Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I tried all kinds of breads and bagels and wraps trying to find bread that would take the place of the real stuff and it was very frustrating. Now that gluten intolerance has become such a major issue, there are a ton of new products out there and many of them are really great. But I'll be honest with you, be prepared, it's not going to be exactly the same as what you ate before. The good news is you will feel SO much better.
Start simple. Go get yourself a loaf of Udi's bread. They have white or multi-grain and both are great. Most GF breads must be kept frozen and then toasted. Udi's products can be left on the counter and eaten without toasting first. It's a little more dry than traditional bread, but it's by far the best GF bread on the market. Other great GF breads are Canyon Bakehouse and Rudi's
If you're a bagel fan, pick up some Udi's bagels as well. These are big and fluffy and delicious. I use these for burger buns as well!
If you love to bake and are finding tons of GF recipes with crazy lists of random flours, sorghum, white rice, brown rice, teff, amaranth, almond... so overwhelming! Order yourself a box of Better Batter. It's the best 1:1 gluten free flour mix. Use it as a substitute for all purpose flour in any recipe. It might not work perfectly every time, but for the most part, it does!
If you prefer boxed mixes, Betty Crocker and King Arthur have full lines of gluten free mixes that are awesome. I've not tried all the King Arthur mixes but I hear they are great. I find these right in my regular grocery store baking isle.
Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Don't forget that there are lots of items other than obvious flour/bread products that are not gluten free. Be sure to check labels of everything, salad dressings, soy sauce, marinades, seasonings, sauces. Gluten hides in many places! I know it's overwhelming, but it will get easier. I promise. Just stick with it!
I was going to add a list here of all of my favorite products, but then I looked at my Product Reviews page and discovered that most of these products are great. Take a look at that list for some great product recommendations! It will take a while to find products that you love and become a regular part of your diet, there will be good days and there will be bad, bad days. Don't worry, it will get better and you will feel great. Eventually it will become second nature. Good luck in your gluten free journey!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
First of all, I wanted to say Welcome to all you new readers!! Thanks so much for your feedback from yesterday's post, I am so glad to be making a difference! And it's nice to know I'm not the only one out there with these issues. Now, back to the FOOD!
I'm working my way through my shipment of products from Rocky Mountain Organic Meats. One of the items was a pound of ground beef. This is what I was looking forward to the most! I couldn't decide what to make with this beef but I knew that I wanted to do something that would showcase the meat by itself, so of course, I had to make a burger. My second favorite beef dish is meatballs, as you can see above. I cooked the burger and the meatballs at the same time and then ate the burger for dinner and saved the meatballs for later in the week. The burger was absolutely delicious. The beef tasted so good. What a huge difference from standard grocery store beef! There was so much flavor. All it had on it was lettuce, tomato and mayo and served on a Schar sub roll. Perfect. I took a photo but I don't love it so I'm not posting it, but you can see it here.
Last night I cooked up some Tinkyada spaghetti and some Prego Traditional Sauce and heated up the meatballs which I made using Carol Fenster's recipe. I have not had spaghetti and meatballs in such a long time and it was soooooo good. I tend to avoid spaghetti and choose ziti or rotini or cavatappi but when it comes to meatballs, you have to go with spaghetti. I wish I had a Schar baguette to make some garlic bread! This dinner was as good as it looks in that photo up there. I can't wait to have this again tonight. I think I will stop at the store on the way home for that baguette!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I tried the Gluten Free diet and it didn't work. I felt good for a while but then I started to feel bad again. It's too hard to stick to it. I hate feeling like an outcast not being able to eat what everyone else is eating. It's too expensive. My Doctor said I don't have Celiac so why bother?
People will give excuse after excuse after excuse as to why the GF diet is NOT right for them, and the reality is, they are all just that - EXCUSES. I've used them all myself, or at least thought them to myself at one time or another. I started my gluten free journey back in 2007. I admit that it's been a rocky one. I've been on and off the diet many times, noting all of the "reasons" above. I can't believe it's been almost four years since I discovered Celiac disease in my search for answers as to why I've been sick for most of my life. I should be in tip top shape and feeling the best I've ever felt, right? Well, this has been the best year so far, so that's a plus. I'm getting there, slowly but surely.
Friends and family know that I haven't been 100% faithful to the diet over the years. I didn't talk too much about that on this blog because I didn't want to disappoint. Usually that meant I wasn't blogging much during those times because I didn't have anything to write about. I am happy to say that I have really stepped it up. I had to. I was getting sick again. I have officially been off medication for a year now. Wait, let me say that again. I HAVE OFFICIALLY BEEN OFF MEDICATION FOR A YEAR. Yaaaahoooooooooo!!
