Friday, June 7, 2013

The Gluten Free Minefield

Ok, so you are a human being that has decided to attempt to live a "gluten free" lifestyle.
Here's the basics of what you may need to know:

Gluten free foods don't taste the same as your usual foods that contained gluten. Foods made without gluten often contain rice/corn/arrowroot flour, tapioca starch, potato flour etc.

Many food that you perhaps wouldn't suspect of containing gluten may contain LOADS of it....such as soups, gravies, and chocolate bars.

Expect to pay much more to buy a gluten free product...., even more than double what you would normally spend. Note, that the Canadian government has some kind of tax incentive for people who can medically prove that they are "celiac" . Therefore, if you are interested in that kind of tax incentive, you should save your store receipts for anything you buy that is gluten free. Contact your tax professional or the Canada Revenue Agency for details.

I have noticed that some canadian grocery chains are finally noticing the market for gluten free items and have developed their own store brands of gluten free grocery products. Two stores that seem to be doing a pretty good job of it are  Zehrs and Food Basics. Food Basics even has a whole section devoted entirely to their new gluten free product line.

Lots of gluten free items are made with rice......rice breads, rice crackers, and yes, even rice pizza dough. Note, though, that foods made with rice won't make you feel as full as your old glutenish products did.....but at least you won't activate an unwanted response.

People who can't eat gluten respond to any ingestion of gluten in a HUGE variety of ways. Some people are very extremely reactive to gluten and can become seriously ill from ingesting even the smallest amount of gluten. Other folks who consider themselves "gluten intolerant" can handle tiny amounts of gluten, but may have reactions to gluten that are more inconvenient and not life-altering.
These reactions may include bloating, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, moodiness and
emotional upsets. The gluten may affect their levels of energy and their ability to fight off common colds and flu viruses. They may feel uncertain about traveling because they may not be convinced that they will be able to find gluten free food in their destination of choice.

So what to do? Do your best, my friends, and listen to your doctors. If you aren't having any success with your current "modus operandi", then, go and get a second opinion from another doctor.
You don't have to suffer unnecessarily. Strive to create a lifestyle that you can handle, that is productive and functional. If you are having trouble coping with it, seek some help.

If you are finding the lifestyle very difficult to handle, there are supports around in some communities for gluten free living. There are ooodles of websites to browse . If you are unable to figure out what to do, maybe your local librarian can help you find the support you need.
My point is, that the gluten free lifestyle can be a formidable endeavor, and if you are serious about sticking to it, you may need to get some outside support.
i want to encourage you not to give up, but to figure out ways to make it work for you.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

ONE goal, not 100

Some years ago, I realized, that due to some popular yuppy mom theology I was expected to be or become a multi-tasker.
To all those who paved THAT path..... I say....what were you thinking ladies?
Have you ever become an expert at ONE skill or task by doing it while doing 5 other tasks simultaneously?
Have you ever driven your car really well while applying makeup, correcting your child's grammar, drinking green tea and prioritizing your appointments for the week? I doubt it! ..
 For the record, please DON'T DO THAT! It's dangerous and the odds are pretty good that you won't do any of them really well because you are splintering your concentration into 5 fractions of what used to be your perfectly whole brain.!

It's about focus, girls. Don't become a "Jane of all trades", unless you want to be scattered throughout your life. If you do one thousand different tasks in one week while holding one very specific job title/position, you are probably NOT  getting any credit for most of the myriad of tasks that you perform.

Note, that my life experience has taught me, that although it is fun and ego flattering to be someone who can do a lot of different things, it doesn't necessarily help me in progressing to my next step.

We must, at some point in our lives, give ourselves permission to do ONE thing well, with 100% focus and concentration. I'm not saying that you need to become a one dimensional person. It is a beautiful thing to have varied interests in a wide variety of subject matter.

I am talking about how to accomplish a very specific predetermined goal.
Any of the great female success stories were usually not involved in 100 different projects at the same time.
These women protected their right to focus, to pursue ONE goal at a time. They used what support staff that they could, to support their RIGHT TO FOCUS. What kind of support staff could you use? A cleaning service? A bookkeeper? a professional babysitter?

It isn't always about what you are "capable" of doing. We all, CAN do a myriad of different tasks. Just because we know how to do them, doesn't mean we NEED to do that task repeatedly for time immemorial.
You can and must write down your own set of goals that is precious to your heart. No need to write a list of 200 goals. Your list can be ten items or even two or three. You may find that the shorter your list, the more likely you are to actually accomplish that written goal.

Moms too often allow their own ideas to fade because they ignore their own gifts in order to focus on the needs of their families. However, a decade or two may pass before they realize that they aren't teaching their children by example how to value their own gifts. Please moms, don't ignore yourself.

Value who and what you are. Get to know which tasks you enjoy and which you deplore. Try different things and see which ones you are good at. Figure out which tasks in life cause you the most frustration. Maybe your hubby can take over one of those tasks and free you up a little space. Or maybe you have a friend who can take over one of your dreaded responsibilities so that you can write that next great novel, or sing that next great song.

Teaching our kids how to value themselves is something we will teach them by living our own example. Becoming a martyr with no goals or aspirations is probably not the kind of thing you want to model..... especially to your daughters, who depend on you to model what it means to be a woman.

Peace, friends and blog-ees, have a wonderful week.