Jan 13, 2012

{Turning 35 and other stuff…}

I turned 35 today. 


35 is one of those anti-climatic birthdays that you really just say to yourself, “Oh, yeah, it’s been another year, hasn’t it?” 35 wasn’t something I was looking forward to, and now I’m officially on the downslide to 40.


I wouldn’t say I have aged gracefully.  I’ve gained some weight since my younger days as a swimmer. 


I’ve gained some wrinkles…thanks to the swimming and constantly being in the sun.



But overall, it’s been a good 35.  I’ve done what I’ve wanted, when I’ve wanted, and had a great time doing it.  I have been lucky…and that’s an understatement.  I’ve met some great people along the way…some that broke my heart (to pieces), some that made me believe I was good enough, and some that made me laugh.  They all are a part of me. 

I have this gorgeous husband who helps me a long.  I have an even more gorgeous son who tells me he loves me.  How much more could a girl ask for?

So, what did I do on my birthday, you ask?  I spent my day teaching kids.  About genetics and photosynthesis.  And I had a blast doing it.  They are hilarious at times.


Then, I went to the community college and taught more kids.  I got them thinking.  I got them sharing.  And I think I just may have gotten them to believe in themselves…at least for a moment.  It was great.  I am now officially a college instructor!  How did that happen?  This experience was truly inspiring. 



Look at this gorgeous classroom.  Beautiful.

And tomorrow I get to pick my mom up from the airport.  Which means I get to spend the day with my family…it really is what it’s all about.  Right?

About other thoughts and ideas…I’ve also decided to go gluten and dairy free with my diet.  I have had some health issues that no one seems to be able to identify…mostly skin related.  So, I overheard someone saying that they were speaking with a nutritionist and they said that once they get a “sick” person on a gluten and dairy free diet, they almost always get better.  So, I’m trying it.  What do I have to lose…except maybe a few lbs?

So here’s my shopping list:

Brown Rice
Brown Rice Pasta
Brown Rice Flour
Buckwheat Flour
Amaranth Flour
Mary’s Gone Crackers brand gluten-free crackers
San-J Sesame Brown Rice Crackers
Low Sodium Tamari Sauce
Agave Nectar
Beans/Legumes: pinto beans, white beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, split peas, lentils, chickpeas/garbanzo beans
Soy Milk or Rice Milk
Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts
Clif Bar Nectar snack bars
Larabar Raw Fruit & Nut Snack Bars )

Any suggestions here would be greatly appreciated! 

Gray hair hasn’t plagued me, yet…but I know it’s coming soon, but for now, I’m still rocking my blondish brown hair (thanks so my semi-annual highlights).

Cheers to you!


  1. Hey, Erin!

    I'm so excited for you! Your list looks fabulous, and what an amazing life change this will be for you!

    One thing you might try is swapping things out a little at a time. It's cheaper and a bit easier to manage when you're feeding a whole family.

    There are some great gluten/diary free cookbooks and blogs out there. Try finding a few go-to recipes you love, and you'll find that it becomes easier to "switch them up." Baking gluten free is a whole new and exciting (and fun) world. Have you seen the Babycakes cookbooks? That's a great place to start if you're a lover of sweets.

    For your milks (since you noted skin issues), I'd opt for Almond or Coconut milks over the Soy. Those two have great fats for your skin and will not have the potential for issues that the soy has, based on your goals and age range. Besides that, they are SUPER yummy. You can find them in the milk section or the organic milk section, based on your store. Make sure you buy the ones that say "unsweetened." They're great for cooking and for smoothies. Mmmmm!

    Millet, quinoa, and brown rice are great starting spots because they are very versatile. Great choices, girl! I have gathered some recipes on Pinterest, if you're searching for some.

    I wish you all the best, and I can't wait to hear how it goes.

    1. Thank you! I'm heading to trader joes today! I will let you know how things go.

  2. Happy Birthday...it is now a number, it is a state of mind. You are so much more now that you are older and experienced. BTW, I could live in that classroom, just love it!

    P.S. It is not unusual to have skin issues in your thirties, it's all about those darn hormones. I hope the gluten, dairy free diet works...let us know!

  3. Don't eat McDonalds, There are tons of additives and they give me welts on my head and itching. Dad

  4. Yea----HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 35 sounds like a great number. Hope the dietary changes include improved outcomes for you! Teaching at a community college is a wonderful experience---glad you are getting the opportunity. Enjoy the year ahead of you!

  5. there is a blog called gluten-free girl that people swear by. good luck!

  6. I highly recommend Elisabeth Hasselbeck's first book The G-Free Diet. I haven't read the second book which just came out.
    If you have thyroid issues you need to be Soy free as well. It counterattacks thyroid meds. (Many people don't know this so I thought I would throw it out there)
    I have severe eczema issues. I am considering going G-free but I haven't made the commitment yet. I can't figure out how to do it with 3 small kids in the house.
    I also have started collecting Gluten Free recipes on Pinterest. My user name is zadecey.
    Good luck with your endeavor! I look forward to seeing how the change in diet works for you.

  7. I am gluten-free and have been for 2 years - with the range of stuff out there it is getting easier and easier. I have 3 small children but don't find it a hassle to make meals GF. I have found that the key is getting a good GF all-purpose flour. Having tried several on the market and not liking any of them I found a great recipe for an all-purpose flour which works really well, especially in baking on a blog called The Art of Gluten-Free Baking. I make up large quantities of her GF all-purpose flour and have found it can be substituted for normal wheat flour in most recipes with great results. I know I tried several years ago going gluten and dairy free at once and just found it too hard and gave up. If you find that too perhaps try starting with GF first and then adding in the Dairy free in a couple of months. Good luck!

  8. Hey Erin, I've been gluten free and dairy free for 3.5 years now. I eliminated everything all at once because I was having major dietary issues which were causing me extreme pain. Watch out for sesame crackers, they sometimes have soy sauce in them which has wheat in it. Braggs amino acids taste exactly like soy sauce but have a tiny fraction of the sodium. Virtually none, even when compared to low sodium tamari. And I totally agree with the nut milks...almond is my favorite but organic is the best and unsweetened. I use coconut oil a lot and have even found coconut oil spread that works as a sub for butter. As for baking, Trader Joe's has really cheap almond meal which is great for adding to rice flour in baked goods. I rarely use xantham gum which most gf recipes recommend. It's expensive and I never really see much difference. I just sub the rice and almond flour mix for regular flour in equal parts when baking muffins. Cornmeal is a great thing as well if you want something familiar. I make tons of cornmeal muffins with blueberries, etc. Coconut or quinoa flour is great, although hard to find. The quinoa flour tastes a little nutty and is better for savory recipes or heavily flavored things such as raspberry muffins or something. Coconut flour soaks up a lot of moisture, so I always end up adding water or almond milk to the recipe when I use that flour. It's sooooo good though!

    It gets really easy to find gluten free products like bread, waffles, cookies, etc., but if you're having issues, I would simply stick to whole foods and avoid waffles or bread altogether. As for the dairy, I can eat goat cheese which is great, but I usually just use avocados instead of cheese on everything. The texture is similar but avocados are so much healthier.

    Ok...I'm out of breath from typing this. Let me know if you have questions about food stuff! I've been dealing with food issues for a long time and only see a naturopathic doctor and take herbs and supplements as opposed to prescriptions. (olive leaf extract is my current fave...it's even helping with my food issues!)



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