Breaking Down Reality

The journey of a new age gypsy.

The Holidays and Cooking Adventures, Oh My… January 14, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — SylerRayne @ 5:02 pm
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Starting with THANKSGIVING!!!

We had two places to be for Thanksgiving this year, Ayrion’s uncle’s house and my mom’s house. Ayrion and I are the only folks on his side of the family that are gluten free, I wasn’t expecting to be catered to. I thought I would need to bring my own sides to go with the turkey, but was pleasantly surprised when we were asked where to go get the GF versions of side dishes. The only downside was no pumpkin pie. We waited too long and everywhere was sold out of them and even sold out of pie crusts so I couldn’t even make my own. I was okay though, we still had another house to hit.

Now, my family isn’t normal. We celebrate all of the Pagan holidays so we had already had our “thanksgiving” at Mabon. Once a year my mom does a big meal on one of the traditional holidays that is non-traditional. This year, we did it for Thanksgiving. She made Chinese. This was her first year doing the full meal as gluten free. We went to one of the Korean super markets here in town to find stuff, they actually had several things labelled as gluten free, I was impressed. The one thing we had the hardest time was finding wrappers. We asked someone and they finally took us to where they were, shopping trip success. That was the main thing we went for.

Dinner was Winter Chicken, Hot and Sour Soup, and Fried Wontons. I didn’t get pictures of everything but we got some photos of making the wontons and how they turned out. I will be attempting to make my own dough for wonton wrappers soon and will let everyone know which one is better.

Wontons!

Wontons!

We normally do a diaper folding technique to wrap the wontons but the rice paper wasn’t as awesome for that. I had to fold them like a taco then roll them sort of. Dessert was had there, Elle made her delicious GF Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes. Those are ALWAYS welcome in my book :)

The weekend was the big part though, who cares about Thanksgiving! It was the 50th anniversary for DOCTOR WHO!!! Oh my goodness. I had to do something spectacular. Did I want to do Doctor Who themed foods? No. Did I want to do a nice sit down dinner? No. I wanted fondue, and so did Space Boy and Ayrion.

Now, fondue requires a special set-up. I had said to Ayrion one day that I wanted a fondue pot and I kept thinking he forgot. Before the baby was born, we were visiting with his uncle and his uncle was showing us a genius idea to keep bugs out of the dogs water outside during the summer. It was a fondue kit base with the water dish sitting on top of it. I once more reminded Ayrion that I still wanted a fondue pot. His uncle told me to hold that thought and went and grabbed an induction cooktop complete with pot and setup for fondue. YES! Dreams do come true. He gave it to us as a wedding present.

I personally love The Melting Pot, there is way too high of a chance for me to get C.C. though. They do have GF options, which is a good thing but I’m that sensitive. You can find their recipes online though. I found the recipe for the Fiesta Cheese and modified it a bit. Mainly because I didn’t know where to go get the super fancy cheese that they use. Here is the modified recipe:

8 oz. cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
2 oz. colby jack cheese, freshly shredded
4 oz. beer, we used Redbridge
3 oz. salsa
2 tbsp. flour or 2 tbsp. cornstarch, I opted for GF flour.
1 jalapeno, finely diced- I got a can of diced jalapenos.

Fondue

Fondue

There were other dippers than what is in the photo. We had a bunch of veggies. The bread was GF ciabatta bread. The bowls had our homemade coq au vin meat. The boys got seafood, mine was just beef. It was a success.

 

Ear Infections for All!!! (And a yummy recipe modified) September 13, 2013

So, yesterday I wrote about how the baby and I got glutened. He was running a fever last night, it was still there this morning. As a new mother, I did what any new mom would do, I called the pediatricians office and went “Help! My baby isn’t feeling so great!” They told me to bring him on down so they could take a look at him. Now, I know the biggest sign of me getting a bad glutening is that my ears start hurting, which they have been. I also noticed that Reinhardt had been tugging at his ears and what I feared is what it was, doubly so. So, I most likely have an ear infection (If I’m not feeling better in a few days I will be going to see a doctor myself) and Reinhardt has a double ear infection and the start of a sinus infection. Much to my dismay, we did need to get him an antibiotic BUT thankfully I caught it early enough that they weren’t all severe and he only needed a mild antibiotic.

