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Nightingale8472

I Don'T Know If I Can Do This...

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When I was waiting for my results I was almost terrorized by a gluten-free diet. So to beat the fear I tried to go gluten-free without even knowing if I was celiac. Well... it turned out it wasn't that bad at all. I felt better almost immediately and when I got the results, even if I was shaken, I was already prepared to face such a lifestyle change. And I have to say it's not that bad...

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When I was waiting for my results I was almost terrorized by a gluten-free diet. So to beat the fear I tried to go gluten-free without even knowing if I was celiac. Well... it turned out it wasn't that bad at all. I felt better almost immediately and when I got the results, even if I was shaken, I was already prepared to face such a lifestyle change. And I have to say it's not that bad...

I probably should've done that... I called my doc this afternoon and they said the results are in. The doc should call me before 7:00 tonight. I'm sitting here eating wontons from Pick-Up-Stix because they're my favorite and I'm so afraid she's gonna tell me I can't ever have them again.

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rather than think about all the foods you can't have, think about all the foods you CAN have. The latter far outweighs the former, I assure you :)

This is good advice. There are SO MANY foods that you can eat. Focus on them. :)

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I probably should've done that... I called my doc this afternoon and they said the results are in. The doc should call me before 7:00 tonight. I'm sitting here eating wontons from Pick-Up-Stix because they're my favorite and I'm so afraid she's gonna tell me I can't ever have them again.

So? What did they say? You've got us in suspense here! :lol:

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I know... In the last two weeks, migraines have kept me from poker games, wakeboarding, skydiving, helping a friend move, and getting work done. And that's just what I can think of in a few seconds.

How do you find time to cook? I feel like I don't even have time to shop... I get up at 5:30, commute to work, work, get home at 6:30, take care of the dog, do homework, and crash. I usually eat while I'm doing something else.

A crock pot!! It's my favorite kitchen appliance. Just bought a new one this weekend at Costco for $14.99 because I wore my old one out. ( You can order on line from Target very easily too). I too have a schedule like yours. In the morning (or sometimes overnight), just throw in some meat, pork or chicken, gluten-free broth, gluten-free spices, some vegies or potato/sweet potato wrapped in foil, when you get home a meal is ready and you can multi task away. I usually make enough for leftovers so I don'thave to cook every day.

There are tons on recipes on line or in books for cooking with the crock pot. I just purchased Crock Pot (brand name) Recipe Collection (in binder) recipe book that is chock full of easy recipes with items you have around the house (not a bunch of weird ingredients). Love the sections - 3 item meals and 5 ingredients or less. I make soups, stews, roasts, chili, etc. Today, I have a tri tip roast, carrots and baked potato cooking for the whole family. It will be ready when I get home from work. Took me less than 5 minutes to throw it all together. The leftover meat I'll make into sandwiches on my gluten-free bread for lunch at work and to be able to grab over the weekend.

Also on the weekends, I do make time (had to make some adjustments in my busy life, but this became a priority) to pre make some snacks and lunches for the week. I bake up granola bars, grill panini sandwiches, make tortilla soup (overnight in the crockpot), etc. and have for grab and go during the week. Usually takes me an hour or so to have things I can have throughout the week in the refrig to grab as needed.

Other items in my kitchen so I have prepared items to go.. ziplock bags, foil, Glad press and seal (wonderful invention) and Glad plasicware/pyrex glass wear in serving sizes. My husband was saying how quickly we are going through ziplocks, but then we thought about it... what I make at home (much healther) and that I am not buying prepackaged, presertative loaded processed food. is getting us ahead of the game both money wise and defintely health wise!

Take the time to invest in yourself to shop and prepare (it doesn't take much - maybe an hour a week and less than 10 minutes a day) and you will have more energy and feel better to take care of the dogs, the homework, and do better at work. It's amazing! You can do it!

PS) This week I rode my Harley on two great rides, participated in a girls night out, went to class, met friends for dinner, walked the dogs 2 x day and rocked at work. Get rid of the msg, the gluten and what ever causes you reactions and you won't have to miss out on things in life! Wakeboards - here we come!

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Doc says the blood test is normal.

Well now you have some big decisions. ALL the testing is somewhat unreliable and false negatives are common. Will you eat gluten and do a biopsy? That would be the next step.

