Where have I been and where am I going?

Posted on September 20th, 2012 by Alison | Posted in Sure Foods Living News | Read 4 Comments - Add Your Own »

Hello long-time followers of my blog (since 2007!) and hello newcomers, both to my site and to the gluten-free diet…

Where Have I Been?

Those of you who have been around a while may have noticed that I don’t post information as much as I used to (and those of you on Twitter may have noticed my absence there as well). It’s not because I don’t love you! My life has become filled to the brim, with a job, kids and their lives, a support group, and then of course I had to be the coach of my daughter’s soccer team (???!)

So I have put blogging on the back burner, last in the priority line. (Oh – I also have a husband that needs attention once in a while!) I still post occasionally, and I still have things to share with you, so don’t worry, I’m still around. I’m proud of the body of work I have created and moved by the comments and emails I receive every day — stories about recovery, desperate requests for advice, gratitude for providing a resource. I’m also thankful to all of you that have posted comments, offering insight to others needing help. (There are over 180 comments on the article I wrote about Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Gluten back in 2008 – amazing.)

Where Am I Going?

I’m going to Africa. Not for good — just an adventure. Why am I telling you this? Because for the next couple weeks I will really be out of touch! Plus, I’m celebrating two anniversaries — my wedding anniversary and my gluten-free anniversary. 10 years for each! I’ve got my bars packed, my GlutenEase (can’t hurt), and my fingers crossed that I will be able to easily eat. Good thing I’m a carnivore!

I will try to share my adventures when I return, including pictures of my food…

So hold down the site while I’m gone — make comments and help people out there on the path to good health!

Oh, one more thing — I have run out of time to do my annual Halloween candy safe list before my departure. I know many of you count on it every year. I don’t know if I will be able to do it in time for Halloween when I return. Sorry, sorry, sorry! It will be back next year.


Celebrating nine years gluten-free and happy holidays to you!

Posted on December 20th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Holidays/Special Events, Sure Foods Living News | Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

On December 28, 2002 I received a diagnosis of celiac disease and began eating gluten-free. I could never have imagined how that diagnosis would change my health or the course of my life. I knew soon after that I needed to share this information, and I turned to the web.

This blog has been been visited by over a half a million different people over the years — that’s amazing to me! I have been able to help people find a diagnosis when their doctors failed them. I have been able to guide people in how to live gluten-free. Because my own daughter was diagnosed with severe food allergies, I have commiserated and shared advice with other allergy moms. I have gotten strength and support from my readers through their comments, emails and phone calls. I so appreciate your thoughts.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support me in my quest to educate and provide support. I don’t look at my diagnosis as a curse. Instead, I am thankful to have discovered a healthy way to live. Happy Holidays to you all!


My TV debut speaking about gluten and food allergies!

Posted on October 10th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Celiac Disease, Food Allergies, Publicity, Sure Foods Living News | Read 14 Comments - Add Your Own »

I am so lucky — I got to talk about celiac disease and food allergies on TV! It makes me happy that over the past 9 years I have been able to share my story in so many ways — through my blog, in newspaper and magazine, in person, in groups and now on television. Cheryl Jennings of ABC 7 in San Francisco was as nice as can be, as was everyone I met at the studio. I also enjoyed meeting and listening to the others interviewed for this segment. I have already received some emails from those who saw it, so I know it has reached some people out there! :)

I hope you will watch the whole show, but if you are short on time, my interview starts at 18:18 (I’m the last 4 minutes of the show).


I got a job with a company you might know…

Posted on August 3rd, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Sure Foods Living News | Read 15 Comments - Add Your Own »

I have some exciting news about myself! After many years of writing this blog and doing consulting and giving away a lot of free advice, I landed a part-time job with my favorite gluten-free company on the planet — Pamela’s Products.

If you are a longtime reader of my blog, you know that I have been a fan of Pamela’s since the beginning: I wrote a rave review of the Bread Mix, and shared how to use it to make focaccia, Thanksgiving stuffing, hamburger buns, hot dog buns, a gingerbread house, my Grandma Anne’s butterhorns, and a Valentine’s pizza. I regularly use the Chocolate Cake mix to create my go-to cupcakes, and birthday cakes in the forms of butterflies, fish, and mermaids! I have recommended the Cornbread and the decadent cheesecakes, and like many others in the gluten-free community, I too love that ever-so-popular Baking and Pancake Mix (the best gf pancakes hands down!)

