Natural Health and a Wood Watch – Could it help?

Natural Health and a Wood Watch – Could it help?

There’s something to be said about being close to nature to help you heal. I feel more connected to myself and the world around me when I’m outside surrounded by green, blue and yellow. The deeper I dive into the technical world, the more I want to spend my off time without the hum of a nearby computer.

The more I incorporate nature and all things natural into my life, the better I feel. I’ve always loved accessorizing and have never had luck with costume jewelry. Those metals turn my skin green or make me itch. I don’t have an issue with 10K+ gold, but my husband can’t wear his white gold wedding ring for long before breaking out in a rash. I’ve been looking into natural jewelry and am loving the vibes. About a year or so ago I began this obsession with needing a watch. I don’t know if it has to do with knowing the time or liking the accessory, but I’ve been searching for a watch that won’t leave my wrist itchy or sweaty.

My husband bought me a couple watches, but they were a bit too large and made of plastic. They were stylish but unfortunately, not very comfortable. I get picky with my accessories. I’d like a watch made of wood and/or leather that has style but isn’t too big. I like the feel of the smooth wood against my skin. I found these watches below and am looking forward to getting one (one of these days).

Most are made of sandalwood, which makes a good-smelling, healing essential oil. Sandalwood has so many benefits including memory boosting and carminative properties, a relaxant for the stomach and intestines. I figure it couldn’t hurt to try wearing actual sandalwood. One of these to start would be nice and they’re relatively inexpensive. Manufacturers say you should be careful of the watch getting too much light and to keep them clean and away from water for the best performance. Check them out!

Trouble Staying Awake or Paying Attention During Lectures

Trouble Staying Awake or Paying Attention During Lectures

One major issue I had in high school was I had trouble staying awake through the 3rd and 6th periods. I just couldn’t stay awake in those classes, no matter what I did. I chalked it up to a warm room for one class, but then it happened in a cold room later. Then I thought it was due to the fact that I could never fall asleep at night. It kept happening and became more frequent the older I got. Looking back now, I realize it was my diet, especially a gluten-filled diet.

I would eat a gluten bagel with cream cheese every morning when I got to school around 7 am. By third period, around 10 or 10:30 if it wasn’t an interactive class, I was out like a light. Lunch would be either 4th or 5th period where I would probably eat either a sandwich, pizza, sometimes a salad, mozzarella sticks, macaroni and cheese or french fries, along with a cookie or other little dessert treat. I loved those Little Debbie snacks. (I think they changed their recipe or supplier because the last one I ate before going gluten-free tasted like a mealy, cardboard cake covered in plastic, so I figure I’m not really missing out.)

Then 6th period would come, sometimes it would be 7th period, depending on what the class was and if it was interactive. If a teacher spent the time lecturing, I was out like a light, no matter how animated they were. My 9th grade history teacher was especially good at telling historical stories and knocking me out. I was incredibly embarrassed every time I fell asleep in their classes, I apologized if they caught me or if it happened two days in a row.


I’ve had interesting things happen while falling asleep in class. Once I dreamt that I slipped on ice and almost fell out of my desk. Another time my teacher dropped the heavy, metal trash can right next to my seat to wake me up. I about jumped out of my skin! These types of events had the entire class laughing. I felt like I was hugely disrespecting my teachers by falling asleep, it was through no fault of their own. I wanted to stay awake and I tried very hard.

I took a ton of notes to try to stay awake. Sometimes my sentences would taper off into squiggly lines in my notebook because I had fallen asleep while writing. Because it was happening so frequently, I began to buy a Coke and a bag of M&M’s, Twizzlers, or another type of quiet candy or snack to munch on while I was in those classes thinking the chewing motion and sugar would help me stay awake. Sometimes it worked but I usually ended up with a belly ache and headache afterwards, then crashing for a nap after I got home.

Me in 2003, the year before I graduated college. Posing to hide the pudge.

Me in 2003, the year before I graduated college. Posing to hide the pudge.

It happened in college, also. I ate a semi-healthy diet after my junior/senior year of high school because I gained weight both years, seemingly out of no where. After I lost a bunch of weight, my mother told me her and my father wondered if I was pregnant because I had gained so much. I couldn’t believe they would say that! Now I know it was because I looked pregnant with my gluten-baby belly. Though I am surprised she would wait until after I lost the weight to mention that.


