A new day, a better life ahead of me…

First off, my life is not normal. I have a ton of food allergies and intolerances, I enjoy working, I always need more money, and I like a challenge. I normally have a sit-down job, but I just started working at a restaurant. Yes, it’s gluten free. No, there is no meat served. Yes, they have food I can eat. However, only one menu item (after it’s modified) fits in my list of non-poisoning foods. 🙁 In spite of this, it is still a nice place to work, I enjoy the comradery and you know I love food! Plus, someday, I hope to open my own food place, or food truck, and I’m going to need to know how much stamina I’m going to need ahead of time. Now I know: dishes don’t stop and food can burn.

Aside from the new job, I’m also super excited of my regular job. Opening weekend is this Saturday. I may get to meet my childhood hero. (If I do, there will be a picture on here.) And, life is pretty good there with new projects and I’m going to get a new stuffed animal and picture frame this week! Yay!
I love my not so normal life. It keeps me busy most of the time.
I’m also counting down the days until I get to go visit my cousins in San Francisco while I’m attending the Gluten Free Allergy Friendly Expo! I’ll be missing out at my regular job on a few events and another childhood hero, but it’ll be worth it because I’ll be eating “safe food” all weekend! It’s the only expo I know of where it’s cool to be gluten free and have other Celiac related issues. I love saying, “me too!” so many times that I just end up shaking my head as if I’m saying:yes. I’m not a people person until you put me in a room with people just like me, and this expo is going to be jam packed full of people just like me! I love this expo so much, I’ll be volunteering the second day! It’s going to be so great! I cannot wait!

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Week in review…

A week ago, I was at my work’s annual awards banquet. I had already had a bad food day because I could only eat one item after it was modified to remove onions and corn at the only vegan, gluten free restaurant in San Antonio. But I got a delicious cupcake there too, so it wasn’t a total disappointment. At the banquet, my server was nice enough to bring out a gluten free plate of meat and a cheesey potato mash, which my dogs loved last Sunday, along with three buttery asparagus and four halves of grape tomato. I ate the buttered veggies, and a small plate of fruit there from the dessert fruit tray. However, between the dinner and dessert plates, I’ll never forget the server yelling at me: “What? You don’t like the food?” while I was eating my vegan, gluten free $9.00 taco. Seriously! I’ve been questioned before, but never yelled at like that, in my face!

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Anyway, the other excitement this week was my allergy test that showed I wasn’t allergic to anything crazy, just the outside world, and other people’s dogs – because mine clearly like to sleep on my face and on the pillow net to my face and I have no problems with them. Other foods I’m allergic to include eggs, chicken, and cantaloupe. Now, I completely understand the chicken and the egg thing – it’s the same animal. But cantaloupe?!? I’m the only person I know who enjoyed a cup of rock melon ice cream in Japan. It’s my favorite of all the melons! Seriously? I’m allergic to a melon. 🙁 I am kind of upset my skin didn’t have a reaction to wheat, because I always assumed part of my acne/eczema/rosacea problems were from gluten in soaps and lotions. I’m thankful I finally got answers on some things and glad to know it’s not just me, my body is not a cat or rabbit person either. However, horses still freak me out, but I’m not allergic to them – just everything they eat and live among – grasses, trees, weeds.
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The best thing that happened was meeting a new friend with celiac. He’s Canadian, but it’s cool because I have a Canadian cousin and he’s also Italian, well Sicilian, but you know, he likes food just like the rest of us. I love having someone to bounce ideas off of and from a male perspective too. It’s just nice.
The little things in life were nice too: my friend told me I have a good voice for radio, I got a lot of teamwork kind of stuff done at work, and I managed to finish this blog before Sunday! 🙂

Food Fighter

I am so thankful for this week. It was a super busy work week, but it was full of funny dress up days and the realization that I am stronger than I thought, and brave enough to fight for my health.

To me, work is supposed to be fun, enjoyable, and rewarding. So I am attending tonight’s awards banquet at a swanky hotel, where I have reserved a gluten free dinner plate – of course I forgot to say vegetarian/vegan on top of the gluten-free, but I have so many issues with food – I imagine my dogs will be enjoying a nice little meaty treat tonight! I always like to feel rewarded and appreciated, who doesn’t? Last week, we got to have a superhero dress-up day at work. So of course, I chose my own superhero: The Food Fighter! Most of my coworkers know I’m Celiac and have other food allergies, so they got a kick out of my costume. Some people weren’t aware of that, but they know I work with the food guys, so it was funny to them as well.

Food Fighter: I’m on a mission to fight for healthy food!

One of my goals for 2013 is to help raise awareness for healthy food – gluten free, non-GMO, and corn-free. I’m not trying to “push” my issues with food on other people (seriously, Mom, I’m not trying to), but I am trying to raise awareness of food allergies and that certain foods can be a toxic poison to some people. I hope that my superhero character raised some awareness at the morning meeting, just as my second place finish at last year’s pie-eating contest did (my gluten free dark chocolate pudding pie was the standard for weight of the other pies).

Another personal goal I’ve had is to get the allergen skin test. I haven’t been brave enough to do it in the past four years, so I’m happy to announce I’ll be completing this goal next week! I’m looking forward to finding out the results, but not looking forward to the itching and burning feelings of allergens on my back. Afterwards, I plan on meeting with a dietician and creating a proper meal plan for my dietary and allergen needs. I cannot wait for next week!
2013 is going to be a great year! Now that I have an iPad mini, I can take more videos and complete blog posts randomly throughout the day, or during sleepless nights. Be prepared for “brain foggy” blogs and the randomness of Hashimoto’s thoughts in 2013!
I had such a great time at the GFAF Expo last year in Dallas, that I signed up to be a blogger, and a volunteer at the next expo in San Francisco! I got to meet so many people who were “just like me.” I do not recall ever saying “me too” so many times in a single conversation, let alone multiple conversations in a single day as I did at my first GFAF Expo. It was a great ego boost for me to finally be a part of the in-crowd again. I am a “foodie” as well, so I just love trying all the samples and learning about new products as well. I am anticipating a great time at the GFAF Expo in San Francisco next month.

San Francisco, CA Feb 9-10, 2013