Oh, hey there. It’s been awhile! I know, I know, I went a little bit AWOL for a little long while… but I’m back and I have a super exciting announcement! I am beyond thrilled to have launched my new blog and brand, Frida & Me. Honestly, this project has been a long time in the making and I feel like I just gave birth. Frida & Me is a lifestyle blog geared toward conscious living and those who are aiming to better their lives, and the world in which we live. We will be featuring clean eats, organic and cruelty-free wellness and beauty products, as well as tons of inspiration for you fellow boss babes! We are also launching our very own line of eco-friendly accessories apparel for pooches and their humans. So please, please head on over and check it out. I’m dying to hear what you think!! And don’t forget to follow us @fridaandme_ for your daily dose of, well, Frida & Me!
[I have been waiting to share my gluten free story with all of you. I always like to keep it fun, fresh, and fashionable here on the blog; but let’s get real… sometimes life throws you a curve ball. Here is mine.]
Most of my readers know that I am strictly gluten free… but very few know why. It’s not for fun, it’s not to be trendy, and it’s certainly not out of convenience. I am gluten free so that I can thrive, survive, and enjoy life.
Many many years ago I was incredibly ill. The cause was unknown, but as time went by I could hardly function. I was in and out of the hospital, was dropped from most of my classes as my attendance was less than stellar, and lost the majority of my friends. When you are 21 going on 80 you’re not exactly a hoot to be around. I felt terrible the majority of the time, couldn’t go out and party, alcohol was a definite no-no in my condition, and I truly felt like my life was slipping away. I moved back home as I needed lots of physical and emotional support. [My fam is the best BTW!]
I saw doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, and underwent test after test. Taking care of me and running around from appointment to appointment became a full time job for my family [esp the Mama]. I was diagnosed with a myriad of illnesses, was prescribed a ridiculous amount of medications from anti-seizure meds to anti-depressants [at one point I was popping 30+ pills a day], and overall I continued to feel worse and worse. I looked awful, felt awful, and all in all things were pretty freaking awful.
I had kind of resigned myself to the fact that this would be how my life would play out. Sick, tired, and constantly in pain. It wasn’t until years later that one of my doctors recommend that I go gluten free. I underwent blood and saliva tests that showed a definite gluten sensitivity. He told me to go strictly g-free for a solid six weeks and see how I feel. Let me say, I was sold in way less than six weeks.
After two weeks I started feeling alive again. I was less achy, experienced less joint pain, had more energy, and could think more clearly. The longer I avoided gluten, the better I felt. It was as if my entire system had gotten a re-boot.
I became a gluten guru… reading EVERYTHING there was to read on gluten and a gluten free lifestyle. I can now look at an ingredient list and in about .85 seconds tell you if it contains gluten. Gluten is a sneaky little devil and can take on so many forms. Just because you don’t see wheat, barley, rye, or oats in the ingredients does NOT mean the product is gluten free. Also, beware of labels saying “free of gluten” or “wheat free”. They are marketing ploys. Only trust the official GF stamp and your own good sense.
I am now 100% gluten free [and have been for quite some time]. This includes everything that goes into or onto my body [yes… makeup, shampoo, lotions, etc. can have the same nasty effect on me]. I am never tempted to “cheat”. Nothing in the world could possibly taste that good… and to be honest, I don’t miss a thing. Actually, I do miss one thing: Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. My favorite chapstick since the age of 3. They are so amazing and so not g-free :( [Wheat germ oil is one of the main ingredients. Wah wah.] Ok, so other than the Lip Smackers… I don’t miss a thing.
Since I have gone gluten free I have been “poisoned” a handful of times. Even if you are completely diligent in your g-free efforts, it can still happen. Let’s face it. You’ve got to live your life. This means eating out at restaurants or at other people’s homes. Not everyone can be as careful as you… and honestly, you can’t expect them to. Plus there’s always the matter of cross contamination. I would say I prepare 90% of the food that I put into my body, and with the other 10% I just have to pray for the best.
I will know if I got “glutened” within hours… and the negative effects typically last 3 – 5 weeks. I’m not gonna lie, it totally sucks. The nausea, headaches, brain fog, joint pain, body aches, tenderness to the touch, and fatigue all come rushing back. I spent one Christmas “glutened” and couldn’t even be hugged by my family members as it was so painful to be touched. My whole body felt like a bruise. And forget about cute clothes. Times like these call for the baggiest of baggy sweats as waistbands and bras become the stuff of nightmares. I haven’t found a great way to fight this quite yet… but I’m working on it. Aloe vera juice is very cleansing and the last time I got “glutened” I chugged aloe like it was my job. I only felt terrible for about two weeks that time instead of the usual 3-5.
I feel that it is only appropriate to share my GF journey with my dedicated little ‘doos [that’s you]. I want you all to know that every recipe I post and every product I recommend is totally g-free and safe [in my experience]. I also want you to know that if you have questions about going gluten free or are experiencing road bumps on your own GF journey I want you to talk to me. Trust me, I’ve been through it all and nothing would make me happier than helping out a g-free friend in need.