Showing posts from April, 2017

A Celiac's Guide to Planting, Growing, and Prepping Food

I always wanted a garden. Me do it! was my refrain, and my first full sentence. But when I was diagnosed with celiac disease, the idea of a garden took on a new significance.  A garden was naturally gluten-free. A garden was safe. A garden was chemical-free, and free food...barring start-up costs of seeds and soil. And maybe most of all, to the creative and philosophic sort in my soul, a garden is beautiful, and an opportunity to experience a variety even the keenest markets won't necessarily provide.
I could plant heirlooms. I could grow rare weeds. I could have carrots in twenty colours, or rainbow greens!
So where to begin?
This is how I did it. It may work for you too.
:: First, plant ::
Some plants are easy. It's easy to grow a few rows of beans; kale is hardy as a hobbit-heel; and a good friend who knew earth and timings told me how some plants like Mozart (spinach? or perhaps this is garden-myth); and mint will go ma…

A Spring, Sustainable (Or Celiac, Stevia, and Waste-Free Brunching)

It's no good to waste food, especially when it's gluten free. Eating with celiac costs me more coin often, and more often than coin it costs me time, but celiac or otherwise food waste wastes resource, demonstrates a carelessness with wealth, and can make or break a shoestring budget.

I've been noticing the abundance of Spring in Beantown. Buds are bursting. Not too long, and farm-stands and farmer's markets will be bursting too with green, and gold, and red-white-blue festivity of BERRIES. It will also be Earth Day.

And this week, I got both a package and crate. The package was from Nu Naturals, ( family-owned company that makes supplements, and stevia-based-syrups, whom I met at Expo West in Anaheim. They're partnering this month with Earth Day Org & donating $1 for every order they receive April 1 - 30. Each dollar guarantees a tree-planted, and awareness spread of how important our stewardship of o…

PRODUCT REVIEW: Nu Naturals (Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free)

Nu  Naturals ( -- family-owned, West-Coast-based purveyor of sugar-free sweetenings, gluten-free baking ingredients, and supplements,  makes some wicked good  additions to a celiac diet. But what really  made Nu shine to me was that their gluten-free / sugar-free syrups, extracts, and supplements are both diabetic-safe and chemical free. Because Nu is stevia-based sugar free.

Since a significant number of celiacs (as compared to the general population) suffer from type-1 insulin-dependent diabetes, this is rather brilliant.

But what I loved about the syrups especially was just how well they compared to traditional chocolate or desert & drink syrups. Because Blitzen knows, most "natural" sweet-alternatives have, er, unpleasant after-tastes. Bitter. Odd. Or just as bad, taste fair but last for only half-a-drizzle, and cost somehwhere between 50 quid and $300.

Stevia is an herb. Its sweetness is overwhelming. But extracted and distilled into a syrup with a b…

Easter, Okonomiyaki, & Gluten-Free Festivity

If you're feeling uncommon, poor in the way of options, or wondering what to do with traditionally gluten-filled Easter menus, check out my brunch (below). I love freelancing and fusing foods -- and something about playing with variety pulls me right out of the old habit of self-pity, paralysis, and false sense of deprivation that celiac can induce. 
Easter is a time to receive life. Not deprivation or fear.
I eat gluten-free.
That means I eat -- and can eat -- a whole menagerie of fantastic foods. Like Okonomiyaki, the Japanese "pancake". Slow-roasted Eggs. Cuban Black Beans and Charred Corn Tortillas...

He is risen! goes the traditional Easter greeting. But so are doughs, breads ready to bake in traditional Easter-style, and a list of invites on my social media radar from friends holding brunches, picnics, and potlucks to celebrate Christ's dealing death to Death.

That doesn't mean I have to do the opposite of rise, and sink into isolation or self-pity.


Celiac Challenges: Explaining to the Non-Gluten Free with a "What If"

Celiac disease doesn't only affect the intestines. Celiac disease affects the whole orientation of one's day to day business. I don't always want to explain this to people. But then, explanations are inevitably dull -- it's like having someone lecture at you! I didn't tolerate that well even in school. Humor or a conversation convey meaning so much better; and they take into account relationship.So recently, when someone asked about my gluten-free need (and remarked that their sister-in-law "wasn't too seriously celiac, she could cheat a little" -- patently not safe or medically true), I opened my mouth. Shut it. And then had rather a brainstorm, and launched.SO WHAT IF SOMEONE IN HISTORY OR POP CULTURE HAD CELIAC?This is what it would look like.(And this makes the day-to-day explainingconcrete in a second for all those inquiring, or less-than-inquiring, minds that may need to know how celiac works, and affects you.)(Not all of these examples is who…