Remember Me?

I’m backkkkkkk!

It has been nearly a year and a half since I’ve written, and while I can’t promise regular updates, I can say that I’ve missed writing.

Well I should clarify. Personal writing. I do a lot of writing. Just normally it’s about brand results or strategy. I try to pepper my personality in it when I can, but let’s be real…that’s not what they’re paying me for.

I often think I live a boring life. If you asked me what’s new, I would probably respond “nothing.” But that can’t be said if it’s been a year and a half since we checked in. So I guess I owe you some updates.

Update #1:
I went to Italy in May of 2014 with one of my closest friends, Jill. Italy?! You might ask. What the hell did you eat in Italy? Tomatoes? Cheese? Well…if that was all I had eaten, I would still be one happy gal. But fun fact – Celiac is so prevalent in Italy that all children are tested at age 5. And if one has Celiac, they receive a government stipend since it’s generally understood that gluten free food is more expensive. And because of that, restaurants are incredibly gluten-free friendly. All I had to say was “Yo solo cheliaca” and I had dishes not on the menu brought out to me.

Jill was such a sweetheart and only slightly judged me the first night when I ordered two main dishes and two desserts because I found out I could have gluten free lasagna AND eat my gluten free pizza TOO. If it wasn’t for all the walking we did, I would have gained, easily, 20 pounds. I had gelato every day (and twice if possible). Jill and I one night each ordered a bottle of wine and got majorly judged by the owner. But hey…when you’re young and in Italy and the wine is good….

And now she’s getting married in less than two months! But that’s a whole other story.

Update #2:
I bought a car. This is much less exciting than Italy, but seems relevant. My very much beloved 2000 gold Maxima that I’d had since high school eventually required so much work that it wasn’t worth the money. It also had some brake issues and made me nervous to drive it. So a few days before my birthday, I bought my first car. Yep…that’s about all there is to tell. Oh. It’s a 2010 Acura TSX. And it’s black. Because you were curious.

Update #3:
I turned 26. So now this blog title is 3 years out of date. Clearly I’m on top of things. Really, this only means I can’t be on my parent’s insurance anymore. Birthdays are officially less exciting.

Update #4:
I bought a house. I guess this is worth spending some time on because it seems like a big deal (clearly I’m downplaying this because I officially feel broke). I decided earlier this year that I should consider purchasing one because the end of lease was coming up, I didn’t want to move just to move, and I had some money saved.

To make a VERY long story short, I got a really good deal on a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house and build a renovation loan into the mortgage. I gutted the kitchen, had everything painted, redid part of the bathroom, got new light fixtures, etc. etc. And no, I haven’t showcased the before/after photos. My mom even realized her artistic gift and painted something for my living room.

It’s been a labor of love with so many people helping me throughout the process. Might sound a little cheesy, but I’m grateful, thankful, blessed.

Update #5:
I got a cat! If you follow me on ANY form of social media, you know this. His name is Edison and he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I won’t say too much about him so I don’t get judged too quickly as a cat lady, but he’s pretty awesome. We play tag and fetch and he comes when I call. So basically he’s a dog that uses a litter box.

Update #6:
I’m running a half marathon. Yep. You might want to reread that. I signed up on a whim and then convinced a friend to do it with me. It’s October 11. In Cincinnati. And I should clarify that I’m in the 3:1 group which means I run three minutes and walk a minute. But I think it still counts. My back and hip have held up so far. Oh, and it’s all women which is exciting!

Update #7:
I went to Alaska in February with my friend/coworker, Jordann. That was also sort of a whim decision. It was only 25,000 sky miles and we wanted to see the Northern Lights. We got really fortunate and had the best showing of the season that night. Absolutely breathtaking. They danced! If you have the chance, go see them. It’s worth surviving the -30 degree weather.

I also went to Ireland with my dad. Major bucket list item done – I’ve wanted to go since I was a little girl (I mean…I did Irish Dance after all). I had a work trip to London for just a few days, and decided to extend the trip. And my dad, who I get my Irish roots from, flew over to spend that time with me. We were only there a few days, and I’m dying to go back!

I know I’m missing a bunch of things, but those are the major things I can think of. Also, my creative juices are leeching out and suddenly I’m much less inspired. So wow – aside from Italy, this had almost nothing to do with food. But hey…that’s life. Until next time!

