You’re Ruining Everything

Most of my friends really get why I’m gluten free.  They know that eating anything with gluten can make me sick and sick is not where I want to be.  They really don’t want me to be there either, I’m a hot mess when I ingest gluten.  I start cramping up and then my tummy hates me and I end up either in the bathroom for long periods of time (I will let your imagination go and it probably would be accurate) or curled up on my bed because the stomach cramps are so horrible.  Women, just take the “that time of the month” cramps and ramp it up.  Men, imagine getting kicked hard in the you know where…and I’m pretty sure you know the pain I go through.

I still have people in my life that, from statements made, think I’m overreacting.  The other day I posted a story about there being a lot of gluten free restaurants in Italy on my personal Facebook profile.  I had a friend say “you people are ruining everything”.  Ruining everything?  How?  By being excited that I can go out and eat?

I wasn’t sure if this person was joking or not, it’s hard to tell via social media sometimes, so I made light of it and said that I wasn’t looking for a constitutional amendment and it was each restaurants right to have a gluten free menu or not.

I guess I’m still puzzled as to why “us people” are ruining things.  Anyone that isn’t gluten free can still get beer and get it at a fraction of what I pay for beer.  Anyone that isn’t gluten free can go anywhere and eat whatever they please.  I guess I don’t get it.  I’ve never said that I am going to make every restaurant have a separate kitchen for gluten free because it’s my right.  (It isn’t, don’t take that wrong).  And, even if a restaurant doesn’t have anything I can eat, I will still go there with my friends because I’m a social person.

Yes, I do get excited when I read that Europe is very gluten friendly and that, someday, when I get to go there I will be able to eat and eat well.  Better bring my stretchy pants!  And I do get excited when a new item hits the shelves and I can have egg rolls again.

The thing is that people really don’t know what they miss…until they can’t have it anymore.

I would challenge my friends that thing that gluten free is easy to go one week gluten free.  Read the labels, eliminate all wheat, barley and rye from your diet and see how “easy” it is…I’m sure you’d be more than surprised.

Warrior Dash 2015

This past weekend was one of the weekends that I always look forward to every year. It’s the weekend of the Warrior Dash which is held up at Copper Mountain here in Colorado. It is a 5K race mixed with an obstacle course and on the side of the mountain that is pretty rugged terrain.
I love this weekend for multiple reasons. First, it’s a challenge. Every year the race route has been about the same but they change it up with the obstacles. It is still hard no matter what! The second reason I love this weekend, is that I get to spend it with some dear friends of mine. Three of us have done this race for the past four years and then we brought others on along the way. It is a time for us to hang out, to work hard on the race and then relax and enjoy the company.

They also have pretty good gluten free good there. We ate at the Incline, a bar and grille at the resort. When I told the server I was Celiac, he was very knowledgeable and told me what I could and couldn’t have.  He even provided info like the fact that the fries were fried in with breaded items and explained what sides I could have.  They had gluten free buns so I jumped in and got a burger.  We then went to the Storm King Lounge for sushi. They had one roll that was gluten free, quite a disappointment as I was sure they had more gluten free rolls last year.  They did have an appetizer and dessert that were gluten free. It was good but I’m used to more variety.

All in all, it was an amazing time and I can’t wait until next year!!


Reno Work Trip: Take 2!

A couple of weeks ago I headed back to Reno for a work trip.  It was an exciting trip as we were getting training on a system that I was already familiar with, and love, so I was looking forward to it.

After getting up at 3:30am to catch our flight and a few hours in the air, we arrived at the Peppermill Resort.  The Peppermill is a Vegas style casino and resort although we found out that it didn’t start that way.  The resort actually started as a coffee shop and restaurant and the rest has been built around it.  Very impressive.  They were kind and allowed us early check in as our meeting started at 11:30am.  This gave us a chance to freshen up and get to our meeting in time.  Our rooms were spacious with a great view of the city.

Peppermill Tower Room

Peppermill Tower Room

I had contacted the Peppermill in advance to talk to them about my gluten free needs.  I got a response from the head of the catering department explaining that they would cater to my needs.  I sent an email back thanking him and got another response saying that he had already talked to the person in charge of our group’s catering and that they would be watching out for me.  Holy smokes…I was impressed.

