Tuesday, September 30, 2014

North Carolina Triangle Gluten Intolerance Fair

This past Saturday, I attended the North Carolina Triangle Gluten Intolerance Fair at Ganyard Hill Farm in Durham, NC. Along with gluten free samples, attendees could listen to experts speaking on various gluten intolerance related topics, pick their own pumpkin, get lost in the corn maze, feed the farm animals, hayrides, and other fun farm activities. With all of the activities, it made it easy to spend the whole day!
The gluten free samples were mainly from local vendors. Below are a few of the vendors that were my favorites!
After a tasty dinner at Primal Food and Spirits in Durham for the VIP Meet and Greet the night before the TGIF event, Primal was on hand to share its menu and hand out Free Dessert Coupons. Primal is a 100% gluten free restaurant located near Streets at Southpoint in Durham, NC. They know their ingredients and are great with other food allergies as well. 
The Produce Box, which carries a selection of local artisan foods, handed out organic apples, a naturally gluten free food. It delivers local North Carolina fruits, vegetables, and other goodies to homes in the Triad, Triangle, and Wilmington areas. By ordering your own box, you are helping The Produce Box provide grants to local farmers, school programs, and boxes for low income families. It is busy partnering with various organizations in the Triangle and Triad, like the Children's Museum of Winston Salem,  to emphasize healthy eating. 
Sonali Birla, a health coach and cooking instructor, made gluten free crepes using chickpea flour. She also had various toppings to add to the crepes, as well as spices to add to any gluten free dish. Sonali focuses on Indian food, but is also a Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach.
Sarah from Gluten Free with Sarah B shared her gluten free pumpkin bread, a perfect treat on the beautiful fall day! Based in Rolesville, Sarah shares her goodies at various farmers markets in the area. In addition to breads, Sarah makes pastries and desserts.
Bang Bang Banh Mi, a completely gluten free food truck, made a stop at the TGIF. It makes frequent stops throughout the Triangle and farmers markets in the area. Bang Bang Banh Mi focuses on Vietnamese Cusine. 
The TGIF was a fun-filled family event! The beautiful fall day allowed attendees to participate in all the activities, as well as check out some tasty gluten free samples and learn how to manage gluten intolerance from experts in the field. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Motivation 09/29/2014

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

EAT: Silo Deli Wine and Cheese, Winston-Salem, NC

Located in the old barn at Reynolda Village in Winston Salem, NC, Silo Deli Wine and Cheese is a great place for sandwiches and small plates. It does not have a gluten free menu, but they recently added gluten free bread as an option for the sandwiches. They carry Udi's Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread (Allergen Notice: Udi's contains Corn, so I order my sandwich without bread). 
Everything I have had at Silo is good. It focuses on farm to table and local produce. The menu is somewhat limited for gluten free, but with the addition of the gluten free bread, more options are available. Also, each sandwich can be ordered without bread for a more protein style meal. As far as salads, I like the caprese salad.

Silo has great outside seating and can be quite busy on warm days. It also has a good selection of wines and crafted beers. Mondays are half price wine night. Silo is open for lunch and dinner everyday except Sunday, where it closes at 4pm. Be sure to check it out. 

114 D Reynolda Village
Winston Salem, NC 27106

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

EAT: Willow's Bistro, Winston-Salem, NC

Located in the old train depot on South Liberty Street in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, Willow's Bistro aims to please and make sure your dining experience is enjoyable. The menu is full of Southern and low country options and includes produce from local farmers and Carolina seafood. What is even better? Their gluten free items are listed right on the menu!
Willow's Bistro has great outside dining and the food is reasonably priced. It also has an extensive wine list and a full bar with fun and unusual craft cocktails. They have a good mix of appetizers (several are gluten free!) and great salads. Open 7 days a week, Willow's also serves lunch and Sunday brunch.
Our server was well-versed in the menu and was happy to check on any questions we had with the chef. For an appetizer, I had to try the House Hickory Smoked Shrimp Risotto (gluten free). Wow, I should have just ordered that as my entree! So delicious! The risotto was creamy and the shrimp were perfectly cooked, a nice size for an appetizer.
But, I did order an entree! I decided upon the gluten free 8oz Hanger Steak and Black Tiger Shrimp. It was served a nice medium with a tasty black rice. So much food that I had to get a take home box!
My dinner companion ordered the full rack of ribs, which are gluten free, with the Roasted Mango Wasabi BBQ Sauce on the side. Talk about some ribs! They were yummy, cooked perfectly! Again, so much food, he surrendered and also took a take home box.

