Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fright-Free Fright Night: Halloween with Food Allergies and Restrictions (Giveaway)

Why is my pumpkin teal? Read on to find out!
Of all the food-centric holidays we have, Halloween is particularly pernicious, as kids young and old are faced with forbidden foods at every turn. Gluten, dairy, and other allergens lay in wait, eager to spoil the holiday with an accidental exposure that ruins all the fun.

But fear not, because there are plenty of ways to enjoy Halloween night free from the fear of whatever allergens you must avoid. All it takes is a little creativity, vigilance, and teal pumpkin or two! 

To help you put the finishing touches on your Halloween plans, I'm giving you some of my favorite tips and tricks, and am even giving away some fun products for virtual trick-or-treating! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

How to Conquer a Gluten-Free Expo Like a Pro

As a gluten-free blogger, and avid foodie, one of my most favorite things in the world is gluten-free expos and events. Where else can my love for gluten-free foods and meeting new people come together? 

When I first started blogging, I had no clue that gluten-free expos were even a thing. However, after quickly falling in love with the phenomenon at the Gluten-Free Living Expo in Orlando, I soon began to plan around these foodie spectaculars to try to go to as many as possible. After fully recovering from a busy Natural Products Expo East, I  knew that I wanted to put (proverbial) pen to paper to share tips and tricks I've learned along the way to make the most of expo opportunities. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Schooled: Gluten-Free Style

It has definitely been a while since my initial first post in this blog within a blog. I certainly had not intended the gap between posts to be so exaggerated, but my good intentions met several roadblocks as I made the monumental shift from "summer mode" to "back to school."  

Despite the fun I had this summer, I am really excited to be back in Baltimore, with new restaurants to try, sights to see, and the luxury that is being able to shop at Wegmans. However, with all of these pluses, my move back to college means that I have to transition back to being 100% on my own in regards to feeding myself now that my University's meal plan and I parted ways last semester due to repeat glutenings. 

Fending for oneself can be exciting; I truly love cooking, baking, and the autonomy of selecting what foods to purchase and try. I do not have to worry about cross contamination from my family or room mates, because I am in a single dorm, and can enjoy a dedicated gluten-free environment. However, between fifteen hours of classes a week, a part-time job, and other extracurricular commitments, I often find myself with little or no energy to even bring a pot of water to boil some days. Even worse, during my off campus excursions to local grocery stores, I oftentimes see a certified gluten-free label and forget to meticulously label-read, a practice that usually results in disappointment in discovering that I overlooked cross contamination or sneaky dairy.

As I get back into a semi-normal routine over the next few weeks, I look forward to easing back into collegiate life, except for certain aspects such as papers and exams popping up so soon into the semester. Starting my sophomore year, I already feel ahead of the game now that I know how to navigate Baltimore's public transit to frequent to grocery stores that stock my favorite foods. As with any change in schedule or scenery, departing from the norm is not easy, but definitely worth it due to the opportunity to find new experiences and greater gluten-free independence as a young adult.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blogging About Blogging

Admittedly, being a food blogger is a pretty amazing gig. In my year and a half of growing into my gluten and dairy-free blog, I've greatly expanded my horizons, discovering new products and restaurants that have made life with dietary restrictions an adventure instead of a burden. While I have found plenty of good eats along the way, my blog has stuck to its roots of being a restaurant and product review blog. 

While I've had plenty of fun taste testing, I have always wanted to delve behind the scenes of the reviews to share more about my life as a young adult and college student with dietary restrictions. Living on my own for the first time this past year, I've learned plenty of tips and tricks that have helped me navigate the transition from gluten-free teen to adult, and I would love to have a forum where I can dish those up.

Thus the creation of this "blog within a blog": Sidebar. While not one in the same with my main blog Eating Out Without Gluten and Dairy, it will be an outlet through which I can share my thoughts beyond just where and what I eat. I want to be a better advocate for the gluten-free community, share thoughts on gluten-free news, and have a space where I can express my successes and challenges with being gluten-free and fighting chronic illness.

With no clear plan, I know Sidebar will need to find its footing in the next few weeks, but I hope at the least you'll join me and join the conversation and share your thoughts. I believe we all benefit with shared understanding, and hope this is a forum through which mutual experiences can create a shared community. Thank you, reader, for reading this and for following along my gluten-free journey.