I love sushi but have to remember to bring gluten free soy sauce with me. Sometimes...I'm out and about and decide I want sushi and then can't get any because I don't have soy sauce with me. Once you open a bottle of soy sauce...you need to put it in the fridge so you can't keep it in your vehicle just in case.
The last time this happened I got mad so I started looking for soy sauce in individual packets that I can keep in my truck. I found these recently and they arrived yesterday.Little Soya Gluten Free Less Sodium Soy Sauce
Guess who's having sushi today for lunch?
What are YOU doing for lunch today?
So...my birthday party this year was an old school Field Day like when you were in elementary or middle school. I reserved a park for the whopping permit fee of $20, bought some balls and whatnot, served hotdogs and grilled veggies with cupcakes, sunchips, etc. and GOT.IT.IN!
Here is my template for the paper lollipops and you can personalize it your way for your use: Download MINGO FLAGS
The rest of the stuff I used was stuff I already had down in the basement. I've collected some nice things over the years by simply keeping an eye out for things. The best time to get good deals on stuff is when you don't need it. LOL! So yeah...I see something nice on a random Tuesday in March and buy it and store it down in the basement until I'm ready to use it. GO ME!
The best thing I've ever purchased has got to be the 54 x 108-Inch White Tablecloth $3.50 each. I use them so much and, at only $3.50...you don't worry if something is spilled on them like red wine. Oh...and my silverware I bought in bulk, Stainless Dinner Fork - 24 / BX - $4.68. I started out with about 48 each of them at those prices and bought forks, spoons and knives. You're totally not mad if someone accidentally tosses one in the trash at those prices. I keep them in ziploc bags between parties and put them in a buffet silverware caddy for parties. I've had it forever and forgot where I found it. Works perfectly.
Since we were at a park...I used paper plates because paper plates are for parks and barbecues. And that's all Imma say about that. Humph. LOL! Bought the paper plates at the dollar store too.
I did buy dodge balls and a flag football set but I can use them again. If you're in the area and want to throw a field day party...you're welcome to borrow them because they will simply be in the ball bag in the basement. LOL!
For the three legged races I used an old sheet cut up in strips. Worked perfectly and completely throw-way-able.
Food was easy. Gluten-free all beef hotdogs, grilled veggies and corn on the cob. I put the corn on wooden skewers so folks didn't have to use their hands while outside. I had a gallon of hand sanitizer on hand to disinfect before eating. LOL!
Water and gatorade were the drink choices (G-Baby brought some drink packs for the kiddies) as we couldn't bring alcohol to the park. I was going to make some awesome adult beverages to put into these Ball Jar Heritage Collection Pint Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 6 :
Yall know I'm anti-drinking-out-of-mason-jars because I always dribble on myself so I drilled a hole in the top of the lid and then put Nickel-Plated Brass Eyelets - 3/8" - 8 Ct. in the hole. I didn't put the back of the eyelet on because I did the hole exact and it was a really nice and snug fit. Then...a straw just pops in nicely! WHEEEEEEEEEEE! Well...I'd already made 6 when I found out I couldn't bring alcohol so I didn't make anymore. LOL!
We had fun. It's always cool to do something completely different and well...we get together all the time for drinks and or drinks and dinner so it's fun to switch it up to something we never get to do.
Before we left the park yesterday someone asked what we're doing next year.
So...I've been gluten-free now since pretty much this time last year.
I'm pretty much the healthiest I've ever been in my life and I'm way excited about that.
I wrote about how much thicker my hair is these days and got a VERY interesting comment:
So, of course, I asked Mr. Google about the possibility and welp...seems to be the general concensus that going gluten-free absolutely makes your hair thicker and healthier.
Search: gluten free thicker hair
I am seriously blown away.
The thought I can't stop? IT WILL JUST GET THICKER.
