Category

Announcements

Here’s some stuff you need to know.

4th Annual WEGO Health Activist Awards

What the what?!

WEGO health is at it again with their 4th Annual WEGO Health Activist Awards.

“The WEGO Health Activist Awards were created to embody the mission of WEGO Health: to empower Health Activists. We connect with so many inspiring Health Activists who raise awareness, share information, support their communities, and much more – often without recognition. The WEGO Health network is centered around Health Activists, so we knew it was up to us to tell these leaders how great they are! We wanted to celebrate those who have made a difference and thus, the Awards were born. We’ve since found that these Awards are one of the best ways to introduce new Health Activists to the online community and have community members say “thank you” to the leaders they love.”  WEGO Health

Thanks to a very thoughtful nomination, (Thank you !!) I have the privilege of participating for the second year in a row. It really is an honor just to be nominated. If you wanted to endorse me, I would be very grateful.

There are other really amazing and inspiring IBD advocates who pride themselves on giving accurate information and boosting hope in the running as well. It would be wonderful if someone from the IBD community took the 2014 win. Don’t you think?

Sara of Inflamed & Untamed – Crohn’s/Colitis Support

Frank of The Crohn’s Colitis Effect

Eric of Vegan Ostomy

Colitis Ninja

And me, Christy of Crohnie Bologna IBD

Christy of Crohnie Bologna IBD
Christy of Crohnie Bologna IBD.

How fun is this?!  My life is filled with surprises.  This happens to be a very delightful one.

Concussion

Photo credit: Advanced Vision Therapy Center.
Concussion.  Photo credit: Advanced Vision Therapy Center.

 

My life hasn’t been quite the same for a while. Things I took for granted have been changed and I find myself re-acclimating to what I hope will not be a new normal.

A couple weeks ago I went shopping with my children. An accident occurred in the store causing a large metal shelf to crash down against my head, its weight knocked me down and pinned me to the floor. The impact of both the concrete floor and the shelf left me with a concussion. A CAT scan later confirmed Post Concussive Syndrome. This includes brain fog, numbness in my face, twitching right eyelid, pain in my head, ear and neck, constant headache which turns to migraine, light sensitivity, forgetfulness, difficulty in sleeping -as laying down causes the sensation of intense head pressure, and more.

Some symptoms are improving. I no longer have sparks of light in my eyes when I move my head. My neck pain is much better as long as I sit properly. I can feel the skin on my face, although now it’s a sensation of pin pricks, like when your leg falls to sleep. Things are slowly getting better.

Who would have thought IBD and ostomy would take a health back seat to anything?  Right now those are my easy health issues. This has changed how I have interacted with my family, friends and you. I apologize for my distance.

I am still here. Just working harder to be that way.

With one week until school starts for both my children, I am focusing on them. I’m working to make the last of their summer break a fun one.

This fluke accident has forced me to slow down, do things differently and really enjoy each moment with those I love.

As always,
The best of health and happiness to you.

Because I Love Connecting With You

20140511 085bJust putting this out there:
I’ve had a bunch of new friend requests to my personal Facebook page lately and I thank you for that. However, I really need for my personal page to be just that. Personal. For my friends and family that I know in person and the few within the IBD community that I have made a connection with over time.
So if you want to stay connected, ask me questions, or generally follow what I’m up to, please like my Crohnie Bologna IBD Facebook page and I will be happy to visit with you there.  I’m also on Twitter.  Or you can go to the Contact tab above and ask your questions that way.
Thank you,
Christy
For those who already like and participate in my Crohnie Bologna IBD Facebook page, Thank you very much my Darling Sweet Bolognas.

Wow Your Car Is Hot!

Hot Car

At 95 degrees outside it’s that time of year when I like to send a message about locking hot cars.

Please lock your car when it isn’t in use.  Even if it’s just in the garage doing nothing.

Here’s why:
I am a mom to two little people.  We go on outings quite often.  Part of the fun is the anticipation and prep as we pack snacks and gather things we will need while adventuring.  A couple of summers ago my littlest was so excited to get going that he went into the garage and sat in his car seat all ready to go.  I was still roaming around, looking for heavens knows what to over pack for the day and noticed he was nowhere to be found.  I looked everywhere getting more and more worried at each boy free closet and hiding spot until I eventually discovered him overheated and dazed in our car.

