Wednesday, November 16, 2016

[ Product Review ] Some Living Food - Organic Living Superfoods

In Boston, MA, Craig and Bruce make food. They make living food. And it's gluten free. Organic Living Superfoods, their raw, organic, food-purveying business has a product line of stunning variety and flavour for the amount of things it avoids, and the simplicity of its ingredients.

For the most part, each package of all things from sprouted almonds to smoothie powders to raw sprouted granolas boast an ingredient list you could easily scribble on palm.

For example: Banana Cinnamon Walnuts -- walnuts, dates, bananas, cinnamon.

Or how about the Goji Granola? Sprouted buckwheat, flame raisins, goji berries, dates, walnuts, cinnamon.

Simplicity, unlike the label gluten-free,isn't a modifier referencing removal of anything -- in fact, simplicity is one key aspect to the best gluten-free fare, and one ingredient difficult to find, and rarely added, to a good product. OLS proves the point. With the creativity that simplicity requires out of anyone daring to choose just a few ingredients, and one preparation process -- sprouting and dehydrating in this case -- OLS has made a line of hugely diverse, and palate-pleasing, organic snacks, proteins, and granolas.

As a celiac, I particularly appreciate the prep process. Sprouting and dehydrating nuts and grains maintains micronutrients, and reduces more difficult to digest compounds found in both, making everything OLS creates a lot easier on the insides to assimilate.

Dark Choc on the Coconut



Better still for the celiacs with oat-intolerance, these blokes are altogether oat-free, and mainly grain-free. I've been adding the walnuts to my black bean brownies, which give them a lovely subtle sweet from the banana. But one of the highlights of the products I got to try was the Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut.  (As a note: Rather bloody brilliant melted on Gluten Free Sourdgough Co's grain-free coconut bread.  It makes marshmallow-free s'more better than a marshmallow-included-smore.)


Brownies: Banana Walnutted
Sticking to simplicity, OLS also uses spices and vinegars to great creative effect. Still only 3-5 ingredients, their Pizz'Almonds and Buffalo Ranch Cashews balance spice and crunch to a t. Coating crisp kale, chicken, or tofu with the nuts? That was a brilliant idea.

A bowl of chickpea macaroni and no-cheese? I was experimenting with cajun spices. Cajun Mac, with the crunch and tang of the cashews, left all gluten-containing pre-diagnosis macaronis behind.


How did I not know these blokes -- purveyors of some of the top gluten-free, raw, organic food on the market -- were Boston-based? I'm not sure. But I'm glad I knocked into them twice this year at events -- because it gave me a chance to get to know their story, their food,, and pass on the resource.






PRODUCT SUM-UP:

Taste/Texture:  From sprouted nuts to granola, powders to trail mixes, texture is key -- no soggy nuts here, or jaw-breaking energy bites. The balance of spices and sweet -- sweet added with fruit, 99% of the time -- taste is consistent and stellar.

Availability: New England, locally, available in many small natural markets. Also, limited varieties in Whole Foods.

Shoestring-Budget-Friendly?: No. Nope. Nyet.

Non-GMO/Organic:Yes and yes.

Celiac-Safe?: YES. Also, dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan.


 Not to put too fine a point on it, but that's not enough in a food -- ice, after all, is gluten-free. What matters tremendously is what goes in to celiac-safe food, and that's where OLS wins ten times over.


Tumbling Free,

CJ


Friday, November 11, 2016

Gut-Healing One-Shots: Golden Milk, & Glory of Good Roots

GOLDEN MILK


Gut Healing One-Shots

weekly looks at healing the insides
with food preparation practises, supplements, or other
whole life approaches


Celiac disease and other digestive disorders put our insides at odds with what otherwise would be highly digestible and nourishing food. If you have celiac, you know you need to take gluten out. But how can you still get what you need in? Herbs are one avenue I've been offered -- and had the pleasure to offer others; but then, herbs on the Western market are most often capsuled. If they aren't capsuled, you get them in a bitter tea or perhaps -- in the best case scenario -- added to protein powder or other nutritonal supplement.

But did you know that the process of digestion and assimilation is intimately tied up with our experience and enjoyment of our food as well?

Perhaps this is why most traditions utilizing herbs don't simply dose you like a sick horse. Herbs are added as spices to warmly prepared meals; served in designated and eye-pleasing pottery.

All that aside, scientifically, studies have demonstrated systems under stress react with the same violent inflammatory response to anti-inflammatory foods as they do to inflammatory foods.

