#15 -I can't believe I just committed SPELT-icide

Friends came over for a pre-holiday, casual dinner and they were so excited to bring this delicious, amazing Spelt sourdough style bread. I'd had it once before at their place with out putting too much thought into it I decided to go for it. Dipping that delicious spongy bread through the olive oil and balsamic was just amazing after such a long of a time away from this experience. I simply decided to suspend my anxiety and beliefs and enjoy the moment. Afterward I continued the denial and I did such a good job with it that I can't even pin-point when things started to go awry.

I had a rough few days last week, not as bad as some weeks in fresh memory but certainly not stellar. Now, I've done it again. And for the second time in 12 hours because they generously left me this bread to enjoy. *sigh* I must forgive myself for this sin committed to my body and hope for the best. The bare facts are that I'm never 100% sure about why stuff happens or even what it IS that is happening inside me and it's extremely difficult to avoid gluten regardless, because it's a hidden ingredient in much of the foods out there, be it bottled, bagged, and or in what ever form. Sauces, even meats can have it. SO I rarely even get to enjoy a 'clear' week with out experiencing some form of disruption. Contamination can include a whole host of symptoms for days and get the immune system in an uproar as well as mood alterations. It sucks.

Now I'm going to try and fend off the misery by remaining focused on some projects. There are some seeds of hope sprouting around me so *fingers crossed* for a positive outlook.

Happy holiday times to anyone reading and good luck with staying on track for health.  

I want to apologize for my blog always looking so bare-bones. I'm not the most techie individual and don't know how to make it look pretty. Maybe I should change my name to Wilma Flintstone or something. 


#13 Halloween candy. Also; Weird yummy food combinations.

Here comes my favourite holiday, Halloween! I'm a fan of costuming, what can I say? But all the roll out tables at the stores laden with sugary, gluteny, dairy filled treats that I can't eat.. THIS I'm NOT a fan of. There ought to be a law against this kind of torture! Okay, maybe not a law, but I really want a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup. No, not just one, I want a bag full.  I also want some Turtles or Rolo's....  KitKat or any cheap-ass chocolate bar. I want gratification! Sometimes while waiting in line at the grocery store I leer at the cheap, chocolate bars and fantasize ripping into the packages like a wild thing. I'm drooling right now thinking about it. All main-stream chocolate bars seem to have gluten & dairy in them. It's sad, but true. Hell, even red Liquorice has wheat!

Here's a 2013 list of gluten free candies:  list
But for people who are also allergic to dairy, that includes Lactose, Whey and Casein, this list becomes even more limited. We still have Zazubean or Alter Eco's delightful dark chocolate with Quinoa, or Mint and a few other choice flavours and new to the scene is Justin's organic. Dark chocolate (non dairy), (non gluten) Nut Butter cups. These are an awesome substitute that we've been waiting a long time for.
*note* Much less expensive in the U.S.
Don't take any chances this holiday, treat your self well and don't be tricked into eating the wrong thing & paying for it afterward.
Cheers! Happy Halloween!

#14  I love weird food!
It's late and I didn't really have any dinner. The fridge looks looks abandoned except for some leftover rice, some Adams natural peanut butter and an avocado. Hey d'you know what tastes really good? These items eaten together. Yes I'm serious. I've had this combination more than once and it's actually delicious! I love weird food combinations. Anything that tastes good and your body gravitates to it is probably a good thing except when it's all about the sugar.

Last week I actually baked. Yeah me. I baked a chocolate banana bread. Gluten free, dairy free and consequentially egg free. I went off eggs for a week to see if some of these continuing issues could be more allergies. Well the bread turned out great! Everyone who tried it said that you could not even tell it lacked those key ingredients. Yay me! This has inspired me to try more baking (when I have the energy.)
I took the recipe from It was actually an older one that I used, and I combined my own non gluten flour mix. Coconut Flour, Urad (chick pea), Tapioca and potato starch and a bit of Buckwheat (which is NOT wheat at all btw.) plus all other ingredients in her recipe, with the addition of coconut because I had no walnuts. (mmm... now I want walnuts.)

