Traveling Gluten Free

Gluten free traveling is going to be one of the most challenging things that someone with gluten intolerance and food allergies can do. Between flights, road trips and hotels, what's a gluten free person to do besides say "no thank you" at every turn? As a fellow gluten free person, I do a lot of reading on the subject, and found an interesting article in the July 2019 issue of Delight magazine, written by Audrey Scagnelli.

Gluten Free in Hotels

Eating gluten free in hotels with a microwave and a small fridge is always an option, provided the hotel you're staying in has those accommodations. In this way you can include food options of your own that are microwave friendly and keep them in the refrigerator.

There are those hotels that have kitchenette units. If this is an option where you're staying, it would be worth the cost increase to book that unit. You'll have lots of immediate gluten free meal choices available to you just steps away, and the ability to prepare and cook food if need be.

Gluten Free Restaurants

Make use of the internet when you're traveling to unchartered territory that you're not familiar with. You may find that you have problems finding restaurants that are gluten free. In that case try searching out a local celiac support group where you're going to be for some suggestions. You can often times find email addresses that can lead you to some helpful contacts who can offer good insight into the local gluten free favorites among some of their members.

To make your restaurant experience a positive one, be sure to bring some gluten free restaurant cards for notification to the chef regarding what you are able to eat and what's tabu.

Air Travel

It's possible to request gluten free meals when you'll be flying. There are several airlines that include names like, American, Delta, United and British Airways, that provide specially prepared gluten free meals labeled GFML, ( gluten free meal). For this service they will need a 24-96 hour notice ahead of time.

Be sure not to eat anything that isn't clearly labeled, and in the event that there has been some mistake, make sure you've brought some dried fruit, nuts, energy bars or other pieces of fruit if you are suddenly in need of quick food options.

The Business of Being Born – Time for a Change: Producer Ricki Lake's Documentary about Birth in the United States

Abby Epstein directed this documentary about The Business of Being Born. The history of the medical community intersecting with maternal health care has come to a point where the insurance business is not about giving good care, or options, for women and their families, but about maximizing profits and making life easy for physicians. Giving birth has become a billion dollar industry, with the worst outcomes by far per dollar spent of anywhere in the developed world. Yet insurance companies continue to fight midwifery as an alternative. A hospital birth is about $13,000 and a midwife birth about $4,000; why is this not a better way if the statistics show that less is more in this case?

The Business of Being Born is a Billion Dollar Business Not Aimed at Helping Mothers or Babies

There is a crisis in maternity care. We have higher death rates than many third world countries. Yet the system is designed to make things easy for the doctors and insurance executives, not for women and their babies. If the woman comes in and is not having contractions rapidly enough, she is give a drug, Pitocin, to hurry things up. Then to help her with the severe pain caused by the Pitocin, an epidural is given. This causes greater distress to the helpless infant, who is experiencing more the effects of the painful, dangerous and violent contractions.

Historically, the medical community has tried to make childbirth easier for the medical practitioner. A few decades ago, doctors were taking ex-rays of the woman's uterus, which led to cancer in the babies, so that practice was stopped. Then in the 1950s, Thalidomide was given to women, which led to children being born without arms and legs, so that regime was stopped. In the 1990s, women were given another drug that cause ruptured uteruses and death for many babies. Each of these practices left behind a legacy of suffering, infant deaths, and material maladies.

Normal Birth is Becoming Extinct in the U.S.

C-section is becoming the norm, with as many as 45% of all births being surgically planned in some areas. It has become trendy, with some famous women "too posh to push," and the trend then becomes the desired procedure for other women who emulate the celebrities. Will infants and mothers ever learn the truth about how natural childbirth can be a wonderful experience? Will women continue to go along with the trend towards scheduling births for the convenience of doctors and hospitals? This film was Rickii Lake's attempt to shine a light on a subject that is often overlooked by women. One midwife said that she had witnessed at 500% increase in C-sections performed, while in the midwife sector, they have been going down. This film urges couples expecting a child to research their options before deciding which type of birth they want to experience.


