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Showing posts from 2014

Product Review: Raw Revolution Re-Makes High Protein Gluten Free Bar

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Looking for a gluten-free whole-food boost in a bar?  I've rather been looking for the most bang for my buck in bars recently -- protein, micronutrients, and whatever else one might be able to throw in.   Raw Revolution, an all-woman owned organic , dropped samples of their new vegan GLO Bar on my stoop this last week.  And these protein-packed bars have a lot of bang, nutritionally speaking.

The sample box they dropped me contained both Peanut Butter andDark Chocolate and Caramel and Mixed Nut.




Both hit 10g of protein or above, are sprouted, vegan, made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, and raw. Unlike most other bars on the market, they also boast a dead-low sugar count -- 4g top from brown rice syrup.

But GLO Bars are also a unique nutrition balance.  Unlike most bars, gluten-free or otherwise, they've re-balanced their macronutrient combination entirely.  Vegan, but low carbohydrate, with rather an astronomical fibre content, these little blokes fill you up.

I suppose …

Recipe: Coffee 'n' Cream, and Bananas - Gluten Free

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Dash it all  -- and toss it all in: that's some days.

It even applies to baking.  Even gluten-free baking.  Whatever the maxim is about baking being a science, cooking more of a love affair, anyone who has a familiarity with simple gluten-free flours and food can make quick breads and cookies in a cracked-egg second.

Good ones.

I baked these off the end of a product review for Equal Exchange, because I had coffee on hand, and bananas burning a brown-spot on my counter.  Or at least, they were looking and smelling brown.


BANANA COFFEE N CREAM MUFFINSvegan, gluten-free, peanut-free, egg-free ]



ingredients:

1/3 cup organic sorghum flour
1/8 cup tapioca starch
2 tbs coconut flour
1-2 tbs raw palm sugar
1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
1/2 large ripe banana
1 tsp Bragg's Apple Cider vinegar
1 tsp baking powder
dash dairy-free milk
2 tbs Equal Exchange Breakfast Blend brewed coffee
1/4 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
[optional] 1-2 scoops NOW Brand Powdered Stevia (about a fingern…

Celiac? Don't Just Survive Thanksgiving, Thrive On It

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Don't just survive Thanksgiving -- Thrive On It

…So first, find the thanksgiving bit. It struck me this morning that I used to go into social eating situations, and family holiday frontiers with either a chip on my shoulder, or fear flooding me.  In both respects, I felt powerless.  What I wanted was someone to know what I needed and make it safe for me.

It didn't strike me right after celiac diagnosis that I could know what I needed, and I could make it safe for me -- to eat and enjoy.

Family situations when Celiac Disease is involved can be an inflexible knot of what-ifs.  Thanksgiving wasn't much about giving-thanks or enjoyment for me; but all in all, that's reasonable. Thanksgiving is one bloody cornucopia full wheat, crumbs, flour, pies and gravies.  But they're what-ifs only so long as I'm relying on someone else to take care of me.

You know, I'm rather an adult now. I have options. I'm grateful today I've taught myself what foods are glute…

Recipe: Sweet Tater Hash, Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

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A side-dish that's whole food, wholly gluten-free, and wholly good, this hash melds Thanksgiving dinner traditions with dessert, and spins "stuffing" a whole new way.

I shall be carting a load off to a familial get-together.  It's a brilliant dish to take along if you have Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance.  You'll have something delicious to munch on. Even if the turkey is basted in flour and the others sides spattered in it.


SWEET TATER HASH  [ gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan, soy-free ]

ingredients:

4 small  organic sweet potatoes, yams, or Japanese Purple Sweet Potates, diced into cubes
1 sweet onion
1/2 loaf stale Udi's or Canyon Gluten Free Bread (optional)
4 stalks organic celery, diced
1 organic fennel bulb, diced
1/8 cup broth
coconut or olive oil (depending on taste)

1/2 tsp black pepper
1 - 2 tsp organic maple butter
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp dried sage or less fresh
1/2 tsp dried coriander
ginger (to taste)

direction…

Recipe: Batch of Gluten-Free Choc Chippers, Thanksgiving-Style

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Sometimes, self-care means bringing your own dessert.

This Thanksgiving, my birthday falls on the day proper, and I don't want to be sweetless if I take myself to my family's for the day.  Even the sometimes-supportive, or always-supportive, don't always know what you need -- it isn't their job.

