Rants, Raves, Recipes

The Luck of the Irish and Other interesting Facts~ Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone!

This Monday will be the fun filled day of green beer, green burgers, maybe even green eggs and ham, but what is St. Patty’s day really about anyway?

You know… I didn’t know.

So, I looked it up! 🙂

Here’s a couple of quick little film clips you can watch from the history channel:

http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day/st-patricks-day-facts

and http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day/st-patricks-day-facts/videos

Basically, it has to do with the celebration of one man, St. Patrick, in Ireland & now the U.S.

So how did we get into doing all the crazy dying of rivers, drinks and food green?

Well, I guess we are just a little eccentric! It is apparently a U.S. thing.

And why all the pinching?

The answers differ, but…according to Ask.com “One gets pinched on St Patricks day because they are not wearing green. It is a tradition that St. Patrick’s revealers thought wearing green made one invisible to (fairy creatures) leprechauns, who would pinch anyone they could see not wearing green. So people began to do this as reminder that the leprechauns would sneak up and pinch you.” (http://www.ask.com/question/why-do-you-get-pinched-on-st-patricks-day)

What about the “luck of the Irish?”

Well, different sources say different things. Some say it is an ironic statement because of the historically bad times they’ve had. Others say it is because of the ability to bounce back after hard times, and also, the “luck” they had while panning for gold during the gold rush. Interesting thought.

What’s the deal about the four leaf clover?

You know… I don’t know! I found 51 four leaf clovers sitting on the side lines during gym class in my senior year of high school, but it didn’t seem to change my luck any. 🍀

I hope you have enjoyed our little comically influenced, historical aside.

Listen to the funny, somewhat traditional “Unicorn Song”! 🎶 🎶 (to view the pics click on the you tube logo to go to you tube)

Enjoy the festivities, remember that beer does contain gluten unless properly marked, and maybe try some of the suggestions below!

Have FUN!! Wear green or not. And enjoy the food if you can. 🙂

Recipes:

Make a yummy gluten free, non-dairy mint chocolate chip shake using coconut milk, and So Delicious’ Mint Chip Ice Cream. Check your mint flavoring to make sure the alcohol used to make it is gluten free!

Homemade Limeaid with Stevia or Agave (low glycemic) nectar to taste instead of sugar!
http://spoonful.com/recipes/st-patricks-day-homemade-limeade

Irish Soda Bread with fun history facts behind it:
http://www.riddlelove.com/2012/03/gluten-free-real-food-for-st-pattys-day.html

Gluten free Shamrock cupcakes: don’t use Guinness beer. Use either a gluten free variety or coffee.
http://www.allthecooks.com/vickys-st-patricks-day-guinness-cupcakes-dairy-egg-soy-free.html

Good Ole’ Fashioned Corned Beef and Cabbage (A little challenging for those going Paleo or Autoimmune).
http://www.bhg.com/recipe/beef/corned-beef-and-cabbage/

To find more Gluten Free Recipes, please see my pins on Pinterest. Including fun Gluten free pet treats for our four legged friends. 🙂

Finally…

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
author unknown~

Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~

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“Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” Paul Tillich ~ Alone in Illness and Health.

“Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” Paul Tillich

~ Feeling Alone in Illness and Health is Not Necessary~

Sometimes, when dealing with illness, and modifying one’s life to accommodate new dietary issues, one can feel alone or discouraged about things.

I think the greatest lesson that I have learned over the past month and a half or so is how great the online community is!

There are so many creative people out there thinking around their problems, sharing resources and recipes and encouraging one and other. For that I am really thankful.

I receive email updates daily from various bloggers who have been incredibly helpful and encouraging.

Some of which will be mentioned below.

I am also a new member of a Gluten Free Global Community!!! Yes my friends, we are NOT alone. 🙂

Gluten Free Global Community

Some of the great bloggers that I have found that are extremely helpful, kind, and empathetic are as follows. I recommend signing up for their newsletters as they also share about other bloggers as well!

