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Hey gang! I just spent a bit of time in London and am now thinking about moving there. I’m kidding. Kind of. I mean it was fun, urban, safe—except for me never knowing which way to look for oncoming traffic—and we had an amazing time. Loved it. LOVED IT.

I checked a few sites to find out what was great and gluten-free and I also found some places on my own that worked. Because, as we know, sometimes you find yourself in a location that is nowhere near the best reviewed gluten-free fish and chips shoppe, and you’ve just got to make it work. It was not that hard, ya’ll.

My most favorite thing about gluten-free dining in London was how educated the staff were (in 99% of the places I dined) and clear on cross-contact. One rainy night we found ourselves at a local pub where it appeared the gf options were limited. They were, and became even more so when the waitress cancelled my order because the chef had accidentally put something in the dedicated fryer that had gluten on it. ACCIDENTALLY PUT SOMETHING IN THE DEDICATED GLUTEN-FREE FRYER. Have you ever had someone admit there was a mistake in the kitchen? And then say, “You can’t have this. It’s not safe.”? I have not, and even though I was sad about what I was left with, I was super relieved to never get sick the entire time I was in the UK.  That makes for a pretty great vacation, you guys. 

I feel like I don’t even need to write this. Just go to London and be all, “Where’s the g-free at?” Everyone will wander out to offer you fish and chips and muffins. Like this spinach one, from an adorable cafe called Ripe Kitchen close to where I was staying.

That was a good muffin, ya’ll. And a great flat white. They had a few other options as well, but a load of gluten’y pastries for those traveling with you.

The Thomas Cubitt House

We spent Christmas in London, which was delightful. Even more delightful was this Christmas lunch at the Thomas Cubitt. I contacted them when I made the reservation for the prix-fixe Christmas luncheon and asked about gluten-free options. They had a special gluten-free menu for me when I arrived, but many of the options were naturally gluten-free like that delicious turkey au jus, pumpkin soup with pesto and pomegranate sorbet with a il’ ol vodka shot. I KNOW. Amazing.

The National Theatre

Here’s some more good news—the super fun tradition of afternoon tea in the UK can be found in the most interesting places, and most of them can be made gluten-free. I have a theater-loving daughter, so we opted to go on a tour of the National Theatre and top it off with a theater-themed tea. The current show was Pinocchio (although sometimes they throw in a mix of play-themed foods) and here’s what we had:

Rainbow Candy Floss

Candy Pops

White Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Cream Cone

Blue Fairy Cakes

Fruit Scones & Strawberry Jam

Finger Sandwiches

Stromboli Pastries

Pink Lemonade

Again, when I made the reservation I asked about gluten-free options and they had a replacement FOR EVERYTHING. You guys. I love London.

Harrod’s – Galvin Demoiselle at The Conservatory

This is one of those examples where we were out somewhere (Harrod’s) and half of us had eaten breakfast and the other half hadn’t, and I just was like, “What’s gluten-free?” It was this creme caramel and I loved everything about it except the raisins. Ewww, raisins. That terrace, tho.

Cereal Killer

Probs Not Gluten-Free

With a bazillion cereal options at this all cereal restaurant, you’re going to find your gluten-free options as well. They also have a variety of non-dairy milks, so everyone can find something super delicious and sickeningly sweet. It’s a dessert place, which reinforced what I’ve been telling my kids for years: “Cereal is not a healthy breakfast.” Nope, not even that one. Still, FUN.

Thai Square

Many members of my family (okay, there are 4 of us and 2 said this) gave Thai Square the “best restaurant in London” award. It was amazing, and the menu was clearly marked with gluten-free options. Which was fantastic, as the server did not know a lot of English, and it was much easier to avoid making a mistake when ordering when you could read it in front of your face.

Hobson’s Fish & Chips

I don’t know why I thought I would find more gluten-free fish and chip options in London, but I thought they’d be throwing them at me when I landed at Heathrow. Still, hunting down the best meant I was super stoked once I sat down and ordered at Hobson’s. Their fries (chips) are always gluten-free, and they have their own batter to make your fish nice and crispy and safe. It was soooo gooooood.

