Thursday, December 4, 2008

things I have never made but want to! (and still can)

I've always loved baking and Dave even got me a sweet Kitchen Aid Mixer this last year. It's sat quiet of late as my cookie baking and failed attempts at anadama bread have died. I'm

my uncle used to make a great "puppy chow" during the holidays and I've been craving it. Just googled the recipe and I still can try this recipe this year. Yeah for RICE Chex and huge props for having a "gluten free" section! (please note that I will still read every ingredient list on every package just to be sure it's safe)

from the website
9 cups Rice Chex® cereal (gluten free)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

I'm going to add some M&M's to mine...

Wheat free pizza

Because I live in a ski town today is my friday. As we walked through the market dave asked what we could eat for dinner. I really wanted pizza (but not the wheat). We found this in frozen food land added peperoni and called it dinner.
Overall I'd give it a 6 out of 10, some of that may be my inherent love for pizza. The rice crust reminded me of a thin crumbly cornbread texture.  Update- I'd no longer consider this... I've found other pizza crusts that I love!
I ran into my neighbor the other day and learned that she is also wheat free. She owns a small Merchanile outside of town and carries wheat free products. She does bulk orders of flours(rice, potato and more) or any products. I hope to drive to the store tomorrow and chat with her some more.
So this is day 6 without wheat and I'm feeling great. My energy level is higher then I remember in a long time~ years even. My brain fuzz is gone and I haven't had a headache in the afternoon all week. While I could cheat and have some wheat I'd only make myself feel horrible.
~Sent from my Verizon Wireless CrackBerry

Monday, December 1, 2008

day three brings good things...

day three is where I start to feel good again after wheat. My energy levels increase and my mood is lighter. When I did my wheat free trial I recall that day three was about the time the fuzziness and fog that clouds my brain begin to lift. I start to feel happier and more aware. I'm still a bit sad that my last bit of wheat was a simple hot dog bun... had I been able to pick I would have gone for Anadama Bread from D'Ellies back at Sugarloaf. I've tried to make the bread since moving to Colorado but haven't been close.

It's phenomenal that one little thing can make a person feel this way.

Thanks to a suggestion from Lindsey, I hit the library today. For a town with 2,000 year round people we have an amazing library. While I didn't see the books Lindsey recommend I did manage to find a handful of books on wheat free/gluten free cooking. I picked them up for chef Dave to go through for some ideas. This is also the place where I stumbled on Gluten Free Girl and read the book by chance long before I even dreamed that I would have a food allergy.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

my wheat free day

what can you eat? Please note that this is before I went 100% gluten free and was just avoiding wheat. Some products may contain gluten.

Today I had a Clif Bar for breakfast, skipped lunch due to a busy day at work, had Nut-thins for a snack when I got home and shepards pie (potatoes, hamburger, veggies) for dinner. I did have some pumpkin pie and ice cream but was careful to not eat any of the crust. Maggie read each label for the shepards pie as wheat can lurk in sauces like some (not all) soy sauces and such.
Things are tougher as I have to be more conscious about what I am eating on the go... no more ducking in for a quick sandwich... although the brown bag does have gluten free bread that i am excited to try. I've never been a salad fan either so that's out too. It does require more thought and planning then I am used to.

I may modify this but for now I look for things that clearly state the absence of wheat or are simple foods (potatoes, rice, veggies, meats, cheeses). Processed and boxes must be read carefully. Trips to the market have doubled in time as dave and I read labels and talk about what to eat. Although there are a lot of gluten free prepacked food I don't want those to become my life. Plus I don't need to avoid all gluten- just wheat.

Wheat has gluten but not all gluten has wheat. I know that if something is gluten free then it is also good for me as well but I do not need gluten free food- just wheat free. Plus we also have to remember all my food issues as well like seafood!

Thanks to Megs, Kim and Kendra for sending over some blogs...

And we know chocolate is still good for me!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

my wheat allergy

how does an active healthy 29 year old learn that she has a wheat allergy?

~swollen glands and google

This has been a hectic fall between dave's tacoma smashing, car shopping, renewal of contracts and life in general. I was enjoying frequent trips to Merle's Brown Bag and loving the fresh made sandwiches. Life was stressful and my body felt funny. I was always tired and suffering from frequent afternoon headaches. I had trouble focusing at work. So after one really good sandwich I googled my sore throat and swollen glands and found many possible solutions one being a food allergy.

I started to pay attention to these symptoms and when they hit and noticed a trend with some of my favorite foods, the brown bag sandwiches, my homemade mac and cheese and even cereal.
As any good google fan would do I started researching wheat allergies. I've learned that it is now one of the top 8 food allergies in the US and has many symptoms. I did a four day wheat free experiment and felt a surge in energy. My next foray into wheat resulted in a swollen throat and more fatigue. Since then I've been avoiding wheat with a few exceptions. I made homemade mac and cheese and only ate one small dish and felt awful. I bought a wheat free cookie mix and realized life wasn't going to be terrible.

Work was busy so I kept forgetting to make a doctor's appointment. Thanksgiving had me avoiding pie crusts and anything that possibly had wheat and realizing that I couldn't live without knowing. I called on Friday and went in that afternoon. Dave and I went out for my first ski day of the season and while my ski conditioning class had made my muscles ready, my joints hurt from the wheat I ate the day before. We took a few runs then headed in for some lunch. I wanted the doctor to see my wheat symptoms and have wheat in my system for the tests so we ate some hot dogs. Within 20 minutes my mood had changed for the worse and my glands became swollen.

At the Medical center and hour later the nurse took my information. Swollen glands, mood alterations, headaches and more, the doctor arrived and we spoke about what was going on. She was concerned about my anaphylaxis reaction to wheat. "Regardless of how your blood test goes you can no longer have wheat." she told me. The test is very black and white and allergies have many shades of grey. She examined my glands, swallow and throat and offered a script for an epipen. They took my blood but I won't hear about those until next week since the lab had already picked up for the week. The information from the test should tell me how careful I will need to be.

Now life without wheat begins in full swing. This just isn't about avoiding wheat bread or crackers. This means all things with wheat. Go into your kitchen, read some labels and design a day without wheat.