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.,

Gluten free~4th entry

 

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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

Gluten Free~3rd entry

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I have now been on my gluten free eating for 10 days,, and while in some cases it is getting easier, in others it is hard! We ( my husband and I) went to the YMCA and before had stopped at Panera’s for an early dinner. Since I had gone to Comfort Zone and had so many choices I was sure that at Panera’s was going to have some great choices…. I was sadly disappointed. They had no bread choices that were gluten free, a few pastries and soup, chili and salads. I had learn through my reading that some salad dressing had gluten, so ended up choosing the turkey chili with cut up fresh fruit on the side, and my husband got chips, which were gluten free. I was really sad that there was no bread I could use for a sandwich. Oh well, we went on to the gym and worked out, I came home feeling better.

The next day, I enjoyed cereal in the morning, and raisins for a snack. Then I had peanut butter on gluten free rice cakes with an orange for lunch. For dinner we went to Julie’s restaurant and I was cautious as I looked at their menu, thinking there would not be any choices for me… I was so wrong! They had several choices from gluten free pasta, to gluten free bambino pizzas, any of them! So my husband, our friend and I all got gluten free pizzas , different types, so we could try them all. I got the steak with peppers, my husband got the Mexican pizza and our friend the gluten free chicken finger pizza. Then we shared them all and enjoyed each one! The dough was lights and tasty mighty good. Thank you Julie’s Pizzeria for having choices for us!

So as I come home I open the ebook up again to read some more. I wanted to know what can I have as snacks or light meals. Apples and cheddar cheese, oh my I do love that, yogurt ( guess you have to watch some of them, they have gluten in them .. I guess for thicken) and of course fresh fruit and vegetables.   Of course I can have corn chips, they only have corn in them, and Wal mart has a gluten free cheesetoes , but your have to watch chips as some have gluten in them. And then there is salsa, or guacamole dip, again check for gluten, so I am starting to like that it does not take a lot of time to prepare some snacks. Popcorn is a good snack anytime of the day. Taco shells made from just corn are ok. Cottage Cheese, cream cheese, and with ice cream, you have to watch, because of some of the flavor there is gluten added. And Pickles… they are ok, whew…. We are good again.

Then I started reading up on different types of flours…. WOW that is a lot to take in. There are so many types of gluten free flour, rice, buckwheat, almond coconut, corn, oat and then of course, Red Mill and Hodgkins all have gluten free flour. And with some of them you have to adjust the measurement, not always 1 to 1 when you use them, and some you have to add more eggs or less eggs . This is making my head spin. I am glad we have so many choices, but wow. I love cornbread and hush puppies, and dang if some cornmeal does not have flour added. So back to reading the labels again, which I guess is not that bad of a thing. Even with the pasta… I can have beans, so I thought any pasta made with beans would be ok, but I was wrong. There was a brand ( forgot the name) of pasta made from beans, and it had wheat in it. So guess I really should stay where the gluten free items are shelved and not venture out to the rest of the store. And I can still use my sugar, or honey as sweeteners so I might even attempt to bake some… later.. So I continue to make my choices, one item at a time, one day at a time and this adventure is going along fine for now.

Gluten free~2nd entry

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Ok, I have to research in short time periods or I just get to overwhelmed and want to quit, but that is not an option, I really want to do this. So I went to the store, got two loaves of gluten free bread to try. This one is Schar Artisan multigrain bread. Deep breath, I open the package, take out two slices, I was surprise to see that they were thick slices, ok, that is good… texture looks right, so I pop them in the toaster, added peanut butter and took my first bite. Then a second bite… and you know what? It is not bad at all! Happy Dance… I get to eat my bread. I knew that was going to be one of the things I was going to have a hard time not eating and craving. As I am doing research I guess I fall into the Gluten sensitive group… in other words, I will not get super sick if I get gluten, just may not feel real good. For a product to be labeled gluten free, it contains less than 20 parts per million, that is not much at all. Not what contains Gluten…. Wow, well, anything that has wheat, rye, barley, triticale, malt, brewer’s yeast, …. Oh boy, this may not be as easy as I was hopping for.. But I will continue to do this one item at a time, one choice at a time. As I continued to read the book had a recipe for gluten free homemade playdough… Really?!, but if you think about it, kids, being kids put everything in their mouth, and I guess it can be absorbed through you skin too. Ok, make sense.. then it goes on to say that you need to check your health products too as they may contain gluten.. as it is a thicken agents… so that means, lotions, shampoos, make up, toothpaste, mouthwash, soaps, even the glue on a envelope! Wallpaper glue… that is crazy. Ok, I promise I will not eat wall paper glue. Geez. It is time to quit reading and run some errands.

