JoHawk’s Photography





I just want to give a big shout out to Norm Isler and the Springville Print Shop.  We decided to create some snow notecards to use as Christmas cards this year.  I have had Norm create my cards in the past using my photos, and have been overly impressed with not only his work, but the quality of the cards.  Today was no different.  I sent him 4 photos, and he did the rest … fast.  I now have each of the photos as note cards and feel like my family and friends who will be receiving this will be happy as well.  Anyone who needs a print shop, I highly recommend the Springville Print Shop!

Gluten Free ~8



So today makes 18 days gluten free.  We went out to Michael’s Catering and Banquets for a Christmas party and I was not sure if I was going to be able to eat anything.  I was pleasantly surprised. The pre meal food, had lots of cheese, fruits along with other items I knew would have gluten, so I stuck with the cheese and fruit, little shrimps and such…. I asked the server if there was any food that was gluten free for the main meal.  She went back and talked to the Chef.  Wow!  I was so surprised when she came out and said…. You are being served steak and chicken, you can eat the steak, however the white chicken sauce and chicken has gluten in it.  The mashed potatoes and gravy are gluten free, and the veggie is broccoli which is of course gluten free.  We do not tonight have any gluten free bread  to chose from tonight…. Is this not just awesome!  I did eat the salad, but since I did not know if the salad dressing was gluten free, I choice to have none.  Everything is sure falling place for me.  The dessert was a pie, which was not gluten free, but by that point I was stuffed anyway.  I feel so proud of myself being able to stick with being gluten free this long.  Taking it one day at a time, one choice at a time.  Educating myself so I can make the right choice.

Today was the first day I felt..not tight, not sure if that is how to describe it, but only way I can think of to describe it. I have not weighed myself and do not want to do so until 30 days into gluten free eating.  but lighter is not quiet right, but maybe not as heavy.  Now I am overweight, so that may not make sense to some folks, but not as weighed down does describe how I feel as well.  I try not to weigh myself often, as I just get myself depressed and I know it is my thyroid issues that keep alot of the weight on me, but I just feel different.  If I could end up losing some weight, then I might feel better moving around more.

I also have a fitbit.  I wanted to show the doctors that even with a bipap I was not sleeping good, which it did indeed show.  The brand I got also shows heart rate, steps of course, a mode that helps you breath through a relaxation time, if you are stressed.  I have been trying to up my steps, the recommended is 10,000 a day, which with my back degeneration, pain levels and such is not happening.  I lower the steps to 5,000 a day and do try to strive for that.  A year ago, I was lucky to get 1,000 steps a day.  Now I am up to between 3,500 and 5,000 a day.  I have noticed in the last 3 weeks since I have gone gluten free, it is always almost 5,000 or over each day.  Now that is progress, is it because I am more aware of it, which I do not think so, I have had a fit bit now for almost 2 years and monitor it often, or because I am feeling better and so moving more.  After the first of the year I am moving my step goal up to 6,000 and see how long it takes me to achieve that.  I am excited about that. We will continue to go to the YMCA where I do walking in the pool, which seems to be easier for me, and some jogging/running in the water as well. Hot tub is always a pleasure after I am in the pool for over a hour.

After the first of the year, I am going to go to other stores that carry the Gluten free items and see what else I can find.  I really want to try some of the Udi’s brand.  Target is suppose to carry that brand, so going there to find out.  Going to make some gluten free Blueberry muffins today.  That should warm up the house and with a cup of coffee this afternoon will be a treat.  I have noticed that I do not crave some foods anymore… I use to crave salty or sweet foods, but have not noticed that in the last 3 weeks.  I can be around cookies and cakes and all the Christmas/New year treats and I am ok.  Never have had a strong will power, but somehow, this just seems to be working for me.  Even if the weigh does not come off, I am really feeling better and I will take that for now.  On Christmas day, will be 30 days I have gone Gluten free, a Christmas gift to myself If I can do it.  I will weigh myself that day and ever 30 days after that to see.  A friend told me to take measurements, as I may not lose weight but inches, so I might do that as well and make a chart.  Writing this blog, makes me feel like I need to record and be responsible and is a encouragement of sorts to myself to keep it up.

