So frustrated right now…..

Between work and just life in general this week has pretty much sucked…. Today is the first day off that I have had from both jobs in over a week, and of course I was unable to catch up on all the sleep I have been missing. It never seems to fail, you can always get comfy, cozy in bed on the days that you have to get up early for work, but on the days you can sleep late, sleep always seems to be elusive.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I learned of yet another ingredient that was in some of the foods we were using that, while made from a natural ingredient, are less than good for you. For those of you that have gone through the process of going gluten free, or who are currently going through the so called gluten detox, you probably are more than well aware of how frustrating it can be.

About 10 months ago, my husband and I stopped using regular milk and we switched to almond milk. We always liked the Blue Diamond nuts, so we figured their almond milk should be just as good so we decided to give it a try, completely unaware of the ingredients it contained. Well, this past monday one of my Facebook friends posted an article regarding the so called natural ingredient called Carrageenan. Odds are you have probably seen this in some organic foods, sometimes followed by seaweed in parentheses.

I, like many of you, figured this ingredient was fine, until I read the truth about this ingredient. It is commonly used as a thickening agent in milk substitutes, yogurt, and other organic products. While that doesn’t sound harmful, what really freaked me out was what this so called “natural” ingredient does to the body. It actually causes inflammation, which if you are currently trying to heal yourself from inflammation from gluten, this ingredient acts as a roadblock in the healing process. It keeps feeding the unhappiness in your system.

If you have read my previous posts, you probably know that I have been less than happy with this entire process, and I was starting to wonder why the hell I felt stuck. Not feeling better, yet not feeling worse like when I used to eat gluten. Then to find out that something we thought was better for us was actually doing us more harm. Especially when an article I read by Dr. Weil about this same subject specifically stated to not ingest this ingredient especially if you are dealing with some form of IBS. So why the hell is this ingredient allowed in foods? Especially those that market themselves as being better for you since they are “organic”. I have even seen it in uncured deli meat in the grocery store.

We have since switched to the Silk Almond Milk since it at least does not have this ingredient, and I will have to say that I am actually starting to feel a little bit better, even though I am still tired most days, but I attribute that to working 2 jobs, and not necessarily the food. You can learn more about this ingredient here: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401181/Is-Carrageenan-Safe.html

And if you find yourself suffering the way I have been, take a look at the ingredients in the products in your fridge, you may find you have also been poisoning yourself with this ingredient and not even known it!

Hating Life Right Now…..

This past week has pretty much sucked… Working my butt off between 2 jobs, and still feel like crap from all this gluten detox. Head congestion seems to be back with a vengance, as well as the body aches, and some acid reflux. As if all the physical issues aren’t bad enough, I am still dealing with eight different credit cards that have been charged off by various credit card companies.

It has been about a month and a half since I cut out gluten 100% and I am so frustrated with the fact that is seeming to take so long for my body to get back to normal. Heck at this point I don’t even remember what normal feels like anymore. I have been feeling off for over 5 years now, so I guess it is supposed to take time for my body to reset itself and get rid of all the bad stuff that I have been feeding it for so many years. Sure I understand that things will not get better overnight, but I have to say I am really sick and tired of getting up every morning feeling like crap.

The real kicker is when you have co-workers that look at you and say oh, you are still young, so you’re the one that can easily bend down and unlock and lock the door at the end of the night. Yet there are days when bending over is a struggle without some form of almost blinding pain coming from your lower back. Not pain from your back specifically but cramping from the gut. Sorry if this is TMI, but many do not understand what gluten does to us, not to mention what your body goes through while trying to rid itself of the remaining toxins. Just because you stop eating it, doesn’t mean the reactions are not still there.

There are days that I just want to stay in bed and cry, but I have to pull myself out of bed and get to work, otherwise there is not enough money to pay the bills. I just want to feel better at this point, I just wish I knew when this roller coaster ride is supposed to finally be over, cause I seriously feel like I can’t take it anymore….

A Craving for Toast????

Every day brings a new set of challenges on the path to staying gluten free. I have not had any gluten in probably a little over a month now, and a few days ago I got struck with the weirdest craving I have ever had in my life, a desire for TOAST!!!

One may wonder how I found myself even in the vicinity of something that could make me so ill, so I guess I should explain that one of my jobs is at a Campground. I work in the store, and we have a mini food counter where we serve the basics, like bagels, toast, and sandwiches. During the week I have a set of regulars that come in for coffee and breakfast. One ordered toast with butter. Never in my life had I ever found myself salivating over a golden brown piece of toast, but part of me wanted it so badly, but I knew it would do me more harm than good, so luckily my willpower won out and I didn’t succumb to my bodies pleas for the gluten.

Luckily the cravings have subsided a bit, but I still find myself feeling utterly frustrated with the new “me”. Of course I know I am just one of many that are in the same boat, but since being Gluten Sensitive is still not widely known, it can be hard to ensure you stay completely gluten free, when many have no clue that gluten, which is most commonly wheat, barley, and rye, can truly make someone sick. Which makes the entire idea of going out to dinner a beyond scary experience.

Next up in this journey, my husband and I are going out to dinner with my parents for our wedding anniversary.  Will let you know how that hopefully goes soon….

My struggles with Gluten…..

I know it has been quite awhile since I have posted to this site. Honestly I can’t even remember the last time I wrote on here. It feels like it was only a year ago, but it was probably a lot longer than that. So to catch you up, I lost my job in IT back in June 2012, and was unemployed for over a year, until I finally was able to land a job with a local campground as a store clerk. The only downside is that the job is seasonal, and will only last until October. So in the meantime, I was still trying to find other work. Luckily I was able to pick up a second job working part-time as a stylist at Chicos. Needless to say that means I am currently working 2 jobs, with very little time to myself, but at least they bring in some money.

