{Is Gluten Free the way to be?}

Honesty moment - I've been really frustrated with my weight lately.  I suffer from hypothyroidism (lucky me at 25, right?) and have to take a daily supplement called Armour Thyroid.  Every 6 months I have my blood taken and my doctor evaluates whether my results show that my medicine needs to be lowered or raised based on what my T3 and T4 are currently sitting at.  T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) are tyrosine-based hormones produced by the thyroid gland that are primarily responsible for regulation of metabolism.  If your body has an excess of T3 and T4, or both, you get what's called hyperthyroidism (I feel like this would be the lesser of the two evils, because at least with this one you LOSE weight).  If your body doesn't make enough T3 or T4, or both, you can get hypothyroidism.  And that's where we are... hypothyroidism - better known as the detriment to Taylor's weight control when not managed correctly.

Recently, I noticed I was gaining weight which seemed pretty odd given I play on 2 softball teams, a kickball team, work out at 3-5 times/week, and walk Jetta Belle or play frisbee with her pretty consistently, and I eat pretty well.  I wouldn't attest to being a nutrition freak, but I do try to make decent choices with my diet.  I have been snacking on avocados a lot, guiltypleasure, but surely that wasn't the culprit.  In fact, I've been trying to walk JB every night, but some nights I just can't make it out for a walk due to other activities.  (Poor moosie)
Look at this face.  How could I not take her walking or running every day?  What a doll.

So naturally, I got a little frustrated with my weight.  I noticed it in my legs first and proceeded to question my personal trainer's judgement on having me do such high reps with moderately heavy weight on leg day, but my mom suggested it might be my thyroid.  Why I didn't think of that since this has happened before I couldn't tell you.  Blondemoment. Went to check with my doctor, frustrated, and almost in tears, and she voted we check my thyroid.  She asked me if I had experienced other common symptoms of my disease when it all clicked, that yes, in fact I was experiencing muscle fatigue, uncontrolled weight gain, and dry skin (super uncommon for me)... all very common symptoms for someone struggling with hypothyroidism.  DUH.  She took my blood and gave me a B12 shot to give me a boost of energy.  Monday morning rolled around, and whatdyaknow?  My T4 was very low.  Shocking to those of you reading, I know.  Anyway, my doctor recommended adding more protein to my diet for starters and she raised my armour thyroid prescription to help counter the lack of T4, but I decided to look into good foods for people with hypothyroidism and foods to avoid, and have been seeing a lot of consistency in people recomming avoiding gluten.

At first I thought, no way!  I'll never be able to eat pasta, my husband won't be on board, what about future kids if I decide this for my diet, what about dinner parties or eating out - what a pain that would be - but after reading through several blogs and articles about going gluten free it seems moderately doable.

It seems the basic principles are the following:

Foods you can eat:
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Meat and fish (that have not been breaded, marinated, processed)
  • Rice, corn, and potatoes
  • Eggs, nuts (in shells or unshelled), beans, and legumes
  • Fruit juices, unflavored milk, whole and ground coffee beans, unflavored tea
  • Oils (including canola oil)
  • Gluten Free Grains (rice, corn, amaranth, buckwheat (kasha), montina, quinoa, teff, sorghum, soy)
Foods you should avoid:
  • Wheat or ingredients with wheat in the name (except buckwheat)
  • Barley or malt
  • Rye
  • Breaded or floured meal, poultry, seafood, vegetables
  • Licorice (eww), imitation crab meat, beer
I told my mom I thought it would be hard especially eating out and what not, but she said even if you cut back a little you would probably see an improvement and it would get easier as time went by.  Ryan even encouraged me to talk to one of our friends who is gluten free and cooks delicious food for them, and said he would be okay with that.  What a great support system. :)

Anway, does anyone have any advice regarding going gluten free?  I am alllllllll ears!

{Mama McD & Mama Nabors Day!}

After celebrating my birthday Friday, we decided to continue the celebration train and have family over to our house for birthday/Mother's Day celebration!  Ryan and I have really been loving having a home to entertain in, despite the cleaning up before and after the event which usually brings us to argue a bit (we're learning!).

Ryan is an excellent griller, so we decided to have bbq chicken breasts, asparagus, and eggplant all grilled.  Mama Nabors brought baked beans (yummo!), Mama McD brought Red, Hot and Blue's amazing potato salad, and deviled eggs, and Aunt Peggy, Amanda, and Max (who were in town from Cali!) brough fruit which is Max's favorite, and Trailer Cakes baby cupcakes!  Ryan and I had chips, salsa, and guacamole, and strawberries with whipped cream for dessert (which we never got to because we were so full from delicious dinner)!  Also in attendance was Papa McD!  Papa Nabors couldn't make it since he was en route abroad for business.  We wish Tori and Britt could have joined us but they were in their different cities.  It wasn't the same without you seesters!

It was so fun having everyone over at our house, and the weather ended up being beautiful for a fun time outside.  We played cornhole while the grill warmed up, Max entertained us with his cuteness, Jetta Belle wanted to play frisbee non-stop, Max found bubbles and we blew those to which he wanted to pop them with his finger, and when I blew them in his face he was unhappy and exclaimed, "but I do not want to pop bubbles with my face", and I had to cut that out pretty quickly.  Gosh he is cute!  Mama McD took some pictures, but I haven't seen them yet.