A long time ago I had a party at my home. Yall know how I get down...I cook and set it out big time when I give a party. I remember someone new kept walking around asking me if this, that or the other was vegetarian even though it was obvious there were many dishes which didn't have meat or broth in it.
While I was entertaining guests.
After about three times I gave her a look she obviously recognized because she stopped in mid-sentence. SIP was right at the surface thinking:
SIP: Know what else is vegetarian? The door.
Wisely...she kept it moving, stopped following me and enjoyed what she could safely enjoy.
I ended up broiling a couple of vegetarian burgers for her to go with the pasta salad, veggies, grilled portobella mushroom caps and grilled shrimp kabobs.
Whenever I go to a party, I always bring fruit, bars, etc. that I could snack on in a corner if need be in the event nothing is available without gluten. I don't bother the hostess even though, most of them know my issues and generally lead off telling me exactly what is safe for me to eat. The last time I was in Houston, Weezy and CeCe had a full gluten-free barbecue and that touched my evil heart. LOL! Had he called me one mo' gin, however, and asked me if something was gluten-free or not while at the grocery store...I was gonna cuss him. But yeah...I was touched they were looking out for their sister.
I was at TravelDiva's son's graduation party and she had the event catered. There were so many gluten-free options like prime rib, corn, green beans, etc. the kid got seconds. LOL! I was sooooooooooooo happy. I had plenty of finger foods in my bag just in case mind you...but I was happy I could eat some of that delicious looking beef!
Those of you with food issues...do you make sure you have options in your bag if you go somewhere knowing you'll only be there a couple of hours at most and you'll live if there isn't anything you can eat?
I had a meeting in DC last week at the Dean Wood Community Center & Library. While in wait mode, I took a walk around the facility. To say I was impressed with it is the least I could say because the place truly blew me away.
I kept asking questions because I couldn't believe it was free to the public with minimal fees for use of services like the fitness center and the pool. There was a full blown senior center with a VERY active senior population, meeting rooms, quiet rooms, computer room, etc.
And it was all free.
I walked outside and walked around a bit stopping in my tracks when I saw this:
Going gluten-free meant I had to give up my favorite salad dressing and it almost killed me because I love it so!
Well...I decided to make my own.
What salad dressings do YOU make?
A friend told me that she's pays attention to what I eat when we're together and eating. She said it was an eye opener that there are so many healthy choices that taste good and that she's been shaking up her weekly menu at home in her weight loss journey.
She made me wonder about some of the other conversations I've had with friends about how we all have regular rotation menus during busy work weeks and I thought...hmmmmm...maybe that's it. Maybe people kinda get stuck with making what they make weekly and never change up.
During the week I go for quick dishes but still healthy and flavorful. You know...fast food at home. Everything in moderation.
So I'm going to make a quick video (shooting for under two minutes) of some of the foods we eat all week.
Do you find that YOU stick with the same menu during the week? Or do you mix it up too?
This is Chicken Piccata. It takes a full 20 minutes to make and it's delicious.
Any dishes you'd like to see made into a quick video?
I could probably eat kale every.single.day. I keep it in my fridge and it's always on my weekly grocery list. My favorite to eat it is as a warm kale salad.
I boil a pot of water and then turn off the heat. Next I dump the kale in and make sure all the kale is wet, pouring it immediately into a colander. Then I put it back in the pot and toss with a diced tomato, two cloves of garlic, pressed, fresh cracked pepper, coarse sea salt and a splash of red wine vinegar.
I could seriously eat this for every meal I love it so.
Yesterday we had a really big, late lunch around 3:30 or so. By dinner time, we weren't really that hungry so I made us a warm kale salad and we had the leftover gluten free jalapeno cornbread muffins from our lunch/dinner (linner). LOL! It was PERFECTION!
What's YOUR take on kale? Are you a fan?
Well...the cat's outta the bag and my poor T-Rhonda knows she accidentally "glutened" me cuz Shelly told on me. LOL!
