Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A-blogging We Will Go...

Hippie by default?  Meat-eating Vegan?  Let me explain…
If you are a hippie or a vegan, please don’t be mad at me.  It’s just a good way to explain the funny curveball life has thrown my way.  Besides, I love hippies!  And vegans!  They are great people (for the most part) and they often have food I can eat, and you can’t go wrong if you can feed me! 

This crazy ride all started about a year and a half ago.   I went to the doctor with some icky symptoms and a general feeling that something was just not right with me.  I was napping 2+ hours every day, sleeping long hours at night, having frequent migraines, feeling depressed and all around sick and tired of being sick and tired.  (There are more graphic symptoms that do not belong on the internet- ick.  However, if you feel like it will help you, let’s talk.  Just not in public.)  My doctor started with blood tests,  and the results prompted a visit to a specialist and then an allergist.  Every time I talked to a different doctor, they had more test results that took more food away.  When it was all said and done, and I was WELL past my insurance deductible, it was determined that I have an allergy to wheat, dairy and eggs, and I am gluten intolerant.  (Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats.  Darn.) 

I grew up spending parts of each summer in Wisconsin, eating my weight in cheese.  My favorite snack when I was growing up was bread and nacho cheese dip.  I could take or leave eggs, but I sure like cake and cookies- which requires eggs! (Not to mention chocolate chips and flour- those are things that I now call “Dishes of Death.”  Double Darn.)  Seriously- what the heck happened to me?  A common theory is that a major event can trigger the onset for the gluten intolerance.  Maybe having that come out brought the other symptoms to light.  I really have no idea.  But, what I do know is that I can trace the beginning of my symptoms showing up with frequency back to the time when my second child was born.  It’s a good thing I love that kid!

So, now I can describe myself as a gluten-free, meat-eating vegan.  Think about it- true vegans don’t eat any diary or eggs.  Hey, me neither!  But I do eat meat.  Meat-eating vegan.   The hippie thing is how my husband describes all the “weird” food I now eat.  Seriously, would you even attempt Millet (a grain)  if you didn’t have to?  Most people don’t put tofu on their grocery list unless it’s on a dare…  So, Chris   says I’m a hippie by default.  As I said, I like hippies- nice people- so I take it as a compliment! 

Over the last year and a half, I have tried desperately to stay “normal.”  I miss cookies.  I miss cakes. I miss bacon-double cheeseburgers from A&W and taco pizza from the Pizza King in Greensburg.  I miss CHEESE!  So I try to find a substitute for all of them.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  My husband said I should be writing it all down, and that I should share it with the world.  The whole, “If you help just one person, it’s worth it” thing.  Personally, I think he’s hoping that if I write it out to you, then I’ll stop talking about it to him.  Little does he know, this will backfire horribly.  Who else am I going to bounce ideas off of?  Mua-hahahaha!

So, I’m giving it a shot.  We will see what happens when we actually get into the swing of this, but I’m thinking that this is going to be a place to share the positive things I have found- and hopefully spare you from a personal experience with the negatives.  Most of this won’t be my own ideas, but instead a roadmap pointing you to fabulous things I have found.  For instance, the first thing I’m going to share is that if you haven’t been to www.glutenfreeonashoestring.com, you should go there.  Right now.  Seriously, I’ll wait.  Nicole, the author of the blog and a cookbook by the same name, is down to earth, friendly and my gluten-free hero.  When it all just sucks so badly that I can’t stand the thought of one more bowl of rice, I go get a dose of her humor and sarcasm.  And her recipe for pie crusts, and chocolate chip cookies, and flat bread, and about 2 million other amazing recipes she has.  I’ll let her make them up, and I’ll send you to her.  As long as you promise to come back to me.

So, that’s it, in a very long and wordy nutshell.  If there is something you need to know, or you want me to discuss, share it in the comments section, or send me an email!  I’ve been thinking about writing this for about a month and I’ve got approximately 5 ideas.  It might get dicey after that…  Isn’t the internet grand?  J  But if I can help just one person… 


  1. Great first post, honey. Proud of you for stepping out there.

  2. Love it! Let's get our group back together, ok? I miss you.

  3. I'm anxious to find out what you've come up with. I can use some new ideas. Great blog!

  4. Good for you, Valerie!

    Best of luck...

  5. I am LOVING this! Thanks for popping by, Nicole! I'm on my way now! Yes, Megan- let's talk. Seriously, I love you people!

  6. I recently discovered that gluten has been making my lip swell for 2 years. The event....a bee sting IN Wisconsin.

    I had allergy testing and everything!

    Now I'm Paleo and feeling SO much better!

  7. Yikes, Connie! Isn't it weird how gluten can affect so many people so many different ways? It's so bad- but it tastes so gooood!!!! :(

  8. I love it! I too am proud of you for doing this. I believe you have a talent here. Also, I think we need to come up with a cool "hippie" name for gluten free. I mean egg and dairy free get to proudly wear the title of Vegan...you need a cool title for gluten free...just a thought.

  9. From the Heart, I don't know that I would have started this without your encouragement- thank you! As for a name for GF people, I personally like "Glutenista" but I think it might be copyrighted... I'll have to think on it!