Throwing digestive herbs and enzymes at yourself while racing through the day? Downing a chilled shake with immune-boosting astragalus blended in?

It may not do you a a hint of healing.

It certainly hasn't done me, or many of my clients, much good. When your body sticks in a state of high-alert it cringes from the healing as well as the challenging -- just as your mind and emotions do. So in the vein of my first one-shot exploration of gut-healing smoothies,  and an enceounter with the Ayurveda-based, Boston-local Posha Green (whose protein powders are herbed to the hilt), I poked around the basis for Golden Milk, and the lovely golden-gut-good roots,Turmeric and Ginger. Ginger and turmeric are effective aids in reducing symptoms, and healing, after being glutened.  Ginger reduces gas, is a diaphoric, meaning it warms from the inside, and inhibits the formation of inflammatory cytokines; chemical messengers of the immune system. This itself is a huge benefit to anyone with celiac disease.

So what is a "Golden Milk"? 

Traditionally, a slow-boiled tea of ginger and turmeric root, with dairy or coconut milk, honey, and sometimes ghee, Golden Milk has been used historically to knock out colds, flatten a hangover -- or soothe the hurt or upset intestines.  It's a tongue-tingling shot of bitter and sweet. But what about cracking it into a smoothie?

Especially the kids I work with -- and I include myself in that category -- aren't always keen on bitter; nor are we keen on a hot drink if it can be a shake. Last week, I twiddled around in the kitchen before the crack of dawn, until I got the gut-healing balanced with the tradition and the palate-pleasing.

This smoothie can be made either warm or chilled. Know that -- as I noted before -- warm is often better on gluten-free, celiac-damaged insides than chill. But both, when the roots are steamed well, and the tea strong, will do the trick.

Steeping and preparation practises are often implicit reminders to us of how best to consume the food prepared. So steep, slow steam, and blend this anti-inflammatory beverage; and sip it slowly when you have time to breathe, and taste the tang of turmeric taut against the smooth sweet of honey.


GOLDEN MILK SHAKE


:: ingredients ::

1-2" fresh turmeric root
1-2" fresh or young ginger root, diced
1/2 tin full fat coconut milk
1 cup steamed organic carrots
1/2 cup liquid from boiled roots
1-2 tsp raw honey
ginger and turmeric root (optional -- you may also discard, dep-
ending on how strong you want your shake)
chia seeds, 1 tbs nut butter or 1 tbs coconut butter (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil (I used Now Foods Ellyndale Butter-Infused)
ice, if making chilled drink, to taste

:: directions ::


1) Slice turmeric and ginger long-ways into 2 or 3 pieces, and add to a small saucepan (about 1 1/2 cups) of filtered water, and bring to a high boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil or simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Turn off stove, and allow to steep another 20 minutes.
2) While roots are steaming, add carrots to another small saucepan, and boil until soft, about 10 minutes. (Do not throw out the water. Use it.)
3) Add carrots, and ice if making chilled drink, and then pour your turmeric-ginger tea
and coconut milk, along with oil (and nut butter if using)  and honey over that. 
4) Puree on low first, and then use a higher setting to crush ice (if applicable). Blend until smooth
and golden orange. Serve immediately, dusted with ginger powder or cinnamon.


Gut-healing comes from having one's whole life nourished -- senses, emotions, dreams. Golden Milk -- in a shake or otherwise -- is doused in good herbal healing ingredients. Anti-inflammatory is more than just nutrition coin you shove through the slot in your face. Let your mind and senses settle as you enjoy it.

I don't have a topic yet for the next gut-healing one-shot.

Got gut questions or comments? Send them my way below -- I'd love to hear them.


Tumbling Free,

CJ


Thursday, November 3, 2016

[ RECIPE ] A Mindless Morn, or Carrot Cake Crepes, Gluten-Free

Hey-ho! Make a breakfast that takes some time, so you can make some time to take.  These crepes take a slow 40 minutes in the kitchen, but as they fry, the air fills with the aroma of breakfast: nutmeg, caramel, cinnamon.

More and more, I think, busyness is a disease. Needing to be somewhere, do something, get something -- get in, get out, get on -- and if I race time, it races me. However much I do, it speeds further and further away, until I'm left in the dust.

And I still never sat, mind meandering, washed in the aroma of warmth and breakfast, noticing the quiet tide of stillness.

This is human.

To be, not to do.

Having celiac doesn't make me more or less human; but it has reminded me with sharp physical urgency that my time is limited, and that living is being, not busying.

