Thursday, February 11, 2016

Makin' Gluten Free Valentine's Day Bagels -- French Toast Bagels


Novelty can be hard to come by if you live gluten-free. But it's also hard to come by if I'm stuck in a rut of routine. Valentine's Day is a brilliant day to dodge ruts, and hop out of yourself -- to show love to someone else, and likewise, to yourself.

 Sometimes Valentine's Day sneaks in not just the fear of food deprivation, but of love deprivation.  Of loneliness. But deprivation is an illusion. Life, and nourishment, both of the physical and spiritual sides, aren't limited. Both by nature are pure abundance.

With celiac disease? Nope, even if brunch at the traditional diner is bad for my health (like a Russian Roulette for cross contamination), a really excellent brunch, and a novel meal, isn't off limits.  How about a gluten-free bagel, GLUTEN FREE FRENCH TOAST BAGEL.

We human beings are relational sorts; we've got to be connected. Love makes us live. And love always wants to try something new, because it's never afraid.

These bagels aren't simply celiac-safe: they're delicious, crisp and chewy, and make a stack of incomparably good gluten-free french toast.

GLUTEN FREE BAGEL FRENCH TOAST
(with berries or bananas)
[ gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free ]

: ingredients :

2 Canyon Bakehouse Plain Bagels
2 organic or local eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup coconut milk, or other dairy-free milk of choice
(I rather like So Delicious Unsweetened)

: directions:

Beat eggs, milk, spices and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl until
altogether combined. Meanwhile, slice bagel halves into bagel quarters.
(These bagels are big, thick, and strong enough easily to slice
with a good knife.) Lightly toast bagels, and then soak each quarter
in the egg mixture. 
Heat a skillet, add a bit of oil, and toss on the bagels.
Toast 1-3 minutes, or until browned; flip, repeat.
Toss on a plate, and serve with fresh berries or sliced banana
and a dusting of powdered sugar.

(Alternatively: If you're struggling with gut dysbiosis
or have diabetes, a great substitute for powdered sugar


Do you worry about eating out, or dates, or being deprived? 

Social eating is a challenge with celiac. But eating well and loving -- both are always options.



Tumbling Free,

CJ

Monday, February 8, 2016

FAT Tuesday, or Gluten-Free Pancakes with the FAT

So why can't I be fat if I want to?

It is Fat Tuesday tomorrow, and that's what one of the 6 year old's I've worked with said last week, as she hung over my arm, listening to a woman laser-eye the nutrition facts on the back of a sack of trail mix. We were doing Mad Libs -- unofficial gluten-free mad libs -- in the corner of a Whole Foods. I created my own batch of libs with food, book, and allergen-related themes (and a of tumbling -- not only is it my blog theme, but characters tumbling are always funny, whether tumbling over their tongues, over road-blocks, or down rampways.)

Anyhow, our mad libs were talking about asking a host if the food were ______free.  We had decided on the noun ferret, so we got food that was ferret free, and the woman -- someone I didn't really know from the grocery, though I'd  greeted her before in the cafe -- was decrying the fact that her food, and her body, wasn't fat free...and I was feeling like getting free from the noise and fat-obsession, and free to focus on giggling over ferret-free food.

But, "This is way too much fat. Way too much."

That's when the 6 year old blurted out the best: "So why can't I be fat if I want to? A FAT FERRET?"

"A GLUTEN FREE FAT FERRET!"

I snorted into my tea. The snort turned into choking, and I almost spat tea all over the table, mad libs, and over our gluten-free granola bars.

But it struck me afterward that the question was more than funny, it was wise, and pertinent.

Why, indeed, can't I be fat if I want to?  (As a note, I don't mean self-abusively obese and self-neglectful. Maybe the way we talk about fat should be re-constructed, and people would be better off asking or saying: I have fat. Can I have fat? rather than claiming is an identity with the verb to be.)

Bloody blazes, our brains are mostly fat. Without enough in our food and body, we can't think, let alone function in other ways.

The incident came back to me today,though, because Fat Tuesday is tomorrow, and it seems like Fat Tuesday uses the term fat with positive and celebratory intention.

Fat is good.

