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Unity~Community: Heartland Yoga Fest

7 Jun

HYFNamasteInTheHeart

Hello from Kansas City. I never mean to neglect my wellness advocacy side of life that I like to chat about here in the world of food allergies, lifestyle medicine, and autoimmune stuff. I’ve been busy working on something pretty cool this year which has been consuming a lot of my time. But it has been SO inspiring, healing, and actually something I adore being a part of. What a nice shift from past instances of missing out because I was too busy and tired, or too sick from working decades in toxic and ill fitting job environments. Enter the first ever Heartland Yoga Festival. I will spare you all of the details, because if you want those, you can & already have clicked on the link (which I highly recommend you do if you are free June 22-24, love yoga, & want to take a healthy vacay or staycay near my hometown of Kansas City)

I am meeting and working with some of the most interesting and truly visionary types of humans while I work on this project. And during the different stages of a festival coming together, so many other areas have come together with my own perspective and feelings for the heartland. Stuff IS really happening here. Like the things that I have felt for years were so far off that I would have finally opted to move away, or have passed away by the time KC experienced these particular concepts. I am so thrilled that I AM alive and still residing here to witness change as it happens. It feels so incredibly good. And in the case of the yoga festival, I feel fortunate to be a part of something like this that will help further bring the community together. I’m glad that we did not end up moving seven years ago when I was so fed up with my health, that I thought the only answer was leaving town. I know that part of the series of things that led to me settling down and feeling more content with my location, and actually excited about the potential for growth was the opening of Hagoyah, my home away from home. It started out as the “coming soon” sign on the vacant spot that was just blocks from our house. And behind those doors, I knew that some day would be a yoga studio, where I could WALK to class, and cultivate that community I was feeling I had to seek outside of KC. After over five years of practicing yoga there, and working part time behind the scenes with Hagoyah, (which is a Holistic Beauty and Wellness concept bringing together yoga, massage, skincare, hair services, & local retail, artists, and makers in the community) I have been lucky to grow with the different evolutions of where things started. And for 2018 this brought the chance to work with the Heartland Yoga Festival, which was co-founded by the owner of Hagoyah along with the owner of Karma Tribe Yoga (KC’s non-profit, donation based studio). All of this (and more) has kept me grounded with the current mindset that I’m OK to stay in the heartland. Maybe not forever – who knows. But I no longer have one foot out the door, booking my next flight to escape twice monthly as I once did. I’m finding contentment, peace, opportunities, community, Vitamin IV therapy, dog friendly establishments, other people who are child free by choice (I am overjoyed that this is finally a THING in KC – it seriously was such a rarity for so many years), and EVEN kombucha on tap + people who know what functional medicine is IN my own hometown. I need these things if I want to stick to my autoimmune protocols, and move forward with healing.

So my update to everyone is that yes, I’ve been away. But this time it’s not because I had a setback with my inflammation that was so terrible that I could not use my arms (that was last year).  I’m so glad that the *busy* state which has kept me away from the blog, and the social media for Feud With Food, and many of the other endeavors that I absolutely look forward to returning to has been for a healthy reason. It feels good to finally be doing things that help with my healing vs further contribute to chronic illness and autoimmune flares. I have found my tribe, and am slowly working in the direction that I know aligns more appropriately with my path. I don’t know what is next in line for me. But I know that my current experience in the present is giving me much to think about, tons of learning opportunities, and a plethora of gratitude. And for now, I am going to Namaste in the Heartland.

 

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FABlogCon 2017

25 Jan

FABlogCon2018SwagBags

Another long overdue blog post in process. I start to feel like a broken record when I continually have to share that the reason something was delayed, or I had to cancel a trip, or I bowed out of an activity I was very much looking forward to was that I am recovering from yet another flare of some sort. I may be outwardly very sick seeming in appearance. But most of the time, I am still functioning because I have to, and keeping it together the best I can. But in regards to my energy levels and symptoms, I am struggling. And that is what things have been like since November when my partner and I went to Denver and San Francisco. An absolutely whirlwind few days of travel. But it came with a price. One that I am still not quite fully recovered from it seems.

First of all, I have to say that the Food Allergy Blogger Conference FABlogCon was amazing. Jenny Sprague really outdid herself this year. And the people I met, brands I learned about, and presentations were inspiring, educational, and validating. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend again this year. I just regret that it has taken me this long to report back about it.

The main thing I took home from the 2017 conference was a sense of community and strength. I rarely feel understood or validated, simply because it can be so difficult to navigate the real world with food allergies. I don’t expect the level of understanding or even accommodations that we experienced during the conference when I go back into the real world. But I do feel that we all deserve compassion, AND for people to at least WANT to understand. I have seen great strides, and I can tell that the more work the folks who were at the conference do, the better things out there in real life will be. I was incredibly impressed with so much of what I heard. There are some determined and resourceful humans out there fighting for this cause, and I am thrilled to have connected with all of them at FABlogCon.  Here are some of the photos of the vendor fair, conference, and social events that we snapped during our brief adventure in Denver. I am certain there are more photos floating around that I hope to share at a later time. But for now at least I can look back with such a sense of pride and comfort knowing what an incredible group of people I have in my corner. If you are considering attending a conference in 2018, and have any interest, personal experience, or compassion for food allergies, you should absolutely attend.

FABlogCon 2017 Photos

 

Step Beyond Celiac KC5K

18 Oct

While I have been seemingly in hibernation as of late, at least from this blog itself, I have actually been doing all of the things. And by all of the things, I mean SO many great things that involve advocating for my own wellness and the wellness of others.