Early this year I was feeling so good and confident and then I started my new job. Which has a full service cafeteria. And new co-workers that didn't know anything about my issues. I slid down the slippery slope of a small cheat here and a tiny slip there... and then it happened. The rash. I have not had a rash since 2008. This was a major wake up call. My stomach was better than ever but still not perfect. I started to feel the brain fog, the headaches, the MAJOR fatigue. I was so tired that I could barely function and I'd immediately crawl into my PJs after work. The funny part is, I didn't realize how bad it had gotten because it was such a slow progression. Finally I woke up one day and realized that if I didn't stop it right then, I'd wake up someday in a recovery room after having a section of my intestines removed. Or worse.
What prompted this post, the title of this post, and the opening paragraph, is that even when I'm completely ON the diet, I've realized that I'm actually still not 100% clean. So when I get the rash or the headache or the brain fuzz and can't figure out why, I have to really look carefully at what I've been eating. An example of this - the other day I grabbed a fry off of someone else's plate at lunch. I have been eating the fries knowing that they are fried in a shared fryer. This is something I have always done and used the "Well I don't actually have Celiac" excuse. I'm not super sensitive to it so I can eat things that are fried in a shared fryer, right? Right? I never ever gave this a second thought until that one fry that I grabbed the other day. Shortly after eating the fry, another co-worker commented that the fries tasted like egg rolls. That particular day was Chinese Food day in the cafe and they had fried the egg rolls in the same fryers that the fries are cooked in. It was like someone poured a bucket of cold water over my head. HELLO! Wake up call from your intestines!
This little incident made me completely re-think my gluten free strategy. Sure when I'm gluten free I feel soooo much better but I think that I could feel even BETTER if I stopped ignoring those "little things" like crumbs in the toaster and shared fryers and foods that are manufactured on shared equipment. It also made me think twice about all of those people out there that cheat like me and then claim that the diet doesn't work.
You must stick to the diet 100% in order for it to truly work. Even if you don't have outward symptoms, the damage is being done and eventually you WILL feel it. If you are sticking to the diet 100% and feel that it is still not working, perhaps there's another intolerance at work. Many foods are not our friends! You just have to keep at it. Proper diet heals. I promise. I am living, breathing, un-constipated proof. :)
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Recently I received a package from Rocky Mountain Organic Meats that are 100% gluten free to sample. I was overwhelmed with all the options. Jerky, ground beef, sausage, hot dogs and pastrami. Ooooh Pastrami!! I haven't had this since pre-gf days because the only way to eat pastrami is on a soft yummy roll. Well since I discovered Schar sub rolls I knew exactly what to do. This pastrami is thicker than I'm used to, I'm used to the shredded, fatty kind that you find at the deli in the grocery store. This is thick and the edges have a nice crust of seasoning. I wasn't even sure how to cook this so I went with what I know and put it in a pot of water for a few. I kept it simple with the roll and yellow mustard, some BBQ Kettle Chips on the side. This was so delicious!! I also sampled a little of the jerky which was great too. I will definitely have more Rocky Mountain Organic Meats reviews coming up. Right now the ground beef is defrosting, but I can't decide if I want to do a burger or meatballs. I might do both. I really want to showcase the meat so a burger would be a great way to do this. But I've also been craving a meatball sub... we shall see!!
Edited to add: I have been told that the pastrami is pre-cooked and can be eaten straight from the package. I thought it was good heated up too :)
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
You see, I kept google searching "pancakes" but this morning I searched "fluffy pancakes" and TA-DA! Presto, the first result turned out to be the winner. I have an All Recipes account and kept searching "pancakes" and could never find what I wanted. Lo and behold, add the word Fluffy and you find a winner. I used this recipe and substituted better batter, rice milk and earth balance. The faux butter milk (rice milk & vinegar) I think is the key to light and fluffy pancakes. The taste and texture of these is perfect. This is definitely the recipe I'll be using from now on!
Friday, December 3, 2010
"I am not a huge fan of dark chocolate and this tastes closer to that than regular milk chocolate but I still liked it. I saved the regular rice milk chocolate bar for today. They do also have a dark chocolate version if that's your sorta thing. I'm trying to stay away from chocolate in general but once in awhile you've just gotta have some!"