We have a wildly weird culture around foodstuffs that is only wilder when you throw in medically prescribed diets like gluten-free for celiac disease, or dairy-free for severe milk allergies, or nut free... But no diet, when it cuts something out, is prescribed to a healthy person. Diets are made to heal or to address an imbalance. When the imbalance is addressed, either one can return to a wider and unrestricted normalcy in eating, or -- sans one or two items -- one can enjoy the select items from every food group that don't contain the disease trigger.

The only problem is a diet without an imbalance or a disease to treat is a problem.  It is a sort of disease of heart and head, a desire to fix something that isn't broken. In other words, a disease of behaviour. (This is where eating disorders originate.)

For Fat Tuesday, why not think about fat.  Why not have fat if you want it. Why not be a fat ferret?

Well, not really the fat ferret.

We finished our mad libs -- and discretely extricated ourselves from the woman and her laser-eyed examination of the pieces of macronutrition contained in her bag of trail mix.

Then we brainstormed new varieties of gluten-free pancakes.

"The best pancakes used to be wallowing in butter," I said.

The 6 year old looked glum. "Can't eat butter."

"Me neither. But coconut oil," I told her, "Is really-really good."

After 10 more minutes of meal-imagining and planning, we had our favourite option for breakfast on a Snow Day (but it would also make a brilliant dinner or supper on Fat Tuesday): Pumpkin Oven-Baked Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes. With Coconut Oil (and optional nut butter).

I'll leave the recipe below. I'm leaving myself with the image of giggles, and a fat ferret, and I'll leave this question as well:

Why can't you have -- or be fat -- if you want to?  Why doesn't "healthy" include fat, the same way Fat Tuesday fat, like Fat Tuesday is connected with celebration and joy?


Tumbling Free! (ferret free too...)

CJ


PUMPKIN OVEN BAKED BANANA CHOCOLATE
CHIP PANCAKES
[ gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free ]
serves 3-4

: ingredients :

3 ripe bananas
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin (homebaked is best)
1 tsp Organic Virgin Coconut oil, liquid (I like Now Foods)
1 tbs coconut flour
1/2 gluten-free flour (we used 1/4 c. Manini's + 1/4 almond flour)
2 tbs Pascha Dark Chocolate Chips
4 drops Now Foods liquid Better Stevia
drizzle of honey
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (Eden Foods is excellent)
1 large egg (or 1 chia egg)
1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk, unsweetened

 : directions :

1) Mash one banana with egg and milk. Pour in oil and stevia along
with the pumpkin puree and beat until
well combined.
2) In a separate bowl, whisk together
flours and baking soda. Add slowly to wet ingredients, and mix
until just combined, rather like you do for muffins or crumpets. 
3) Add cider vinegar, and stir once or twice. 
4) Heat oven to 370F. Line baking sheets with parchment
paper, and dollop silver dollar-sized amounts of batter onto
the paper. Bake until the pancakes have lost their shininess, and have "set".  Turn
onto another parchment lined sheet (this is the easiest way to make sure
the cakes don't fall apart while still baking) and allow to bake 10-12 more minutes.
5) Plate cakes on oven-safe flatware, slice extra bananas over the top, sprinkle with 
chocolate chips and drizzle with honey and another tsp of oil
and bake 5-10 minutes -- or until the bananas smell
and the chips are melting.
6) SERVE AND ENJOY IMMENSELY

Friday, January 29, 2016

RECIPE: Gluten Free Cinnamon Bun Chocolate Chip Griddle Cake


The kitchen smells like a cinnamon roll. I always loved the smell -- and then for a bit I hated it, because it meant GLUTEN -- and then I decided I'd rather prefer to like it again.  With a lump of fresh-baked pumpkin, cinnamon, eggs, and dark chocolate chips, I made breakfast last week-- Cinnamon Bun Griddle Cakes. And double-bunned it by dolloping a heap of MRM's newest protein (gluten-free and vegan) into the batter.

Gluten-free. A lot in the world is naturally free of the gluten -- in fact, most whole foods are. Many recipes out there take a laundry list of ingredients and additives, mimicking gluten and murdering your head. (Admittedly, baking is a science; amounts matter; prep matters.) But griddle cakes aren't. Griddle cakes are simple.

