Category Archives: gluten-free

Flaky Biscuits (gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free optional, corn-free, soy-free)

 Biscuit

 

 

 

 

 

Flaky Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups  Allergic Solution All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter or coconut oil, cubed
  • 1 cup buttermilk or (coconut milk with 1 tsp vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup cream or full fat coconut milk

Preparation

In large bowl, stir together all purpose, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using fingertips, pastry blender or 2 knives, rub or cut in butter/coconut oil until in coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk and cream to make lumpy wet dough.

Using ice-cream scoop or large spoon, portion dough into 9 scoops, dropping each onto well-floured surface. Turn each to coat with flour and shape. Place 1 in centre of parchment paper-lined baking sheet; arrange remaining scoops like petals around scoop.

Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven until golden and flaky, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool on rack. Makes 9 biscuits.

 

 

At Last a Fluffy Gluten-free Potato Gnocchi (egg-free, optional)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. russet potatoes or sweet potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled and cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups Allergic Solution All Purpose Flour Mix, more for kneading and rolling
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten (optional)

Boil potatoes until tender, drain and rinse in cold water. Blend potatoes until smooth set until completely cooled.

Meanwhile place flour in a bowl and mix in salt, when potatoes are cool add egg and mix well.

Add potato mixture to flour. Mix together until all combined. (this step is easier if you use your hands)

Transfer it to the floured surface and wash your hands.

rolling

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Knead gently until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is soft, smooth, and a little sticky, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (Don’t over-mix it, or the gnocchi will be tough; the dough should feel very delicate.) Move the dough to one side, making sure the surface underneath it is well floured. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel.

Cover two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment and sprinkle lightly with flour.

Remove any lingering bits of dough from your work surface and lightly re-flour the surface. Tear off a piece of dough about the size of a large lemon and put the towel back on the rest of the dough so it doesn’t dry out.

With the palms of both hands, roll the dough piece on the floured surface into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter.

 

With a sharp knife, cut the rope crosswise every 3/4 inch to make roughly 3/4-inch-square gnocchi. Arrange the gnocchi in a single layer on the parchment-covered baking sheets, making sure they don’t touch. Repeat until you run out of dough, re-flouring the work surface as needed. When all the gnocchi have been cut and spread out on the baking sheets, sprinkle them with a little more flour. You can freeze the gnocchi to use later, put the baking sheet in the freezer until they are frozen then transfer to a zip lock freezer bag. If you are cooking right away they can stay out on the counter for 2 to 3 hours.

To cook drop gnocchi into boiling water and cook until they have all risen to the top. Serve with your favorite sauce.

 

 

Stop the Gluten-free jokes! Please.

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I am thankful for so many things and I try to practice thankfulness everyday. But I have to be honest I can be genuinely thankful for many things and sometimes I get annoyed too. I’m human.  So here it goes…

Why is GF the butt of many jokes?

Caution, angry rant to follow!

Canadian Thanksgiving just finished so I spent the weekend with family and friends surrounded by gluten filled stuffing, cakes and cookies.  Of course I had to hear once again all the jokes about eating gluten free.  “What makes food taste so good?………GLUTEN!”  Ha ha ha ha ha, yeah that was so funny, why don’t you change the record?

20 years ago one of my good friends was lactose intolerant.  We would order pizza but without cheese.  No one ever made him feel bad about it.  No one ever said “what makes cheese taste so good?…..LACTOSE!”  No, that is really not funny, is it?  We have had lactose free milk for as long as I can remember and Lactaid tablets you can pop in your glass of milk to help you digest it. It is a non issue. No one makes fun or jests about it, we just go on about out lives.

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance?  Well if you ingest lactose you get a lot of GI distress, gas bloating stomach pain, you feel like your intestines are in knots…..hmmmm does this sound familiar?  Pretty much the same symptoms I experience if I eat gluten but yet some people feel they need to make fun at every meal.  Do they lack that much self confidence that they feel the need to make fun of someone’s diet? Perhaps they are just stupid and lack social graces to just live and let live.  Are they so devoid of humour that is all they can find to joke about is a gluten-free diet?