Namaaste

My most favorite meal in London was so nice I had it twice. Or some version of it, twice. We had Indian takeaway one hungry night from Namaaste in Camden, and all of us declared it to be the best Indian food we’d ever eaten. So we booked our New Year’s Eve dinner at the restaurant and wow, still the best. So much is naturally gluten-free, and they understood pitfalls as well. I’m still thinking about the coriander and lime chicken tikka, dal, and the tikka masala both chicken and lasooni paneer. Oh. My. Gerd.

Wagamama

A lot of you fine people recommended the gluten-free ramen at Wagamama, and that’s why I’d totally go back even though my noddles were not quite cooked. The flavor was fab, and again, on a cold rainy day ramen is the shizzle. I also just read this chain has opened in NYC and Boston. Anyone checked out those locations? I do love some ramen, even better if it allows me to eat it without pooping my pants.

I missed a lot, I know. Which means I have to go back to the UK, ASAP, and eat everything else.

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My mom did not love to cook. She had her standards that were delicious — mashed potatoes, chicken fried steak, Sunday roast — and the holidays were always filled with the best sweets when she toiled over divinity, whipped up some fudge and on my birthday, always the Oreo ice cream cake. But still, she didn’t love the job that was given to her by virtue of her time and gender.

One thing my mom did love to make, and was very, very good at were pies. Unfortunately for a very picky daughter, I did not like, and still do not, cooked fruit. So while I would chow down on her pecan pie at Thanksgiving, most of the time she focused on peach (her favorite), apple, apricot, and anything else that was in season. My mom did always throw me a bone, however, when she was making her favorite pies. And that is something I’ve been craving, pondering, and eventually, crying over.

When you make a homemade pie crust, after fitting it into the pie pan, you trim the edges leaving you with extra pie dough. My mom would always butter up the extras, sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top and bake it up so we could enjoy it before the pie was baked and cooled. And for me, it was usually the only part of the pie I would eat.

I started thinking about that cinnamony-sugary-buttery goodness a few days ago and as I’ve been doing ever since I was diagnosed with celiac, thought about how I could make it gluten-free. And I stopped pretty quickly because a) gluten-free pie crust just doesn’t flake like the regular stuff, and b) I hate making gluten-free pie crust. Even from a box, I hate wrestling with the gf stuff that doesn’t stick together well, falls apart, and is constantly in danger of being over handled and coming out thick and unappealing. So when I do want a pie, I buy the gluten-free pre-made from Whole Foods. While this has solved my Chess, chocolate and pecan pie challenges, there’s nothing left over for the special treat my mom always made me. Yesterday I came to the conclusion that I would never, ever, have my mom’s pie crust treat ever again for the rest of my life.

I’m slow. The longing and sadness I was feeling over cinnamon-sugar pie crust bites, and my feeling that the loss is permanent coincides with the death of my mother three years ago today. Right.

I’ve always talked about food meaning more than sustenance for your body. It’s emotional, it’s love. So it’s not surprising the memory of a tasty gluten-filled snack my mom made just for us triggered such sadness at this time of year. No, my mom won’t be able to cut off the extra crust and put the little pieces of pie dough into a separate pie pan, coat them with butter and sprinkle a cinnamon-sugar mixture on top for me ever again. But I’m going to give it one more shot.

A pie-sized treat this time, because as I said I HATE MAKING GLUTEN-FREE PIE CRUST. Instead, I defrosted the Whole Foods one and just sliced it up.

Melted some butter, brushed it on. Sprinkled a mixture of sugar and cinnamon (3 parts sugar, 1 part cinnamon) on top.

Baked on 350 for 20 minutes.

The thing about gluten-free pie crust is that it doesn’t brown up. But it is tasty. So I immediately shared it with my own kids, who loved it.

It’s not my mom’s special treat made for me, it will never be, but it will carry on.

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I am a lucky lady. So lucky I just spent 9 days in England and France. More if you count the endless flights, but that does not count and I’d also like to forget being crammed into a tiny space for 12 hours.

