Saturday, June 15, 2013

Shannon Speaks: Learning To Be My Own Gluten Free Advocate

As part of the Gluten Free Health Challenge, Shannon will share her journal entries here on the first 3 Saturdays of every month from June through November. During this time, she will also receive free health coaching from Georgianna Dolan-Reilly of Celtic Celiac and Iris Higgins of Your Fairy Angel

To join us all with the challenge, take the pledge and join the Facebook support group
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Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

























It's been a hectic week of not much happening. Anyone know how that works?

I had my first meeting with my coach, Georgianna Dolan-Reilly, on Tuesday. It was a lovely chat with Miss Georgia. We discussed the basics, my story, why I joined the challenge, etc. I was surprised to see just how much I actually knew in the short period of my diagnosis. Made me feel like I've been doing productive research, as opposed to finding a bunch of BS. We discussed my upcoming trip to Vegas, how to best travel GF, and what I should look into packing so that I have snacks available and don't get glutened. I have a few days and some homework to do before our next chat.

I need to rewind to last weekend and discuss why it's so important that we need to be our own advocates because, in the words of my husband, "No one else cares about anyone but themselves." I was out running my usual weekend errands when I stopped at one of my favorite places to grab lunch. It's a local place in my area called Surf Taco. They  do "Mexi-Cali" style food: fresh ingredients, Mexican style dishes. There are places like it on both coasts. They have a dedicated GF and vegan menu, so I asked to see the GF menu. After some hemming and hawing, I decided on a grilled steak taco and a grilled chicken taco, both on corn tortillas. All of their items come with fresh made tortilla chips, so I asked the girl taking my order at the counter if the tortillas were fried in the same fryer as items such as the battered fish for the fish taco. She said that they were. I told her that she should discuss with her manager putting a disclaimer on the GF menu about the frying because they could be cross-contaminated. That was met with a not-so-friendly look. Then I decided to take it a step further and point out that the Aloha salad wasn't all GF because it contained blue cheese, and told her that the cheese wasn't GF. I'm pretty sure that if her hands were in plain sight, she would so have been flipping me off. I was just trying to help those in the future that may not know. Heaven forbid.

So my tacos came out, one in a corn tortilla and the other in a flour, which I didn't realize until I had already bitten into and eaten a bite of it. Thankfully it was a different kid behind the counter, and he was lovely about getting me a new taco, on the appropriate tortilla.  

This is something that fuels my fear of eating out. I can't see the kitchen. I can't see what you're doing to my food, so I have to ask my server; I've got a 50/50 shot of getting someone who gives a crap. I have to be my own advocate because I am (other than the hubby and parents) the only one that cares about what goes in my body. The waitress doesn't. The chef only cares that it's prepared fully and won't give me food poisoning. It's not like they're going to see me get violently ill if I eat a glutenized product, but they don't see what it's doing to my chances of having a healthy pregnancy. Hubby's right; I'm the only one who cares. I'm the one with the goal, not them. They don't care about someone they don't personally know;  They don't care whether some random customer at the restaurant has a healthy pregnancy and baby. 

Okay, rant over. The past few days have been emotionally charged for me, and I get going on the simplest of subjects. Yesterday, I was looking at pictures of my son that we lost. It's been over fourteen months, and while I deal with the pain and keep moving, seeing his pictures brings it all back as if I were in the hospital again. I look at them because I'm afraid to forget what he looks like...every day that gets further away from the day he was born. I look at them to rejoice in his beauty and that I made that perfect creature. And despite his fatal birth defect, he was, is...perfect. Sometimes the memories tear open the wounds and dump salt into them and make them burn and fester all over again. 

Some positivity! I tried my hand at some flourless chocolate chip cookies on Thursday night. They're sooooooo rich and chocolatey! They're the kind of treat that you can literally only eat two or three of because the human body can't take such rich deliciousness.

Also, I need some positive vibes sent my way. I have some stuff in the works for which I need all the thoughts and positivity I can get while I go through the whole process. When all is said and done, I will chat about it, but I have to keep it under wraps for now...

Have a beautiful weekend!

-Shannon-

3 comments:

Dorothy said...

Hi Shannon. I'm definitely sending you positive thoghts and wishes your way. Thank you for sharing (especially about your son). Those flourless chocolate cookies look delish! Is your recipe on the Facebook page (or where can i get the recipe please?). Thanks, Dorothy

Stella S said...

Shannon,
Totally agree with you about eating out. I have 3 go to restaurants that I feel good about eating at, and don't make me sick. I am constantly on the look out for new recipes that my entire family will eat, but they also have to be quick and easy to make.

So tough, about your son. While the Universe had other plans for h
Him, it didn't make your journey less painful. Hugs and healing to your and your husband on Father's Day. Stella S

Shann said...

Dorothy,
I found the recipe online. I will certainly post it to the group. They were so delicious but I couldn't eat more than 2 and with a big glass of milk!

Stella,
Georgia and I have talked about ways to advocate for myself at restaurants (especially with my trip coming up in less than a week!) that are positive and with the hopes that I don't sound like I'm talking down while trying to educate my server. It's hard, as you know, and when they aren't listening or paying attention, it's frustrating, and that's when the angry, belittling part of me rears her ugly head and gets snippy with people.
I know that there has to be a reason that Michael was brought into my life and taken away. He must have a greater purpose, and that's what I think of to get me through every single day.

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