Where to start... I live in Chicago with my husband and our fur children…errr.. dogs. Yes, I am one of ‘those people’ who refer to my dogs as children. I started this blog as a note to self… a place I can put my thoughts to blog-paper, so maybe I’ll have less swimming in the old noggin. I enjoy reading a handful of blogs and they have become quiet a resource of information on various topics.
Topics I’m in to:
My first bulldog is Lilli, who is now nine years old and a cranky senior. We have our challenges with Lilli. My husband and I decided to add another bully to our family in Spring of 2008. We met and fell in love with Alice, who was rescued from a puppymill. Don’t get me started on that. She was only with us two short months and the loss of Alice propelled us heart first into volunteering. We thought it was the only way to heal the rip in our hearts. Fast forward to Bruiser, our third foster. Bruiser is what we call a “foster failure”. I couldn’t let go. It happens. In the meantime, we have become all sorts of passionate on the topic of animal welfare and bulldogs in particular.
I am an artist and finally found my path back to this happiness. Watercolor is probably the most popular medium I currently work in but also really love ‘paper painting’ using an acrylic base painting and building on that with collage. Starting out with just pencil, it was serendipitous to fall in love with color. I am not into art-speak, and was always bored by the gallery discussions such as how a branch and an egg have deep meaning… I just don’t do it so don’t expect deep enriching thoughts on the topic.
I love food. I went from being one of the pickiest eaters in the universe, to someone who will try just about anything. I used to be known for saying “Ew, I don’t like that” when I have never tried the food in question. With a love of food came extra pounds. I could blame it on a desk job, age, marriage, pizza, a serious addiction to sweets. At the end of the day, I strongly believe food was taking me down. I am being slightly dramatic when I say this, but, food was poisoning me! You’ll read below and understand why I have become somewhat passionate about this topic.
Completely related to the food topic. I had a litany of problems, most of it that little stuff that I was so used to feeling, it just became my version of normal. Everything came to a head in the Spring of 2011. I suffered from the same winter colds, no biggie. When I ended up with a sinus infection I took the normal antibiotics and was cured… except that chronic dizziness and a mental fogginess. After weeks of dizziness (boy is THAT annoying) I went to an ENT, thinking maybe I had some fluid in the ear. I was also experiencing a mental fog, and at the time didn’t know ‘mental fog’ was something people suffered from. Frankly I was just terrified because I felt like I was forgetful and plain old out of it all the time. How could I be losing my mind, I am only in my 30’s?!
I didn’t understand what was happening to me. Back to the ENT, I passed every test with flying colors and he could find nothing wrong, but he wanted me to see a neurologist to rule out MS. MS?! I was terrified and upset.
The reality was, I was physically a mess. For years I suffered from chronic fatigue. I annoyed my husband with the phrase “I’m tired”, but it was the truth, I was exhausted every day of my life. When I got home from work all I wanted to do was sit on the couch. I suffered from back problems throughout 2011, to the point I saw a physical therapist, the pain in my middle back felt like it was choking the air out of me. Nothing helped. I was never athletic, I always felt deterred by the wheezing that would start shortly after starting to exercise. I had stomach problems ..oh were those fun. I would eat something small and could bloat to the point I looked 4 months pregnant (and no, that is not comfortable). I won’t gross you out with all the other details. I almost forgot – the headaches. My husband repeatedly asked me to get a CAT scan because he feared the worst….since yes I had headaches almost every day of my life. For years I dealt with mood swings and the “d” word was discussed with my doctor (depression). You know, the sadness and funk you can’t escape from, but don’t want to admit to or talk about? Really, when I think about all the things going on, YIKES! I gave up on traditional medicine. Timing was everything and a sign pointed me in another direction. A facebook post from a friend talking about food allergies got me reading…and researching… and a recommendation from another friend had me make an appointment with a chiropractor who specializes in gut issues. I have never been a fan of chiropractic aka the unknown but it was time to open my mind. I saw the doctor and started a 30 day detox, or what turned into a 60 day detox using supplements and still eating real food – not one of those wackadoo detox plans. I did a blood panel for food allergies/sensitivities. I came away with a list of foods including gluten and casein (in most dairy products). I was devastated by the gluten, as I am a lover of all things pasta/pizza/bread/baked goods.
I stuck to the detox though, and quickly started feeling better. I started dropping weight. Three pounds, seven, ten, and ended up losing over 20 pounds without even trying. More importantly, I felt like I hadn’t felt in years.. I can’t express it appropriately in words, but I forgot what it was like to feel normal.. not have pain, fatigue, stomach issues, etc. One of the most monumental changes I experience was the calmness and peace I felt, my mood swings were gone. My life changed. The more research I did on gluten and dairy – the more I understood why I should avoid it – and so should you! The number of ailments connected to both gluten and dairy is staggering! I am honestly convinced anyone’s life could be changed for the better with the elimination or drastic reduction in products that contain wheat. There are a ton of alternatives now, and as people become educated, more options become available for GF and DF substitutions. I can now feel my body telling me “your full”.
Ailments related to gluten & dairy, cured with elimination:
*Headaches = cured!
*Mental fog = cured!
*Dizziness = cured!
*Less joint pain
*No more bloating!!
*IBS = CURED! No drugs needed
*Weight loss (20+ pounds and counting)
*Mood swings – cured!
*Back pain – CURED – no drugs needed!
*Food cravings – eliminated
So check in now and then – hell – you might find a valuable nugget of information.
The path for me began with tidbits of knowledge I strung together. I am still in the beginning of my journey for health, good eats, and overall happiness.. so I will share triumphs and struggles along the way.