Sunday, March 30, 2014

Time To Celebrate!

Yesterday I got To take Mckinley to her first big kid birthday party. My sweet Corinne turned 5 yesterday and we couldn't miss the big day!  The best part was almost my entire class was there so I got to see all of my precious babies and Mckinley got to hang out with one of my first babies I ever had after returning to Memphis Corinne's big sister Sarah. 

It was so surreal yesterday watching this little girl who used to have slumber parties with me and I used to take her to the dog park and the treats he always wanted wa yogurt covered pretzels was taking are of my baby girl! 

I had a blast and I know Mckinley also had a blast because the entire way home after the party she was crying to go back and play with the kids! I am so excited for Mckinley to start school because I know he will love all of the learning and stricter it provides, but her love I friends is what I am most looking forward to and I look forward to having school parent friends
And I still can't believe my little date devil jumped off if a giant ledge while hanging from a ring and jumped into a giant pit of foam every second of it and only looked to me with a big smile! I am so glad she loved it because I believe we will be starting gymnastics next year. My tiny peanut is built to be a gymnist so we shall give it a whirl and see how it goes. 

We had so muh fun and I guess I better start stocking up on birthday gifts because I see many more of these fun days in our future!

Friday, March 7, 2014

I Never Thought The Dali Lama Would Change My life

I have a confession to make. One reason I haven't written here in a while is because I have been dealing with a little inner turmoil for the past year. We are quickly approaching a day I am dreading with every ounce if my being, but as it draws nearer it actually draws my friend a little closer to my mind. I have only written a handful of times about the passing of my friend Cathy last year, but it isn't because I didn't want to talk about her, but because I just couldn't. 

I am finally in a place where walking into my school doesn't send me into a panic and I can finally wear my purple dress again and not think about the last time I saw my friend at her funeral. I can now wear that purple piece of cotton and think about the hours we spent talking about what we were going to do that summer or who had given us an eye twitch that day. 

I have missed her every single day, I can still remember the last thing I said to her as I was leaving our classroom that day before Easter break, and a day doesn't pass when I don't want to send her a text because my kid do something crazy. 

I call it inner turmoil, but my husband the counselor would probably call it anxiety.
The worst part about all of this is it comes out of nowhere! I can be at the park playing with Mckinley and all of a sudden it hits me! Boom! My friend died and I am going to die someday! I am not going to exist! I am going to lose people I love someday! Holy crap my mind has been full of all kinds of doubts and fears and what ifs! And throw my precious girl into the mix and I am a big ole anxiety mess!! 

This is the mess that has kept me from writing much about anything especially about loss. I just haven't been able to deal or process it in a healthy way and because of that I just stopped.

Then one day a little nun named Sister Cathy who always scolds me about getting my religious education hours completed (when a nun calls you on the phone it is scary) was teaching us all about Buddhism. Yes I said a nun teaching about Buddhism. We have been taking a class learning all about what the Catholic Church really teaches about other religions and trust you me it is completely different than what a lot of people actually think. Basically we all should live in harmony with each other end of story. I have loved learning about different religions and how we are all interconnected and this might have been my favorite class yet.

So we had moved from Hinduism on to Buddhism and we were learning how anyone can be a Buddha and that Buddha isn't any one person because a Buddha is anyone who has reached enlightenment. About this time Sister Cathy was passing around a few pictures and books and it was my turn to look at the book full of saying and words of wisdom from the Dali Lama. One thing I like to do some days when I am having a particularly long day at school is to grab my Bible and open it to a random page. I feel like God is speaking to me and somehow the words I open to are telling me exactly what I need to hear. So when it was my turn to hold this small book I opened it up and read the blurb on the page and this is what is said. "Death is a part of all our lives. Whether we like it or not, it is bound to happen. Instead of avoiding thinking about it, it is better to understand its meaning. We all have the same body, the same human flesh, and therefore we will all die. There is a big difference, of course, between natural death and accidental death, but basically death will come sooner or later. If from the beginning your attitude is 'Yes, death is part of our lives,' then it may be easier to face." I couldn't believe that this was the exact quote I opened to. It was like God was trying to speak to me through this book of quotes and was saying stop fearing death because it is going to happen someday no matter what. Get on with enjoying this life I have given you and when your time comes you will be so fulfilled that you will be ready to move on to your eternal life with me. It was like fingers were snapped in front of my face and I was not afraid anymore. No more what ifs,  no more panic, no more anxiety just peace.