It's the first time it happened to me since being diagnosed and man I tell you...I felt it pretty much immediately. I got really tired but I initially thought it was because we've been traveling for two weeks straight without much down time. Then...I went to sleep and woke up with a rash and a swollen face. My stomach was in serious pain and I was bloated like crazy. I started drinking lots of hot water but I still couldn't figure out what got me.
T-Rhonda had painstakingly made me gluten free dishes and they were delicious! She kept saying, "No flour. I didn't use any flour!" She was SO proud and I felt SO LOVED!!!!!!!!!
One of the dishes was a crawfish and corn chowder. OH MY WORD it was delicious! I had some of the leftovers before bed THE NEXT NIGHT TOO!
And was still in pain.
Robby loved the chowder so much that I asked for the recipe and well...that's when I discovered that the chowder was the culprit. She used a Campbell's soup to make the base and well...yeah...that tanked me. They do have some gluten-free products but the one she used was not one: Campbell's Gluten Free
I was totally unprepared for being glutened as I'm so careful so I didn't know really what to do. I was sooooo tired and really...I still am. Like...EXTREME fatigue. My stomach is on hurt big time, I have a headache, diarrhea, I'm bloated and I generally feel like a Mack truck ran me down. I asked Mr. Google about it and well...
I've been drinking water in large amounts and eating lots of fruit. I'm totally scared to eat anything that isn't raw fruit or veggie right now. I had some fish yesterday but I made sure it was grilled simply.
The biggest thing affecting me right now is the fatigue. Last night I just felt like slumping to the dirty New Orleans ground and bawling toddler style I was so exhausted.
Whew...NOT.GOOD. Apparently I'll feel like this for 5 - 10 days after digesting the gluten.
T-Rhonda feels awful but this is a pretty common mistake. If you haven't read up on Celiac's disease...it's pretty difficult to actually know what's what. I know she loves me...so I know she wasn't trying to kill her girl off. ROFL!
Can I tell yall I've never felt better in my entire life? Wow. Just...wow.
Okay. Just wanted to say that. So happy to be able to say that!
I wanted to try something different for Christmas this year so I decided to do a raw, fresh, uncured ham. It seemed to be pretty daunting but honestly...it was the easiest thing in the world to do and sooooooooooo delicious!
I ordered a 10 - 12 pound ham with the bone-in shank up on an angle. (NOTE...mine was a little over 12 pounds.)
Cory Booker has been in the news attempting to bring awareness to the use of food stamps. I was pretty curious about it so I started reading up on his challenge and what he's learned as well.
The first thing I learned is that food stamps aren't meant to provide all the food for you and your family when things are hard. They are provided as a SUPPLEMENT to what you already have so they assume you have a minimum income.
Here's a basic snapshot of how much you'd get:
I'm not going to say too much about how having that as a maximum income wouldn't even cover our basic living expenses like our mortgage, electricity, water, etc. cuz really...that kinda depresses me with what you COULDN'T do on that MAXIMUM qualifying salary.
So...we would get $367 a month to feed ourselves with and that's the MAXIMUM amount we could get so we might not get that. That said, we'd have about $12 a day to feed ourselves all of our meals. Two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners...plus snacks.
And Jaru and Lucy wouldn't be covered.
When I sit down and think about what $12 buys...it makes my head hurt.
So...I told Robby how much we'd get and he did some quick head math and was like...so about $90 a week? I think we could do it. As the grocery shopper in our household who actually knows how much we spend on food...I know we couldn't without some SERIOUS, serious changes.
I started thinking like my mother, the queen of a big azz bag of rice in a fiberglass type bag, and I felt like we could probably eat but we'd be doing LOTS of dried beans and rice with chicken from the rooter to the tooter AND...I'd have to seriously grow stuff. Like...I use a LOT of fresh, organic basil. Yeah...I'd have to grow it. Shrimp? Um...yeah...no. Wild caught fish? We might get that for Christmas dinner. Dinner parties at 13700? No more. NO.MORE. It would seriously be potluck with us providing serving dishes and utensils ONLY looking forward to whatever yall bring.
