Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why I write about my health...



Day 4: I write about my health because...

I am actually excited about today's prompt. Why do I write about my health? 

When I started writing this blog it was mainly a food blog. And honestly, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't feel comfortable writing about my faith, about my life in general, or about my cats (I really didn't want to be the cat lady blogger)... but I felt like everyone could relate to food. And honestly, I knew I truly enjoyed writing. That's really what I wanted to practice: the art of writing

Several years into blogging I finally found (what I consider) my writing style. I started out rather silly and I remember getting comments from other bloggers who thought I was a teenager. (Maybe a compliment? lol I was giggly!) But eventually I learned how to be more real. More honest, share my depth, be more authentically "me." 

Over the past few years my writing has morphed into a blog that is centered on becoming healthy and what that means to me. In the beginning it was more about pleasing the reader. I wanted friends. I wanted to somehow be 'popular' in the world of blogging (whatever that meant!)... and now... it's just about sharing. About being real. About hopefully reaching other people who share similar struggles with their health and food journey. 

We all have different journeys when it comes to our health. For me, realizing gluten so adversely affected my body was the big start into becoming well. 

I immediately jumped into gluten free baking. I created cookies, cakes, breads, a homemade gluten free "bisquick" mix, along with lots of muffins -- and ALL those "gluten-free-flour-filled" Saturday mornings were incredibly therapeutic. I loved learning the craft of gluten free baking. It felt like I really accomplished something. I was good at something I could share with others. Sadly though, my health suffered. Continuing to eat baked goods with lots of sugar and refined flours was seriously expanding my waist line and upping my blood pressure. 

For the past few years instead of using those original gluten free flours, I've been experimenting with "alternative" gluten free flours, mainly almond flour and coconut flour. I'm still learning. I don't feel like I've mastered those flours yet and I'm okay with that. I actually love being in the stage of just exploring, instead of mastering. I've started to find more joy in simple cooking. Slow-cooking gluten free meals. Making easy meals with a small list of ingredients. Using more whole foods. Enjoying foods that truly feed me well, instead of just giving me instant pleasure. Eventually I realized that most carbohydrates don't work well with my body. I still struggle with eating them and finding the "right" foods for my body, but I know I'm on the right track. 

In the last two years I've finally felt more comfortable sharing about my personal struggles. How hard it was for me to give up gluten, struggles with family addiction, my personal challenges with depression, anxiety, and panic disorder, learning to appreciate and accept the blessings in my life and accept myself exactly where I am. 

I think sharing these emotional and physical struggles, has helped strengthen my self-image and feelings of self-worth. I hope that it has helped other people realize they are not alone. And that's why I write about my health. It's healing for me, but I hope it's healing for others too. When we can relate to other people, when we know we're not in this alone...  that's when we start a journey to better well-being, and to eventually accepting and loving ourselves for who we really are. 



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15 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting! Most of us Celiacs go through the same with depression/anxiety, etc. & hearing from you helps us better able to get a grip on things. Along with recipes, you SHARE your life with all of us, & we NEED that! So again, THANK YOU!

    D. Rene' Civitarese
    (from Facebook)

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    1. Thank you SO much!! I really appreciate this! And I'm so glad you can relate to what I'm writing D.Rene'! That really means a lot to me! I appreciate you commenting!

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  2. I very much enjoy reading your blog as a fellow GF'er (Celiac) and multiple other severe food allergies including eggs, lactose/casein, soy - and vegan by family practice on top of it all.

    As a first time commenter, I'd just ask for some clarification on your experiences and call out to other GFers that GF baking need not be unhealthy, even with what I'd think of as traditional GF flours. I think specifically of whole grain flours: quinoa, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, garbanzo, garbanzo/fava, whole brown rice flour... the list goes on. I've learned to bake breads and other grains without the use of any 'starches' so often seen in GF cooking and can do so using entirely whole grain GF certified flours. I make tortillas using garbanzo/fava, pseudo-pancakes with any kind of whole grain flour, flatbreads, and use flaxseed and chia as binders (no gums for me!). Sugar is not used unless absolutely needed, and then I turn to maple syrup only or maple sugar. I keep my creations quite low in fats as well. The flavor is amazing - both GF and G'ers seem to agree. One can also turn to whole grains on their own: brown and black rices, quinoa, millet, etc.

