Welcome friends. A Jug of White Daisies is about my life and all the thoughts that come to me while I'm walking, doing the dishes, having a shower or hanging washing on the line - some of my regular activities that give me time to think. It's about all the things that make up my life - cooking, cleaning, creating, loving, learning, discovering, rolling my eyes, sighing, smiling, forgiving, making do, making the most of, looking up, gardening, hugging, being. It's about the things that I make for sale, fabulous finds, the wisdom and beauty in the world, and it's about stopping to admire the simple perfection of daisies.

And in amongst all the thinking and writing about that, I'll be doing it all, and more, so if you don't see me for a day or two, please send chocolate.

April 27, 2012

A New Adventure

A few days ago, I saw a recipe for Oreo Cookies online. Then I clicked on a link for gluten free Oreo Cookies. I thought I would print it out for my mother, who went gluten free a few months ago. After all, who doesn't like Oreo Cookies? The link was to Gluten Free Girl and I was happily trapped there for quite some time, I have to say... and I realised from reading the information there that I was probably gluten intolerant myself, without realising it.

It was pretty amazing to me, because I have been involved in food intolerance issues for nearly 15 years because of my daughter, and have a reasonable amount of knowledge about it all. I have several gluten intolerant friends too, but I never picked up that it could be my problem too. I guess it was because their problems were mainly with their gut - but being gluten intolerant can affect pretty much everything else too, it seems. So anyway, I thought it was worth a try. Everything is worth a try once, don't you think? For an adventurous life?

I read a few different blogs and websites and informed myself enough in that afternoon to know in my heart that I was gluten intolerant. I knew. And I think I know quite a few other people who are as well. What really clinched it for me was not necessarily the articles I was reading, but the hundreds of comments left by people for whom going gluten free has been a transforming choice, and the happiness they describe at their symptoms disappearing.

There will always be people who scoff about any dietary changes and who resist as if their lives depended on it - I saw that when I had to put my daughter on a special diet - but what they want to think has nothing to do with me. It's not a question of right and wrong, just their choice, my choice. Parents often say to their children about food, "You can't say you don't like it if you haven't tried it," but we don't say that to ourselves as adults very often. In fact, sometimes we resist like crazy.

So anyway, I tried it. The very next day. I noticed changes before the day was out - positive changes. I couldn't go shopping for a few days, but we had stuff in the house that I could use and I was challenged to make nice things like Carrot and Lentil Soup, instead of just bunging some stuff in a sandwich and calling it lunch. What's not to like about facing the prospect of this for lunch?

One of the most amazing things to me was that I wasn't hungry all the time. I am usually never satisfied, always almost desperate for "something" else, although whatever it might be always eluded me. I realise now that it was a lack of something that was required.

Here is what these first few days have done for me: My feeling of desperate wanting and checking the kitchen for whatever it might be has vanished. I no longer feel bloated and uncomfortable - in fact, I can no longer feel my belly at all, I am not aware of it all the time like I used to be just a week ago. My chronically itchy and sore scalp is no longer itchy and sore, it just feels like the rest of my skin now. No chronic headache. The joint pain in my knees has disappeared (hips are still sore, but my knees feel great). I feel alert and alive and actually, I feel like laughing out loud! Which is no small thing let me tell you. I suffered from depression and although I have now recovered, I still didn't feel like I was on top of the world. I lost 3kg in the first few days. I'm not tired. Or grumpy. I am sleeping like a log for at least an hour longer than usual, getting closer to normal range. Probably something else too, but that'll do for starters. I just feel better all over.

So, do I regret my decision or choices? Nope. Do I miss gluten? Nope - as far as I can tell, there isn't anything to miss. There are so many fabulous recipes out there to try and flavours to tempt me, that I can't see how I will miss it. It just doesn't loom on my horizon any more. I don't see that I'm saying a big no to anything important, but rather a big yes to a whole lot more.

And the point of this post is to say (apart from, thanks for listening to me) is that, it doesn't matter where we are in life, things can get better if we are open to change and possibility.

love Heather x

To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution. ~Jo Coudert

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