Sun Dogs, Celiac, and Gratitude

The sun was setting as I was driving to meet a friend for dinner last night, and I noticed that there was what looked like a multi-colored beam of light going almost all the way around the sun. I was so enthralled with staring at it that I missed my exit twice! When I got home I searched the internet and found that the phenomenon, called a parhelion (plural is parhelia), is due to atmospheric ice crystals which act like giant prisms. When the beams are not totally connected, they are called “sun dogs.”

My friend and I shared a fabulous meal and as I drove home I reflected on how grateful I am for my family, friends, faith, health, and the foods and beverages that I can (and do) eat and drink.

Here is my list of foods I am thankful I can eat (in no particular order):

fruits (apples, berries, clementines, grapes, peaches, melons) • vegetables (kale, spinach, sweet peas, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini) • chocolateeggs (and bacon) • fish, shrimp, and non-processed seafood • fresh squeezed lemonade • aged cheese • meats such as chicken, pork, lamb, and lean beef • sweet potatoes, squash, and yams • Jelly Bellies • homemade chocolate, cranberry scones (adapted from this fabulous recipe) • popcorn and kettle corn • Against the Grain baguettes • green, leafy salads • all types of nuts (as long as ordered from • GF oats and oatmeal • gelato • corn tortillas and many Mexican foods • organic wine • chickpeas, rice, and other beansfresh herbs like basil, cilantro, and rosemary • GF Thin Mint cookies from Happy Bellies Bake Shop

I will leave you with the Shin Buddhist Food Prayer (in Japanese and English):

Before meals recite: Ita Da Ki Masu. I take this nourishment in gratitude (to all beings).

After meals recite: Go Chi So Sama. Thank you in deepest gratitude (to sustain my life).

Thank you for reading! What foods are you thankful to be able to eat?

7 thoughts on “Sun Dogs, Celiac, and Gratitude

  1. Amanda

    Avocado, sweet potato, berries, steak, fresh squeezed lemonade (good one!), mounds bars occasionally, watermelon, cucumbers … There are so many foods I’m thankful to still be able to eat!

    1. Jess Post author

      Thanks Amanda! I totally forgot about avocados and homemade guacamole, I love them (and really did not start to eat them until after finding out that I have Celiac Disease). And, I cannot wait to watermelon to be in season in our part of the country. We eat it almost everyday.
      Happy Spring to you!

  2. Jess Post author

    Thanks Dana! I am trying to combat some of the negativity regarding Celiac Disease.
    I hope that you see a sun dog too…but it might require you to travel to the upper midwest or Canada! I have yet to see the aurora borealis (not even sure if that’s how it’s spelled) but am hoping to some day.
    Hope that you and your family have a happy spring!

  3. Jacqie Lamb

    Adjusting to celiac disease does take time, but a long time ago a friend told me “make time your friend.” I didn’t understand then, when I was in my 20s, but I do now, having just turned 60. I was only diagnosed 5 years ago, after a lifetime of difficulty. But I am grateful. I have discovered a whole new relationship with food, mostly with whole foods. I am unable to eat so many things that people around me just eat randomly; I can’t eat unhealthy, junky foods. How great is that? Nobody expects me to eat that dessert or that appetizer because I can’t! They actually feel sorry for me. Funny, that, because I am thrilled I can’t . I am slim and athletic, while most of my friends are struggling with weight issues, diabetes, knee replacements, hypothyroidism, etc. I do have issues relating to celiac disease and malabsorption, but at least I know about it and am dealing with it. And I am actually healthier than my non-celiac friends. It’s been a wonderful evolution.

  4. Jacqie Lamb

    Oh – forgot to add – I was playing tennis the other day and suddenly there was a fantastic sundog in the sky. I stopped the match and insisted everyone take it in. I kind of got the same reception I get when I suggest that some people might want to examine their relationship with gluten (“Oh, I could NEVER live without pasta!”) but it was a glorious moment, nonetheless’ at least for me.

    1. Jess Post author

      Hi Jacqie,
      I wish that I could bottle your positive attitude toward Celiac Disease and share it with all of the newly diagnosed (and not so newly diagnosed too!) Just before reading your comments I was out for a run, reflecting on how lucky I am to be able to treat my chronic disease with diet and exercise…I have really started to dedicate a decent amount of time each week to running and yoga and it has made a huge difference in health and ability to bounce back from “glutenings.” Ditto on the healthy eating; we are fortunate to be able to have a medical reason to avoid Cheetos and McDonalds.
      There is a lot of negativity in the Celiac community, which seems to ebb and flow, you are truly a breath of fresh air, as well as an inspiration.
      Thank you!

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