Gluten free ~ 7





So tis the season of …. Snow. Seems like during the extreme cold, I like pasta, in any form. My husband and I went to Julie’s Pizzeria in Springville and I was not sure that they carried gluten free pasta…. HAPPY DANCE’ they do indeed and I could order almost all of their pasta dishes gluten free. So I choice Alfredo sauce with pasta…. It was great! I did miss having the bread that you usual get, but I can learn to adjust there.

So since it is cold and the snow is still falling I thought I would try the Rice mac and cheese I bought by Amy’s brand. I packed it up with an orange and my lunch was set. The next day where I volunteer it was lunch time and I was eager to try my new pasta. The instructions for microwaving was in for 3 minutes, stir, in for another 2 minutes, stir, and let set for 1 minute before eating. Well, in for 3 was more than enough heating for this for me, I stirred it and went to put it back in, and decided it was way to hot as it was. I let it sit for a minute and then longer as it was too hot to even attempt to eat. But it was very tasty indeed!

My herbalist sent me some information regarding gluten free and some of the foods that you should eat … looking over the list for veggies of week one going gluten free, was most of the veggies I like anyway. Carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, my absolutely favorite Veggies… well it is right up there with avocadoes which is also on the list, Bell Peppers and Spinach!!! Woohooo glad they are on the list. Then onto the meats, eggs, easy, bacon, chicken… more of less all meats that I have in my freezer. Fruits, all that I like were on the list as well, I have been on a raisin and orange kick lately anyway, and both are on the first week list. One thing I do need to add to my diet and food list is fermented food. I do like yogurts and sauerkrauts, pickles and such , but just never seem to eat them a lot, just off and on. As I read the list for week to week (Practical Paleo 2nd edition) I am finding that I am eating a lot of the foods on the list already, so do not need to change much. But it is nice to know that there is a book and a list already created that you can print and use as a shopping list, along gluten free items that you might want to get for your house, such as peanut butter, bread, mixes, soups.

I also have recipes for spice blends, my next thing I am doing and leaving on my shelves in my cabinets a savory spice blend… makes about 6 tablespoons worth, ok, I have a jar that will fit in. To make it, you add 2 tablespoons of Rosemary-Sage Salt, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, ½ tablespoon paprika, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Mix and store. I am wondering if I can used my dried garlic and dried onions if I did it, but for now, will mix this up, store in my cabinet for seasoning. Now I am thinking I can create my own mixes as well and leave in my cabinets, I dried onions this summer and tomatoes so I have them already, and they are really easy to do. I did find out if you dry them to long they turn into powder, so that mistake was a discovery that might now be useful. Mmmm wonder if I can dry garlic and onions mixed up on the tray together as well. Now that is something to think about, just creating my own seasons . Ok, got to research that as well. I will keep you posted on that.

Now time for me to sit down and have a cup of coffee and my coffee creamer I make with 1 pint of heavy cream, and 1 can of condensed milk, mixed together. Gluten free, and sure is nice for a afternoon delight!

Gluten Free~ 6th entry


So I woke up this morning, actually kept waking up during the nights with ideas on how I want to arrange my cabinets, ready for the challenge. Started off , eating breakfast ( Chex cereal) and had coffee. Got boxes ready for the gluten items to go into, paper towels and my home made cleaner ready, trash bags, put on some good music, and I was ready.

I started by taking everything out of the cabinet. Ok, that was easy enough. Wiped down the shelves and now I go through everything I pulled out, and it is going into the box for donations, or back on the shelves. I swear, 4 out of 5 items I picked up went into the box for donation. I guess I never realized how many things have gluten in them. Some of my salad dressings, some of my seasons packets, all but 2 of my cans of soup, but I had picked up some gluten free soup, and soup mixes, waffle mix, flour…. Ok, breath, I can do this. Well it did make it easier to put everything on the shelves and organized them. I had dry beans in 3 different areas, I now have more than enough dry beans! Flour I knew I had, so that was not so much of an surprise, my gravy mixes and such did surprise me. Oh well, I had already picked up gluten free flour and some mixes, cornbread mix, blueberry mix so they went up on the shelve. I even found some gluten free oatmeal packets! I left items I knew my husband used, hot sauces, spices, and such, that I have not used in a long time, easy for him to reach, and 99 % of them were gluten free anyway. Popcorn, we get a lot from the boy scouts, and they were all gluten free, so we were good there, and I had just gotten 8 packets of tuna fish… oh no, do they have gluten?! Whew, we are good, they are gluten free. I found food that needed to be thrown out anyhow, to old and stale. All of the crackers of all type are now out of my cabinet, I had gotten a box of gluten free crackers so still had something. I can now fit my snacks I got on the shelves too!

