Monday, July 26, 2010

A Side Effect of Being Gluten Intolerant

Hi everyone! It has actually been a great Monday, even if it started out a bit iffy.

I woke up with my headache that I battled for most of yesterday which left me feeling frustrated. I wasn't sure if it was a migraine, caffeine withdrawal, or something else. I did what any sensible person would do - looked up my symptoms on :)  Of course, I took my diagnosis with a grain of salt but it once again pointed to something I've battled since I was first diagnosed - iron deficiency anemia.

I have taken iron supplements on and off throughout my life and used to have pretty regular blood tests done to monitor my iron levels. As of late I have slacked on both taking my iron (I hope my mom isn't reading this!) and knowing what my iron levels are. Despite not knowing the number, there are multiple symptoms of anemia that I'm familiar with, as well as a few I discovered this morning:
  • cravings for ice
  • curvature in finger nails (same as how a spoon is curved)
  • pale skin
  • circles under your eyes
  • strong headaches
  • rapid heart beat
  • difficulty sleeping (this has been ongoing for the past few weeks for me)
  • feeling extra lethargic and tired, even with ample amounts of sleep
I am by no means a doctor but after doing some thinking (and taking Advil and iron, although not together, to cure my headache this morning) I came up with 2 hypotheses:
  1. I'm probably anemic again
  2. OR my headache was from drinking too much caffeine on Friday and then having none over the weekend aka withdrawal headache
I am challenging myself to take my iron supplements 2x a day this week and see how it helps me feel. It might not be the culprit of yesterday and today's headache but it is something I'm supposed to be taking (again, I'm not encouraging you to go out and start taking supplements unless you've discussed this with your doctor.) I'm excited to see how I feel come next Monday!  Anyone else slack off on their medicine-taking and want to help hold each other accountable??

I packed my breakfast since I woke up not feeling so hot. When I was finally hungry though, I enjoyed every bite of my egg white and hot cereal with cherries and almond butter. I didn't make this overnight, but after sitting for an hour or so, it tasted about the same. I just popped the cereal into the freezer at work to cool down.

The morning flew by and then it was time for lunch. I brought the rest of yesterday's salad to enjoy. It had spinach, beets, radishes, mind, sprouts, white beans, carrots, and broccoli. I used my own Annie's Lite Honey Mustard dressing instead of what it came with. On the side I had a serving of salt and pepper soy crisps and some watermelon :)

The day continued to fly by and I eventually had to end a conversation with a co-worker because my stomach was rumbling so loudly. Snack time :)  I had a pear with a dollop of almond butter spread on it and you can bet that I ate all that I could off that pear!

After work I came home, did a quick change, and made my way to Whole Foods for some groceries. I was ready for dinner by the time I got home but had 0 desire to cook. Enter in the no-cook snack plate! I picked up this new-to-me flavor of Food Should Taste Goods and made them the star of the show. I used up the last generous tablespoon of tomato paste on these, plus some hummus. It might sound odd but it's a tasty combination! On the side I had roasted okra and a little salad with romaine, almonds, a few craisins, and honey mustard dressing.

One treat I picked up at the store tonight were these beautiful lychees! I'm in love. I usually get them when I'm in Israel or if I can find them back at home and snatched up a pack when I saw them. They're little balls (for lack of a better term) that you peel and eat. Watch out though - there's a pit in the middle! The other lovely surprise was this can of soup I snagged. My neighbor is moving and was getting rid of some things so I took this soup off their hands :-)

I'm now off to meet a friend for a little after dinner walk. I have to enjoy all of summer while I can, especially when there's no humidity and outrageous temperatures for a night!

Do you ever splurge on something for yourself at the grocery store? What's your favorite treat?


  1. Love Amy's split pea soup! For a while I would splurge on Kombucha, but that came to a very sad end since none of the PA grocery stores are carrying it.

  2. I actually just learned about the link between gluten-intolerance and iron deficiency. I've definitely also battled with my iron levels for the past 15 or so years. My biggest problem was that my body couldn't handle iron pills or multi-vitamins with iron... so I went the iron rich food route - but luckily I've finally found one vitamin with iron that my body will keep down.
    Ohh - those crackers look good - I'll try the tomato hummus topping sometime.
    My splurge treat at the grocery store... like Alex, Kombucha. Also sometimes a greek yogurt (I usually just make my own yogurt), and a nice bar of dark chocolate. I think those are my most common splurges.