It still amazes me how sometimes even after praying and asking for God to give us the answers he gives us exactly what we need. It may not be when we expect it, but he is always watching over us and guiding us when we need him most. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

All In

I guess this blog is slowly morphing from a "look at my kid" blog into an "I have food allergies" blog, but I guess just like life evolves blogs must evolve with them. Maybe when I decide I want to be miserably pregnant again I will go back to baby pictures and fluffy bums again, but for now this is where my mind is most days. If you want to see pics of the kid you can check out my Instagram because with all the food prep these days I am just too lazy to re post all of my pics from there to here. I need to add one of those widgey things that links the pictures I post on Instagram to my sidebar, but the wild child herself will probably be waking up soon and I will have to Google how to do that.

Lately food has felt like more of an enemy than a friend. No matter how careful I thought I was being I have still had issues with itchy skin, swollen eyes, and still not feeling well even with all of my restrictions.  
I have come to the realization that I am still relying on to many snack foods to get through my day  (Pirates Booty, Gold Fish Puffs, Rice Krispies, etc.) and I am once again going for convenience and not over all health. I prepare all of my other meals so my snacks shouldn't be any different just a little extra time and a few additions to my grocery list. Some people may say "You already have to jump through so many hoops to eat, why not take the easy way out just this one time?", but I am in this for the long haul and why not take a few more steps and really heal myself from the inside out. 

There for I have decided to jump in drink the Kool-Aid, not really since I don't drink juice and probably can't now since I can not have any citric acid or fruit pectin (crazy orange allergy), but I am going to get on this Whole30 Bandwagon and ride it out. Basically this is the Paleo Diet on steroids for 30 Days with absolutely no cheat days. This weekend I must have had 5 different people ask me how I lived with all of my food allergies and as I was running around chewing on my 6th piece of gluten free/pepper free pizza I had prepared earlier that morning since I knew I wouldn't be able to eat any food except the fruits and veggies at my sisters wedding it hit me that I needed to make some even bigger changes. I have gotten too deep into the mind frame of  I can't eat any "bad" food  so I am going to create healthier versions of them and since they are quick and easy, but I think I am going about this all wrong. I need to stop focusing on what I can't have and focus and what I can.

I still have some prep to do and with the roads being so yucky so I do not have everything I need to jump in this week which is ok because Brent just made his famous Inside Outside Ravioli. Thankfully this transition should be easier for me than most people beginning a Whole30 challenge since I am already gluten free and hardly ever eat any gluten free breads or crackers so the carb detox will be easier for me than most.  

What honestly brought this to the forefront of my brain was trying to decide what I would fast from for the next 40 days of Lent and I had a few ideas in my mind, but the 2 things that seemed the most prevalent in my diet that I could honestly live without were coffee and sugar. Even though coffee is Whole30 compliant I will not be partaking in it for the next 30 days beginning on March 5 the first day of Lent. I have finished all of my soy creamer and will have my last cups of coffee tomorrow with a few splashes of milk and some stevia sweetener. Let's get down to the nitty gritty now and look at how my diet will be tweeked.

I will not have my morning cup of coffee anymore. Instead I will enjoy my organic tea sans any sweetener. I did find a Whole30 recipe for Paleo creamer and date sweetener I want to use once my 30 days are over.

I will avoid any added sweeteners and the only thing I ever got this from was my coffee creamer so this shouldn't be a problem.

The very small amount of butter I do use will be completely cut out and I might give this Ghee (clarified butter) stuff I see everyone toting as Whole30 compliant. I have found recipes to make it, but I think I would rather just buy some because I know it will get used up to cook eggs, sweet potato latkes, etc.

I recently cut way way back on my dairy intake and was only eating a few greek yogurts a week as a snack (Here is some more added sweetener). Only recently because of my sisters wedding where I needed to have easy food on hand did I incorporate any cheese back into my diet and It made me feel like crap. I don't drink much milk either so this also will not be tough for me to get rid of again.

Smoothies have been my breakfast of choice since they are easy to make and easy to carry so this might be one of the biggest changes in my diet since I will be eating mostly eating eggs, homemade sausage, fruits, and veggies in the mornings. 

Legumes will be the toughest thing for me to cut out. My child and I LOVE any kind of bean soup, but I think I can live without for 30 days and if the hardest thing for me to cut out is beans I think I will be ok. 

What I will eat

Sweet Potatoes
All Vegetables
All Fruits
Nuts (except peanuts)
Almond Butter
Green Beans
Coconut Products (Flour, Milk, Oil, Etc)
Salads with homemade vinaigrette 

Basically everything I already eat minus the few snacks, gluten free carbs, and added sweeteners. I am hoping this will finally help me feel 100% better concerning my allergies and won't have me guessing what I could have possibly eaten to make me feel like crap. Who knows, I might never go back to eating any gluten free foods except for the occasional cupcake because life would suck without cupcakes. 

