The Gluten-Free Naked Oat Offers UPDATE:
Responses to the Focus Group are coming in. The Free Offer is in the mail. I'm really excited for everyone to get their oats and I hope you will share your experience. Helping facilitate the GF Naked Oat offers has become a full-time effort for me, causing me to completely neglect Not Even A Crumb. And because of that, this post has been 2 months in the making.
And now....(a little drum roll please) Following is the long overdue post wrapping up the "Going Gluten-Free in Wheat Country Road Trip"
"Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans" is a quote attributed to a few different authors, including John Barrie. But today I have to credit John Lennon, as the first time I heard it, it came from his lips. Today, It seems my paraphrase seems appropriate: "Life is what happens, when you just do what comes next".
We wrapped up our Going Gluten-Free in Wheat Country Road Trip a few weeks ago just as Mother Nature flipped the switch casting the bright orange light of Fall across the Montana landscape. At that time I started this post and and the next one, intent on wrapping up our Gluten-Free Road Trip; anyhow, that was my intention. Such an interesting word, "intention". In fact it's among my favorite of the "tions". When I lived in the world of Perpetual Acting Class, we used the "tions" quite often. "Intention" ranked just below "motivation" in the actors vocabulary. The teachings of Sanford Meisner drive home the point that acting is "doing", not "showing". And so it is in life - action (and acting) occurs through intention and motivation. And then, we do what comes next. In Masters Class we worked through the concept: "The end is the beginning". Following simple story structure, at the end of a good story, hopefully some of the characters will have transformed, resolved their conflicts and moved onto a higher place. Others will remain in turmoil with no redeeming qualities and move on to suffer in a much lower place. Whether positive or negative (depending on your perspective) in a good story, nothing remains stagnant. The audience generally identifies with one or more of the characters and at the end....we want to know more. We want to know what comes next. (that's why, even if unconsciously, in our minds...the end is the beginning.) Hollywood figured that out a long time ago. That's why there will probably be at Star Trek 9 sequel.
Speaking of my tenure as an actor, reminds me of the reason that acting is no longer part of my life. I left the on-camera (TV Commercial) world partly because I was getting sick after almost every food commercial audition. I tried to keep my "issues" a secret, as revealing my need to be gluten-free would certainly be a liability to any producer, casting director or agent. One particular audition near the end of my career was for a popular brand of P-Nut butter served up on the whitest of all white bread. Things went horribly, and very quicky, wrong, if you get my Celiac drift, and there was no denying it: my TV commercial days were over. Today I celebrate my departure from that world knowing that all the years I spent in front of the camera hawking everything from Nike to Jello Pudding Popsm and McDonalds to Chevy Trucks has prepared me to seize the opportunity to raise awarenesss about the "The #1 Disease You've Never Heard Of". And I am grateful that over the past couple of years my training has afforded me the tools to write, produce and appear in projects to raise awareness.
Just one more mention ( ha! another "tion" of the "tions), as in the last several weeks I have also fallen victim to the Mother of all "tions": DISTRACTION. (In this case, the Gluten-Free Naked Oats Focus Group and Give away.) Which is why life is what happens to you when you're making other plans, doing other things while doing what comes next.Get it?
OK, focus Deb.
We were packing our bags for Yellowstone when we heard that "Oklahoma" was playing LIVE on stage at the Ellen Theater on Main Street in Downtown Bozeman. And, just like this post, our plans were temporarily derailed as we seized the moment. We were a party of 12 by showtime, and as usual, my dear friends looked to me to determine a safe place to dine prior to the show. I'm sure most of us can relate: when dining out with friends, family and co-workers and one of us is gluten-free, it seems like everyone looks to accommodate the requirements of the GF diner. When you extrapolate it out, that translates to a lot of folks looking for a gluten-free friendly restaurant. ( Stepping up on my soap-box: Yet another great reason for restaurant management to take this movement seriously.) A few steps away from the theater were two dinner choices: Ted's Montana Grill and John Bozeman's Bistro. Ted's is a small chain owned by TV Network Icon Ted Turner. He also owns a huge ranch near Yellowstone, complete with a Bison herd . They serve gluten-free bison burgers - supposedly. Located in an old hotel, Ted's has a very cool ambiance and a gluten-free menu. Everyone thought it sounded great, but they looked to me and, unfortunately, based on a previous horrific dining experience I had to tell them that Ted's Montana Grill is permanently on my "GF No Fly" list. No need to report all the gory details, but basically, I had been there the week previous, and after ordering off their GF menu, they brought me the wrong food - 3 times! Yikes! At the end of the meal the manager brought over a $10.00 coupon. Then, handing it to me she said: "But you're never going to come back here again, are you?" Of course she was right.