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Food Fight

I have a confession. I’m currently in a fight with food.

For those who know me well, they know it takes a lot to get me mad. Upset is pretty easy, but mad is something that rarely shows its face. It is such a rarity, that when I do get mad, I take people so off guard, they aren’t really sure how to react.

But as of right now, I’m mad. It’s bad enough I can’t have gluten or raisins (that was a more recent discovery…damn you dehydrated grapes!), but now I can’t quite figure out what food is messing with me.

Something I eat is causing me some serious painful bloating. I thought it was milk, but it’s not. Although Greek Yogurt and I don’t get along so well. Neither does cheese. But ice cream…we’re cool. I really need to keep a food journal and track my stomach along with it. But that’s work..and I don’t want to admit that another one of my favorite foods is causing me pain.

Why am I sharing this? Because I’m starting to realize how many negative effects certain food can have on the people around me. And for many, they simply live with the consequences of certain foods causing bodily havoc. You don’t have to live that way. You can have your gluten-free, egg-free cake and eat it too. Once you and your body make friends, your life will become easier.

On a slightly (okay very) unrelated topic, my birthday is coming up, and I still am stuck on a name change. Once upon a time, I thought about actually buying a domain, but things like trips to Asia came up, and I preferred to spend my money that way. So for now, as I turn 24, I’ll stick with 23. Can you handle that?

And since I’ve been so big on including photos in here recently, I thought I’d include some from the past week/weekend. Enjoy!

 

 

1. One of my dearest friends, Lauren, who I met while living in Cape Town, came to visit from Canada, so of course the first thing we did was go to a Reds game.

2. Looking past my need to shower, my dad offers truly amazing tours of Cincinnati. I’ve lived in Cincy my whole life, but every time I go on one, I learn something new. If you’re interested, feel free to contact me.

3. My girls enjoying a Saturday night. Note that I do shower, and I wear a lot of green.

4. There’s a lot going on here, but I’d like to point out the number of rings I’m wearing. Clearly, the more rings you wear, the cooler you are.

5. Dogsitting Nillie, a dog I helped rescue in college. She was the star of the weekend, but I nearly killed her after taking her on a 30 minute walk.

Sugar Rush

I try incredibly hard not to eat sugar. In everyday life in Cincinnati, I do a pretty good job. And even in Austin, I did a decent job, until today. And of course, I caved and went NUTS.

For me, after all the cleansing I’ve done, I realized sugar gives me headaches and makes my fingers swell. Those are the two things I’ve been able to identify as related to sugar, but I’m sure there are other things. Just in general, I feel better if I don’t eat it.

Not saying I don’t love it. Oh, do I love it.

After being so good for the first part of the week, I decided to drink as well because it’s hard to go to a party with an open bar and not have a drink. I am only human after all.  So after doing that, and hearing about a bakery that sold gluten free cupcakes, I decided to make today the day. Plus, I’m not gonna lie, it felt nice to eat my first gluten free baked good (whoa – just realized that really was my first one!) because it made me felt quasi normal for the first time since I found out I was intolerant. I got to eat something delicious from a bakery where they sold normal baked goods!

Austin – you did me well.  And Delish Bakery – thank you for the lime cupcake with strawberry buttercream and the chocolate chip, walnut cookies (oops, forgot to mention those too). Atlanta airport – your gluten free options suck which led me to having a frozen yogurt.  Seriously. I’m not sure how I’m functioning with all the sugar running through me right now.

May relate to my almost missing my flight and literally ducking into the premium security line just to get there in time.  But that’s a different story. And I will tell you about Austin, but I’m exhausted and currently in the air on the way back to Cincinnati ready to eat some meat and vegetables. Got a hardcore craving for vegetables. You can go ahead and pick your jaws up off the ground.

To make up for that shocking news, I’ll leave you with a photo of my cupcake. Because it was awesome. And in Austin style, presented in a strawberry carton. Cincinnati, take notice.

fall has arrived

Technically, spring is my favorite season.  But there is something refreshing about the arrival of Fall when I can start thinking about flannels, leggings, boots and my personal favorite – fleeces.

Nothing quite says the beginning of Fall like Cincinnati’s (Zinzinnati’s) Oktoberfest.  A yearly tradition of pretending like we’re all still in college and appreciating all the great things my city has to offer.