I mean seriously if someone is diabetic would they be saying “you know what makes food so good?….sugar!” What a loser you can’t eat sugar!  Ha ha ha ha sugar can cause you pain and it might kill you but man that is funny and I think I will make joke after joke after joke about it because I am that simple and ignorant.

I am so tired of someone’s diet being the butt of jokes.  I don’t care if it is a choice or a medical need NOT to eat gluten, it is no one’s business but your own.

I didn’t sit there watching people eating stuffing, cookies and cake and comment on how big their gut was getting.  Wow!  Have another cookie and perhaps you can have a triple chin instead of a double chin!  Ha ha you are getting so fat because you shovel gluten filled, sugar filled food into your mouth like someone who hasn’t seen food in years!

No because that is rude and it would hurt someone’s feelings and quite frankly it is none of my damn business what someone eats!

Because Monday was a holiday I had the TV on during the day.  Flipping through the channels I stopped on the Kathy Lee and Hoda show (or whatever it is called).  They had a burger laden with cheese, Kathy Lee took a bite but Hoda declined saying she could not eat it because she was lactose intolerant.  This is the same woman who made fun of people who ate gluten free.  Really Hoda?  It is ok for you to be lactose intolerant but there is something wrong with me because I eat gluten free?  Does that make you a picky eater like apparently people who abstain from gluten are?

Can we please move on from making GF just a great big joke?  You know what is funny?  That camel on the Geico commercial “Hey Mike, Mike, Mike, guess what day it is? Guess what day it is?”  That cracks me up! If you haven’t seen it you should. Funny stuff!

Cauliflower Latkes (gluten, nut, corn, soy free — egg and dairy-free option)

Cauliflower Latkes

Baked latkes at the top and fried at the bottom.

Baked latkes at the top and fried at the bottom.

We are very divided in my home when it comes to vegetables.  Myself and my youngest son love our veggies but my fiancé and my oldest son are not big fans.  I am always looking for ways to hide veggies into my recipes.  My fiancé swears he would choke if he even had a small piece of spinach in his food.  Well he has eaten more spinach pureed into chocolate then he will ever know  about (I hope he doesn`t read this!).

I came up this recipe trying to recreate a potato latke but with a cheesy twist.  Feel free to use a non-dairy cheese or omit it all together, just add a bit of extra spice to replace the cheesy flavour and mask the cauliflower flavour (especially if you are not a fan).

I did these fried in a bit of coconut oil and omitted the egg and also baked them with egg, either way they were good and held together nicely.  We are all good with egg so I like to add them to up the protein content of my vegetarian recipes.

The baked latkes I topped with a bit of plain marinara sauce but I think they would be good with yogurt sauce or even a pesto.  Experiment with your favorite sauces and spices.

Every time I make a new recipe, I get the litany of questions from the dinner table “what are these?”, “what is in these?”, “are they gluten free?”  The answers to these questions are usually asked with a look of distain on their faces.  I was surprised this time after answering; all of the usual questions, I got the reply “hmmm not bad, they are actually pretty good!” as he reached for another one.  Whew!

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil -
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • ½ cup Allergic Solution Yeast Free Bread Mix
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice, works well with Daiya
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 2 eggs – beaten (optional-use an egg replacer, recipe is on our site under tips)
  • salt/pepper
  • Paprika or spices of choice

