Snow

 

 

Over the last few days we have gotten snow… ok, lots of snow.  As a rule, the street department are pretty awesome keeping the roadway done.  Either they are really plowing other roads, or having a hard time keeping up, because the town roads were not done very well and driving today was a adventure for sure.  Our downstairs neighbor is a super guy and keeps our driveway ( we live upstairs, and they live downstairs) cleaned out and looking sharp.   By the time I had wiped the 12 inches plus off my car, car top and such, he had half the driveway done and I was able to pull right out…. and as I turned onto the road ( now I back in so I was pulling straight out) I fished tailed a little.  Ok, so now I know the roads are greasy and to take it extra easy.  Go to stop, did ok.  Then at the light where I was going to turn, a car turning onto my road turn… and went in a complete circle before getting to go down the road.  Oh boy.  So take it really extra slowly as I turned onto the road and was fine.  Maybe they were going to fast.

We went out to eat tonight to Mexican Resturarant in town and I pondered the menu trying to figure out what was gluten free.  Enchiladas are corn wrapped, so go there, I had checked and most Spanish rice is ok, and the beans. Really wanted to have some chips, but I think they are corn and flour, so did not eat any.  Going to have to do some more research on Mexican food to see what is or isn’t gluten free.

Then we went shopping at Walmart.  I picked up some more Gluten free items and I am getting disappointed that they do not carry more.  I can order online and do a food pickup at the store, but some of the items I want or frozen or refrigerated.  Target is suppose to carry some of the items so guess I will go up there and Tops Market and see if they carry any of the Udi’s items I want to try.  I did find Amy’s in the frozen section of the store.  She carries the Rice Mac and Cheese, Three cheese and rice noodles, and 4 other gluten free meals.  So grabbed 3 different ones to try this week for lunch where I volunteer.  The Rice Mac and cheese was good, so hoping these are too. Really wanted to grab a gluten free Bisquick mix which Walmart was suppose to have, but could not find it .  When I ask the clerk if I could order frozen or cold food for pick up, she was not sure, so I will call during the day and talked to someone to see if I can.  Guess they may be the only way I can get some of the gluten free food I want to try.

I walked up and down every aisle so got some walking in and it was nice as it was not over crowed tonight. Now home to unload the food and decided where I want it, feed the cats, and then I think I am having some Bailey’s tonight, and yes it is gluten free!

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

 

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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

 

 

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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

 

 

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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.,