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Squares ~ Gluten and Dairy Free
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (I used Better Batter)
1 T. pumpkin-pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp (I used Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread)
1 ¼ cups sugar (I used 1 cup)
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (This is a LOT of chips. 10 oz would be fine)
Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom and sides of 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Well, it's been a while! I miss this place and all you guys out there. The new job doesn't really allow much time for blogging so I've fallen out of the habit. I've been thinking a lot lately though about wanting to get back to it. I actually really want to write a post about the quality of gluten free bread nowadays. Wow have we come a long way baby!! That picture above, almost makes you think I've been snacking on a sub from the corner sub shop right? Tasted like it! That's a Schar sub sandwich roll and oh my gosh is it delicious. They come with instructions to bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes and enjoy. I haven't had a steak sub in soooo long so when I saw these at the store this is the first thing that came to mind. I LOVE subs and miss them and when I saw these rolls I knew exactly what to do.
Currently my favorite breads are Udi's, Schar, and this local bakery called All Can Eat. I buy a loaf of All Can Eat Multi-Grain bread each week and generally have 2 slices toasted with an egg over-easy for breakfast each day. I love it! Long forgotten are the days of that awful "gluten-free" smell coming from the toaster. I am going to attempt to make gluten free stuffing for Thanksgiving again this year and this time I plan on using Udi's white bread. Lately I've been craving a Joan's English Muffin but it looks like they've fallen out of the market, I'm sure because they are so expensive. There are just too many great alternatives out there, I wish Joan would come down on the price so that she could stay competitive! Those really are my favorite English Muffins.
Anyway... hopefully I'll get some more posts up soon. Other than breads I haven't been eating anything new and/0r exciting. I've noticed that Stop & Shop is really stepping up their game, now carrying Udi's! They are also carrying Amy's GF/CF burritos but are selling out like hot cakes, I want to try them!! Also, anyone know where I can score a box of GF Bisquick?? Can't find it anywhere!!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Tuesday night she was at a friend's house and the friend gave her a baby cookie. Immediately Maggie started breaking out around her mouth in a rash. My sister thought it was odd but didn't really do anything about it. She's been wanting to transition Maggie off of formula and wanted to put her on regular milk. I've been telling her over and over to not be surprised if she doesn't tolerate it. Well, the other night she gave her a bottle with 2 oz of milk and 2 oz of soy formula. Lo and behold, she broke out immediately and not long after that she tossed that milk right back up... (sorry). She checked the website of the baby cookies and sure enough, there is milk in them. The pediatrician says she still may grow out of it and try again in 6 months. She asked me if I thought it was ok to try her on yogurt in like a month. I was like NO!!! How are you going to ask your dairy allergic sister if she thinks it's ok to give a dairy allergic baby some yogurt?? Silly girl. I know that she's just thinking into the future of all the foods that have milk that Maggie won't be able to have and is feeling that pain that we all feel when we find out that we can't have mac & cheese anymore. I get it. It would be great if Maggie grows out of this, but I'm guessing that she won't. She has a pretty obvious and immediate reaction to it which is just as bad now as it was when she was born. Thankfully she has me to help her find great alternatives for her! If she didn't understand what I go through before, she certainly will now. She's being really stubborn about it though which is surprising to me, I think she's still really in that old school mindset that dairy is essential for optimum health which we all here know that is not the case! She'll be just fine.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I've been meaning to try these cookies for a long time, and after reading about them on Heidi's blog I couldn't resist. I meant to try to make these into twix bars but I've already eaten more than half the bag. I'm keeping them in my desk at work so I can grab a couple after lunch. Let me just preface this by saying that I do not typically care for shortbread cookies, but I was at the grocery store the other day and they just sounded really good. And they are! I really like these, they are light and crunchy and great for something sweet after lunch. I tend to eat a lot of salad at lunch time and I always want something to kind of cleanse my palate afterwards and these are great for that. Schar makes some awesome products and I'm rarely disappointed with them. Thanks Schar!!
Friday, June 25, 2010
Second, I have bruises. Always. All over my legs. I don't know how they get there most of the time. Lately I've been elevating my legs at work by resting them on the edge of my trash barrel and this morning I noticed that I now have bruises on the back of both of my legs where I rest them on the barrel. Really? I have big veins and thin skin, you can see my veins coursing through my legs, but is that really all this is? I've always bruised easily but lately it seems a bit excessive. So I'm writing about it here, to all my autoimmune friends, to see if any of you have experienced this? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
In my effort to avoid too much sugar, I asked the awesome folks at Udi's if I could sample their chocolate chocolate chip muffins along with the pizza crust they offered to send me. They were so kind to oblige. I have been waiting for these to show up in my stores but at the moment I can only ever find the Blueberry (awesome) and the Lemon Streusel (haven't tried yet but I know I will love them too). Three out of four of these were consumed just plain, warmed up in the microwave for 20 seconds and they are so delicious. Addictive. Chocolatey awesomeness. For one of these little delights, I decided to make a dessert out of it. As if these aren't already dessert enough on their own. I heated one up in the microwave and topped it off with some Turtle Mountain Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl ice cream. Wow this was such a good idea!!!! If I were ever going to a party where there would be cake and ice cream and I wanted to be able to have something for myself, I'd totally bring this! This ice cream is so so so good, the first time I bought it, when I got it home it had just melted enough that it was perfect to eat and I ate the entire pint.... I swear, I really am doing better about eating a lot less sugar but once in a while you've got to treat yourself!