But sometimes I can't slow down; I run so long I run myself over. And then I think books.  I think breakfast. And I think, doing one thing that takes time, engages all of my senses, and offers a meal at the end, that will trip time's race, and it will set me back at the center on my feet.

So a weekend or so ago I made carrot cake crepes, because cake sounded good, and Autumn made a warm breakfast sound better.

CARROT CAKE CREPES

[ gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free ]

makes 20-26 palm-sized crepes


:: ingredients::

1 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup pea protein
1 tbs coconut flour (mesquite, cassava, & buckwheat can also be used)
1 tbs egg white protein (I use NOW Foods, but Trader Joe's now
carries an egg white protein)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of ground ginger
maple syrup (optional to taste)
coconut milk (I use So-Delicious because of their rigorous gluten-free testing)
 (to adjust consistency)
coconut oil (to fry/cook crepes in)

:: filling ::

1 apple
gluten-free/dairy-free chocolate chips
cinnamon
honey or NOW powdered stevia

:: directions ::

1) Shred zucchini and carrot into one medium mixing bowl. Add flour/powders, and gently mix.

2)  Add a tablespoon or two of coconut milk, just enough to make the batter "tacky", but not liquid or loose.
3) Add egg, and beat the batter well, until all ingredients are well combined. Batter should be the consistency of a good pancake batter -- not watery, but not "doughy" like cookie or quickbread batter.

4) Heat a ceramic or nonstick skillet or pan to high, then turn to medium heat. Add your oil to the pan, covering surface thoroughly, and gently spoon batter into the pan, spreading as you do. Use a tablespoon per crepe, but you may need to add a little more batter, depending on how large you want final product.


I'm glad of philosophy, and glad of stillness, and glad of being. Eating gluten-free can also become a race, and a time-drain; but I think I can turn it into a re-turn and re-covery...baking and cooking crepes, creatively, into a mindless morn where I've tripped out of time's race, out of the disease of busyness.

Busyness isn't treated with a diet. But it can be treated with a meal of meditation.

Tumbling Free,

CJ


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Budget-Friendly Homemade Gluten-Free Granola (Oat-Free)


Gluten-Free Oat-Free Speedy Granola! Faster than a speeding bullet. More budget-friendly than your local .99 cent shop! Crunchy as a breast-feeding young mum eating hemp seeds out of a paper sack!

...or if you want to be short and sweet, Crispy Gluten-Free Buckwheat Granola.

These days, I have a longing to meander in kitchen at slow speeds, baking and chatting and cooking slow. But as a young professional in Beantown, I have a need for slow food made or available fast. Although it's foundational to self-care and good digestion to eat in peace, and slowly, that doesn't mean every meal I swallow needs to take as long to cook as it does to eat.

Still, I'm an independent imp of an individual here. I freelance. I consult. And I like to add the in's myself to my breakfast. Some days, it's cinnamon. Some days, it's dried fruit. Some days, it's honey and banana and almond butter.

Granolas on the market are mainly oat-based (safe or unsafe for celiacs, the question remains -- and it's mainly a matter of personal gut-reactivity + whether the oats are grown under celiac-safe protocols). Not only that, granolas on the market cost an arm and a leg..


If you eat 1 cup of a standard sack of cereal in a morning, that's nearly 1/2 a package of most sold in shops, and that can be $4 a serving. This is bloody murdering my ability to afford food for the rest of the month.


Gluten-free might be more available. But the price tag is still over the roof for excellent food, pre-packaged, while recipes like this little bloke I cooked up make excellent food at excellent speed, for a much more excellent and affordable price.

Whether we're celiac young professionals, or celiac mums, celiac mature adults -- or gluten-intolerant kids or travellers -- we don't want our entire sum of resource, our time, or our savings, to funnel into diet. It's a prescription for health. It shouldn't be a mortgage.

This sack of granola lasts, and it costs a tiny percent of the price of a bag in-store. It's also oat-free, sugar-free, and appropriate for almost any gut-healing need.

It also holds a crisp like no other. Aren't you sick of limp or soggy cereals?