But of course – this year was much different as I couldn’t partake in 99.9% of the drinks and food.  So in preparation, I bought gluten free beer to lessen the blow of not enjoying a good Warsteiner or Hoegaarden.  At Party Source, they had Red Bridge and Bard’s – so I bought a six pack of each.

The Red Bridge tasted incredibly similar to regular beer – slightly sweeter with a different finish, but similar.  The Bard’s on the other hand – I couldn’t finish it.  My friend Karen drank the rest of it, so it couldn’t have been that bad – but I was looking for a replacement, not an alternative.

Thankfully, there was a Woodchuck Cider (gluten free!) booth at Oktoberfest, so I didn’t feel completely out of place.  I also packed some snacks (Gorilla Munch and cheese sticks) in case everyone started eating and I felt completely overwhelmed.  Thankfully, that never happened.

I did decide at the end of the night to reward myself with a gluten free Naked pizza.  More expensive than a standard Papa John’s or Larosa’s, but it holds it own in the pizza realm.  Every time I find something that is comparable, I feel like I’ve won a small victory.

I feel like my body is already starting to adjust.  Today before I went to church, I wanted a snack, and instead of grabbing a piece of leftover pizza (leftovers make the best snacks), I wanted a banana.

That thudding noise you just heard was my mom and dad hitting the floor in shock.

But yep – I can feel my body craving more fresh food since I’ve been eating more of it the past few days.  I also am still back pain free.  And today is the first day in about a week I haven’t had a headache (although I’m not sure those will ever go away – I am chronically headache prone).

Surprised my dad with steak tips and onions to cook for dinner as well as Graeters.  We also made green beans (my favorite food).  Probably the last time to use the grill since it is getting cold fast and my parents are going to visit my brother in Singapore.  Which means I get to housesit and watch my Nola cat.

I also managed to watch the Bengals lose (hey, it was close!) while doing some work.  Nothing like price comparisons to really get my brain stimulated.

And for now, I’m beginning to think of what I should eat for lunch tomorrow.  Eventually I’m going to have to look into frozen gluten free meals since I won’t always have leftovers from dinners or lunches or the time to make something, but for now, I’m keeping it fresh.

As I wrap this up, I want to leave you a picture with a quote that is quickly becoming my motto through this journey in my life.  Have a great week everyone!

Surviving Day One

Oh how very different being vegan and being gluten free is.  Vegans aren’t looked on so fondly in a Midwest city like Cincinnati.  But gluten free.  Different story.  Everyone has been so understanding, flexible and supportive.  They’ve also come out of the word work to tell me about who they know/what they know about it.  So thank you everyone – I truly appreciate it.

I’m writing now instead of at the end of my day since I am going to dinner at The Summit as part of Cincinnat’s Restaurant Week.  Which gets me to another example of people being understanding.  I called both The Summit and The View, where I’m eating tomorrow, to ask if there were gluten free options, and both restaurants were incredibly helpful.  They also made notes on my reservations – but the actual experience will tell!

My doctor’s appointment was this morning, and even though he was 45 minutes late, he agreed that even if I tested negative, I should try giving it up.  And I should get the results back tomorrow.

My meals today have been fairly typical for me – Gorilla Munch (amazing!) for breakfast, greek yogurt as a snack, my tomato/feta salad and chicken with onions and rice for lunch, popcorn as an afternoon snack, and then a cheese stick and a rice cracker with honey when I got home.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing though.  I went to Party Source at lunch with my co-worker Jen, and I wandered the aisles looking at all the new pumpkin beer I couldn’t drink.  That was hard.  Ichabod Pumpkin Ale is my favorite fall beer and they were stocking the shelves when I walked by.  So instead, I bought some gluten free beer.  And it was my boss’s birthday, so there was Servatti’s cake and ice cream.  That may be one of the hardest parts – there are always pastries/donuts/other delicious foods in the kitchen for birthdays or just because, and 99% of the time I won’t be able to eat them.  So I treated myself to a little ice cream because, thank god, my favorite food tends be to gluten free.

I’m looking forward to dinner and seeing what options the chef is able to come up with.  I’ll take pictures and post tomorrow.

Oh – I also created a Twitter account for this blog.  Mom – go ahead and start getting those Tweets sent directly to your phone.  Check it out at http://twitter.com/23glutenfree.