Want to be happy? Today is the day to start making changes.

Yesterday I had a very bad day.

Today I’m having a decent day. (I wrote this comment prior to 3/4 of this blog post being deleted when I hit publish while sitting at the book store)

Tomorrow will be a great day. (I wrote this comment before my car got hit by a semi the following day, it was not a great day)

As I sit (Thursday) in Barnes & Noble today reflecting on the sequence of events recently and planning to over come this set back, I realize that not everyone responds to stress the same nor do they keep coming back time after time again after frequent set backs.

The last 2 years have been the most challenging years of my life. I’ve always been a fighter. I’ve always used set backs to come back stronger, more determined and eager to succeed. I’m just one of those people whose drive, dedication and determination supersedes any amount of pity parties. (although I do have my fair share of pity parties)

Not every project is going to work. Not every relationship will survive. Not every business will be profitable. The only thing that you can control in this world is your response to the disappointments or negative events. It took me a while to learn how to adequately cope with them and it’s really individualized per person.

I’ve been mad at myself for not reading labels and been glutened! I’ve been mad at myself for purposely “trying” to be able to eat a little bit of gluten once in a while to satisfy my cravings. I’ve been mad at restaurants for making me ill for days. But I will never give up on this journey. I’ve realized it’s a constant battle of trial and error, there really is no quick fix for this tremendous lifestyle change.

My grandfather never tolerated “cry babies” and at a young age I learned to tough it out. Not because he was a hard ass or anything, he just had the military and engineer mentality that in order to succeed, you need to learn to learn from your mistakes and move on. You can’t change events that already occured, all you can do is plan for the future. The resilient people use set backs as fuel for their fire. They take those experiences and turn them into educational moments, striving to overcome the obstacles and be more prepared for the future. Needless to say I’m not always the most sympathetic person in the world but I do have a really big, generous heart.

I struggle with tolerating whiners, cry babies and people who constantly blame others for their misfortunes. Everyone in the entire world struggles. Life can’t always be rainbows and butterflies. We need the rain and storms to develop ourselves into strong, beautiful creatures. What’s the point of getting all worked up over things you can’t control.

I’m finishing this post on Saturday night because on Thursday when I started it, almost the whole post was deleted after the internet at Barnes and Noble went out. This has pretty much been one of my most challenging and difficult weeks in a long time. Just to give you a quick summary – This week I made very difficult business decisions that affected people’s lives I really care about, my sister was in a car accident, a family member got a flat tire and we spent almost 3 hours with him one night until 1am after having a very long day, somehow I gained 5 pounds, the internet wiped out my blog post, I’m struggling to get all my old information off my old computer, some unexpected financial set backs happened and my car was hit by a semi truck with me in it yesterday.

Each and every one of these events was a learning experience. If this were 4 or 5 years ago, all of these events combined would have set me into a tail spin. But as I’ve gotten older and finally have my health in order, it certainly makes it easier to think on the fly and bounce back. When my car was it yesterday, it was blatantly the truck drivers fault but the officer said the intersection was “tough” so he was going to make it a no fault accident. As much as I wanted to cry and fight with the officer, I just let it go. There was nothing I could do at that point to change his mind so why should I get myself all worked up about it. My car is my baby, I’ve only had it for 6 months. BUT it’s just that… a car… it can be fixed. I am grateful to be alive and can’t even believe all I really have is a back ache from tensing up as he hit me from the driver’s side. Do I want to pay $500 for my insurance? No, but that’s just what has to be done. What’s the point of running around crying and moaning about it? Will that fix my car? Will that make the cost go away?

Nope.

So you hate your job? Find a way to enjoy your job or find a new one. It’s not that simple you say? Well, then live your life miserable and know that people don’t want to hear about it.

People are afraid of change. They are afraid of new things. They are assume things will be a certain way without any experience otherwise.

I live my life to make me happy. If you live your life to make other people happy, you will NEVER be happy. Those people suck the life and the happiness out of you because they are also people unhappy on the inside. Misery is contagious. Negativity is contagious. But, so is positivity!

To genuinely be happy, you have to love yourself. To love yourself, you have to make difficult decisions in your best interest for it to happen. I lived my life for too long with people draining my energy, stealing my mojo, bringing me into their negativity and overall making me unhappy.