Here's the recipe. I've been crumbling it over Banana-Apple Butter GF Crepes in the morning, or sprinkling over my Orange-Zinger Cereal Bowls in the morning (an off-shoot of my Squash Bowl Breakfast).
GLUTEN FREE BUCKWHEAT CRISPY GRANOLA
[ oat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, nut-free ]

:: ingredients ::

3/4 cup dry buckwheat groats (I use Bob's Red Mill)
2 1/2 cups water
PLUS
3 cups water
salt to taste

:: directions ::

1) Soak groats overnight. Drain, and cover with water again, soaking all day and overnight. 
2) Drain, add to a small saucepan, cover with 3 cups water (or just enough to cover 1"-2").
3)  Bring to a boil, then simmer until water is absorbed fully.
4) Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, spread evenly on a parchment lined
baking sheet or in a glass baking dish, and bake at 400 F for 20-35 mins,
or until granola is crisped and groats are lightly golden around the edges.

NOTE: Stir once during baking, turning groats to make sure they crisp evenly.

5) Cool, and store in airtight container or ziploc sack.

Voila.

Granola.



Soaking makes this granola highly-digestible as well as highly-palate-pleasing. But what I love most are two things: The affordability, and the perfect crispness.

I also love the wheatlessness of buckwheat.  FODMAP friendly in small servings, wonderfully filling...and customizable all day.

Enjoy it as much as I did. If you do, you'll be getting your money's worth, time's worth, and what's priceless -- smiling over the experience of good eats, safe and gluten-free.


Tumbling Free,

CJ

Monday, October 24, 2016

GFAF Expo Seacaucus Recap and Highlights, 2016



I love Natalie.
Repping for Canyon Bakehouse.
The Gluten Free Allergen Friendly Expo hit New Jersey on Oct 15-16 with a celiac crowd like no other, and a line-up of new and old gluten-free products good as gold. Perhaps better, since you can't eat gold, whatever your dietary stretch is.  From solid national  gluten-free standouts like Canyon Bakehouse, and The Greater Knead (previously Sweet Note Bakery -- NY-style bagels!) to Pascha Chocolate and Freedom Foods (celiac safe o's, don't go for the Cheerios), New England-local Bakery on Main (oatless granolas), and the nutless wonder (now offering organic) Sunbutter! no category was left unfilled.


But I'm diving into this recap on the note of WHAT'S NEW and WHAT'S LOCAL? If you read Tumbling Gluten Free, or walk into a market these days, you've seen some of the highlighted breads and breakfasts, snacks and brands above. But the highlight of this event was some of the stellar new products I discovered, as well as the wonderful opportunity to participate with FREEDIBLE.

So a quick dive...without more ado:

 Celiac Friendly/Dairy-Free Highlights

with parenthetical notes on other dietary categories

The Squirrel and The Bee [ gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, some dairy-free ]

Paleo, refined-sugar-free, Squirrel and Bee go whole-hog on simplicity. Natural gluten-free nut-flours and honey, coconut and seeds, make the base for their grainless granolas. Flavour comes from spices and extracts in creative pairings like cardamom chocolate. I didn't get to sample their cookies, but I'm looking forward to the event. I take that back--I got the last 1/2 a bite of a chocolate chipper, and it had the moistness and chew of the best-of. Almond Flour, Eggs, Honey, Housemade Chocolate, Shredded Coconut, Coconut Oil, Vanilla Extract, Baking Soda, Sea Salt. That's the whole of it.


Meal delivery service, from a GF kitchen -- yes, dedicated. Blue Apron-style, but celiac-safe. Chef-style and inspired menu, with the addition of being fueled by an Integrative Nutrition Institute graduate (one of the founders) -- the meals look fully free-from what won't fit the celiac plate, while being full-of variety, creativity, and flavour.
From DK's "Sample Menu"" Ginger Marinated Salmon,
Grill Bok Choy

Hu Kitchen (and Chocolate) -- NYC --  [ paleo ]

Sells wicked good dark, dairy-free, gluten-free, fairtrade chocolate, made in New York.  Also, two cafe locations -- and these cafes are dedicated gluten-free, paleo, organic, and palate-pleasing like pink on a pig. I'll be working more with Hu. But I had the opportunity to get breakfast on 3rd St after the expo, and oy, was it brilliant. Pancakes. Vanilla Chia Pudding. Eggs. Roast Vegetables. I'd meme it: "I can haz more. plz?"
Serisouly celiac-safe French Toast

Go Raw [ raw, nut-free, high-protein, organic, vegan dairy-free, soy-free ]

I had the chance to try some of Go Raw's new high-protein GROW Bars. Unique on the market, they punch out 12grams of protein using no protein powder or supplement. That 12 grams of plant-based protein comes purely from ground, sprouted watermelon seeds. If it sounds peculiar, it doesn't taste peculiar -- these bars -- seeds, dates, essential oil extracts, and nothing else -- have both subtle and tongue-trouncing flavour -- and best of all, come highly-digestible to the celiac insides due to the sprouting process.

