Saturday, May 12, 2012

This Week's Blog Post

White Howlite Lanyards
I have always loved white howlite’s whiteness! I even think it is perfect for winter since it is as white as snow! These are certainly great for summer wear too.
Available at Miss Val’sCreations.
Gluten Free Diet 
Happy intestines = A happy me!
I recently discovered that I suffer from gluten sensitivity and probably have for the last 20 years! Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, barley and rye. Lightbulbs went off in my head when reading up on this topic. So I spent a week gluten free to see if this is indeed the cause of my stomach issues.
My new diet started with a bunch of gluten free snacks since most of my prior snack foods contained gluten. The first week of dinners was rice and vegetables. My breakfast is always oatmeal and my lunch is salad so no changes there!
Gluten free breads and baked goods have a bad reputation for their taste and texture so as a bread and pizza lover, this was concerning. But the internet brought me to The Gluten Free Goddess. What made this an amazing find was the huge section of gluten free vegetarian recipes!!!
Here is my first gluten free pizza! I was very concerned that this would taste nasty. Ironically Jim and I both agreed that this is some of the best pizza crust we ever had! The “dough” was more like pancake batter than bread dough which was really strange to work with. Since the recipe made a large amount of dough we froze half for the following weekend and it thawed and cooked up perfectly! Crust recipe here.
After eating our first gluten free pizza, Jim offered to cook up my first batch of wraps which I had been planning to attempt the next day. These were also delicious with added dried basil and thyme in the batter. Wrap recipe here.
Attempting to roll these up with my filling of choice did not go well so I ate them pizza style with a fork and knife which was still very satisfying. I plan on investing in a tortilla press for making these which will eliminate the cleanup of oil splatter!!!
Here is my first gluten free bread! Something strange happened when taking it out of the bread machine….flour flew everywhere from the sides of the loaf. Bread recipe here.
I used the rapid cycle on the machine so next time I will try the normal, slow setting! Cutting showed a pleasant surprise inside and the taste was delicious. This recipe would be great with dried spices added making a perfect oil dipping bread! Mmmm!
Granola bars have always been a staple for me so I needed to come up with a gluten free version. Via Pinterest, I came across this recipe for making granola muffins! I added chopped walnuts and dried cranberries, omitting the sweetener since the cranberries do the trick. Such an easy, delicious snack or breakfast! Granola recipe here.
This discovery of gluten sensitivity brought me to further research on my wacky stomach. I am lactose intolerant and have always had a rocky relationship with cheese. Cheddar has always been my favorite with its amazing flavor. Reading up on this I learned that most cheese loses its lactose in the cheese making process but some cheese still have 1 – 2% lactose left in them which I am apparently sensitive to!
I learned that Cabot cheeses are lactose free!!!! So I am eating cheddar again. Big yay! I cannot express how happy this makes me and I am buying local (bonus).  
I feel a need to spread the word here about gluten sensitivity because from what I read is that many people go through their lives not realizing this is their problem (or celiac disease which can have some serious side effects) and suffer through it. That was me for many years!
While this is a bit of a nuisance I am trying to focus on the positive. Such as trying new things and working with new ingredients like tapioca flour. I am actually looking forward to trying quinoa or rice pasta. Then there is my new relationship with cheddar cheese. My intestines feel normal which is the best part of all! Also very important is that I can still enjoy my daily dose of red wine.
Iris Bloom
This is my first iris of the season. Love her!!!
This one it ready to show her petals!
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!  ~Val

32 comments:

  1. Hi Val,
    I enjoy working with Howlite too it is light and goes with everything. I have never had a problem with anything I eat and that there is a big problem for me! LOL. That is a beautiful Iris. Spring was short lived here in Alabama that I missed a lot of the beautiful flowers of Spring.
    Therese

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  2. Beautiful howlite! And whoa -- save me some pizza!

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  3. Wow, what a story! I'm so glad that you're finding out the culprit and that you've discovered some great recipes and alternatives for your diet. Cabot cheeses are amazing! I wish you continued success in your gluten free diet. I'm come across some amazing food blogs over time with people who make GF foods. I might have to get to the bottom of my allergies. Interestingly enough though, when I changed jobs I haven't had as much problem, but I still could probably do some things to make life easier once I discover the culprit. To better health!

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    1. To better health! It is not easy trying to figure out what our problem foods are!

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  4. the pizza looks very delicious!

    thanks for visiting my blog and left me a comment :)

    the STYLE Fringe BLOG
    http://the-stylefringe.blogspot.com

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  5. Hi Val ;o) I have to watch my lactose and gluten! I appreciate all your yummy food that you showed!!! White howlite is beautiful!!! Your iris bloom is so pretty! I hope you have a wonderful day! Hugs ;o)

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    1. Stacy, I am happy to hear I am not alone here!

