Gluten-free for 4 Years Today

Today marks the 4th anniversary of my embarking on the gluten-free diet.  I received a call from my doctor on January 9, 2006 (my 33rd birthday) that my blood test for Celiac disease came back positive and the rest is history.  I can’t believe how much the gluten-free food market has changed over these past 4 years.  GF specialty food was close to impossible to find in the mainstream grocery stores.  Naturally gluten-free food was still as easy to find, but some of the questionable items that are now marked gluten-free weren’t as easy to identify.  Things have come a long way in just 4 years.  More & more companies are labeling their products “gluten-free” (Progresso Soups, Yoplait Yogurt, General Mills Cereal – just to name a few).  Many GF specialty foods have really exploded onto the market in the past 4 years.

So, today I celebrate being gluten-free.  I am thrilled that I am now following a diet that helps me feel better & is helping to make me the healthiest person I can be.  I celebrate that the “cure” is a diet change and not medication or surgery.  Things could really be much worse.  I have tried foods that I had never tried before & they have become new favorites.  So, if you are newly diagnosed & struggling, please take a moment to stop & think about it.  Mourn the beloved foods you are no longer able to eat & then move forward with an open mind.  You will discover a whole new world (try to think of that song from Aladdin – “a new fantastic point of view“).  Keeping a positive attitude will make your outlook seem much brighter.  🙂

LiveJournal Tags:

Weekly Menu Plan – January 10, 2010

This week I am hosting the weekly gluten-free menu swap and I chose gluten-free pizza as the theme of the week.  I love pizza and love trying new combinations & crusts, so I hope to see some great ideas this week.  Over the past year I have tried some new crusts.  I have a new favorite, Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust mix.  I also use Pamela’s Bread mix for pizza crust or Carol Fenster’s recipe. As far as toppings go, Jon prefers the traditional marinara sauce, mozzarella & pepperoni, occasionally.  I like to mix things up.  I like Buffalo Chicken pizza, veggie style pizza and my newest favorite is a pizza that I top with Trader Joe’s Tomato Chutney, smashed chickpeas, feta or goat cheese & spinach.  It is so good.  What are your favorite crusts & toppings?

Buffalo Chicken & half cheese pizza

Veggie & half cheese pizza

Onto my menu for the week:

Sunday – Rotisserie Chicken, sweet potato steak fries, green beans & salad

Monday – Birthday dinner with my Dad, Step Mom & little sister

Tuesday- Taco salad

Wednesday- Salmon, brown rice couscous, asparagus & salad

Thursday -Chicken/Eggplant Parmesan, broccoli & salad

Friday – Pizza night!

Saturday -Hannah & I will have a girls night 🙂  Her choice

Baked Items

Bread

Sweet Potato Brownies (didn’t get to them last week)

Blueberry Muffins

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Please visit Food for Good Thought, Inc as they are holding a silent auction on January 23rd to raise money for autism.  They train& employ individuals with autism.  They make a great variety of gluten-free foods.  If you live in the Columbus area you can attend the silent auction.  If not and you want to donate, you can do so by visiting Food for Good Thought’s site.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Have a great week!!  Thanks to Cheryl at Gluten-free Goodness who is currently coordinating the GF Menu Swap.  If you are interested in hosting, please contact Cheryl.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Manda from Asparagus Thin is making pizzas from around the world this week.  I am especially interested in the deep dish polenta pizza..YUM!  I also love the song she posted at the top of her post – it will be in my head all day now. 🙂

In my Box is making a series of one-pot meals this week.  Again, polenta has caught my eye!  A mention of a Mexican pizza made on Udi’s crust also caught my eye – I love to sing the praises of Udi’s!

Heather from Celiac Family has a great menu planned!  She goes through her favorite pizzas (frozen, crusts & restaurant).  I hope she can find a ZPizza soon, they are one of the best restaurant gluten-free pizzas around!

Cheryl from Gluten-free Goodness is making Coconut Curried Lentils and I just might have to invite myself over for dinner!  YUM!!  She also tried out a yeast & grain free pizza a while back that looks really good.  I just may give that a try in the near future.

Esther from Lilac Kitchen is talking about making a pizza with a sweet apple base.  That sounds awesome to me, so I do hope she shares if she does!

For more great menu ideas, please visit Orgjunkie.

