canihaveabite? Gluten free business opens new storefront location in Kansas City

19 Jul

Just when I start to get extra frustrated again, with what I feel are limited options locally, something amazing happens to give me hope.  The latest inspiration comes from a local business taking their existing operation of carry out seasonal, organic meals, and expanding it to a storefront (which just happens to be in walking distance of my current residence).

The space itself has so many possibilities with what may evolve, and I am personally so excited about watching the process.  canihaveabite? hosted their soft opening today, and I made sure to take an extended lunch break to attend.  The new location, located in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, houses the kitchen, where all of the delicious food is created, as well as an organic coffee bar featuring items from Red-Headed Philosopher Coffee.

The best part of this new business expanding for me personally is the fact that the menu is always gluten free and GMO free.  I am delighted to finally see this happening in Kansas City.  We are so far behind the times with so many things.  And I have almost lost my patience with this particular issue too many times to count.  But maybe, just maybe we are catching up to the point that I can consider staying here. It is such an affordable place to live, with many positive characteristics.  However, it is not quite a mecca for safe food that I can enjoy………at least not yet.

Looking forward to trying out more menu items from canihaveabite? Thus far, I have purchased their items from a local coffee shop, or weekly market. I can now order online, and pick up a few blocks from my house.

canihaveabite soft opening 2014 1 canihaveabite soft opening 2014 2 canihaveabite soft opening 2014 3 canihaveabite soft opening 2014 4 canihaveabite soft opening 2014 5

Gluten getting more press. Is this a good thing?

14 Jun

I am thrilled to see so much more out in the media regarding gluten.  And it is nice to know that apparently now, some people who once didn’t know what gluten was, now may at least know that.  But as of late, there seems to be an abundance of articles and dicussions being thrown about.  I personally notice this mostly on social media.  And I have mixed feelings, simply because the majority of what I have been reading recently is stating that gluten intolerance does not truly exist.  And much of what I have read also discounts nearly everything that I personally have been through, researched, and scientifically proven over time by conducting very thorough experiments on myself out of a desperate need to get to the root of health problems I was having.

During the first week of the influx of this gluten-talk, I actually started hearing from people I had not heard from in ages, just sending me FYIs about this stuff that “hey maybe I don’t know about this”.  Like seriously?  Thanks so much for pointing out that my food intolerances may not be “real”.  I’m so grateful for your thoughtful and oh so kind respect of my lifestyle and well being.

I would like to think that regardless of the accuracy or stance of each of the articles that have already been posted, or will be in the future – that somehow just having this out there being talked about is ultimately a good thing.  Even if it stings at first, and feels like I now have to defend the very way I have been living to survive for years.  It has to, on some level, be a step towards awareness simply because it is being talked about.  And if I am somewhat irritated by some of it, then I am sure there are others who share my feelings.  And if enough of us can provide accurate accounts from our own lives, maybe the future articles will be highlighting the existence of these things instead of claiming they aren’t real.

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CAKE at First Avenue in Minneapolis: April 2014

14 May

CAKE at First Avenue in Minneapolis: April 2014

Waiting for doors to open to see CAKE the band. The one version of CAKE I can safely digest repeatedly without any reservations. They happen to be one of my favorite bands as well. Minneapolis is a great place to be for those who are gluten-free, too.

Cultured Caveman: Help out an awesome Kickstarter in Portland

26 Mar

I don’t even live near Portland.  But it is a city that I am very fond of.  I am fond of Portland for many reasons.  But one of the huge reasons is the fact that it is SO easy for me to EAT there.  And not just eat.  But eat healthy, clean, without the constant challenges I face in my own residence in regards to my dietary restrictions.  AND I actually ENJOY the food I am eating.  So our last visit to Portland I stumbled upon the most glorious food truck ever – Cultured Caveman.  I could not believe my eyes when I saw the menu.  How could this be?  A food truck offering bone broth?!?  WHAT?  This was just ridiculous, and amazing.  I felt at home immediately, while standing in line at a food truck.  I could safely order gluten-free (among my other restrictions) without even having to ask a million questions at a food truck.  PERFECT.

http://culturedcavemanpdx.com/

Cultured Caveman, who currently has three trucks in the Portland area serving delicious Paleo food options, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to do something even more awesome – OPEN A RESTAURANT.  I am so thrilled for them, and am hoping that they reach their goal.  This will give me yet another reason to visit Portland even more often.  And yet another restaurant to add to my list of safe places that I can eat.