I’ve cut ties with friends. I’ve cut ties with family members. I quit my job. I made my relationship with my husband better and stronger. I’ve made difficult business decisions creating enemies I never thought I would have. But you know what, through all of this temporary, situational drama – I’m incredibly happy. We still have financial struggles, I still deal with sadness and anxiety, my business isn’t exactly where I want it to be but I AM HAPPY.

Making these decisions aren’t easy. Cutting people out of your life isn’t easy. But it sure feels wonderful to be happy.

What changes can you make in your life to bring a little happiness into it?

Have you made difficult decisions? Please leave a comment below!

Gluten Free Review – Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant

Cooper's Hawk Winery
Cooper’s Hawk Winery

Cooper’s Hawk opened at Easton Town Center in Columbus on Monday this week. Imagine my excitement when I saw they offered a gluten-free menu and my first thought was “I have to try it immediately.”

So by Wednesday, I was eating there for the first time. Check out the size of this gluten-free menu….

They even have 5 gluten-free desert options!

Gluten free menu
Gluten free menu

I told our waitress about my gluten allergy and she made sure the kitchen knew I was there. They brought out the pretzel bread for my dinner date and a gluten-free bun for me to try.

We started with an appetizer of shrimp wrapped in bacon – delicious. The shrimp were large and I easily got 2-3 bites out of them.

Dinner was the pepper jack, bacon cheeseburger – the bun was a little much for me since I already had one when we first got there so I ended up eating the burger naked. There were several sides I could select from and I ended up with Mary’s mashed potatoes.

gluten free cheeseburger
gluten free cheeseburger

I got a gluten-free brownie to take home and shared it with my husband. It was simply delicious. Light, fluffy and moist!

The manager even came out after my meal to make sure everything was ok and I enjoyed my meal. He explained the gluten-free process and that they are very sensitive to cross contamination and pride themselves on making safe gluten-free experiences for their guests.

My new favorite wine
My new favorite wine

After this tasty meal, I decided to bring my family last night to try something new on the menu. They’ve already been to all the places around us to eat so it was a great change for them to try something new.

Last night’s meal blew the lid off of any other gluten-free meal I’ve had at other places. Wildfire Chicago is a close second to this dish.

I decided to try something totally new and went with the short rib risotto and it was best decision I’ve ever made. The meat was tender, moist and fell apart with my fork into the risotto. The sauce was incredible and the truffle oil on top with parmesan shavings tied everything together perfectly.

Short Rib Risotto Cooper's Hawk
Short Rib Risotto Cooper’s Hawk

We ended the meal with some chocolate covered strawberries. They were ok, not the best but then again it’s hard to compete with Godiva strawberries. I just didn’t think they were ripe enough before being covered in the chocolate.

I do have one comment about the restaurant – we had reservations at 7:30pm. While we didn’t wait longer than 5 minutes for our table, imagine our confusion when they were quoting people a 2-3 hour wait for a table and then there were at least 10-15 empty tables in the dining room when we were seated. Maybe it was lack of staff, but it was strange in my book.

You can find my review online at www.findmeglutenfree.com so I suggest you check it out and add your own!

The easiest gluten free chili recipe ever!

Gluten-Free Chili Recipe
Gluten-Free Chili Recipe

Everyone loves a great chili on a cold winter day or to celebrate the big game, but what do you do when all of the seasoning packets contain wheat? Well, I’ve tried several and finally found one that tastes great and helped me make a delicious gluten-free chili that can be eaten right away or frozen for the next time you need a warm, wholesome meal.

I wanted something super easy that I could just throw in the pot and wait for it to finish. That is exactly what I got with this recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Here is my recipe for super easy gluten free chili

What you need:

1-2lbs grass fed ground beef

2 cans or the equivalent of fresh kidney beans

2 cans of gluten free fire roasted tomatoes

1 can of gluten free tomato sauce

1 onion

1 green pepper

1 gluten free chili sauce packet like Hol Grain Gluten Free Seasoning

How do you make this deliciousness? So. Easy.

Brown the beef in a pan and then transfer to a large soup pot or crock pot

Cut up the pepper and onion to the size you like – I prefer the pieces smaller

Put the beef, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, pepper and sauce packet into the pan together

Wait for about 3-4 hours on low heat and then devour

The smell alone in your house is enough to make you drool!

Want to fancy it up? Add some bacon, hot sauce, hot peppers, sour cream, garlic, more veggies, cheese, gluten free crackers!