Chronic Illness on the Bad Days

I try to keep my blog as positive and upbeat as possible. But I also want to make sure that I am being honest and genuine about my experiences, frustrations, and whatever else is irking me in real life. In all reality, there are just some days where having a chronic illness straight up sucks. 

I’ve been living with a chronic illness for years now (hey anxiety disorders!) and I’ve found it to be almost second nature in dealing with them. I’ve had so much time to learn and experiment and find the ways to cope that work best for me, and now with celiac, it’s like being set back to the first page. Somedays can just be more difficult than others. 

I’ve found myself spending some days just trying to come to terms with the fact that many things that I really loved to eat are a thing of the past if I want to heal properly. I know that I can adapt just about anything to be gluten free, but that is work that I’ve never had to do before. It might sound totally lazy, but you take for granted being able to order a pizza or run through the drive through when you don’t feel like having to cook. Now that I cook every night, I find myself eating healthier, which is a definite plus. But, it’s still hard to not want to run out and pick up something easier. I trust that the craving for things will go away sooner or later, but it can seriously weigh on me. 

Any sort of social gathering with food is suddenly so much more pressure than I would have thought. Making things gluten free takes care and vigilance, and when you get together with people who don’t understand how vital it is, it’s too dangerous to just snack on everything. It feels like you’re being forced to be rude to everyone who’s cooked, because you literally cannot eat whatever they’ve prepared, no matter how much you would loooove to indulge. It has social side effects that I never would have expected. 

I know that things are getting better and that soon enough I’ll be totally settled in, but in the mean time, I spend so much time just feeling totally drained. It’ll all pay off in the end when I’m totally healed and healthy again, but for the mean time, I just have to accept the bad days as they come. 

I know that next week will be brighter and more positive, and I’m looking forward to having happier and healthier days, that are just on the horizon. Sometimes you just need to vent it out, and then you can move a little bit more quickly in the right direction.

Em

A Gluten Free 21st

My 21st birthday has come and gone by in a flash! This was my very first birthday living gluten free, and while it was my 21st, I was perfectly content with a nice day in. Unfortunately, I ended up super sick and spent most of my day in bed, with the days following as well. Luckily, I had baked a cake earlier in the week, just to make sure that the mix was good. 

The cake mix that I used was AMAZING! I chose to use Pillsbury brand funfetti white cake mix, as well as the vanilla funfetti icing (also gluten free!). Being fairly new to gluten free baking, I was nervous that it wouldn’t turn out, be too dense, or that I just wouldn’t like it. Gluten free baking tends to be a little trickier to me, and I was just concerned it wouldn’t be good!

I chose to add some pink and purple food coloring to the cake batter just to add a little extra pizazz. I’m pretty much obsessed with anything pink, so I wanted my cake to have some pink color too! It didn’t effect how the cake baked (my father was over concerned about that!) and helped to make it a little bit more special. 

It turned out AMAZING! I would totally recommend this mix to anyone who’s needing to bake a cake, it was delicious, moist, and really similar to a normal cake mix in just about every way. I loved the sprinkles in the mix, and the icing (just as always) was super yummy and sweet. This cake was a total treat for my 21st!

I’m really looking forward to learning more gluten free recipes and I’m excited to share them with you all! I’m starting to see (and believe!) that gluten free baking and cooking can be just as yummy as standard baking, if you take the care to make it so. I am so looking forward to perfecting macarons and might be doing a step by step guide once I get there! Yay!

Have an amazing sunday! 

Love, Em 

Roof Top Coffees and Town Hall

It’s maybe been about a month since I received my celiac diagnosis and have been feeling a million and a half times better since going totally gluten free. I do miss some of my everyday staples, pizza from the shop I’ve been eating for years, and eating out carelessly. All of that is worth the exchange though. because I can finally get back to worrying about things other than being sick or feeling totally run down. I don’t feel 100% quite yet, but I feel like that will be coming soon. 

I was lucky to get to spent the last weekend in Cleveland! My sister and I wanted to meet up and spend some time together now that the fall semester has come to a close, eating some yummy food and getting facials. And if you’ve never had a facial done professionally by an esthetician, you MUST try it. The most relaxing thing ever. With the stresses of worrying about food, this was a much much needed hour of relaxation. 

One of the very cool things about Cleveland is the sheer amount of stuff that you can do. We decided that we wanted to hit up Cleveland Flea, a long time favorite of my sisters. I would say that this is a more “hipster-esque” flea, with tons of local vendors selling handmade wares and items. The environment was so refreshing, because literally everyone there had a smile on their face. They had a couple food vendors (none gluten free), but when I asked them about their gluten free options, they were looking into options in the future. One company that makes donuts was even working on a recipe! I know that I can always make my own, but seeing that there will be places for me to pick some up in the future is exciting.

After spending some time at the flea, we headed over to Town Hall, an allergen friendly spot in Ohio City. Their menu has tons of options to make meals gluten free, vegan, vegetarian or paleo, with their wait staff asking specifically if there are any foods that you need to avoid. The overall ambiance of Town Hall is incredible.

This was one of the first times that I had really ventured out to get food since my diagnosis, so naturally I was on the wary and nervous side. I chose to get a gluten free burger with a side of fries, and my sister got a huge salad. Everything was delicious. I feel like I’m still dreaming about the truffle fries, which wear seasoned so lovely. I could have eaten a bucket of them. My dish also came with aioli which was amazing. I would have loved to have some desserts but I was totally stuffed after clearing my plate, much to my sister’s disappointment. 

When we were at the flea, a vendor for Passengers Coffee had a stand set up with tons of treats and coffee. My sister is a bit of a coffee fiend and loves their shop, so we decided to stop by before heading home. The coolest thing about this hostel/coffee shop is that they have a rooftop patio with great views! We stopped to get her a coffee and biscotti, and headed up to the roof. It was the perfect way to cinch the time spent in Ohio City. 

While having celiac around the holidays may suck just a bit, days like this are what take the edge off, with family and really good food. Things are looking up, and I’m really jazzed to see whats next for me. 

XOXO 

Emily