Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Some Days ...

Some days it is a frustration ... Some days it makes me wonder if I will get a handle on this disease ... I know I will ~ because I know the knowledge of what I am facing helps on days like today where something (maybe gluten) has turned my system up side down and inside out and I just want to curl up in a ball and just rock back and forth.  The frustration comes from not being quite sure what set this reaction off ~ and not being able to truly explain to someone without this disease just how badly this has affected my body, my mind, my spirit today ... I just do not feel like myself - of course of late I am not sure anymore what "myself" is suppose to feel like.  I just do not feel good.

There is a small comfort in knowing - while I am working on getting this right - that I am not alone in this struggle ... that others have the constant roller coaster of health ... the up and down ... the getting thrown sideways, the fatigue and nausea.  The disappointments.  And I also love to read about how people are trying to get things right ... going for a more whole foods approach (which I have to be honest I haven't totally embraced yet) - looking to find a balance in what their bodies can or can not absorb - the trials and errors - there is so much information out there these days.  I am looking for ways to absorb and practice more of what I need to do to set my body on the right path.  To Wellness ~ to peace of mind ~ to uplifting of the spirit.

And to take days like today and yesterday - where I have upset my system by something - and this I did eating "safely(?)" at home ~ and find the energy and know how to control the depression at feeling like this ~ and find out what the culprit was.  It's frustrating when it is in your own home that you basically "poison" your system ... when we are out we can say "oh "someone" else wasn't careful enough" - when we are in our own home it often makes it sometime more difficult to pinpoint what exactly hurt us.

At times it is tiring to be in constant "spy" mode. :)  And I can see the benefit and wise advice in leaning towards more of a whole foods approach ... less ingredients ha ha.  As it is ... I know I have to go back and look at what we added to last nights supper - in the gravy mix perhaps? in the spice blend that we used to season the pork chops?  Brands that we have used before but just recently have bought new containers of?  Last night while dealing with the agony of cramps I was reading the side of the gravy mix ... well will have to go back and read it again - kind of blurred in my vision last night with all the ingredients.  Simple would be better ~ makes sense the less items you have to figure out the easier it is to do so, especially at a time where you are suffering from brain fog and doubled over with cramps.

Apply the "K.I.S.S" reasoning - Keep it Simple Silly (ha ha it is "Stupid" actually but I am feeling a touch on the weepy side today so don't want to set myself off ;)   So Silly it is.

I am thankful today that there is encouragement and hope out there ... that there are many that are having success in finding ways to "feel whole" ... and maybe a little cheered by the fact (though I honestly hate to see people suffer) that we all have our "some days" but that there is some really great days to look forward and strive towards as well!  :)

Cheers ~ now maybe some green tea to settle my stomach? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Shout out to Gluten Dude and Irish Heart ... Be Thankful

Thankful for the beautiful daisies my son bought me for my birthday :) 
Wow ... I just read one of the best posts by Gluten Dude and his guest poster - Irish Heart ... and it touched me.  Though they are writing from places that are now this weekend are having "Thanksgiving" and up here in Canada we have been there done that ;)  they are writing about a subject that touches a lot of our hearts - to be THANKFUL ... While as a fellow Celiac I struggle with that every day ~ seriously lately, it is hard to be thankful when you feel so out of control of your health and emotions ~ but this post is so lovely in its simplicity.

Yes life can be a struggle at times having Celiac Disease ... no scratch that Life is a struggle at times ~ but we need to continue to try and focus on the good moments - no matter how simple or brief they may feel.

Like it was some good moments - having a potluck with Celiac Friends a couple weekends ago ... I felt blessed and thankful for that evening ~

I feel thankful for having a supportive man in my life ~ that has found eating gluten free has greatly improved his health and so for the most part our home is safe (my son still eats gluten but he is very careful - and of course he has a mom that cleans up after him ha ha)

I feel thankful for my bestie Dawn - she herself has an auto immune disease hypothyroidism and understands the struggles with diet being something that needs to be watched to control it.  She is a great and understanding friend in my life.

I feel thankful for my son and my sister ~ though neither truly understand Celiac Disease it does not stand in the way of their love for me ~ and they weather the ups and downs along with me.

These are a few things I am thankful for ... I read somewhere of a good exercise - a small step I am going to try and get back doing ~ simply to jote down one thing you are thankful for everyday ~ just before you go to sleep.  Started last night ~ use to do it a couple years ago but got out of the habit.  It is just a simple exercise to keep me "looking up" and reflecting on something postive.

Please give a read to Gluten Dude's Post today ...


What is one thankful thought you have today?

Take care
Sherri :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quinoa Veggie Dish and Potluck with Friends ...

Last night we were invited to a Potluck supper at a friend's place ... and while an invitation like this would usually be one of a lot of extra work ... this one was a delight.  All the friends invited to this potluck eat Gluten Free ... Some because of having Celiac Disease ... and others because of being mates or friends of those with Celiac Disease.  It was simply a delightful evening ... good friends, good food ... sharing recipes and experiences ... a most relaxing evening. 

I do feel comfortable when I have supper in my own home as well and invite people over, but the difference being that I control the menu and make it all.  It can make for a hectic evening and I find we don't entertain as much as I would like ... this was certainly a refreshing experience ... and the meal was simple but awesome.  I realize I do likely overthink when I have people over and it has given me a new perspective on entertaining ... So thank you Abisaac and Amanda for that. 

