Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The English Channel...

My kiddo's swim team is trying to raise funds to cover their costs for the season. Every year, they have a swim-a-thon and the team sets a goal.

The team is not supported by MWR funds or school supplements and we often have several pools we have to travel between because there is no "home pool."



This year, the team effort will be to swim the length of the English Channel in their team pool, this Sunday November 6. What she needs is sponsors to pledge a sponsorship of her lengths swam in an hour. Her personal goal is to raise $350 and she will be swimming as many lengths as she can in an hour to help the team meet the goal of the "English Channel."

I have a paypal account in which we will accept flat donations OR you can pledge here (or by calling or emailing me) a certain dollar amount for every length of a 25 meter pool she is able to swim in a hour. Once she completes her swim, I will contact you to collect donations. I can also provide receipts for tax purposes.

Thanks!!

Click here to donate>>>>





Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gluten Free, Milk Free, and sometimes Soy free...

Diet.

We hear the word and we picture ourselves in a journey of self denial and loathing. But, we have a diet in this house, that sometimes has nothing to do with weight loss. Diet can mean your eating lifestyle. Diet can mean the way you have to live in order to live healthily.

Diet has been made out to be a battle and a four letter word, but in all honesty, all it means is what you should be putting in your mouth for living.

Because of diagnoses in this house, our eating lifestyle includes a lot of elimination of sugar, no gluten, no milk or milk products for our child and no soy or wheat for me.

Every time I think of the food juggles we have to maintain in this house, I realize how second nature it has become for me. But I forget how difficult it is for people who do not have food allergies, and for people who have to be subjected to going out to dinner with us.

That's when it becomes a hassle.

It's makes you feel pretty high maintenance when you have have to turn down pot lucks (or when all you eat is the food you brought). People roll their eyes when you tell them you don't eat bread or pasta. The no-carb movement has created a cynicism in the eyes of the public.

People don't understand that food allergies don't always mean peanuts and shellfish. It doesn't always mean carrying an epi-pen or wearing an alert bracelet.

I have met a lot of people who think that we are exaggerating when we tell them we can't eat wheat or milk. I have had people think I was lying and I have had people who think that their food didn't apply. I have had people take my (and my daughter's) food allergies as a personal insult because I could not eat the food they made.

Trust me, I miss macaroni and cheese, I miss bread and cheeseburgers, egg rolls, wontons, linguine and lasagna. I miss cheesecake and cookies and banana nut bread. If you make them for me, if you bring me muffins or offer my daughter a cupcake, know that it's not that we don't want it-- we cannot have it. It makes us sick.


I have to send food with my daughter when she has sleep-overs. If I don't, she invariably ends up staying home the following week to recover because she forgets to ask and sometimes accidentally eats something with gluten or casein. Sometimes even now, I forget to read a label until we go exploring to locate the newest allergy trigger.

I used to tell people that she was just gluten sensitive because that was what we found in her blood tests. But in all honesty, the only thing that keeps her from being called "Celiac" is the fact that she has not yet had an intestinal biopsy. She has all of the symptoms.

In Germany, in Europe even, it's really hard to explain to people that you do not eat pasta or bread. It's practically a sin. With bakeries on every corner and even Saturday fresh bread delivery, you get a funny look when you ask for the gluten free option.

We are the devils, and should live off of the land for the heathens that we are --seeing that we cannot eat bread (my daughter and I) and I cannot drink beer.

Therefore out of our trials, I can tell you we save a lot of money and calories by not eating out.

Diet.

Here's where it gets tough.
This is what else we need to/ have to avoid:

Caffeine- caffeine is not good for IBS, it can trigger exacerbated symptoms.

Eggplants, Mango and pineapple- While the doctors tell me that food allergies don't develop overtime, these are foods we were implementing in order to supplement what we had to take out of our diet. They aren't foods we eat often and we have found that these three do not agree with our daughter. Which adds to the finding- new foods or unfamiliar ones are always scary.

Soy- soy is not good for growing boys, women with thyroid disorder or risk for breast cancer. I am not a growing boy and I hope I am not at a risk for breast cancer, but my thyroid cannot tolerate this food additive.

Milk- Casein intolerance is sometimes found in conjunction with those of us who have wheat sensitivities. That means cookies and milk are no more unless I make them gluten free and the milk is either almond or rice.