We arrived, changed and went to our lunch.  As promised, they were waiting for me and had food ready.  At our dinner that night, the same thing.  This time is was super amazing since I got both fish and chicken…everyone else got prime rib.  I do like prime rib but everyone said that mine looked better!  The next evening at dinner I had my choice of fish or chicken again and went with the Mahi Mahi.  It was cooked to perfection with jasmine rice and veggies.  Way better than the pizza everyone else had!  I would say that the Peppermill did amazing on the food for me!

Of course, we had to hit In N Out Burger.  I love the protein style burgers, the natural fries and the fact that everything is fresh.

In N Out Protein Style Burger

We also hit up PF Chang’s so I could get my Chinese fix.  We started out with lettuce wraps.  As they came out, I asked if they were gluten free, as I always do.  The server took one look at them, took them off of the table and returned them to the kitchen.  Soon she returned, apologized but said that she was also gluten free and knew how important it was to not serve the wrong food.  I was impressed with their attention to detail.  The egg drop soup was amazing (and it is always gluten free) and the GF Chang’s Spicy Chicken with brown rice.  All of it was amazing.  We also got the Chocolate Dome, a flourless cake.  It was an amazing experience.  A day later this article came out explaining a lawsuit against PF Chang’s.  It’s ridiculous and I feel that PF Chang’s does an amazing job with their gluten free, even a separate area for prepping foods.

GF Chang's Spicy Chicken and Brown Rice PF Chang's Egg Drop Soup

All in all, it was another successful trip to Reno!  Thanks for the gluten free hospitality!

The Dangers of Personal Branding

I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a while, according to my Facebook feed it’s been a few years, but this is something that has been crossing my mind a lot lately so thought it was time to write on it.

It’s finally got a name:  “personal branding”.  What the heck is that?  Well, let me explain.  It didn’t have a name until last week at church, we had a message on how women always feel like they should be someone else, are always comparing themselves to other and how social media has made this worse.  The speaker, who is a woman, called it “personal branding”.  I like it so I’m going to use it so thank you Sarah Allen for the term!

She’s right.  How often do you go to Pinterest, find a recipe or craft to do and it comes out as the “Pinterest fail”.  All of us who are on Pinterest have probably done this a time or two…or you just say “it’s my version of it, I added my personal touch”.  Haha!  But seriously, we are looking at those moms who work a full time job, are on the PTA board, soccer mom, cook a full dinner, kids have homework done and are soundly sleeping by 9…and throw a Minecraft themed party the next day for their kiddo.  I don’t even have kids and that wears me out.  You wonder “how do they do that?”

I really think social media has so much to do with how our society feeds into things.  We have to look our best (never know when a selfie moment might arise!), get skinnier, cook healthier (and show each meal), keep up on the news and so much more.  We have to be perfect.  And don’t forget that when things are AMAZING, we have to show everyone.  Ok, even when things aren’t amazing, we HAVE to pretend they are because who wants to show the world (or your 1000 friends) that things suck.  You can’t.  Because then you are one of the sad saps on Facebook.

So what happens is that people can’t express their true feelings because it’s not the perfect world that your friends live in as they post “my wife is the most awesome person alive, I LOVE YOU!” and “My job is the best ever, I don’t know how everyone doesn’t work here” kind of things.  You know, in reality, that their lives aren’t perfect (none of ours are) and, probably, because they feel the need to post these things, their lives aren’t as honky dorey as they make it out to be.  Otherwise you would hear it more than you do.  BTW, almost anytime it’s not an anniversary or special date in a couple’s life and I see the “you’re the best hubby/wife in the world posts” I kinda wonder…it’s like flowers for no reason, I get suspicious.  But that’s me seeing too many couples do that kinda thing in those instances, but I digress…

Anyway, Sarah was saying that because of the Facebook “highlight reel” and people starting to hate their real lives because of the seemingly perfect Facebook life, instances of depression and anxiety have risen.  If you can’t have the perfect life like everyone else, you pull back from your friends, sit in your house, look at Facebook and continue to pull back…it’s a horrible circle.  And it’s so sad that something that should join us in seeing what an old high school friend is up to or me being able to see my niece and nephew and them grow up should have such a negative impact on each other.

So I guess what I’m saying is that if life isn’t perfect, don’t pretend it is.  Don’t go around saying that your life sucks but at the same time don’t pretend that life is peach when it isn’t.  Maybe it’s ok to say “hey guys, life sucks right now and I don’t want to give details but if you could send up a prayer or good thought for me, that would rock”.  Sometimes showing your vulnerable side might help someone who is struggling.  Make your personal brand a true one.