Friday, September 30, 2011

Wheat Belly - Update

We have been continuing a gluten free diet with some success....well, success for at least one of us! Nate has been losing weight. I have not. I believe that it is because anytime that I cut something out totally, somewhere subconsciously, I believe that it gives me license to overindulge with other foods. This mindset must change and must change NOW! I have seen a dramatic improvement in how I feel having gone gluten free. I am more alert and more energized. I'm not "completely exhausted" by 6 pm every night. I haven't been getting as much sleep with Blue having taken up residence in our room and proving that cats are definitely nocturnal animals. But, I haven't been feeling any adverse effects to that. I wake up still refreshed each day and able to go to work and get the job done. I don't have that "after lunch" fog anymore either. I like the way I feel gluten free. Therefore, I want to continue it. Now, I just need to eat other foods in reasonable amounts and I'll be doing well! 
My life right now seems to revolve around all sports. We, of course, have UM football on the brain, but now we also have the ALCS starting tonight with Tigers vs. Yankees. As my sister-in-law is an avid Yankees fan and Nate a Tigers fan, we are in for some exciting fireworks!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Time Out!

I haven't written much lately...I've been too busy trying to be an emcee, playmate, and referee all at once. I'm learning that is what it takes to juggle 1 annoyed adult cat, an 8 month old puppy that believes the world should revolve around her, and an 8 week old kitten that wants to explore and find the tiniest nook and cranny to fit into. It's pretty funny that Lucy now knows the word "crate" and when I threaten to put her into it for time out, she automatically just goes into it and stays there until I either walk away from it or I beckon her out. Today, she was chasing Buddy and all I did was say, "Lucy" in my stern momma voice and she ran and went in her crate. It's pretty funny to see your dog basically disciplining herself when she knows she's done something she's not allowed to do.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Introducing Blue

Blue is the newest addition to our fast growing brood. (We've added a puppy and a kitten in 7 months). We went and chose Blue out of a litter of three with a sweet mama cat as well. I have to say I was sorta tempted to take them all, they had such a cute family dynamic and knowing that the rest will be going to Animal Control really made it difficult to walk away. But then, visions of being turned in as a participant on the Animal Hoarders show set things into proper perspective. What we have learned is that Nate picks out the best names for our pets. Granted, he named Buddy before I was ever on the scene, but he also came up with the name Lucy and as we were driving home with Blue in his lap I threw out names such as Shadow and Samantha and Gertrude (Shadow being the only one that had any chance) while Nate through out names such as Stormy, Lightning, Cloudy, Overcast (it had been raining earlier, so maybe that was his inspiration) and then he threw out Blue as an option. It is Michigan football season, after all! And it seems to fit, as she does have a black stripe on her forehead in the shape of an M. So, welcome my little Blue Bell!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The New Addition

Did I mention that we're getting another cat?  Really?  I didn't?  I thought for sure I had mentioned it once before.... Never did?  Huh!  I wonder why...

I envision this conversation with my family....after they have read this post, maybe I won't have to worry about it! We've decided to add to our growing animal kingdom again. The reason is that both Nate and I are suckers for strays. When my friend, Erin, posted on facebook that a girl she worked with had a stray cat family at her house and that she was allergic and she needed to find homes because the Humane Society wouldn't take anymore and Animal Control was full and just euthanizing immediately upon delivery, I was hooked. It took me back several years ago to when I broke my ankle, had to live with my parents again, and my two cats were at home alone, being watched over by the neighbor. I'm sure she did the best she could, but the house was basically trashed from there not being anyone there on a consistent basis with them. The cats had gotten sick, the carpet hadn't been was a bad scene. Knowing that I could barely take care of myself, led me to a point of crisis where they had to be removed from the house. I tried to find a new home for them, I tried to get them a spot at the Humane Society. But it was the same situation, the Humane Society wouldn't take them because they were full. My parents ended up taking them to Animal Control. I was beside myself with guilt and grief.  After hearing the plight that Erin's workmate was going through, I couldn't say no. I felt like this was my chance to redeem myself. So, my family will probably call me the "crazy cat lady," my mom and sister will need to take 3 Zyrtecs a day when visiting, and I will happily add to my,, pack... family.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Look, Ma! No Cavities!...and other such ramblings

