Vacation Eating

Vacation Eating      

 It’s VACATION Week – who doesn’t love that????  

Chips, pretzels, salsa and chips, nacho’s and cheese, hamburgers and hotdogs, pizza, French fries, cake, s’mores, candy, ice cream, cookies… you get the idea, all the fun foods of vacation week!    Who doesn’t love all this great fun food????

 Jim and I had a fun family week at the lake with my sisters, their husbands, and my mom.   It’s rare that we are able to get all 5 sisters together at the same time even though we all live within about 10 miles of each other and three of them just a few blocks apart.   So when we have the opportunity to be together it’s cause for celebration!

 Six shared dinners, went out for breakfast twice!   Lots of candy and ice cream as we sat around rehashing our lives with childhood stories, memories of holidays and vacations past, reminiscing about my father, and totally admiring my mom who has been a widow for 27 years yet is the epitome of the family matriarch.  My mom is always there for us, generous, kind, giving, a true example of the person I want to be.   Lots of laughter, hugs, and eating…But we also took quite a few walks, some slower than others but when you have 5 sisters walking together, sometimes you just need to all keep the same pace and enjoy!

 To be fair, I did buy veggies for a veggie tray and salad, fruits to snack on, along with Silk milk to make our shakes each morning. Jim and I started the week off with a healthy breakfast, our shake to help get us thru the day and shakeoballs**to snack on.   Amish oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast or eggs and turkey sausage no bread (gluten), allowing myself the treat of baloney and chipped ham for lunch didn’t help much nor did the chips I ate with it but this was vacation after all!  I was able to keep my dinners to a single serving BUT my late night NCIS binges didn’t help my night time eating habits.  For some reason I have no control over what I eat late at night… a small bowl of chips and pretzels, cookies and milk, candy, oh and maybe a bowl of Cheerios to finish it off and hopefully to quite eating!   Why is it when junk food is in the cottage during vacation week, I can’t stop eating it???

 I wish I could say it got better as the week went on, but it didn’t.  I just couldn’t seem to stop my late night eating.  I mean a few M&M’s, a small bowl of chips and pretzels, a few cookies and milk – I mean it is vacation week right??? 

 The one good thing I did do all week was talk my husband into 30 minute yoga sessions each day along with a few Toro walks every day.  It wasn’t much to offset the empty calories I was ingesting but  it helped keep the guilt feelings at bay until the end of the week!


My advice for the summer:

  • Enjoy Vacation, enjoy all the goodies but try to keep it in moderation and find some type of exercise to help offset the calories!  
  • Don’t come home and beat yourself up, that takes away from the vacation glow! Just start walking or working out or call/email me – I’ll be happy to be your Fitbuddy!

Final admission – I gained 2 lbs during vacation, far less than I thought I did but 2 more than I wanted to gain!

This week I’ll treat myself to Gluten Free, no bake, healthy, chocolate/peanut butter Shakeology Balls


No Bake Gluten Free Shakeoball Recipe:

Total Time: 15 min
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 12 servings, 1 each

½ cup finely chopped raw mixed nuts     **I use almonds or walnuts
½ cup Chocolate Vegan Shakeology   ** I also use regular chocolate shakeology
½ cup organic old-fashioned rolled oats   ** Gluten Free oats used
½ cup all-natural creamy almond butter   ** I use almond butter from Aldi’s
3 Tbsp. raw honey



Gluten Free Shampoo and Conditioner – do you need them?

Gluten Free Shampoo and Conditioner – do you need them?

 I recently purchased Gluten Free Shampoo and Conditioner.   Why you ask would you spend the money?   

I have to admit when I was diagnosed with Celiac, I never even thought about skin care products, make-up, creams, shampoos and conditioners; I was way too focused on foods I couldn’t eat to even think about skin care!  I never thought about gluten getting into my body any other way than eating it!

I kept seeing and reading things about the need for gluten free bath and body products along with gluten free make-up (separate blog)

I checked Amazon and read the reviews about various gluten free shampoos and conditioners and found that the Pura D’or brand of shampoo and conditioner had good reviews.  I decided they would be my choice!

