July 7, 2013

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June 28, 2013

gluten intolerant

Let’s go back to sometime last fall. At least once a week I was feeling ill when it came to digestion. I was beginning to suspect it might be something in my diet, and even spent a week following an elimination diet (no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no sugar, no fruit) to see if I felt any better. A week later my run times were suffering, I had zero energy, and my stomach was not feeling better, so I gave up and started eating my regular fair again. I read up on possible symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac, and while I had the digestive trouble, none of the others rang true for me, so I convinced myself it was something else.

I continued to just deal with it until this spring. After a string of days with a bout of (TMI warning) steatorrhea, I was ready to try again. I had recently started CrossFit, and had been reading more and more about the Paleo diet, and in particular the Whole 30 challenge.  The Whole 30 is an elimination diet, much like the one I had originally tried, although this one allowed fruit in moderation. As the name suggests, you eat this way for 30 days. As I read more about it, I learned some of my mistakes from the first time I tried an elimination diet – namely not eating enough, and in particular not eating well balanced meals. So armed with much more information about the food plan, a pantry stocked with compliant foods, and a list of recipes I wanted to try, I started out on my 30 days of dairy free, grain free, legume free, sugar and alcohol free eating. The idea being that at the end of 30 days I would hopefully feel better, and then introduce the foods back into my diet one by one to identify the culprit of my digestive woes.

I sang praises the day I discovered I did not have to give up dairy. I’m pretty sure I can get through any diet challenges so long as I can enjoy melted cheeses. Or hard cheeses. Mmmm, cheese.

I actually waited 3 extra weeks before I introduced gluten. And the results were not in favor of my beloved sour dough and cupcakes. We went out with friends to Green Dot Stables to celebrate the end of husby’s 3rd year of medical school. Green Dot is known for their unique sliders. And oh, they were yummy. Especially the mystery meat of the day which was lobster with a buttery sauce and jicama. My mouth is watering just remembering it. But in the middle of the night I woke up with cramps, bloating, gas, etc. That weekend I was headed to Chicago for a quick weekend vacation, and decided to just eat whatever I wanted – a beer hear, an egg roll there, a few bites of Chicago style pizza, croissants, sandwiches, couscous salad. And every morning it was the same. The verdict was in. My body and gluten do not get along.

It turns out that gluten intolerance can just kind of start at any time. In particular, stress can trigger the intolerance. And for whatever reason, it happens to be more common for a young woman in her 20s to develop.

And oh, how gluten has worked its way into nearly every packed food we eat. I’m lucky, in that I only have the digestive troubles associated with gluten intolerance. I certainly feel for all those who have it worse than I do, or who have celiac. Now I join you in clearing my cupboards of wheat, and trying to figure out how to convince my brother to start brewing gluten free beer that is as delicious as all his others.

And I’m on a mission to make a delicious gluten free pizza crust. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

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June 20, 2013

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May 16, 2013

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April 16, 2013

18 months ago

Eighteen months ago husby and I got married.

Up until this point I haven’t written about it or shared the photos with anyone other than a few close family members.

Because it was perfect. And I didn’t want anything to tarnish the glowy-ness of the memories of that moment and the days surrounding it.

And because I wanted to just be married and enjoy that and everything that came with it.

Now, 18 months later, I am ready to share some of the photos from the wedding and reception.

Any words I share about the days surrounding the wedding won’t do it justice. But suffice it to say, they were also perfect. My family, husby’s family, and many of our nearest and dearest friends shared the days with us. The days and nights were filled with laughter, running a 5k, a henna/mehndi party, putting together flower arrangements, eating, dancing, drinking, and watching all of our friends meet each other and get along beautifully. My father hosted a wonderful after party complete with lamb, my brothers delicious homebrew, and a bonfire.

And it was wonderful. Everything still shimmers in my memory.

All photos by my dear friend Anna, AMAZI[n]G Inc

My brothers decided to have there own photo shoot while they were waiting to usher in our guests.

We wrote our own ceremony, which included singing “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens, readings from The Prophet and The Little Prince, traditional vows, and a blessing written and given by my mom.

Also, we high fived. Then we kissed.

On our RSVP cards, the affirmative response included the phrase “be there with bells on”.  My mom managed to secretly distribute bells to all our quests, and as we walked down the aisle after the ceremony they all rang them wildly in celebration.

We and all our guests signed a Quaker wedding contract certifying and showing support for our marriage. This now hangs in our living room.

Husby has a much bigger mouth than I do, and was able to basically eat his cupcake in one bite, despite my efforts to push it into his face. I was not able to do the same.

For our parent dances, after the first verse we invited all of the other father/daughter pairs and mother/son pairs to join us on the dance floor for the remainder of each song. During the mother/son dance, my oldest brother brought my mom onto the dance floor, and then my other two brother proceeded to cut in in turn. And they finished the song with all four of them dancing together. It was so wonderful and goofy.

And then we danced.

We took a lot of goofy pictures, because we’re a goofy bunch.

This was the only photo we requested. Jets vs. Sharks. Snap off.

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