I'd probably have to only buy 7 apples a week and cut them in half so we each had a half of an apple a day. That good locally roasted coffee we buy from Mayorga at a little over $20 a pound? Um...yeah...no. And whatever coffee we could afford...we'd be reusing those grounds for that second pot we put on daily.
Gosh...and I probably couldn't have any more creamer.
No more wine. No more organic, free range eggs since they cost $4.00 a dozen and we eat 28 eggs per week. Grain fed beef? HA! Thing of the past and honestly...I'd probably choose to NOT have beef if I couldn't buy grain fed beef.
My gluten free bread? Probably never again cuz that's $5 per loaf.
And the list goes on.
So yeah...we're food spoiled.
I think we could do it because we're hustlers and survivors but it wouldn't be without SERIOUS challenges.
Robby asked me if I wanted to try to do it and I asked him when? He said we'd should start this week...Monday.
Me: I just spent $153 on groceries for the week on Saturday and I have a freezer full of meat and seafood.
Robby: Oh...well, let's try it after we eat all of that.
Me: I still have a cabinet filled with stuff I could do stuff with. I'm sure that when your finances have dipped to the point of qualifying...you've emptied your cabinets.
And now we feel all first world and ish and then the doorbell rang and it was a delivery from Amazon with a Christmas gift for someone who lives here and we're all weird feeling now knowing that 46 million Americans are on food stamps.
So yeah...if we're to judge...Cory Booker's experiment is a success. It made us think about this and empathize with the millions of Americans who need the supplemental assistance. It was a good household exercise for us because we talked about it and it led to an excellent conversation for us regarding waste and what we could do to help others. If that wasn't the focus of Mr. Booker's experiment...it should have been because that was pretty powerful.
Have YOU thought about it since he started? Do you think YOU could do it? Would you have to change drastically? Do you think you'd start having unhealthy habits or would this force you to be even healthier in your choices since you wouldn't have many options to choose from?
I made this soup this evening after the game and we LOVE IT!
1 cup brown rice
1 cup dried lentils
1 cup dried split peas
1 cup pasta (I use gluten free pasta.)
20 cups chicken broth (or vegetable)
1 smoked turkey wing (or other smoked meat)
2 cloves of garlic minced
Black pepper, red pepper flakes
Put everything in the pot, bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. TASTE. Add salt according to taste. (You should never add salt before this when using smoked meat because you don't know how much salt has been used in the smoked meat.) Simmer for 20 more minutes stirring occasionally. Dice the meat off the bone and put everything back in the pot.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is really easy to make smaller or larger pots of it. This made a big pot so, if you'd like to make it for one or two people with a bit left over, just do simple arithmetic and you're good.
The math is simple, 1 part (same amount) of 4 dried goods then multiply the total amount of dried goods by 5 to get how much broth you'll need.
So...if you only use 1/4 cup of each ingredient that equals 1 cup of dried goods so you'll need 5 cups of broth.
You can make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth and not using the smoked turkey and it doesn't have to be gluten free if you don't need it to be.
If you've been reading this blog you know I had a rough patch health wise for a minute until my doctors determined that it was the Gluten and wheat that was poisoning my body something rough.
So I had to go gluten free.
When I was told I was skeptical and went into it side-eyeing the prognosis something fierce. Then...a week in, I realized just how AWESOME I felt all over. No more daily stomach pain, major source of energy, less dry skin, etc.
I started REALLY stepping it up and learning more about my options and...I'm happy to say that it's been much easier than I thought it would be and I feel SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better.
And now I'm noticing other things that are really making me go HMMMMMMMMM...
Take Midol Week for example.
SIP: Male readers...you may be out now...