The helpful blogs and websites have been;
http://glutenfreelife247.com/
http://www.thepaleomom.com/
http://aiplifestyle.com/
http://tasterie.com/blog/health-nutrition/gluten-dairy-allergy/
http://againstallgrain.com/
http://www.glutenfreeschool.com/

Pinterest is a wonderful resource!!! You may follow my Pinterest board here:

Here I’ve pinned over 2000 entries and more are soon to follow!

While these are just a few references, I really appreciate all that everyone has done to offer creative solutions to a difficult situation! While everyone may enjoy a little solitude once in a while, we do not have to feel alone! 🙂

Please feel free to share your favorite blogs in response to this post!

Happy Reading and Eating,
~Christa~
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Glutino~ YUM!

Over recent weeks, I have settled for the crunch of celery when I have had massive “crunchy food” cravings.

Then, my mom bought me Glutino!

The skies parted, the rain clouds cleared… low an behold in my hands I held the key to all things crunchy!

glutino cookies

Cautiously (I didn’t want to get my hopes up).. I carefully read the nutrition label and found that it did have some soy and eggs, but it was worth a try.

All I can say is… OH MY GOHHHH…. 🙂 I have found the answer!

The cookie itself is made with confectioner’s sugar and starches in place of wheat, so if you are watching your sugars, you may want to be careful.

Needless to say, after weeks of gluten wheat free eating of no sweets and very limited foods, I was in heaven! I know that as I learn more about my new dietary changes and learn to cook again, things will get better… but until then…

Thank you Glutino for not adding the artificial sweeteners that I cannot have so that I may on occasion indulge. You are my HERO!

There’s cookies, pasta, pretzels and more.

You can get Glutino coupons here and sign up for their newsletter if you are really a fan! 🙂

Just be forewarned, the whole “Bet you can’t eat just one!” principle really applies!

Until next time,
Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~

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A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” Nelson Mandela ~ How Going Gluten Free and Positive Attitudes Can Help!

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” Nelson Mandela

~How Going Gluten Free and Positive Attitudes Can Help!~

The one thing that I am discovering more and more is the amazement of how the human body works. How everything is pieced together and wonderfully made. The fact that our body when healthy is a well-oiled machine is amazing. Then, through genetics, external influence, or negligence a body can rapidly change.

What about how a person’s attitude can change based upon how one feels… and how one feels can also be changed based upon one’s attitude! It seems as though it may be a catch 22.

Those dealing with chronic illness may relate more than those who are not…

Apparently, our minds are hard wired to respond to negative stimuli in a way much like that of prey discovering they are in the path of a tiger… At least that is the illustration used in this article about the influence of negative thought within the human mind. As they put it “In each case, your brain closes off from the outside world and focuses on the negative emotions of fear, anger, and stress — just like it did with the tiger. Negative emotions prevent your brain from seeing the other options and choices that surround you. It’s your survival instinct.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/positive-thinking_b_3512202.html)

Now, imagine dealing with a long term illness in which one’s will to remain positive is eventually worn down… After a while of being locked in a negative situation, we can get caught up into saying “I can’t!” or “It won’t happen!” thus locking ourselves into a negative mind set and if not careful, giving up hope.

In this post, I thought I’d explore two things… the fact of the attitude or psychological influence over a human being, and how the gut may interplay with the wellness of a person.

I think that one of the biggest things I’ve learned is, as David Whyte said, “Without silence we become frightened by what is occurring. There is no room for it to grow inside us, and bereft of that spaciousness, we feel as if the process is about to take us over.” We must have time of peace and reflection in order to cope… To give yourself permission to rest.

I know… I know… who has time for that, right?

