Does it Hurt to Eat? Feel Like You Swallowed a Basketball?

Does it Hurt to Eat? Feel Like You Swallowed a Basketball?

It Hurt To Eat – the Short Version of the Story

Does it Hurt to Eat? Feel Like You Swallowed a Basketball?

I Ioved food, but it hurt to eat. Nearly every time I ate, I experienced pain. Rarely did I escape the dreaded abdominal basketball feeling. I would get a few bites into whatever I was eating and feel like I had swallowed a basketball.

“All people must feel the same way when eating,” I thought. Due to my assumption, I never told anyone how I felt.

Because these issues plagued me my entire life, it never occurred to me to say anything to anyone. I learned to hide my discomfort (sometimes outright agony) and developed a high pain tolerance.

When very young, I was diagnosed with Hyperactivity Disorder, which today is better known as ADHD. I had, and continue to deal with, learning disabilities, dyslexia and a number of other problems.  My mom excused me and my abnormal behavior by declaring that I was ‘creative’ and ‘artistic,’ as though that meant I was exempt from socially acceptable behavior.

Most of the time I suffered these things with almost no guidance or support. Learning disabilities weren’t really understood at that time and I didn’t talk about that basketball in my stomach. No one was connecting the dots between diet, the brain and behavior. And it still hurt to eat.

The Problem: Eating Still Hurt and Was Getting More Difficult

Over the years eating became more difficult. I knew there had to be something wrong. I no longer was able to hide the pain.  As always, it hurt to eat. A new experience of Bloating-while-eating became a nightmare. The problem was getting worse, rather than better. There were times that I couldn’t even walk after eating just a small part of a meal.

I became prone to frequent meltdowns and emotional outbursts (Gluten Meltdowns are Not a Myth). I felt bad most of the time.  Everyone around me thought that I was just horribly dramatic and hard to get along with. I couldn’t control it. I couldn’t explain it. There seemed to be nothing I could do to end the insanity. It appeared to me that the melt downs were connected to absolutely nothing.

Food had to be the problem. I tried vegan and them vegetarian diets. Ultimately neither of these did the trick. A rash appeared and spread over much of my body. I didn’t connect the rash with my other problems. The doctor put me on steroids to deal with the rash. 

The Solution: Celiac Disease?

Finally desperate, I found a nutritionist. I explained to her that I thought that meat was causing most of the problems. Although, even on a vegetarian diet I was experiencing pain during and after eating. The nutritionist gave the the news: “It’s not the meat – it’s the wheat.”

She put me on a gluten free diet. The first gluten free meal I ate will forever be embedded in my memory. I began eating. I ate to the point where I automatically expected the pain to begin. There was none. It was amazing.

Here’s where you’d think I’d say something about living happily ever after. That was my thought. That’s not what happened. Unfortunately, by the time I found out what my problem was, I was 49 years old. The digestive difficulties over all those years caused permanent damage.

My journey was just beginning and was going to be rough. After finding out about the gluten connection, I’ve been through cancer, developed additional food intolerances, and have a chronic autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis.

It’s all about inflammation. Anyone experiencing symptoms similar to mine should speak up. Don’t tough it out. It will cause more inflammation.  Inflammation causes damage and diseases.

Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and/or constipation (sometimes alternating)
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches (including migraines)
  • Skin conditions (including the so-called “gluten rash” dermatitis herpetiformis)

These symptoms are taken from the article, An Overview of Celiac Disease on

I recommend reading this article. Awareness of Celiac Disease is crucial. The information in the article may save you, your child, your friend or maybe a relative a lot of pain.

Note: This article also appears on

Essential Oil Bruise Blend Roll-On

Bruise Blend Essential Oils

Sunday Afternoon Concocting Session

A good friend & I spent about 6.5 hours on Sunday blending essential oils, mixing up foaming soap, hair treatment, shower gel, moisturizing body butter & a number of specific essential oil roll-on blends. I had so much fun!!

One of the blends is a bruise blend I really like.  I have found that using this blend on bruises (even on some of my really painful bruises) reduced the pain significantly in about 10 minutes.  In my experience, I noticed that the black and blue of the bruise lightened up and swelling went down.

