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Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

Thank you to all those veterans who served our country and to those who continue to still serve! Your service is greatly appreciated.

As we are all going out to our Memorial day cookouts, don’t forget to pack that gluten free sunscreen and prep yourself with you gluten free essentials!

Where am I going with this? Well, when you have celiac disease, it’s hard eating out but almost harder when you have to attend family events. When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, everyone around me tried so hard to show great support. The biggest concern was that family and friends would not fully understand the disease, and what cross contamination is.

It was hard for me the first few years, when family would cook something that was gluten free and I felt awful if I didn’t try it. It was hard to just say no thank you, I’ll bring my own food. One thing for sure is that years later, i’ve mustered up the courage to just say no thank you as politely as possible. I am the only one who can help my body stay safe from gluten.

If you haven’t heard about Coral with Serving Celiacs, I suggest checking her out. She has these great downloadable resource cards that explain exactly what celiac disease is and cross contamination! I found these super helpful recently, as I have been going out a lot more to family events. Before finding those downloadable cards though, I had to figure out the best way to approach family and friends. When an event or invitation would come up I would just tell them not to stress about finding or making food for myself and to be safe and avoid cross contamination I would love to bring my own meal if possible. Not obviously at major events like weddings, this is not possible. Most people understood and gladly obliged that it was one less thing to worry about. Some people however, insisted they make a gluten free dish. In the past, I would risk eating their meal and feel awful later it. Trust me, it is not worth the effects! I would feel sick and it would last for 24 hours or so. It took a few days to get myself back to normal.

So here are a few tips when heading out to a party or family gathering. (weddings not included) :

If you don’t know the meal that is going to be served ahead of time, bring a gluten free dish or two. This will help to say that you didn’t know what they were having and wanted to bring a side or extra meal. (then you can also stick to eating these foods and staying safe) Be sure however to keep it separate from gluten containing foods.
Don’t expect any host to know 100% what celiac disease is. If you feel comfortable with that person ask them about what food will be offered and ask if it would be ok to bring your own food or eat ahead of time. Just be honest and tell them any chance of cross contamination will have side effects on your body.
For cookouts I would bring your own hot dog or hamburger rolls anyway and just let the host know you are bringing them to keep separate on another plate.
Make sure you check the condiments at parties for hidden sources of gluten.
I will always try to eat something ahead of time, but that’s just what i do to hold me over.
Now I have reached the point that with the people I feel comfortable with, I will tell them not to stress or worry about my food. I will still get some that offer items like gluten free brownies etc, however those people are now so fully aware of how sick I get that i trust that they take those extra precautions.

I know these are just opinion based tips but they were some that really helped me out. It’s hard to just tell people that you can’t risk eating their food, unless you feel 100% comfortable with them.

On that note I am off to the cookouts!

Wishing you all a safe Memorial day!

XOXO
Alicia
The Celiac Corner

gluten free reviews

Outshine!!!

I recently came upon the brand outshine and have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this product! I took a leap and purchase the fruit bars and popsicles at my local Market 32. There is so much to love about this brand.

I have been looking for alternatives as summer quickly approaches. I admit that I am a huge ice cream fan. I pretty much spent last summer indulging in so many gluten free ice cream cones and creamy, chocolate ice cream! I needed however this year to find a healthier alternative, that is also dye free for my son!

Outshine offers frozen fruit bars, popsicles, yogurt bars, cream bars, half dipped bars, and kids fruit and veggie bars! I have only tried the frozen fruit bars and popsicles. Their products are made with real fruit and or real fruit juice. It lists that there are no GMO ingredients, a wonderful source of vitamin c and no high fructose corn syrup. All the colors are added from natural sources and its also gluten free! Their brand denotes that this goes for all of their products except for the coconut bars, I believe.

My kids absolutely fell in love with this brand. It hit the spot on a hot day we just had. I loved the taste of the fruit juice, as did my children. In some of the fruit bars, you will find pieces of fruit which we also loved. I enjoyed the different varieties that came in each package. My favorites were the strawberry and grape. I would give the fruit bars, and posicles a 10/10 for flavor, ingredients, and packaging. I would highly recommend trying this brand out!

gluten free recipes

Gluten free french toast!

Canyon Bakehouse country white bread
Paprika, Nutmeg, Cinnamon
2 eggs

I love using the canyon bakehouse brand! This bread taste just like the bread I used to have prior to having celiac.

Mix the two eggs together then add about a tablespoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle in a bit of paprika, as well as a 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.

Soak the pieces of bread in the mixture and cook each side about 1-2 minutes.

I know this is a very basic and simple recipe but one of my absolute favorites!

Some of the toppings that i love to use are maple syrup, blackberry jam or powdered sugar.

gluten free reviews

Gluten free chicken nuggets!

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Let’s be honest here, shall we? I don’t know about any of you out there but I am so tired of food shopping all over the place just to find and buy different gluten free items. I however decided to try a local Market Basket this pay day to do my 2 week food shopping extravaganza!

