Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What's SUP???

Do ONE thing every day that scares you. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Warming up with a tree climb. Seriously, when was the last time you climbed a tree???

If you happen to follow me on twitter, then you know I am completely obsessed with the awe inspiring Eleanor Roosevelt. I recently had the good sense to pick up her book, "You Learn By Living" and felt like I got an inspirational ass kicking. This is one of my very favorite quotes from her and I do my best to live by it. Especially when that means trying a new sport! I headed down to the O.C. for my first lesson in Stand Up Paddleboarding with the amazing Noelle Kozak of Surtech SUP Academy. Long story short... I loved it... I mean I really, really LOVED it!

So much so, that I called my Dad all excited and told him I was going to start training for the Olympics - and what's even more amazing, he took me seriously. I love that he believes in me and thinks I'm even remotely capable of such a feat. Reminded me just how important it is to kick people that poo poo on your parade to the curb, and surround yourself with positive peeps. Hang out with chickens long enough and you start to cluck... choose your chickens wisely my friends.

*And warning: if you choose to look through the photos, you might want to put sunglasses on, because I need a tan BAD!

My favorite yoga pose, Warrior 2... don't make me bust into the Scandal song...

Urdhva Dhanurasana... or as I like to call it in my own fancy terms... backbend.

Side plank/surfboard pose... or Vasisthasana to be all yogic and stuff.

Not side plank pose... more like water up the nose pose.

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana... up dog!

A glorious Adho Mukha Svanasana... down dog baby!!!!!!

I couldn't resist... don't act like you don't like it!
shootin' at the walls of heartache... bang, bang... I am a Warrior! -
Patty Smyth

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rock You Like A Hurricane

Scorpion Pose - Vrschikasana

Let me start by saying I know this is semi-obnoxious to post this picture... but you know what, I'm really, really proud of it.

I've stared at a photo every day for the past year, of someone doing this pose and thought, "man, the day I can do that, I can do anything".

It hit me the other day, why the hell haven't I even tried? If anyone knows how to take a fall and get back up it's me... so what was I waiting for?

So upside down I went, and as you can see, I nailed it. I found that oh so sweet spot where balance meets strength and just surrendered to the sheer awesomeness of that moment.

That lesson has carried over in more ways than one. A recent shining example happened this past weekend... I was with a bunch of people I didn't know, in a part of town I was unfamiliar with. Now, if you are gluten-free, you know you do your research ahead of time so you have Plan Freakin' X, Y, and Z if needed. But holy crap that just gets plain exhausting, so I thought what the hell... let's just go with the flow, no big grand announcement that I'm gluten-free and need options, let's just see where we end up and what we can work with - let's just do it.

You know what, it was so easy it was almost stupid.

I've been gluten-free for a few years now, I've learned how to be creative yet safe... I've found my gluten-free sweet spot. I've done the work/research and built a solid foundation of knowledge and experience- now it's time to relax a little and trust that I can make any situation work for me. I invite you to do the same...

Love your,

Friday, July 1, 2011

Nuff' Said...

This was taken by a friend of a friend in Thailand. A nice little reminder not to sweat the small stuff.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Believe I Can Fly

I've always been obsessed with flying - to me, it's the ultimate form of freedom... and I love me some freedom.

When I was little, I was truly convinced I could fly like Peter Pan and get my ass to Never Never Land and hang with The Lost Boys - all I had to do was sprinkle a little pixie dust over my head and think happy thoughts...

Instead, I got a bloody nose and a fat lip.

I'm happy to say I've had better luck with the trapeze of late. It not only represents an expression of freedom, but also taking a step outside of my comfort zone. I'm afraid I've become addicted. I love the satisfaction I get from rising up and facing a challenge head on - and kicking ass at it. Don't make me start singing "Eye Of The Tiger"...

It's sort of equivalent to being thrust into this world of having to be gluten free - many of us didn't have a choice. In choosing how you're going to move forward in your life, it's a sink or swim moment.

I hope like me, you've chosen to swim.

(and I'm not talking the dog paddle people, I'm talking big, powerful butterfly strokes!)

I believe you should do one thing a day that scares you... life's too short to play it safe. My new favorite quote from the lovely Shania Twain:
"If you're not living on the edge, then you're taking up space".

Next up... skydiving!!!

*I was also obsessed with this poem...

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

Friday, May 20, 2011

CDF Annual Conference Highlights!

