Monthly Archives: April 2015

5 Things I Am Not Saying When I Tell You I’m Gluten Free

gluten freeAssumptions, right or wrong, people make assumptions all the time.  In the case of Celiac Disease, this is no different.  Those who are uneducated on gluten and its effects on the bodies of people afflicted by this disease can be guilty making assumptions based on what they here in the media.  I want to clear up some of those assumptions and help raise awareness and educate others. Here are 5 things I am not saying when I tell you I am gluten free.

I am NOT judging what you eat. 

When I tell someone that I am gluten free, it is not to tell them that they are eating the wrong things.  I tell people I am gluten free to protect myself from eating foods that may make me sick and lead to further health issues later in life.  I believe people should have the right to eat whatever they want.  I have my opinions on what is best for me, but I cannot force those on anyone else.  What is right for one person is not always right for everyone.  So when you here someone say they are gluten free, please don't assume we are scoping out what you eat and secretly judging you.  We are not.assumptions  I am NOT asking you to switch to a gluten free lifestyle.

When I tell you I am gluten free, I am not trying to turn anyone to gluten free living.  I am not trying to persuade you away from your favorite foods.  Living a gluten free lifestyle is not easy and if it is not necessary, you shouldn't feel like you need to switch.  I do believe that there are many health issues beyond Celiac Disease that can be made better by living a gluten free lifestyle, but I only suggest it to those who are seeking alternative answers.  I will not push gluten free on anyone.

 I am NOT on a fad diet.

Celiac Disease is a very serious condition, not just a upset tummy disease, that requires strict dietary adherence to a gluten free diet in order to heal and remain healthy.  Celiac Disease is also known as a companion disease to other autoimmune diseases.  If I eat gluten containing foods,it can trigger other autoimmune diseases.  Beyond the risk of triggering other diseases or cancers, gluten changes who I am.  I feel psychotic, anxious, depressed, moody. I get brain fog and can't function as well.  I also get the typical intestinal issues, which diminish my quality of life.  Choosing to eat gluten free because you want to follow a trend and having to eat gluten free to save your life are two very different things.  Fad diets come and go, a gluten free lifestyle is for a lifetime.gave up gluten I am NOT asking you to cater to my food restrictions.

When I tell you I am gluten free, it is not for you to make sure you have something I can eat if I visit. I appreciate when my friends and family do have gluten free offerings, but I NEVER expect it. I still feel like a burden to them, because I am different and I always try to bring things for myself, because it is my issue not theirs.  I feel cared for when they try to understand what I need and make efforts to help me out.  

 I am NOT asking for your pity.

Although living a gluten free lifestyle can be challenging, I actually feel like it is a blessing.  There are many other people who are in tougher situations than me.  I am thankful that this can be managed in a fairly simple manner and a normal life can still be led.  There are so many I see who have so many struggles and hurdles to overcome and still cannot live a full life. I feel blessed my struggles are insignificant in comparison. I don't feel like being gluten free is a condemnation, I feel it has been liberating.

Gluten Free Southwest Jerk Salad

Southwest Jerk SaladEating gluten free can be challenging at times.  I am always in a quest for new an interesting meals.  We can all fall into the trap of eating the same thing over and over. Boring!  This week I came up with the beautiful recipe for southwest jerk salad.  It not only has a variety of textures and flavors, it is full of rich, nutrient ingredients.

I began with a pork shoulder which I made in a crock pot.  I got the recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Holistic Squid.  You can find a recipe here.  The actual recipe we used was part of a meal plan, called realplans.  Since this is a product Holistic Squid sells, I can't post the actual recipe.  Using the recipe above, you can add jerk seasoning to the recipe and get close to the recipe in the meal plan.

In addition to jerked pork, this lovely salad also has pinto and black beans.  To ensure the best nutritional value from the beans, it is important to prepare them in the traditional ways. Legumes are high in phytic acid (phytate), which is actually an anti-nutrient.  What does that mean?  It means it actually steals nutrients from the body. It has the ability to bind to essential minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium in the digestive tract and inhibit their absorption by the body.  When individuals, such as those with Celiac Disease, are hard pressed to absorb nutrients, phytic acid can make mineral deficiencies even worse. The way to prevent this is to soak the beans for up to 48 hours in warm water, making sure to change the water often as it starts to ferment.  Drain and rinse each time you change the water to help wash off the phytic acid.  Here is a great resource form more information on soaking beans and grains.

You can use any type of salad greens for the salad.  I like a mixture of lettuces, kale, and spinach.  You can also add whatever vegetables you prefer to it.  For this recipe I used  onions, peppers, jalapenos, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  The  hot peppers blend well with the jerk seasoning and make a very balance taste overall.  If you are not keen on spicy, you don't have to use the hot peppers, but for me right now I am addicted to the adobo chipotle peppers.  I also am a very big cheese lover so I topped it all off with cheese, but if you are dairy intolerant there are so many rich flavors that cheese is not necessary for a really enjoyable salad.

