Food Fridays- The Produce Aisle

 

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One week of the Specific Carb diet, meaning no grains, no gluten free snacks, I am rediscovering the joys of the produce aisle.

The thought struck me today how the Specific Carb Diet is similar to something God said in Genesis:

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“29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

The main difference being that grains come from seed bearing plants, but omit those and the fruit and veggies are part of the original nutritional guide. No I am not vegan. I still eat meat and cheese, but surely there will be benefits from increasing my veggie and fruit intake.

One thing I love about buying fresh fruit and vegetables is that I do not have to worry about looking for a certified gluten free symbol.

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My late night snack of certified gluten free oatmeal and milk has been replaced by a banana and organic unsweetened peanut butter. For my early evening meal, I no longer use gluten free pasta made from brown rice. I add more vegetables and along with the meat or beans, it fills me up. I am going to give the Specific Carb Diet another week to see if I start to feel benefits from it.

If you haven’t tried it yet, try eating organic fruit and see if it doesn’t taste better to you. 🙂

Later today I will go to the gym and have my weekly weight check. Will let you know how that goes and how life on the Specific Carb Diet goes.

Oh and by the way, my favorite fruit for this time of year- Organic Apples. What is your favorite fruit?

 

 

 

 

 

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Food Fridays- Oh So Good Gluten Desserts on Easter Sunday

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On Easter Sunday I was invited to share Easter dinner with my friends Bernie and Sherry from church and their two boys. Sherry really went the extra mile to make sure the food was gluten free. I felt really honored by that. It can kind of feel like an imposition to visit someone else’s home due to having dietary restrictions but when a friend understands it means a lot.

Sherry made two desserts that were incredible.

One was a cheesecake with a gluten free crust. The cheesecake was creamy and just the right amount of sweet and topped off with berries.

The other one was a chocolate mousse dessert that I loved. It tasted the way chocolate should taste.

So I asked Sherry for the recipes to share. Why? Because they are wonderful desserts and, well, no one wants a recipe from me, trust me on that. But a recipe from my friend Sherry is something you will want to try.

Click here for the recipe for the flourless chocolate truffle dessert

Click here for the cheesecake dessert  she used gluten free cookies instead of graham crackers for this recipe.

If you try them. let me know. 🙂

 

 

Food Fridays- Dinner with Friends from Syria

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting some friends from Syria and joining them for dinner. I won’t use their names or pictures because they came here as refugees and I want to respect their privacy.

Something I appreciate about eating food from the Middle East is that so much of it is gluten free because they do not use bread or pasta as much as we do in the West. Rice is more popular in their cultures and they don’t use breading for all fried foods like we do.

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I like how the wife cooked the rice adding almond slices and the way she seasoned the chicken. We also had dolma.

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One thing I have learned about visiting friends from the Middle East for lunch or dinner is to not eat much during the day before you go. Yesterday I only had two eggs for breakfast because I knew what would happen. The hospitality is wonderful and they want guests to feel welcome. The wife filled my plate three times. 🙂

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It was an enjoyable time with delicious gluten free food. It also gave me a chance to find out what is going on in their lives and what they might need help with.

I am curious what are some of your favorite gluten free meals or foods? Please share by leaving a comment.

Have a great weekend and remember- It is your body/It is your health.

Food Fridays- Dolma Thanks to a Refugee Friend

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Wednesday evening after I finished teaching my class, a former student told me she had some food for me. She was my student in a newcomer refugee class last summer and she happens to be an excellent cook. The food she brought me was dolma. Anytime I eat her food, it is a kind of celebration for my taste buds.

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Last year after I found out I have Celiacs one of my concerns was explaining about my need to be gluten free to my friends from other countries. One day I visited my friend’s house to see the whole family and bring some vegetables from a garden at my church. They asked me to stay and my friend cooked some food and told me, “No wheat” to let me know she made it in a way I could eat it. I realized that day that many of my international friends would be happy to help me with my need to be gluten free.

When I ate the dolma Thursday, I thought about my friend and her family and the dolma tasted SO GOOD. It brought a smile to my face.

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Dolma is a dish that is easily made gluten free since the ingredients are rice, vegetables, and seasonings. There are various ways to make it- with grape leaves, with onions, with tomatoes, with green peppers etc. You can google for recipes. Dolma can be not only gluten free, but also vegetarian or even vegan.

The great thing about food I eat with my friends from other countries is that so much of it is already gluten free especially food from the Middle East. And as I said, so many of my friends from other countries want to help me stay gluten free.

Now if I could just decide if I should shave off my beard for summer. I don’t know.

Happy Weekend All

Food Fridays- A Way to Enjoy PB and J without a Sandwich

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

I used to love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. In attempts to be somewhat healthy I would use 100% whole wheat bread and all natural peanut butter. BUT now that I know I have Celiacs, the 100% whole wheat bread is a thing of the past. Do I need to buy the expensive gluten free bread to enjoy the taste?