Oh Sweet Heavens Above!  No No No!!!

I grabbed my sweaty, slippery son, pulled him into our comparatively frosty house and began to strip him and cool his wee body.  Luckily he bounced back and was just fine.  However, I was not.  Inside I freaked the frick out!  And in that fear a lesson was learned.

In no time at all your car gets very hot.  Even if it’s in the garage.  No matter how attentive you are as a parent or how much you think you have your world secured for your childs best safety, there is still more  you can do.  I am very aware that my little guy could have gotten seriously hurt or permanently damaged.  I am happy and grateful that he is doing well.

And so at this time of year as I hop in for a drive and feel the heat that collects and builds inside my vehicle, I remember the very lucky day that I learned to lock my car.

So please, it’s very easy to do.  Just lock your car.  It could be your child or a little friend or wee neighbor that you save.

Please, lock your car when you aren’t using it.  It takes no time at all and could save a life.

Thank you my Sweet Bolognas

 

Happy Earth Day ~Ostomy Wishes.

Earth Day art with my little person.  Crayons and Coffee with my young artist is a great way to start the day.
Earth Day art with my little person. Crayons and Coffee with my young artist is a great way to start the day.

Here it is, Earth Day and I spent the morning sipping coffee and coloring with my preschooler.  We talked about bugs and dirt, oceans and the critters that live in them.  A fabulous way to spend the morning.  Having children, I get to do all the things I loved as a kid (and all the things I wanted to do as well) and share it with them.

As my lil guy began to really concentrate on his picture, pressing hard to get the most wax from his crayon onto the page, I settled into the zen of my own art work.  I thought about all the ways our family goes out of its way to conserve and do its part to use less, own less and live more responsibly.

As an Ostomate and someone who frequently  goes to the doctor, I know that aspect of my life produces a lot of waste.  Every time I change my Ostomy there is a residual bundle of non degradable plastics that goes into the nearest landfill.  As a young person I have years of this brand of predictable consumption and waste ahead of me.

So if Earth Day were like a birthday where I could blow out a candle and make a wish about something I can change in my life, it would be to encourage the thinkers to come up with a way to make Ostomy gear more eco friendly, while keeping the durability and reliability Ostomates require at an affordable price that won’t send both insurance companies and consumers pocket books running for the hills.  *Well if I was going to wish, I’d better make it a good one.*

Happy Earth Day my Sweet Bolognas.

The Great Bowel Movement Pass It On Initiative Nominee!

Being Wonder Woman for a Bowel Cancer Awareness fun run.
Being Wonder Woman for a Bowel Cancer Awareness fun run.

Guess what my Sweet Bolognas! I am part of The Great Bowel Movements Pass It On initiative. This quarter ten bloggers have been chosen. The three bloggers with the most votes by June 30th wins. With your help, I can be one of them. The magical thing about this is the winners are granted a WISH. Something to help us continue to do what we are most passionate about, advocating and inspiring through sharing on our blogs.
So, would you please vote for me? I’m the one in the Wonder Woman costume. (I don’t dress this fancy every day. Just for bowel awareness fun runs.)
To vote head over to The Great Bowel Movement Facebook album (link provided) and ‘Like’ my picture. I would love to make it to the top three.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.755107027856189.1073741834.162754717091426

While you are at The Great Bowel Movements page, why not check out their store and perhaps buy a hoodie or t-shirt? It’s the profits from these sales that make this Pass It On initiative possible.

‘Like’ my picture and Vote me to be your IBD Blogging Wonder Woman!

Third Annual WEGO Health Activist Awards!!

What the What?!!

There I was just being myself and out of nowhere I was nominated for the Best in Show: Blog Award in the Third Annual WEGO Health Activist Awards!! 

I’ve had a great time nominating the people who inspire me but never thought I would be nominated. How cool is that?!

Wouldn’t it be the best ever if someone in the IBD community won an award for each category? I know that IBDers are represented and with more votes could actually succeed. What a great way to get the word out and educate the public even more. Something to aspire towards for sure.

If you want to participate in nominating your favorite health advocate check the link below. It’s a great way to give a thank you and thumbs up to the advocate(s) that change your world for the better.

Take a moment to recognize your Health Activists Heroes by endorsing them for the #HAAwards from @wegohealth:https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees

Happy Ostoversary to Me!

In the first pic I had surgery the week before to remove gangrenous tissue from my j-pouch and was healing so I could be healthy enough to have permanent Ostomy surgery in three weeks.  I had spent the summer sick with IBD flares and pretending not to be.  Kindergarten was starting soon for my daughter (I was homeschooling her) so my husband and I wanted to do something fun with our children before the school year began.
 
Being from Oregon, camping sounded fun.  We had not done our traditional summer activities, and of them all, we did not want to miss out on camp fires, sleeping amongst the trees, hiking, exploring the forest and the nearby river.

I knew I was in bad shape.  I spent much of my time near our tents and in the loo.  I brought pain meds that were ineffective against the combination of activity and recent surgery recovery.  My strategy was simple.  Smile a lot, take loads of pictures, stay in camp and rest while my littlest napped and my older child gets one on one time with Daddy.  Suck it up and tough it out.  Participate and be present for my family.  

My husband was a trooper.  He did most of the work of setting up tents and building the fire, fishing and hiking with our kids.  I joined in everything but needed lots of breaks, both for rest, pain and restroom.  He never complained once or suggested that I was not doing my share.  In the evenings we would sit around the campfire that he built and roast dinner.  He set me up in my fancy lounge chair and made sure I got rest. (I am seriously wealthy in the kind, generous, thoughtful husband department.)  

In this picture I am pale with dark circles under my eyes.  I am bloated and swollen.  At this point in life I was in so much pain that I wasn’t really able to sleep.  I was pretending to be healthy and not fooling anyone.  My 5yo could tell something’s up with mom in the evenings when I was super exhausted and switched to picture taking and cuddling, as those are low impact ‘normal’ Mom things that I could pull off.

This picture is difficult to share because I look at it and remember the pain and frustration.  I was trying to absorb all the goodness that I could from my husband and kids because approaching surgery is always a very real and scary reminder of my mortality.  I was working double hard to try and make happy memories and leave a positive imprint at a time when IBD had sucked my body dry.  I was soul weary and grappling with anger and the injustice of how easily Crohn’s Disease walks in and takes whatever the F**k it wants.

At this point I had not told my friends about my surgery or that I was scheduled to be a permanent Ostomate.  I was living every day purposefully putting Crohn’s Disease on the back burner – showing with my actions that I refused to lie down and wallow with it.  ‘I’m taking my kids to the park!  I’m hosting play dates and making crafts!  Take that Crohn’s!!  I’m living my life despite you and to spite you.  Oh, and by the way, Suck It!’ That was my attitude because to do anything else would have been giving up.  If someday Crohn’s Disease wins, I want my family and friends to look back and see that I fought hard.  Always.  Especially when it felt all up hill.  

Pictures during flare times are hard.  But also a good reminder and a great visual of what pain looks like.  And what fighting looks like.

In the second pic I am all ready to participate in a GREASE sing along with my friends.  I am two and a half weeks post op and this is the first mom night out event that I have been to since becoming a permanent Ostomate.  My friends had made the half laughing, part silly suggestion that I should be ‘Bad Sandy’ several weeks before I even knew I was going in for surgery .  Challenge Accepted!  From that time on I had been collecting the parts for my GREASE sing along outfit.  I was ready to go.


Weeks later…..at my surgeons’ office, two heads bent over calendars negotiating the date of my permanent Ostomy surgery, and there I was determined to keep a night of singing with my friends viable.  In pencil the 6:45 MNO GREASE Sing Along square was already filled into my calendar.  I remember looking at that date knowing I would fight to be there.  It was awfully close to my surgery and I even asked my surgeon if I would be ready to go in time.  To her credit, she didn’t look at me like I was crazy, but said that it would be a close call, and anything was possible.  In my mind that equaled a ‘Yes!  If you work hard.’ 

And so I did.