Time Travel

True joy and happiness are not spatial;
we eventually learn that they are behavioral.
The Nasdaq or a piece of real estate;
it’s quite obvious, they cannot placate.

As we travel through space and time;
always searching, looking for the sublime.
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher;
let us avoid that path to joy’s forfeiture.

A time to lose, a time to gain;
is there ever a life that doesn’t have pain?
I’ve learned this lesson, just this day;
blessings come in secret, I’ll follow this way.

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for;
don’t despair, just look inwardly and don’t ignore.
It is in silence where we meet truth and joy;
once we taste the celestial, the terrestrial becomes a ploy.

In order to feast, first we must fast;
this oxymoron will keep us from being downcast.
Let’s face it, many folks are lost;
go the wrong path, we then pay the cost.

True joy and happiness are not spatial;
now we see this notion is universal.
Why do we labor for that which does not satisfy;
seek the things above, then we can beatify.


The Execution of Gary Glitter on Channel 4: Fictional Hanging of Rock Star to Spark Death Penalty Debate

At the high point of his career Gary Glitter (real name Paul Gadd) was the most popular glam rock star in the UK. Then a string of child pornography and child molestation convictions in the late ‘90s and early 2000s damaged his reputation beyond repair and at one stage he could have faced firing squad in Vietnam for several charges laid at him while he lived there.

So comes The Execution of Gary Glitter, a fictionalised account of a trial to sentence him to death when he is arrested after his arrival at Heathrow Airport in an alternative world where the British government have restored the death penalty for serious crimes. It’s also prefaced with the words “This is a work of fiction” just in case anyone mistakes this for reality in a Brass Eye sort of way.

The Execution of Gary Glitter to Start Debate

The basis for this programme is that a couple of recent polls show that the majority of people questioned wanted the death penalty brought back for serious crimes. This mockumentary/drama aims to confront this opinion much like the similar Death of a President did with assassination of George Bush and Tony Blair during their trial for war crimes.

Glitter (here played by Hilton McRae) is perhaps the perfect choice to spark debate on this subject, as he is constantly berated in the media and is someone whose public image has sunk so low that mere sightings of him would result in lynch mobs. Although it’s very easy to say someone should be killed or sentenced to death but how many people out there would be willing to commit the deed themselves?


Hilton McRae as Gary Glitter

McRae is believable in his role, portraying Glitter as an arrogant individual who refuses to plead guilty, claims his innocence and smiles in court but also as a man fearing the end of his life.

The final half hour focused mainly on Glitter’s last days on death row before he is hanged and are emotionally challenging. The idea is not to allow the viewers to completely sympathise with the man or forget what he did but merely present him as a three dimensional human being rather than the personification of evil that’s plastered all over the tabloids.

Real people pop up to speak their mind in “interviews” with the likes of Ann Widecombe and Garry Bushell talking about the case as if it’s actually happening, throwing about phrases such as “rampant paedophilia” and complaining about liberal elites. In the court scenes Glitter’s lawyer James Carter (Adam James) however argues in his summary that even though Glitter disgusts him and may be evil, taking his life is morally as bad.

The Execution of Gary Glitter a Little too Real

Unfortunately its main strength is also its biggest downfall as this all feels a little too real especially as it uses actual footage of the real Glitter and the aftermath of the Soham murders. The latter used as the foundation of a political campaign to bring in the legislation at the centre of this story. The result is something that’s a little uncomfortable to watch, obviously an intention of the makers, and comes across as exploitative despite the important message behind it.

But as parallel universes go the one portrayed in The Execution of Gary Glitter is one of the most terrifying yet.

7 Smart Tactics That are Working for Top Bloggers

I felt it was high time that we compiled a list of cool things that bloggers are doing to increase subscribers, please their readers, encourage comments, generate links, build revenue, and create more stickiness. There are tons of plugins that can increase the usability and stickiness of a blog, but in this post, we’re talking about the things bloggers are doing aside from plugins.

