Monday, May 26, 2014

The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide

Do you like to play a guessing game with your health?
Do you want to let chance decide if you will be in pain or not?
How bout this?  Does shopping for food feel like gambling to you?

Odd Questions, right?  Of course, to anyone with out a gluten intolerance or free from Celiac Disease, these questions seem odd.

If your body has decided that it is going to attack itself due to eating wheat, barley, rye, and oats, these questions make perfect sense to you.

Often shopping can be nightmarish for people with Celiac Disease or people who have trouble consuming gluten.  We wonder if we are buying and consuming products that will allow us health or if we will have that sudden fear that comes up when you realize that something you have eaten clearly contains gluten.  Which product was it?  How can I avoid it next time? Why aren't the laws more protective of my health?

The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide by Triumph Dining (Dave Morris & Bob Stamatatos) is a must have guide for anyone with gluten issues!  The guide starts with amazing information about laws, labels and limitations, sharing with the desperate shopper, things to avoid, things to look out for and things that can often be deceiving.

It is a quick and easy, mentally digestible, introduction to where we stand as the allergically challenged trying to afford a healthy meal in America, with an impressive list of foods that are fully consumable by the gluten prohibitive digestive system.  It is an honest guide counseling the reader to read the ingredients of any product to be certain.

For the items that are in the grey areas they have come up with a symbol system to categorize those products that might be subject to cross-contamination, products that have been under gluten-free testing, products that are guaranteed GF, and products that were GF last year but the report hasn't been reconfirmed.

The listing of products includes just about every product brand and grocery store consumable one can think of.  The list is a thoroughly impressive  44,000+,   and for me gave me the happy feeling that food I can consume with freedom is bountiful, a very positive feature!

I have been gluten free for over ten years and I am grateful for this guide that now has a permanent place in my car with my reusable grocery bags!

Heres to GF bounty thanks to Triumph Dining!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Here is a quickie for you!

I am working on visualizing the life I want and deserve.  I am reading and watching videos with some tips to refresh my memory on how to bring about the future I desire and deserve.  I have lived my life on these principles but sometimes get stuck and need a reminder.

Just this morning I was driving with my Little Man.  We passed the Civic Center and I saw the Sesame Street Live sign. 

I visualized my son going to see the show in one way or another.  Just him and left the parent neutral (could be either of us).  I texted My husband, letting him know it was in town, so it was definitely on my radar in a very strong way.  I mentioned to my co-workers in passing that I would like to take him.

A few hours later, while at work, a friend texted me that she had two extra tickets and asked if we would we like to go.

I almost fell over out of JOY... my co-workers were blown away. me folks... I'm on my way to something greater as I visualize my desired future and meet it with an open mind and heart.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

News from a 4-year-old

Yesterday we lost Pete Seeger.

The Little Man, who just turned four,  heard Mommy and Daddy talking about  Pete.  He said, "I know about Pete Seeger.  He was the one who sang, 'This land is your land, this land is my land.'" 
Daddy, " Yes, that's right."  Little Man, looking very sad, "He's dead now."   "Yes, but he was 90 years older than you are now.  He lived a long life. "

I am wondering how the Little Man knew this and who told him that Pete was dead?   He does know about death and knows about it because he asked and we explained it to him.

I got the sense that they were talking about Pete Seeger in daycare...

I don't know if the daycare teachers would have mentioned that he died.  I don't really think so.  I think that might have been something the Little Man picked up from listening to the radio or somewhere else.

I wonder if the daycare teachers told them about the songs Pete was responsible for creating or if they thought it might be too much for them to understand?  Funny that "This Land is Your Land," is the song he walked away from the conversation with. This is a song that we used to sing in elementary school, well, only certain verses :)

Soon we will teach the Little Man the origins of the song and why Pete Seeger wanted to keep singing it.

How to teach him all the things we want/need to teach him?  I was blown away by how he chimed in to our conversation about the news with confidence and how much he knew and had put together on his own. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stepping into Joy

I am not going to write about my problems or complaints today.  I am going to share a simple thing that my family did that has set about positive change.

When we moved into our one bedroom, we did so in a hurry.  We needed to get all settled before our academic jobs started and I was still casting "Mi America." The apartment wasn't vacated in time and then it needed an overhaul, so we had really only a day or two to get everything set up.

We had the living room set up in the most likely set-up based on walls and where the cable hook-up was.  It worked fine, however, it didn't do the glass slider and all the views it had to offer, any justice.  It left our backs toward the sky and no efficient play space for our Little Man.  His toys were jammed behind the sofa and sometimes would fall off the bakers rack and on to our heads.  He was playing in front of the TV and building his train sets in the walking space and right by the entrance to the apartment.

On Sunday, after a drive through the snowy countryside, we came home and moved a few things around. We arranged the sofa and television in a smaller area, so it became it's only little nook, or viewing area.   We decided that this area is for watching and working only.  No playing, only sitting, working or watching.

