1. any heavenly body.
2. a person's destiny, temperament, etc.

Whether you’re reading this because you’re gluten intolerant, suffer from PVFS or CFS, are starting to grow your own veggies, embracing natural and/or alternative remedies, or just want to enjoy the journey with us, please remember I’m not a medical expert, nor am I here to debate global warming. Being diagnosed with a life-changing illness, looking for answers or changing the way one lives can all be overwhelming events, so I hope that by sharing the triumphs and tragedies, you too will benefit in some way from our journey.

I hope you enjoy the journey and if you leave this blog having learnt only one new recipe or started to think about finding your star, then this blog’s purpose has been served.

My two favourite sayings:
Pondering the choices we make at the crossroads is like revision in the school of life. Regretting the mistakes or taking for granted the successes means we have learnt nought.
An attentive student will gain wisdom from the mistakes and joy from the successes. Cartillyer – 2008

'Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.' Mohandas Gandhi

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Boost Your Immune System – Eat Boogers

Miss Flora is always picking her nose and eating it. At first I thought it was just a bad habit, but recently discovered it quelled her cravings for snacks. The following is a conversation Junior Accountant had with Miss Flora last week.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Definition of Christmas Spirit

Christmas means different things to many people. For some, it’s about celebrating the birth of Jesus. For others, it’s just another day they have to close their shop and lose profits.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The First Steps To Changing Your Lifestyle

Changing Your Lifestyle is NOT the Same as Dieting

My lifestyle change related to food because of my food intolerances, but whether your lifestyle change is a choice or a necessity, it has the potential to be one of the greatest challenges you ever face. The most important lesson I learned when I had to remove gluten and wheat from my diet was that I was guaranteed to fail if I didn’t do it one step at a time.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Timeline Updated

I've finally gotten around to updating the Timeline again!

Too Long Between Posts!

It’s been a while between posts, but every now and then drama in my children’s lives reminds me that I’m also a full-time mother, so blog, study, and anything else that consumes me gets put on hold while I don my ‘Mum/Mummy/Mother’ hat.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Importance of Communication

Even after eight years of marriage, omitting a word or two from a conversation can result in an injury. It’s never safe to assume that your partner knows you so well that they know what you’re thinking, even when (in my opinion) it’s obvious.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The 7 Stages of My Gluten Grief

I think that loss is one of the hardest things in life to deal with. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a limb, or a lifestyle enjoyed for decades, one is faced with an array of emotions as they adjust to the changes in their life. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

What's Your PB?

One of the wonderful things about raising kids is that I’m often enlightened as much as they are – sometimes more than they are (especially since we started this journey).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mixed-up Words

We all have days where our brain doesn’t quite process words the way it should. Some recent examples of our brain mix-ups for your enjoyment: 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Testing My Gluten Tolerance

Elimination dieting to see if a particular food or food group is upsetting your body is simple. It’s not conclusive, but it can set you and your doctor on the right path to a correct diagnosis. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Definition of Jewels

Ever since Miss Flora decided that Tomboy’s middle name (Rose) was prettier than hers, she adopted it as her own. After many futile attempts to get her to accept and like her own middle name (Jade), I decided to show her how beautiful Jade can be.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

One Big Switch or One Big Con?

As a mother of five children in a family with one breadwinner, I am a huge fan of people banding together to get a better deal. I’ve enjoyed the benefits of group buying through organisations like Scoopon, so I thought it was fantastic when I saw that thousands of people were getting cheaper gas and electricity prices by banding together as part of One Big Switch

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How Virginal is Your Olive Oil?

Due to Miss Flora being diagnosed as wheat and milk protein intolerant in 2010 and then my own health issues, I started to pay closer attention to our diet. I was particularly interested in reducing the amount of processed foods and wheat products. 

Friday, July 27, 2012


I enjoy playing Words With Friends, Draw Something and Song Pop on my iPad, but sometimes I get bored waiting for my family and friends to have their go. I decided to explore games that I could play without an opponent. 

I’ve played Angry Birds, Sudoko, Slots and Bingo. Every game I play is free and I enjoy working out how to play the game, and then the challenge of mastering it. Then I found a bingo game that totally baffled me. It’s called Bingo 90. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Prescription for Persistence

I can’t say that my getting to the bottom of my illnesses came about because I was so clever or smart, because I spent a long time floundering in the world of information overload. I can’t give my doctor credit for it either, because she and the other doctors in the medical practice misdiagnosed me. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wrapping My Own Presents

Every year I take advantage of the July toy sales. I grab some bargains and put them away for Christmas and the next round of kids’ birthdays, so the only gift buying I need to worry about for the next twelve months is the adults. 

