Category: Other

A Gotham Greens Visit

*I was invited to tour the Gotham Greens HQ/Greenhouse in the Chicago Pullman area. I was not paid for my time or this review; I was given products at the end of the tour. All opinions are my own, as always!*

Do you feel a sense of peace and calm when you enter a quiet, green space? Funny enough, there’s actually loads of science to support it– everything from migraine reduction to overall reduced stress [see here].

Well, I got that deep sense of calm in an unexpected place– the rooftop of the Method soap HQ in a south Chicago neighborhood, Pullman, which just happens to house an entirely renewable-energy-driven greenhouse filled with rows upon rows of basil and lettuce. 

Thanks to Natalia at Gotham Greens, I got to spend Monday morning surrounded by rich smells and bright green leafy goodness! I have enjoyed GG products since I discovered them earlier this year in my local Plum Market — and was even more excited to try their pestos and salad dressing at the Nourished Festival in Schaumburg this past June. If you’re following me on Instagram you’ve probably seen my particular affinity for their heads of butter lettuce, perfect for creating little lunch wraps.

Here are some amazing things I learned about how Gotham Greens is really doing something special:

  • They’re powered by renewable energy, both wind and solar.
  • They’re entirely pesticide-free {which, I learned, is not a given fact if something is organic!}
  • A follow-up to that: they use natural predators as pest control {think spiders and butterflies!}
  • They operate on a hydroponic system, which means no soil — just water! And, curiously, hydroponic farming techniques actually use 90% less water than traditional farming.
  • Produce grown using hydroponics cannot currently be classified as organic, because the true classification is surrounding the soil use! So, GG is pesticide-free with sustainable practices, but without soil, you won’t find them in the organic section of your store {I found this absolutely wild.}

As a 5th generation Chicagoan, I’m also proud to tell you about how GG is employing local people in a neighborhood that’s been pushed out-of-sight, out-of-mind for a lot of Chicagoans. I was fortunate to meet some of the lovely humans harvesting these delicious greens and will be thinking of them every time I open a new container. 

Thank you again to Natalia and the GG team for having me {and the other lovely GF ladies I went with — Joanna and Angela!} — we even got to have a little picnic after!

Lettuce with a bottle of Gotham Greens dressing and several containers of pesto.

What do you want to know about GG practices? What would you make with some of those fresh greens? Looking for a recipe for something? Let’s hear it in the comments!

Take it easy, but take it.


Let’s Celebrate: ADSG 5th Birthday!

While getting ready to celebrate this milestone year for ADSG,  I thought back to the start of my blog + online presence as breezygfreezy. Dragging myself to my weekly mini-course seminar — “The Rhetoric of Blogging”– at the University of Michigan in frigid Monday night temperatures, I had no clue what this would become.

I also remember the first time a company contacted me about my then-assignment, now-blog, asking if they could send me some goodies in the mail. Me? You want me to write what I think?

Fast-forward and this week marks my 5th anniversary of this beautiful mess. With many brand partners, multiple conferences attended, lots of delicious {and yucky!} products tested along the way, and a whole lot of learning from those who have been doing this even longer than I have, I’m proud to celebrate with all the people who have made ADSG and breezygfreezy what it is today.

Okay, enough emotional time.

How about some ways to celebrate with me?!

5th Birthday Celebration!

Take a peek at the schedule below; we’ll be partying all week long!

Monday {that’s today!}: My friends Kevin and Kara over at Sun Krunch {my go-to breakfast and only granola I eat} are sponsoring a giveaway of their paleo, grain-free, low sugar, gluten free deliciousness! Check it out on my Instagram. {running until Mon. 2/5}


Tuesday: Looking for something fun to add to your dinner routine? Look no further than the bright box of Banza. This chickpea-based brand from Detroit {proud to support as a former SE Michigan dweller!} was started by a couple of young guys and now fill shelves and pantries all over the country with their near-replica of regular pasta {so I’m told}, just plant-based, high-protein, and low-carb! Roll into this giveaway of their new-ish wheels over on my Instagram {3 winners!}. {running until Tues. 2/6}.


