Glutened AGAIN with Celiac Disease


Anyone who’s known chronic illness knows it’s nothing easy to deal with.  Life’s fine one day, maybe you even feel on top of the world, but then, “Bam!”  You’re knocked down again with gusto, and you’re either forced to drag your butt out of bed and go to work, or lay down for the next who-knows-how-long.

I have never been officially diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  I was recently told by a doctor that I would need to begin eating gluten regularly for them to get an accurate result.  My thought:  he must have no clue how bad my life becomes or he would never suggest such a course of action.

This time I’ve been fortunate: I have a wonderful boyfriend who goes to the grocery store for me and cooks us allergen-free meals (thank you for being awesome, Kevin); I also have some time off over the holidays to sleep and lay on the couch. Thank goodness!

To fill in this picture, I must explain that gluten is not my only allergy or health issue.  Thanks to Leaky Gut Syndrome, I’ve also been diagnosed (by a blood test) with allergies to dairy, eggs, beans, ginger, coffee, quinoa, stevia, nitrates/nitrites, etc.

Anyone with intestinal issues is probably familiar with Leaky Gut, but if you’re not it’s helpful to know that it is characterized by tiny holes in your intestinal lining that allow small bits of food into your bloodstream which your body then attacks as foreign invaders – hence the additional food allergies that can come with Leaky Gut.

I’ve found that when I’m “glutened” (when I accidentally consume gluten), I not only have awful symptoms from eating gluten, such as severe fatigue, brain fog, abdominal pain, anxiety (yes, anxiety!), slurred speech, bloating, constipation, etc. On top of all that I often seem to develop Leaky Gut and Candida Overgrowth (an overabundance of yeast) at the same time.  So not only am I sick from the gluten, but my immune system is on high alert with any food intake and I have to avoid as much sugar – even natural sugar – as possible to not feed the yeast that so quickly populate my gut due to the imbalance in my intestinal health. Furthermore, sometimes it takes me MONTHS to feel healthy again.  Months!  Ugh.  I’m sure some of you know my pain.  And if so, I am so sorry!

To heal as quickly as possible in times like these I have to eat an anti-inflammatory, allergen-free, low-sugar diet that typically consists of bone broth, cooked (and sometimes raw) veggies, NO grains, occasional low sugar fruit, fish and tea.  OMG – this sucks!

HOWEVER, I am deeply grateful that after having been gluten free for 12 years that I am privileged to know what good health is and how to find it without prescription medication.  I am so grateful that I’ve found natural ways of taking care of and healing my body:  making good food choices, visiting affordable community acupuncture clinics, giving self massage and stretching, meditation, sleep, and being surrounded by positive people and things (my cat – LOL – is in fact a huge help).

That said, this is such a pain in the a**!!!  I can’t believe I’m sick AGAIN.  And I would love to feel better, like now.  I keep sending my body love and light, thanking it for taking such good care of me, and imagining that the illness is lifting from my body easily, gently and quickly.  I pray that it is so.

In the meantime, I’m posting this blog in case anyone out there deals with chronic disease and wants to chime in.  It’s always so nice to know that I’m not alone and we’re not alone.

So, do you struggle with illness or disability?  Perhaps it’s something that most people don’t even know you deal with… If so, I’d love to hear what you’re dealing with and how you keep your chin up when it can take so long to feel better.  Please add your comments below.

Thanks for reading and sharing!

With love, Kimberly


Beginning Again


Note: I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to share it to be able to connect with others dealing with the discomfort of things ending and beginning – something we all know well.

Fiery flame,
oh burning heart,
will the sorrow ever end?

I cry,
I move,
I seek,
I uncover.

The sound of silence cloaks me in comfort
yet I am moved to tears –

To fear, to memories of embarrassment and loss.
Do you think this torture will end?

I am hungry
for life, for hope again,
for a deep trust in myself.

The journey has just begun anew
and though I am scared, and aggrieved beyond measure,
I will not be deterred by this fire.

I remember a time when
life flowed and I was positively sparkling with joy…

Though enfolded and encumbered in loss
I choose to not be afraid to begin again –
To peek around the newly opened door
and let the Light expose my curiosity.

For in this beginning
there is much love to be remembered,
goodness to be found,
new adventures to share,
and inside of all of it
there is the One:

Pulse beating,
life affirming,
treasure of my life and life itself.