I was in my bedroom wrapping a couple of them when Tomboy knocked on the door and asked if I was wrapping her presents.

Friday, July 13, 2012

We Went Baking Mad Yesterday

It’s been a while since I baked the kids some cookies, so I pulled out a couple of my favourite gluten and wheat-free recipes – coconut choc-chip cookies, and coconut macaroons.

I made 32 coconut choc-chip cookies, but there were only 22 left by the time I was ready to put the coconut macaroons in the oven. We then consumed four of those as well. (I guarded these closely as they’re my favourite.)
Choc-chip at the back, macaroons at the front

Obviously, if you don’t like the taste of coconut, stop reading now. For those who do – consider the fibre content of coconut flour compared to wheat flour in the graph below. 

So if you like coconut and want to try something new, visit your local health food store and get some coconut flour. While you’re there, grab some flaked coconut as well. It’s much nicer than the dried out desiccated rubbish that you’ll find in the large grocery stores.

I tried to find out which was the kids' favourite cookie, but they said both.

So I then asked them which cookie they'd choose if they could only have one. 

Tomboy – 'The chocolate one.'

Miss Flora – 'Chocolate!'

Boywonder – After much thought, he said, 'Can I have half of each?' 

You can find both of these recipes on the recipes page and a link to downloadable pdfs if you want to print them off.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Trust Your Gut Instincts

I’ve always been a firm believer in trusting one’s gut instinct. I taught The Apprentice and Junior Accountant, when they were young girls, that if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, and I’ve started teaching the younger three the same thing.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Timeline Updates

The timeline has been updated. It will be kept up to date from now on, so there won't be any further posts advising of the timeline being updated. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Which Potato is the Sweetest?

I was planning a lunch that included chicken and seafood stir-fried in coconut oil with garlic, chilli, coriander, and ginger, and an Asian salad as a side dish. Because I can't eat bread, I also wanted a dish that contained potatoes and complemented the other Asian dishes. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Specialness of Specialists

(Try saying the title of this post three times really fast.)

I visited specialist doctor rooms a couple of times as a child. The quietness of the rooms was unnerving, the many empty chairs gave me the distinct impression that no one liked going there, and the cold, meticulous manner in which the specialist dealt with his patients, i.e. me, convinced me he was the reason people stayed away. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Melbourne Earthquake…Be Prepared!

The whole world probably knows by now that Melbournians experienced an earthquake last night. We’re not used to earthquakes, so when the Earth shook Melbourne up, we explored some more ‘realistic’ explanations.

Friday, June 15, 2012

How Do You Spell…

Now in his second year of school, Boywonder’s enthusiasm to learn new words is really blossoming. No matter where he is, he finds a bevy of words to learn. While we were in our bedroom getting the girls ready for bed, Boywonder went into the ensuite to use the toilet. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Forget the Whales…Save the Caterpillars!

Since beginning this journey, we’ve explored many new experiences. One of them is growing our own organic fruit and vegetables.   

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Time To Change Doctors

When our doctor slammed the door shut on our three-week plan to help us live with my post-viral fatigue, I started thinking about our doctor’s abilities.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Diamonds Aren't a Girl's Bestfriend – Her Husband Is!

Mr T and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this month. Most people think of significantly numbered anniversaries – 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th – as special, but I think every anniversary is unique and special. 

Our eighth was special because I lost the diamond out of my engagement ring.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Our PVFS Three-week Plan

The thought of having post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) for six months depressed me. I already felt useless as a wife and mother and I struggled to continue with my online studies. I had heard of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), so when I started researching PVFS I soon discovered that PVFS, CFS, myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and Fibromyalgia shared similar symptoms. The thing that scared me the most was how long some people had suffered from debilitating fatigue. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Careful What You Wish For!

Yesterday was one of the best Mother’s Days that I’ve ever had. I was surprised because I was expecting a woeful one since I’m still weighed down by severe fatigue and nausea from my latest sinus infection.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Timeline Updated

The timeline has been updated. Please ignore the atrocious spacing and multi-sized, multi-coloured dot points. Blogger is not very obliging when copying text over from elsewhere.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

It Began With a Virus

For anyone who has been diagnosed with post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), and refuses to accept the diagnosis, this post is for you.  