Looking back, it was all due to gluten and stress. My weight fluctuations always came after dealing with a stressful situation. I would eat to compensate for being overly stressed or pressured. It came from all angles. I loved pizza and comfort foods, ice cream and cookies. All the things my stomach can’t handle now. I was most likely always lactose and gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive and we believe that when I had radioactive iodine treatment for my thyroid that the celiac disease was triggered. It’s been a hell of a roller coaster ride to get to this point, but I’m here, still rolling on.

These are only a few of the symptoms I experienced as a teenager and young adult with gluten and lactose intolerance. If you or your child is experiencing similar issues with staying awake, alert or paying attention, it would be a good idea to get checked for food sensitivities or intolerances. Trust me, eliminating those foods will make paying attention and staying awake so much easier.

Gluten-free Recipe – Warm Cinnamon Apples Recipe

Gluten-free Recipe – Warm Cinnamon Apples Recipe

Autumn is a time for apples and cinnamon, which together make delicious warm cinnamon apples. Because cinnamon and apples are naturally gluten-free, we’re pretty golden. Make sure you use bowls, utensils, pots and pans that haven’t previously been used to make gluten foods to avoid cross-contamination. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, healthy-licious!

Granny Smith are the best apples to use for cooking, the green apples. They hold up well while cooking because they’re tangy, not sweet. When peeling the apples I keep the peels and put them in a small pot that I left to simmer on the stove while I was downstairs. To my fresh potpourri pot I added water, apple peels, blackberries and both ground cinnamon and a stick of cinnamon bark. It made my house smell lovely! My mom used to simmer pots of dried herbs and such when I was a kid, sometimes I loved it and other times the scents burned my eyes. This one had a good, fresh scent that I enjoyed, only burned a little bit, and my hubby came in saying our home smelled delicious!

Gluten-free Cinnamon Apples over Gluten-free Oatmeal

The basic recipe:

Gluten-free Cinnamon Apples

4 apples, peeled, cored & sliced thin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp ghee, butter, margarine or butter-substitute
1-2 tbsp water

Toss together apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl or plastic bag.

Heat butter and water until melted and add apple mixture. Cook over medium-low heat 10-12 minutes.

Eat as a side dish with dinner, on top of ice cream, oatmeal and more. Yum! 

This recipe could also double as pie filling for apple pie. Instead of putting it in the pot to cook, fill a gluten-free pie shell with the apples and place butter slices on top. Make your own pie crust using gluten-free flour blend, water and salt, bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes at 325 degrees. (GF Apple Pie recipe coming soon!) I had to skip the nutmeg this time because I was out but they still tasted incredible! Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Recipe – Hot Dog Summer Salad

Gluten-Free Recipe – Hot Dog Summer Salad

Over the past three years I’ve had to cycle through many of the same foods and try to find new ways to eat them. Mixing things up fixes the issue of having too much of the same things. My hubby is the reverse. If he could eat the same thing every day with some differing flavors, he would. I love finding new gluten-free recipes for the foods I can eat, using items I wouldn’t normally think to put together.

Gluten-free cooking isn’t usually a fast process so finding quick, easy gluten-free recipes are key. For this recipe, I was inspired by a dish brought to my bridal shower. A friend of the family brought Hot Dog Salad to the party and I loved the flavor of the hot dogs mixed in with salad. This is my version, based on what I had in my fridge at the time.

Gluten-Free Recipe – Hot Dog Summer Salad

Gluten-free Hot Dogs
Green, red, purple or colorful leafy lettuce
Dried cranberries
Gluten-free croutons
Extra-Virgin Olive oil
Juice from lemon slice

Clean and dry all fruits and veggies. Tear lettuce to bite sized pieces and slice strawberries. Cut hot dogs into bite-size pieces. If children will be eating this, make sure the hot dogs are sliced down the center and cut about 1/4 inch thick. It should be very small pieces for small children, that won’t make them choke. I choked on a hot dog once and didn’t eat another one for 3 years! Toss all solid ingredients together except for croutons, and anything else you’d like to add such as cucumbers, green peppers, nuts, or whatever you have on hand that might taste good on a salad. Then drizzle with olive oil and squeeze the lemon slice over the salad. Add croutons last.

Viola! An easy Gluten-Free Hot Dog Salad recipe. Grab a bag of chips and a glass of lemonade and you’ve got a gluten-free lunch, or make one big enough to take to a party. Hope you enjoy!

