Nearly 2 Million Unknowingly Suffer From Celiac Disease

Last Night I came upon this tweet from the Cleveland Clinic.

I have to admit I was shocked. I have read that celiac disease is very rare. I always thought that being an old theory since I know of so many that can not tolerate wheat or gluten. I have been diagnosed with celiac disease. I am one of the lucky ones. I am a diagnosed celiac. I say I am lucky, because untreated celiac disease leads to very serious illnesses, like cancer and other deadly autoimmune disease. Celiac disease is easily detected and treatable if you understand the condition.

Peace, Health & Joy,
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Love Me With No Strings Attached

Most of us have had some experience of being loved simply as we are. That kind of love might have occurred in a friendship,  in a romantic relationship, in the connection between a parent and child or simply in an interaction with a beloved pet. Whatever the case, most people know what it feels like to be loved not matter what happens.  On the flip side, most people know what it is like to be loved under conditions.  We have all felt the rejection of someone we loved that stopped loving us when an expectation was not met in the relationship.  To me this concept has always been very confusing. Why do we give and receive love unconditionally at times and not others?

In the path of healing from any dysfunctional relationship, the topic of co-dependency will pop up.  The topic of co-dependency is a very broad one.  There are endless amounts of books and articles written on the subject.  In my experience, it is a pretty over talked about subject, that really needs a very simple explanation. Co-dependency is a set of behavior traits in which one puts all  his or her needs behind a loved one resulting in deep-rooted resentment.  Researching the behavior trait, there are many explanations of co-depend behaviors and why such relationships exist.  The resentments that one experiences in a co-dependent relationship are ones of needs going unmet, mostly as a result of the individual not taking care of himself or herself first.

So now that we understand conditional love or co-dependency how is that different from unconditional love. I know one thing for sure certain, as a mother, I have gone many times placing my children’s needs above mine. Is that co-dependency? What about the times we do a good deed? Is it co-dependency when a call comes from family member in need or a friend in need? It seems to me I spend a lot of time doing a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with me!  Am I a co-dependent meeting everyone else’s needs? I realized there is a simple difference between conditional and unconditional love, resentment.

I learned a long time ago that I must take care of myself first before I can be useful to another person.  Taking care of myself starts with sleeping enough, eating well, being in good physical condition and listening to my own feelings.  I believe it is my responsibility to meet my own needs, first.  I can not count on anyone around me to take care of me.  Now, many people would like to make you feel guilty for living such a lifestyle.  Many would like to say that is a selfish way to live.  It is true, people can be so focused on self needs that it is unbearable to interact with them. There must be a balance between self and giving to others.  When my needs are met I am able to love others free of resentment.  That is unconditional love.

Unconditional love is resentment free.  In basic terms, it means to love yourself enough to put yourself first, while still offering empathy to those around you. I desire to be in unconditional love relationships. I want to interact with those tending to his or her own needs while offering me empathy and support in life.  I certainly do not want to interact with someone who has resentment towards me.

To me the recipe for love is very simple:

* Take care of your own needs first, body, mind and soul

* Have empathy for others and support them as needed

* Remove yourself from situation of conditional love. If it feels bad, it is bad.

Peace, Health & Joy,


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Codependent No More

Favorite Gluten Free Products : Making It Easy To Find

Many times, when I mention, our entire family is gluten free I have people ask what products I like best. It has taken some trial and error to try different products it find what we like the best. Some products are very difficult to find gluten free, an example is protein powder.  I have started a new area that links you directly to my favorite products.  On the side bar, to the right of the page, at bottom , you will find,  Favorite Stuff.  I will include a brief reason why I love the product, and as link to read more about the product.  I am hoping this takes some the guess work out of finding awesome gluten free options.

Peace, Healthy & Joy,


Yummy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

One of the most difficult parts of having your whole family eating gluten free is learning how to bake again.  Baking gluten free can be tricky scratch.  My oldest daughter found this recipe for  They are hands down the best gluten free cookies I have tasted.  I think this recipe would work for making decorated holiday cookies.

Peace, Health & Joy,


Learn The Rules Of Fitness, Then Figure Out What Works!

I have been at this fitness craze for a while now. The fitness craze I am referring to is my own. Recently,  I can’t even remember who, someone asked me how long I had been working out. I had to stop to think. Well, my youngest child will be 12 years old this year. I started strength training when she was three months old. So, I guess nearly 12 years of body building of some sort. Now, my cardio training started about 20 years ago when I started running to lose weight. At that point I became a fitness junkie. As a fitness junkie, I immersed myself in research, half marathons, protein powder, spandex, and running shoes. Nearly, 20 years later I have learned some important rules of fitness.

1. Learn the Rules of Fitness: Research what is best practices in living a fit lifestyle. That means learning how to properly train, and properly eat. There are general rules that apply to everyone. We all have seen those epic gym failures. We have all seen faithful gym rats trying to out train a bad diet. There are tried, proven and true rules of fitness. You must learn them, otherwise you will waste time and money.

