Saying Goodbye to Wonder Woman……

For far too long I was under the crazy notion that I was Wonder Woman in disguise. I’m not sure if it is a generation thing, if its a woman thing or where I adopted it, but I was under the ridiculous notion that in order to be successful in my life I had to do it all and I had to be it all to my family and myself. 

Truth be told, I fell short most days and I constant felt like I couldn’t measure up to my own ideals. The problem was I had trained everyone in my life to rely on me for everything, that when I suddenly couldn’t be there for everyone it wasn’t only my world that came to a screeching halt so did everyone else’s world. 

You see, I took care of everything and when I didn’t have the energy, the inkling or desire to do that everyone had to step-up in ways that they were uncomfortable with so my celiac disease became a problem for everyone else, not just me.

I honestly have no idea how I accomplished all that I did; however all I know for sure is I was always tired, always running on empty, always felt like a failure because I never finished my to-do lists, I was unhappy and truly miserable and didn’t even know it. I made no one in my life accountable for anything and I was accountable for everything. Who died and left me the Queen, I have no damn clue but that was how I lived my every day.

Having severe complications to celiac disease some days made it impossible for me to get out of bed and get my hair washed so worrying about everyone’s shit, was more than I could handle. So guess what, everyone else had to step up and become accountable for all the things that I use to carry for them and no one died. Yeah, things weren’t done the way I would have done them, but they got done and I was grateful that they did and I no longer had that burden on my shoulders that was never mine to carry in the first place.

When you are sick, it forces you to put down the pretenses and get really real with yourself and others. I no longer try to carry the load for anyone else, I have finally realized that I was doing them a dis-service they need to be accountable for their own actions and their own choices and I need to take care of myself. So i have long since said goodbye to Wonder Woman and hello to the new me, who does the best that she can every single day. And, I have to say I have also changed my own definitions of success, happiness and how I live my every day.

So my question to you is, are you still trying to be Wonder Woman? Super Girl? or another fantastic woman who has it all and falling short? Who are you being today?

Will the Rotation Diet Work For Me?

A rotation diet is typically used for people who have multiple food allergies. So doctors suggest that the person rotate their food every four days. So lets say for example you would eat gluten on Monday, you would typically wait four days, so on Friday you would eat gluten again and see if your body reacts to this food.

Here’s the problem with gluten. If you are having a reaction to gluten today, your body will always react to gluten. This is a permanent sensitivity. The challenge becomes when you body does not respond the way it did last time you eat gluten and it decides to find another vehicle and see if you will pay attention to a different signal of pain.

Anyone who has celiac disease who has removed gluten for an extended period of time who then has an inadvertent exposure to gluten can tell you how ugly and bad that boo boo can be. The longer you have had gluten removed from your body the more violent the reaction may be.

However, here is another challenge with celiac disease, your body does not always respond in the same timeframe and it can take up to eight days if you have what is a delayed response to a food. So if you ate some gluten on Monday you may not have had your first reaction to this food when you introduced the second round on Saturday. Your body may react on day 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8.

In addition, according to Dr. Aristo Vojdani who is an Immunologist and Researcher who has studies, analyzes and treats disease processes that involve the immune system and has done so for more than forty years. He believes that, 

    “You must remove the reactive food forever. Zero tolerance! Inadvertent exposure leads to more severe symptoms and may attack different tissues: joints, thyroid, cerebellum, etc. Rotation diets do not make sense from an immunological point of view”

So the answer is a resounding NO, a Rotation Diet will not work for you if you have celiac disease or are gluten-sensitive.

Hope this helps answer your question, dear reader. Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings  below. And if you have a question of your own, click the ask a question button and I’ll do my best to answer soon.

The Immunology of Gluten Sensitivity Beyond The Intestinal Tract

Vojdani, A, O’Bryan T, Kellerman G.H.

European Journal of Inflammation ,  Jan 16, 2008, Volume 6, no 2

Hey guys in an effort to stay on my game, I have found that it’s important for me to continue to grow, learn, understand and put into practice as much as I possible can to improve my health and those that I care about. 

So I have made it part of my weekly routine to read some current and not so current medical research that directly relates to celiac disease and/or gluten sensitivity. I have just recently decided to blog about it so my intention with this is really to include so important points on what I have read in hopes that you too will find it beneficial to have a better understanding what is going on in your body and how much some of the researchers know, that unfortunately not all doctors do. I will list the article information that I am reading, so that if you are interested as well, you could do some further research on your own. So here goes:

Found this article and honestly I could have listed everything here as it discusses the many links with so many different diseases from myocarditis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, osteopenia, gluten ataxia, type 1 diabetes, etc so I highly recommend you read this article and I’ve chosen a few points that stood out to me.

