Local- GO TEXAN

via Daily Prompt: Local

This month marked four years since Husband and I moved to Central Texas from the Chicago area. One of the things I love about Texas is the abundance of food, drinks, snacks, and other items that are Texan made marked with the GO TEXAN logo. You hear so much about the importance of shopping local and buying local, but Texans are fortunate in that you really can support your state  and your community economies almost every time you buy food or drinks without much conscious effort.

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GOTEXAN.ORG

Some of my favorite products include Kombucha, either Buddha’s Brew, Holy Kombucha, or Kosmic Kombucha  depending on what flavor I’m feeling. Buddha’s and Kosmic are made in Austin and Holy is made in Dallas-Fort Worth. When I indulge in an alcoholic beverage, I prefer cider and I really like Austin Eastciders Pineapple or Dry Apple.

As for food, we like to go to our local farmer’s market  on Saturday to stock up on farm-fresh, free range eggs, meat, and vegetables. Many of the farmers are from the greater Austin area, and they provide quality products verses what we would find at Whole Foods or other local grocery stores that sell products from around the country.  It’s also fun to see what new foods and vegetables are in season, and try new things.

 

 

Eating gluten-free…

I started eating gluten-free about two months ago at the advice of my NP after reviewing my lab results. I am being treated for a mild auto-immune disease with supplements, my choice rather than taking medicine, and I am trying a gluten-free diet for six months to see if it makes a difference. I believe the logic is that because a few of my hormone levels are off and my thyroid antibodies are attacking my thyroid, that I could have food sensitivities which may be reduced by eating gluten-free. However, I do not have celiac disease.

Courtesy of Cooking Light

Many friends and co-workers think that this is a really tough change for me, but it hasn’t been. I have taken the opportunity to try new foods and to try different versions of foods I already liked. With a recommendation to avoid gluten as much as I possibly can, I have been able to wave off donuts, cakes, work-related food offerings of snacks, junk and fast food, and other things I didn’t want anyway with a  polite, health-related excuse. Honestly, I prefer the gluten-free pancake mix to any other pancakes I previously ate, and I love it with real maple syrup and grass-fed butter. I eat a lot more fruit for my snacks, and I have found that three of my favorite hamburger joints, Mighty Fine, Hopdoddy, and Bare Burger (which I ate in NYC recently) serve gluten-free buns, and that my favorite salad place in downtown Austin, LEAF, has gluten-free salads and salad dressings available. I treat to eat healthy most of the time, but sometimes you just want something tasty!

People have also asked if I notice anything different since I started eating gluten-free. I have lost five pounds and kept them off for almost two months. I feel less weighted down and bloated after I eat certain meals, especially pizza  on a gluten-free crust, and I feel a little more energetic and less tired than I had been feeling.  And, yes, I have seen the articles about the risks of eating a gluten-free diet unless absolutely necessary, but I feel like I am still eating a well-rounded, fairly balance diet even with the gluten-free foods that I am eating. Granted, I may inadvertently be eating some gluten due to cross-contamination, but I have avoided foods I know for sure are not gluten-free, with the exception of not knowing every ingredient in the foods I ate at my brother’s rehearsal dinner and wedding. I still did the best I could and skipped the appetizer/cocktail foods when I was told that they weren’t gluten free.

While I have made these changes, Husband has been very supportive and jumped on my bandwagon, which has helped me stay on track and us to still eat meals together. He has also made diet changes to reduce inflammation in his body, and this has helped with his back pain/arthritis/disc repair, in addition to supplements, enzymes, muscle stimulation, ointments and natural treatments, and his inversion table.

Have any of you made any diet/food changes related to health or health concerns?   Do you know of any awesome gluten-free foods to recommend? Let me know!

 

 

No trip to NYC is complete…

without going to see my beloved Yankees. My brother and took in a game with the Yankees and the Athletics. Although the Yankees tried to mount a comeback, it wasn’t to be, and Tanaka’s fine pitching performance was quickly dismantled by the next two pitchers. WP_20170526_19_44_52_Pro

We had a great time, all the same. The weather was beautiful after the rain, and the stadium had a grew energy a d loud crowd of fans. I almost lost my voice!WP_20170526_19_30_59_Pro

Bitter….

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

Bitter makes me think of unsweet, unripened fruit, maybe lemons or limes, certain  roasts of coffee, and people full of regret and resentment. I can sweeten the fruit and the coffee, but a bitter person is a whole other thing.  ruffled

I think of my parents, especially my father. He has been a reliable father, a dog-lover, and a wonderful friend to many… just don’t ask him about my mother, don’t bring up sports he doesn’t like, or politics he doesn’t agree with. If he were a cup of coffee, he would have an aftertaste, even with a health dose of cream and coconut sugar. On the wrong day, you might switch to another coffee blend, or just drink tea.

Bitter also makes me think of bad choices, like fruit picked at the wrong time or eaten out of season. Have you ever had a good winter peach, or enjoyed a strawberry that is pale rather dark red and sweet? Not my preference, for sure.

Letting go, or taking time to chill out can keep you from becoming bitter, like candy without the sweetness. I am trying to remember this, as I slowly begin to  feel overworked and exhausted. I try to seek laughter and sunshine, rather than darkness, anxiety, and the impulse to recoil. I don’t want to be bitter before my time.

Letting it all out… and letting it go

I deal with people’s problems in my job everyday. I work with multiple people having personal problems currently, and then there is my life.  Although Boyfriend and I get along great,  each of us has our own stresses. This sometimes piles up on me, making me feel like the shaken-up soda bottle that overflows when you open it.

I have a pretty easy to get along with group of co-workers, just leave controversial issues (especially immigration and related issues) out of the conversation and there will be no problems. However, others do not get along quite the same as I do, which leads to some tense, heated moments.

This happened earlier today. I joked with one of the co-workers a little and she gave it right back, but it opened the door for other’s to make comments and be critical about her part in a group project. This put my friend in an awkward position, causing her to stand up for herself and then snap with the other two women kept pushing her. They didn’t care, but my friend, who has been managing a lot in her life, became tearful. It broke my heart. I left the office to handle business and later ironed things out, but it sadly showed who the other tow people really are. They are interested in getting their way, looking high and mighty, and enjoy putting someone else in their place, even to the point of embarrassment.  After working in my job for over a year, people have started to real show themselves, though not for the better.

I am struggling with family issues, as always, and issues related to my brother’s upcoming wedding. I am happy for him and glad for his happiness, nothing changes that. People live their lives as they see fit, and I understand that. I need to let go of things over which I have no control, and not hold on to bad feelings. I just want to say that most parents do have a favorite child, whether they admit it or not. Despite all of the “I’m so proud of you’s” that I now hear or the “you’re so strong and independent” comments, I am not the favorite but I make a hell of a shoulder to cry on. As I tell my clients, “You only have control over yourself and your actions,” and I need to take my own advice.

I need to keep my friends close, and my eyes on everyone else. I need to breathe, and then let it go…. Easier said than done.