The Hidden Talents of Gluten

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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 celiac.org 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.

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

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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. 🙂