I was so excited a few weeks ago to get an email asking me if I would be interested in volunteering at the Celiac Disease Foundation's annual conference - um, yes, yes and yes!!! I had gone the year before and had such an incredible day - I knew I was in for some serious gluten free magic!

I enlisted one of my favorite gluten free peeps,
to join me. We thought it only sensible to meet up first for a gluten free happy hour to discuss our plan of attack. It was my first time at El Carmen and I have 3 words to sum it up: mucho, mucho gusto!!! I'm convinced the best laid plans are done over tequila.

Oh how we had great big plans to do a series of behind the scenes video blogs... so what happened you ask? First, we had to be there at 6am. I don't know about you, but I'm not super pumped to have a camera in my face at that hour. Second, I discovered the Bard's Beer booth... 'nuff said!

It was great to see my friend Heather from my beloved Udi's. The new cookies are just ridiculous they are so good. And I can't wait to try their new bread, I forget what it's called (I blame the Bard's), but it's an ancient grain bread high in Omega 3's... I remember that much! I was also generously given a package of the hot dog buns which are amazing of course. I just procured a fresh batch of venison brats when I was home in Wisconsin a few weeks ago, and to finally have one on a bun was a big moment for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you Udi's!!!

One of my other favorites, Almond Glory was there as well. I was so happy to finally meet the creator, the lovely Gayle Myers and gush all over her about how much I love her products. If you haven't checked out Almond Glory yet... do it! They are carried at Whole Foods in the freezer section... and if yours doesn't have them, demand it!

Another one of the most exciting new discoveries for me this year was Montana Gluten Free - I spotted those pizzelles a mile away! If you do not know what a pizzelle is... you are missing out! This is a HUGE family tradition that goes back many generations for me. It's ironic because I was just talking with my Dad about trying to construct a gluten free recipe for one, and then this appears! They sell the Pizzelle Iron, and you get a free pizzelle mix with it! Be sure to check them out!

I also spent a lot of time at the Rudi's booth. They were making grilled cheese sandwiches that were quite simply, off the hook. @camerachickie had to drag me away. Plus, they have the coolest van I've ever seen.

Other top picks:
Xo Health Co... unbelievable ginger cookies... we cleaned them out.
Breakaway Bakery... HOW have I not been there yet???
Simply Shari's... cookies and pizza oh my!
Conte's Pasta Co.... the spinach & ricotta ravioli are to die for.
Ciao Bella Gelato... blood orange sorbet will blow your mind.

Some we already know rule:
Bob's Red Mill... can't wait to try the shortbread cookie mix! (thanks Bob!)
Breads From Anna... mmmmm banana bread....
French Meadow Bakery... those little brownies are trouble!
Namaste Foods... the Spice Cake is super delish!
Pamela's Product... best pancakes, hands down.

The other big thrill for me was not only getting to hear Frank Baldassare speak again this year, but getting to chat with him after. I am so on the same page as this guy... I felt like everything he said has come out of my own mouth at some point. He promotes a healthy gluten free LIFESTYLE. I love that. I truly believe it's not just about eating gluten free, that alone will not bring you health - and fyi, as Frank says "just because it's gluten-free, does not mean it's good for me!". Listen, I'm just as excited as anyone about how much easier it is to grab a gluten free cookie here and there... but our main focus needs to be on consuming whole foods, as nature intended. A few other things that Frank mentioned for health that I'm with him 100% on:

exercise - just move your body! stretch, walk... breathe!
nature - get out in it... get some sun and fresh air... and walk barefoot!
laugh - I mean, isn't it obvious?
be positive - seriously, thoughts become things people.
connect - I love facebook & twitter as much as anyone, but it just can't equal face time with the people you love.
slow the f down - meditate, do yoga, take time to be still with just yourself.
throw your teflon out - I love this one and I'm in the process of doing it!

You get the picture... visit Frank's website and bug him to blog & tweet more cuz I love what he has to say!

And finally... I just have to touch on what an amazing organization the Celiac Disease Foundation is, we are so lucky to have them. Do what you can to help support them and for heaven's sake, reach out to them if you need help, they've got your gluten free back.

Until next time, may the gluten-free force be with you!

Love your,
GFF oh come now... it's not so bad...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How Does YOUR Garden Grow?