I’ve been using this shampoo for about 3 weeks, I haven’t noticed any difference in how my skin and scalp feel nor do I feel any better or worse digestively.    The shampoo doesn’t lather up into a mass of suds but really that isn’t good for your hair or scalp.   It does treat your scalp and hair gently using products free of chemicals such as; parabens (preservatives) and sulfates (detergents that help with oily hair but can also dry your hair). 

Pura D’or shampoo and conditioners are gluten free, color safe and hypoallergenic if you have sensitive skin and most important to me, they are 100% cruelty free – they do not test on animals!

Ok, now having said all this and spending more money on gluten free and organic hair care products than I ever have before; I read more information and discovered  that a person with Celiac does not need to use gluten free shampoo and conditioner.   Because these products are not ingested nor can they be ingested (unless we’re talking about a young child who may put their hands on their heads while they’re being washed then putting their fingers in their mouth), you don’t need to spend extra money on a special shampoo and conditioner.

To check on celiac myths please check out the link below:


However, I will continue to purchase these Pura D’or products for the following reason:

  • They are gentle on your hair and provide moisture to your hair
    • This is important if you color your hair every 5 – 6 weeks like I do
  • They are 100% cruelty free, which is very important to me. I don’t want to use products that are tested on animals. 
  • I like using organic products – being a fairly new grandmother, I am trying to keep our earth as healthy as possible for my grandchildren.



Gluten Free and Happy 🙂



Gluten and Thyroid Disease

Because I have Celiac Disease, I am trying to learn as much as possible about the side effects, causes, and what other areas of our bodies that Gluten can disturb.

Today I learned that Gluten can very much affect those with Thyroid disease as well as type 1 diabetes mellitus, and Addison’s disease! offers so much information – definitely a site to check out if you are diagnosed with Celiac or even if you want to learn more about how Gluten can affect your body.   Below is some important information from the Gluten Free Society.

Autoimmune thyroid disease and gluten sensitivity

More medical research makes the connection between thyroid disease and gluten…

…The results of previous studies have indicated that the prevalence of Celiac Disease is increased in patients with other autoimmune disorders such as: autoimmune thyroid diseases, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and Addison’s disease. A coincidence of the above diseases constitutes autoimmune polyglandular syndrome (APS). The high prevalence of CD in APS is probably due to the common genetic predisposition to the coexistent autoimmune diseases. The majority of adult patients have the atypical or silent type of the disease. This is the main reason why CD so often goes undiagnosed or the diagnosis is delayed.

The authors go on to state that if gluten sensitivity is not diagnosed many of the additional consequences are –

  • haematological (anemia)
  • metabolical (osteopenia/osteoporosis)
  • obstetric-gynaecological (infertility, spontaneous abortions, late puberty, early menopause)
  • neurological (migraine, ataxia, epilepsy)
  • increased risk of malignancy, especially:  lymphoma, small intestine, mouth, and esophageal cancers

to learn more about Gluten and it’s effects on your Thyroid, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and Addison’s disease, check out


What are 3 things that make you happy?

How often do we do things that make us happy?   We get so caught up in our everyday lives that we often get sidetracked from our own happiness.  I know from the minute I get up some days I feel like my day is scheduled from start to finish and I forgot to schedule in “Happy Time”.   We get lost in work, taking care of our families, our homes, and everything else that happens in our day to day lives and forget to take some “Happy Time”.

Stop for a minute and think about what makes you happy, really happy.   Can you name 3 things?

Do you start to overwhelmed or unappreciated?   Do you feel like your life is a bit out of control, running people here and there, sports, dance, music class, meetings?

Technology is a wonderful thing but that can also consume our lives, how much time do you spend looking at your phone, checking email, facebook (that alone can suck me in for an hour or more if I am not careful!), games…

My children are grown and on their own and yet my husband and I look at each other and say “Why don’t we have free time”?   We thought when our children grew up and moved away we would have so much time to ourselves.   Not sure what happened but we feel busier than we when our children were younger and involved in sports!