I will say this, I LOVE his pediatricians office. Most places here in Vegas scoff a bit when I say I’m an undiagnosed Celiac (we’re working on getting that taken care of), I tell the Doctor that I feel he’s not feeling so great because of getting glutened. He had the rash going on like I do (and man, do I have it bad this time around), plus the hard tummy, the whole nine yards. She started telling me about all the issues that could come up because of him getting the accidental glutening. I already knew all the possibilities and she even said the ear infections may be the result of it. She also decided to test my knowledge on things, before prescribing anything she asked me if there were any antibiotics that we (Ayrion or myself) are allergic to. I told her that I was allergic to Penicillin and that Ayrion was allergic to one that started with a C but I forgot the name of it (it’s not Cipro though). She told me how normally they don’t give penicillin to babies that young but if we wanted to see if he’d react to it, she could prescribe it, I piped up, “No thanks, I think I’m allergic to it since it is grown on bread.” She smiled and replied with, “I love when parents really do know what they’re talking about.” Then she told me what she was going to prescribe him, I asked her if she knew it was gluten free, she said she was pretty sure but I asked if she minded if I double checked. She told me to go for it and I told her about glutenfreedrugs.com, she thanked me immensely. We also talked about testing him for Celiac, plus being allergic to wheat, soy, nuts, dairy, etc when he’s 3 months old. It ended with her reminding me to make sure we avoid gluten as best as possible so that we can keep him well.

Passed out finally, he whined himself to sleep next to me, that was the ONLY way he'd stay asleep

Passed out finally, he whined himself to sleep next to me, that was the ONLY way he’d stay asleep

 

What sucks is how easily it is to get cross contamination at places. More awareness needs to be raised, for too many it’s not just “another diet fad,” it’s a lifestyle and we get seriously ill. I’ve already had to file a complaint with Domino’s Pizza before, if I wouldn’t have already known what their gluten free pizza looked like I probably would have wound up at the hospital.

This is a REAL issue!!!

This is a REAL issue!!!

When out at restaurants we really need to pester the waiters and, if possible, the chef. They need to be informed about why you need yours prepared separately from dishes being made with gluten. To my knowledge, here locally, we only have a few restaurants that don’t have issues with cross contamination. I’ve eaten at these places and haven’t gotten ill. One place warns over a shared toaster, but they are very careful with everything because the owner is a Celiac and understands what we go through, that place is The Cracked Egg. Then Macaroni Grill has a dedicated gluten free cooking area, as a result of almost getting sued over cross contamination. Then P.F. Chang’s has been safe so far.

With Celiac Awareness being tomorrow (well, technically it is now), I feel like we all need to find our voices. Pipe up, don’t be afraid to say “Hey, do you have a dedicated area for making this? I can get sick even from the slightest misstep.” Also, think about the things that could be going on from you getting glutened, or let’s say you aren’t a Celiac or even gluten sensitive (that you know of), keep friends in mind and even re-evaluate yourself. The strain of wheat that we have now isn’t even what our ancestors would eat. Check out this image and see some common issues that can be caused by an underlying gluten sensitivity, I always tell people if you have more than 7 of them, going gluten free is something you MIGHT want to consider. You may not be a Celiac, but you may be slightly sensitive.

Symptoms of Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity

Symptoms of Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity

 

Now, I promised a recipe too, and I also promised FALL themed recipes. We’re starting out with a modification of a recipe that a friend will be making for our Mabon celebration. I’m including a handy dandy conversion chart for flour after the recipe. Hope it helps for those not in the know!:

Sweet Potato Crack Bake (this is what Lillian calls it!):

  • 3 cups cold mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup sugar (can substitute splenda)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

TOPPING:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (can use GLUTEN FREE all purpose flour OR do a substitution using the chart below)
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter or margarine

PREPERATION:

  • In a mixing bowl, beat sweet potatoes, sugar, milk, butter, eggs, salt and vanilla until smooth.
  • Transfer to a greased 2 qt baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, nuts, and flour; cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over potato mixture.
  • Bake uncovered, at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: 8-10 servings

 

Gluten Free Flour Conversion

Gluten Free Flour Conversion

I’ll add a picture of it come Autumn Equinox. Remember, when substituting you are using all four of the gluten free products to make it in to an all purpose flour :) Enjoy!

