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.



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 …….


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.

August Gluten Free Challenges

19 Aug

Happy August.  I am amazed at how fast July went, and am actually feeling a bit overwhelmed at the idea that it could be cold and snowing in a few months again.  I have been trying to soak in as much of the mild weather and sunshine as possible, and walking to and /or from as many destinations as possible as well.

I have had a few gluten free “mishaps” as of late, and I wonder if that will just always be the case.  Even though I consider myself to be well versed and experienced in being a gluten free shopper and diner, I still continue, on occasion to somehow mess up on the focus I need to apply to my other food intolerances.  I feel like if I had been able to maintain just the necessity of being gluten free, life would be a total piece of gluten free cake right now.  And I even think gluten free + dairy free I could keep up with.  But as my intolerances continue to grow, it just gets overwhelming.

Prime example will be when I find something at a restaurant, or the store, or even something someone has baked for me, and it is something I used to eat and love before going gluten free.  I think that the emotional component and attachment to that particular food will drive me to see what I want to see, and completely forget the rest.  It also happens sometimes when I am faced with that dialogue with the server or chef at a restaurant, too.  Gluten free is always THE most important thing I want to convey.  Dairy free comes next.  But then everything else, depending on the anxiety level of the situation, or the complexity of the dish, can sometimes get forgotten.

I was so excited recently about a dessert at a gluten free bakery that I completely forgot to ask THE most important question before even considering ordering.  WHAT TYPE OF GLUTEN FREE FLOUR DO YOU USE?   Because the thing is,  if it is potato (which is pretty common), I cannot have it due to my reactions to nightshades.

I mainly just wanted to share that while it does get much easier, there are still challenges.  And I feel like I almost need to be carrying around a special laminated card in my wallet to refer to in these situations.

The most important thing, is that I finally have learned to be kind to myself when this happens.  In the past I would beaten myself up over it.  Now I know that I am doing the best I can.  And even in the situations that are not optimal, I almost always realize something, or come out of it with a new perspective.

All of these obstacles and learning experiences are ultimately pushing me towards a new adventure.  I have not quite figured out what that will be.  But the thought of it motivates me to keep pushing forward, and reach out to as many other people in this gluten free community that I can.

I have already learned so much from my involvement thus far in the Daily Dietribe’s Gluten Free Health Challenge.  And with each passing day, someone who I have connected with through the challenge has inspired, comforted, or educated me.  This journey is definitely one that I am thrilled to be on.

Now I am off to mentally devise some future potential travel plans to a city where I can easily eat gluten free !

The joys of July 2013

23 Jul

So far this month, which also happens to be my birthday month, the Feud with Food crew has managed to accomplish quite a bit of food related activity without going too terribly far from our home base of Kansas City, MO.

We attended a Tiki Thursday Plantation Rum Tasting at The Kill Devil Club in downtown KC.  Soon after that, we attended a handful of birthday outings, where various cocktails and food options were offered.  There was a birthday related food day/night that included two separate visits to the only 100% dedicated gluten free establishment in Kansas City – t.Loft, along with a delicious dinner at Tannin Winebar & Kitchen in the Crossroads area of KC, another gluten free/vegan dessert at Cafe Gratitude, and a custom cocktail at Snow & Co.

We stopped in at Whole Foods post birthday for some groceries, and lucked upon the Farmers & Food Artisans Road tour, where I was delighted to meet Callie England (founder/owner of Rawxies), and Hilary Kass (founder/owner of Ancient Grains Bakery).  This was a really awesome event, and I can only hope that some of the folks shopping that day, who normally aren’t buying local, or paying attention to the source of their food purchases, may have been impacted in some way by the opportunity to meet the representatives who were there sharing their food and knowledge.

Last stop thus far was in Lawrence, Kansas at the Open House for Hilary’s Eat Well.  We had the chance to meet the staff, tour the new facility, and try a variety of products INCLUDING a few new options that will be launching I believe in October.  I am incredibly excited about this particular food related visit because I wholeheartedly believe in Hilary’s product and Hilary. I was previously a devoted customer at the sustainable restaurant she used to own (Local Burger).  And I have been anxiously awaiting the next step in her food movement with the distribution of her products nationwide.  They offered plenty to sample at the event – burger “bites” of all of the different veggie burgers, along with two meat options, kale salad, veggies, dairy free dressing, dessert, wine, beer from Free State Brewing Co, and local kombucha from KANbucha.

They even had samples of the two new flavors – Hemp & Greens and Root Veggie.  I’m pretty much now in total love with the Root Veggie Burger, and cannot WAIT for it to hit the stores.  It was not only delicious.  But it was SAFE for me to eat.

I also now have quite the soft spot for the tasty little tart pie crusts from Ancient Grains that were served at Hilary’s Eat well, too.  If only I had not been so busy chatting, and soaking in the great energy there, I might have eaten the entire platter. They were even good by themselves.

I am so proud of the local business owners, who are blazing the trail in this world of REAL FOOD and sustainability.  I was genuinely inspired by every person I came into contact with at the open house.  We were very impressed with what we saw, and are thrilled that we had the opportunity to attend the event at the new facility.


Photos: Hilary’s Eat Well Facility in Lawrence, KS


Feud With Food visits Open House at Hilary’s Eat Well

22 Jul

Feud With Food visits Open House at Hilary's Eat Well

Feud With Food standing outside of the entry to Hilary’s Eat Well in Lawrence, KS.

Embarking upon The Daily Dietribe Gluten Free Health Challenge

1 Jun

GF Challenge 2013I have signed the following pledge, per my participation in The Daily Dietribe Gluten Free Health Challenge.

“I will challenge myself to love and respect myself and my body. I will challenge myself to treat myself as I would a dear friend, with kindness and support. I will challenge myself to eat healthy because I love myself and because I want to take care of myself.”

All of these words rang true to me over the past few years, as I have faced various health struggles, increasing food intolerances, and new obstacles that seemed to block my path to wellness.  However, the one thing I had NOT done, was to reach out to others, seek support, and share my experiences.  Thanks to the inspiration of Iris Higgins (AKA Your Fairy Angel),, and her blog The Daily Dietribe,, I was prompted to enter The Gluten Free Health Challenge.

This is going to be a very interesting adventure for me, as everything I have done thus far, has been between myself and my very patient, loving, and supportive significant other.  There are a handful of folks who know the tip of the iceberg category information.  But the whole story has been too much to share, bear, or even explain in most instances.

Starting today, for the next 6 months, myself & 6 other women will be working with health coaches assigned to each of us.  Every Tuesday I will have something to share via the blog post on The Daily Dietribe.  Each of us participating in the challenge with our coaches, along with all of those who have decided to join along with us, will be sharing, seeking support, learning new recipes, and hopefully learning as much as possible about ourselves, and in relation to how we can each nurture ourselves for the long term. (You can join here: ).

Please join me for this challenge. I am so very excited to be a part of this, and hope we can all reap the benefits of this opportunity.