These griddle cakes are delicious, crack open the morning with the sweet smell of sweet bread, and keep it  bloody beautiful simple.


CINNAMON BUN CHOCOLATE CHIP GRIDDLE CAKE

serves 1 (double or triple to serve 2-3 )

[ gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free ]

ingredients

1 large egg white
2 heaping tbsp baked pureed pumpkin
1 tbsp Pascha Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Chips
1 scoop NOW powdered Stevia (optional)
1 tbsp MRM Cinnamon Bun Veggie Elite Protein
OR 2 tbsp coconut flour 
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

directions

1) Add egg white, milk, and pumpkin to a small mixing bowl and beat until well combined. Add in protein or flour, cinnamon and vanilla.
2) Heat a large skillet, cast iron or nonstick. Add a bit of coconut oil -- Trader Joe's spray-on works excellently -- and when the pan is searing hot, dollop on batter. It should be fairly thick. Spread it until thin, and then turn down the heat.
3) Cook each cake 2-5 mins, flip; repeat.
4) Slap the cakes on a plate, sprinkle with chips and dust with stevia. Serve warm or cold with baked apples, maple syrup, or a simple extra dash of cinnamon!

The flavours in this griddle cake go a long way. MRM's protein powder is ace, and so are the complementary sweets of NOW's Liquid Stevia and the Vanilla Coconut Milk.
 

Don't blow your brains on complexity. Simple foods taste simple good. And simple is like cinnamon -- it  also goes a long way.

(Note: If you have gut disbiosis post celiac-diagnosis, this protein is also a great supplement. My clients are all trying it on my recommendation,  and its use of a proprietary stevia formula for sweetening means it won't feed the bad bugs in your tummy. )





Toodles and tumbling free,

CJ

Have you tried MRM Veggie Elite proteins? What would you make if I ran a giveaway and you won a bundle of it?


[ This post is part of Gluten Free Fridays! My fellow blogger at Vegetarian Mama links up the best recipe-resources for eating with a variety of custom-eating needs -- specifically celiac-safe gluten-free however -- so skip off to see the rest of this week's offerings through the link! ]

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How to Eat Out Safely with Celiac (Or, Ask, Ask, Ask + Be Prepared!)

Celiac -- Know What to Ask 


What's the most effective tool in your arsenal if you're eating out gluten-free and have celiac disease?

The question.


If you want to eat well and eat safely, minimize your risk of cross-contamination, and reduce your anxiety, you have nothing more powerful than knowing the right questions to ask. And who to put them to.

I recently came off a week-long trip to the US capitol for work. On-the-lam, off-the-grid, and totally off the original plan, I was snowed in, and stranded in the city. The highly-ranked, celiac-safe eatery I was planning to patronise was closed due to the storm. Supermarkets were closed because of the storm. Oy, even the lone McDonald's was bloody closed (though McDonald's is not a safe spot for celiac eats).

My colleagues and I ended up at two happily open restaurants -- soggy, cold, and hungry. For them, the choice of eateries was simple: Was it open? But that's not criteria for surety of food if you have celiac.

So you want to eat out safely...in a blizzard...with celiac disease.

Er...even if you're not in blizzard: ASK THIS --

1)  DO YOU SERVE CELIACS?

                                Use the word "celiac". If the restaurant knows the term, they are much more likely to understand the risks of cross contamination, the importance of staff training, the facts that gluten hides in many foods and isn't just a matter of "bread".

2)  WHAT ARE YOUR KITCHEN PROCEDURES FOR AVOIDING CROSS-CONTACT WITH ALLERGENS?

                              If the reply is a blank stare, this is a bad. If the response "well, you know, we're careful" you've probably got a problem. If the reply includes specific cleaning procedures, or more safely, specific dedicated prep areas and utensils, you've hit gold.

At the City TapHouse near the Renaissance Hotel, I approached the manager and asked rather bleakly, "Do you serve celiacs?"

