Get Happiness From Within

People look everywhere for their happiness. They continually search and think they’ll find it somewhere else, but it’s SO right there where they can touch it… in their own hearts.

I always say, if you wake up in the morning and you’re breathing, walking, you can hear and see, and you’re NOT sick, then that is happiness! Of course you can be happy if you’re missing any of the above, but—if you’ve got those too—then a big grateful prayer is in order. Anything else is gravy.

We can’t control the world, but we can identify and take responsibility of just enough in our lives that are within our control like sleep, diet, mental and physical fitness, compassion, and gratitude.

Each and everyday is a gift. Practicing gratitude on a daily basis shifts our focus on hope, inspiration, and to be optimistic—giving us the strength and courage to persevere in the face of adversity. And it doesn’t have to take an illness or setback to feel this way. We can have a full out, lover-of-life mindset on even the most ordinary of days. Don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way. Stay optimistic. Think good thoughts. Work hard and smart. Keep a broad focus. Spread kindness.

My number one thing while I was raising my kids was that if my kids are healthy, I’m okay. If you have personal health and your family is healthy, you have a tremendous responsibility to be grateful. I can’t begin to explain how it felt to be so appreciative for my boys, yet so sick at the same time. But even when I was 100 pounds, exhausted, and didn’t know why, I kept this perspective: healthy, safe, happy kids = everlasting happy, healthy life. Not everyone does this, I understand. But it totally worked for me.

I was lucky that I came from a big family. My mom had six kids! Imagine being responsible for 6 children every day—for endless years—truly sacrificing everything for the well-being of your children. My mom did this. She was an only child (and a spitfire athlete) so we reaped many benefits having her for a mom. Sweet, but strong.

My mom used to say, “Love with all your heart. Fight for the great stuff. Do the right thing. Kindness matters. Be nice, you don’t know the troubles people are fighting.” True words of wisdom.

I know that’s how I got through my undiagnosed celiac life. I was super focused on family, living by my mom’s example, and making sure everyone was healthy, a good person, and discovering the things that made them happy. That was my focus. It gave me this unbelievable strength. I could not fail, even when I was ill.

The thing that both fires me up about celiac disease as well as motivates me, is that Celiac is so SILENT. I was doing all the things we’re told to do to be healthy, and couldn’t understand why I was anemic and run down. I was in the dark. I could let that make me angry, but I’m a fighter… and now I’m fighting for YOU.

It’s common, too. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, an estimated one in 100 people have celiac, and 2.5 million Americans are undiagnosed and at risk for long-term health complications. In this article from Allergic Living, a recent study discovered that when celiac is silent, going gluten-free might improve your quality of life, even if you don’t realize it needs any improving.

The article reports that researchers used blood tests to screen 3,031 people over the age of 18 who had relatives with celiac disease. None had any serious health complaints. The result: 40 tested positive for the antibodies associated with celiac. Of those 40, half were randomly assigned to go on a gluten-free diet while the rest continued to eat whatever they wanted. The results were stark. After a year, the subjects who didn’t change their diets showed no change in their digestive system and vitamin levels, while the gluten-free group showed “significant improvement.”

In my heart, I knew I was always happy from within. Just didn’t know that gluten was a bully. That’s why it’s so important to me to spread the word to help you figure it out, and determine what works for YOU. Because when I finally was diagnosed, celiac still beat me up pretty hard. The replacement carbs weren’t healthy either. There’s too much refined sugar, empty calories, and additives in most gluten-free replacements.

We’re all a little Pavlovian when it comes to certain foods, especially cookies, pastries and breads. And it’s hard to imagine a life without pasta. Oh my… I’m Italian. I know!

Everyday I see people looking to be well online and through social media. They search endlessly, and there it is right on their kitchen table! Wrapped in a gingham cloth in a wicker basket. A wolf in sheeps clothing = gluten. Mind boggling.

I learned through my own trial and error that natural whole foods and single ingredient replacements—not processed foods—are what brought me a higher, more energetic quality of life. There are so many creative and delicious ways to satisfy our cravings, without the bad stuff. For example, zoodles (or zucchini noodles) in place of pasta. Have you tried it? Soooo good!

In order to make lasting, sustainable changes, we have to create new behaviors that become habits. You’ll most likely have to remove many foods from your diet to figure out what works best, but you will. This you can control, and learn to master. Slow and steady.

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Now that I feel good, I want everyone to feel good!! Figure out if you have celiac. Once you know if that’s your personal health culprit—with a proper diagnosis—then focus on getting well. Stay so strong until you become physically strong. Trust yourself and rely on YOU. You are your own best friend.

Happiness is within you; your clear mind, your strong muscles, your relentless spirit, and your lungs full to capacity—breathing in appreciation for each and every day your heart is beating. It’s good karma to love with all your heart and do the right thing. ‘Cause there’s an angel waiting for you around the corner… and next thing you know, you’re fixed. 💚💚