Showing posts from April, 2014

Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Coffee Flours, Fair Trade, and Peas, Please

Here's a way to tumble free! Celiac Disease Awareness Month kicks off tomorrow, and I think a keen way to start it rolling is here: COFFEE FLOUR. Not only does this new soi-disant superfood come naturally gluten-free, it comes sustaining family coffee farmers, re-purposing what would be waste, and investing in the natural resources of the world around us with impish shoestring ingenuity.

Currently, discarded coffee "cherries" are actually an environmental burden -- a free fall of coffee byproduct waste.

So what do you know about coffee flour, and how it plays in the gluten-free diet?

Coffee flour, produced from the traditionally discarded "cherry" which holds the bean, sustains an affordable wage for coffee workers, uses a waste product as a nutritional commodity, and reduces the risk of shortfall and deprivation for coffee farmers and pickers. It is a cheaply produced product, but one which adds value from the bottom up.

Everyone on this value chain stands to …

Tricked-Out Tuesday: Living Without's Celiac Food Fest San Diego!

The Living Without Celiac and Food Allergy Fest is hitting San Diego this coming weekend (May 3-4)!   What better way to impact pop culture than through a weekend exposition?  It runs 10-6p on Saturday, and 10-4p on Sunday at The Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108.

I'll be there for the full weekend, despite the fact that I just took a nosedive into the ER with malapsorption-triggered ketoacidosis. These events are important, not so much for hitting the culture at large, but for those with celiac, or food allergies and intolerances, to have a place where everyone "gets it". 

You're not alone. And honestly, we don't live without love, food, or friends -- just without gluten.

Come join me, Living Without Magazine, and a whole careening carousel of fellow celiac bloggers, healthcare professionals, and superb brands serving the celiac community with integrity.

And get free foods. Lots. 

We get to celebrate in Sa…

Listers: How to Eat WELL, Not Just "Well"

It's another day for lists, and today I'm tumbling through eating well. No, not eating perfect. Not eating organic. Not even eating gluten free. (Although bloody yes, that's necessary if you've celiac disease.)

But eating well.

To eat well is not simply to put a load of vegetables on your plate. Eating well is about attitude: your care, your presence, your engagement with your surroundings. Our bodies spout all sorts of stress hormones throughout the day, and these big or small traumas are actually linked with autoimmune diseases across the board.(1)

To heal, and live, and enjoy your life as well as your food, learning to eat well is important. We need time to experience the color, the cooking, the smells of meal time; these times are small opportunities of nourishment, and I recall keenly when I first diagnosed how my dietitian emphasised preparing a meal, and sitting still with it, for healing.

So how do you eat?  Eat well!  It's just as important five years afte…

Recipe: Lemon Cinnamon Squash Griddle Cake (Or Pooh Inspires Weird Ingredients, But Good Cakes)

How about a party for breakfast?
Griddle cakes aren’t party-fare, but they are breakfast – and these are quick and flourless, and full of orange courtesy of an ingredient I rather doubt is associated with breakfast or cake.
Anyhow, I woke a few mornings ago with Pooh in my head. I’d read it to my preschoolers, and it was making my tummy rumbly.

“Pooh,” he said, “Christopher Robin is giving a party.” “Oh!” said Pooh. And then seeing that Owl expected him to sy something else, he said, “Will there be those little cake things with pink sugar icing?”
I always say the same myself for parties, except I ask if it’s gluten free before I ask about the icing. But seeing as it was morning, American-style pancakes seemed more in order than tea-cakes. And I had Spaghetti squash in fridge. (Squashes make quite a lot for a single person; I always have left overs after baking one.)
Anyhow, feeling like cake and having squash, I made a wonder of morning crunchings and munchings: Lemon-Cinnamon Griddl…

Restaurant Rec's: If You're Tumbling Through Dublin or London

Celiac and on a jaunt through Dublin? Dropped in London for a week? The worst feeling in the world, bar few, is travelling only to end up ill as all Hell because of a desperate bite to eat you thought was safe and gluten free.

