40 Things I’m Grateful For

Posted on May 16th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Random Thoughts, Sure Foods Living News | Read 16 Comments - Add Your Own »

heart1I’ve hit a big milestone today! I feel mature, womanly, but not over-the-hill at all! I am truly happy and thankful for all I have on my 40th birthday and I feel a lot of love coming my way. This blog is the only diary I have, so I thought I would write down 40 things I’m grateful for (in no particular order — just the way they came out of my head). Here goes…

I am grateful for:

  1. my health!
  2. my beautiful daughter Maxine, who is sensitive and determined and challenges me and will be my friend for life
  3. my beautiful daughter Annie, who loves to hug and makes me laugh every day and drives me crazy
  4. my husband, who believes in me and supports my passion and who at age 40 himself has become an even better man (and who will think this is an embarrassingly sappy and corny post, so please don’t tell him about it!)
  5. my mom, who is also my friend and teacher and motivator, and who still picks me up if I have fallen down
  6. my dad, who is still my daddy and my doctor
  7. my sister, who is still as accepting and easy to talk to as she ever was, and who is a mom I admire
  8. being diagnosed with celiac disease before I had children
  9. my grandmother who is 97 and has the most amazing memory of anyone in our family
  10. my children having close relationships with all of their grandparents, and two great grandparents
  11. my open and honest and loving relationship with my mother-in-law, who has made my birthday weekend possible — BIG points MIL!
  12. my father-in-law, who always makes sure everyone is okay
  13. varicose vein removal (haven’t done it yet)
  14. sports, and that I was raised playing them
  15. the fact that cell phones and little video cameras and You Tube didn’t exist when I was in high school and college
  16. not getting married too young
  17. never having to face a major tragedy (knock knock knock on wood)
  18. this blog
  19. my wonderful old friends, including one who flew from Miami to California to stand next to me at a conference all day, just so she could spend time with me on my birthday weekend
  20. my “new” friends who are already feeling like old ones
  21. my blogger friends, who inspire me with their knowledge about food and living healthy lives, and whom I’ve even met in real life!
  22. the people who read this blog and share their stories, which keep me going
  23. straightening irons, which were not available for so many years of my life that I really needed them! The hours I could have saved! We had crimping irons instead!
  24. being able to afford organic, gluten-free, allergen-free food (I really feel for those who cannot — everyone should have access to healthy food)
  25. good teachers
  26. good doctors
  27. good tv shows
  28. cozy beds
  29. flip-flops becoming acceptable footwear
  30. learning to speak Spanish
  31. a large extended family that gets together on the holidays
  32. a home
  33. having wild and crazy times to look back on
  34. still planning on having wild and crazy times in the future, just a little less crazy and wild!
  35. being raised and living in an open-minded place
  36. seeing other cultures and learning to appreciate what I have
  37. people who make the hard decisions
  38. people who make me laugh
  39. kissing my children goodnight
  40. my health. again.

Thank you to everyone who has made this a special birthday for me!


7 Things You May Not Know About Me

Posted on April 6th, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Random Thoughts, Sure Foods Living News | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

eye3I usually don’t write a lot of personal information on this blog, aside from food allergy-related stories. But, I have been tagged by another blogger, Gluten-Free Optimist, to write “7 Things You May Not Know About Me.” So, now I’m IT, and you are going to learn something about me besides that I don’t eat gluten! Here goes…

