Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Where do you put all your flour?

I have to buy a bigger freezer! A friend lent me her freezer when she heard i was looking, its this really cute little thing that is the size of a bar fridge. But 4 months ago it was perfect, fit all my extra frozen stuff nicely.
Enter being Celiac..... As i have mentioned in the past i now own more types of flour than any sane person and in order to keep them for any length of time you should freeze it. At the price of this stuff, you really do want to freeze it believe me. My fridge upstairs is packed and I have to make room for my roommate. The little freezer downstairs is full of flour, pasta sauce and other goodies. I need more room! I would love to make some meals big enough to freeze some for later but right now I don't even have room for the pizza I want. So I'm on a mission to find a bigger freezer. Questions: how big do you go and do you get a chest or up right? I don't want huge but it has to be bigger than what I have. I'm thinking up right if I can find a good used deal.
Wish me luck in my quest!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Power Balls - recipe

I have this recipe that i was making before I knew I was celiac and it is GF & LF... yeah.
I only had to make sure that some of the ingredients were GF which wasn't hard at all.
These are great little morsels and easy to make. If you can have Pure Oats then you can have these.

1 cup of Pure Oats (Only Oats)
5 brown rice cakes, crumbled
1 cup chopped dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, raisins, dates)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds chopped or pulsed in food processor
1/4 cup ground flax seed and/or sunflower seeds
pinch salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup soy milk or regular milk

In large bowl, toss together the oats, rice cakes, dried fruit, coconut, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed and salt. In a small saucepan, combine the cocoa, peanut butter and maple syrup and set over medium heat. Cook until melted and smooth, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the soy milk until well blended and smooth.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Put bowl in the fridge until the mixture is cool. Shape into balls. Store them covered, in the fridge.
They are great frozen too!

BP - never again

December is also Birthday month, I have a lot of friends with birthdays in December. Of course we try and get together. First party was being held at the Rose & Crown and I did the smart thing and ate before going. We didn't need to be there until after 7 so it was easy. Party #2, a different story, we were meeting for 6 so I did not have time to eat. The birthday girl chose Boston Pizza and when I looked at the menu on line first it looked like I could possibly get something GF. I even had my handy gluten info card with me! When I talked to the server she said all she could do was give me a book that told all the allergy alerts for there food. That would have taken a week to read. Then when I asked her to talk to the the chef's, well BP only has cooks and none of them spoke english! So I did the safe thing and just ordered a garden salad... :0( Im pretty sick of salads. So I now will never go to BP ever again with the thought of eating and will try and discourage my friends from going there too if inviting me.
There are lots of other places

Friday, December 19, 2008


So Im now pretty sure that I do have a reaction when I have taken in gluten. We went to the Peking Garden for Chinese on Wednesday night. I had heard that they do GF chinese food.
I picked out items and the server said that yes they could do it GF so our food came and we ate.... it was very good. Plus lots of left overs.
I had a bit of a stomach ache that night but it really wasn't too bad so ignored it and had the left overs for dinner last night. Well, later that evening it was a disaster, pain and the old symptoms back. Im pretty sure their was gluten in there somewhere. Cause I was pretty bad last night. I feel fine today. In one way though Im glad that I have reactions as it makes it easier to figure out if you are eating gluten or not. Im also happy cause that meant that my trip to Mexico was a GF success..... have passport, can travel!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mexico - GF?

First I have to say.....what happened to calgary chinooks? I came from +28 to -32.....crazy
I just spent a week in Mexico, Riviera Maya at the Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach Hotel. The place was fabulous. Big enough to have lots of interesting stuff but small enough to easily get around.
As for food, it did take me a while to get things figured out as far as my diet went. I tried just talking to them, some got it other didn't. The buffet, I stuck to a lot of salads and chicken/fish that they grilled in front of you with oil. Oh and white rice with peas. So not really that appetizing. Finally I got someone at the hotel to add to my Spanish card that tells about celiac and gluten a bit about lactose as well. Once I started to use the card, things got better, the main restaurants were great, either made me my own dinner or helped me order. Most of the time they really went out of their way to help me. I won't say it was easy, the first day was very hard and I had a major breakdown. Not sure if the rainbow of drinks I had drank that day helped much. But it did get better.
We also went into Playa de Carmen for the day and went out for lunch. Using my handy little card, it went really well, better than I thought. Unfortunately at this point I really am not sure if I have been poisoned or not so please take my encounters with a grain of salt for more sensitive celiacs.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Greek Anyone?