Ocean Spray Craisins Cranberry, 64 Ounce

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  • Made with real fruit!. A good source of fiber

New York Brand® Texas Toast Croutons | Gluten Free Croutons Seasoned Herb 4 Oz[4 PACK]

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  • New York Brand® Texas Toast croutons are hearth baked, and our baking process makes them crispier yet tender. With larger pieces and more robust flavors, they are great on any salad or as a tasty afternoon snack. - See more at:

California Olive Ranch Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 33.81 Ounce

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  • Award winning olive oil brand
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Staying Hydrated with Celiac Disease

Staying Hydrated with Celiac Disease

In my first post about staying hydrated with celiac disease, I wrote a post on Celiac and Water Absorption explaining that I was drinking Body Armor drinks and taking Smarty Pants multi-vitamins among a slew of others, to stay hydrated and healthy. At my last appointment the doc told me to cut out all the extra vitamins for two weeks because my B-6 and B-12 levels were very high. I felt like my nerves were fried and my muscles were tight and on edge. I guess you can overdose on B-vitamins. I cut out the vitamins and drinks on 5/5/16 and after about 3 weeks off all the vitamins and 2 weeks off fish oil/DHA, I was tired but much less wired.

Body Armor Drink

After two weeks of eating my regular diet, cutting out the Body Armor drinks and not taking supplements, I was exhausted and my joints were burning again. My upper and lower back hurt but the pinching between my shoulder blades receded a bit. I added back in one fish oil pill a day before lunch or dinner, whenever I remembered to take it and after about a week the upper back pain settled down more and the joint pain started to decrease. I tried a few gummy vitamins and the upper back pain came back, but that could also have been due to being on crutches. As my back, chest and core strengthen from the crutching, it gets less painful.

After about 3 weeks I added back in half the dosage of the Smarty Pants gummy vitamins and I think I’m doing good. My body needs something extra, I can’t eat enough foods to get the nutrients I need. My stomach does not process the food or absorb it well. I’ve switched to water and regular fruit juices and cut out the Body Armor drinks for now. I cycled through OJ, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice and apple juice. I’m loving the OJ and am so happy I can handle orange again! I really missed the juicy sweetness of oranges. The cranberry juice is also helping, though I’m not as into the grapefruit or apple as much. I drank all the grapefruit but there’s just something about the apple that I’m not digging so much.

Smarty Pants Gummy Vitamins Adult Complete + Fiber

It’s been about a month and a half now and I’m feeling ok. My thyroid levels are getting back in order and I’m starting to balance out. My body is still going through the processes it does after giving birth and having a baby. Even though the baby isn’t here, my body is still going through the cycle of having a newborn, including sleepless nights and all, less the dirty diapers. My cycle is off which could be due to the pregnancy, surgery, celiac, stress or a combination of all. My intestines feel like they opened up, not as tight as they once were. It’s making me nervous though, wondering if it’s a new type of pain or if it’s just the absence of pain. I’ve been very bloated this week and haven’t been for quite some time. There has been much stress over the past weeks/months, so that could be why.

Staying Hydrated with Celiac Disease is Difficult

I stopped drinking the Body Armor drinks and am drinking water and fruit juices instead. Staying hydrated is difficult, especially since it’s dry in Cali. My skin doesn’t feel as dry as it was, but it’s still pretty dry. I added fruit juices and fruits to help. I also use olive oil on my skin to hopefully save me from alligator skin later. The only thing with fruit juices is that they’re sweet, and sugar isn’t really doing much for me these days. My upper intestinal area blows up like a balloon when I eat sugars which is no fun and quite painful. I stopped the fish oil again because it gives me terrible gas. Next I’ll figure out if it’s the capsule or the oil itself that’s the culprit, but I have to add it back in because it really does help with all the inflammation.

All in all, at the moment I feel partly better not being on so many supplements. My body feels calmer, my nerves don’t jump as much and my muscles don’t ache as badly. They still ache and I’m more inflamed than usual, but it’s not as bad as it was before. I like the Body Armor drinks but haven’t had one in a while as I’m now worried about getting too many vitamins. I have to try one again and see how it makes me feel. They are very tasty drinks. In a couple weeks I get another blood test to check my thyroid and vitamin levels and will see where I stand. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Review: Bakery On Main Gluten Free Non-GMO Granola, Variety Pack

Review: Bakery On Main Gluten Free Non-GMO Granola, Variety Pack

Today’s review is on the Bakery On Main Gluten Free Non-GMO Granola Variety Pack which we ordered on Amazon using subscribe-and-save a few months ago, and just got our second batch. We reordered them because they are an excellent snack. The texture of the granola is firm but not so hard that it hurts your teeth. We often have a hard time finding snacks that are gluten free that don’t have an off taste, so these are a welcome surprise.

