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Jul. 24th, 2013 10:48 pm
helwen: (Due Consideration)

Interesting read. And also the focus is on corn, the article led to L and I looking up xanthum gum and discovering it's made from a number of different food sources, including wheat and soy -- and that sometimes the xanthum gum can still have traces of the original food source on it, at least in the case of wheat.
helwen: (MacGyver)
For the most part I don't worry about this stuff, but for those interested in having some just-add-water foods in case of power loss or whatever, this site looks promising:


This site might be okay, but with the chosen background for the page....well, I don't know if it's ironic or something but it did kind of amuse me:

helwen: (Due Consideration)
This recipe was adapted by [livejournal.com profile] fitzw from one he found online at Recipe.com, and re-named from Pumpkin Muffins to Harvest Cake, mostly I think because he usually bakes it in a 9" x 12" pan. It's just as tasty as muffins though ;)

The original recipe used wheat flour as well as the buckwheat flour, so he simply replaced the wheat with buckwheat. The original recipe also used milk but we subbed rice milk for that for when we were picnicking with friends who couldn't have dairy or soy. And we don't usually have OJ in the house but I sometimes have pear sauce (not this year, alas). Applesauce would probably also work. Oh, and he used eliminated the orange peel because we didn't have that, and you don't need it with pear or apple sauces. If you use orange juice, you may want to add 1/2 tsp. of finely shredded orange peel, as stated in the original recipe.

1-1/3 cups plus 3/4 cup of buckwheat flour (2-1/12 cups total, or some approximation thereof)
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 cup canned/cooked pumpkin (we've also used Butternut and Hubbard squashes)
1/2 cup rice milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup orange juice/pear sauce/applesauce

1. Spray/spread nonstick spray/butter/etc. on pan and set pan aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture; set aside.

2. In another bowl combine the eggs, pumpkin/squash, milk, oil, apple/pear sauce (or OJ and peel). Add the egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

3. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a 400F oven for 15-20 minutes for muffins, 20-25 minutes for cake pan, or until light brown. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. If making muffins, remove from muffin cups to serve. As a cake, run a knife around the edges, lift the edges gently to loosen the pan's hold on the cake, then put a tray over the top of the pan and flip it out, and cut cake into squares. May be served warm or cold.

We find this to be very tasty plain, with butter, or with a bit of maple cream.

Although this turns out very well following the above directions, and has been well-received by both folks who are GF and those who aren't, L mixes the ingredients in a different order when making buckwheat pancakes. He hasn't tried the above using the different order, so we don't know what the results would be. For pancakes he mixes all of the dry ingredients together EXCEPT the buckwheat flour. Then he mixes all the wet ingredients and combines them with the mixed dry ingredients. Only after that does he stir in the buckwheat flour, and then lets the batter sit for about 20 minutes to let the baking soda work. This creates a very fluffy pancake, whereas the usual method of mixing creates a thinner, denser pancake.
helwen: (Tower)
Please consider reading this, even if you don't think you have a problem with gluten -- I'm beginning to think of wheat as a "silent killer" :P


Article also talks about not eating too much of GF substitutes either, because of the problems with eating foods that have a high glycemic index... "foods with a high glycemic index make people store belly fat, trigger hidden fires of inflammation in the body and give you a fatty liver, leading the whole cascade of obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes"

Yes, I still eat chocolate and some GF snacks, but not as much as I used to.
helwen: (water drops)
Not doing too badly on GF this week.

Am also taking an Omega-3/-6 supplement (fish oil one, because humans absorb that more easily than plant types). In general it's better to get nutrients directly from your food, but since I'm working from a deficit right now, the supplement is useful. I know it's helping because when I'm good about remembering to take it, my skin is less dry, among other things.

In general, you get one type of Omega from animals and the other from plants, so even though the plant type is easier to absorb, this doesn't mean you shouldn't eat your veggies :D

As in all things, there are exceptions, which is why a lot of Omega 3/6 pills are made from fish oil. Not all brands are equal. If it tastes/smells of fish, don't use it. That's good in a real fish and not good in a pill.

Hips/knees still get cranky, but more good days than bad, yay. Shoulders are an ongoing project, and I continue to work on work-arounds when possible, for avoiding ROM issues as dictated by the nature of my shoulders.

Friday a wintry mix is coming in, but today is sunny, so happy to soak it in! As are the ginger plants, one of which is blooming.
helwen: (Default)
Grains have prebiotin in them, so when a person stops eating these grains, they're reducing their intake of prebiotin. Prebiotin helps feed the healthy bacteria in our intestines, and many other good things besides, like helping with calcium absorption. And calcium absorption is not only good for building bones, but we need calcium for a number of functions in our bodies.