Needless to say, I am proud and happy to be part of a company that has pioneered gluten-free foods for over 20 years and that has also set the bar for how good gluten-free foods can taste. Not only do I get to represent a quality company that has helped people’s lives, but I get to further my own goals of education and awareness about celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

You might be wondering…

What does that mean for Sure Foods Living?
I will continue to write as much as I can. I love writing for my blog and have put so much hard work into it. I might have to watch less TV. Or stop doing laundry.

Does this mean you will only write about Pamela’s Products?
No, I use so many different products in my house and I will continue to write about what stands out to me. I believe there is room for many companies in the gluten-free world and hope that we as consumers continue to have variety! Aside from this post, I plan to keep my blog separate from my work at Pamela’s. I will continue to write with honesty and integrity!

So, if I seem less available, know it is because I am helping to bring gluten-free products to more places, and raising awareness along the way… but I’m sure I’ll still manage to give some free advice. :)


40 Things I’m Grateful For

Posted on May 16th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Random Thoughts, Sure Foods Living News | Read 16 Comments - Add Your Own »

heart1I’ve hit a big milestone today! I feel mature, womanly, but not over-the-hill at all! I am truly happy and thankful for all I have on my 40th birthday and I feel a lot of love coming my way. This blog is the only diary I have, so I thought I would write down 40 things I’m grateful for (in no particular order — just the way they came out of my head). Here goes…

I am grateful for:

  1. my health!
  2. my beautiful daughter Maxine, who is sensitive and determined and challenges me and will be my friend for life
  3. my beautiful daughter Annie, who loves to hug and makes me laugh every day and drives me crazy
  4. my husband, who believes in me and supports my passion and who at age 40 himself has become an even better man (and who will think this is an embarrassingly sappy and corny post, so please don’t tell him about it!)
  5. my mom, who is also my friend and teacher and motivator, and who still picks me up if I have fallen down
  6. my dad, who is still my daddy and my doctor
  7. my sister, who is still as accepting and easy to talk to as she ever was, and who is a mom I admire
  8. being diagnosed with celiac disease before I had children
  9. my grandmother who is 97 and has the most amazing memory of anyone in our family
  10. my children having close relationships with all of their grandparents, and two great grandparents
  11. my open and honest and loving relationship with my mother-in-law, who has made my birthday weekend possible — BIG points MIL!
  12. my father-in-law, who always makes sure everyone is okay
  13. varicose vein removal (haven’t done it yet)
  14. sports, and that I was raised playing them
  15. the fact that cell phones and little video cameras and You Tube didn’t exist when I was in high school and college
  16. not getting married too young
  17. never having to face a major tragedy (knock knock knock on wood)
  18. this blog
  19. my wonderful old friends, including one who flew from Miami to California to stand next to me at a conference all day, just so she could spend time with me on my birthday weekend
  20. my “new” friends who are already feeling like old ones
  21. my blogger friends, who inspire me with their knowledge about food and living healthy lives, and whom I’ve even met in real life!
  22. the people who read this blog and share their stories, which keep me going
  23. straightening irons, which were not available for so many years of my life that I really needed them! The hours I could have saved! We had crimping irons instead!
  24. being able to afford organic, gluten-free, allergen-free food (I really feel for those who cannot — everyone should have access to healthy food)
  25. good teachers
  26. good doctors
  27. good tv shows
  28. cozy beds
  29. flip-flops becoming acceptable footwear
  30. learning to speak Spanish
  31. a large extended family that gets together on the holidays
  32. a home
  33. having wild and crazy times to look back on
  34. still planning on having wild and crazy times in the future, just a little less crazy and wild!
  35. being raised and living in an open-minded place
  36. seeing other cultures and learning to appreciate what I have
  37. people who make the hard decisions
  38. people who make me laugh
  39. kissing my children goodnight
  40. my health. again.

Thank you to everyone who has made this a special birthday for me!


Introducing the Gluten Free Groupies!

Posted on March 7th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Products, Sure Foods Living News, Upcoming Events | ADD A COMMENT »

glutenfreegroupiesHave you ever wanted to tell someone about the new product you found, the great (or not so good) restaurant experience you had, the book or cookbook you discovered, or a recipe you tried? Now you can share your opinion on anything gluten-free by joining me in a new online community called the Gluten Free Groupies!

