Tag Archives: symptoms

Gluten-Free Astrology: Capricorn (born December 22 – January 19) AND Aquarius (born January 20 – February 18)

Since I missed posting my usual personality analysis, predictions, and advice for gluten-free eaters born under the sign of Capricorn back in December, I’m mixing it up this time with a special double edition of Gluten-Free Astrology.

I’ll cover all the need-to-know facts about Capricorn and Aquarius, then we’ll play a little game with celebrities. Got a goat or a water-bearer in your life, or are you one yourself? Then read on!

The GF Capricorn

Capricorn’s symbol is the goat, and there’s a good reason for that. GF Capricorns are surefooted, able to pick their way over obstacles to reach whatever peak they’ve set their sights on. Like Virgos, Capricorns are organized creatures who set goals, make plans, and proceed steadily toward them.

goat silhouette standing on mountain

Calmly looking back at the path you’ve trod.
Photo © BR0WSER | Flickr

But Capricorns’ ambitions are often higher than Virgos’, and always less negotiable. While a GF Virgo might set up a safe, tidy, 95% gluten-free kitchen and allow his/her family to keep eating Triscuits, the GF Capricorn—uncomfortable with ambiguity—won’t rest until every last crumb has left the building.

You’re diligentpractical, and as stubborn as a Taurus, which combine with your rigid sense of organization and clarity of thought to make you, as I’ve said before, basically the best sign ever at being gluten-free.

Self-sufficient, you may volunteer to handle the food at professional and social events, but after painstaking preparations you have trouble letting go and enjoying the secure gluten-free party you’ve planned. Others may see you as distant or even controlling, especially when you’re slapping their hands away from your tortilla chips. Naturally a loner type, Capricorns risk becoming even more isolated once diagnosed with a gluten-related disorder—too bad, because inside, you honestly long to be loved. Spend this month working toward your goals, for sure, but don’t be afraid to make companionship a priority, too.

Black and white goat behind fence

Don’t get trapped by your gluten-free diet and health goals.
Photo © Rachel Groves | Flickr

The GF Aquarius

Like our friends, the GF Capricorns, you can be obstinate when you’re sure you’re right (and, since Aquarius is the Ravenclaw of the astrology world, you’re right annoyingly often). Also like Capricorns, Aquarius can come off as distant—in your case, because you really do prize independence over all else. For the most part, the similarity ends there.

Uranus

Your ruling planet, Uranus, represents the unconventional and unexpected—and it’s really pretty too, right?
Photo © wstera2 | Flickr

Where Capricorn is steady, Aquarius is zany, constantly changing directions and cooking up wild schemes. You’ve probably had so many gluten-free business ideas, you’ve lost count. Maybe you’ve even tried to make some a reality: tossing ideas around and getting to know potential clients is lots of fun. Tying yourself down longterm? Not so much.

The GF Aquarius is outgoing, a traveler, and willing to experience just about anything other than boredom. You love learning and sharing ideas and information: your sign, the water bearer, represents that passion. If anyone can manage to enjoy going gluten-free, it’s you: learning all that new lingo and science, mastering the baking learning curve, and enlightening everyone you know about what exactly is a “villus”? A fascinating challenge!

You trade tips with every gluten-free person you meet, put your rapier wit to work when someone criticizes our lifestyle, and try all the new restaurants. (You might get glutened more often than average, but for you, that’s part of the journey. Yeah, you’re a little odd.)  There’s a decent chance you’re a gluten-free blogger—and, if so, you’re very good at it, besides a slight tendency to overestimate your own expertise.

A little more trivia

When it comes to health, GF Capricorns suffer from stiff joints, rheumatism, and orthopedic problems. GF Aquarius struggles with arterial troubles, as well as shin and ankle sprains and breaks. I probably don’t need to tell you these are all symptoms of gluten-related disorders.

Now, time for a pop (culture) quiz. Here are a few well-known faces, some Capricorn, some Aquarius, some gluten-free, some not. Take a stab at guessing who’s who, then scroll down for the answers.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll

James Joyce

James Joyce

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Drew Brees

Drew Brees

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres

How’d you do?

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.: Capricorn (Jan. 15), not GF (he preferred southern food such as fried chicken and pecan pie—decidedly glutenous, but I’m sure you could find GF versions to make in his honor today)
  • Lewis Carroll (originally “Charles Lutwidge Dodgson”): Aquarius (Jan. 27), not GF (according to one biographer, he subsisted primarily on fruit, dry biscuits, and—in his younger, “greedier” days—cakes)
  • James Joyce: Aquarius (Feb. 2), not GF (suffered from mysterious stomach pains, often attributed retrospectively to syphilis, but who’s to say it wasn’t really that other “great imitator,” celiac disease?)
  • Oprah: Aquarius (Jan. 29), briefly GF (in 2008 she tried a 21-day “cleanse”; despite enjoying gluten-free waffles throughout, by the end she was “sure . . . happy to return to gluten”)
  • Drew Brees: Capricorn (Jan. 15), GF (and dairy- and nut-allergic too; if press releases can be believed, he loves So Delicious)
  • Ellen DeGeneres: Aquarius (Jan. 26), not GF (and rather annoyingly put down Gluten-Free Singles on her show in November)

Hope no one minded the double feature! (I’d never get away with it for Leo.) Next month is Pisces, the last in the rotation—hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am.

Capricorns and Aquariuses (Aquarii?), duke it out in the comments, and if you liked the post, please share.

As always, the “information,” such as it is, in this post has been largely ripped off from The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk, which is in fact the only astrology book you’ll ever need (need here being a relative term). Celeb photos from Wikimedia Commons.