Some foods that also have prebiotin are asparagus, onions, garlic, and leeks. There is a good list at this site: http://www.prebiotin.com/?page_id=1175

It is also possible to buy prebiotin as a supplement. Just make sure to get a gluten-free one. In general though, I think trying to get it through regular food is the best way.
helwen: (Tower)
Just picked up this link from D: http://www.celiacchicks.com/

Will check it out later, but I just like the name of the site, to start :D
helwen: (Tower)
From a GF blog I'm reading: Frontier - recommended for high quality spices, etc.

They have an alcohol-free vanilla -- it has real vanilla in it but they use glycerin as the carrier, instead of extracting it using alcohol.
helwen: (Default)
We try to show affection for friends and family more than just one day a year, but for starters this morning, I made breakfast (L usually does that), and L made a Valentine card for me :)

Breakfast, for the GF folks (or foodies for that matter):

- 6 Eggs, whisked in a bowl
- Cheddar goat cheese, about 1/2 cup shredded? (and grater washed immediately!)
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1-2 oz. Butter

I cut up a whole onion and then worried there was too much, so I ate some of it raw. It was okay. Sweet white onion, I think... although it isn't round like a lemon, but sort of a squashed down round shape. I added the onion partly for interest and partly because it has prebiotins in it and I need to make up for not having gluten foods in the diet anymore.

Saute onion in butter, pour on eggs, then sprinkle cheese over that. Let it cook for a few minutes, then fold over in half to finish cooking.

I have a hard time waiting for things to cook, so I washed the whisk and egg bowl while I was waiting. Also, depending on size of pan vs size of burner, you may need to move it around some, in order to get even heat on all of the omelet's surface.

That's the theory, anyway :D L is better at making large omelets than I am, so it was part omelet and part scrambled -- he got the prettiest part ;) And it all tasted wonderful!
helwen: (Tower)
Useful Page on Being Gluten-Free While Getting Stuff You Need

Am hopefully done with being stupid for the week. Did you know Lindt chocolate truffles have barley malt in them? I didn't. And if I'd only had a couple I probably still wouldn't know, but I had a couple yesterday, and a couple the day before, and oh yes, a couple the day before that. And then we had Wild Bill's teriyaki beef jerky because we were too busy to make food like we should have, and the teriyaki has wheat in it. Blah.

So, the above page has some info on gluten, some foods that have it, may have it, and don't have it.

It also talks about celiac disease, and I'm considering that I might be a celiac sufferer, although not the most serious stuff at least. Plus, all I really have to do to recover is NO EAT FOOD WITH GLUTEN IN IT.

There's also a bit on Prebiotin, which your body needs, and which gluten foods have a lot of -- that's right, GF people miss out on that. Fortunately, there are a bunch of other foods with prebiotin in them, which the site lists. Also, you can get a GF prebiotin supplement if you want.

The page is good enough that I think I'll compile all the bits I want from it into a separate document and print it out for personal reference.

I was amused to see that Jerusalem Artichoke, a plant I got a couple of years ago from a friend, has prebiotin in it. I've been leaving it to its own devices until now, but this year there will be harvesting. Also, since it's thriving rather well, I need to move it to areas that it will find more challenging, so that it doesn't take over the garden.

Non-gardeners will be happy to know that plenty of the useful foods are easy to get at the market, and likely you've been eating some of them already.
helwen: (Default)
Tried a couple of on-the-go snacks by a company called Enjoy Life. They have three types of something called Chewy on-the-go Bars. We've tried two of them, and three of us like them so far: L, me, and my MIL. The texture/consistency reminds me a bit of Fig Newtons. One little bar is 120 - 140 calories.

We tried the Cocoa Loco (1 g of fiber) and the Sunbutter Crunch (3g of fiber).

NO: Wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, shellfish. These two are also made without casein, potato, sesame or sulfites. We'll have to try the third one out the next time we are near the Big Y in Hadley.

Enjoy Life's business is making gluten-free foods that are free of the 8 most common allergens.
It is not cheap, but if you need some safe travel food, then here's an option. Nutritionally, I figure it is also a step-up from eating Fritos.

Some of these will definitely be making it into my bugout kit!

On another note -- are there any non-wheat beers or ales that are decent? I'm not known for my expertise or vast experience with alcohol, so I'm curious about this. The BBC ales don't seem to bother me too much, but someone's homemade stuff set off my asthma last spring, so I'm a bit more cautious now. Thanks for any info on this.
helwen: (Tower)
Why is it that when we want to give ourselves a "treat", it's almost always something that we know isn't good for us? Why is that a treat?

I know, most of us (here in the U.S. anyway) grew up with candy, ice cream, burgers and fries, etc. Then we're told it's bad for us, that we have to eat boring non-tasty healthy food.

Why is eating something that compromises your health a treat?