Between home schooling, play dates, Ostomy Nurse visits and Post Op check ups the big day was there before I knew it. I spent actual makeup and hair time in the bathroom.  Something I generally reserve for special occasions only.  I felt excited and giddy to walk out and show Ben my look.  His reaction made me even happier as he pretended to scrutinize while finger tapping his chin, then with eyes laughing, gave his approval.  Part relief and part Wow!  He took pictures and suggested silly poses.  It felt very prom-esque.  I was glowing with happiness and floated around, buoyant from the feelings of joy, pride in accomplishing being well enough to go, feeling pretty, doing a masterful job of concealing my gear, and impressing my husband. 

I had been looking forward to this night and saw it as a reward and a sort of re introduction into my new life.  It was an evening to celebrate feeling healthy, having more energy every day, doing purely joyful things with my awesome mom friends and feeling lovely again. 

As I got to the theatre and sashayed in it was like stepping into a GREASE time warp.  Guys and Dolls dressed in 1959 inspirations were excitedly chatting and looking for their places.  Pink ladies abounded and leather jackets dotted the crowd.  My friends found me and we were soon singing, and clapping, dancing and admiring each other’s costumes and having loads of dressed up ‘50s fun.  We continued the night at a local restaurant where we visited some more.  I looked around the table at my mom friends, these marvelous ladies who let me love their children and they love mine in return.  Beauties who accept me for who I am and are the definition of unconditional love.  I marinated myself in a well earned joyful night and came home to a husband who wanted to hear all about it.  Because he too was eager to have his healthy wife back.    

Today is my Ostoversary.  Part celebration of a healthier life thanks to my Ostomy.  Part reminder of how hard I worked to get here.  Large dose of gratefulness for the people in my life who love me exactly for who I am.   

Happy Mothers Day

My Sweet Mama.


Happy Mothers Day to all the Mamas out there. The Moms who have IBD, support a child with IBD, and all those Mothers who we have found on our life journey who love us like we are their own. 

Have a great day ladies 

This is a pic of my Mama. I wasn’t born to her, but she loves me as her own. That means the world to me and my children. I have learned so much from her love, honesty, and life example that she shows me every day. Every aspect of my life has changed for the better because of her acceptance and guidance. I am proud to tell you that I am a better wife, mother, and person because of her. I am honored to be loved by this brave, selfless, and strong woman.

April is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month.  In our home, Autism Awareness happens every day.  So for the last day of April I share with you this tiny peek into how that initial discovery worked out for us.  What we are doing now.  How those efforts are panning out, and what we are still working on.  

Shine a light on Autism.  


An Autism Diagnosis is either a confirmation of a suspicion, or it’s an exposure of a truth most parents saw, but were characterizing as other behavioral needs. 


After diagnosis there is a sense of loss and grief.  The idea that your child is just going through a rough patch and will overcome this in a matter of months is over.  What caused this?  Is there a genetic component?  Is it environmental?  Is it diet?  Is there anything more I can do to make this better?   The questions build from there.  The reach to understand what caused this thing is all consuming. 

No one goes into parenthood planning for their child to struggle.  No parent signs up for the laundry list of worry.  Will he grow up and be an independent adult who goes to college, has a career that makes him happy, and will pay his bills? Will he have the social skills to find a loving spouse and someday make beautiful children that he can nurture?   By then will he have gained the know-how to keep it all together?  The dreams you automatically assume for your child at birth are replaced with questions. 

Then there is the question of how to move forward.  Here is what we did:
We suspected from early on that something wasn’t quite right.  Our son screamed a lot, wouldn’t sleep, was verbally behind and socially outmatched by his peers.  For a while we wondered if he had a hearing problem and got him tested.  The older he got, the further he fell socially behind his friends, even the ones much younger than him.   In addition, we experienced delays in speech, social quirks such as lack of eye contact or inability to intuit others emotions.  Compulsive things like shutting all doors, lining things up, and toys that only work ‘just so’.  He experiences other manifestations like hand flapping, rocking, spinning, and head butting.  In addition, we observed a limited diet stemming from an inability to tolerate sensation of certain foods.  He quite often becomes overwhelmed by self care tasks such as dressing, potty, washing body, hands, and or face, and brushing teeth.  He would cry from tummy aches and have digestive difficulties and even accidents.  We also help him cope with emotional outbursts of aggression and an inability to self regulate.  If everyone else is play fighting like a ninja, he is really fighting and hitting like a ninja.  If kids are running and screaming, then stop; he has a hard time turning it off, and will often just continue screaming until we help him stop.