Take a minute to look at their Kickstarter video (link below).  I don’t have much to offer.  But I am backing this project from the midwest because it is something I believe in.  Best of luck to you Cultured Caveman.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1779007284/cultured-caveman-restaurant-expansion

 

San Francisco Shenanigans Part I – Gluten Free Grocery adventure

26 Feb

This is what we found after mastering our route via street car, bus, and on foot.  Thankfully I was able to laugh, and see the most obvious positive side of this disappointing circumstance.  We will just need to come back sooner than later to this fine city where it is so incredibly easy for me to find safe and delicious food.   But initially, my very first reaction, as we finally reached the address I had entered into Google Maps……..I am pretty certain it was a palm to forehead, followed by “Are you flipping kidding me? Seriously?  Well poop.”

Until next time Gluten Free Grocery. I will be sure to call first before we make the journey.  No hard feelings.  We are still super excited to come check out the newly remodeled space.  And until next time San Francisco.  I am so in love with this city.

Stay tuned for more photos, commentary, and gluten-free adventures.

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Heading west on another gluten-free adventure

29 Jan

San Francisco here I come.  This is a last minute trip. One that was planned in a rush, and all because (thank goodness), I realized that I still had some un-used travel funds in my account for Southwest Airlines, which are going to expire the first week in February.  So alas, I located the right combination of fares to & from SFO airport, so that I would owe nothing at this time.  Sigh.  I am grateful that I realized this just in the nick of time.  I am not thrilled about the flights we are taking (which have us stopping).  But they don’t look to be tough connections.  LAX and Las Vegas. And enough time to get from plane to the next gate & boarding (or so I hope).  I just don’t like the idea of an entire day being eaten up in airports and en route. I do nonstop flights whenever I can.  This was simply not one of those times (or locations) that lends itself to that luxury.

So where should I go during my very brief stay in San Francisco.  So far, I am hoping to visit the Gluten-Free Grocery Store, along with a handful of restaurants that I have bookmarked on the ever so helpful Yelp.

I am super excited to be leaving the frigid single digit temperatures of Kansas City for a few days.  I know it will be a bit more mild in northern California.  AND we will have the wonderful option of using public transportation to our heart’s content.  THAT is something worth being excited about in my opinion.  I am not even anxious about the possibility of not being able to nourish myself because I KNOW it won’t be a challenge there.  That is a huge relief to me when preparing for a trip.  I usually am spending a great deal of time mapping out, and even packing my own meals. It’s exhausting.

I will report back upon my return.  And I will likely be checking in online, posting some random photos on Instagram, as well as Yelp.  It should be a blast.  I also have a secret, surprise activity that I have planned for my beloved significant other , too.

I do hope this is one of many trips to come to San Francisco.  I am bummed that I missed the gluten-free expo in San Mateo, which was last weekend.  Just need to get on the ball with finances and travel planning better for 2014.

2014 – hoping for progress and productivity

7 Jan

2013 was a whirlwind of a year.  So many unexpected opportunities, along with forming connections that I will likely value for a lifetime, all made their way into my year.  But with all of the good things, good people, and reasons to be grateful, I am certain that we all, myself included, suffered on some levels, too.

The start of a new year really does not mean anything to me.  I am not one for tradition.  However, I do love the idea of starting fresh with each new day, as well as each new moment.  I try to start every day with a fresh perspective.  And in regards to my diet, I feel the same way.  If something didn’t work out, or I have a bad reaction, I remember that my next chance to start fresh is my next meal.  So even without my own connection to tradition, or resolutions, I do find some comfort in this chance to start   a new year.  I am curious to find what adventures await me this year.

