Gluten Free Living!

Last week I did a video on gluten free living and forgot to upload it. Go me! Here it is. I’m not a huge fan of gluten free foods. I think if you’re going gluten free you really need to overhaul your entire diet if you aren’t already eating whole foods, or else you might fall into the pit of eating a lot of processed gluten free junk food. However, I don’t stay 100% away from gluten free foods. Here are some products I buy occasionally. I thought I’d share them because gluten free foods are not only expensive but very hit or miss! Nothing is worse than dropping dough (oh, the irony) on some nastiness.

Brands I like!

http://www.againstthegraingourmet.com/products/

http://www.quinoa.net/145/163.html

http://udisglutenfree.com/products My personal favorite! I had their bagel’s last week. Omg. Omg. Omg. I forgot how delish a bagel is.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2012/03/the-best-and-worst-gluten-free-beers.html Redbridge is #10 for best gluten free beers! St. Peter’s Sorghum Beer is ABSOLUTELY disgusting.  I tried it the other day. $5 for one bottle, and I dumped it all out. Meck!

 

Peel Away all you gluten free honeys and honitos (honitos?) ❤

Jocellyn

Awesome news! Michelob Ultra  as of last week came out with a light cider, which is awesome news because despite how delicious ciders are, they can be a little heavy. I imagine these will be perfect for a day at the beach! I found it at the local Shaw’s and I’m planning on trying it tomorrow!

 

 

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Simple Salad

Today was an exceptionally naughty 8 hour shift at work. One of my co-workers , Allyn, is a regular Betty Crocker. On a weekly basis he makes cupcakes and brownies for us Goodwillers to gobble up. All except me. Which is good, because I’d totally own that brownie pan! Phew, sometimes being gluten free is a blessing in disguise. Allyn is also known for making some exceptional fudge, so I finally worked up the courage to put in a dietary restriction related request.  I was elated to find a full Tupperware container of chocolate fudge this morning. I had a piece here. I had a piece there. I had several pieces everywhere. End of shift=Commencement of unbuttoning pants.

I was still very full when dinner time rolled around, which worked out perfectly tonight because we were making some salmon with a light accompanying salad. I held off on the salmon—tomorrow, stomach, tomorrow—and ate a large bowl of this simple, cooling, and  soft textured salad.

I got the idea from the blog Cupcakes and Cashmere, and she got it from a NY Times article on 101 Simple Salads.  I love these sorts of meals because the measurements don’t have to be exact. You can mix and match whatever you like and tinker with amounts to get the best flavor.

Recipe

1 Avocado

4 Small Peaches (or 2 big)

1 Roma Tomato

½ Red Onion (I actually had used the red onion for a previous meal, so I went without this time, but I think it’d be an excellent addition)

Splash of Lime Juice (fresh squeezed or bottled. I went with the bottled this time, because I didn’t feel like getting out my juicer)

Sprinkle of Red Pepper Flakes.

Cut the avocado, peaches, tomato, onion, and put them into a bowl. Because these are soft ingredients, gently mix them together. Pour (or squirt) the lime juice on top and sprinkle on the red pepper flakes. Gently mix again. Savor.

This is a perfect snack (or meal if paired with some added protein like chicken, steak, beef, or vegetarian/vegan substitute) on a hot summer’s day. And, for anyone of you getting your wisdom teeth out in the next few months, since summer seems to be prime removal time, this would be a hearty, yet soft snack for you to eat while you ice your cheeks and dose off in a (RESPONSIBLE) pain killer induced haze.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Food Porn: The Best Kind of Porn

Lately I’ve been playing around with my camera. In my Food Gone Wild section I didn’t really give it enough credit. And then I started looking at reviews of it online, and I found out that for the size and price it’s a pretty impressive camera. I’ve been playing around with all the different aperture settings and making the best of the morning light. Here are some recent pictures that have been minimally edited.  I pray the kitchen in my next apartment has amazing lighting as well! I call this series, A Typical Morning– hehe

 

Recently I’ve been photographing a lot of citrus, because it looks so delicious with the right lightening. Well, eggs are also yellow (and delicious), so I thought I’d try my hand at shooting them as well. Look at that yolk! Shout out to Shadow Farms eggs for making me super happy every morning.

