Monday, February 7, 2011

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Products

I get very excited when I find a product that is gluten-free, actually tastes good and doesn't break the bank. Such was my experience with one of Bob's gluten-free products. First off, I had never heard of this company. I was shopping with a friend when I was in the states and saw Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free products on the shelves. First, I was skeptical. Then I thought, hey, why not give it try? So I bought the mix for gluten-free raisin cinnamon bread. When I got back from the states, I threw it a cupboard and forgot about it. Until, of course, hubby pulled it down and left it on the counter in an effort to give me an oh so subtle hint. See, I'm classic for this kind of stuff. I'll buy stuff like this because it looks like a great idea at the time. And then I'll forget about it. Hubby will spot the expiration date (which would have lapsed) and give me a speech about buying products and never using them. Ok, point taken, already!

But that's not what put me off this product. It was the yeast. Yup. A little tiny sachet of yeast that I didn't see when I bought it. I thought, oh, no. Not yeast! I don't do well with yeast. My grandmother was a great bread maker but I didn't get that gene.

So last week I finally said, ok, I'm going to make this before the expiration date lapses. I followed the directions and out popped a lovely loaf of gorgeous raisin cinnamon bread! It smelled fabulous in the kitchen! Even hubby cut himself a slice and declared it a success. So I also cut myself a slice, slathered on some butter, made myself a lovely cup of tea and enjoyed it! It was delicious! I only wish I had a picture of it but that's a whole other story.

Before I could sit down and eat the whole loaf, I quickly cut it up into slices, wrapped each one up in foil and threw them all in the freezer. Now I had something decent to have on my morning break at work!

So if you haven't tried this product yet, look for it next time you are in the supermarket. I can personally vouch for the raisin cinnamon bread!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Today is Superbowl Sunday!! Yippee!! Ok, I know that for most everyone in Ireland this is no big deal whatsoever. But when you are far away from home you'll take any little American scraps you can get. I've been a football fan for many years and because I've lived in a few different places, I've followed a few different teams. Basically, I'm a New England fan. I'm from there so it only seems appropriate. But they are not in the Superbowl. Tonight it will be the Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburg Steelers. I like both teams but since the Steelers have won before I think it would be nice for the Packers to win. But that's just me.

Here's the good news. Guacamole and nacho chips! And guess what? IT'S GLUTEN FREE!! Yup! I checked my package of nacho chips and the ingredients are only corn flour and sunflower oil! Excellent! The beer that usually goes along with said chips and dip however is another story. I've had reactions to beer before. Usually in the form of coughing into the night. But I haven't had any beer since Christmas so I think I'll be ok.

Guacamole is a great gluten-free dish. I absolutely love Mexican food! Unfortunately, most of the dishes have a lot of wheat and gluten. I've had to create and/or modify quite a few recipes. We used to use packets of dry ingredients to add to our beef to make burritos. But after a lot of experimenting, I've been able to make a gluten-free mince to put on flour tortillas.  (I'll be posting recipes soon but right now I'm still trying to get the hang of this whole blogging thing!)

I don't use the flour tortillas myself. Those are for the family. I'll either use corn tortillas or none at all. Either way, I end up leaving the table full and satisfied and not like I've actually missed out on something.

So whatever you are doing today, don't forget about guacamole! It's a multi-purpose little dip that can be used for many different things!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I changed my mind!!

Ok, so it's a new year, right? Resolutions are being broken all over the world. You know what the most common one is, right? Losing weight!! Ugh! I'm at a place in my life where I really don't need to heap one more thing on top of my already all consuming life. So I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore. Yup! I changed my mind! I am not making resolutions anymore. Heck! I will barely give them a thought unless they come up in conversation!

Having an intolerance to wheat and gluten is all consuming enough. Each day I have to consciously think about what I'm eating. Does it have wheat or gluten in it? Is there an alternative I can have instead? If I have just a small piece of cake will it be my downfall?  All questions that run through my mind when I'm presented with food, preparing food or shopping for food. I think that's plenty, don't you?

If you have an intolerance to a certain type of food, it does not mean that you can't eat it anymore. It only means that you have to eat it in moderation. Moderation will vary from person to person. You have to know where the stop button is! That's where it can get complicated!

So let me tell you a little story..........

As you know,I live in Ireland. So back in September I went to the states to visit my family and friends. I detoxed off wheat and gluten before I got there because I knew I couldn't stay away from things like Thomas' English Muffins, bagels, muffins, donuts, etc. You get the picture, right? So I thought, that's ok, I'll just detox when I get home. I basically threw caution to the wind and took the ball and chain off my ankle for the few weeks I was home and ate literally anything I wanted without even thinking about it. Ok, I did think about the fact that I was eating something I shouldn't but it didn't stop me.