  • During the past five years, based on overwhelming evidence of immune pathogenesis involving organs other than gut and skin, many scientists have begun to re-evaluate the notion that gluten sensitivity is solely a disease of the gut. Other organs suspected of involvement include: the joints, the heart, thyroid, bone, the brain cerebellum and the neuronal synapsins.
  • Although it is believed that the prevalence of CD is one in one hundred, for every symptomatic patient with CD there are eight patients with CD with no GI symptom.
  • During the past two decades, gluten sensitivity and CD has been recognized as a multi-system autoimmune disorder. A growing body of distinct neurologic conditions such as cerebellar ataxia, epilepsy, myoclonic ataxia, chronic neuropathies, and dementia have been reported. However, recent studies suggest that the variability of neurologic disorders that occur in gluten sensitivity is broader than previously reported and includes “softer” and more common neurologic disorders, such as chronic headache, developmental delay (autism), hypotonia and learning disorders or ADHD
  • CD and autoimmune thyroid disorders share a common genetic predisposition, namely, the DQ2 allele. This common predisposing genetic background would explain the higher incidence of thyroid autoimmune disorders in CD than in the general population.

This study clearly shows what most doctors don’t truly understand and that is the importance for those people who have not tested positively for celiac disease who “only” are gluten sensitive just how many additional complications can arise when your boy is responding negatively to gluten and we ignore it. We choose to continue to consume gluten in high quantities and it could affect your joints, your bones, your heart function, your thyroid and your brain in various ways.

At some point you have to choose for yourself and you have to open your eyes and think, is what I/we are eating is that contributing to your health issues? 

Regardless of the fact that way to many doctors will tell you that you do not have to make any dietary changes that you are just fine. Keep doing what your doing and take these pills for your bones, your memory, your heart, etc. 

Stop putting more and more band-aids on an issue and lets get to some of the root causes or at least the contributing factors as to why your body is not functioning properly and you need the additional assistance in the forms of a medication.

It’s important to remember most doctors are not trained in nutrition and put no value in it, despite what the research is telling us.

Just something to think about and to consider when making food choices for not only you but also your entire family.

* Here’s my little disclaimer, I’m not a doctor, researcher, immunologist, just someone deeply concerned and trying to help as many peeps as I can make conscious, good, healthy choices for their health and their bodies when living life with gluten challenges. I have not been compensated or obligated to write this article, and as always, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own!

Top 3 Tips on Flying

I separated flying from traveling because for me, they are two separate animals. When travel i always scope out the nearest health food store and know ahead of time what my options are but in an airport, your options are pretty darn limited so it is important that you be prepared for whatever.

You may think i’m crazy but then there are those of you who will thank me because you have been delayed by weather and have gotten stuck for 1/2 a day or night at the airport due to one delay after another.

So for flying as with anything in a celiacs life it all comes down to preparation.

So here are my Top 3 Tips, hope they help.

Tip #1:

Eat before you leave your home. And, I don’t care if its at 5:00a.m. down a protein shake on the way. If you fly often and you are familiar with the food options in your terminal and there is a safe  option, then I’m not talking to you. My only question is are you 1000% sure that, your safe option will be there and that you have time enough to stand in line to get it?

For the rest of us who don’t live in airports and don’t have a clue what restaurant options are available, I choose to be over prepared and have healthy snacks on-hand in my purse and in my carry-on. And I’m not just talking about throwing a banana in your purse, I’m talking about some protein sources. When you need to stay full, you need some protein not just fruit and certainly not just gluten-free carbs.

Tip #2:

Depending on the length of my flight say 2 hour versus 6 hours across the country also determines the amount of food/snacks I bring.  Also a determining factor should be are you flying direct or do you have to change planes 1/2 way, cause if that is the case you can always count on having a few delays and needing to have more food with you.

Now TSA won’t allow you to bring liquids in, but they do allow you to bring in prepared foods (depending on where you are traveling to) or at the very least prepackaged items. So I go for single servings of nut butters, hummus, some gluten-free seed crackers, almonds or other small containers of nuts, and protein powder. These are my staples, then I’ll add some berries or a banana. And, I always carry more than I think I need.

Another thing to consider is, if all goes according to plan and you are on-time to your destination, will you have enough time to get to the nearest health food store or some place for dinner before they close? If you may not, then I tend to carry a dinner option for me, enough to get me through to the morning when everything is open and I can be prepared. So I generally bring a big salad, have a cooked protein source (that I carry in a cooler bag so that it says fresh and I can usually quickly heat it up if I need to), a single serving gluten-free dressing option (that has been doubled bagged to prevent leaks) and throw any extra nuts from my snacks on top. Or I make my own gluten-free sandwich and bring it with me, all wrapped up and cut in pieces. 

Can’t tell you how many times that has saved me during a several hour day.

Tip #3:

Starbucks is usually my last but only option for finding a gluten-free snack if I have run out or didn’t have enough on my trip back. I go there because they generally have packages of nuts at the counter and often carry a Kind Bar or a Two Mom’s In The Raw Bar which will absolutely due in a pinch and Starbucks are in many airports. 

However, some airports support their own local coffee companies on occasion, I have been surprised that they carry a gluten-free option but more often than not, there are no options. 

So it is hugely important that you know ahead of time and are banking on there being a Starbucks in your terminal and have them come to your rescue, that they are actually there. Do not leave yourself out of options and starving, that’s not a good plan.

Would love to hear your tips on flying, please share in the comments below. Also, if you have specific tips you’d like to request, click on the question box and I’ll get to yours just as soon as I can.