229 – a little variety would be nice thanks

Today I collected my Grandad to take him to see Nana in the hospital, and I had my littlest lad in tow because he came down with a fever last night and is not feeling great.

We took Grandad to have a speedy haircut and then went to a corner deli/cafe thingy to have lunch before we headed to the hospital. It was loud as those places are – coffee machines clanging, people chatting, doors banging and general white noise. My Grandad is deaf in one ear and wears a hearing aid in the other one so I have be QUITE loud for him to hear me. He was happily munching away on his ham, cheese and tomato panini – ‘There’s something in here I don’t recognise Kathleen what is it?’ (Did I mention he has macular degeneration and can’t see anything except for with his peripheral vision?). ‘THAT’S PESTO GRANDAD – IT’S BASIL AND STUFF’. After determining that Basil was a herb grown in the garden he seemed to like it. The little lad had a fizzy orange drink that he didn’t touch (and poured down in to the foot rest later in the car) and  a bucket of hot chips (which he didn’t eat and fed to the chickens at Mums place later).

I explained to Grandad that we would drop him off at the entrance of the hospital and go and park, he could go up to Nana and have some quality time, and then me and the little lad would join him but I didn’t think we would be long because he was feeling so tired. I said ‘WE’LL GO WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE IT GRANDAD’. Really loud because he couldn’t hear me. Grandad answered me in the rare silence that sometimes falls in one of those places;

‘It’s alright Kathleen, I won’t want to stay long, we are married in name only really now with your Nana being ill – although the last 20 years or so were pretty awful too’. Cue stunned silence from those around us.

Master 4 pipes up – I didn’t know he was listening – ‘You know Grandad you can marry boys too, so why don’t you not be married to great Nana any more and marry one of your friends?’. Too quietly for Grandad to hear – but not so for the tables who had tuned in on either side. I’m sure I heard a very posh lady snort.

But – actually the point of mentioning the cafe was the food thing. Because it is mere days before pay-day we are down to the last of our supplies, which equals no organised food prep for me and my special gut. So I was starving when we got there and thought fuck it, I’ll get whatever they’ve got that’s gf with my coffee. My delicious/so hard to give up/the only thing that is getting me out of bed coffee.

I scanned the food case and it was depressingly familiar. The only gluten-free option (nicely wrapped and on the top tray so no food crumbs could be getting on  it – can’t complain about that aspect of it) was…

You guessed it – Orange and almond friands! These consistently are the only options at most cafes that don’t pride themselves on being paleo or ‘clean’. It’s a little sad. Orange and almond friands or flourless chocolate cake. Always a sweet option. Don’t get me wrong – I love that is even an option – but why does it always have to be sweet? Dear Cafe owners – feel free to experiment.

Having successfully been off sugar for the last few weeks I was reluctant – but did I mention starving? So I bought one and tried to have it with my coffee. It was too sweet and gave me an instant gut ache. Oh well. I stole a few hot chips and we went on our way.

The littlest lad is not well poor kid, he’s in bed now with me sitting on the floor, the room lit up with a blue glow from my lappytoppy and every now and then he rolls over pathetically and asks for water. Not fair to feel crappy when you’re only little and can’t really and truly appreciate having to stay in your bed all day.

Nana Betty’s funeral is tomorrow, and Mum is back to look after her folks again. My life will start to gain some semblance of normality and I just might get back to work – that is if the bugger hasn’t passed his lurgy on to me!

On a – literally – lighter note; have you noticed it’s getting dark later and later? Spring is right around the corner! Yay!

140 – CAW – Running the gauntlet of dining out with Coeliacs


Well, not if one is sugar free too. Or if it has been sitting in the cabinet on the same tray with the ‘normal’ food. Or if the server picks it up with gluten-y tongs. Or if it was cooked in the oven at the same time as something glutenous. Or if when they bring it to you – and this has happened to me – they have drizzled it with a sauce with gluten in it without thinking.

In fact, the more I learn, the more I realise that I can pretty much only eat out at those wanky Paleo or ‘clean eating’ only cafes that are popping up all over Auckland (thankfully).  Places where gluten is a dirty word – even to the normals – and they don’t cook with it, don’t stock it and don’t say the word – they hiss it. These places are great – granted that they can sometimes get a bit heavy on the coconut oil – but they are good for me because I can usually safely eat something labelled GF and know I’m not going to get glutened.