I will not be starting my Whole30 tomorrow Tuesday March 4. I will be hitting the store tomorrow to collect the few remaining ingredients I need (Coconut Aminos, Sweet Potatoes, Almond Butter), but I already made so I can go ahead and get started. I will be posting a few pictures of my meals from each week  and I will also be posting my weekly meal plans. Most weeks I will eat the same things just switching them out every other day so I don't get too sick of eating the same things but still making it easy to prep meals without being wasteful. That means from March 4- April 2 this will be how I eat and beyond that we shall see.  Also from March 12-April 20 I will not be drinking any coffee. I am 100% not worried about the Whole30 I am more concerned about not drinking my morning cup of coffee, but I shall survive, but wish my family, my coworkers and, my class of 20 kids luck because they have to deal with me everyday!

Here is a look at what my first 2 weeks will look like nothing crazy and everything is pretty simple and easy to do. Wish me luck and be on the look out for some before and after pictures (that is the scariest part of this whole plan!)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Meal Planning Mess

Holy lord February is almost over which means in just a few days my sister will be getting all hitched up, my baby will be 3 in 5 months, and I need to start working on my March meal plan! 

A few weeks ago I got my dry erase calendar down to change a few things and someone decided they needed to help me out by adding her own personal touch and boy was she proud of herself. I couldn't be mad since it was my fault for leaving the very tempting markers out on the coffee table where tiny hands could easily reach them.

Lesson learned 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Where I've Been and What I'm (Not) Eating

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!

I took a much needed break from this here bliggity blog , but after a few glasses of wine today and the threat of bad weather I decided I needed something to occupy my time so I am jumping back in! I have still been typing over at my school blog Insane In The PreK Brain and I am actually a few weeks behind over there, but that is neither here nor there. So what have I been up to? I have mostly been working on staying healthy, learning more about my food allergies, and hanging with my little family of course. Ever since allergy gate 2014 life has been a little more complicated and I can say with all honesty, going gluten free was so much easier than cutting pepper out of my diet has been. There really isn't a lot of information out there on black pepper allergies and I thought maybe I could compile any information I could find and put it here for anyone else who finds them self living with random food allergies. 

So what does a pepper allergy mean for myself and my family? Basically we only eat at home and the food is almost always 100% prepared from scratch with a few exceptions. The super short list of store bought items currently residing in our pantry, fridge, and freezer are: gluten free tortillas, laughing cow cheese, Veggie burgers, and gluten free bread. Everything else we make or is a fresh fruit, vegetable, or protein.
We have also been switching to all organic foods since our grocery list is so limited anyways that we may as well use the money we were saving on organic non modified foods.

Just this weekend I had my first experience eating out since finding out the extent of my allergies and let me tell you that it was very interesting and not very easy to navigate. I can honestly say going gluten free was a hundred times easier then going pepper free in regards to eating outside of the home. Gluten/Wheat allergies are more prevalent nowadays that most restaurants offer at least a few safe options. Our first pepper free venture out just so happened to be at one of my favorite restaurants called Soul Fish where everything is blackened, fried, and not Roxanne allergy friendly. Thankfully our server was very patient, understanding and as helpful as she possibly could be. I didn't really mention my gluten allergy since I could tell for myself which items would be the safest in regards to that, but I needed a little more help with the pepper. Basically any and all proteins were not an option so we started looking through the vegetable plate options which were limited when it came to my needs. I ended up choosing steamed broccoli topped with parmesan cheese with no seasoning (delicious!), cucumber salad with no seasoning (delicious!), and sweet potato fries which were delicious, but probably not the safest option gluten free wise (See I told you this was complicated). What makes them unsafe you may ask. Well many sweet potato fries are coated in flour to make them crispier and I guess I was so worried about not getting peppered that I totally forgot about this. I ended up with a belly ache and itchy swollen eyes which is just normal these days so nothing new and lesson learned.

As of right now I don't even think it is worth the risk of trying to eat out anymore so don't look at me like I am crazy if I roll up to a restaurant or your house with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because going through a menu and trying to figure out if something might possibly have pepper in it is just not worth it. Like Brent said I guess I will just have to eat at home and drink wine whenever we go out (Darn!)

So there you have it. The long and short list of what I have been up to and what I have been eating. Hopefully my itchiness can help someone else out there who suffers from food allergies and doesn't know what to eat. Starting next month I will be posting my monthly meal plans again and I will make sure to note any changes I make to any recipes to make them wheat and pepper free.

And in honor of my big sis getting married in exactly 9 days here is a picture from her big bridal shower a few weekends ago.