But, getting “caught up” in the illness can be easy to do if your body is spiraling out of control. You are not acting, but reacting. Then, in reaction mode, something as common as eating can become a labor intensive negative experience until you act… research it to a point of understanding. With research, you are acting on the problem and not reacting! You are being pro-active! And with that understanding, hopefully peace and better health will arise and your mind reset, changing for the better.

“All choices affect my health in either positive or negative ways.” Paige Bailey.

So what are your choices? Keep plowing forward with the bit in your teeth or, regroup.

What I have most recently learned is that I did need a time of stepping back to regroup, to learn how to eat, to identify with those who are going through similar circumstances and to learn from them. My choice was to take a step back… to learn!

One of the most surprising things I’d learned is that common illnesses aside, wheat and gluten have a strong correlation with the physical and mental well-being of many individuals.

Before going gluten free, I had no idea that simply dropping Wheat from the diet could possibly improve one’s mental function, help eliminate brain fog, help calm autoimmune diseases or provide relief to those suffering from ADHD, Autism, Schizophrenia, or Depression.

While these were not all the reasons that I went gluten/wheat free, I must admit my total outlook on life has been changing for the better. Granted, that is because I am truly feeling better physically… but still, I found the link between the gut, physiology, and psychology fascinating!!!

For instance, in the “Wheat belly” book by William Davis, MD., he describes how the shortage of bread and wheat products during WWII positively affected those hospitalized for Schizophrenia. He also explained how after the war, and diets returned to “normal” there were negative affects! Dr. Davis also goes into the effects of wheat on ADHD, Autism, Diabetes, Heart Disease and other ailments.

To learn more, please go to http://www.wheatbelly.com/

To learn more, please go to http://www.wheatbelly.com/


Here are a few bits and pieces that I’ve gleaned in regard to a few types of gluten free diets. I hope it helps with your own research.

Going Gluten Free:
The website, http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Health_Letter/2013/April/considering-a-gluten-free-diet?utm_source=health&utm_medium=pressrelease&utm_campaign=health0413
goes into how a gluten free diet helps those suffering from Celiac disease. Nothing new there… but what about other autoimmune diseases? Did you know that going gluten free can help just about all of them?

Like Celiac disease, autoimmune diseases occur when your body gets confused and rather than attacking the supposed “virus, disease or illness” that has attacked your body, it targets part of your own. This could be your thyroid, intestines, or other vital organs of the body. Gluten can actually trigger this action! Therefore, autoimmune diseases can be benefited by a gluten-free diet. Read on…

Autoimmune/ Paleo Diet:
A more strict form of diet to observe if you are autoimmune is the Autoimmune Paleo diet! The Paleo Diet is based upon the Paleolithic time period when we, as humans, were hunter/gathers and were not an agrarian society… (stationary, raising and consuming grain and grain fed animals to supplement our diets). Many sources suggest that that was when all of our health problems really began! While our diets changed, our bodies didn’t.

The Paleo diet primarily consists of grass fed beef, free range chickens, and pastured pork as well as lots of green leafies, veggies and fruits. No grains… especially no wheat or gluten and no dairy.

There is a fabulous book that had recently come out called “The Paleo Approach” by Sara Ballantyne, PhD. In her book, she has explored and explained the very core of what the causes Autoimmune Diseases are.

Here is a link to her site where she actually has a video of flipping through the pages and describing the book: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/01/announcing-my-book-the-paleo-approach-reverse-autoimmune-disease-and-heal-your-body.html.
paleo approach book

Both the “Wheat belly” book by William Davis, MD And the “Paleo Approach” by Sara Ballantyne, PhD are excellent resources to understand the “leaky gut syndrome” that people may develop due to gluten and wheat!

The GAPS Diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome):
The GAPS Diet, also described as SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) is used to both aid in the healing of the gut and also the psychological links between the gut, wheat and grains and the causes or influence on different diseases. The list is quite extensive as to the benefits. An introduction to the Gaps diet and descriptions can be found here: http://www.gapsdiet.com/

Now, as with everything… Rush into nothing! RESEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH! And then, speak with your doctor!!!
I hope you find this information helpful as it is just a suggestion. Speak with your doctor about it. Print it out, email it to them, then do your own research and talk to them about it in depth. You are the only YOU that you have, so care of yourself wisely!

