Tag Archives: Bite-Me

My Gluten Free Story

Kikadoo Katie Roof My Gluten Free Story.jpg

[I have been waiting to share my gluten free story with all of you. I always like to keep it fun, fresh, and fashionable here on the blog; but let’s get real… sometimes life throws you a curve ball. Here is mine.]

Most of my readers know that I am strictly gluten free… but very few know why. It’s not for fun, it’s not to be trendy, and it’s certainly not out of convenience. I am gluten free so that I can thrive, survive, and enjoy life.

Many many years ago I was incredibly ill. The cause was unknown, but as time went by I could hardly function. I was in and out of the hospital, was dropped from most of my classes as my attendance was less than stellar, and lost the majority of my friends. When you are 21 going on 80 you’re not exactly a hoot to be around. I felt terrible the majority of the time, couldn’t go out and party, alcohol was a definite no-no in my condition, and I truly felt like my life was slipping away. I moved back home as I needed lots of physical and emotional support. [My fam is the best BTW!]

I saw doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, and underwent test after test. Taking care of me and running around from appointment to appointment became a full time job for my family [esp the Mama]. I was diagnosed with a myriad of illnesses,  was prescribed a ridiculous amount of medications from anti-seizure meds to anti-depressants [at one point I was popping 30+ pills a day], and overall I continued to feel worse and worse. I looked awful, felt awful, and all in all things were pretty freaking awful.

I had kind of resigned myself to the fact that this would be how my life would play out. Sick, tired, and constantly in pain. It wasn’t until years later that one of my doctors recommend that I go gluten free. I underwent blood and saliva tests that showed a definite gluten sensitivity. He told me to go strictly g-free for a solid six weeks and see how I feel. Let me say, I was sold in way less than six weeks.

After two weeks I started feeling alive again. I was less achy, experienced less joint pain, had more energy, and could think more clearly. The longer I avoided gluten, the better I felt. It was as if my entire system had gotten a re-boot.

I became a gluten guru… reading EVERYTHING there was to read on gluten and a gluten free lifestyle. I can now look at an ingredient list and in about .85 seconds tell you if it contains gluten. Gluten is a sneaky little devil and can take on so many forms. Just because you don’t see wheat, barley, rye, or oats in the ingredients does NOT mean the product is gluten free. Also, beware of labels saying “free of gluten” or “wheat free”. They are marketing ploys. Only trust the official GF stamp and your own good sense.

I am now 100% gluten free [and have been for quite some time]. This includes everything that goes into or onto my body [yes… makeup, shampoo, lotions, etc. can have the same nasty effect on me]. I am never tempted to “cheat”. Nothing in the world could possibly taste that good… and to be honest, I don’t miss a thing. Actually, I do miss one thing: Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. My favorite chapstick since the age of 3. They are so amazing and so not g-free :( [Wheat germ oil is one of the main ingredients. Wah wah.] Ok, so other than the Lip Smackers… I don’t miss a thing.

Since I have gone gluten free I have been “poisoned” a handful of times. Even if you are completely diligent in your g-free efforts, it can still happen. Let’s face it. You’ve got to live your life. This means eating out at restaurants or at other people’s homes. Not everyone can be as careful as you… and honestly, you can’t expect them to. Plus there’s always the matter of cross contamination. I would say I prepare 90% of the food that I put into my body, and with the other 10% I just have to pray for the best.

I will know if I got “glutened” within hours… and the negative effects typically last 3 – 5 weeks. I’m not gonna lie, it totally sucks. The nausea, headaches, brain fog, joint pain, body aches, tenderness to the touch, and fatigue all come rushing back. I spent one Christmas “glutened” and couldn’t even be hugged by my family members as it was so painful to be touched. My whole body felt like a bruise. And forget about cute clothes. Times like these call for the baggiest of baggy sweats as waistbands and bras become the stuff of nightmares. I haven’t found a great way to fight this quite yet… but I’m working on it. Aloe vera juice is very cleansing and the last time I got “glutened” I chugged aloe like it was my  job. I only felt terrible for about two weeks that time instead of the usual 3-5.

I feel that it is only appropriate to share my GF journey with my dedicated little ‘doos [that’s you]. I want you all to know that every recipe I post and every product I recommend is totally g-free and safe [in my experience]. I also want you to know that if you have questions about going gluten free or are experiencing road bumps on your own GF journey I want you to talk to me. Trust me, I’ve been through it all and nothing would make me happier than helping out a g-free friend in need.