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1 I Love to Laugh

Baby laughingThis morning my husband began humming “I Love to Laugh” and now it is stuck in my head.  So I thought I would share the laughter with you as well 🙂

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RTokqMhAuE]

This month's scroll is on laughter.  It is a miracle of creation that we are the only animals that truly laugh making us nature's greatest miracle.   Even if our day is not going well, it is amazing how laughing can turn in around in just a moment.  As Og mentions,

What can take plaughlace before the sun sets which will not seem insignificant in the river of centuries?…  This too shall pass.”

There is nothing that we are going through that will not pass and is not worthy of laughing at.

I will laugh at myself for man is most comical when he takes himself too seriously.

If all things shall pass why should I be of concern today?

As with all the things we have learned in the MKE, laughter along with a positive mental attitude will help keep us in harmony and keep attracting to us thaBaby laught which we need to obtain our desires.  I am finding this message so encouraging and love how it links to scientific fact of the need for laughter to maintain health. When we laugh, we change physically.  We stretch muscles in our face and through out our bodies, our heart rate and blood pressure go up, we begin to breathe faster.  Just like exercise changes your mood by boosting endorphins, so does laughter. Laughter also reduces stress, which we all know it very detrimental to health.

Not only is laughter good for your health, it is also a key to being successful.

And so long as I can laugh never will I be poor.  This, then, is one of nature's greatest gifts, and I will waste it no more.  Only with laughter can I truly become a success. – Scroll VII

Andrew Carnegie, one of the wealthiest men in history lists laughing as one of the top four tips for massive success.

“There is little success where there is little laughter.”- Andrew Carnegie.

So start your day with laughter, as my husband helped me today, and when things get tough, step back and laugh at yourself and the situation, as this too shall pass.

orlando-espinosa-emerson-to-laugh-often

A Glorious Gluten Free Easter

Lemon poppyseed cakeIt is that time of year, Easter.  Many are celebrating this holiday in various ways, Easter egg hunts, parties, or dinners.  All of these are social gatherings of friends and family.  Great times and at the same time scary times for those who have food allergies.  You may be thinking in the back of your mind, “Will I accidentally eat something that will make me feel sick and lessen the enjoyment  of the day?”

Eating gluten free has its challenges and social gatherings can be one of them.  It is my goal to help others avoid these challenges and hopefully make them even more enjoyable.  Today I am going to provide some gluten fee ideas for an Easter dinner and provide the recipe for one of my families favorite desserts.

First of all the colored Easter Egg.  Thankfully, eggs are naturally gluten free.  I am a very big supporter of pastured and organic eggs and would recommend using these over eggs from commercial farms. However, some would disagree and that is OK.  If you have a farmers market which sells eggs, that is perfect.  Help support local farmers.  Now about the food dye.  There is a lot of research about how food dyes are contributing to behavior problems and perhaps linked to increase in food allergies.  So for those colored eggs, I personally would use nature food dyes. colored eggsYou can use ordinary food items such as purple cabbage,red and yellow onion skins, turmeric, beets, and red zinger tea. You can find out how to use these to create the beautiful eggs pictured to the right, here

Another traditional Easter food is hot crossed buns.  These are a spiced sweet yeast bun with raisinhot cross bunss or currents and a cross made with icing across the top.  Originally they were reserved for Good Friday only.  The true origin of this tradition is not known, but if you want to know some of the theories you can find them here.  These can easily be made gluten free by replacing the flour with gluten free all purpose flours.  You can find gluten free hot cross bun recipes here.

The main dish served is either ham or  roast lamb.  These should both be naturally gluten free, but as always, check the packaging for ingredients which may have been added to the meat that may not be gluten free.  Many of the hams I have found in grocery stores have been labeled gluten free.  The lambs tradition is based on the Passover meals of the Old Testament. The lamb was roasted and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs hamin hopes of the Angel of Death passing over their home.  Ham became a tradition in the early years of the United states when refrigeration was not available yet and meats were salted and cured to preserve them through the winter months. The curing process took a long time and the first hams were ready to eat around Easter.

The most popular Easter treats are of the chocolates and candies that fill the Easter baskets.  As I have mentioned in earlier posts, this is not always cut and dry.  there are many candies that seem like they would be gluten free which in fact are not.  Don't worry though, there are still plenty of options available as the awareness of gluten increases. Check out the safe candy list here.chocolate bunnies

If you are not one who like candy but would like to have something sweet for Easter, this lovely Lemon Poppy Seed cake fits the bill.  The citrus of the lemons reminds me of summer and it has a light and refreshing aroma that brings energy to the room.  This combined with the creaminess of the cream cheese and the crunch of the poppy seeds gives your mouth a variety of textures to experience.  The cake itself is not overly sweet, put it is topped off with a lemony glaze which complements the cake and makes the experience complete.  I have been told our gluten free version is better than its gluten counterpart.  It has even been compared to those served in coffee shops, like Caribou, and found to be more delicate in texture, without being dry, more flavorful, and more satisfying.

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