Sunday, 26 August 2012

Infographic: GlutenFree Lifestyle- Trend or Medical must? | Celiac Desi

This is a helpful infographic, especially for visual learners.  It highlights the important info about Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance. It is very helpful if you have been recently diagnosed. The link has a pretty graphic :) Infographic: GlutenFree Lifestyle- Trend or Medical must? | Celiac Desi


There are many great websites and blogs out there.  One thing you may notice about gluten free is the conception that it is healthy or  unhealthy. Like any diet or manner of eating it all depends on what you eat. 
Speaking of less 'healthy' I have a great recipe for gluten free pizza. A friend gave me this and I am totally grateful for it-
 gluten Free Pizza Crust

Makes one 16" crust or two smaller crusts - These are really foldable! .

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast
1 1/3 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons guar gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm milk. In a separate larger bowl, blend together dry ingredients. Stir in yeast mixture to dry ingredient mixture. Add oil and apple cider vinegar. Mix well.

Butter and flour the pizza pan (just like you grease and flour a cake pan). Pat down dough on pan - sprinkle top of dough with flour so dough doesn't stick to your hands as you're shaping pizza. Rub olive oil on top of patted out crust.

Bake plain untopped crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add toppings. Return to oven and bake for another 20 minutes

I will have to post a picture of it! 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

University

Going to college or university is a scary step. You hae to meet new people. Live on your own/ with people on campus or off. And what do you eat?
When you live on campus it can be difficult to find food safe food in the cafe. Of course, some colleges and universities are offering a a diverse range of food items including wheat/ gluten free. It never hurts to ask! Also, some schools have other cafes or student run food places.

 It is beneficial to have a mini fridge and a microwave if you are allowed. That way you can be sure to keep safe snacks and food. If you share a kitchen space, keep your bread in a bag with your name on it. This is useful as well if you are sharing an apartment. Also, it is important to be upfront about your allergy/ intolerance to potential roommate. 

At times, Celiac disease or other issue can seem troublesome, but it is important to keep the lines of communication open. Your health is more important than a potential burden. It teaches others to think of more than just themselves.
the bridge\   
Also, it is really easy to make gluten free food.  Scrambled eggs and other protein is naturally gluten free. As are fruits and veggies. Rice and corn tacos/ tortillas are great to have on hand.You can make tuna, chicken, fish, or refried bean tacos with cheese and veggies. It is important to eat enough at university/ college.

Be aware of hidden sources of gluten, read labels and check prep areas. Enlist friends for help! People are slowly adapting to food allergies and intolerance. Plus you might meet someone with the same 'problem'. What is your advice to a college bound student?

Monday, 13 August 2012

Jamaica

A small island where you just might see dolphins swimming as you fly over top. Hot temperatures. Nice people and amazing food. People summarize Jamaica as a resort destination or a 'dangerous' place. The reality is much more complex. 

In the summer of 2008, I had the opportunity to visit Jamaica. It truly changed my life. We visited for 2 weeks, which almost wasn't long enough. I can't talk enough about the food. It was the best. A lot of rice. But that's okay as I love rice. When we stayed we were able to control what we ate. This was a benefit as i am also allergic to peanuts and coconut. lol. Several nights, I had tofu that tasted exactly like chicken. I wish I had the recipe. I also had wonderful fish and pumpkin rice. I quite liked the chocolate 'tea' and goat curry as well. It is not to everyone's taste but I like trying new things. 

The art gallery of Jamaica is beautiful. I recommend going if you are able. It is sad that so few people actually go see the works of art. It speaks a lot to Jamaican history and talent. There are many talented people in Jamaica but they do not always receive the opportunity to do well. Visit this website for more info- http://natgalja.org.jm/ioj_wp/
http://www.creativecaribbeannetwork.com/person/2621


This is why we were volunteering in Jamaica. We travelled through Jamaica Self Help. JSH is an organization dedicated to empowering Jamaicans through long term solutions. http://www.jshcanada.org/
I love that they don't just cut and run. JSH is a wonderful organization with many ways to support their programs such as the purchase of cards drawn by the kids.

 We were split into two groups. One group taught summer school at a local school. My group volunteered at an orphanage. The kids continuously amazed me.  The one boy could do exponents without a calculator. Every child had something special. Also, they really wanted to learn reading and arithmetic. It was different from here in that so many kids are not interested in learning. It is sad though. The reason why these kids are so into learning is because education is a way out of poverty.

The scenery was gorgeous and unique like the people. Hiking down Blue Mountain is certainly worth it! I brought some gluten free granola bars and granola mix. It kept me energized and was delicious. My favourite gluten free granola bars are chocolate banana.
waterfall on Blue Mountain


I urge you all to get outside of your comfort zone! Eating gluten free does not have to tie you down! There is so much I can write about from my trip, perhaps I will add a part two! :)

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Smoothies!

