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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Back From Hiatus

I am back after a couple of months of busy work and life events. I have spent a lot of time and weekends dedicated to hiking trips, family and friends, nonstop driving, and dealing with health issues. After finishing up some of our main house projects, M and I decided to get married and had 3 separate weekends devoted to each wedding (Hmong, American, and friends reception). Along with that, we did plenty of hiking around WI along the Ice Age Trail segments and visited Washington Island and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Besides this, I have been dealing with a huge lifestyle change of being gluten free.

This past year, I put myself on a gluten free diet because of symptoms I was experiencing. However, I did not take it seriously especially when it came to contamination from food sources such as sauces/additives and reading food labels all the time. The diet was difficult to maintain because I did not want to believe that I had any health issues and I wasn't too keen on strictly avoiding gluten. Things came to a head when I had a severe reaction and couldn't walk due to severe back and joint pain. It was only after this that I realized I needed to take my gluten intolerance seriously. I finally talked to my doctor and was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Sad to say but it was only when my doctor confirmed my diagnosis that I finally decided to be more diligent with my gluten intake. After many months of dealing with symptoms and feeling like I was always on the run, this weekend was the perfect end to my busy year. 

This past weekend was one of the first full weekends I was home and able to unwind. Even though I was home, I still needed to get out and exercise my restless legs. An 8 mile walk solved this issue and helped me center myself. The quiet of the city and crunching of snow under my boots were a delightful change to always being on the road. The day hike stretched my leg muscles and it felt great to do a city hike after so many weeks of being sedentary. At night, I was on the hunt for AltBrew's Hollywood Nights Blond IPA, a gluten free beer brewed in Madison, WI. After not finding it in two shops, I stopped by Next Door Brewing and was able to get one bottle to share with M. The Blonde IPA was a great beer with good body and a crisp taste. It definitely was the perfect alternative to the microbrews I was used to drinking. Cheers to the new years and I am hopeful for more hikes and trail updates! 

M and I on our 8 mile city walk

Hiking along the lake


Frank Lloyd Wright's Robert M. Lamp House visible from the street during construction since it's in the middle of the block.

Breese Stevens Athletic Field entrance

Alt Brew Blonde IPA with Next Door Brewing's chips and guac. All gluten free!

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