I went to the dentist yesterday. I have a tooth (as I describe it is the first big one on the bottom left side) as the hygenist and dentist describe it: "#19) that is hurting. The other day I was eating yogurt with blueberries for breakfast. Shouldn't be that difficult right? In fact, I would think that when I have no teeth, that this would be a suitable meal. I bit down on the blueberry right on top of good ol' #19 and pain went coursing through my veins, up my spine and caused me to almost jump from seat to ceiling. The problem is, Nate and I haven't been to the dentist in a couple of years. The dentist we found when we first moved to Ann Arbor has to be a cross between a Nazi SS agent and Joseph Stalin....and I don't mean looks!  We would dread our 6 month appointments. I would go and they would "ooh" and "aah" over how well I take care of my teeth. And then Nazi/Stalin would come in and say, "Now when do you want to schedule me to fill in the 4 cavities we found?" Nate would go and be raked over the coals for not flossing. So, with that kind of encouragement, we decided to not go to the dentist for awhile....which is probably a little concerning if I really had 4 cavities in my teeth that needed to be filled...because they never were. But with pain in the lower left from eating a blueberry, I decided it was time. We asked a couple of friends, and they recommended the same dentist and without further ado, I called and made an appointment. They oohed and aahed and really complimented me on how well I take care of my teeth and I was just waiting for the boom: "You need a root canal" or "You need a crown." I honestly don't know what these two things are but I dread them to no end. Instead, this dentist said it would be a crime to start drilling holes in my beautiful teeth. She said that a small part of the enamel had worn off which was increasing the sensitivity in that tooth and that I should use a sensitive toothpaste. And guess what? There weren't 4 other cavities waiting to be filled.  I walked out of the dentist's office with a new toothbrush, two samples of the sensitive toothpaste, and new dental floss. It was the most amazingly fantastic dentist appointment I've ever had!

Random Ramblings:

Did you see the latest picture of Fergie?....I mean Kirstie Alley who has turned into Fergie?
She has reportedly lost over 100 pounds since appearing on Dancing With The Stars. I am in shock over this and am wanting to know where to sign up for the new show: Dancing With Ordinary Folk.

And then, here is something I saw posted on Facebook that I thought might give us some gumption to remain on the straight and narrow in terms of our food choices:

On that note, I hope EVERYONE has a great day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week One - accomplished!

We made it! We made it through one week of ingesting no gluten of any kind. And I must say that I am not as cranky...well, in my opinion, I'm not as cranky!We discussed our progress yesterday and decided that we are going to attempt to stick with this for a while. As we believe that we have made it through the withdrawal period, we are going to begin to include steel-cut oatmeal and rice into the diet. I also found a gluten free pizza crust recipe that sounds pretty promising, so we are going to have that this week as well.The more I read in the book, Wheat Belly , the more convinced I am that this is something to at least consider.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Witchdrawal...I mean Withdrawal Continues

It's not a pretty site. Snippy remarks, flashes of anger, increased frustration, all have been evident in our household...and of course, they have all been displayed by me. Why is Nate so even keel?  Why is he going through this withdrawal with such ease? Why does reason always trump with him? Where are his emotional outbursts? Where is his crankiness?  Why do I have to display it all for both of us?

You may be wondering what we've been eating as we've removed all wheat and gluten from our diet. That really hasn't been too bad for us, actually. We've increased the protein and the fruits and veggies as well. Last night we had Turkey Chili over baked potatoes. Tonight is chicken picatta over shredded zucchini. We've been flipflopping omelets with greek yogurt and berries for the monings and taking veggies, almonds and cheese sticks for lunch. So we keep trudging on in hopes for a brighter and happier tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Dr. Davis warns about withdrawal in his book, Wheat Belly. He equates it with the symptoms smokers go through when they are trying to quit. I just never thought it would happen to me. Last night after snapping at Nate one more time for I have no idea what, he looked at me and said, "What's wrong with you?" I confess, I have no idea why I was irritable and cranky, I just was. It probably didn't help that yesterday, as we were about to leave for work Buddy got sick all over the upstairs carpet. We cleaned it up, but it needed more. My list for the afternoon began to grow as steam cleaning the carpets was added. When I got home and was about to steam clean the upstairs, Lucy dutifully led me to where Buddy had been sick again....all over the downstairs carpet. I cleaned up and steam cleaned both areas making a mental note to call the vet for an appointment for Buddy.Nate and I both had places to go for the evening and as we were preparing to leave, Nate discovered that Buddy, once again, had been sick all over the newly steam cleaned upstairs carpet. So yeah, I got a little snippy. We moved the car out of the garage and Buddy has been in the garage every since. Today I need to take him to the vet and I need to steam clean the carpets....again.... all of this on top of going through wheat withdrawal. You may want to delay any visits for awhile as this may be a contentious household for the next few days!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wheat Belly - Be Gone!

