Tuesday, January 29, 2008

GFCF Weekend Trip

This past weekend, a group of us went on a wine tasting trip to several wineries in the Walla Walla area. It was fun, although the weather did not cooperate at all as we were hit with freezing rain and then a giant snowstorm. Several of us had turned 50 so we thought it would be great to get away and do something a little different. My son came along and I wanted to see how difficult it would be to travel with him. I brought along gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) bread, muffins and a whole mess of GFCF snacks. We went to a deli for lunch called the Merchant Ltd. and it had several sandwiches. One thing on the menu looked like it would be GFCF and so my son had that. It was a chicken salad with pineapple, olives and a mustard oil dressing. Not totally sure it was GF but it was our only choice. The rest of the food was very good and we really enjoyed it. For dinner we went to the Creektown Cafe. It is a tiny restaurant with a very good reputation and it certainly lived up to that. I had called ahead and was told the chef would work with us on the GFCF entree and was well versed in diet restrictions. That was a relief to me. There was a sea bass dish on the menu that would have worked great except my son is not a big fish eater. The chef ended up making a grilled chicken breast for him with french fries. Andy was in heaven. He really enjoyed his dish. All of the other food was just excellent. For our first time travelling on the GFCF diet, it was not too bad. It went a lot easier than I had anticpated.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Gluten Free Product List

I have spent quite a bit of time looking for gluten free products. I just got through emailing Walmart to see if they could send me a list of their gluten free items since they have about 1200 GF products on their shelves already. Problem is I don't know what they are. I have found a few already but it takes a lot of time reading the backs of every item. Many don't have Gluten-Free in big letters on the front. I also found Safeway's Gluten Free product list on Gluten Free Steve's Blog. Who knew they had such a list! It's 12 pages long but it will be a life and time saver.

We are two weeks into the GF elimination diet and it has been going very well. I know that it certainly would not hurt Andy to be on it but whether it makes enough of a difference, we will have to wait and see.

I was watching Dr. Christiane Northrup on Oprah the other day and she was saying that as we get older, we have a much tougher time digesting wheat. She suggested that 1 out of 4 women have gluten intolerance issues. That number is huge. The more I read about gluten, the more it sounds like we would all benefit a lot by not eating it.

I have been trying lots of GFCF (gluten-free, casein-free) recipes. Andy has been the guinea pig but this latest one, he really liked.

Gluten Free/ Dairy Free Peanut Butter Cookies

1 tbsp flax seeds ground
3 tbsps water
1 cup natural organic crunchy peanut butter
1/2 banana mashed
1/4 cup brown sugar packed
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave flax seed and water 30 seconds until you get gel like consistency. Mix the rest of the ingredients in. Drop by the teaspoonfuls on to the ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 10 minutes. Makes about 12- 14 cookies.

This recipe was fast and quick and passed the taste test with flying colors!(Do not freeze cookies for later eating, they get too soggy.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Paintings to Keep A Smile on My Face

I have decided to make more of an effort to work on original paintings. This has been great for maintaining sanity in the midst of chaos. I wanted to do some winter pieces and also spring which is one of my favorite times of year.

Here are two of my efforts:

These are called, "Winter Crabapples" and "Bloom of a Peony" respectively. Now in my Etsy Store.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Great Start to the New Year

And I mean that in the most facetious manner possible. When New Year's came around this year I was not in the mood for celebrating or making new resolutions. To me it was just another day and I want to keep it that way.

Anyway, I have been dealing with a lot of things lately and really it wasn't getting me down until this week. First, I found out that I had to have a crown done on a tooth. Something I had been putting off for a year but now was being told if I don't, I could lose my tooth altogether. Second, I have been scrambling to change my son's diet to gluten free and dairy free. I have been able to do it for the most part but I am tired. I have had to do quite a bit of running around to several stores as one store may have only a few of the items. It also requires me to bake two loaves a bread a week + cookies, muffins and etc. so that he has things to eat throughout the week. By the way, I finally found after much searching and trial and error , a brand called Authentic Foods All Purpose Bread Mix. It is something my kid likes and will eat without complaining- finally. Last but not least, after 3 long months, my dad got his diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis- the aggressive kind and most likely the one that is inherited which means I could get it and my kids could get it. I have been researching my dad's illness and it is depressing. Not much on it as far as treatment goes and about 88% of the people do not make it past 3-6 years. Even the alternative health treatments are lacking for this particular illness. It is not good at all.

Coupled with that is my kid who blames me for everything that he doesn't want to do and a husband,who has not lifted a finger to help, since my child has gotten sick. My husband doesn't believe that diet will help our boy even though it has made a tremendous difference and he doesn't believe in any of the alternative methods. Well this week, I had finally had enough and let it be known that everyone needs to step up and do their part. I pretty much have been the sole enforcer of the diet, the discipline and everything else in the household and I am not going to take it anymore!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Photographic Prints on Sale

I was going through my inventory and found these prints of some of the work I had done a few years ago. They were made by a photographic process. I am looking to reduce my inventory so these items will be on sale in my Etsy Store.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Slowly Making the Gluten Free Changeover

I spent some of the holidays researching various online stores for gluten free products. There seems to be a lot available, unfortunately trying to get my son to eat them is another story. He has been having lots of D over break, in fact, he did not go back to school today because he was having another gastro-intestinal attack. He tried some gluten free Thai food late at night and I think that upset his stomach along with the fact that he was stressed about going back to school.

The glutenfreemall.com seemed to have a good variety of gluten-free and dairy-free snacks. I found a bread by Garbo called "Toast" that looked like it would be good to try. Unfortunately when I went to check out, I found out it was going to cost $33.00 just to ship 4 loaves of frozen bread and another $11.00 to ship the snacks. I decided I am going to have to make gluten-free bread from scratch.

My friend bought me a couple of GF flour mixes to try from her local health food store. They were by Bob's Red Mill. I made the bread and also banana bread and a chocolate cake. I didn't think any of them tasted too bad. Andy, however, did not like the bread or cake. He just liked the banana bread. I am going to another health food store that carries a different brand of GF bread mix and give that a try.

Another friend told me she saw GF salad dressing at Walmart. When I was doing the gluten-free online searches, I was reading in some blogs about Walmart now offering gluten-free products. Quite a few it seems but they are mixed in with the regular goods on the shelf. It would be nice if they had a gluten free section so that it would be all together. I am still looking for the list of what they offer, just so I know what to look for.

My plan now is to try products one at a time to see if my son will eat them, then to buy them in bulk and bake several items up per week to freeze.I need more bread pans
too. Wish me luck as I am going to need it!