It was beyond obvious that something was seriously wrong when we began to tailor our life around what we felt our boy could tolerate.  We believed our doctors suggestion to not worry until he was three years old.  We ignored that inner nagging truth that something wasn’t quite right.  We had allowed ourselves to be assuaged by the kind words of friends and family for too long.  No one observes your child and tells you, ‘Girl, you need to get your boy some serious help.’  Instead we got plenty of, ‘My son does that too.’  or ‘It’s hard being three.’  Kind words from good, gentle people.   It became clear once we realized our family had been avoiding functions and outings.  We even prepared for ‘quick exits’ when we did venture out.  We stopped eating at restaurants.  The pattern we had begun to live was not normal or sustaining.  We took our son to the doctor again. 

We were assured that all boys are slow to talk; he will speak when he has something to say.  You should spank him as we have not provided good enough discipline.  We’ve spoiled and over indulged him.  You are comparing him to older siblings- it is not helpful to compare children.  In the end, it was suggested that our son may have Oppositional Defiant Disorder. 

At that point we asked for a referral to the local children’s hospital to have him tested.  We did not believe that he was oppositional defiant, but something else was going on.  The waiting list was eight plus months for an appointment, and a year before he would get a full exam.  That was too long a wait for us as we felt we had already spent so much time going in the wrong direction.  We took our son to the local special needs branch of our school system which does a comprehensive screening of social, speech, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills, and hearing tests.  Our boy was classified as Autism Spectrum and we were offered resources.  However, we were also in the middle of a move to another state and could not accept services or the IEP that was offered.  Knowing what I know now, and looking back on that decision, I should have gotten the IEP before leaving the state. 


We told family and friends about our sons diagnosis as we needed to be surrounded in support and understanding.  It immediately made a difference in how he was treated by some family members, who until then, were working under the assumption that our son was an oversensitive hand full who refused to sit still.  Our son has been treated with care and compassion from that time on. 
From there I began to read.  I stayed up late every night staring at my computer, taking notes, comparing research, diet, varying cultures approach, opening my mind and widening my heart to Autism.  I learned from those that went before me, and actively applied knowledge I felt confident I could fully implement correctly to achieve the desired results.


The main change we made was to switch to what is known as the ‘Autism Diet’.  It is best described as Gluten Free, Casein Free.  Gluten is the protein composite in foods processed from wheat.  It gives breads rise and texture.  Gluten is also found in soaps, lotions, and as filler in foods such as lunch meat.  Casein is the protein in mammal milk.  It is a main ingredient in cheese and is a food additive. 

Each family begins this diet differently.  I only wanted to eliminate those things that were a deficit to our son.  I began with removing the Dairy and Casein.  Basically because I knew the code words for it and felt I could do that successfully.  We quickly saw improvement; less spinning and screaming.  One Saturday morning my husband and I were sitting in our kitchen enjoying each other over coffee.  He looked over at me and asked, “Do you hear that?”  I look around; trying to catch what he was referring to.  “No, what are you talking about?”  He nods his head towards our son quietly playing.  “It’s quiet.  He’s not screaming.”  We knew from that moment on that we were never going back to dairy.  Hope grew that day. 


Emboldened by our successful results, we removed Gluten.  Our son began to sleep better and we started to get more words versus grunting, pointing and melt down.  Over time he started to have more speech that we could easily understand.  We could now brush his teeth and wash his face.  He became potty trained during the day.  He began to eat foods he never tried before.  He could ask for what he wanted.  He began to sing and hum on his own.  One evening he crawled in bed for cuddles.  He noticed the sparkles on our bedroom ceiling and began to sing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ in his sweet little voice.  I know I had sung that song to him a hundred times; not really knowing if he was taking it all in.  And here he was singing it to me.  I gazed over at this wonderful boy in my arms memorizing his features as he formed the words, eyes dancing over the sparkles up above us.  I could feel my heart fill with love, joy and gratefulness.  In the middle of my mommy moment he looked over to me and said, “C’mon Mama, sing!” And so we did.