Now truth be told, it’s our own fault.   We said “yes” too many request because we want to be helpful and be involved.   But I’m learning what I need to do is pray before I respond, allowing God to direct my path.   By praying first and following God’s path, I’m doing the work that is needed but also feeling the most helpful and not overbooked.

Do you take the time to dream about what makes you happy, to envision these dreams, to asking for your dreams to be fulfilled?   I’m not talking about winning the lottery though I’ve dreamed about that from time to time but really dreaming about pure happiness.   My family gives me much joy and happiness but we don’t get to see them all the time because of distance.   Dreaming about the times we visit our families and experience time with them makes me happy.   Picturing my husband and me playing and walking with our granddaughter makes me happy.   Actually taking a long walk with my husband and our dog makes me happy.   I’m a simple pleasure type of person.  Watching a thunderstorm makes me feel happy; sitting around the fire at our lake home with family and friends makes me happy.

Stop and think about it, how can you change your life and rediscover your happiness?  Don’t let life pass you by, stop, really stop and smell the roses or watch a sunset or listen to the birds sing.  Spend time with your family, read a good book, take a walk, talk to God.

Remember to Be Happy, enjoy the simple pleasures, laugh with your family.

Gluten Free and Happy





Gluten Free and Catholic

So you are officially diagnosed with Celiac and have to change to a Gluten Free diet.   Ok you’re fine with that, there are many Gluten Free options available now. BUT you are also now a Gluten Free Catholic!    What does that mean for you being able to participate in sharing the Holy Eucharist during mass?

First, call or visit your parish rectory and ask to speak with your pastor.   I find that many churches now have gluten free hosts on hand that your priest can consecrate so you can participate in the Holy Eucharist.

At my home parish, I try to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to mass.   When I arrive at church, I go directly to the Sacristy to let my parish priest know that I am there.  At Assumption Church in Bellevue, we keep a separate Pix along with unblessed gluten free hosts in a cupboard.   I take one host and place it in the pix then ask my priest where he would like me to put it.   Sometimes I place the pix right on the altar and other times in the ciborium on the side table depending on which priest will say mass.    I check with my priest to see where he’ll stand to distribute communion so I can sit on that side of the church.  I try to sit close to the front as a visual reminder.    Our priest will hand me the pix, I step to the side and receive the Holy Communion.    After receiving full communion, I take the pix back to the sacristy and place it back in the cupboard for the next person.  I then return to my seat for my quiet prayer time.

Since my husband and I travel to New Jersey quite frequently to visit our son and his family, we have found a church near his home.   When we first started to go to Christ Our Light Church, I just didn’t receive communion.  But now I’ve introduced myself to the priests and ask about gluten free hosts.   Their format is similar, I arrive early enough to let them know I am there.  They keep a few pix marked “gluten free only” in a drawer.   When I arrive, I go to the drawer and choose a pix, go to the refrigerator  and take out one gluten free host and place it in the pix.   If the priest or deacon is in the Sacristy,  I introduce myself and let them know I am there for mass.   I can then take the pix and place it on the table in church with the wine and other hosts to be consecrated during mass.   I always make sure I sit in a pew that allows me to easily enter the communion line for the priest.

If the priest forgets or wasn’t in the Sacristy for me to let him know I was there, I just remind him when it’s my turn to receive the Holy Eucharist.

I recommend calling the church in advance, they can then tell you who to meet with when you arrive at mass.   This is also a good way to meet the priests and deacons of the church you are visiting and letting them meet you.   I have to say, I always feel very welcome when we visit new churches and by introducing myself, I feel much more a part of the parish family.

While I can’t guarantee that all churches keep a supply of gluten free hosts on hand, many do.  If they don’t, ask if you can bring one of your own.  Our parish priest allows me to take a few unblessed gluten free hosts with me if I am traveling, just in case the church we visit  doesn’t.

I hope this helps you when you travel.  Being able to receive the Holy Eucharist when I’m traveling and attending mass at a new church allows me to keep the feeling of mass with me all day/week.


Gluten Free and Catholic