The Robinator is pretty serious about this beer. As supportive as he normally is...it was determined that he could NOT go Gluten-free with me early on because of his love of drinking beer while watching a game.
Oh...and dude is a SERIOUS beer snob. None of that beer commercial stuff for him. He's all bourgie with his beer choices. So when we found out about Omission beer...he decided to try it out. Omission Beer
Here is what the company says about their beer:
According to federal guidelines, we aren’t legally allowed to claim that Omission beer is gluten-free outside of Oregon because the beer is brewed with malted barley. While the FDA proposed to define the term “gluten-free,” that definition has not been formally adopted by the organization.
Part of the definition proposed in 2007, and again in 2011, states that a product may not be labeled as gluten-free if it contains “an ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain that has been processed to remove gluten, if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food.”
While Omission beer does contain barley, one of the “prohibited grains” in this definition, all batches are tested by an independent lab using the R5 Competitive ELISA to ensure that gluten levels meet our standards. Although scientific evidence supports the testing, the evidence is not conclusive. All Omission beer test results can be viewed at: www.omissiontests.com
Cool huh? Would YOU ever try?
Yesterday I decided to make a gluten-free gumbo by simply substituting all the ingredients WITH gluten to ingredients WITHOUT gluten.
Instead of using regular flour, I used Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour and right off the bat, we realized that we were going to have to keep adding flour to the roux to thicken it up because the GF flour is, apparently, thinner.
We kept adding flour until it was the consistency that a good roux should be, but it was WAY darker than I like. I used it anyway knowing I'd have to add more chicken broth to the base to thin out the pungent taste of the dark roux.
It was the most hands-on pot of gumbo I've made in a while. I had to keep adjusting it until it was good. A couple of friends and The Robinator gave it a thumbs up but I'm sitting here now thinking of ways I could make it better.
Cuz that's how I obsess. LOL!
After I had my dinner, I was sitting there talking and within twenty minutes my stomach revolted and it was BAD! None of my ingredients had gluten or wheat in it so we determined that it had to be the vegetable oil that got me. Many people who have to be gluten free have an intolerance to soybean oil it seems and that's what the vegetable oil is made of. So, now I'm researching how to make the roux right without using oil.
The Robinator says that he's sorry I can't have anymore REAL gumbo and it must be hard on me knowing this. He said this as he was eating a second big bowl.
The love and support at 13700 continues.
LARABAR Fruit & Nut Food Bar, Cherry Pie - This bar has a lot of sugar so keep that in mind.thinkThin Crunch, Chocolate Dipped Mixed Nuts, Gluten Free - This bar has really low sugar. Only 3 grams.
Blue Diamond Natural Almond Nut-Thins Cracker Snacks Smokehouse - These crackers brought tears to my eyes they are so delicious. I'm tearing up now just thinking about the fact I'm all out.
I'm in a panel currently and I'm out of my bars and snacks I brought from home.
And I'm hungry.
The lil stand thing here has NOTHING I can have.
And I'm hungry.
I had breakfast really early this morning and yeah...
I have back-to-back stuff until 6:00pm.
AND I'M HUNGRY.
And I'm never going to gain this weight back.
AND...if one more person tells me I've lost weight I swear fo' goodness...I'm going to bite them.
If they don't look germy.
And I'd rather be hungry than feel like crap.
I didn't get to have any cake for my birthday because I wanted to make sure that everyone had cake they'd eat. I'm not a big cake eater so I could do without it truth be told.
I was in WholeFoods yesterday looking around in the gluten-free freezer section and saw this:
I almost didn't get it because it was $4 for one serving and a great big old whopping 430 calories. But hey...I figured I'd split it with The Robinator and I'd be good.
Yall...it was DEEEEEEEELLLLLIIICCCCCIOUS! GO ME!
Now whenever I get the urge to have a piece of cake I shall be getting this!
When's the last time you had cake? Was it worth it?