By making this change it created a huge amount of space in front of the glass slider for Little Man to play.  His toys are more accessible and now he can set up his sprawling train set-ups and detailed cities with plenty of room.

We can all see the outdoors and the sky because there isn't a large darkly colored sofa blocking the  view.  The current placement of the sofa creates a hallway to the other part of the house, making it seem bigger.  It also creates a separation of living space from the doorway.  Now the entrance of the apartment is into the hallway the sofa creates.

When all the toys are put away, there is a large area of space on the floor to do Yoga, Shiatsu, exercise, do a puzzle or play a board game.  This is where the joy comes in.

Last night when we arrived at our 'new' home, we ate dinner.  Then both Daddy and Mommy went into the playspace with our Little Man.  We got a balloon from his birthday party left overs and played different games with the balloon.  The Little Man giggled and giggled until he fell over.  Mommy and Daddy got to move around and laugh which replaced our old habit of slumping on the sofa and watching our boy play.

Next time we got out the game of Cooties and played through the whole game... what fun! At the end of the game we put on "Curious George," in our 'movie pit.'  We watch George to calm our boy and get him ready for sleep.

Once our Little Man was bathed and in bed,  Daddy gave Mommy some Shiatsu in our space.
Then we got to watch a movie in our 'movie pit.'

By making one simple change, we added room for a more joyous and lively routine.  I am looking for other changes we can make to step into more JOY!

Monday, January 27, 2014

My inner voice keeps screaming, "Write, WRITE!"

Okay... I know it has been a very long time... so here I am again and I am not going to say, "I will be back on here every day," or "I made a resolution...,"etc.

This I wrote to a friend in an email:

My thoughts keep coming back to freeing myself from the burden of working for the man and moving gracefully into a freelance life where I am paid what I am worth and
there is abundance and freedom and time.  My inner voice keeps screaming, "Write, WRITE!" She (my inner voice) is always right.

So here I am...  step-by-step, bird-by-bird, word-by-word.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What would you like to see when you go to the theater?

I was recently asked what I would like to see when I go to the theater.

Before I could even think,  I heard my self say, "Something physical, lively, with a lot of energy.  Have you ever heard of Squonk Opera?"

I saw Squonk in the late 90s at PS122 in the city.  It is difficult to put into words what they are and how it makes you feel to experience their performance.   It is like a rock band from another planet with a really high other worldly female voice.  The voice is a delight and the music a trip.  There are synthesized horns and a double bass that isn't just for a baseline.  The accordion is a nice accent and the piano like a constant cascade throughout the music.

Visually you are at a rock concert with puppets and odd nonsensical things moving to and fro, projections take you through all kinds of nether worldly places along with some of the creatures and puppets the players become.  All the players play the instruments while they play the characters and manipulate magic.

Squonk rocked my theater world and nothing has compared since.

In 2002 I saw that Squonk was auditioning in the city.  I sent them me singing and dancing and performing music I had written.  They sent me two of their shows and asked me to prepare music from both, one of my own songs, and choreography.  I spent an hour with them auditioning, singing, dancing, laughing and playing.  It was really amazing... my best audition ever.  I had fun and got to hang out with performers I admire deeply and play in their world that I love so much.

I did not get to join their group as a performer and that is okay.  I was grateful for the time I did spend.

It has been years since I thought of them or listened to their work, but they still hold the spot in my heart and mind for the best theater experience and the best audition.  I noticed that they have 5 more shows and albums to go with them on ITunes.  I asked Wayne to get me a new one for my birthday.  I have Inferno and Bigsmorgasbordwonderwork.  I encourage you to check them out!

This is Squonk Opera...I hope you have the joy to see them one day and that they open your childhood heart as fully as they did mine.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Photos, Kickstarter, and a New MUSICAL FILM O-STAR

An Alum of Vassar's Film Department is a great photographer, musician and filmmaker.  Dima Othvertchenko '06, was in the neighborhood and wanted to stop by to say HI.

I had the pleasure of acting in Dima's film "Anisometropia" as a government nurse in the Spring of 2006. I really enjoyed working with him for several reasons:  He is organized, he knows what he wants and how to make it happen, he goes above and beyond, and there is always fun to be had while on set. Definitely be looking for Dima in the world of film!

 I threw out the idea of photos for my actor family and he loved the idea. On Saturday, we got together and took shots of Wayne, Willo and me.  They came out great!  We each got shots as individuals and as a family.

 In return for his great work we are donating to his kickstarter campaign for his graduate thesis, a really cool sounding musical film project called "O-Star."  We would also like to draw your attention to the campaign in case you might be looking to donate :)  even a few bucks can really help!✓&term=otvertchenko

Here are some of the shots we got from the shoot and some shots of the shoot happening!
Thanks Dima!  You Rock!

Dima's website is a must see!