Directions

  • Cut up cauliflower and steam until tender. Place in medium size bowl and either mash or cut into small pieces (I just took a knife and ran through the cauliflower until it was into broken up to small pieces)
  • Preheat the oven to 400′ degrees.  lightly grease a baking sheet
  • Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat, add in the garlic and onions.  Season with salt& pepper to taste.  Saute onions and garlic until tender.  Add to bowl of cauliflower.
  • To the same bowl, add the cheeses or non-dairy alternative, eggs or egg replacer, and salt/pepper/spices addition to taste. Once mixed add Allergic Solution Yeast Free bread mix and mix until completely blended.
  • Form into patties about 1/2in thick (I used an ice cream scoop then patted down to desired thickness) and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, flip then bake another 15 min.
  • If you are frying in coconut oil, heat oil until frying temperature is reached.  Drop an ice cream scoop full of mixture into pan and pat down with a wooden spoon.
  • Fry until golden brown turning once and drain on paper towel to remove any excess oil.

The picture here shows two baked latkes at the top and the fried at the bottom.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Carob Brownies with Caramel Sauce (gluten, egg, dairy, nut, corn, soy and chocolate FREE)

A few months ago we ran a contest on Facebook.  To pick the winner from all the posts I asked my son to pick a number between 1 and 42 (for the number of posts).  He picked 11.  Number 11 was a Ricki Heller.  I didn’t realize it at the time but she is a GF cookbook author.  Once I found out who she was I started taking a look at her site and recipes.  I was so excited because she does healthy gluten free with a focus on eliminating common food allergens in her recipes.  Ricki is coming out with a new cookbook called Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free. I can’t wait to get a copy!  Check out her website www.dietdessertndogs.com  it is a great resource and you can also check out some of her other cookbooks.

I decided to get my son Anthony to bake up this weeks recipe post which was created by Ricki from our carob cake recipe.  If your kid is going to have a talent, I have to say cooking and baking is a great talent for them to have.  I am so lucky he cooks dinner at least 3 times a week. These tasty treats came out perfect!

Carob Brownies by Ricki Heller       carob brownies with caramel

  • 1 full bag of Allergic Solution Carob Cake Mix 
  • 1/4 cup smooth all natural (unsweetened) sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 cup melted organic coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or use milk of choice)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 6 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened carob chips (you could use chocolate if you can have it)

Directions:

Empty Carob Cake Mix into a lrg. bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together sunflower seed butter, melted organic coconut oil,  unsweetened almond milk, pure vanilla, coconut sugar and coconut nectar.  Pour the liquid mix over the dry and stir by hand, once mixed stir in unsweetened carob chips. Spread in an 8×8 inch square pan and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes till  still moist but not wet in the middle. Allow to cool completely and cut in squares.

We decided to take this recipe up a notch and add caramel sauce.  We found this gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free recipe on www.allergyfreealaska.com this is a very yummy sauce I would put on anything!

Liquid Gold a.k.a. Dairy Free Caramel SauceRecipe

Yields about 2 cups

  • 14 ounces canned coconut milk
  • 1 cup palm sugar we used Madhava coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Small pinch of sea salt
  1. In a small heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the coconut milk, palm sugar, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes and then remove from heat.
  2. Whisk in the coconut oil, vanilla, and sea salt.
  3. Allow the Caramel Sauce to cool for 20 minutes. A thin film will naturally form over the top of the sauce; this is perfectly normal. Simply give the sauce a good whisk before pouring it into a glass airtight container (I use a canning jar). The sauce will continue to thicken (although not much) while it cools.
  4. Store in the refrigerator. Can be served warm or cold. Use within 5-7 days.

Drizzle over brownies and enjoy, I bet you can’t stop at one!

Going Gluten-free is Often Not Enough!

17463_wpm_lowresRecently I had a conversation with a gentleman that has very unstable type 2 diabetes.  Unstable because as soon as he deviates from his very strict diet he becomes either hypo or hyper glycemic.

He shared with me that 40 of his 58 years he ate like crap.  He left home at 18, his mother only cooked from scratch and many things she grew herself including their meat.  When he left home for university he survived on junk food and fast food.  When he got married his wife loved to bake and they ate sweets every night.  Both he and his wife were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in their late 40’s.  They were both on medication and ‘cheated’ quite often.  Within 5 years they were both on insulin and his wife died of complication from diabetes 3 years ago.  After his wife died he decided food was just not worth his health.

