What is going on?

I haven’t felt like writing for a while, which is evident since my last post was a while ago.  I’ve been busy, that’s for sure, but I typically take some time to write though, it’s my therapy.

The weather here has been up and down, sunny and cloudy.  I’m a sunshine girl, need the bright rays, or my mood goes downhill quickly.  It’s the reason that I couldn’t live in Washington or Alaska, at least not in the winter.  And lately we’ve had more clouds than normal, so I’ve probably been more cranky.  I know that it affects my sleep.  Right now it’s not even 8:30pm and I want to go to bed.  Maybe it’s a good thing that I have pictures to edit, keeps me up.

They say that one of the symptoms of Celiac Disease is depression.  Although I am not depressed (I’ve been there and this isn’t it), I wonder if having these cranky moments is a part of the Celiac Disease or the weather.  Well, I know some of it is the weather.  But does this come with the Celiac territory?  Am I being accidentally glutened?   There are certain things that happen, like being super tired, that make me wonder.

This is largely a therapeutic type blog, mostly just to get my thoughts out.  But, if anyone else has experience with these things and Celiac Disease, I welcome your comments.

How to keep from running on empty

I am an athlete, I guess.  Running races does something funny to you, makes you want to work harder, be faster and beat your time every time.  It’s called “runners high” and I get it bad.  It started three years ago when I wanted to check “running a 5K” off my bucket list and now I can’t stop.

The issue that came up when I went gluten free was the pre race “carb loading”.  I had gotten used to a big bowl of pasta, some chicken and a side of bread.  With being gluten free, that kinda went out the window, because gluten free pasta isn’t a delight.  So now what do I do?

I decided to go with foods that were natural carbs and to increase my protein intake.  So now instead of the pasta, I have a nice chicken breast or pork chop along with a baked potato, a side of rice (I love wild rice!) and a veggie.  In fact, most times I will have broccoli as it’s a great natural carb!  These foods will not only provide me with the carbs I need but provide a good base of energy, short term and long term.  With all of these being natural items (and not a processed item like pasta), I feel like I have a better base!  What to drink?  Water, water, water.  This is the best thing you can drink the night before a race.

Breakfast remains mostly the same for me:  two eggs and a piece or toast or two.  This provides me with short term and long term energy before the race.  The other trick is to drink water but not too much.  How much is too much?  The general rule is to drink 16-20 ounces of water the morning of the race but quit drinking about an hour before the race.  You don’t wanna be looking for a bathroom at mile two!  Then, right before the race, take a few sips.  “What if my mouth gets dry during the race?”  You can take a bottle of water along but since a 5K is a relatively short race, I usually chew gum to keep my mouth from getting dry.

After the race, don’t forget to to rehydrate.  A lot of races will provide water and juice or a drink like Gatorade/Powerade.

The thing to remember the most is to HAVE FUN!  So get out, get running, get healthy!

Gluten Free Diet Awareness Month

Yesterday I got an email from Tracy, the editor of the Grand Junction Free Press, a weekly publication that I write for.  Her email simply informed me that November is Gluten Free Diet Awareness Month.  I LOVE that she keeps in tune with what’s going on in the world and sends me little tips like this!

Well, I had no idea that it was Gluten Free Diet Awareness Month so…get ready, people!  I will be on my soapbox all month, as if I ever get off of it.  My next thought was “where do I start?”  There is so much to share about living gluten free, about the foods and how they taste and the textures, about what is available and what isn’t and what gluten free truly means. 

I think the top three things I would tell people about eating gluten free are the following:

1.  Gluten Free doesn’t always mean healthy.  Just because something is labeled “gluten Free” doesn’t mean that it’s good for you or fat free or doesn’t have preservatives.  Those gluten free muffins stay “fresh” because of preservatives, not because they don’t have gluten.  So don’t go out and buy a bunch of muffins, cookies, etc because they say gluten free.

2.  Starting out isn’t always the easiest.  All of a sudden you are buying products, expensive products, that you don’t know how they taste.  You have six different brands of spaghetti and you have no idea if the rice pasta tastes better than the corn pasta.  I will be honest with you, the first time I went shopping I left with a box of mac and cheese and went home and cried.  It was overwhelming.  So the first time you go, take a gluten free friend if you have one, it will make things so much easier.  And, I found that eating meat, veggies and potatoes is the easiest route to go:  healthy, natural eating.

3.  It will get easier.  Everyday, every step you take, things will get better.  If you can, find a support group to help you through the transition and walk with you in this lifestyle. 

So, tell your friends that you’re gluten free, tell them the reasons and educate them.  Not just this month but always!