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!

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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!

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