Fortunately, I have an alternative. The ingredients are simple. I start with certified gluten free oatmeal. For the peanut butter, I use all natural peanut butter made with only- PEANUTS. No high fructose corn syrup or oils. Only peanuts and a bit of salt.

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I prefer the creamy. What about the jelly? Do I need to buy something with WAY TOO MUCH sugar or high fructose corn syrup? No, a thousands times NO. For my PB and J treat, I use fresh fruit.

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Of course apples are readily available now, but oh when summer comes, the choices are plentiful. To sweeten it a bit more, I like to add 100% grape juice.

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So I cut up the fruit and put in my food processor thing and then add some grape juice and let it blend. Then after the oatmeal is cooked and ready, I stir in a spoon full of all natural peanut butter. I like to do that first to mix the peanut butter throughout the oatmeal. Then I add the fresh fruit grape juice mix and stir it up and I have PB and J without the gluten, without the high fructose corn syrup, and without the unhealthy oils.

The nice thing about this concoction is I can use any fruit and if grapes are in season, I use fresh grapes not juice. Black grapes tend to be sweeter than green grapes.

I am certainly no chef and I won’t even try to post recipes. This is just one little thing I found I can do to still enjoy that PB and J taste without the nasty stuff. For those who are vegan or vegetarian, this also works.

 

 

Food Fridays- Refugee Friends Made A Gluten Free Lunch for Me

One aspect of having Celiacs is the concern of eating at someone’s home. It can be a pain in the neck to explain what Celiacs is and what gluten free is. One thing I have found with my friends from other cultures is their willingness to make sure food is gluten free that they share with me.

With some cultures it is easier because wheat is not part of their normal diet as well as barley and rye. They cook food with fresh ingredients. I have found that with my Asian friends if I explain I cannot have soy sauce, they will make sure they do not use soy sauce. (Soy Sauce has gluten).

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That was true of my lunch yesterday with Karenni friends from Burma. Htoo, my hostess, cooked a delicious lunch and reassured me she did not use soy sauce. We had a dish made of bamboo shoots, curry beef, eggs with mushroom, chicken, and other delicious foods.

I even went home with some left overs which is ALWAYS a happy moment for me.

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I am glad the food was healthy and conducive to gluten free and also to weight loss. I needed that because, well, I went home with some gluten free chocolate cake last week that a student from Dominican Republic gave me.

 

Food Fridays- Trying Gluten Free Snacks

If you are like me, when you hear words like organic or gluten free about snacks, you envision something that tastes like flavored this

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And yes there are some gluten free products that are kind of hard to chew or that make me wonder- WHY would anyone think of this?????

Some I have tried pleasantly surprised me. I have to say that as someone with Celiacs, I SO appreciate it when I go into a supermarket and see a gluten free aisle, not only a small section, but half an aisle like I found at a local HyVee supermarket where there were snacks, cereals, canned soups, gluten free pastas etc.

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Well, this week I tried an Acai/Blueberry snack bar from Glutino.

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And NO I am not a paid to advertise. Glutino doesn’t know me and doesn’t follow my blog or me on twitter, BUT I will give a shout out to a company that makes food for those of us that have Celiacs.

I thought it would be fun to make a video of myself trying the snack right out of the box for the first time for an authentic reaction. Here it is from my new youtube channel Celiacs Guy:

 

Introducing Food Fridays

When I first heard the words gluten free for any kind of food whether it be some kind of sweet treat, bread, pizza or anything else, I have to be honest this is the image that came to mind.

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Yes I thought everything that was gluten free would be like chewing on a flavored styrofoam cup. To be honest, there have been a few items that I thought were like that. I was HAPPILY SURPRISED when I found out my favorite coffee shop, The Harbor in Lincoln Nebraska, had gluten free items they bring in.

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This afternoon, I had a gluten free muffin- CHOCOLATE muffin at that. They warmed it up for me and it had a nice chocolaty gooey middle that I loved.

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I talked with Cindy the owner about their gluten free items. She told me that they buy their gluten free items. The muffin I bought was wrapped in plastic to minimize cross contamination.

They also have gluten free bread they can make sandwiches with. Cindy explained to me that if they get an order for a gluten free sandwich, the staff has been trained to use a different knife and board to make the sandwich on, so if you stop in to order, make sure to tell them you need gluten free. They take precautions, but she made sure to tell me she can’t absolutely guarantee they are gluten free because they are made in the same area as the regular food. Cindy is very conscientious about taking care of her customers. I ate one of the chocolate muffins last week and had no problems, so I felt comfortable getting one again today.

I will try to post Food Fridays earlier in the future. If you are like me, having Celiacs has made me cautious about what I can and can’t eat, but also has left me looking for tasty foods. Of course, the muffin is a once a week kind of thing because I do NOT want to gain back the weight I lost.