Hi and welcome back.
I hope you all had a lovely bank holiday weekend. I spent my bank holiday with friends and family and enjoying the hot summer weather. This year has been a rollercoaster of change. I have felt this summer I have been so bogged down in organising our move and bouncing from one change and disappointment to another, that I didn’t really stop to enjoy the season. With that in mind, I thought I would share a life update with you and share what I have been up to over the past few months.
If you have been following my blog for a while, you would have seen my New Year Goals post where I shared my big goal for 2019; move south to be closer to family. Now we are over half way through the year, and that process is taking much longer than I expected. It felt for a long time we were stuck and unable to progress; it took my husband a lot longer than expected to find a new job and we came very close to discarding the idea completely. Now he has joined me for the past month, the dream is back on again. This move is definitely teaching me a lot about patience and to accept that I can’t be in control of everything. This is not an easy lesson for me as I am a class A control freak who hates change and in the last few months I have moved from my parents, to in-laws to back in with my parents. We are currently sharing a bedroom in my in-laws house with limited space in the cupboard and a few drawers. It’s cramped and can feel challenging at times but it is bringing us closer to family and allowing us to make up for all the “lost” time when we lived over 3 hours away.
We are finally starting to see an end to this chapter of uncertainty with the sale of our house due to be completed in the next couple of months and the purchase of our new home soon thereafter. This period in my life has taught me what I care about and value (family, friends, experiences) and what I can let go of (all the unnecessary spending and purchases or things that do not bring me joy. I even went into a bookstore and didn’t buy anything). Here is hoping this move now progresses smoothly and without any more setbacks.
Cooking and recipes
Now, I couldn’t ignore my change to my cooking and baking since I have been staying with family. It has been a challenge for me to not be staying in my own place and cooking my own food. I can often find that family is often well-meaning but can struggle with the limitations and care needed when cooking for a gluten free person. I am the first person to have to live a gluten free lifestyle in my family and the learning curve has been steep. Most of my family are very good at buying gluten free products but we hit a problem when it came to cooking and preparing the food. In my own kitchen or if I am cooking, I have developed a few check points to prevent cross-contamination. Living at my in-laws became a massive problem with the cooking of gluten free food. I regularly became cross-contaminated and ill. It took a sit down with family to work out a system where I cook for myself or my food is cooked in the top of the oven. It does get tough when I am eating pre-packaged gluten free foods and can’t cook from scratch so we made a decision to cook a gluten-free meal for family weekly. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below.
Another area of my life where I have made a big change in the last few months is my attitude to my impact on the environment. If you read my blog post on How I am trying to Use Less Waste as a Coeliac you would know I was truly shocked by David Attenborough documentary on highlighting the need to for change to protect our environment.
I have been working to reduce my plastic consumption by using biodegradable beeswax food wraps instead of cling film or kitchen foil and taking reusable cutlery/straws with me everywhere. This helps not only to reduce my single-use plastic consumption but also protects me against the risk of cross-contamination from single use plastic.
One other way I have been trying to reduce my plastic consumption is move to a shampoo bar. It has been a very interesting experience and whilst I struggled initially, my hair is now feeling so much more healthier and less damaged than before. People regularly comment to tell me how good my hair looks or comment on how soft and smooth it is. The shampoo bar I use is from the Zero Waste Path Shop linked here and I love it. If you are looking for a shampoo bar, I would definitely recommend this bar.
I have also made massive changes to my shopping habits and now try to only buy second hand or reduced items from sustainable shopping brands. Stay tuned for a blog post on my shopping habits now where I will share my tips for clothes shopping in a more sustainable way.
There you go! A life update for me for Summer 2019. It has been a period of change and growth but now the weather should be getting cooler, I am looking forward to longer nights curled up with a book and enjoying gluten free food without the hassle. Stay tuned for next Sunday blog post.