So let’s get right to it:

  1.  Recapping successful posts for newer subscribers

Matt McGee, author of Small Business SEM and Patrick Schaber, author of The Lonely Marketer do an “in case you missed it” post periodically with links to some of the more popular posts from the past. Both bloggers not that they have experienced an increased number of subscribers in a short time period, many who may not have seen some posts that others responded well to. This is great way to further hook some of your newer subscribers.

  1.  Asking for anchor text

If you develop a loyal enough following like John Chow, they’ll want to see you grow and prosper – so why not ask them for a little help in the search engine rankings in exchange for an incentive? This is exactly what Chow did with his win a Microsoft Zune contest where he asked fellow bloggers to write a post with the anchor text “make money on the internet” in exchange for a chance to win a Zune. Must be working… as one of his commenter’s said in good fun “…pretty soon you won’t be able to a single search on Google without a link to JohnChow dot com popping up!!”

  1.  Encouraging reciprocal link love

Nate Whitehill does a weekly round up of favorite posts from around the blogosphere like many others do, but he found a way to bump it up a notch and encourage a link back to his blog with his “Powerful Posts” Award. Bloggers who were mentioned can copy and paste the HTML of the award on the post that was featured, letting their readers know that they received a mention on Nate’s blog. We liked the idea so much, that we created something similar for our Friday “Who Said That” round-up. Thanks Nate!

  1.  Predictable, consistent, weekly features

A blog is similar to a magazine in that the goal is to develop a strong following and grow a subscriber base. One thing that all magazines share, no matter how different they are, is having predictable, consistent columns or features instead of a bunch or random information. Some people may enjoy one feature so much that they remain a subscriber just to see what’s new each week even if they don’t have time to read every post, every day. SEOMoz’s Whiteboard Friday where an SEOMozer discusses some behind the scenes insight is a great example a consistent feature that I personally look forward to watching each week. Zen Habits also has a consistent topic schedule where every Tuesday is GTD (Getting Things Done) day and Sunday’s are dedicated to posts about building a better balance with your family.

  1.  U-Follow? U-Tell

People like to comment… but they like to comment even more if you follow. If you’ve made the decision to follow links back to the commenter’s blog or website, why not announce it like HD Biz Blog does?

  1.  Guest Blogging

A number of bloggers have started having others write posts on their blogs and/or write as guest bloggers on other blogs. Many said that that they may have been hesitant about asking guest bloggers to post on their blogs, but after trying it, many like Brian at CopyBlogger were happy with the diversity that new voices provided. This is also a smart way to keep your blog fresh if you know you might be out of town or unavailable for a while. However, if you’ve built up a following, they may be resistant to change. Want some real market research on this? Take a look at the comments when ProBlogger readers were asked if Darren’s guest blogger experiment was “good or bad.”

  1.  Holding a Contest

Not to toot our own horn, but our Podcasting contest where anyone who subscribes and lets us know about it is automatically entered to win a huge box of podcast gear has been pretty successful! (More about the results in a later post). The launch of the contest allowed us to generate traffic from press releases, get mentioned on a number of blogs, and encourage many people to subscribe. Of course, it’s our responsibility to keep those subscribers, and we’re happy to have that responsibility. (If you haven’t entered yet, be sure to do so by July 18th!)

This is certainly not a comprehensive list of smart things that bloggers are doing to please their readers and increase the success of their blogs. Feel free to comment with great ideas that you’ve seen around the blogosphere!

Avoid Surprises when Traveling Abroad for the First Time

Speaking French

Nothing brings a history alive more than actually seeing and experiencing the locations studied in school, and the entire family will benefit from foreign travel if they take the time to thoroughly plan the trip. In addition to the obvious, details that may be overlooked are important to truly experience the culture of other lands. First and foremost, the family should learn about the culture of the country. For example, when traveling to Paris, the family that really wishes to fraternize with Parisians will take the time to learn key phrases. The French are very proud of their heritage and look on most Americans as being too arrogant to learn their language. Learning how to greet shop keepers and restaurant owners in French and demonstrating a true desire to use French will endear your family to them, and they will be thrilled when your children also demonstrate an effort to do the same. Americans who return from Paris stating they had been treated rudely no doubt made no effort to speak French. The French do not expect perfection but just appreciate the effort.

