Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gluten Free New Year's Eve Celebration




Here are a few links to Gluten-Free New Year's Eve menus (if not for this year, how about next year? Or maybe just to try over dull January to put a little zing into your life?):

Elana's Pantry (featuring Salmon with Mushrooms in Red Pepper Sauce and Cranberry-Apricot Truffles)

WheatFree.org Go here for your pizza crust-- wheat-free, gluten-free, nut-free vegetarian crust!

Gluten Freeda How about this recipe for Smoked Salmon Cheesecake?

and then there is our delicious recipe for Gluten-free Nanaimo Bars


or, how about Dr. RitaMarie's Healthy Holiday Traditions with a ton of great recipes?

Happy Happy New Year!
______________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Recipe Link for Great Vegan, Gluten-free Coconut Flour Biscuit

I went looking for a great coconut flour* biscuit-- it had to be vegan AND of course, gluten-free-- and found a delicious-looking one at http://www.dietdessertndogs.com/2009/08/18/grain-free-coconut-flour-biscuits/  I will be trying it tomorrow.

Coconut Flour is basically fiber (or "fibre" as we spell it in Canada) from the coconut meat after most of the oil has been extracted to make Virgin Coconut Oil.  The coconut flour I use is certified organic, unsweetened, and has not been treated with sulfites-- high in dietary fiber and protein, and is gluten-free. It has more fiber than flour milled from gluten-based grains. You can either add to standard wheat-based recipes to add extra fiber, by substituting 10-30% of the grain-based flour with coconut flour or for some recipes, such as the above biscuit recipe link, muffins and quick breads, you can dispense with the grain-flours and use just the  organic coconut flour and therefore be 100% gluten-free! (I'll provide more recipes in coming posts) Since organic coconut flour contains natural sugar from the coconut meat, baked goods need less sugar added. The organic coconut flour has a mildly sweet coconut taste!
Gluten Free Coconut Flour Banana Muffins recipe photoOrganic coconut flour also contains almost 20% non-gluten protein! I add it to shakes and smoothies to boost fiber and protein. This organic coconut flour is very versatile and very tasty. Sprinkle it over your favorite dishes to add a wonderful coconut flavor, use it as a thickener in soups and sauces - the possibilities go on and on!
_________________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Unsafe List of Ingredients (if you are Celiac or have Gluten Allergies or Sensitivities)

Abyssinian Hard (Wheat triticum durum)
Alcohol (Spirits - Specific Types)
Amp-Isostearoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Atta Flour
Barley Grass (can contain seeds)
Barley Hordeum vulgare
Barley Malt
Beer (most contain barley or wheat)
Bleached Flour
Bran
Bread Flour

Brewer's Yeast
Brown Flour
Bulgur (Bulgar Wheat/Nuts)
Bulgur Wheat
Cereal Binding
Chilton
Club Wheat (Triticum aestivum subspecies compactum)
Common Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Cookie Crumbs
Cookie Dough
Cookie Dough Pieces
Couscous
Criped Rice

Dinkle (Spelt)
Disodium Wheatgermamido Peg-2 Sulfosuccinate
Durum wheat (Triticum durum)
Edible Coatings
Edible Films
Edible Starch
Einkorn (Triticum monococcum)
Emmer (Triticum dicoccon)
Enriched Bleached Flour
Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour
Enriched Flour
Farina
Farina Graham
Farro
Filler
Flour (normally this is wheat)
Fu (dried wheat gluten)
Germ
Graham Flour
Granary Flour
Groats (barley, wheat)
Hard Wheat

Heeng
Hing
Hordeum Vulgare Extract
Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol
Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch
Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Kamut (Pasta wheat)
Kecap Manis (Soy Sauce)
Ketjap Manis (Soy Sauce)
Kluski Pasta
Maida (Indian wheat flour)
Malt
Malted Barley Flour
Malted Milk
Malt Extract
Malt Syrup
Malt Flavoring
Malt Vinegar
Macha Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Matza
Matzah
Matzo
Matzo Semolina 

Meringue
Meripro 711
Mir
Nishasta
Oriental Wheat (Triticum turanicum)
Orzo Pasta
Pasta