I know you really do not want to have celiac or do this diet, but I urge you to keep looking and if all tests come up negative try the diet. It's not worth being sick for years on end.

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Doc says the blood test is normal.

My tests were normal, too (including endoscopy). But so many other clues were decidedly abnormal that my doc diagnosed Celiac anyway. I am soooo soooo much better without gluten. It was a no-brainer.

I didn't like leftovers either. I never took them home from restaurants and I'd never save them after meals because they'd just sit and rot in the refrigerator for weeks and weeks until I'd find them and wonder, "What is this green thing?" Then toss it out - sometimes with the Tupperware because it was so gross. I also never ate meat because it never appealed to me. Nor veggies. Now I pounce on the leftovers and mark them "Mom's!" so no one else eats them. And I have widened my repertoire of food, too. I eat MORE than I used to eat. Geesh. I thought I'd starve when I was first diagnosed. Right now I'm on a kick of finding one food a week that I've never tried before. Last week it was tofu. Blech.

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Have you had regular allergy testing for food allergies? It's not that reliable either, but there are plenty of food allergies that do show up on it. Maybe you are allergic to something else.

No. I'm seeing a GI tomorrow. We'll see what he suggests. Unfortunately, the food diary that the neuro had me keep was basically useless, because I get so many headaches that it pretty much indicated that, as the doc said, I get headaches from breathing. There's just no way to narrow it down beyond the things that really stood out, like the chocolate.

He's probably going to want to do an endo, but I think I'm probably going to argue for the pill-camera thing instead. The idea of an endo frightens me, and I don't like someone mucking about near my vocal cords. I also don't want to have to ask my friends or family to take a day off work to drive me to the doctor. That's not fair to them... my headaches already have a huge impact on their lives, so I try to keep everything I have to ask them to an absolute minimum.

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The thing is, I get migraines about five days a week, so I usually just go on with my life despite having a migraine...part of it is that I'm used to it. I'm in pain more often than not, but the bigger thing is that if I gave in to the instinct to curl up in a dark room every time I had a headache, I'd never leave the house!

I kind of internally rate my headaches on a 1-10 scale and treat them accordingly:

My dad doesn't even bother to ask if I have a headache anymore, since I almost always do... he just asks "How's the head?" and I reply with a number, which tells him not only how bad it is, but what I've done to treat it.

That's exactly what I did--mine started when I was fifteen (about the same time as my appetite disappearing), but they got significantly worse freshman year of college. My pain scale when the tension headaches, migraines and rebound headaches finally went away was terrifying--one of my doctors has the "normal" pain scale hanging in his office. When we compared mine to his, his 9 was my 3.

I was still working and going to classes, but the joy was gone. Most days, I was drugged out of my mind trying to survive, and my friends would lose it. Apparently, living off of painkillers and migraine meds isn't acceptable. The jackhammer takes away everything and leaves nothing. So I empathize mightily with you.

And I know that it came back negative, but I'd suggest that, after the endoscopy, you sit down with an allergist, nutritionist or naturopath and see about an elimination diet. That was the route my neuro ended up prescribing because I'd gone through five different preventative medications with no obvious effect *and* the food journal revealed nothing. There's a couple comprehensive guides out there as to what foods commonly set of migraines--I think my original elimination diet removed something like 30 different types of foods, from gluten to tomatoes to dairy and legumes. Hell, I was living off of buffalo for a couple weeks while trying to add in other meats.

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mmmm...buffalo :)

There are people out there who don't like buffalo, and I just cannot understand them. Give me buffalo, caribou, or moose any day of the week and I'll be a happy twenty-something. I still suspect that my parents were willing to start hunting themselves just so that there'd be game meats when I was a kid--I was a picky eater and moose was one of the few things I'd eat. Moose and salmon. They added buffalo on a trip to the contiguous US when I was five, and I've been hooked since.

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I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE moose meat!

Of course I can't get any down here in the Southern US. My poor husband has never even seen a live moose. And the deer down here in North Carolina are spindly little things compared to back home in Ontario.

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I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance so the biopsy was normal with me and all the blood work for celiac was normal . . . I went to an allergist / immunologist and she did scratch testing for allergies which came back normal.

I kept looking though since I have uncontrolled ulcerative colitis despite being on Remicade. Having to go to the bathroom anywhere from 5 - 30 times a day can put a damper on your life. I was talking with another UC patient one day and she said she had blood work for allergies though Alletess lab and found out she had a bunch of food intolerances. I decided to try it and low and behold I have 28 "food intolerances".