 

Greek Yogurt & Blueberries

As you can see, I go pretty heavy on the protein in the morning. Typically I have two eggs and a little cup of Greek yogurt with berries. For the weeks I buy my Udis gluten free toast, I would do eggs, a slice of bread, and a piece of fruit. Last night for dinner I wasn’t feeling very hungry, so I had a berry cup and a glass of red wine (pump up the antioxidants!) I couldn’t get through all the berries, so these were the leftovers. As you know, I’m a huge proponent of plain yogurt, be it Greek or regular, with fresh or frozen berries. That way you aren’t consuming the 20g-29g of sugar you would be getting with the fruit flavored kinds. Your waistline (or wherever you pack on the pounds) will thank you!

 

Breakfast of Champs!

 

Full Fridge.

For the first time since we signed our lease, Chris and I starved. Okay, I use the term starve lightly, of course (I’m not that first world insensitive…), but for someone who eats many mini meals a day, the one day of scrounging around for food was torture. Not to mention, I spent a lot of money buying three meals out. I was so excited to have a full fridge again! The lower section has essential been turned into my greens-for-juicing shelf! Those three kiwis are a little overripe, so I plan on making some kiwi sorbet. The smaller Mason jar is my green tea and lemon toner, which has been working phenomenally! The six pack of beer is actually cider. If you are gluten free (or a hater of beer, which everyone should be—yuck), cider is your best friend. As a Vermonter I was all about the locally made Woodchuck, but recently I’ve branched out to Angry Orchard. We like to stock the fridge with lots of produce!

 

Take some pictures of your food! If you are interested, leave a comment here or in my Food Gone Wild section and I’ll feature your pics with a link back to your blog!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get in my belly!

I go through phases when it comes to my meat consumption. Some weeks I eat it often and with gusto; Some months I hardly touch it; Some nights I crave a nice bleeding steak; Some afternoons I desire the simplicity of squeezing fresh lemon juice over chicken and garnishing it with some pepper. Instead of feeling like I need to eat X-amount of meat meals a week (or limit myself) I simply listen to what my body needs. This past week my body needed something nourishing– and a tad bit sweet, I admit.  I knew exactly what to make: lemon and brown sugar chicken.  As someone who has fiddled around (usually unsuccessfully) with brown sugar and garlic chicken—can you say sticky, icky pans?—I enjoy the pre-determined amounts this recipe has to offer. And since it’s baked in the oven I don’t have to open all my windows and brandish a dish towel at a wall of smoke creeping its way toward the smoke alarm. I found that when I first started cooking, I thoroughly enjoyed the allure of sautéing items on the stove and dancing around the kitchen with flourish and ease, bouncing back and forth between four pots and pan. Perhaps this summer I will be drawn back to my multitasking roots. But it is the end of the semester and motivation and energy is running on fumes. Learn to love the timer on the oven. A bonus, oven baked chicken is always juicy and cooked to perfection.

 

30 Minute Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken- Recipe found on the blog: Eat, Live, Run

serves 4

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

juice of two large lemons

1 T lemon zest

1 cup flour

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp sea salt

1.5 T canola oil

2 T brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Using a meat mallet (or ice cream scoop), pound the chicken breasts thin. Set aside.

Combine the flour, paprika and sea salt in a cake or pie pan. Drop each chicken breast in the mixture and toss to coat completely.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Drop each chicken breast in the oil and brown on both sides (should take only about four minutes). Remove chicken breasts and keep warm on a plate.

Pour the lemon juice in the pan and stir to deglaze. Put chicken breasts in a casserole dish and pour juice on top. Sprinkle with brown sugar and lemon zest.

In they go!

Bake for thirty minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165.”

Don’t get freaked out by this recipe in case you are missing a few items. Feel free to use olive oil or coconut oil in place of canola. If you don’t have any paprika lying around then use chili powder (I had to the other night, and couldn’t tell the difference from the other times I’d made the recipe.) If you don’t have some of these spices, and aren’t entirely jazzed about having to buy a big jar of it, find the cheap spice section in your store. There is a Latin brand called Badia Spices and you can generally find it in the international section. This is a great option if you don’t live by a store with a bulk section. They sell packets of spices for under a dollar. These are great in a pinch if you want to try a recipe but don’t think you’ll need an entire jar of a particular ingredient. Of course, these aren’t the highest quality (source), but they aren’t terrible either. I bought some paprika for 88 cents and was able to use it for three different recipes.