If you recall, Nate told me that he'd be happy to not eat bread anymore. So, yesterday, what greeted him when he got up in the morning was this:

The food on the counter is all the food that contains wheat or some byproduct of wheat. It is in the "get rid of pile." The food on the shelf is what is left. Not too much, if you ask me!  On the counter sits one of the loaves of french bread I made on Saturday while buying and reading the book Wheat Belly, by William Davis.

We are actually going to give this a whirl and see how we do. Yesterday for breakfast, I had 1/2 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt with about 2/3 cup raspberries mixed in and a handful of raw almonds. For lunch we had chicken in the crockpot, boiled new potatoes in a lime butter sauce, and green beans. Today we had omelets for breakfast and we are taking carrots, celery, almonds, cheese sticks and apples for lunch. Tonight is grilled chicken, baked sweet potatoes, and spinach salad. Dr. Davis does suggest that you limit the amount of potato/starch in your diet. As I had already gone grocery shopping for the week before deciding this new approach, we will work our way through what we've got in terms of potatoes and I will make changes for next week.

I think Nate is still a tad on the shell shocked side that I'm actually going through with this. But he hasn't totally started to panic yet as he has hope that I won't stick with this for very long! We'll see!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thoughts on 9/11

I used to hear people say, "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" and I was amazed that there was one singular event in my parent's group of friends that everyone could identify with. Now I know what that is like.

It was my planning period at school. I went to the office, business as usual, and the secretarial staff had the TV on CNN . This wasn't completely unusual, but I saw smoke coming from a building, and I must admit, I didn't recognize what building it was. I asked what was going on and they explained that a plane had flown into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. We were discussing if it was an accident, and how in the world something like that could happen when we watched the second plane fly into the second tower. I remember chills running down my spine and there were so many rumors about what was happening. There were rumors about numerous targets in Washington DC getting hit and we all stood in numb disbelief as we watched the coverage and then in complete horror as we saw the towers fall, learned about the Pentagon, and then also Flight 93. This is one of those events that we truly will never forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Finds

I found a new facebook page/blog that I am enjoying. It's called Deliciously Organic and has some neat recipes and discussion about eating "real" food. On the blog, there was a review and then discussion of a new book, Wheat Belly (the link will take you to the author's blog).

It discusses how modern wheat, no matter if it is refined to white flour or if it is left in it's whole grain state, is not good for us as it has been modified since ancient times. I was so fascinated by this that, to my husband's horror, I bought the book for my kindle. It's almost laughable that I would consider removing wheat from our diet. As the book was being delivered to my Kindle, there was french bread rising in the kitchen. To be honest, when I talked about the book with Nate, he bravely said, "I would be fine with not eating bread anymore." (I do believe that his bravery comes from repeated lessons of "this won't last long enough for me to even miss it!") So, now that my belly is full on french bread pizza made from the homemade french bread, I will open this book and hope that what I learn will cause instant weight loss and healthier lives without much change to our current lifestyle....sure..... that would be even plausible!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Nate and I have just returned from a trip to Pittsburgh. People were fairly surprised that we chose such a location for a weekend getaway. I guess Pittsburgh isn't known for being a destination of choice by most people. When we told people that we were going to Pittsburgh many people responded with, "Why?"  I basically would just shrug my shoulders. Nate and I enjoy going to places we've never been before. We love to get in the car and just drive through the countryside and explore the towns that come our way. Neither one of us had ever been to Pittsburgh and when we were driving by it a year ago we commented that maybe we should visit it sometime! That's basically how Destination Pittsburgh 2011 came to be. It was a great trip; even though I was battling a cold throughout the trip and then, of course, Nate came down with the cold the last few days we were there. We did cut it short as we were both feeling pretty miserable and didn't want to sit in the rain to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, some of the highlights were:
1.  The "Plastic Brick Museum" (can't be called the Lego Museum because Lego won't allow them to use it's name). This is an actual, "plastic brick" mosaic of Mt. Rushmore that I thought was quite impressive.
2.  We walked from our hotel in downtown to the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt. This was about a 5 mile walk and it was ALL uphill. We were told not to walk it. We were told it wasn't "walkable." But, we ignored the advice and decided to conquer the mountain!  Trust me when I say that you should NOT walk from downtown to Pitt. Although we did walk it, it truly is not an experience I ever want to relive.

