Showing posts from November, 2014

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

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

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 ]


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)


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

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.


Try-It Tuesday: Cracked and Cauliflowered the Smoothie

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
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

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

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.


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

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

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…