It's mine.

But it struck me as I was brainstorming a bring-along Coconut Choc Chipper batch that if I were still a kid, it wouldn't be mine.  It would be someone else's; and while it's not the end of the world if I forget dessert, talking to one of my preschooler's this week, I saw the horror dawn on her small face:  it would be the end of the world.  Everyone eating pie and cookies. But her.

Oy, being a kid, and no dessert after bloody turkey and potatoes?

So I passed along this recipe to the mum involved.  If you're Thanksgiving-going off to a relation's home, where gluten-free simply isn't the surety, try making a packing a passal of these.


C…

Try-It Tuesday: Cracked and Cauliflowered the Smoothie

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Winter has an edge on Fall already -- the air clings to the mornings with a chill that the sun can't tug away. And oy, since we get chill but no snow this side of the world, and since smoothies are both naturally gluten-free and never go out of season, I made a some snow.  A Snow Shake.

With cauliflower.

The slightly steamed florets did leave a faint aftertaste in the first round.  But a second blend, with more protein powder, and vanilla extract, and banana, erased it rather.  Third time charmed, I made it again with some Nada Moo Vanilla Ice Cream, and creamed the taste totally.

I think I cracked to cauliflower a smoothie.  But then again, it's white, and why not?  It's gluten-free.  Whole food.  And fun, because it was bound to startle me -- for good or ill.

SNOW SHAKE [ gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, vegan, soy-free ]
serves 2
ingredients:
3-6 medium organic cauliflower florets, steamed 1 frozen very ripe organic banana 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 serving MRM Vanilla …

How To Be A Celiac Athlete…Without Really Trying

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Not a gluten free athlete -- a celiac athlete.  It really doesn't take any trying at all.  I was born with the genes, born with the hardheaded competitiveness, and got flattened by a virus and a trauma that probably triggered the former into full-blown Celiac Disease, but didn't much affect the latter.

Or perhaps it did affect the latter.  After nose-diving into severe depression prior to diagnosis, and then surfacing post diagnosis,  I felt wobbly.  I fenced, and do fence, but I bloody fenced my way to
Nationals in Atlanta even with a gut that felt gutted and inexplicable fatigue.

Oh no, now I'm celiac though.

And that meant sick.

Somehow that "being celiac",  the entire drama and trauma of a year's life-threateningly failing health, cast my athletic accomplishments, my training, my goals, and my stubbornness, in a new light.  My identity wobbled with my legs; and I was scared to keep on trying.

But then, what about being an athlete without really trying?

I t…

Protein in a Pocket: What I (Or)Gain? Gluten-Free Good

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In a bloody long search to gain weight and absorb nutrition.  No one told me when I was first diagnosed celiac that I might not get a perfect bill of health from a gluten-free regimen.  Gluten-free equaled remission; all good; no worries.

But what about oats? Gluten-free and safe? What about gut damage?  If damaged, would my small intestine even be able to stand sucking up gluten-free grains?

And how it bloody sucks to be underweight and biologically obsessed with food.  Constantly.

Me do it!  That's my first sentence in life, or so my mum tells me.   When I was diagnosed, it was my first sentence after diagnosis, except in proper grammar.

I would eat myself healthy, and fix life.

Well, life can't be fixed by eating, even if eating well is part of a whole, healthy, and happy life. Whole food helps.  Whole food is not a Holy Grail.  And eating perfect, spending all day preparing meals, trying to work while noshing -- not only may it not be enough, it hasn't been enough.

Tha…

An Equal Exchange: Coffee, Single-Served, Simple, and Organic

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You know, I travel tons when I get my feet on the road.  "Have some coffee," was the first thing a fellow traveller told me when I staggered off the jet into France.  Long-time jet-setter, this fellow thought he knew what was up -- and he did.  Only backwards.

He knew the brew was gluten-free, and I could down it.  He thought it would perk me up.  Although what I needed was a calm-shot, and a place to crash; the sky was numbing to night greys, gold-specked, and I'd just come from the States where it certainly was not night, and my body knew it.

I downed the coffee.  Quite wise.  Coffee knocks me out.  In a few moments, jouncing on a bus to Lourdes, I felt as numbed out and sleepy as the night sky.

