Saturday, May 25, 2013

Betrayed by an Angel on Amazon

My book, Betrayed by an Angel is now Available on Amazon!
When an angel appears to tell Shay Deville she can’t marry her fiancĂ© because she will forever alter his destiny, she thinks she is going crazy. Shay learns she was supposed to die seven months ago, but Merrick, her own guardian angel, broke angelic law and saved her. Now she is a woman without a future – or a guardian.

In spite of the angel’s warning Shay refuses to give up her dreams. She hunts down Merrick, her renegade angel, and demands he help her.

Guardian Angel Merrick knows the Heavenly Handbook better than anyone, but when the time came to help Shay Deville cross over, he just couldn't do it. Now Merrick is stripped of his wings and banished to the earthly realm until he corrects his mistakes and completes the destiny of his charge. But how can Merrick arrange to take Shay’s life when he has fallen in love with her? How can he not?

Will Merrick give up his wings and forever be cast to Earth for the woman he loves?

Can a woman without a destiny ever find happiness, or true love?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Healthy Websites for Celiacs

Celiac Disease has made me even more passionate about healthy eating. Because of the damage that was no doubt done to my digestive system for the 40 years before my diagnoses if I'm going to eat something I want it to be the best choices I can possibly make.

So if you're looking for healthy sites with good information about what to eat and what not to eat here's a few of my favorites;

Food Babe: This site covers all kinds of things as the "Food Babe" investigates what's in our food. It talks about GMO's, Protein Powders, Juicing, and also has a section for recipes. Although I've only discovered this site a little bit ago, I'd say its one of the best on the web for those who want to eat healthier.

The Eat Clean Diet:  This site is not gluten free but does give great food choices without chemicals, preservatives or additives. The books she sells on the site do have a gluten free option in it's diet lists. It's a healthy natural diet the way God intended food to be. 

The Gluten Free Vegan; A great site that definitely understands gluten, cross contamination issues and how to create healthy and gluten free vegan meals. 

And of course our basic Celiac sites;

Celiac Disease Foundation:  If you have a question about living with Celiac Disease you'll find the best answers right here. This site explains the disease, how to cope and everything else you need to live the Gluten free lifestyle.  This site is another excellent GF Celiac site for understanding and living with the disease. 

Celiac Central:  This site is newer than some of the other Celiac sites but all the information is there in clear and concise articles. 

Celiac Disease Delphi Forum; This site used to be one of my favorites and helped me a lot when I went GF over 10 years ago. Then the moderators removed a post they disagreed with that I thought was good information that people needed to know. They felt the information was false and deleted the post. It was regarding that some wine is stored in wooden kegs that are sealed with flour. The poster thought that people should be aware of this and make their own decisions as to whether or not to consume that type of wine. The moderators were adamant that this wheat flour did not end up in the finished product and removed the post. Personally I felt they were imposing their own views on everyone else and that was wrong. A person should be able to make their own decision regarding this risk. Personally, I won't drink wine aged in a keg. I have enough problems without taking this needless risk. 
The fact that the moderators removed this post because they didn't agree with it, made me wonder what else they hide? 

Okay, those are some of my favorite healthy eating sites. Enjoy!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bingo Night - Bring Your Own Celiac Snacks

Bring my own food? A Celiac loves those words. Not to have to rely on whatever cross contaminated issues other's bring to the table while feeling like a freak for turning it down? Yes, I'm in!

Tonight I'm going to get a couple of packages of gluten free cookies and arrange them on a platter with fresh strawberries. Maybe a bag of GF potato chips? A veggie platter? GF candy laid out on a dish? Since I only drink water or coffee I'll probably just bring some Poland Springs. Or maybe stop by Starbucks on the way.

Going places that ask me to bring a dish are my favorite places to go. Socializing is hard when you go somewhere and can't eat  or fear eating what's served. Usually I just eat before I go or after I get back. Not always fun, but we do what we have to do.

So we're going to a Bingo Steal where everyone brings food and drinks and a $10 gift. We play a few rounds of bingo and then for the next few rounds who ever wins gets to steal a gift back.

"Bring your own food," I love those words.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Celiac Disease, Gluten Free and Frustrated

When CVS called me saying if I went through their drugs by mail program for my prescription I repeatedly said I'm Celiac you cannot, cannot, cannot substitute this medication. (thyroid) I need the name brand. Other generic brands contain GLUTEN and will make me sick.

So yesterday in the mail I get the generic drug. WTF! Do they not speak English?

So I call saying I have to return this drug, I will get sick if I take it. I repeat that I stated this to your representative over and over again.They say they have no record of that.

My blood starts to heat as i realize I've been scammed by CVS.

Now, I have to pay for this, can't take it and have to go purchase the correct prescription. CVS says this is fair because they called my doctor and spoke to some Nurse Practioner, whom I've never even met before, and she approved it. I said did you not see the note that said I COULD NOT TAKE THIS BECAUSE I HAVE CELIAC DISEASE? They said it didn't matter. they faxed over a note and the doctor's office approved it. I said when I gave specific instructions that I could not take this drug why was I not called regarding this? They said they had no record of that.

Excuse me but  CVS SUCKS!  I'm now going to look up the CEO of CVS and send them a letter. I believe they have a handful of idiots working for them. Total disregard for patients safety. Disregarding the Americans with Disability laws.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Snacks for Celiacs

There are many options for Celiac snacks, but most newly diagnosed people don't see them. I'm not talking about the gluten free versions of cakes, cookies and other goodies.

Think healthy!

Veggies; carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, olives
Humus and GF crackers
Energy bars (Think Thin, lara bars, some Balance bars)
Fruit; apples, bananas, grapes, berries

My favorite snacks? Yogurt with a banana cut up and mixed in. GF pretzels with humus dip, and apples with peanut butter.

Think outside the box. Make a snack of a couple of rolled pieces of gluten free cold cuts and some carrot sticks dipped in salsa or humus. Tortilla chips, a sprinkle of shredded cheese and salsa (nuke 1 min). Left over veggies from last night's dinner? Sprinkle on a little salad dressing and enjoy. Grill a portabella mushroom - Yum!

Think of what comes from nature, not man. I have a saying; If man made it, don't eat it.
I call this the God diet. Only eat things that God put on the earth. No, that wasn't Twinkies.

Get creative, have fun and explore new foods. Never had a mango? That's your next snack! Don't know how to roll a summer roll? Google it! New tastes are waiting for you to wet your pallet.
Go get 'em!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Gluten Free Drugs & the Sick Celiac

I've been down with a bad cold all week. Headache, congestion, sneezing, coughing, fever...miserable.

So I figured this would be a good time to review our gluten free drug list.
I spent most nights on Niquil. (liquid only) This stuff usually knocks me out and I'm foggy until noon the next day, but it does K-O the symptoms so I can get some rest.  Dayquil tablets (not liquid) are supposed to be GF too, but I don't get any help from that stuff.  Then its hot tea with honey, soup and crackers and lots of sleep.

If you need information on any drugs go here: Gluten Free Drugs
They list everything by category so when you need something it's easy to find. If its not on this list, I won't use it. I've even shared this list with my doctors so they can help other patients.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gluten Free Toaster Pastry!

I'm excited!!! A Gluten Free version of the Pop Tart is here!!! I've been waiting for this forever!
Sorry about all the exclamation marks...but I'm excited!
These yummy little toaster cakes are flaky, fairly low in fat and very flavorful. Right now I only see the Apple Cinnamon flavor but I'm going to email them and ask for blueberry.
Check out Glutino's GLUTEN FREE toaster pastry!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Celiac Disease Desserts

In my never ending quest to protect my Celiac Gut and still enjoy ice cream, I emailed Turkey Hill. I do eat Turkey Hill frozen Yogurt and was pretty sure it was Gluten free but I always go back and check every now and then. You never know when a recipe will change. I used to love the Peach Melba but I can't find it anymore. I'm hoping its a seasonal item and it will come back. 

I was impressed with Turkey Hills quick and concise answer. I'm even more impressed with the handful of coupons that arrived in the mail today. 
Yay Turkey Hill! They nice peeps!

So here's the answer from Turkey Hill. Enjoy! 

Dear Aimless,

Thank you for contacting Turkey Hill Dairy. We appreciate your comments and interest in our company and products.
We understand that more and more consumers are being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Therefore, we work with our suppliers to obtain gluten-free extracts and modified food starches. At this time, all of our extracts are gluten-free. We also use corn and tapioca modified food starches, both of which are also gluten-free.

We list our allergens on our labels. Below the ingredients, you will see a CONTAINS: statement. If the product contains gluten, wheat will be listed. Wheat is the only ingredient we use that contains gluten. Therefore, the ice creams containing cake and cookie pieces will contain gluten. All of our drink products are gluten-free.

You can also find our gluten information on our website. Please visit and click on the "Our Products" link. Click on the product category you are interested in (i.e. Frozen Desserts). Then click on the product line you are interested in (i.e. Premium Ice Cream). The individual flavors will be listed. Click the flavor name link to view the complete nutrition facts. The gluten and wheat information is listed at the bottom under the "Contains" statement or "Additional Info".

We have a number of Frozen Yogurt's and No Sugar Added Ice Creams that are fat free. This information can be found while viewing our product line on our website
Thanks for taking time to contact us. In appreciation, we will be sending you a follow-up letter and coupons. We appreciate your comments and thank you for choosing Turkey Hill.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Celiac Vegetarian Day

I've eased into Vegetarianism slowly. Previous diet experience had me rushing head first into the Eat Clean program and I'm ashamed to admit, I crashed. I did great for almost a week and then life happened and I cheated a little, then a little more, and then forgetaboutit!

I'm caught between wanting to be a Vegan or just going Vegetarian. Its a tough choice. Which is healthier? Which one will I be able to sustain for life? I'm going Vegetarian for now. Once I get this nailed down I'll consider the Vegan aspect. I think as a Celiac our choices are a bit limited anyway and I wonder why I want to limit it even more? From everything I've read I think a plant based diet is healthier.

So here's my typical day as a Vegetarian so far;

Coffee with Vanilla Coffeemate
Udi's gluten free bagel with humus

Banana or Yogurt or other fruit-I cut up the fruit and stir it into the yogurt.

Salad with Romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, shredded carrots, olives, dressing
Nuts (I buy a couple different kinds and mix them together)

Spaghetti with sauce with kidney beans and Parmesan

That was yesterday. I vary this from day to day. I still need  a vegetarian cookbook because I'm a lousy cook! I need to learn how to be a creative vegetarian in the kitchen so I don't get bored.

So far, I don't miss meat at all. Feel pretty good and I'm sleeping well.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bagel Shopping

Celiac Disease sometimes limits our choices. Bagels used to be a Sunday morning favorite but once I went gluten free that changed. No more bagels for me :-(
Then companies like Udi's and Against the Grain stepped up to bring back this Sunday morning treat; the bagel. Yay!
But no.
If you're from New Jersey you know there isn't a bagel anywhere in the country that tastes like a Jersey bagel. We Jerseyans think it must be all the chemicals in the water, but who really knows for sure? Either way, anyone who wants to sell a Jerseyan a bagel better know the rules.

Bagels should be dense, easy to slice for toasting and come in many flavors. Texture is the key here. Don't serve a mushy, empty shell of a bread like donut to me! Yes, there is a big difference in what a bagel should taste like and what bread tastes like.

Of all the bagels I've tried so far Udi's is my favorite. Against the Grain a close second. So let's compare.
Udi's has 320 calories but is a slightly bigger bagel.
10g of fat
48 carbs (necessary info for diabetics)
3g fiber
8g Protein.
I like the texture and consistency of the Udi's bagel because its denser, like a real bagel. Still kind of bread-like but not too bad. The outer crust toasts nicely and it's easy to spread your favorite condiment on it. I prefer humus but because of the dense nature of this bagel it won't tear or collapse into itself if you slather on firmer things like butter or cream cheese. Udi's has no dairy but does contain egg whites.

Against the Grain Bagels would be my second choice mostly because the inside of the bagel is more airy and when cut in half to toast sometimes tends to be almost empty inside. Still tastes good but not dense like a real glutenous bagel. This leaves something to desire when spreading condiments. However when I'm craving peanut butter I use one of these bagels and you can fill the hollow crevices with gobs of peanut butter. Yum!
250 calories (but smaller than an Udi's bagel)
13g fat
28 carbs (better choice for diabetics)
trace of fiber
5g protein.
The package of Against the Grain I found at Shop Rite was Sesame. I don't know if this made a difference in the ingredients beyond adding Sesame (no seeds seen anywhere), but it had Eggs, Milk and Mozzarella cheese. I'm not sure why they have Mozzarella cheese in a bagel but this could explain why it's very soft and more airy than Udi's.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Celiac, Gluten and SICK!

Into every Celiac life some gluten must fall. Diet be damned I have no idea where it came from, but I've been sick all week. I'm wracking my brain trying to figure it out.

It started last Saturday and at first, when I started feeling ill, I thought I was coming down with something. I was an event last Saturday and there were a few people who complained about being sick. (I wanted to scream, "WHAT THE HECK DID YOU COME FOR, YOU GERM SPREADER!")

So Sunday and Monday I had killer headache, stomach cramps and just achy all over. started feeling a little better but then it got worse again. Wednesday is my busiest day. I'm running from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m with barely any break.  I was halfway through and afternoon class and fighting nausea when it hit me. Gluten!

Why didn't I think it was gluten before? Now I'm checking vitamins labels, any new food I've eaten, a new ginger tea I just got last Friday. I suspect everything! I still don't know what I ate but I'm narrowing it down. I now move through my kitchen like there's an enemy hiding there and I have to get him before he gets me again. The tea was new, the fresh Parmesan from the Italian market could have contamination, can of mixed nuts? I feel like Sherlock Holmes.

I emailed the company, Traditional Medicinals that made the ginger tea. Here's what they said;

"Thank you for your inquiry.  Only two of the teas in our line contain oat straw:  PMS Tea and St. John's Good Mood, so they would not be gluten free.  The remainder of our tea line is without gluten, however.  Regarding the possibility of cross contamination:  we follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) which means that we thoroughly clean our tea bagging machines between batches.  In addition, the first of every batch is discarded as a further effort to eliminate the chance of contamination from the previous batch run."

Hmmm, could be cross contamination if they ran the ginger right after one of the gluten teas? I sometimes worry about teas being made with barley but the oat thing was surprising. Not sure if this tea was my problem but I did drink it a few times during the week because ginger is good for digestion. 

So all week it's been tea with honey, heating pads and the BRAT diet. (Bananas, rice, applesauce, and tea) 
And I'm still not sure what made me sick. Anyone have any trouble with tea?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Celiac Disease & IBS

Celiac Disease has many symptoms. Let's face it, Gluten can do terrible things to, not just our gut, but our entire body. It shows up in skin problems, migraines, and the big one diarrhea.

In the beginning, before Celiac was ever mentioned, the doc labeled my tummy issues as IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My only thought to this was, "I know it's irritated! Now tell me why?"
The doctor shrugged. I went home and did some research.

The list of answers was never ending.
~Keep a food diary to find out what's bothering you. (On my list; everything!)
~Remove those top allergens; milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat. (Yes, all of the above!)
~Eat smaller meals throughout the day. (that resulted in getting the big D more often through the day)
~Take probiotics. (Minimal help, issues still there)
~Avoid sulfates. (no help there!)
~Eat one macaroon a day. (Really? Um, no, no help.)
~Candida. (back to the probiotic issue-still suffering_

The list went on. Navigating the Internet on a subject like diarrhea and IBS and you are deluged with information. Some I tried, some I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

When the doc finally said Celiac but refused to test me and told me to go gluten free I was just desperate and uninformed enough to try it.

The IBS still followed me, however a lot of the other symptoms resolved. The pains in my gut that felt like someone had left a block of cement in there, gone. Skin, cleared. IBS came and went with no apparent reason. I often wondered if my gut was just so damaged that it was something I'd have to live with for the rest of my life. Then I read about Caltrate. Before we go any further I just want to be clear that I have no interest in this product outside of the fact that it has practically cured my IBS. I found this information in an IBS forum here.

I take half a tablet with breakfast and half with lunch. (Or dinner if I forget lunch) As long as I remember to do this the IBS is gone. Also gone is that loose queasy feeling down low in my abdomen.

I don't know why this works but read in this forum where someone thinks they can explain it.  Are they right? Who knows? It kinda makes sense but I've taken other calcium supplements before and they have not relieved my IBS. This one, the Caltrate in the purple bottle is the one that works for me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vegan Veggies: Choosing the Best

Vegan's and Vegetarians eat more vegetables over all and so I've been doing my research on how to get the best bang for  my buck. I think if I'm going with this vegetable lifestyle I need to be better versed in types of veggies and what I can do with them to make them tastier. The first step would be to pick the best of the crop.  (I'm still not locked into this lifestyle but I'm ready to give it a go. I just don't know if I'm going pure Vegan or Vegetarian. Anyone else make this decision? How did you decide?)  I'm not even sure if this is the optimum diet for a Celiac and because of this I'm thinking of keeping a food diary and documenting how I feel along with any changes.

Since there are so many veggies in the world, this is only round one in veggie research. 

Choosing fruits and vegetables at their freshest can be a challenge for even the best cook. The entire meal tastes better when the green beans are crisp, the asparagus firm and that apple pie is cooked to perfection. Here’s some quick pointers I found for bringing the best of nature’s bounty to our table.
 Sweet potatoes: The sweet potato should be firm with smooth skin. Chose the ones with as few eyes as possible. The outer jacket can range from tan to rosy-orange. Avoid bruised, split or ones with soft spots.
 Peas: Pea pods should be well filled, not bulging. They should be firm to the touch. Avoid soft, yellowed, spotted or dried pods.
 Carrots: Choose carrots with a deep, orange color for higher beta-carotene. They should be firm and not bend easily. The skin should be smooth and blemish free. I avoid baby carrots as they are treated with chemicals which can cause digestive upsets. Buy the regular ones and skin them yourself for a healthier snack.
Cucumbers: Pick the long, slender cucumber with dark to medium green coloring. Be sure the skin is smooth and without soft spots.Cucumbers turn yellow when over ripe.
 Ice Berg Lettuce: Head should be heavy and solid. Leaves should be green without any brown spots.
Romaine Lettuce: Tightly packed heads with bright green leaves are your best choice. Avoid brown or wilting leaves.
 Green Beans: The perfect bean is crisp and smooth without imperfections. Avoid beans with brown spots or dried out edges.
 Asparagus: The Asparagus stalk should be tender yet firm. The tips should be close and compact. For the more tender asparagus, pick the ones with very little white.
 Strawberries: A summer favorite, these berries should be plump and solid with bright red coloring. Strawberries without the green cap may be too ripe.
 Blueberries: Full of antioxidants, the blueberry is best chosen when it’s firm with a uniform blue hue. Shake the container. If they stick together they may be old. When they move freely they are probably fresher and free of moisture and mold. I always keep berries in the refrigerator drawer.
 Apples: No matter what kind of apple you choose it should be firm with rich coloring. Yellow or green apples with a slight blush are the best. Avoid apples that are bruised or dented. Apples stay fresher in the refrigerator but if your family eat them fairly quickly you can leave the on the counter.
 Bananas: Check to be sure the bananas are firm, but not too hard. Stems and tips should be intact. Avoid bananas with bruises or splits. Green bananas will need a day or two on the counter to ripen.On an experiment I put half my bunch in the refrigerator and left half on the counter. Although the skin of the bananas in the refrigerator turned dark, the fruit inside didn't seem to age much at all. It was still firm. Much firmer than the ones left on the counter that were getting softer with each day. Try this experiment yourself and maybe your bananas will last longer.
 Oranges: Uniform coloring is not as important as a smooth textured skin. The fruit should be firm and heavy. Smaller oranges and those that have thinner skin tend to be juicier than others.
 Cantaloupe: First tap the cantaloupe with your palm and listen for a hollow sound. The fruit should be heavy and the rind under the netting should be changed from green to yellow-cream. Take a sniff, the cantaloupe should have a pleasant, sweet aroma. 
 Well, that's it for today! Tomorrow I'm going to start researching easy recipes for a lazy Vegan cook.  
Happy gluten free eating!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Free ebook for Dog Lovers

Free Book!
Taking a break from my usual Celiac notes I'd like to offer a chance to download a FREE copy of my book, Soul Mates, (A different kind of love story).

This book follows the tale of a woman who makes a deal with God to be reincarnated to bring the message of God''s unconditional love to the world. She's in for a big surprise when she finds herself back on earth, reincarnated as one of the smallest dogs on the planet!

Soul Mates follows the ups and downs of this pup story as she seeks to find her way in a world where she has little control.
Happy reading!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Healthy & Gluten Free - What to Eat

My Celiac Disease was undiagnosed for most of my life and I believe this put a major dent in my health. I've been gluten free for 10 years now and I have a never ending quest to make the best choices for my food. I try not to chose foods that are overly processed (very hard to remember in our hurry-up society) and I buy a lot of books on the subject. I ate wheat for my whole stupid life and it was killing me! Who knew? Now I want to know the who, what, and why of what goes in my body.

What to Eat by Marion Nestle is something I picked up a few years ago but I want to review it today as it is one of the best books out there on food.

Marion Nestle answers questions about organic foods, fats, bottled water and more. She goes in depth on good and bad food and explains why. She explains, in plain speak, about the scientific studies and all the pros and cons of foods like soy milk, margarine, and high fructose corn syrup. She even includes a section on Baby food.

My confession; I didn't sit down and read this book cover to cover. I read it in bites. I flipped from section to section because once I started questions started popping up in my mind and I wanted to investigate different subjects. I drink bottled water over tap water and I wanted to know if I was making a good choice or just wasting my time. I found out bottled water has the chlorine and fluoride removed. If not, they have to put it on the label. I always wondered about the fluoride issue since I think we ingest too much of it. As I thought of things when reading this book, I'd jump to the index to find what I needed. I've had this book for a few years and still pull it out from time to time to look things up.

If you want to know what's in your food and want the information to make healthy choices for you and your family, I'd definitely recommend What to Eat.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gluten Free Kitchen Safety

Staying gluten free and safe on a Celiac diet, isn't hard but takes practice. It's especially challenging when others in your home consume gluten. My husband is, what I like to call, a Glutenator. Someone who consumes gluten. When I was first diagnosed I told my husband it was okay that he eat gluten containing foods in front of me. I knew how much he loved bread and felt bad that he was giving these things up for me.   However, that didn't mean I wanted gluten spread all over my kitchen.

Step 1. Segregate the gluten! Designate a separate area for gluten containing food. My husband has the small counter space on the other side of the stove and the drawer beneath it for his snack food. I have a drawer on the my side of the kitchen for gluten free snacks. He prepares glutenous food only on his designated counter space.

Step 2. Bowls and dishes. Things like plastic ware and Teflon can hold onto gluten and release it back into the next food that's served from it. If you stored a bunch of bread in your Tupperware, washed it, and then thought it would be a good place to store your gluten free cereal, think again. Plastic ware, like Teflon, is porous and scratches you can't see can contaminate your food. Be safe, get separate plastic ware for your gluten free food. Wash and store plastic ware separately from gluten containing dishes. Use stainless steel cookware and glass or ceramic dishes.

Step 3. No plastic spatulas unless you can absolutely keep them separate from all gluten. Be sure they are never used for cooking or stirring anything containing gluten. The rule for plastic ware extends to utensils because they are just as porous and open to scratches that can catch gluten and contaminate the food.

Step 4. Buy a Sharpie marker. When we were first faced with condiments getting contaminated by a careless swipe of the knife or spoon we started marking them with a big "G". This way if hubby accidentally spreads the jelly on his toast and sticks the knife back in the butter and- CONTAMINATION! Now if he does this he whips out the Sharpie and smacks that big black "G" on it and I know not to eat it. Whew! Saved by a Sharpie!

Step 5. Get a new toaster! This was one of the last things I ever did and should have been one of the first. Putting a piece of glutenous bread into a toaster contaminates it. I got a pretty red toaster for my side of the kitchen and gave the old one to the hubby side of the kitchen. One last thing on the toaster? If you have overnight guests hide your Gluten Free toaster so they don't put gluten in it before you get up in the morning! This happened to me and I had to get a new toaster. It's impossible to clean gluten out of a toaster.

Those are the 5 big ones. I'm sure I'll think of more. I've been GF (gluten free) for 10 years so I'm sure there are things I'm doing but not realizing it. If there's anything I missed please feel free to leave a comment.
Be happy, be gluten free! I hope this helps. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gluten Free Review

The gluten free diet can be a challenge at times but companies like Glutino make it easier for Celiac's everywhere. Today I'd like to review a couple of their products.

Glutino's Gluten Free Crackers are a family favorite. These crackers are good alone or in soup. They've got enough of a crunch without being dry or hard.  They can be enjoyed straight out of the box or with a topping like peanut butter or humus. These gluten free crackers come in several flavors. My favorites are the Vegetable and Cheddar. I often take them as a snack to work, on airplanes or put them out with sliced cheese for company. There are two bags of crackers in each box, giving ample bang for your buck.

 I purchased Glutino's Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Pretzels when i need antlers for  my reindeer cupcakes this past Christmas and was pleasantly surprised. These crunchy little delights were the hit of the party. The chocolate covering is creamy, chocolatey, and ready to melt in your mouth. I ate my way through half the bag while decorating my reindeers and had to swat away my kitchen helpers from stealing them or my reindeers would have been antler-less.
Portion size for your dollar is good as gluten free products go.

Lately I've been finding both these products on the shelves at Stop & Shop, Shop Rite and Pathmark. I've seen them down south at Publix, too. You can find a store near you on Glutino's site. They also have coupons on the site!

We have a joke in our household that goes; Gluten free? Five dollars! Meaning almost every gluten free product is priced at five dollars. Considering some products I've come across don't seem worth what we pay for them, Glutino gives a fairly good portion compared to other gluten free companies. I give both these products 5 out of 5 stars and almost always have them stocked on my shelves. I just have to restrain myself around the Pretzels or I'll eat the whole bag in one sitting! Yum!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vegan Diet, Gluten and Celiac Disease

I've often thought about going Vegan. I've read a lot about a plant based diet and all the reviews are good. Juicing is getting decent reviews too. I'm thinking about doing a day of that just to see how it would feel. (More on Juicing another day)

Back to the Vegan diet. I know I feel better when my diet is heavy on salads and fruit. I have times when I think, "I need a salad." However I'm a lazy cook and I worry I wouldn't be up to making Vegan food that tastes good. I purchased the book, Forks Over Knives for recipes and it's smaller volume, Forks Over Knives How to Companion. The how-to information explained more for the beginning Vegan. There are other books on how to go Vegan but a lot of them are heavy on animal cruelty. I know about that, what I don't know is how to be a successful and happy Vegan. Step into any book store or check out Amazon and you'll find lots of Vegan/Vegetarian cookbooks. I watched the Forks Over Knives video so I decided I'd start with that book.

I worry about protein levels. (Am I going to have to do math?) and the vitamin B12.

From what I'm understanding protein isn't really a problem is you incorporate beans, legumes, nuts into your meal plan. Forks Over Knives tells me that plant food has lots of protein and getting a good level of protein on a Vegan diet is easy.

I don't really worry about B12 but most people should. I have a B12 deficiency. I don't absorb it from my food anyway. Is this due to the Celiac damage? Or is it just genetic? Who knows. I go for B12 shots every two weeks to keep my levels up. All other Vegans should take a B12 supplement.

The difference between Vegan and Vegetarian is Vegans consume no animal products. No dairy, eggs, or (of course,) meat. Vegetarians sometimes consume either dairy or eggs. They describe these as Lacto or Ovo vegetarians.

I recently went to the restaurant, Loving Hut and was really impressed with the food. Each gluten free item on the menu was marked with a little heart. We ordered a few things and shared. First was the Summer Rolls with a miso-honey mustard sauce. This was made with tofu carrots & seasonal veggies and all wrapped with a thin layer of rice paper. They gave you 8 rolls and I could order this appetizer for a meal. Next was the Garlic Seaweed Salad, it wasn't my favorite so I let my dining companion have that dish. I've never been a fan of seaweed. My companion ordered a Chickpea-mushroom soup that was also very good. There was a rice noodle dish with mushrooms and tofu that was also very good. They gave generous portions and we had to ask for a doggie bag. And then there was the gluten free chocolate cake. OMG! Luckily we got the last piece.

After my experience at Loving Hut Vegan-ism is tasting a lot better. So I'm thinking of trying it. My doctor didn't think there was any problem with this diet.
Are you Vegan? Have you ever tried it? Got any advice?

Warning: when eating out anywhere always explain gluten to your server. Make sure they understand this is a major health issue. I also ask again when the food is delivered to make sure they did it right. You can never be too careful. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Gluten Free Celiac Code

 I have a code I live by:

Love many
Trust few
Always paddle
Your own canoe

Basically it means I don't trust any product unless I've discovered for sure it's gluten free. When I eat gluten I'm sick for 3 days. It feels like I have a giant lump of cement in my gut. Every nerve ending feels like its moaning in commiseration with my tummy and all I want to do is lay down and suffer. However, in this dog eat dog world we know sometimes you just have to carry on. 

So this means if I don't see "Gluten Free" on the label I run the other way. I won't let it touch my lips until I can prove it's free of that nasty little protein in wheat, rye, barley, or (sometimes) oats: gluten. If its something I really want then I reach out to the people who make it.

Here is the response from Twinings Tea. I love flavored teas so I'm doing the happy dance!

Thank you for taking the time to contact Twinings.

All teas are inherently gluten free regardless of where the tea is sourced, our ingredient listing states “black tea” or “green tea” in additional to other ingredients a particular tea may contain.  None of these added ingredients contain gluten, so therefore our teas are gluten free.  Please note, however, that Twinings at this time does not utilize an outside agency to certify our teas as gluten free.

 Thank You,
Consumer Relations
 Twinings North America

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Why do people feel they have to feed me? Offer me food? Go out of their way to make sure I have something to eat?

One thing I hate about this world is that it's food based. Go to someone's house and they offer you coffee, cookies, or lunch. Sometimes I wonder if they really want to eat cookies and my visit is the excuse to get a treat for themselves. With other people, it's their mission. I explain about Celiac Disease and tell them not to worry about me. I either bring my own food or wait till I get home. Still they persist.

"It's okay, I checked," they say.

I quietly assure them it's okay and still they push. I'll try, "I'm not hungry," or "I ate before I came," but short of pushing food in my face they keep at it. "Take just a bite, I want you to try it."

Politely I try to change the subject and sometimes this works. Like distracting a dog from a bone.

What I really want to do is scream. I want to get up in their face and yell, "No means no! I don't want your freakin' food and I'm not eating any of that sh*t! One crumb can take me down for three days and I'm not going there just to please you with your one bite nonsense! DON'T FEED THE CELIAC!"

Whew! Too bad good manners prevents me from doing that. 

And what was your worst food moment?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Celiac and Weight Gain...

When first confronted with a doctor who said to me, "Could be Celiac Disease but those people are really thin, so it's not that." I believed him. What did I know? What did anyone know about Celiac Disease ten years ago?

So I began going gluten free to see if it helped and it did. Long story short, the doc now thinks I'm Celiac but to get an accurate test I'd have to go back to eating gluten which makes me sick for days.

One thing I noticed when I went gluten free was that I felt deprived. There were now so many things I couldn't eat. No cookies off the shelf, no crusty Italian bread with dinner, no Life cereal. :(


When I found cookies or breads on the health food store shelf I bought them all up and ate to my hearts content. After all, everyone else had so much to choose from and what did I have? An expensive trip to the Health food store and limited choices. Why shouldn't I get to have some enjoyment with food?

Oh the humanity! Oh the pounds!

Most GF food is not low cal. In fact its more high in fat than its glutenous counter parts. And it all lands on the hips and thighs. Before realizing why my pants were getting tighter I'd simply buy another size. After all, I'm Celiac; weigh is good, right?  And I deserve to enjoy food no matter what!

Wrong. A healthy weight is good....we know that, but using this disease to eat to excess was a good excuse.

It took time but gradually I came to realize that GF food needed portion control just like everything else. More salads and meat, less breads, pastas and cookies. It was a learning curve that gave me more curves but I'm fighting my way back down.
Lesson learned. GF food has calories too. Sometimes too many.