Here’s my story. And I’m telling it because I have had the conversation so often, and with so many people, that I know there will be many who resonate. There may also be people who have symptoms, or have had them for a very long time, but haven’t considered food allergies. So here goes.

Just this very week, I poisoned myself. I know-how horrible, right? I was being so clever, making my own granola. I’m a real hippy. After drenching myself in essential oils, and cleaning my dishes with clear natural soap, I set about making 3 pans of granola. (I’m just being silly-you’ll learn)(the essential oil part was totally true).

I had been wanting to make my own granola for years. Years people!  Every time I bought that tiny bag of Udi’s brand granola for 9 million dollars, I would tell myself to make it….and then…well, not do it.  But times they are a changin’.  I have a cafe to plan for, and you better believe I’m going to have home made granola in adorable mason jars.  You can picture it, can’t you?


Here’s the thing. I’m working backwards in my story-I’ve been battling food intolerances and gut issues for about 5 years. If you were a faithful friend and read my three blog back stories, I mentioned in one of them that just as I was resigning from my job in 2013, I was having major stomach issues.

This is where the story gets real.  I might lose a few of you with this self revelation.  Seems as though everyone calls it something different, but whether you call it the runs, the trots, the squirts, or the big D, this is my first and most consistent reaction to foods I am either allergic to, or intolerant to.  Let’s just be honest, because I’m going to say the D word so much, it’s going to become as normal as rain. (If you are in Colorado, that is liquid that falls from the sky). But just as liquid falls from the sky-so did the diarrhea fall from my booty-OFTEN.

In all seriousness, it was horrible.  I was running to every which bathroom I could at work.  And thank God I worked in a huge food bank, so I could spoil one pot in the back of the warehouse, just in time to walk to the front and do it again.  I was under an extreme amount of stress at work at the time-just a ton of deadlines and staffing issues going on at once-so I assumed it was just stress.  To my co-workers at the time, yes, that was me.

So-zooming back to this past year.  As you know….we moved to PA in July of 2016. I was 4 years into my gluten and dairy free journey.  Oh yes, dairy too.  After I gave up gluten, I realized that dairy was making me feel awful.  And lets not get into the gas.  Call my husband, he’ll tell you.  So even if you are not a mathamatician….no gluten, no mozzarella…no pizza.  Yes, we should take a moment to cry.

In February of 2017 I flew to see friends in Colorado, and there were several gatherings.  What is ALWAYS at get-togethers?  Tortilla Chips and salsa.  Within 3 days of that trip, Mr. Runny pants made an entrance.  Of course it took me forever to figure out why.  I hadn’t had gluten, or dairy….then it dawned on me….corn.  Corn is the grain I’d been gorging on.  I eliminated it, and within a week, I was back to normal.

Okay, let’s revisit the details.  Gluten-out, Dairy-out, Corn-out

That’s not all.  This past fall we had some friends in town from Colorado.  Like a very good friend who CARES about their friend’s health, I made a lovely batch of oatmeal, gluten free old fashioned oats.  About 30 minutes after eating them for breakfast, my stomach turned into a brick, and shortly after that, I started getting excema on my stomach. And later, you guessed it, bonding with the porcelain throne.

If you aren’t keeping track, that’s gluten, dairy, corn, and oats.  I think I just heard you gasp.  I know, honey. I know.

And now…back to the hippy dippy granola. For my daughter and hubby I made two oat based simple granolas. But for myself, I chose to substitute Chex Cereal for the oatmeal. Chex cereal.  It’s the gluten free person’s cereal of choice-especially before Cheerios came out as gluten free.  I eat a bowl every once in a while, with no issue.  I figured it was the perfect substitute.

Well….it would be…that is if you didn’t have a corn intolerance as I do.  And if you didn’t eat 4 cups of this granola in 5 minutes.

You guys. My granola turned out AMAZING.  I ate it with almond milk, fruit, dairy free yogurt, chocolate chips, the works.  For a week, it was my go-to snack.  By now, I am sure you are predicting the result.  I might as well had 3 giant bags of tortilla chips.  It was bad.  The big D, stomach rash back.  So why am I telling you all this?

I say all of this for two reasons.  The first is that you too, should make your own granola.  Because you can, and because 9 million dollars is way too much for a little bag from the grocery store.  I’ll be playing around with truly grain free granola in the future, and I’ll post that recipe, and of course let you know how I handle it.  (You’re welcome)

The second is that I am going to be talking about my gut on this blog.  There you go.  I feel like my story is ever evolving…mostly continually eliminating grains, other foods that formerly I was able to tolerate.  But maybe by writing, I can learn more about myself through my audience!  If you have experienced anything like this-let me know!

I’ll try to keep the “D” talk to a minimum, however, you should know, it’s ALL about the poo.  It really really is.

For some of you, it feels a little wrong that now I am posting a recipe, after my last comment.  Obviously, I’m overlooking your feelings.  Because you need to go immediately and find cute mason jars, buy the ingredients and make this granola!  If you are gluten free, but CAN have oats, simply buy the Gluten Free Oats that you love, and WA-LA!  Crunchy, delicious, healthy granola!  Oh!  I forgot to mention-the aroma that comes from baking this is incredible.  You WILL be the most popular person in your house, I promise.


2 cups old fashioned oatmeal, 1 cup raw slivered almonds, 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup avocado oil, 1/4 cup REAL maple syrup, 2 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt


2 cups old fashioned oatmeal, 1 cup raw slivered almonds, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup avocado oil, 1/4 cup honey, 1 Tbs cinnamon, 1/4 tsp almond extract, and a pinch of salt

For both recipes:  Mix all together in a giant bowl, pour out flat onto a cookie sheet, bake at 300 degrees. The key is to stir every 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes. Afterwards, put the cookie sheet out to cool, for at least an hour, maybe more. If you do not disturb it, you will get some chunks of granola, but if you like it separated, stir every 15 minutes while it cools.


2 cups plain Chex cereal, 1 cup raw slivered almonds, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup avocado oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 Tbs cinnamon, pinch of salt

Bake the same way-but you have to watch the Chex, because sometimes it wants to burn. Depending on your oven, you may only need to bake it for 20 minutes.  Cool the same way as the other recipes.

Alrighty!  So now you know the truth about me.  Food is literally always on my mind. I love to talk about it, research it, bake, sauté, and slow-cook it.  I love to give people ideas on how they can embrace cooking, and all kinds of food.  So let’s begin!  I can smell the cinnamon from here!