Why am I sharing this with you?  Well for me it really hit home because having food allergies/sensitivities I moan and complain about not being able to eat this and that.  I meet many celiacs/people with food allergies and sensitivities that just want food that tastes good and they really are not concerned about the nutrition end of things.

Here is my take on it:  For years I worked with families of autistic kids to help them heal their kid’s guts.  For most children with autism it meant getting them off gluten, dairy, sugar and yeast, cleaning up the GI so they can heal.  Most autistic kids have leaky gut syndrome (small holes in their GI that food etc. can get through wreaking havoc in the system).  Basically these kids eat an anti-inflammatory diet to calm things down enough so they can heal.   Celiacs have a similar problem.  The GI is compromised, there is a lot of inflammation, nutrients are not absorbed and their whole system suffers.

Unfortunately just getting off gluten is not always enough.  It may be for a few years but the one thing I hear over and over again is eventually they start feeling unwell again.  Not always GI related, it could be joint pain, chronic migraines, skin problems, thyroid disease, type 2 diabetes etc.

When the GI tract is compromised it is imperative that we eat a good clean diet so we can fully heal.  Does that mean we can never have a ‘treat’?  No but we can’t be eating ‘crap’ every day.  Garbage in, garbage out! We truly are what we eat.  High inflammatory foods, high glycemic foods cannot be eaten every day or our health will suffer.  Steer clear of products that are high in sugar (especially refined sugars and artificial sweetners), high glycemic carbs (rice, corn and potato starches), artificial colours, flavours and additives, unhealthy fats and low fibre ingredients.

I like the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time, eat healthy foods (vegetables, fruit, lean meats, high fibre grains and healthy fats) and 20% of the time we eat the crappy stuff we all love so much.  Gluten free does not mean healthy.  If you are experiencing health challenges after getting off gluten take a serious and honest look at the foods you are consuming and start making some small choices….food really is not worth your health!

 

Food Allergies and Planning a Wedding Feast?

5111_wpm_lowres In just about 3 months I will be walking down the aisle again.  My partner and I have been together for 7 years and I guess it is time.   The first time I got married we eloped so this is really the first time I have planned a wedding.  Now I am no spring chicken and as the date gets closer I keep thinking ‘why did we not elope??’. 

For those of you that have planned a wedding I am sure you know all the little details that need to be taken care of.  Just when you think you have a handle on everything, someone says ‘what about this?’  URGH!  

Because my fiancé and I are both, well…not spring chickens we made it clear to everyone this is our wedding and we will do what we want.  We are paying for it so have your opinion but ultimately the final decision is ours.  Awesome!

My fiancé has never been married so for his parents this is kind of a big deal.  We picked a venue, decided on the menu and thought we were done.  After letting his parents know what would be served for dinner they offered to pay for the reception meal.  I was so touched that they wanted to do that.  The only stipulation was they got to have a say in the menu.  Ok I can live with that.    Problem is I have food allergies and sensitivities and I don’t want to have to tuck an Epipen into my garter.

So do I speak up and say, no way to the seafood platter (I am anaphylactic to most seafood)?  Do I put my foot down and insist the pasta is gluten free? Do I make sure there is no corn or soy as part of the ingredients?

I have decided to smile and be grateful these two really sweet people wanted to be part of the menu planning for their only son’s wedding.  They want glutinous pasta and a seafood course.  The chef knows the bride is allergic to seafood so my meal will be sequestered and I am bringing in gluten free pasta for myself and a few other guests, which will be cooked separate from the regular pasta.

The reality is; how much will I really be eating that day?  After talking to many other brides, they all said the same thing.  They never even got to taste the food at their wedding.  So I am going to concede and let them have what they want, I have control over everything else.  We are having a gluten free wedding cake, I picked the flowers, my dress, tuxedos, bridesmaid dresses, décor, venue, etc. etc.