I participated in the Daily Dietribe Gluten-Free Health Challenge starting last June.  That came to an end in November.  So my life as I knew it for those six months also felt different.  I was starting to make progress with my health.  I now seem to be actually building a bit of muscle.  This is encouraging.  But then in October things started to get weird, and I am back to playing detective with my health again.

I hope to be able to touch base on here once per week.  And I also need to get back to doing a better job with my food diary.

Soon after I started the Gluten-Free Health Challenge, I had my Mirena IUD removed.  I feel as though my body has not been the same since.  And I suspect it still has a LOT of transitioning to do after so many years of being fed some type of artificial hormone.  I am not thrilled with the symptoms I have been experiencing.  And I have felt more frustration in relation to my cycles than I have in years.  But I know in my heart that I did the right thing.  And I hope that somehow my body can forgive me, and eventually learn to produce these hormones on it’s own.  And perhaps some day I can just feel closer to “normal”.  And really if I could just go through menopause and be done with periods, I would actually be much happier.

The new symptoms that I am experiencing during both PMS and my periods (now that I am not taking any hormones) are:
* Histamine intolerance – my threshold for things that I have been eating for 3 years (things that I was eating because of their healing properties) is minimal.  I now have to be super careful.  No fermented foods, no leftovers, no fruit, and really just living off a list on the fridge again just like when I was on an elimination diet.

* Digestive issues. This is a fun one.  The past 3 months, around 5-7 days before I am due to start my period (when I am already in a foul mood due to PMS), I just stop being able to digest solid foods.  I have really been fortunate even with all of my leaky gut, gluten intolerance, and other issues, that digestively speaking – I was not having those types of symptoms.  But low & behold, that is NOW one of my PMS symptoms.  

* More skin issues – weird rashes, folliculitus, severe itching, you name it.  It all starts up leading up to my period.  

* AND the monthly migraine has returned as well.  I had not been having regular migraines since I took out gluten 4+ years ago.  Now I get one no fail the day before my period, and it can potentially last 3 days.

I must note that I have stopped getting my monthly IVs of magnesium and Vitamins (due to finances).  So I am guessing that this does have an impact.  But I have upped my dosages orally (which I don’t know how much I really am absorbing).  So I am trying to ensure I am not deficient during this time.  But I think I may HAVE to go back to getting the IV at least once per month around 7 days before I expect to start my period.

This is not the most positive, or inspiring kickoff to a new year post.  But it is a place to start with documenting where I am now, in hopes of making some productive progress in the coming year.

I do hope to find some information, support, and hopefully some relief to these challenges I have been facing with my body the past few months.  I am determined to do what is best, and to find a way to feel better.

This ginger is heading to a Gingerbread House Building party

13 Dec

I have requested that we make at least one Gluten-Free Gingerbread House.  Will this happen?  If so, I will post photos.  If not, this is going to be a challenge.  Those obligations that I mentioned in a previous post.  Well this is one I really WANT to attend because of the people involved.  But then there is another one the NEXT day, that I also really want to attend.  But it is a COOKIE PARTY.  That is a weakness for me, and I am certain that I can be no where near an entire house full of cookies (especially ones that are NOT safe for me to eat).  It would probably be worse if it were a gluten-free cookie party.  Because then I might actually eat ALL of the cookies, and then react poorly from too much sugar, and spiked blood sugar.  I’m curious if anyone has any full proof gluten-free/ dairy-free/ potato-free gingerbread recipes.  I am eyeballing this one from Brittany Angell …….

http://brittanyangell.com/grain-free-gingerbread-house-glutendairyegg-free/

 

Another Gluten-Free Holiday Season. Let this one be Stress-Free, too.