I wish I had had a satchel full of Equal Exchange's new single serve cups to take along, because I jolted through the South of France like a live wire after that -- and though coffee is plentiful, it's served in shops and cafes, fresh, and not easily grabbed out of the…

To Oat or Not To Oat, 'Tis A Celiac Question

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Outright, I ate no oats when I first gluten-free and diagnosed Celiac.  Why?  Firstly, there were few sources certified gluten-free.  More importantly, I had done the research, and the protein found in oats had a track-record of peculiarity in a celiac's gut.


Further in, I found tools used to gauge oat-safety had been attacked as flawed, and physicians recommending them gave their recs with the oddest reasons.  Because patients are more compliant to the GF diet if allowed to eat oats? (That's not really even a fair way to treat a child, mates.)  Because villous atrophy seemed unchanged? (Yet even those ingesting gluten have often untraceable villous damage.) Beyond farming practises and cross-contamination, oats continue to represent a question mark for those with Celiac Disease.


In the best medical write up I found, this quote nailed it:"The greatest weakness of the pro-oats position is the underlying assumption that we fully understand celiac disease and gluten sensitivi…

Product Review: Gluten Free Bread? No Longer Holier-Than-Thou!

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Bread is made for gluten.  Or is gluten made for bread?  Well, not for my bread, it isn't.  That's made quality bread a bit tricksy, since all things considered, gluten was put in bread for a reason: it holds the poor loaves together, gives us those huge dome-topped crusts, stretches and binds. But bread isn't really just one variety -- there are many. I reviewed Udi's ages ago, when they were a leap in the gluten-free bread-mold.  They became a gluten free stand-by.  …and then got an attitude. Or, maybe just quality control issues.



Gluten-free bread has come leaps and bounds. Partially, it's improved by not trying to mimic traditional bread.  (Silver Hills soars on that point.) But Udi's has come leaps, and then backwards bounds for a rather key reason.

Udi's has gotten two names in the gluten-free community.  One is stand-by.  The other is holier-than-thou -- no pun.

These loaves come home wholegrain, but intact? Nope.  I can't count the number of Who…

Shoestring Budget, Gluten-Free: Know What's In, & Don't Waste It

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Fridge-Board.  You may see long lists of tools for saving if you're a mum or a big family, but this tool is a life-saver -- or food-and-budget-saver -- if you're single too.

Often, bits and pieces of food fall through the cracks in a fridge. The food gets forgotten, til it reminds you it's there by smell -- by then, it's rather too late to use it.

I've found that not wasting isn't just about responsibility, and making use of available resource -- it saves serious coin.  It isn't just about eating well gluten-free either.

You can't lose track of what you've written down. Or, well, it's much harder.

Write on your fridge, or paste a wipe erase board to it. It frees the mind from trying to store all the ingredients ad-lib and improvise with them, and it makes gluten-free eating, and whole food and fresh produce, last that much longer.


Pieces of avocado especially.

A few weeks ago, I started scribbling on the fridge-face.

1/2 Avocado, in door: dinner…

Oh-So-Halloween: Kidlet, This Do Be Gluten-Free

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This is the season that, had I been diagnosed with Celiac as a younger child, I would have been bloody wall-bashing furious. WHY CAN'T I EAT ALL THE CANDIES?  I want yours, and yours, and YOURS -- and life is not fair.

I wouldn't have thought food hated me, I would have hated food -- and candy -- and all of my friends, and my parents.

I have one student who told me yesterday that she was the Devil.  That was her response to the gluten-free celiac conundrum.

Understood. She probably feels more powerful being the Devil than a 4 year old.  I let her be the Devil, but we made these Gluten Free Ghost Pops, so no one had to feel hungry or sweet-less.

GLUTEN FREE BANANA GHOST POPS
[ gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, nut-free, soy-free ]


1 ripe banana Enjoy Life Choc Chips, melted Enjoy Life Dark Choc Chips, unmelted vanilla yogurt (dairy or dairy-free)
Directions:
Peel, cut in half, and chill banana. Melt chips. Dip banana in chocolate so that it's covered nearly to the bottom all rou…

Local Events!: B-Green, Get Rooted, Slow Down but Eat Up

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This season is harvest season, though California is short on seasons in general.  What it isn't short on is an abundance of sustainable, whole-food and fun events, and the few listed below are a keen way to engage with the community, eat consciously, and enjoy the natural abundance of the naturally gluten-free food.

Variety. Community. Local and Sustainable.  Oy, how can you go wrong?

