are doing to your intestines and body chemistry? How do you know they aren’t causing internal problems?

I seriously doubt an over the counter supplement that’s $18 from WalMart is the latest and greatest treatment or medication for celiac disease.

There sure seems to be a lot of people saying they “aren’t getting better” or “still feeling sick.” A part of me can’t help but think some of that is due to the false sense of security from taking these medications.

While these “gluten enzymes” may break down some particles of gluten, there is no way for sure to know if they are gone and not causing damage to your body. Why take that risk? Save your money and buy some supplements your body can use effectively and will help you with healing and digestion!!

The ONLY way to manage celiac disease is with a strict, dedicated gluten-free diet. It makes me a little sad when I hear people say they wish they could just take a pill because your body is clearly telling you it doesn’t want gluten and clearly rejects it. We are the only people who can manage their chronic disease with food and in a natural way which should be a blessing to all of us!

Now, there is a company that filed for patents for enzyme use in medication to treat celiac disease. Alvine Pharma is working towards finding medication for all of us suffering from this disease. They are in phase II of clinical trials but nothing has been approved yet.

ImmusanT is a potential vaccine for celiac disease which is showing promise. They are still in the early stages but it is promising to know that there are things in the works for us!

Are you looking for information about gluten poisoning? Check out my post with 47 commons symptoms!

Have you been poisoned and are looking for help on healing faster? Check out my post with 20 tips and ideas for gluten poisoning recovery!