D is for Donut

D - Dining Out

As always, I’m here to teach you about all things gluten – including certain environmental toxins you might not have thought about before.

Yes, food is part of your environment!

In this #4 video of my new series:  “A Gluten Primer, Everything You Wanted to Know From A – Z” – we’re exploring the biggest social challenge of all:

Dining Out!

If you’ve already been doing this while, then it isn’t news to you that knowing how to navigate the social landscape when living a gluten-free, allergen-free lifestyle can be especially hard. And no surprise – it’s often the one area where people cave, despite their best intentions.

Why is this important?

If your goal is to minimize your symptoms and turn your health around – it all starts with what you’re putting into your body. Understand, too, that what works for one person, might not be the best thing for you – no matter how seemingly healthy it might be.

[Read more…]

Do You Have Street Smarts?

Always Seek Knowledge AcronymWhen it comes to managing your special diet – do you have “Street Smarts”?

You might be wondering what I mean by this.

While not always easy to come by, Street Smarts means knowing how to handle just about any situation that comes along – especially when you find yourself tempted to stray.

It means knowing that when you’re harried and frustrated by circumstances beyond your control – or, well meaning folks who don’t seem to understand or care – you’re able to make an informed choice because you understand the long-term damage that can result from that one exposure, however small.

My newly released video series A Gluten Primer – Everything You Wanted to Know From A-Z explains well, literally everything – in a collection of 26-videos plus a 2-hour tutorial.

In a nutshell, though, here’s what it ultimately comes down to:

 

Knowing what foods are safe to eat

It all starts here.

[Read more…]

Hitting the Road

Cargo OverloadDon’t you just love vacations?

Or, do you find vacations and travel challenging – especially when it comes to navigating your special dietary needs at hotels and restaurants?

It can be challenging, no question about it!

However, after awhile, it usually becomes second nature – once you’ve learned to recognize some of the common pitfalls you’ll want to watch out for.

As it happens, I’ve just wrapped up a ten-day vacation in Eastern Washington – which for me means piling everything in the car and hitting the road.

It’s a perfect way to travel!

The great thing about a road trip, in my humble opinion, is that you can take everything you need with you – without having to deal with limits on excess baggage, or airport security.

And for anyone who has Celiac Disease, or is dealing with food allergies, that makes a road trip ideal.

Because you can simply bring everything along, relying on local grocery stores to stock up on fresh produce and whatever else you might need.

Of course, that also means you might not exactly be traveling light.

In fact, if you’re like me, the words “travel light” might not be in your DNA.

But that’s exactly what makes a road trip so ideal!

[Read more…]

Travel & Your Special Diet

Wagyu Beef SmallHow does your body handle travel?

Are you easily exhausted, or apprehensive about having enough food to eat? (By that I mean the RIGHT kind of food, of course).

Hopefully, you haven’t given up on travel, at least not yet.

While it can indeed be challenging, it doesn’t have to be mean deprivation or going hungry.

I recently flew to Austin, TX, to hang out with my son for a few days. My first night there, we enjoyed this fabulous gluten-free, Japanese inspired meal at a restaurant called Uchi.

(They were very accommodating to my special diet, by the way – which makes for a very stress-free meal!)

Now normally, I’m not a big meat eater.

But this Hot Rock Wagyu Beef totally blew me away. Not only was it delicious, but the presentation was rather awesome. And yes, you even get to cook the meat yourself on that very HOT rock (so cool, and so much fun!)

The rock was heated to 500-600 degrees! (I was curious, so I asked).

I also asked about the bed of salt underneath the rock, since I’d noticed cloves and juniper berries scattered among the crystals.

The reason?

[Read more…]

Hitting the Road

Cargo OverloadI’ve just wrapped up a ten-day vacation in Eastern Washington.

The great thing about a road trip, in my humble opinion, is that you can take everything you need with you – without having to deal with limits on excess baggage, or airport security.

For anyone who has Celiac Disease, or is dealing with food allergies, this makes a road trip ideal.

For the simple reason, you can bring everything along, relying on local grocery stores to stock up on fresh produce and whatever else you might need.

Of course, it also means you may not exactly be traveling light.

In fact, if you’re like me, the words “travel light” might not be in your DNA.

But that’s exactly what makes a road trip so ideal!

For our annual escape, we always stay at the same place – a comfortable time-share condo that is ours for exactly one week.

When we arrive it is always sparkling clean, and tastefully furnished – and that includes a well-stocked kitchen.

Even though the condo comes with a fully equipped kitchen, in the last couple of years, I’ve started bringing more and more of my own equipment.

Perhaps you can relate.

The big concern here, is cross-contamination.

[Read more…]

Do You Have Street Smarts?

Always Seek Knowledge AcronymWhen it comes to being gluten-free, what most of us need – in order to manage our special diets – is “Street Smarts”.

Of course, street smarts aren’t always easy to come by.