Willow's Bistro is one of my favorite restaurants in downtown Winston-Salem. Tucked away in a quiet part of downtown near Old Salem, Willow's shines with its food options, nice atmosphere, and easy parking. Perfect for a date or a group of friends, Willow's has a great variety of options for everyone. Can't wait to go back soon!

Willow's Bistro
300 South Liberty St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Motivation 09/22/2014

"You were meant for greatness, and you hold more power than you could possibly imagine. Even the strongest of faith struggle with this. Trust and move. Don't let excuses be your God."

~ Angelike Norrie

Saturday, September 20, 2014

EAT: Rock House Gluten Free Bakery, Winston Salem, NC

I came across Rock House Bakery at the farmer's market in Reynolda Village in Winston Salem, NC. A 100% gluten free, soy free, and GMO free bakery, owners Bart and Soundra Goings have over 20 years of gluten free baking experience. Some of their baked goods are dairy free as well, and they can accommodate other allergens on special orders. 
Rock House Bakery does not have a storefront yet, but they can be found at the farmer's markets at Reynolda Village (Fridays) and Tanglewood (Saturdays). Rock House Bakery makes an assortment of cupcakes, small cakes, cookies, and breads and are constantly experimenting to perfect new options.

Rock House Bakery

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NC Triangle Gluten Intolerance Fair, Saturday September 27, 1-6pm

 The NC Triangle Gluten Intolerance Fair will be held on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 1-6pm at Ganyard Hill Farm in Durham, NC.

Join us for a fun fall day, sample some gluten free goodies, and learn more about gluten intolerance and celiac disease.

Speakers and Vendors include:

- Cameo Edwards 
- Deb Orol,RN, BSN
- Primal Food and Spirits - Gluten Free Restaurant

Spread: Gourmet Plant Based Cheese- Gluten-Free and Vegan Spread
Mediterranean Deli, Bakery, and Catering - Gluten Free Pita Bakery and Deli Items
The Produce Box - produce and specialty delivery service
- Sonali Birla - Healthful Cookalog - Graduate of the Integrative Health Coach Professional Training from Duke Integrative Medicine specializing in Mindful Cooking and Eating.
- Joie de Vegan - Gluten Free and Vegan Bakery
- Gluten Free with Sarah B - Gluten Free Bakery
- Ada's Cupcakes - Gluten Free Bakery
- Kirsten E. Miller: Outside in Anti-Aging Ltd. 
- DoTerra International - Essential Oils and Nutritional Guidance Program
- Christina Hayward - Arbonne International
- Superior Healthcare - Physical Medicine - Free Health Screenings by Dr. Michelle Elliot

Who: NC Triangle Gluten Intolerance Fair
What: A fun afternoon filled with gluten free samples, speakers, and fall activities for the whole family!
When: Saturday September 27 1-6pm
Where: Ganyard Hill Farm, 319 Sherron Rd., Durham, NC 27703

Get your tickets at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/802030 or enter below to win 2 Tickets!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to all who entered to win!
Winners are:
- Alyssa R.
- Elizabeth M. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Motivation 09/15/2014

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure."

~ Bill Cosby

Sunday, September 14, 2014

EAT: Pease of Cake, Prattville, AL

When you have a sweet tooth in Prattville, AL, just outside of Alabama's capital of Montgomery, head over to Pease of Cake. The cupcakery is not a completely gluten free establishment, but owner, Jen Pease, goes to great measures to make sure her gluten free cupcakes do not have any cross contamination. After chatting with Jen about how she keeps batters separate and makes the gluten free cupcakes first in the morning, I felt safe taste testing. Jen also uses separate tongs and clean trays for each order. 
Jen also told me that the Prattville area has a large gluten free population. Who knew?! Jen herself is not gluten free and no one in her family is either, but her customers kept requesting gluten free options, so she jumped in to find a gluten free cupcake creation that lived up to her other cupcakes. 
Jen makes gluten free cupcakes on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. She also makes all of her cupcakes in seasonal flavors. The day I visited (a Saturday), the cupcake options were: Pumpkin Cheesecake, Chocolate Dream, Chia Tea, After School, and gluten free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip. 
The gluten free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip was delicious. It had the perfect balance of pumpkin and chocolate with a cream cheese frosting. Jen used King Arthur Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, which is also corn free.
Cupcakes are available in small and large. I tried the small size, which was perfect size for a sweet treat. Jen can do special orders for regular and gluten free cupcakes and cakes. I can't wait to return soon to try a new flavor!

