This post is sponsored by Lorissa’s Kitchen, a year long partner of Heartbeet Kitchen.
“So I understand you like to be gluten-free”, said the event waiter as he kneeled beside my chair.
He had successfully pushed one of my buttons with one sentence and an assumption.
“No. Actually I don’t like to, but I have to be in order to live without nerve pain, rashes, and scabs on my head (my symptoms). But thank you for doing your due diligence in making sure I won’t be served something that would me sick.”
I’ll admit, it was not my most cordial moment. But his comment stung. The result of one too many times where people had approached the issue as it being a fad or diet strategy. Or that I was some pretentious health nut. Yet they wouldn’t think twice had it been a seafood or peanut allergy, or anything else for that matter.
The reality of having a gluten-allergy changes things, for better and for worse.
Without it, I likely wouldn’t have discovered my passion for cooking and the beauty of real food. Many of my now favorite foods, well, I didn’t even know they existed until forced to look outside the world of all-purpose flour, American food, and overly processed ingredients. Because of that, I started going to the farmers market and having conversations with those who grew my food, which was very inspiring. As a way to journal about this new way of cooking and eating, I decided to start writing this blog.
The worse isn’t terrible, but the reality is I miss things. And want things. From a slice of my mom’s carrot cake to my grandma’s German dumplings. An Oreo blizzard. A buttery, French croissant. Cheesy, cheesy pizza.
I wish I didn’t have to check every restaurant menu before we went. Or pack a boatload of snacks when traveling in case there’s nothing I can eat. Or buy/eat whatever I wanted without having to read every ingredient list. (Even though I don’t buy a lot of packaged food, it would still be nice.)
But such is life. And the improvement in my health is one hundred percent worth it.
People often ask how I manage to be a food writer while having a gluten-allergy. And to their surprise, I actually turn down more jobs because the product has preservatives or ingredients I don’t feel comfortable with. Occasionally I’m not able to take on a job because of it, but I also receive opportunities I might not otherwise have.
This year I’m happy to be partnering with Lorissa’s Kitchen to talk more about different gluten-free topics, like this one, and share a little more about their responsibly raised protein snacks. They’re part of my life because I can trust the ingredient list, taste wonderful, and are helpful in times where I need a substantial snack that’s not a protein bar. Like long photography days and writing, as well as when I’m traveling. Unlike many of the other products on the market, they are gluten-free, and there are no nitrates or preservatives used.
I was especially drawn to Lorissa’s story when I spent some time with her last year. Her need to juggle a busy, on-the-go family and healthy lifestyle sparked a desire for a snack she could take anywhere, without sacrificing the quality and responsible ingredients she cared about. Lorissa worked with her husband and the family business to provide inspiration and creative consultation to create the four unique flavors. They work with farmers to source 100% grass-fed beef. The chickens are American Humane Certified, meaning they’re antibiotic-free and raised without added growth hormones. And the pork is also responsibly raised. She’s so inspiring as a businesswoman changing the food world!
If you’re wondering where you can get yourself some Lorissa’s Kitchen, I get mine from Target, but they also sell on Amazon. My favorite flavors are the Sweet Chili and Szechuan Peppercorn, but honestly all four flavors are great.
photos by Annie D’Souza