Pearl Barley
Persian Wheat (Triticum carthlicum)
Perungayam
Poulard Wheat (Triticum turgidum)
Polish Wheat (Triticum polonicum)

Rice Malt (if barley or Koji are used)
Roux
Rusk
Rye
Seitan
Semolina
Semolina Triticum
Shot Wheat (Triticum aestivum) 
Small Spelt
Spirits (Specific Types)
Spelt (Triticum spelta)
Sprouted Wheat or Barley
Stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Strong Flour
Suet in Packets
Tabbouleh
Tabouli
Teriyaki Sauce
Timopheevi Wheat (Triticum timopheevii)
Triticale X triticosecale
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Flour Lipids
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil
Udon (wheat noodles)
Unbleached Flour
Vavilovi Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Vital Wheat Gluten
Wheat, Abyssinian Hard triticum durum
Wheat amino acids
Wheat Bran Extract
Wheat, Bulgur
Wheat Durum Triticum
Wheat Germ Extract
Wheat Germ Glycerides
Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat Germamidopropyldimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Wheat Grass (can contain seeds)
Wheat Nuts
Wheat Protein
Wheat Triticum aestivum
Wheat Triticum Monococcum
Wheat (Triticum Vulgare) Bran Extract
Whole-Meal Flour
Wild Einkorn (Triticum boeotictim)
Wild Emmer (Triticum dicoccoides)

The following items may or may not contain gluten depending on where and how they are made, and it is sometimes necessary to check with the manufacturer to find out:
Artificial Color4
Baking Powder4
Caramel Color1, 3
Caramel Flavoring1, 3
Clarifying Agents4
Coloring4
Dextrins1,7
Dextrimaltose1,7
Dry Roasted Nuts4
Emulsifiers4
enzymes4
Fat Replacer4
Flavoring6
Food Starch1, 4
Food Starch Modified1, 4
Glucose Syrup4
Gravy Cubes4
Ground Spices4
HPP4
HVP4
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein4
Hydrolyzed Protein4
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein4

Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate4
Hydroxypropylated Starch4
Maltose4
Miso4
Mixed Tocopherols4
Modified Food Starch1, 4 

Modified Starch1, 4
Natural Flavoring6
Natural Flavors6
Natural Juices4
Non-dairy Creamer4
Pregelatinized Starch4
Protein Hydrolysates4
Seafood Analogs4
Seasonings4
Sirimi4
Smoke Flavoring4
Soba Noodles4
Soy Sauce4
Soy Sauce Solids4
Sphingolipids4
Stabilizers4
Starch1, 4
Stock Cubes4
Suet4
Tocopherols4
Vegetable Broth4
Vegetable Gum4
Vegetable Protein4
Vegetable Starch4
Vitamins4
Wheat Starch5

  • 1) If this ingredient is made in North America it is likely to be gluten-free.
  • 3) The problem with caramel color is it may or may not contain gluten depending on how it is manufactured. In the USA caramel color must conform with the FDA standard of identity from 21CFR CH.1. This statute says: the color additive caramel is the dark-brown liquid or solid material resulting from the carefully controlled heat treatment of the following food-grade carbohydrates: Dextrose (corn sugar), invert sugar, lactose (milk sugar), malt syrup (usually from barley malt), molasses (from cane), starch hydrolysates and fractions thereof (can include wheat), sucrose (cane or beet). Also, acids, alkalis and salts are listed as additives which may be employed to assist the caramelization process.
  • 4) Can utilize a gluten-containing grain or by-product in the manufacturing process, or as an ingredient.
  • 5) Most celiac organizations in the USA and Canada do not believe that wheat starch is safe for celiacs. In Europe, however, Codex Alimentarius Quality wheat starch is considered acceptable in the celiac diet by most doctors and celiac organizations. This is a higher quality of wheat starch than is generally available in the USA or Canada.
  • 6) According to 21 C.F.R. S 101,22(a)(3): [t]he terns natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof. Whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.
  • 7) Dextrin is an incompletely hydrolyzed starch. It is prepared by dry heating corn, waxy maize, waxy milo, potato, arrowroot, WHEAT, rice, tapioca, or sago starches, or by dry heating the starches after: (1) Treatment with safe and suitable alkalis, acids, or pH control agents and (2) drying the acid or alkali treated starch. (1) Therefore, unless you know the source, you must avoid dextrin.
    May 1997 Sprue-Nik News.
    (1) Federal Register (4-1-96 Edition) 21CFR Ch.1, Section 184.12277.
    (2) Federal Register (4-1-96) 21 CFR. Ch.1, Section 184.1444



