Monthly Archives: January 2012

Hempen Hill’s Gluten Free Response!


Today I emailed a local favorite restaurant about their Gluten free menu. I’m pretty happy with thier answer and feel that I would be pretty comfortable eating there!

From: Britt 

 Subject: General

Message Body:

Hello, I just have some questions about your gluten free menu.  What steps do you take to ensure the food is not cross contaminated with the other foods? Do you make these foods in a different area, and in different pans, etc.? Do you use the same utensils that you use with the other food?

Any information you can give me would be appreciated. Thank you!


Hello Britt, thanks so much for contacting us regarding our Gluten Free Menu.  All of our gluten free items are prepared to order.  Grilled items are charbroiled on a grill that is only used for proteins (steak, tuna, chicken, etc.).  Broiled items are cooked in the oven on stainless steel plates and our chefs do their best to ensure no cross contamination takes place when preparing Gluten Free items.

If you have a severe gluten allergy, please make sure you inform your server upon ordering.

Thanks again for contacting us, we hope this answers your questions.


Julie Gilbert Catering Coordinator

Hempen Hill BBQ Bar & Catering

13208 Fountain Head Plaza Hagerstown, MD  21742 301.797.4455


It’s nice that they answered so quickly. I wouldn’t expect this from a Chain.



Goal: Stop caring about what others think


It’s funny. My blog has taken a few different directions since it’s started but I got more comments and general inquiry on ONE post I wrote about my recent diagnosis with Celiac Disease. I suppose this might be the one thing I can write about that people may care for reading more about.

Today I realized that I care too much about what others think about me having Celiac Disease. I find myself defending things like cross contamination and my choices to do this or that. I’ve also decided that I MUST stop caring about it. I have this disease…not my friends or family, ME! I have it. If I want to buy new pots, pans, and a separate sponge for my kitchen, I will. I’ve also come to the conclusion in just a few short days of knowing what is wrong with me, that no one without Celiac Disease will truly understand it. I can talk until I’m blue in the face about gluten eating away at the villi in my small intestine, the fact that even things like a frozen chicken breast can still contain gluten, and the long term effects of the disease if I don’t follow the strict diet, and people still don’t get it. So I’m going to move forward with my held high and instead of whining and complaining about how terrible this is. I’m going to embrace the fact that after years of being sick and feeling like total crap, I’ve finally got my answer. Besides, what other choice do I have? I begged and begged for an answer, and now I have it. I have nowhere now to go but up.

The New Gluten Free Me!


Well, It’s been a long time coming but I finally figured out my mystery illness. I was diagnosed on Monday with Celiac Disease, an auto-immune disorder that attacks my small intestine with the consumption of wheat,rye, barley and any derivative of it. Basically, I’m allergic to wheat. This makes a lot of things in my life change, but I am ready to feel better and take it on with a smile.

Tonight I made my first gluten free dinner for myself that wasn’t packaged already. I stole the idea from a recipe called “Creamy Avocado Pasta” and made it Gluten Free!



This is how I did it:

I took about 6 ounces of Explore Asian Organic blackbean spaghetti (made out of black beans) and boiled it in water

While was that happening I peeled one avocado and placed it in my little food chopper with 2 teaspoons of lime juice, some garlic salt, and some regular salt and mixed it to the creamy consistency of hummus. When the pasta was done boiling, I drained it and combined the pasta and the sauce together on the burner that was still on with low heat. I mixed it up nice and good and there ya go! It was delicious! I wouldn’t use the black bean pasta if you didn’t have to (any pasta will do), as it stuck together in one giant clump. Maybe some olive oil would have helped that. Give it a try, tell me if you like!


Hello all.

Today starts week three of marathon training. It’s hard to believe that we only have 15 more weeks to go (okay.. it is. That’s still a lot of time). We are using the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan. It’s been pretty simple so far. It’s 4 runs a week, a day of cross training and 2 days of rest. For the most part, a lot of the weekly runs right now are 3 to 5 miles so it’s nothing too trying. Hopefully by the time we are doing 7-9 mile runs during the week, it will be a little lighter outside.

This past Saturday I went out for a solo 7 mile run while Mike was off helping his parents. It was a very chilly start. My hands were freezing and I was cursing myself for not wearing gloves. I had on a tee-shirt, my running jacket I got at Annapolis, and capris. After a while I was regretting wearing the jacket, but it would have been more cumbersome to wear it around my waist so I just ran with it (pun intended).  I made one ginormous mistake, however. I wore my brand new Brooks PureFlow. Ouch. Bad idea, and I honestly knew better. I had only done one 3 mile run in them so I’m not sure why I thought it would be okay to do a 7 mile run in them. I honestly didn’t even think twice that morning. It wasn’t until about mile 2 that I really noticed my ankle bothering me. This is also the same ankle I had X-rayed while I was on my one month running hiatus, therefore I’m not really sure if it was the shoes or some underlying issue. Still, I can’t imagine the shoes were helping. I went from the New Balance Rev lites that I had, to these which have a fairly large difference in heel to toe drop from my old shoes. I could really feel the shoes forcing me to have a more mid to forefront strike. It’s going to be a major adjustment getting used to these shoes and I think It was a mistake to get these shoes beginning marathon training. The guy at the local running store didn’t really stress that it would be such a big adjustment, and clearly I didn’t know better.

Anyway, I finished the run in 1:14 and I slowed down at the end trying to help a fellow runner find her dog. I was happy with the time. It’s a faster minute per mile than I normally average so I won’t complain. For being in pain, I didn’t do too bad.

I’m a little anxious about only doing 1 twenty-mile run during training, and I’m getting mixed reviews from other runners. I get that you are supposed to be able to do 26.2 if you can do 20, but we know it’s way more of a mental game then physical  at that point anyway. Sometimes even on half marathons, I start to break down with the ‘I can’t do this’ and wanting to walk, so I worry that if I don’t venture beyond 20 miles that I won’t have the confidence to know I REALLY can do it on race day (plus to me.. 6.2 miles into the unknown still seems like A LOT).  I may just tweak the last couple long runs on the schedule. I know when I ran my first half marathon, the plan said to stop at 10 miles, but I’m a person who needs to know I can do something, so I made my last long run a little over 12 miles. It gave me much more confidence during the race. Anyway, I’ll figure that out as the longer long runs approach.

So that’s how things have been going so far. I’ll catch back up next week in Week 4.