He still had horrid rashes.  Red, raised dry patches that would bother him, they were weepy and would smell as he would not tolerate medical tape to apply a covering.  He would itch all over and cry.  So after reading, we cut out soy as well.  His rashes are better and he only gets them when he inadvertently eats something he shouldn’t. 

Our new doctor suggested we avoid food dye for our lil’ guy as she had read a study showing benefit.    We eagerly followed through, welcome to have a doctor validating, versus telling us we were nuts for trying.  Our doctor also fully agrees with our use of the Autism Diet and has commented on the improvements in our son over time with her exams during his well care visits.

In total we are Gluten Free, Dairy/Casein Free, Soy Free, and Food Dye Free- particularly red dye. 

I have always been that mom who is nutritionally aware and made most of the snacks my children ate.  Baking Gluten Free is quite similar to what I was doing before.  Just different ingredients headed towards the same delicious end goal.  I bake our bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, pies, pizza dough and every other yummy thing any kid would love to eat.  I make his cheese and am a militant label reader.

Our pantry went through a much needed overhaul.  Convenience items such as Goldfish crackers, wheat thins, and most every store bought cookie, pretzel or pastry had to go.  It also meant giving up pre packaged foods in general.  Standard macaroni and cheese, pre packaged soups, sauces, and pasta all found a scrumptious yet safe replacement.   We now enjoy beautiful, delicious food made of unprocessed, basic ingredients without those between meal crackers or crisps. 

We still have more work to do.  Now I am restarting the process of getting our son evaluated in our new state to get an IEP in place so he can get the various therapies on board.  I am still working on his sense of danger, i.e. He has none, so darting into the street is a common thing we are trying to help him with.  We are helping him with transition away from his routine.  He is learning patience, calming techniques, quiet voice, social skills, (most of our time is spent on social skills) and more. 

But we have gained so much.  Because of the Autism Diet he has gone from a frustrated, confused, screaming little person to a boy who can communicate, count, sing, draw a picture, and be happy.  He has come so far and will continue to improve.   


There is no quick fix or stepping in to save the day.  It is the every day, all day, work, patience, diet, guidance and energy put out by dedicated parents that gets the job done.
The effort and satisfaction in implementing the Autism Diet feels like a rescue mission for my child’s future. No surrender and no giving up until he can be successful on his own.

All For One

 

Gluten Free Dairy Free Dinner Rolls.

In a previous post I mentioned that we are largely Gluten Free and Dairy Free.  But we are also Casein Free and Soy Free as well.  For now we are all doing this together. Its an All For One mentality in supporting the positive changes and creating good eating habits for his future. As he gets older, we will equip him to pick safe choices for himself in group or party atmospheres to stay on a path that works best for his own health. Which works out well as we all need to be able to resist certain foods and drinks from time to time.

The diet change has been remarkable for my son.  Under his doctors direction and my careful research we are achieving small wins all the time. With each new little success, I am encouraged to continue trying new recipes and re working old recipes to suit my little guys needs and tastes.

His physical consequences to certain foods are abating. Digestive distress, skin rashes, ability to sleep more restfully and wake happy, and the general irritability that would naturally happen with a person experiencing all of the above are improving. I’m seeing sides to my little guy that I have not before. More comfortable, he is able to explore and express himself in ways he was unable to. It’s not a miracle, it’s work. The replicable, rewarding kind that matters to his future.

To that end, I am going to share my Gluten Free, Dairy Free Successes with you. In addition to my regular posts, I will post what foods I have been making for my son.

To start, I will go over some of the basics.

Apple Cider is your friend.  It is in many baked breads and yeast raised confections.  Get the good stuff as it will impart flavor and function to your creations.

Xanthan Gum helps with consistency and is used in many of your baked items.

A good gluten free flour mix is a must.  You can buy it pre packaged at the store, (I like Bob’s Red Mill) however, I make my own mixture.  Making your own ensures you know what is really in there and you are able to alter for taste.