Figure Out What Works For You: Most people can tell you a good number of the rules of fitness. I don’t know a lot that have figured out what rules work for his or her own body. That is the really difficult part of being a fitness junkie. We come across so much literature on what someone else discovers works for him or her. Honestly, you must weed through the information with trial and error. I have had my trial, my errors and my successes.

3. Do I Fast Twitch Or Slow Twitch: For me knowing if I am dominant in fast twitching muscles or slow twitching muscles determines my success. If I am dominant in fast twitching muscles, I am going to be a great sprinter, but a long distant run will kill me. If I am dominant in slow twitching muscles I can nail a marathon, but high intensity work outs will kill me. I happen to be slow twitching dominant with the ability to train my fast twitching. So really who cares, I just want to be working my body, right? Well, by working both types of muscle fibers I develop the my whole body. This gives me whole body strength and muscle development.

4. High Reps, Low Weight or Low Reps, High Weight: There are a million articles that argue the merits of both. I have happened to try them both over the years. The winner for me is low reps and high weight. I know my body. My muscles grow faster and stronger when my point of failure is at rep six. I have never research why this could be. I just know it is me. The point is figure out which works for you. Just because one works for an expert does not mean it is the right choice for your body. Experiment with your own body to find the best fit for you.

5. I Am Built Backwards: Over the years, I have read many articles regarding making sure you develop your hamstrings and triceps. The reasoning is our quads and biceps tend to be stronger. If quads and hamstrings are not balanced injury increases. That was very puzzling to me, because my hamstrings and triceps out perform their counter part every day of the week. So I asked a good friend, years ago, what gives. His responds was I am built backwards. That was enough for me to know I need to focus on the opposite muscles to avoid injury.

6. Cardio Before Weights:
This is the biggest question out there. I just read another research study regarding this topic this week. The latest research said cardio before strength training. I read it, with interest, and promptly disregarded the message. I tried this before. It was a failure to say the least. I felt it knocked me back months in my strength training, not to mention I gained body fat. Again, I can’t tell you why, except I am built backwards.

7. Find the Hottest Guy or Woman in the Gym: That’s right find the hottest people. Watch what they are doing to get the same look. Truthfully, I have learned as much observing ultra fit people as I have reading about fitness. I steal all kinds of training moves from fellow fitness junkies.

The greatest rules of fitness I have learned is have fun with it. Use the experience to discover how your own body best works. It is an amazing beast. If you are not getting the results you desire start researching and asking questions. I am not going to lie, it takes a lot of time to learn who you are physically and mentally in the fitness world. The journey is worth it!

How health guru Tosca Reno reinvented herself | Sudbury Star

When I got to meet Tosco Reno at the Arnold a few years ago.

When I got to meet Tosco Reno at the Arnold a few years ago.

I have always been a huge fan of Tosca Reno and love Oxygen. It is interesting to see how she is healing from her personal losses in life. I can completely identify.

Tosco Reno at age 55.

How health guru Tosca Reno reinvented herself | Sudbury Star.

The Wonders Of A Front Porch

My favorite spot in my house right now is my front porch.  By just looking at the photos it doesn’t look like a very special porch, but it has great meaning to me. When I was a child we lived with my grandmother and great-grandmother. That house had a giant porch, well, it seemed giant to me at the time.  On that porch sat two vintage lawn rocking chairs. I spent a lot of time rocking in those chairs when my feet could not even reach the ground. So when we bought our 1869 home 20 years ago without a front porch I was a bit disappointed. As luck would have it,  the existing stairs and landing at the front door fell into disrepair soon after we moved in to the house.  We jumped at the opportunity to add a porch.

Many years later, when my grandmother sold her house, my parents acquired the one surviving rocking chair.  They asked if I wanted it.  I absolutely wanted that chair for our home. I really wished I could find a matching chair.  Not too long after I receive the lone survivor  I stumbled upon not one, but two matching chairs in a local antique store. One was a rocker and the other was just a plain chair. I would have paid a million dollars to have those two chairs. Thankfully, it only set me back about $150.00, which is truly a steal.  So I treated myself to a beat up set of medal lawn chairs from the 1950’s for my birthday that year.

Today, my front porch holds fond memories of my childhood and my grandmothers.  I like to decorate the porch through out the year to match the changing seasons.  Not only is it a wonderful place for our family to sit during the warmer weather, but it is how we welcome guests to our home.

Peace, Wellness & Joy,

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My not so fancy, vintage metal, lawn chairs.

My not so fancy, vintage metal, lawn chairs.

The porch we added to our 1869 home.

The porch we added to our 1869 home.

A wooden frame I use to hold my watering can. I know it looks like a junk yard find, but my dad built it. I just thought I could do a lot with it. I might get crazy with some holiday lights on it during the Christmas season.

A wooden frame I use to hold my watering can. I know it looks like a junk yard find, but my dad built it. I just thought I could do a lot with it. I might get crazy with some holiday lights on it during the Christmas season.