Product Review: Trader Joe’s Moisturizing Cream

I don’t know about you guys, but my skin is very dry this time of year.  Not only the skin on my legs & arms, but my hands are so dry they are cracking!  I wash my hands 40,000 times a day, so that has a lot to do with it.  Okay, maybe it isn’t that much, but it is a lot. Between changing diapers, making gluten-filled foods for Hannah and just staying germ free, I feel like I am constantly at the sink.  I have tried many hand lotions in the past.  Last year I talked about using Curel Target Hand Cream.  I found a new product that I am now loving last week.  I was shopping at one of my favorite stores, Trader Joe’s, when I spotted this lotion:

 

016

Trader Joe’s A Midsummer Night’s Cream – Extra Dry Formula.  I am surprised it didn’t say “For Kim” on the front.  This 16 oz. bottle (complete with handy dandy hand pump) was under $4.  I keep this puppy right next to my kitchen sink so that after I soap up & dry, I can immediately apply the cream.  So far, so good.  Jon has also been using it and it helped his dry hands, too.  This product is gluten-free and cruelty-free (produced with no animal by-products and without any animal testing. 

 

Birthday Shout Outs & Such

Seems there are a few other January Capricorns running around out there.  Not only is my birthday on Saturday, but so is my Mom’s and Erin’s of Gluten-free Fitness!  Happy birthday Erin & Mom!  I hope you both have great days!  My Mom will be coming to town in a few weeks so we can celebrate our special day.  Aaron & I are going out to dinner with friends tonight to enjoy some adult conversation.

Here you go Erin & Mom:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Over the past few days I have been mostly trying to stay warm, but when I had to venture out, I found an amazing discovery at Raisin Rack – you can read more about it here.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Burger King is now offering gluten-free menu choices.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Did you hear about The Washington Post’s article about Celiac Disease being “in” in 2010?    While I am overjoyed that more press=more awareness=more people getting much-needed diagnoses, I am also concerned that this will lead to the gluten-free diet being labeled as a fad diet & not being taken seriously by places serving gluten-free foods to those that really do need them.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Word on the street is that Mellow Mushroom is currently working on a gluten-free pizza crust.  This is what they “tweeted” to me the other day:

@kbouldin Mellow Mushroom is currently working on a gf pizza crust but its not ready just yet….Its Coming Soon!

YAY!!!  There is a Mellow Mushroom right up the street from me!

________________________________________________________________________________________

Did you catch my review of Glow Gluten-free Cookies?  Amazing!

Hope you all have a nice weekend.  🙂

LiveJournal Tags: ,

Product Review: Susta Natural Sweetener

Back in December I was contacted by NXT Nutritionals about a healthy alternative to table sugar & artificial sweeteners.  Carlee sent me out a complimentary sample of Susta to sample & review for the blog.  Susta comes packaged in a box of 50 little packets, much like sugar or Splenda packets. 

From the NXT Nutritionals website:

SUSTA Natural Sweetener is a proprietary blend of non-caloric ingredients that can put the “brakes” on higher glycemic foods or beverages from adversely effecting your blood sugar. Products using SUSTATM Natural Sweetener are high fiber, with nutrients and minerals, no or low fats and have no added trans or hydrogenated fats. SUSTATM is great energy and nutrition for your heart, bones, and immune system.

004

There are many benefits to Susta Natural Sweetener:

  • Contains Probiotics
  • Supports Digestive & Immune Health
  • Low Glycemic Index Food
  • Gluten-free
  • Only 5 calories

You can see the comparison of Susta & several other sweeteners below:

I have been using Susta to sweeten my coffee and as a treat on my Oikos & fruit.  Susta provides just enough sweetness without over doing it.  It also didn’t upset my stomach like some of the low calorie artificial sweeteners on the market do.  This is a great option for those who are looking for a low calorie, natural sweetener to add to their coffee, tea or foods.  You can purchase Susta here for $6.99/box.  Also, NXT Nutritionals will be making a baking version of Susta that can be preordered on their website now.  Susta & NXT Nutritionals are proud supporters of the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). 

 

LiveJournal Tags: ,

Glowing Review: Glow Gluten-free Cookies

I was the very lucky recipient of a package containing 4 complimentary boxes of gluten-free cookies from Glow Gluten-free the other day.  First I have to say that Jill from Glow Gluten-free is so sweet.  She is great to follow on Twitter and we have had some good laughs over the past few days.  Some of these giggles came from Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten-free Mom finding out that I had received & tasted a Double Chocolate cookie from Glow Gluten-free.  I had tweeted that I loved the cookie & Heidi caught wind of that & then began the tweets back that I must try the Snickerdoodles immediately!  Take about peer pressure!  😉  LOL!  Of course I had to oblige.  I couldn’t not try them at this point.  By the end of the night I had eaten 1 whole cookie & multiple bites of the other cookies to taste them all.  Jon was the lucky recipient of the remaining cookie parts – a job he did not complain about.  Good thing I am training for a marathon!  Talk about carb loading.  Maybe I will have to stock up on these cookies closer to the race. 😉 

003

Now, down to the details.  Not only are Glow Gluten-free cookies gluten-free, but they are casein-free, trans fat free and preservative free.  Each cookie contains 100 calories and is between 5 – 6 grams of fat.  They also contain 2 grams a fiber – bonus!  I love that the ingredient list for the cookies is easy to read & the flours used are garbanzo bean & fava bean.  Healthier than using a white rice, tapioca or potato starch (though they do have their place).  Also, notice the adorable packing – how cute is that?  Very eye catching & clever. 

