Vanilla K-Toos

When am I going to learn that store-bought safe cookies just don't do it for me?

For me, store-bought GDSYWP-free cookies are too hard/crumbly, way expensive and the flavors are usually not quite right.

Well, the other day, I spotted these at my local Roots grocery store and thought I'd give them a try. Ugh. Big mistake.

When I bit into these, all I could think about was caulk. Caulky in texture and I've never tasted actual caulk, but I imagine it tasting something like this as well. Ick. Yuck. Bleh.

If you're reading this and really like these vanilla K-Toos, I'm sorry to offend, but I think these might be the worst GDSYWP cookies I've ever tasted.

No wonder people think this diet is awful and tasteless ...

Instead, try making these cookies. They are SO worth the extra effort to make some cookies versus buying them.

Pamela's Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I spotted these at my local Giant grocery store and was excited to see a gluten, dairy AND soy free cookie that I could buy! So, I swiped it up.

The flavor of these was actually pretty good, though I did find them to have a bit of a salty taste. The texture, however, was not-so-great. It was crumbly and a bit grainy.

That, combined with the price, makes me realize that I just need to make my own cookies and stop buying them!!

Quote Tuesdays

"How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?" ~Paul Sweeney

This quote made me laugh out loud! When I first went GDSYWP-free and explained to my family that I would have to make EVERYTHING from scratch, they all went completely silent! They just couldn't believe it or imagine it. Everything these days is all about instant gratification, but that's just not feasible with this kind of lifestyle. I make all my food from scratch - meals, breads, desserts, everything. It does take a lot more patience, time and energy, but having safe food for my body is so worth it. I've never considered myself a patient person, but I am learning. When I eventually have children, I know that they will grow on real food, will be educated about what goes into their bodies and will learn the value of patience!

You know you have Gluten Intolerance if ...

This is just TOO funny ... and yet, SO true!

You know you have Gluten Intolerance if ...

1. if your bread looks like a moon rock and tastes like dried out play doh.

2. if you run from real play doh!

3. if at least once a day you fake a smile and say, ... "Sorry, I can't have that."

4. if you call a dream about eating pizza and chocolate cake a nightmare!

5. if you eat ... before ... you go out to eat.

6. if you bring your own soy sauce to the sushi restaurant.

7. if you think the words "Are you sure it's not all in your head?" are grounds for murder, especially when they come from your DOCTOR!

8. if you have thought about strangling friends and relatives who suggest "It won't hurt you to have just a a little bit, will it?"

9. if you can’t remember what real crackers are supposed to taste like.

10. if you actually have nightmares about reading labels.

11. if you compare all of your food to "normal-people-food."

12. if you call all your relatives when you get sick and say. “It MUST have be been something Cross-Contaminated at your place”!

13. if you know that Xantham Gum is NOT for chewing.

14. if you know that 'Spelt' is a distant cousin of wheat, but 'Buckwheat' is not related to wheat at all.

15. if the builders working on the house next door can EASILY substitute your "bread" for one of their bricks.

16. if you actually know what an anti-TTG and an IGA blood test are.

17. if you can find "Hidden Gluten" in food labels in the blink of an eye, and your family couldn't find them if they had a magnifying glass, dictonary and a PhD!

18. if you've had to give a doctor a 'Crash Course' in Gluten Intolerance.

19. if a 7 Course Meal is really a 1 Course Meal for you - Lettuce.

20. if you have written"Contaminated"on jars of jam.

21. if it takes you 4 hours to do your grocery shopping and your eyesight is ruined.

22. if you hyperventilate when passing by the bakery counter.

23. if you've ever deliberately rammed your trolley into a Shredded Wheat display 'in a fit of rage'.

24. if you've ever had to take out a loan to pay the grocery bill.

25. if you've had to replace every pot, pan and baking dish in your kitchen ... even though they all work perfectly well!

26. if you've ever picked 4 different brands of chicken broth before finding one that you can have.

27. if you are up late at night trying to develop a recipe for pizza without flour, cheese, yeast, tomatoes, beef, garlic and oregano.

28. if you can spell 'Transglutaminase' and 'Dermatitis Herpetiformis'.

29. if you just discovered how to make flour out of beans.

30. if having a "solid bowel movement' is the highlight of your day.

31. if you've mastered saying "I actually enjoy MY food" without having your face twitch.

32. if you know all about guar gum and its uses.

33. if you hide the gluten-free cookies when friends come over, so they don’t eat them.

34. if you see someone buying rice flour and you just have to ask them if they are gluten intolerant too!

35. if your friend wants to make you a gluten free birthday cake, but you plead with them not to go to that trouble ... because you're secretly terrified it will be cross contaminated.

36. if all your favorite sites are food intolerance related.