There are 4 essential oils in this blend.  A snap shot of each oil is listed below:

Helichrysum – Helichrysum italicum

Country of origin: North Africa

Extraction Method: Steam Distilled

Plant Parts Used: Flowers

Botanical Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)

Aroma: Deep, Herbaceous, Warm

Note: Middle-Base

Precautions:  1) Can be irritating if used in excess or not diluted properly.  2) If pregnant, check with your doctor prior to use.

Blue Tansy – Tanacetum annuum

Country of origin: Morocco

Extraction Method: Steam Distilled

Plant Parts Used: Aerial parts of the flowering plants

Botanical Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)

Aroma: Warm, Sweet, Soft,  Herbaceous

Note: Middle

Precautions:  Avoid with epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease

Lavender –  Lavandula angustifolia

Country of origin: France

Extraction Method:  Steam Distilled

Plant Parts Used: Flowers

Botanical Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

Aroma: Floral, Fresh, Herbaceous, Sweet

Note: Middle

Precautions:  1) Don’t use if you have low blood pressure.  2) Moderate and low dilution is okay for kids.  3) Use only with doctor’s OK when pregnant.

Frankincense – Boswellia carterii

Country of origin: Egypt, Somalia

Extraction Method:  Steam Distilled

Plant Parts Used: Gum Resin

Botanical Family: Burseraceae

Aroma: Balsamic, Earthy, Resinous, Warm

Note: Base

Precautions:  1) Can cause skin irritation. Skin test on a small area. Dilute with carrier oil if needed. 

I thought I’d share the bruise blend with you.

Bruise Blend Roll-On Recipe


Statements concerning essential oils contained in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article and the products discussed  are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

This article is a conversation concerning essential oils, diet options= and the author’s personal experiences.

Follow the general safety guidelines and discuss essential oil treatments with your healthcare provider prior to treating a specific disease or ailment.



Gluten Meltdowns – Not a Myth

No One Wants to Have a Meltdown

I’m sure of this.  I never wanted to. Things were just so bad that I couldn’t help but be very upset.

Other people said:

“Aren’t you being a little dramatic?”

“Do you have to be so difficult?”

“You don’t have anything to be so upset about.”

“What’s your problem anyway?”

I’ve heard all those words and much more. I couldn’t explain how awful I felt.  I tried, but I guess I wasn’t convincing. Maybe other people were much tougher than I was and they could handle bad things better.

It was neither.  It was gluten.

Gluten Hurts!

Today, I think there are those that still don’t believe that gluten can be responsible for such drastic emotional dives. Trust me, it can.  Gluten causes me to feel bad in many ways. For instance it causes:

– Abdominal pain that is excruciating.

– Extreme bloating that can happen within just a minute after consuming food containing gluten.

– Skin rashes.

– Anxiety.

– Stress over how to handle all of this when in public.

These are just a few of the obvious problems that we deal with when we are not safely gluten free. There are so many more that can and do occur. I didn’t know that all the pain I went through when eating a meal was due to gluten. I never knew it could be different.  Sushi became my favorite food because it never caused me pain or bloating.

I’m going to take a moment and list my unique characteristics. They are:


– Learning Disabilities

– Dyslexia

– Gluten intolerant

– Too many digestive issues to mention

– 5 years ago I developed an autoimmune disease. I am prone to uveitis, rashes that look like I was burned with a blow torch, mouth sores and blisters, chronic fatigue and a bunch of random weird things that happen frequently.

It’s been interesting to say the least. I live my life in a constant battle against inflammation in all it’s forms.

One of the less obvious challenges are the gluten induced meltdowns.

Almost no one stops to consider that a meltdown occurred due to a gluten allergy or intolerance.  The common reaction is that the person experiencing the meltdown is acting out and needs to stop it. Now!

This attitude actually makes the meltdown worse. Before I was diagnosed and went gluten free, I felt like I must be the most criticized person on earth. I felt really bad about being me. I became a self proclaimed ‘Difficult Person.’  I warned people about me. I felt really  bad about doing that, but what was I to do? What if I had a meltdown? At least they were warned.