I’m not going to lie the Winnie the pooh nuggets caught my eye first! They were in a separate freezer section with the all natural, certified gluten free chicken nuggets! I was skeptical at first and decided to get the winnie the pooh as well as the regular golden platter “adult version” I only paid about $5.99 per package. I love that they are all natural and no hormones or preservatives added in.

I would advise maybe cooking it a minute shorter than the directions say! They came out so crispy and it was most certainly kid and adult approved! I love this product and cannot wait to try more!

Who Knew???

Gluten and the Dental Office

care chair clean clinic
Photo by Daniel Frank on Pexels.com

Did you know that gluten could be hiding in the products that your hygienist uses? I never really thought about that. In fact, I never really thought about that until a few years after my diagnosis. I had been on a strict gluten free diet but from time to time I didn’t realize the products I was using at home ….my body washes and toothpaste etc were also affecting me. My body was still attacking itself in one way or another. It then got me thinking…. How much does my hygienist and dental office know about celiac disease? Do they have any other patients with this autoimmune disorder? If I am using products at home that had contained gluten, then whats to say the products at my dental office wasn’t the same?

I have to admit, I felt concerned and rightfully so. I also felt nervous reaching out to the dental office with a million questions. After doing some research on the subject myself, I found out that the fillings can contain gluten as well as fluoride and polishing paste. There were so many questions going through my mind. So what did I do? I sent them over an email asking for information.

I have to say I didn’t expect a response so quickly but was overjoyed not only by their response but the fact that they were proactive about finding the answers they didn’t know the questions to. The dental office had confirmed that all the products their office uses for the cleanings were confirmed to be gluten free, which included the prophy paste, fluorides both topical and varnish. They even gave me the company names in case I wanted to go the extra mile and verify myself. The office did let me know that restorative treatment there could be gluten in the topical anesthetic gel and were waiting back on a confirmation from their company’s lab. The office let me know they would make a note on my file that said that I could not use the topical gel as precaution until they found the answers. About an hour or so later the dental office confirmed that the topical gel was indeed gluten free but were surprised to find out that some brands (ones they don’t use) do contain gluten. I feel like this was a great step forward communicating with my dental office.

As for my readers, if you have celiac disease I would recommend writing down a list of questions or concerns you might have and want to discuss with your dental office. I suggest discussing with them what celiac disease is and how if affects your body. Then ask them about their products they use, and if they could check the products that are used on all procedures to see if they contain gluten. I would also either ask for the brand names to reach out to the companies for extra verification to see if the products are processed on shared equipment with those products that contain gluten.

I want to say a huge Thank You to my dental office for their quick responses and dedication to finding the answers on a patients behalf. It is truly appreciated!

Until Next Time
XOXO
The Celiac Corner

gluten free recipes

Cast Iron Rib Eye and Caesar Salad

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2 thin rib eye steaks
Softened Unsalted butter 2 Tablespoons
Extra virgin olive oil
Paprika and Garlic Powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
Parsley
Romaine Lettuce
Light creamy gluten free Caesar dressing

Usually the morning that I’m going to make this meal, Ii like to marinate the steaks for a few hours.
Start by rubbing the steaks with paprika and garlic powder and a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil. I’ll throw in some of the fresh, minced garlic cloves for a stronger flavor. Leave in ziplock bag in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Put cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up for 10 minutes

While the skillet is pre heating, cut up some organic, fresh romaine lettuce. I use about a tablespoon of gluten free, creamy caesar dressing and toss the lettuce around. I’ll then put it back in the fridge to stay cold while the steak is cooking.

Once the skillet has been pre heated, remove from the oven and put over medium heat on the stove top. Take the steak out from the marinade and sear each side for 3-4 minutes. Then broil on high for 4-5 minutes each side.

While the steak is searing and broiling mix together softened, unsalted butter
with 2 garlic cloves minced as well as the other spices. Once the steak is cooked add the garlic butter to melt on the steak. Add the cold salad on the side. Gluten free croutons are optional.

Simple but tastes AMAZING!

Enjoy!

Uncategorized

Have you ever felt defeated?

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It’s been 8 years since my diagnosis with celiac disease. I wanted to jump on here real quick and discuss the emotional aspect of being diagnosed. When I was first diagnosed, I felt lost, confused and scared. I was lost because I had never even heard of celiac disease. Just the word disease was frightening.

My GI specialist told me that my intestinal lining was completely flat. He spoke of the possibility of intestinal cancer if my diet did not change immediately. Where would I begin? I knew nothing about celiac disease. Over time I learned that even though I could change everything to make my body healthy again and absorb nutrients, there would be no cure aside of following a strict gluten free diet.

So what exactly am I getting at? Well, to put it directly, having celiac disease in adults can come with many symptoms. Now, not all men and women diagnosed with celiac disease can get these symptoms. I had many symptoms ranging from fatigue and anemia to depression and severe anxiety.

