Archives for: February 2006
One thing I learned in college with Family Science studies was just a passing factoid that I remembered just because it didn't quite feel right to me. That was that when a woman is depressed, the first thing to look at is her husband. This is quite a popular notion as part of pop psychology. It didn't feel right to me because I've had trouble with depression since youth, relating mostly to seasonal affective disorder. Yet, my husband is and always has been a great romantic guy who does all those things a husband is supposed to do to make his wife happy. He'd try harder when I felt worse, and we were both victim of my sun and moon. So, I knew that in my case, that pop psychology notion didn't hold water. It's still a popular, and I'd say harmful, notion. It's one of many ways that men get slighted in the modern world. They are held to their traditional role and responsibility of providing for the family, but also to be solely responsible for the wife's happiness, with nobody being responsible for any of the husband's needs. This whole idea doesn't make anybody happy, not even the woman.
Just doing a little bit extra to return to traditional roles and responsibilities in my own home has made 10 times the difference. Not only am I happier, with or without avoids or supplements, but we're all happier with no burdens on anybody's shoulders. We're all being taken care of better, bonding more, and having no more negative feelings. My son is more disciplined and happier, the house seems cleaner and clutter-free even though it's not quite, it's just nice. Our parents, with their funny little habits and daily priorities, (like grandma dressing up and fixing her hair even if she was staying home all day), were not as silly as I once thought.
Now to apply this to diet...
I've always made it a priority to avoid eating out or processed foods, but until my attitude shifted, it was hard. Now it is easy, even fun, to plan and prepare healthy meals. My husband doesn't feel like I cook just for my own diet, or my son's, because I cook with everyone's health and tastes in mind. Another stalk of celery will not make it's way into my house, because he hates celery. Hey, if I can cut out gluten, I can certainly cut out celery.
For a family event we have coming up, I'm in the position to help plan the food, which is unusual and I thought it would be a good opportunity to take control. I started out wanting everything to be gluten-free, without even my MIL's famous rolls. Then I thought about it, and my husband never gets fresh-baked bread, and he'd be disappointed to miss that opporunity, as would most everyone else. It poses no threat to my son because he's never tried to eat one or cared one way or the other, and I'm beyond temptation. So I decided it's not about me being in control, it's about everyone having a joyful gathering. Besides, if I'm not a tyrant about it then maybe people will be more likely to consult me on the menus in the future, so it could pay off. Funny that it was such an issue for me, and my one desire was that, for once, I could go to a family event and be able to eat everything there. Nah, that's what home is for, as it is gluten-free for the most part. Now, I'd never mix and roll them out in my home, or even allow them in my home with such a large crowd, but this event won't be at my home. I don't feel like I'm giving in, I'm just being reasonable, and I feel more at peace about deciding it this way. I am not A Celiac, by identity, I am a person with celiac disease. It is not an insult to me that others eat gluten. As long as I don't get it in my system, and my son doesn't, then I'm ok with it.
Ahhh, it feels good to let myself and others breath.
I have a great marriage. That doesn't mean anybody under my roof is perfect, but we're happy and growing happier as we grow together. I don't write about personal stuff much, but right now I feel like I have to stand up for marriages and family now that I understand a few of the problem ones I know of a bit better. Tolstoy opened "Anna Karenina" with a quote much like this (I'm not sure I have it exact): Happy families are all alike, unhappy families are all unhappy in different ways.
I've always loved that quote, and the book, particularly the simple couple in the background of it who represents the happy family. However, modern times require a bit more understanding of the different ways a family can become unhappy.
I almost majored in Family Science at BYU, and it ended up being my minor. I figured once that this meant I knew a lot about marriage. I've been married for almost 12 years, that should impart some wisdom too. However, when my husband joked that I'd never read Dr. Laura's book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" I knew that maybe I needed to. I listen to her show and she's always right about what she tell her callers, so I finally took the plunge and got the book. I've never read her books before...I don't think I've done any of the 10 Stupid Things, I had a happy childhood, intact family, etc., so I just didn't feel the need. I'm glad I picked up this book though.
The thing is, I'm not a domestic goddess. I'm no fly lady, and I'm nowhere near as neat and organized as my husband's mother. I was starting to think I would have to be, that that was what my husband was hinting at. I thought reading the book would give me a hundred more things to worry about getting done. That wasn't the case at all. It's reminded me that the more important things are the things I can do in just a few minutes. Whether the files get organized this decade or the next means nothing if I'm too busy filing to welcome him home from work, or notice and thank him for something nice he's done.
Funny, even with a conservative background and making a point of being "traditional", simple and kind, the modern feminist philosophies were still soaking in. I'm glad to start getting them rinsed out sonner than later.
All married women should read this book, no matter what their situation. It makes everyone under your roof happier, not just your husband, but you and your children. Any man who is about to get married shouldn't marry a woman who won't read it or take it seriously.