Wednesday: After I determined eggs were making me extremely ill, finding a brand of gluten free breads that fit the egg-free bill was tough. Enter: BFree. I’m reviewing their whole line on the blog today with chances to win 1 of every product {2 winners!} Read the whole review and enter to win here. {running until Wed. 2/7}


Thursday: Another favorite in my routine of grain free options is Simple Mills with their almond flour crackers {yep pretty sure they meant the whole box was one serving!} and fun almond-based cookies. I know this line gets a bit pricy, so I’ve got a giveaway coming ‘atcha! Check out my snack idea and enter to win on my Instagram. {running until Thurs. 2/8}


Friday: As most of you know, I’m a huge zoodles fan. But, in this spiralizing craze, did you know there are fruits and veggies from A to Z that you can spiralize? I’ve been a proud owner and user of Ali Maffuci’s original spiralizer design, The Inspiralizer, for a long time. I whipped up a quick, tasty lunch from one of her dozens of free online recipes {okay, I also was a sucker and bought her cookbook too!}– it’s over on my Instagram today. Ali was sweet enough to sponsor a giveaway of her new Inspiralizer Lite! I bought one of them and it has just as much power and takes up a portion of the space {great for small kitchens!}– be sure to enter! {running until Fri. 2/9}


Saturday: Out and about? Me, too. When I’m running around getting hangry and need a boost, I always reach for a MadeGood Foods granola bar or bag of bites! Made with purity protocol oats, in a nut free facility, with added vegetables snuck in, and 20% of your daily vitamin D, how could you go wrong? Enter to win some for your purse, backpack, or gym bag over on Instagram {3 winners!}. {running until Sat. 2/10}


Sunday: Ladies, this one is for you as you get ready to conquer your week ahead! My beautiful virtual “family” over at Red Apple Lipstick has completed every outfit– casual or fancy– I’ve worn in the last several years and they wanted in on the party! Check out my full review of their lipsticks, eyeshadows, bronzer, and more with a chance to win a lip care set for yourself {2 winners!} {running until Sun. 2/11}


Phew, okay. Here’s a quick TL;DR —

Mon: Sun Krunch IG Giveaway HERE

Tues: Banza IG Giveaway HERE

Wed: BFree Review and Giveaway HERE

Thurs: Simple Mills IG Giveaway HERE

Fri: Inspiralizer Lite IG Giveaway HERE

Sat: MadeGood Foods IG Giveaway HERE

Sun: Red Apple Lipstick Review and Giveaway HERE

*All giveaways will run for one week from posting + additional ways to win on Twitter!*


Again, to my amazing community: thank you for supporting me as the voice behind ADSG and breezygfreezy. I cannot wait to see what the next 5 years bring. Let’s celebrate!

Take it easy, but take it always.


Cookbook Review: Eat Dairy Free — Alisa Fleming

Today, I’m stepping away from my typical product/restaurant reviews and recipes to focus on an exciting milestone for a long-time food blogger and friend of mine, Alisa Fleming.

Alisa has been known for her online presence at since 2004 and has taken the leap to publish her second cookbook— Eat Dairy Free!

She was generous enough to send me a pre-order copy {and it’s shipping to the public NOW! Click here for a non-affiliate link}.

The imagery from the front cover to the back cover is absolutely exquisite.

EDF Cover - smaller

Alisa’s second cookbook, Eat Dairy Free, is particularly focused on everyday eating— the type of cooking I’m most likely to do! If it has a long list of ingredients and lots of cookware, I’m out. Luckily, Alisa has everyone covered with simple and delicious meals, snacks, and desserts for the whole family.

The introduction of her cookbook even includes full meal plans and quick snack ideas!

But, my favorite feature of Eat Dairy Free is the first page of each chapter:

Every single recipe in Eat Dairy Free has alternatives for gluten free, egg free, peanut free, and soy free in addition to dairy free.

This full-color masterpiece is sitting prominently on my countertop with a handful of other favorites. In an age of digital search, Alisa has masterfully crafted a cookbook that is not only visually enticing but also suitable for many food restrictions.

Some of the recipes in her cookbook that I cannot wait to try are: Chocolate Banana Split Muffins, Impossible Vegan Quiche, Crispy Italian Polenta Fries, and Korean Beef with Bok Choy! Don’t those sound just delicious? I mean, just look at this adorable muffins Alisa has created!

Banana Split Muffins - smaller

I couldn’t be more excited for Alisa and the GoDairyFree community. Thank you to Alisa for taking the time to ensure her cookbook is special for people with all allergens.

Again, you can get a copy for yourself now by visiting Amazon here.

But…want to win a copy?! Of course, you do. Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Take it easy, but take it {with a muffin in hand!},


Reflection on Graduating

I graduated from the University of Michigan in biomedical engineering this last weekend.

I am overwhelmed with the idea that I not only graduated despite all health odds against me, but did it in the typical 4 year time period–and excelled in one of the hardest programs at UM.

As I think back over the last 4 years, it’s easy for me to make a long list of the reasons why I didn’t think I’d receive my diploma eight semesters after I left my home in Chicago. And not only to have graduated, but to additionally have a myriad of experience under my belt and a stellar GPA.

