Friday, September 28, 2012

Graffiti clean up in Florence!

on the side of the Brunelleschi cathedral, Santo Spirito 2009
Well, it's about Time! a group that is working on cleaning up Florence's (Firenze) horrible problem with graffiti!

Fiorentini! e' tempo di comminciare a reprendere la citta'! E' da troppo tempo che i muri communali sono stati disgraziati da graffiti! Adesso che questo gruppo che e' dedicato di pulire la citta..hanno bisognio di piu persone! :-)

If I was still living there I would be part of this program. I have been disgusted by how degraded the city streets have become in the last 5-10 years. (and have written about it at least a few times in this blog- the latest time here: in "Florence, choked with graffiti" I only hope that this can continue to be funded, and they can get a handle on the graffiti problem.

Oh, and before you go and give me hell about not appreciating graffiti, this shit in Florence is just cut rate tagging...and it is on historic buildings! it's a real tragedy.

e' una vera tragedia.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

update on the Wheat free

So it's been a few weeks now that I have been wheat free (mostly- I cheat with black licorice, which to me is a staple food and it has some sort of wheat product in it, but not like it's a dinner roll)

I honestly can say that going off wheat has been much easier than I had anticipated- My biggest worry was my Italian husband, who is a total bread fanatic. I mean completely over and above bread love, it's become obsession. Thankfully, we have Barrio Bread co. here in Tucson so we can pick out our favorite loaves every Wednesday at Cosmo's school (Yay Waldorf!) Anyhoo- that's completely off point....well, not completely, but note that Guido + Bread = LOVE.

So- the Wheat free lifestyle, well, it started with a trip to Trader Joes. I went to my fave TJ's (we are spoiled with multiple Trader Joes here in Tucson) and I bought a whole bunch of gluten free/wheat free items. A few of my friends were working there that day so I got lots of helpful suggestions. (thanks guys) I bought corn pastas, Udi bread, lots of fruits and veggies and gluten free cereal (Barbara's Puffins).

I already eat a very good diet full of most of the things I've mentioned, so it was no stretch for me to simply substitute bread, cereal and cookies (like I need any cookies!). I noticed the lack of dietary "glue" sticking things together... the bread had a good flavor, nothing compared to Barrio bread, but passable for toast and sandwiches. The pasta was OK- we tried a much better gluten free pasta made from Quinoa...oh, and I found out that I like Quinoa now! Other than the substitutions I was all set. Once I figured out that I could eat popsicles and kettle corn everything was A- OK!

Oh, I will admit I DO miss very much my Bob's Red Mill musli- (one thing that is certain to be re-introduced asap). But other than that I'm fine.

What? How do I feel? Oh, yeah, that IS pretty important. You can figure from my writing that I'm in a good mood today- really good, actually. I still have my pain, nothing really has changed on that part- but I feel Deflated. I HATE feeling full, so I eat just until I am satisfied...but always would feel puffy and kind of pushed around by my food.
I notice a calm- I feel simply fine- the medicines are doing their jobs, as long as I remember to take them in time, and I am waking up feeling rested in the mornings (something I've NEVER experienced before!) My insomnia is still showing up every once in a while- I've been sleeping on the couch much less lately.

that's pretty much it for my update- I'm sure there are more things I will remember but my hands are hurting and I need to stop typing!
Ciao for now- Maureen

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wheat free? Me?

After having 2 years of intense chronic pain (and going through a myriad of painful treatments and surgery) my Dr finally told me to try wheat free.
OK, I'll fess up- She HAD mentioned it before, a few times but I resisted mostly I thought it would be difficult (as I am married to a real life in the flesh Florentine Italian who is truly in love with his pasta and bread...and is thin as a rail at 50 years old) Plus she hadn't really told me to do it- she had just suggested.
Honestly, I am very diet resistant due to my lifetime of always being a bit on the pudgy side (unless I was starving myself, like one year in High School that I actually became skeletal and sick) At 5'1" a pound doesn't have many places to hide- Over the years I had pretty much resigned myself to thinking that unless I really suffered and dieted I was always going to be shaped like a Pug, never a Whippet.
Well, back to the Wheat free- I am so desperate to feel better that I've decided to really give wheat free a good try. I stopped eating wheat since the moment my Dr told me I should (about 8 days ago)
And I'm honestly surprised at how easy this shift has been for me.
I think having a few friends who have wheat allergies/Celiac disease Does help me. I have for years kept mental notes about new gluten free stuff I see and now (that I have my nifty Iphone) I often will shoot them a photo of a great gluten free Menu. I have in effect already done my shopping.
AND I've done my shopping. First day ASAP I went to Trader Joes and did a Gluten free shopping trip. Piece O'(gluten free) cake! My friends had told me about the "only good Gluten free bread out there" Udi's bread (it's not bad!) and I found many other good alternatives- for Cereal and pasta too.

I have always had a terrible time waking up- I would fall back to sleep in a second- deep in a hazy waking slumber. But today I woke a full hour before my early morning alarm- with a refreshed feeling that I don't ever recall having in the morning. EVER! Oh, and then I went about my day on MINIMAL pain medications (until 5 pm when the day's activities took their toll). Do I think it was because of the lack of wheat? Honestly, I'm too much of a cynic to jump on the bandwagon so soon...but I'm cautiously optimistic about this change in diet. Oh, and if I start losing my pudge? I would be OH SO SOLD on a wheat free future.
Stay tuned- I'll surely revisit this topic again in the near future. Meanwhile, I will be reading a new book that I just bought on the interwebs: "Wheat Belly" by Dr William Davis . I'll do a review once I've read it. (warning: I am a slow reader- I like to savor and digest what is written. For current reviews you can check the book's Amazon page: )


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