Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, Bowl of Soul ~

My, how time flies. It seems like only a few short months ago the feelings of blogging began stirring around in my brain and soul and I started putting words to screen, slowly learning the "ins and outs" of creating my own public freedom of expression, dedicated to living a gluten-free, abundant life.

And slowly but surely, Bowl of Soul is no longer an infant but not yet a toddler. It's somewhere in the in between stage - better than crawling but not quite walking yet...but that's right where it's supposed to be.

I've learned so much about the world of gluten-free/Celiac blogging throughout the past 12 months, and honestly, I learn a little something new each and every day that passes. There is not only a wealth of amazing information out there surrounding this topic, but an established, supportive and enthusiastic community of gluten-free bloggers, each with their own take on life sans gluten, each flawlessly spilling out unique anecdotes from their own life story, all wrapped up with a whole lot of caring and sharing. It's a special community to belong to...and belong to, we do!

I wanted to post a fun list of other terrific blogs whom have added Bowl of Soul to their blog rolls or site, during only it's first year in cyber land.

Enjoy the diversity each has to offer:

- Boise Goodlife

- Love + Luck

- Crispy Cook's 101 Gluten Free Blogs

- Celiac Travel UK

- Gluten Free Travel Site and Blog under "Other blogs we like"


As we celebrate our first year of blogging, you and my Bowl of Soul, we want to say thanks so much for all of your posted comments and gifts of support. Keep passing us along and we'll keep writing away...only after eating a few of those gorgeous Parisian macaroons you see above from Miette in Oakland.

Here's to abundance and friends!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Taste of GF Thai Cuisine ~

There was a bit of celebration that took place in my life last week, with the help of my loved ones. You see, I completed my first writing assignment for Living Without magazine and submitted my story to the editor on Wednesday...three days before the real deadline!

When the article was completed, there was a brief moment of sheer terror as I hesitantly hit the "send" button on my computer, shooting my words out into cyberspace, hoping they would arrive in the editor's inbox and received with a smile, or at least a grin! So the weeks and weeks of writing and research have come to a close; at least for now.

My uber-kind parents and dear friend ML decided to take me to dinner, "post-send", to celebrate my accomplishment and enjoy some delicious food and drink together. Mind you, it was also the first real meal I'd managed to eat since January 3rd, after my gluten poisoning, so I savored every bite of that delicious cuisine at Café de Thai, in Reno...or as they describe their offerings, "sophisticated Thai cuisine served in a modern setting."

I've eaten gluten-free and safely at this restaurant for several years now and the head chef and wait staff are very knowledgeable and savvy with their knowledge of eating sans gluten. I am very careful about which items I choose, of course, but the staff has always promised to double-check with the chef on any menu choice I've made and if there's an issue with gluten, they make sure to come back with an alternative choice, and the offering clarity.

It's not every day as a Celiac that you can dine on delicious Pad Thai, mango chicken, and Thai slaw salad with pear...and the pièce de résistance...

Thai Tapioca!

Cafe de Thai serves my absolute favorite tapioca, rich with flavor and served warm with mint. I highly recommend enjoying a lunch or dinner there for yourself, and don't forget to try one of their delightful and unique alcoholic beverages from the hip bar, just behind the ceiling-to-floor water feature. The restaurant's atmosphere is worth the visit, in itself.

Make sure to tell your server that you are eating "gluten-free" and you too will be sure to enjoy a wonderful dining experience.

Enjoy and be safe ~

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Celiac-specific News of Interest ~

I signed up for Goole Alerts a while ago to track a myriad of work clients and all things gluten-free, and I'm amazed at the stories that pop up once or twice per day. I highly recommend that every Celiac sign up for these news alerts, as most of them are fairly informative and helps keep you up do date on new research, products, etc.

I just finished researching this new home screening test for an article, but wanted to share the story with you - very interesting:

Home Screening Test Now Available

The Biocard™ Celiac Test Kit is an at-home test that measures IgA antibodies from a fingertip blood sample. While this easy test gives a high degree of certainty that you are either developing celiac disease or already have celiac disease, you still need to see your doctor for a confirmation. Confirming a diagnosis requires a small bowel biopsy in which an endoscope is passed through the mouth into the stomach’s upper intestine so that the lining can be examined and a biopsy taken.

The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet for life. Still, the day you’re confirmed celiac and start your diet, is the day you’re on the road to recovery.

Information on celiac disease, the Biocard™ Celiac Test Kit, and links to key informational sites can be found at The kit can be purchased online, or at London Drugs, Rexall Pharma Plus, and other major Canadian retail chains.