Coming up: The proper care and feeding of Type A husbands
Moods have been swinging lately on the celiac discussion boards as a result of McDonald's recent announcement that their fries are not wheat free and milk free. For about a week, no celiac knew what to think, and I think we all tried to avoid eating out entirely.
I'm afraid this may just be one example of how food allergen laws don't help celiacs. They are designed to help those with allergies, which can result in very severe reactions to the smallest trace of contamination. Celiac disease is a bit different. While absolutely avoiding anything with gluten and anything that has come in contact with gluten is a good goal, it's not entirely possible or necessary. I'm not saying we can eat pizza once a month, or even once a year, but the tendency to fret about the idea of possible gluten is dangerous. It's that line of thinking that makes many newly-diagnosed celiacs give up before they even start the gluten-free diet.
The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) now states that McDonald's fries are gluten free due to the proteins being refined out during processing. I think many individuals with food allergies and intolerances will avoid McD's anyway, some will go to other restaurants, which is just as much risk as sticking with McDonald's, if not more risk.
Cooking at home is and always will be the best option. Processed and prepared foods always run some risk of contamination or other problem. Every Blood Type Dieter tries to avoid eating out, and the good reasons for that will not change for some time. We all hope that restaurant food safety, quality, selection and disclosures improve, but that may not happen anytime soon, and it probably won't start at McDonald's. I give them a thumbs up for coming clean and complying with a labeling laws that don't apply to restaurants in the first place. That doesn't mean I'm going to have dinner there, though ;-)
Just wanted to let you all know that we're doing fine now. The little ones are back to normal, just a bit more hungry than usual (my 3 yo has regained the weight he lost and the baby has gained much more). So they're keeping me busy cooking, eating, and feeding.
I've been watching a bit more TV while walking with the baby and nursing. Food TV is my default channel, and a funny idea occured to me after watching many episodes of Iron Chef. It would be hilarious if the secret ingredient was some sort of junk food, like Fruit Loops, Pop Tarts, Wheat Thins or even condensed soup. I bet the chefs would fall over! Would make a fun April Fools episode. Real foods are really the way to go. I may never eat foi gras or urchin roe, but hey, at least it's whole. Seeing processed foods advertised as "wholesome" makes me really wonder when the "whole" in wholesome lost all meaning.
I'll write more when I get caught up with life again. Valentines was nice, I made my son and husband an apple pie (gluten-free of course). It was good, but not as good as the one I made for Christmas because I ran out of rice flour and had to substitute. It's still as good as most any apple pie you'll find.
Ugh! At least I only turn 31 once...
Night before my birthday my children both started coughing, and the baby couldn't sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time, needing walked in between sleeping. Big Brother wasn't much better off, but at least he didn't need me to walk around with him. Baby never got a fever so I didn't take him into the doctor's office until Friday (to try and avoid flu germs). I took big brother in on Thursday, he had a virus and two bad ear infections. So he started antibiotics Thursday.
Thursday night, even though the baby had gotten used to his cough and was able to sleep, eat, etc. he was very fussy and in pain. So Friday I brought him in. It was a routine appointment at first, another ear infection, then the doctor heard the baby cough and things got tense for a few minutes. He recognized the cough as Bronchiolitis, which is something children under two can get. (It sounded like a deep bark and a cat's sneeze put together to me) The bronchioles, the tubes between the large bronchia and the lungs, are very narrow in babies, and when a virus sets into them, it can be very dangerous. So they checked his blood oxygen (the nurse who checked him in had forgotten to) and it was great, 97 or 98%. So the doctor said, "We don't need to put him in the hospital, yet." Well, that's good news...sort of. He proceeded to tell me what hospital to take him to if he gets worse. It could be RSV, but that requires a blood test to confirm and neither one got quite bad enough to justify that procedure.
Fortunately, the baby hasn't gotten worse. I credit his voracious appetite with that. He has kept himself hydrated, which kept the fever away. I tell you, it would take a lot to get him to stop eating! Now that he's feeling better, he's eating all the time, unfortunately for me this means day and night. Big brother got better first, which is difficult because my husband and I are now both sick and nobody can keep up with him. Baby still has that cough, but it's pretty infrequent and he's feeling happy otherwise.
Just when you think you might get some sleep, they get better and don't want to! It's been one of those nights that makes the parents of the world decidedly different from the non-parents. Baby eating every 30 minutes, and brother waking up before the crack of dawn to watch cartoons. I need sleep! At least I think I've gotten to the point where I won't need antibiotics, thank you Neti pot. Since the baby is on antibiotics and I'm his only source of probiotics, I was really hoping I wouldn't need them too. Antibiotics should only be used when you need a miracle, but in this case, we all needed a miracle. They don't help with bronchiolitis, but I don't think he'd be getting better yet without them because he was getting too miserable to recover.
Did I get what I wanted for my birthday? I don't even remember what I thought I wanted, but my babies are okay, so yes, I got what I wanted.