If you’ve read my book, you know that I stumbled my way through Paris the last time I was there and while this time I did better, well, let’s just say I was happy the focus of my gluten-free time was mostly London.

Since my diagnosis I have not visited England, and I was super stoked to go as it seems they know what’s up in the gluten-free world. Readers, I was not disappointed. London, Bath and beyond (see what I did there?) was enchanting not only for the food, but for the atmosphere and delightful history. We had so much fun, and I ate so well and SO safely. But more on that later. Right now, I’m going to focus on the 2 1/2 days I bravely returned to Paris, to try to redeem myself from my last visit. Le sigh.

My biggest mistakes in my return to the land of brioche were in not reviewing my French, and not following my own advice that I WROTE IN A FREAKING BOOK. If it’s important, write it down. Just remember to actually READ IT. D’oh. Just goes to show, life happens. Maybe you’ve been traveling every week for two months, wrapping up holidays before you leave town, and have two kids who have like, needs and stuff, and you don’t do your vacation prep. Maybe you think you’ll just bring a load of gluten-free chips from Jolly Old England on the Eurostar and everything will be fine.

Pro tip: Probably won’t be fine.

Still, I did manage to find some fabulous gluten-free food in Paris, which is very exciting. I also managed to get glutened within about 3 hours of my arrival. It’s what happens when you’ve been walking around for hours and are starving and pop into a cafe and order a drink and they nicely put down house made chips that you eat without asking one damn question because you KNOW what the answer will be. That’s just how I roll. Apparently.

So, the good stuff.

Eric Kayser

I had high hopes for Eric Kayser, especially since one was located 1 1/2 blocks from my Air BnB, but I discovered the take away bread is gluten-free, but everything else inside is not. I did find a lovely potato soup I could dip my gluten-free bread into and I decided that was enough. Because I was in Paris, goddammit, and I was at least having carbs.

Noglu

I haven’t made it to Noglu in New York, but now I’ll make it a point when I’m back because, OMG, I had a mother scratching almond galette and I never want to eat anything else again for the rest of my life. I also ate the lemon tart, madeleines and a mini Buche de Noel. I made my time work for me, people.

This all gluten-free bakery and restaurant, which is across the alley, are reason enough to go to Paris. And since I was on limited time, I’m so glad I made it there for lunch and take home dessert.

While the pastries were clearly the best part, the entirely gluten-free restaurant was also delish. I couldn’t help it and got a burger, though the lasagna looked off the hook. I was just thrilled to be eating somewhere I could order in broken French and not be assured of getting a side of gluten with whatever landed on my plate.  It was heavenly. I also met a lovely family from Cleveland with a teenager’ish daughter who’d been diagnosed with celiac as a baby. I bet she was even more psyched to be there since that kid has been chowing down on crumbly bread for decades. I hope she also got a galette from across the street. Or five.

Margherita

Not at all a gluten-free restaurant, we stumbled onto this gorgeous, perfect restaurant when I was looking for the now closed, George (or hidden, I never did find the exact address) that used to offer a gluten-free menu. When we walked by Margherita with the warm outdoor seating (and this was winter, ya’ll) all four of us turned our heads and stared at the bespoke benches and picnic tables, filled with turines, wood oven baked pizzas, and a pile of juicy meats like you see above. The three-leveled restaurant also had games and artisanal cocktails –

I’m a spritz, you guys!

And this was the door to the ladies, so you know I was in.

The staff was also very helpful, which was hard to find at times in Paris, so I felt completely comfortable dining on the few options they had that were gluten-free (very few, so love meat and cheese or skip it). I was even more comfortable after shoving some of this truffle covered burrata in my burrata hole.

Jeez, louise.

After that we kind of grazed around, so I don’t have a specific restaurant recommendation. Mostly because I discovered many places may offer one pastry that’s gf, like Cafe Marlette and this gorgeous gluten-free cake.

It was as good as it looks. While the rest of the family ate avocado toast and salmon and other delicious things, I continued my tradition of going with dessert when that’s all you’ve got. Macarons are everywhere in Paris, and most of them are gluten-free.

Oh, and cheese. There’s always cheese in Paris.