This is a good reminder to not give up, even when you think you're miserable at something, like me with baking. Eat what you see, just eat it YOUR way.

If I don't get to blogging again for a while I will say it now: Happy Holidays and keep on your right track!    Remain healthy friends ♡ and thanks for reading.

Feel free to comment or add points ☟


#12 You are not alone!

The other day I ordered a cappuccino from (a notably thin) barista. I asked if they had anything gluten free/dairy free. He regretted that they didn't have anything like that to offer, (which I think is ridiculous) and told me how he himself is finding that he can no longer tolerate gluten and is thinking of experimenting on some gf baked goods and that with any luck he would like to bring them into the shop. I encouraged him to do that. Baking gluten free and dairy free is a real challenge that takes a lot of practice. I'm no baker, I'm the first to admit. Cooking is more suited to me because you can change things up. Baking requires adhering to recipes which I'm not a fan of. I love to throw in a little of this, a little of that.

In my daily travels I've come across a surprising number of gluten free people and while I'm always delighted to meet them at the same time I feel so alarmed at the growing numbers. When I meet someone like the aforementioned barista, just beginning their gluten free journey,  I really feel for them because I know how difficult it is to adhere to the diet. We know, that once we jump that ship, there is no going back. I've now printed out a little card with my blog and Yelp lists to give to people I meet, because I know how hard it was for me to find the best places for food shopping and meals out. I try to encourage new gf-ers to stay on track and focus on regaining their health because it's worth the hardship. There are bonuses on the way! This weekend I visited a new gf bakery on the north shore. I love the sign on the pastry window;  "Everything is Gluten Free" Hah! Everything is so beautiful and yummy looking so if you're looking for a typical over-produced wheaty glutenous treat, you're S.O.L. welcome to the flip side, my friends!

If you know anyone who might benefit from the lists, please pass it on to them or FB my blog and share it. It's not just for me that I write this out you know :)

my glutenfree Yelp
Thanks again for reading and feel free to give me some points ☟


#11 How I became a gluten free labeling activist.

I'm on a bit of a campaign right now to get Save-On-Foods to upgrade their gluten free labeling system. I was so excited early in the Summer when I first spotted the orange and white Gluten Free signs sticking out off the shelves like little flags. But after I accidentally consumed a product that had gluten in it that was found right behind the sign, I realized that I had rejoiced too soon. This made me mad. I thought; why would they have these signs right on the shelves and not make it perfectly clear as to which product was indeed gluten free? They needed some education.
So, I have made an extra effort to speak to as many employees of Save-On-Foods as I come into contact with, to bring this issue forward and today I was pretty impressed. I was asking an assistant manager about the signs when the Manager of Operations came over, recognizing me from our last conversation and said that he was just discussing this subject this morning and bringing my idea of better labeling back to the table. Awesome! I look forward to progress with this.

This past Summer much of the food industry labeling has come under scrutiny and it appears that some very important changes are on the table. The problem is the beer industry seems to be putting a lot of money into fighting the changes. I don't understand yet why, but they are lobbying to block the changes. I really hope something can be worked out to satisfy all parties. I would love to see more clear labeling, and the sooner the better- I'm hungry!

Here is the petition, if you'd like to sign. We must show our numbers. Please sign and pass it along to other concerned consumers.


# 10 The good, and the bad hair day.

Every once in a while, when I think I've said enough about being gluten free and that I have nothing new to add, someone comes along and thanks me personally for my lists and for sharing my story. This gives me the incentive to reach out again and say 'Hello there friends and wheatless people!'

It's been a grand summer of networking, connecting and brainstorming. Recently, I had the opportunity to watch a number of Fringe Festival shows and review them for PLANKmagazine
This put me on Granville Island where the bulk of the playhouses and BYOV's are. Being on the 'island' (which of course is not an island at all, but more of a peninsula), and being gluten free and hungry are a bad combination. I was sorrily disappointed by the lack of options I found there. I used to think you could go to the Public Market and find just about any kind of food, whether it be prepared or ingredients for your own meal at home. There are few actual restaurants, bars and cafes there after all. This was a stark reminder of how we should always plan ahead for our meals. I do recommend Agro Cafe on Railspur Alley if you have the time and cash to spend, as the chef there was super kind once and made me a special gluten free dish.

