Saturday, July 9, 2011

The "G" Word

OK, so it's not a "BAD" word, but these days, gluten is not something I like to discuss. Three weeks ago I got the results back from my doctor, and he said I would need to be retested in three the meantime, I am now on a gluten-free diet. Gluten. Of all things, this is what gives me issues? Really? The funny thing is that I didn't have textbook symptoms for gluten intolerance. The only reason I was even tested was because the month before that they diagnosed me with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, and apparently gluten can be an issue for people with that sometimes (HT is an autoimmune disorder).

What I've learned in the last three weeks is that gluten is in just about everything. Well, not really, but it sure feels like it! Gluten is found in products made from wheat, barley or rye. It's in a lot of processed foods. I figured I'd really have trouble not being able to eat cookies, or brownies, or cake at birthday parties. But what I REALLY miss more than almost anything else is bread. Plain ol' sandwich bread, so I can have a PB&J sandwich (which before now was a traditional lunch item around here!). I've been eating lots of salad, and for anyone who really knows me, they understand that this is impressive...because I really don't like salad! I adore baked potatoes and they are my saving grace at lunchtime now. I celebrate when I find gluten-free items in the grocery store I think I can actually bring myself to eat. Fresh fruit's always a valid option! I'm even getting really good at reading labels. I've also made Betty Crocker's gluten-free cookies and brownies from the store-bought mix. They aren't bad, but they definitely aren't as good as the "real" thing, either. I told Steve the other day that I finally figured out what makes food taste so good...gluten!

It's not something I plan to bring up at parties. I actually went to a jewelry catalog party at my neighbor's house Thursday night...she was serving wine and a number of awesome goodies. Baklava was the one that really made me feel like crawling under a table and crying, but I am proud that over the last three weeks, I've been able to resist all things with gluten! For someone who has NEVER been on a real diet, I've actually surprised myself (and my mother, too, since she admitted the other day that she couldn't believe I'd made it this far). I was getting ready to come back home from the jewelry party and my neighbor said, "I didn't see you eat anything! Fix yourself a plate to take home!" and I had to politely explain that I couldn't have gluten. She felt bad, but I told her it wasn't necessary. I can stand to skip certain things, that's for sure. :)

The doctor told me something very important when he diagnosed me with HT and then mentioned the possibility of gluten issues. He also has HT, and celiac disease (which is what they will test me for when I go back to see him in September, based on my next round of test results). He said, "You can choose to manage this, or it can manage you." I think that was probably the best thing he could have said to me. I don't know if I could ever diet just for weight loss (though goodness knows I could use it). I really don't think I could do a "fad" diet either. But I know this is for the best, for my future and my health, and that really does make all the difference. My kids deserve to have two healthy, responsible parents. I am is day 22...and I am learning that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. Even though I still miss bread!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Catching Up...Again

I have not blogged in almost three months!!! I don't have many followers, so I doubt the world has stood still since then, of course. :) But things have been quite crazy since April.

In May we had Mother's Day, Relay For Life, and the annual Gala for the Flagler Health Care Foundation. I take photos at the Gala each year and it's a "work" weekend for me and Steve, but we always have a lot of fun.

In June, the kids graduated from VPK. I was so proud...they had a really cute graduation ceremony in the multi-purpose room at their school, and they had a slideshow with pictures from throughout the school year. The kids sang songs and did a couple of skits, reciting the months of the year, days of the week, the alphabet and other fun little things. We left the very next day for a quick trip to Orlando, which was so much fun. I'll make a separate post sometime soon to show some fun pictures from that trip.

June feels like it flew by in a blur. I cannot believe we're already in JULY! We had a great time at the splash park with some friends on Sunday, and then yesterday was the 4th of July and we spent the evening with friends again...there's nothing that beats watching the fireworks show over the St. Augustine bayfront. Annual traditions are such wonderful things, and that's one of my favorites!

The kids begin Kindergarten next month (wow, that feels weird to type...for so long it's been "in August"). They are SO ready for it to start now, but I have to keep reminding them that it's summer and it's time to have fun and relax! Time flies way too quickly these days.

I'll close here with a pic from the fireworks trip last night. It's one of the few pictures of all four of us that we've had taken in recent months, and I'm so glad my friend Becky (Jeremy's godmother) was there to take it for me, since we so rarely get a decent picture of all four of us! :)