I had wondered why I gained a few pounds after eating gluten free snacks if my calorie intake did not increase. I am not an expert, but my theory is that my body can’t digest some foods at this time gluten free or not. My caloric intake is the same as before. I am not starving myself to lose weight, but in the past week I lost five pounds.
It has a lot do to with increasing veggies and fruit in my eating.
For example, this morning I had an egg with some cheese and also a banana and blueberries with organic unsweetened peanut butter. So I got my protein and fruit to start my day. 🙂
As I said yesterday, the great thing about the produce aisle is that I do not need to worry about looking for a certified gluten free label.
So based on week one results, I plan to continue the Specific Carb diet for another week. I hope to lose more weight preferably a few pounds for a healthy pace. I hope to lose 50 pounds overall over the next several months.
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.
I like how the wife cooked the rice adding almond slices and the way she seasoned the chicken. We also had dolma.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
Yes I know I need to trim the beard
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
At first when one hears the words, “You have Celiacs” and “You need to have a zero gluten diet” one could go through a sort of grieving process. The no mores can flood our minds kind of like storm clouds gathering. No mores like no more pizza, no more sandwiches, no more cookies.
For me the no mores were replaced by the Oh Wows as I discovered a few positive changes.
One that I began to notice about a month after being gluten free was my sense of taste improved A LOT. I noticed one day when I took a bit out of a peach. My taste buds reacted big time.
The way I describe it is it was like the taste sensation was dancing on my tongue. I noticed it every time I ate some fruit.
And then one day I ate some quality dark chocolate and my tastes buds exploded.
Wow so chocolate and fruit are both so much better tasting now. The only thing was adjusting how spicy I had my food so I would not feel like my tongue was on fire.
So if you are newly diagnosed with Celiacs, cheer up because some positives can happen. Having my sense of taste come alive was a big one for me. Oh and hint hint- Organic fruit tastes better than regular fruit.
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).
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.
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.
Foggy Brain???? What is that????
I didn’t hear the term foggy brain until after I was diagnosed with Celiacs. Basically, foggy brain for me meant the normal day to day stuff was okay kind of like being on auto pilot, but my creative side was SHUT down. It is probably different for everyone. If you want a clinical explanation I got this from NIH. Just click on the NIH for it.
It is kind of like being stuck in 2nd gear when you want to be in 3rd gear or sometimes in 4th gear. I was fine with teaching because I had taught my classes for so long that like I said it was auto pilot, but writing, creating, etc were just not there for the few years before I was diagnosed. It was kind of like walking through mud when I wanted to be running on the sidewalk.
I really noticed the difference a month or so after I became gluten free. It was like someone turned on the light bulb in my head.
I started to notice ideas for writing were coming to me quickly as if I had just gone into hyperspace.
I would notice as I was doing my water walking at the gym. Ideas started coming to me. I wrote a drama script for my church that was performed in the Christmas Eve service about the angel Gabriel visiting the nativity to check it out first hand.
So why would I share about something like foggy brain? Because if one person reads this and it helps them to think they possibly could have Celiacs due to just not feeling their peppy selves mentally, and they get checked, and they find out they have Celiacs, then this post is worth it. Sorry for the run on sentence-(I am a grammar nerd myself just got carried away).
So if you are reading this post and you feel not so peppy mentally, and you have other symptoms, if you want to see a list click on the word symptoms for a list from Mayo Clinic, then get checked out.
Remember- IT IS YOUR BODY, IT IS YOUR HEALTH.
Anyone with Celiacs Disease experiences the apprehension about dining out because dining out can be too complicated. We have to ask questions about what is in the food. We constantly have to be careful and we should because as my mantra goes- IT IS YOUR BODY, IT IS YOUR HEALTH. It means a lot to me when I can talk with someone at a restaurant about my need for gluten free and they understand.
This afternoon after church, I went to Chopsticks Chinese Restaurant to have lunch with a friend. I looked at their menu online, but wasn’t sure if they had gluten free items, so I called them last night and spoke with a woman. She understood about my need for gluten free and explained to me they do have some gluten free items. Why do I need to ask that before going to a Chinese restaurant? Soy Sauce has gluten in it. The woman I talked with let me know they have items without soy sauce.
SO– This afternoon I met a friend there. When I went to the counter to order, I told Maggie the owner I need gluten free. She remembered me from the phone and said, “Oh I talked with you last night.” She was very helpful about what I could order and could not order. I got the chicken with snow pea.
The portion size was generous enough that I took some home. The food tasted good. I feel confident about going back there again. If you go there, you will find Maggie the owner to be very helpful and understanding about the need for gluten free.
Oh by the way, I have proof I can eat with chopsticks. The picture isn’t the best because the window was behind me, but here is proof I can eat with chopsticks.
If you are like me, when you hear words like organic or gluten free about snacks, you envision something that tastes like flavored this
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.
Well, this week I tried an Acai/Blueberry snack bar from Glutino.
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:
In a recent conversation I had with a woman who teaches in the school where I teach in the mornings, the topic of gluten free came up. She has a daughter who was recently diagnosed with Celiacs Disease.
Once a month at the school, there is a pot-luck lunch for the teachers. I stopped in and commented, “I came in to see food I can’t eat anymore” more as a joke with one of my colleagues. My colleague patted me on the shoulder and commented that Celiacs isn’t easy.
That got the attention of the teacher whose daughter has Celiacs. She shared with me about her daughter and that her daughter still has symptoms after the family became gluten free. That introduced THE question for those of us with Celiacs. IS IT REALLY GLUTEN FREE??????
When she mentioned the name of one popular cereal that has gluten free on the front of the box, she didn’t have to say anything more. Of course I won’t mention the name of the cereal because I don’t want some corporate lawyer calling. However you can figure it out easily.
Gluten Free has become a bit of a fad for advertising. At first, I was misled by it until I met with a nutritionist at the gym I belong to. She explained that it has to be Certified Gluten Free. The light went on.
I thought right away about the cereal I had still been eating that said Gluten Free on the front of the box. Then I googled it and found that it was not for sure Gluten Free, so I don’t buy that cereal anymore.
Now I look for one of the Certified Gluten Free symbols on the package before I even think about buying packaged food.
Don’t fall for advertising gimmicks. Look for it to be Certified Gluten Free. It is YOUR health and YOUR body. If I have any doubt, I simply don’t buy it.