I’m no longer who I was anymore

I have just read my first post of the year. I’m no longer that person anymore. I cannot believe that in the space of nine months that I have changed as much as I have.

I have learnt so much about who I am in such a short space of time. I can honestly say that I now accept who I am, all that I am and who I will be. Acceptance of myself has given me the freedom to be who I am and just for me.

Today was one of those typical Melbourne days. This morning I left my house and it was cold, arrived to where I was heading and it was muggie, by mid-morning it was stormy, by the afternoon it was steamy and by the time I got home again it was windy and cold. Typical! Typical is all I can say.

The point of me telling you about the weather is that with this ever-changing day I started wearing my jeans as one would normally and decided to roll them up because they had gotten wet and were uncomfortable. I couldn’t be bothered to unroll them back to how they were ‘meant’ to look so I didn’t and on my way home it struck me that I didn’t care. I didn’t care because I actually felt comfortable not just in my rolled up jeans but in my own skin.

Through job-searching and many rejections I’ve realised that none of it actually matters.

We all get there eventually. I want what I want in my life and because I know who I am, my determination and persistence – I know that I will get there.

My Mum told me today that she was proud of me. That’s all a daughter wants, is to make their parents proud and as I see my mother as a person that took on both parental roles; I feel like I’ve done my job. While even though these words are making me cry. It’s not because I’m sad, it’s because I’m happy.

Today was such a great day! I got to spend it with someone who I care about, I very much enjoy her company and felt very much appreciated for me and what I do for people. I arrive home and find a parcel for me. First thought is: uh-oh… I don’t remember ordering something from *insert name of company here* what have I done? I open the parcel. It’s from Pigeon Hole, NT – a 2013 calender of photos of the kids I taught – how wonderful! I end the day with a catch up with Mum and the viewing of “Brave”… I’m exhausted. But I feel great!!

Things will work out in the end. 🙂 The best thing is realising that I know I can do it.

I sit here today as a woman about to experience my next chapter. As I knew but didn’t quite believe back in 2007. Life is beautiful.

Signing off to grab a glass of water and get ready for bed!

Attracting attention!

Image

I remember as a child being excited about going to see the Christmas lights.

I never would have have thought I would grow up to find a street being lined with Christmas wool. The crowds have been flocking to a nature strip to take photos of trees covered in wool. It’s a strange concept but I believe it works. I think in this day in age with people being swayed into looking after the environment wool could be a way forward… Maybe?

I’m not actually sure if this could actually take off. But so far I think for this leafy street, it’s doing the right job. In a snow-covered street it may not have quite the same effect. But that’s what I like about being a warm climate for christmas. We’re different to most everyone else. We still eat big meals, exchange gifts and spend time with family. But we get to do it in the heat, under the sun and at the beach if we so desire.

An Aussie Christmas is not what you hear about in traditional carols or stories and most people from other parts of the world don’t quite understand it but I think that’s why I love it. I’ve experienced a Christmas in winter and I have to say it wasn’t quite the same. It was more like being in a story-book or fairytale land which on one hand was great and to have to experience just once was pretty cool. But I much prefer Australia. I’m usually hanging at the beach just chilling and I love that! 

I can’t believe it’s nearly that time of the year again! I’ve had such a whirl-wind of a year but I’m really grateful to soon be starting the new adventures that I’m sure 2013 will bring!

To Christmas wool – will it be the new ‘thing’ for Christmas? It sure is attracting attention!

Signing off – happy end of the year!

 

It’s not the healthy option

If you have a choice to be on a gluten free diet and you’re considering it because you think it’s healthier… think again. I have Coeliac Disease which has meant that my doctor “prescribed” a life-long gluten-free diet. I don’t have a choice. I have to stay away from foods containing wheat, rye, barely and oats. I’m not doing this because I’m a picky eater, because I want to lose weight or because it’s a trendy thing to do.

I’m doing this because I want to look after my body. I want to be able to someday have babies, do as much as I can to prevent myself from getting cancer and try and not get any other disease or illness. If I eat gluten it’s not as though it’s an intolerance, I get sick, recover and then continue my life as it was. I’m actually damaging my body.

from coliac.org.au

In people with coeliac disease the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats), causing small bowel damage. The tiny, finger-like projections which line the bowel (villi) become inflamed and flattened. This is referred to as villous atrophy. The surface area of the bowel available for nutrient absorption is markedly reduced which can lead to various gastrointestinal and malabsorptive symptoms.

A number of serious health consequences can result if the condition is not diagnosed and treated properly.

See people! Do you understand now?

I’m sorry to be on this rant. But I saw that someone had put a gluten-free flour converter onto their pinterest on a board that was titled “Health food” and it got me fuming. I then started to think…

Why does the super-market put the gluten-free options in the health-food section?

That to me is sending completely the wrong message. Isn’t it?

I mean to eat gluten-free food is benefiting the health of me and others like me but if I don’t believe it’s necessarily a healthy option then why is it in the health food aisle? I mean there are gluten-free chips, biscuits, bars covered in chocolate etc. Which means that they’re putting the not necessarily healthy option in the health-food aisle…

I believe that just doesn’t make any sense.  But then again a lot of these things before becoming more mainstream were in health food stores.

I just sometimes wish I wasn’t walking through the super-market so confused and like I said a thousand times before that more people have a better understanding of people who have these type of conditions. Or at least if they didn’t stop pretending that they knew what they were talking about.