Bakery On Main Gluten Free Granola Variety Pack

There are 2 bags of the Nutty Cranberry Maple Granola, which has a sweet and hearty taste. There were not as many dried cranberries as we expected, so we typically bring out the Craisins if we want to add more. The Apple Raisin Walnut Granola is also good, but Julie does not like raisins so I get this bag to myself. Extreme Fruit And Nut is also very good, but surprisingly they missed the ‘extreme’ part with the fruit. There should be more if they’re billing it as ‘extreme’. We also like the Cranberry Orange Cashew Granola, which is sweet but not too sweet. Finally, the Rainforest Banana Nut Granola is a personal favorite, sweet and filling without the sharp aftertaste that usually comes with dried bananas.

Bakery On Main does get it right with their gluten free granola variety pack – each flavor has a unique taste that makes it easy to pick a snack based on how you’re feeling. You can eat it plain, put it in yogurt parfaits or even it eat like cereal with milk. Although not billed as cereal, it is surprisingly tasty this way. In a world where finding good gluten free foods is a challenge, Bakery On Main hits a home run with their Bakery On Main Gluten Free Non-GMO Granola Variety Pack. You can find it on Amazon and many local grocery retailers nationwide.

Bakery On Main Gluten Free Non-GMO Granola, Variety Pack, 12-Ounce, 6 Count

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  • 2 bags of Nutty Cranberry Maple Granola, 1 bag of Apple Raisin Walnut Granola, 1 bag of Extreme Fruit & Nut Granola, 1 bag of Cranberry Orange Cashew Granola, and 1 bag of Rainforest Granola
  • All natural, good source of fiber and essential fatty acids
  • No GMOs; No Dairy; No Casein; No Wheat; No Trans Fat; No Cholesterol
  • Low in sodium & saturated fat; made with unrefined sugar & non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil
  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
Heat Resistant Silicone Oven Gloves Review

Heat Resistant Silicone Oven Gloves Review

Celiac disease has given me the rare opportunity to replace many items in my kitchen, one being the oven gloves I use. I have cloth gloves and squares but they get food on them all the time, are in constant need of washing and don’t always come out of the wash looking like they’ll save my fingers from a burn. I had a hard time keeping the gluten separated from non-gluten and I ended up ruining my oven gloves from over washing. In need of oven gloves that are easily washable, I bought these Heat Resistant Silicone Oven Gloves on I got the orange and grey colors – the orange are my gluten-free gloves and the grey are for the gluten.

I love that they come in a pair, as you do need one for each hand. The gloves are dishwasher safe and do a good job of protecting my hands from the heat. The critiques I have are that they are fairly large gloves. I’m average size, 5’5” and about 140 lbs. and my hands swim in them. A smaller size would be nice, but I imagine if they were too much smaller, the gloves wouldn’t be easy to put on my hands. Also, if a pot touches the inside lining where there are no nubs, the heat comes through the glove and stings. It leaves a slight red mark on my skin, but I not a serious burn, so they did protect my skin, although I only held the hot pot a second or two.

These silicone gloves work well for keeping your hands protected from the heat, even if they are a little on the large side. Sometimes I use them without putting my hands in the silicon oven gloves, but it is better to wear them when pulling things out of the oven or microwave, so I don’t burn the tops of my fingers. I haven’t run them through the dishwasher because I don’t like to put silicon in the dishwasher. We have hard water and I don’t trust the plastic from being damaged by dishwasher soap, so I wash them by hand. They hold up well with daily use and washing with Dawn and hot water. All things said, they were a good buy for $9.99.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Scones with Stonewall Kitchen Traditional Scone Mix

Gluten-Free Blueberry Scones with Stonewall Kitchen Traditional Scone Mix

Hello there! Today I made these delicious blueberry scones that came out tasting incredible. I used a box mix for traditional scones, Stonewall Kitchen Traditional Scone Mix and added half a can of Oregon Blueberries at the end. I enjoy the Stonewall Kitchen brand of gluten-free mixes and have tried other gluten-free mixes under that brand. Stonewall Kitchen has easy-to-follow directions and base ingredients that allows you to add your own flavors and spices, plus they usually come out tasty and moist, not dry, unless I make a mistake on the recipe.