~Tami

 

Pregnancy, Birth, Motherhood…and getting glutened September 12, 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, I’ve missed it immensely but with everything I’ve had going on the past several months, it’s understandable.

I was pregnant, which I believe I posted about, if not, the key word is WAS. I had a beautiful baby boy on August 1, 2013.  Introducing: Reinhardt! (The first picture is right after he was born, the second on at 6 weeks)

Reinhardt Ailbeon, my beautiful baby boy

Reinhardt Ailbeon, my beautiful baby boy

At 6 weeks old :)

At 6 weeks old :)

 

Getting used to having a baby around was a chore, but that’s to be expected since I’m a new mom. He’s growing quickly, but that’s what happens when you feed them, especially a breastfed baby. That’s where the issue comes in though.

The poor little guy is apparently just as sensitive to gluten as I am, but unlike me, he doesn’t know how to handle it when a glutening happens. Oh boy, it makes me feel terrible too. He’s only six weeks old and it’s already happened twice. The second time, it gave him a low grade fever (that’s tonight’s joy). Other than hold him, cuddle him, and let him cluster feed, there’s not much I can do. A benadryl you say, sure, I can take that, it helps me but what about him? It makes him drowsy, sure it helped him not be as fussy but I didn’t like how much it made him sleep. Then there’s this rumor floating around saying it can dry up your milk supply. If he’s still not feeling good tomorrow, it’s to the pediatrician we go to make sure there isn’t something more serious going on.

The whole point is that not enough places take us seriously. I’m going to have to now be that person that talks to the chef every where I go to eat, otherwise it’s only eating at home. When I was talking to my husband about it, he responded with, “At least we can save a bunch of money from not going out.” The place that I got glutened at is a place it’s happened before, my mom got glutened as well. I think that we should mainly learn our lesson about not going to that place, the only time I don’t get glutened there is when I have the owner cook for me because he cleans down the grill.  I mean, the place is amazing because they will get use gluten free soy sauce, but getting cross contamination is annoying. Especially now because Reinhardt gets a rash like I do. I just find it insane that I can go to P.F. Changs and be perfectly fine, but I go to Mongolian and all bets are off. You live and you learn though.

Recently, I joined a Celiac Disease Support Group on Facebook and have found a lot of awesome tools though, learning more things as well. It’s nice. One of the things that I did see and wanted to share with this blog (because it ties in) was GF Restaurant Cards, show you can help them understand why you need them to prepare your food separately.

This is one you can order a set of: http://www.triumphdining.com/products/gluten-free-dining-cards

This is one you can print yourself and laminate, they do have a donate button though!: http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/

Anyways, blogs will be happening again. This month I’ll be doing a “Thanksgiving” type run for recipes because I celebrate the Autumnal Equinox as a Harvest Festival. We call it Mabon and it is basically our Thanksgiving so I know that it’s getting to be the time for all sorts of Thanksgiving recipes, and yummy pumpkin recipes too. Also, this month I’m going to start bringing in guest writers. Hope everyone will like the changes coming to the blog. :)

-Tami

 

 

Recycling March 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — bdrga @ 8:38 pm
Tags: , ,

So beyond the area of life changing diet and exercise my husband and I have decided to make it a goal to recycle everything that we can.  In our city they accept Plastic #1 and 2, mixed paper, newspaper, cardboard boxes, tin, aluminum, and glass.  We have done it before but over time got lazy and stopped as I am sure many other people have done.  It seems like we always start with good intentions but then along the way we forget why we started, and I didn’t even want to make this post until we had consistently done it for 2 months, and the good news is we have.

