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Vida Vegan Con 2015 in Austin

28 May

If you are in Austin, TX or able to get there any time starting right now through this Sunday (5/28-5/31), you must check out some of the happenings surrounding the Vida Vegan Con 2015.

Thursday 5/28 from 3-6pm:  Unofficial (totally official) Meet & Greet at Buzzmill Coffee & Beer House

Friday 5/29 from Noon- 7pm:  Opening Day Vegan Bazaar at The Marchesa Hall & Theatre (open to the public)

For more information, follow Vida Vegan Con on social media. There will be vegan food trucks, tons of people in town, and even a scavenger hunt.

The official conference itself, which is being held at the AT&T Education & Conference Center – Vida Vegan Con III is sold out.

One of my favorite hometown plant based companies will be making their Austin debut at the conference and Vegan Bazaar. Mean Vegan out of Kansas City, MO loaded up a massive amount of tamales, and hit the road to Texas. Feud With Food had plans to be in attendance this year.  But some unfortunate autoimmune related flares surfaced this week, and the trip would prove to be too draining to attempt. I am quite sad to be missing this 3rd and final version of VVCIII.

I was in Portland during VVCII in 2013, and had a blast at the Vida Vegan Con Galarama at Staver Locomotives. A plethora of cheese plates courtesy of Miyoko, coupled with a build your own sundae bar from So Delicious made for a fantastic evening. And I topped it off with a root beer float, some dancing, and the photo booth.  I look forward to living vicariously through those lucky folks who are attending the VVCIII in Austin this year.  Please eat all of the cheese, and have so much fun FOR me.  And don’t forget to check out Mean Vegan at the Bazaar. They will have t-shirts for sale, too.

I want ALL of the vegan ice cream.  So Delicious made it easy with their sundae bar at VVCII in Portland.

I want ALL of the vegan ice cream. So Delicious made it easy with their sundae bar at VVCII in Portland.

May 13th is Anaphylaxis Awareness Day

13 May

Brrrr it’s cold. Time to head west. . . to Natural Products Expo West

3 Mar

We simply cannot wait to de-plane in California, and hopefully walk into a more mild weather situation. I don’t need for it to be perfect and sunny.  I just need for it not to be below zero wind chills, and single digit temperatures, coupled with ice pellets falling from the sky.

So the time has come for us to embark upon our first year at the industry only event that has been on my to do list for years.  The Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA.

We will be consulting the usual resources such as Yelp, and all of the amazing bloggers I follow for any outside of the event food adventures.  But during the expo, I sense that I will do just fine.  I could be wrong.  But if I am in a convention center full of representatives from nearly every company that I adore and support (those companies who actually create food that is safe for me to eat), I can’t imagine not being able to find nourishment.

Either way, my bag will be full of the usual snacks, and “emergency” protein/fat/carb options (like Kit Bars, Larabars, and my special grain-free granola).

WHO ELSE IS HEADED TO ANAHEIM to immerse themselves in the world of Natural Products at the Expo West 2015?  I can’t wait to meet you, whoever you are.  I plan to be dressed in yoga attire nearly the entire trip, comfy shoes, and wearing a huge smile.  I hope to do a decent job of documenting this adventure.  I will be gathering information and knowledge to take back to my yoga/holistic beauty job at the amazing Hagoyah in Kansas City, MO.   I am so grateful for this opportunity.

Hooray for #ExpoWest #NaturalProductsExpo !

Help make the best gluten-free beer more accessible to everyone who loves craft beer

26 Feb

If you have not tried Ground Breaker Brewing craft beer yet, you are seriously missing out.  And this applies to those of you who life a gluten-free lifestyle, as well as those of you who simply enjoy and adore craft beer.  This beer is top notch, amazing, AND happens to be gluten-free.

Right now, it is only available in select locations, which are limited to the Pacific Northwest.  Please consider helping out with their Kickstarter campaign (and make it snappy – time is limited).  The funds raised, if they achieve their goal, will allow for distribution to happen via offering their wonderful craft beer creations in cans.

I beg and plead, if you have any connection to craft beer or advocacy for gluten-free folks like myself – help make this happen. It is a tragedy to me that there are so many people who think that gluten-free beer is limited to what I consider to be extremely inferior options (and very little variety).  The moment I stepped into the tasting room at Ground Breaker Brewing, I found gluten-free versions of my former craft beer world I had held only in my memory.  I could not believe it  The beer is seriously that good.  It isn’t just a great gluten-free beer.  It is awesome beer, that just happens to gluten-free.

Help them out.  Help me out.  Help the rest of the gluten-free folks not residing in Oregon, who love craft beer have access to Ground Breaker Brewing.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1059046333/yes-we-can-0

I am alive, and returning to the blog world

9 Oct

However brief and random my posts of late have been, I have not forgotten for one minute why I started this blog in the first place. In fact, part of what has kept me from being active, is related to the very reason. And that being my seemingly eternal feud with food.  I do hope that some day perhaps I can retire this blog name.  Some day, my body will be healed, and perhaps I will not feel this resistance and upset types of reactions after ingesting certain foods.  But for now, I am going to be grateful for all of the resources that I have found (thanks to all of you online researching, posting, sharing, and relentlessly looking for more information).  I am also very grateful that my mishaps in the food sense, do always seem to offer a lesson, or an aha moment of sorts.

I have so much to say, and so little time.  The main outline:

* We had an unplanned, and very emotionally & physically trying move out of a house that we loved. I am recognizing the value of that unplanned change slowly but surely.  But that did not make the process itself any easier.

* My health started declining again during the time when I was obsessively searching for a new place to live. I know for a fact that stress alone did not help.  But there were definitely other factors, some of which I still am trying to unravel.

* I miraculously had the opportunity to get certified as a Yoga Instructor right in the middle of our actual physical move.  That is another blog post in itself. Probably one of the most life changing, amazing experiences of my life, and I can’t wait to share more about it.

* My body is rebelling against me at the moment again post move. I know I overdid it. I know I did lift things that I should not have.  And I really just have not been getting the rest I need to nurture an autoimmune body.  Steps I am taking thus far are maintaining a daily yoga practice (even though I’ve had to do it from home lately), regular massage, and now I have been back to my beloved chiropractor Melinda Freeling.

* The latest feud with food seems to have come with a dairy exposure. I have been SO good about this for years now. But wow.  I can’t believe how many days of reactions I continue to experience from a tiny bit of accidental milk ingestion.

* Oh, & I have a job interview tomorrow.  One that I have had to cancel more than once because of the move, and the frustrating issues that came with it (mostly internet connectivity, and the fact that there was a wasp nest in the office of the new house that I found the day before the original interview was scheduled).  I am not a fan of job interviews anyway. But knowing that I am covered in hives, weird skin inflammation on my FACE, and bruises does not help with the self confidence necessarily.

This post has already gone longer than planned.  I do promise to write more soon, and with more enthusiasm, and hopefully some love for food vs my current feud.

I am SO excited to be furthering my practice with yoga, and sharing it with others.  Out of everything that has kept me away from the blog, that piece is the one I am most thrilled about. And it was well worth the time spent away from the computer.

Off to rest the tired body………

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.

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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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/