As a member of the Gluten Free Groupies, you can write reviews, make lists of your favorite things, add a recipe, rate products and comment on other people’s reviews. It’s a fun and interactive way to give your 2 cents!

To join, go to www.lunch.com/glutenfreegroupies and click Join. Then participate as much as you would like!


Gluten Intolerance Resource Group of Marin

Posted on May 8th, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Sure Foods Living News, Upcoming Events | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

Are you gluten intolerant or have you been diagnosed with Celiac Disease?  Maybe you’re wondering if gluten is involved with your children’s health?  Perhaps you’ve seen that gluten-free products are on the rise in many stores and wonder what that’s all about. Whether you know about gluten, want to know more or are simply curious…..

PLEASE JOIN US
TUESDAY, August 4, 2009.
Time and place to be determined.
(We are looking for donated space in Marin County to accommodate our growing group!)

Please email alison@surefoodsliving.com
to be put on list to receive updates regarding the meetings.

These meetings are packed with up-to-date information about the medical aspects of Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance, the latest and greatest gluten-free food finds, samples, book sales, and a chance to ask your questions and share your experiences. Don’t miss out on being part of the gluten-free community right here in Marin! Questions? Call 415-785-4980 or email alison@surefoodsliving.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Meet the co-founders of the Gluten Intolerance Resource Group (GIRG) of Marin:

Alison St. Sure founder of  www.surefoodsliving.com has Celiac Disease and is a mother of 2 daughters, one with multiple food allergies. Intimately connected to gluten and other food allergies, Alison’s website and consulting services have become known as an exceptional source of information & assistance in the world of food allergies.

Sheila Wagner, PT, CN, discovering her Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance, was inspired to integrate her Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice with Certified Nutritionist services. Sheila has been practicing for 29 yrs. and is known as an expert in evaluating and treating chronic pain and orthopedic problems and discovering their connections to food incompatibilities and metabolic dysfunctions.


7 Things You May Not Know About Me

Posted on April 6th, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Random Thoughts, Sure Foods Living News | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

eye3I usually don’t write a lot of personal information on this blog, aside from food allergy-related stories. But, I have been tagged by another blogger, Gluten-Free Optimist, to write “7 Things You May Not Know About Me.” So, now I’m IT, and you are going to learn something about me besides that I don’t eat gluten! Here goes…

  1. In my dream life I am a singer. Now, don’t go thinking that this is an American-Idol inspired fantasy. I wanted to be a singer way before that show existed. Just look at the VHS tapes of me singing (screaming) “Maybe” from the musical Annie. I may not have been a very good singer (I actually tried out for a local production of Annie and didn’t make it), but I had heart. Unfortunately, it’s genetic — the wanna-be Annie gene, I mean. My 4 year old daughter has been screaming “Maybe” for a good month now!
  2. My first job after college was teaching high school history which I did for 7 years. I was 23 and the students were 17 when I started! Teaching was the hardest job I have ever had (by far). Hooray for teachers!
  3. When I was a small child, I had a skin condition called vitiligo, which resulted in large white spots (devoid of any pigment) on my face, legs and lower back. The pigment on my face luckily came back but the other white spots remained. I was self-conscious about them, but then decided to make the best of it. I named the spots. The largest of the spots was named… Spot. The smallest one was named Pee-Wee. Whenever anyone asked me why I had the spots, I told them the truth: that I was half-leopard.
  4. I went to about 35 Grateful Dead concerts and was sad when Jerry Garcia died (I went to Berkeley, what do you expect?) I do not wear Birkenstocks, burn incense or have underarm hair however.
  5. Two of my favorite movies of all time are Waiting for Guffman (Christopher Guest mockumentary) and True Romance (Quentin Tarantino’s first screenplay, an amazing cast). One is silly, the other one is just cool.
  6. I’m not crafty or artistic. I come from a family full of artistic people, but I have always colored in the lines and strived for symmetry. I can’t think of anything more tedious than knitting a scarf or — oh, god — needlepoint! I can barely sew a button on and I don’t have any use for those fun scrapbooking scissors. If you want to see me struggle, give me a paintbrush and canvas and tell me to create something. I would give anything to go play volleyball or organize my toolbox instead.
  7. There are some things I didn’t even know about myself until a week ago when my mom found a scrap of paper with my future scribbled on it. Apparently I went to see a fortune teller while on a family vacation to Jamaica 17 years ago. Here are some of her predictions and whether or not she got it right:
    • “You will have 2 children and they will be girls” — she was right!
    • “You will have no medical operations or problems except for a blocked tube” — I have not had any operations and I have celiac disease, which is a disorder of the intestine… a TUBE! I guess you could say it was blocked in that nutrients could not be absorbed.
    • “You will be divorced and remarried at 40″ — husband better watch his back!
    • “You will be an independent old woman with cats” — does this mean I’m going to outgrow my allergy to cats? woo-hoo!