Another not so great surprise was my visit to the Pan Pacific hotel Cascades Lounge. At first I was really happy to hear that they have a non-dairy substitute for the espresso beverages, (especially because I love a good cappuccino!) but upon closer inspection, I saw Barley extract on the ingredients list. The poor bar tender/barista, he was so nice, he went out of his way to retrieve the Soy beverage, and then I (almost screamed) wait! STOP!
Overall it was a tough afternoon, my mother's birthday included a complimentary Chocolate Ganache cake, which she and my step dad ate in front of me, while moaning how good it was. #notagoodmoment . Once again, there I was having only breakfast in my belly and no afternoon coffee to stave off the monster inside and having to deal with this scene . Some days are just 'bad hair' days.

Later, to celebrate, we went to dinner at a place called Transylvania Flavour where they had considerately prepared a separate chicken dish just for me, but my mother had neglected to tell them that on top of being Celiac, I am also dairy intolerant.  The dish was bathed in butter, so I then had to watch as everyone else ate their droolicious looking meals laden with gluten, while I waited for them to prepare me another dish. Yup, just a bad hair day.

Because I'd hate to end this excerpt on a low note, (although the sky is grey, it's raining, summer is over and I'm still unemployed...) I will say this. Thanks for all the great comments and 'likes' on FB, and for re-tweeting my Tweets. Please share this blog with anyone you think could use it or be mildly entertained.
*Pictured above, these "muffins" at Panne Rizzo are both gluten and dairy free. Beyond that they are also only 2.99 each! Downside: I live on the other end of town.  


#9. GF is not a diet fad, people!

I just caught an ABC news report about the gluten free diet. It talked about how Hollywood stars are going gluten free and alluded to it being some kind of glamour diet fad. One thing we find abhorrent is when it's touted as some kind of weight-loss plan. It down plays the impact of the disease to an offending point. The effect of which is that people don't take it as seriously as they need to. With no exaggeration I can tell you that having gluten intolerance and Celiac disease is both painful and emotionally challenging. It's no walk in the park.

While I'm thrilled to have so many more choices of foods now than what used to be available and I'm happy to take advantage of the 'buzz' for more gf products to be marketed, I really want Celiac disease and gluten intolerance to be discussed in a more educational tone. 

I know that it won't be long before the wheat board starts fighting back and things get really ugly. I imagine that they'll be telling people how 'dangerous' it is not to eat wheat, as sales are inevitably affected by the numbers of people turning away from their cereal breakfasts and sandwich lunches.  I feel like there is only a small window of time left to educate people about what is really happening to so many people before the tide starts turning around.

I really hope that people will take the time to really learn about these illnesses and try to understand the importance of eating the right foods for their bodies.

As for it being a diet, the people I've met who are on the gf and dairy free diets are far more concerned with putting weight on than loosing it. I'm very happy to say that I've gained some of my weight back recently that was lost while I made this radical change. That's gotta be good!
 Bon Appétit!


#8 Lead us not to temptation.

You know what? Sometimes temptation actually leads us to a new discovery. Like the time I poked my nose into the cupcake shop and found gluten free/ dairy free cupcakes! I'm pretty sure I shed a tear of joy. This weekend I followed my nose to a food truck and found gluten free hot dogs  -and not just gluten free, but made with locally sourced meat too. Okay, I know this is not exactly viewed as healthy eating, but you know what? We have to indulge sometimes. Once again I'm torn between the two emotions, thrilled, (for selfish reasons) and appalled. I'm alarmed that there are so many of us non-glute's that it's becoming a common thing to find gluten free food to go.

Gluten free street food!
One of my favourite things to do is to connect small businesses and people together. My latest personal accomplishments have included my attempt to connect a gluten free freelance baker with the nearby cafe Delany's next to the library on Vancouver's north shore. A small upscale organic grocery store, with a local coffee roaster!/rocanini and thirdly I tried to connect a local artisan who makes tile work, with a small gift shop. I love connecting people ! If only I could make a living at the things I'm enjoying now.
Open to suggestions.

