Thursday, January 19, 2017

Another Great Post from Camille

TIPS FOR LEARNING HOW TO COOK AND LIVE GLUTEN FREE

Hello again! For this next guest blog post, I wanted to share some tips that helped me in learning how to adjust to cooking for a gluten free lifestyle. Though I’d heard about celiac disease before I met my husband, I didn’t really fully understand the implications of what that meant, or what kind of cooking it required until I met him.

When I first realized that I might have to start cooking gluten free for the rest of my life I was pretty intimidated, and I’m sure that I haven’t been the only one who has felt that. Sure enough, gluten free cooking has become a big part of my life. So here are a few tips I’ve applied in my own life that made this task less daunting.

1.    Look at what favorite recipes you already have in your collection before you throw up your hands in distress. You might be surprised at what you will discover. I found that as I cooked when my husband and I were dating, I was more aware of what ingredients I was using. I then realized that many of my recipes were actually already naturally gluten free, and that there were others that could be easily adapted. I became excited about finding ways to alter a recipe in order to make it gluten free.

2.    Seek advice and support from others. I would have been lost if I hadn’t turned to gluten free blogs, those around me, and my mother-in law’s cookbook for help. There are more and more people who can’t have gluten, so find a GF friend to lean on, and be there for others when they need help.

3.    Don’t over think it. You do have to be careful about reading labels and avoiding cross contamination especially if you are particularly sensitive, but a lot of cooking is actually simpler than one would think. There are a lot of ingredients and products that are already naturally gluten free and can be combined to make delicious food. This leads me to my next point.

4.    Know (and begin to learn) your stuff. A lot of basic foods are gluten free, which is just the beginning of learning how to cook in this lifestyle. It is important to learn how different flours and binders work—rice flour is great as a thickening agent, for example, but because of its more coarse nature it may not bring the desired texture in certain types of baking recipes.

5.    Explore recipes in other cuisines. I find it fun trying new recipes, and have found that cuisines from other countries often have a lot of gluten free recipes. For example, there are a lot of Asian recipes that call for rice noodles instead of noodles with some form of gluten.

6.    Don’t be afraid to experiment. Some of my husband’s favorite meals stemmed from what I had to creatively use around the house.

7.    Keep an eye out for new products. As more people are aware of and diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, more food companies have begun to offer gluten free products than even just a few years ago.

8.    Budgeting is important. Gluten free cooking can be more expensive, so learning how to balance your grocery bill with the items you need/want is important. For example, instead of buying a bunch of different gluten free flours at once, accumulate them over time. Also, buy in bulk when possible.

9.    Keep gluten free snacks on hand. When my husband is weakest in his gluten free diet, it is often when there is no gluten free food around he can readily eat. Chips and hummus, fruit, string cheese, and yogurt are some great suggestions for ready to go snacks.

10.    Avoid as much processed food as you can. I’m not super great at following this rule, just because some of those foods make life so easy, but it is important because I’ve heard it from multiple sources. It is also especially difficult because many gluten free foods have more sugar and more processed ingredients. So to avoid it as much as possible, make as much of your own food as you can, and stay closer to “whole” foods. The more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you get in your diet, the better (mostly because a lot of pre-made gluten free foods don’t have as many nutrients as desirable).

11.    Govern self-discipline. This can be very hard for many people. Much gluten free food just doesn’t seem the same as the gluten version—textures and flavors vary. But as you learn to say no when that coworker offers you a doughnut (or when it’s midnight and you’re the only one awake with the munchies) your body will thank you for it, and it will become easier to adjust to the lifestyle. And don’t be afraid to tell people why you’re declining—most people don’t realize or remember that you have an allergy.

12.    Treat yourself. Eating a gluten free diet requires a lot of sacrifice and self-control, so I suggest “rewarding yourself” every now and again with gluten free treats, or a trip somewhere, or by buying something you’ve wanted.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read through all of these tips! I hope that you were able to find some that are useful. I know how daunting all of this can feel, and sometimes that makes it hard to know where to start; hopefully this post can be a springboard for you to the next steps in living gluten free.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Gluten-Free Food in Israel; How to Buy My Cookbook

If you decide to plan a trip to Israel, here are some suggestions for gluten-free food that worked for me when we went there.

Nazareth 

We loved going to a place called Nazareth Village, where they have re-created what Nazareth may have looked like at the time of the Savior. There is an amazing olive press.  There is a person who portrays a shepherd, a weaver, and a carpenter. They had a full-size replica of a synagogue.  We were able to enjoy a lunch that might have been similar to one from Christ's day.  We had lentil soup, plain yogurt (which they kept separate for me since the yogurt they usually serve has bulgur), hummus, and a delicious dip called Zaatar with sesame seeds that I was able to use with the GF crackers I brought along. 