Don’t make the same mistakes I have, Asian food just because most of their dishes are served with rice is most certainly not gluten free. Oh and by the way – don’t ask me if I have vegemite because I can’t eat it!

On a lighter note – a friend and I are going to a 100% Gluten Free Cafe tomorrow for lunch.

I’m excited because I get to order anything off the menu!

Signing off because I’m dead tired! Cheerio 🙂

Enjoy it and stop worrying about your next step!

“Your purpose may not always be obvious, but always remember that you do have a purpose.”

—- Rodney Williams —-

I feel like I’ve gotten to the part of my life that’s like being in transit at the airport. I’m waiting for the plane to be ready to fly me to my next destination. I completed my university degree about two weeks ago now and believe to have experienced a downward spiral of emotions from my initial release and relief of finishing. My Mum has reminded me that where I am in my life at the moment is ok.

Completing my degree is a huge achievement and what I have found hard is to sit with this thought. To be in the moment.

I’ve been on a whirlwind of job searching and working in my current job/s as a nanny/babysitter and even though I have had more time than when I was a student it’s almost like I feel like I haven’t had the time to do anything else. I haven’t even had a couple of drinks with friends! How crazy is that?

Stress has taken over and what or who for?

Within the last few days I have decided that for now on I just have to live my life how it is, be in the moment and see where it takes me. Mum is right, it’s ok. It’s totally ok.

I’ve had many conversations with people who know me well recently about my life about what I’m trying to “figure out” and the best thing that I heard is “to stop worrying about figuring it and just have some down time because even when you think you have figured it all out, you really haven’t”
All I can say after hearing that is that I feel much better about it all. It’s not to say that I’ll put a stop to all that I’ve been doing. It’s just to say that I’m going to do my best to enjoy finishing something that has taken four years of my life to complete.

I put so much pressure on myself sometimes and I think that it’s taken me the last four years to realise this about myself. I’ve had a tough four years. I’m not just talking about my studies either. In my personal life I have experienced a lot of hard things that we as human beings endure. I even got to the point last year where I was stressed so much that I became sick a lot of the time, facing a diagnosis of Coeliac Disease, having my appendix removed and dealing with other bowel and adominal problems. Three years into my degree and I was ready to give up.

Now here I am and I’ve done it. I’ve put in all the hard work. I’ve achieved great results even in the face of hard times and I’ve conquered my degree. I’m a university graduate.

I’m a teacher!

That’s the first time I’ve managed to write that, to say it do myself and it feels great!

I’m finally congratulating myself and seeing what I’ve done and how amazing it is.

Plus I’ve just organised to celebrate with a uni friend of my mine – finally!

Lesson of the day:

If you’ve just completed something like finishing school, uni, a competition or anything else that has taken a lot of work, whatever that may be.  Enjoy it, stop worrying about your next step because in time your next chapter will begin! 🙂

My battle with gluten free breakfast!

So today I decided to make myself Quinoa Porridge! It took about half an hour to make which for breakfast is a bit of a drainer, so when I sat down and ate it, I thought to myself: “this better taste good!”

Guess what – it did! It tasted bloody brilliantly in fact. A little sweet so I’ve learnt for next time to add less golden syrup… but a part from that it was warm, crunchy (for the chopped almonds) and incredibly filling!

The afternoon has come and I can still feel a happy stomach and a sigh of relief!

My batttle with gluten free breakfast actually feels like it’s getting easier!

Back in the day before I knew of my Coeliac Disease, breakfast was simple. A couple pieces of toast, fruit and a cup of tea or if I had a bit more time – then I’d treat myself to eggs on toast, maybe even with a bit of bacon.

In the past year or so I’ve been learning what it’s like to live on a gluten free diet and breakfast as been the hardest meal to conquer. I’ve tried everything! From packaged rice porridge, fruit and yoghurt and of course gf cereal. Toast was set aside as gf bread is expensive and it’s hard to find a good loaf out there that isn’t like a brick.  Nothing has seemed to fill me up and I’m usually hungry about an hour after eating! It’s been frustrating as anything plus not exaclty that healthy either. Snacking is NOT a good alternative, that’s for sure.

It’s nice to finally be feeling like I can start the day like most normal people do – with a good breakfast! Since eating the Quinoa Porridge, I have felt fuller and have gained more energy. It put me in the mood to have a productive day. Instead of feeling sluggish and ‘starving’.

Being a coeliac has it’s moments and it’s definetly a learning curve on how to be a better cook in giving myself a healthy, delicious and filling diet. One that I can ensure will give me the most nutritients and thus allowing me to be the best that I can be.  When I discover new recipes like the porridge I made today I am faced with mixed feelings. Somewhere between triumph and feeling excluded. Triumph because I can eat something and enjoy it and exluded because I’m not a part of the ‘normal’ world anymore.

I know that these days being on gluten free diet is easier than it was ten or even five years ago but it doesn’t take away the ‘sucky’ feeling I have when I have to go food shopping, go to a restaurant, a friend’s house, a party or can’t be bothered and want take-way. There isn’t really an easy way out and today with my porridge I’m ok with that but maybe tomorrow things won’t be so easy.

I know I have to stick to the diet for my health and stay positive which I do with all my determination. But all I’m saying is – sometimes I wish I didn’t have to. Sometimes I wish I could walk across the road and buy some fish and chips and finish off the meal with an ice-cream in a cone – now that would be a real treat!!

In the meantime: here’s to brekky! You don’t know how amazing it is until you can longer find a simple way to enjoy it.

Signing off so I can more fun learning how to be a better gluten free cook! 🙂