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  6. Wow, way to take life by the horns and tackle the issue! and looks like you've found a yummy way around it :) AND wine and cheese are still on the menu .... well done!!!!! Iris is gorgeous as is the howlite - as always :)

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  7. Your howlite lanyards look great! Good for you for experimenting and finding food that will make you feel better. The pizza looks tasty with all those veggies. I hope you enjoy a long season of beautiful iris blooms.
    Valerie
    Everyday Inspired

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  8. Hi Val, I love your new lanyard...I agree, the white is beautiful all year long. Your iris blooms are so pretty.

    Great luck with your new diet, I know it must be hard to change around so many of the food you eat and make for yourself. if it makes you feel better in the end though, I guess it is all worth it. Have a fantastic week.

    ruth

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  9. Congrats on the gluten-free diet! It's difficult, but it will be worth the trouble.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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  10. Looks like you've found a bunch of great new recipes! The bread looks so tasty (I'm a carb nut!) and the muffins look tasty too!

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  11. Sincerely I admire you for all your work and dedication to your well being and healthy eating. I've been keeping up with my exercise but struggle on saying no to junk food. I am weak.

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    1. I am the opposite. Eating healthy is easy, but making time for exercise....not so much!

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  12. Wow- everything looks delicious! ♥ And the iris is gorgeous ♥ Ours just started blooming too! Vibrant purple :)

    xoxo
    Jordan

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  13. Wow, that's quite a dietary challenge! Seems like you found some great ways to get around it!

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  14. Hi there, I am absolutely loving the white howlite lanyard. The silver and gold accents are a great match. In my opinion, there is no better color than white to show off a nice sun tan. Great summer lanyard there. Congrats on your healthy eating and on the Iris.
    -Debbie

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  15. Hi lovely, I love white howlite’s whiteness!!!
    these pizzas they look amazing!...
    Have a good week!

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

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  16. Okay....so, when are we eating and where's the cookout? I do agree, howlite white turquoise has a very nice pattering texture and makes a nice addition to many pieces. I have many of these in my collections.

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  17. Your howlite necklace is gorgeous!

    I buy quite a bit of gluten free food. I love that most of it is organic and so much better for you. I hope you continue to feel better :)

    Dee

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  18. Hi Val,
    I really like the look of howlite, too! I have a friend who started eating a gluten free diet last year. She feels so much better and has lost 20 pds. Being aware of diet is so important, especially when allergies are involved. Hope it continues to work well for you.
    Have a great week :)

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  19. Wow, that pizza looks amazing! Hope you enjoyed it. feel good with the new diet. The iris is gorgeous too.
    Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog.

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  20. Val, this iris is gorgeous!!
    I have a friend that is gluten sensitive, so I am pointing her to your post. I am not gluten sensitive, but you can bet those granola bars will be on my "to do' list. They look so yummy!!
    Happy Wednesday to you!!
    xo.

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  21. Have a great week. Greetings from Romania

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  22. The necklace is awsome and everything behind hahahaaha so yummmy"

    www.meryswardrobe.blogspot.com

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  23. Lol ~ we've been eating gluten free for a couple of years now after trying it out to see if it was contributing to my daughter's skin issues. I don't miss it at all. In fact, it opened my world up to so many new, different and delicious foods that I have no desire to go back. (I adore rice pasta!) I'm also lactose intolerant (many people are but just don't know it!) and have tons of dairy free desserts that we adore, including an ice cream that I can make in about half an hour. I'm so glad you're feeling better, and I have a feeling things will continue to improve the longer your body has to recover and heal. Yay for you and taking back the power of your own health! How exciting! :)

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    1. That is what I love about changing a diet...trying new things! My taste buds do not feel deprived at all.

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  24. Talking about you here http://crochetedlittlethings.blogspot.com/2012/05/milkandhoneynaturals-giveaway.html
    and thanks for introduce me to this awesome shop :)

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    1. You are very welcome! I love this bug repellent!

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  25. The white howlite is really pretty. It seems that a lot of people are gluten sensitive or intolerant. There was a time when the doctor thought I had a sensitivity. Although at least now it's easier to buy gluten free food.

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  26. Your iris is gorgeous!
    Interesting discovers. I had something like that myself, wondering what was wrong with my body. Than I found this http://www.wholeapproach.com/candida/questionnaire.php With the help of nutrition and my doctor I did the diet from same page for some months, and it totally changed my life. Since then I tend to think, that often is not about gluten, but about the bacterial imbalance inside of intestines, where our inmune system "lives". When system is not working, we get many digestion and other problems. The only worry is, if you are vegetarian, I am not sure how you manage to get all nutrients the body needs? Do you have a specialist to consult to?
    Anyways, happy you are taking care of your body, and wish good luck on that!!! You can ask me questions, if you wish ;)

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    1. I will have to look into this. A couple years ago I was taking probiotics thinking that was my problem but after a few months, there was no change. It is amazing how much better I feel avoiding gluten. I will be talking about this with my doctor at my next checkup and would like to be tested for celiac disease (which hopefully I do not have).

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Thank you for stopping by! I love reading visitor comments! ~Val