_________________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gluten-Free Cupcake Recipe

Cupcakes are big news these days... there are even cupcake coffee shops where there once were donut shops... tough for people with gluten sensitivity though.  So here is a video with a recipe (from Gluten Free Life) that doesn't exactly match with the video (although they are both British).  The video is great in that it shows how to inject air into the batter using a standard electric beater.

Ingredients
To make these delicious little treats you will need:
  • 225g of unsalted butter
  • 225g of gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 225g of caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • one teaspoon of vanilla flavouring
  • one teaspoon of baking powder.
Method
Before you start turn your oven on to about 180 degrees C, gas mark 4 to allow it time to heat up. Many people ignore this part of recipes as they fail to see the important of preheating the oven before cooking but this could be the difference between perfectly raised cupcakes and soggy messes!

Next take a large bowl and add to it the flour, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla flavouring and baking powder. Using a whisk mix the ingredients until the mixture become smooth with no lumps in it. This is also a crucial part of the recipe. Cutting corners won’t produce the perfect cupcakes we want.

The mixture you have will make around 16 cupcakes.

Take 16 cupcake cases and place them on a baking tray. Spoon the mixture into each cases, making sure you distribute it evenly. Place the tray in the oven and cook for about twenty minutes.

Once the cooking time is up remove the tray from the oven and allow the cakes to stand for five minutes. Then take the cakes off the tray and leave until they have cooled almost completely. For the perfect finishing touch use a gluten free icing available in most supermarkets.

Whether for a children’s party, afternoon tea or even just a little treat for yourself after a long day, cupcakes are perfect. With this simple, gluten free recipe you can whip them up in no time! (recipe from Gluten Free Life)

_________________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wheat and Gluten-free Organic Gingerbread Cookies Recipe


I am totally thrilled by this recipe-- it rolls out great and the house smells like Christmas as the cookies bake, and then, of course, they taste delicious.  I got it from the Veganchef.com but I made some adjustments-- I did not use any baking soda and increased the baking powder to 3 T. and therefore left out the salt (I'm a low salt eating plan).  I used some essential oils instead of all dry spices.  I substituted extra virgin coconut oil for the safflower oil called for in the original recipe.  I also used a great silicone sheet that meant the cookies did not stick as they cooked and popped off nicely.  You can search on the Veganchef.com site for the original recipe if you want a more traditional take. :

2 cups organic brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups arrowroot powder
1 1/2 cups amaranth flour
3 T. organic baking powder
2 t. organic cinnamon
10 drops Young Living Ginger Essential Oil
5   drops Young Living Nutmeg Essential Oil
5   drops Young Living Clove Essential Oil
1 1/2 cups Organic Cane Sugar
1/2 cup organic applesauce
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted in a cup in a bowl of hot water
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
2 T. vanilla
coconut oil, for oiling cookie sheets or you can use a silicone sheet on top of a pizza pan like I did-- no extra oil needed and the cookies don't stick at all.

Decorator's Frosting
 
In bowl or VitaMix (what I did), combine together the brown rice flour, arrowroot, amaranth flour, baking powder, and cinnamon,  and set aside. Pour into a small bowl (if you are using the VitaMix).  Place the remaining "wet" ingredients in the VitaMix and combine. Pour into a large bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir well to combine. Cover the bowl, place it in the refrigerator, and chill the dough for 1 hour or more.  (I left mine overnight in my cool sideroom).   Using a little oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) two non-stick cookie sheets and set aside. Sprinkle a little arrowroot over a work surface (I didn't bother with this step). Divide the chilled dough into quarters, work with only one quarter of the dough at a time, and keep the remaining dough covered and chilled until needed. Working in batches, roll out the quarter of dough to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Carefully transfer the cut cookies to the prepared cookie sheet. Bake them at 350 degrees for 6 minutes (the cookies will feel slightly soft to the touch). Allow them to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat the rolling and cutting-out procedure for the remaining cookie dough. Store the cookies in an airtight container.
To make Gingerbread People: Cut the dough using a person-shaped cookie cutter. Carefully transfer the cut cookies to the prepared cookie sheets...
To make Glazed Gingerbread Cookies: Cut cookies as desired and bake as directed above. Prepare the Decorator's Frosting and use it to decorate the completely cooled cookies, as desired. Allow the frosting to set completely before transferring the cookies to an airtight container.
Yield: 3 - 4 Dozen