Thanks for reading and always enjoy what you eat, and eat what you enjoy.


#7 A gluten free cornucopia

Lately I've been enjoying a 'harvest' of blessings in the form of good food and fortune coming my way. Friends have treated me to meals, two restaurants comped my meals, and I've just learned that I won a gift certificate for a meal of "sustainable cuisine" at The Refinery from Ethical Deal which I'm totally stoked about :)   

It seems to me that there has been an influx of gluten free products filling the shelves and labeling has become clearer. Even large local grocery chains have gf labeling going up. Here in Vancouver we even have a couple of gluten free dedicated shops. This is both exciting and alarming because it really shows how many people are affected by gluten.

 I'll keep this blog short today and offer you these words of encouragement: You are not alone! Reach out, find the support you need and know that it does get better. We will always have our setbacks and bad days, but as you go forward you will find that avoiding the pitfalls becomes easier. Be strong willed, practice gratitude and eat well.

 Here's another blogger's excerpt about the new changes in labeling.
This is what you get when you do a local search on Yelp for gluten free.


#6 Green Eggs and Ham?

How about avocado, hard boiled egg, sunflower butter, cucumber and lettuce on toasted gluten free bread?!
I say, eat fearlessly~ within your own dietary limits. The greatest part about eating at home is personal choice.  I eat the weirdest things and I love it !

If you're struggling, thinking about what you can't eat, and feeling depressed about it,  you've got to move forward to a different place. In place of thinking about what you can't eat. Make a list of the things that you can eat, the things you love to eat, that you can eat. Then begin to think about how to combine those things into meals. Afterward you can start to look for those types of meals when you go out. Keeping it simple for yourself at first is fine, but don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Ridicule is the least of our worries, let's face it.

My latest creation (besides my crazy sandwich), was a slow cooked black beans and pork, corn, potato and onion stew. Chopped garlic, (of course!) and tomato and other spices and herbs. (Keeping a close eye on the spices for the gluten contamination factor.) I also drizzled in some black strap molasses (because it contains 25% of our DV of iron.)  The place smelled amazing as it cooked!  One of the great parts about slow cooking is that you can use less expensive cuts of meat. We're on a tight budget, so this is going to be a repeat performance.

Thanks again for reading, and feel free to comment, (keep it clean LoL!) or just 'points' It helps me evaluate the blog.

#5. For my gluten free peep's: No 'knead' to starve!

Lately I've been finding plenty of gluten free foods to keep my belly happy and it's time to share some product names with you all.
I recommend you make a shopping list, and check out which local shops carry these brands and which are priced the most competitively. Do keep in mind that some places are still charging 20-30% more for the gluten free equivalents, but for now, this is how it is.

Here is my local store directory for lower priced gluten free foods: 

Here's my Yelp list for local shops and resto's that do serve gluten free dishes:

Here's a list of tried and true GF products found around BC and into Washington U.S.

