Monday, November 21, 2011

My blog has moved!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So the Gluten-Free Journey Continues...

Day 20 of the Gluten/Wheat Free Diet

Okay, so I've been managing to do quite well thus far, but I really haven't had much time to expand my horizons in the realm of recipes just yet. I did make some gluten-free muffins from a mix, but I'm believing that there are tastier ones out there - I just haven't found them yet. I love to bake, so I'm hoping that when I'm home with the baby I can incorporate some baking into my daily routine. Giving up bread wasn't a hard thing to do, because I have avoided bread most of the time since the last time I tried to go wheat free. It will be hardest when I bake brown bread for others, because I must admit, I make a pretty good loaf of brown bread...and it tastes so good with molasses...

I confess, I gave in and ate some tomato soup while my husband was away. I know!! How could I??? I guess you could call it "the last supper." You see, I LOVE Campbell's tomato soup...but it has wheat in it. Alas, it was the last can, so indeed, it was my last Campbell's tomato soup supper. *sigh* On the brighter side, I did find some non-contaminated oats at the Health Food Store. I was extremely excited and showed my husband the box this morning with admiration. You see, I love eating oatmeal for breakfast, and I did not want to give it up. Cream of rice just isn't the same. So today I returned to oatmeal, and all is well in Sarah's breakfast land. Now I can make some granola bars...Glory Hallelujah!

Shortly into my new eating regime I had a dream about wanting to eat cake. Those who know me, know I LOVE desserts. There were two types of cakes, a carrot cake (which isn't even my favorite) and a cheesecake (of which I wouldn't be able to eat the crust). In my dream I was trying to justify why I should be able to eat the cakes, but I just couldn't break down and eat them. I was trying to imagine what I would tell my friend Kim - the one who is eating gluten free with me. "But Kim, I just HAD to eat that piece of cake..." I can't remember how my dream ended.

So the eating regime continues. I'm going to be staying in the hospital after the baby is born, and I've never had to stay in a hospital overnight before, but I'm determined to go armed and ready with some good snacks and food (including granola bars).
I think that is key - being prepared in different food situations (such as potlucks). I'm discovering there are many who eat similarly, and they have already sent me some great links to check out. I'll let you know once I've tested and tried some successful recipes!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Gluten Free & Wheat Free for a Year - call me Crazy!

The Gluten/Wheat Free Journal
(Currently on Day 5, but a story to how it all began)

So recently I haven't been watching my diet as much and it has caught up with me. Shortly before Christmas I had a major attack of the endometriosis - and it wasn't pretty. My abdomen was so sore that the next day I was still feeling it. The last time I had an attack like that I changed my diet radically. I was feeling better, and then I slowly learned how to "get away" with not being quite so strict...that is until recently.

The only educated person on the matter I've been able to find who actually understands my disease is in England. I spoke with her once, and what she said made sense. I would love to go see her in person, but I don't think that will be happening any time soon. Now I am revisiting her book, and I am going to adapt some things. If I have adverse side effects, then I will adapt further. For instance, I will cut out red meat the majority of the time, apart from visiting friends and family (ham & roast). Instead of only eating goat dairy products (which can cost an arm and a leg), I will continue to eat cow's dairy (once again unless there are some adverse side effects). Now for the biggie - the one that is going to be the hardest for me - going gluten and/or wheat free. I will include an excerpt from one of my favorite books about endometriosis in a moment, but first I have to tell you the events that led me to this decision.

While attending the LoveMercy Conference, I ran into a friend from my college years. While chatting she asked me a lot of questions about my diet and endometriosis. She has a daughter with celiac disease and so she knows what it is like to have to modify the diet. After speaking with her, I later said to Ben, "You know, I feel like that I really need to give this nutrition thing a go in the new year. It's like I've tried every thing else in the medical realm, but I really haven't given my body a chance to try and heal through nutrition. Maybe I could ask my friend (whom I'd been talking to about it and will currently remain anonymous) if she could hold me accountable for the next year." I left it at that and pondered it. The next day, my friend - the one whom I had considered to hold me accountable, said that she woke up and the Lord had placed me immediately on her mind. She was thinking about me and my circumstances. She said some other things that I will journal about in my more personal journal, but they were things that I needed to hear. Then she said that she was willing to commit to eating gluten-free with me for the entire year. THE ENTIRE YEAR people!! I couldn't believe it. She said she was in it for the long haul, so I decided that because I had been thinking about it, and since the Lord had placed me so heavily upon her heart without me even mentioning what I was thinking about my diet and nutrition, that I would give it ago. I'm currently on Day 5 and will start to journal about it regularly - especially when I come across some good recipes etc. It's more than just being gluten/wheat free though because there are a lot of things without that which I could eat; however, they're not all healthy for me. For my body to function properly, it needs lots of healthy food. Currently, when it comes to eating healthy, I have NO SELF CONTROL. I'm addicted to chocolate and I love just eating quick meals that don't require a lot of prep time. This way of eating requires no processed foods etc. And so, I've been revisiting a favorite book listed in the next paragraph.