Rather a few of my acquaintances and friends are willing to risk life and limb at some extremely shady spots -- shared kitchens; possibly shared surfaces; the dire dread of any self-respecting celiac. But I rarely eat out. Know then that the eateries I recommend are not only stellar in their dedication to safety in food-prep for coeliacs/celiac, they also create exceptional food with a philosophy of sustainability, and on the model of whole-food and real food equals good food, and health. This is especially so Ireland. The food regulations are much more stringent there -- if you're a State-sider, you'll be surprised -- and the awareness is heaps higher. 
Without further ado then...


[ In London ] The W.A.G. Free Bakery -- Oy, if you think Britis…

Tricked-Out Tuesday: Our Pop Culture Radar Catches Earth Day

What the blink is Earth Day for?  Do we care for ourselves with blithe disregard to our environment?  Do we put our environment on a pedestal, and de-value human life, wants, or needs? Is that actually a heinously false dichotomy? Er, yes, yes it is.
Earth Day, ideally, is not about the Earth alone. Earth day is a day to cherish life, and participate in it responsibly.
Earth Day is a day to celebrate the whole: the Earth is a thriving haven , and it includes the well-being of people as well as plants. In fact, our mutual well-being is only assured through a balance. As humans, we have the unique ability to reason -- to tend, and to love, the gift of the universe.
A recent news article linking the chemical "RoundUp" to the increase in celiac disease cast that picture in sharp relief. We cannot abuse or use blindly the resources and life around us without ultimately harming ourselves. And we cannot care for ourselves or tend to our surroundings if we're not properly puttin…

Listers: Top 10 - Recover After Being "Gluten'ed"

Top 10 Ways to Recover After a Bad Bout With Gluten
What do you do if you accidentally ingest gluten?

The first stop on my list is to give myself a bit of a break, because actually the first stop on my knee-jerk  reaction list is to think my head into a puddle. How did I do it? Why did I try that new restaurant? Was it crumbs from not wiping my sister's table before sitting down? Oy, I had to go and be nice and take a bite of . . .

No, I don't usually do the last on that list. But I did, once.

Without further ado then...

10.  Don't berate yourself: be gentle.

9. Be ready after you feel a bit better to make a plan for what you'll do in the future, if the situation warrants it. Perhaps refuse to dine out unless the eatery is dedicated gluten-free. Perhaps plan to have a meal packed if you accept a dine-out invite.

8. Tea. Heather's Tummy Tea is fennel, and soothes and relieves bloating. Pukka makes a ginger tea that is both healing and comforting.

7. Broth. (Homemake…

Shoestring, And Generously: Easter

The most beautiful celebrations are abundant -- and yet often cost the least. How? Abundance is an attitude. That is a brilliant reminder to me every day, and has been extremely important in my budgeting, and life, dealing with celiac disease. Is there so much I can't have? YES. But am I looking at that, or the how-much-I-do-have?  Asking ow much I can share too always gives me a new perspective, as long as I also give myself permission to ask for what I need.

It's how much I have to give and offer that often makes my celebrations startling-amazing.

The best way to budget is to share. 

So it isn't so much about having a cheap holiday as knowing that a generous holiday on loving shoestring simplicity can be the most rewarding.

Make it a "Stone Soup" affair.

This Easter, I made it a "Stone Soup" affair. Everyone bring something, and there's always enough, even when the something is small…

Recipe: Lentils and Spice and Everything Nice (Dhal Dublin-style)

Supper. At this time of year, it ought to be warm, fragrant, and comforting -- and perhaps a fourth essentail point oft-left-out, nourishing.

As it's Holy Thursday, it might also be called to be simple. As a Catholic, this time of year always makes me think of travelling--even if I'm settled.

While in Ireland, on the wharf outside of Dublin, I attended a great old feast late into the night at a most excellent Indian restaurant. They assured me of dire and direct care taken by staff to avoid cross-contamination, and though I'd eaten early evening, the dinner didn't start up 'til well nigh on nine, and I was starving.

They served everything from curries and meats, to lentils and potatoes. I got a Red Lentil Dhal, and Hot-Spiced Potatoes. I only wish I could recall the Indian name for the potatoes. But the evening coincided with the end of a 20 mile final trek into Dublin, a wake-at-dawn, and a take-three-finals-online-for-grad-courses-in-the-States on arrival at wi-f…

Recipe!: Red Velvet By the Beet!


But red velvet, two-bite sized, drizzled with home-made nut butter chocolate cream? It's up for Easter.