Smoothies! Who doesn't a cold drink on a refreshing day?  For those who like a little zing gluten free beer is one option. I haven't really found one that I enjoy- but that doesn't mean you won't! My boyfriend on the other hand, who drinks regular beer thinks gluten beer is like cold sake. Anyway back to smoothies- I love how easy it is to make gluten-free/ find things that are naturally gluten free.

There are literally thousands of ways to make smoothies and I'm sure you could add cayenne pepper if you were so inclined. Veggie drinks are yummy as well. One of my favorites is strawberry kiwi. I also really like peach-cherry. I will have to take some pictures. They look so yummy.

So to make it- I cut up some strawberries and kiwis, mix it with milk and ice in a blender. Time depends on how thick you want it, You could also just use water. Or you could add ice cream or yogurt or flax seeds and hemp seeds, whatever floats your boat.If you cannot tolerate milk there is always soy milk (non gmo)almond milk, goat's milk and water :) For example, I just don't like strawberry banana,

For chocolate and blueberry: You could use dark, milk chocolate or white. Also, you can buy fair trade chocolate, which is great! This really do help on those off days or when you are really craving chocolate...  Mix together some blueberries, milk, chocolate and ice.

Finally, peach and cherry. Remove the pits. Put in the blender with milk and ice and blend. So good!

If you have kids (age appropriately of course) they can help with cutting or mixing or choosing fruit. This also ties into making homemade ice cream!  That's a whole different post. Don't be afraid to be creative when it comes to smoothy making - or is it smoothie?


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Labelling Law



The new labelling law is in effect. Do you think this is beneficial? I feel it is a step in the right direction. It something the gluten free community has asked for many years. I think the law is worth celebrating whether you have Celiac or an allergy to wheat. I wonder how producers will ensure the safety of their products. This is a step forward for people dealing with allergies and intolerance. It is worth noting that companies must identify ten major allergens. For more information check out http://www.celiac.ca/
My sleepy baby

On a side note, I tried feeding my baby some rice cereal for the first time. He is five months. Some may feel that is too young but I think it depends on the ability and varying needs of the infant.  He ate a tablespoon and some off my finger. He really enjoyed it. He has been trying to do what the adults and one kid uncle (my brother) do. My little one is growing up!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Hi,
So i thought i would start off this blog by talking about my background. This is specifically about my diagnosis with Celiac disease, the path to recovery.

 In high school, I started to became very ill. I was constantly in pain. I was losing weight yet my stomach looked distended or pregnant. It was a very disconcerting time. No one could figure out what was making me ill. I had severe migraines and developed hives for no reason. I became allergic to a multitude of things including peanut butter. I hated that lol, I loved peanut butter. In response to the lack of diagnosis, I went on line and read about Celiac Disease. I had 12 of 15 of the symptoms associated with Celiac Disease. I also remembered in childhood how eating too much bread would make me sick. Luckily, my growth was not stunted, I'm, 5'9.Then, I went to an allergy specialist and the blood tests showed I had Celiac Disease. I was also allergic to peanut butter, dust, pollen and had a small animal allergy.

With the information in hand I was able to work at getting better. This was a good goal to focus on. I studied Celiac Disease online. Also, I had fallen down the stairs when I was on crutches and had a pretty bad concussion. I sprained my wrist  and dislocated some bones. I was lucky not to have severe damage. I took some time off my school. This helped me heal emotionally and physically.

I also had the opportunity to spend time with a Naturopath. Not everybody can afford this help, but it was a necessity for my wellness. To that end, it was quite a strain for my mother and I am entirely grateful we went. I was given vitamin c drops that helped with the allergic reactions.I also started eating gluten free. It took some time but I have certainly started to heal. 


That year I was able to study Spanish at Queens for two weeks. It was marvellous. I was able to connect with young people and tried to eat gluten free. It was a one of a kind experience. The first of many in my life, I hope.  I also think this set on the path to health and a healthy pregnancy.

Eating gluten free is a commitment. It is worth it though. The end of migraines and internal pains is a bonus.  It is easy enough to make mistakes especially at the beginning. Do no be hard on yourself. Part of the wonderfulness of life is the ability to learn from our mistakes.

Welcome Aboard!

This past year I have accomplished two things:  graduated university and had a baby.   Now that I have finished school I am a stay at home mom. It is a very exciting time. There are a lot of new achievements for my baby and myself.
 I hope to talk about:
  1. parenthood and family life
  2. Celiac Disease and recipes
  3. my favourite books and poetry
  4. random topics like travel 
I hope this resonates with all of you! Welcome to my blog.