Check back for a full review and product giveaway before Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to trying Go Raw's cookies, sprouted seeds, sprouted bars, granola, and coconut crisps!

Raw Revolution GLO Bars (new varieties) [ vegan, high-protein, kosher, organic/non-gmo ]

HUGE protein, almost-no-carb, creamy texture, and certified GF. GLO bars aren't new to woman-owned and operated Raw Rev, but new flavours are! I rather love these bars, though one usually needs to add a bit of carbohydrate to the snack. On the other side, if you've celiac and diabetes, as many have, these brilliant plant-protein-powerhouses are perfect. From Creamy or Crunchy PB, to Mixed Nut and Caramel, and finally with the newest options -- Cashew Mint and Dark Choclate Espresso, and COOKIE DOUGH...and the cookie dough takes the gluten-free cake. Celiac safe. Gluten-free. And organic. Candy bar with nutrition.

BANZA [ grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, so-much-free, except the macaroni ]

SO-MUCH-FREE, this little company out of Michigan. Simplicity for me -- key to really good food. If it's true for more than just me, then Banza has knocked it out of the park with gluten-free chickpea pasta that holds the chew of a real pleate of penne al dente, packs 15-25 grams of protein per serving before adding anything, and supplies another way to eat beans.

I love beans. Beans are the natural gluten-free treasure trove of the world. Banza gives me another way to eat beans. (And if you're worried about these pastas, penne to macaroni to spaghetti, tasting beany -- they don't.) I've been making brilliant Cajun Mac'n'Cheeseless Cheese bakes, Chicken Noodle soup, and Breakfast Macaroni, amongst other things. Yes. I love Banza.


B-Free Foods [sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, egg-free ]

You can find a product review of some of these amazing gluten-free breadstuffs out of Ireland posted earlier here. This time around, I also got the chance to try B-Free Seeded and White Rolls...and I've never had better. What's unique to B-Free is their huge array of free-froms on top of gluten-free, a free-from that does not put them in the category of using pure starches for fluff. In fact, these blokes are ancient grain, high-fibre somehow, sugar-free, and vegan, but they have the Irish charm of putting a twinkle in simple -- and I don't think I've ever been so skipping happy with a gluten-free company since I was diagnosed with celiac.
B-Free Multi-Seed Bagel, lightly toasted...with Nuttzo Nut Butter
and Chocolate

Look out for their bagels, rolls, pitas, tortillas, and loaves as they slowly appear in the US.

Meta Balls  [ soy-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, non-gmo ]

Meta balls, on a quick note, for those who can tolerate oats -- I loved the story of the founder, as we chatted, and her high-protein snack balls, sounded amazing. I nabbed some for some kids I teach/work with, and they gave me quite a raving review. So I'll be giving away some free product coupons in a follow-up ost.

Pure Genius  [ soy-free, nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, cane-sugar-free, vegan ]

Edible-treat -- and it tastes good. I tried these before I read too deeply into the ingredients -- they do contain oat flour, far down on the list, and I don't tolerate even purity-protocol gluten-free oats too well. But tastes good is an understatement: Pure Genius has made brownies and blondies with simple, nutrient-dense chickpea flour, maple syrup, and chocolate that seriously taste beyond brilliant. I'd love to see them test-drive a brownie with sorghum or coconut flour so that I could eat heaps of them. But all of you celiacs who can have the seriously gluten-free-grown-oats, please look up Pure Genius, NY-local but available now in Whole Foods.

Wonderful kid-friendly celiac option, to put it mildly.



FREEDIBLE

I had a blast at the expo especially because I had the privilege of joining Cheryl, the founder of Freedible, crowdsourced info-site for custom-eaters of all types, to table at the event. One of the highlights of any expo is the platform is affords us to connect, collaborate, and support each other -- while enjoying food we can eat! And Freedible does that 24/7, both virtually and physically.

The Freedible table just magnified the opportunity expos like the GFAF events provide -- not just magnfied though. I take that back: The Freedible table hugely magnified the human connection and support, and better yet, the exchanges and conversations we got to have in that physical sphere extended resources we have online, and solidified relationships we have already. I loved meeting Rozlyn (Frugalista Mom), Jenny ( Clean Eating Gluten Free Foodie), Jessica (Tasty Meditation), and a whole list of others who share either celiac with me -- or the experience through another avenue of having a diet altered.