    It is true that GF grain substitutes *can* be unhealthy, but they need not be. Like you, I am just beginning to experiment with almond and coconut flours and have a long way to go. I'm encouraged by your efforts and want to learn more. And I'm thankful to read your story and appreciate what it takes to put yourself out there. Please don't misunderstand, I don't mean to attack or come off as better than others. I'm learning and go through lots of kitchen disasters. But I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences in the hopes that it can also provide help to others on this GF life. Looking forward to reading more from you - your blog is been one of my favorites!

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    1. Thank you for commenting! I'm so glad you jumped in with your thoughts! And I agree, "traditional" gluten free grains can absolutely be healthy -- it just all depends on your body and how it responds. My body just doesn't do well with many GF grains at all (whole grain or not), so I was specifically speaking to my own dietary needs! But they are absolutely healthy for other people, so I'm glad you were clarified that! ;-) I hope you'll comment more often!

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    2. I wish there was a "like" button here for both your comments!

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  3. Oh, just wanted to add that I know you do use these flours and baking techniques regularly, as you explain on your "About" page (I adore Bob's Red Mill as well!). But I thought that philosophy deserved attention in light of the thoughts expressed in your current post. Keep it up!

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  4. Beautiful post, Carrie. I do think sharing can be extremely healing, and that blogging can be an amazing way for people to connect.

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    1. It really has become such a great way to connect with others and in a way helps to create virtual communities! Thank you so much for your thoughtful words Cheryl!! :-)

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  5. It's been apparent from the first post of yours I read that writing is your calling. Whether it's about food, or family, or struggles, or furry little companions, your writing speaks volumes for and about you and does it well.

    Beautiful post, Carrie.

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    1. Thank you SO much Pamela!! You are so sweet. I'm so thankful for friends like you!! :-)

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  6. Dear Carrie,
    I first came to your blog looking for GF ideas, and am grateful for all of them. Now I read your posts whether you're talking about recipes or not. Your writing is honest and engaging, always a blessing. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

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    1. Les -- really, thank you. I appreciate this more than you know! ((((((((((hugs))))))))))) carrie

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  7. It's so nice to know that we're not alone in this journey. Thanks for the reminder...and the great recipes too. <3

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  8. I know exactly what you mean about the GF flours and starches, I've been researching GF for my daughter. Since I already knew to stay away from processed and refined flours, it was hard to really commit to mastering something I knew she really shouldn't eat. So, I decided to find the best available GF pasta (Ancient Harvest Quinoa), a great birthday cake, and a few treats, but otherwise we go with naturally GF foods like meat and vegetables :). I have a good friend who was diagnosed with celiac a few year ago and her emotional frustration of not being "normal" has driven her to indulge in GF sweets and carbs -- it is so unhealthy.

    Now, as a blogger, I can totally relate to your journey. What started as a catalog for a cookbook, morphed into a food/health blog after my husband's heart attack -- the dream to write a cookbook is still alive, but the sharing of life, real life, real food, really keeps me inspired in the kitchen.

    Thanks for sharing your heart, your delicious ideas, and your life.

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  9. This is a WONDEFUL post!! I just recently found your blog through the Paleo twitter world and Im so pleased youre taking part in this challenge. I can relate to this post so much! It's also re-assuring that I am now less about pleasing other people or being 'liked' in the blog world as my comments have shot STRAIGHT down, since I started this challenge. But I love it!! I feel like Im being more authentically 'me' than I have in ages and its so much fun. Look forward to reading more! Love EM

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Thank you for commenting on Gingerlemongirl.com. I appreciate your comments, ideas, stories, and feedback!

To send me recipes to try or for gluten free baking help, feel free to email me at gingerlemongirl (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sincerely,
Carrie

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