Sporadic blogging much? Sorry my schedule has been whacky, I just have so much to say lately!
Well boy. The comments on my last post were freaking amazing. I kept laughing, giggling and wanting to read more. What I have learned is
- I am slightly insane for having that large of a google reader. I sort of feel that way sometimes. Maybe one day I will find a way to cut it down. It is not like I am not busy with work, running, life….
- People are super interested in my bike trip. I may have to do a post on it now. It was before my ed and the most life changing experience I have had. It really is the only time I have ever travelled out of the states.
- People are less friendly in DC. Doesn’t mean I will stop being that girl bopping along at 6 am each morning sans music with a smile on her face. I will make you friendly DC!
Something I have never done and never thought I would ever do is talk about food on my blog. My thoughts have always been that everyone is different and our bodies need different things so why the heck would someone care about what or when I eat. The blogging world has kind of opened my eyes to the idea that yes, we all eat differently but it doesn’t mean we can’t learn from others. I adore learning about new snacks and recipes to try. For someone who is less than creative in the kitchen, this pushes my boundaries and makes me experiment.
Lately, you have seen a lot of product reviews. Why? Because I want to share some of my staples with you. I will never say I like something I don’t or tell you about a product I don’t believe in. Honestly, I would rather not do the mainstream ones but the unique ones that I can’t get enough of. I started blogging not only to find a niche for myself but also to learn from others. I was a newbie Celiac girl who needed help. Lots of help. My favorite part was learning about new products that I could start incorporating. This is my way to keep that vibe going.
Since moving to Dc though I have taken on a lot of new projects in regards to food. This is the first time since being diagnosed with Celiac that I have had to buy food, cook food and provide for myself. I was only diagnosed two years ago after suffering with stomach problems for nearly five years. So my case was kind of different. I had eaten gluten before and it was a big part of my diet. Cutting it out while being in college where I didn’t have a kitchen or a fridge to stock meant kind of just hanging in there.
Now, I have taken full advantage of learning more about Celiac and the best way to fuel my body. What I have learned is that a lot of the symptoms can be due to a malabsorption of essential nutrients and minerals in the body. I still consider myself a newbie Celiac in that I am slowly learning about what I can and cannot eat. I still have those times where I eat something, had that physical reaction and know I made a mistake. People who are allergic to gluten have different physical symptoms – mine are (excuse the grossness) diarrhea, intestinal pain and bloating, red rash on forearm, mouth sores, decreased energy, and painful gas. These are not fun symptoms, I repeat not fun.
In the process of learning how to shop for food, I thought I would lay out the staples that you will always find in my kitchen. These are foods that I have on hand 24/7.
- Eggs. Adore em, love em. I am a huge fan of cooking them hardboiled, poaching egg whites in a little tool I got or even scrambling. So many ways to get some amazing protein in.
- Carrots. These are great for digestion and I live for the crunch. Plus, they are super cheap.
- Red wine or white wine vinegar. Since most dressings have gluten in them, I make my own with my salad each night. These are my staples.
- Mrs. Dash No salt Hot Pepper seasoning. I love adding this to my salad, I know strange, but I live for that kick.
- Tapioca pearls. I love making my own tapioca which is much cheaper than buying it pre-made.
- Unsweetened coconut. This stuff is good, even by the spoonful. Four tbsp. for 70 calories and lots of healthy fat. Good stuff.
- Coconut flour. For a lot of single serve baking needs.
- NuNaturals everything. I am obsessed with this stuff. It has saved my stomach. I used to addicted to splenda and my stomach hated me for that. I get no bloating from this stuff and feel better all around drinking it.
- Coffee. Well duh. I refuse to spend money on coffee when I can make my own.
- Turkey Bacon. This is a new one. I have been trying to increase my protein and most prepackaged deli meat is not gluten free. I found this gluten free turkey bacon that comes in thin strips (2 strips for 30 calories) that is a great addition to meals or as a snack. I am in love.
- Lettuce. I have at least one salad a day so whatever kind of lettuce is on sale I buy!
- Salsa. Another duh. I put it on my salads, I eat it by the spoonful… no shame.
- Popcorn and rice cakes. These are great for munchers like me. Gluten free goodness. I switch up the snacks I buy each week to whatever is on sale but these always find their way into my cart.
- Nutrition Yeast. I just got into this stuff but I am slowly learning how to use it.
- Cinnamon. I love putting cinnamon and NuNaturals powder on apples. Yummy!
- Unsweetened Almond Milk. I honestly go with either Silk or Almond Breeze depending on what is on sale.
- Drink Mixes. I hate that I rely on these but I just can’t drink plain water. It is so bad. (I am always up for any suggestions people have! I need to get off this stuff!)
Something you may notice is that I do not eat bars or foods that are technically labeled ‘gluten free’. I just do not find them tasty or satisfying. I would rather eat real food that is naturally gluten free. Living on a budget also helps me explore food choices. I buy vegetables and fruit that are on sale along with snacks. I am a huge snacker but the kinds I buy change each week. You saw that last haul at World Market, all of that for under $10. That is what I am talking about.
Now the good stuff….
First off, Perfect Fit sent me two samples of their protein powder. I have been on a hunt to find a protein powder I want to start investing in. I think I found it. This stuff is heavenly and comes in perfectly portioned packets. Vanilla is the bomb.com by the way. I think I may have found what I will be ordering. You can’t beat their Organic, Gluten-Free, Raw, Vegan, Non-GMO, Kosher, Non-Fat, Sugar-Free, Allergen-Free and Free of Dairy, Lactose, Soy, Corn and Wheat ingredients. I mean come on!
Second, my newest find. When I went to World Market I found these little packets of heaven. I love popcorn but Mini Pops were different and I bet many of you have never heard of them. After I received these samples, I have to say I will be trying desperately to order some.
Mini Pops are made from sorghum, the 5th most harvested cereal grain on the globe. Each sorghum grain has a tiny pocket of water in its center. When it heats up, it expands and explodes! It is free of all pesticides or genetic modification despite their tiny size you would think would be unreal. They are farmed in the US and profits are donated to family farm charities. They test all their products in house for gluten sensitivity – I mean how cool is that! They are certified organic and gluten free.
Even better, they have out of this world flavors. Petite Plain which I love just like that, Subatomic Sea Salt (lick your fingers good), Baby White Cheddar (who doesn’t love some cheese!), Itty Bitty Butter (oh boy….), Hot n Chilly chili (get at me!), Nano Pepper & Herb (delicious), Cutie Caramel Clusters and Itsy Bitsy Chili Cheese. I mean come on, I want them all!
Check out their Facebook page! www.facebook.com/MiniPopsInc
Hopefully this wasn’t boring for you all. I am always open to answer questions about Celiac or eating gluten free. You know where to find me!
Questions: What is always in your pantry? What snack can you not live without?