I’m going to be real for a second. I struggled hard with this diagnosis. It affected my mental health. I felt defeated. Here is what I want you to know! Whether you are just newly diagnosed with celiac or something else of that matter, you are NOT alone. You may seem clueless, scared and have so many different emotions as I had but there is so much support out there.

Not one person in my family or my husband’s family had heard about it so at first it was very difficult for anyone to understand what I was about to go through. Some family and friends thought it was just an allergy and not a autoimmune disorder. Some thought that I was over exaggerating. They just didn’t understand and really needed to be educated, as did I. Then out of nowhere, I started receiving anonymous cookbooks day after day about eating gluten free. I would come home and have a new package. I never did find out who sent me all of them but I knew that there was an abundance of support.

Please know that you can find support groups with those struggling with celiac disease as well as other people out there on social media.

Also if you feel like you would like to reach out to myself, please feel free to do so. Most of us with celiac have been or are in the same boat. We live, but we learn and we support each other!

Until Next time

XOXO
Alicia
The Celiac Corner

gluten free recipes

Cast Iron Gluten Free Chicken Parm

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Meal for 2 adults

Ingredients:

2-3 boneless chicken breast
4C seasoning crumbs – gluten free
1 egg
Gluten free pasta sauce
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
Evoo

Prepare the cast iron skillet with a little bit of oil. I use extra virgin olive oil but feel free to use coconut oil or grapeseed oil. I use about a teaspoon of oil to grease the skillet.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heat the skillet for 10 minutes.

While the skillet is heating up in the oven, take each chicken breast dunk in the egg and then in the gluten free 4C seasoning and crumbs. This seasoning was found at my local Wegmans.

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Once the skillet is preheated, place each chicken breast in the pan and sear each side for about 6 minutes to get it nice and crispy.

Place the skillet back in the oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Make sure to keep track of the time. The last ten minutes left on the timer add the sauce to the skillet and the mozzarella.

Additional options: adding fresh basil and parsley

I know this is a really simple meal, and most people already know how to make chicken parmesan, but I really wanted to share this recipe anyway especially for newcomers. I just love using the cast iron skillet. It adds so much more flavor to the dish.

gluten free reviews

Katz Cupcakes

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Our local Market 32 freezer section had these Katz cupcakes. I was very hesitant at first to purchase the package because I am not a huge Katz brand fan. I found their doughnuts to be too dry for my liking. These cupcakes though! WOW!

First of all if you have ever had a hostess cupcake back in the day prior to celiac disease, then you’ll know that this will taste so close to that! When I took the first bite all those memories came flooding back! No lie! This taste just like a hostess cupcake with the cream filling on the inside.

So let’s get down to it! These cupcakes are not only gluten free, but dairy, soy and nut free! They are certified gluten free as labeled on the box. This package contains 4 individually wrapped, frozen cupcakes. This product does contain eggs and corn. You can either heat the cupcake in the microwave for 10 seconds or let thaw for 2 hours. I prefer the thawing for 2 hours.

Katz products are made in a fully dedicated facility away from gluten containing products. Their facility is also certified nut and dairy free! All their products including this one is kosher as well!

I have to say, I gave these cupcakes to my kids and husband after dinner and they all agreed it did not taste like a gluten free product! We all loved that it didn’t crumble apart as we ate it! It is both adult and more importantly KID APPROVED!

I would give this product a 9/10 and look forward to trying more products by Katz!

gluten free recipes

Gluten free Veggie soup

So this soup is one of my favorites to have when it is cold out and I think it really helps with bloating as well for those of us with celiac disease. I’ve seen similar posts online about various types of veggie soup and I’ve tweaked it all to my own way of liking.

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Ingredients:
2 garlic cloves minced
¼ quarter onion diced
Cabbage
Half of zucchini chopped into quarters
1 celery stalk
½ cup of baby carrots
1 orange pepper
1 green bell pepper
About a tablespoon or oregano and basil
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
Organic beef broth (I use the brand Pacific foods)
1 bay leaf
Extra virgin olive oil

Now this can be changed to your liking. I just love to add as much as possible. Other recipes have called for broccoli or green beans and even drained diced tomatoes. I will sometimes add ½ a cup of organic diced tomatoes.

I have a dutch oven I like to use on the stove top.

Over medium heat add about 2 tablespoons of evoo
Then add the minced garlic and chopped onion. Let simmer for a few minutes.

I then like to add the carrots, peppers and celery and stir those until they become a bit softer. Add more evoo if you feel the need. After those veggies simmer for a bit ill add the peppers and zucchini.

I always like to add the cabbage last.
Add in the entire package of beef broth, stir for a few minutes to make sure everything is mixed in. Add a teaspoon of tomato paste and the spices as well as the bay leaf.

I keep this cooking on medium heat for about 20 minutes with the lid almost completely covering the pot.

And there you have it! Thus far my favorite soup recipe!