The manager flipped out an entirely gluten-free menu. Before I could ask another question, he moved directly into explaining that all items on the menu were technically gluten-free, but that some were not suitable for someone with celiac disease -- the fries/chips for instance -- as they were not prepared in a dedicated fryer.

All the same, I shot through my arsenal of questions:

chef-prepped, separate stove space, cleaned utensils...
still no bun
Where was the rest of the food prepared? Who was trained in the kitchen about allergens? Everyone? Was the meat prepared in-house or out?

The more questions the better. The more you ask, the more likely you'll be to unearth any missteps in the kitchen process.

No one knows what you need better than you, and restaurants -- however well trained -- may not think of obvious holes in their cross-contamination net that you'd know in a trice.

I ate safely. Celiac-gluten-free-safely in a city snowed-in-up-to-its-eyeballs because I had the questions. Though I also had the blessing of a startlingly aware staff at the Taphouse. One doesn't always get the latter. But one can always have the former -- sharp self-advocacy, and the questions that make it clear whether the gluten-free means free-of-gluten, or just happens-to-be-a-gluten-free-ingredient.

So if you want to know how to eat out safely -- as safe as it is ever possible to be in a mixed-kitchen -- take those two questions with you. Ask the host. Ask the manager. And ask your server.

It's a two-question, 1,2,3 person knock-out.

Two questions. Ask three people.

It isn't complicated eating out gluten-free safely. Self-advocacy and knowing where to start can be difficult though.

Always ask. Always ask. Always ask.


Tumbling free,

CJ


Note: I do not eat out at restaurants that do not have dedicated kitchen space, except in an emergency. City Tap House, and El Camino in Washington DC were exceptions. State of emergency does that.

But I also had tinned mackerel, a tin of beans, a can opener, and gluten-free Way Better Snacks chips in my backpack. A good theme song for celiac-survival on-the-road: Be Prepared!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Eat Seasonally! Smoothies By Season: Naturally Gluten-Free

What's naturally gluten-free? It's called easy. But easy doesn't mean bland. Smoothies make perfect bases for whole foods, naturally free of gluten -- and despite the rigamarole that is the tried-and-true banana+milk+ice, they're a great way to explore new foods, and eat seasonally.  The variety of seasonal produce -- even in Winter -- present an opportunity both to eat in tune the the body and world, and to eat adventurously. For while Winter may be a bit brisk for a cold drink, its seasonal produce make some of the creamiest and warming of smoothie and shake bases.

 These Seasonal Smoothies -- dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free -- are eye-popping, but not gut-popping.



[Since 'tis Winter for now... ]

BLEAK MIDWINTER SMOOTHIES


Kabocha Almond Shake  [ baked kabocha squash, 1 tsp almond butter, 1 tsp Nuttzo Power Fuel, 1 scoop Almond Plant Protein, 1/2 baked Japanese sweet potato, ice + water to adjust consistency ]

Beet'Em Good Chocolate Shake [ 1 medium steamed beet, beet greens, 1 ripe banana, 1 scoop Chocolate Plant Protein, Orgain Vanilla Almond Milk ] 

Pumpkin Pie in a Glass [ roasted or canned pumpkin, 1/4" fresh ginger, dash cinnamon, vanilla extract, Barleans Omega Swirl, Lemon, 1 ripe banana, 1 scoop Vanilla Plant Protein, 1 tsp Nuttzo Power Fuel ]



[For that Fall time of deep changing leaves...]

 AUTUMN SHAKES AND SMOOTHIES


Butternut Butterbeer Slurp  [ roasted butternut squash, sarsparilla, NOW Food's Coconut Liquid Stevia, 1 scoop Almond Plant Protein, carbonated water + ice ]

Beet Green Apple Ginger Smoothie [ handful wilted beet greens, 2 small baked apples, 1/4" fresh ginger, NOW Food's Liquid Organic Stevia, (optionally) 1 scoop Vanilla Plant Protein, 1/3 cup Orgain Vanilla Almond Milk ]

Nutty Squash Smoothie [ Buttercup, Carnival, or Kuri sqaush, baked or steamed, handful almonds, NOW Coconut Liquid Stevia, 1 scoop Almond Plant Protein, 1/2 baked sweet potato ]







[ O Summer and sweet fruit...] 