13 Dec

It is already December again?  And I had such high hopes of getting in a weekly post.  What happened to November?  I apologize for the delay, and can only assume most folks are also experiencing an overwhelming feeling of social obligations, and other seasonal type circumstances that seem to suck away your time, and ability to balance said time.  Balance is something I am seeking and holding onto when I attain it lately.  I have made every attempt to decline invitations when I know I am too tired, or simply need a break.  And I have also held to my rules of not worrying about gifts at all.  

As much as I want to share the joy of gifting to loved ones, I feel much better giving gifts of all kinds (even if that gift is patience, listening, moral support, or perspective).  And then sharing those gifts on a regular basis throughout the entire year.  I have always been bugged by the feeling I was being told when and how to give gifts. It nagged at me as a kid.  And by the time I reached 30, I knew it was something I just did not want to concern myself with anymore because it seemed to be such a societal, obligatory made-up thing.  So I am lucky in the sense that I have not put that pressure on myself, as so many other people have.   But still the overall mood of things around me, and the stressful energy of those people I come into contact with somehow still can sneak into my own energy at times.  So I have been looking to my ever reliable yoga practice to provide me with the perfect way to counteract that energy, and to provide some balance.

What types of gifts are you giving, and how many of these gifts are you giving out of some type of tradition or obligation that you maybe never even considered the why behind it?  The whole buying gifts for people at your office who you despise?  And being bullied into contributing a minimum amount of cash to a gift for a manager at work who makes 5 times your salary?  Going into debt to buy Christmas gifts for every single offspring of every single relative in your family?  These are the things I used to be frustrated with when I was younger.  They make zero sense to me.  I know people who are refraining from much needed wellness treatment because they can’t afford it.  Possibly wearing glasses that are the wrong prescription, or putting off seeing a mental health professional due to finances.  Yet they are out there spending away on multiple gifts for people.  I will likely never understand it.  But some day I hope to see more balance around me.  I feel bad for the people I know are stressed right now because of something that, to me, seems easy enough to remedy.  But then again, maybe I am just selfish.  

I do hope for everyone this holiday season, that they are able to find the time and energy to give a gift of self-care to themselves.  Whatever it takes to do something for yourself, to contribute to your own wellness, ultimately will in turn be a gift to those around you.  Because a better you, is a happy you.  One who others can enjoy to the fullest. 

 

 

 

Is it really already November?

18 Nov

What on earth happened to September, and my very favorite October?  I simply don’t know where the time went.  I feel as if I spent the entire two months so focused on a handful of very important things, that I lost sight of some of my traditional fall activities, such as simply enjoying the fall colors, taking photos of the beautiful trees, and going on a few road trips while the weather is mostly mild and sans any type of ice or snow.

I am glad to report that while I did miss out on some of my usual seasonal activities, I was productive.  And I have managed to keep up with my regular yoga practice through all of the obligations and chaos, too.  That has been essential.

I know that LaraBar has released some seasonal flavors as well.  However, these particular flavors have not made it to the Kansas City area, which saddens me.  I have been busy creating my own pumpkin flavored treats and snacks at home.  But nothing earth shattering just yet. If and when that happens, I will be sure to post the recipe here.

Things I am considering on the horizon:

  • Gluten-Free Thanksgiving options
  • Figuring out how to go back to school.  Thus far, it seems that many of my credits are not transferable.  This is frustrating when I paid for my own college, and should be a 2nd year “junior”.  Yet with the way things are transferring, I am basically back to square one if I opt to attend a state university. Even more reason to go the holistic nutrition route I suppose.
  • How to continue to successfully heal my gut without raising my histamine levels to to the point that I break threshold, and have a reaction
  • 2014 — What gluten-free and other wellness related events are going on that I should attend.  I am already looking at the Cider Summit in Chicago in February.

I hope everyone else is busy in a good way, and not allowing stress to sneak in due to the upcoming holidays, and growing obligations on the calendar.   I will check in again soon.  Time to do the meal preparation for the next few days.  Hard baked eggs and chili are on the list for tonight.

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