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East to West – God Knows Best

Another great recommendation from my (mother of a celiac son) friend, Kori. These are often more expensive – but these product are WORTH it. Light, soft, moisture… full of great flavor with ZERO main allergens in the mixes. Fantastic product! 1,2,3 GLUTEN FREE!

You know the Scripture in Psalm 103, that says God loves us as much as from the east to the west He removes our transgressions far away from us?  Well this week, in our sermon – the pastor shared a visual lesson with a globe how you can go east – all the way around the globe, and you never stop going east.  Same thing with the west.  You can continue going all the way around, and you’re still going west.  Had God said, “I love you north to south”, that wouldn’t have meant the same thing (obviously)… as if you go north to the top – and go around the north pole to continue north, suddenly you’re going south towards the south pole…

You get the picture?

God said that … because before WE ” discovered” the world was round… HE knew it was round.

He meant what He said.  There is no end to His love for us.

I often marvel at how God simply shows us what to do, if we listen to Him.

I mean, truly listen.

The point is… that God is talking to us, directing us – are we listening to HEAR HIM SPEAK?  Do we trust in what He says?

God is powerful, way beyond our ways, and how our simple minds process.  Do we trust in that?

There are few things I’ve been fanatical about in my life…  but when something strikes a chord with me – just ask my friends, or siblings – WATCH OUT.  I have a hard time shutting up about something I believe in – that God fills me with confidence about.  I call that God-confidence, not self-confidence.  If channeled right – this can be a great thing – but it’s been known to drive a few people I love crazy now and then too.  {Being aware of that is part of my therapy}

Daily I ask God to give me eyes and hears to bring this topic up to others I see struggling, who could potentially have issues with gluten… and it’s been amazing how much He has allowed me to learn from others, and how He continues to put people in my life who were struggling with some type of health issue/ behavioral issues/auto immune disorder – ALL related to gluten.

Today, I got a great article from a good friend who is suspecting lots of symptoms related to gluten sensitivity.  Her husband is actually a grain specialist at a university – so he was definitely interested in researching this for their family – of whom a majority showed GS signs.

I cried with JOY tonight as they shared some more articles/studies he discovered in his research.  Articles of recent studies done or discussed just this year… about the time all of my 30 year struggles were coming to a peak.  {I have made it downloadable for you, just click on the link – and enjoy!  Another GREAT article for you to take to your doctor, who might be doubting that gluten issues are highly possibly reality for you.

God is so awesome.  He really is.  I marvel at His greatness, and I’m THANKFUL for His provision in this journey.  Thank you for reading – and for helping to educate others too!  May God continue to use us all to help one another be HEALTHY FOR HIM!

“…as far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Psalm 103:12

Sapone et al 2012_spectrum of gluten related disorders (1)
 
Summary:
“It is now becoming apparent that reactions to gluten are
not limited to CD, rather we now appreciate the existence
of a spectrum of gluten-related disorders. The
high frequency and wide range of adverse reactions to
gluten raise the question as to why this dietary protein
is toxic for so many individuals in the world. One possible
explanation is that the selection of wheat varieties
with higher gluten content has been a continuous process
during the last 10,000 years, with changes dictated
more by technological rather than nutritional reasons.
Wheat varieties grown for thousands of years and
mostly used for human nutrition up to the Middle Ages,
such as Triticum monococcum and T. dicoccum, contain
less quantities of the highly toxic 33-mer gluten peptide
[65]. Apparently the human organism is still largely vulnerable
to the toxic effects of this protein complex, particularly
due to a lack of adequate adaptation of the
gastrointestinal and immunological responses.
Additionally, gluten is one of the most abundant and
diffusely spread dietary components for most populations,
particularly those of European origin. In Europe,
the mean consumption of gluten is 10 g to 20 g per day,
with segments of the general population consuming as
much as 50 g of daily gluten or more [66,67] All individuals,
even those with a low degree of risk, are therefore
susceptible to some form of gluten reaction during their
life span. Therefore, it is not surprising that during the
past 50 years we have witnessed an ‘epidemic’ of CD
[68,69] and the surging of new gluten-related disorders,
including the most recently described GS [44,62]. This
review provides some rationale to explain these epidemiological
phenomena and expands our current knowledge
to gain more insights into gluten-related disorders.”
 