A few people are shocked and have been giving me grief over my decision.  Now if this was my kid’s birthday party and they were insisting on having seafood and he was allergic, well that is a completely different story!  Momma Bear would come out and there would not be a shrimp within 50 miles of that party!!

I am an adult and I know how to keep safe and if I have to tuck an Epipen into my garter well so be it.

No sense getting upset.  I had a wedding already, he hasn’t and his parents have never been able to be part of the planning for his wedding.  It is one day that will fly by in a blink of an eye.  In the end I am marrying my best friend and that is all that is important to me.  The food is secondary so I am letting it go.

My decision to shut up I think is a way to honor his parents and their wishes.  If it were his aunt, cousin or even sibling I would probably say ‘whoa hold on there, I have food allergies’.  His parents are in their 80’s and don’t understand food allergies.  His mom tries when I eat there.  She made lasagna with gluten free pasta at Easter!  For a very traditional Italian momma that was a big deal!  She put wheat bread crumbs in the meat but hey she tried and it was appreciated.  She buys bread made from corn flour (I am sensitive to corn), but the thing is she does try.  The statement ‘justa eat a little bit’ has been uttered.  Again the understanding is not there but the effort is so I shut up.

If I were in a restaurant, I would definitely stand up for my food allergies and be very firm about what I can and cannot have.  My in-laws have never tried to push seafood on me (that is the one that will kill me) and always has a different option for me on occasions like Christmas Eve when the traditional meal is fish and seafood.

Perhaps if I were a younger bride and had never been through the whole process, I may feel different.  I know brides that have fought tooth and nail with their mother’s over the smallest of details (ravioli vs tortellini)!  My wish for our wedding is everyone comes and has a great time and we look back on the day with fond memories.  I will be vigilant when it comes to what I am eating and as long as the chef knows what I can and can’t have and understands cross-contamination then it will be perfect!

I Glutened Myself

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 12.20.23 PMConfession time, and well I am actually really embarrassed to share this information but I am sure I am not the only one out there that does this from time to time.  I knowingly ate gluten Sunday and again on Monday.  Not a lot but I now feel like crap.  Each time I do this I chastise myself because I know better.  So why put myself in this position?  There is a part of my brain that actually thinks I am invincible and well this time it won’t affect me.  There is also that little voice that whispers in my ear “come on, don’t deprive yourself, everyone is eating it”.  Then there is the part of me that doesn’t want to make a fuss, doesn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.  That is what happened Sunday.  My mother-in-law baked a cake for Father’s Day lunch, I baked a gluten free pineapple upside down cake.  When the cakes were served a slice of my cake and a slice of her cake went on the plate.  I could have just not eaten the gluten cake but I felt bad and there was that voice to just eat it and don’t worry about it.    So Sunday night I felt bloated, had a headache and just generally felt crummy.  Monday comes and we had some people over for a BBQ.  I was tired all day Monday (hmmm something to do with the damn gluten I had Sunday???).  I didn’t make myself any GF buns for the burgers and sausages. I could have just eaten them without but there was that voice.  So I had half a burger and ate only half the sausage bun.  Almost immediately the headache started (I still have it).  I didn’t sleep well Sunday or Monday night and woke up feeling like my joints were frozen.

Why do we do stuff like this to ourselves?  I have always been a bit of a dare devil, I have the scares to prove it.  I have had more broken bones then I care to remember and when it comes to gluten I seen to have the same kind of attitude.  I can go years without having anything with gluten.  I feel great then I get into a cycle of tempting fate and thinking that if I eat just a little bit of gluten I will be fine.  It never is!

 

 

Canada’a Gluten-Free Market: So Many Choices!