If there is anything you absolutely need for this recipe it is a zester. I don’t know how I lived without one. You’re able to easily take the peel off without getting all the bitter pith, which will happen if you try to use a vegetable peeler. A cheap lemon juicer will also save you time. No longer will you have to pick out those pesky seeds! Oh yeah, use more lemon than you think! Once it hits the pan you need to deglaze Mario Super-Speedy Andretti style or the juice will evaporate. #beentheredonethat

Gluten free: If you cannot eat flour, have no fear. Just use an all purpose gluten free flour. Sadly, these mixes are kind of pricey. If the recipe calls for 2 cups of flour use a little less than 1 cup. Honestly, you don’t need to use it all. Waste not, want not.  I suppose this trick can be applied to regular flour users as well!

Test drive this recipe! Maybe it’ll be something you add to your dinner rotation.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Campbells ain’t got nuttin’ on me.

Like those Hollywood girls that can sing, dance, act, and “design” clothes, I’m slowly turning a fecta to the nth degree when it comes to this blog. Soon, very soon, I’ll be pulling out the big guns for a yoga-palooza, which I cannot wait to unveil. (I suppose I shouldn’t have guns and yoga in the same sentence, so, instead, I’m pulling out the big singing bowls.) I’ve also got plans to bring more natural skin care & fashion to the site. But taking baby steps, today I start down the wheat free route. Being gluten free is kind of a big deal when it comes to my diet, and I want those with gluten issues ranging from mild sensitivities to full blown allergies and Celiac to be able to come here for reviews and recipes that don’t make them feel like outsiders.  (Note: I’ve yet to find a gluten free pizza crust that is both indulgent and sinful. Find me one and I’ll reward you handsomely. You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.)

I’ve been gluten free for about two months, and though I admit I have my days where I walk by the bread sample at the grocery store and bitch about not being able to have a slice with butter, the initial pangs and feeling-like-an-outsider-irritations are starting to subside. However, I still have to be on my toes for wheat that is lurking in the most unsuspecting of recipes. Case in point: soups.  I’m a Mainer—I mean, Mainah—and lobster bisque is off the menu. So is fish chowder. Why? Because these types of soups are thickened using flour. Even the seemingly harmless tomato soup features a roux of flour and butter, and, unfortunately, the smallest bit sets me off. Thankfully most soups have allergens immediately listed at the top of the label, so I can get to the disappointment in 5 seconds instead of 30 seconds of hopeful and baited breath. Not to be divorced from the creamy, red goodness of tomato soup, I dug through Google until I found a most satisfying alternative.

Thank goodness for gluten free mamas! This recipe is from the blog Gluten Free Mom. Thank youuuuuu!

Wonderful Tomato Soup –> Click on title for the recipe & full blog post from Gluten Free Mom

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 5 large tomatoes chopped – if you do not have fresh tomatoes you can use 2 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 T tomato paste (freeze the leftover paste for later use)
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1 1/2  T dried basil or 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 T salt (or to taste – we always add a little more)
  • 2 t pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (or a casein free alternative such as almond milk)

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium low heat.  Saute the onions and carrots until tender,  about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt and pepper and stir well.

Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are very tender.”

In batches put the soup through a food processor, or use an immersion stick. Of course I used this as yet another opportunity to use my blend stick. After you’ve gotten it to the desired consistency, add the cream or almond milk. Gluten Free Mom says the almond milk makes the soup taste sweeter, so you decide (I used cream.) I really loved the carrots, as they added a heartiness that is sometimes missing from tomato soup. Call me naughty, naughty, but I love salt and added an extra pinch as the recipe suggested. However, if there was anything to change it would be using a little less salt than the recipe asked for. Since this was the first time making it I decided to go with canned tomatoes, but next time I will definitely be using fresh ones.

This is one of my favorite soups and we were easily able to have eight good-sized bowls. Eeking out servings need not apply. Chris gave it many thumbs up. I made this on Monday and when I had the final bowl on Friday it still tasted awesome; Longevity is the hallmark of a great meal.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

PS: Check out my friend Jillian’s new food blog Zest & Honey. It’s awesome. She’s awesome. In the words of Nike: Just Do It

Appliances: Oodles and oodles of fun!

Okay, I lied, one more quick post and then to bed.

So I’ve recently added a new appliance baby to my collection of kitchen goods. May I present, my “new” 1960 KitchenAid 4C Counter Top Mixer! Pfft, wait a minute, she is more cougar than baby!