My GI is supportive and said I should remove them from my diet. The allergist/immunologist poo poo'd the tests and said they were experimental and couldn't be trusted. Well, I've been "living with my new food choices" since the beginning on December and I haven't felt this good in years. My life was so controlled by my fear of being more than 60 seconds away from a bathroom. I have to avoid gluten plus a bunch of other stuff including: soy, lactose, corn, walnuts, almonds, tomato, garlic, yeast, etc. But . . being able to have a social life and travel with my husband is so worth the changes I've had to make in my diet. I used to live on McDonald's and now I can say I hardly even think about it. Feeling better is so worth it.

So, keep looking until you figure it out. I tried a gluten-free diet a couple of years ago and it didn't seem to work - - but I was missing the extra puzzle pieces of corn, lactose, soy, yeast, etc.

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I know... In the last two weeks, migraines have kept me from poker games, wakeboarding, skydiving, helping a friend move, and getting work done. And that's just what I can think of in a few seconds.

How do you find time to cook? I feel like I don't even have time to shop... I get up at 5:30, commute to work, work, get home at 6:30, take care of the dog, do homework, and crash. I usually eat while I'm doing something else.

I agree, just wanna go thru a drive thru SOMETIMES and EAT.. I see lots of recipes from the people who find it "fun" or "easy" Im still mad about the diagnosis probably, but I have sensitivities to much of the "fun, easy" foods, like tomatoes, almonds, garlic, oats, yeast, milk, etc. OR HATE much of it.. and getting close to the last of my complaints :) is that they are SOOO expensive to screw up and then be hungry.. I think while people are trying to be supportive, I find it irritating to say "just do this or that" none of the foods sound good nor do I like to cook.

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A crock pot!! It's my favorite kitchen appliance. Just bought a new one this weekend at Costco for $14.99 because I wore my old one out. ( You can order on line from Target very easily too). I too have a schedule like yours. In the morning (or sometimes overnight), just throw in some meat, pork or chicken, gluten-free broth, gluten-free spices, some vegies or potato/sweet potato wrapped in foil, when you get home a meal is ready and you can multi task away. I usually make enough for leftovers so I don'thave to cook every day.

There are tons on recipes on line or in books for cooking with the crock pot. I just purchased Crock Pot (brand name) Recipe Collection (in binder) recipe book that is chock full of easy recipes with items you have around the house (not a bunch of weird ingredients). Love the sections - 3 item meals and 5 ingredients or less. I make soups, stews, roasts, chili, etc. Today, I have a tri tip roast, carrots and baked potato cooking for the whole family. It will be ready when I get home from work. Took me less than 5 minutes to throw it all together. The leftover meat I'll make into sandwiches on my gluten-free bread for lunch at work and to be able to grab over the weekend.

Also on the weekends, I do make time (had to make some adjustments in my busy life, but this became a priority) to pre make some snacks and lunches for the week. I bake up granola bars, grill panini sandwiches, make tortilla soup (overnight in the crockpot), etc. and have for grab and go during the week. Usually takes me an hour or so to have things I can have throughout the week in the refrig to grab as needed.

Other items in my kitchen so I have prepared items to go.. ziplock bags, foil, Glad press and seal (wonderful invention) and Glad plasicware/pyrex glass wear in serving sizes. My husband was saying how quickly we are going through ziplocks, but then we thought about it... what I make at home (much healther) and that I am not buying prepackaged, presertative loaded processed food. is getting us ahead of the game both money wise and defintely health wise!

Take the time to invest in yourself to shop and prepare (it doesn't take much - maybe an hour a week and less than 10 minutes a day) and you will have more energy and feel better to take care of the dogs, the homework, and do better at work. It's amazing! You can do it!

PS) This week I rode my Harley on two great rides, participated in a girls night out, went to class, met friends for dinner, walked the dogs 2 x day and rocked at work. Get rid of the msg, the gluten and what ever causes you reactions and you won't have to miss out on things in life! Wakeboards - here we come!