This has created havoc for us in ways we never would have imagined.

Vegetarianism- Vegetarian is way more difficult if you have to be a gluten free, casein free, soy free vegetarian. You might as well just go completely vegan and eat the grass in the backyard.

Birthdays- Ice cream and cake are no longer welcome. You might as well just offer us a steak.

Pizza Parties- Pizza is deadly for our tummies. Just pass the salad and the wine bottle, we'll chew on the candle wax.

Biscuits and Gravy- this is one of the saddest sacrifices that have died on the alter of food sensitivities.

Fried Chicken- Popeye's and Grandma's Sunday bird are no longer options for us southern girls.

What we are learning through trial and error: Thus far, the two best all purpose flour blends for gluten free bread, pastries, gravy, fry mixes and (The best damn even better than gluten laden) chocolate chip cookies is Arrowhead Mills All Purpose Gluten Free flour and Namaste Foods Flours and Gluten free Pancake and Waffle mix.

If all else fails and you are desperate: Gluten Free Bisquick is an OK substitute, but it pales in comparison, in my opinion.




Check back soon for recipes and even plug for Gluten Free foods.

I can promise you, the chocolate chip cookie recipe will make you never want a gluten cookie ever again.



(By the way--Are you a gluten free product manufacturer? We'll gladly sample and provide feedback.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

When I should be dieting... I think of Rio

I don't know what the Brazilians eat, or if the women in Rio live off of anything other than salad, mangoes and Caipirinhas (which, by the way are wonderful).

Rio definitely has a "feel." I can only tell you I was THRILLED to be there and the time in that country was an experience I will always remember (and that was even without visiting Carnaval, or going to Lapa-- where supposedly the samba never stops--unless it's Sunday or Monday). The men in our travel group were extremely happy when the sun came out and the ladies of Rio decided to grace the beaches. What I do know is that they look wonderful. And the beaches, even in winter, feature women that wear their bikinis very well.

In general, the Brazilians can also tell by what you are wearing if you are Brazilian, European, or American. The amount of cloth on your body can be used by the locals to determine where one is from. Put it this way, I was on the beach and I wore long shorts. There was no mistaking me as a tourist.

Aside from the typical tourist talk of Brazilian beachwear --there is also a simple friendliness and joy of life that just seem to drift off the Atlantic Ocean and echo in the samba rhythms of the Brazilian nation. But... that could be the cachaça talking too.


What does this have to do with dieting? Well nothing really, I suppose. Except that the people in Brazil, in Rio, seem to take nothing for granted. Perhaps that is with my outsider looking in perspective, but there truly is a rhythm there, a spirit that I can only liken to the spirit of places like New Orleans, Paris, Prague, or what I would imagine one feels in cities like New York, Seattle, Mallorca, or Havana. All different cities, but ones that have definitive signature ambiances.

The embrace of life, beauty and self there could be that Brazilian women just learn to love and appreciate their bodies, not hate them like American women are wont to do (but I could be wrong, Rio is one of the world's largest plastic surgery cities in the world).


Over a year ago, in my quest to feel better in a bathing suit, I purchased a DVD pack that is supposed to help lift the booty...if the series "Brazilian Butt Lift" is anything like the workout regimen these ladies from Rio beaches embrace--the country must be doing something right.

This blog post isn't a commercial or an ad for the DVD, it's an honest account of my experience with what seems to be a pretty tough workout. I haven't even begun to attempt to think about the company's "P90X" series that I have been hearing so much about.

I am re-beginning the regimen tomorrow, but I wanted to talk about my first experience with it.

First, it comes with a booklet that lets you pick the type of workout you need for your butt and hips. There's a plan for the flat booty to be built up to more of a round "po(not the plan I need)" there is a plan for a saggy booty to be lifted and a plan for those who just want to lose the excess hips, butt, thighs and secretary butt. (They even send you a pencil to do 'the pencil test').

I already have (and have always had) a big butt, only now, the butt is way too much booty in the pants.

The first time I tried the DVD workout--I made it through 10 minutes of the first "Bum-Bum" workout before I felt like my glutes were on fire and my thighs were screaming in protest. A friend of mine who is in much better shape than I tried it and renamed the DVD "Brazilian Butt Kick." My child, who is an athlete, gave up 18 minutes in to the 30 minute workout... after I challenged her for pointing and laughing at my obvious awkward efforts.