This lady is a beast. Finding one with the bowl and whisk is pretty rare. This model was made back when Hobart designed the parts for KitchenAid (now it’s Whirlpool) so there is a reason this still purrs despite her age. I got it for $12 and online you can get them for around $100-$150. Plus, a new KitchenAid counter top mixer will easily put you back about $300 and probably won’t last as long anymore. Ahh, you have to love planned obsolescence. I really enjoy naming inanimate objects, as I feel it helps create a closer bond, and Chris is gunning for Sir. Stir. I’m not really feeling it, but he was really proud of coming up with it so I’ll meet him half way with Senorita Stir.  I’m just bubbling with excitement. I can make so much gluten free bread, baked goods, and big, big batches of ice cream. All I need to do is call the company and see if any of the dough-hook attachments they sell will still fit it.

 

There she is all strapped in and ready to go. Safety first! I’m hoping a friend with sweet Sharpie skills will decorate her for me.

Strapped In

Chris’s mom also got me this awesome immersion stick blender from Cuisinart. It has a whisk attachment, a container you can attach and chop in, and the blade part is removable for easy cleaning. I’m very excited to make some smooth soups with it. I tried it out on my post workout protein shake and it worked a lot better than my blender. Something tells me our new apartment will need more counter space!

Photo Credit: Cutlery & More

 

I also had a really successful workout yesterday. I decided to do some Blogilates videos and butts and legs were on the schedule. On the squats I used my sandbag (I think I have about 15-17 pounds in there) to get some extra burn. I also did that fitness list HIIT again once at the beginning and once at the end. Honestly, I did so much better than the first time and didn’t feel like throwing up. Since my neck hurts and my head is throbbing I see no point in working out tonight. Glad I got it in yesterday! Time to rest up and see what tomorrow brings.

 

As my mother says: be smart, be safe. Have a Happy New Years!!!

Peel Away

❤ Jocellyn

New Year:: New Plans

New Year’s Resolution

I put on my sports bra, my leggings, and I sort of look like the girl who was running this past summer, but it’s all a beautiful and cruel illusion. Three back to back to back reps of that fitness list was NOT happening. The first go around took almost 6 minutes, and, really, is it that realistic to imagine myself moving for 20+ minutes when I haven’t done any cardio for months? I think not. I did the first round, thought I was going to puke (even Body Rock workouts have 10 second breaks every minute or so), laid on the floor for a few minutes as the world twirled above me, and contemplated defeated. We all have your weaknesses and honestly if I wasn’t blogging I probs would have given up—you guys keep me on my toes. I did today’s Random Abs workout (I really have no strength in that region) and mustered up the courage to try another round of the fitness list. The second time was much better. Maybe after a few more tries I’ll be well on my way to three reps.

 

…Which brings us to looking forward to New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve mentioned before that we generally make diet/body related goals and we usually let go of them come February. I’ve been really hitting you guys with these opening posts about diet and a bit of exercise, because they’re things I’m passionate about (well the food yes, not so much the exercise), but being healthy means also having a positive state of mind. What makes a person attractive is not only their body and how we perceive they treat it, but also their brain. Smart and even tempered people are sezzy, and thus many of my resolutions actually revolve around ways to better my brain and life.

Diet/Body/Exercise Based Changes

1.)    Get Gluten out of my diet: Honestly, I really need to do this. Since realizing I cannot eat it I’ve been being stupid and munching on it regardless. It’s not fair to my intestines, my poor hands (they always get so sore), or Chris who has to deal with me doubled over in pain. Step one: start checking labels. Step two: start making my own buns (they are my weakness.) Step three: sucking it the hell up. When I see other people who are in an obvious rut and only insist on digging themselves deeper I cringe, so I best not start being hypocritical.

2.)    Continue to refine my diet: I like this one because I’m not saying eat more this and less of that (except for the gluten.) Instead I’m leaving it open to add more veggies, reduce my Reese’s intake, and continue to try more recipes. I have big hopes and dreams for that kitchen.

3.)    Drink more water!: Okay, this is something I really need to do more. We can go weeks without food, but hardly a few days without water. For environmental reasons I’m normally anti- plastic bottle, but when I was home for Christmas my mom had bought me and Chris a huge pack of these mini orb water bottles. The spaceship shape is supposed to be appealing to kids and the smaller size is better suited for them. I had no issue swigging back 2-3 in a short time period. My brilliant idea: maybe if I reduce the size of my water bottles it’ll be less daunting and I’ll drink more. See, we often have the solutions to our problems, and they are often rather easy. We just need to face them and put our big girl panties and big boy boxer-briefs on.