Pease of Cake
528 Pinnacle Pl
Prattville, AL 36066

Friday, September 12, 2014

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease

Happy National Celiac Awareness Day!

What is the hardest thing about Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance, besides navigating the world of food? Figuring out whether you have an intolerance to gluten or not. 

The symptoms of gluten intolerance are so varied and sometimes completely opposite of each other that it becomes extremely difficult to diagnose. Even among my own family members who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance (it is genetic), we all have varying symptoms. How your body reacts to gluten is unique to you. 

So what are the symptoms of a gluten intolerance? The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (http://www.gluten.net) has a great diagram that provides many of the major symptoms. 
So, you have some symptoms. What now? Since there is currently no cure and one must follow a gluten free diet, a confirmed diagnosis is recommended before starting a gluten free diet, lest your results might be skewed. Diagnosis can be determined by a blood test or a biopsy. 

Note: I am not a doctor. Please see your doctor if you have symptoms to discuss further treatment. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

EAT: Second Trip to Husk Restaurant During Charleston Restaurant Week

I finally had the opportunity to return to Husk Restsurant in Charleston, SC for dinner. I had a fantastic meal the last time I ate at Husk for lunch, so I was eager to return to one of the top restaurants in the country to see of it lives up to the hype and up to my first experience. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. 
Last week was Charleston Restaurant Week. I highly recommend checking out as many restaurants as possible during this annual event. I wish I had, as the popular restaurants book early (my reservation was made a month in advance, unaware of Restaurant Week). Participating restaurants offer a multiple-course prix fixe menu, so no substitutions or normal menu items available. At first, with all my food allergies, I was a little apprehensive about the menu. I knew if Husk had the entree from my first trip, I was definitely getting that again. I thought I would probably have to skip dessert since the options did not look allergen free on the menu. A chat with my server and I found out there was a gluten free and corn free option for each course!
For the first course, I ordered the Carolina Gold Risotto with smoky tomatoes, sweet peas, and goat's milk feta, minus the soft poached egg. Super tasty! Since I am corn free, risotto (rice) has become a new favorite. It had a consistency of grits, the only thing this Southern girl misses corn-wise, and a lot of flavor.
My dinner companion ordered gluten free as well and chose the Marinated Nectarines with Surryano Ham, Roasted Sweet Corn, Frilly Mustard Greens, Toasted VA Peanuts, and Honey Ricotta. With the addition of corn, I had to pass on a sample, but he said it was quite good. I loved the presentation with the wooden bowl! He did comment that my risotto was the winner of the two.
For the main course, we both decided on the VA Heritage Pork with creamy Sea Island Red Peas and Smoky Butterbeans, Mustard Greens, and Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes. The pork shoulder dish was very similar to my lunch entree I had during my first visit to Husk and it was just as good.
Now, for dessert! All of the choices looked gluten-tastic on the menu, but our server quickly pointed out that the Chocolate Fudge Cake and Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream was flourless and gluten free. Yum! What a finish to a fantastic meal! The chocolate cake was really good, but I have had better. The ice cream, on the other hand, was OMG! I don't eat dairy by choice, except for certain cheeses, but the ice cream was a must splurge. It had real mint flavor, like the way mint is muddled in a mojito, not that fake mint flavor you find in most ice creams.

All in all, my second trip to Husk lived up to the hype. It is my favorite restaurant in Charleston so far, and I will definitely be back. I am also looking forward to checking out Charleston Restaurant Week next year. What a great opportunity to take in the local cuisine!

Husk Restaurant
76 Queen St. 
Charleston, SC 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Motivation 09/08/2014

"If you can't figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose."

~ T.D. Jakes

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Motivation 09/01/2014 and Happy 100th Blog Post!!

"When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal."

~ Napoleon Hill