Today was a good day. It started early with breakfast, included a webinar titled “State of the Union: A Live Chat with Experts on Gluten-Related Disorders” by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), a great lunch, and successful planning of events (read: meals) upcoming. Something really resonated with me today during the NFCA webinar, which I’ll go into more below. However, I should state that today’s post is a…not widely discussed topic, but known to everyone, and it delicately walks the line between just-enough-TMI and too-much-TMI. If you want to bypass that topic, click here to go the recap of my day. Otherwise, you’ve been warned. I’m pretty open about it.
Seriously. Last chance to click here and skip. Or, you’re probably curious and want to know now. That’s fine too. But don’t yell at me – I did warn you. Twice.
Today’s topic is poop. Yes, poop. I’m serious. Whatever you call it – going #2, dropping the kids off at the pool, stinky poo-poo time, dirty diaper, whatever – it’s a fact of life and nature. Every animal does it at one time or another. In polite company, it’s not a topic of conversation. It’s not even a topic of conversation that many people can have with their most intimate of circles. And yet, having Celiac Disease, I think about my poop daily.
Since being diagnosed, I’ve become much more intimately tuned with my body. I am more aware of what goes in, and, ultimately, what comes out. If something goes in that isn’t right for me, I’ll know within 20 minutes, mostly based on how my poop looks. You see, the only way I can really tell what my gut is telling me is to look at my poop. (Don’t tell me you’ve never looked. Because I know you have. At least once.) How my poop looks tells me a variety of things – if I just had food that was bad for me, if my gut has healed, or if I am getting the right amount of fiber and other nutrients. So when I say I have a normal BM, it is a big deal.
Honestly, I’m sure most other people with Celiac Disease feel the same. However, the topic is an embarrassing one. Every time I had a reaction in my pre-gluten-free days, it was always an awkward situation when I returned to whatever I was doing. Going out to eat or having friends over were the hardest. As much as I tried to play it off as if I was fine and nothing was wrong, I could tell that pretty much everyone knew what just happened. So many times I wish I could have said, “Y’know guys, my bowels just emptied. I feel like crap, and I wouldn’t suggest going in there for a bit. The fan’s on, and I tried to use air freshener spray. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, it might have been something I ate. Sorry I was away for that long. Where were we?” But the situation never seemed right. Even sometimes with my fiancée, but that’s usually because we’re in public.
So, here’s my wish for the rest of the Celiac community – let’s talk about our poop. We’re so open to talking about our disease, our dietary needs, and what we go through on a daily basis so we can feel normal when we eat. And yet, the one thing that really tells us what is going on within our body, we shy away from. Celiac Awareness Month gives us a chance to inform everyone about our disease and the truth behind it, but we don’t talk about everything. I say let’s talk openly about all aspects.
So, when was your last normal poop?
5:30 Alarms off, try not wake fiancée as I get ready.
6:11 Get on BART to go to breakfast with Maddy from Love Grown Foods.
7:05 Breakfast at Au Coquelet in Berkeley. (Wonder if Jill at GetFreeTwins knows of this place?) I had Denver omelet, Maddy had Huevos Rancheros omelet. I typically stick to eggs/omelets when I’m out for breakfast. They typically are the best gluten-free options in restaurants for breakfast. Great conversation getting to know Maddy and the Love Grown Foods company.
9:00 A friend texted me for lunch plans. Offered to reschedule for Friday, and he will confirm Friday morning. Need a few options in case a last-minute confirmation comes in.
9:45 Normal BM.
11:00 Listening to NFCA State of the Union webcast. Quote from Cynthia Kupper, RD, CD, about checking the results of your BM resonated with me, and thus inspired today’s topic above.
12:00 Lunch with coworkers at The Counter in WC. Waitress says that they have allergy alert button. Group wanted parmesan french fries and sweet potato fries & onion strings combo plate. The Counter has separate frier for their fries and deep-fried foods. However, the sweet potato fries & onion strings are on same plate. It’s ok though – waitress didn’t know about my needs yet, and I have the delicious parmesan fries to eat. During our discussion if sweet potato fries/chips lose nutrients when frying, I overheard in another conversation “We take food allergies seriously” at The Counter. Apparently sweet potato fries retain their Vitamin A if fried, but should definitely bake them vs fry. I had a turkey burger, grilled pineapple, sautéed onions, whipped avocado sauce and a gluten-free bun that tasted like Udi’s.
14:53 Second normal BM of the day.
16:28 Afternoon has been very déjà vu for me. Lots of looking at Excel/HTML code, lots of wanting a great big liter of Coca-Cola and chips/sweets – reminds me of my college days. Other than those desires, no real desire to eat after the full meals today.
18:37 At Safeway to shop for dinner. Debating my options – probably oatmeal chicken for fiancée and breaded chicken for me. I find myself very underwhelmed with Safeway’s dedicated gluten-free offerings. Four feet of dedicated shelf space in this store. Their “test” store in Dublin has about 10′ and signage, another store in Castro Valley has about six feet with signage. This store’s section is under “Kosher Foods” signage at end of aisle. Very hard to find.
19:05 Dinner plans have changed, and is now leftovers from last night, with new smoothies.
21:00 Making plans for dinner and to see Avengers tomorrow w/fiancée and her cousin. Picked theater, used Find Me Gluten Free to find restaurant near movie theater. Suggest Rubio’s.
21:30 Lunch for tomorrow is almost solidified. Have a few options in mind, hopefully friend doesn’t mind going to a place we’ve been before.
21:45 Confirmed plans for tomorrow dinner. Looking forward to trying Rubio’s tacos.
22:00 Friend says she made a shout out on her podcast for me and Celiac Awareness. Need to get link to that podcast and share.
23:00 Started this post – got sidetracked watching Iron Man 2 in prep for tomorrow’s Avengers. Yes, it’s official – I’m a geek. If you couldn’t tell that from yesterday’s post.
See you tomorrow!