The Ups and Downs of Life

Beautiful Colledimezzo

COVID is messing with my head and I’m sure I’m not alone.
The English strain of the virus is becoming a problem in Abruzzo, particularly in the province of Chieti, where I live. This means we’re back in the red zone, and I can only leave my village with a self certification form, and a good reason. I understand but wish people would follow the rules and be a little more cautious. We need to beat this virus and get back to a normal way of life.
My surroundings make confinement bearable. I had a beautiful walk today. The view lifted my spirits.
Yesterday my daughter told me she’s booking her flights for the end of the year. Not safe to consider international travel until Christmas at the earliest, but it gives me a whole year to look forward to seeing her.
Who’d have thought we’d still be battling this? I have a bottle of Champagne in the fridge which I’m keeping for the day we’re all free again. I may drink it all to myself.
Stay safe everyone!

Gluten Free January!

January has both flown and lasted FOREVER! Christmas seems so long ago, but only yesterday. Is this what happens when you get older? Or maybe its just peculiar to January. Both myself and my son-in-law had a Birthday smack bang in the middle of the month. Nice for my son-in-law, but not for me. I’ve never liked my Birthdays for reasons I’ll not bore you with, but I put on a brave face and get through them.

birthday3

I know just how he feels!

I found this photo on Deserts with Benefits and had to share it.

If you follow my blog, you’ll remember I haven’t been well. I got tired of CT scans, needles and being prodded and poked so after talking to a very matter-of-fact gastroenterologist I decided to give up gluten. Since January 1st, I’ve been completely gluten-free. After a few days I felt better, much more awake. I was both thrilled and excited at the difference and expected miracles to follow. The miracles never happened. Another two weeks passed and I wondered if I’d willed myself to feel better because I wanted an instant cure.

Then early last week I realized that when I touched my stomach in the places that had been tender, it didn’t hurt anymore. It didn’t feel uncomfortable and bloated. I looked at my reflection in the mirror (not a pretty sight), but prettier than it looked a couple of months earlier. My tummy was no longer swollen.

Maybe gluten is the problem, I know I have a long way to go before I know for sure, but one month gluten-free has certainly made me feel better. My energy is returning.

I haven’t bought ‘gluten free’ breads, crackers, cookies etc. I gave up processed food a long time ago. Instead I’ve eaten much more fruit and veg, baked with almond, coconut and semolina flour and bought rice noodles instead of pasta. It hasn’t really been a hardship. When I used semolina and almond flour to make my husbands favorite cookies I didn’t tell him. He took a bite and looked at me.

“These taste good,” he said, “what did you do different?”

I think cutting gluten from my diet has been a good thing. Not out of the woods yet, but I can see the sun piercing the trees. I’ll give you an update one month from now. Fingers crossed I’ll be healthy and full of energy. New lifestyle for 2016!