And highly entertaining American movie posters translated into French.

It may have been the jet lag but we could not stop giggling at this.

I hope your holidays were as fab as ours, even with the struggle that is Paris.

More on London to come!

XO, GIMB


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It’s still hot in LA, which always makes me long for the season changes. Yes, I know I’m romanticizing fall weather and many of you are angrily wearing rain boots and cursing. But here in LA it’s still hot enough to have a summer salad for dinner and go to bed naked.

I’m a fan of the traditional Cobb Salad, but not a fan of the hard-boiled egg element, so I’ve picked my favorite Cobb Salad ingredients (and I encourage you to do the same) and added some extra crunch via the homemade gluten-free croutons you can see hanging out at the bottom of the bowl up there. Jeez, I miss having croutons on a salad. Do you? Well, you don’t have to any longer if you whip up some super easy gluten-free goodness in your own dang home. Bring them to your favorite salad purveyor and toss them on! I don’t care! The restaurant might, but maybe they should just leave you alone with your croutons.

Everyone in my family loves it when I make homemade croutons because they’re fresh, crunchy and satisfying. Using Schär’s* new 10 Grains & Seeds Bread, it’s super easy to make tasty and with a nutritional punch from the 10 grains and seeds that are sourced from certified gluten free farms: rice flour, quinoa seeds, chia seeds, amaranth four, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour, flax seeds and sunflower seeds. Add this goodness to a delicious sourdough recipe, toss in some agave and honey and you’ve got a dang good slice of bread that Schär also gives the old ELISA R5 test to make sure it’s celiac safe.  (Also no GMOs or preservatives, just to make it that much more awesome.)

To make this big bowl of yum I fried up some bacon, chopped up some tomatoes and a big ol’ avocado, threw on some little nuggets of goat cheese on top of some chopped Romaine and we called it a day. A very delicious, gluten-free day. Do it!

Gluten-Free Cobb Salad

1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

1/4 cup freshly cooked corn

1 avocado, diced

4 slices bacon, diced and cooked

1/2 cup gluten-free croutons

Gluten-Free Croutons:

8 slices Schar GF 10 Grains & Seeds Bread

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

Combine olive oil, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Mix bread crumbs covering well. Allow the bread to sit for up to 30 minutes or longer. You want them really good and soaked through.

Bake on 425 for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Allow your croutons to cool off as you assemble your salad.

I have ranch on the side as a dip, because otherwise my little one would drown the whole dang salad in it. I know this because I, as a child, would have done the same but probably with queso, and he’s inherited my indulgent side.

*Schär also gave me a load of delicious bread and some cash money to cook and write about all of this. 


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It’s still hot in LA, which always makes me long for the season changes. Yes, I know I’m romanticizing fall weather and many of you are angrily wearing rain boots and cursing. But here in LA it’s still hot enough to have a summer salad for dinner and go to bed naked.

I’m a fan of the traditional Cobb Salad, but not a fan of the hard-boiled egg element, so I’ve picked my favorite Cobb Salad ingredients (and I encourage you to do the same) and added some extra crunch via the homemade gluten-free croutons you can see hanging out at the bottom of the bowl up there. Jeez, I miss having croutons on a salad. Do you? Well, you don’t have to any longer if you whip up some super easy gluten-free goodness in your own dang home. Bring them to your favorite salad purveyor and toss them on! I don’t care! The restaurant might, but maybe they should just leave you alone with your croutons.

Everyone in my family loves it when I make homemade croutons because they’re fresh, crunchy and satisfying. Using Schär’s* new 10 Grains & Seeds Bread, it’s super easy to make tasty and with a nutritional punch from the 10 grains and seeds that are sourced from certified gluten free farms: rice flour, quinoa seeds, chia seeds, amaranth four, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour, flax seeds and sunflower seeds. Add this goodness to a delicious sourdough recipe, toss in some agave and honey and you’ve got a dang good slice of bread that Schär also gives the old ELISA R5 test to make sure it’s celiac safe.  (Also no GMOs or preservatives, just to make it that much more awesome.)