These red velvet cakes get their pink from beets. As I've said before, it was a long time before I looked at a pancake with any longing -- I remember them as that-fluff-I-ate-and-felt-like-a-frying-pan-to-the-gut  after.

Oy, but one can make pancakes that don't take the mickey out of you. And you can make this in half a beet -- er, beat. With half a beet.

Fairly weird ingredients, yes. But not as purely peculiar as cricket flour, which I'm still dead-set on trying in a baking experiment soon.


serves 1-2 people

(prep time 10 mins; cooking time 3-5 minutes)


1/2 small red beet, shredded
1 tbs Organic Soy Milk (or milk of choice)
3 tbs Teff Flour
1 tbs Coconut Flour
1/4 c rice or buckwheart flour
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash stevia

Mix egg, beet, milk, vanilla. Add flour, baki…

Tricked-Out Tuesday [TTT]: Launch "The Celiac Project"!

Oh lovely w00tness! Oh calloo callay! I'm tumbling again today happily because I'm traveling again. But before I take off Hermes'-heeled, I wanted to trot out this top-notch tumbler of celiac-cracking-pop-culture.
Launched by diagnosed celiac, Frolichstein of Evanston, Illinois, US, the documentary film "The Celiac Project", an engaging feature length documentary wholly dedicated to the narrative of those who suffer the often agonising years of ill health prior to diagnosis.
The film showcases dozens of celiacs. It pulls in interviews with experts at Columbia University, amongst others.  "When I learned that 83 percent of Celiacs in this country are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed," Frolichstein remarks, "I felt compelled as a filmmaker to unravel the mystery of this illness."
Unravel away. Like one of the young women in the trailer, I also sat at the table with family one evening, and said, "I think I'm dying. And no one knows why…

Restaurant Rec's: Tumble Into Good Tuck in Southern California

Before I trot off to other territories, I'm jotting down the good spots to eat safe and freely in Southern California as a celiac.

Rather a few of my acquaintances and friends are willing to risk life and limb at some extremely shady spots -- shared kitchens; possibly shared surfaces; the dire dread of any self-respecting celiac. But I rarely eat out.  Know then that the eateries I recommend are not only stellar in their dedication to safety in food-prep for celiacs, they also create exceptional food with a philosophy of sustainability, and on the model of whole-food and real food equals good food, and health.

Try . . .

TRUE FOOD KITCHEN (Santa Monica, San Diego, Newport Beach, CA and AZ) (vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free)

A small chain in the U.S. Southwest, locations in San Diego, Santa Monica, and Newport Beach.  Organic, whole-food ethic mingled with keen fusion sensibilities and a chef's flare for flavour, this restaurant also routinely presents me with servers w…

Shoestring-It: So What Are the Staples?

What are your staples? Pack your pantry with pig-fat and peas? Survive on celiac-safe top ramen (Lotus Foods and Explore Asian both make it now!)? Do you even know what you use most each week?
Budgeting isn't bloody well just for the fun of it -- when I was trekking through Ireland, I saved 30 euro keeping an eye on my staples -- the go-to's, the necessities, the meals I liked and could make easily.
Staples keep me from losing sense and cents when my budget gets tighter than a shoestring tied by mad-overprotective mum on her toddler’s trainer.  Why? Three reasons: 
One doesn't waste when knows what one wants. Knowing one's meal habits means buying what gets used. Staples are versatile, and make for flexible changes.
You don't waste when you know and get what you want. 
Know your staples,  and you know you’ll be stable – as much as you can know anything.
So if you know what you can’t do without, what you love to eat, and what you eat every day, you can navigate a groc…

A Blog Is A Blog Is Blog...Is A What? Community! (GF Living Conference ReCap)

The recent GF Living Conference  shot its attendees through a rigourous "Blogger University" seminar last weekend with content that I couldn't help sharing.

The presentations, by accomplished celiacs and bloggers, were well-realized, shot from personal experience, and set down rubrics for just what bloggingcan be -- and the best way to reach, teach, and have fun. Technical tips such as when 'tis best publish were mixed with advice on content (balancing it), and networking, intermingled with presentations on food photography and recipes.

