Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor living in the woods of Wisconsin with my husband, four children, two dogs, and two crazy cats.

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Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
+ Mahatma Gandhi

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Winter Fun

Save the Gallbladder!


So I’m getting my hair cut yesterday and my stylist says, “I think we’ll skip texturing on top today.”

What? She must have sensed my horror because she quickly added, “Maybe we’ll need to do it next time.”

Every haircut I’ve ever had has involved texturizing the hair on top of my head. I have a lot of hairĀ and it tends to weigh itself down if it’s not thinned. I’m absolutely terrible at styling so it’s always been nice to know that while I can’t competently curl or straighten my hair, at least there’s a lot of it.

Until now. And this is just one more thing in a series of things that have been happening lately and I’m starting to think my problems might be related to gluten.

I won’t go into all the hairy details (so to speak), but let’s just say that when I go down the checklist of symptoms for gluten-related problems, either I or someone else around here has it. Tim had his gallbladder taken out a year ago and mine has started acting up recently. It went crazy during our trip to Florida. I thought I was eating really clean (I had salmon twice!) and drinking tons of water and walking a lot, but then I remembered all the pasta and the beignets and the cornbread….

Darn, darn, darn. I’m not organized enough to have a gluten intolerance!

But between my hair and my problematic gallbladder, I need to at least look into this as a possibility. I’ve never been particularly close to my gallbladder, but it’s mine and I don’t want anyone taking it. Plus, I’ve been eyeing Tim warily ever since his mother’s recent triple-bypass. (She pretty much lives on bread.)

So. I’m going to do some more research and get organized. Some of you may remember when we tried some gluten-free strategies with Will a few years ago. The Asperger’s diagnosis didn’t go away as we’d hoped, so we went back to our old ways. Maybe we gave up too easily. (I’m starting to wonder if a lot of what’s called “autism” these days is actually personality. But that’s another story!)

I know a lot of you are dealing with gluten issues, too, so I hope you won’t mind me asking questions and sharing ideas. To be honest, a gluten-free diet can be a really healthy diet, assuming you don’t start inhaling Fritos and ice cream. Which, I’ll admit, is how I’m planning to console myself. For the first week, at least.


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  1. Judy Lawrence says:

    Make sure they don’t take your gallbladder unless they have truly determined that it is creating problems. During an exploratory surgery sometime ago, they took my gallbladder (that wasn’t giving me any problems!) and I have had nothing but issues ever since. The gallbladder secretes a bile that my body needs…badly!

  2. Shannon says:

    Judy, thank you so much for sharing that! I feel like it’s the extra bit of motivation I need to keep everything where it belongs even if it’s challenging!!

  3. Amy says:

    We are cutting down on gluten – not cutting out completely – but being more aware of how much we’re eating. We’ve both felt a difference in our overall health…

  4. Jackie says:

    The hardest for me is business lunches – everyone traditionally caters sandwiches and cookies in, so if you don’t want the bread, you either skip lunch (at which point I turn into a giant bear), OR you’re the weird person in the meeting picking the meat off of their sandwich. But, it is a million times better than it used to be, and I don’t eat healthy. Udis makes a fantastic gluten free pizza, and I consume my weight in potato chips every week, just because I can. Let’s go to Pizza Luce sometime soon and I’ll show how delicious gluten free shells are.

    1. Shannon says:

      Jackie, I’d love to go to Pizza Luce. It is trickier when you’re out among humans, that’s for sure. My second day in, we were in Madison and Will got to pick where to eat. I was hoping for the Mediterranean Cafe, but he picked Five Guys. Literally, the only things on the menu are hamburgers and french fries. It was an awfully good burger, though….

  5. Marilyn says:

    I appreciate that this is a big undertaking. I tried to cut out dairy because of my life-long eczema and family history of lactose intolerance, but I failed miserably. Wishing for positive outcomes for you.

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Marilyn. I think what’s difficult about all of this (and maybe it’s just me and my personality–I like things to be very specific), is that it’s hard to give something up when you don’t have proof it’s making a difference.

      If I do as Michael Pollan says and only eat food my great-grandmother would recognize, that’s probably half the battle.

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