Hello to everyone and many thanks to GlutenFreeNetworks.com for inviting me to participate in their Halloween/Fall event. I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you what I’ve learned about baking gluten-free quick breads, such as Pumpkin Cornbread Squares, after 10 challenging months of adapting wheat flour recipes and experimenting with gluten-free flours, starches, and gums. Here are some of the questions I asked myself and the answers that I found.
Q: Why would I bake gluten-free when I can now buy a variety of gluten-free products at a grocery store?
A: You may enjoy baking and want to continue. Or you may want to save money and not buy packaged foods. Perhaps, you’re not happy with the quality or taste of what’s available.
Or perhaps you’re like me. I’m not only gluten-sensitive (recently diagnosed), but also lactose-intolerant and on a forever diet to keep Type 2 diabetes at bay. The result is that (more…)
Fall is here and that means pumpkins are starting to appear on your neighbor’s door step and in grocery stores, which is the universal signal to start carving and cooking pumpkin. Why is it most of us tend to cook with pumpkin only around Halloween and Thanksgiving? Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, fiber and it is low in calories, so we should find ways to work it into our diet throughout the year.
Pumpkin is very versatile to cook with, so it can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. This Examiner did a little research for gluten-free pumpkin recipes and was amazed at all of the drool-worthy recipes we found. Listed below are just a fraction of the gluten-free pumpkin recipes available online.
Since I am frequently asked what gluten free foods my family eats I decided to start an article series called My Family’s Favorite Gluten Free Eats.
When people first discover that my family is gluten free they automatically assume we have a difficult time finding things to eat. While it is true that gluten free convenience foods are not always readily available (or palatable for that matter), there are always an abundance of naturally gluten freewhole foods to choose from at every market.
In my family the most commonly eaten main dishes revolve around seafood, largely in part to the fact that two of my family members are pescetarians. Some of our friends and family seemed surprised to hear that (more…)
I was traveling to NZ earlier in the year and because I had chosen Air New Zealand’s seat + bag option I wasn’t going to get any food on the plane. I therefore searched the airport for morning tea (to have at the airport) and lunch (to take on the plane). I noticed that Black Tonic Espresso Bar had a selection of gluten free muffins and therefore decided on the raspberry one for morning tea. I was pleasantly surprised, it was moist and actually tasted pretty good!
Gluten free raspberry muffin
I felt in safe hands when seeing this sign… (more…)
Working with people diagnosed with food allergies and Celiac disease has opened my eyes to the world around me. Prior to this, the only person I knew with severe food allergies was a younger cousin of mine whom I spend very little time with. But, when you start paying attention, you figure out there are many people living with food allergies, Celiac disease or other food related intolerances or restrictions.
One day, I came into work and a co-worker, Genevieve Fraser, asked if I was the one with the food allergy therapist magnet on my car. When I said yes, she informed me that she has an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts, and has since she was very young. Suddenly, it was in my awareness that I had been bringing peanut butter to work almost every day that I am in that office, not even realizing my office neighbor, just across the hall, has to carry an Epipen everywhere she goes because of peanuts! Boy did that get my attention!
I didn’t stop bringing peanut butter to work at first, but I noticed I felt nervous and worried every time I did, so I finally stopped bringing it. However, I noticed being concerned about others using her office when she was not around, and wondering if people were taking peanuts in there. I finally decided that I should learn more about what it is like living as an adult with a severe anaphylactic food allergy, rather than just going off what I read and my own assumptions.
When I asked Genevieve if I could do a feature interview on her, she was so great and willing to share her story. I have to say, this interview was so informative, empowering, emotional, and motivating, that it really helped put some aspects of living with life threatening food allergies into perspective. Genevieve not only survived her childhood, despite bullying and being different, but has gone on to complete her college degree and is working on her master’s. She has dedicated herself to helping others overcome challenging obstacles in their lives so that they can live a full life, despite whatever challenges they might be facing. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did! (more…)
Novak Djokovic: #1 Tennis Player in the World & Gluten-free!
On September 12, a gluten-free Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal to win the men’s US Open Final.
Djokovic, the #1 men’s tennis player in the world, credits his adoption of the gluten-free diet at the recommendation of a nutritionist in 2010 for his incredible success in 2011. He has won an astounding 64 out of 66 matches and 3 out of 4 Grand Slams in 2011.
Djokovic said in interviews that removing gluten from his diet has resulted in his increased speed, endurance and improved play. In his own words, he feels better, moves better and thinks better.
While watching the grueling 4 hour and 10 minute US Open Final and listening to the announcers repeatedly describe it as one of the most intense they had ever witnessed, a nagging thought begged the question… (more…)
Then check out Omni Hotels because they have introduced a gluten-free breakfast buffet station companywide. The station will include gluten-free cereals, granola and a variety of breads and muffins. The gluten-free items will be on a separate table with a dedicated toaster to avoid cross-contamination.
Are you on the gluten-free diet and looking for hotel accommodations?
This Examiner always travels with gluten-free breakfast items because a lot of times the breakfast items are slim pickings at hotels and we don’t want to be caught off (more…)
I have had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Stephen Wangen, the founder of the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle, WA. Awhile back, at a CSA (Celiac Sprue Association) meeting I had the pleasure of helping Dr. Wangen with his book signing. He had flown in to Denver to speak on his books, Healthier Without Wheat and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution. There was a full audience of folks, just like you and I, who were able to ask personal questions and learn more about living with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, as well as exploring other areas such as food allergies.
Since that time, Dr. Wangen and I have had the chance to talk about what the IBS Treatment Center does to help people really understand their bodies and how food can be affecting them. He explores the possibilities of Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance and food allergies and helps people to develop a healthier lifestyle tailored to their specific needs. At the same time, Dr. Wangen has observed the emotional affects these conditions can have on people and understands that not feeling well emotionally has an affect on how people take care of their physical well being. What makes his practice so fantastic is the positive nature. Dr. Wangen helps people view the changes by looking at the benfits and the gains and focusing on what people can have, rather than on what they can’t. Here is what Dr. Wangen had to say when I asked him about his own experiences. (more…)
In the past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to ponder the question “What is healthy food?” It seems that many of us have very different perceptions. Maybe that’s what stands in our way some times, we think healthy food and healthy eating is not obtainable.
It would be so much easier if my brain did not crave things like salty chips or sweet cookies but the reality is, it does. Maybe it’s a combination of many years of being bombarded with advertising to make me think I want it or maybe it’s as simple as it satisfies something in my head. I didn’t take enough psychology in college to answer that. I do know if it’s around me (like it is now as I write; you wouldn’t believe what is at the end of the table at my sister’s house) I’m less likely to eat well.
In my older years, I have realized that if I allow myself a little rather than denying myself entirely, I can balance the cravings with (more…)
Earlier this summer California Pizza Kitchen debuted gluten-free pizza on their menu. I was giddy. I loved CPK pre-gluten-free and couldn’t wait to go back and try their new pizza. Well,we did,and it was great,but our spirits were quickly dampened by the news that there could be major cross contamination issues going on in the kitchen.
I decided to go back and investigate to see what was going on and whether what I had heard about their procedures was indeed true. I was saddened by what I found out. While it had appeared that CPK went to great lengths to add the gluten-free pizza to their menu,they didn’t consider some of the most important issues. Cross contamination is real and can be very serious. Sure,some of those with Celiac Disease don’t react right away (or even at all),but some do and it isn’t pretty. This doesn’t even take into consideration those (more…)