One of the most recent things that I feel so fortunate to have been a part of was the Beyond Celiac – Step Beyond Celiac KC 5K run/walk. This was the Beyond Celiac’s inaugural event, and it was held in Kansas City, my home town. I could not have been more lucky to have ended up not only volunteering with some of the nicest people. But I also got to sneak in some quality time with one of my favorite Celiac advocates – Erica of Celiac and the Beast.

The event also brought me back in touch with Emily from Food Equality Initiative , and Jill from t.Loft. I also met adorable dogs, courageous kids dealing with a celiac diagnosis, and some extremely generous supporters and volunteers. But more than anything it showed me that we actually have a dedicated group of people whose lives have been touched by food allergies and celiac disease. And so many of them are right here in Kansas City. I have learned so much from all of the people I have been lucky enough to meet. And I look forward to many more opportunities to learn, support, advocate and come together as a community.

Check out Erica from Celiac and the Beast’s recap of the event here:   Beyond Celiac: Step Beyond Celiac KC5K 

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PALEO f(x) 2017

24 May

Another long stretch of no time /energy to blog. And I’m still in that state. However, I had to take a brief pause to at least post my current state post PALEO f(x).  I’m still processing most of it. And I think I will be for a while. But my immediate thoughts all go straight to a feeling of renewed energy, inspiration, and the comforting feeling that there are indeed like minded individuals (and entire brands/companies) out there. I tend to forget that, living in the middle of the country, immersed in my own daily struggle to just survive.

But it’s true. There was an entire events center FULL of these people, and I gained something valuable from every single interaction I had. I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend this year. And I look forward to hopefully being healthy enough in 2018 to make it back. It took nearly every ounce of energy and compromise I had for us to make it there this year. And I had to put more debt on my credit card so that I could inject my body with much needed vitamins & minerals via the magical cocktail of nourishment the day before leaving & upon returning. But it was worth it. The fact that there were people (and vendor booths) who not only knew what AIP (Autoimmune Protocol / Autoimmune Paleo) was. But they featured products that were safe for AIP was worth the trip there.

I plan to post more of a wrap up style post in the future, including highlights of my favorites, and things we encountered during our stay in beautiful Austin, TX at the Palmer Events Center for PALEO f(x) 2017. I was so programmed to be hashtagging, per usual at any conference – that I still am on autopilot adding #PFX17 #paleofx #paleofx2017 to even my texts. This is definitely a sign that I need some more rest.

I would love to hear about everyone else’s experience at the event. I did meet a lovely blogger – Austin Paleo Girl. She is a former Kansas Citian, now living in Austin who is a much more energetic & accountable blogger than myself. She has already posted her recap, and you can find that here.  Austin Paleo Grrl: Paleo f(x) 17: Weekend Recap

In the mean time I will be gradually posting photos from the event on my Feud With Food Facebook, Feud With Food Instagram, and Feud With Food Twitter.  Back to healing my body with nourishment, rest, and mindfulness. And, of course, missing Austin and all of the wonderful people we met at Paleo f(x).

Natural Products Expo West 2016

7 Mar

Has it really already been a year since my last Expo West? And I barely can recall Expo East. I could blame it on some type of brain fog from living in a house with hidden mold for nearly a year. Or perhaps time just flies once you are in your 40s.

I am so incredibly excited to be able to find balance, with my cohort in all of these adventures, so that I can still travel, and avoid flares and exhaustion.

I am happily anticipating crossing paths with favorite folks who I only see at events like this, and meeting new people and brands who will hopefully become among my favorites as well.

This is my first big trip (more than 24 hours, and sans a car and cooler) while following my version of the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). I have reintroduced a few items successfully. But my go to snacks that I used to put in my purse are not compliant with where I am at currently. So this is still going to be a challenge. But it is definitely a challenge I am up for. And I armed with the resources I need to ensure that I am nourished during our visit to Anaheim for Expo West.

I have been just busy enough with work and trying to not overdo things, that I have not embarked upon the same level of research that I typically would have accomplished by now, leading up to an event. But I am OK with it because it ensured the balance that I desperately need to keep my immune system in check.

With the small amount of Expo prep I have done, I thus far only have a short list of brands to check out. Some are new to me, and others are old favorites that I will be thrilled to cross paths with, and maybe check out their latest & greatest offerings. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Once I in full Expo mode, this list will have at least quadrupled in length. So much to see. This does not even cover the other attendees that I will be meeting up with during the course of the event. With daily yoga, tastings, sessions, and happy hours on the floor there is already so much to do. Then at the end of the day, there are still more opportunities to learn, socialize, and explore with like minded people. I will close with the beginning of my what will soon likely be a much longer list. Onward to Expo West 2016 . . .

Wild Mountain Paleo Market who has launched Pure Traditions Brand

Vixen Kitchen Vegan & Paleo Gelato

Gemini Tigernut Horchata

Farmhouse Culture (I would like to try the Beet Ginger Gut Shot)

The Mochi Mill (these were some of my favorite people from Expo West 2015)

Love Grace Foods I  could live on their juice, and adore the people behind the product

Pascha Chocolate

NibMor

Pure 7 Chocolate

Tipu’s Chai

Bhakti Chai

Hu Kitchen

Clearly Kombucha

Living Intentions

Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss

Kite Hill

NadaMoo

Hugger Mugger

Gaiam, Inc.

Synergy Organic Clothing

Pact Organic

Humm Kombucha

 

 

 

 

 

Join us at the Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event in Kansas City – Sunday 9/27

22 Sep

Check out some of the sponsors for the event Sunday, September 27th from 10am-3pm in Overland Park, KS (near Kansas City). This will be a great opportunity to connect, learn, and try gluten free products.  For more information:

Kansas City Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event Blog