Celiac and Your Sex Life – Things to Consider…

Celiac and Sex – Tips to connect with your partner.
Celiac and Sex – Tips to connect with your partner.

Celiac and Your Sex Life – Things to Consider…

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.

Enjoy!

Rebecca

P.S. I have a ton of podcasts covering a wide range of issues with celiac disease on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find me on iTunes and subscribe so you never miss an episode!

P.S.S. I am also Andrew Cordova’s co-host of his GF Magazine Podcast!

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.

Tips for Handling a Bad Gluten-Free Dining Experience

What to do when you have a negative gluten free dining experience?
What to do when you have a negative gluten free dining experience?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

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!

Celiac Awareness and The Buckeye Journal

The Buckeye Journal Cover
The Buckeye Journal Cover

I can honestly say this is the best week of my life.

I’ve dedicated the last 8 months to Pretty Little Celiac and Bexa Body Fitness and all of those accomplishments were showcased this week. First with the Columbus Business First Forty under 40 award and now with the COVER of The Buckeye Journal.

Is this real life?

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This magazine circulates to thousands of central Ohio residents who will read about celiac disease and hopefully this will bring awareness and education to all that take the time to read it! My vision for the article is that everyone who picks up a copy will understand the struggles we go through and maybe even could help someone get diagnosed. There are people I will reach and I won’t even know it but that’s okay because I know in my heart I helped. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, or maybe you just stopped by today – you should know I’m a type-A, overachiever who loves helping other people. It makes my day when I get emails, messages, comments and more letting me know how much our stories are alike or that I helped you through a difficult time. You have no idea how much it personally affects me!

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I have the most amazing things planned  for Pretty Little Celiac until the end of 2013. I know we are ending celiac awareness month but it’s my goal to make every month dedicated to celiac awareness. My projects are going to help so many people, that I just can’t wait to get them done and share them with the world. I hope you can sense my excitement for this blog because I think I might jump out of my chair.

Thanks for reading – Stay tuned for what’s to come!

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Coping with Celiac Disease: A Therapist’s Perspective (Podcast)

Coping with Celiac Disease: A Therapist’s Perspective

When I was first diagnosed with this disease, I didn’t understand it and struggled to figure it out. Some of you are there now and are looking for help or some of you think you have it figured out but maybe just need to hear something new. I invited Jummy Olawale on my show to talk about the most common struggles associated with celiac disease ( besides the food!).

I’m so glad I decided to do this. Her insight is poignant and dynamic. She really gives inspiration and hope along with tips and suggestions for dealing with this disease. She’s doesn’t have celiac and isn’t a specialist in the disease but really can provide some help for those of us needing help. If you feel out of control or like you lost your footing, this is the perfect place to start.

Here’s a little snippet of what we discuss on the show:

1. What are some coping skills to use when someone goes through a major life change like celiac disease? When everything in your life as you know it, changes in an instant? How do you handle the sense of feeling alone and like a hypochondriac because no one else understands the complexity or the seriousness of the disease?
2. What are some coping skills for handling all these emotions? Sometimes we can have other life issues going on and this is just a huge burden on top of the lemons life throws at us. Especially when you have a bad day and just want to go home, order a pizza and lay around all night.
3. What’s the best way to explain a disease like this to husbands, family, kids and friends? How do you get them on board with helping you instead of constantly minimizing the disease and asking you to just “try a bite because it won’t kill you.”
4. How do you handle the disappointment when family and friends (or your spouse) doesn’t sympathize and isn’t as supportive as you think they should?
5. Marital problems – Handling a non-supportive spouse – what do you do? When your spouse is the only one that understands, how do you find other outlets to cope instead of stressing them all the time.
6. Changing you mindset of food being pleasurable and instead of thinking about it as fuel. People get so upset that they have to eliminate all the things they love that are poisoning them. When they get poisoned, they beat themselves up and get mad at their bodies for betraying them.

On The Air with Pretty Little Celiac is also on iTunes! You can just search “Pretty Little Celiac” and subscribe to it and all the episodes will feed right into your player!

Want to know more about Jummy Olawale?

Jummy Olawale is a dynamic speaker, life coach, Licensed Professional Counselor, Pastoral Counselor and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor with extensive international and multicultural life experience and education.
Biography

Jummy was born in Nigeria, Western Africa where she lived and attended elementary and secondary school. She migrated to London, England where she completed her High school and college education. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA.) degree in Psychology and Natural Science from Canterbury Christ Church University College, Kent. After getting married, she migrated to the U.S. where she now lives with her husband and their two children. Jummy earned her Masters of Arts (MA.) degree in Counseling Ministries from Methodist Theological School in Ohio.

Jummy utilizes narrative therapy, cognitive behavior therapy and motivational interviewing approaches. She specializes in individual, couples, and marriage therapy, multicultural counseling, parenting support, career coaching and life coaching.

 

18 Things to Replace when Going Gluten-Free

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I’m constantly learning about new things I need to replace since going gluten-free after my celiac disease diagnosis. Just last week while gardening, I realized we probably should replace our grill since we spent many of summers putting meats covered in gluten filled marinades and sauces all over it! There probably isn’t enough cleaning I could do to risk cross contamination. So, for now I’ll stick with my George Foreman Grill and Oven!