SUMMER SHOCKING SHAKES


Berry Calm Smoothie  [ blackberries, Natural Vitality's Raspberry Lemon Magnesium, vanilla extract or 1/2 scoop NOW Vegan Creamy Vanilla Protein, 1/4 cup coconut milk, water + ice to adjust consistency ]

Peach Spinach Shake [ 2 frozen peaches, handful spinach, Vanilla Plant Protein, ice + almond milk ]

Orange Zest Zinger [ 2 small oranges, 1 tbsp Barlean's Omega Swirl, Lemon, 1 scoop Vanilla Plant Protein, ice + Orgain Vanilla Almond milk ]






[ For the thaw and Spring warming...]


  SPRING FLING SHAKES AND SMOOTHIES


Blueberry Rhubarb Smoothie [ 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1 stalk rhubarb, pinch of cloves + ginger, vanilla extract, ice + Orgain Vanilla Almond Milk ]


PB and Banana Green Shake [ see recipe for St. Pat's here ]


Raspberry Chill Smoothie [ 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1/3 cup frozen spinach, 1/2 banana, vanilla extract, Natural Vitality CALM Lemon Magnesium, Orgain Almond Vanilla Almond milk, ice + water for consistency ]



My favourite add-ins:

Drop in NUTTZO: This seven nut and seed butter supports nutritionally underserved children, and promotes adoptions worldwide with Project Left Behind. The butter itself is additive-free, organic, gluten-free, and provides a rainbow of flavour to whatever it's swirled into or spread on.

Pound it with PROTEIN: Garden of Life Plant Protein -- creamy even without a smoothie, this supplement is especially celiac-supportive with its added enzymes and filler-free fit. I love it. It's my favourite. It's also grain-free, easy on the gut for good digestibility...and tastes all the goods.

Orgain Vanilla Almond Milk: I love the texture, taste, and density of this high-protein dairy-free milk. Blended in or poured on top...I do both. Organic as well, and vegan.

CALM Magnesium: Our guts are where we get our magnesium. With celiac, our guts don't usually take it too well. Natural Vitality's CALM  Magnesium powder is highly absorbable, chemical-free, and light fizzy flavouring adds a naturally-GF calming zing to any shake. Bloody brilliant with berries.


This seasonal eating supports the digestive system as much as the add-ins. It also supports the local community and agriculture. But guess what else? It supports some serious food-exploring, and a sense of abundance as well.

Smoothies, seasonal eating, naturally gluten-free: Try it all. It's not restrictive, it's nourishing. And fun.  


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

All 'Round the Web, Gluten-Free, Celiac, and Freelancing

[ Resource and Freelance (Gluten-Free) Round Up! ]


Gluten-free: It means being free of gluten, not free of flavour or quality. Goodman Bakery has taken that buried truth and run.

On the Hunt For Perfect Gluten Free Bread and Desserts?

Check out my interview with Bob Goodman, and product review up at Gluten Free and More Magazine.  It's always a pleasure to tell the story of someone who's found a way to serve celiacs through food. Nothing is perfect. But what Goodman's made is a line of GF goods that no longer have that "it's good BUT..." tag.

While you're at it, why not find out how to Fuel Functionally and Feel Fad While Freelancing? Food, whether you have a digestive disorder or not, is sort of important.

Celiac Teen Open to the Whole (Gluten-Free) World! 

Did you miss this brilliant interview with my friend, and fellow author and Celiac advocate, Sema Dibooglu? She's a teen, and she has Celiac Disease, but she hasn't let that limit her.

Link up, get her tips for living freely and adventurously -- while taking proper care and staying safely gluten-free!

And why do I write Tumbling Gluten Free? As the featured blogger at Delight Gluten Free magazine, I recently shared my tips for travel, thriving, and eating happily gluten-free!