 

What Does Being Glutenated Mean?

What does it mean to be glutenated?  Well, the answer varies for all people and all situations…. and it’s not excluded to people with FULL BLOWN celiac disease, although I’d say the symptoms are strong and more noticeable the more your body is broken down from gluten intolerance.

That’s the thing with gluten intolerance.  It shows up as varying things inside your body – depending on the part it’s destroying, so it looks different on different people.  When one shares their symptoms and they look completely different from someone else, it doesn’t mean they aren’t caused by the same thing.

That is not to belittle the symptoms one has before it reaches the point of celiac disease…  believe me, I understand completely – since I have it.  However, for those who have major symptoms – {that aren’t GI noticeable or may seem unrelated}… the effects are STILL very much life threatening, and life altering.  When something like gluten can affect all systems of the body – the outcomes are endless.

I used to call myself the “one in a million” girl – because I had health issues that seemed… well, one in a million.  The only people who came close to such oddities, was my family.  Ironic huh?  But our health issues were ALL so different.  No way would I relate them as caused by the same thing… until this year.  Now you’d have a very hard time convincing me otherwise.

It was as if it finally clicked why my niece sounded so much like me, and now my daughter… and connecting the dots just continued on.  So the answer seemed easy.  Avoid eating gluten – and voila!

I wish it were “that simple”.

Add in cross contaminates, stressful social situations, and explaining your issues to others…. not to mention this is an auto immune disease – and your kids need their guts healed too…

God is good to fill us up and gives us strength during the times when it feels like everything is out of control.

The problem we have now is, trying to figure out when we’ve been glutenated… so we can try to avoid whatever it was!  On the good days, I feel SO great… so when I get sick again – it’s pretty frustrating… and as a mother, it’s tough to watch your kids struggle too.

Last weekend my husband and I enjoyed a “day date,” as we like to call them.  We went out to a steakhouse chain that we went to the last time we had a day date.  The first time was an awesome experience, complete with a waiter who saw our “GLUTEN-FREE” menu, and announced HE had celiac, as well as “his whole family”…  so I knew right away he “got” me.  Unfortunately – this time, the waiter we had got the gluten-free menu for my husband… then asked if we wanted bread.

*Come again?*

I wasn’t at the table at this time, but when I returned my husband shared his concern regarding the waiter’s knowledge on the matter.  The menu stated to review with your waiter that the meal needed to be made “separately” … salad in separate containers, etc. to avoid cross contamination… but clearly this guy didn’t have any knowledge of the seriousness of celiac, nor did he seem to know what gluten was.

When the waiter returned, I asked him if he understood my gluten-free needs for celiac disease, and he stated… “Yes, no gluten – right?”  I answered, that was correct – and followed up with the reminder that my food needed to be fixed separately as the menu stated.  {My face was flush – I HATED doing that.}  He nodded as if he got it, but I did NOT have confidence in the situation based on his body language.  My husband assured me he was just laid back.  (Where was that OTHER waiter who had celiac disease – I wanted HIM back!!!)

My husband asked if I wanted to cancel our order and leave… and my mind may have wanted to – but I decided to take a deep breath, pray over the situation and have a positive attitude about it.  Each meal out is a learning experience.

When the food came, and it looked good.  It tasted good.

We went off to Target and it wasn’t long before my stomach started not feeling good.  I shook it off that night and went right to bed.  The following day I felt like I had the flu… mentally, I felt like I was there, but I was just so tired… lethargic.

