Stop the Stomach Aches: My Celiac Story Part 2

Part 2 of My Celiac Story.  Check out part 1 here.


So, when we left off I had just been diagnosed with celiac disease. Before I even left the hospital I had an appointment with a nutritionist to discuss the nitty-gritty of celiac. She gave me packets and packets of information and went over the “safe” and “harmful” foods. But at that moment, as confused and scared as I was, part of me was kind of excited to begin my gluten-free journey. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to be strong and healthy again (I not of optimal health due to malnutrition and fatigue from eating gluten).

On the way home from the hospital my mom and I stopped at the grocery store and wandered the aisles while referring to the handouts from the nutritionists. I distinctly remember a small (and by small I mean 1 shelf) selection of gluten-free foods. We bought a few cereals, cereal bars, breads and baking ingredients. As soon as we got home it was operation: clean out the pantry. We designated a gluten-free shelf, labeled it and bought a separate toaster for gluten-free bread only. After weeks of trial and error (re: eating food that tasted like cardboard), I found the packaged foods I liked (see “Favorites” for my tried-and-true favorite products).

I plan to go deeper into this topic in the future, but for now, I’ll just say the most difficult part of eating gluten-free has always been eating in a social setting. Friends going out to dinner? “Guess I’ll eat before, in case nothing is safe” OR “Guess I’ll have a plain garden salad, dressing on the side.” (Eating out has gotten A LOT easier over the years as more restaurants now offer GF menus). Explaining to the waiter and to people at my table about celiac disease is not always fun. Honestly, it can get awkward and I get tired of repeating my story. (I definitely have developed handy tricks for this, which I will share!)


Yes, I have these shorts. No, those buns aren’t mind.

Now, I could ramble on and on about the last 6 years and how I’ve “overcome many obstacles and have become a natural at eating gluten-free.” While that’s true, I think the most important thing I can say is that the hard times and awkward situations have been worth it. The way I feel now is worth 1 million awkward conversations at restaurants because I feel am healthy.

I have tons more thoughts on this subject because obviously it’s apart of my daily life. I’m thinking next up on my celiac rant with be #celiacpains…??

Back to (Yoga) Basics

A few months ago when I was injured, yoga became my go-to exercise. A workout I once dismissed as too easy or boring became my hobby. I felt so much peace after every class, both in mind and body. Therefore, because I had such a great experience I now feel it is my personal responsibility to force encourage everyone I know to try yoga too. So far I’ve succeeded in bringing two friends and my cousin to classes and this summer I made it my mission to bring my sister to a class.

Saturday morning while waiting for Body Pump I casually checked the yoga class schedule, intending to sign up for a Sunday class. But when I saw there was a 10:45 Beginners Yoga that day, I had the brilliant idea of dragging my sister out of bed to go to the class with me. After blowing up her phone with texts she finally agreed to come and I, being the great sister that I am, left Body Pump early to meet her at the studio.


I might be one of those people…

I had never been to an actual “beginners” yoga class before, so I was excited to learn (or re-learn) to the basics. One of the main reasons I love yoga is because it emphasizes listening to your own body. Leaning deeper into stretches when it feels good, backing off when it doesn’t. Focusing on YOUR pose and YOUR breath rather than looking around at what other people are doing.

The instructor did a wonderful job of incorporating breathing exercises, simple stretches and standing poses throughout the class. I’m usually so accustomed to rushing into Warrior 2 but today, I was given the time to correct my form and sink breath with movement. I loved watching my sister learn new poses and accept adjustments from the instructor.

The instructor never said anything about the class being “easy” because that wasn’t the point of it. The point was to introduce new people to the awesome benefits of yoga and to remind the non-new people (aka me) that slowing down our practice isn’t bad. Sometimes slowing down and going back to the fundamentals is necessary…for happiness, health and even sanity. I’m grateful I went to this class because it reminded me that yoga really is not about being flexible. It’s about being present on your mat and giving your body what it needs: love.


P.S.- My sister loved the class and wants to go back. Props to me ;)

Yellow Watermelon and a Fish

Saturday night I said to my mom: “Today was the best day.” Bold statement, but I meant it. I didn’t have any huge plans and the things I ended up doing were simple, random minute activities. Sometimes those are the best things. It was the quintessential summer weekend and I want to repeat it every week.


Friday: Lazy night at home with my sister. I repeat my statement from last week that nothing is more appealing after an exhausting week than binge watching Friends on the couch.


Saturday: I woke up early-ish and went to my usual Saturday Body Pump. After years of doing Body Pump I still cannot up my weight for the bicep track. Every single class the bicep track is so hard for me! I think it’s because the movements, especially full-range singles, can be so fast that it makes it feel harder? Not too sure but that’s what I tell myself to make me feel better ;)

I drove straight from Body Pump to meet my sister at a yoga class. It was her first yoga class ever so I went to the intro class with her. We loved the class and had an extra-long savasana.

My best friend came home for the weekend! Most of my good friends from high school stayed at their respective colleges this summer to take classes. So I was SO EXCITED when she texted me last week saying she was coming down (even if only for 40 hours). Saturday afternoon she came over to my place and we ate lunch and spent a few hours at the pool…for once the weather cooperated! Even though we talk often on the phone it was really nice to catch up in person. I really need to convince her that summer is for coming home, not for staying at school. Am I right?

After she left my sister chauffeured me around in her convertible and we ran some errands.

Beautiful day in Tampa Bay

Beautiful day in Tampa Bay

First we went to Disney World.


Heaven in a grocery store

I mean, my version of Disney World. I was planning to get prepared food for dinner but I bucked up (literally $$) and got salmon to cook myself. Turned out to be worth the cost because it came out delicious.

My sister made an impulse buy and bought a fish. This was actually the 3rd fish she got in 24 hours because the first two died…scared for when she has kids. Just kidding- it was because she used the wrong type of water. We haven’t thought of a name for the fish yet but we want it to be weird/funny. Any suggestions?!

Sunday- After breakfast I went to yoga by myself. In my mind, if Saturday’s are (usually) made for long-runs, Sunday’s just seem made for yoga.

Lunch, chores and homework with the help from my dog.


My parents brought home yellow watermelon. As an expert watermelon tester I was only half pleased. It had a honey-like taste to it. I’ll stick with my usual red watermelon, thanks.



And the only thing that would have made this weekend a little better would have been a USA WIN. A tie is great but it makes me more nervous for Thursday’s game vs. Germany.


Anyone have a funny name for their pet?

Yellow watermelon= yay or nay?


Workout Recap & Weekly Reads #4

Just stopping in today to recap my week in workouts. A little more running than last week, plus I managed to fit in 2 yoga classes (that makes me very happy).

Monday: 5 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 4 miles + abs
Friday: Orange Theory (3.5 miles)- The weight room workout was a mix of plyometrics and rowing.
Saturday: Body Pump + yoga
Sunday: Yoga


And for some of my favorite reads from this week:

This Summer- I hope everyone develops this mindset and makes the most of their summer.

Why I’ve Stopped Telling You How Bloated I Feel Today- a fantastic post about changing the conversation around our bodies.

How Laughter is Actually Our Sixth Sense And Key To A Happy Life- all the more reason to watch Friends and Jimmy Fallon every night.

You’ve Already Achieved Your Perfect Bikini Body- “My body is body-shaped and all bodies are good bodies” <— This…and other good mantras to remember this summer (and every day)


Happy Sunday! GO USA!