 <> Udi's breads, bagels, muffins. (Teff and Tapioca flours) This is the best store bought bread.
 <> Earth Balance and Becel gluten, soy and dairy free margarine. Good for  baking too. (but so is Olive oil.)
 <> Daiya 'cheese' it's really awesome!
 <> Nature's Path gf cereals.
 <> Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.  Yummy by itself, in coffee, on cereal, in sauces, soups, and baking.
 <> SO Good & Almond Fresh
 <> Pamela's Products.
 <> Trader Joes gluten free products. (They have an online list.)
 <> SanLeo corn pastas
 <> Mrs Leeper's corn pastas.
 <> Tinkyada  rice pastas. (not as good as corn or quinoa)
 <> Ancient Harvest. Quinoa and corn pasta. (high in iron).
*Nutrition Kitchen. Soybean pasta. (90% of your iron- yes you read that right!)
 <> Trader Joe's Rice Sticks. (for your Asian dishes, and soups.)
 <> ZenSoy pudding cups! (oh yeah!)
 <> Soyganic  organic tofu firm, for stir fry.
<> Silk Soy coffee creamer. This is also free of all dairy! :)
<> SO Good coconut beverages
<>Trader Joe's Tofutti 'cream cheese'. 
*SORRY ABOUT ALL THIS TOFU, it's difficult to get enough daily iron.
  <> Food For Life, Brown Rice Tortilla's.
  <> Sonoma gluten free wraps. (Teff flour).
  <> Ener-G. Wyld sesame pretzels. (Do not buy the bread, as it is dry!)
  <> Kinnikinnick Foods. Cookies and treats.  (Their bread is dry and overpriced, so I don't recommend it.)
  <> Enjoy Life Chewy -Bars and cookies.
  <> Food Should Taste Good. -Blue Corn chips.
  <> Larabar. Fruit and Energy bars for hiking and other outdoor days.
  <> Alter Eco Dark Chocolate bars are gluten and dairy free ! The quality and hard to find flavours like Mint (with real mint), and Quinoa make this brand outstanding! The 25% iron in half a bar is off the chain!
 <> Stella brand dark chocolate bars.
 <> Organic Biologique. Mesa Sunrise. Cereals with Flax means high in omegas as well as some fiber.
  <> Trader Joes gluten free tomato sauces. Or make your own using basic tomato paste. Watch out for the mysterious word "spices" -that's a trap!

  Regular meal ideas:

 Meat or Vegetable, tomato sauce spaghetti. (see above pasta recomm's)
 Veggie stir fry's with home made sauces. *Watch out for those gluten contaminated sauces!  (Make your own).
  Pork Burgers on GF buns (or with rice.) Sweet potato "fries" (Baked with olive oil on the Foreman grill) Any veggie is good on the grill.
  Salads (with tofu or meat on them, nuts, raisins, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, apple chunks, etc.) Balsamic/Olive  oil  dressings. Salads make a great meal for lunch or dinner, as do soups!
 Salmon. *oh, make it wild!* avoid farmed if possible.
  Pork chops. Goes great with coconut mashed potatoes!
  Fried rice with meat and spice dishes.
  Tacos! YES
  Soups. There's a world of soup recipes. Great to add rice noodles to bulk soups up.
  Steaks, (ha-ha $) Sausages that are gluten free.
  Shrimps and other fish dishes.

  Some lunches:
  Chicken breast or Veggie sammies with Avocado, cucumber, spinach, veggie patties, Nut Butters, Tofutti, Ajvar ( high in vitamin C.
Trader Joe's Organic Tofu Veggie Burgers. (oily but tasty)
 Rice wraps and brown rice wraps with veggies or chili meat & Daiya.
Rice Vinegar/ sesame oil/ Olive oil, lemon juice, flax oil dressings.
 Chicken salad, egg salad, potato salad. (Or see blog post 20), Avocados cut in half, served with salads inside. 

  Fruit, nuts, gf chips, bars, carrot sticks, sesame snaps, hummus.

When out:
 Coffee beverages that are treats like a Cappuccino, treats from local gluten free bakers. Find a local cupcake shop that has non gluten, non dairy cupcakes!
Local list of GF bakeries:
Choices, Panne Rizo, O My Goodness Gluten Free Kitchen, The Gluten Free Epicurean, Sweet Tooth Cakery, Cloud 9,  EighFold Eats.

 Have fun out there and eat well !
 *Always remember to drink lots of water, (and better if you can filter out any Fluoride first.) Drinking a lot of water helps to run toxins out of the body.
We're always going to get 'contaminated',  it's just too hard to avoid, but we can do our best to maintain our health by being aware of what constitutes a nutritional meal. Try to exercise daily, and really being aware of what our bodies are telling us. Be your own best mom. :)

 Cheers and let me know what you think of these blog excerpts by adding points to the bottom of each, or by commenting. Thanks for reading!
 I he♥rt you, all my friends. You mean everything to me.


#4 Healing time.