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 6.48.42 AM 15 years ago I went gluten free. I had been feeling very bloated after eating, my stomach was distended, my joints ached and I had never ending diarrhea.  A naturopath I worked with suggested I stop eating gluten.  I had no idea what gluten was but I would have tried just about anything.  Within a week I was feeling good, no more bloating, stomach had flattened out, after a month, the joint pain was gone and no more diarrhea.  Over the years it has been suggested I be tested for Celiac disease but the problem is you have to eat gluten for 6 weeks to 3 month (depending on which doctor you talk to).  I am not willing to subject myself to that kind of pain so I will continue being ‘gluten intolerant’.

So I am feeling good but what the heck was there to eat?  I basically cut out most carbs from my diet and ate rice cakes if I wanted a sandwich.  Rice cakes DO NOT substitute bread.  15 years ago there was no such thing as the ‘gluten free’ aisle at the grocery store.  Rice cakes came everywhere with me; back then I travelled a lot for work so they became my go to snack.  Fast forward 15 years and I cannot even stand the smell of rice cakes!

To even dream of a trade show that was all about everything gluten free was not even in the realm of possibilities.  This past weekend we did the Canadian Celiac Association Gluten Free market place trade show.  The turnout was incredible!  It seems each show gets bigger and bigger.  Last fall we did the first ever Gluten Free Expo in Toronto; wall to wall people from opening to close, it was crazy busy all day.  January was the GF Expo in Vancouver which saw people standing in line for over 3 hours to get in.  It opened at 10am and by 5pm when it closed I had realised did not even have time to go to the bathroom all day!  This weekend was pretty much the same thing.  By 11am I had run out of samples and was off to the kitchen to bake some more.  I returned at 12:30 with 400 more samples and they were gone by 4pm.  I was so exhausted when I got home but it made me smile because for those newly diagnosed they really have a tremendous selection of products they can choose from.  You could try a new thing every day and never have to eat a rice cake!

I always smile when talking to newly diagnosed folks, “I have no idea what I am going to eat!” is generally one of the first things they talk about.  Hmmm try going gluten free 15 years ago!  Today it is more like “it is completely overwhelming the choices I have!”.  Part of me is glad, part of me is sad.  Glad because of the choices we have, sad because a lot of the choices are very unhealthy and sad because something very wrong is going on with our food chain.

When my grandpa was a boy, wheat was a staple of his diet.  My grandparents were poor, bread could be made cheap and last over a few days. No one heard of gluten issues.  Today it is rare if you don’t know someone with a problem with gluten.  So one hand we  can rejoice in all the choices but on the other hand we should all be terribly alarmed as to why so many of us can’t eat gluten…that my friends is another blog!

More Mis-Information and Bullying over Food Allergies & Sensitivities.

So May was Celiac and Allergy awareness month.  This month there were a couple of high profile stories about basically people making fun of celiacs and their diets. Toast being thrown, the disease being called trendy etc.  I learned of an incident recently where a child was bullied at a party because he has Celiac Disease.  Another kid tried cramming cheezies in his mouth saying “can you eat this can you eat this?”

This is completely inexcusable and just mean but where does it come from?  Food Allergies/sensitivities are a fairly new phenomenon.  When I was a kid you never heard of food allergies/sensitivities even though they existed.  When I was 4 I was diagnosed with hyper activity.  The doctor put me on Phenobarbital which did nothing but make me sleepy.  Then an old Indian nurse my mother worked with told her to take me off all food dyes as I may not tolerate them.  At the time I lived on Tang, this fake orange juice full of red and yellow food dyes.  Within a few days of being off Tang I calmed down to normal 4 year old business.  No mention was ever made to the fact I may be allergic to food dyes.  I had a friend that couldn’t drink milk because he got a rash around his mouth, was he allergic, no he just couldn’t drink milk, that was the thought back them.