Which led me to an ever bigger thought of what else did I replace after going gluten-free and how could I help all of you think of things to consider. Many of us don’t realize until we continue getting sick that this or that might be causing us problems!

I took a poll on my Facebook page and about 50 people responded to the question “what were you surprised you had to replace?”

Here are the answers!

  1. Toaster
  2. Plastic Tupperware
  3. Beauty products
  4. Bath products
  5. Hair color and products
  6. Waffle Maker
  7. Anything Wooden or Plastic in the kitchen
  8. Colander
  9. Bread Machine
  10. One person replaced their kitchen counters
  11. Play Dough
  12. Tea
  13. Protein Powders
  14. Nail Polish (if you bite your nails or have kids that are GF this is a good idea)
  15. Adult Toys and intimate Products – I just had a company ask me to do a giveaway on my site for some bedroom products and when I asked if they were gluten-free, she said no. Be careful with these items.
  16. Medications and Supplements
  17. Grill and other cook top items
  18. Food – Obvious!

Now I’m not suggesting you run out and replace all of these things immediately or if you are just living gluten-free for health reasons and not because of a sensitivity or celiac disease.

I’m surprised no one put “friends” or “family” down lol. That seems to be what many people struggle with the most when going through the lifestyle transition.

 

***Totally forgot about kids stuff like glue and play-doh!****

Do you have one that we missed? Please leave it in the comments below!

Red Apple Lipstick – Gluten Free and Fabulous!

I’ve been wanting to try Red Apple Lipstick for sometime now but was hesitant to spend the money on something I didn’t get to play with and try at first. Thankfully, they were at the Gluten Free & Allergen Free Expo and I explored their products before the thousands of people rushed the event.

I got a few things that you can see in the video but I’ll give you a little synopsis about them here.

1. Lip Exfoliator – Everyone needs to get those dead cells off their lips to make them every so soft and this does the trick. Just enough beads to make it work but not feel grainy or sandy on your lips.

2. Rallye Balm – The ultimate hydration for your lips. I’m going to start wearing this at night and see how soft and silky I can make my lips. Vitamin E is the greatest thing for soft skin and they put lots of it in Rallye!

3. Lipstick – I went with a lighter shade of pink to be neutral and wear out all the time. It’s a great consistency and goes on well. They have a wide variety of shades to pick from so if you are Pink, Peach or red, there is something for you.

4. Glosses – I got both a sparkly gloss and a regular one. My favorite is the “Hot Mess” pink gloss. The more you layer, the darker it gets. I wore it for my photo shoot today and it looked amazing on camera.

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Celiac Disease and the Phoenix: Have you Reinvented Yourself Yet?

Celiac Disease
Celiac Disease

It’s funny how symbols we find important show up in every part of our life. For me, the Phoenix is a very important and symbolic thing because it is all about being reborn and reinventing yourself. It is a reminder that most things aren’t finite and we can at any time change our lives to something completely different. Accepting the consequences of those changes are often what people find discouraging about major decisions and avoid the opportunity to explore life to its fullest.

These changes can be something as simple as quitting your job, moving to somewhere different or as challenging as leaving an unhappy marriage or divorcing negative friends in your life. But regardless, these options are choices we make because they might better our lives.

It’s funny because when I opened Bexa Body Fitness, I wanted our logo to represent being reborn. I wanted it to be about finding that inner fire inside of you to drive you to where you want to go without looking back. Now I need to figure out how to incorporate that same theme into my Pretty Little Celiac world.

There are changes in our life that we don’t have the option of choosing like celiac disease, cancer, other physical ailments or death. It’s how people handle these horrific life events that make us all very different. For me, celiac disease was a heart breaking and devastating life event but not as terrible as watching my uncle suffer from pancreatic cancer  or sitting at the Cleveland Clinic on Christmas waiting for my grandfather to come out of surgery. There are people that fight this diagnosis and continue to eat gluten knowing it could cause them the more serious ailments like cancer but that’s their choice. They are choosing to ignore the easiest disease to take care of because you only need food.

Celiac disease is something we should be grateful for when caught early enough. All we have to do to cure celiac disease is eat gluten free. This gives us the ultimate opportunity to become a phoenix and reinvent our lives. Since I was diagnosed, I’ve been telling people I can’t cook and don’t like cooking. Primarily it was because in the past I never really had to and if I were hungry, I went out to eat.

I don’t have that luxury anymore. As much as I’ve been fighting it, I’m learning to cook. Turns out, I’m not too shabby.

I thought I would live my life in Columbus, become an awesome fitness personality and help people lose weight, get fit and love themselves. After my diagnosis with celiac and then endometriosis, I realized I have a higher calling than just fitness. I love coaching, training, teaching, consulting and all those things so I am thrilled I can incorporate my passion in so many different areas. I am reinventing myself. I am in every aspect of the word a Phoenix.

How have you reinvented yourself or become a Phoenix in your own world?