Unfortunately because being GF is so right now, and people are pretty sick of hearing about it; saying you are GF in a cafe or restaurant is bound to get the servers rolling their eyes and visibly gritting their teeth when you need to order. I always say ‘I have coeliacs disease’ (so they know I’m not just affecting it – I’m not a hipster I swear!) but I am sure that this just means extra hassle for the establishment and I know I get fobbed off on things where I could be being more careful. Because I’m a silent coeliac I could be getting glutened and not know. Which is pretty scary because cancer. So we don’t get out much anymore.

But tomorrow night I am going out for dinner with some of my Dean friends from school . We are going somewhere that I haven’t been before and I am going to have to ring them tomorrow to ask if they have gluten free options that are safe for Coeliacs. It is a Japanese restaurant and a good one by all accounts so I am hoping I can eat ‘off the menu’ and not have to have a ‘special’ meal made for me with all the delicious-ness taken out of it.

Wish me luck!

Day 24 – emergency lunchbox success!

Today we went to Waiheke Island to walk the Headlands Sculpture trail and I panicked about food. The boys were easy – sandwiches and muesli bars and fruit – but we needed to food shop and weren’t planning on doing so until after we got back from the Island – so none of my usuals were in the fridge – I couldn’t cook myself something quickly.  Or could I?

Quite proud of this one – GF,SF, DF (and everything else free) Falafels!

photo 1 (12) photo 3 (7) photo 2 (12)Success! All I had to do was add water, fry in avocado oil and bing bang falafels! Throw in some cherry tomatoes (because I refuse to give them up), a boiled egg and hummus for dipping and we were away. And it was perfect – They kept me full all day; something to remember for packed lunches. I always buy a box thinking we can have a ‘meat free’ night but I know the lads aren’t keen so they sit there – this is a much better way to eat them.

Trying not to think about what was actually in them instead of all the stuff they took out – but in the absence of being able to eat raw veges and fruit I am ok with them for now.

And in updates of how I am feeling/doing with the whole ‘eating to heal’ thing. Well – I am not craving junk anymore – which is great – and my willpower feels really strong in terms of not actually feeling any desire to eat sugary treats or cheesey things when they are offered. I definitely don’t feel all ‘poor me I am missing out’ like I was, and today I even said to the grumpy Dutchman that I hadn’t predicted there’d be a day when him buying me a bottle of sparkling water (for the fizz) while they all had ice-creams still felt like a treat and it the spot! funny!

I tend to still wander to the fridge randomly but I open it now and think ‘am I bored or hungry?’ and mostly I’m bored – I am amazed at how long I can go now between meals without being hungry. I feel like I’m re-setting back to my ‘natural’ eating state; instead of being driven by a low or high from sugar.

The funny thing is that I have to figure out other ways to celebrate small victories or even silly things like getting to go to the stupidmarket by myself – quiet time for mummy – normally I would get me a little treat and eat it in the car on the way home but there is nothing I can have. After a day like today, with a particularly hard session of boot camp in the morning, then stomping up and down hills in the hot sun all day I would normally ‘reward’ myself for my hard work with a glass of wine (or 3) and I have been trying to think of other ways – and all I feel like doing is crawling in to bed because my legs ache! ha ha. Is this what getting old feels like?

All the books say to replace food treats/rewards with ‘time’. Whether it be reading a book, going for a walk, a yoga session, the point is to nourish your spirit instead of your stomach to replace the emotional crutch. Or some shit. But if you are already ‘time poor’ in terms of alone time (what parent of kids that still live at home ever get ‘alone time’?!) What can you do?

I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

Day 21 – I got glutened I think. Sad face.

I feel terrible. Lying on the couch because I can’t sleep, all of me aches and when I stand up I feel nauseous. My head hurts and I am craving Pasta bad. Which you would think didn’t work because of the nausea. But somehow it’s all I want.

I didn’t plan to get glutened obvs. The day started really well – great session at boot camp – hard but good. Intervals of various exercises, 30, 20 and 10 reps with a run to progressively further away speed bumps. Was very good and I feel like I’m in the swing of things… Then cooked brekkie because I’m not starting the day with a sweet fix remember?

