Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Great gluten-free tidbits!

October is going to be a great month to be gluten free!

•There will be a great lecture coming up, to be held at Harry's Farmer's Market in Atlanta. Here's the flyer:

•If you're in Atlanta (or within a couple of hours of it, like I am,) you want to mark your calendar for the upcoming Gluten-Free Vendor Fair! I attended (and helped out) last year, and I look forward to being a part of it again.

•Nature's Path and Rachel Ray are sponsoring an important contest about sustainable living. You can find details here.

•There's a new site out there called GLING! *for Gluten Free Living. and it's a great place to be if you're gluten free. Join up, folks. it's free. They're also on Twitter at @theGling. Follow along!

Much love, and hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A new podcast for the Gluten-Free Community

If you visit this site you'll hear a great podcast of a discussion about Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet held for the public by the producers of RiceWorks snacks. Full disclosure: this site is filled with information about gluten-free life, and it is much more than a promotion for a product.

The podcast was sponsored by a gluten-free product, but what's more important -- this is a company that is listening to the gluten-free community. The Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance information was provided by international Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance expert Shelley Case. If you go to her personal website, you'll find an enormous wealth of information about CD and GF.

Whether you're new to gluten free or an old timer like me, this podcast is a great chance to listen to the expert on the subject. You will note if you listen that it is INFORMATIVE, not just a product pitch.

I thought it was impressive and important.

Much love, and hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Celiac Awareness Day Activities, 2009

Yesterday, in honor of National Celiac Awareness Day 2009, I attended a day of special events at Harry's Farmers Market in Alpharetta, Georgia, sponsored by Harry's and the Atlanta Metro Celiac Association (and affiliated group of the Gluten Intolerance Groups of North America).

Harry's planned a fun afternoon of activities, from a "Gluten-Free Birthday Party" to food tasting to a special talk and store tour by Jennifer Harris, a good friend who is an officer in AMCA (and the gluten-free specialist at Return to Eden.

In honor of Samuel Gee, MD, father of modern celiac disease, National Celiac Day is celebrated on September 13 to bring light and awareness to this autoimmune disease. Harry's cheduled a gluten-free event on Sunday, September 13th from 12-5 to coincide with National Celiac Day. This is an annual event for Harry's that it is open to the public, features a number of events and is FREE. This is the only mainstream grocery chain in Georgia (that I know of) to put on such an event that reaches out to those who follow a gluten-free diet. (I'm quoting their press release there.)

It was a delightful afternoon, but most of all, I enjoyed the fellowship with others with Celiac Disease who are gluten free. In fact, one of the Moms who brought her daughters to the party said, "I really came for the exchange of information."

So exchange we did. We talked about products, procedures, even restaurants and menus. We talked label reading and cross contamination. We talked iPhone applications and shopping guides.

That's one thing I love about the Celiac/Gluten-Free Community. We share.

But, after all was said and done, I was disapointed. No, not at Harry's -- I admire them for doing this. but it was NATIONAL Celiac Awareness Day! I heard of NO OTHER PLACES in Atlanta having a similar event. NONE. Not even the other Harry's had an event.

And that troubles me. While it was a victory to raise awareness in honor of Celiac Awareness Day, there's still a long way to go.
I know that everyone who attended yesterday's event learned a lot, though. And that's a step in the right direction.

I'll have an extended post on some of the products available at the vendor demonstrations on Ging Recommends! later today.

Much love, and Happy Celiac Awareness!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Invisible Illness Awareness Week

One day last week, I found a new group of Twitter friends who also have gastroparesis. From one of them, Crystal, the GPAdvocate, I heard about a meme called "My Invisible Illness"

I was captivated because, you see, I have at least five (maybe seven?) invisible illnesses.

Type II Diabetes with insulin
Celiac Disease/Gluten-Intolerance
Pernicious Anemia

AND if you believe my orthopedist, I also have DeQuairvain's Syndrome and Osteoporosis!

WHEW. That's a lot. That's why I am excited about next week. Read the press release HERE:

And then, perhaps you'll also want to complete this meme: I have decided to do this meme based on my "Bermuda Triangle" of illnesses, because they're what I most struggle with SO FAR.