And so it is with courage, determination, faith and love
that I will begin again.

May all of us find peace – a deep sense of satisfaction – as we begin again.

Desert Musing


Sometime ago when I wasn’t crying,
when the world as I knew it wasn’t falling apart,
I heard a voice say, “We are the champions, my friend.”

Okay, maybe it was actually the band Queen;
But aren’t we?

Like the heroes from stories and legends of time past,
we seek, we fall, we leave home for a new land of silence and insecurity.

We battle ourselves, lose ourselves, encounter darkness and demons of all kinds,
fall again and finally withdraw into stillness
to know that we are and to drink from the waters of life.

I have sought and Grace has provided genuine teachers and profound teachings for the journey home;
and still I reside in the desert.

Charm Con

Female power

As a teen I dream’d of things to come – a marvelous life for me.

A world so pretty, full of life, magic, art…

Many a man have I wooed discretely, indulgently… Wrongly?

Self-gratification was my quest and self-flagellation the reward.

I used to charm people… a bright star to dazzle them with. I could pull you in with the best.  Everyone liked me. It was easy. I was so afraid.

Now, I’m me. Quietly me. The best of me, I think.
I don’t make friends so easily, I’m not always on my mark in public;
But I don’t miss the game. And I don’t miss the fake charm.

Surprisingly I miss the excitement of seeming exiting – the high that comes from self-importance and others’ indulgence.

I still dream of big cities, little sky, high heels and big charm.
I also dream of mountains, a quiet mind, a silent heart,
a time and place when the burning, yearning excitement of things to come

Recently I have tried and succeeded and tried and succeeded only to relax my efforts.

There is a song inside me, a world I visit behind the noise, behind the words, behind the ever-cunning, ever-planning ego. Am I to live there? Is this my desire?

Can I be happy and confident without the empty buy-in of others who don’t really know me in the first place?

Bravery’s Heart Song

[a heart beats]

What it’s like to be me?
To be me, to be me

Who is this me that flows through me?
To see me, to be me

I speak with words that aren’t my own in a pitch too high for comfort.
To be me, to see me

Why can’t I be myself?
Believe me, conceive me

Each interaction, every glance:
A scared me, unsure me

Every day, another chance
To be me, so lovely

For God is with me every step
Aware of me, within me

[heart stops]

But what’ll it take to stop the ego?
How can I live within the Flow?
How can I accept        resistance?

[heart beats]

How can I help you to see you?
To be you, to see you

Who is this you that flows through you?
Know you, be you.

Speak with words that are your own in a voice from deep within.
Be you, know you.

How can you be yourself?
Like you, believe in you.

Each interaction, every glance:
A better you, a real you.

Every day, another chance
To be you, so brave and true.

Thoughts fly in, feelings fly out.
Let them be – merely energy.

A heart on fire will soon blow out.
Don’t be afraid, to let it be.

Shh, Listen.

You can do this.
We can do this.

Let it be.
Just let it be.

I can do this.
We can do this.

Let it be.
Let it be.

Let it be.
Let it be.




The Hidden Talents of Gluten

I write this with the hope that if you or your child has any of the following symptoms, you seek medical advice about possible food allergies or gastrointestinal disorders:

depression, anxiety, brain fog, bloating, abdominal pain, digestive issues like diarrhea or constipation, a rash, neurological disorders, insomnia, restless legs, weight gain or loss, mood swings, crying episodes, etc. Visit for more information.

I sometimes forget how absolutely crappy (and bitchy) I felt as a child who unknowingly was allergic  gluten products.  That is until I have an accidental exposure, and then it’s like the world turns upside down… I weep periodically throughout the day (today I found myself on the floor in the room next to a training at work – yikes!), I can’t think or focus my mind on anything, I’m so tired I could fall asleep sitting up, I’m bloated so bad I look pregnant (seriously, I once had a roommate who told me it looked like I’d made an alien baby), and the list goes on.

It can be hard to remain gluten free, even with the best of information. For example, this episode was from a box of Arco Cornstarch that said it was gluten free on the box. Ugh!  I’ve found I have to steer clear of anything that could remotely be contaminated, cornstarch included, as there seem to be conflicting food regulations of gluten.