Why is healthy food not tasty?

Don't let the marketers for Big Ag, fast food chains, and all the processed food companies pull a fast one on you and your life. They'll drug you into a sugary, super-caffeinated, chemical-laden stupor if you let them.

Yes, I do have some caffeine and some sugar, just not in the huge amounts marketers try to cram down your throat, and I try to choose healthier sources of sugar. Because we do need sugar in our diets, just like we need some fat in it. Fat and sugar are methods of energy storage after all. In fact our bodies need a certain amount of fat to be healthy -- you need some for daily living, some for emergency use (when you're ill, for instance), and there are small amounts on some organs as protective padding when you're moving. We just don't need as much as is in most processed foods.

Even before I started really working on changing my diet this year, I never followed cookie recipes to the letter -- they all use too much sugar. No, I don't use substitute sugar, because I have even more problems with those than regular sugar. I do substitute honey for cane when I can though...

Anyway, I just think that's something worth thinking about... why is treating ourselves badly a reward? If we learned to eat healthy foods that we love, prepared in ways that are delicious, we can treat ourselves every day!
helwen: (Tower)
When you're trying to remove something from your life, whether it's a food or a habit, instead of focusing on what you can't have, try to figure out all the things you _can_ have!

For me, talking about going gluten-free has led to friends sharing neat foods, some of which I didn't know existed. Chinese radish pancakes and plain roasted chickpeas are two of these, and while they may sound odd, they're really quite tasty!

Physically, armored combat is now out, so now I'll have more space in active storage and can focus on other pursuits like archery. I like archery, so it's all good :)

Here's a semi-random assortment of thoughts and experiences I've been having....

One person I was communicating with commented that it's a good idea to _not_ try to find substitutes for all the foods you used to eat. Now, if you're really set on sandwiches, toast, cold cereal, it's certainly quite possible and there are more choices than there used to be. We have some of the cereals here, which I usually have with soy or rice milk (I alternate between two containers so my soy intake is moderate). Occasionally, if we pick up some raw milk from Sidehill Farm, I'll have that.

I'm not much of a toast person, although once in a great while English muffins appeal to me, so I guess I should look into trying to make some at some point.

Meantime, what are my other current breakfast choices? Eggs (over easy or as an omelette), buckwheat pancakes (light flour), and oatmeal.

Now, the oatmeal we have more than once a week, especially in cold weather. At its plainest L puts in sweetener, cinnamon, & ground flax. Sometimes instead of honey or maple syrup he puts in some fruit preserves, and I know a lady who chops up some dried fruit and throws it in to cook with the oats. The ground flax is for the omega-3, not flavor (doesn't change the taste). With all of these we sprinkle some sliced almonds on top, for a little more protein.

We end up stopping at Dunkin Donuts for coffee (L) and tea (me), going to and/or from kung fu -- we have travel mugs, but we may want to consider making up a couple of thermoses for the car... anyway, there's all that sugary goodness staring at me, and it's all wheat! And lots of sugar!! Fortunately I don't like the large cube sugar they use on a lot of things, but I did ask them about their corn muffins and they use only corn meal in them, no wheat. So if I'm hungry, there's still something there for me.

At Applebee's in Hadley, I asked one night if the chicken in one of the dishes was breaded, and the waitress asked if I'd like to see the gluten-free menu. Okay, it wasn't a huge menu, but there were definitely choices, and I was delighted that it even existed!

A couple of times now I've had a wrap from a pizza place, without the wrap. I like to have pastrami once in a while, but I wanted to be good and not have the wrap itself. So I ordered a wrap without the wrap -- they stick all the things that would be in a wrap, lettuce and all (per my request), into one of the metal tins they use for things like salads or pasta dinners, and then I had it heated, just like when you have your wrap toasted. Yeah I know, sounds weird, but it was good. Think of it as Italian stir fry :D

Our local pizza place also usually has soup or chili, and so far I've found that the tomato and red pepper, cream of mushroom (if I'm up for dairy), beef stew, and veggie chili are all excellent. I've also had their meat chili, but I think their veggie is tastier and I really like it. They have salads too, and it's easy to ask them to leave things out (like croutons!)

Our friends who host Concentus practice were apologetic last night because since it's a potluck and so what shows up for food is anyone's guess (we've tried organizing, it doesn't work), they're not sure where the shortfall will be. I said to not worry about it -- after one of the practices a week or so ago when the only thing that didn't have wheat in it was the apple cider L and I'd brought, I've tried to get something to eat before we go to practice. Yesterday I had ginger tea (made with freshly cut up ginger one person brought), and some stir fry kale (L and I brought the kale). So I had tea and kale. I'd had a handful of nuts at home and a corn muffin on the way there, so that really was fine.

