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Posts from the ‘Lactose Intolerance’ Category

Day 7: Getting “glutened”

I got “glutened” at the retreat this week.

I don’t know how it happened (I’m assuming it was a cross contamination issue). The retreat organizer told the hotel about my dietary restrictions, and as far as I could tell, they did a great job at accommodating me. During our initial sit-down dinner, they prepared a separate gluten-free menu for me, and at the buffet, allergens were clearly listed on the labels for each dish. There was no moment during the retreat in which I was unsure of, or concerned about, something I ate. And yet, I’ve been sick since yesterday.

I’ve tried really hard to stay positive about my celiac disease diagnosis. It hasn’t always been easy, but for the most part, I’ve tried to make the best of it. I’ve focused on searching for and cooking new recipes. I’ve challenged myself to make gluten and/or dairy-free versions of the foods I really enjoy. And the Instagram account I created to document the gluten-free meals I make, products I try, and restaurants I visit, has been fun to use. But, when shit like this happens, I just can’t help but get upset.

I mean, I feel like I did everything right this week, and the hotel really seemed to have everything under control. How could something as seemingly insignificant as a little cross contamination cause me so much pain? My stomach feels like it’s being stabbed over and over and over again, while someone else simultaneously stomps on it.

I’m at a loss on days like today. I don’t know what to think. I feel discouraged. I don’t want to live in a bubble, but I also don’t want to be in pain. I know my celiac disease developed over time, so I can’t expect my stomach to heal overnight. But, how do I even know it’s healing? On days like these, I find myself falling down the Google rabbit hole, reading everything I can on celiac disease, in hopes that I’ll come across something that will tell me how to fix this or make it go away. So far, I’ve found nothing new.

Fortunately, I do (and will) eventually climb back out again. I’ll start to feel better. I’ll get back up, brush myself off, and refocus on all of my health goals. It’ll be ok. And, most importantly, I’ll continue to hit my step goal. I’ve got a 5-day streak going now. I can’t ruin it already.

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Day 1: I’m back at it

The little kid and I were on our own this weekend. It’s been raining non-stop for days, so we didn’t do much of anything yesterday – it was a much-needed lazy day after a very busy work week.

That being said, as great as cuddling up on the couch to watch movies on a rainy day can be, doing it for a full weekend can be a bit much. Especially when your cuddle partner is a very energetic toddler. He barely made it through yesterday. Little kid needed to get out of the house today.

I am not a fan of going out in the rain. Gloomy, rainy days put me in a mood, so trying to find a place to go to that little kid would enjoy (and I wouldn’t hate), was a challenge. I really didn’t want to drive into Tokyo, but when push came to shove, I bit the bullet and off we went.

Our first stop: Where is a Dog, a gluten-free restaurant in Shinjuku. I’d read they have gluten-free bagels that are actually good, so it was at the top of my list of places to try. I didn’t have a bagel for lunch, but I did enjoy this delicious green curry with rice.

The little kid had the pizza toast, but mostly he just ate both of our desserts.

We had a great lunch. The food was delicious, and the staff was awesome. They were so nice! The menu is in both Japanese and English, and dairy-free and vegan dishes are clearly labeled, so that was super convenient. They also have a pretty big selection (compared to other places in Japan) of gluten-free adult beverages and gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan desserts. I’m definitely going back to try their gluten-free and dairy-free waffles.

As far as the bagels I’d read so much about, I bought a couple of frozen ones to take home and reheat for breakfast tomorrow. I’m pretty excited about it.

After lunch, we stopped at the Korean grocery store to pick up some bones for broth, then made our way to the aquarium to see fish. There are quite a few aquariums to choose from in Tokyo, but we decided to check out the Maxell Aqua Park.

If you’ve lived in Japan or spent enough time in Tokyo, you may already know that heading to a nice aquarium in a large shopping mall (that houses other entertainment options like an IMAX theater and bowling alley) on a rainy holiday weekend, is a terrible decision. It was so unbelievably crowded. But, it really is a cool place and little kid had a great time. We will definitely be going back in the future with the rest of the family (on a non-holiday weekday).

I’d hoped to get most of the day’s steps knocked out at the aquarium, but that didn’t happen. It felt like I walked a lot, but it seems my Garmin disagrees. So yeah, just in case you were wondering, I had to resort to pacing around my house to get all of my steps in. And me being me, I waited until the last possible hour to do it. It’s like subconsciously I’m purposely setting myself up for an adrenaline-fueled race against the clock to get my steps in. Then I wonder why I can fall asleep afterwards.

