Monthly Archives: April 2014

Travelling for Dance Competition




This past weekend, my daughters had a dance competition that took us away from home for the entire weekend.  We were spending the weekend in an unfamiliar city and in a hotel with no ability to cook our own foods.  How did we keep our gluten free lifestyle?  Eating away from home is a challenge for anyone.  It can be costly to go out to eat for every meal and with a dance competition, the hectic schedule may make fitting time to eat difficult.

Luckily, we have been gluten free for over 5 years and have had some experience with staying gluten free while traveling.  We also had been to this competition before, so we knew that the concession stand was not a gluten free friendly, or healthy food for that matter.  Taking that knowledge, we bring our own foods with us when we travel by car.  Some of the things we bring are a crock pot that we can make slow cooked meals in while we are out and about.  There is nothing like coming back to the hotel and smelling a roast, soup or chili cooking as you walk in the door.  If your room does not have a refrigerator, you may need to bring a cooler to keep meat and other refrigerated food cold.

We also bring fruits and vegetables and home made trail mix.  These are easy to toss in a backpack or purse for when we are away from the hotel room.  This weekend we took along some roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds).  They are so easy to make and only take about 15 minutes.  We use our homemade season salt (recipe below) to ensure the quality of the seasoning and keep it gluten free, MSG free, and GMO free.  Pumpkin seeds have so many health benefits.  Here are a few

  • Magnesium – 1/4 C. of pumpkin seeds supplies nearly half the daily recommended amount of magnesium, which is essential to a wide variety of vitally important physiological functions.
  • Zinc-one ounce of pumpkin seeds  contains more than 2 mg of zinc.  Zinc is important for immunity, cell growth and division,sleep, mood, eye and skin health , and many more.
  • Omega 3's– one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s .  Omega 3's lower blood pressure, has a therapeutic effect on children with ADHD and autism, reduces risk for cognitive degeneration,and many other benefits.
  • Prostrate– Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as an important natural food for men’s health.
  • Anti-diabetic effect– Animal studies suggest that pumpkin seeds may help improve insulin regulation and help prevent diabetic complications by decreasing oxidative stress.
  • Benefit Postmenopausal Women-Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens which decreases  blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.

Another thing we bring is our own water from home.  I will admit, I am a water prude.  I have lived with well water for over 20 years, so I can't handle any chemical flavoring to my water.  However, flavor is not the main reason we bring water from home.  We are against all those chemicals added to our water.  They are hazardous materials and should not be there, but that is a whole other topic to discuss later.  Also, we leave less of an environmental footprint by using glass water bottles instead of buying bottled water.  Not only do we not reduce more garbage, but we also avoid BPA and xenoestrogens which are found in plastics.

We have a longer trip coming up this summer.  I may give you more tips on how to pack for long term traveling so you can maintain a gluten free , healthy lifestyle.


MSG, Gluten-free Season Salt (use organic when possible)

2 TBSP                    Salt (Sea salt)

2 tsp                        Sugar

1/2 tsp                   Paprika

1/4 tsp                   Tumeric

1/4 tsp                   Onion Powder

1/4 tsp                   Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp                   Cornstarch (non-GMO)


Combine all ingredients in an airtight container and store cool, dry place.


Roasting Pepitas:

Heat 1-2 tsp coconut oil on medium low, in a frying pan, (I like to use cast iron).  Once it is melted, pour in organic, raw pumpkin seeds.  Use the amount you want and adjust coconut oil, it should be enough to lightly coat but not make them dripping in oil.  Stir constantly to prevent burning.  You will cook until they turn golden brown.  They will pop, somewhat similar to popcorn, this is normal.  Once golden brown turn out on to a paper towel or flour sack towel to drain off any excess oil and then sprinkle with season salt to desired taste ( you could season with any flavor you want).  Allow to cool some so you don't burn your tongue and then enjoy.




A Journey to Gluten Free and Traditional Food Lifestyle

I have always believed that our body is designed to heal itself if given the proper conditions.  I use this belief even today, while working through the effects of gluten on my body.  When I first began this journey, I researched many things and sites and found several people who have helped me on my way to optimal health.  Today, I would like to introduce you to one of them in the hopes that you can find what she has to teach as helpful as it was to me.

Jenny McGruther is a food educator and the creator of the traditional food website Nourished Kitchen.  She teaches workshops on traditional foods, fermentation, and food activism.  Her philosophy on food is focusing on combining sustainability, balance, tradition, and community involvement.  She lives with her family in Colorado, where she and her husband started and managed a farmer's market for seven years.

When I first discovered her website, I thought that I lead a fairly healthy lifestyle.  Through her articles and workshops, I came to realize my diet was actually closer to the Standard American Diet.  If I continued with the way I was eating, I would not give my body the proper conditions to allow it to heal and give me optimal health.  So my walk toward a traditional and gluten free lifestyle began here.  Although I am not completely there yet, habit can be very hard to break, but her philosophy is one of many that has been crucial in helping with the change.

Her class “Get Cultured”  helped me to realize that I need cultured food to get natural probiotics to help bring my gut flora into balance again, which is integral in healing a leaky gut.  Although taking probiotic supplements can have some benefit, they will not have the same probiotics and the wild ferments found in lacto-fermented and homemade cultured products.  In this course, you will learn how to make sour kraut, lacto-fermented vegetables, salsas, and condiments.  Although I had already been making my own yogurt and sour cream, I was surprised to learn how many other cultured products can be made from milk or milk alternatives.  Who knew there were so many!  She has so much information to share.  Go to her site and check it out.

I would like to congratulate her on her recent book, The Nourished Kitchen: Farm to Table recipes for the Traditional Food Lifestyle.  I am excited that my copy cam e last week and I get to start using it.  If you are looking for a good resource to start a traditional food lifestyle, I would recommend this book.  It can be found at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Indiebound, Google Books, and iBooks. (note: I do not receive any payment for this recommendation).