30 Things About My Invisible IllnessES You May Not Know
1. The illnesses I live with is: Gastroparesis Type II Diabetes w/ insulin Celiac Disease/Gluten Intolerance
2. I was diagnosed with them in the years: 2005 1991/really 1982 and 2007 They all converged for the worst in late 2008.
3. But I had symptoms since: 1971.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: How, when and what I can (and cannot) eat.
5. Most people assume: I'm OK because I am fat. If you've got all these problems, shouldn't you be skinny by now? I swear someone said that.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Insulin shots and my Miralax cocktails.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey's Anatomy, where sick people are sexy.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my computer?
9. The hardest part about nights are: Trying to keep my stomach empty and my blood sugar level. It's a delicate balance.
10. Each day I take 10-12 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please) AND seven shots.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: do participate in them, but they often don't work. Like high priced probiotics and enzymes...bleah.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: neither. Who wants to be sick?
13. Regarding working and career: It's always day to day with me. I choose life! And I want VIGOR.
14. People would be surprised to know: Some days it takes all I have to even get out of the freakin bed. And when I can sleep, I do -- and for HOURS.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: As much as I love food, food is killing me.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: give myself shots.
17. The commercials about my illness: HA. There are no commercials for GP and CD. Diabetes commercials make us all look fat and stupid.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Eating anything I want to eat. Any time. In any amount.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: Krystal Hamburgers, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Varsity Hot Dogs.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Blogging for the causes!
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: figure I better check the obits, because I'd probably be dead.
22. My illness has taught me: The old saying "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger" is a crock of bull.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: Oh, you can have fruit (or a salad). When you put the CD and GP together, I really can't have either!
24. But I love it when people: try to make accommodations for me!
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Could be worse. Could be raining.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Don't give up the ship! Yeah, it sucks, but you get where you can handle it.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: That I am actually living with them. I'm such a whiner.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Make me some gluten-free browniesand date nut treats and sent me get well cards when things were rough last Spring.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: Awareness is important, no matter what your II is. I take every opportunity to acknowledge and educate I can get my keyboard around.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Special to you. Now go do your own!
Find out more about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and the 5-day free virtual conference with 20 speakers Sept 14-18, 2009 at

More on this later, my friends!

Much love,

Monday, September 7, 2009

New product news!

Be an angel and head on over to Ging Recommends! for a new product development.
Much love,

Middle Georgia GIG September meeting

If you live in the middle Georgia area, make plans now to attend the September 19 meeting of the Middle Georgia Gluten Intolerance Group.

Here's the scoop for the meeting:

I hope I'll see you there!

Much love,

Friday, September 4, 2009

Attention all baseball fans!

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is having a special day at the baseball game coming up Sept. 20 at Pittsburgh's PNC Park. It's Celiac Awareness Day!

Sunday, September 27, 2009
Game Time: 1:35 pm
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. LA Dodgers
Fan Appreciation Day at PNC Park

So if you're gluten free, this day's for you!

And, if you're an Atlanta Braves fan like I am, you'll be happy to know that Turner Field now has a gluten-free concession stand.

Check out my friend Jen's Examiner Page for more details!

It's a great time to be a gluten-free baseball fan, isn't it?

Much love, and Go Braves!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Lattitudes

Listen along with Jimmy Buffett if you'd like to!

Over the last several months, I've been going through a lot of changes. Those of you who follow this blog know that I've recently had to add even more restrictions to my diet, and this has in turn caused me to move away from posting recipes and food information.

I realized how much I have enjoyed lately getting to know people who are gluten free, or who are producing gluten-free products for us. And I like writing about their products, too.

But that has created a sticky wicket.

You see, I'm honored and pleased to be a part of the BlogHer network, and it's an association I don't want to mess up. When I signed my contract with BlogHer, I agreed there would be no third-party product endorsements here on my blog.

So rather than cause issues with my BlogHer affiliation (I mean after all, who wouldn't want to be in the company of smart, savvy, women bloggers?) I have created a sister site called "Ging Recommends!"

And here's what I'll do. If I've got a product review for you to see at "Ging Recommends!" I will post a teaser here at this site and a link to the site. That way, all you have to do is click once and you're there. This protects my friends at BlogHer and allows me to stay within the legal parameters of my agreement with them.

But I've also decided to change things up around here, too. I'm going back to recipes! You see, I'm now facing a gluten-free life with LIMITED RICE PRODUCTS. Yes, that staple of the GF Diet causes me great gastric difficulty (it really slows my digestion, jacks up by blood sugar, and hurts the gastroparesis). So I've turned to my blogger and GF friends for advice.

First and foremost, join me in a journey to find a new flour mix that works with my messed-up gastric system and my now insulin-dependent lifestyle. I hope to offer at least one new recipe a week of some kind to show ways I'm cutting back on rice and adding new foods. In fact, the first post this week (coming soon!) will be about one of my recent creations.

In other words, I'm cooking and adapting again. I know some of you missed that -- one friend told me, point blank, that the other stuff was getting old.

But I'll show you how I'm getting by on a diet with limited to no carbs, no sugar, and gluten free. Maybe there's something there to help you, too.

Second, and perhaps the most important new change, I'm going to add a series called "This Gluten-Free Life". At least twice a month I'm going to offer a Q and A with someone who is living gluten free, or who has created a business that caters to gluten-free patrons. I hope to branch into podcasts sometime in the next several months....we'll see how that goes. I always did say I had the perfect face for radio!

And of course, I'll still post my gluten-free adventure stories, notices of events, and of course, my weird old stories.

With this site and "Ging Recommends," you'll have the best of the gluten-free world.

For a long time to come, I hope.

I'd like to thank you for your patience and understanding in this time of change. I'll be back in a day or two with a new post.

And when you see this icon

You'll know I have a new product post for you to check out!

Until then...

Much love, and happy September!