Oh, I almost forgot: I decided on those other goals. Most of them are already on my goal tracking spreadsheet that I printed after my last Bod Pod in June, so I’m thinking it would be ok to try and hit all of them. But, I’m only going to prioritize one at a time. This week, it’ll be all about getting these steps in every day – preferably before dinner.

One year later…

It’s been months since I wrote my last post. It also happens to be past my bedtime – and yet here I am, sitting on the couch, watching Julie & Julia – the movie about Julia Child and some blogger named Julie.

Now, I watched this movie several years ago, when it first came out. I’m pretty sure I liked it, but I don’t recall feeling strongly about it in any way. Today though, it’s like I’m watching a whole different movie.

In one of the first few scenes, Julia asks her husband what she should do; she doesn’t want to go back to government work. Her husband, ever so supportive, asks her, “What is it that you really like to do?” Her response? “Eat.”

“Eat.” That’s all it took. With just that one word, I was instantly flooded with memories of a very similar conversation I’d had with my own husband – not just once, but numerous times since we’d moved to Japan. And it was in that moment that I felt it: Julia (the movie’s version of her at the very least) was my soulmate. She and I were basically the same person.

But, a second later, it hit me… yes, I love to eat (God, do I love to eat!), but thanks to celiac disease and lactose intolerance, I’ve been sentenced to a life of deprivation of all that brings joy to my life.

Ok, so I’m being a tad dramatic, but hear me out. This post isn’t meant to devolve into a woe is me, full-blown pity party. Surprisingly, it’s meant to be a work of self inspiration (if that’s a real term?) because, as I sat there watching the movie, two thoughts jumped out at me:

  1. I can still enjoy food.
  2. I need to refocus on my health.

I really can still enjoy food and I really do need to refocus on my health, but In order to do those things, I need accountability. If you hadn’t already noticed by reading through my previous posts, I have two settings: “all in” and “fuck this.” I need this blog for the times when I’m not exactly “all in,” and I’m dangerously close to “fuck this,” sort of like where I’ve been for the last, oh I don’t know, two or three weeks (maybe months?). I need something to keep me on track, and although I’ve failed at this 15,000 steps challenge over and over again, writing these posts has helped me tough it out way longer than I would have in the past. That’s something.

So, yeah, what I’m trying to say here is that I’m back. I’m going to give it another try – I’m going to walk 15,000 steps a day, every day, for a full year, and I’m going to make some changes. But first, a drink.

Cheers!

Day 52: I ate a mountain of french fries

I’ve been feeling pretty proud of myself the last few days. I am on a 5-day step goal streak, I’ve been hitting the gym, and I’ve managed to get more mindfulness and water into my daily life. I’ve also been doing pretty ok with the whole avoiding gluten and dairy thing – it hasn’t felt as hard as I expected it to be.

Until today.

Today sucked. Or rather, this evening sucked.

The day started out all right. I had some bone broth soup for breakfast. I went to the gym. I did some work and a little meal prepping. I even volunteered at my daughter’s school for a couple of hours. It was turning out to be a nice, productive day. Then we went out for dinner after visiting the poop museum (yup, you read that right, a museum dedicated to poop). My daughter wanted a burger and I figured I’d be able to find something I could eat there too, so we went to the burger spot.

Well, it turns out I was wrong – oh so very wrong. This place only serves cheeseburgers, and asking for a burger without the cheese and/or bun just isn’t a thing. That’s just not how it works here. So, while everyone else enjoyed what they excitedly described as “the best burgers they’ve tasted since moving to Japan,” I ate a mountain of fries.

I have never wanted a burger so badly in my life.

It was awful. That meal was a slap-in-the-face reminder that having to avoid gluten and dairy sucks big ones. It legit hurt my feelings.

I know I should focus on the fact that I managed to resist the temptation. I should be proud of myself for staying strong and all that bullshit; but truthfully, I just feel shitty about it.

I keep telling myself that it’s just food and that cravings are just mind games your brain plays with you, but it still feels crappy. It still makes me sad. I mean, I love food. Food is life!

But, all that being said, I’m going to bed tonight without stomach pains and I’m not running to the bathroom every few minutes. I feel good physically, even if I don’t feel so swell emotionally – and that’s a good thing. I can’t expect it to always be easy. I know it’s going to be hard more often than not, but in the end, despite the suck, it will be worth it – even if I can’t take comfort in that fact right now.

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