Also, I found this video story on YouTube - it's a segment from The View on ABC with host Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who has Celiac Disease. What intrigued me was the interview with Dr. Peter Green, author of "Celiac Disease - A hidden epidemic."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day – Gluten-free of course

I love Valentine’s Day, not for the cards or candy OR flowers (though you can't go wrong with these gifts) but for the memories the day conjures up from childhood. I specifically remember carefully writing out all of my Valentine’s cards for everyone in my third grade classroom, coloring red hearts and sticking glitter everywhere. Then the fun part was dropping them off into the little “heart pockets” that every student in class created and taped to the sides of their desks. Then came the joy of opening each card and eating sugar cookies with Red-Hot hearts and cream-cheese frosting – I can still taste their sugary goodness, and oh, the smell of a fresh baked sugar cookie. Happiness.

Being a Celiac on Valentine’s Day can be just as enjoyable and hopefully a bit more romantic, now that I’m all grown up, well almost. I do have some very lovely V-day memories in my mind and heart that warm my soul. It’s just such a great day to share some love and joy with all those you know and care most about. But this year I got to thinking about the history of this lover’s day and assumed it must have been born from the romance of Italy somehow, and I was right...leave it to the Italians (of course) or one Italian, to be exact, to be the muse of this lovely holiday, shared by many all around the world.

A little history – who was Saint Valentine?

Saint Valentine is the patron saint of affianced couples, happy marriages, lovers, travelers and young people, amongst other things. Scholars believe that he was a priest in Rome, even possibly a bishop. Legend has it that he was imprisoned for aiding martyrs in prison. While he was imprisoned he converted the jailer, and restored the sight of his young daughter, to which he was then released. Another opinion is that St. Valentine was himself a Roman martyr for refusing to give up his Christian faith. Whoever he was, Valentine really existed because archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine.

In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom. There are many theories about the origin of the Valentine’s celebrations. The first being that the Romans had a mid-February custom in which boys drew girl’s names in honor of the sex and fertility goddess, Februata Juno. In order to suppress this practice, pastors “baptized” these pagan holidays with the names of saints, such as Valentine.

Another belief is that birds began to pair up on February 14th, and by 1477 the English associated lovers with the feast of Valentine because on that day “every bird chooses him a mate.”

Isn’t that fun?!

So I must share another special event happening for me this week...I just finished writing my first article for Living Without magazine’s June/July issue! I’m so excited to be affiliated with such a great publication, dedicated to Celiacs and people living with allergies and food sensitivities. If you haven’t picked up a copy or subscribed to this publication, you really should for your own health and good.

The editing process still must take place, but I found great liberation and passion in writing about something that’s the essence of who I am – and has so shaped my life. Writing is a true joy, when you are able to express something that’s near and dear to your heart. If I could, I would be writing full-time, all of the day soon, I hope.

I’ll let you know when my story will be hitting the newsstands and provide a link. I can hardly wait, but on the other hand I’m also quite nervous about putting my words out there, in glossy print for all to see.

Since being diagnosed as a Celiac, I’m meticulously careful about what kinds of chocolate/sweets I will put into my mouth, but I will tell you that this weekend I’m planning to indulge in a bar (or two) of wonderful Dagoba chocolate that is gluten-free and organic. I have a lavender bar with my name all over it. Mmmmmm

Enjoy this beautiful day of love and make sure you read all of the ingredients carefully of any delicious sweets you are about to consume...

Saint Valentine’s Day should be about love and eating wonderful food, not being sick!

Buon San Valentino per lei!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Good morning...Gluten-free Tahoe ~

Don't you just love waking up to and sipping a warm, frothy hot chocolate or latte, such as this one above? Mmmmmm. I do, and I consumed this little delight at a the Blue Mountain Coffee Co. in Tahoe City last weekend - they used Ghirardelli chocolate that's gluten-free! Stop by for one, yourself.

January 2009 was quite a rough month and start to the New Year for me, health-wise, let's just say. I was hit hard with gluten poisoning on Jan. 3rd and then with a terrible flu bug a week ago, so needless to say, my stomach hates me right now. As terribly careful as I am when eating out, it's obviously still not another lesson learned the hard way.

But on a brighter note, I did dare venture out to dinner for the first time in six weeks while in Tahoe last weekend, at the Lone Eagle Grille, part of the gorgeous Hyatt Regency property in Incline Village. I love the atmosphere of this Tahoe-esq restaurant and the bar scene is so much fun -lively people gathered 'round rustic, elegant tables and the outdoor fire pit, along with tons of children enjoying a night out with mom and dad - it's lovely and the view of Lake Tahoe (before sunset) is wonderful. But really, I'm mentioning this because you CAN eat very well and very gluten-free at the Lone Eagle. Over the years of visiting this haute-spot on the Lake, I've never had an issue with my food being prepared improperly, and this time was no exception. The server was very well versed in all things gluten-free, and guided me through my meal choices. It was very reassuring.

I ordered this delicious salmon dish (above)created with care and corn starch! And I was able to order their fantastic Butternut squash/apple soup that was perfectly gluten-free. It was a delicious and safe meal, not to mention the lively atmosphere, great music and company.

Eating at the Lone Eagle Grille is a treat...meaning that it is rather pricey and perhaps saved for a special night out, but truly it's worth it to be able to dine safely and with quite the view for dessert.

Enjoy Tahoe!