To make this big bowl of yum I fried up some bacon, chopped up some tomatoes and a big ol’ avocado, threw on some little nuggets of goat cheese on top of some chopped Romaine and we called it a day. A very delicious, gluten-free day. Do it!

Gluten-Free Cobb Salad

1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

1/4 cup freshly cooked corn

1 avocado, diced

4 slices bacon, diced and cooked

1/2 cup gluten-free croutons

Gluten-Free Croutons:

8 slices Schar GF 10 Grains & Seeds Bread

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

Combine olive oil, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Mix bread crumbs covering well. Allow the bread to sit for up to 30 minutes or longer. You want them really good and soaked through.

Bake on 425 for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Allow your croutons to cool off as you assemble your salad.

I have ranch on the side as a dip, because otherwise my little one would drown the whole dang salad in it. I know this because I, as a child, would have done the same but probably with queso, and he’s inherited my indulgent side.

*Schär also gave me a load of delicious bread and some cash money to cook and write about all of this. 


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As celiacs our relationship with gluten-free bread is complicated. If we find some that doesn’t fall apart in a dry crumble of sadness, it can mean that it’s overly processed and has zero nutritional value. Schär knows our pain, and have consistently delivered great gluten-free products for those of us who can’t deal with the gluten.

Schär just dropped some more greatness on us with their new 10 Grains and Seeds bread which offers the high quality of Schär products, with a nutritional punch. So what are we talking about here? We’ve got the 10 grains and seeds that are sourced from certified gluten free farms: rice flour, quinoa seeds, chia seeds, amaranth four, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour, flax seeds and sunflower seeds. Add this goodness to a delicious sourdough recipe, toss in some agave and honey and you’ve got a dang good slice of bread that Schär* also gives the old ELISA R5 test to make sure it’s celiac safe.  (Also no GMOs or preservatives, just to make it that much more awesome.)

Naturally, I made a load of gluten-free sandwiches with this biz. Although I’m certainly pushing the envelope on the definition of sandwich with the last one. But I had to do it, and you will see why. 

Have you ever had lunch with a group of 3rd graders? Maybe it’s my neighborhood, but while I’ve seen bags packed with pita and hummus, burritos, and (yes, it’s Los Angeles) sushi. But a sandwich packed into a kid’s lunch is a rare sight. People—it’s time to bring sandwiches back.

Grilled cheese is easy and a kid pleaser. So let’s step up our grilled cheese with some BBQ pulled pork (put 3 lb pork roast into a slow cooker, add one jar of your favorite gluten-free BBQ sauce, let it simmer until it falls apart) and a lil’ Bermuda onion. You’ll get one of these beautiful grilled cheese sandwiches on some super delicious 10 grain and seed Schär bread.

After school snack sandwiches are also on my menu. I love to have a healthy after school snack on hand, as otherwise my children will go straight for the candy bowl even though I think I’ve hidden it very well. Because it’s my candy, and I’m not a good sharer.

So gather your Schär 10 grain and seed bread, slice up lots of fruit your kids love, and grab your favorite nut (or nut-free) spreads.

My kids love Nutella, because they’re human, and so I use the lure of the Nutella to get berries into them. I just toasted up the slices a tiny bit (for texture, not because it’s *that* kind of gluten-free bread), add the spreads (and a drizzle of honey to your peanut (or Sunbutter) and banana sandwich) and I have a huge hit.

Bonus: Not Really a Sandwich

Not on the “this is SO good for you” tip, but on the “I can’t stop eating this” tip, in the middle of my sandwich inspiration I saw this video on Facebook.

So I flattened out some Schär, rolled up some mozzarella inside each slice, wrapped it in bacon and fried it up.  Yeah, that was delicious.

Bread is magical, you guys. And it’s so fab to have delicious, gluten-free options that make us feel like we’re kind of normal again.

*Schär also gave me a load of delicious bread and some cash money to cook and write about all of this. 


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As celiacs our relationship with gluten-free bread is complicated. If we find some that doesn’t fall apart in a dry crumble of sadness, it can mean that it’s overly processed and has zero nutritional value. Schär knows our pain, and have consistently delivered great gluten-free products for those of us who can’t deal with the gluten.