THEN, I was starving after my first appt for the day so I stopped at Kokako to get a …. smoothie. I know right? but I fucked up and didn’t pack snacks. so. And it was fine – I got a Kale Kickstarter and it was good – I asked for them to sub out the apple and put water in it and it was yum. Then I got caught up in work and left too late to get food on the way to getting my hair did, so I grabbed, dun dun dun…. another fucking smoothie. From the place right next door to the salon, Craft Kitchen, where they are all lovely and everything is either paleo or dairy free or both or just gluten free and they know their stuff.

I drank it while I waited to get my roots done, and felt fine. For about 20 minutes. Then waves of warm nausea started coming over me. I honestly thought I might have to get up and puke. They receded but my stomach was in knots, and I started feeling more and more ‘heavy’. Red face (natch) and nervous that I’m going to throw up on the lovely woman doing my hair (she really was lovely and showed me her extensions so I could see how you couldn’t see them when she tied her hair up).

When I stood up to leave, the nausea hit me again, and so I went back to Craft Kitchen to ask about the coconut cream in my smoothie. It was the only thing I could think of that might have had some added ingredients. The rest was coconut water and fruit so it couldn’t be that? The guy was really cool, he looked up the added preservative and it came back as xantham gum – which he knew was GF, so it seemed fine. SO what the fuck man.

I don’t know what has made me feel like shit. But every time I think about the coconut cream I feel BAD and that’s usually a good sign of what is making me feel gross. So I’m going back to bed. I will be drinking lots of water, and checking out what the coeliac pages I follow have to say about detoxing after being glutened.

Day 17 – Another food experiment and sore legs

Oh my god my legs hurt. And my ass and the rest. No boot camp for two weeks then two days in a row and I am suffering. I can’t even sit on the loo without holding on and using my arms to stand up slooooooooowllyyyyy. Ow Ow Ow! I hobbled around the zoo like an old lady today following the boys….                      And yoga tomorrow. For my sins.

I am getting a little sick of the same green veges and salmon/chicken combos for my meals (and the same smoothie recipe over and over). So have resolved to not only collect recipes and good websites, but to actually try them out – and I want to try to make at least one new thing a week. We tried a new smoothie recipe yesterday and that was good – it did occur to me that I am using fruit in the smoothies and that goes against my fruit ban – soooooooooo. I don’t know – will research ‘low’ fruit recipes – maybe no banana.

Tonight I tried these ‘coconut flour biscuits’ (scones) and they smelled delicious – full of spring onion, parsley, thyme, basil and rosemary – it’s a shame they sucked. So dry. I do not have success with coconut flour. I am thinking that maybe if I subbed out the coconut flour with self raising Gf flour (the edmonds one is quite good) they might be chewy enough to be nice…

photo 1 (10) photo 2 (10) photo 3 (6)The grumpy Dutchman ate them but he is good to me, the rest of us couldn’t bear them, they boys left them on their plates and I may have thrown mine to the birds… Oh well.

Yoga tomorrow! I wonder if I will be able to bend over by then?

New Years Eve

photo (10)

So, tomorrow I start my ‘Year of Health’. I have been boiling bones and veges for the past three days to make the ‘bone broth’ (stock) that I am experimenting with – the house already smells delicious so thats a plus! Over the past few weeks I have made peace with the fact that I will not be drinking – at all – for the year – not for Birthday drinks, no ‘thank fuck it’s friday’ drinks, no ‘the kids are being babysat and Mummy’s going to let her hair down’ drinks and not for our friends wedding coming up in February. And so far, it feels positive. The fact that my skin is the most sensitive it has been, my belly looks 6 month preggers half the time and that random and unrelated food can give me terrible stomach pain is a BIG motivating factor. After I got diagnosed with Coeliacs in september 2012 and went gluten free I thought things could only get better right? Well so far so much worse. Including slow, seemingly uncontrollable, constant weight gain which is really getting me down – no matter how much I exercise. But the good news is that this is not unusual and that I can help myself.

I have only gone half arsed about it before now, so I have decided to spend the whole year doing everything I have been advised to do – I am an all-or-nothing type of person, my tattoos are a good example of that ha ha – and I guess this blog will be my way of being accountable to myself. Next week I will see the doctor and get a complete WOF – see what my gluten levels are like and everything else, and will check in four times thoughout the year. I start Yoga tomorrow again after letting that interest fade away in March last year.

So I don’t know how interesting this will be to anybody else ha ha, I’ll post recipes that work well for me and reccomendations of sites that I follow that are useful too. Have a great New Years Eve – stay safe and don’t make any resolutions you can’t keep!