Here is my base flour mix:
3c. brown or white rice flour
3c. corn starch or arrow root
2c. sorghum
1c. masa flour
From this mix I make most of the goodies I create for my little boy.
I make different variations of this depending on what I’m making using the same ratio.

Almond or rice milk is a must for those avoiding milk.  I get mine at Costco.  It is organic and GMO free.

Rice based, (or nut based) casein free cheese.  I get mine in the vegan isle at my local grocery store.  I generally choose pre shredded but it comes in bricks as well.  If you choose to get a brick, chill in the freezer before shredding for use on pizza or in a pasta salad and such.  I have made nut based cheese with great success in the past. It is tasty, melts and is rich in protein. Be careful to read ingredients. Some cheeses have ingredients you may be avoiding in the small print.

Gluten Free Pasta.  It comes in all the regular shapes and sizes.  It is generally made of white rice, brown rice, buckwheat or quinoa and cooks just like regular pasta.

Gluten Free/ Dairy Free breads and bread substitutes.  Pre packaged GF/DF breads are readily available at most grocery stores and markets. I prefer to purchase mine in bulk at Costco because they freeze well, the price point is reasonable and it’s nice to pull out what I need from the freezer for on hand meals versus running out of necessities for my little guy. I have discovered bread machine recipes which turn out to be a tasty, fun activity with great success.

Alternate ingredients can brighten your day and add to nutrition.  Buckwheat, Sorghum, Brown rice, Quinoa, Millet, Coconut, Chick Pea, Certified GF Oats (like from Bobs Red Mill) and Nut Flours are all alternatives to regular flour and great additions to your GF flour.

Consider making your own condiments.  The most basic items such as ketchup, relish, kimchi, sauerkraut and even mustard and salad dressing have hidden gluten, dairy and other allergen irritators.  Looking at labels is worth the time. However, easy to make recipes are all over the internet and easy to customize to need and taste preference.

Steady as she goes towards food goals and a healthier and happier little boy.

In whatever your goals are, I wish you the very best.

Dehydration and Ostomys

Dehydration

 

Lovely Pacific Northwest

 

As ostomates, it is important to maintain the right balance of fluid levels, sodium, and electrolytes.  Dehydration can sneak up on you quickly if you are not careful.  With a few easy steps you can continue to stay active while leading a full and fun life.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration are:
*Dry mouth
*Dark urine or less urine
*Dizziness
*Increased thirst
*Exhaustion
*Diarrhea
*Headache

You can do a lot to help yourself maintain proper hydration levels.  Avoid foods that increase output such as raw vegetables, dried fruit, fruit juices, and caffeinated beverages.  As ostomates our output can be looser than someone with an entire digestive tract.  Once you learn what your ‘normal’ is, watch out for stool that is unusually loose for you.
Try to stay as healthy as possible.  Sometimes the flu or another bug can cause vomiting and diarrhea.  This double loss of fluids can put you in the danger zone very quickly.  Be sure to be extra aware of hydration levels when you occasionally become ill.
Over exerting yourself can put you behind in your hydration.  Activities such as exercise, travel, or even something as benign as helping a friend move can lead to dehydration.  Please stay as active as you reasonably can while taking steps to hydrate along the way. 
Be careful on warm days.  In addition to our output we also loose fluid through sweat.  It is important to stay vigilant with your fluid needs even if you are slowing down because of the heat.  It seems reasonable for someone working outside in the hot weather to take a break to replenish.  However, even if you are at the beach with cool water and a gentle breeze, you are still sweating.  Remember your fluid needs may increase as the temperature rises.
Thankfully, staying hydrated is simple.  Drink plenty of fluids, 8 to 10 glasses per day comprising of water, Gatorade, Pedialyte, coconut water, or other electrolyte, sodium rich sport drinks.  Limit intake of caffeine as it is a diuretic and contributes to dehydration.  Many ostomates travel with a refillable water bottle to ensure they are never left high and dry. 

Warning!
If dehydration symptoms persist or are accompanied by cramping, vomiting, nausea, pain, or low to no output from your stoma, please seek medical care right away. 

With the right balance of liquids you can continue to stay active, healthy, and safe.