Our awesome menu consisted of:
Chicken Schwarma with magic sauce (evening and recipe dedicated to the memory of Daniel Saraga)
Quinoa/Rice Veggie Dish (warm) - below - and veggie, crackers, sausage snack plate with dip
Bean and Cheese Enchiladas
Corn and Bean Salad
Lovely Lemon Cupcakes and Shortbread jelly cookies

Now though I make dishes I do not often follow a recipe and therefore I have a hard time writing up a recipe - so below is "guideline" on how to make Quinoa Rice Veggie Dish :)

Quinoa and Rice Veggie Dish (warm)

1 to 1 1/2 cups premade Quinoa (used the Bob's Red Mill Organic whole Grain Quinoa - seasoned with nutrimax chicken flavoured soup base (gluten free and vegetarian) and a touch of Red Garlic Sansel (Epicure)

1 to 1 1/2 cups premade Rice (for this batch we used Texana Natural Thai Jasmine Rice) seasoned with a little herb and spice Sea salt, black peppercorn mix and dried dill (Epicure) - a bit of Becel vegan margerine as well (gluten and lactose free)

Both of these set aside ... then depending on the vegetables available in your stash I cut up a cup to a cup and a half of each (this makes a huge batch so plan accordingly - though this dish heats up well the next day and also is tasty cold) - I used snap pea, yellow pepper, carrot (used mini carrots and julienned), broccoli, zucchini, and kale.  We have a large non stick pan with high sides that is good for stir frying, a wok would also be a good choice.  Heat some olive oil on just a bit higher than medium heat for a couple minutes, be very careful not to overheat your oil as this will cause a lot of spitting of hot oil and for your vegetables to char quickly rather than carmelize. 

I put in my broccoli stalks (cut to smaller pieces) in first and give them a few minutes (they have a tougher outer layer and take a bit more time to soften.  Then I added the snap peas, carrots, and peppers to the pan - stir frying until just starting to soften (approximately 5 mins) and then added the broccoli heads - stirfrying for another 5 minutes or so before adding the kale.

As the kale starts to wilt - I add some soy sauce (used a VH Soy Sauce) and some Becel Vegan margerine to the pan - just to give a bit of a smooth asian glaze.  Give a good toss, then start to add the quinoa and rice to the dish about a cup at a time to be able to mix well (this is where the large pan or wok works well) until the mixture is all mixed together.  And then ready to serve.  :)

Just to note that before we bought the big non stick pan (it is a 12" pan with 3 1/2 inch sides) I made sure all my components - the quinoa (rice if I added) and veggies were all hot and then mixed them in a large bowl or pot - it also worked.  :)

So that is my write up of the Quinoa and Rice Veggie Dish I made last night for our awesome Potluck with friends ... I think it was a perfect compliment to the delicious Chicken Schwarma made as the main dish ...

Good Friends,  Good Food and Good Conversation ... a delightful evening all around.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Overwhelmed ...

Gluten Dude had an excellent post a bit ago entitled "Stop Eating Gluten Free Foods" - and it has cause a bit of a stir among us Celiacs - in the comments.  Has me thinking - which I suppose is the best reaction someone who does a blog post can hope for - discussion and thought.  It has also shown me (as I am subscribed to the comments) how poles apart we can be about this disease ~ has me feeling a touch overwhelmed.  I decided today to post my reply to some of the comments ... with my "two second" view on the differing passions and feelings about Celiac Disease.

"I think this Disease sucks … honestly to everyone that has written in on this subject … and to everyone that is reading the comments – I am at a point where yep … I wish I could survive and be content EATING NOTHING …

BUT I am a overweight, struggling Celiac who has to function in a busy life and I can’t do anything in extreme.

The more I read though the more I become depressed … I fight to be an advocate for a Disease that no one really seems to understand, a Disease that is so individual (it seems) as every person who has the Disease, that there is an overwhelming group of passionate people out there that really NEED to be heard, and yet only part of the message really gets through … and between the media and the mis informed advocates out there, it has all become a right cluster … bleep bleep … excuse the language. ;)
I feel for those newly diagnosed with this disease, I feel for those of us who have had it for a few years now and still not getting things right, I feel for those that have been diagnosed for many years that see how the world is twisting and poking at a Disease that NO ONE seems to really know all about it.

How do we figure it out ourselves? How do we help others to understand? … when we just don’t know … we just don’t know. Even Celiacs can not give other Celiacs advice … we can only give “experience” at how we have handled this or that, because honestly what works or does not work for us – doesn’t seem to be the answer for the Celiac sitting beside us.

So what are we to do? I think my advice to anyone with this disease is to go slowly … slowly try to absorb all the information and “experiences” out there and then if we CAN – try this or that to see if it works for us – as an individual.

AND if it does then as Gluten Dude has done here … let people know about “YOUR experience” and the benefits and the failings of what you may have tried and then leave it at that.

MY CELIAC IS NOT YOUR CELIAC … and from all that I have read and researched … though it honestly makes me sob somewhere deep inside … THAT is not going to change. Not now and not in the future.

Celiac Disease sucks … it is confusing, it is difficult, it is every changing – even as we heal the damage we may have caused our bodies, and we all heal at different paces.
We need to let each other know what has worked for them – LIKE Gluten Dude – and then we need to make our own decisions and see what works for us.

I feel for us all … at whatever stage we happen to be in … it is more difficult than anyone realizes and it makes us passionate and emotional to be heard.

WE all hear each other … and we understand.
Bless you all … and may we continue to work on our own health day by day and bring some “healing” to our lives.
Take care