In the Galilee area near Chorazim, I was delighted when Tibi's Restaurant brought out a hamburger with a gluten-free bun.  They also told me that 70% of their menu items are GF.  







At Masada, the restaurant had a buffet that might have worked better than what I did. I chose a baked potato with egg salad on top.  I had never tried those together and I preferred dipping my crackers in the egg salad and avoiding the potato, which was not very tasty.  I got a stomach ache after the meal.  





In Jerusalem, I was able to eat at a restaurant near the Western Wall In the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and they had the words "Gluten Free" on their sign, which was a beautiful sight. I went to this restaurant twice and loved it!  I was able to try falafel and pita bread, along with pizza and a delicious beet salad.











At the Museum of Israel in Jerusalem, they had a wonderful sandwich shop that had a delicious beet salad and gluten-free Swiss cake.  Oh, so good!  







In the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, I was able to eat at a restaurant that worked well. The sign was written in Arabic, so I am not sure of the name of the restaurant, but the meal included chicken and various salads.

The Hebrew Gluten Free Restaurant Card from celiactravel.com came in handy several times, and my gluten-free granola bars and trail mix both worked well for snacks. It was a great trip! 

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I haven't quite know how to go forward with my cookbook.  Right now, I have the cookbooks in my garage and have decided to continue selling them through stores in my local area.  I just couldn't feel settled about setting up a PayPal account.  Perhaps that is because I don't feel that I have time to ship the cookbooks myself.  So, if you want to buy my cookbook, please continue to order through amazon.com.  Thanks for your support.  

Monday, October 31, 2016

Ideas for Lunches; Thoughts from Camille

Finding gluten-free lunch items can be tricky.  We found that it worked well to make a large batch of gluten-free muffins.  Brown rice flour goes stale quickly, so we froze leftover muffins the same day that we made them.  Our children with celiac disease took several muffins in a bag, along with a protein source (like pistachios), carrots, apples, etc.  They also often took a sandwich with gluten-free rice bread.  Some other ideas for lunches are found in this photo. You can find a recipe for pumpkin muffins and rice bread in my cookbook.



In several weeks, I hope to add a PayPal link so that you can order cookbooks directly from me.  My cookbooks make great gift ideas for Christmas and birthdays. :)

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Here are some thoughts from my daughter-in-law, Camille.  She is so supportive of our son and his diet.  We appreciate her dedication and love.


Hello readers! My dear mother-in-law asked me to write a couple blog posts from my perspective on being married to someone with celiac disease. So here is the first take. I'll introduce myself a little bit. My name is Camille. I'm 22, from Utah , and have been happily married for almost a year and a half. I recently graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Studio Art from BYU-Idaho. I am almost as passionate about food as I am art (because cooking is an art in itself). 

I grew up in a home that was blessed with not having any really serious food allergies, and my mom delicious bread (though Susan does have really good recipes herself in her cookbook) so I’ve eaten my fair share of gluten. I knew a couple people who had celiac disease, and high-gluten sensitivities, which made me pretty aware of the disease, but I had no idea that when I met the young man who became my husband, I would have to change my whole way of cooking. 

When I started dating my husband and found out that he and some of his family had celiac disease, my immediate reaction was compassion towards them. I couldn’t imagine having to give up such a common ingredient found in our daily diet. I realized that if this relationship led to marriage, there would be a lot of sacrifices that I personally would have to make. And I have. It is hard not being able to make some of my favorite recipes because I simply haven’t found a way to adapt them…yet. I love baking, but still haven’t mastered making some gluten-free concoctions. In the midst of trying to adjust however, I have had a wonderful adventure! 

There is something exciting to me about figuring out how to alter recipes to make them edible to those who can’t have gluten. I love my husband’s excitement when I try something new or recreate a recipe and he thinks it tastes amazing. 

I’m no cooking or gluten-free pro yet though, so a huge lifesaver to me has been Susan’s recipe book. It is full of delicious recipes that I can easily make. A lot of the recipes are dishes new to me, so it has been fun to explore. There are other recipes that are familiar, making the gluten-free lifestyle more comfortable. Whenever I have friends asking for gluten-free recipes, I always recommend her book. 

Stay tuned for my next guest post and happy eating!


Love,

Camile

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Review of Lucy's Gluten-free Sugar Cookies



I am delightfully surprised by the great taste of this sugar cookie.  Delicious!  I am rating these cookies at 9.5 out of 10.  The taste and texture are great!  I'll be right back...I am going to go and eat another one to see if I have any other input!  :)  Ha ha!

