Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Time Without the Shine

     Anyone who knows me knows that I am always cold. ALWAYS. So this summer has been absolutely wonderful to me. The heat has been a nice change from the long winter that we had, and I'm soaking up every moment of it while I can. That being said, my skin doesn't exactly feel the same. I've always struggled with combination skin that is overly dry in the winter and extremely oily in the summer. While I'm still figuring out what works best for my winter dry skin, I ran across a tip online about a year ago that has been my secret weapon in the summer ever since.
     Now, I know that this is going to seem like a very odd suggestion and probably not something you'd normally want on your face, but I promise it's worth a try! Ok so here's my secret, Monistat Chafing Gel. I know, I know, seems kind of icky BUT when you think about it, it makes sense that it would work. It's meant to absorb moisture and create a satiny smooth finish to prevent skin from rubbing together. When applied to the face it does the exact same thing, absorbs oil and moisture and creates a smooth matte finish.
     I generally use it as a primer or just apply it in my T-zone and checks and like to take the extra step of applying a light dusting of finishing powder to give it some extra staying power. This one little tip has made a world of difference and I'm able to keep a tube handy in my make-up bag because far as make-up primers go it is very inexpensive at only about six dollars a tube from your local Wal-Mart, Meijers, Target, etc. which is one extra reason to run out and try it ASAP. What are some of your favorite make-up tips?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Get In My Belly!!!: Bob's Red Mill Potato Flakes

     Eating while on the go has been a recent struggle of mine. My diet is still very limited and some days I don't have time in the morning to fix a full days worth of meals to carry around with me. So one day as I was walking around Plum Market, I ended up in the boxed potato section. I had tried this route before while looking for a quick fix food, but it just never seemed to settle very well, I'm guessing because of all the chemicals and fillers that most brands have. I happened to notice that Bob's Red Mill had a line of potatoes flakes, and knowing that Bob's Red Mill products have a really good reputation, I decided to check out the ingredients for their potatoes and was completely shocked that there was only one ingredient. Yup, you guessed it, 100% dehydrated potatoes. The best part, it was only four dollars for a pretty big bag.

     The fact that these potato flakes are instant is what really drew me in. When I have some spare time, I portion off individual portions into snack size Ziplock bags or small Tupper wear containers to keep with me, and anywhere that I can get hot water I've got something hot, filling, and most importantly, GP friendly that I can eat. I use to just count of ordering a baked potato, but not every restaurant carries them (although Wendy's just about always has delicious tender baked potatoes when I'm really in a crunch), and some days the fiber in a regular baked potato is just to harsh on my tummy. If I feel like I can tolerate it, I add grilled or baked chicken or scallops for some protein to balance out all those carbs. Also egg whites are a protein that I generally tolerate pretty well. On days that none of those seem like a good idea, I settle for some nutritional yeast mixed in for a little protein and a big vitamin B boost. When it comes to the GP diet on-the-go, I have found the saying "Failure to prepare, is preparation to fail" to be all to true, so never leave the house without a few GP friendly snacks=)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Give In, But Never Give Up

     Some days I give in. I give into the fear, I give into the exhaustion, I give into the anger, and for the longest I saw this as a failure on my part. I believed that I should be strong enough to rise above negative feelings and felt that I just needed to toughen up. I rationalized that there are so many people who have a life worse than mine and still manage to function and be productive. I envied those that could put a smile on even when everything that could possibly go wrong had.

     I worked so hard to force my feelings into a place where I wouldn't have to deal with them, but that didn't make them disappear. Allowing my past bad experiences and feelings to build up was like running a marathon with one hundred pound weights on my ankles and expecting to win. Once I finally decided to deal with my emotions rather than ignore them, I was so much happier! True, dealing with emotions are not always pleasant or easy, but it's worth the effort in the long run. Everyone faces trials in their life, but the way you deal with it makes a world of difference in the effect that it will make in your life.

     A few weeks ago, I was sitting in one of my school's counselor offices filling out the paper work for my Associates Degree, and looked up to see a sign on the shelf that said "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." I sat there reflecting on all that I had been through in the past year to be sitting where I was in the moment, happy and feeling the best health wise that I'd felt in quiet some time.

     At the age of twenty, I had to quit working. I no longer had the energy to continue at my fast paced waitressing job, and although there had been plenty of times in the past that I'd wished I didn't have to work, I never thought it'd be because I couldn't. I had to drop multiple classes when I was sick so often that I missed more classes than I attended. Thankfully, some of my teachers were very understanding and worked with me so that I didn't have to drop all of them and was able to graduate on schedule. At one point, I was mostly house bound because I barely had the energy to walk from the den to the kitchen, not to mention just the idea of riding in a car sent my stomach spinning. After months of medical testing locally, I faced a trip to the Mayo Clinic for a very rough week of testing that not only tested my physical body, but my mental strength as well.

     Yet here I am, fighting. Every day with GP is a battle, and yes some days I give in, but I never give up. I am beyond grateful to have so many people in my life who love and support me through the good days and the bad. On those days when I do give in and feel that I just can't fight, I know they've got my back and will fight for me until I'm strong enough to get back up. They help me "dance in the rain" when I'm feeling terrible by doing everything they can to make me comfortable and bring a smile to my face. They help me "dance in the rain" by sitting and watching movies with me when I have the energy to do nothing else. Most of all, they help me "dance in the rain" by loving me unconditionally and letting me know that even when the best that I can give is 20%, it will always be enough for them. So for all you GP fighters and people facing the various trials of life, find those people, or reasons, to help you "dance in the rain" and never give up.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

     Having GP makes it very important to get as much nutrition into each bite as possible. Now with that being said, some days a girl just needs her chocolate fix! Being on a gluten and dairy free diet makes that pretty tough though, so I went on a hunt for a chocolate recipe and after a couple recipe trial and errors, found one that was just what I was looking for. The first recipe that I tried claimed the chocolate would be a nice sauce at room temperature and a spreadable consistency once refrigerated. No matter how long I refrigerated that chocolate it never thickened, very disappointing. It was also very bitter, and I am not a dark chocolate kind of person so that didn't sit very well for me.

     The idea of a chocolate sauce that could also be used as an icing was very appealing to me though, so I kept looking and ran across this recipe for a Allergen Free Chocolate Syrup from a website called Allergy Free Cooking Baby. Since the recipe was for a syrup, I decided to cut the liquid back by half hoping it'd thicken up in the refrigerator and it did not disappoint. Even my grandma, who is not a sweets person, loved it! So without further au due, I present all of you chocolate lovers with...

Allergen Free Chocolate Syrup

 From: Allergen Free Cooking Baby!

  • • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • • 1 cup Cacao powder or Cocoa powder
  • • 1 cup water ( I used only a 1/2 cup of water to achieve a thicker consistency)
  • • ¼ tsp salt
  • • 2 tsp vanilla
  1. In a medium saucepan combine the sugars, cacao powder, & salt, just until mixed.
  2. Add in water and vanilla and stir over medium heat.
  3. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer.
  4. The mixture will start to stick to the spoon.
  5. Mixture will thicken a little more in the refrigerator.
  6. Use for chocolate dairy free milk, or as a topping on your favorite dairy free ice cream.
*As a caution, be careful to mix everything well before heating as any dry ingredients stuck to the bottom will burn very easily!