Schär just dropped some more greatness on us with their new 10 Grains and Seeds bread which offers the high quality of Schär products, with a nutritional punch. So what are we talking about here? We’ve got the 10 grains and seeds that are sourced from certified gluten free farms: rice flour, quinoa seeds, chia seeds, amaranth four, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour, flax seeds and sunflower seeds. Add this goodness to a delicious sourdough recipe, toss in some agave and honey and you’ve got a dang good slice of bread that Schär* also gives the old ELISA R5 test to make sure it’s celiac safe.  (Also no GMOs or preservatives, just to make it that much more awesome.)

Naturally, I made a load of gluten-free sandwiches with this biz. Although I’m certainly pushing the envelope on the definition of sandwich with the last one. But I had to do it, and you will see why. 

Have you ever had lunch with a group of 3rd graders? Maybe it’s my neighborhood, but while I’ve seen bags packed with pita and hummus, burritos, and (yes, it’s Los Angeles) sushi. But a sandwich packed into a kid’s lunch is a rare sight. People—it’s time to bring sandwiches back.

Grilled cheese is easy and a kid pleaser. So let’s step up our grilled cheese with some BBQ pulled pork (put 3 lb pork roast into a slow cooker, add one jar of your favorite gluten-free BBQ sauce, let it simmer until it falls apart) and a lil’ Bermuda onion. You’ll get one of these beautiful grilled cheese sandwiches on some super delicious 10 grain and seed Schär bread.

After school snack sandwiches are also on my menu. I love to have a healthy after school snack on hand, as otherwise my children will go straight for the candy bowl even though I think I’ve hidden it very well. Because it’s my candy, and I’m not a good sharer.

So gather your Schär 10 grain and seed bread, slice up lots of fruit your kids love, and grab your favorite nut (or nut-free) spreads.

My kids love Nutella, because they’re human, and so I use the lure of the Nutella to get berries into them. I just toasted up the slices a tiny bit (for texture, not because it’s *that* kind of gluten-free bread), add the spreads (and a drizzle of honey to your peanut (or Sunbutter) and banana sandwich) and I have a huge hit.

Bonus: Not Really a Sandwich

Not on the “this is SO good for you” tip, but on the “I can’t stop eating this” tip, in the middle of my sandwich inspiration I saw this video on Facebook.

So I flattened out some Schär, rolled up some mozzarella inside each slice, wrapped it in bacon and fried it up.  Yeah, that was delicious.

Bread is magical, you guys. And it’s so fab to have delicious, gluten-free options that make us feel like we’re kind of normal again.

*Schär also gave me a load of delicious bread and some cash money to cook and write about all of this. 


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Current Mood.

Here we go again, America!

As the Republicans that are supposed to represent us in the Senate continue to push a huge tax cut to the wealthiest of our fellow Americans, and pay for it on the backs of the rest of America who can’t afford a prolonged illness or even a hospital stay, I thought I’d do a drill down on my own health care situation. And if you’re reading this, it’s probably your situation as well.

I mean, as if not getting to eat a Croissan’wich without crapping your pants and inviting cancer cells into your gut isn’t horrible enough, for those of us with pre-existing conditions that require lifelong care, we’ve got even more reasons to throw up our lunch. You, my readers, are in an incredibly vulnerable position. We are the autoimmune disease crowd, and while treating celiac is not as high cost as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and a myriad of other conditions, we’ll still be screwed if the ACA is repealed and any of these draconian replacements the GOP are throwing at us are instituted. We will be told “no” by insurers or given rates that are unaffordable.

It’s incredibly confusing, as we roll through votes on a number of different amendments, but the bottom line for those of us with celiac disease, or other autoimmune disorders, or hell, any single thing that has ever happened, and may happen in the future—if any of these cuts include caps on what insurance will pay for, or the ability to refuse to cover those of us with pre-existing conditions AT ALL, we’re all looking at a financial burden that will cause us to make impossible decisions.

What I’m panicking about right now as someone with a pre-existing condition:

Having to choose between my health care and my children’s education.

