As time goes by…

Nine years ago a wide eyed North Dakota girl arrived in Fruita, CO, ready to start a new life.  (Imagine cheers and the clinking of wine glasses)  I grew up in the midwest and, besides a short three month stint in Michigan and one year of school in Minnesota, I hadn’t left North or South Dakota.  When I lost my job in South Dakota, and after a few months, I called my parents up and asked if they would like a houseguest.  Dad came out and moved me to CO and today is my anniversary of arriving in CO.

I’ve never lived anywhere nearly a decade and it’s surprising how quickly it’s gone.  I’ve been reflecting a lot this week.  I’m no longer a shy, scared, “don’t take chances” person.  I’ve started a few businesses, started a gluten free support group, worked in media, sales and insurance, have become active in Lions Club, and have met a ton of great people.  People that have stuck by me through good times and bad.    I’ve become an outdoors person, even doing 5K races and obstacle course races.  I have become very outspoken about Celiac Disease and what it means to me and to others.  I almost forget who that other person is.

Through it all I’ve become a stronger person.  I know what I stand for and when to be outspoken about it.  I know who I can count on and who I can’t.  I know that when the rubber meets the road what my strengths are and how to use them and who will be by my side.

And I know I love where I’m at:  physically, spiritually, mentally.  I’m ready for another year and more adventures.

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And I’m back!

After a few weeks of not writing due to a hectic schedule I am back!

What have I been up to? I am a member of the Grand Junction Lions Club and we have been in full blown fundraising mode. You see, the GJ Lions have just completed their 85th annual raffle, parade and carnival. We do the biggest one day fundraiser in all of Lions international. To date we have donated nearly $5 million to this community…and we do it in fine fashion!

More on that later…but I’m back!!!

It’s not as easy as it looks

People go on diets all of the time to lose weight or, as in the case of my athlete/bodybuilding friends, to do a competition of some sort.  Cutting out certain foods helps you achieve those goals and can help you get much healthier.

But there is a difference between choosing to cut out a food group or just a couple of foods and being forced to cut out foods.  When you choose to cut foods out, you have the option of bringing them back into your life when, or if, you choose to.  When you HAVE to cut a food out it’s not quite as easy.  Especially when the item you have to cut out of your life is in EVERYTHING.

Which is where the bet comes into play.  I was out with some friends a couple weeks ago watching football and enjoying an adult beverage.  When it came time to eat, my friend Kim and I discussed what we wanted (we are quite familiar with local restaurants and what we can and can’t have) and ordered.  Somehow the topic turned into an “it’s not that easy” discussion.  Now, Kim is right, eating gluten free can be challenging and frustrating.  Gluten is in all different types of foods, most you wouldn’t think.

So Kim and Craig bet.  Kim bet Craig that he couldn’t go a full week of eating gluten free and he accepted.  Then I told him where wheat was and what he couldn’t have.  First, beer.  He looked at his beer sadly but decided he could give it up for a week.  Then I moved into the liturgy of “you can’t have pasta, bread, breaded foods, certain kinds of ketchup, certain types of soy sauce, most Chinese foods, cereals…” and the list went on and on.

I think finding out that “little” things like ketchup, soy sauce and salad dressings can contain wheat is surprising but wheat is a binder, and thickener, in almost everything.  I mean, a friend of mine made chili with a seasoning packet that had, yes, wheat.

Well, the bet lasted under eight hours when Craig decided it wasn’t going to happen.  I don’t blame him, if I wasn’t Celiac, I wouldn’t be gluten free either.  I would be feasting happily on my Chinese food with soy sauce.  I won’t lie, though, I helped enjoy the spoils of Kim’s winnings and was happy about it.

Go on guys…bet again.  I’m ready for it!