Monday, June 14, 2010
I have been eating a lot of pizza lately!! Ever since I discovered Daiya cheese it's my new favorite thing. Last week I posted that I made some pizza using Kinnikinnick crust and the awesome folks at Udi's offered to send me some of their crust to try since I hadn't found it yet at my local shops. The Kinnikinnick crust was great but the Udi's crust is even better!!! It's thin and crunchy and doesn't get mushy under the toppings. I piled this pizza high with sauce, slices of tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms and both mozzarella and cheddar style Daiya cheese.. oh and also a couple slices of Boar's Head bacon!! Delicious. The only thing I noticed about this crust that I don't love is that it's got a lot of dust on it, like extra flour dust. I do like a little flour dust on my pizza crust but I thought it was a little excessive here. But really, other than that, this is another amazing Udi's product!!!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Whole Foods is finally carrying Udi's products! I found the bread and muffins there last week but yesterday I found the bagels. I don't generally care that much about bagels but I just had to try these. I left them out overnight to defrost and then toasted one up this morning and made an egg sandwich with it. I am certainly impressed. These are soft, bready, delicious bagels. They don't have that crunchy outside like a traditional bagel but still, excellent. I didn't even bother looking at the nutritional info because I know these aren't a great choice but there's only four in the bag so that's not too bad. I won't buy them very often since I don't often buy bagels in general, but whenever I get the urge, I definitely will grab these! Udi's is the best! I made pizza last night with Kinnikinnick crust but I thought about making bagel pizzas, now that would be awesome! Pizza post coming soon!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I really wanted quesadillas and I have a big box of Better Batter that I've been meaning to use so I thought I'd try the awesome tortilla recipe from their website. This normally would be an easy recipe to make but became a major undertaking because it just so happened to be 95 degrees here. I don't have air conditioning. Who takes on a cooking project on a day like today? Me. I also have never made buffalo sauce before either, and only within the past couple of years have I actually even become a fan of the stuff. The motivator for this project though, was the cheese. I haven't had cheese melted on anything in a long time and I heard about this amazing product called Daiya and I just had to try it.
I broiled some chicken tenders, made the sauce (melt hot sauce and earth balance together, viola!) and set to work on the tortillas, but the dough just wouldn't come together. I couldn't figure out why and was in too much of a rush so I gave up on that. Put the chicken in the buffalo sauce, put that on top of some chips, topped it off with cheddar cheese and melted it in the microwave. Put a dollop of CF sour cream (Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream) on the side to cut the heat of the buffalo sauce. Oh my gosh this was so yummy. And almost completely all natural and organic, not to mention completely gluten and dairy free. Cheesy, creamy, buttery goodness without the stomach ache. I took a picture but it is VERY unappetizing so I'm not going to post it, but it tasted so good. I am totally amazed by Daiya. It is excellent. I don't know how they turn flour and other ingredients into cheese that melts and stretches but they did it and it's awesome. I highly recommend it!
Monday, May 24, 2010
The good news is, my family and friends threw me a surprise 30th birthday party on Saturday night!! I was pretty sure my 30th was about to go by unnoticed so they really got me good. My mom even bought me Redbridge and made me a gf/cf cake! It was a great night. I had a few unmoderated comments so I'll get to those soon. I don't know if I'll be posting regularly but I just wanted to stop in for a quick update. I hope you are all doing well!!!
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I have amazing hearing. If you are three rooms away from me and you drop a penny, I will hear it. If someone's smoke detector is going off two houses away, I will hear it. In fact, I will get out of bed in the middle of the night and go outside to make sure that it's a neighbor's house and not mine that is potentially on fire. Seriously. You might be thinking, wow, that's incredible! And you'd be right, it is pretty cool. For example, if you're standing across the room, whispering to your friend, there's a pretty good chance I can hear you. Good for me, maybe not for you, right? Sometimes it gets me in trouble though when I accidentally laugh out loud at what you said and then you know that I could hear you. "How on earth did you hear that??" Yeah, I get that a lot.