In fact, for some of us it can take a very long time to get up to speed.

What do I mean, exactly, by Street Smarts?

Basically, it means knowing how to handle just about any situation that comes along – whether you find yourself tempted to stray and eat just that one little bite of gluten-filled “goodness” or you’re simply harried and frustrated by well meaning folks who don’t seem to understand or care.

(I put that in quotes because there’s nothing “good” about having celiac disease and intentionally eating gluten).

In a nutshell, it comes down to:

 

Knowing what foods are safe to eat

It all starts here.

Yes, it can take awhile to get up to speed and know exactly where gluten is lurking – or, if you’re sensitive to dairy, knowing exactly which foods to avoid.

And even when you know which foods are safe for you, the next step is learning which choices are the healthiest.

After all, just because something is gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean it is good for you.

[Read more…]

Hitting The Road

Cargo OverloadI’ve just wrapped up a ten-day vacation in Eastern Washington.

The great thing about a road trip, in my humble opinion, is that you can take everything you need with you – without having to deal with limits on excess baggage, or airport security.

For anyone who is Celiac, or dealing with food allergies, that makes a road trip ideal.

Whatever you need, you can bring it along, relying on local grocery stores to stock up on fresh produce and whatever else you might need.

Of course, that also means you might not exactly be traveling light.

In fact, if you’re like me, the words “travel light” might not be in your DNA.

But that’s exactly what makes a road trip so ideal!

For this annual escape, we always stay at the same place – a comfortable time-share condo, that is ours for exactly one week.

When we arrive it is always sparkling clean, and tastefully furnished – and that includes a well-stocked kitchen.

Even though the condo comes with a fully equipped kitchen, in the last couple of years, I’ve started bringing more and more of my own equipment.

Perhaps you can relate.

The big concern here, is cross-contamination.

[Read more…]

How To Travel Green

TravelAh, the joys of travel.

Not only do we have to deal with the hassles of flying, but our normally healthy habits as far as diet and exercise often fly out the window, adding to our level of frustration and fatigue.

When you add a gluten-free, allergen-free diet to the mix, it gets even more interesting!

Here’s another thing I know to be true:

If you’re an eco-friendly sort of person, it can be very hard to maintain your eco-friendly ways while on the road.

After all, when we’re tired and hungry, and far from home it’s much easier to opt for convenience – especially when crunched for time.

Still, it is possible, and needn’t take too much effort.

So here are my tips on How to Travel Green.

 

Stay Hydrated

While it’s definitely important to stay hydrated while traveling, I think it’s equally important to consider the type of bottle you’re drinking out of.

Yet, how does one maintain proper fluid intake without going through gallons of water packaged in plastic bottles?

My method isn’t foolproof, but here it is:  I travel with a stainless steel water bottle.

I empty it prior to passing through airport security, then promptly request a refill at the nearest Starbucks.

A friend of mine gave me this tip a few years ago, and it really works!

[Read more…]

How to Travel Gluten-Free

18th Cent French Travel Kit

18th Cent French Travel Kit

Back in the day, a gentleman or lady of means typically travelled with something like this.

Perfectly appointed with a travel size knife, fork and spoon and a pair of scissors – for what, I’m not exactly sure.

Fast forward to modern day travel.

Yes, travel in this day and age is a bit more challenging as we navigate airports and busy schedules.

Add a gluten-free diet and lifestyle to the mix, and your travel woes will likely be compounded by the constant worry of “what to eat?”

As we move into the summer travel season, I thought I’d take a moment to review some of my go-to tricks that I rely on whenever I travel.

Making sure, of course, that there’s always something on hand to eat!

(Most of the time, anyway).

For anyone with additional allergies – for example, dairy and eggs, along with gluten – travel becomes even more of a challenge.

[Read more…]

Hitting the Road

By the time you read this, I will have just wrapped up a two week vacation in Eastern Washington.

And happy to be home again!

The great thing about a road trip, in my humble opinion, is that you can take everything you need with you without having to deal with baggage limits or airport security.

Which is why a road trip strikes me as the ideal vacation for anyone who is Celiac, or dealing with food allergies.

That’s because you can bring along food and other supplies, relying on local groceries only to stock up on fresh produce and other necessities as the need arises.

Of course, that also means you might not exactly be traveling light.

In fact, if you’re like me, the words “travel light” might not be in your DNA.

But that’s exactly what makes a road trip so ideal!

For this annual escape, we always stay at the same place – a comfortable time share condo, that is ours for exactly one week.

When we arrive it is always sparkling clean, with everything neatly arranged and orderly.

The place is tastefully furnished with your basic seating, tables and beds – even a hide-a-bed for extra guests – plus a well stocked kitchen.

Yet, even though the condo comes with a fully equipped kitchen, in the last couple of years, I’ve started bringing more and more of my own equipment.

Perhaps you can relate.

The big concern here, is cross – contamination.

[Read more…]