Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gluten Intolerance

I've been wanting to do this post for the longest time and I am now finally feeling like I can because of my good friend, Gabby. Why, you ask? Because Gabby has started a blog about living Gluten-free and that is what this post is about.

As many of you know, I am gluten intolerant and possibly have celiac disease. I can not eat gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye (and any derivitives of these things, i.e. flour and malt) or I get sick. Some of you might remember, I was constantly going to doctors and specialists when I was young for IBS symptoms and body aches. I was misdiagnosed with everything possible until we just finally gave up on doctors. After living with Gabby for a year and knowing her well for 3 more, I was yet again feeling sick and wondering why when it hit me that I could have a gluten intolerance. I figured this out about 2 years ago and have felt so much better as a result of going off gluten. My sister, Paige, also has a gluten intolerance/celiac disease and most likely other immediate family members do too.

The main reason I've been wanting to post this is because this is hereditary and there are a lot of relatives who read this blog. On both my mom's and my dad's sides of the family there are a lot of stomach aches, joint pain, and other conditions that are unexplained. All of which look suspiciously like a gluten intolerance to me. Especially when considering the statistics...

Prevalence of Celiac Disease in the United States (Edited to Add: I actually believe these numbers are all much higher. The U.S. is way behind other countries in diagnosing and studying gluten intolerance.):
  • In average healthy people: 1 in 133
  • In people with related symptoms: 1 in 56
  • In people with first-degree relatives (parent, child, sibling) who are celiac: 1 in 22
  • In people with second-degree relatives (aunt, uncle, cousin) who are celiac: 1 in 39
  • In the landmark prevalence study on celiac disease, investigators determined that 60% of children and 41% of adults diagnosed during the study were asymptomatic (without any symptoms).
  • Celiac disease affects 1% of healthy, average Americans. That means at least 3 million people in our country are living with celiac disease—97% of them are undiagnosed.
And these statistics are only accounting for people with celiac disease. These numbers would be much higher if they included gluten intolerance. One site suggested as many as 1 in 7 people have a gluten intolerance.

Here are some of the most common symptoms:
  • Bloating or Gas
  • Itchy Skin Rash
  • Delayed Growth
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Tingling/Numbness
  • Poor Weight Gain
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Mouth sores (i.e. canker sores)
  • Thin Bones
  • Fatigue
  • Joint Pain
  • Infertility
  • Discolored Teeth/weak teeth
  • Foggy brain (a general feeling of being "out of it")
And these are just a few of the 250 known symptoms. You could have a bunch of them, only one, or none at all. Many people (41% of adults) are asymptomatic.

A gluten intolerance may be the root cause of:
  • Anemia
  • Asthma/Bronchitis-Like Symptoms
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Crohn Disease
  • Colon Cancer
  • Skin Rash
  • Joint Pains, i.e., Back Pain, Neck Pain, Knee Pain
  • Osteoporosis/Osteopenia
  • Infertility
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Fogginess of Thought
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Memory Problems
  • Alzheimer-Like Symptoms
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Seizures
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Liver Disease
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Thinning Hair and/or Premature Graying of Hair
Now, back to my friend, Gabby. I didn't want to do a post telling people I think they very well could be gluten intolerant without having a great source for them to turn to for help and support. I tried to do one on my own (Gluten-less Life), but I didn't have a good direction with it and when life got busy I put it on hold. Now Gabby has started a blog that fills the role of a great guide plus it's better than anything I could've done.

Gabby has been living a gluten-free lifestyle for over 20 years along with many people in her family. In my book, she's an expert on gluten-free. A lot of the sites out there on living gluten-free have a bunch of gourmet recipes and talk about buying tons of gluten-free products. That just doesn't fit into my schedule or my budget. Gabby is practical and frugal, which is why her blog is so great!

Plus, you can ask any question you want and she has (or will find) the answer. Someone recently commented on her blog that they can't eat gluten, baking soda, or baking powder. So Gabby decided to figure out how that person could make brownies without those ingredients. Genius! She really is a great resource to have. I'm lucky I've had her helping me these past 2 years.

So, I guess the purpose of this blog was 2-fold. 1- To make everyone aware of gluten intolerance (especially relatives who are much more likely to have it) and 2- To make everyone aware of Gabby's awesome blog, so they can either use it themselves or tell those they know who are gluten intolerant about it.

The blog is http://www.glutenfreegallery.com/

If you have any questions or comments for me, please ask. I love talking about it!

Monday, October 13, 2008

He Said/She Said

Beth and I went to a concert recently (we won tickets) and so we wrote our reviews separately and now put them up for your benefit and enjoyment. (Sorry about the quality of the pictures and videos. We forgot the camera and had to use our phones.)


Bethany's Review:

Tokyo Police Club - They were awful!!! We got there during their performance and I started wondering if I was too old for concerts. It was loud and I was just annoyed. We ended up leaving to take pictures during their performance.
What we did during Tokyo Police Club

Angels & Airwaves
- I liked these guys much better than Tokyo Police Club, but I was still wondering if I was too old to be there. It seemed too loud to me. Especially on some higher pitched notes. As far as the music went, I'd listen to their CD, but I never want to hear them live again. The lead was an idiot. Maybe he missed the memo that he was in Utah or something, but he needed some serious editing. His dance moves bugged me too. He was trying to be too cool. It wasn't cool.