I love nothing more than when I read something that rocks my boat a bit - especially when it's written by a good friend you absolutely adore. This was posted a few days ago and I can't stop thinking about it - it struck a chord, it made me think. It's also so beautifully written it literally made me stop to catch my breath, and then think some more.

It's ironic because this person planted a very instrumental seed in me years ago.

I hope he knows how grateful I am to have such an amazing friend.

Put on your waders... this is deep shit...

I've had a significant epiphany this weekend.. From my plants, and caring for them: Our lives should be lived like the cultivation of a garden.

It is important first to have a clear idea of what type of garden you want to have, because it is imperative to choose, seed, weed, and cultivate your plants very carefully. Take into account the plants' needs. Are they high maintenance? Hardy? Complicated? Beautiful? Are you willing to give them what they need to flourish? Will you resent them for dying? For living? There are no good or bad plants. But there certainly are poorly chosen ones. It is imperative to choose the ones that suit your needs. That is good. Otherwise, you will end up with a garden that is over-run and fruitless. And you will wonder how all these plants that do not give you what you want ended up there. They are simply growning as they were planted. Best to know exactly what you are looking for. Choose carefully.

Decide from the beginning: Not even what sort of plants you don't want, but rather what kind of garden you do want. The right plants will be obvious. And what your garden should be able to give to you. That is really what it should be about, what we can get from our cultivation. The plant's desire is to serve its purpose. Our desire should be to enjoy them. The clearer the decision, the easier the choices.

That is the best way.

It is never too late to begin again. Never too late to till the soil and re-plant.

That is the cultivation of a soul.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I miss my blog. I miss having the time and energy to wax poetic on all things gluten free. Things have been a bit bananas lately, but I've decided to make those bananas my bitch and get back to the gluten free business at hand.

Maybe I will make a video blog to make up for lost time... you know how awesome those are.
*obviously this is said with extreme sarcasm and I promise, no one will force you to watch the mayhem

See you soon.

Love your,

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Fresh Page

I have a new favorite holiday - New Year's Eve. I love the idea that once a year you get to wipe the slate clean - take all the good from the past year over with you to the next - and leave all the crap behind. Well, that's not to say you don't take the lessons you learned from the crap - you know what I mean.

There is nothing more intoxicating than a new beginning, a fresh start.

Remember when you were a kid and how excited you were to shop for school supplies? I would get positively giddy over a blank notebook (still do). Oh the potential for adventure it would hold - the stories that would be created... the doodling artwork... the love notes written on the sly... oh yes, and maybe a little math here and there.

I get that same sense of excitement every time I unroll my yoga mat (plus it's an awesome mat, you should really treat yourself to one) - it's like a fresh new page to step upon and create whatever experience I want. It's absorbed a lot of tears recently, but it has also fostered and nurtured a lot of growth and happiness. It is truly my safety zone. I am grateful every time I step onto it for all the possibilities it holds.

This is supposed to be an ideal time to cleanse the body as well. Trouble is I like M&Ms and tequila way too much, so maybe I will just add a few new goodies to my routine. Here's what I'm thinking I'll give a whirl in the new year:

- Mangosteen contains over 40 xanthones (super-potent antioxidants) that help fight free radical damage, and keep your bodies inflammatory responses in check.

- Resveratrol helps support cardiovascular health, a youthful appearance and antioxidant levels. (clock's ticking people)

Sea Buckthorn - While the benefit of Sea Buckthorn on the body’s largest organ, the skin, has been widely documented in ancient texts, it also has an extensive history of traditional use in Tibet & Mongolia for the body’s sensitive internal organs – in particular the mucous membranes that line the stomach/GI tract and upper respiratory tract. The ability of this botanical to help moisturize and soothe these sensitive internal areas in addition to its external skin benefits has made it a staple of traditional herbal systems.

I had also planned to start making more green drinks, but Santa did not hold up his end of the bargain and bring me the much coveted Vitamix. The few times I have had a green drink made in one, it was like a Christmas miracle in a cup - it makes kale creamy! AND, it doesn't upset my stomach - this is coming from a person that really has to watch it with raw veggies. My friend Ashley (who you met in an earlier post) recently got certified in raw nutrition and was explaining that the Vitamix predigests the fruits and vegetables for you. I really need to get one. I must have really pissed Santa off.

I hope your New Year's celebrations were as good as mine. I'm beyond excited and grateful for all the adventures this new year is sure to hold.

(love me some Janet Jackson)

Until next time, may the gluten-free force be with you!

Love your,