We went out and bought 2 fairly large storage tubs that we could easily fit in the kitchen.  We couldn’t fit recycling bins in our kitchen because we live in an apartment and have limited space so this might be an idea for people in similar situations.

recy.

rec1

 

This is where we actually go to recycle, and there are always a lot of people.  You really get a good feeling when you recycle, and its the responsible thing to do if you live in an area where you can do it.

rec2

 

Today after cleaning up I had a small pile of things to put in the recycling bin, and I actually looked at what I was doing and it was satisfying to realize that what is on the left of this picture will be recycled and reused, and what is on the right went into the garbage.  Its a huge difference, and if we all did what we could then our landfills and oceans wouldn’t be overflowing with garbage.

Here are some reasons to recycle:

  • It helps preserve our planet.
  • You save animals that consume, get trapped, or die from exposure to garbage in their environment.
  • It helps reserve resources.
  • If you live in a city where you pay for garbage pick up by weight or by number of bags, recycling can save you money.
  • You feel a sense of community when you are actively working together for the better of the whole group.
Food for thought.

~Autumn

 

 

Hawaii, Surgery, and a million other excuses March 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — bdrga @ 12:41 am

Lots going on in life like always, and even if it means that blogs, facebook, and the entire world of internet gets neglected I still wouldn’t have it any other way.

I gained weight over the holidays, our birthdays, our trip to Hawaii, and during my husbands recent emergency surgery.  I knew it was happening, I knew I was allowing it to happen and through it all I didn’t care.  I wish I could say that now, looking back I wish I would have done things different but in being honest, I can’t.  I gained 10lbs, in the course of 3 months of extreme stress I gained 10lbs and I am damn proud of myself that it wasn’t more.  Life was stressful, from good to bad and scary and my focus was not on weighing, measuring, and counting calories.  Its time consuming and sometimes there just isn’t time.  What did happen though was I made healthier “bad” choices than I did a year ago, I ate less than I would have a year ago, I payed attention to portion sizes and being full and knowing when to stop.  Sometimes when eating out I even made the choice to remove half of my food from my plate before I even began eating to save for lunch the next day, all choices that I wouldn’t have made otherwise.  In comparison to 2011, I would have to say 2012 was life changing.  Here is my list of changes that took place, and stuck with me over the past year.

I lost a total of 68lbs and I was able to maintain keeping off 58 of those pounds for the entire year.

I can walk up the stairs to my apartment without feeling like I am going to die.

My A1C went from extremely high to low normal.

My blood sugar levels are never high, I actually have the problem of keeping it high enough now.

I have more energy for daily life.

I don’t sleep through out the day, naps are rare and usually short.

I make healthier choices without even realizing that I am doing so.

I am happier and maintain a stable mood.

I feel better in the clothes that I wear.

My treadmill and bike are no longer a place to hang my laundry.

I feel more secure in large crowds of people.

I have more confidence in who I am.

I can fit COMFORTABLY in a seat on an airplane, and the seat belt fits.

I have a healthier libido.

My mother doesn’t feel like she is slowly watching her only daughter kill herself right in front of her.

My husband can put his arms all the way around me and hold me.

 

I started my journey on Feb 15th 2012, and while I am a little late on my one year post, I still have a lot to be happy about.

~Autumn

 

 

Birthday Season January 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — bdrga @ 9:36 pm

I call this the “birthday season” in our house because both of our birthdays are in January and that just means for us that the Holiday celebrations seem to carry on another month and that means another month of eating foods that we wouldn’t otherwise.