37. if you've mastered the art of lying when people ask you “Aren’t you hungry”.

38. if you long to look at the contents of other people's fridges and pantries just to see if you can eat anything!

39. if someone complains of IBS, and you have to fight the urge to yell "Quit eating Gluten!"

40. if you burst into tears of Relief at the sight of the words "Gluten Free" written on the corner of a product.

41. if you've installed floor-to-ceiling bookcases in your bathroom.

42. if you have a stack of recipes that you printed off the internet sitting on your dining room table that you haven't tried yet.

43. if you have called a restaurant to ask if they have a gluten free menu ... and then had to explain what gluten is!

44. if you have ever explained why regular oats are bad but "GF-certified oats" are okay ... even if they look the same.

45. if you've ever walked into an Asian store and squealed when you see rice flour for only $6 for 5 lbs!

46. if you keep a freezer full of "safe" meals for emergencies when you can't cook.

47. if you have a list of safe restaurants in the glove compartment of your car.

48. if at least one of your suitcases is filled with food when you travel.

49. if you get asked to go to lunch with co-workers and you have to ask where they are going before you can give your answer.

50. if you know who Bette Hagman is.

***Originally from here, but I tweaked it a bit and added to it! :D

Clydes Restaurant

I have been meaning to write about this for a while, but I kept forgetting! I have very exciting news! I have found a new (well, new-to-me) food-intolerance-friendly restaurant!!

Back at the beginning of the month, my work held it's holiday party. One of my co-workers had recently been to Clydes (the Tower Oaks Lodge location), a popular and local restaurant, and really enjoyed it. He suggested we go there for our holiday party. Well, you all know my first thought - "Can I eat there?" So, I rushed to find their website and was comforted and relieved to find this in their FAQ page:

"I have a food allergy. Can you accommodate my diet?
We are very successful at honoring dietary requests whether it is for any of the 8 major allergens, miscellaneous allergens, or general dietary requests. Communication is key -- please tell us when you arrive that you have an allergy, and we will do our best. We are not nutritionists, but do believe that we serve great food that can be prepared to meet many common requests. Since our food is cooked to order, our chefs can make something delicious and safe for you."

So, I got excited! Yea! They will accommodate me as best they can! And, they're familiar with the top 8!! When I called to make the reservation, I asked if I needed to call in advance to assure that they would have food that I could eat and the lady taking the reservation said, "Oh, no. We deal with food allergies all the time. I'll mark it here on your reservation, but just be sure to tell your server when you arrive and we'll take care of you." Ah, such a weight off of my shoulders.

So, we got there, I told one of the servers (we were such a large party that we had 2 servers) and when the other server came to take my order, she knew right off what foods I could and couldn't have and even knew to double check with the chef about the sauces and that butter was considered dairy (most restaurants ignore the fact that butter is dairy and I end up getting sick)! Everything was easy and I was confidant that I would have a safe meal. I ended up ordering the filet mignon (with no sauce) and 2 veggies - spinach and green beans. It you know what? It was delicious! And, more importantly, it was safe.

Upon further research, it seems that Clydes is really working hard to be food-intolerant-friendly! This is a really nice article about their efforts.

I'm so, so excited about this new find!! Clydes will certainly enjoy lots of new business from me! If you're in the DC metro area, be sure to give them a try!

Quote Tuesdays

"Sisters don't need words. They have perfected a language of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks - expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief. Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs - that can undermine any tale you're telling." ~Pam Brown

So, not a food or health related quote this week, but as always, oh, this is SO true.

I am blessed with a wonderful, beautiful, caring, thoughtful older Sister.
I treasure my relationship with my Sister so much. Among many other Sister characteristics, we can communicate volumes with only facial expressions and even eye glances. My husband, an only child, cannot understand this. We'll sometimes spend a family day/night together and when Hubby and I get home and talk about something that happened I'll say that I thought/felt this and my Sister thought/felt that. He'll ask me how I know or when she told me that. When I tell him that she didn't tell me or that I knew how she felt by how she reacted or looked, he just doesn't get it. It's a hard thing to explain. I mean, I grew up with her, she was practically a second mother to me (her being 10.5 years older than me), I can often tell what she's thinking as she's thinking it. I can't explain it ... it just is what it is.

Now, she has two beautiful daughters of her own (one a bit over 2 years and one nearly 5 months). I hope that they, too, one day will have a similar relationship to ours. It is a true, pure and wonderful blessing.

Quote Tuesdays

"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon." ~Doug Larson

LOL! I don't think this one needs any banter ... it was just too good (and funny!) not to share!