I could have slept all day starting at about 10am, as we rushed to get everyone to church. Late.  That isn’t a good sign.  Monday I wasn’t as tired, but my other issues started in.  When the inflammation kicks in – it doesn’t seem to matter what I eat… I bloat and feel ill.  I just try to eat less – drink lots of water, take Aleve, smile and workout.  Tuesday was more of the same, and by Wednesday I was feeling closer to normal.

We ate somewhere else Wednesday in celebration of the 4th… and again, the food was good and was gluten-free food – but Thursday I woke up with a sore in my mouth and felt really tired again.  I had decided it was probably still from Saturday and I needed to push on… then I had my breathing spell. (Which has a name: Costochondritis), and when I had that for 30 minutes, my oldest son told me HE woke up in the night with it too…. so I started realizing I possibly got RE-glutenated on Wednesday.

About that time my 5 year old was having stomach issues (during dinner)… and my 9-year-old confessed her stomach hurt a lot last night too and my 8-year-old showed me a new sore in his mouth (not realizing I had one too).

I digress…

So you see, being glutenated from cross contamination IS a problem.  You can have “gluten free” food – but when it’s not in a 100% gluten-free environment, it can be a real problem.

We obviously can’t live in a bubble… but it’s so very hard to want to eat away from home when the result can stick with you for days – sometimes a week, and obviously the inflammation can do more damage – longer, depending on the amount.  NO one wants to feel like that, or have their children feel ill much of the time… but that can be VERY hard to explain to people you love.

I think it’s time to order dining cards… so I can feel more empowered to either A) Speak with the manager before my meal is made and B) Help educate the wait-staff that this isn’t a diet fad, it’s essential for my health.

I’m not a quiet person – I wish this wasn’t so hard for me.

The gluten-free snack above was just bananas and apples cut up and topped with gluten-free/dairy-free chocolate sauce, and seeds/fruit from the ENJOY LIFE brand.  The kids thought this snack rocked the house.  Just a friendly reminder if you’re doing a pack with Scriptures to help keep you on track – SCHOOL supplies are out at stores… and it’s a great time to stock up on things like bound index cards and colorful notebooks!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

YES! It Tastes Great Too!

My son said these are awesome, you could probably order them by the case – like we can through our health food store. Just ask! They come in GF/dairy-free too.

Since I have a marketing background, I’m big into first impressions, how things look… how they’re packaged – and sold.

I’m definitely drawn to things that appear simple, clean, easy to read… marketed well.

Many of things I admire about a great marketing campaign – whether it’s politics, or food – is how it’s being sold.

It’s amazing what great marketing can do to the perception of the product or idea being placed in front of you. It can bring to mind images that give the “buyer” confidence in what they’re purchasing.

When we went gluten-free, it was a major GAME-CHANGER. I didn’t know any of the brands… nothing looked familiar. They aren’t “big” names that I’d see in ads, or on television (if I watched it anyway…)

So, it left me wondering… how does the food TASTE? It looks….

Different.

When you’re already not good at different… you wonder…

Different bad?

Different good?

Oh please be different good….

Well, it’s comical to me now… my kids actually say, THIS food tastes BETTER! (and they’re RIGHT!)

It can’t be “just good marketing” to my kids, because they don’t buy the products I pick out.  They just eat what we put in front of them.

I wonder… is it that there aren’t so many preservatives, obviously no gluten? Food shouldn’t have a shelf-life longer than a cat’s-life.

Maybe it’s the other ingredients…. vs. high fructose corn syrup in almost every product….

Maybe it’s the lack of GMOs?

Whatever it is…. my kids are right. A majority of the food is really great, it’s just different.

Definitely – different GOOD.