In Dian Shepperson Mills book "Endometriosis: A Key to Healing and Fertility Through Nutrition" she says the following:

" Wheat-free or gluten-free, or both - this is the question. Around 80 percent of women with endometriosis are finding that, by cutting wheat out of their diet, their abdominal pain is reduced or vanquished. In researching this phenomenon, it has been discovered that wheat, having been genetically modified in the early 1970's, has had two hormones added into its genetic sequence. Further research in this area is about to begin at the Endometriosis and Fertility Clinic.
In the spring of this year, eight women with endometriosis gathered together for a television recording. They ate a pleasant lunch, which consisted of gluten-free bread, rice pasta, gram-flour pastries and salad. Yet, overnight, seven out of eight were very ill with abdominal pain - which was so severe in two cases that they passed out. All had been on wheat-free diets and all had remained pain-free for several months beforehand. It was discovered that only the gluten-free bread had contained wheat flour in the form of coeliac flour (wheat with the gluten washed out). This clearly indicates that it was not the gluten that was causing the problem, as all other foods were wheat- and gluten-free, but strong implies that it is some other substance in the wheat that ay be triggering the endometriotic implants to become more implants to become more inflammatory. This substance could be phytic acid, phytoestrogen, xenooestrogens from pesticides (wheat is sprayed between 9 to 12 times as it grows), excess bran or the two hormones in the plant's genes which were not present naturally."

So there you have it. Call me crazy, but I need to see if changing my diet gluten/wheat free and all works. I'm just plain tired of being tired and dealing with pain, digestive issues, and the like. Enough with looking for a "quick fix." Some things just need some time, prayer, and discipline!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Surviving Times Square on New Year's Eve in New York City: 101

There are some basic tips that I would recommend for surviving what might be your first AND last New Year's Eve in New York City. For those of you who enjoy sitting at home on your comfy couch with potato chips and hot chocolate in hand, might I just say that, indeed, you most likely have better seats than the people in attendance. In fact, that's just it. YOU HAVE SEATS. The people there DON'T. As you will soon find out from reading this post, the entertainment is for the viewer at home, NOT for the viewer who is live and in person.

Tip #1: Go early. We went around 3:00 and had a fairly good standing area, but we didn't get to be near Ryan Seacrest and other major reporters for Dick Clark's New Year's Eve show. We saw some (such as Anderson Cooper) from a distance on the stage. We also didn't get to be near the buildings where the confetti was thrown. That's right - the confetti is literally thrown by people from the nearby buildings. It was reported we made it onto CBS, but not the other shows. I would like to check out the footage to see if our area was at least remotely on television. Which brings me to another important tip...

Tip#2: Wear something that will make you stand out. Everyone will have New Year's hats and glasses. I would have had my lobster hat, but I forgot him at home. I nearly bought another one and really should have. Folks at home will be trying to find you, and if you have something crazy on, the cameras are more likely to love you and you'll be more easily spotted amongst the thousands of people. With something like a crazy hat, there should be no mistaking it is you.

Tip #3: Keep in mind that the entertainment is not for you. Why? I'm not sure really, since you're the one who is standing in the cold and damp for hours on end to see the ball drop. The performers will perform live; however, they will not perform to the crowd, but to the cameras. In fact, you will get to hear them do their sound checks and dances a few times before performing live. If you're lucky, you might see one of them climbing the steps to the stage and acknowledge the crowd as we did with J-Lo's husband Marc Anthony, but apart from that, you have to hope you have a good view of one of the few screens that is showing what is being filmed. That's right - one of the few screens. Only a couple screens show the footage while the others continue to flash their advertisements. Unless you're near Ryan Seacrest, you really won't know much of what is going on. They'll play some music for you in between the sound checks and live performances and try to get you rowled up with balloons, but after awhile, the balloons get old. Instead of waving them, you'll may want to make balloon animals.

Tip#4: Be prepared to stand for hours with no seating room. We stood for 9-10 hours and were exhausted by the end of it which brings me to...