Burger Heaven Casserole

So, do you remember how I told you about the crock pot challenge that my Sister and I tried back in the Fall of 2007? Well, I remembered that there was ONE good recipe that came out of that experiment! Burger Heaven Casserole. I thought that it was pretty tasty, Hubby thought it was just okay ... probably because it had lots of veggies in it. I think I need to make it again. ;)

Crock Pot Burger Heaven Casserole
Serves 6

16 oz. extra lean ground beef (or turkey)
2 cups sliced raw potatoes
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (I don't like peas, so I replaced them with green beans)
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 10-oz. can Healthy Request Tomato Soup (this has gluten in it, so I would just use 10 oz of tomato puree or sauce)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 can mushrooms
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray

Spray a Crock Pot container with cooking spray

In large skillet, brown meat, onion, celery and mushroom mixture

In Crock Pot container, combine meat mixture, potatoes, carrots, peas and corn

Stir in tomato soup, water, parsley flakes, salt and pepper to taste

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours (Mine was in there for 10-11 hours while I was at work and it was still fine).

If you can have cheese, I think that would set this off nicely. Probably a nice sharp cheddar. For those of us who can't ... well, break out the Lawrys or Old Bay and smile because it still tastes great! :D


Quote Tuesdays

"There's lots of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven't the time to enjoy it." ~Josh Billings

true is this? I can relate to this quote in such a strong way! Here's a story for you:

Last Tuesday, I was very, very naughty. I had not one, but two McDonalds Hashbrowns. They are my weakness. Crunchy on the outside, soft, warm and melty on the inside. I stopped in for some OJ and decided to get just one little hashbrown ... but the clerk informed me that instead of paying $0.80 for one, I could get two for $1. Ugh. I cracked. I'm only human. A human addicted to McDonalds hashbrowns. Ha
shbrowns that are flavored with something containing both gluten and dairy.

By Wednesday, guess what? Beautiful dermatitis herpetiformis ... everywhere. First my arms, then my butt cheek, then my legs, my shoulder. Ugh. Yuck. But! I did it to myself. I won't start complaining here. The purpose of this story is to say that prior to this most recent break out, I hadn't given one single thought to my now itchless, bumpless skin. I mean, I've been thankful for my non-irritated stomach, my regular, painless bowel movements, my lack of brain fog, my sustained energy
and even my more balanced mood, but I haven't given one thought to my beautiful, not-inflamed skin. I had been to consumed with monitoring my intolerances and bodily functions that I hadn't taken the time to enjoy the health of my skin.

So, take this post as a reminder to notice and enjoy your health. Give thanks for even one symptom being relieved because we all know that it could be worse!

Safe Asian Foods

As an Asian American, I crave and need my Asian food every now and then. But, being gluten and soy intolerant doesn't make getting my "fix" very easy. Asian food is one of the hardest to eat out simply because many Asian sauces have wheat in them, and of course, most have soy in them ... even ones that don't traditionally call for soy, like Pad Thai sauce ... but I'll try not to get onto my soapbox right now.

Anyway, I have been compiling a list of Safe Asian Foods
/Brands for a while now and thought that you might appreciate this list too.

This list is by no means complete, and I'm sure to update it from time-to-time. When I do, I'll be sure to put an "updated" date on it so you'll always know how recent it is.

As always, be sure to read all the labels for yourself to make sure that ingredients haven't changed, that you've chosen the right brand/type, and to just generally make sure that these foods fit your chosen lifestyle.

Oyster Sauce
Lee Kum Kee - the Choy Sun Type
Lee Kum Kee - Panda Brand - Green Label Cholesterol Free Type (This product must be pretty new as I am unable to find it for sale online anywhere, but I did find this flyer with all the information about the product)
Wok Mei

Fish Sauce:
Thai Kitchen
Golden Boy
Tra Chang

Peanut Satay Sauce:
Thai Kitchen - does contain SOYBEAN OIL

Spicy/Hot Sauces:
Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce
Huey Fong Chili Garlic Sauce
Huey Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Pad Thai Sauce:
Thai Kitchen
Maesri - does contain SOYBEAN OIL

Curry Paste:
Maesri Masaman - does contain SOYBEAN OIL
Maesri Panang
Mae Ploy Masaman
Mae Ploy Panag

Instant Foods:
Thai Kitchen Original Pad Thai
Thai Pavilion Authentic Pad Thai - does contain SOYBEAN OIL


The opinions and thoughts expressed here are purely my own and are not coerced, swayed or influenced by a company, organization or other person. The information contained here is to the best of my knowledge at the date posted. I am NOT an expert and am NOT responsible for anything that you do with this information. Please do your own research, seek out professionals and read all ingredients yourself in order to ensure that the choices you make are right for your lifestyle.

Comments on this website may not represent the views of the blog owner and their claims, advice, etc. are the sole responsibility of their original writers, NOT the blog owner.

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