Showing posts from 2015

Having an Appetite for Life, or Gluten Free: Don't Feed Yourself Like a Machine

"But what about the nutritional content?"

Gluten- free! Magnesium! Protein! Balanced fats? Is it enough? Is it too much? Will it get me through the next few hours? Arginine? Essential aminos? Probiotics?

My head shot questions -- fix'em, figure'em, analytical-questions -- a few mornings ago.

I can tell I'm burnt out and depressed if I'm more concerned about the discrete building blocks of a meal, dissected,, than excited or full of expectation for the day's event.

Health and happiness and good nutrition are all good things. But if we eat to fuel, or eat to heal, or eat to fix, our mind has lost its health. To live is eat because it is good to eat and enjoy. To live is to exercise because one loves the outdoors, or the swish of galoshes in mud puddles; loves foils and mountains and bikes; loves the rush of deep breathing or the laughter of tag games with siblings or nieces or nephews.

A person shouldn't exercise because they are fat. They should exercise …

Last-Minute Gluten-Free Gift Guide

Gifts are tricksy no matter who and what. But what if the recipient is gluten-free and Celiac? What if they can't eat dairy either? What if -- even more mind-blowing -- they have habits, hobbies, and loves beyond their medically indicated diet?

I've found heaps of family and friends want to get me food, and haven't the foggiest what to buy.  What they don't know is that most gifts, including underwear, are gluten-free. Underwear aside, if you're looking for last-minute food or food-free presents to present to a dear friend or family member who can't eat gluten, the following list will fit both needs.

If you celebrate Christmas, don't worry about the timing either. Give yourself a break. Christmas begins the 25th and lasts 12 days. Not to mention, since the commercial enterprises ignore this nearly 2-week streak of festivity, they put everything on sale the day after.

That digression aside: Gift good this season -- good and gluten-free.

Here's the list:


RECIPE: Mung Dal Curry, or Gluten Free Warm in Winter

In Autumn, warmth and slow-cooked fight off the coming cold. Nourishing a body is about more than plugging calories in.  Eating is healing and sustaining because it's a whole-person experience -- heart, mind, soul. With Celiac Disease, or with any disease, including anxiety or clinical stress, the gut takes a hit, and needs especially gluten free and especially nurturing foodstuffs.

This Mung Curry is a blend of all of the above. Mung beans are the easiest to digest of legumes, barring lentils. They cook down to a creamy texture, complemented by the buttery-sweet of Now Food's excellent organic, infused coconut oil.  And you can make a huge pot for the week, and eat slowly without needing to cook slowly every day.

Though sitting down to eat slowly is a non-negotiable if recovering a sense of serenity on the insides.

Life itself is a ragged enough rumpus of a ride.  Add Celiac, or a gluten-free/dairy-free need, and your body probably requires an extra dose of gentleness, and nut…

Warming, Healing, ThanksGiving: Gluten-Free Bone Broth

As the days grow dimmer -- and shorter -- and the cold seeps in, broth, soup, and the smell of baking begin to sound especially comforting. No wonder. They are. "But you can't eat good stuff," remarked a casual acquaintance as I expressed this Autumn meditation, "I mean, you're gluten free."

Pshaw. Most good foods are gluten-free naturally. Broth, for instance. Chicken soup. Black Bean Brownies.

And as Thanksgiving approaches, do you think about what's going to be on your table? While heaps of pop culture blarings, and some of the modern traditions, put wheat front and center, Thanksgiving is an easy hop into comforting, warming, naturally gluten-free fare.

And broth is not only healing and easy, it adds body and deep flavour to whatever you add it to.

If you're looking for a good Celiac-safe addition to the provender this holiday, make some bone broth.  I just did.  And the pot will last me a week and then some.

It warms the kitchen before it warms…

GFFAFest Stamford 2015 Re-Cap

Events like The Gluten Free Allergen Free Fest really aren't about the food -- they're about people.  But for individuals with Celiac Disease -- like me --  they do showcase food because FOOD means options. That's what the food is about, ultimately: options and opportunity -- and that's what vendors were all about in Stamford.

I've never attended a gluten-free conference with such an array of stellar local goods. Either the market is getting wise to the fact that slapping "GF" on something doesn't it cut it, or the understanding that naturally gluten-free grains and ingredients can shine without bland-brick-like mimicry of their gluten-containing cousins has finally sunk in. Whichever it is, it's bloody hard to re-cap the GFFA Fest from Nov 7-8 in Stamford as far as food -- I have a laundry list of exciting standouts.