Let’s face it, college away from home with a grocery list of chronic illnesses and medications doesn’t really scream simple success.

But despite all the chronic illness struggles (e.g. BG rollercoasters mid-finals weeks, Zipcar trips on the ice at night to get groceries for the 12 meals that week, and more), normal people sick struggles (e.g. mono, sinus infections, random thanks-diabetes-for-making-me-infection-prone illnesses, and more), a broken foot in the depths of winter, a tonsillectomy, burdens of homework and exams, sagas of relationships past, and more–I am here. I did it.

I started ADSG about 3 years ago and connected myself to a thriving community I never knew existed. I am endlessly grateful for the support of the diabetes communities, celiac communities, food allergy communities, and others, who have not only read my blog, but also helped me through the darker days (whether with a blog post comment, direct message on Twitter, or a little heart on Instagram to share love of my quick, safe meals in my studio apartment).

I would not have made it through without the love of all of you.

This weekend I graduated on behalf of the entire chronic illness community. For all those who were able to reach a milestone in their lifetimes (however small) and for those who may not have been able to–my diploma will be framed and hung in honor of all of you, as well as in honor of my achieving this point.

We’re a community on the good days and the bad, and as I am celebrating my graduation, I am celebrating each and every one of you–and the impact you’ve had on my life thus far, and the moments we’ll celebrate together in the future (both virtually and hopefully in real life).

Take it easy, but take it.


Priming My Tubing

If it is not grossly apparent, I tend to avoid specific blog posts about living with type 1 diabetes. There is an incredible community of bloggers that write about the physical and emotional highs and lows of living with T1D specifically (that have helped me through a lot of difficult times), but I prefer to write about it in a less direct manner–mostly because I personally balance a lot of chronic illness, and like to show you how it is woven into my daily experience (and because sometimes, T1D needs to give me a break, even if it means simply not showing up as every blog post topic). 

Anyhow, here we are. I’m diving in a bit here with a post about life and a bit of T1D this week. 


My entrepreneurship business basics class meets in one of our business school buildings on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30am-10am. While I could write endlessly about my deep-seated disagreements with the self-centered and sexist nature of the professor (which could be a 100 post-long series), when we were discussing start-up marketing yesterday, the professor casually said the following (to the best of my memory):

“When you head to market with a new product, a new service, a new solution that has true value for each of your future adopters, you better prime your tubing. Because once you’re out there, there’s really no turning back.”

Prime my tubing, you say? Well, dang. Isn’t that just perfectly worded.

For those who may not know, I’ve been working on a new entrepreneurial venture for the last six-or-so months that promises to create big change in chronic medical condition management [unfortunately, due to legal concerns, can’t reveal the details or specifics yet, but stay with me!] I have the fortune (though I wouldn’t phrase it as such very often) of being a member of our target market and I can promise you, your voices have been and will continue to be heard throughout our development and roll-out.

Anyhow, it led me to take the class with the man who told me to prime my tubing. Here I am, two days away from my first big pitch where we have a chance at a $10,000 grant to continue developing our solution. My life with chronic illness is central to the pitch–and has been extraordinarily well-received in practice pitch sessions. The practice judges expect that we’ll be pushed through to the finals at the end of the afternoon.

Tonight, I’ll prime my tubing. The insulin will flow slowly through, I’ll check for air bubbles, I’ll pierce my skin, and hope my extremely allergic skin is effectively guarded by the Skin Tac I placed under the site.

Tonight, I’ll prime my tubing. I’ll run through my pitch slide deck for, what must be, the hundredth time to ensure I’ve proven our solution and our venture to the judges. I’ll try to heed the practice judges requests not to “over-practice my story, because the simple, unrehearsed presentation is what makes it.” I’ll try to keep it all together when I point out all my diabetes technology to a huge auditorium so people can begin to understand life with chronic illness.

I’ll always prime my tubing. As a celiac, I’m constantly preparing for the next meal. As a diabetic, well, you get it. As a future entrepreneur, I’ll always prepare myself for the next great opportunity to prove myself and my solution. As a young woman who just faced sexism in the hiring process for an engineering position (which, indeed, I did not get), I’ll continue to prime my personal tubing with all of my strengths and know that someday, women will not face this archaic problem.

For now, I look forward to sharing more of my venture with all of you.  I know I’ll feel your virtual support and presence Thursday night at 5PM EST when my chronic illness life takes the spotlight, with my tube fully primed.

Take it easy, but TAKE IT.