Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Monkey House

"Close Enough"detail, ink on paper, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

I hadn't been down the grocery store bread aisle in ages. But honey was on my list and that's where our local Pathmark shelves it. Having no need for 'regular' bread I've avoided that aisle since honestly, I no longer care for the smell.

The longer I am gluten-free the less I can tolerate the smell and the more uncomfortable it makes me. The honey was half way down a looong aisle so I couldn’t just get in and out. The coughing started as soon as I entered, increasing the further I went, and as I got to the honey I was really coughing - truly feeling like I couldn’t get enough air. By the time I was able to get out I was practically gagging.  It's very similar to my reaction to the monkey house at the zoo and usually make a quick exit.

When I got home and told my husband he thought it was a bit kooky - can't blame him - and he assumed it was my thought associations with gluten that was responsible for the reaction. So I reached out to my celiac/GF friends on twitter to find out if anyone else has a similar physical reaction. And found out I am not the only one (which proves I'm not crazy).

How does the bread aisle make you feel?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gluten-Free Halloween

"Happy Halloween Dahling", watercolor & ink, 5x7, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

I love chocolate, chocolate and oh, more chocolate!  Halloween is a great reason to have lots of it in the house.  I don't know if it is the unmatched flavor of chocolate, or living without it for 23 years, or my continued awe and joy that living gluten-free has given me back the pleasure of chocolate. But, I enjoy a little every day.

The NFCA has published a Gluten-Free Snack and Candy List on their website and I was thrilled to find such a large selection. With Halloween right around the corner I thought I would share my top 10 candies, but realized it’s just a few that I am crazy about and quite possibly - addicted to.

Here are my top 3 favorite gluten-free sweets...

Reese’s peanut butter cups A delighful & perfect blend of two of my favorite flavors. I craved Reese's PB cups for the entire 23 yrs I went without chocolate.

Peanut M&M's  I did not appreciate the beauty of the peanut m&m’s when I was a kid but when I had them again for the first time it had been closer to 30 yrs. Wow - first your teeth crack through the sweet crispy shell, then sink into the soft creamy chocolate, and top it off by reaching the yummy peanut. Such a combination of taste and texture. Genius.

3 muskteers Deliciously smooth and creamy.

I also LOVE Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips but throwing a handful of loose chips in Halloween bags doesn’t work, so I'll just enjoy those on my own.

I am waiting until right before Halloween to stock up so I don’t eat them all before the trick-or-treaters arrive.  I am secretly hoping traffic will be light so there will be an abundance of leftovers. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pressure & Perfection

"Wine Tasting Border", 3" x 7", watercolor & ink, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

To say I am a perfectionist is an understatement. It is my greatest stumbling block. I started this blog to document my journey to reclaiming & maintaining good health and yet if I can't find the perfect thing to say with a matching illustration, it seems I can't say anything. I need to constantly remind myself that it’s the process that counts. If so then every piece along the way, good bad or anywhere in between, is fine just for the reason that it is ALL part of the adventure.

This is so with all the main aspects of my life… my art, the food I consume, my relationships and motherhood. Now I always try to do the right thing for all of above for many reasons but perfect is not always (or ever) possible. If mistakes happen along the way I need to learn from them and move on. I also need to stop putting enormous pressure on myself... It is counterproductive to all that I want to accomplish. See that...back to focusing on the end product.

I was reminded last night that it’s all part of life and there are an infinite number of opportunities to make choices in any given day.  So I am shifting my focus from accomplishing perfection to staying in the moment, and viewing it all as the work in progress that it is; an ongoing creation and interaction.

To that end I release myself from the need to always have the perfect thing to write here matched with the perfectly appropriate art/illustration.