4.)    Do more yoga: Self explanatory. I want to start working on having a better self practice and really start opening this right hip of mine up. Lotus here I come.

Other Resolutions:

1.)    Start reading before I go to bed:  Studies have shown that spending time watching T.V, browsing the internet, and texting friends before bed is horrible for our sleep cycles. It makes it much harder for us to go to bed and we end up staying up longer than we want or need to. With reading you are actively using your brain instead of randomly clicking; admit it college students and 20-somethings,  what sites do you really go on besides Facebook? Also, the lights in our computers and TVs are constantly pulsating, though, we just don’t realize it, and our eyes must work extra hard to focus. With this change I can finally stop complaining that I don’t have time to read. I already have several books in mind! Tomorrow I’m going to the library to borrow We Need to Talk about Kevin, which is going to be out in theaters the end of January. Below are the American & UK Trailers. I really hope it comes out in all places and not just artsy movie houses or I might be out of luck.

Ezra Miller plays Kevin and can I say CUUUUTIE? Those cheek bones, those full lips, that dark hair. I feel like a cougar in training all ready. I also want to get The Hunger Games. Apparently they were a really good series of books growing up that I never heard about, and the movie is coming out in a few months.

2.)    Learn a foreign language, sort of: Right now I’m battling between French or German. I did take French for 3 years, and I can read it okay, but I was never in love with it. They all spoke so fast anyway. Something about German speaks to me. It’s so fierce, so bold, and so guttural. Plus, my last name Harvey is derived from German Warlords.  Maybe I’ll put a poll up so you guys can decide, though I’ll probably go with German for the fun of it.

3.)    Submit work once a month to Literature Magazines: My poetry needs to start making its way into the world, and it clearly isn’t going to do that collecting dust on my desk.

4.)    Start Vloging: I love writing, but I really love talking. They called me Jabber Jaws when I was little. I’d love to make this place part blog/part video chats because sometimes it’s nice to absorb stories and ideas through your ears instead of your eyes. This also means I need to learn how to video edit. Any awesome suggestions on programs to use? I have a basic Toshiba laptop, so nothing to fancy here.

5.)    Become more DIY: One of my interests on StumbleUpon is DIY projects. I’m envious of people who can take something old and make it awesome and “new.” Sadly, aside from writing I’m really not artistic. My handwriting sucks. My mother didn’t even post my art pieces on the fridge. Boo. I’d love to learn basic sewing techniques so I could hem pants, make cool scarves and shirts, and put my Goodwill Discount to better use.

 

Well, I think that is a pretty extensive list. I imagined this post being tiny, but why should we short change our future hopes and dreams? Tell me about yours. I want to know what you plan on achieving this next year, and I hope I’ve inspired you to look beyond the body goals and typical resolutions we like to cling to year after year.

Now let’s peel back that last month on the Calendar and spring into the Near Year.

❤ Jocellyn

Why I Made the Change

So, I haven’t really told you guys how I made the change over from being a fairly average nosher to a more cognoscente and mindful eating. I did mentioned how Tara Stiles was the catalyst to listening to my body and observing what I put into it. It wasn’t until this past January when I really put it into practice. It all started by going pescotarian (someone who eats seafood but not land meat.) I started reading about how the animals in many slaughterhouses in our country are treated. Slaughterhouses are stressful places to work and it doesn’t take much for the handlers to start abusing the animals. Pigs are sodomized by objects lying around, chickens are thrown like soccer balls, people, very disgustingly, shove electric shockers into cows’ vaginas. I’m not one for swearing, but that shit is sick as fuck! I felt immense guilt for eating meat, especially since my family (or school) wasn’t regularly buying meat from reputable farms. There was no weaning myself off of red meat, then chicken, then pork; I went cold turkey. I was surprised to find that after the first month I didn’t really have cravings except for fried chicken, pork from Chinese restaurants, and the occasional burger—all relatively unhealthy. I had no desire for steak or grilled chicken. Unfortunately my school wasn’t very vegetarian friendly (a person needs more than tofu and veggie burgers, people!) and I found myself learning the art of the salad. I mean a real, colorful salad, not the kind with ranch, cheese, croutons, and those squiggly crunchy bits. I slowly started learning about other diets like the raw food and vegan. Though I never went completely raw or vegan, I tried to as much food in its natural state to my diet.