Someone gave me some advice… of brands they liked – and it was super helpful for me, as I searched for everything unfamiliar. Currently some of our favorite brands include:

Amy’s, Udi’s (which is said YOU-DEEs, not YOU-DIE like my nephew coined, that would be the other bread), Pamela’s, Enjoy Life, KIND, EnviroKids, Gluten Free Mama, Justin’s, Larabar, Nastasme, Applegate, Van’s, Food for Life, Annie’s (GF bunnies and Mac and Cheese)… although truthfully – we mainly eat fruits, veggies and organic meats. I make our own bread – and I’m still in the process of perfecting that. Stay tuned for some updates on bread and the garden this week!

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits–

Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.”

Psalm 103:3

;

Forethinking Healthy

Everytime I need to make a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I need to plan to make bread about 3 hours before that, or have store bought bread out of the freezer to thaw.

Advanced thinking before acting.

That is what ANY healthy person requires.

You must make a scheduled effort to work out. You must CARVE that time out of your day, or force it to be immovable – or it’s too easy to push that time aside, and fill it with other “things”…

That’s all they are you know… minutes of time, which compile into your 24 hour day.

God gives us each the same. Some of us have different challenges on how we use that time – and some of us … well, we set ourselves up for failure.

I once heard that an American’s GREATEST fear, is inconvenience. We don’t want to have to work too hard for something because it might be… difficult, painful, frustrating, time-consuming or expensive.

Is that true of you?

Maybe not?

I didn’t think that was me.

I work hard…

I make sure I workout…plan ahead – I try to be focused.

I was planning healthy meals… had my grocery list to “forethink” what to buy and what I needed to meal plan so we were never out of stock.

I had MY system, and all was going great…

But then, God threw a wrench in that…

It was much easier to cook and plan to feed our army of 10 before we went gluten-free. It’s a fact that it is easier to stock up on foods with preservatives, and not have to be concerned with them spoiling in just a few days. My plans did continue… the time frame just shrunk… and I had to sharpen my skills again.

It’s GOOD when God throws us curve balls in life…. because they cause us to adapt and change, hopefully MORE to His likeness!

Just like in a workout – when we get uncomfortable, that’s when change is going to happen. I’m not talking about ripping through reps and hurting yourself… I’m talking about controlled, focused … advanced THINKING before acting with the purpose to help OTHERS or yourself – for God’s glory.

If it helps you to draw a picture… then do that! Chart out where you need to plan to be more intentional.

Workouts? (What type? Time to try something new to spice things up?)

Workout Time? (What does that look like for the week? Which days, and how long?)

Meals? (summer meals can be simple, but having fresh produce on hand is key! Don’t forget snacks on the go!)

and most importantly..

Time with God. (above and beyond our need for food and exercise, should be our time with God…) What is He speaking into your life today?

What are your PLANS to be healthy for Him this week?

“She is like the merchant ships,

Bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark;

She provides food for her family

And portions for her servant girls.”

(Proverbs 31:14-15)

 

 

Big Family, Little Garden

The organic things we planted in our garden box!

They say you have to start somewhere.  We’ll start here.

At least it’s a start!

We always had a large garden growing up.  Ironically, I ate almost everything out of the garden – except tomatoes.  I hated tomatoes.

I enjoy tomatoes now.  Perhaps I’ve matured, or my taste buds have.

I assumed we’d have a garden, when I dreamed of husband…  and my children-less family.

Little did I realize we’d build on land that was almost 85% CLAY.  {Not very fertile ground, if you catch my drift.}  The best soil made us able to have a septic system… and I believe that was by the grace of God.  This dirt is not the greatest.

Enter in:  Square Foot Gardening!

I’ve read about it in lots of magazines, and passed by books on the subject – but after reviewing what unit studies to do with my kids, I was sure NEXT SPRING we’d build a garden and learn about it in depth.

I ran the idea past my husband before the homeschool conference…  “it would be a great way for the kids to learn more about their food source, take part in building the box, getting the dirt, planting and caring for the plants…”

He laughed.  “Oh sure, we can do that… but next year – right?”

“Yes,” I assured him.  I knew we didn’t have the time to do one THIS year.