"This may sound peculiar… TUMBLING came from experience in fencing and gymnastics. To fall without hurting, and to keep going, requires flexibility and surrender to the fall. My blog was about tumbling, tumbling gluten-free, tumbling into a whole life, tumbling so that freefalls like allergies, autoimmune diseases, challenges of traveling and living didn’t break me."
I loved sharing tools and experience, as well as my story, with the Delight Magazine readers! We thrive and recover in community. Find my whole interview HERE

And that's a wrap. But check back soon for 5  Easy Naturally Gluten-Free Meals (on the road or at work), 5 Things You Thought You'd Never Eat Again (Gluten-Free), and an update on books through the lens of digestive disease.

Got questions? Shoot me.


Tumbling free,

CJ

Thursday, January 7, 2016

GET MARRIED YOU"RE CELIAC SAFE, or How to Travel Gluten-Free into the New Year

I've been traveling for work. I have a new consulting position doing human rights work, and it has drained the main out of my time for writing up Tumbling Gluten Free. Traveling itself is a mine in more senses of the word than one for content when you have Celiac though.

Travel can be a landmine -- for feelings and facts.

The facts are: Eating on the road is a double challenge for me with Celiac Disease, and requires planning.

The feelings are: A medley of distraction, anxiety, excitement, frustration, and grief.

A small voice in my head says, I don't like this challenge. Go away. I don't want to feel this way.

And I realized as I planned my next excursion in late January that it isn't the facts I want so much to change as the feelings. Gluten-free living for someone with Celiac, for me, is just my particular opportunity and challenge, and a note I get to add to my self-care stickies.  Everyone has a challenge of some sort.  I know when I travel that I need to, and shall, plan to 


  • Pack a snack seat or snack-case (link)
  • Ask questions about the accommodations and meal arrangements of my colleagues
  • Check in with train or airline personnel (if it's a long-haul)
  • Call ahead to any eating establishment
I have all the tools, and the experience, and I pass them on impishly and happily to many clients. A day ago, a 10 year old I've worked with grinned at me as I asked her what SAFE stood for:

"Sure. Able. Fearless. Engaged."

Then..."What's engaged got to do with it? Do you get married and then...eat gluten-free?"

I started laughing  -- so hard she joined in and we almost fell off our  seats.
the banana bread from Now Foods
we made after the marriage discussion--
it's SAFE

Marriage hasn't got anything to do with it!  But the laughter does. I reminded her that safe isn't about her feelings or perfect planning, but about being sure of her tools, able to use them (for example, asking for an ingredients list or saying NO), fearless in her self-advocacy, and engaged in the present moment.

She reminded me not to take myself too seriously, while still taking my health and needs seriously.

One of my favourite authors says, take God seriously, take play seriously, take all manner of things seriously, but for God's sake, don't take yourself seriously! It isn't just right. It's functional. 

It isn't important always to recall, when I travel, Celiac and gluten-free, that it's a different sort of challenge than most of my peers face -- and ultimately, I don't want to change the challenge. The challenge is a great opportunity to learn more about myself, to grow, and to teach. The challenge is full of sharp, sudden moments of laughter, as my 10 year old client reminded me.

"IF YOU ALL JUST GET MARRIED YOU'RE CELIAC SAFE!" is what she left  the room, bellowing. (I had to explain to parents the context of that one.)

I don't want to change the challenge! It's a tumbling free fall for fun, and I even generally enjoy it.

What I want to change are my feelings, which are uncomfortable; which involve grief over lost days waiting on diagnosis; which are uncomfortable; which dredge up past fears of being unsafe.

The key to most of those feelings is past. I am, just as my ten year old friend is, SAFE -- sure, able, fearless, engaged, and Celiac strong. I teach it. I walk it.  I make it by practise.

But oh, those feelings, up from the past.

Perhaps they only need to be felt after all. Not acted on. Perhaps they're worst when left in isolation. Perhaps safe, for a Celiac, also includes an extra letter or two TY, for through-you. 

I learn a lot from my friends and clients -- community is key. 

So I haven't had much time to blog in these last few weeks, for health reasons and for reasons of work and work-related transitions. But I have worked and learned by leaps, and now that I write about it, I am mad-pleased to travel  into a New Year on that note, and grateful for the experience of living fully, gluten-free. Fear free.

Also, knowing that GETTING MARRIED MAKES YOU CELIAC SAFE.

On that impish note,

Tumbling free,

CJ