Fast forward to today and we hear of food allergies/sensitivities almost every day.  Unfortunately attitudes and knowledge has not kept pace.  15 years ago when I went gluten free because of an intolerance, my friends thought I was just being difficult.  “just eat it, why do you have to be so difficult?” was a phrase I heard all the time.  Many times I did “just eat it” and dealt with the consequences after.  I am very conscience of today of ‘putting’ people out because of my food allergies/sensitivities.  Should it be that way, NO! Do I shout it from the roof tops, no, I try and educate where I can.  For the most part when I let people know how bad I feel when I eat certain foods and that I could die from eating certain foods then they have a better understanding.  I don’t scold, I don’t make them feel bad because they don’t understand and I don’t lash out, I try and always come from a place of love when there is an issue around understanding.  I am sure if I was still feeling like crap and just starting to deal with my food allergies/sensitivities my coming from a place of love would not be so much of a place of love but from a place of being p’ed off for having to defend my food choices.

Nothing good ever comes from anger, all around we need more understanding, more compassion from both sides.  Was Disney trying to get a laugh?  Yes of course, what they didn’t understand that for someone with Celiac disease getting toast thrown at you can not only be embarrassing but scary as well. Would they do a show with someone with a peanut allergy?  Probably not but then again there is way more understanding around peanut allergies. Many people have jumped on the no-gluten bandwagon not because there has been a diagnosis but because they feel bit better not eating it or they think they will lose weight.  I think that is great but for those of us diagnosed with either celiac disease or gluten intolerance we get lumped into the ‘trendy’ category.

It makes us easy targets to make fun of unfortunately.  I have gotten miffed when a waiter says in a condescending tone “oh you are gluten free”.  Yes, yes I am and I was before it became ‘trendy’.  If you don’t believe this is real I dare you to feed me gluten then stand down wind of me 2 hours later, it really is not very pretty and certainly not fragrant!

So whether I eat gluten free or because it is trendy or because I have a medical need what business is it of anyone else’s.  When my kids were little I chose to feed them very wholesomely, I didn’t allow them to have sugary cereal or treats, they ate gluten free and didn’t drink juices or soda pop.  Did everyone agree with my decision?  Of course not, my own mother told me I was being abusive to my kids for not letting them eat Fruit Loops.  Here is the thing though, I have never judged those moms I see going through the McDonald’s drive through handing their kids a Happy Meal and a soda pop, why?  Because; it is their choice; for their child.  I have no right to question the way another child is fed or another person chooses to feed themselves.  I have no idea if the mom is just being lazy or if she has had a really crap day and all she can muster is a trip to McDonald’s, I have no idea if 364 other days in the year she feeds her kid organic home cooked meals.  It is none of my business as it is none of anyone else’s business as to what I choose to feed myself or my children.  If you are not living in my shoes you have no idea why I have made the choices I have.

Bullying is all over the media, schools have anti-bullying policies, we run seminars on bullying but somehow it is ok to bully someone about their food choices which for many of us is not a choice it is a necessity.  It shouldn’t matter if you have a medical condition or not what you choose to feed yourself or your family should never ever be the fodder for a tv show or news feed or as a way to sell media.

Watch 10 minutes of any Real Housewives show and you can see how bullying is completely ok to sell a show and ok for us to sit and watch and be entertained by; but if a troubled kid bullies his classmate well that is taboo they are painted as being evil.   If the media is going to get behind this anti-bullying campaign then they need to take a very long look in the mirror and realise how they are contributing to the problem.  Hello Disney!  How is a child is suppose to watch a show where someone is throwing toast at a person that is Celiac/gluten intolerance etc and separate that from bullying their classmate with words or worse their fists?  How do they separate a bunch of ‘housewives’ calling each other names and shouting at each other; from calling their classmates names and shouting at them? Let’s be examples for our kids in every aspect, let’s not support media that promotes bullying as entertainment.

So from a place of love and tolerance I am asking the media to think before they act or speak and have some compassion for their fellow man.  Whether you think someone is being trendy or difficult you don’t always have the whole story so just keep your opinions to yourself and let them eat <gluten free> cake!