Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Holidays are Coming!

November is just a few days away and per usual for this time of year, I find myself really excited. I've already started planning the Thanksgiving dinner menu as well as the sweet treats that I will be making. While planning all of this, I was reminded that the holidays were not always this way for me. When I was a kid I absolutely loved this time of year. 

The year I turned 15 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease after being sick and miserable for months. My diagnosis happened in the beginning of November. At this time most people had no idea what Celiac Disease and a gluten free diet was, including me. I remember leaving the meeting with the dietitian, who honestly didn't know any more about the gluten free diet than I did, thinking I was doomed. Thankfully, the internet had the resources I needed to get on track with this diet. Unfortunately, the holidays were so close that my family did not have the opportunity to learn about how to make sure the things they cooked were gluten free. That year, I had one dessert I could eat, simply because it was gluten free to begin with and dinner was basically meat and vegetables. That was the first year that I wanted to just cry on Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

By the next year, I had learned a ton on how to cook gluten free and so had my family. My Grammy made a gluten free chocolate cake, and I was so excited. One thing everyone knows about me is that I love chocolate. I remember her saying "it's not too pretty, so I hope it tastes good", and it did. The truth is that cake could have been terrible, and I wouldn't have said a word. I was so happy too see a dessert that I could eat too. From that year on, the holidays were the way the used to be..happy. Every year they get better and better as I come up with new and better ways to cook things and new recipes. 

This year is looking to be the best year yet, and I can't wait. If there is any lesson to be learned from this, it's that even though it may be a ways off, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gluten Free Goodness

Once you go gluten free, it's the little things in life that really count. Today became a wonderful day the minute I saw this beautiful site at McAlister's Deli.

While I understand that this is a small thing to get excited about, it is still horribly exciting for me. To be able to get a sandwich like anyone else is nothing short of amazing. 

I was so excited about it that the McAlister's employee told me I could take the menu with me. Of course, I did and the second I got to the table I took a picture of it and immediately posted it to Facebook. I have since posted it on my website, Twitter, LinkedIn, and obviously I'm blogging about it.

It's funny, before going gluten free I was never so excited about food. This diet has given me an appreciation for food, and more importantly the little things in life. I hope others will be as excited about this delish find as I am. 

The menu is very self explanatory and the bread they are using is downright lovely. It reminds me of the Genius by Gutino Multigrain Sandwich Bread, but I'm not sure if it is or not. I will certainly be spending more of my money at McAlister's Deli in the future, and it will be money well spent to get a luscious lunch like this one.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gluten Free Truth

This past weekend I came to realize that sometimes being gluten free just sucks. In the beginning that one thought completely fills your head, but as time goes on you realize things aren't really as bad as you once thought they were. Still you find that every now and then that thought of how much you miss being able to eat little things like Girl Scout Thin Mints. At that point all you feel is anger at how much it sucks to not be able to eat those little things and wishing that there was a gluten free alternative. I used to get mad at myself for having those feelings, because I work so hard to advocate being gluten. Now I finally see that it's ok to feel that way. I know that I'm not alone in feeling this way sometimes and just maybe putting these feelings down will help someone else out there that feels the same way I did. Being an advocate doesn't always mean you love what you have to deal with every day. It means you understand it fully, the good and the bad, and you know how to deal with both. Being gluten free makes me healthy. There isn't a single part of me that regrets that. My problem is that some of those little things I loved as a kid are now not available to me. I hope that some day they will be, but until then all I can do is try to deal with it the best way I know how. Over time it gets easier to deal with these little disappointments, but you still just have those days.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

  If you ask most people, they will tell you that making a New Year's resolution is pointless. After all, in a couple of months you will have either given up on it, or broken it all together. I know that this was true of me for several of the past years. I think the reason is because we set these goals without thinking about what it is going to take to achieve them. Maybe if we set more reasonable goals that take less work to achieve we will actually get somewhere. Progress doesn't happen overnight and that is something you have to keep in mind when setting a New Year's resolution. So, with that in mind, I have made a New Year's resolution that I think will be easy to stick to. 
  My resolution is to be true to myself. I need to stop caring about what other people think of me and what I do, and care about what I think. So many times in this past year, I have done something I knew better than to do because I wanted to feel normal for once. I didn't realize at the time that I was never meant to be normal. I was meant to be exactly who I am, someone who is different. That is not something to be afraid of, and it has taken me a long time to realize that. Now that I have, it is time to embrace it and be the person I was always meant to be. The other part of that is to start taking better care of myself. For so long, I have tried to put everyone else in my life first, but it just doesn't work. You can only neglect yourself for so long before it really takes a toll on you. After the past year, I have realized that while I meant well, all I really did was hurt myself. 
  In short, I'm going to try and make 2012 a healthier and happier year for me. Whether or not it works, we'll see, but you never know what will happen until you try.