Well, during all this, my husband and I read the book “Grain Brain”, which if you haven’t read it yet yourself, simply stated it explains the effects that gluten has on our bodies. Needless to say the book explained a lot of the issues that I had been having within the past 6 years. I was dealing with a constant brain fog, making me feel like I could barely think straight, even after a full nights sleep. While that didn’t really bother me, what really started to scare me was the appearance of the migraines with auras. Those who have experienced them know exactly how frustrating they can be, especially since the aura part means you have some form of visual disturbance before the migraine actually hits. And you can even get the auras without even having the migraine afterwards.

I am one that can deal with a lot of pain, heck I have had to deal with horrible cramps for nearly my entire life, so dealing with headaches I have no issue with, but when things start to mess with my vision I really get frustrated. So after reading the “Grain Brain” book, I finally realized what could have been causing my issues, so my husband and I decided to cut back drastically on the amount of gluten in our diet. We went through our entire kitchen and threw out any processed foods, and even switched to many gluten-free products, but we did still eat small amounts of gluten on occasion.

Well, I wish I could say that solved all my problems, and while it did fix the brain fog, that one symptom got replaced by a wide range of gut related unhappiness. Tons of gas, and other digestive related issues. During this time I was dealing with a lot of sinus congestion, so I thought maybe my gut troubles were related to post nasal drip, ie all the lovely mucus dripping down my throat, so I became religious about using my Neti Pot to rinse out my sinuses. Needless to say that didn’t fix the issue, so I then turned to probiotics thinking that it may be due to an imbalance of the good vs bad bacteria in my gut. Well that didn’t work either. I dealt with these issues for MONTHS, and the migraines still reared their ugly head on occasion, although not as frequently as when I was on the full gluten diet.

I was beyond frustrated because I was so tired of waking up every day feeling like crap. It didn’t seem to matter what I ate, I always had gas, which made my life miserable and resulted in strange looks from my husband every time I belched. So after months of suffering, I started researching symptoms of gluten sensitivity. Well, needless to say I had 9 out of 10 of the symptoms on the list. The only one I didn’t have was being diagnosed with IBS, as I had never actually gone to the doctor for this. While it was a eureka moment that I finally had an explanation for what was wrong with me, it also frustrated me because I never had issues with gluten when I was younger. I could eat tons of pasta and bread without issue, and now I find myself pretty much allergic to the foods I used to love.

This also meant that I could no longer drink beer, Sam Adams and Guinness were two of my favorites, that overnight became something I could not touch, unless I wanted to feel violently ill afterwards.

So you may be wondering, am I Celiac? As far as I know I am not, but that is only because I have not gone to the doctor to be tested. And in order for the test to work, you need to still be consuming gluten for the proteins to be found in your blood. But if you know that gluten makes you ill, why would you want to poison yourself just to take a test? I just don’t see the logic in that.

At this time I have been off gluten for about a month now, and I expected that everything would magically improve. While I did feel better within the first few days, I now find myself feeling worse yet again.  Varying forms of lightheadedness, headaches, joint aches, and varying forms of gut distress. I am so frustrated right now. I had hopes that going gluten-free would solve all my issues, but it seems that I just replaced one set of symptoms with another. After more research, I found out that some individuals who have gone gluten-free actually suffer from something called gluten withdrawal. After countless pages that stated the same thing I wanted to scream and cry! Sure I had an explanation for all my issues, but there was no clear-cut time frame for this “withdrawal” as it varies from person to person. Some have had no issues, I WISH, while others have taken months to even years to finally rid their body of the gluten toxins.

So here I sit a month in to my new lifestyle, and all I am hoping for is an end to all this crap. I am just praying for the day where I wake up finally feeling like I used to oh so many years ago. Heck I have been feeling like crap for so long, I honestly think I have forgotten what it feels like to feel good. I’m going to do my best to keep this page updated with my struggles with going gluten-free, so others know that they are not alone in these struggles.

Wizard of Oz Dress Sells for $480,000!

 


I just had to share this as I must admit it shocked the heck out of me when I saw it on the news last night. Apparently the dress that Judy Garland, aka Dorothy, wore in the Wizard of Oz just sold at auction for 480k.  Oh, now if I only had that much money to spend on an item that would never be worn and kept only to “look at”.  Ah, the dream to even have that much money. Oh well, back to the daily grind…

Bad start to a Monday….

As if I didn’t already have a horrible nights sleep, our dog decided to chase after someone walking by on the street with their dog, barking the whole time. He’s not an overly large dog but for some reason he seems to think that everything within his eyesight is his territory and that he must protect it.  Luckily nothing bad happened, but now hubby and I both are peeved at the dog as he can be such a stubborn pain in the butt sometimes.
Anywhoo, currently working my way through my morning cup of coffee, and then to try and be somewhat productive today, although it is technically a holiday. I still have tons of Items to add to my eBay shop and I still have some experimenting to do with new toys for my handmade pet toy shop. Oh, and of course somewhere in the middle of all that I still need to find time to make more jewelry and other items for my jewelry/home decor Etsy shop. Its still somewhat amazing how I find myself busier now than I ever was when I had a FT job. Now if I could only get things to sell in a steady stream I’d be all set. I guess like Rome, my businesses won’t be built in a day. I just hope I’m on the right path to achieving success.

The Things that Happen When We’re Not Looking…..

I just had to share the above photo. This happened last night after hubby and I had finished dinner. We were in the kitchen taking care of dishes and when done I walked into the other room to see our eldest kitty Milo on top of the TV table.  We had potato salad with dinner, Milo’s new found favorite, and apparently he thought he might find more if he hopped up on the table, even though the dishes were gone. Ah kitties…..

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