Honestly, if this is what Jiu Jitsu, Samba, and Capoeira is like --I now know why those women can dance all night in stilettos and be up the next day traipsing around in their cha cha shoes.

I am hoping that if I can wake myself early enough to add this workout into my schedule, I will make it through the first Bum-Bum routine in two weeks.

Of course, that wouldn't be me working the DVD set the way I am supposed to. Ideally I'm supposed to rotate each workout each day but these Brazilians have no idea how out of shape I am. For example: this was supposed to be a blog about how sinfully wonderful jalapeño cheese Cheetos are and how I have to give them up if I ever want to be a Jack Lalane disciple.

It's not like I sit round my house noshing on Cheetos, but I have had them more recently than the last time I attempted to samba my way to having buns of steel.

Bottom line: I have given up Cheetos and I haven't decided yet if the Brazilian Butt lift DVDs are less painful than the actual surgery.

Also, don't ever ask me for pictures of my popozão.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Is this thing on?

As you can see, I have moved.

BUT, I am writing!

Coming back to blogging and bunking up against my old blog feels a bit like walking into a renovated home.


There have been a lot of changes and if you, dear reader, ever do find yourself here wondering what has happened since I last took pen to paper (Or type to internet, as it were), well, it's been a lot.


A few things that have happened since 2008-
More deployments,
Degrees earned,
Two moves,
and world travel.

Really.


As I wrap up my "blog warming party" let me give you an idea of what to expect.

United States of Bohica is not a commentary on our country, it is a name I picked in 2008 to begin the catalog of our lives as a military family wrapped up in the high tempo of what we live following a combat veteran. But the catalog got held up by life and other distractions

However, what began as that, has evolved into what I would like my writing to become.
USoBohica will more than likely feature commentary on life, product reviews, dietary trials and advice (the kiddo and I have gone Gluten-Free!).

Let me be clear, I am here to write. It is an exercise in working a talent I enjoy and perfecting a craft I seek to utilize in my life. I enjoy writing. I enjoy telling people about products I have tried, recipes I have attempted, places I have visited. I have lived too long in the shadow of concern of the internet. Like any tool, it can be a wonderful thing or can cause major damage if used improperly.


Trust me, I know what I'm doing. It's going to be OK.


But this "Hi how are you?" blurb is not just about me, but also about the virtues of Google's Blogger and why I am back (FYI-they're not paying me to write this...it's a word of mouth endorsement from someone who stopped blogging because of the tedium of blogging).

I have carried this domain from place to place searching for a home and frankly, Blogger is more user friendly than "Quick Blogcast" even though it would allow me to have a domain without the blogger banner.


There are people in this world who are technologically fascinated by coding and flash; by building web pages and fancying up the place.

Frankly, it's not my cup of tea (I prefer chai over code and e-interior decorating).

What makes Blogspot/Blogger preferable to someone like me (ie, a person who wants to write and would rather not be dragged down by the flotsam and jetsam of blog page decoupage) is that it is user friendly. It's like "Blog Decorating and Set-up for Dummies." Attaching Google Adsense, pictorial preference and layout takes merely clicks of the mouse and drag and drop features rather than the tedious interlacing of coding into a blog domain.

With html coding, make no mistake, I can do it, I just don't want to. HTML is a lot like running or dusting for me (--by the way, those prettily italicized words there? Mouse clicked in, rather than personal linguistic feats), it's a chore I would rather leave to someone else.

In essence, Blogger/Blogspot/Google is like my electronic personal assistant or housekeeper. So, that's why you're here and I'm here.

Plus Blogger is free and Adsense allows me to set up my little tin cup for passersby to clink in a few pennies. The reality is, I'm not a starving artist-- but dreams don't pay the bills and degrees are wonderful accomplishments-- but they don't pay for themselves.

For free and convenient, Blogger is the best choice (Really Google, if you want to pay me for that one, it's a gem).

(Is it just me, or did that Madmen Marathon influence this blog maybe just a little bit?)

If you have questions and would like a response, please feel free to leave me an email message or contact me via my Facebook page. I will not always be answering comments in blogs. This isn't Myspace.