What They Don’t Tell You…

I’ve been doing this gluten free/ dairy thing free thing for about three weeks (with some hiccups) now and for the last five days have not had a drop of alcohol. I am not doing this because I am some sort of masochist (though I am beginning to wonder), but rather because my health is suffering and my doctor said it might offer some relief. She did not warn that it could get worse before getting better, but through simple google searches I found that what I am going through is fairly normal. So I would like to take a break from what I usually blog about to talk about gluten withdrawal and the not-so-magical parts of getting healthy. Continue reading

12 Grapes

Excuse my silence I’ve been…indisposed. If you are anything like me you are probably feeling pretty rough this morning. Perhaps, it was all the holiday food and booze or the fact that the season is over and you now find yourself more out of shape and broke. I accidently ate gluten on several occassions because it is hidden in everything and sometimes I don’t think to ask until later. Whatever, it was worth it and I’m learning. I’m lucky to work primarily with Mexicans which means that I get to ease back into work until Monday because Sunday is El día de los reyes magos  (Magical King’s Day), which marks the official end of the season. This is an interesting holiday where three kings come and leave presents in or by your shoes and you eat a cake with little plastic baby Jesuses (is that the plural of Jesus?) hidden inside,  whoever finds the Jesus(es) gets to throw a party…or chokes to death. I never really celebrated this holiday, but usually somebody in my family had the Jesus cake so we would go over to their house to partake, but by that point it did not matter who found the baby Jesus because there would be no more parties for awhile as everyone was exhausted and sick of each other. Continue reading

Decolonized gut?

I don’t have the best record with this blogging thing. I’ve started several and always seem to abandon them after a week, but I have a feeling 2013 is going to be my year so I’ll give it another go. Some big things have happened in the last six months: I graduated from university, began working with an amazing non-profit, moved home for a spell to be with my father as he went through chemotherapy and radiation (and beat cancer!), and finally have decided to take my own health seriously.

This is why I decided to come back to blogging…I have some serious changes to make. As many a  24 year-old  in the 21st century living in the United States of America I’ve done some hard living. Long nights, stress, unhealthy food choices, and too many substances combined with a distrust of most doctors (and crappy insurance) is starting to catch up with me.

I’m lucky to live in Austin where there are plenty of alternatives in terms of approaches to health and wellness and found an integrative practice that focuses on nutrition and treating causes of poor-health rather than just masking symptoms.  After over an hour and a half with the doctor it was recommended I take several blood tests and avoid dairy and gluten for the time being. I was also perscribed some multivitamins and given tips on breathing exercises. Quite different from my other experiences with doctors! I walked out feeling pretty empowered, but later on the reality of these dietary changes began to sink in. It didn’t help that this news came two weeks before Christmas and I have been travelling non-stop since. It has been pretty terrible actually…everyone around me is munching on holiday food and drinking egg-nog while I eat dry vegetables and meat because it seems that everything contains gluten or dairy. A lot of this is just bad timing. Travelling means a lot of eating out and I am sure things will get easier with time. Right now though I am dreaming of  this…

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And I know there are some gluten-free, dairy-free alternatives to this, but it just isn’t the same.

I still plan to include Latin-American recipes using as many local and seasonal ingredientsas possible, but now I am going to have to be extra creative. I’ve enrolled in an intensive herbalism course that begins in January so I also hope to include some of that information. Afterall, my interest in herbal medicine comes from the older Mexican women in my life and only intensified through my travels.

I haven’t been this excited for a new year in a long time! I knew the world wasn’t going to end (more on that later…)!