Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I Am- Self Portrait

I Am- Digital Art Self Portrait by Tracey Grumbach
Today I will be posting reader questions (thank you to everyone who sent them!) and my answers to those questions. These are always so much fun for me.

Question 1- What are your favorite apps to use for editing on iOS devices?

Well, it depends what I am trying to achieve. If I am simply editing contrast and color of a photograph, my favorite go-to app is Snapseed. I usually use the adjustment tools in the "Tune Image" section of the app. If I am looking to add texture to my pieces, I will often use Distressed FX, Mextures, Stackables, and Formulas. If I am transferring my photos back and forth between my iMac and my portable iOS devices (iPhone 6S Plus and my iPad), then my favorite app is PhotoSync.  To be honest, though, I often times use upwards of 5 different apps on a single digital art piece, not counting adjustments I do in Photoshop CC as well.

Question 2- You mentioned at you Featured Artist Opening Show that you were going to teach a digital art class sometime this summer.  Is that still happening?

Ugh. No. My summer imploded in a very fast way once I started Chronic Lyme Disease Treatment again in May, so right now my focus is my health. This does not mean, however, that I will not do a workshop. It simply means that I am now looking into fall to do it. Keep your eyes open and thanks for being patient!

Question 3- You said you were on a very restrictive diet because of Chronic Lyme Disease...can you elaborate?

Sure, I'll try! Right now my doctor is looking into food sensitivities that I may have as a result of being ill with several different tick borne illnesses.  These illness can cause your immune system (which largely resides in your gut) to attack food particles and cause inflammation, pain, and a host of other various symptoms. I am currently waiting for the results of a blood test that will hopefully make it more clear which foods are causing an issue for me, but in the meantime I am on a Paleo-like diet consisting of only organic whole foods, not including any grains, legumes, corn, nightshade vegetables, certain spices, dairy, coffee, caffeine, or refined sugars. It was very difficult at first, but as I see my pain levels drop, it becomes easier because I see what an effect it is having on my quality of life. When the test comes back I may be able to add foods back into my diet depending on what sensitivities and allergies show. You can check this out to see a similar diet and better explanation than I can give. I am on this exact diet, but close to it.

Question 4-  How do you stay on such a restrictive diet? Haven't you lost tons of weight and aren't you starving?

Well, it isn't easy to stay on it at all, especially when living with others who are NOT on it and being surrounded by foods I shouldn't have all the time. I stay motivated because I see a difference in my pain levels and quality of life. Secondly, I meal plan and batch cook a lot! If I am caught off guard without food, I tend to cheat and then pay for it in pain, so I make sure I have food prepared ahead of time all the time. Also, when I am out I pack my food to take with me. I show up at parties with my own meals. I take my own food when we stop at fast food restaurants while out doing chores. Being prepared and seeing a difference in pain levels are what make me successful in being so restrictive with my diet.

No, I am not starving at all. Because I make sure to get plenty of high quality protein, I am rarely hungry. Also, I have a very regimented eating and medicine schedule, so my body is used to eating at specific times. Once I went through withdraw from sugars, I haven't had issues with being hungry.

No, I have not lost a ton of weight. Back in 2014 when I first started treatment I lost 48 pounds. Since then I have maintained my weight but recently have lost 5 more pounds. I am thin but not dangerously so. My doctor says my BMI is perfect for my height so my weight is at a healthy level right now. My goal is not losing weight, it is controlling pain. I do, however, get unsolicited opinions about my weight from random strangers who tell me I am too thin, lol.

Question 5- I heard you decided to stop homeschooling and send your kids back to public schools.  Why?

Yes, my husband and I took this decision very seriously. We decided it was the right time to send them back (which was our goal anyway). After a long discussion with the twins themselves, my doctor, and each other, Brian and I think it is in the best interest of everyone for this transition to occur now. I am not going into the nitty gritty details because frankly, it is not anyone's business, but we are all happy and excited for the change. While we loved every minute of homeschooling, the twins and I are happy and grateful for the new experience ahead.

Question 6- What is your favorite color?

Right now, robin's egg blue and grey.

Question 7- I think I read a blog post that said you are writing for an online magazine now. Which one and where can I see the articles you write?

Yes, I am writing for The Mighty.  I have two articles published at this time and more are in the editor's hands. You can see my The Mighty author's page here which has a link to all the published articles I've written for them. Any future articles I write will show up on that page when they are published.

Question 8- What is your favorite Bible verse?

Right now it is Matthew 14:27.  xo

Thank you so much to everyone who sent in questions! You all are the best.  Feel free to send questions to me at any time and I will write future Reader's Questions posts with the answers!

Have a blessed Tuesday!

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