I did cave in at the end of practice and have some ice cream, which did have some wheat in it -- cookies and cream -- fortunately some forms of wheat don't seem to affect me as badly as others, and it was a fairly small amount. I'm grateful that I'm not as sensitive to it as some folks are. But if I were, and I really wanted to have a little dessert, my hosting friends usually have some fruit on hand.

A friend of ours can't have berries of any kind - he's mortally allergic to them. The rest of us love berries and at the time we found out about it we thought it was a very sad thing... but he said he doesn't miss having something that he knows is going to kill him.


If you're trying to go gluten-free, it might pay to look at some of the snacks that are available - granola, dried fruit, nuts, some types of corn chips, whatever, and get in the habit of having them available to you at home and when traveling. Give yourself a choice, wherever you happen to be. As long as you're not starving, it's all good!
helwen: (MacGyver)
Fitzw found out that there are two types of buckwheat flour, light and dark. We have the light flour, which doesn't have the hulls, just the groats. That may be why the flavor isn't terribly strong.


Sep. 17th, 2010 01:53 pm
helwen: (Tower)
I do differ with the site I posted earlier (list of inflammatory foodstuffs), which claims that caffeine is inflammatory. Perhaps in large quantities, and/or a lot at one time, but in fact caffeine is an anti-inflammatory -- and darn useful for folks with asthma or achey muscles. Of course, what form of caffeine is perhaps a better question.

Black tea can be hard on you in large quantities (damaging to the liver I think?) and should be balanced with drinking other fluids. Coffee I have no idea except that I personally cannot drink it in the morning because it makes me nauseous. Caffeine is also in some anti-inflammatory medications, btw....

My personal choice is green tea. I have a cup in the morning, and sometimes one later in the day. I try not to have it too close to going to bed, as it can make me rather a bit warmer than I like. It doesn't keep me up at night, perhaps because I don't have a lot of it.
helwen: (Default)
One site I was just at comments that grass-fed meats and wild fish are better because:

"Corn-fed animals have higher levels of omega-6 fats and these contribute to dietary inflammation. Celiacs can usually eat meat and fish and these are very healthy foods. Red meat was not shown to contribute to degenerative diseases, it was the high carbs eaten with the meat that produced the inflammation that contributed to heart disease. (Remember that statins only decrease cardiovascular disease because they inadvertently lower inflammation, not because they lower serum lipids, LDL"

Grass-fed animals are less fatty too -- although this might be as much the fact they aren't penned up as the grass. Being lean, beef and pork from grass-fed/free range critters requires a different way of cooking, so that you don't overcook them. But done right, they're better than the Big Ag stuff any day. Free range chickens (chickens are omniverous, btw), are far superior to Big Ag chickens too. Of course, the meat costs an arm and a leg, but if we were to really knuckle down and stick to only eating meat from these sources, we'd probably be eating just the right amount of animal proteins for a balance diet...

Also, non of our local farmers make pastrami, and I really like having that once in a while.
helwen: (Default)
This Inflammatory Foods site is connected to a site on rheumatoid arthritis, but the information is useful even if you don't have RA.

Finding out that refined sugars can inhibit immune response was interesting, for instance. Since I have asthma and allergies (autoimmune stuff, yay!), this is pretty important. Although I try not to have too much refined sugar anyway, since the chemicals they use give me problems as it is (like, not breathing).

Bummer about dairy, although that isn't a total wash -- raw milk is okay. In fact, a friend of mine who doesn't have the enzymes or whatever for breaking down animal proteins so she's vegetarian, just discovered this year that she can have raw milk. Milk has what she needs in it, but only when raw -- the pasteurization kills the helpful stuff.


Have tried buckwheat pancakes now, and pronounced them good :) Some folks don't care for straight buckwheat, saying the flavor is too strong. I've tried it with and without maple syrup and like it either way. I expect it's rather like how some folks like jalapenos and some don't, a matter of taste.

Buckwheat pancakes aren't quite as fluffy as wheat ones, but I thought the texture was fine.

Buckwheat Pancake Recipe

You'll likely want to buy buckwheat flour and use the above recipe, and _not_ buy buckwheat pancake mix -- the stuff we found had wheat flour blended in. We got Hodgson Mills buckwheat flour.

We also tried an organic gluten free pancake and baking mix from Arrowhead Mills. It is the same fluffiness as regular pancakes. Slightly different taste, but milder than the buckwheat. I definitely enjoyed these and will be bringing the bag downstairs for my niece (no soy) and MIL (no wheat) to try out. For me, I'll probably stick with the buckwheat -- I just like short ingredient lists :D But it would make family gatherings more fun, for sure!

Ingredients: white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, corn starch, sodium bicarbonate, whole grain yellow corn flour, vanilla flavor, sea salt, cinnamon


helwen: (Default)

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