Having to choose between my health care and paying the rent.

Having to choose between my health care and our retirement.

Having to give up health care so all of the above can be taken care of.

Of course, without endoscopy and colonoscopy screening, my retirement could be a non-issue as I die of colon/stomach/small intestine cancer. So that’s the bonus, I suppose.

But there is a best case scenario:

Right now, today, I am incredibly lucky in that my husband’s employer pays for our family’s health insurance with some cost to us. This is amazing, and I’m one of the lucky Americans that will not feel the immediate trauma if the ACA is repealed and/or replaced with something that ignores those of us that need health care the most.

However. At some point I will feel the pinch because:

  1. My husband may not have this job forever. In fact, it’s incredibly rare in today’s workplace that people do stay at one job until they retire. Today’s great coverage can be gone for us, tomorrow.
  2. If insurance companies are allowed to cap coverage, even private insurance policies through the workplace will be included. I guaran-damn-tee you that I will hit that cap (as will all of you who are dealing with diseases) long before my kids graduate from college.

My point is, none of us is immune to this snatch and grab by the Republican majority. We will all suffer. We have to make calls, we have to march, we have to stand up and be counted. Our LITERAL LIVES depend upon protecting what little health care benefits we have at this moment thanks to the ACA.

Honestly, I can’t believe we’re even having this discussion. It’s disgusting to me, and I’m feeling so much disappointment in my country right now.

Is the ACA perfect? I think we all know that it is not. But when the current legislative body is STARTING with tax cuts for the very wealthy when considering health care, we know the goal is not to help the majority of Americans who will die or go broke without the proper coverage.

Whether the solution is bolstering the ACA or single payer something has to give. We are ranked as one of the least efficient countries when it comes to health care, which directly affects our life expectancy. What is wrong with our society and the leaders we elect to allow this to continue?

Stand up, my fellow pre-existing conditioners. We must be heard, and we must tell our elected leaders that they will pay, if they take away our health, our family’s future, and vote to hurt us, their constituents.

Let’s do this.


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Wine helps.

When you have celiac disease, traveling is anxiety inducing. You know this. I know this. We all ‘effing know this. If you want to really relax, you either rent a house or apartment with a kitchen and BYOGFF.

I’m sorry, I meant if you want to really relax about what you’re eating.

There’s still the cooking and cleaning. Which I find, worth it, but sometimes you just want to leave your dirty dishes on the table and walk away like a boss. Which is why my super quick visit to Napa Valley was a truly relaxing food situation.

You guys, I left dishes EVERYWHERE. Okay, just at the breakfast table. And some cookie crumbs in the room. Because I was staying at the Inn on Randolph, which is 100% gluten-free. BAM. This was my gluten-free welcome basket.

They gave me wine, chocolates, popcorn and made gluten-free chocolate chip cookies daily and we ate them hourly. Freaking delicious, you guys.

Oh, hi, are you my very first gluten-free breakfast muffin with red and blue types of berries on the 4th of July? Aren’t you adorable, and on point, you little muffin? Yes, you are.

I haven’t had Eggs Benedict in YEARS. Then, I did. With a nice side of taters and broccoli pesto. Hello.

Next morning, French toast with frosting and syrup.

Hash browns, fat ass bacon, fried mother scratching egg.

Which is actually exactly what you need if you’re going wine tasting for the day. Which is the whole reason one goes to Napa. That, and the jacuzzi tub.

So the hubs and I signed on for a day of super fun wine tasting and I met my new best friend, Jason who I want to cast in every movie I ever write, at the David Fulton winery which claims to be the OG winery from back in the 1880s day. After that, I’m not sure where we went because, wine.

WINE!!!!!!!

What I do remember is that my husband decided that he should approach the wine day with some serious precision. See, my husband is more of an IPA and bourbon guy, although we’ve killed many bottles of red on nights in. And he felt this was a learning vacation. I was def up for it, as long as he let me write down all of the questions he had pre-wine tasting for my enjoyment.

Favorite quotes from the man in my life on wine tasting:

“In all honesty, I’m going to think about what I’m drinking.”

“My goal is to become a wine guy.”