Papa McD got pretty tired so he, Amanda, Max and Aunt Peggy left, but Mama McD and Mama Nabors stayed and we played this fun game called, What's Yours Like.  You draw a card and then go around saying what yours of this is like and one person guesses based on the clues you give them.  It was so fun, and we loved the precious time with our Moms. 
For Mother's day I put together a basket with wine, Raisinettes, popcorn, a giant card (Taylor Swift brand haha, Ry got his mom one too), a small card from both of us, and Worther's Originals.  I told my mom in the card that her gift is a date night with me where I buy pizza or get take out and we watch a movie or play games at my house or hers... her choice. :)  I know being married now, I value the one on one time I get with my mom, and I think she does too.  Ryan did something similar for his Mom and they will have a fun date night together soon too.  That ended a wonderful night spent with the people we cherish most.  I love having family cookouts and I think we'll definitely do something again soon!

Sunday, my mom already had plans to go see a movie with friends, so Ryan and I spent the afternoon with Mama Nabors by the pool.  Later we went to Banana Leaf, Thai food, (YUM!) and hung out outside.  It was pretty perfect!  I love family!
Poolside enjoying the weather!

{Quarter of a Century}

It's birthday, and party time, at the Newly Nabors house as of late.  Since my birthday shortly follows Ry's birthday, we have had a lot to celebrate!  It's fun to celebrate being married too! ;)  Let me begin by saying, I have wanted a tattoo since college.  I was told by Mama and Papa McD if I did proceed to get said tattoo they would stop my college funding, bill paying, etc, immediately.  When I got out of school, they said they wouldn't pay for a wedding (assuming I did marry that Ryan boy soonish - which I did!), so that was the stopping point.  6 years later, a college degree, and wonderful husband later, I still wanted a tattoo.

I contemplated going one Friday night, but a friend encouraged me to really look into what font I wanted since I wanted wording (we'll get to that in a moment), looking for tattoo shops with high reviews on yelp.com and calling around to see what it might cost me.  I'm glad I took that advice too, because where I wanted to go initially gave me the run around with setting an official appointment, and would have cost me $100 (their shop minimum) whereas mine was based on size and time and was $80.  My mom encouraged me to not just go on a whim, and make a fun memory out of it, so I decided I would go on my 25th birthday after much discussion with Ryan.  (I am never allowed to even mention getting another tattoo, (not that I want another), and I get the privelage of explaining it to our future kiddos. :))

The wording I wanted was "Imago Dei" which is latin for His Image, or Image of God.  I first heard fo this wording in my Christian Scriptures class at Baylor freshman year, easily one of my favorite classes (that didn't hurt that I had a cute professor).  In our second class, Dr. Patrick talked about imago dei and being created in God's image.  For some reason, that really stuck with me. I love thinking that I am created in His image to do His purposes.  Upon further research I learned the following, "The term imago Dei refers most fundamentally to two things: first, God's own self-actualization through humankind; and second, God's care for humankind.  To say that humans are in the image of God is to recognize the special qualities of human nature which allow God to be made manifest in humans.  In other words, for humans to have the conscious recognition of their being in the image of God means that they are the creature throught whom God's plans and purposes can be made known and actualized.  The moral implications of the doctrine of imago Dei are apparent in the fact that if humans are to love God, then humans must love other humans, as each is an expression of God." {Imago Dei Definition}

That was the same class we talked about the phrase, Yahweh asher Yahweh, which I also love.  I love that the LORD tells us:
  • He is who He always is
  • He will be who He will always be
  • He has been who He has always been
What a precious blessing.  Our LORD is constant and never wavering.

So, Friday I went to Suffer City Tattoo with some sweet, sweet friends, Ryan, my mom and co-worker, Jessica.  True story, my mom and Jessica got one too.  What a fun adventure!  I had the font picked out and a few sizes, but they ended up being too small and he had to blow them up.  I was kind of nervous about having it bigger and not as low on my foot, but I'm really happy with it!  It had to be higher and not on the bottom of the inside of my foot because your foot has a line where skin automatically turns over more than other parts of your foot and to have a lasting tattoo that looks good and doesn't turn over with the skin, it has to be above that.

Even after taking my hyperhydrosis pills my hands and feet were still sweating (I was so nervous), but Robert, the tattoo artist, said it wouldn't be a problem!  Praise!  It took a max of 3 minutes, and yes, some parts hurt more than others, but I'm glad I did it!  I don't know how people sit for hours and hours getting tats.  I hardly could have sat for another 10 minutes. :)  Mama McD was next, and it was honestly pretty fun to see my mom getting a tat!  We love to do stuff together, so it makes sense that we would do this together.  She's the cutest.  Then was Jess' turn.  I am so grateful they got one with me!  I have a few pictures below!

Sweet friends and family support group!
(Top: Ry, me, Dom, Kariss, Allison, Chris)
(Bottom: Paige, Mom, Jessica)

Placing the stencil.  Getting more nervous!

Ow, ow, ow, ow.

Wiping off excess ink and putting topical healing ointment on.

All done!  I made it!

Latin - "His Image"

Mom's heart - she wants to get it completely filled in and a swirl added inside the heart!

Jessica's anchor for her grandfather who was in the Navy, and hope.

After tats, Ryan, Paige, Allison, Chris and I met up with Lauren and Michael (the soon to be newlyweds!!) at Herrera's a delicious Mexican food restaurant!  It was soooo yummy.  From there, Paige, Lauren, and Michael had to depart, but Allison, Chris, Ryan and I went to one of my favorite spots, Katy Trail Ice House.  It's so fun and the weather was nice to sit outside.  The only thing missing was sweet Jetta since she's allowed there.  (didn't make sense to go back and get her - sorry moosebreath!)  It was a wonderful birthday evening, and I cannot express the gratitude and joy I have from my sweet friends and family.

Up next, Mother's Day festivities!
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