But there's something else that happens to me that I've always hated and can't control and before Tuesday I never understood why. The sound of chewing makes me crazy. Literally. I mean violently angry sometimes. You know how the sound of nails on a chalkboard sends shivers down your spine? Well, sometimes I actually feel as though my ears will bleed when I hear that sound. Noises that typically just annoy other people make me literally want to crawl out of my skin. And when I say literally, I mean LITERALLY. When I'm tired or if I just woke up I'm even more sensitive. It's the chewing though that causes me to turn green and break out of my clothes in an Incredible Hulk style rage.
Ever since I was little this has been a problem. Some people chew more loudly or awkwardly than others. For example, my Dad's mouth is like a cavern, I swear the crunching in there echoes. And my brother eats like a grazing cow, smacking and smooshing and ugh god it makes me shudder. The worst thing of all is crunching. Carrots, pretzels, chips, oh my goodness it rocks me to the core. If someone is eating cereal three rooms away with the doors closed in between I can STILL HEAR IT.
I knew when I started this job that this was going to be an issue. I have never been in an open workstation environment with a lot of other people. Every day someone that sits a few seats away snacks on chips. Someone will eat a salad or some pita chips. Another person eats carrots in the afternoon. I wonder if anyone has ever seen my head whip around to seek out the offender, or the glare that I send their way. I am ashamed to even admit this, but I seriously get so angry that I want to punch something, or someone... it is absolutely horrible.
If you've not experienced this, it's impossible to understand. You might be thinking, just get over it! Learn to deal with it! Ignore it! You're insane! Trust me, I've spent my entire life learning how to cope with this. Thankfully I am allowed to use earbuds at work so if I'm getting particularly sensitive, I just put the music on. If my Dad sits down in the living room with carrots, I leave the room. Fortunately, he understands and doesn't think I'm a total freak show. I noticed that my Mom will try to chew quietly, which actually just drives me even more insane because knowing that she's trying makes me pay more attention to it. Plus, when you try to chew quietly, you end up having to chew your food longer... I'd rather you just chomp on it and finish it fast! But really, this is my issue and I try very hard to not make it known that I'm dying on the inside. I have learned very well to cope with it. I even have been trying lately to desensitize myself to it. If I notice someone is chewing and it starts to bother me, I deliberately keep listening and calm myself down. Sometimes though I just can't handle it and I have to leave the room or plug in my earbuds. You know all of those tv commercials where they amplify the sound of someone chewing... like Twix or Raisin Bran Crunch or Kit Kat? I have to change the channel!
It's strange because my own chewing doesn't bother me. At all. Strange, huh? The other day I suddenly felt the need to do a google search about this issue and right away I learned about Misophonia. I couldn't believe that this is an actual neurological condition. It's not very well known or researched and some people think it's a psychological issue from a bad childhood experience. I had a great childhood. I don't believe that in my case, this is true. I do believe that it's a wiring problem somewhere in there. I just have super sensitive ears. Right now, someone is talking and she's particularly loud and it's annoying, but it is what it is. I just try really hard to not let it bother me and if it is bothering me, use the music. Now that I know that it's a legit condition, I feel a lot better about it and I actually think that maybe I can work on that desensitizing thing. It's worth a shot!
I wanted to write about this in case there are any other people out there that are dealing with this. Know that you are not alone! And you're not crazy, this is real! If you're a person that knows someone that talks about their sensitive ears, please have some compassion. It's a very painful condition and it's no joke. I'm really glad that I'm not just a psychopath though, seriously.
Monday, April 26, 2010
I went to Whole Foods yesterday and spent under $40. I didn't need a full cart of groceries but I still bought quite a bit of stuff, including two packages of grass fed beef. I'm very excited to be doing this. This week is kind of a slow start week since I want to use up some of the food I already have in the house. I'll be eating Udi's bread, tortilla chips (organic, only 3 ingredients), Eco-Planet hot cereal (organic, whole grains) and Amy's soup (also organic and all whole ingredients). Otherwise it will be all eggs, meat, veggies and probably some rice but usually I eat potatoes. For tonight I have some free range chicken defrosting in the fridge. The only food that I have that is not organic is the Udi's bread, but it is the whole grain version.
I hope that you are considering giving this a try as well!! Even if you don't, definitely subscribe to The W.H.O.L.E. Gang so you can read all about it and if you haven't done so already, sign Jamie Oliver's petition!!!!