These cookies are as good as homemade in my opinion, but don't forget to make my sugar cookie recipe in my cookbook on page 188 when you need more cookies than the dozen or so cookies that come in this little box. I am a fan of my sugar cookie recipe, as you might expect. :)

I have been babysitting my little 9-month-old granddaughter for the past 1 1/2 weeks.  She is a doll, and it is fun to watch her as she plays peek-a-boo, crawls around, and opens cupboard doors to check for any contents she can unload.  Being a Grandma is awesome!  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Udi's Whole Grain Bread Review; Raising Kids by Remembering the String for the Tree

Out of all of the gluten-free bread on the market that we have tasted, we like Udi's Whole Grain bread the best.  Somehow the texture is better than most brands, though the taste is similar to several kinds.  I am rating it at 9 out of 10.  We have had a few loaves with holes in the middle, and the last time it happened, it affected about eight slices of the loaf.  I sent in an email to Udi's with the hope that we might get a coupon for a new loaf.   Sure enough, they worked with us in a kind way, will send a coupon in the mail to us for a new loaf, and reassured us that they are trying to fix the problem.



Of course, the best gluten-free bread is homemade (in my opinion), and you will find several great bread recipes in my cookbook. :)

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I have been thinking a lot about parenting lately.  Sometimes parents in society need to take the steps necessary to show love for children by providing the string of supportive rules and guidelines for them.  I haven't been a perfect parent, that is for sure, but I definitely want to improve.  The story below about the cell phone is a good one for me, too.  I am trying to learn to leave my cell phone at a distance when I am interacting with family at dinner time and when I am on a date with my husband.  It is a challenge for me since I am so task-oriented, but I know it is worth trying to do better.

Have you ever thought about the miracle of a tree?  Isn't it amazing how they grow toward the light and often withstand the wind in amazing ways?  We can compare this to raising children in light and truth.  This is a story about a tree that didn't stay straight when the wind blew hard.

Not long after Gordon Hinckley and his wife were married, they built their first home. The landscaping was his responsibility.

The first of many trees that he planted was a thornless honey locust. Envisioning the day when its filtered shade would assist in cooling the house in the summertime, he put it in a place at the corner where the wind from the canyon to the east blew the hardest. He dug a hole, put in the bare root, put soil around it, poured on water, and largely forgot it. It was only a wisp of a tree, perhaps three-quarters of an inch in diameter. He could bend it with ease in any direction. He paid little attention to it as the years passed.

Then one winter day, when the tree was barren of leaves, he chanced to look out the window at it and noticed that it was leaning to the west, misshapen and out of balance. He could scarcely believe it. He went out and braced himself against it as if to push it upright. But the trunk was now nearly a foot in diameter. His strength was as nothing against it.

Gordon Hinckley said:  "I took from my toolshed a block and tackle. Attaching one end to the tree and another to a well-set post, I pulled the rope. The pulleys moved a little, and the trunk of the tree trembled slightly. But that was all. It seemed to say, “You can’t straighten me. It’s too late. I’ve grown this way because of your neglect, and I will not bend.” "

Finally in desperation he took his saw and cut off the great heavy branch on the west side. The saw left an ugly scar, more than eight inches across. He had cut off the major part of the tree, leaving only one branch growing skyward.

He said, "More than half a century has passed since I planted that tree. My daughter and her family live there now. The other day I looked again at the tree. It is large. Its shape is better. It is a great asset to the home. But how serious was the trauma of its youth and how brutal the treatment I used to straighten it.

When it was first planted, a piece of string would have held it in place against the forces of the wind. I could have and should have supplied that string with ever so little effort. But I did not, and it bent to the forces that came against it.

He pointed out:  "I have seen a similar thing, many times, in children whose lives I have observed. The parents who brought them into the world seem almost to have abdicated their responsibility. The results have been tragic. A few simple anchors would have given them the strength to withstand the forces that have shaped their lives.

"Every individual in the world is a child of a mother and a father. Neither can ever escape the consequences of their parenthood.

"Said the writer of Proverbs, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6)."


https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1993/10/bring-up-a-child-in-the-way-he-should-go?lang=eng


Rosemary Wixom said, "Unfortunately, the distractions of this world prevent many children from hearing encouraging words that could shape their view of themselves.

"Dr. Neal Halfon, a physician who directs the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities, refers to “parental benign neglect.” One example involved an 18-month-old and his parents:

“‘Their son seemed happy, active and engaged, clearly enjoying time and pizza with his parents. … At the end of dinner, Mom got up to run an errand, handing over care to Dad.’

“Dad … started reading phone messages while the toddler struggled to get his attention by throwing bits of pizza crust. Then the dad re-engaged, facing his child and playing with him. Soon, though, he substituted watching a video on his phone with the toddler until his wife returned.