Part of my job is to organize fun stuff for our group to do and every christmas we go out for lunch. This is just not 10 people no I have to organize 40+ people. Finding a good restaurant that will accommodate that many people can be a challenge as well.
I found out about this fabulous Greek Taverna from a co-worker. She is also an admin like me but her parents own Santorin's Greek Taverna - Center Street North.
I booked our group for a 10 course meal and then there was me! I called the owner who is also the Chef, Andreas and talked to him about my diet restrictions. He was so pleasant to work with and he assured me I would not go hungry.
The food was absolutely amazing, rave review from everyone. They brought out the dishes on platters so everyone served themselves with how much they wanted. I think most people were full about 1/2 way thru. 3 1/2 hrs of eating... could you ask for more!!!
As for me they really did take my diet serious and brought me my own plates of things I could eat. Starting while everyone was eating peta bread and dips, I got raw veggies with Hummus...yummy. Then my greek salad had no feta, and while the rest were eating calamari and shrimp with scallops in butter and garlic, I was given the same but no breading and cooked with olive oil and lemon. I don't know about the others by mine was so delicious.
The main course was lamb, chicken and roasted potatoes. Even though it was the same as everyone else, they still gave me my own plate so I didn't have to share. I wasn't sure if it really was different or not...it looked the same.
I really give this place a 10 of 10, we all had such a great time and we weren't rushed out which was really nice.
I will definitely go back on my own - Andreas kept telling me, come back to us and I will make sure you have a great dinner you can eat. Can't get much better than that!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tengo una enfermedad que se lama celiaqua

I have an illness called Celiac Disease........
Hey Im going to mexico and just found the Restaurant card in spanish.
I am having a few anxious moments about this trip. I have felt like I am on a roller coaster, trying to figure out what i should take and all the legistics of traveling with a CF & LF diet.
We are travelling with 2 other couples, my sister and her husband and friends. Very exciting, I haven't been on a sun vacation in ages, I think its been 5 or 6 years now. My fears....unfortunately are very real. I am thankful we are staying at a 5 star resort as I'm hoping that I will get better service because of that fact to start with. I did contact the hotel and got a really fast response and I was very happy when they stated they have had celiac's stay with them before and my name will be given to the chef at each place we are eating that morning to help prepare for the evening meal. My fears went away a little at that point, I was feeling much better about the trip. Then last week I emailed again just to confirm my arrival and to ask if they had soy milk at the hotel. I haven't heard back from them and now Im nervous again.
Lots of emotions and stuff are going through my head...Ive even thought about just saying screw it and not doing the diet. I do have to be off the diet for 2 months before I have the biopsy anyway. But then that won't help me in the future when we take another trip, maybe at a non resort style or not 5 star.
I have come up with some ideas of what to bring. Lots of Lara and Fruit bars, tetra pak of soy milk, crackers and some other snacking type foods. Oh and cereal. Ive been reading a few blogs and such about travelling but there really is not much out there on that topic. Lets hope I get through customs with my suitecase full of food!!!

We leave on sunday...whoo hoo!!! Margarita anyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Breakie Boycott

Im sure if you are celiac or know someone close to you who is, you will relate to this story. A few weeks ago, Don came up with a great idea, lets go out for breakfast. I had been avoiding this and had been pretty successful cause he suggests it every weekend. But finally knowing I really can't put this off anymore agreed. *News Flash* ...I like my coffee people and can get a little grumpy without it.... We head out and thought, lets try Nellies in Kensington.... big line up and we both aren't great with lineups. Im also really hungry, so we decide Phils in Motel Village, cause we couldn't think of anywhere else close by. So we get seated and I ask if they have soy milk.... no and the strangest look, honestly I don't think the server even knew what soy milk was!!!! So right off the bat, Im having a grumpy moment and I order Tea... I like tea, tea is good but I don't drink tea in the morning, for me tea is that evening drink. COFFEE is for the mornings and unfortunately I have to have cream in my coffee, black just doesn't work for me yet. So on to the menu..... Im already a smidgen close to having a temper tantrum and after looking at the menu the only thing on it that I could have was Eggs, Hashbrowns and bacon (pray the bacon is GF). Well, I just look at Don and say, I can make all of this at home and HAVE COFFEE!!!! Yup I was losing it!!!
The meal was only OK, it was just plain old eggs, which is the only thing I can really have at a restaurant for Breakfast, so I have now put a ban on all going out for breakfasts.... nope won't do it. I can make a great breakfast at home and have my fabulous coffee with soy!!!
On a side note, since the ban, I have gotten French Toast at home - Don made it using the bread from my favourite Bakery in Cochrane - GF Patisserie. Next time we'll try it with the raisin bread. I had gone to heaven, it was so good. French Toast was one of my favorite things to order in the old days. See, staying home can have its benefits.
Oh and yes I could just bring my own soy milk but who remembers that or really wants to be lugging every condiment you have in your fridge to the restaurant.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cheese you say?

Ok, the whole reason to have this blog is to help me vent so I don't drive my family and friends away from me.
Cheese, lets say...I love cheese and miss it more than any glutenized item on earth. So being Lactose intolerant is hell... So we had decided to have a little mexican night with friends to help us get excited about our pending trip to mexico on Dec 7th.. more on that later.
What is a taco without cheese??? Not a taco!!!!!! So in my wisdom I decided to try an alternative cheese product that the Vegan group can use. Tofu - well I don't really mind tofu, have had great tofu so thought, hey the cheese may taste ok and then I will once again be a happy girl.
I could not get it out of my mouth quick enough, it was the most foul tasting thing I have ever in my 44 years of life experienced. I thought the brown rice bread I first tried was bad but no, that was like a cupcake compared to this. Spit it out and the whole thing went into the garbage. So if you are also lactose intolerant, save yourself the bad taste and money...just don't do it.
Anyone find a good non-cheese make sure you let me know!