But with Freedible, we think altered, not restricted. And in the crowd, just like I've found in my life, we have an endless array of options and opportunities to live well, eat well, and be well. Celiac hasn't restricted my life. Celiac has changed my life; and opened new doors and challenges. Freedible has that attitude -- and most importantly, never tries to fix or judge the custom-eaters who congregate with them in person or online.

I loved seeing a 10-year old custom-eater light up as Cheryl described the nearly 1,000 recipes posted and sorted by dietary-need catologued on the site. "Do you want to join?" She looked at her mom, "Can I?" Nod. "YES! OH YES."

 OH YES. That is Freedible in a nutshell, and honestly, any gluten-free event that included the Freedible-attitude-and-resource would never lack for highlights.

Celiac at the Expo:
That's it, in a nutshell.

Got a comment on your experience eating gluten-free and getting support from your community?


Tumbling Free,


CJ



Friday, October 21, 2016

GFAF Wellness Event Hartford Highlights and Giveaway!



I love Gluten Free Allergen Free Wellness Events. Wherever they are, they're full of the double-nourishment of community and food.  Nikki always brings that wholeness to the experience of getting well-fed -- with food restrictions! -- to the cities to visits with the GFAF events.

Unique to Hartford this year: Not only were attendees leaving with smiles and exclamations of gratitude but the vendors, filing out, packing up, buzzed with the same excitement. Hugely vocal, those who had decided to pitch a table were just as grateful as those food allergic and celiac attendees who got to eat their gluten-free goods -- cookies, cakes, pizza, and pastas.  As they poured out, I heard almost the constant buzz of thanks! to Nikki and the GFAF Event team.

It was bloody brilliant to see the community introduced to the gluten-free resources like Heirloom Kitchen, Bakery on Main, Gluten Free Sourdough Company, Peace of Mind Baking, and Ehsto Pasta -- resources buried in their own bakcyards.

Without further ado:

THE STANDOUTS IN HARTFORD

(giveaway below with 88 Acres and Namaste )

 Bread? Tortillas? Sweets? Supplements and meal services? Subscription boxes, bread crumbs, books? All of the above!

 How they stuffed them into the Hartford Meeting House, I don't know -- but the variety was just as fun as the quality! and these vendors are New England-locals with serious commitment to the custom-diet and celiac-needs community here in the Northeast. 

We even got gluten-free chemical free facepainting, courtesy of Tamika with Fruiggie.

GLUTEN FREE SOURDOUGH COMPANY dairy-free gluten-free, soy-free, unprocessed, some grain-free, peanut-free

Nutty, but otherwise, allergen-free: Sharon creates sourdoughs of teff flour and her own ferment that are not just on-par with gluten-containing breads -- they one-up them.

To up the ante, she just added grain-free vegan cheesecake and chocolate ganache cupcakes to her line-up. This is palate-pleasing food that heals at the same time it delights the taste-buds. You can't go wrong.








EHSTO

Tortillas, pastas, dinner rolls and pizza crusts: Ehsto, based in CT, a one-woman-team, makes them all -- grain-free. The pasta is fresh, and amazingly, has the stretch and chew of solid al-dente pastas many may have had before celiac or gluten-intolerance pulled the penne off their plates.
and makes them all

I love the tortillas, and dinner rolls -- they even have that yeasty flavour -- and the simple, grain-free blends of egg, coconut flour, and little tapioca -- somehow does it. How? Ask Robin. She did it. But it works like an ant on a sugar high.





BEBOPALU BOX

Customizable gluten-free subscription box. I love Bebopalu's new spin on these services -- tired of getting odd snacks filled with other substances you can't stomach? Or getting just cookies, no variety? Or having diabetes and celiac, and finding your box mostly full of sugar? Don't worry with Bebeop: They offer always gluten-free boxes, with options to go vegan, high-protein, sugar-free, vegetarian, snacky or more-on-the-full-meal-side. Highly recommend subscribing! But check back for my full review after I try their service myself.

NAMASTE FOODS top 8 allergen free

A line of gluten-free baking mixes: Namaste makes the top spice cake mix of any I've ever encountered. It was great to see them at the event -- my parents and siblings still make this spice cake for me and my grandfather on his birthday. Amazingly, he -- whom we know as "Grumps" -- has no complaints about the "gluten-freedom" of his cake...in fact, even dairy-free and gluten-free as it is, he likes it the best of any spice cake he's had in his life. And I get to enjoy it with him. (Pop to the end of the page...Namaste is participating in the giveaway!)