005

Chocolate Chip – These remind me of Chips Ahoy, which I loved to eat as a child.  Jon adored these cookies!  I needed a glass of milk to dip these in! 

Snickerdoodle – The cookie that Heidi made me eat.  😉  These rock!  They have an amazing cinnamon flavor & as Heidi suggested this morning, I should crumble them up as cereal because they taste like Apple Jacks!  I see these as a topping to my oatmeal in the very near future. 

Double Chocolate– I want to say enough said, but that wouldn’t be doing these cookies justice.  They are so chocolately, crunchy & exciting!  They wake up your taste buds & would be awesome paired with a glass of merlot. 

Gingersnap – Classic gingersnap cookie.  I have always loved gingersnaps and these did not disappoint.  I would say that they would be great as a pie crust, but I don’t think that I am willing to sacrifice them for that!  LOL! 

008

I think I am going to take the plunge & say that these now rank up there as one of the best gluten-free packaged cookies that I have tasted.  Both Jill and her daughter have Celiac Disease.  I love that Jill says in her brochure that she was trying to recreate their old favorites (Mrs. Field’s, Chips Ahoy, Famous Amos), not create a packaged gluten-free cookie to resemble something you make at home.  I think that Jill & Glow Gluten-free hit that recreation spot on.  Job well done. 

Had to share one more picture – can you see that sugar on top of the gingersnap?  Mmmmmm!

010

Thanks Jill & Glow Gluten-free for sending us these samples to review.  We thoroughly enjoyed them.  You can find Glow-Gluten-free cookies at these locations

 

 

Weekly Menu Plan – January 4, 2010

BRRRR!!!  I am freezing!  I can’t tell you how much I hate being cold.  I currently have on 2 shirts & a fleece, jeans and wool socks.  My toes get numb, specifically my freakishly long 2nd toe on each foot.  Then, once those are numb, the rest of my toes must feel bad for the others because they join right in.  My nose runs.  My skin is dry.  Ick!  It is 14 today and we are going to be in a heat wave close to the end of the week with temps in the high 20s!  Yay! 

Manda from Asparagus Thin is hosting this week’s gluten-free menu swap with “movie themed food” as the theme of the week.  I can’t think of any movie themed foods that I make off the top of my head.  Well, unless you count tossing microwave popcorn into the microwave or opening up a bag of Skittles.  My BIL makes some amazing kettle corn in a pot on the stove that is just oil, popcorn & sugar.  It is seriously like crack.  You can’t stop eating it once you start.  It is never a good idea to start eating Alex’s kettle corn if you have had even a drop of alcohol.  Last time I did, I think I ate a whole bowl myself.  I really need to learn how to make this stuff, or wait, maybe I don’t.  Hmm. 

Here is our menu for the week:

Sunday- Pei Wei Asian Diner with some friends

Monday- Blackened Salmon, baked sweet potatoes, asparagus & salad

Tuesday-Taco Tuesday – soft tacos, corn, refried beans & salad

Wednesday-Spaghetti with roasted veggies & salad

Thursday-Breakfast for dinner – we haven’t done this in a long time & I have missed it!

Friday-Homemade personal pizzas – kids get to make & choose their toppings, broccoli & salad

Saturday – Aaron & I are going out with friends for my birthday (I am turning 29 again on the 9th 😉 )

 

Baked Goods

Bread

Sweet Potato Brownies (a mix I was sent to sample)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hope you all have a wonderful week!  Do you do anything special to celebrate birthdays?  Aaron & I try to drag our birthdays out for the weekend or week.  LOL!  We try to pawn on things like chores on others because it is our “birthday week/weekend”.  It seems to work better for Aaron than it does for me.  🙂 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Check out this post from Dr. Mark Hyman MD “Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You“.  It is very eye opening.  I have always believed that gluten intolerance is way bigger than just Celiac Disease.  This is no surprise since wheat has become so prevalent in processed foods.   Barley malt flavoring is also used in many processed foods to add flavor.  There are other, non-gluten substitutes that can be used in place of barley malt.  General Mills is a good example of a company that has removed barely malt in some of their cereals to make them gluten-free.  Molasses was used in place of the barley malt.  Anyway, please read the article.

 

LiveJournal Tags: ,