It took a long time for me to get past the mourning period. The full realization that the way I used to eat was now history. We have to let go of the memories of meals past. Pizza and beer, pasta and garlic bread, dumplings and tempura, hamburgers and fries.... It's not easy to let go because these memories are not only of the food, but the emotional attachment we all have to the foods. The transition can't possibly happen overnight. First you have to let go, and then there appears to be a period of acceptance, where you realize that your precious energy is being wasted on pining after what is lost, instead of focusing on what is yet to come. Then we move into a grateful time where we start to feel a bit better and creativity is born of our new found knowledge.

That's where I am now, in the creative period where substitution of food items is starting to fill in the gaps.
Where there was spaghetti, now there is..... *trumpets playing*  corn, quinoa and brown rice pasta! Okay, so I have to make my own tomato sauce, but trust me it's delicious! Where there was hamburgers and fries, now there's...... hamburgers and fries! -what? Yes, not everyone puts filler in their burgers. I have found some local restaurants who offer gluten free burgers. And it also seems it was all a lie that you needed to mix flour into the meat to hold it together. There are plenty of substitutions for flour. Flax meal, almond meal, corn meal and pea or lentil flour and these all work great. I've even made my own burgers with rice mixed into the meat, or with no filler at all and they held together fine on my Forman Grill.
Even the egg, it turns out isn't necessary if you are avoiding eggs. I'm finding more and more that the replacement foods can be more nutritious than what I was eating before.  There are also alternatives to the basic wheat bun. You have to shop around to find them but when you do find one you like, pay mind to the brand and price. And keep in mind that you can always choose bread slices instead of buns too. And why did I mention fries? Surely there's no wheat on french fries!? It turns out that some kitchens use brands of pre-made frozen fries that have been sprinkled with wheat for crunchiness. I always ask if the place is making their own fries or sweet potato fries. At home I make my own sweet potato 'fries' by slicing and salting (and for me a little garlic powder), and they get nice and crunchy on my Foreman grill.  Sweet potatoes it turns out, are really good for you and taste great when prepared this way.

In this grateful and creative stage of food transition, what is actually happening is that we're creating new 'meal memories' and moving toward enjoying foods again. I've pretty much condensed these steps for the moment, but I'll return to the points in later entries. The key to moving forward is reading a lot and learning about more nutritional substitutes to create and re-create meals that we really enjoy and share them with others.

#3 Living in the grey area.

I've read many stories about how people came to realize they had some form of gluten intolerance and I found one common thread that really strikes me. Many people who have chosen the path of gluten avoidance have been tested for Celiac, IBS, IBD, Crohn's and so many other diseases that all have similar symptoms, and a really high percentage still do not know with certainty what the actual disease is that they are suffering from. I read that it can be years before someone knows what is really causing the problems.
With me, I got tested for Celiac after I was already avoiding gluten in my diet, therefor rendering the test moot. This is common apparently and to make matters even more confusing, sometimes the tests for Celiac come out negative even though the person has a gluten intolerance. The only other way to test for Celiac disease is to have a biopsy of the small intestine to see if there's damage. To me, that seems too invasive.

I've been suffering from digestive discomforts all my life and it's only now that I feel in control to a certain extent and even empowered. All I'm saying is that everyone has to take their own health history into account when researching what the problem might be. Doctors can only guess by symptoms, which change all the time. These diseases all have such similar symptoms that it makes it really difficult to diagnose. It would be great to know with certainty what the problem is and have a plan of action but for now I am managing my own health. I get a lot of flack for this but the improvement speaks for itself. The one thing I would love to have now is a nutritionist but with out a firm diagnosis, we are on our own to pay for such a luxury.


#2 Wheat is so 'blé '