So a blog is a what? A vehicle for information, obviously. But why read one? Especially in something as specific as gluten-free living, and gluten-free-as-celiac, it's easy to be too myopic, too narrow...and to drift off hazily into trying to please all at the other end of the spectrum.

Some of the best tips however, came in capsule over Twitter. "Readers should be able to identify what you are trying to teach them through yo…

Try-It Tuesday [TTT]: Those Things Called English Muffins That Aren't Crumpets

Have you ever tried to make something with wildly weird ingredients?

I have.  As a child, it was usually dirt, bugs, and mud -- or sometimes vanilla extract, vegetable shavings, or left overs tucked behind the toaster or in the refrigderator.

But gluten-free baking often snaps best with a wild eye for unexpected add-ins.

Not long ago, I ran out of the samples I got from Food For Life of their Multi-Seeded English Muffins. But I still had a heap of frozen figs, almond butter, and a craving for the crisp edge of the toasted in the morning.

How does one get the doughy, air-pocked texture and taste of an English muffin then?  I daydreamed for a while about foods and flavour, and then gathered what I had: Zucchini, miso paste, Manini's Gluten Free Pasta Flour, Bob's Red Mill Coconut Flour, Cider Vinegar, Baking Powder, and honey.

If you want a crisp-crumpet for breakfast, this weird array did it. It makes a small batch -- five or so muffins -- and they're palm-sized. But they&#…

Listers: Tip-Off for Celiac Athletes -- Do's, Don't's, and Recovery

"A persistent sluggish feeling and decreased athletic performance led to my celiac disease diagnosis in 2008,” noted Gaiazova, 2014 Sochi Cross Country Skier (Canada). “Your body knows best.”
I have dueling tips for my training stashed on post-its and receipt paper, jammed in my fencing gear, stuffed in hoodie pockets.

The first are from pre-diagnosis. The second are from after.

The first make perfect sense if one's body is killing itself from the inside out, but, er, not so much sense from a healthy standpoint.  From a non-diseased lookout, they look loony.

The second are tips I re-compiled from my coaches, or nicked off interviews with Olympic athletes, or got from doctors and dietitians during my recovery.

So I was meandering through my lists of odd facts, notes, and training tips stashed since last time I attended fencing Nationals, and I hit on a scribbled, water-stained piece of receipt paper jammed in the toe of my fencing shoes. (I don't recommend the storage, bu…

Shoestring THIS, Not THAT

( reposted from a blogger health and wellness challenge themed on budget )
Having a budget has been more and more important to me as I’ve navigated life with celiac disease.  Food is a necessity. But how do you judge necessaity when it comes down to premium-price produce, or crackers 50% more expensive than the gluten-containing counterparts?
I’ve learned one extremely important first rule when it comes to having a shoestring budget, and sticking to it. Shoestring-it-like-a-boss – but don’t shoestring your health.
Don’t put a budget on your wellbeing.
There’s a difference between self-care and self-indulgence. Eating well, and enjoying it, are both key to me being a well-rounded, well-nourished celiac kid – travelling, working, day in and day out. Indulgence is not key. 
If it costs more to buy a package of beans, rather than in bulk, I do – because I know the brand, and I know there’s no risk of wheat-flour dusting my legumes. Browsing the lanes of the local market a day ago, I ground…

Product Review: Good On Ya Fits Good On Me...Or In Me

In the avalanche of new products I got to try while at the Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo in San Francisco, there were a dead-bolting surplus of gluten-free bars. Breakfast bars. Snack bars. Protein bars. Raw bars. Cooked bars. Cereal bars.

I was buried in bars. Enviro Kids has their crisp rice cereal bars; Pamela's had a lovely breakfast bar; Chia bar of some sort; the always superb Raw Revolution bars. . .

But an absolute knockout of a bar is this one:Good On Ya Bar from San Diego, CA.

All gluten free, organic, raw honey sweetened, and solidly nutrifying: It sticks to the ribs, not the gut.

I wish I had had the coin to buy a case. But instead, I got samples -- not quite a case full, but enough.

The Good On Ya comes in four varieties. Far and above the best is their most recent rollout, the Superhero, all raw, featuring a fairly rare fruit, lucuma, and a particularly unique taste.  I loved the texture and chew of these things, and their nutritional balance -- proteins, carbohydra…