Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sweetening Life, one GF Cake at a Time

A chocolate cake can mean many things. A calorie splurge after a hard workout. A celebration of age or achievement. Or, most simply, an explosion of the taste buds because for whatever reason during whatever trouble, we need just that. For me, though, the chocolate cake cooling on the stove top of my oven is a redo.

When I stirred eggs, oil, and water into Pamela's Chocolate Cake mix, I was definitely thinking of the future. A future full of delicious chocolate cake, that is. As I watched the ingredients solidify into brown goop, though, the past dominated my mind. The past events of starting college, a hospital stay from celiac disease, deaths in the family. Of the liquid diet that replaced chocolate cake on my eighteenth birthday, doctor's orders. I'm rectifying that today.


Happy Birthday is me?

The fact is, life has been more sour than sweet lately.

No matter where I look, battles between the mind and the body stare back at me. My grandma is fighting to recover from quadruple heart surgery. Kylie, a toddler whose aunt works at my school, views cancer and chemotherapy as the monsters from under her bed. As for me, my desire - my need - to exercise struggles to coexist with my need to gain weight. And, recently, my exercise junkie lost in the form of a strained IT band and weight plateau that forced a recess from running. Honestly, losing what I view as the last part of my identity - my existence as an athlete - to celiac disease has driven me crazy for weeks.


Me post-run months ago

Today, though, I'm breaking away. Breaking away from my mental expectations and negative thoughts. Yes, the world is hard. Bodies break down and are held together by superglue, stitches, rest and time. Every time I see this battle, though, I need to look away from the blood and towards the victory. After a little over a week, my Grandma is back home and navigating the bumps and detours found on the road to health. And even though she's lost her hair and health, today Kylie crawled and played for the first time in weeks. Check out her Facebook page to learn more about this brave little warrior.

And me? I'm delving deeper into yoga and Pilate's. I've started lifting weights and experimenting with the bike. And, after months of staying at 88 lbs, I've finally budged the scale one notch higher. I have my bad days. I have days that I'm sad, and I'm pissed off that celiac disease has continued to hold the reigns driving my life.


Gotta love a smiling double chocolate cake!

But other days - magical other days like today - I look at the ingredients life has thrown at me, and I decide to change them from sour to sweet. And I know that when I bite into this chocolate cake tonight, the lemons that have been assaulting my taste buds will make this dessert taste even sweeter.

People say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well I say, ditch the lemons all together and make chocolate cake instead!

And my garden makes some big lemons...

Has celiac disease ever taken over your life? How did you deal with it? What's your favorite comfort/celebratory food? Comment below!

2 comments:

  1. I love the idea of ditching the lemons to make cake, and it sure looks like good cake. Keep your chin up (as you are)! You and your doctors will figure it out and get your weight and, more importantly, your health where they need to be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. [Just found I'd written this but hadn't posted it. Better late than never, I guess.]

    Taken over my life? Of course not. I only think of it at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and between those when I'm on the computer reading blogs and GF recipes, and when I'm thinking about what GF recipes I should try next. So I probably don't think about gluten for all of three or four hours every day. Although I can mostly forget about it when I'm watching a program on TV. Like Hawai'i Five-O, except that reminds me of a winter break spent in Hawai'i and doing most of our own meals in our rented condo so that I could eat safely. So maybe that's a bad example. Or like The Walking Dead, except that reminds me of how hard it would be to get GF food in a disaster situation. Or like Justified, except that reminds me of how hard it likely would be to find a gluten free meal in Harlan County, KY. Oh yeah, it hasn't taken over my life at all....

    Lately my comfort food has been a potato concoction: bake a potato, peel it and cut it into chunks, top with diced onion, seasonings, and cheese and microwave until the cheese melts down into the rest of the stuff. Fairly quick and very satisfying, and easily gluten free (just be careful with the seasonings).

    ReplyDelete