The Sunshine Award


Thank you to Lyndsay from Officially Gluten Free for nominating me for the Sunshine Award! This award is meant to bring awareness to small blogs and spread the word about blogs that make you smile 🙂 I love Lyndsay’s blog and all her awesome recipes so be sure to check her out!

Awarding and receiving these awards help in connecting the blogging community, help in encouraging one another, and help in promoting honor, respect and recognition. Continue reading


Pain: Day 37 #100PositiveDays

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
– Oprah Winfrey

IMG_0009This is an x-ray of my chest and arm. For the last 5 years I’ve been dealing with shoulder pain. It started in just one shoulder and I only felt it at night. Although I was in physical therapy, the pain worsened and eventually began hurting in several daily activities. Overtime my other shoulder began feeling the same pain. The pain got so bad last fall, that my PT and I decided I needed an MRI and there was a chance it would lead to surgery. They found some pretty severe damage to my shoulder and told me not to push myself, but to try and keep my muscles strong. It has been a long process ever since, with doctors trying various alternatives (cortisone, PT, steroids) and not wanting to do surgery because, “with ehlers-danlos it’s best to avoid surgery” and it’s not necessary “if you can get through your daily life without surgery.” Continue reading


Chicago Gluten Free Restaurants

Last week I was fortunate enough to visit Chicago during my spring break! Lucky for me, we were there on St. Patty’s Day and got to see the green river. Nevermind that the visit was to see a doctor and the weather in the city was drastically different from my 80* home: the food was amazing!

I planned this trip to a “T” including all reservations on open table for each meal prior to leaving. That way, I had looked up locations, menus, and reserved my times before getting too busy on the road. The plus to making reservations is you know there will be a table for you AND the table will most likely be a good one, like a booth or table on the outside. This is so important, when your dietary restrictions prevent you from just going across the street if they are booked.

Gluten Free in Chicago

Weber Grill Restaurant

GF Menu (upon request)
3 Locations in Chicago (I visited Chicago location)
Rating: 8/10

This place is fantastic with food allergies! As soon as we sat down the waitress said “I noticed you have a gluten free menu” and asked if I had any other allergies.

She proceeded to tell me that they take food allergies very seriously and after she takes our order she will write it up on a separate red allergy alert card, which is then reviewed by the manager or chef and is sent through the kitchen with my order written on it.  I didn’t even have to tell her about how serious it was, she just assumed! Continue reading


Inspiration: Day 35 #100PositiveDays

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

I sat down and tried to think of who my inspiration is, but there was a problem. The problem was not that I didn’t have one; it was that there were too many! Way too many. I have been fortunate enough to have so many strong, influential, especially female, idols in my short life so far, and each one of them will have an impact on me forever.


My mom, of course is the first to come to mind. This woman started from a relatively poor background, went to nursing school, and has landed herself a dream job that very few women in today’s time will every reach. She is able to more than provide for me and my siblings and has established a reputation for herself locally, and really nationally as an exceptional leader. I am so proud of her and admire everything she does and all that she is: a strong leader, caring mom, follower of God, and beautiful person. She has inspired me to shoot for the stars and believe that I can do anything. Continue reading


Illness: Day 33 #100PositiveDays

“For a while she considered being ill, but she changed her mind.” – Tove Jansson

There is an expectation in the world of care-providers to never label someone by leading with their diagnosis. For example, you should never say “the autistic kid” but rather, “the child with autism.” We would never say my cancer friend or my Alzheimer’s grandparent. Out of respect for the person, we are taught to name the disability after, as to not make the illness own the patient. The term we use is person-first language.

So why then, if our medical providers (attempt to) treat us with respect, do we (as patients) so often label our own illnesses or disabilities ahead of ourselves? Why do we classify ourselves in terms of the diagnoses that so often bring us down?

NOT who you ARE! Continue reading


Connection: Day 32 #100PositiveDays

About 2 1/2 years ago, I found a girl on my campus who was trying to start a gluten free club. I had just been diagnosed and was searching for answers and other people to talk to who were going through the same thing. The gluten free club was born and slowly we gained members. Ever since, there have been girls and guys who come and go, each one from a different background, major, and city.


Together, we go out to eat, share recipes and treats, exchange info on the best new spots or products, and laugh. We laugh a lot. They just get me and understand what it’s like to eat a salad every time your friends want to go out somewhere you can’t eat, or to be excluded from going out for pizza and beer. We can make fart jokes and talk about how ridiculous our digestive tracts are and get excited when we find an amazing cookie. Each one of these people holds a special place in my heart. Continue reading


Oatmeal on the Go

Oatmeal – really, Emily?

So, before this oatmeal recipe I really hated oatmeal. I mean, I disguised it. Since I’m on a sugar-free, gluten-free diet, my only breakfast option was eggs. I really wanted to expand that and after trying several oatmeal recipes, I finally found one I really like! The trick is to add in all kinds of great toppings and flavors. I never thought I would say this, but, now I think I’m falling in love with oatmeal!!

GF, DF, SF, Vegan


Continue reading


Learning: Day 31 #100PositiveDays

“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.”
– Winston Churchill

Lately, I’ve been realizing that I take my schooling for granted. I get caught up in the stress of grades, deadlines, and assignments and forget what a blessing it is to have the opportunity to learn. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend college and will be graduating in just a few short months! Looking back now, it seems like such a blur. The time has truly flown the past year and end is approaching quickly.

My one regret is not being able to read every book or article that was assigned and truly embrace the learning experience. This semester I’ve been working on reading my assigned books and trying to incorporate them into areas of my life where I can sit back and take in the world. For example, I used to always do homework at home on my couch. That isn’t to say I don’t still do a lot of it there, but I’m making a conscious effort to get outside, go to a coffee shop, or my barn and do my homework there. It helps me stay awake and focused while allowing myself to take mental breaks looking around me, rather than on facebook or browsing the internet.

IMG_8810 Continue reading