Posts Tagged ‘gluten free living’

So Long Cheerios… it was fun while it lasted.

So you may have been following our gluten free Cheerios saga.  I couldn’t do it — I lasted two days before I got bubble guts and was pretty convinced that it was low enough to cause problems in a cumulative fashion.

My husband, on the other hand?  He was convinced Cheerios were the next best thing to sliced gluten free bread.  It brought back childhood memories, childhood flavors and he started eating it every day.  Every day.

In the course of the time that he was eating them so regularly, he got sick twice.  Two pretty aggressive colds — one possibly being a flu.  He complained of more stomach pain during this time than he usually did and complained of diarrhea.  He kept telling me it was because he ate something at work or maybe he has other food allergies.  I’d been suspicious.

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Recovery Bread – Pamela’s Sweet Honey Bread

As a nurse, recovery from a gluten exposure is not naturally intuitive.  Proper care of any stomach bug, stomach issue, et cetera, includes these steps: Bowel rest –> clear liquids –> full liquids –> BRAT diet.  If you’ve heard of the BRAT diet, for the celiac… it’s an expensive one — if you focus on the T in Brat. The T is often the easiest for non-celiacs.  BRAT breaks down to: Banana, Rice, Applesauce and Toast.  These are high starchy foods that are more readily digestible in an angry environment.  “If you’re nauseated, try saltines!”  Where the heck do you get saltines without hitting every single grocery store looking for them?  Gluten free saltines?  Medically, we don’t think about our recovering celiacs when we think BRAT diet.

During this pregnancy, I’ve craved starches.  Bread, pizza (basically bread with toppings on it), potatoes, and rice.  So it seems even more natural that, after being exposed to gluten on Monday, that I would just crave starches.  Unfortunately, the last few the mornings – I’m not tolerating food.  Bread, however? As a nurse, I know that’s a go to… so when I started craving bread last night I decided I was going to do something about it — and not run to the store to do so.

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The Celiac Kryptonite: Unexpected Exposures

You could say things were going so well.  I don’t remember the last time I was really glutened.  By “really” glutened, I mean with symptoms more than just the little head rush from something small.  I’m 25 weeks pregnant and hadn’t thrown up once this pregnancy.

My biggest gluten worry at this point had been the gluten free Cheerios we were trialing in the house (more on that in another post to come!).

This past Saturday, we found out about Han’s German Deli and went to check it out.  My husband, being in the states for the last 5 years now, squealed like a kid finding out about Christmas for the first time.  Apfelschole, Mettwurst, Butter kase, pommes sauce, Apfel Wein, imported Haribo flavors… german chocolates…

It’s amazing that we didn’t spend more.  We spent a little time in Germany since being gluten free and are quite familiar with the German words for wheat.  Germans seem to hide wheat into their chocolates.  He said he was reading all the ingredients… and I trusted him.

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The Gluten Free Cheerios Saga – Part One

The first dance has started.  Gluten free Cheerios are staring at me from across the counter.  ‘Eat me,’ I hear the quiet calling…

My husband is the more risk taking celiac in our household.  Work events, questionable items… he’s more inclined to take a gamble.  I can always tell when he’s come home glutened.  He turns white and loses his color.  He spends extra time near the bathroom.  It can be pretty significant.

So when it came to gambling… I thought, well, why not?  He’s been asking about the gluten free Cheerios for some time and I don’t think he’s been privy to all the community drama surrounding them.  Let’s experiment.  He knows this is happening.  He’s okay with it.  He was more bummed that I didn’t find the Lucky Charms ones for him to try.

In case you aren’t familiar with the drama, General Mills is using a proprietary way of “cleaning” the oats.  Oats are naturally gluten free but typically cross contaminated with wheat and barley in the harvesting process.  General Mills is not using certified gluten free oats but rather sorting and cleaning up the cross contamination.  This can definitely be intimidating for those of us with gluten problems.

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Gluten Free Pillsbury Funfetti – Cream Cheese Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting!

When you get diagnosed with celiac disease or find that you have other gluten intolerances, one of the first thing that goes out the window is the fun of ready made cake mixes suitable for children’s parties.  Like Pillsbury Funfettis.  You lose the ability to quickly run to the store, grab a box, and put together something moist, juicy, decadent simply.  That isn’t to say that you can’t do those things… it’s merely to say that doing so gets harder.

When you bake gluten free, you worry about the texture.  Is it going to fall apart when I bake it?  Is it going to make it more than 2 hours without getting hard?  Is it going to be like eating cotton balls?  And most of the time, you can count on it not making it to the next day (my Apple Cake makes it several days…). 

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Gluten Free Apple Cake

Confession:  I had never had apple cake before.  My husband, being the import from Germany, has plenty of memories of his mother and grandmothers making Apple cake.  We were channel surfing and saw this gluten recipe go by and he immediately decided he had to have it.  We’ve been baking gluten free for a little while so it didn’t take much to see that there wasn’t a ton of substitutions needed for this recipe.  We love using Schar’s Universal Mix It flour blend.  It comes out perfectly and keeps getting better every day!  We’re still eating a piece a day three days later!  A gluten free feat to keep so well, I think.  Here’s what he did to make a yummy gluten free apple cake.

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Gluten Free Fad – Is it Hurting or Helping?

Walk into most grocery stores these days and you will find a whole (albeit small) section dedicated to “Gluten Free Foods.”  Not only this – but you will also find gluten free foods still scattered throughout the store.  Maybe strategically done by the grocer so you’ll buy more.

You’ll find cookies, and flours, and breads, and brownie mixes.  You’ll find cereal, cereal bars, and sweets galore.  Forget the fruits and vegetables.  You have your own aisle dedicated to replacing all the things you haven’t been able to eat on this new celiac buzz.

A research paper done by Lee, Ng, Zivin & Green reviewed the costs and variety of gluten free products available in several types of grocery stores and noted that (what we all know) gluten free products were twice as expensive as other wheat-filled products and was impacted by type of venue.

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Quick, easy, and tasty! Gluten Free Raspberry Coconut Macaroons.

Here’s a quick, easy, light summer recipe with lots of flavor!  I was surprised how well this one turned out —  My husband doesn’t love coconut and certainly won’t normally take a macaroon and even he was sneaking them from the kitchen counter on me. These are also easy to get creative with – add some lemon, add chocolate, add/take away other flavors pretty safely.  These stayed soft for us for several days – but be sure to bag them or put them in a container!  Gluten free products don’t keep in the air quite the same way as their gluten filled counterparts.

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It’s part of dinner! Naturally Gluten Free Homemade French Fries.

We love these fries!  We put together this recipe after doing some research on how to make french fries on a budget; without spending the cash on a pre-packaged bag and in how to get the flavors that we wanted.  I love the french fries at Five Guys Burger & Fries but can no longer do the peanut / peanut oil that it is cooked in — so while we have been able to safely get burgers there, I can’t justify the aftermath of the peanut oil on the fries.  These come as close as I can imagine getting to the texture / taste of their french fries with some new flavor in the seasoning.  They’re baked, and since most of us will have these seasonings and the olive oil already in home – it’s super cost effective!  A 10lb bag of russet potatoes costs us less than $2 at Fred Meyer here in Seattle.

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