Archive for the ‘Book Suggestions’ Category

Enough With the Pink, Let’s Think

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

By Mary Duggan

Just when I thought the Pink Campaign couldn’t get any worse, it has. Here in Chicago, Advocate Health Care has created a 16-foot tall, 1500 pound, hot pink underwire bra sculpture and they are taking it, and their “Stories of the Girls” campaign, on the road for the month of October. Brace yourself, it may be coming soon to a neighborhood near you. If it comes to my neighborhood I will be there to take a selfie with THE BRA and then I will share it with you. I will be in the forefront making a negative hand gesture (no, not that finger) – a thumbs down actually – and posting it to my facebook page. Thumbs down Advocate. I refuse to take the bait. You are not warming my heart; but you are most certainly making my blood boil.

bra chicago

The “Get a Mammogram Every Year” squad will be there to counsel you when you go to see the bra.

Here it is October and like so many women I have my hands full (more…)

Boot Camp: Cause We Want Our Health Back

Friday, June 6th, 2014

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

BOOT ‘EM TO THE CURB CAMP is our top priority this summer. How about  you? Would you like to join in? Have you considered the possibility that parasites might be the cause of your appetite and bloating? Are you consistently feeding more than just you? Do you have an actual diagnosis of an auto-immune disorder that is leaving you feeling exhausted, in pain, infertile and afraid of a dismal future? Is Candida Albicans rearing its ugly head – AGAIN!? Didn’t we all clear that years ago? Is inflammatory “itis” of any and every variety (colitis, bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, etc.) leaving you feeling old and more and more limited in what you have the energy to do? Welcome to the club and join in on the fun. (more…)

HUMANS OF LIFESTINKS

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

By Mary Duggan

Mary DugganOkay, nobody got the joke. Well, almost nobody. But we are still glad we mimicked the HUMANS OF NEW YORK photo and story phenomenon in designing our One of a Kind Show and Sale® booth at the Merchandise Mart this past December. In our case, copying was indeed the highest form of flattery. Like Brandon Stanton – the creator, photographer, and story collector behind the Humans of New York  international Facebook phenomenon – we treasure and wanted to celebrate  the photos and stories our amazing lifestinks customers have shared with us over the years.

Who in the world writes to their deodorant maker? Our folks do and their generous and amazing stories energize and delight us. (more…)

Birthdays Are Such A Good Idea

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

By Mary Duggan

Let’s just say the girls went garbage picking for my birthday. And it worked out beautifully.

In the weeks preceding the Big 60 there was much gnashing of teeth and sighing coming from my sisters about the plans for my 60th birthday celebration. Now the girls are big on doing it up really big when it comes to the milestone birthdays. When I turned 40 it was a Wild Women Road Trip to the Badlands. And they topped that one with a whopper when they took me to Paris for the Big 50. Like I said they are crazy generous and enthusiastic sister-friends and both times they pulled out all the stops with itineraries so jammed packed with fun that it defied belief. So what were they to do with 60 to celebrate and no cash available?

I tried desperately to let them off the hook. I adore organizing and had noticed that Container Store was running a sale on some specialty shelf liners that I had coveted for years. No really. I had always wanted them. I love to clean and organize and my kitchen needs them desperately. I actually suggested a gift of shelf paper. Really, I did. Of course I came quickly to my senses and then withdrew that particular suggestion. But I was determined to help with the party plans and pull the weight off their shoulders by taking all expectations down – way down.

I came up with the idea of really enjoying yet another stay-cation. I mean we live in Chicago, not some sleepy little hamlet. And we never make the time to just plain enjoy Chicago. So I proposed a bloom where you are planted – don’t forget to enjoy your own garden kind of shindig. Better still, I said, let’s build it around the Printers Row Lit Fest, which is always held on my birthday and which I never go to because I am always having some kind of big birthday fun with my sisters. Once I proposed a theme that we could all get behind, all that was left to do was peruse the daily Tribune build-up to the big event and circle the authors and events on the enormous 2-day calendar that interested me.

Author April Peveteaux's autographs Mary's birthday book.

Author April Peveteaux autographs Mary’s birthday book.

Just a smidge more fun than shelf paper? Not in the hands of my sisters it’s not. And not when the party girl is a word nerd from way back. Every day I read articles about who was coming to town and I sifted and sorted through the options. Gluten-free food bloggers competed with celebrity chefs. There were local authors like Amy Sue Nathan and old friends like Billy Lombardo. Even Sting was on board with his Narrative Project. Then one day I came upon author Porter Gale who intrigued me with her “Your Network is Your Net Worth” take on entrepreneurs and marketing and other business-y matters. And despite apprehensions that it would trigger work thought, I added her to the list and even did the nifty little exercise she suggested. I shared the exercise with my sisters. (more…)

Gluten is my WHAT?!*&@?

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

By Mary Duggan

The writers are coming! The writers are coming! It’s time for Chicago’s Printer’s Row LIT FEST and I couldn’t be more delighted to see gluten-free bloggers and writers taking their place at the table. Especially ones with a great attitude about not letting a gluten-free diagnosis get in the way of being a super foodie. Such is the case with April Peveteaux, author of the blog Gluten Is My B*@#H!!!

Gluten is my Bitch author April Peveteaux.

Don’t you have to love a gal who created gluten-free beignets?! I apologize in advance to Dr. Bill Davis, but I do love April Peveteaux’s spirited approach to GF.

Okay, all these younger than me bloggers use language that I just don’t understand. No really, I am not any kind of prude. Most certainly not a language prude, but I am so (more…)

A Chicago Institution Embraces Gluten-Free

Friday, May 31st, 2013

By Mary Duggan

MaryDuggan_holds glasses

My dear Mother would have said, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” Because when a member of the famed Chicago restaurant family Berghoff gets diagnosed with Celiac Disease, the whole city gets healed. I would not wish Celiac on anyone, let alone Sarah Berghoff McClure, the petite, 12-year-old daughter of Carlyn Berghoff of restaurant family fame. But sick she was and diagnosed she got – with Celiac Disease.

And here’s where the story gets heart-warming and heart-healthy for their family and yours. The whole family got on board with the transition, especially her Mom, and the end result is a healthy Sarah and a wonderful cookbook entitled Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen.”

berghoff mom and sarah

The Berghoff McClure family has used their personal health challenge to help heal the Chicago restaurant scene and teenagers EVERYWHERE!

Eve Becker of the Tribune reports, “At home, Berghoff cooks entirely gluten-free for her husband and three kids. She also has trained the staff at The Berghoff Restaurant how to prepare gluten-free requests safely.”

So, I am off to do three things. (more…)

Disease Is A Lousy Lover

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

MaryDuggan_hands on hip

By Mary Duggan

Why do folks fall in love with their diseases? I just don’t get it. The minute someone tells me that they have MS or RA or Lupus or Fibromyalgia, and the list goes on from there, I can hear it in their voice. That immediate embracing of victim energy. This fell from the sky and it landed on me. I am not lucky. My mother had it. I have learned to live with it. My doctor says, my doctor says, my doctor says seems to be the primary mantra that keeps them down for the count and deeply invested in their disease.

When folks with any sort of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Krohn’s Disease say my doctor told me that what I eat will make no difference at all I actually want to scream. On and on it goes and I need an alternative to screaming. What is it with us human beings that we surrender so quickly and fully to our diagnosis of disease? Why do we fall in love (more…)

Skip the disease and tell the truth about wheat.

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

By Mary Duggan

Everyone is all a-buzz, or should I say all a-blog today about the Oslo study. Yep, it looks like folks who don’t have celiacs disease can suffer from gluten sensitivity so they want to come up with a new disease. Feeding the victim mentality when it comes to our health. I think we have to shift the paradigm. Instead of trying to find a disease category for the catastrophe of wheat in the human body, let’s tell the truth about the history of wheat and the consequences of GMOs and the Frankengrain that has been created. I do not test positive for gluten sensitivity. But I can read. Knowing what wheat has been proven to do as it penetrates the sacred blood brain barrier was enough for me. I treasure my brain function, especially after sustaining a traumatic brain injury more than a decade ago. Recently, after fourteen months meticulously gluten free I ingested some wheat inadvertently. Four days of GI and neurological hell followed.

Bad science has to be rooted out of our food supply or none of us will be well. (more…)

Eight Good Years

Friday, March 9th, 2012

by Mary Duggan

If you read one book this spring, I strongly encourage you to make it Wheat Belly.  A New York Times Bestseller, written by Wisconsin cardiologist Dr. William Davis, it will forever change the way you look at pastries, pizzas, and all the superficial delights of the gluten world.

Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis

We had been a gluten-free family for many years, as it was part of getting Annie well. I went along for the ride but I was decidedly haphazard in my approach. It was Annie’s problem and she had the gastro intestinal turmoil to prove it. In solidarity I munched on gluten-free crackers and drizzled gluten-free pancakes with pure maple syrup and I had to agree – they were way more delicious than their gluten rich counterparts. But I was never averse to preceding a selection from the gluten-free menu in restaurants with a few buttered slices of the house baguette. Strictly gluten-free was Annie’s cursed state. I never fell victim to gluten’s deadly effects. Or so I thought! (more…)