Sunday, June 1, 2014

New 'Do and What I've Been Up To (And Why My Friends Rawk)

To coincide with my thrilling (note: sarcasm) new adventures in dietary shorcomings, I've decided to FINALLY made a much-needed change.

Especially after five weeks in South East Asia. Sunshine, chlorine, salt water, wind, and no condition worked wonders for my curly, find mane of hair.

It was changed quite a lot. Last February I decided to chop my hair off to shoulder length then had to endure the delight of growing one's hair out again. I fein temporary insanity - although, honestly, it was an attempt to get out bleached ends from when I thought going from my ruby-red hair to blonde was an excellent idea.

My "blonde" phase - still a redhead despite the bleach!
And... red eyes to match. My bad.

Bye bye hair, circa February 2013:

Mid-summer with my usual red:

Yesterday, I decided to try becoming a luscious brunette, and I am quite pleased with the results! Although many people seem to miss my usual head of auburn hair, I was ready to try something new! And look how LONG it is!

_ _ _

Vanity aside, I am bumbling along with these dietary constraints and issues. I am extremely fortunate to have a fantastic support network - I've even discovered friends whom have celiac/diary allergies/are vegan whom have made me feel less like a foodie pariah.

I now have an impressive stash of Eastern/Indian spices which I have been using for curries and stir-fries, thanks to my good friend Christina,  whom has Celiac disease. Check out this amazing red curry with basmati brown rice:

I used a recipe from a cookbook I picked up in Chiang Mai - I had to improvise a few ingredients, but it was still tasty!

Seriously, look at the stash she gave me!

Lots of amazing curries/Dahls to be made!!

I have another amazing friend, Sarah (or, as I call her, Sugar Cube), whom not only has Celiac disease, also has UC like me! AND is on Remicade! She's like my long-lost colon twin! I was overly ecstatic when I discovered this last year, as I had never met another young person with UC or on Remicade - it was reassuring to find someone who harbors similar horror stories, struggles, and triumphs. It makes my seemingly small works of chronic disease seem a little less confined. 

We spent a fine evening at a local pub recently, sharing our journeys over gluten-free drinks (no alcohol for me!) and attempting to play Crib. I'm still in the learning process - and our first game was on an improvised Crib board:

Sarah did that up herself, counting each spot!
Oh, and I won the first game. Beginners luck at it's finest!

And finally, a friend whom also happens to be an extremely gifted Holistic Nutritionist. I first met her when my Nurse Practitioner instructors suggested I meet with her - apparently, I was very sickly looking and "grey" when I began my Masters degree. Meeting her was pivotal in my healing process. She gently guided me through several months on a low-residue, anti-inflammatory diet. She taught me the benefits of juicing. Slowly, I became stronger and more energetic - and my UC began to slow from a beastly roar to a gentle mew. With my new dietary restriction, she has been beyond helpful. In fact, I spent an afternoon with her learning to bake a loaf of gluten-free, egg-free, diary-free bread. I had searched in the stores for an alternative, but all GF breads had either dairy or eggs in it, so I was SOL.

Seriously. It smelled fantastic baking. And it looked like normal bread!

It was nice and dense, almost like a rye bread. I tried it normal with Earth Balance, and toasted with PB and honey. It held up perfectly. I am so pleased with this - I will be making bread routinely now!


My next adventure is new recipes, to prevent me from the slump I'm already in - I've spend too many moments staring into my cupboards/fridge/store shelves and having NO IDEA what to feed myself. Thus, I will be spending the rest of this glorious Sunday reading my newest cooking seeking in inspiration. I'll keep you posted with any delicious, successful recipes!

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