What's in a label? One of the first things I learned when trying to avoid all things wheat related, was that it hides behind long names of regular things like "spices" and "flavours".  MSG is also a no-no and is found in many sauces. The bright side of this is that you can make your own sauces and I'll offer some of my own recipes later in the blog.  As for the labels, I encourage everyone to take a good look at all labels before buying foods and learn what those un-pronounceable names are. Google the words, learn which ones hide wheat in them. Many of these words it turns out, are made up and then trademarked for use in the food processing industry. When you see them on the label, they don't actually say "wheat derived" or anything about wheat at all!  Also when doing my research I learned that many of the chemicals used in food processing are actually toxic in large doses but they keep the percentage just low enough to pass the FDA allowances. *rant* Guess who sets these allowances and does the 'independent' testing? --why the companies themselves. Do you think the FDA has the time and money to do the testing? They don't, so they take the industry's tests and use them to create the standards. And why do I care? because I am one of millions of people who are affected by these minuscule amounts of chemicals and I don't want to eat them and then feel lousy. Maybe the illness caused me to be super sensitive to all processed foods, it's possible but the more I read and understood about these processes, the more steadfast I became about eliminating the non food items from my diet. Emulsifiers and preservatives do not belong in my body any more than wheat, and my body protests their presence. 

In the beginning, shopping was a hugely tedious task. Reading all the labels took time and caused eye strain. I now carry a small magnifying glass which really helps. It also helps when your partner checks labels for you. It's key to share the burden with your partner when you shop for groceries or go somewhere to eat.  Dining is another major learning experience on this diet. We have to be calm, clear and patient when ordering and hope for the same from the servers. Most of the time these days I'm finding the servers to be well educated about gluten intolerance and Celiac disease. They will often ask the cook or chef if they're not sure about the ingredients in something. Dining out was a nerve wracking lesson for me for a long time. I didn't want to draw attention to myself by taking up the server's time, or by asking them to check with the kitchen more than once. I felt anxious that my friends would not understand my long interactions with the servers and I worried what their reactions would be to me.  You can start to see how many ways we are affected by the diet, it's not just about the food. Even larger hurdles were yet to come. Beyond the required discipline I had to move toward resolve and acceptance.


#1 With this blog, I thee wed.

I feel as though my life has been renewed, I'm re-energized and this blog is my commitment to living a fuller life. No more procrastination, it's time.  It was a promise I made to myself a while back and it's powered by the encouragement of friends that I begin.

My journey to clear my mind and regain my health started about three years ago. I knew something wasn't right, I was loosing weight, having dizzy spells, my energy was depleted, I couldn't concentrate and I had what can only be described as brain fog. The mornings were the hardest part. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say I discovered an adult use for baby wipes. Each day I would wonder if I should call in sick, or wait to see what happens, and each afternoon, I would leave my place for my walk to work and pace myself. Where I used to practically skip along the pavement, now I was dragging along and resting where ever possible, like an old lady. I seriously started wondering if this was the beginning of the end of my life.

I was living in San Francisco, a city of every kind of diversity. Wonderful food was everywhere around me. On my walk to work each day, I passed through the predominantly Chinese neighbourhood of middle Clement St. with all it's Dim Sum shops and fresh bakeries tempting me to eat pork buns and Har Gao and Ham Sui Gok, the delicious and glutenous sweet rice flour pork dumplings, and the low price of 3 pieces for less than $1.20 made it even more tempting.  But as time went on and my food fears grew, my diverse palate and intake began to shrink. I thought that maybe I could figure out what foods were causing the problems, if indeed it was food, by the process of elimination.
I had already been pretty much avoiding lactose because a simple sensitivity had turned into a full blown intolerance, causing violent attacks in the night that started with heart palpitations and shaking like Wile E Coyote on TNT . By that time I began to really worry that my "food fascism" was starting to resemble Bulemia or Anorexia and as I looked inward for answers as to the cause, my confusion muddled my already fogged mind even more.

I began learning about Gluten intolerance and Celiac disease on the day my mother emailed me from her home in Florida to tell me that she had been tested for Celiac. I thought this might be my problem too, so I decided to learn as much as I could from the web, look for improvements and go from there. I had no idea at that time of the journey ahead of me. It was like leaving for school one day with a small back pack on and finding myself on a trip around the world.

I have bumbled my way along and struggled to find the foods that best suit my needs while paying close attention to my body's reaction. In this blog I'm going to share what I've learned over the past few years about how to best avoid gluten, where to shop for the best prices and what products are out there that can bring the joy back to your table.
I have relearned how to eat, cook, entertain and to help educate some people in the food industry.

Okay, that's enough for now, I'm going to eat! I'll catch you later.