Snow Day!

For the first time in over a decade, my university canceled classes and work today! So here I am, trying to eke out the very last bit of this free day.

We were supposed to be hit pretty hard with the massive storm making its way across the country, but the snow prediction has dropped off dramatically. I can’t imagine I’ll have another snow day tomorrow – Porkchop already knows her classes are canceled (lucky).

Our streetscape hasn’t changed much from this shot I took earlier this afternoon:

Classy cardboard

None of the white stuff is snow. It’s all sleet, which is kind of crazy.

During all the sleeting, I did stuff like yoga, knitting, homework, and baking. A darned good snow day all around, except Porkchop had to open the UPS Store at 8 am. Boo. But don’t worry, she was back by 11:00 and able to partake in much of the fun of having a day off.

Here is documentation of the day:

A dedicated student even on a snow day

Knitting action!

I love these colors and this yarn

This afternoon I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and Porkchop made orange-glazed sugar cookies. I also made knock-off Larabars. I love Larabars, but my habit was becoming expensive! This week I made a knock off of the cherry pie bar, and I can’t wait to try another knock off this weekend.

Tricks! No flour!

Rolling out cookie dough

Fake Larabar brick = 8 bars

Observant readers will note that the peanut butter cookies are flourless. A few weeks ago, in the midst of major sinus problems, an old friend suggested I try going gluten-free. Being game for any possible relief, I did.

Sinus-wise, my nasal passageways seem less swollen. Previously, I would wake up during the night, unable to breathe through the right side of my nose. Since going (nearly) gluten-free, this hasn’t happened.

However, the biggest change is in my energy and focus level. Before, there were days during which I would get so tired. I don’t just mean tired, I mean unable to think, fuzzy-brained, bone-dead tired. I would also get really hungry. My hunger was always a desperate, if-I-don’t-eat-now-I’m-going-to-die sort of hunger. I was tied to my hunger in ways I didn’t like at all.

This past weekend marked two weeks of gluten-free for me, and I decided to dip my toe in the gluten waters again by eating some pasta. I made a big bowl for lunch on Saturday, and an hour later, my brain hurt and I was so tired I had to take a nap (even though I had been completely fine before lunch).

This afternoon I had one of Porkchop’s sugar cookies, and about an hour later, I could feel it in my head. Not bad, but a difference.

I call it fuzzy brain, because it feels like my brain is turning into cotton candy. A sort of pulsing cotton candy. But when it’s really bad, it feels like sludge. Fuzzy brain means I can focus with extra effort; sludge brain means I’m lucky if I remember how to tie my shoes.

Given that I don’t like the sludge feeling, I’m going to stick to a very light gluten habit.

Also, I enjoy being a prisoner to my hunger no longer. I still get hungry, but it isn’t an all-consuming, must-eat situation. It’s more of an, oh, I’m hungry, guess I should eat in a bit. But if I don’t eat in a bit, it isn’t the end of the world.

I’m not allergic to gluten, so I’m not really sure what the deal is. But according to the internet, which is the expert on everything, many other people experience “brain fog” with wheat, so I guess I’m not alone.

I know I’m not allergic to gluten because I had an allergy test done last week, in the hopes of getting some answers to my chronic sinus problems and other issues. The answer is that I’m not allergic to anything! Not even tree pollen, which was an assumption under which I’d been operating for half my life.

However, this is not a cause for celebration. Instead, I have “non-allergic rhinitis,” which seems to translate into my respiratory system being sensitive to anything, really. I get all of the allergy symptoms, but it isn’t an allergic reaction. Well, I’ve certainly been fooled all of my life!

The allergist pushed some new nasal spray on me, but I’m going to try some other avenues first. Another avenue being acupuncture. I’d rather have a placebo effect from some needles and herbs, than continue to use nose spray for the rest of my life.

Flonase started giving my horrible nose bleeds this past fall. Horrible as in it looked like an entire blood vessel was falling out of my nose. This new nose spray isn’t supposed to do that, but if you spray any nose spray incorrectly, you run the risk of damaging your septum.

So…nose spray is safe, but it can damage your septum. I sincerely want out of this nose spray craziness.

Well, I don’t really know where this post is going any more. It started out light-hearted, but took a serious turn around gluten. I guess the major points are: the snow day was great, I’m trying to find non-damaging relief for my sinus problems, and wheat makes me feel funny.

Obviously, it’s time to go to bed.

Good night!

If you’re in the path of the snow storm, stay safe and warm!

3 thoughts on “Snow Day!

  1. A thought from all I’ve learned on my own health recently, it may be a glycemic issue if it’s not a gluten issue. Since being switched to a low glycemic diet (no bread, no pasta, no grain/rice) I now no longer need a nap to make it to 9 pm, and I have energy…I FEEL good for the first time in a long time, and a lot of my “allergy” symptoms (itchy eyes/skin) seem to be fading fast. Something to think about…. :)

  2. Val says:

    I know people who are really gluten sensitive, even though the allergy test doesn’t show it as an allergy. So just go with what works for your body, regardless of what the allergy test says!

    Also, I want your fake larabar recipe!!!

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