Appropriate clothing

Parisian women do not wear shorts or jeans in the city, and although the "liberated" women of the States may take issue with this point, it is a much more comfortable feeling to walk about in appropriate dress. French men also do not wear shorts on the streets of Paris, although southern France is much more lax in the summer. Casual slacks and shirts for men and summer dresses for women will be comfortable while allowing you to fit in.


Prior to leaving, it is imperative that you change your money into Euros. There are banks in most areas that will do this in advance, and you will not only get a better rate of exchange, but you will not be stranded with no money should your plane be delayed for some reason, and you find most places that accept Visas are closed.


Families should register with the state department at : prior to departure in the event of any type of emergency and give itineraries to family members with phone numbers. In addition, call your insurance carrier for the overseas number in case of illness or accident since this number may not be available overseas. General knowledge of local laws is another necessity and can be discovered at

Freelance Editing: Acting Demo Reels

Acting demo reel assembly
Video editors can earn a nice sized income from making acting demos. As an editor, you must assemble various acting clips into one attractive video. Many actors have video copies of their film and television performances. You can begin to assemble small clips from these videos. Make sure to inform an actor that he or she must select the best clips before meeting with you. This will decrease the amount of time spent on surfing through various film and television scenes.

By minimizing the time spent on one video, editors can make room for more clients. Making more acting videos will increase the amount of money that you are able to generate. Making more acting videos will also boost the exposure for your work. Editors can expand their portfolio of acting demos by making numerous videos. When making an acting demo, place the actor's headshot and information at the beginning of the video.

The introduction can include the actor's height, weight, hair color and eye color. Actors will decide what information they would like to have in the introduction. Be sure to place the actor's contact information at the end of the video as well. The finished demo reel should not be more than a few minutes long.

Provide a copy of the Demo
Make sure to provide more than one DVD copy of the acting demo reel to your client. Two copies should be sufficient. Actors can use one to keep in their archives and another to use for auditions. You can also provide a CD or DVD with an internet-friendly video file. This will enable an actor to email the demo reel to casting directors. An actor can also use the video file to stream the acting demo on his or her website.

Many actors may want to have numerous acting demo reels to send out. You can offer to assist in finding a duplication company to make DVD copies for an actor. If you own the proper equipment, you can also make duplicate copies for a small extra charge. Video editors can charge for each copy or in bulk packages. You can offer DVD packages of 5 and 10 copies. Choose the best scenario that works for you.

Locating Clients
A freelance editing career should begin with a handful of clients. This will help to get the ball rolling. Actors can be found on many social networking websites like Myspace and at local film festivals. You can also find potential clients by attending events held by local Theater companies. If you have an online website, you can place information about your services on a web page.

Make business cards and pass them out at local events. If there are film festivals playing in the area, plan to attend these events. Film Festivals offer a great chance to meet local actors and potential clients. Read the local newspaper to find out about special movie screenings or film related events in your town. Attend these events and introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Make sure to exchange business cards as well.

Where to Advertise
If your budget permits, you can advertise your services in acting publications and online. The most popular publications includeBackstage and Showbusiness Weekly. They offer many advertising opportunities for both their print publications and websites. You may also want to take advantage of college newspapers. Try to target colleges in your area that offer a theater or film program.

Other colleges that do not offer these majors would turn out to be a waste of time and advertising dollars. Also, contact local theaters and inquire about advertising in their current program. Most theaters have a program for the season that is provided to thousands of people to showcase their shows and performances.


Bear Grylls Born Survivor on Channel 4: The New UK Chief Scouts Tackles the West Coast of Ireland

These survival shows are brilliant aren’t they? Who doesn’t want to know how to live off moss and build a raft from coconuts just in case they happen to get stranded on a desert island? And not one of those islands that has a mysterious past featuring age-less inhabitants and has been the location for world saving experiments as in Lost, the proper Robinson Crusoe type.