As Facebook would have it, I saw some neat square foot gardens my friends had made this spring… and they looked so cute, it seemed so simple.  Surely we could do this.  A few boards, some screws… some dirt and seeds – and wa-lah!  Right?

Or not.

Did I mention I have OCD?  When I get an idea… watch out.  It’s probably going to happen soon, vs. later.

Really this wasn’t that difficult… but a few more therapy sessions of encouraging my husband to get the wood, build the box and we’d take care of the rest…  I wanted his blessing.   So we set out on a Saturday and collected our supplies.  I brought my iPad so we could look at the Pioneer Woman’s blog again.

We made our box over the course of a few days.  Not because it was difficult, but because we had other projects going on.  Next, we filled it up with a mix of top soil, manure, compost and peat moss that we picked up from the local horticulture store (we did this part while my husband was out-of-town – to make it painless for him!)

The kids were all about helping unload. This is one of my comical children appearing as if I’m crushing her. They were good workers!

The older kids helped me, and we mixed it as we dumped it, and then used string to mark off our square feet to begin planting!

They are so stoked about their garden, and it’s been a great learning experience so far!

We’re not even one week in, and our cucumbers have peeked their green leaves through the soil!  The kids are so excited!!  Stay tuned to see if anything else grows!

“I planted the seed,   Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”

1 Corinthians 3:6-7

 

 

That Girl

I saw this, and of course cried.  I was always “THAT GIRL” before for being so selective with certain foods that I knew made me sick…  and now, even more so as I’m more sensitive and have realized the reason.

Celiac Disease.

Food is such a social thing.  Feeling excluded or being “a pain” is my least favorite thing when it comes to people having to make “special adjustments” for me.  Truly, I dislike it.  But, on the otherhand – as a family, we’re used to be excluded.  Often times there’s just too many of us, or people don’t like the togetherness of our family…   It’s not a new battle for us.  Being different…  but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt sometimes.

We had a couple over the other night, and they brought cookies they had made for us.  SUPER sweet.  It was a genuinely awesome thought, but I felt sick at having to tell them we couldn’t have them… I didn’t want them to think we didn’t appreciate the gesture.

Just to review.  Celiac disease isn’t something people choose to have.  They don’t eat gluten-free as a form of trying to lose weight, nor is it a trend for us.  We know it’s more caloric – so we have to monitor our intake all the more.  We do it to be healthy, because it’s best for OUR bodies.  We all have to do what is best for us.

Also…

* I didn’t choose Celiac disease for my family.  God did.  I’m glad He doesn’t make mistakes and I can trust in His plan for us.

 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

 your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 

  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, 

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  

 Your eyes saw my unformed body;

 all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Psalm 139:16-19

Processed Food, That Doesn’t Process.

We have this little running joke at our house.  It stems from a trip we took in our first year of marriage.  My husband’s family owns retail stores, and we used to travel to a yearly convention, where we set up shop for a week.  Meals were scarce – as were bathroom breaks… we stood on our feet a lot!  We ate TERRIBLY back then.

When we stood in line at a Burger King for breakfast… Yes, I said Burger King and breakfast – together. *YUCK*  One of the menu items to order was a mini-cinnamon roll set of 4, in  box made for a hamburger no doubt.  As the orders were placed, the staff person kept saying “CINNA-MINI” into the microphone, to let the back “cooks” know to put another round in the microwave.  {That way they were nice and FRESH you know.}  Yeeeeeeeah.  Not. So. Much.

Ever wonder why you feel so poorly after eating fast food? We saw this at the HS conference in April. It’s 5 years old… Makes you wonder how your body is supposed to “use” stuff like this and process it – after we consume it?? Just say no.

Anyway… the whole mono-toned “CINNA-MINI” makes me giggle…  but the idea of what we ate or what was in that food, makes me a little sick to my stomach.

I used to LOVE cinnamon rolls.  Our local bakery made the best.