There was also food I found myself eating less of. Bread was no longer a big part of my diet, as veggie sandwiches really weren’t that enthralling. My milk consumption decreased significantly as well, as I started eating more Greek yogurt to add protein (which the average person really doesn’t need loads of, despite the typical ‘how do you get your protein’ claim), and iron, which I admit was hard to get. I noticed myself feeling better and having more energy almost immediately. I used to always need a nap in the afternoon. During the summer I started venturing into fake meats. I never wanted them to become a huge part of my diet, as they are highly processed, but Chris and I fell in love with Morning Stars Hickory Smoked “Ribs”.  Summer is also when I started feeling like absolutely crap again. July was brutal. There were many mornings when I would wake up, make an egg, and feel so exhausted that I had to go back to sleep again. I could barely function at my job and was an emotional wreck. My hair was falling out, my hands hurt, and I was deathly frightened. I thought it was the lack of meat that was doing this to me. The doctors ran blood tests and my iron levels and thyroid were fine. Everyone chalked it up to stress, but I knew it was more than that. It wasn’t until a few months into the school year that I finally began putting the pieces together.

Image: JupiterImages.Jen Christiansen

One morning I was eating toast and within minutes my hands started hurting. It felt like my bones were itching. I’d eat pizza and the next day I wake up feeling like someone had hit me with large beam. After some internet sleuthing, once again: thank goodness for Google, I stumbled upon sites talking about gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Gluten is a protein found in wheat that more and more people are having difficulty digesting. It can cause severe stomach pains, gas, bloating, hand pain (!), brain fog, and numerous other conditions. Celiac Disease has the same symptoms, but if you keep eating gluten it damages the lining of your stomach, making absorption harder. I decided to test this theory out. It’s very hard to do something and not subconsciously cause yourself pain, but I knew I wasn’t lying to myself when not long after eating a slice of whole grain toast I doubled over onto the bed in intense stomach pains. Then there was the brain fog that would follow me around for a few hours. In severe cases when I ate a lot of pizza (which is now my kryptonite) I would have intense feelings of gas in my stomach that would never, erm, work their way out. Not to mention if I kept eating more wheat my stomach would start lurching. I’ve thrown up 6 times in my life, so I knew this was not normal. After realizing this was something I couldn’t eat anymore, I also had the horrible realization that right now was not a time in my life where I could not eat meat and wheat/gluten products which are found in so many foods. After a few weeks of telling myself that it was okay and that my health was just as important, is started eating meat again. One thing I notice is that the amount of meat I eat is so miniscule to what I used to eat, and I still hardly crave red meat. I have a much healthier relationship with a food group. I try my hardest to buy meat from good farmers, but I cannot all the time. I’m not much for dinner time grace, but I do say a little thank you to the animals. Almost instantaneously I felt better. I started dreaming again and realized a big reason why I felt better back in January wasn’t necessarily from kicking meat, but from limiting my gluten intact. And the reason I felt horrible in the summer is because wheat and gluten are generally the first few ingredients listed in fake meat.

I got tested for celiac disease over break. Unfortunately gluten sensitivity is not something they can easily test for and the general celiac disease panel they use only shows 2 of the 5 possible inhibitors that can show up for celiac positive patients.  But after explaining my symptoms to my doctor she said she felt 100% okay letting me avoid gluten and wheat. The worst part about the testing was that I had to eat gluten a few weeks before hand. I was in so much pain and was extremely grouchy for several days, and I didn’t feel completely right for quite some time. My test results came back this week and they were back normal. Still, this still doesn’t change the fact it makes me feel absolutely horrid. Life is going to be pretty different for me. I’ve been trying Udi’s gluten free bread (awesome), gluten free rolls (disgusting), and reading all labels. I’ve also been playing around with how much bread I can eat before I feel sick and am realizing that it is a very delicate balance between feeling fine and being knocked off my ass. So long sweet pizza. You will be missed.

It took me a really long time to figure this all out. What is most scary is that this is something I know in my heart has been plaguing me for years. It wasn’t until I started peeling away all those unhealthy eating habits that I could get to the source of the issue. The more you strip away the uglier and more painful it gets, but it is absolutely necessary. Again, I cannot stress this enough, listen to your body. If you always feel gross after you eat then simply start eliminating foods to see if you feel better. And don’t let doctors try to sell you the easy answer. Three people told me “oh, it’s just lactose that is making you feel bad.” Errrr, wrong! I can drink all the milk I want and feel excellent. You are the best judge of your body. Just listen carefully and it’ll tell you what to do.

Now Peel Away!

Jocellyn