*If you wish to order food-safe Young Living Essential Oils using my sponsor #, go to Young Living.com and provide #607652 and my name, Ind. Distributor Cynthia Zirkwitz.


____________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Raw Gluten-Free Nanaimo Bar Recipe




It is Christ- mas, of course, so please forgive my diverg- ence from strictly "healthy" fare... one could argue that I have used high anti- oxidants (raw cacao powder), enzyme-dense sweetening (raw honey), and organic extra virgin coconut oil (among all the other organic ingredients) and therefore, this is a healthy little morsel-- but we both know that that is stretching it a bit!  But it is DELICIOUS and I am guessing that it is healthier than the non-vegan version, and definitely there is no gluten in this recipe.  Scroll down for the history of the Nanaimo bar.  Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!


I used a recipe for raw Nanaimo bars found at the RawBC site, but I like raw honey better than agave, and I didn't have almonds, so used walnuts.  I soaked both the Macadamia nuts and the Walnuts.  The base layer is my least favourite, maybe because I am not particularly fond of Macadamia nuts?  If I were to do it over, I would use all almonds for the base, and I am converting the recipe to just almonds as I transcribe.  Otherwise, this is a treat suited to a Queen (or a visiting mother-in-law).  A teeny-tiny little square satisfies any sweet-tooth.
Layer One: 

1 1/2 c almonds (soaked for 8-12 hrs & dehydrated for 6 hrs) 
1/3 c shredded coconut 
6-8 dates, pitted 
1 T raw honey
1 T raw cacao powder (opt) 

Process the nuts into crumbs and add the coconut, dates, honey (and raw cacao) until dough starts sticking together. Press it into a 8 inch square pan. 

Layer Two: 

1 c Cashew butter (approx. 1 1/2 cashews- soak 8 hours ahead of time) 
3 T Extra Virgin Coconut oil (NOT melted) 
3 T raw honey 
1/2 vanilla bean (seeds) or organic vanilla extract to taste

Process cashews in a food processor with s-blade until turning into butter. If butter is too thick, add some water (about 1/4 c) until it is nice and smooth. Add honey, vanilla (or seeds) and coconut oil last. Pour the mixture over the crust and place it in the fridge or the freezer to set. 

Layer Three: 

1/2 c Extra Virgin coconut oil (melted on low heat in a jar which sits in a pot of water) 
1/2 c raw cacao powder 
3 T raw Honey 
1/2 vanilla bean (seeds) or organic vanilla extract to taste

Mix everything in a bowl and stir until smooth with wood wisk (do not stir too much). Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then pour over the crust and cream layer. Place in the fridge or freezer to set again.  (Thanks to "Suzanne" for this recipe... see hers here).



History of the Nanaimo Bar


In the 1950s, that Golden Era for all North American stay-at-home-moms, Mabel Jenkins from Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island, B.C., submitted a recipe for squares to a fundraising cookery book.  The recipe was celebrated throughout the province.  Eventually, the 3-layer bar made its way to a number of coffee shops up and down the Commercial Street in Nanaimo.  Americans eating them dubbed them "Nanaimo Bars".  (Nuh- Nī'-Mow) Recipes for very similar desserts have surfaced from all over North America and Europe but thanks to the coffee chains of Tim Horton's and Starbucks, the Nanaimo tag lives on. 
_________________________________________________

Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What is Arrowroot and how does it figure into Gluten-Free Baking?