They probably still make the best, I just don’t eat them… obviously.  I stopped eating them 6 years ago when I stopped eating many cake-like breads.  However, my kids still REALLY wanted some cinnamon rolls – and I wanted to make that happen for them.  I present to you – gluten-free cinnamon rolls in cute little muffin cups! (I’m sure you can make these with whole wheat/white flour too…)

GLUTEN FREE CINNAMON ROLLS

3/4 cup luke warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
3/4 cup almond milk
3 T sugar
2 T canola/grape seed oil
1 tablespoon honey
3 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Almond flour mix by Gluten
Free Mama)
2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1/4 cup GF carbonated water
3/4 cup sugar
3 T. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup gluten-free or organic butter, cut into 12 squares
Pecan halves (optional)

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups. Set aside. In a large
mixing bowl, stir lukewarm water into yeast until dissolved. Add milk, 3 T.
sugar, oil and honey and mix well. Let stand for 5 minutes.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Add flour
mixture to milk mixture and beat until combined. Stir in carbonated water.
Fill muffin cups only HALF FULL with a glob of dough.

In a small bowl mix 3/4 cup of sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle batter in
each cup with about 1 Tablespoon sugar mixture. Top with square of butter.
Fill with remaining batter.

Use a skewer or knife to make a swirl at the top of batter in each cup. Top
with remaining sugar mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Top
with pecan halves if desired. Serves 12.

Stressed OUT??  Someone IS listening.  Talk to Him!

“In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God.   From His temple he heard my voice; my cry came to His ears.”

2 Samuel 22:7

Summer Salad

Saw this and had to share!  It seems perfect for summer, and easy too!  It’s from page 62 of “Gluten Free Made Simple”… but it’s great for anyone.  Refreshing!

EASY CABBAGE SALAD

1 – 14 ounce package shredded cabbage with carrots

1 – 10 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained

1/4 cup whole almonds or almond slivers

1/2 cup gluten-free Italian or Oil and Vinegar dressing

* In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, oranges and almonds.  Add dressing and toss to mix thoroughly.  Serve immediately OR chill for up to 2 hours.  Serves 8.

** always double-check labels to check for hidden gluten in the ingredients.

120 calories per serving

8 g. fat, 1g. sat. fat

10 mg cholesterol

20 mg. sodium

9 g. carbs

2 g. fiber

3 g. protein

“Praise the Lord,my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Psalm 103:1-5

YES! I Can Have That!

One of the principles Danna Demetre always talked about was making sure you didn’t tell yourself you “couldn’t” have something.  Once you did, you were bound to desire that something MORE.

Oh my, is that ever true for me. {I’ve admitted, until forced to change by God, I’m impossible!}

However, when you take that thought process and turn it around – so that you are making a choice to NOT have something – to honor God and your body, it reverses the hold food can have on you.

Instead of saying, “I can’t have that muffin, cookie, soda…”  Remind yourself why you don’t need that thing, and how you’re better off without it.  Make it YOUR choice not to want it, vs. believing a lie that you “need it” to survive.

One thing several of my celiac books talk about, is having a positive attitude.  When we get down, that adds to the bogging down of our immune system, which in turn – makes it more likely for you to get sick.  That’s definitely not good when you have an auto-immune disease, but it’s plain NOT GOOD for anyone!

I’ve been on a mission to show the kids what we CAN have – so we can focus on our blessings, vs. counting ourselves as cursed. God uses all things for His good! Gluten Free Pancakes with Dairy/Soy/Gluten free chocolate chips!  They were a big hit!

That idea transfers to anyone’s life.

It’s ok to cry now and then.  Women especially appreciate that emotional release.  BUT, when the focus is on what you can’t have – instead of realizing what we DO have, and CAN have in life… it’s bringing us down.

So, for a short while I was angry about what I wouldn’t be able to have… ever again.  Then I struggled through what my kids couldn’t have or wouldn’t be able to try… and feeling like that some how *I* caused this.  (Who created us again?)  God brought me to a place of peace.