WHAT do you cook or prepare for the week in 10 mins or an hour of shopping? not to be smart or anything... or how is it less expensive? I'm seein 8 bucks for a bit of flour.. how does it keep all week? what books do you use? maybe I bought the wrong ones... they were expensive and had nuthin I have any interest in eating having tried some a few mos ago..have to take a several hour trip 2 moro w 2 toddlers.. cant imagine what to take to eat..OK, besides the obvious fresh fruits.. or where to stop to eat along the way..sitting in the car isnt any fun, not eating anything is my usual M.O. let me say, I hate this!

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Ok, I had the Migraine From Hell on Saturday...

I woke up at around 3:30 am with a jackhammer in my skull. It took an insane amount of medication plus anti-nausea meds to keep it under control, and it was only due to the anti-nausea meds that I didn't end up in the ER.

I'm wondering if this could've been caused by the sourdough cheese bread I had for dinner the night before (not with dinner... I had three slices FOR dinner around 8:00 pm).

Normally, most of the migraines I get are pretty mild compared to this. This was a "did anyone get the license number of that truck?" headache. This was "I spent the whole day on Norco and Zofran and still threw up twice" headache. It completely, totally, 100% sucked.

After spending the latter part of the night/first part of the morning in hell, I decided "what the heck, gluten free can't be as bad as THIS!"

Saturday night was bad, headache wise. I could not shake the headache, and I kept having to take more painkillers as the last dose wore off. I've had these god-awful 24-72 hour long migraines before, but they're pretty rare. I had a party to go to for my renaissance faire reenactment group, and being stubborn, refused to stay home, and I spent most of the night feeling dizzy, tired and very icky...the painkillers take away the pain but not the other migraine symptoms.

I was able to find some gluten free stuff to eat at the pot luck. Baked potato and roast beef for dinner and jello and chocolate mousse for dessert. I figured that I already had a headache so it wasn't like the chocolate was going to give me one. When I got home from the party, I refused to take more painkillers and just crawled into bed and let the headache come back. The cat was remarkably sympathetic.

I'm now on Day 3. My family has been very supportive, as they just want me to feel better. I had a family dinner yesterday and mom cooked my food in a separate dish with gluten free barbecue sauce from Trader Joes (and everyone decided they liked the gluten free sauce better!) and was very careful to keep everything separate... she even had a separate container of butter labelled "gluten-free". She's been doing some reading, I see. She even had gluten free chips and salsa, shrimp and gluten free cocktail sauce, and I brought cheese and glutino crackers, which were surprisingly good. Dad even commented that he liked the crackers, and I said "Dad, those are gluten free." and he replied "They-rrr?" around a mouth full of cracker. Unfortunately, my favoritest cheese in the world, lemon stilton, has gluten right on the label, so I consoled myself with a good gouda. For dessert, while everyone else had chocolate cake, I had a piece of gluten free apple pie from whole foods, and OMG it was probably the best apple pie I've ever had. My mom had a bite and said "I want that instead!" We all had Bryers All-Natural vanilla ice cream, because nothing on the label indicated gluten (milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla).

I had a bit of a headache yesterday and knocked it out with Relpax.

I didn't get my normal headache around 8:30 this morning... it's now almost noon and I have just a hint of a headache. Nothing I'm even considering medicating.

Maybe there's something to this. We'll see.

I'm keeping a headache diary and will compare it to the two diaries I kept in September and December. I was in a clinical trial and had to keep pretty careful notes, so I'll follow the same procedure now.

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Ok, I had the Migraine From Hell on Saturday...

I'm keeping a headache diary and will compare it to the two diaries I kept in September and December. I was in a clinical trial and had to keep pretty careful notes, so I'll follow the same procedure now.

Good luck. However, if you are gluten intolerant or have celiac, there are other issues that are often discovered as you heal--especially dairy intolerance and soy intolerance. Those are the two most common; other issues include nuts, yeast, and/or nightshades.

Obviously, the first step is to see if this works for you. (And it might not, realistically.) But there might be other things that crop up later on, and you should probably know that now.

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WHAT do you cook or prepare for the week in 10 mins or an hour of shopping? not to be smart or anything... or how is it less expensive? I'm seein 8 bucks for a bit of flour.. how does it keep all week? what books do you use? maybe I bought the wrong ones... they were expensive and had nuthin I have any interest in eating having tried some a few mos ago..have to take a several hour trip 2 moro w 2 toddlers.. cant imagine what to take to eat..OK, besides the obvious fresh fruits.. or where to stop to eat along the way..sitting in the car isnt any fun, not eating anything is my usual M.O. let me say, I hate this!