3. We also took an amazing tour of Falling Water, the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Mill Run, PA. I must say that I was disappointed to learn that Wright only went to the location one time during the architectural creation/building of this masterpiece. I have always envisioned it as a true labor of love and to realize that he was a genius that didn't put much effort into it at all, was a let down for me. Don't get me is still quite exquisite!

4. We also enjoyed eating at places that have been suggested on two of our favorite shows, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives & Man vs. Food. We ate at Primanti Brothers where our sandwiches looked like this:
and at Pamela's where we had crepe style pancakes that were divine. Trust me when I say that our diet and exercise program took a nose dive on this trip. Because even though we took a 5 mile all uphill walk, I developed a blister on my pinky toe and a strong aversion to any walking at all as a mode of transportation.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Dealing with the unexpected has never been my strong suite. I'm a planner, as I've mentioned before. I wish that God would tell us in advance, "Ok, you're going to be sick _______ days in 2011. Let me know when you'd like them to take place." And then I could plan for them.
Yesterday, out of the blue, my throat started hurting. I thought maybe it was because I had Diet Coke at lunch instead of water....I don't know why I would think this, Diet Coke has never before been the cause of a sore throat....I was just trying to blame it on something.
You also may want to know that I believe I shoulda/coulda/woulda been a nurse or some other medical professional in a former life. I love all things medical. I diagnose Nate all the time....much to his chagrin! And I'm right....well, usually.....except for the time he had appendicitis instead of the flu...but hey, in my defense, he doesn't communicate very much when sick!  He says, "I don't feel good." My diagnostic mind goes to work. I ask "what hurts", "how does it feel", "what kind of pain is it" questions and he responds very vaguely. I guess my alarm needs to be, if Nate says, "I think I'm too sick to go to work" how I need to interpret that is, "Go directly to the emergency room!" So, back to the illness at hand....which is MINE by the way..... So I drank a ton of water, thinking I was dehydrated. The cold water felt good...but the pain didn't go away. I took Alka Seltzer Cold Medicine because I believe that is the be all cure all when it comes to colds and their symptoms. Thinking that it would zap it before it really started and I'd wake up feeling calm and refreshed and it would all be a bad dream. I further prescribed an early bed time. I was in bed and preparing to fall asleep around 7:30 pm. I had a large glass of ice water beside the bed just in case I needed drinks throughout the night. I was ready for feeling better. However, my plan and prescription did not work. Throughout the night I woke up feeling clammy and then hot and parched and then chilled. And my throat felt like it was filled with glass. Because I took the Alka Selter Cold Medicine Night time formula, I wasn't all that with it throughout the night to make any medical decisions. But, when my alarm went off I quickly began assessing my health quotient. Sore throat? Still there in a larger than life way. Prescription: salt water gargle, STAT!  No aches , so that's good. But holy moly, there are some VERY enlarged glands on my neck. And when I swallow, I hear/feel a crackly sound in my ears.
I want to hold up a big stop sign to my body and say, "Uh, excuse me?  Do you not know that we have things to do? Do you not know we are preparing to go out of town? Do you not know that my to do list is long and I don't have time for this?"  But for some reason, I don't think my body is listening right's too busy trying to avoid swallowing.