First up is Get Rooted at Organic Roots Market out in Temecula.  One of my favourite gluten-free food purveyors will be there with free samples of the best GF pasta on the market: B-Green Foods.

Hop in October 18 for free food, book signings, meet local farmers, and a BBQ of all grass-fed, local, antibiotic free burgers and dogs.

I may just kidnap my youngest brother and hike him down for the day.  But I highly encourage any local readers to make the short or long trek, if only to hit up B-Green and get some free organic pastas. (You can check out my product review here.)

But get rooted.  These event…

Halloween Candy: No, Kidlet, That Ain't Gluten-Free

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All Hallow's Eve is on the horizon.  So is a cornucopia of candy.  What do you do if you've got to eat gluten-free?  How do you know your sweet-tooth isn't going to cause you a seriously sour gut?

Students in my preschool class, and some of my seminar attendees (parents) want to know what to do about CANDY.  Some of them want to know if it's whole food, and how much to allow their children to swallow.

But outside of the question of chemicals and sugars, if you've Celiac Disease, candy can be a minefield.  ...because heaps of it, being processed, is full of malts, malt syrups, wheat crunches, and any other scramble of gluten you can imagine.

When I lived in the States as a 6-9 year old, I loved Kit-Kats.  Each Halloween, I traded friends and siblings for Kit-Kats (and 3 Musketeers), and wondered why the Musketeers liked me better, though I liked the Kats.

But without digressions, here are some quick "safe" candies you or your kid can crunch if you're C…

Planet Rice: Power Rice, Gluten-Free Sprouted and Spritely

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I've been having a ball poking this Planet Rice into meals. Grains, even after a full Celiac recovery, sometimes cause difficulty to the digestion.  Rarely do I have trouble with rice or quinoa, but sprouting is a process that doesn't merely make rice or quinoa more digestible -- it unlocks nutrients one's body can't otherwise access.

This is especially apt for any Celiac or gluten-free diet, since damaged intestines, years sometimes of malnutrition, and the need to replace building-block micro-nutrients lost when removing certain foods from the diet, pops holes in even the most well-meaning of eaters' routines.

Anyhow, the nuttiness of this short-grain rice, and its blend with quinoa, makes it brilliant for stir-fries, Spanish Rice, enchiladas, poke bowls...and on into imagination.

My only complaint to Planet Rice is that when mixed, quinoa and rice don't make the ideal steaming partners.  The quinoa tends to come out soggy, the rice a bit hard.  Or both can …

Travelling: It's What We Do When We're Alive

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…even though after Celiac diagnosis, to travel can look like an Everest of a challenge.

I like good long trips -- the sort that throw me halfway across the world.  That looked much easier prior to Celiac diagnosis, even though I was overwhelmed by symptoms at times. Oy, I never wondered or worried about where I would eat.  I would eat whatever you tossed in front in me.

In France, breakfast bread, croissants, coffee, eggs, toast.  In Croatia, braided sweetbreads, baguettes.  In Ireland, toast again.  Across the continental United States, packaged cold cereals, porridges, coagulated-cheese pastries, and sticky motel-morning muffins.

I didn't worry.  But I did hurt.

But now I travel a bit differently.  Now, actually, I'm resenting not being on the road -- because the bloody best social consciousness blogging event is in swing in LA, (Shift Con -- check it out, and join in via social media); and the always-wonderful Nikki and her Gluten Free/Allergen Free Wellness Event is hittin…

Tumbling Gluten Free into Top Non-GMO & Gluten-Free Foods

October.  It's tumbled in, and it's both Respect Life Month and Non-GMO Month; but as I sat with the two October-designations this morning after a chat with Sambazon's bills-payable exec., it struck me that respecting life is exactly what kicking the trousers off GMO's is about.

I aim at whole foods, simple foods, fun foods, and a variety of foods -- but whole food must be at the service of a whole life. GMO's, genetically modified organisms, are not altered by cross-pollination and breeding. GMO's are not even food genetically tinkered with so as to emphasize stronger gene strains. Most GMO plants and crops are modified to 1) withstand greater chemical and carcinogenic pesticide use and/or 2) produce their own pesticides.

What does this mean?

It means, ingested, a plant that now makes a pesticide takes that anti-organic, cancer-causing chemical direct to your gut.

A sharp rise in Celiac Disease in the last 50-100 years has been correlated to the rise in GMO…