Ok, here goes... First,

I cook things overnight or during the day in the crockpot. It usually takes 5-10 minutes to throw things in the pot and away you go. In the crock pot I made chicken tortilla soup (and then put in glad plastic containers, freeze some, put some in refrig. Just microwave for 1 minute when you want to eat. Also make other soups and chili sometimes.

Last week I made a stew (put in those disposable plastics)and a roast.

In an hour one morning over the weekend,

With the roast, I made 4 grilled cheese/meat sandiwches (on gluten-free bread), wrapped in foil,put in fridge. Just grabbed one tonight, nuked it and ate in the car on way to class.

Put gluten-free potato chips in snack bags.

Baked granola bars (you can also buy gluten-free granola and sanck bars pre made and these are easy to tuck in purse). Baked gluten-free muffins from mix (great to grab for breakfast).

Cut up some cheese put in snack bags with gluten-free crackers to grab as needed.

Found some gluten-free popcorn and put in snack bags

Salad in those glad disposables with gluten-free dressing in a little plastic container to go. With premade gluten-free croutons. Sometimes I'll add grilled shrimp or meat from whatever I made in crockpot.

Cut up vegies in snack bags

anyways you get the idea. Use what foods you like, change how you make them so they are gluten-free. I am not a good cook nor do I make very much from scratch. I don't have the time.

Never said it was less expensive, although suprising to me, I am not eating out as much and that is zaving money, I am not eating as much cuz I am not hungry all the time (food cravings are now gone) .I usually shop once every two weeks. I am lucky to have a Whole Foods nearby and they have alot of gluten-free to pick from. I also mail order some items.

As for books, I don't use the gluten-free cookbooks as you have to make too many things from stratch. I use my CrockPot recipe book and just use gluten-free indregients. For example, for pulled pork, I use a gluten-free bbque sauce and gluten-free spices. Easy! For tuna casserole, I use gluten-free noodles, etc. For muffins, cookies, etc. I either buy the pakaged ones or buy a gluten-free box mix. I don't even understand what all those flours are yet!

Good luck you can do it.

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I am so happy for you that you are doing this! I think it's way cool that you are into skydiving, wakeboarding AND in a Ren Faire group. Can't wait until it comes again this year. Still Irwindale right?

Easy dinners can be a meat, a starch and a veggie. Get some Lawry's and Lemon Pepper and shake them on steaks or pork chops and they taste great. Tonight I put a little bit of Lawry's on chicken breasts and pan friend them with some Pam spray. Then you can put BBQ sauce on, or make honey mustard with some honey and mustard mixed together. So there's 3 nights for you, chicken, pork chops, steak.

A rice cooker will be a big help. They have them at Costco for $30. There is a steamer basket to put veggies in above the rice.

The only gluten free cookbooks you would need are for baking and I don't think you are the baking type from what you've said. ;):lol:

Tacos are an easy meal. Get some taco seasoning (read to make sure it's gluten free.) Then cook up your beef and heat some corn tortillas. Then the next day make a burrito with a rice tortilla and that's 2 meals.

There are so many foods that don't say gluten free but they are gluten free. Lucille's BBQ sauce has no gluten in it and it's amazing. So don't feel like you have to buy special gluten free condiments.

You might make some time to do some label reading at the grocery store and then also read the forums on here for restaurants and products.

McDonald's and Wendy's have allergen info sheets you can print up from their website. Carl's has a gluten free info thingy on their site. In N Out is easy because the only gluten in the whole store is the bun so you can order protein style burgers wrapped in lettuce and get fries and even a shake.

Hope this helps!