I mostly followed the directions on the box. I’m not a big butter fan, or my body hasn’t been lately, so I used half coconut oil and half Smart Balance Extra Virgin Olive Oil dairy free butter. It should be a solid type of oil for the mix to crumble and hold properly. The mix calls for 2/3 cup cold water and 1 large egg, slightly beaten. Keep a tablespoon of flour aside to coat the pastry sheet or counter before spreading the mixture. I don’t have a pastry sheet, so I put wax paper down on the counter and then sprinkled the tablespoon of mix on the paper, it worked great!

Add butter/oil to mix and cut with a pastry blender, fingertips or a fork, until the batter resembles coarse crumbs, then add water and egg until just mixed. I lightly beat the egg with a fork in the measuring cup for the water before adding it to the mixture, mixed all the ingredients until they were blended and folded half a can of drained and rinsed blueberries into the batter.

A pizza slicer works well to slice scones

A pie spatula to lift the gluten-free scones

Then I took the dough ball, it was pretty moist and sticky, and spread it onto the wax paper, making about an 8 inch diameter circle and used the pizza cutter to slice it into 8 pie-like slices. I used a pie spatula to pick them off the wax paper, greasing it with some coconut oil to make it easy for the dough to slide off the spatula, and placed the sliced scone batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

The directions say to bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes, I cooked my scones about 12-14 minutes, until they were semi-golden on top. They came out so delicious! I was glad I added in the blueberries. The first time I made the scones I didn’t add fruit and they were a bit too dry for my liking, though moister than other scones I’ve tried, though it hasn’t been many. I was never a big fan of scones because they were a dry pastry and I prefer moist cakes. The Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Scones have a plain, vanilla flavor, as I imagine most scones have, but even plain they are more moist than other scones. The fruit adds even more moisture and so much flavor. In retrospect, I could have used the whole can and gotten an even tastier scone. I bought a can of cherries too, so with the next box I might use the cherries. I’m still on the fence with buying canned anything, but that’s for another post. Any other ideas for the cherries?

Reversing Anxiety in Celiac Disease

Reversing Anxiety in Celiac Disease

This post is a follow-up from Anxiety & Celiac Disease.

The fact that the B-Complex vitamin calmed my anxiety made me wonder, so I did more research and found that anxiety is rarely a mental issue. In fact, most health-related issues are related to something we’re eating – the gut is our only line of defense against the outside world. Researchers have found that serotonin and dopamine (the happy hormones) are not produced in the brain, but in the stomach and then carried to the brain for release from the hypothalamus. Serotonin is made from processing B vitamins, among other vitamins and minerals, in the small intestines. When you have celiac or autoimmune disorders, you most likely have a leaky gut that small particles of food is allowing to escape into your body. Your body knows it’s not supposed to be there so it goes on attack, causing all kinds of symptoms like bloating, itching, sneezing, allergies, anxiety and panic attacks, fatigue, acne and many others. Upon further research, probiotics are also incredibly important for those with anxiety and GI related disorders.


Your doctor may not bring it up as a possible option to you, but you can bring it up to your doctor. I don’t recommend going off prescription dugs without the consult of a doctor, as they can really throw you through a loop and serious issues can occur. I’ve also read that people who are on anti-depressant or anti-anxiety meds can have increased symptoms adding the complex-B vitamins, however I wonder if that isn’t due to the ingredients in the pill or the type of pill it is. I take a whole food B-complex vitamin, however one of the whole food ingredients in the pill, brewer’s yeast, can cause bloating issues in some people. Before doing anything drastic, take stock of your situation. Educate yourself on natural ways to help anxiety, B-vitamins, leaky gut and wherever those things take you. Print out some good articles you find interesting or have questions about and take them to your doctor.

I’m super curious about your experiences with trying to naturally help your anxiety. Have you tried B vitamins, probiotics, Vitamin D, something else? I think it has to be the Complex-B, with all the B vitamins, not just one or two. Adding magnesium helped me a lot as well, Natural Calm plus Calcium has helped the most, but only in conjunction with an additional Calcium/Magnesium pill. What have you found that works?

Anxiety & Celiac Disease

Anxiety & Celiac Disease

Anxiety is a big part of my Celiac disease, and I’m learning more and more about it every day. My first anxiety attacks were when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I would be in bed at night and I remember being very afraid of falling asleep because I was afraid I wouldn’t wake up. It would make me sad and scared, I would go down to my parents and cry, saying I was afraid of dying. Reflecting back, I wonder now if they weren’t panic attacks but warning signs that my body was ingesting something it shouldn’t.