About 10 years ago, before I had my I-have-food-allergies “aha” moment, traditional MD’s reviewed my symptoms (one with a kind of disdain for all of my questions) and told me that they didn’t know what was wrong with me.  It was only through naturopathic doctors and a chiropractor that my needs were met.

Dr. Tobi in Gardner, Kansas is now my go-to health guru. She not only believes my ailments, but has the best remedies to help me and my intestines heal after  “being glutened” (eating gluten on accident).

I hope to feel better asap.  Sigh…  Good luck to you as well on your dietary path!  Please leave a comment if you’ve also struggled with food allergies.  It’s always good to know other’s stories.



Painting by Andrew Atroshenko

Daises bloom
   but I am alone –
not really, but yes,

In God, Spirit, rays of sunshine I am cloaked
comforted by a blanket
   of stars, summer breezes and frozen push pops

To see me now
all grown up
   yet free-spirited  &  wild
Tame, but only momentarily –
only as the sun rises and just before the day grows long

I long for freedoms
   known within
glimpsed: a gypsy in the night
sacred, cool, mystical
a ghost-like apparition
   of love and seductive violins

In my dreams I dance, coin scarf on my hips
In other tongues I speak a throaty French
a dapper English
maybe even the language of flowers

Holding back has been my crutch
for a broken leg I never had
It was a way to fend off child taunts
and cruel people

But alas, I am a woman now
and the internal Editor has just been fired

My cats know me best, but not solely for long…

for tonight I’m dancing naked under a full moon
a goddess and her crown of


Re-Imagining Anxiety for a Lighter World

Though it’s debatable whether Bridget Jones has anxiety or just “appallingly bad” public speaking skills, I have certainly experienced moments when words were expected from my mouth and nothing came out.  Or worse yet, I would become so overwhelmed in social situations that it was hard to breathe.

Have you experienced the following? 

On a daily basis I feel like I’m doing

when I’m really doing

My Story

When I was a kid a dear family member of mine struggled with agoraphobia (an anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed).  I was encouraged to stay home when I felt overwhelmed and didn’t want to go to school (which was often).  But now, years later, I don’t want to let anxiety control me any more, so I’ve resorted to being creative…

DISCLAIMER:  Medication and counseling can be wonderful tools to help anxiety sufferers manage life.  For some people these are the only methods that they have found effective.  For me, counseling and a diet change were the essential first steps to address anxiety.  I honor that we are all different and require different things.

What I used to do

[A day-in-the-life example]  One day as a college student I was assigned to write a 10-page paper.  Every time I thought about writing my energy would flare up and I couldn’t calm down or focus, so I’d eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream (Mmm-mmm).  My nerves would seem to calm down initially, but a few paragraphs later I’d start to doubt myself or abilities, the anxiety would flare up and I’d need another hit of sugar to feel calm again.  This time I’d bake a family-size apple cobbler, eat 3/4 of the entire pan and sit back down moaning – now prepared to work in my “food coma”.

Eventually this led to an emergency room visit and later the diagnosis (by some amazing naturopathic doctors at Bastyr University) of hyperinsulinemia, food allergies and a compulsive overeating disorder.  Looking back, I knew I always overate to feel better, but that’s what we did in my family – and in our whole culture for that matter.  I wasn’t starving myself.  I wasn’t throwing up.  I didn’t think I had an eating disorder.  I just couldn’t stop eating!  To further complicate things, I was in the normal weight range, so no one assumed anything was wrong.

I spent my days more excited about eating than I was about anything else:  I was living to eat, instead of eating to live.  Thanks to Bastyr University, I went on a cleanse with some nasty (though miraculous) Chinese herbs, a crazy healthy diet, and began counseling for an eating disorder.

The Tip that Saved My Life

In my first session I was told that overeating was “symbolic of a need for affection”.  My body just wanted to feel better.  It wanted comfort because the rest of the world felt so overwhelming that I couldn’t find comfort within myself. I soon began to attend Overeater’s Anonymous (yes, they thankfully have those) and found out that I wasn’t alone.  Looking around at how many people I know eat when they’re not hungry, I wonder how many other people struggle with managing life.

There is no need to feel bad about experiencing mental health issues.  Every year 1 in 4 people in the United States will experience some kind of diagnosable mental health disorder.