Tip#5: Steer clear of fluids. Once you are herded into a pen of people, you will not get to go to the bathroom for the next 9-10 or however many hours you are there. You can try and find a nearby restaurant, but the odds of you making it back to your friends are slim. There are also long lines into the nearby restaurants. It has been said that some people wear "Depends." We actually saw a water bottle filled with urine that someone (obviously had to be male) peed in. Since I have no desire to wear "Depends" or pee in a bottle, I opted to not drink much for the majority of the day. If you do take fluids, save them for the last hour or so. Now, there is a possibility that had we been able to make it near the "Charmin" area we would have had bathroom access. Charmin sets up a bathroom area and makes it entertaining for people We saw it in the distance, but since we were caged in we could not make it there.

Tip#6: Pack food. We didn't pack food because we were told they wouldn't let us take food into the Square. Our trip was also in some ways a last minute ordeal. We just weren't thinking! Since you will be standing for a long time, you will miss meals and will be very hungry. McDonald's may come around with Big Macs, but they will cost you at least $6.00 for just the burger!

Tip #7: Wear layers. It could be very cold and damp. Umbrellas are not convenient for a large crowd - they block people's view - so pack a poncho if need be. Heat packs would come in handy too in case your feet get cold. We were fortunate that although it was damp, it wasn't as cold as it could have been; however, better to be dressed really warm and have to shed layers than wishing you had more layers to put on.

Tip #8: Go with a group of people who are ready to have fun and meet new people. Standing for so long can make you feel crazy, and thus, you want to be with people who won't complain and who are in it for the long haul. Our group had a blast. In fact, we were the only ones (apart from a few Canadians next to us and some intoxicated people behind us) who were moving a lot to the music. The movement helped keep us warm and helped pass the time. We had a lot of laughs during the process while meeting the people around us. In fact, our group enabled other people to laugh and have a good time as well while standing for so long.

So there you have it. These are just a few of the tips I have from my limited experience. At the beginning of the process I remember thinking, "I can't believe people come out into this madness every year." In the middle of the process I remember thinking, "This is crazy. WE are crazy." At the end of it I remember thinking, "This is so surreal!!" and then, "Well that was anti climatic. I thought there would be more fireworks." After walking away from the experience in the midst of the mayhem of New York City (the streets were literally lined with people trying to leave Time's Square), I remember thinking "That was awesome, but I will NEVER do that again." Then, after Ben and I somewhat recovered we were thinking... "You know what. In another 10 years it might be fun to do that again." I guess we shall see...only if there is a next time, I'll be prepared - snacks, poncho, lobster hat and all! Perhaps you'll want to join us for the madness!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Adoption Update

Lots going on - substitute teaching and PRIDE (Provincial Adoption/Foster care classes) take up most of my time along with other commitments. Here's the latest update: There are some crucial things to pray about so please check it out!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

For the Love of Teaching

I love teaching. I love walking into the classroom and having the privilege of shaping young minds. I love knowing that there's power in words and that what I say can make a child's day and encourage a sense of self worth. I love receiving hugs and being followed on the playground. I love working with children, and I feel especially blessed to be receiving at lot of work at a nearby elementary school.

Today I was followed by a little guy who must be after my own heart. He is in grade 2. If any of you know me well, you know I love to make up songs. I could hardly believe my ears today when while strolling out onto the playground he said, "Mrs. Canney, I love making up songs. Would you like to make up some songs with me?"

"Sure," I replied, and so, as we patrolled the playground, we sang about soccer, we sang about the weather, we sang about children. It was great! A little girl in kindergarten joined us and scampered about picking up garbage, and before long, we had a following of different children holding hands and hopping along.

When you love what you're doing for a profession, it really doesn't seem like work. Yes, teaching does have its stresses, and there are times when you're fighting cold and flu because you're with kids all the time, but it's so rewarding. For me, teaching isn't just a profession; it's a passion. It's a part of who I am.

For the love of teaching I am willing to take those early morning phone calls, work with different children in different schools, and try to work my way into another district. At first it was frustrating trying to find an "in," but praise be to God, He is opening doors and enabling me to see that substitute teaching may not be such a bad option for me at this time. I haven't got everything figured out yet, but like everyone else, I'm taking things one day at a time. I am grateful for God's favor and provision, and I feel blessed that He has equipped me with the ability to teach.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quick Update

**update on adoption blog:**

I will be writing about some things pertaining to other things in my life soon, but since the adoption seems to be occupying a lot of my life write now, that's what I'm mostly writing about. I have started substitute teaching again, so that should allow for some fun stories soon. It certainly is great to be back in the classroom!!