As long as I was on a roll, I decided to go through the dreaded plastic containers that always loose lids. Wow, I got a whole garbage bag full of containers with no lids, and lids with no containers! Emptied out 2 whole shelves. Wow I feel like I did a lot today. I got a box ready for donations and rehoming of items that either have or may have gluten, cleaned out 6 shelves of my food items, and now 4 have gluten free only, the other 2, top shelves where I can not reach, has my husband’s hot sauces, hot jellies, and such… and most of them were gluten free anyhow. Vacuumed the house, did dishes, made coffee for the container in the refrigerator so we can have cold coffee whenever we want, made my coffee creamer using heavy cream and sweet condensed milk, all gluten free. Maybe going gluten free is making me feel better! Since the weather outside is frightful, I made my version of homemade soup/stew. Cubed steak, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, season, chicken broth, being served with left over cornbread tonight. Gosh I did do a lot today!

One choice at a time, one item at a time. Still reading the books, going through sights online with recipes, pinterest, going through my cookbooks, and seeing which recipes I want to try to convert and see if they work. Researching each item now, until I know in my mind what is and isn’t gluten free. Learning to read each can, and look for the gluten free seal/symbol. Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and hoping that all of this does make me feel better. I know it will take 5 to 8 weeks for the gluten all to get out of your body, and then they say you should really start to see a difference. Only 2 weeks in, so bound and determine to make it .

Gluten Free ~ 5th Entry





Well today is day 13 gluten free. We went out to eat with friends for breakfast, and I choose meat, eggs, and hash brown patties… no toast, with my coffee. The waitress ask me why I did not want any toast and I told her I was going gluten free. She then told me that they did indeed have gluten free bread for toast. Wowzer, so I ordered some to try it out. Who knew that the 3 girls Café in Boston New York, a little family owned restaurant would have gluten Free? All Right.   I have been eating small meals and I felt so stuffed after eating all of that. Will have to remember, that I do not need to eat it all and I can take it home next time. But it was really good.

Came home and did some more reading, not much today as I am still trying to absorb all that I have read so far. I did check to see if peanut butter was gluten free. Some are and some are not. Jif brand, you need to look for gluten-free on the label.. only some are. Peanut Butter & Co is a small independent maker out Greenwich Village New York has certified gluten free that is 10 parts per million of gluten …Wow, that is 10 less than what is allowed to be considered gluten free! Peter Pan, which I use, the company does not verify that they meet legal “gluten free” standards. Well bum. So on to Skippy… All Skippy products are considered gluten free, EXCEPT for the Natural Dark Chocolate Spread. Which does not include gluten, but is still in the testing stages for traces of gluten. Bingo! Skippy’s it is. The list goes on to include other brands, which I did not think our store carried but the names cracked me up… Teddie… old fashion organic homogenized and flaxseed peanut butter… Wild Friends, has 4 different types of peanut butter, which some contained gluten the funniest in my mind for some reason was the Squirrel Brand… it is gluten free if you find any.

I had bought two different types of gluten free cornbread mixes and had been thinking about them every since , so I was going to eat the rest of my chicken/black bean with rice soup tonight, and thought it was a great time to try one of my cornbread mixes. I choice the Hodgson Mill, Gluten free, Sweet Yellow Cornbread mix. You mix in milk, oil ( I used butter) and eggs, stir and bake. I was very surprised at how good it tasted. On the back on the box, it also has a recipe for Cornbread dressing, which is very much like mine, cooked cornbread, crumbled, butter/oil, onion, celery, chicken broth, parsley, salt, pepper, and thyme. If your butter has salt, not sure you need to add more. And bake just like I did mine…. Mmmm, so if I have any left over cornbread, I just might have to try a small batch and see how it taste.