The doctors also had me brainstorm healthy alternatives to eating that could bring me comfort without the calories:  stretching to soothing music, leaving my apartment immediately to go on a walk instead of into the kitchen, no snacks next to my bed (bummer), deep breathing, visualizations, etc.  These have all become my staples (much better than a whole loaf of white bread) and I can proudly say that today I no longer live to eat.  🙂

What I’m working on

I now know and avoid all of my food allergies:  gluten, dairy, eggs and beans.  If I eat them on accident my body feels terribly anxious and depressed – isn’t that amazing?  I avoid refined sugar and processed foods.  I exercise 3-5 times per week.  I lost some weight I didn’t need and I feel so much better, but I still experience loads of anxiety at times and I don’t wish to start on prescription medication.  So what’s a girl to do?

What if we re-named anxiety as “an abundance of energy”?

Brainstorming.  For some reason, when I think to myself, “Oh my God, I’m so anxious,” I feel like sitting down and quitting.  My subconscious says to me, “I can’t do this.”  But if I think, “Wow. Check out how much energy I have!  I have an abundance of energy and I know just what to do with it,” all of a sudden, the energy feels totally different to my body and I start looking for solutions rather than presuming I can’t. Fantastic TED talk on how stress can be good for you.

Possible Keys

I think there are many alternative methods that can contribute to living peacefully with “an abundance of energy”:

  • Accepting and letting go of the energy, instead of trying to fight it
  • Understanding that you may be a highly sensitive person
  • Herbal supplements
  • Letting go of perfectionism
  • Meditating
  • Avoiding food allergens and chemicals (like perfume or hair spray)
  • Letting go of the ego
  • Practicing positive thinking
  • Learning to be resilient, to have faith in yourself

“There are a million things one might do with a block of wood, but Mahoney, what do you think might happen if someone just once believed in it?”  Mr. Magorium, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

What do you think?  If you have anxiety, what helps you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Thanks for reading!

what my a** looks like is none of my business


I once heard a comedian say, “What my ass looks like is none of my business.  There’s a reason God put it behind me.”

Like most youth around the world, I grew up in a culture where external beauty mattered and was clearly defined.  In my culture, beauty was determined by thinness, the symmetry of one’s face and nice teeth.  External beauty got you friends, boyfriends and an easy confidence.  It also spoke of sameness, a sense of belonging and importance.  If you were different, life could be a rough road.  And so… most of my days were spent trying to fit in, trying to be “normal”.

“My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage! ” Practical Magic

It was on one of those rough roads when my differences turned to depression.  In a culture where self-worth is largely defined by external beauty I found myself asking an incessant series of questions about my body.  You know the questions:

  • Why is [insert body part] not the right size?
  • Why is my head so small and my face so big? (Seriously, this was one of my questions.)

This self-depreciating effort was combined with media and commerce bent on lowering my self esteem to increase profits.  Have you ever looked at your skin in a magnified mirror?  WTF?  It makes small dark pores look like international conflicts, thus making us want to buy clear pore strips.  Whose bright idea was the magnified mirror?  Someone who wanted us to buy it.

The good news about hard times is that with optimism and perseverance you can have breakthroughs.  With help from books like Love is Letting Go of Fear and Letting Go, one begins to see one’s own beauty as intrinsic and permanent.  The incessant worrying, tummy-sucking-in and posturing can be laid to rest.  It’s no longer necessary to be angry at advertisements with emaciated models or a system that emphasizes what you may lack to get you to buy things.  At some point in life, you start to see yourself from the inside out.  And you just know you are beautiful and worthy of love, and nothing external can ever change that.  And on PMS-y days when you feel ugly or unworthy, you laugh and remind yourself that we are not who we have been trained to think we are.  We are spiritual beings having a human experience – not the other way around.

A few years back I overhead a Christian radio show that asked its listeners:  What would you see if when you looked in the mirror you could see yourself as God sees you?

And? What do you see?

Here’s a nice little article to remind you you’re beautiful and that there is no right way to be beautiful:  Ideal Body Types in 9 Countries 

And lastly, my go-to mantra if a PMS pity party starts to form:  I am holy as we are all holy.  Everything’s just as it should be.  I’m already Home. 🙂