Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My New Bible

I got my Gluten Free Grocery Shopping Guide in the mail today!  It is great!  It literally has everything I need to know about the products I already have in my fridge or if I am my mom's or dad's, I can look up the product name and see if it is good to eat or not!  I am so excited about this book.  It has names brands, Kroger and Kroger Value brands and Meijer.  This book will seriously never leave my purse.  Between that and my childhood friend Liz sending me all types of yummy gluten free recipes, I feel so much more confident about being successful through this transition.  The book couldn't have arrived on a better day too.  Work was stressful this morning, everything that I had planned went the complete opposite.  Typically when that happens, I have an early sub (and feel like shit the rest of the day) or eat some bread guts or even gnaw on some day old.....not today.  It was hard to because my bread was effin perfect all day.  Then the mail came and I my bread craving went away.  It is great not feeling like crap all the time.  Eating isn't as heavy feeling, unless I eat too much like it did tonight....dinner was good and I could stop my self!

So yeah, that's it.  I am just that excited about my new book that I dedicated this little post to it.  Seriously, I can not express the level of excitement.....seriously :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

This week has sucked.  I have been without Gluten for about 2 weeks but really paying super attention to it for about 10 days.  My stomach was jack up the other day, but over all I feel good.  I don't feel as bloated and heavy whenever I eat.  Now I don't know for sure if anything is going to change in terms of my IBS but I physically feel better this week.  However, emotionally, I have been a wreck.  And no, for anyone thinking it, it is not because I am menstuating (not too much info either because I knew you were thinking it), but I honestly think that I am a little depressed about this dramitc diet change.  Even since Parker was born, I have consciously eaten better because he always watches what I eat, but not having things that I love and how closely I have to pay attention to everything is a little stressful. 

Good news on the gluten free front though, Krishna (besides Naan bread) is almost entirely a gluten free menu....hello beautiful Indian food, you are now my best friend.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Go Dora Go!

I have a disclaimer to this post....I have no references.  I could spend the time to find the references that I need on my book shelf but honestly it has been a hellish week and I don't what to, so when I do this (), a reference should be there.

Parker and I do not have cable.  We only had it when we lived with my mom from 2 months to 3 years old.  At that point in time we would watch Nickelodeon....and a lot of it.  The classics mostly like The Backyardigans, Dora, Diego, Blue's Clues...there was no Yo Gabba Gabba (which honestly scares me slightly, I feel like I need to be smoking some serious hash when I watch it).  Now our TV is permanently on PBS learn, and every night we watch The Wild Kratts.  I have discussed some of these shows within Women's Studies courses while I was attending UC.  A lot of my opinions though were formed out side of those classes but they all sparked a little more interest in what we were watching.  I am going to talk about most of the individually, kinda like a little analysis.

The Backyardigans.
I love this show.  I still find it extremely entertaining and full of imagination.  It was new on Nick Jr when Parker was about 2 years old.  We stumbled upon it one morning before our walk to library. It caught my attention because the characters were dancing the Hustle to a funky beat.  After a few episodes of watching I realized what it was all about.  There are 5 characters.  Uniqua (a pink tomboyish unknown animal), Pablo (a blue penguin), Tyrone (an orange moose) are all next door neighbors with a shared backyard.  Across the fence in the backyard is Austin (a purple kangaroo) and across the street is Tasha (a yellow hippo).  The start their daily adventure in their common backyard that transforms into where ever in their imaginations they are playing.  They sing and dance custom and catchy songs.  Their personalities are all different like their looks.  Uniqua was mine and Parker's favorite.  She is a very head strong girl who loves adventure and taking on a challenge.  There is one episode when Tasha sent Uniqua out to King Austin's and if she is successful she will become a knight.  She is a neat character because she is very opposite a "girly" little girl, which is the personality of Tasha.  Tasha epitomizes every little girl stereotype.  The boy characters have a different array of personalities.  Tyrone is easy going, Pablo freaks out every episode and they all have to calm him down, and Austin is a little shy and quiet.  I think it is great for small children because it has great music and dancing.  They go on great adventures where they have to work together to accomplish their voyage.  It teaches children team work, to be friends with anyone despite color, personality or looks and to have an imagination and explore the world through that imagination.

