Friday, June 25, 2010

Gluten Free Reflections ~

Life is funny, isn't it? Unexpected challenges appear overnight, followed by dark days and then the light shines through when you least expect it. It's a true journey and to be told otherwise, is well, a bunch of baloney I have learned. Nothing is perfect, no ONE is perfect, least of all myself, but as we grow and stretch and push through and keep moving forward, it's the little moments of awareness and special gifts along the way that make each and every day truly "a gift."

A good friend of mine just posted this on Facebook today, "when life gives you lemons, make lemon cupcakes." it- and of course she really meant to say, "gluten-free lemon cupcakes!" You see, I've been more introspective and reflective in the past year and a half than ever before in my life. I love being in my (late - gulp) 30's and being able to consciously see positive changes that I'm making in my life and have made, thus far. I feel more "awake" than every before and I owe much of this awareness to having Celiac Disease. I think back to just ten short years ago when I was diagnosed and 1) wonder where on earth the time has flown to, and 2) feel as though I've lived ten different lives along this journey though this past decade. All moments, experiences and pieces of my puzzle that have put me exactly where I am in this moment.

Time is a funny thing - it's also a trap, to some degree.

I built this zen/meditation garden (above) in my backyard last week. I've felt really compelled to have a special place to sit and meditate, while being in the beauty of the outdoors and my backyard...the location in my home. I built this just for me. To give myself a place to go whenever the moment calls, through good days and tough days; a place to reflect and be still and say, "thank you."

Living with disease is an interesting part of one's life. I decided long ago it would not define my existence, yet Celiac Disease has opened up an entirely new life and world to me, lending perspective that I would never have, if not for an intolerance to gluten. I also know that the emotions and challenges in my younger life were the catalyst for this disease finally surfacing, so with that is yet another journey in itself to wade though - but I put my waders on, so I'm in the water and feeling safe and dry. I have a dear friend who has been ill for almost two years now - struggling with so many autoimmune issues that hit her very suddenly. She barely knows what to eat at this point and her poor stomach is completely on defense, practically rejecting every food-source she tries to get down. Having Celiac Disease has allowed me the gift of huge compassion and empathy for her, and many others who are struggling. It's the least I can do.

Along my new zen-like path I see the magic that shows up sometimes when the right kind of positive intentions and energy are set-forth. This past week I must have had, "I'm gluten-free" written on my forehead because the Universe kept bombarding me with just that topic and people looking for assistance, advise or answers. Pretty cool. One such call came from a local health reporter with the Reno Gazette Journal. She had heard from another reporter I work with that I am a Celiac advocate and write a blog about it. Not only did I get to assist with some of the facts in the article that ran this week titled, "Goodbye Gluten," but I got a little press about my Celiac work and she ran one of my recipes! It was exciting and I was honored to contribute. I always am!

In other GF news, I stumbled upon this story that I found interesting titled, Eating and Thriving on a Restricted Diet. Many of us can strongly relate to this author's story and the challenges of receiving the correct diagnosis before it's too late.

And here's yet another informative research study posted by an Italian scientific research team studying Kids with Celiac Disease Show Distinctive Microbial Signature.

Next week's blog post will have a yummy pasta dish included and a few other surprises. I hope you all ran out and bought some Siggi's Skyr since last week! I know I've been eating it every morning and loving my way through each delicious bite, while chanting my "ohhhmmmmms" in front of the fountain.

Have a terrific weekend and share your compassion with the world!

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