With the Holiday season over and with tax season upon us, finances are strained, which is something that I believe most people can relate to.  I haven’t abandoned being completely gluten free, its just more of a challenge living in a remote state on limited funds.  We went cake mix shopping and honestly the gluten free cake mix was $8.00 and the non gluten cake mix was under $2.00 so with a $6.00 difference you can guess which one we ended up getting.  With the $6.00 we saved we were able to purchase the other items that my husband wanted for his birthday, english muffin pizzas, doritos, and potato salad.  (Its his birthday so its his pick! plus its his family tradition something that they have done for him nearly every year) I am learning to balance things that are important to us as an individual family while maintaining some level of health awareness so I sacrificed a gluten free cake and meal for the sake of finances and tradition but I worked hard to make sure that they meal we consumed was as healthy as it could be,

To make the cake I used the box mix, but instead of oil and eggs I used egg whites, apple sauce, and 2 tbsp of greek non fat yogurt.  This cut the fat and calorie content of the cake nearly in half!  I was also amazed that with these ingredients this cake turned out more moist than any cake I have previously made with oil.  I made home-made cherry frosting (my husbands birthday cake has always been a funfetti cake with cherry frosting), by making the home-made frosting I was able to eliminate some pretty nasty ingredients that they put in shelf frosting and I used real cherries to flavor the frosting instead of artificial cherry flavoring.  The only sacrifice in the frosting was the appearance, it wasn’t bright reddish pink like shelf cherry frosting but if we are going by taste it was far better.

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For the moon craters we used organic english muffins, all natural pizza sauce, natural low fat cheese, pepperoni, and veggies.  It wasn’t a bad meal, but it certainly wasn’t a meal that we could sustain eating regularly and for a birthday celebration I think we mixed cost, tradition, and healthy as best as we could.  All in all I think it was a good celebration!

~Autumn

 

New Year, New Me… A Lot To Take In… January 10, 2013

It’s 2013 now, and wow, is time moving fast. We’ve been silent but there’s been so much going on. We moved back in to my mother’s house, but it’s so we can save up and possibly look at getting our truly own place. Ayrion and I just got married. Nothing fancy but that comes in June still. There’s a baby on the way. Busy as a bee, what can I say?

I can say that as lovely as being pregnant is, boy, does it suck! My sensitivities have gone absolutely BONKERS. The other night, I was so itchy from a cross contamination that it had me crying but I had to tough it out. The cool mist humidifier I have, awesome, right? NO. I can’t use it because it’s giving me a sore throat and making my stuffy noses worse. UGH. If I use it in the daytime though, that’s a completely different story, then I’m fine. Nighttime, oh no, sore throat, dripping nose, can’t sleep because of the noise even if it’s on the “nighttime mode” where it muffles the sound. The overhead fan helps somewhat but if I want both, tough.

The worst part? I’m apparently building an aversion to chocolate. *cries* It’s horrible. The cake that we had for our living room wedding, was a gluten free chocolate cake, with chocolate dipped strawberries. I could do the strawberries, but not cake itself. Had a slice the following night and got a migraine. Bah. Whoever says being pregnant is always wonderful is a liar. I’m going to be grumpy about things like this for a while. It better not be something that continues once I hit my second trimester or after the baby gets here. Chocolate is almost an absolute in this family because so many of the family members love it. I know for a fact that Ayrion likes chocolate more than most females.

Along with this though, I’ve had to become even more health conscious. I keep hearing and reading various accounts about how much weight I should gain, I will know for sure after my first Doctor visit (next Wednesday, I’ll be 11 weeks to the day). I’m going to ask him for an exact calorie count for what I need to take in each day. Currently, I’m eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m full; and honestly, I’m not much hungrier than I was before the pregnancy. One book says I need precisely 348 more calories a day than what I was eating before hand, another book says that if I’m on a low-calorie diet that it has to stop and I need to take in 2500 calories a day (which UGH, I really can’t picture eating that much on a daily basis). I really don’t know what to believe at this point.

Any and all advice that you have, please give me! It’s even harder because I can’t have chicken or gluten and I don’t eat much pork. I’d complain about seafood too, but I’ve *never* been a fan of that. I have my prenatal vitamins, I have my calcium supplement (Did I mention I’m lactose intolerant too?), what else do I need? Is it going to get any easier with my sensitivities or am I going to have to grin and bear it for the next 30 weeks? I guess it could be worse. I’m putting my best face forward and taking it all in. Now I have two of us to keep healthy.

-Tami

 

 
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