I first discovered that something wasn’t right with my body in April 2010 when I fell very ill with a virus. My entire body ached for two weeks – my muscles, my bones, everything from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I couldn’t stand to be touched. It was like the all-over ache people get with the flu, but a hundred times worse. The only fever was on the first day and I didn’t have any other symptoms, except for extreme fatigue.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's Not Our First Date!

Mr T and I have booked a weekend away in Daylesford at the end of May to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. It will be our first night together without the kids since a week before Boywonder was conceived. That’s more than seven years of non-stop parenting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Small Size, Big Influence

Finally, the youngest members of our family, and probably the most influential in the decisions we make. 

Fortunately, Boywonder and Tomboy have only just begun school, and Miss Flora is of preschool age, so they are enjoying learning about growing our own produce and the various bugs in the backyard. They don’t mind being sprayed with Australian bush flower essence to rid them of negative energy before going to bed each night. Actually, Tomboy hates it, but she sleeps in the same room as the other two, so she’d still be receiving some of the positive energies without being sprayed (more about that in a later post).

Boywonder not only sprays himself each night, he is adamant that no-one else can use his essence spray. I now have to make a separate one for the girls. Despite his embracing the use of bush flower essence, there’s no fear of him getting too much in touch with his feminine side. He’s excited about the start of the AFL Auskick season and the tennis sessions that he and Tomboy have just started.

Tomboy is as her name suggests. Boywonder doesn’t always miss having any brothers as Tomboy is more than capable of dropping him on his arse (when no-one’s looking, of course), but we have seen some girly behaviour emerging since she started school. Despite this small turn towards girly trends, Tomboy and Miss Flora are still like chalk and cheese. Miss Flora will coat herself in everything girly and never leaves home without her handbag, while Tomboy only selects a few quality, girly items to wear. 

There was a time when I thought my health problems began with Miss Flora and her food intolerances, but I’ve since learnt that they were already brewing within me and Miss Flora just helped bring them to the forefront faster. If it wasn’t for her I might still be slowly making my body sicker. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Idiot Award

The Apprentice, who lives on the other side of Melbourne with her boyfriend, TAB (The Apprentice’s Boyfriend), was embracing natural therapies, healthy eating and gardening long before I was. Unfortunately she doesn’t have the patience to wade through a pile of reading material, so it hasn’t taken me long to catch up and even overtake her in some areas of knowledge during our journey. I don’t think she minds though, as long as I keep verbally sharing my discoveries with her. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Calculative Methods for Junior Accountant?

The Junior Accountant still lives at home and, as her name suggests, is a junior accountant. She’s had the nickname sloth for a few years now, which I think is self-explanatory. She hates change with a passion and blames the reverse psychology I used on her and The Apprentice as children (to get them to eat their vegetables) as the reason for her determination to cut off her nose to spite her face. I don’t let that deter me from trying to make her healthier – I just have to be a bit sneakier in my methods. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Introducing – Mr T

(My apologies if you receive this twice – I'm having trouble getting Blogger to do as it's told!)
Mr T is a wonderfully supportive husband and father. I think that if I insisted that we needed to move to Siberia because the freezing winters would benefit us all, he’d agree. It’s not that he’s under the thumb – far from it. It’s because he trusts my judgement. He knows I always do my research first and that I’d never put the wellbeing of our family at risk. He’s even more sceptical than me when it comes to natural therapies, and would love to solve all health issues with a pill. 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Testing Post

I apologise for this boring 'test post', but I'm having a lot of trouble with the formatting going skewiff when followers receive the posts via email. 

If anyone receives this post and finds there are a few words pushed together without the appropriate space between them, please email me or leave me a comment so I can try to eliminate the problem. 

I have also changed the email post so that you may have to follow the link to the blog to read the

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Jouney's More Fun in Numbers

Every member plays an important part in our family. Whether they’re a willing participant or not, they’re sharing our journey with us and all bring something unique to it.

So my first few posts will be an insight into our colourful clan, introducing one member each time. (They’re going to kill me!)

Our journey is, without a doubt, driven by me, Mrs T.

I am the one who fell ill, I am the one who has doneall of the research and I am the one who is determined to not only make my family as healthy as it can be, but happy and comfortable with themselves and life.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Welcome to Finding My Star

If you visit the 'About' tab you will learn a little more about this blog and its purpose. I will no longer be posting to my Because Mum Said… blog. 

The small, humorous events in our lives help make the dark times more bearable and are an important part of our journey, so from now on they will be posted here!