Dora and Diego.
I have to talk about these two together.  First there was Dora.  She was a little Hispanic girl who went into the world independently to explore it.  She taught children how to read maps, speak Spanish and how to be independent in finding things on their own.  Dora was a very different cartoon when she hit the lime light.  She was the only Hispanic little girl main character.  There is no question as to way Dora the Explorer is such a success.  She gave a voice to Hispanic children, brought attention to simple Spanish words in a country whose largest minority is the Hispanic population.  Because of her ethnicity and first language, she created acceptance in the white and black communities because all of those children, boys and girls a like, loved Dora and the new language/culture they were learning.  I know that this was across the board between genders because of how much Parker loved Dora a long with all of the boys in Dora shirts that I witnessed about 4 years ago.  She was huge.  Eventually they brought on her cousin Diego.  Then, off of Dora's coat tails, Diego was a success and got his own show.  I don't really have anything against Diego, but at the same time I do.  His show minimized the deeper essence to Dora.  His show has more Spanish and more variety of words.  His rescue pack transforms into whatever he may need to rescue the animals.  And there, right there in the name and what he does in the show.....he rescues and his title is a verb.  Rescuing.  Rescue.  We hear that word and we associate it with the masculine ().  Our entire language is divided between female associated words and male associated words.  Verbs are associated with the male (), Go Diego Go.  Adjective are associated with the female (), Dora the Explorer.  Male is action; female is passive.  Everything that Dora gave to little girls and boys about how they viewed girls as independent "go getters" in the world was taken away by how much more Diego did.  This is why I don't like Diego.  There was really no reason for his own show besides to make more money.  Dora is still important but the light that once shown on her was dimmed by Diego....hmm, imagine that, a male character taking center stage over the female....that doesn't reflect societal views of women at all.....right?

The Wild Kratts.
I am skipping the rest of the Nick Jr. shows to move on to The Wild Kratts.  I honestly don't have much a feminist view on this one.  The Kratt brothers are real brothers who are on the creature trail.  They are zoologist that turn to cartoon characters to help save whatever animal they are highlighting on the episode.  There are female characters in the show, who are both scientist.  So that is a plus.  Parker loves that show because he learns about animals and conservation.  He is proud of the education he gains from that show and it is one that I am very comfortable with him watching because he takes positive information away with him.  He will often talk about being on the creature trail too because of all of the animals that we see at mr's house.  Parker has included mr to be on the creature trail as well.

It is funny to think about the cartoons that I watched when I was little and seriously miss them on TV.  Remember Loony Toons?  Remember how everyone decided that it was too violent for children to be watching?  I mean, I get it, but doesn't a lot of the other side of what children watch come from the rest of the influence in their lives?   I am not a violent person and I can not tell you how many episodes to Wyle E Coyote trying to kill the Road Runner....but my parents taught me to not be violent.  Maybe I am just opening a new can of worms to talk about here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Becoming Gluten Free

First of all....this is effing hard.

This may sound random to some people....well maybe everyone.  I have never had a great stomach or digestive system; my mom has IBS and I was tested for Crohn's and it was negative, my doctor, about 12 years ago, decided that all of my symptoms fall under IBS as well.  At the end of high school and the beginning of college were my darkest times.  I literally could not eat anything without worrying about my stomach errupting and causing a great deal of pain.  The pain is so bad with IBS that my mom told me if I could get through an episode, child labor would be a breeze.....years later while I was in labor with Parker, I remembered her statement and honestly, I remember IBS pain, I could not tell you how bad the pain was in labor....yea it hurt, but it was tolerable.

So my mid to late 20's were really smooth.  The pain that I experienced in high school and early college was not nearly as frequent.  I could go weeks without an episode and I become tolerant to peppers....which I love now.  Looking back at how this syndrome has changed through my life is interesting.  When I felt the least amount of stress, between 18 and 21, it was the worse in terms of pain and frequency.  Then through pregnancy and my break up with Parker's dad, finishing college with a small child (and commuting from Dayton to Cincinnati everyday), starting the job I still have, transfering and moving back to Cincinnati...which all was much more stressful, my system was some what normal.  But since my downtown store closed last June, my system has changed drasitcally.  It is completely different than in my early 20's.  Since the beginning of 2011, it has gotten worse and I am just simply sick of nothing working.  The most common suggestion I have to help me is to take fiber....well, it has shown that fiber actually makes symptoms worse.

I was bumming around on medical websites and was rerearching IBS (I do this every so ofter) and it said that a common trigger for IBS is wheat, barley and rye.  Three of my most favorite things in the world.  I have tried so many things from perscriptions to probiotics to everything I can think of so now it is time to try this.  I have not consulted a doctor yet which may make some people cringe that I am trying something so drastic with out than consultation.  I plan on it, but the sacfrice is worth the idea or possibility of being some what normal.  I feel like crap most of the time...I am always bloated which makes me feel like the size of a house, I just hate those feelings and everything else that goes with it too.

I thought it didn't sound too hard until I went to the grocery store on Saturday.  I buy red beans in chili sauce...they are great in tacos or just with a bit of chicken....well guess what...those effing beans have wheat in them.  Also I bought ice cream without reading the label, and you can guess what was in that too.  I have come to terms with no beer, mostly, I have discovered the hard cider really isn't that bad, vodka and everclear are always options and maybe I will discover a taste for wine.  But overall, this is going to be much more difficult than I thought but it has been a week and although I don't know what normal feels like, I feel a little better than normal for me.