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I know how you feel! I had severe stomach pain for over 8 years and i went from doctor to doctor desperate for an answer...the pain really controlled my life! I found my current doctor and she told me that it sounded like a gluten allergy and she told me to eliminate gluten from my life for a while and see what happened. She gave me some information packets and i read them that night and cried for hours! I love food how can i let it all go?! I didnt follow the diet at first(i was afrraid it would work proving i had celiac)eventually the pain got so bad i finally decided to give it a try and the results were AMAZING!!!! I had twice as much energy, my skin cleared up and i could think so much more clearly! As for the food, while eating out can be very tricky,(i would advise researching restaurants with gluten free menu's before hand)you dont have to give up most of your favorite foods you just have to rethink them a little! I found a food store near me that has gluten free donuts, chicken nuggets, chips, noodles and many other things that i thought i was going to have to say good bye to forever! Yes, you will have to plan your meals a little more and you will have to do more cooking bacause fast-and-easy does not go hand-in-hand with gluten free, but its not so bad. I always hated cooking but when i have the time and the motivation to cook i will cook 3 or 4 different things and 2 or 3 servings of each and freeze them for another day. Research grocery stores that carry gluten free products or web pages that will deliver products to you. If you cant find a particutlar food you want find a recipe so you can make it yourself. Support is key! Temptation is everywhere and it can be especially hard if your whole family does not have to follow the diet. I know that if it wasnt for the help of support groups and my friends and step mom it would be a lot harder. Everyone here knows how you feel and what you are going through and we would all love to help as much as we can! Just ask. If i can do this so can you! Trust me it gets better and when you start to see and feel the differences it will all be more than worth it! (Oh yeah a trick that helps me at meal time is to think about the meal in advance and have the meat or whatever i need thawed and ready to cook and when or before my parents start cooking the family meal i start cooking mine. I find that it helps keep me distracted from their food and focused on mine so that i will not be upset by not being able to eat their food.)

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Ok, I've been doing this gluten-free thing for eleven days now.

During that time, I've had less than half of my usual headaches. Last night, I got ambulance lights full in my face, which would normally mean a sure migraine, and nothing. No headache at all. I've only needed headache meds about four times, two were in the first two days, and the other two I can pinpoint exactly what caused it (two nights of almost no sleep, and one day of extreme dehydration). I don't seem to be getting the random "I have no idea why I have a headache" headaches anymore.

I only got five hours of sleep last night because I had choir til late, but I woke up with more energy than I've had since high school. I don't remember the last time I felt this good.

The only thing I've changed is my diet. I've made sure not to change ANYTHING else. No new/altered meds, sleep patterns, or even nutrition... I'm mostly even eating gluten-free versions of the same junk food.

So, overall, I'm feeling better. I'm not totally ready to attribute this to the diet, because I do know the power of placebo effect and just wanting this to work. The brain does amazing things. So, I'm going to stick with it and see if the current trend continues.

Friends and family have been remarkably supportive. They just want me to feel better. Went to a barbecue at my parents' house Monday and Mom made the entire meal gluten-free! This weekend when my friends and I were roaming around Long Beach looking for somewhere to have dinner, we saw Outback, and I mentioned they had a gluten-free menu, and everyone said "Ok, we're going to Outback." I protested that I could probably find something wherever we went, but they wanted to go somewhere that was easy for me. I really appreciate it and told them so.

The staff at Outback was wonderful. They brought me the gluten-free menu, and even brought out my salad early, when everyone else was enjoying bread, so I wouldn't be the only one not eating. I was really impressed and will be going back there.

I'm still eating out a lot. In-N-Out has become my new favorite restaurant. The first time I went there and said I had a wheat allergy (my brother is a restaurant manager and told me to "use the A-Word...we all know what that means and people pay attention" so far he's been right), the cashier typed in "WHEAT ALLERGY" on the ticket, and the cook himself brought out my food and told me that he'd cleaned the grill and tools and kept everything separate and well away from the buns.

I brought my own soy sauce to my favorite sushi place. The sushi chef didn't even look at me weird when I ordered everything with no sauce, and I usually pretty much only get the fishbits on rice anyway. The San-J soy sauce was kinda bland, though. I ordered some Karry-Out soy sauce online. Hopefully that will be better.

Johnny Reb's was really difficult. They had no idea if their BBQ sauce had gluten, or what anything was cooked in. This was a group dinner, so I didn't have a choice as to where to eat. I called them around 3:00 hoping they wouldn't be too busy, but they didn't seem to want to bother. I ended up with a plain steak and salad, which I think was okay, and I think the server understood the importance of keeping it separate and told the cook, but I'm not likely to go back there.

This weekend I'll probably be going to Amazon one night and Rib Trader another.

So, I can still eat out and do most everything I was doing before. I just have to do more planning, which is taking some getting used to, and I end up stopping to check things on my blackberry a lot, but overall, this isn't so bad, and if I keep feeling this good, totally worth doing.

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