There are a couple of expert faces that pop up in this arena of infotainment, Ray Mears and Les Hiddins are a few but the rugged visage on Channel 4 for Born Survivor is newly appointed UK Chief Scout Bear Grylls – a man with the second best name on TV after Million Dollar Trader’s Lex Van Dam.

It’s a different "island" adventure for him this time. Bear has tackled the extreme cold of the Antarctic and the torturing heat of the Sahara, however on his latest episode he faced his biggest challenge to date by travelling to the dangerous and uninhabited land of…Ireland. It sounds ridiculous in comparison to his earlier exploits but by logic’s sake it’s the one situation most people are most likely to find themselves in.

Bear Eats Maggots and Makes a Sheeping Bag

Literally thrown off the west coast in the middle of sea in freezing cold waters, Grylls not only has to swim to land but also negotiate his way up the rocky shoreline before eventually giving up and diving back in the water to escape. Once he’s on solid ground Grylls spies a rotting seal completely devoid of its blubber so he has to make do with maggots scooped from the eye sockets. Yummy.

It’s clear early on that the lack of glamorous environments hasn’t removed the element of peril especially as he unexpectedly falls through a hole only to be helped by his cameraman. One particularly wince-inducing scene – the “water cooler” moment – came as he spotted a dead sheep during his quest for food. Bear had to wade through the particularly sticky peat bog to retrieve the animal, skinned it and then feasted on raw heart for dinner. He got a lot of mileage out of the carcass, even making a “sheeping bag” and buoyancy aide from its fleece.


Bear Grylls vs Ray Mears

Overall the Ireland adventure was entertaining, with just enough mix of facts and fun. It should be noted that Mr Grylls has come under some criticism after it was revealed that on some of treks he wasn’t in fact left in the wilderness but stayed in motels and the occasional tool was actually prepared in advance. But that doesn’t detract from his endearing nature and child-like enthusiasm, all of which make his TV shows largely enjoyable.

Ray Mears typically has far better advice and survival know-how; he could be dumped in the middle of a huge desert with only his trusty pen knife to defend himself yet still manage to live out the rest of his biological life. What Grylls does have over Mears is solid charisma and a more intense screen presence as he spurts out random snippets of information. Or the Bear Necessities of Life. Yes that was terrible.

The remaining episodes of Bear Grylls: Born Survivor are shown every Saturday at 7.30pm on Channel 4.

Take the Plunge: 4 Reasons Why Taking Cold Showers is the Best Lifehack Ever

We’ve all been there at some point in our lives; facing an ice cold stream of water coming out of the shower head.  Whether you’re in that position because you want to cool off or because you’re out of hot water, you’ve been there, and for lack of a better description, it’s a cold, cold reality.

But have you ever thought about how you felt after that shower?  Maybe you feel refreshed, or you’re frantically tryng to warm up because the cold shower was out of necessity, not comfort.  Have you ever paid attention to your overall level of productivity after it?  If you did, you’d realize that it is heightened and you are far more alert for a prolonged period of time.

Hot showers in the morning may feel great but they have little physiological effect on improving performance and mental acuity and that’s not what we’re about.  Lifehacking is about finding ways to get the most out of you, your daily activites and rituals, and your body without all the extra work, and that is why an ice cold shower is the best lifehack of all.

  1.  Staring that cold stream of water in the face is an intense challenge and an opportunity to start the day off by pushing yourself.

As previously stated, yes that hot water streaming onto your body feels great, but that makes you comfortable, and feeling comfort does not challenge you.  Think about those moments before you take the plunge and dive under that cold stream of water…..

You get yourself amped up, you challenge yourself, maybe you count down from 3…2…1 (like I do) and that is a challenge.  It’s a great precursor to the rest of your day.  It sets the tone and your mindset for the rest of the day.  You literally began your day by challenging yourself and winning, while your competition sat under a warm, comforting stream of water.

And it gets better as that cold shower has further lasting effects….

  1.  It instantly connects every nerve in your body like nothing else can.

Now think about that first moment you dive under that cold water….