Not just gluten-free, but organic, local, artisan-baked or small-batched --

Not just safe, but really most especially GOOD --

Not j…

PRODUCT REVIEW: Glo Bars, Gluten Free -[ Good, Live, Organic ]

GLO Bars are Raw Rev's protein-packed answer to the packaged question. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and organic, created by registered nurse and chef, Benedetto, they axe the excess the sugar sometimes found in granola or protein bars. But it's what they include that matters more.

GLO Bars take out fillers, and fill the package with Good, Living, Organic taste and nutrition.

I wouldn't post on the little blokes, but they've become a Celiac-staple for me: as an athlete, and traveller. When I take a trip, they're in my gluten-free snack seat. When I compete, I have them in my equipment bag.

The original three flavours, Smooth Peanut Butter, Mixed Nut and Caramel, and Dark Chocolate PB just got updated with the addition of  Crunchy PB, and Dark Chocolate Cashew Mint. 

The new mint is almost overpowering -- it is, after all, made with actualmint essential oil. But the addition of chocolate and cashew gives it a second-chew-balance and subtlety that's complimented…

GFFAFest: Stamford, CT Gluten Free & More Celiac Event!

Meet me this weekend in Stamford, CT if you're a New England Celiac or gluten-free wanderer! The "Fest" features food and fun, education and fellowship, and goes all weekend of November 7-8 at the Hilton Stamford Hotel.

Whether you're New Englander or travel-tripping fiend like me, tumbling a few hours or 20 hours to get there, it's bound to be well worth the time.  One of the highlights is the traveling (who doesn't like long roads in Autumn-colour, creased by pre-Winter cloud-forthed skies?).  But if you're nearby especially, an all-time highlight is the chance to try a cornucopia of safe, gluten-free, organic, national and local food.

If you can get your weekend wandering on, take it to Stamford.

Traveling can be a bit brave if you have Celiac Disease. The good thing about traveling to an event such as GF and More's Fest is: You don't need to over-plan, or fear for lack of food -- you'll be full of it here.

If you're wondering what you…

GFAF Event Hartford 2015 Product Highlights!

But speaking of standouts at the GFAF Wellness Event in Hartford, how do I sum-up every gluten-free food on the floor?  From Mo-'Pweeze Bakery, to Nature's Grocer and Natural Contents, from Jen's Grain Free Gourmet goods to local Rising Star Pizza, and in between Raw Local and Bridget's Breads right beside national-but-local-based Enjoy Life and Bakery on Main -- no vendor disappointed. On top of that Schar showed up, and Dr. Anne RD showed off their new breads, artisan-style and now multi-grain to include not just taste, but nutrition.

Bridget's Bread:  Connectiuct-based. This woman can bake.  Her bread is moist, her bread is fresh, her bread is PUMPERNICKEL.  No, dead serious -- she makes a pumpernickel loaf better than anything I've ever had.  If you're looking for good bread, and are rather weary of the tried-true-but-sometimes-holy (not to mention small) Udi's, order from Bridget.  She sold out at this event. Her ingredients are fresh, her grains wh…

Product Review: Almond Milk...For Realz, Like Totally (Orgain's Gluten-Free)

I was knocking around a Boston-area Whole Foods this Summer, and I couldn't have been more pleased to knock into Orgain's new Almond Milk. I don't know why it's taken them this long to peg out a social media blast about it. With ten times the protein of other almond milks on the shelves, and a good nutritional profile of micronutrients as well, the sweetened and unsweetened vanilla taste and texture like a smoothie.

Most nut-based milks are almost nutless in truth -- calorie-less, protein-less, and nutritively bankrupts slosches -- sometimes vaguely tasty -- usually watery and limp.

Not so this bugger.

I've been picking it up since June now, and posting photos occasionally as the whim takes me. I wholeheartedly toss it to clients -- especially mums with young ones who can't have dairy but still need the nutritive punch of protein and b-vitamins.

But simply: This milk just pleases the palate. I love its creaminess, the light vanilla flavour, and the nutrition.

What Makes a Celiac Event? People First, Product Second -- GFAF Wellness Hartford Re-Cap

GFAF Wellness Hartford Re-Cap

The Gluten Free Allergen Free Event in Hartford had an uncanny density of quality -- in food; in people; and in the presentations.  It may have been smaller than many, but there was no exhibitor  I didn't enjoy. More standout still, Nikki Everett gathered a group almost solely local gluten-free vendors

This year tied a small hall to local gluten free vendors -- if it had been as large as Expo West, it couldn't have been better, because there was not one booth on the floor, or one presenter in the education line-up, that wasn't stellar.  Perhaps a greater feat than even the density of the day's quality in company and food was the fact that Nikki Everett managed to gather all of these exhibitors, professionals, and Celiac advocates from the surrounding area.

One of the key strengths of Nikki's events is that they recognize the value -- the necessity -- of local resources -- small businesses, farms, area-based healthcare and educators -- i…