“I think I’ll wear pants.”

“I’m pink curious.”

Aren’t we all, babe. Aren’t we all.

So, yeah. It was a fun day! And made even better by filling up on gluten-free chocolate chip cookies in the 100% gluten-free inn, that was 500% freaking adorable.

RELAXATION, people. We all need it.


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Bottoms Up Pizza, FTW!

I’m so sorry because that headline is a TOTAL LIE. But I thought I would start positive, so we could all feel good for the half second it took to read it. I’m nice like that.

YOU GUYS. I’ve been on an epic travel adventure and have hit every single time zone (if you count the Denver airport, which I DO) in America over the past five+ weeks. I’ve been werking book events, hanging out with screenwriters doing writer stuff, and a little family vacation snuck in there. Which brings me to my first gluten-free travel tip: Travel solo, so you never have to consider any one else’s needs. Ever.

Yes, that is a great tip. You are welcome. I stand by this tip because while I was in Chicago, Vermont and New York I staked out the recommended joints and made my day work around delicious gluten-free pizza and muffins. I had a real live amazing donut in Chicago that rocked my ever loving socks off. And while I built in time to walk to many gluten-free and amazing restaurants in Chicago (shout out to Do-Rite Donuts, Lou Malnati’s, Burger Bar and Brightwok Kitchen!) when I tried to do the same in Virginia, well . . . it did not go as well.

I want to thank all of you for your amazing gluten-free tips all over Virginia. And had I been solo, I would have eaten the gluten-free hell out of Virginia, but what with a schedule and people other than me wanting food, it did not work out as well as I’d hoped.

The first morning of our grand historical tour through the southern region of Virginia really set the tone for the whole trip. For in spite of me pre-ordering a load of gluten-free donuts (because, of course I would), my dreams of getting up, getting fed, and getting on the road to another location where extended family awaited, would have been the ultimate.

Instead, I woke up, discovered that no one had answered my pleas of, “What’s a Hugenot?” so I could locate the gluten-free donut truck, so we drove around Richmond for almost an hour trying to find breakfast. At that point my children were cranky, hungry, and did not give a shit about my gluten-freeness. Understandable, yes. This is how families work. Still, I was out a donut or five, and this particular disappointment set the tone for the entire trip—food-wise.

It turns out that some restaurants don’t like to update their websites so you show up to a joint expecting a decent-sized gluten-free menu of delicious offerings, and instead are handed a small piece of paper with literally nothing on it you can eat. This seems like bad business, since even though the other 3 family members could eat off the menu, I get hangry and storm out of restaurants and because they love me/feel sorry for me, they leave too. Dear reader, this happened more than once in Virginia. And I find that confusing. I didn’t get the memo that it was menu changing season, and therefore everything you read on the internet was a lie.

Luckily I did find a few great places with safe gluten-free offerings, and I only had to send my husband out for peanut butter once. This was especially fortuitous since he brought back CHUNKY peanut butter, knowing damn well I eat like a child. I mean, I’ve been married to this man for almost 12 years and not once has he seen a jar of chunky fucking peanut butter in our pantry. When I asked him what could possibly have possessed him to pick up a formerly perfect product, mangled by sharp chunks, his only defense was, “I thought you’d think it was fun.”

Do you know what was fun? My ‘select’ box on United Airlines on the way home because the whole GD thing was gluten-free. Now that is sad. But it was a nice moment, nonetheless. Oh, and this lady singing for us at the King’s Arms Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg (where I did eat well, and gluten-free).

Check her out! That place is a trip, ya’ll. So do yourselves a favor and get your history on and tour through Virginia. Just maybe bring your own food. Or don’t bring your family. It’s really a personal choice.

For this summer, at least, I’m mostly staying put and eating in my own home. With one exception when I take a quick jaunt up to Napa, but girlfriend is staying at a gluten-free hotel. A GLUTEN-FREE HOTEL. This may be the only place I travel from now on. I mean, wine tours and gluten-free waffles. That’s what gets better. Isn’t it swell I started and ended on a positive note? God bless you, summer travelers. And good freaking luck.


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