DEDICATED TABLE

The "Blue Apron" for Celiacs: This is ace new service, created by Cydney and business partner, Shannon, will fully launch their customizable, always gluten-free, meal delivery box  in November, and I'm skipping-pleased to be one of the first to test it out. Drop back in for my full review later next month.

88 ACRES gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free

I love these celiac-safe granola bars. It helps that they're rooted in my metaphorical Boston backyard. In three flavours (Dark Chocolate, Berry, and Apple Ginger), they bring a beautiful nutless alternative to
the snack-bar scene, with real New England flavour. They hold a classic chew and crunch, and have produced something that tastes like a "what anyone could" for the ones of us who "can't eat what most anyone does eat". Change in ingredients? Yes. But flavour or consistency? No. You'd never know they were "free-from", because they're so full of taste, texture, and





HEIRLOOM KITCHEN

Connecticut only -- but what a resource to have in your backyard, Hartford! Jimmy runs, owns, and
more or less cooks all of what Heirloom Kitchen provides -- which is a lot. You can get gluten-free, freshly-made, organic and local chef-quality meals delivered weekly, or have a full event catered anywhere in the Hartford area. Jimmy makes his own organic broths, bases, and showed off his sundried tomatoes and menu at the event. If I lived in CT, I would be hard-pressed not to be lingering around his kitchen every week, hoping to join in the meal creation, or nab leftovers, to say nothing of signing up for the celiac-safe abundance of his fresh, creative food.






RAW FOOD CENTRAL

Raw snacks, New England-based: From kale chips, to flax and cashew crackers, Raw Food Central makes a simple yet hugely palate-pleasing naturally gluten-free and raw array of snacks. I particularly enjoyed the cashew






PEACE OF MIND BAKING

From Celiac mum, Nancy, founder, owner, baker: Organic, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free . I love teh Zucchini Chocolate Chip. But this small, CT-based, woman-owned bakery makes some of the best baked goods I've had -- celiac-disease-diagnosed and before -- and I love her heart and creaitivty. It clearly shows up in her creations of food both she, and her children with dairy allergies, can enjoy.
whoopie pies, muffins, and cookies










GLUTEN FREE GHOULS

Not food, but nourishing to the celiac or food-allergic kid! Gluten Free Ghouls, created by writer, advocate, and illustrator, Paige Lawrence, tells a fun story, while also educating on dealing with a food-related disease or allergy. If you have a little one this Halloween, or any time of the year, Paige is a great resource -- as are her books. It was so fun to meet her, and hear her read her stories aloud to the young attendees. You can find her online, and order her books here: http://www.glutenfreeghouls.com/







[ Note: Some of these standouts are individuals and companies too small yet to reach a national audience. But they are so perfectly poised to provide exactly what celiac and food allergic New Englanders need – food and support right around the corner. Stay alert for when they expand, or check for the chance to order online at their websites,.]

I was privileged to be part of this event,  to speak and educate attendees on Living Fully Nourished with Celiac: Traveling, and Budgeting. But it's always a privilege to work with a celiac advocate like Nikki -- not to mention having a blast with Erin, my celiac-sister (her daughter).

We have fun, we with celiac. We've learned how to live again.
Erin, with 88 Acres Bar, and generously provided
purple fresh carrot from
Dedicated Table


Finally...


WIN A SAMPLE PACK OF 88 ACRES BARS AND 1 NAMASTE BAKING MIX BY COMMENTING BELOW AND FOLLOWING +Tumbling Gluten Free AND @TUMBLINGgf 


 Make sure to include your full email in your comment & your twitter handle:
[giveaway ends at 12am midnight EST 6 November 2016]
What is your favourite free-from snack
and which of the standout exhibitors above would you most like to try?

Tumbling Free,

CJ

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Put "I Can" into Celiac During Halloween, and Teal Pumpkins Galore


Hullo Teal Pun'kin. Do you know what this means?
It means Halloween -- safe Halloween -- for me, and for all the children who like me have celiac disease, the need to eat gluten-free, or a life-altering food allergy.

When you put up a Teal Pumpkin on your porch, or in your window, you're saying "I have non-edible treats or allergen-free sweets".
You're saying you're not alone, to thousands of kids who otherwise might be able to wander about blithely through the night, decked out in ninja-garb or masks, but could not participate in the trick-or-treating. Some shouldn't even handle the packaging of treats with allergens in them.
A teal pumpkin says, Inclusion.