Well, that was fun! Now it’s my turn to tag other bloggers. I chose people that I really enjoy, admire and learn from and who I would like to know more about. Here are my picks:

  • Karina, the Gluten Free Goddess — she is an arteest in so many ways, and hers are still my favorite gluten-free recipes. Plus, she provides so many options for people with other food allergies.
  • Sharon the Blogger Queen — Sharon is a mom of a child with severe food allergies. She also is hilarious. I suggested to her one day that she should have a blog to share her life’s stories, and POOF! she started a blog (I’m taking credit now in case she becomes famous). You need to read her blog. It will make you laugh. (Warning: some may find her crass and inappropriate… I find her hysterically funny! P.S. it’s not about food allergies.)
  • Ali of Whole Life Nutrition — a new discovery for me are her great healthy gluten-free recipes.
  • Kelly of CeliacChicks — she’s a cool NYC chick with celiac who’s been blogging gluten-free since 2003!
  • Gabrielle of Peanut Free Mama — she gets the whole peanut-allergy thing!
  • Gina Clowes of Allergy Moms — this is a woman dedicated to helping food allergy moms everywhere!
  • Sloane a.k.a. Allergic Girl — another NYC gal, she writes about gluten-free and allergen-free life.

RULES: “The rules are simple. Link to your original tagger and list these rules in your post. Simply share seven facts about yourself in the post. Tag seven people at the end of your post and let them know they’ve been tagged. And have fun!”


“Living Gluten-Free” class in San Francisco March 2

Posted on February 2nd, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Sure Foods Living News, Upcoming Events | ADD A COMMENT »

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with celiac disease?
Do you or someone you know have gluten intolerance?
Are you looking for possible answers to your health problems?
Would you like to find out more about the gluten-free diet?

If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, please come to a class I am giving called “Living Gluten-Free” on March 2 in San Francisco. I will be speaking at the Community Health Resource Center at California Pacific Medical Center from 6-7:30 pm. This class will provide you with invaluable information about the gluten-free diet. Topics include symptoms, diagnosis and follow-up, shopping, cooking, product information and more!

Living Gluten-Free
Speaker: Alison St. Sure
When: March 2, 2009, 6-7:30 pm
Where: NOTE – LOCATION HAS CHANGED! The new location is:
Enright Room
2333 Buchanan St.

To register, call 415-923-3155
or email cpmcchrc@sutterhealth.org
or register online

Driving Directions

If you are a reader of my blog, and are planning to come, let me know! I hope to see you there!


I got kicked out of Google

Posted on May 26th, 2008 by Alison | Posted in Sure Foods Living News | ADD A COMMENT »

Dear Readers,

I just want to let you know that if you are having a hard time finding my website through Google’s search engine, it is because my website got hacked into. Without getting too tech-y, I will try to explain what happened…

Someone out there (be it a person or a machine) hid a bunch of spammy words in the code of my website (the kind of annoying/offensive stuff that you get in junk email). When Google’s robots came to automatically “index” my website (put all my pages into its search engine so that people can find it), they discovered the hidden text and found it to be “outside [their] quality quidelines.” So they kicked me out of their search engine. No warning, just an email.

Being kicked out of Google is like internet death. Great for the true spammers out there, but for me? Ouch. To Google’s credit, I had no idea that my website contained all that spam until they told me and I have made and am working on changes to prevent this from happening again. I have submitted the site for reconsideration, but don’t know how long it will take. So, in the meantime, please still visit the website and refer others to it via other search engines or by typing out the url: www.surefoodsliving.com in your web browser.

Thanks!
Alison

UPDATE: I am back in. It took a month.