I was looking up some gluten-free gingerbread cookie recipes (yes, yes, I will pass one on after I have tested it with my granddaughters) and came across a few references to arrowroot. I am passingly familiar with arrowroot through an old TV cooking show called Wok with Yan (he used arrowroot as a thickener) and the arrowroot cookies I ate through my own and my children's babyhoods. (loved them) (after my little arrowroot spiel is a funny comedy piece to watch about the arrowroot cookie)
What is Arrowroot?
West Indian Arrowroot is a perennial that produces a starch from its rootstock that was very popular in English cuisine during the Napoleonic era.  Today, arrowroot often refers to several different starches, such as tapioca or kudzu, or arrowroot powder adulterated with potato starch.   When hot water is added to "pure" arrowroot powder, a perfect jelly results.  This jelly is a great boon to vegan cooking.
The lack of gluten in arrowroot flour makes it useful as a replacement for wheat flour in baking. Like other pure starches, however, arrowroot is almost pure carbohydrate and devoid of protein, thus it does not equal wheat flour nutritionally.   
2 teaspoons of arrowroot = 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of arrowroot    = 1 tablespoon of wheat flour
Pass along your recipes and comments about arrowroot!

__________________________________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gluten-Free Raw (Dehydrated) Granola Recipe

This Christmas season is so precious... both of our sons, my daughter-in-law, and granddaughters will be here to spend time with us, the oldies.  Our younger son is a very creative "raw" chef and created this wonderful gluten-free "Raw-Nola" -- I actually wasn't even aware of his soaking and dehydrating, he is so neat in the kitchen (I think he did the soaking inside one of the cupboards).  The resulting "raw-nola" is sweet, crunchy, tasty, and very healthy.  No extra sweeteners are needed, so there is also that extra bonus...

Soak the following individually in water: 
2 C. Buckwheat groats
1 C. Sunflower Seeds
1 C. Thompsons Raisins
1/2 C. Pumpkin Seeds
Soak overnight, drain, and rinse and soak for another 8 hours, except for the raisins.  Drain and rinse the raisins and dehydrate for 8 hours at 105 degrees F.  Add the buckwheat and the seeds to the raisins and dehydrate for about 8-12 hours at 105 degrees.
Add the following:
1/2 C. Dehulled Hempseed
1/2 C. organic unsweetened shredded Coconut
1 tsp. organic Cinnamon
_________________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What is Quinoa and Why Does It Heal Your Body?

by Ken H. Jones


Quinoa is pronounced "keen-wah". It is a South American plant , an ancient super food that has been rediscovered in recent years. It is a fantastic source of protein and slow releasing carbohydrates suitable for meat lovers and vegetarians alike.

It is a versatile food that can be used in salads, stir fries, soups, stews, casseroles and even desserts.

Quinoa originated in South America and was used by the ancient Incas. It was regarded as a sacred food and valued for its amazing properties. The quinoa we buy is the seed of this plant and is sometimes called the mother grain.

Quinoa is a lot like millet to look at but is flattened with a pointed oval shape. Although not a true cereal grain, it can be treated as a grain in cooking and is usually cooked like rice. It can also be sprouted.

Quinoa is classed as a vegetable protein which is easy to digest. It is brilliant when used as an ingredient in weight loss diets as its slow releasing carbohydrates help to maintain blood sugar levels. This is a also a great benefit for people who are diabetic. Quinoa is known to be beneficial to both kidney and bladder complaints as it contains all the essential amino acids.

It is a complete protein but much easier to digest than most meat proteins. This makes it an ideal addition to both vegan and vegetarian diets. It offers more iron than other grains and contains high levels of potassium and riboflavin, to say nothing of B vitamins, B6, niacin and thiamin. It is also a good source of zinc, copper and manganese.

Perhaps the best feature is that it is gluten free. People with asthma and allergies usually find that it is non allergenic which is helpful because quinoa is quite filling and substantial. As you cook quinoa the external germ forms a band around each grain and spirals out forming a tail. It is this tail that gives it its own unique texture which seems to complement the delicate flavour of the seed part..

It is often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes and can even be eaten raw when sprouted for salads. Is is also wonderful as a thickener in soups.