I guess as I make my choices, one at a time, and adjust what I have in my cabinets, changing my recipes will be easier than I think. I have some cookie recipes that I have pinned on pinterest, and some of my own favorite ones that I am going to try to bake soon and see how they taste. But I am finding out that what I have tried so far, does not taste that much different. I am sure that I am going to find some recipes that do not work, and some that I truly like. Now I am wondering if I need to get new baking pans. I am not allergic to gluten, but If I make these, and others want to try them that are totally gluten free, they would not be able to as the pans could cross contaminate the food. So much I still need to learn about how to mix, cook and store my food. Tomorrow’s challenge is, going to clean out my cabinets, wash them, put fresh paper on the shelves and only have gluten free products on them… that may take all day, but I am determine to do gluten free, for me. So if the only choices I have here at the house are gluten free, makes cooking easier. My husband is my rock and supports me in this adventure… between him, my friends, this blog,( which makes me feel like I need to do this if others are following me) I am starting to feel like I can do this… one choice at a time, one item at a time.,

Gluten free~4th entry




Day 12 of being gluten free. So I had an acupuncture appointment today at noon and decided to go to the store and walk around some, seeing what all they had on the shelves. Through my reading of the books I got, researching online and talking to my daughter in law, there were several brands I wanted to look for and I was learning how to read the ingredients to see what had gluten. I was going to go further than the area that was marked gluten free.

I was looking for the Udi’s brand, which my daughter in law says that not only is it the best, that Disneyland resort ( they had been there this summer) uses this. So I went online and indeed it had everything from bagels, English muffins, rolls, bread, frozen meals , cookies so I really wanted to try something from them. From my research, it said that Wegman’s, Walmart, Target and amazon gluten free food online carried the brand. Ok, and I knew that some of the items would be located in the freezer sections. All right, I was so excited. I walked up and down all the freezer sections, refrigerator sections and the shelves and was disappointed to see that our Walmart, at least today when I was there, did not have any. I could order online and have pickup at the store. Ok, got to think about that one. I started off at the gluten free area and pick up some more Schar bread, noodles, and cornbread mix, and then I was going to walk the aisle and see what I could find. After going up and down several aisle I started to see a pattern. In our Walmart Store, if there was gluten free items in with the “regular” items, it had a yellow tag that stuck out, saying something like, check our shelves for gluten free choices. All right that was sure going to help me. I was on the soup aisle at that time, and, Campbell’s soup… has none that our gluten free, well bum. Progressive had 6 choices I could chose from, getting better. So I grabbed some split pea soup, then I noticed that Idahon brand had several mashed potatoes gluten free, you could tell by looking on the back on the package and there was a circle stamp, saying gluten free. 4 of the 6 types were gluten free, got one of them to try and headed to the next roll. The Flour aisle, well, I had picked up some rice flour early in the month, but I wanted to see which other ones I might like. I go a Pillsbury brand of gluten free flour that measured 1 to 1. ( some of the flours are not 1 to 1 ratio and you have to adjust your recipe) and Martha White had some gluten free muffin mixes, well shoot yea, I grabbed a Blueberry muffin mix to try, and I noticed that there was a package mix of gluten free coating to fry your fish in…. interesting, but that one can wait until later.

To the next aisle I go and even thou I did not need cereal, wanted to look at the breakfast bars to see if any were carried in the store. Nature Valley had 4 different ones that were gluten free, I choice the Peanut butter, Dark Chocolate Protein bar. There were not popup of pastries that I say that were gluten free, but that is ok, I am going to find udi’s somewhere and try there stuff.

By now it is time to go to my appointment so I head off to it. I got there early, and went next door to a place I friend owns and runs… Butera’s Craft beer & craft Pizzas. I wanted to see if he had gluten free menu items. Heck yea he does, as he starts to list them all from rolls, pasta to pizza I decided to try one of his. Then I had a choice of toppings…. Can it get any better? I choice Spinach, Chicken and onions with a butter garlic instead of sauce. He ( as you can see by the photo) cooks his pizza in a brick oven, OMG it was divine. I am starting to feel better and better about all of this. I am not giving up my pizza, not giving up my breads, and I am pretty sure I can adjust the rest. I went on pinterest and found two pages I am following with recipes, no bake cookies and bars, pies, stuffing, everything I might want to try.

Next time I go to the grocery store thou… I have to check out the mouthwashes… I am still amazed that some of them have gluten in them… mine does not, but really…. Now curious minds want to know which ones…. I will share my finding with you when I get them