Thursday, June 17, 2010

Celiac Diva

I was told two weeks ago that I have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that causes the body to react negatively to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Since I was a kid I had stomach pain and other...ahem...gastrointestinal issues. They've been going on for the majority of my life and I never thought for a second that they could be abnormal. Until I moved in with Rob...who was...ahem...surprised at all the gastrointestinal "issues" that I faced. I finally decided to get it checked out, and a bloodtest and endoscopy later, my doctor told me to begin a gluten-free diet.

Basically this means that all "normal" food, such as bread, pasta, pizza, cookies, cake, brownies, and processed food is all out. This is a huge switch for me, and for my household. We are avid consumers of pasta and bread, and on the road I am used to eating out for...well, every meal.

I'm lucky that Rob is so supportive. He basically eats no gluten while I'm home (except for his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which just aren't as good on gluten-free bread) and is always watching out to make sure I don't get a stray crumb here and there.

Oh, yeah, my food can't come into contact with even a crumb of bread or gluten-containing food.

Anyway we've learned to adapt by using gluten-free bread (which has to be frozen) and rice, potato, or corn pasta. So far we've actually been quite successful, and I'm not feeling the strain of the diet at all.

Well...except at Newark Airport last week.

There was a girl, maybe 13, who was eating a piece of cheese pizza. The crust looked fluffy and delicious, the grease was shining off the cheese in the most intoxicating fashion...my mouth literally watered and I ached to taste its gluteny goodness. I don't usually stare at people but I was definitely hardcore staring at this piece of pizza and the fortunate girl who was preparing to eat it.

What sucks about celiac disease is that there is no. cheating.

Gluten causes my intestines to physically react. The villi become blunted and the lining itself is damaged. This can lead to other autoimmune diseases, cancer, infertility, etc., and the only way to stop it from happening is to not consume any gluten, in any shape or form.

So this diet is for real, and it's for good.

One positive side effect: because preservatives are largely made with gluten, I have to eat all-natural foods. This also means that gluten-free frozen meals are about 80x better than regular frozen meals because the ingredients are all REAL food.

So there are some upsides.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wow, Five Months...

Five months since a new blog post.

I guess since I lost my Army girlfriend status my life became much less interesting, and I feel bad subjecting people to my boring life stories. But here we are!

I'm still working as a software consultant, which requires me to travel every Sunday. Currently I'm on a project in Houston, which is quite a trip to make every week. But in this job market, I'm happy to have a job and to be able to support my little family while Rob's in school.

Speaking of Rob, he got an internship this summer which is very exciting, especially since the G.I. Bill doesn't pay in the summer! He's doing fabulously in school and I can't wait until he's out and we can finally be real adults. :) And start having babehs!

Our wedding is a little over a month away and I can't believe it. I got so used to saying/thinking "I have MONTHS to go," and now I'm staring at five more weeks.

I'd like to share our most recent wedding project.

It all started when Rob and I were brainstorming potential wedding card box ideas. Usually people use boxes, wishing wells, or birdcages, but we wanted something different. My initial idea (of which I was quite proud) was a decorated mailbox. People could put their cards in our mailbox as "mail" for us. But Rob didn't let it go at that - he said that we should add some teeth and eyes and make it a Wedding Card Nom-Monster. So here is the initial result (my apologies for the crap-tastic picture):



Eventually we're going to add some arms, one of which will "hold" a sign with some type of LOLSpeak message ("I can haz ur wedding cards for nomz pls?"), but this is all we got so far!

My favorite wedding planning site, http://www.offbeatbride.com/, plans to feature it! This is thrilling since together we have the creativity and craftiness of a 7 year old. The beauty you see above was made with two syrofoam balls, acrylic paint, and posterboard.

I do follow all of your blogs quite avidly, as you all live much more interesting lives. I hope you are all doing fabulously!