So I took a nice drive to pick up my scripts in Hamburg and stopped at Comfort Zone a little coffee shop café we enjoy. I was just going to get a cappuccino and drool over the foods I could not eat.. I happen to ask, do you have gluten free items? YES! I was able to get a breakfast sandwich , eggs, cheese, and sausage with gluten free bread. (not bacon, as it could have gluten… got to research that one) and I kid you not, it was Delicious! In their glass display case is a green tray, everything on that tray was gluten free… so I got a coffee cake to take back and try with a friend of mine. We were both surprised how good it tasted. One more choice that was gluten free and on my path to being gluten free.

I come back home and start looking through my cabinets again… found my malt vinegar, well that has to go, and then was checking out my soups… wow, either they had noodles , so they had gluten, or if they were creamy, they had wheat, so they are gone, guess it was time to clean my cupboards. So those products my husband can use if he chooses or we will donate them to the food pantry if they are unopened. So got to stock up on pasta, I had gotten some gluten free rice pasta when I went to the store, so that can be put up on the shelves, while I have to rehome the gluten pasta. Now on to the next cupboard and uh oh.. we have issues here as it holds my crackers all kinds, and of course they are all full of gluten… and I do butter churning demonstrations and now I will need some gluten free crackers to use for giving out samples to others that may be gluten free.   But the crackers that are unopened can go to my crate I have packed for the demos and can be used. Next shelve down are my pancake/waffle mixes… nope, they have to go, and then are my packets I use fro Gravy and sauces, yep, everyone of them had gluten, so those get tossed into the food pantry box. Ok, think I need to stop and breath…. Then onward I will go and so will you as I will continue writing this journal.

 

Gluten Free… here I come

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Gluten Free… What?!

I have hypothryroidism, fibromyalgia and lower back degeneration for years now…. tried several different things for the pain, injections, pain meds, relaxers… all of it. I did discover I do not like the injections ( put more weight on me due to the steroids in them) and the prescription meds.. just did not like how I felt. So I started doing acupuncture and discovered it really , I mean really helped, but still needed something else, I was still having a hard time getting around. I had removed preservatives from my diet ( eating more fresh and not processed food and vegetables) and removed all artificial sweeteners, all which did help lower the fibromyalgia pain… but it was still there. On some days, it just hurt to stand, sit, move, not move… so it was recommended at my appointment, right before Thanksgiving, that I try gluten free. Gluten free…. Well, I know what it meant, but could I do it? I was sure willing to try it, sure could not hurt, so I got it in my mind to start after the holidays in the beginning of a New Year. We were heading down for a trip, and I thought… well, I could start by trying to eliminate gluten from my diet during the trip, that should be easy enough, just better choices, right? Well that is what I thought as we took off. So as we drove, I downloaded books on my kindle.. Gluten Free for dummies ( yes there is a dummy book for everything) and a few others books regarding gluten free to read. WOW, oh boy, talk about being confused and overwhelmed, maybe I could not do this. But once I calmed down, and stop trying to memorize everything and read I realized I could do this, one food item at a time, one choice at a time, after all, I was not going to go gluten free all at once, just one choice at a time and to learn to be more aware. So each stop we made for food, I just really looked at the menu and tried to make a better choice, such as, broiled, baked or blacken meat, instead of fried, fish, sigh no more fish fries, but it was healthier too, salads.. I am not a big fan of salads, but I could eat them, but now I have to watch out for some salad dressings as well. Not eating bread was one thing I knew I could do, maybe not like, but doable for the time. So I kept that in mind and I was happy that by the time we came home, I had truly eliminated about 75% of the gluten from my diet during the trip. Ok, I think I can really do this. I had a friend who was going to be my partner of sorts and encourage and guide me some, so I was not alone, and my husband also agreed to eliminate it and go gluten free at the house. (He will still get his, but supported my cooking gluten free and such) So did some more studying and started putting gluten free items on the grocery list. Now my husband does most of the grocery shopping so I checked out what I might want for breakfast type foods and put it on the list. Cheerios, and I have been eating them for years, Chex cereals were all gluten free, so I added them to the list with which one, of the Chex cereals I would like, so he could see which ones were there on the shelves and grab the ones I had on the list. Now I thought that he would come back with one or two boxes of cereal…. Imagine my surprise when he came back with eight boxes of Chex! He had gotten 2 of each one I wrote down, they were on sale….. Wow, got to love that man, now, where to put them all! I had picked up two loaves of gluten free bread, and some rice, that is gluten free ( now I am researching everything to make sure) some gluten free noodles, some gluten free crackers, lightly salted rice cakes, gravy mixes, some gluten free rice flour have everything in a basket and I am ready to start my new adventure at home. Then I decided I was going to keep a journal of my progress or lack of, what I like or did not like, for me and maybe others to follow. So here I go… Gluten free journey, adventure and what will happen. I will be healthier I know, but can I truly do it.. My daughter in law has, so she can guide me some, I have the books, a friend to help me, the support of myhusband, so the tools are in place. Deep breath, here I go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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