Showing posts from 2017

When a Merry Christmas Isn't: Celiac Chat on Life

When the days are snowy and bright, but the tables are piled with celiac blight. Christmas-tide is full of food. What time isn't? But that's a good thing...unless you have a disorder which makes the larger portion of the food not just inedible, but dangerous.

Perhaps a greater challenge in a holiday season is the focus on food, for feasts require feasting, and that means edibles. But the Western tradition is heaped high with edibles inedible to us.

It does make a wicked opportunity for creativity.

...or a wicked excuse for isolation.

When a happy Christmas isn't happy, it's time to troubleshoot.

Chat about your challenges with a friend
Find something new to do or try
Disorders are ditches in our lives, not the roads

This season, I met up for a date at a little cafe around the corner from St Paul's near Harvard. As we unbundled, and ordered tea & coffee, gluten free came up.
"Seriously," I quipped after a fairly blase remark from him, "You have a su…

Recipe: Chia Chai Pumpkin Mousse, & Gluten Free Griddle Cakes

Every year when Winter whips in, the kitchen is cold, and even when it warms up with the oven on or  the heat seeping up from the lower-neighbour's flat, it isn't the time to eat cold too.

Bodies, I think, know that cold is dangerous in the Northeast.

Probably because it is.

And perhaps that's why warm food, and the warming aroma of cinnamon, clove, and ginger, tug so hard on the taste-buds this time of year.

I met Nu Naturals (a family-owned company based on the West Coast) during a work trip a few months ago. They make syrups that are gluten-free, vegan, and sugar-free. Since I have a dairy-protein-allergy on top of celiac, this is a boon to me; and I spent a few mornings making warm food and playing with the Chai, Cocoa, and Pumpkin Spice syrups, along Nu's organic cocoa and my own chia seeds.

I happened to have egg white protein -- an odd pantry addition, but Now Foods offered me a bucket to try during that trip as well.

Anyhow, as a celiac mate in Ireland says eve…

Gluten-Free Treatment Worse Than the Disease? Celiac Chat on Life

I didn’t think Celiac Disease was a disability when I lived as a freelancer, consulting with families and individuals on nutrition. My day necessarily dealt with my, and others’, meals and thoughts about food. I didn't want to think of it as a disability when I was first diagnosed either, because too much grief lay in that; and after all, eating gluten free is a straightforward prescription. Prior to my freelancing, I was a student, working part-time, in a gluten-free bubble, traveling carefully or never at all.
Isn’t it easy as anything to swim in and out of all the gluten-free gregariousness online, and live in a bubble of FOOD, SAFE FOOD, HOW DO YOU MAKE FOOD
...and yet, does the ordinary individual with celiac have the bubble of time to live like that -- like people blog and pin and tweet and post?
I recently finished my graduate studies in philosophy, put my nutrition business on stand-by (I’ve kept clients but am not soliciting more), and transitioned into a full…

Gut Healing Tips: Fall Food, Warm Colours, Eat the Rainbow of the Foliage

When the dark sets in, especially in the North, the cold comes too. In Boston, the sky begins to slump in like Atlas's shoulders -- broad and bowed; and the air and sounds of the city become muffled. Cold creates a physical foreboding. After all, cold like you get in Winter is deadly.

Even with the modern shelter and heating we have, the cold closes in like predator.

O smacking and wackings on the poor tender head! or gut, though Gurgi (in Prydain Chronicles) doesn't mention it; but then, the poor blighter didn't have celiac.

This reading celiac kid-cum-nutritionist has celiac, and I have enough smackings and wackings on my poor tender gut without the additional distress of plunging cold, and sunlessness, to batter it more.

As I paged through a book at lunch last week, celiac thoughts and experience intermingling with the narrative, I read the words rest, & stew, & warm waft of something golden and simmering. The characters were exhausted, and had come to rest. Hung…

When Celiac Could Be Cured -- Or Not?

a celiac cure in the offing? 
"I'm holding out for when I can eat a big gluten-ful muffin."

I wasn't. Am not.

My friend has celiac too, but he was thinking cure and rage rage against the dying of the light. I wasn't.

What a ton of unpleasant bricks, I thought: because I had unconsciously stuck myself square into the idea that my disease was normal.
How comfortable should I be with a disease? Where is the line between acceptance and ingenuity -- and bleak resignation?

"There are lots of things just as good gluten-free," he said after that, "But somethings just were meant to a have gluten. And so was I."

Logically, he's right. No one's body, functioning in health, tries to murder its small intestine when it detects gluten -- that's madness. We were meant to be able to eat gluten without an autoimmune response (regardless of what you think about its other qualities).

The exchange left me with many questions, and a lot of anger, and fr…

Recap Gluten Free Wellness Event 2017, Hartford! (giveaway)

All the way to Hartford from Boston? For good reason!

The day-long Gluten Free Allergen Free Wellness Event, at the Hartford Holiday Inn September 30th, showcased an array of local food purveyors, and posed as the venue for a wonderful line-up of celiac advocates & health speakers!

I had the privilege of speaking too: Integrating Gut Healing Nutrition into Your Day to Day to Routine. (If you joined me, and would like the slides or notes, just send along an email.)

What's more important than gut healing nutrition and variety if you have celiac?

I think what Nikki's GFAF Wellness Events say so well is that: nothing is -- except community. Eat well. Yes. But don't do it alone.

Highlights of the event were Jen Cuevas's presentation -- her gluten-free recovery story is touching, as well as full of experience extraordinarily helpful to anyone undergoing multiple health and food related illnesses.

But her products, a huge list of paleo, gluten free goods (including CAKE .…

Gut-Healing Tips: Eat It Slowly

When you're hungry, it's hard to eat slowly. When I'm hungry and busy, it's even harder to eat slowly  - and I began lunch with hiking pals a week ago with a busy brain, in a hunger rush, body still flying and in flux.

Gut Healing One-Shots
weekly looks at healing the insides
with food preparation practices, supplements, or other whole life approaches CJ. STOP.

Celiac Disease, as you may know, damages the gut. As an autoimmune disorder, it is directly linked to our body's stress response. But what many people don't know in our rush-mad-product-over-person-culture is that, celiac or not, a rushed meal is an ouch meal on the tum.

Stop, I told myself.

Food is meant to nourish and heal. But goods have to be received before they do us any good.

Science as well as tradition, in tandem with a multitude of anectdotal evidence, show that eating slowly heals and supports digestion.

One aspect of eating slowly that is immediately clear in its digestive good is CHEWING. Amylase…

O! It's a stack! Or, Gluten Free Peach-Raspberry Pancakes

Also, adventure.

I woke with a healthy appetite, and an even healthier disinterest in food, and its myriad possible details. (When one has celiac, food details can become unhealthily large. The trick, mates, is having a life and identity much larger than the detail or the disease.) I didn't want to make breakfast. I wanted to make tracks.

But you can't make tracks without breakfast!

Bloody practical voice.

So since I had a large bowl of shredded zucchini in the fridge, and weekends in the US encourage pancakes...and since I had no gluten free flour in the apartment, but two tubs of protein powder to try and many eggs, I made pancakes.

Gluten Free Squash Pancakes
with Chia Chocolate SunButter Syrup & Raspberries and Peaches

I made too many, and it took long. But I made them again three or four times that week to see how they came out, and they filled a plate each time.

I still think they take too long. If the North Shore, and a hike on the beach, are in the future of the day, …

Boston Gluten-Free: Wildflower Pantry, Brighton

Wildflower Pantry, in the heart of the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, boasts a supplier and product chain of all things local. Even better, if you -- like me -- have celiac disease or a dietary restriction, this little grocery also boasts the double-resource of locally made totally gluten-free goods.

Stroll along one of the two aisles in this tiny shop, and you'll find everything from tea to cheese, pasta to fresh produce. Linger a little longer, and you'll likely be floored by just how many items Keri and her husband manage to fit neatly and cleanly along the walls, in the two small glass-fronted fridges, in the cold case up front -- and you'll likely be just as delighted by the welcoming aesthetic, a front-window nook for events and seating, and the scent of coffee and fresh bread.

I love that Wildflower sources everything from New England. Moreover, I love that they prove that local doesn't mean limited, just as gluten free doesn't mean deprived!

You couldn…

A Celiac & a Gluten-Free Detox, Fun-Style

Why do people pair up detox, diet and gluten-free eating? It's as if to have health, you have to lose joy. But that seems like the opposite of health to me: Health is a matter of mind and matter, and to be healthy, you need a healthy sense of your own tastes, a healthy dose of enjoyment, and a good attitude.

You can't have food you like, enjoyment, or a good attitude if you're slaving under a restrictive food-regime -- whatever it claims about what it'll do for you "in the future". Feeling deprived, and eating mainly because someone else has told you it's the "healthy" option is a recipe for dismally bad health.

As a celiac, I have a prescription for a gluten-free plate. You might too. Maybe you've got diabetes, and that takes sugar right off your list of "to-eats". And this last week, because of my nutritionist consulting and celiac diagnosis, someone asked me for a prescription for a detox plan.