Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Eating Gluten Free

Hello again.  It's been so long that I may need to introduce myself.

Well, as you can imagine, A LOT has been going on.  With a two year old and a 3 month old in the house, things have been jam packed and never slow down.  To catch you up on everything just seems too overwhelming right now, so I want to just share with you one of my latest pieces of good news...something that might even help you.

If you follow my blog, you know that I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Jan. 2011.  Since then, my life has turned upside down, fighting pain daily, even to the point where I needed help 24/7 just for regular daily activities and for taking care of the children.  I have never been able to get on a treatment plan for my RA because I was always either nursing a child, pregnant, or planning to become pregnant.  So, I've always wanted to find other options to deal with the pain.  I've tried all natural supplements (that were guaranteed to work-HA!), cutting certain food groups out of the diet, etc.  But not until 3 weeks ago did I try to go gluten free.  I always thought it would be so hard to do because the only people that I really knew that did it were also doing the Paleo diet (much harder and more restrictive than just doing gluten free).  So, I did some research and made a trip to trusty old Barnes & Noble and low and behold I figured out that it wasn't going to be so tough after all.  It was actually going to be quite easy considering my food supply at home was almost compatible with a gluten free diet already.

So, I bought a couple of books and ate gluten free one day.  After only one day, I was doing things I had not done in a year and a half since having RA.  I was chasing Little around the house (I thought Frank's jaw would never come off the ground as he was watching us).  I felt like a new person.  I continued into the second day and ended up going 24 hours before I needed to take any Motrin.  Before this, I had to take it every 6 hours and sometimes couldn't even wait that long.  I could walk down the stairs normally and even stand on my tip toes.  It was amazing!  If it could make someone like me feel better, I could only imagine how good it would make a "normal" person feel.  And another thing...with RA, there is a chemical released into your blood that causes extreme fatigue.  Well, my fatigue was gone.  I felt like I'd had a miracle.

So you're probably wondering how easy is it really.  Well, everything on the outside of the grocery store is pretty much already gluten free.  Fresh produce, meat, dairy.  And a lot of other things are too if you  just know what to look for.  For example, Classico Spaghetti Sauce (the kind I already used) is gf.  One of the books I bought showed me which 7 ingredients to stay away from.  So, basically you can look at the ingredients on anything and decide whether or not to eat it.  This came in very handy when I went to Baskin Robbins the other night.  Thankfully, the mint chocolate chip was gf!  The 7 ingredients to stay away from are wheat, barley, malt, rye, oats (unless they are labeled gf), modified food starch and dextrin. And that's it!  You may be thinking, how in the world do I stay away from wheat?  Easy!  There are so many other types of flour, so you don't have to give up anything!  I have been baking more now than I ever did, and they are the simplest recipes.  Last night I made a chocolate molten cake and it only took 5 minutes to whip up and get into the oven.  And the food made without wheat tastes great...just ask Frank!  Or mine or Frank's parents.  They've all eaten gf meals at our house.  You can get pasta that is made with brown rice flour rather than wheat.  You can get gf bread or better yet make it.  I literally only had to add a handful of things to my pantry to be able to do the gf baking.

Just so you know how easy I'll give you a run down of what I've eaten today.
Breakfast: yogurt with bananas and gf granola
Lunch: Chicken salad sandwich with cheese and gf bread and a sliced tomato
Snack: Chocolate molten cake left from last night
Dinner tonight will be a gf pizza from a place about 10 minutes from our house.  It's girl's night out!  Yay! (First one since before Lincoln was born)

Going out to eat is doable, too.   A lot of restaurants have gf menus, like Jason's Deli, PF Changs, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba's.  But you can eat gf anywhere if you know what to look for and stay away from (those 7 ingredients listed above).  

I felt like I needed to share this with all of you because of how wonderfully different I feel just in the past 3 weeks of doing this.  Also, a friend on Facebook said she tried this after seeing my post and after 10 years of back pain, she is now pain free!

Because you aren't eating refined flour with the gf diet, you will probably lose weight.  Be warned.  :)  I have been eating chocolate cakes and cookies and losing weight at the same time.  It's great.  I asked my new rheumatologist (whom I am so excited about) yesterday about this change in how I feel since doing this, and he said that even though there is no medical research about this, by all means if it is working, keep doing it!  He said it's definitely a healthier way to eat anyway.  I can't imagine ever going back to a non-gf diet because of how good I feel.  If you have any type of pain or are tired a lot, I would encourage you to try it.  It's just too easy to not give it a chance.

If you are interested, I'd love to talk to you more about it.  I'd highly recommend the books I bought though there are lots of good ones out there.  And if you try gf, I'd love to hear how it goes for you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Introducing Lincoln Cohee

Introducing Lincoln Daniel Cohee, born April 4 at 4:26 PM. 8 lbs. 11 oz. 19 inches long
(All photos taken by Sarah Cruze Designs)And here is our family of four...Notice Little Pea's bruise in the middle of her forehead. This is pretty typical for her.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Okay, so I don't have any new pictures to share, but I have some really exciting news! First of all, Little just peed in the potty for the first time! She has been telling us she needs to poop and wanting to sit on the potty for a couple of weeks now, but this is the first time she actually went. I was so excited! Funny how things change when you become a parent.

Also, we only have about a week and a half until we meet baby Lincoln. His induction is scheduled for April 4th (unless he decides to come sooner), so we are doing everything we can to get prepared. All that's left to do really is just put his carseat in the car and clean the house again before he gets here. Other than that, there are just small things here and there to be done. I can't believe it's almost time, but then again it does feel like I've been pregnant for years. We can't wait to meet him, and Little is very excited about being a big sister. Just ask her yourself next time you see her!