Honestly, living like that really sucked.  I may have gotten the habit of warning people from my mom.  She was forever letting other’s know that I could be a problem. That sucked too. There’s nothing like having your mom tell your soon-to-be husband that you need a lot of attention because you are so difficult. UGH!

The excerpt below is taken from an excellent article entitled ‘Why Gluten Is Bad: The Plain English Answer‘ by Helen Sanders

Gluten is Often Linked With Brain Function and Disorders
The inflammation that gluten causes can also have negative effects on your brain. Many neurological conditions have been traced back to gluten consumption. Scientists have studied the link between mental health and the consumption of wheat for over 50 years.

This is a short excerpt and I highly recommend that you read the entire article on

In a way it’s a relief to know that I’m wasn’t choosing to have meltdowns, contrary to popular opinion.  Life is hard and no one wants to be known as the problem person.

Identifying a Gluten Allergy or Intolerance

It is likely that having an undiagnosed gluten intolerance for so many years actually caused my autoimmune disease.  That is another story that I wish I didn’t know. If I could have known what was wrong early in my life, so many things would have been different…in a really good way.

There are a number of symptoms that can be used to identify a gluten issue.  The one I experience immediately is bloating and stomach pain.  I’m not talking about a little bloating and a slight stomach ache. These are extreme. Because I never knew anything different, I didn’t complain.  I endured.

If you have a child that seems to be out of control, undisciplined and a major drama queen/king, take a closer look.  Behavior may be a symptom of a gluten problem. It’s really worth the time and effort to investigate. Try a gluten free diet for 30 days. Heck that 30 day experiment could change your child’s entire life!

DIY A Roll-On Migraine Blend

Do you get migraines? I’ve got a blend for you!

I gave my migraine blend so some people who suffer from migraines to the point where they are unable to function.  They all said that about 1 minute after they rolled the blend on the back of the neck, forehead & behind the ears.  I was ecstatic!

This is an easy blend, requiring only 4 essential oils, fractionated coconut oil and a roller ball bottle.

Migraine Roll-On Blend

Add the following essential oils to a 10 ml roller ball bottle.

20 drops Basil essential oil.

22 drops Copaiba essential oil

25 drops Lavender essential oil

20 drops Peppermint essential oil

Fill the remaining space in the bottle with fractionated coconut oil.

Roll the bottle to blend the oils.

Apply to forehead, back of the neck & behind the ears as often as needed to take the edge off  of a migraine.

Shop for essential oils HERE.


Statements concerning essential oils contained in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article and the products discussed  are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

This article is a conversation concerning essential oils, diet options= and the author’s personal experiences.

Follow the general safety guidelines and discuss essential oil treatments with your healthcare provider prior to treating a specific disease or ailment.


Essential Oils as Spices

Easily Use Essential Oils as Spices

Here are a few recipes

Tip: 1 drop (or less)  of essential oil = 2 tsp dried herbs

Italian Seasoning Blend


Basil Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil

Oregano Essential Oil

Rosemary Essential Oil

Thyme Essential Oil

2 TB Garlic Powder or 1 Garlic Clove (use amount to taste)





Mix all ingredients into 2 large cans of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes or whatever you use as your marinara base.



Herbs De Provence Blend


Thyme Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil

Rosemary Essential Oil

Fennel Essential Oil

2 Tsp Dried Orange Zest


Add to soups, on chicken or on roasted veggies.

Herb Oil Dip


1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper

1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

Oregano Essential Oi

Rosemary Essential Oil

1 Tsp Granulated Garlic

1 Tsp Minced Garlic

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Combine all
  2. ingredients except olive, on a deep plate or bowl.
  3. Pour olive oil over mixture.

Restless Leg Blend

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition in which you have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, usually due to leg discomfort. It typically happens in the evenings or nights while you’re sitting or lying down. Moving eases the unpleasant feeling temporarily. (source:

What can I do about my RLS?

Essential Oils can be used to ease the frustration experienced with RLS.  Try the Restless Leg Blend displayed below:

Restless Leg Essential Oil Blend

Blend 2 – 5 drops each of the the following oils:
German Chamomile (blue)

Massage blended oils on lower legs and feet prior to going to bed.