So how do you deal with Halloween if you have celiac or celiac or food-restricted kids? 

My teal pumpkin: I had fun playing with this photo in Pixlr!
He doesn't look quite so professional on my apartment front
step. But he is very teal.
This year, I ran a Skype workshop  for families who deal with celiac specifically, including other diseases that require a modified diet (diabetes is a brick-to-the-head for kids), and food allergies. A teal pumpkin is lovely -- and the Teal Pumpkin Project creates a sign and provides resources for making houses trick-or-treat-friendly to kids with any food restriction.
But what does Teal Pumpkin, fun-and-safe-Halloween, and awareness look like practically and concretely?

Simple:

3 I's
3 W's

I can
Include
Inform
+
WHY
WHAT
WE

How, after all, can you enjoy giving and receiving at Halloween (or tircksing-and-treating) without teaching your little their life is based on the principle of restriction and scarcity? Because the truth is, looking at the Halloween landscape, saying not me, I can't, and we can give but can't participate is the easy takeaway from approaching the holiday as a "customeater".

But ain't true. No, it ain.t
If you have a little one, or are re-training yourself to find the abundance in life, and your options, start with a Teal Pumpkin -- and then go to the W's.
The first rule of living lonely and restricted is thinking only me, I'm the only one. 

But we aren't alone. 

I encouraged my workshop attendees to focus themselves and their kids first, on WE. And the active principle in we is service.

#1. 

Brainstorm the service arm. Sometimes, we discover our options and resilience by seeing where we can give. We had a ball making a plan to donate to a food bank, and to the local suburban area libraries, allergen-free treats and bucket-sized gizmos and toys.
Make a plan to donate, volunteer, or hold an allergen-friendly bash with food and non-food related treats. Why? Because we all matter. 
Pain a pumpkin teal too, and put it on your stoop. It's a treat and a half to play with pain after all, and paint is definitely gluten-free.

#2.

Second, change the focus to fun that isn't rooted in an I can't -- switch to the first I:  I can.

How to make "I can" concrete? "I can enjoy Halloween. I can have fun. I can eat treats"? Organize a scavenger hunt.

I gave my workshop littles a scavenger hunt sheet; they have to collect candy this year 1) in certain coloured wrappers, 2) Spot treats that they could not eat specifically (gluten for celiacs, dairy or nuts for others - don't take!) 3) Spot treats a friend can't eat, and 4) Find as many houses with Teal Pumpkins that they can.

The winner will get a gluten-free cake from Gluten Free Sourdough Company (grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan, and soy-free) or a gift card to rock-climb or go to a local arcade.

Finally, we planned a costume party. Some of the families may put the party on! But whether or not they do, the planning focused everyone on a Halloween bash still rooted in Halloween tradition -- dressing up and seeing friends -- while also rooting it in I can and Inclusion.

"I think I'm going to like teal as my favourite colour now," one 6 year old boy said, and then a little doubtfully, "Is it blue enough?" For a boy, was the unsaid.

Pshaw,  I told him -- you can love any colour you want. My best friend is a girl, and her favourite colours are blue and teal.

He was tickled...teal.


Is this all simple? Yes.

Is navigating life -- and holidays, and children too! -- easy?

Perhaps no. Living like "I can" with celiac disease -- it takes time.

But love, service, and education and awareness do take time. Showing ourselves, and our friends, families, or small ones, that inclusion and health and WE matter means demonstrating those principles actively; and investing time in the pursuit of the I's and W's is necessary.

This year, I'm slowing down to make sure I'm taking time to use the 3 I's and 3 W's. If you're going to have a safe, and healingly happy Teal Halloween, take the time to:

I & W:

I Can -- Why? Because I have options. Because we all matter

Include -- What?  Teal Pumpkin, a plan, non-food fun, service

Inform -- We -- everyone in your community. We're not alone, but we
don't always know it til we're of service or reach out

The Teal Pumpkin Project (found at that link or here) is a great resource every Halloween! Use it. Another wonderful way to we and I can with happy celiac abandon is through Freedible, the custom-eating community network and information site for all of us who eat a medically prescribed diet!

Happy Halloween, mates.

My favourite colour is yellow, but I could also adopt teal this time of year.

Do you still feel at a loss or alone this Halloween? Feel free to drop me a line by commenting, or connect with me more directly via my email and nutritional consulting work: tumble.glutenfree@yahoo.com

Tumbling Free,

CJ