I guess those are the big updates for now. Maybe next time I'll have some pictures. Who knows...the next post just might have our family of four in it. He'll be here soon!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Honor Choir

Sunday, I was so blessed to be able to hang out with one of the most special people I have ever known. You may remember my best friend from high school, Jessica, from our vacation blog last July when we stopped through Montgomery to see her on the way to the beach. Her oldest daughter is in Honor Choir, and they just so happened to be touring in our area this past weekend. The last stop on their tour in North AL was actually at my dad's church on Sunday morning. We were able to go see the concert and then go to lunch. It was SO good to see her. I have never had a connection with anyone like I have with her. Frank even mentioned when we got home how good it was to see me having so much fun. True friends like that are one in a million.

Celebrating Baby Lincoln

This past Saturday, a few of our closest friends got together to celebrate the upcoming arrival of baby Lincoln. It was such a great time, and we are so thankful for our friends that made it all so special. And thanks to one of the most generous and thoughtful people in the world, my bestie Johnson, who was the hostess with the mostest. We had lots of food, including my favorite, 306 BBQ, and they showered us with lots of gifts. Then, we had some fun girls vs guys game time. We had such a great time that we ended up staying for 5 hours!I'm so thankful for these people and glad that Lincoln will have them in his life, too. We can't wait to meet him in less than a month!

Girls' Night Out!

This past week was full of excitement. One notable event was Girl's Night Out last Wednesday, planned by yours truly. I thought it was about time that we have some uninterrupted kid-free time. So, most of the moms from our playdate group and a couple of other girls got together for dinner at Cantina Laredo. It was wonderful! We had tons of time to talk and just do whatever with no interruptions. And even though there was a threat of thunderstorms, we ended up having perfect weather. It was a great night and much needed before baby Lincoln gets here. I didn't take any pics, but Big Jen took a few with her camera phone. I love these girls!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Catching You Up on our Adventures

I am really far behind on blogging based on all of the Little Pea Adventures that have been happening. We have been staying VERY busy, trying to get in as much time out of the house as possible before baby Lincoln gets here. Now that Little Pea only takes one nap in the afternoons, we have so much more time to go and do things, and it has been great! So here are a few things that we've been up to in the last couple of weeks:

We went to the library to make Valentines for Daddy (and to eat chocolate chip cookies).
We've been playing outside at Momma J and Daddy J's house a lot since the weather has been so nice.
We've gone to playdates with our friends.
Big Daddy and Nannie came for a visit.
We've been playing dress up a lot (in dresses and in our Halloween costume).
We went to storytime at the library.
And most recently we went to watch our big friends play basketball and then to the Chili Challenge at the High School. Little enjoyed the music and liked tasting all of the chili.
Also this past week, we signed Little Pea up to start school in the fall and are so excited about it! In her class, she will be learning ABC's and numbers, doing crafts and bible stories every day, and will be having music class once a week. She was so excited to see all the kids when we went to sign her up. I can't believe she's going to be big enough to start a program, but I'm so excited about all she will learn and we really think it's going to be great for her. Next week will be a busy one, too, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Playing at the mall

Today we met some of Little's buddies at the mall to play in the toddler area. We attempted a group shot but weren't as successful as the one from the last playdate. We definitely had a crowd and had the whole play area to ourselves for almost a whole hour.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Playing like a big girl

This morning was very exciting for us. I was going to take Little over to Momma J's house to play in her backyard, but it was way too cold outside. We ended up going to Chick-fil-A instead. She had already eaten breakfast, so as soon as we got there she was ready to play. Normally when we go, she stays on the ground and just plays in the little toddler area. But not today! This big girl decided to climb all the way to the top of the play area and even slid down the tunnel all by herself! This is a big deal for a momma of a 1 1/2 year old! I was SO proud of her. The first time she climbed all the way up, she got a little concerned because she didn't quite know how to get out or where she was. So my mom climbed up there to show her where to slide down, and after a few minutes my mom was able to come down and Little just did everything on her own. She was so proud of herself, clapping when she got to the end of the slide. She even stayed up there in the tunnels and played by herself. We had so much fun watching her discover the new things.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Stephnie's baby shower

Saturday was Stephnie's baby shower, and we girls had a great time getting together! Here is a picture of Stephnie with all of her hostesses. There are actually 4 preggos in this pic, all due within 2 weeks of each other.And of course we had to do a belly shot. That is, us touching her belly, not showing anybody's actual bellies. Here is a shot of the four of us that are all due around the same time...late March to early April.I didn't take pics at this shower, but Big Jen made a great post on her blog with lots of pics from the shower of food, friends and gifts so check that out for more.


This past Friday, we had a playdate at our house. We also had one two weeks ago, but I failed to get a group shot of the kiddos. So I made sure to get one this time! They were very cooperative, too. They might not all be looking at the camera, but at least they were happy sitting for the picture.
And then it was hugs all around.
Even Isaac wanted to get in on the action.
Little and Isaac had a good time showing us where each others ears were, too.
Good friends. :)

Photo Shoot

I am a few posts behind because we've had such a busy past few days. This next string of posts starts with last Wednesday when we had some professional pictures taken. These are the first professional pics we've had since Amara was 9 months old. They were supposed to be family pictures, but Frank got called into a meeting 5 minutes before we were supposed to be at the photo session. So he couldn't come and since he is the best at making Little Pea smile, we had a bit of a difficulty with this photo session. We also had to move the pics indoors since it was pouring outside. But all in all, we got a few good ones.
One baby in hand and one in belly

I finally got her to smile by tickling those sweet legs.
This next picture is Little giving me a hug and kiss. Too bad you can't see her little arm around my back. She's so sweet.
Hopefully we'll get some good family pics of all of us together when Lincoln gets here.