Shop for essential oils HERE.


Statements concerning essential oils contained in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article and the products discussed  are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

This article is a conversation concerning essential oils, diet options= and the author’s personal experiences.

Follow the general safety guidelines and discuss essential oil treatments with your healthcare provider prior to treating a specific disease or ailment.

Spikenard Essential Oil – Pantry Staple

All about Spikenard


  • Diffuse or apply one to two drops to back of neck or to temples to promote feeling of calmness and relaxation.
  • Create a personalized fragrance by combining Spikenard with Clove, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Myrrh, Wild Orange, Rose, and Vetiver.
  • Combine with a hydrating cream to soften and smooth skin.
  • Add one to two drops to your favorite cleanser or anti-aging product to promote healthy, glowing skin.

Diffuse 2 drops Spikenard, 2 drops Lavender, and 2 drops Ylang Ylang to help reduce stress and relax the body.

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Use your doTerra Lemon essential oil in this recipe!

Sugar Free Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ cup brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  1. Mix flour, xanthan gum, baking
  2. Beat egg in medium bowl; add milk, butter, brown rice syrup, and Lemon essential oil and blend together.
  3. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients.
  4. Mix in blueberries.
  5. Fill lined muffin tins 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

See original post at

Hummus Recipe – Optional Ingredients for Added Variety

Basic Hummus Recipe

During our online Rosemary conversation, Mark asked for a basic hummus recipe and ideas for optional ingredients, which of course include essential oils 🙂

I wrote up the recipe and sent it, but then decided to share it with with everyone.  So, here it is

Basic Hummus Recipe Including a Variety of Optional Ingredients

(Gluten Free of course)


1 can chickpeas (do not drain)

Minced garlic to taste

Sea salt to taste

Lemon juice (about 2-3 Tablespoons — to taste)

About 1/4 cup Tahini

About 3 tbs Olive oil

In a sauce pan, heat chickpeas, garlic, salt, (if using cayenne, add it now). Let the chickpeas come to a boil, then turn down and simmer for about 10 min.

After the chickpeas are done simmering, pour the chickpea mix into a food processor.

Add olive oil, tahini, & lemon juice. You can add any optional ingredients at this time.

Process until smooth. Taste and if needed add ingredients, process again & repeat.

When done pour into serving dish & drizzle olive oil on top. Add your choice of garnish (I like kalamata olives 🙂

For variety try adding one or more of these during the food processing stage:

1-2 drops Rosemary Oil

1-2 drops Basil oil

1-2 drops Ginger oil

1-2 drops cilantro oil

1-2 oregano oil

Black olives

Green olives

Kalamata olives

Diced red, green, orange or yellow peppers


Roasted red peppers

Crushed nuts


Pine nuts

Sunflower seeds

Crushed nuts

Cayenne pepper to taste

Black truffle olive oil

Green chile olive oil

Substitute white beans or black beans for chickpeas to change it up

Shop for essential oils here:

Relax – Detoxify – Destress – Reenergize

Relax & Rejuvinate

Soak: Run a warm (I like mine very hot) bath, filling the tub full but not overflowing J

Add 3 lbs Epsom Salts (Walmart has least expensive)

10 – 15 drops Lavender

10 – 15 drops Rosemary

10 – 15 drops Peppermint

If you have Jacuzzi jets, let them run before you get into the bath, this mixes the oils in the water.

The oils lease stress (lavender), soothe & rejuvenate sore muscles, as well as energize your mind (rosemary & peppermint).

Epsom salts pull toxins & muscle soreness from your body.

Diffuse Lemongrass in a diffuser that has a light (I like to set the diffuser to blue or purple lights for relaxing).  To set a calm mood, use the diffuser as the only light.

Listen: Play music from a nice relaxing playlist that is unobtrusive and calming.

Block Out the World for at least 30 minutes while you soak and enjoy a nice chilled glass of Prosecco.  Remember to also drink lots of water while soaking in the bath.

Shop for essential oils here: