Free From Gluten

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Recipes Are Just The Starting Point

The best thing about recipes is that they can be changed – a lot!  Some of the recipes I use started out as someone else’s and I tweaked them to make them a bit healthier.  Some of the recipes I post are mine and I hope you use them as a starting point and tweak them to include ingredients that you like.

If you try anything that works really well and want to share, please do!  You can post your substitutions or variations in the comments section below each recipe.  I happen to think that learning from each other is one of the best parts about cooking, and if we all help and encourage each other down this path towards better health, it makes it an awful lot more fun!

Ask For A Gluten-Free Menu

When I first started eating gluten-free, I never would have imagined I would live long enough to see gluten-free menus in a restaurant!  It is amazing how much the food landscape has changed in just the past few years.  Sure, I still wander into places where I know that they have no idea what I am talking about.  Several months ago I was at a conference, out of town, so really no other choice but to eat at the hotel restaurant.  I was thrilled to see GF items mentioned on their menu, but I had a question about something that I thought should have been GF but wasn’t labeled as such (a basic salad with chicken – I wanted to know if it as the chicken, the salad dressing, or what the heck had gluten in it).  When I asked the waitress, she gave me the look we all dread, kind of that cocker spaniel head tilt, and started talking about how she could bring me something that even she referred to as “faux chicken” which could only be some type of vegetarian thing?  I’m not really sure, I just know I ate very little at that lunch, just in case.

Many of the restaurants in the Charlotte area (where I am living) have finally come around and after one or two restaurants started with their GF menus, many have jumped on the bandwagon.  All good news for us!  I actually eat out very infrequently, but when I do, I still ask a lot of questions and advice everyone else to do the same.  A good restaurant that values your business won’t mind, either will a really professional waiter/waitress.  I have been surprised, on several occasions, when my waiter/waitress actually tells me of something I shouldn’t eat that I was tempted to try.  They always get the best tips!

I also know of a few restaurants that, although they don’t have a specific GF menu, will just help you find something that is suitable and will talk to the chef on your behalf.  Actually, any restaurant that really has a chef should be pretty safe if you can talk with them.  If it is one of those restaurants that serve meals that they buy from a distributor and just heat up for you….. I would make a different choice.

A big thank you to Charlotte Celiac Connection (www.charlotte-celiac-connection.org) for putting together a very comprehensive list of local restaurants with GF menus (click here to see all the places you can eat!)  Another great resource for Charlotte and other areas is Gluten Free Registry who also has a long list of options (click here).

So ask for that GF menu!  Even if your favorite restaurant doesn’t have one, the more you ask, the more they will see the need and maybe by the next time you go in, they will.  If not, there are lots of other places to choose from.  Let’s support the businesses that are supporting us!

Come Join Us!

So, What Is Wrong With Wheat?!

When talking about gluten toxicity of any kind, I am always asked what is wrong with wheat, and why does it seem like gluten toxicity (gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance, celiac disease) is now gotten so popular that it is often seen as a fad.  It is actually a complex answer, including better testing, more accurate diagnosis, more knowledge in the medical field, and the fact that the wheat we are eating now is nothing like the wheat we used to eat decades ago.

Mark Sisson, of Mark’s Daily Apple, has written a blog post addressing the differences between the wheat that used to be made into the bread we ate, and what is used now.  Click here to check it out – it’s really interesting for those of us who wonder about where our food actually comes from!

Amazing Bone Broth

 

I can’t believe I haven’t posted information on bone broth before now.  Ok, it is a gazillion degrees outside and it might seem like an odd time to talk about broth, but it’s really not.  Bone broth is one of the best ways to get nutrients into our bodies, and we should all be looking for ways to get more nutrients in!  It can be enjoyed as is, or as the base of all kinds of soups, stews, etc.  In the picture above, I just threw in some celery, carrots, and leeks (they were in the crisper and needed to get used, but an onion works just as well), then added some rotisserie chicken and fresh herbs.  It is yummy, and even on hot days like we’ve had lately, it’s light and soothing. Besides that, it makes the house smell great when it’s cooking!   Click here for a great article on how to make it and its benefits.

The Explosion Of Gluten Free Products

Always interesting to hear people’s perspectives on gluten free eating.  I just ran into this article highlighting a few local people involved in gluten free food production, including Lee Tobin who is responsible for the gluten free products made for Whole Foods Market (coming soon to Charlotte).  Great reading – click here.

Another Great Gluten-Free Resource

I ran into a GF site that was new to me (there are so many now, it’s great!) and she has a wonderfully easy to read, yet comprehensive page about gluten sensitivities, what to know, what options are available for flour substitutions, etc.  Everyone has their own way of explaining all of it, but I thought she had done a great job at making all the information easy to digest (ok, sorry…. bad pun!) and is a really good resource.  The site name is www.gimmeglutenfree.com.  She has great recipes as well, so take a look here for the resource page.  I’ll put her site on my list of blogs as well.

Is Your Brain Fog Connected to Eating Gluten?

Have you ever wondered why you just don’t seem to think very clearly?  Are you unable to focus, or process information quickly?  It could be a type of brain fog that has been connected to eating gluten.  Here is a quick article that speaks to that from Natural News: Eliminating gluten from the diet can relieve brain fog (mental confusion).   Additionally, this article refers back to a paper written by Dr. Jeremy Kaslow.  (The Celiac Disease of Mental Illness). It is more in-depth, but a great resource on this subject.  It is definitely worth a look for anyone interested in keeping their brains working optimally, and a great explanation as to why this type of brain fog may be occurring.

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Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free…. and Delicious Pumpkin Pie!

Recipe coming soon – I had to take a picture before it all disappeared!