“… [Dr.] Halfon observed a dimming of the child’s internal light, a lessening of the connection between parent and child.”5

"The answer to our prayer of how to meet our children’s needs may be to more often technologically disconnect. Precious moments of opportunity to interact and converse with our children dissolve when we are occupied with distractions. Why not choose a time each day to disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other? Simply turn everything off. When you do this, your home may seem quiet at first; you may even feel at a loss as to what to do or say. Then, as you give full attention to your children, a conversation will begin, and you can enjoy listening to each other.


https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/the-words-we-speak?lang=eng




Friday, March 25, 2016

Cheerios!; Product Review of Great Value GF Granola Bars; The Rusty, Dusty Wagon Wheels Are Rolling Again

Before I arrived in South Carolina in September to see my new granddaughter, my son bought some gluten-free cereal so that I would have something to eat for breakfast while I was there. I was delighted to find out that one of the cereals was Honey Nut Cheerios, and it was gluten free! When I got home, I purchased Frosted Cheerios and Multi-grain Cheerios as well.  I love these cereals! I enjoy mixing plain Cheerios with Honey Nut Cheerios, to lesson the sugar load. 

I was fascinated as I read the back of the cereal box about the person (Phil) who works for Cheerios and made changes to the process to make these cereals gluten-free for his daughter-in-law and others. Amazing!  

I am glad that General Mills weathered the storm and stayed with gluten-free production, even though they had an unfortunate, 
one-time incident in July at their Lodi, California facility.  The rail system was down, and the gluten-free oat flour was being off-loaded from rail cars to trucks.  Due to human error, wheat flour ended up in the gluten-free line, and Cheerios cereal was cross contaminated.  They had to recall boxes to prevent more people from getting sick.  A huge thank you to General Mills, and to Phil Zietlow, for removing gluten from the entire process and for making sure that the oats are sorted out and separated from the wheat and barley grains. Phil invented Honey Nut Cheerios as well. :)  





Click on this link to watch a touching video about Phil and how he surprised his daughter-in-law after five years of hard work in figuring out how to make gluten-free Cheerios.


https://youtu.be/WEQbGcMVqR4


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We recently tried three varieties of Great Value Gluten-Free Granola Bars.  Way to go, Wal-Mart, for working on more gluten-free products for us!

I am rating the Peanut Butter flavor at 2 out of 10 (none of us liked it very much), Fruit Mix at 6 out of 10, and Dark Chocolate at 8 out of 10 (though these are a bit too sweet for me).

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"Rusty, dusty wagon wheels" is included in the title because I haven't written a blog post since September.  I must admit I have been consumed by several projects, but mostly I have loved spending time with family (particularly two new grandbabies, along with a visit to my 4-year-old granddaughter).  How can I resist?  They are all too cute and lovable!

I feel you would agree that we will gain more satisfaction and joy in life by nourishing our relationships and serving others than by any other way.  So please give a child, a parent, a sibling, or a friend a hug today and perform a good deed for them.  You will be glad you did!  :)








Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Product Review of Perfect Bar; The Joys of Being a Grandma!

Summer is fleeting away and I have been busy with family reunions, trips, and family events.  It is amazing how time flies in the summer and it always does.

Last spring, my husband presented a seminar for some employees, and the owner of the company and his wife were truly kind and giving.  She took note that I had to eat gluten-free food, and provided me with a box of Perfect Bar gluten-free snack bars in place of the granola bars they served to the others for a snack.  So thoughtful!


(Photo Source:  www.perfectbar.com)


These Perfect Bars were pretty tasty.  I am rating them at 7 out of 10 because the texture was thick and pasty.  These bars are more like a cereal bar than a light granola bar, and that may be the reason the texture is heavy.

Isn't it wonderful that there are now several gluten-free granola bars on the market?  Great Value Granola Bars are delicious, along with several Nature Valley Granola Bars, like Peanut Almond & Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel Nut, and Coconut Almond.


I can't close this post without stating how joyful it is to be a Grandma!  We have one granddaughter who is four years old and has brought so much happiness to our family, and now we have another granddaughter who is three days old!  Isn't she darling?  I feel that family can bring the greatest joy we can experience in this life.








"Bernadine Healy, in a commencement address, gave this counsel: “As a physician, who has been deeply privileged to share the most profound moments of people’s lives including their final moments, let me tell you a secret. People facing death don’t think about what degrees they have earned, what positions they have held, or how much wealth they have accumulated. At the end, what really matters is who you loved and who loved you. That circle of love is everything, and is a great measure of a past life. It is the gift of greatest worth.” 11

"Near the end of his life, one father looked back on how he had spent his time on earth. An acclaimed, respected author of numerous scholarly works, he said, “I wish I had written one less book and taken my children fishing more often.”

"Time passes quickly. Many parents say that it seems like yesterday that their children were born. Now those children are grown, perhaps with children of their own. “Where did the years go?” they ask. We cannot call back time that is past, we cannot stop time that now is, and we cannot experience the future in our present state. Time is a gift, a treasure not to be put aside for the future but to be used wisely in the present."