{Thank you God.  Your peace does transcend all understanding.}  His purpose, His ways.

There are LOTS of things I can have, and other options to replace old ones… and more than anything – we have so much in this country…  NO EXCUSES.  NO COMPLAINING!! 

These are a big hit. We stocked up when Target had them on sale at $2.50 a box! They’re dairy free too – so I can have them – yum!

So when people say to me, “Oh I’m so sorry…”  about the celiac disease…. I really don’t feel sad.  Not in the least.  I’m SO grateful and thankful.  I know what I can do to feel well now… and keep my kids healthy – and THAT is a blessing.

This is a tasty treat the kids enjoy! Kettle Corn certified GLUTEN FREE from Target!

Won’t you realize what you can do to keep yourself and your family healthy too?  Make a change in the right direction… and do what you can to eliminate those empty calories, that mindless snacking.  Truly eat to live, NOT life to eat.  There is so much more in life than food!  Let Him show you how to be healthy for HIM!!

ME sporting my new G-FREE shirt. I got them for my daughter and I to “celebrate” our family’s new journey to health!

I will give you back your health and heal your wounds,” says the LORD. “For you are called an outcast–‘Jerusalem for whom no one cares.'”

  Jeremiah 30:17

What Is In That Cloud?

Several of the products that went out the door.

My hair is pretty important to me. Not that it’s some wonderful thing, but perhaps because I always struggled with making it tame when I was younger. When it came “in style” to wear it straight, I knew I was in for some serious challenges.

My hair is fine, dry, and curly… and there is LOTS of it – so it’s THICK. My brother’s used to call me Medusa on any given morning, at the breakfast table.

Yes. It can get ca-razy.

I was blessed after college, with a great hair dresser in the city. It was 2 hours to visit her, but before kids – this was my every-other-month shopping trip and girl time. I loved how my hair felt and how my stylist understood my needs… and my hair.

Then came the children… and going to the city, was… no longer a practical option. Thankfully I was blessed again with a wonderfully talented friend, named Melissa. Melissa understood my hair too, and again my hair was happy. I got the right products, the right cut, 12 years later – I’m still very happy!

Melissa’s great. But the last time I saw her, I didn’t think to mention celiac disease and what I was going through. I didn’t really want to talk about it on my “hour to relax”… I was tired of thinking about it frankly. That didn’t seem like a big deal…

Until this past week.

When I realized my favorite hair products probably worked so well, because they had WHEAT PROTEIN in them.

And I was right.

Unfortunately – they were making me ill and not helping my cause. I was very, very sad. Many people said that because you’re not ingesting hair products, it shouldn’t be a problem… But I read enough other information which made a good case that explained how *I* had been feeling. I wondered why I always got bad headaches while getting ready to go somewhere, and rashes from different deodorants and soaps I tried. Yes, the gluten-filled products had to leave.

My GIANT bottle of Kenra… which I dearly love – was recently kicked to the curb… along with a lot of other products.

“Now WHAT?” I thought. This is insane! What CAN I use that will work and not make me sick?

It didn’t help that this week’s weather has my hair on HIGH FRIZZ alert.

Suddenly my hair felt dry, out of control and just YUCKY.

We began looking at all of our cosmetics… the body wash, shampoos, our nail polishes and deodorants… and slowly weeding everything out that could potentially irritate rashes, or be ingested.

A little sad – but knowing, “Ok, this isn’t making me sick”, is very comforting. We’re still on the search for the perfect products to tame this beast, but we’ll get there! Today is better than yesterday, and that’s all I can ask for.

We really DO need to be checking out all of these products these major companies are selling us. It’s CRAZY what is in some of them… and obviously we’re abosorbing it into our systems.

Not. Good.

I ordered some Zoya nail polish, which is gluten-free and comes dermatologist recommended… and I’m excited to try that! Toxins – BE GONE!

“He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”

Psalm 62:6

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