  1. In my dream life I am a singer. Now, don’t go thinking that this is an American-Idol inspired fantasy. I wanted to be a singer way before that show existed. Just look at the VHS tapes of me singing (screaming) “Maybe” from the musical Annie. I may not have been a very good singer (I actually tried out for a local production of Annie and didn’t make it), but I had heart. Unfortunately, it’s genetic — the wanna-be Annie gene, I mean. My 4 year old daughter has been screaming “Maybe” for a good month now!
  2. My first job after college was teaching high school history which I did for 7 years. I was 23 and the students were 17 when I started! Teaching was the hardest job I have ever had (by far). Hooray for teachers!
  3. When I was a small child, I had a skin condition called vitiligo, which resulted in large white spots (devoid of any pigment) on my face, legs and lower back. The pigment on my face luckily came back but the other white spots remained. I was self-conscious about them, but then decided to make the best of it. I named the spots. The largest of the spots was named… Spot. The smallest one was named Pee-Wee. Whenever anyone asked me why I had the spots, I told them the truth: that I was half-leopard.
  4. I went to about 35 Grateful Dead concerts and was sad when Jerry Garcia died (I went to Berkeley, what do you expect?) I do not wear Birkenstocks, burn incense or have underarm hair however.
  5. Two of my favorite movies of all time are Waiting for Guffman (Christopher Guest mockumentary) and True Romance (Quentin Tarantino’s first screenplay, an amazing cast). One is silly, the other one is just cool.
  6. I’m not crafty or artistic. I come from a family full of artistic people, but I have always colored in the lines and strived for symmetry. I can’t think of anything more tedious than knitting a scarf or — oh, god — needlepoint! I can barely sew a button on and I don’t have any use for those fun scrapbooking scissors. If you want to see me struggle, give me a paintbrush and canvas and tell me to create something. I would give anything to go play volleyball or organize my toolbox instead.
  7. There are some things I didn’t even know about myself until a week ago when my mom found a scrap of paper with my future scribbled on it. Apparently I went to see a fortune teller while on a family vacation to Jamaica 17 years ago. Here are some of her predictions and whether or not she got it right:
    • “You will have 2 children and they will be girls” — she was right!
    • “You will have no medical operations or problems except for a blocked tube” — I have not had any operations and I have celiac disease, which is a disorder of the intestine… a TUBE! I guess you could say it was blocked in that nutrients could not be absorbed.
    • “You will be divorced and remarried at 40″ — husband better watch his back!
    • “You will be an independent old woman with cats” — does this mean I’m going to outgrow my allergy to cats? woo-hoo!

Well, that was fun! Now it’s my turn to tag other bloggers. I chose people that I really enjoy, admire and learn from and who I would like to know more about. Here are my picks:

  • Karina, the Gluten Free Goddess — she is an arteest in so many ways, and hers are still my favorite gluten-free recipes. Plus, she provides so many options for people with other food allergies.
  • Sharon the Blogger Queen — Sharon is a mom of a child with severe food allergies. She also is hilarious. I suggested to her one day that she should have a blog to share her life’s stories, and POOF! she started a blog (I’m taking credit now in case she becomes famous). You need to read her blog. It will make you laugh. (Warning: some may find her crass and inappropriate… I find her hysterically funny! P.S. it’s not about food allergies.)
  • Ali of Whole Life Nutrition — a new discovery for me are her great healthy gluten-free recipes.
  • Kelly of CeliacChicks — she’s a cool NYC chick with celiac who’s been blogging gluten-free since 2003!
  • Gabrielle of Peanut Free Mama — she gets the whole peanut-allergy thing!
  • Gina Clowes of Allergy Moms — this is a woman dedicated to helping food allergy moms everywhere!
  • Sloane a.k.a. Allergic Girl — another NYC gal, she writes about gluten-free and allergen-free life.

RULES: “The rules are simple. Link to your original tagger and list these rules in your post. Simply share seven facts about yourself in the post. Tag seven people at the end of your post and let them know they’ve been tagged. And have fun!”


Celebrities and the Cleanse Diet

Posted on January 16th, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Gluten Intolerance, Random Thoughts | Read 8 Comments - Add Your Own »

I’m not sure what it is about celebrities and cleansing but it has become quite fashionable to “detox.” Celebs are doing everything from the Lemonade Diet to the Maple Syrup Diet to the Cayenne Pepper Diet. Recently, 2 major stars prescribed eliminating gluten as part of their cleanse diets. Upon further inspection, however, both their diet plans actually contained gluten!

oprahOprah wrote a blog describing her 21-Day Cleanse in which she attempted to eliminate caffeine, sugar, alcohol, gluten and animal products from her diet. According to her blog and the blog of her coworker who also did the diet, they ate seitan, which is pure wheat gluten, and Morningstar veggie sausages, which list gluten as the first ingredient, and also have egg and milk (while they were supposed to be on a vegan diet also). I say this not to come down on Oprah — she did the diet as directed and stuck with it for 21 days as planned. I just think it’s strange that as much as her diet planners and chefs probably get paid, and as much publicity as this got, they didn’t even get the diet right! Next time hire me, Oprah! (And by the way, O, you should probably be gluten-free given your weight fluctuations, thyroid disease, and exhaustion — I’m just saying.)

And then there’s Gwyneth Paltrow. She publishes a pretty cool website gwynethpaltrowand newsletter called GOOP in which she shares her ideas on what to MAKE, where to GO, what to GET, what to DO, how to BE and what to SEE. Nice ideas and you kind of feel like Gwyneth’s friend-in-the-know. This month in her MAKE newsletter she talks about her detox diet and includes menus to follow. Here are the rules of the diet: “remember that there can be no dairy, grains with gluten, meat, shellfish, anything processed (including all soy products), fatty nuts, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant), condiments, sugar and obviously no alcohol, caffeine or soda.”

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