See also: AriesTaurusGeminiCancerLeoVirgoLibra, Scorpio, Sagittarius

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On time management

To-do lists are great. In fact, 96 percent of people who keep them say their lives are better with to-do lists. (Go figure.) I think I’m part of that 96 percent, but I’m certainly among the 50 percent who write down tasks they’ve already done just to be able to cross them off. I can’t help it; it’s thrilling.

Herewith, then, my most recent list.

Today I:

checked2Looked up my latest symptoms on WebMD

checked2Learned more than I remotely wanted to know about “pulsatile tinnitus

checked2Cross-examined self for evidence of hypochondria

checked2Decided symptoms actually exist

checked2Complained about symptoms

checked2Blogged about symptoms

checked2Tweeted about symptoms

checked2Googled autoimmune diseases associated with celiac diseases

checked2Remembered a few other symptoms and Googled those, too

checked2Tried to determine whether my hair is thinning

checked2Decided it’s too soon to tell

checked2Worried anyway

checked2Searched insurance database for PCP in my new neighborhood

checked2Got discouraged with system and switched to Google

checked2Bemoaned lack of reliable Yelplike system for finding new doctors

checked2Got discouraged again and gave up for the day

Tomorrow I’ll:

unchecked box

Actually do something about it.

Despite appearances, this post was not sponsored by Google. Do you spend more hours Googling things than solving them? If not, how do you manage your time (and self-care)? Do you keep a to-do list? Check anything good off lately?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What kind of celiac are you? (Personality quiz plus giveaway)

Do you like labels? You know who does? Celiac disease researchers. In 2011, the best of them from all over the world came together in Oslo to update definitions of kinds of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity (making me, for example, no longer “atypical”—see the new labels here).

banner.jpg

In the spirit of redefining categories, I thought I’d throw out some new ones of my own. (Maybe the Oslo crowd can discuss them at the next conference, to be held in Chicago this September, at my alma mater, though even the discounted rates are too expensive for this civilian!)

Now, whether or not you like labels, I think you’ll agree that often we’re defined by our illness. Some of us even call ourselves “celiacs.” But of course having celiac disease or being gluten-free isn’t all there is to know about us. Our personalities matter, too.

That’s why I’ve created a simple 10-question celiac disease personality quiz, just like the ones you used to see in Seventeen magazine. (Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a teenage girl to participate…or even have celiac disease. It’s inclusive.)

Take the quiz, then come back and let me know what you scored. To reward your participation, I’m offering a giveaway! In fact, just to make things confusing, I’m offering TWO giveaways.

The prizes are: remaining is:

1) A surprise swag bag from the upcoming Secaucus, NJ Gluten-Free and Allergy-Free Expo. Share your result in a comment, on Twitter, or on Facebook by the end of the day on Wednesday, September 11th, for a chance to win (or do all three, for three chances to win). Only US & Canada entries are eligible, though I hope you’ll check out the quiz even if you live elsewhere.

2) Two free tickets to the Expo for a day of your choice. You can attend on both Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th, or choose one day and bring a friend. To enter this one, comment by Friday, September 6th, letting me know your result AND letting me know that you’ve done one of the following:

Everyone who comments (and lives in the US or Canada) will be entered into the first drawing. You CAN be entered into both drawings—just be sure to do one of the Expo requirements to join the second.

There’s no better way to celebrate back-to-school (and expo) season than by taking a quiz…so what are you waiting for? Sharpen those No. 2 pencils and let’s get cracking.

The giveaway is no longer running. But you can still take the quiz here.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

So…was the popcorn gluten-free?

For those of you who have been eagerly awaiting word on the Arrowhead Mills popcorn question, I have an update. I finally got around to calling their customer service line yesterday (there was no great rush since I had, after all, already eaten it all).

Photo © Joakim Wahlander | Flickr

Photo © Joakim Wahlander | Flickr

The woman I spoke to—following some appropriately corny hold music—confirmed my suspicion: the popcorn is not made on dedicated gluten-free lines or in a dedicated facility. However, she assured me that they follow “good manufacturing practices” of sterilizing lines between runs, etc. She said that any of their products that have already been found to contain less than 20 ppm gluten would have the gluten-free symbol on the bag, and that they’re working on testing their way through all of their products. They have not yet tested the popcorn.

I asked, “So, conceivably in six months’ time, the popcorn might have a gluten-free symbol?,” but she said she didn’t know and couldn’t speculate on the timeline. Fair enough, because I’m sure the last thing any company wants is some blogger hopping online and posting false promises that, say, all of their products will be gluten-free by 2020. Plus, unless I stumbled across a Time-Turner, it’s not as though knowing their product will be confirmed gluten-free in six months would do me any good.

I wondered why they would test some of their products but not others, and why it takes so long to test everything. Is testing for gluten that expensive and/or time-consuming? Does anyone have any insight into this?

A couple of you commented that most popcorn should be safe. Personally, I’ve noticed some issues after eating popcorn, but there’s a good chance my weary GI tract just isn’t happy about handling large bowls of air- and fiber-filled corn right now. That’s not going to stop me from eating it, but I am going to check around for another popcorn brand. Though the Arrowhead Mills stuff might be safe, I’d feel better knowing the popcorn was either tested for gluten or processed far, far away from gluten. I will still buy other Arrowhead Mills products that say “gluten-free” on the bag, because it sounds like they have their act together.

Since the Arrowhead answer was a resounding “I don’t know,” I don’t really know whether or not to doubt my old air-popping cauldron. It’s been starting to die anyway, so I may just take the road of “When in doubt, throw it out” and get a new one.

On to another kind of testing: this morning I got NINE vials of blood taken out of my arm, to find out if my gut is still gutting itself. (The phlebotomist assured me I still had plenty of blood left in me; I’m not so sure.) As I left the lab, I found myself thinking, “Celiac’s blood…that’s got to be an ingredient in some kind of potion.”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: