About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Another trip

I am back home after a long weekend getaway to a cabin in the woods. It was a relaxing weekend with great weather. I enjoyed spending time in the sun by the lake, being out in nature, reading, relaxing. My return home is only brief; I am here for one day before I head out on a 9.5 hour road trip. I’m driving across the Midwest, just me and my dog Bella, to visit my family. Also, my youngest cousin is graduating from high school and I am looking forward to attending his graduation party.

For most people, this trip would not be a big deal. It is a pretty straight drive, lots of scenic country. And in the past, for me, it also was not a big deal. I have always enjoyed road trips. But all that changed when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and later that year, celiac disease. Now the trip is a very big deal and requires A LOT of planning. Firstly, one of the most dangerous situations for a type 1 diabetic to be in is being the driver on a long distance road trip. This is not my opinion; this is what I was told by my endocrinologist, and I have also read in my diabetes books. There are many factors that affect diabetes- sitting for too long, heat from the sun beating down on you through your car window, managing food, sleep deprivation, stress, and also trying to regularly check your blood sugar during the drive. Not to mention, driving alone, if I were to have a low blood sugar episode, there would be no one to help me. In fact, there is a stretch that I drive that is so remote that not only are there no homes, gas stations or civilization, but there is also no cell phone reception. So if I were to run into trouble, I’d have to hope another motorist would stop to help.

Additionally, being celiac makes it essentially impossible for me to stop for a bite to eat along the way. That's okay, though. I save money (and eat better!) by bringing a cooler and packing healthy snacks that are gluten free, such as hard boiled eggs, homemade tuna salad, and gluten free turkey sticks. The only issue is that the cooler does not keep food cool the entire 9 hours, so I must bring some food that does not require refrigeration that I can eat later on in the drive. I started purchasing Go Picnic’s gluten free boxes, as they are shelf-stable and have a nice mix of finger foods I can eat while driving. I also bring plenty of fruits, nuts, juice boxes and glucose tabs to treat low blood sugars, and plenty of water.

The goal on the drive is to maintain stable blood sugars that will keep me safe while driving- not to high and definitely not too low, stay hydrated, stay AWAKE driving by myself, and stay nourished with good food. I do not drink caffeine, never have been a caffeine drinker, so I rely solely on getting adequate sleep and taking good care of my health to keep me awake and alert. Caffeine is a drug that I’ve seen too many (or should I say MOST) friends become addicted to and they rely on it to get them through the day. I have never wanted to follow that path, so I stay away from it.

I am looking forward to a safe and fun trip! I will have loved ones calling me along the way to check in, and my sweet dog Bella is good company. I also had my oil changed, my drive belts changed, and my car checked by the dealership to make sure it’s good to go for the long 9 hour drive.

I’ll be staying with my mom when I arrive at my destination, and one thing I won’t have to worry about at her place is cross-contamination with gluten. My mom is ALSO celiac. She was diagnosed by an endoscopy a year and a half after me. So her house is 100% gluten free also. This makes life easier, as I do not have to pack pans and cooking equipment like I normally have to if I stayed elsewhere. She is not dairy free, nor does she follow a Paleo diet like I do, so I generally do pick up some of my own foods to prepare while I am there. This time, I am bringing my Make Ahead Paleo cookbook (by Tammy Credicott) so I will have some yummy, easy recipes to prepare during my stay. I know my family will like the food, as well. Her recipes are quite good. My current favorite is her Chicken with Balsamic “Cream” Sauce and Mushrooms recipe. OMGoodness, it is so darn good.

I’ll blog more once I arrive. Until next time!

Friday, May 23, 2014

How this Celiac-Diabetic with severe allergies packs for a weekend getaway.

It's Memorial Day weekend, y'all. I got an invite to go up to a cabin about 2 1/2 hours out of the city, where I won't have easy access to grocery stores or pharmacies. What's a Celia-betic who is allergic to everything to do? PACK EVERYTHING, that's what.

Being celiac, I packed all my own food- after extensive meal planning for meals that will accommodate my diabetic celiac diet. I also packed all my own pans, a cutting board, spices, snacks, butter, teas, etc. Here is the menu plan I put together (which I will share with others at the cabin, of course! Too much food for one person!)

Breakfasts:
-Egg muffins (basically spinach, mushroom, eggs mixed with almond milk and a piece of bacon on top, baked in a greased muffin pan in the oven). GF, DF, Paleo. Makes 12 "muffins."
-Jones brand GF breakfast sausage
-Extra organic eggs for hard boiling or cooking, in case needed

Lunches/dinners:
-chicken in balsamic cream sauce with mushrooms (GF, Dairy Free, Paleo), from make Ahead Paleo Cookbook
-grilled hamburgers, plus my own separate ketchup and GF Canyon Ranch buns
-chicken wings for grilling, plus Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce

Sides:
-mashed cauliflower with chives (GF, DF, Paleo)
-"No-Potato" Salad- (GF, DF, Paleo), from Make Ahead Paleo cookbook
-Healthy version of broccoli salad (GF, DF, Paleo). Recipe found on www.weightandwellness.com
-sweet potato wedges wrapped in bacon and baked
-baked southwestern Mac n cheese- GF, dairy free, from godairyfree.com website

Snacks:
-almonds
-Eat Your Veggies brand chips
-blueberries
-apples
-oranges
-bananas

Desserts:
-Almond flour chocolate chip cookies (GF, DF, Paleo) from Elana Amsterdam's cookbook Almond Flour Cookbook

These foods accommodate both my celiac and diabetic needs.

Extra things:
-chip clip
-aluminum foil for grill and oven
-storage containers for extra food I want to bring home (can't use others as they are likely cross-contaminated with gluten).
-baking pan
-frying pan
-cutting board
-mixing bowl
-crockpot bag (so I can use the host's crockpot)
-cooler

I hauled the non-perishable stuff in my personalized Thirty One bags (for celiacs who have to haul a lot of stuff around, these are amazing. I own several!)



Packing for diabetes- being on an insulin pump, I packed a week's worth of pump supplies, an extra vial of insulin, a bottle of glucose tabs and a big bottle of grape juice to treat lows, and also to share with others.

Packing for allergies: because I am allergic to soap, detergent, lotions and shampoos/conditioners, I brought all my own stuff. I also brought my own linens and towels, since I can't dry off with towels that have been washed in most detergents. Here is what happens when I don't bring my own towels (see pic!) I immediately break out in burning rashes all over my body. It's awful!! Since I am allergic to sunscreen, I wear a large brimmed sun hat and limit my time in the sun, opting for more shade.



Now you can see why I upgraded my cute, small sports car to a larger vehicle- I need to haul around a lot of stuff on my trips! I pack for a family of 8, even though I'm just 1...

Anyway, my sweet dog Bella and I made it safe and sound to the cabin, and I'm writing this from the deck that overlooks the lake. So beautiful... All my hard work and planning was worth it. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!