Find out how simply it is to cook quinoa. There are more and more quinoa recipes coming out now. You can find out how to cook quinoa. Learn the superb health benefits of eating quinoa and include quinoa as part of your diet.

Quinoa Health Tips


________________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Your Bread CAN Kill You


Certified Clinical Nutritionist Radhia Gleis gives a very clear explanation of what Gluten is and what Gluten Intolerance, Allergies, Sensitivities and Autoimmune Diseases are. There are some pretty 'graphic' pictures that help to imprint the explanations of effects of gluten intolerance. (I like how she is able to sock so much information into a very brief video and there are no supplements being promoted).

She does tend to push the Hunter/Gatherer belief system that I don't necessarily subscribe to (eg., People with O blood type are "hunter, gatherer ancestors and they have a genetic predisposition to the gluten intolerance; A blood types are better able to deal with grains. Hmm) It's interesting, nontheless.
________________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Gluten-Free Path

Hey, I come from the Bread Basket of Canada-- some of the richest wheat-growing lands in the world (or that is what we were taught when I grew up).  My father's forefathers are said to have introduced a hardy, hard strain of wheat to North America, bringing it with them from the Ukraine when they refused to pick up arms for during the Bolshevic Revolution (they were German Mennonites).   It seems treasonous, almost, to who I am, who brought me up, that I would choose to eat without wheat.  I grew up on a wheat farm.  My father was a multi-generational wheat farmer. 


But then, I am also a different religion from my forebears, and I am vegan (and recently, pretty highly "raw" vegan) with a brother who runs 700 head of beef cattle.  I vote differently (I think) from my father and sometimes from my husband (yes, I know that's silly).

So, really, I guess, after all,  it isn't such a leap that I would also be exploring the idea of "getting rid of wheat" in my diet.  But how did that happen?

Well, before I thought too much about the idea of becoming "gluten-fee", I had heard about people with Celiac disease and sprue.  They have always been around.  In my younger years I probably got them mixed up-- the diseases I mean-- with cystic fibrosis.  Both of our children had some food allergies, and it was subsequently found that my husband and I did as well (surprise surprise).  But I didn't really consider giving up wheat because....

I ATE THE GOOD WHEAT STUFF... WHOLE WHEAT... WHEAT GERM... WHOLE GRAINS... etc.

I didn't eat white Wonderbread, rarely ate any kind of white processed stuff, never really got into wheaty cereals, and had sworn off donuts and the like after a career of their turning up heavily frosted and days-old in the group sessions I faciliated as a social worker (they came in in those hamper-type trunks once a week, pure cholesterol injections by the ton). 

When I retired I thought I would have time and interest in getting really really well and energetic again.  To facilitate this happening, we moved from the cold prairies where you really did need to eat a lot of cholesterol (apparently) to keep warm in the winter-- to Vancouver Island North where there are more, or at least as many,  health sages and "modalities" and alternatives as conventional health providers.   

But I didn't really get a whole lot better.  I didn't lose weight.  I didn't gain energy and re-gain my old vim and vitality. 

A couple of years ago a long-time friend (actually, we were pushed around in baby carriages together-- even our grandmothers were friends) casually mentioned how she had stopped eating gluten and lost 30 pounds in six months!  Wow, that was impressive.


Then a fellow in my Toast Masters' group (yes, brings up the idea of bread again, doesn't it?) told me that if he ate just a teeny-tiny little-weenie piece of birthday cake even, he would have to shoot out of the meeting and head for the heads.  I later heard how very restrictive his diet was.  He had a huge "gluten sensitivity". 

So, I did some very very superficial research, but I kept hearing about people who were "wheat sensitive", "gluten intolerant" and the like.  But it really wasn't until I heard a very clear-spoken naturopath talk about digestive issues and disorders like "leaky gut syndrome"-- and link them to gluten (and other high allergens)-- that I truly began to consider the advantages for me to give up eating foods with gluten content.  This wonderful naturopath is Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo -- I'll be referring to her quite a lot throughout these blogs.

So this is the start of my gluten-free journey... you're welcome to come along.  Please include your experiences and comments here... I would appreciate that very much!

(And hey, I promised jokes didn't I?  Go here for some corny gluten-free jokes)
_______________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.

Google Search