My name is Gina C. and I am a stay-at-home mom of two little girls. In a past life, I spent my days as a Marketing Manager for a healthcare finance company, but these days I find myself knee-deep in Tinkerbell movies and diapers.
I love to cook, bake, create and run! You can find fun knitting and paper craft projects, great gluten-free recipes and few fitness tips along the way.
Why do you eat gluten-free?
I eat gluten-free because I have Hashimotos disease, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid.
Six months after having my second daughter, I was tired all of the time, plagued with constant headaches, experienced trouble sleeping, suffered intense night sweats and seriously achy joints. I was able to somehow pinpoint if I stopped eating gluten, the severity of my symptoms greatly diminshed. I still was not 100% though. I was pretty tired most days and despite a fairly clean diet and regular cardiovascular exercise (running) and strength-training, I was gaining weight.
So I sought the advice of my general practitioner who ran tests and referred me to an endocrinologist who ran more blood tests and diagnosed me appropriately.
I have followed a gluten-free diet with much success one year and half prior to my diagnosis and after learning about the complications people with Hashimotos have with gluten, I of course will remain gluten-free for the rest of my life.
Does your whole family eat gluten-free?
No, but let me clarify. Anything that I make is gluten-free, but my kids and husband eat sandwiches on wheat bread and they eat snacks that are made with wheat. I never make two different meals (one gluten-free and one with gluten) so 90% of their meals are gluten-free. Most meals I make are naturally gluten-free anyhow, so it's not really ever an issue.
Do you eat sugar?
I stay away from refined sugar because it seems to cause inflammation for me, but my kids and husband will occasionally eat things that have sugar in it. I try to use natural sweeteners in my baking and cooking when possible and opt for more natural products, such as natural peanut butter and honey-sweetened cereal. We strive to eat pretty clean around here, mostly whole organic foods and snacks.
I do, however, have a firm belief in moderation. Not everything we eat has to be organic or sugarless. But the foods we consume every single day are organic and as clean as possible.
A sweet treat now again is absolutely fine and heartily encouraged by me.
Do you eat dairy?
Yes, now we do. All of our meals used to be gluten-, dairy- and soy-free because my youngest daughter had a milk protein and soy protein intolerance until she was a little over two years old. I have recently successfully transitioned her to a dairy-based diet (although she still prefers her hemp milk!) and we now consume all forms of dairy. A lot of my recipes still tend to be dairy-free for some strange reason!
How often do you run?
I am not a marathoner by any stretch of the imagination, but I started running (and enjoying it!) in July 2011. Depending on schedules, I run between 9 and 18 miles a week. I started running using this training program.
Do you count calories?
No, I don't. But I provide the caloric breakdown for those who might.
Why don't you count calories?
I don't count calories because I don't want to obsess about food. I want to eat what I want, mostly healthy of course, without having to worry about every single calorie. Life is too short, so I opt for mostly healthy foods throughout the day with a treat here or there.