Weezer - This was actually the second Weezer concert I've been to. I went to the first one back in 2002 because Dashboard Confessional was opening for them. I didn't think I really knew Weezer, but I ended up knowing half their songs. It was fun and they put on an awesome concert, so my expectations were high for this second one. I wasn't disappointed. It was great! I knew the majority of their songs this time and the ones I didn't know I really liked. I also absolutely loved Rivers! He was a funny funny dude. He was the complete opposite of the lame Angels and Airwaves guy. He didn't swear when talking to the audience, his dance moves were anything but cool (which made it pretty cool and quite entertaining to watch), and he told the cutest random story about his daughter playing at the Children's Discovery Museum. Nice guy. Oh, and he had a random ball on stage he was kicking around at first and an exercise trampoline that he'd jump on occasionally. I really liked how laid back he was. Another fun thing was one of the radio stations had a competition where people could try out to play some songs on stage with Weezer. There were trumpets, accordions, violins, flutes, and tons more (about 30 people total, I believe). It was really cool!

video
Rivers dancing.
Notice how he flaps his hand around :).
(BTW, song is Troublemaker.)


video
Fans playing their different instruments to the song Beverly Hills (I swear it sounded better than it does on this clip).

Overall - Overall, I had a great time! I could've done without Tokyo Police Club completely and without Angels and Airwaves talking, but Weezer made up for it. They didn't even seem too loud to me. I guess I'm not too old for concerts after all ;). Thanks Rob and Renae for watching Kaylee (I still can't believe it ended up being a 6 hour event... sorry)! And Renae for cleaning the kitchen and sewing Joel's pants (I really need to learn how to do clothing repair) and for the cute bib for Kaylee!

Joel's Review:

Tokyo Police Club
- Not a fan. They were mostly really loud and noisy with no real music (wow! I sound like my dad!). They were on when we arrived and were finding our seats. After we found our seats, we actually got up and left to look around the E-center. Thank heavens they weren't on too long.

Angels & Airwaves - This concert actually made me like them less than I did before. I liked the music alright (once again, it seemed really loud), but the singer was horrible! His voice is obviously adjusted on the albums. Plus, I wish that they wouldn't have talked in between songs because everything the lead singer said was either vulgar, dumb, or offensive. So I wasn't impressed with them. The light show that accompanied the music was pretty cool, though.
video


Weezer - Wow. Wow wow wow. Weezer, you renewed my faith in concerts. These guys are true showmen. The music was wonderful and the lights and effects added to the awesomeness. Plus, the band members are very talented.
video
They switched around positions during songs so sometimes the lead singer was playing drums, the drummer was playing guitar and the guitarist was singing. Very impressive. Weezer was very personable, too.

They told interesting and funny stories, plus they had a part where they had about 30 fans onstage who they had invited to play a couple songs with them. There were trumpets, violins, guitars, an accordion, a saxaphone, a mouth banjo and more. It was a lot of fun to watch and even more fun for those fans, I bet. Plus, it was fun to watch Bethany laugh and smile at Weezer's lead singer, Rivers Cuomo - she think's he's funny.

Overall - It was a great time. I can't believe that they were charging 10-20 bucks for parking, even though the concert already cost 30-40 bucks (for some people - we won tickets, Boo-yah!). We parked far enough away where we didn't think we'd get towed, but close enough so we didn't think we were going to get shot. I liked the giant posters of Weezer's albums they had up to take pictures with and it was fun to be there with my brothers and my wife (and my cousin, Trevor, who we found randomly there). It was loud, though. We actually communicated through text the whole time even though we were sitting right by each other (I sent 94 texts during the concert and received 88). But it was a lot of fun and I would definitely go to a Weezer concert again. . .if I won tickets again.


video
Sorry, Mike, I had to post it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Crazy 8's

So I don't always do tags, but I love finding other people who like my same TV shows, plus I did some different things yesterday, so I'm going to do this one.

8 TV shows I love to watch:
  1. Survivor
  2. The Office
  3. Pushing Daisies
  4. Lost
  5. Scrubs
  6. Still Standing
  7. Wipeout
  8. Veronica Mars
8 favorite restaurants:
  1. Carraba's
  2. Tucano's/Rodizio Grill
  3. Zupa's
  4. Pier 49 (they have delicious gluten free pizza)
  5. Chuckarama (who doesn't love all they can eat buffets?)
  6. Outback Steakhouse
  7. Applebee's
  8. A & W- for their rootbeer freeze's
8 things that happened yesterday:
  1. Took and returned a bunch of calls for my job.
  2. Played with Kaylee.
  3. Searched online for toys for Kaylee's birthday.
  4. Cleaned
  5. Kaylee was restless, so we went to Petco to look at animals and then Costco to get samples. That was fun!
  6. Peeled the letters off Kaylee's wall, so I can start redecorating.
  7. Watched Survivor and The Office.
  8. Cleaned out 2 chickens!!! Probably the grossest thing I've ever done (I've been sheltered, I know). I was trying to be all domestic and frugal, so I bought 2 whole chickens from Costco and apparently they don't take the giblets out for you. I had to do it myself! It was pretty disgusting.
8 things I'm looking forward to:
  1. Kaylee's 1st birthday. It's going to be a ducky theme :).
  2. Halloween
  3. Getting a massage on Saturday while Joel and Kaylee are watching the BYU game.
  4. Spencer and Tiffany's baby being born (brother-in-law and sister-in-law).
  5. Ryan and RosaLee's wedding.
  6. Working on all my little projects (I always lhave to have a few at a time)
  7. Christmas
  8. The day I get to potty train Kaylee- even though it won't be for awhile I'm still looking forward to it (weird, I know, but I totally want to test out the potty trained in a day thing).
8 things on my wish list:
  1. Pressure cooker
  2. Chi hair straightener
  3. Disney cruise
  4. Wii
  5. A Michael's, Costco, and Wal-mart shopping spree :)
  6. A vegetable garden
    (I'm feeling pretty content right now, so this is pretty difficult to come up with stuff...)
  7. Cheaper gluten free products
  8. To have an awesome food storage (and more space to put it)