I first realized that I was having issues with anxiety when I started having panic attacks in 2010. My husband and I had just moved to California and I was working a job that required walking into businesses, most without appointments, to sell ad space. Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with meeting new people. I worked in people-facing businesses my entire career-life, it shouldn’t have been hard for me, but it was.


The beginning was great, I landed a big sale and was told by my manager it was one of the best pitches she ever heard. Unfortunately, a good sales pitch wasn’t enough, especially when they couldn’t deliver on the promises I was instructed to make. I tried to do well but soon realized it wasn’t for me and after a few months, I started having minor anxiety attacks that started with my heart beating faster. After a little while, tears would come. Sometimes I would just be sitting there at a sales meeting and these choking tears would come out of nowhere. My chest would start heaving and I would feel like I couldn’t breathe. I would see stars and had this horrible feeling of wanting to crawl out of my skin. I would excuse myself, go into the bathroom and try to pull myself together, but once I was alone the tears would start and not stop. I would go back out with red eyes, hoping no one noticed, but people asked questions.

I chalked the attacks up to the increased stress of my job and ended up leaving the company – it wasn’t worth the panic attacks. After some research, I found that the thyroid medication I was on wasn’t doing enough. I was taking Synthroid daily, which replaces T4 in the body. Many doctors prescribe Synthroid because the body takes T4 and produces T3. What doctors don’t understand yet is that when you eradicate the thyroid by either radioactive iodine treatment (RAI), radiation or surgery, it doesn’t work properly, nor does the thyroid work well if you’re inflamed. In my case, I wasn’t making enough T3. I did some more research and switched to Nature-throid in 2010 and that helped so much. Getting out of the job helped a lot, too.


But things didn’t really get better after that. I felt a little better, but my anxiety got worse. I would cancel plans with new friends at the last minute because the thought of interacting with people got me so worked up that I couldn’t leave the house. And that made me feel worse, because I thought I would be considered flaky or unreliable.

Even though I wasn’t feeling well, I still functioned and after that job I began doing web and graphic design full-time, meaning my interaction with people on a regular basis was drastically reduced. During that time quite a bit happened. I broke my right ankle and then we had to move because the house we were renting was being foreclosed. We moved back to Philly and lived with family until our condo was available. We fixed up the condo to rent it out again and then I broke my left leg slipping down our spiral staircase. I had a spiral fracture and a broken ankle from that fall. I wore a cast for a couple months, but my leg never fully healed. We decided to sell the condo and moved again, this time back to California, where our west coast family was kind enough to house us until we both became employed.

I worked in web support for about 2 years, where I answered calls and helped people learn and use company software. My clients loved me, but my coworkers, not so much. I was at the height of feeling my worst, everything I ate seemed to cause me problems. I was moody, tired and in pain all the time. My stomach was making funny noises, I was bloated and gassy. Gas would sometimes escape that I seemed to have no control over. It was so embarrassing. I felt like my body was on fire, but on the inside, so I probably wasn’t the easiest person to work with (sorry guys!). After my celiac diagnosis, things got better and my short fuse settled down…some. It was a tough transition to a gluten-free diet, with several accidental poisonings and snafu’s, but we all came out stronger in the end. They coined my nickname: “Julie Sunshine.”

My anxiety attacks started up again, this time they would start while I was getting ready for work. I thought it might be the job, but I liked the people I worked with and was in a good position. And after I was at work for a little while, I would calm down, so it couldn’t be that. I realized it was my drive into work that was causing the panic attacks this time. It wasn’t a super-long drive, about 35 – 45 minutes, but I had to take the I-405 freeway to get there, which is 5 lanes of wall-to-wall traffic. I tried taking the surface streets a few times, but even with traffic the 405 is faster and I could never seem to leave early enough to take the long way. I chose the 6am – 3pm shift just so I could miss some of the traffic and spare a little sanity.

Eventually, the company was sold and I didn’t have to take the 405 at all, and my anxiety attacks stopped. I did find out something interesting though. One day when I was having one of the panic attacks, I took my B-complex vitamins when I got to work because I was really tired that day (I stopped drinking coffee) and needed a boost. When the B vitamins took effect, I felt an immediate calm come over my body and my head was crystal clear – I didn’t feel foggy at all.

This made me wonder…could it work?

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