Keep your head together and your heart positive! After all, as the old proverb says, “Be careful what you think. Your thoughts run your life.” Proverbs 4: 23
Until Next time,
Happy Reading and Eating.
~Christa~
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What to Do When You Have the Stomach Flu? :p

_What to do when you are gluten free and have the flu!~

No poetic descriptions or quotes this time folks… I’m sorry!

I know I was going to post about my homemade body lotion, but the time has come…

Yes, my friends… the day we all dread has come… Your stomach hurts, you feel horrible, your body aches, you feel feverish… my friends… you have THE STOMACH FLU.

So, this is a totally new experience for someone newly gluten free. What do you eat?

Usually, I would grab a sleeve of Ritz crackers, my diet ginger ale and hit the road (if I could), but this time was not that easy.

Having given up all sodas due to the artificial sweeteners, I have changed to drinking ice cold Pellegrino Mineral Water in the glass jar (so much better than the plastic!). Today, that has been a god-send! Add a touch of fresh ginger root to it and you have “make-believe” Ginger ale.

As for the crackers, I’ve not yet found anything comparable yet.

I know that for my next bout (God, please, NO!), I will have recipes standing tall for gluten free home remedies, but I’ve combed the internet for gluten free stomach flu ideas.

The ideas are as follows:
You can make your own Gluten Free Ginger Tincture (here), just be sure to use gluten free alcohol. (make for future bouts)

Peppermint Tea

Bone broth – the homemade kind made from scratch with 100% grass feed beef… (ordering the bones online now.)

Coconut Water to replace lost electrolites… (on my list for next time… hopefully there won’t be one).

Bananas, applesauce, rice (if your are not paleo), mashed sweet potatoes, or gluten free toast if you can have it. You know, that old saying of “B.R.A.T” still holds true if you can eat the gluten free breads and are not on the Autoimmune protocol or Paleo. If you are, avoid the GF breads.

To help little ones stay hydrated and keep up their strength, try making little homemade popsicles with coconut water mixed with a bit of applesauce for flavor. Avoid too much sugar as this would definitely feed the fire rather than make matters better. 😛 Better yet, try to make these homemade electrolyte popcicles! http://dontmesswithmama.com/homemade-electrolyte-popsicles/

Take a hot bath – One of the things that helped me the most was the detox bath of Epsom salts, baking soda and my beloved Lavender Essential Oils! It seemed to ease the stomach cramps a bit.
I buy my Epsom salts at Sam’s Club in bulk (a 6lb box) and used only 2 scoops of the salts (about a cup). The Essential Oils I usually use are either Lavender, or Frankincense and Myrrh which is very relaxing. As for the Baking soda, I use about a cup. Stay in the tub for as long as you can… I try to stay for at least ½ hr and add more hot water if I get cold. My body temp is normally pretty low, well below the normal 98.6 so I always work my way up to hotter water.

I can no longer do the old standby of Hot black tea with ginger in it, crackers and ginger ale, nor can I indulge in my favorite gingermints (not gluten free), but I hope this helps you should you be greeted with the unfortunate guest of the stomach flu!
Stay well!
Until next time,
Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~

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“Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall… Who’s the Fairest One of All?” ~ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs… Gluten Free Beauty

“Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall… Who’s the Fairest One of All?”
~ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs…

~ Gluten Free Beauty ~

I think that one of the most amazing things to me is that fact that in my new Gluten-free life, I have found out that there is Gluten in Make-up!!

According to National Geographic, skin is the largest organ of your body! They also state that it was some 8 lbs! Amazing!