By the time I was leaving I couldn't button my jeans!! The new ones I bought when I first arrived! I had to wear a track suit! Now, one would think that wearing a track suit for an international flight is actually a good idea. People do it all the time. Comfort, right? The problem was that I knew that I couldn't wear my jeans even if I wanted to! So obviously, I was bloated, tired, irritable and my stomach was giving me trouble. Drinking mass quantities of coffee to get me through the day where normally that wouldn't be necessary. Yes, I did a lot of running around, visiting people, meeting up for dinner--all that. So that would explain being tired.

But not really. I can't let myself off the hook that easily. The truth is that I ate things I shouldn't have and I ate A LOT of it! I didn't practice my "moderation" mantra. So what am I getting at? Moderation for one wheat intolerant person is different to another person's wheat intolerance.  There are a lot of considerations that can affect just how much wheat and/or gluten your body can tolerate and the trick is that you have to figure out what your limit is. Know what your symptoms are when you've had too much. For me, I get bloated and very tired but I also start coughing for some reason. It mainly kicks in at night when I'm going to sleep. As soon as my head hits the pillow I'll start coughing. But if I've been exercising that day, my tolerance is higher. 

So do yourself a favor. Figure out when you've had too much. Know what YOUR symptoms are and if you feel like you are reaching that point, take note of what you've been eating and make a few changes. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's a new day....

So everyday I wake up hoping I can stay gluten-free/wheat free. How about you? it's a daily battle. You manage to have a healthy enough breakfast such as corn flakes with banana. Then you head to work where all the goodies await you! Muffins, scones, chocolate bars, etc. Now, we don't have that stuff at work everyday but on any given day there will always be at least some cookies that I should avoid. The key to staying gluten-free/wheat free is all in the planning. I find that if I don't plan my meals for the day then I'm sunk. Luckily, I usually bring a small amount of dinner leftovers. Today I didn't do too well. I hadn't done my grocery shopping and the cupboards were bare. So I ended up eating a scone! My energy levels have dropped. No surprise there. Next time I go shopping, I'm buying extra so that I don't have to cave in again. So here's to concentrating more on planning!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A year gone!

Well, it's been about a year since I wrote. Sorry about that. I had to sideline this project to attend to more pressing things in my life.

As for my gluten-free living? Well, it's had its ups and downs!! I have found that my intolerance is getting worse. There was a time when I could eat products containing wheat and gluten a little bit each day. Such as having half a bagel for breakfast or a muffin without feeling the consequences. Ah! Yes! The consequences! Well, let's see. Perhaps I should talk about how gluten and wheat affects me. If I've had too much in too short a period, I would, firstly, get very bloated. Then my energy levels will drop and I get very tired. I have particularly noticed the effects in the morning. I would wake up feeling as if I had been drugged or something. I would be very tired and my head would be cloudy. If I continue on my wheat/gluten rampage, then I start getting stomach aches and headaches. Eventually, I have to stop and the cycle starts all over again!

So, once again, I am starting all over again! Yesterday I had a bowl of pasta. No, no! Not gluten-free pasta! The real deal! Followed by chocolate chip cookies. Today, for lunch I had a panini with ham and cheese. Energy levels are dropping and I am finding that I don't bounce back like I used to! So the cycle continues! Soon I'll post some gluten-free recipes that I've either run across or made up myself.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Greetings, everyone!! Welcome to my blog! I hope you will find it entertaining and informative. My goal here is to provide and exchange recipes that are a gluten-free alternative as well as just plain good recipes that I've either tried or created myself.

A few years ago I was diagnosed as "gluten-wheat intolerant". So essentially this means that I can eat a small portion of wheat/gluten but I walk a fine line trying to figure out exactly how much is too much.

At first, I was crushed and immediately raced home and ate a big bowl of cereal that was, of course, full of wheat! It has taken me five years to get some kind of control. I'm still not there yet. I'm still trying to find the line between just enough and too much. The trouble is I don't know I've eaten too much wheat/gluten until my body starts showing symptoms. If any of you are in a similar situation then you know what I'm talking about.

So perhaps you'll join me in my quest for finding a way to enjoy wheat/gluten moderately and symptom free!

Since I'm an American living in Ireland you'll also see posts and information about shopping the states, finding a few bargains both here and there, and links to sites which might be helpful.

So bear with me while I get this started!!