It’s been quite a week.

I’m proud of myself this week. And since blogs are just a way for narcissism to fly under-the-radar, I’m going to talk about all of the reasons I’m proud of myself here.

There are two.

To start, last weekend I took a fiction-writing class. It was expensive and nerve-wracking. Especially considering that I hadn’t written academically since 2009, and I was going to be expected to do so, in a high-school classroom, surrounded by people who were poised to talk about “what they were working on.” And what they were working on wasn’t a social strategy for a brand, just to be clear. These people were writing short stories and novels. NOVELS. Like those 200+ page things that are a chock-fill of beautiful writing, subtle teachings on morality, the universe, and mankind. Basically, I was surrounded by geniuses. I was clearly the fool in the room, but I DUG it. It was so freaking cool and fun and fresh and motivating and god I can’t believe I’m actually writing and it’s not horrible and it isn’t even about my boring life and gahhhh this is so amazing. We developed characters based on astrological signs. We wrote a climax about a fat blind girl, and a skinny boy-band singer, who were stranded on a boat, and only one could live (!). We wrote about meaningful places in our childhood. We wrote about how a 13-year-old would break up with a 15-year-old. It was simply magical. I wrote a bit yesterday (it was the epitome of ehh), but I really want to commit to doing it more. If I don’t start now, then when will I start? Also I’m reading “I’m Worried About My Neck” by Nora Ephron and thinking, “I could maybe, potentially, one-day, write like this,” even though I always thought I’d write fiction (and never thought I’d do anything remotely close to memoir writing. And even saying it now is strange, so I probably won’t ever write a memoir.). Anyway, it was a wonderful wonderful moment (or 420 moments because it was a 7-hour class) for my creative self.  I’m so glad I did it. All of you should take one too – maybe we can even take one together!

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Secondly, I am in the midst of a juice cleanse. Well, I’m more than two-thirds done now, but the next twelve hours will be no joke. I can assure you of that. I don’t really know what possessed me to do this. You know of my love for food. I really really love food. Food is my life. But I never knew how TRULY true this was until I started this cleanse. It’s so psychological – my love for food that is.  I haven’t felt hungry at all in the last two days. I’ve been completely full and completely healthy. I’m getting everything I need to function fully and happily. But I just. Want. To. Eat. Goddamnit. I’ve realized that my entire day revolves around looking forward to meals, and then consuming said meals. The minute 11am rolls around, I can’t wait to eat lunch. At 2pm, I just want a snack. At 3 pm, it’s almost dinner time, right?! My obsession with food has nothing to do with how nourished I feel, and often doesn’t even have to do with the fact that I’m hungry. I associate food with happiness. Food IS my happiness. I’m sure many of you feel similarly, but have you ever thought about how insane that is? We really should eat to live, not live to eat, as trite as that sounds. So I’m proud. I haven’t eaten a single bite of solid food since 9pm on Monday night. ME! I usually can’t even go two hours without eating. Such a lesson in self-control. Maybe some of these learnings will stick.

Please don’t think I’m discounting how hard this is. It’s brutal. BF had to talk me off a ledge repeatedly last night. I was grumpy and pissed and just wanted to eat something (Goddamnit). It’s not fun and it’s not “cool.” But if you make the cleanse your bitch, you’ll get through it.

Btw, in  case you’re wondering. I chose to do Liquiteria’s Level One Nourish cleanse, and I loved it. The juices are actually tasty!

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So those are the things I am proud of. The year is off to a magnificent start.

And my sister is coming tonight. To celebrate her 21st birthday. It’s going to be wild. XO

AG

When Something (Actually) Changes Your Life

Of all the “life changing” things I’ve experienced in my life, I would say 70-80% were associated with food. The first time I had Artichoke pizza in New York. When cupcakes first became a thing. Discovering Potbelly’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (and their Cookies & Cream Milkshakes). Pretzel M&Ms. Every time I ate stuffed crust pizza and was overwhelmed by the feeling that life was grand. Mac n Cheese too, obviously.

In a nutshell. I love to eat. I live to eat. If there is something warm/cheesy/gooey/melty/aromatic/colorful in front of me, I will eat it. I am known, far and wide, as a favorite among people who love to cook and feed. I will savor and Mmmm, and Yumm, and compliment, and swear, and make sure the chef knows just how damn tasty their masterpiece truly is (or even just how thankful I am that they picked up some potato chips on the way over).

I hope I’m getting my point across.

But amidst all of my fervent eating, I always had nagging stomach aches. I would of course, ignore them, attributing my discomfort to a sensitive stomach, and quickly returning to my large meal (which I always finished, mind you). These stomach aches had always been there. I was used to them, so I never really investigated the reason behind them.

After moving to New York, food became an even bigger part of my life. If something was social, it was also associated with food + drink, and I loved it. But I noticed that my stomach aches were getting a little worse. That certain foods would just knock me on my ass, ruin the rest of my day, and leave me in a total funk. It got to the point where I actually didn’t feel like going out on Fridays. I felt so out of. I just wanted to curl up in bed with a hot water bottle and my endless Netflix Instant Queue.

I decided to go to the doctor, after an especially bad week. I made the first appointment I could get on a Monday morning, and figured he’d prescribe a few pills, and I’d be on my way.

(Just realized this story is getting long… I’m getting to the point.)

In the end, I saw two doctors, had some blood drawn, and ultimately went in for an endoscopy during my trip to Cleveland. None of this was fun, and the more medical stuff I went through, the more I started to freak out. There are a ton of awful gastrointestinal diseases. And I was just waiting for the Doc to lay it on me.

And that he did.

I’m okay. And it’s not the worst thing in the world by any stretch of the imagination (not even the worst in the world of gasto), but last week I was diagnosed with Celiacs Disease. I’m sure most of you have heard of it. Especially with the strange uptick in Gluten-Free diets (which totally stumps me – WHAT? You don’t want to eat soft, warm, buttery bread anymore? REALLY? Though, it is supposed to be much healthier). It’s an autoimmune disease where your body is unable to digest gluten, a protein found in wheats, barley, rye, and sometimes oats. The treatment is simple – cut all of these things out of your diet, and never eat them again. Once you’ve done this, your body is totally healed, your diet is way healthier, and you feel great. You’re energetic, your mood is stable, your skin and hair glow (or so they say… crossed fingers). But until you’re fully adjusted and accustomed, it’s super strange.

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So there it is. A sad diagnosis that ends a long love affair with glutinous foods. Donuts, cookies, cupcakes, breads, beers, pancakes, burritos, pasta, pizza… I bid you adieu. Or at least until I can figure out how to find you or make you in a way that won’t make me want to keel over. Which will be soon, obviously.

I welcome any tasty Gluten-Free recipes (like this, this, and this), and promise to share some of my GF adventures (in case any of you are struggling with anything similar). But in the mean time, please refrain from offering me any crisp, cold beers, grilled cheese sandwiches, or slices of cake (my favorite food)! I will make you feel really bad :)

XO,

AG