So when considering how much skin you have, & how it is an important line of self-defense during cold and flu season, while traveling and taking care of sick family members… must we consider keeping that skin safe, and moisturized with gluten free lotions and other beauty products?

For years, I have made my own coconut oil lotion and added a various mixture of Essential Oils to ward off illness, add to the skin’s elasticity, or to relax me.

Thankfully, according to the Mayo clinic, Gluten cannot be simply absorbed through the skin (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/expert-answers/celiac-disease/faq-20057879), but imagine that your lipstick contains gluten… you would be injesting it all day long! Every time you drank, licked your lips, ate something, or kissed someone, you would be exposed. Then constantly applying and reapplying, all the while unaware that you are setting yourself up for catastrophe, or a least a bad reaction in the not to distant future.

So, for a brief list of gluten free cosmetics companies, you can look at these, contact them directly and verify. Please keep in mind that I’ve not personally tried these yet!!

Red Apple Lipstick
Gabriel Cosmetics
Mineral Fusion
Nars
Afterglow Cosmetics

Here is another great list of gluten free cosmetics! http://www.alysarushton.com/gluten-free-self-care It is very detailed and easy to follow!

The List of Hidden Gluten items are as follows and can be found here:http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/34-gluten-free-lipstick/ and I have posted the ingredients listed below. Must give credit where credit is due!

BARLEY DERIVED INGREDIENTS
AMINO PEPTIDE COMPLEX, BARLEY EXTRACT, HORDEUM VULGARE (BARLEY) EXTRACT, PHYTOSPHINGOSINE EXTRACT

WHEAT DERIVED INGREDIENTS
AMP-ISOSTEAROYL HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, DISODIUM WHEATGERMAMIDO PEG-2 SULFOSUCCINATE, HYDROLYZED WHEAT GLUTEN
HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN PG-PROPYL SILANETRIOL, HYDROLYZED WHEAT STARCH, HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, STEARYLDIMONIUMHYDROXYPROPYL, HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, WHEAT AMINO ACIDS, WHEAT BRAN EXTRACT, WHEAT GERM EXTRACT, WHEAT GERM GLYCERIDES
WHEAT GERM OIL, WHEAT GERMAMIDOPROPYLDIMONIUM HYDROXYPROPYL, HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, WHEAT PROTEIN
WHEAT (TRITICUM VULGARE) BRAN EXTRACT, TRITICUM VULGARE (WHEAT) FLOUR LIPIDS, TRITICUM VULGARE (WHEAT) GERM EXTRACT, TRITICUM VULGARE (WHEAT) GERM OIL

SOY DERIVED INGREDIENTS
GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) EXTRACT, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) FLOUR, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) OIL, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) PROTEIN, HYDROGENATED LECITHIN, HYDROGENATED SOY GLYCERIDE, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, LECITHIN, MIXED SOY PHOSPHOLIPIDS, PEG-5 SOYA STEROL, PEG-10 SOYA STEROL, PEG-16 SOYA STEROL, PEG-25 SOYA STEROL, SOY PHOSPHOLIPIDS, SOY STEROL, SOYBEAN EXTRACT, SOYBEAN OIL, SOYBEAN PHOSPHOLIPIDS, SOYBEAN STEROL, TOCOPHEROL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE
TOCOPHERYL LINOLEATE”

When considering the effects of gluten on the body, one must now also consider the effects of GMOs! Many times, Soy beans are from GMO crops! According to this article, 93% of all soy is GMO! SCARY!! Especially if you are Celiac or Autoimmune! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margie-kelly/genetically-modified-food_b_2039455.html

Others things to consider were found here and are as follows: http://glutenfreern.com/gluten-free-cosmetics/
“Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Cyclodextrin, Dextrin, Dextrin Palmitate, Hydrolyzed Malt Extract, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Flour, Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/PVP Crosspolymer, Secale Cereale (Rye) Seed Flour, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Gluten, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Starch, Wheat Amino Acids, Wheat Germ Glycerides, Wheat Germamidopropalkonium Chloride, Wheat Protein, Wheatgermamidopropyl Ethyldimonium Ethosulfate and Yeast Extract.”