Luckily, one of the loveliest gluten-free gems in all of Montana is also located within spitting distance of the Ellen (sorry, but that's what they say in Montana). John Bozeman's Bistro is a bit of an icon on Main Street. Unassuming at first glance,it looks settled and comfortable. One would never know that owners Ty and Carla totally restored this ancient brick building to it's former splendor. On "Oklahoma Night" co-owner Carla was our hostess. She hugged a stack of menus and gently herded the dozen of us to a large center table. I rehearsed my standard Celiac Dining Script in my head, and as I took my seat I said: "Ok, so I am completely gluten-free because I have Celiac..." she smiled and put her hand on my shoulder and handed me an open menu. "Over 80% of our menu is gluten-free or can be prepared gluten-free. I have serious dietary issues myself. By the way, your server is Celiac. So don't worry, we'll take care of you". (ahhhhh, if the first part was music to my ears, the last part was a symphony)
She handed out menus to the rest of our party stopping behind my seat: "Check out the Super Foods Platter, Chef Ty (husband and co-owner) creates a new one every week. It's always completely gluten-free and he's only repeated one dish in a year". We ordered 3 Super Food Platters for the table. Is it just me? It feels so special and normal to enjoy "family style" appetizers with friends. Maybe it's because, all too often, when dining out, we protect our food like a mother bear protecting her cubs. Hovering over it, making certain that no glutanized crumbs drop in as that steaming french bread is passed around the table. What a luxury to simply dig in with everyone else.
Carla floated by a few times during the course of our meal. When she stopped by to tell us about dessert, she felt like an old friend. "Two favorites are the gluten-free pound cake and the GF Banana Dream". I hope these photos help tell the rest of story.This post is long enough, and I could not find words to describe the gluten-free goodness in brief.
(note: it's been several weeks since I wrote the above detailing our Bistro. My [non-celiac] friends tell me they've been back several times - introducing more friends and family to Bozeman's Best Bistro. Once again this should be a wake-up call to the Restaurant Moguls of the world. The message: Embracing your GF diners just makes good business sense)
And, yes, we did get to Yellowstone,
stopping along the way to stock up at
Oak Street Market in Bozeman. Oak Street is a gluten-free Wonderland and an essential stop if you're planning a road trip through Yellowstone. There are a few truck stops on the road to Yellowstone but unless Ding-Dong's and Ho-Ho's are a staple in your diet, then please, do yourself a favor and stop by Oak Street. Tell Robert I sent you.
Montana State Route 191 out of Bozeman is the most direct route into Yellowstone National Park. And be warned, highway 191 is arguably the most beautiful, and statistically the most dangerous, road in all of Montana. White crosses dot the road side to remind drivers of that fact. About 45 miles North of the Park is the turn off for the Big Sky Resort and, another high point of our trip: the Lone Mountain Dude Ranch.They gave us a tour of the grounds and we enjoyed a fantastic gluten-free meal. Alas, due to the delay in this post, our visit was several weeks ago. Today Summer in Montana is a distant memory; the Summer guests have departed now and they're preparing for the ski season. Since all of my photos and the meals were geared toward the Summer experience, I've decided to save their post for Spring, when the post and the photos will be relevant. But I understand they are a fabulous destination during the ski-season. If you're planning a ski-trip to Big Sky, or looking ahead to Summer 2012, I would highly recommend a visit to Lone Mountain. They are a full-service guest ranch with a very GF savvy chef. Summer or Winter, they offer the whole package.
I learned a lot during the Going Gluten-Free in Wheat Country Road Trip. I met some wonderful new gluten-free friends who have completely convinced me that it can be easy to stay "safe"...even in the heart of wheat country . And finally here we are, at the end, and I am absolutely convinced that my acting teacher was right: "The end IS the beginning". And I can't wait to share what happens next.
Thanks for stopping by today,
Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor, lawyer, rocket scientist or King. My mission in life is to raise awareness about Celiac Disease. Everything on this website is provided for informational, educational and entertainment use only and should not be used for any diagnostic purpose. Always consult with your physician regarding your health concerns.