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Oh Nuts!

gluten free peanut butter cookies

I love nuts! Seriously. Any nut, every nut, never met a nut I didn’t like. I’m also a big fan of their deliciously creamy, calorie-laden offspring… the nut butter. I mean, what’s better than a spoonful of peanut butter straight out of the jar? The answer is nothing. I’m not even going to pretend I’ve never woken up with an empty jar of peanut butter in bed beside me (swear… I have no idea how it got there). I mean, I am human.

You know what I’m not a fan of…? Spending hours and hours in the kitchen. If given the choice there are a million and one things I’d rather be doing… playing with my pup, spoiling my precious nephew, going on mini adventures, or let’s face it… watching trashy, mindless reality TV.

Now where were we? Nuts… oh ya. I’m crazy about ’em. I think we’ve established that. I’m also crazy about these amazingly delicious and incredibly simple gluten free peanut butter cookies. Seriously, they take about 15 minutes to whip up from scratch, they are always a huge hit, and they are chock full of nutty goodness!

In a nutshell… you’re gonna love them!

gluten free peanut butter cookies ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

– 1 cup of your favorite kind of peanut butter

– 1 cup of brown sugar

– 1 egg

– a handfull of chocolate chips (optional)

gluten free peanut butter cookies instructions

Here’s what you’ll do:

– pre-heat your oven to 350 F

– throw all of your ingredients in a bowl and mix mix mix

– once combined, roll your dough into balls (think ping pong sized) and place onto your cookie sheet

gluten free peanut butter cookies bake

– press down with a fork to make a criss cross pattern: this step is optional but helps them to bake evenly (and look cute)

– bake at 350 F for 10 – 12 minutes

– let cool and enjoy!

gluten free peanut butter cookie

P.S. Don’t forget about peanut butter’s BFF… almond butter, or it’s completely underrated second cousin twice removed, sun butter (made of sunflower seeds and little bits of heaven). Don’t be afraid to switch it up and try this recipe with your favorite kind of nut butter!

This Snack is Bananas: B.A.N.A.N.A.S.

barnanas dehydrated banana snack

Yum! While perusing the aisles of my local Jimbo’s today I found what is sure to become my fave new snack, and the best part is… they’re free! Well, not technically, but they are free of all sorts of yucky things like GMOs, animal products, and gluten {hooray}. Just incase the title didn’t make it crystal clear… I’m talking about bananas [not your run of the mill banana, but perfect little snack packs of dehydrated bananas aka Barnanas]. Bananas are loaded with potassium which makes them the perfect pre-workout snack. They will totally fuel your muscles and keep you super energized. They come in basic banana [which contains one ingredient… BANANAS] and chocolate covered banana [made up of bananas, cocoa, and other all natural organic ingredients] <– yummers! I’ve gotta say… I’ll be indulging in the chocolate ones sparingly, but they serve as a super tasty little treat. You know what they say… buy fresh, buy local, and this company is located right here in La Jolla, CA. So go for it, give ’em a try, and go totally bananas.

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Yum!! G-Free Baked Zucchini Chips.

I absolutely love fried zucchini… the taste and texture can’t be beat, however, as I am allergic to gluten and try to refrain from fried foods, I was left with a small, [yet tasty] void in my stomach. Thankfully, I have found something that is both gluten [[& waistband]] friendly + it really hits the spot! This recipe is so easy… and delicious! I made these bad boys twice this past week and they were a big hit!

here’s what you’ll need

+ 2 zucchinis

+ gluten free corn flakes to use as breadcrumbs (if you are not g-free feel free to use regular breadcrumbs) i used these ones

+ parmesan cheese, seasoned salt, garlic and onion powder to taste

+ one egg white

+ one baking sheet

+ parchment paper

+ a healthy appetite

here’s what you’ll do

+ chop your zucchini

+ mix your dry ingredients… no measuring needed, just make sure you have enough parmesan to cover your slices. add seasoned salt, garlic powder, and onion powder according to your taste

+ crack one egg into a small bowl or ramekin and remove the yolk

+ dip your zucchini slices one by one into your egg white

+ immediately dip the same slice into your dry mixture, coating each side

+ place on your baking sheet which is covered in parchment paper

+ once each piece is coated and placed on your baking sheet, bake @ 450 for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy

+ ENJOY!!