Consider looking through your bag of cosmetics (everyone has their favorite), and contact the company to get it “straight from the horses mouth” that their products are safe.

You may also want to consider making your own! I’ve done so for years with various products and love the savings on high quality beauty and health care as well as knowing where and how my products came into being… My next post will include some helpful recipes of homemade beauty products. 🙂

I will leave you with one last thing to consider, Emily Dickinson said “Beauty is not caused. It is.”

Beauty itself does not just come from the external, but from within. “A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful.” Jacqueline Bissett

(All chosen quotes today were from brainyquote.com)

Until next time,
Happy Reading and Eating!
~ Christa ~

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“The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way.” Seth Godin ~ Going Gluten Free in the World Of Sports.

“The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way.” Seth Godin

~ Going Gluten Free in the World Of Sports.~

With so many people going gluten free, and in trying to find my own path through this new maze, I have discovered the challenge of balancing act of carb content in my diet and exercise or sports… But what about the effect of such challenges in a “growing” body? How do athletes maintain their competitive edge?

Everyone knows that in order to maintain a healthy level of energy, you MUST add carbs, whole grains, and the like… right? Of course rightUh.. not according to this interesting article!!

To put a name and a face to very well known gluten-free atheletes, you may simply look to the MTA… Novak Djokovic.

I’ve noticed the difference in my own body when I exert myself… how my body reacts to “stresses” either intentional or not, but what about those stresses faced by professional athletes? How can this influence or help the youth athletes striving for competitive edge, stronger skills and a better life hopefully through scholarships?

In this very detailed article by Gary Morley, for CNN, he goes into great detail about how gluten-free diets are taking the professional tennis world by storm! It’s a very interesting read.

The fact that Novak Djokovic was dealing with issues within his lungs caused by gluten amazed me! As stated ”It was his sensitivity to gluten that was compromising his lungs,” he adds, citing that in Chinese medicine there’s believed to be a relationship between the large intestines and the lungs.

So, what isn’t affected by our gut? Seriously!

Tennis Coach, Pete McGraw stated that “Cutting out wheat-based foods such as bread and pasta could be the best thing you ever do… Athletes would be complaining of excessive tiredness, even after light sessions. During a normal daily activity it was fine but then as soon as they began to exercise their blood sugar levels would drop significantly, and that causes concentration-behavior issues, (problems with) focus, emotional control.”

The article also stated that, “McCraw says he has also seen “life-changing” results in his clients. ‘Personalities changed, they were much calmer, had more clarity, better grades at school, their relationships with parents have improved, my relationship with them has matured,’ he said.”

The article greatly warns that no one should try this gluten free approach without the consent of their doctor!!! Please follow this advice from the original author accordingly!

You may find the full article here to print out and take with you to your physician for further discussion. Perhaps there may be an underlying cause never before considered in both physical and emotional status linked to gluten! It is definitely worth investigating!
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/28/sport/tennis/gluten-free-diet-djokovic-murray-tennis/

As for some gluten-free energy boosting snacks, I of course LOVE my LARABARS, but here are a few posts I’d found on Pinterest with some very interesting looking recipes! ~ Enjoy~

Here are some Chia seed energy bars: http://wellnessmama.com/5475/chia-seed-energy-bars/

Some Almond Power Bars: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/07/01/recipe-connection-almond-power-bars/

Easy 3 ingredient Energy Bars: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-easy-3-ingredient-energy-bars-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-184306#

There are more posted on my Pinterest board if you’d like to search, pin and share!

So what are YOUR favorite energy boosters? Please share! I’m sure there are many great ideas out there!

Until Next time,
Happy Reading and Eating!
~Christa~
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