It instantly takes your breath and awakens you in a way nothing else can.  You could be on no sleep for over a day, barely conscious, and the moment you jump into an ice cold shower your body is instantly more awake than it’s ever been.  If you think about it, this is very powerful.  It is a reminder that at any moment’s notice, our bodies can instantly reignite and reinvigorate despite how tired or worn out we may feel.  This “awakening” is a result of every nerve in your body being shocked and reconnected and this has a prolonged effect leaving your body in an awakened and highly alert state for hours after the shower, thus making you a more productive and efficient person for hours after the shower.

  1.  It’s great for your waistline.

The definition of thermogenesis is the production of heat in a human body.  An increased production in heat also results in an increased metabolism of calories because your body is working harder internally.

A cold shower will cool down the body, which results in a greater level of thermogenesis in the body and subsequent, higher metabolism.  If you start the day off with a shower, you can guarantee your metabolism will be running at a higher level for the entire.

  1.  It dramatically reduces inflammation, which reduces pain and overall risk of disease.

I’m sure you’re probably well aware that adding cold to an injury reduces inflammation, thus improving rate of recovery and reducing pain from the injury.  However, we all have a certain amount of inflammation that is created in our bodies every single day from our diet, joint degradation, and physical exertion.

This inflammation can cause chronic pain, and over the last few years, many advancements in scientific research have found that chronic inflammation in the body is the leading cause to most diseases including neurological, cancers, and heart disease.

A cold shower is a great way to wipe out internal inflammation at the very beginning of the day.

A cold shower to start the day is the single best way to get the most out of your body and mind without changing anything about your day or adding more to your plate since that’s the last thing we all need.  If you’d like to learn some more “Lifehacks to Start Living Life on your own Terms”

Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade: And Grilled Chicken Skewers

Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade can be hard to find in stores. There are some brands of sauces that are gluten free, but this teriyaki marinade with no gluten is so easy that there is no need to buy a store bought sauce for your gluten free diet.

Ingredients for Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade

  • 1/2 c. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 c. gluten free soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tbs. sesame seeds (optional)

Directions for Using Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade

  1. Combine all ingredients in a dish or zip top plastic bag.
  2. Stir well to dissolve brown sugar.
  3. Submerge meat or vegetables in Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade.
  4. Refrigerate for one hour to overnight.
  5. Discard Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade and cook meat or vegetables as desired.

Makes one cup of Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade.

Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade is perfect for making Grilled Chicken Skewers (or Kabobs). Lean chicken and fresh vegetables compliment each other perfectly in this classic summer dish.

It is recommended that you wrap your Grilled Chicken Skewers with Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade in foil before grilling. This helps them to cook evenly and distribute the flavors. If you prefer to have charred grill marks on your Grilled Chicken Skewers, skip the foil step and place them directly on the grill instead.

If you are using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them thoroughly in water before grilling to avoid burning on the grill. If you are short on time, or not needing quite as much of a presentation, try the packet grilling instructions instead.



Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Skewers with Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade

  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 1 c. Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 can chunk pineapple (drain and reserve the juice for Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade)
  • 12 wooden or metal skewers

Preparation Instructions for Grilled Chicken Skewers with Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade

  1. Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Place chicken and Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade in dish or zip top plastic bag and refrigerate for one hour to overnight.
  3. Slice peppers and onions into 1-2 inch pieces.
  4. Place marinated chicken, pineapple chunks, peppers and onions on skewers in alternating order until all skewers are filled.

Grilling Instructions for Grilled Chicken Skewers with Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade

  1. Wrap loaded skewers in foil in groups of 2-4, laying flat.
  2. Place wrapped chicken skewers on grill and cook, rotating every 5 minutes, about 20 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Time Saving Packet Grilling Instructions

  1. Omit skewers from preparation.
  2. Place vegetables and marinated chicken on a large sheet of foil.
  3. Wrap foil tightly around food and seal edges.
  4. Place wrapped chicken and vegetables on grill and cook, rotating every 5 minutes, about 25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Serve Grilled Chicken Skewers with Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade on a bed of rice for a light and satisfying meal, or as party appetizers alongside Gluten Free Porcupine Meatballs.