Tag Archives: gluten free

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

 

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FABlogCon Denver 2015 Photos Part 1

13 Dec

Simple Squares: Eating Clean & Simple

19 Nov

FYI: Long overdue review here. I had the pleasure of stumbling upon a Simple Squares bar over  a year ago. And it could not have filled a void more perfectly.

Being someone who has a host of food allergies and intolerances, it can be super difficult to find quick fix snacks, and options to throw in my purse, backpack, for travel, etc. Keeping my blood sugar balanced is also a constant battle for me, so having something in my bag, like Simple Square Organic Nutrition Bars is a lifesaving thing.
More recently I located the fine folks from Simple Squares at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, and was thrilled to see that in addition to the one flavor I had already tried, which was Coconut, they also offered a variety of other very appealing flavors (including a few that I had to recruit my team of non-allergic test humans to try *for* me).
Simple Squares are organic, certified Paleo, Non GMO, and also gluten, dairy, corn, and soy free. They include only 5 simple ingredients ; whole food, simple ingredients. Each bar has what I would describe as a pleasingly subtle sweet yet savory flavor. I feel like the hints of flavors are subtle enough that they should be appealing to most palates.
Being a spicy spice fan, if I had to pick my favorite, I would be torn between the Cinna-Clove and the Ginger. However, my test tasters have concluded their favorites are the Coffee and the Cho-Coco.  I really would be perfectly content with any of the varieties of Simple Squares, just as long as they maintain their wonderful simplicity that makes them the perfect snack, meal replacement, or sidekick to your morning coffee or tea. I feel that a sampler of Simple Squares should be a staple in every household. I know having at least one Simple Squares bar on my person at all times is essential.
Try them all out. They even offer a sampler, which I highly suggest purchasing.
They come in the following flavors:SimpleSquareHorizontal.jpg
Cho-Coco
Chili-Pep
Cinna-Clove
Coconut
Coffee
Ginger
Rosemary
Sage
SimpleSquaresVertical

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

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 GMO free, and always includes gluten free options.  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

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

 

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.

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.

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.

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