This Dish is Gluten Free

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When is it okay to just go ahead and make gluten-free food for the one person who is attending your function? There is only one right answer; Every time.

This coming weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving where we eat moose meat and talk about the times we had to shovel snow as deep as our elbows and give thanks that the polar bear next door didn’t eat us this week. No shit. that’s Canada, thats what we do. We’re all pretty awesome up here.

Corningware_(flower-print_casserole_dishes)

Sure sometimes its a pain in the ass to make a gluten free dish for that ONE person who needs to be GF. You have to prepare separate plates and utensils and Corningware and pans and cups and and and, you must be getting the picture, but is it absolutely necessary to make two dishes of the same food? Do you have to make an already hectic dinner schedule that much more complicated and that much more painful by creating a dish that is the exact same in every way, only without two different ingredients?

I’ve had the gluten free version before, it tastes just as good as the regular version. So why make a second dish?

Example: like if the cook makes a regular meatloaf with bread crumbs and then makes a gluten free version without. Why not just make it ALL gluten free?

I guess, when things like this happens it all comes down to taste. Individuals like the flavour of a certain food, and along comes Jordan with his fucked up disease and ruins it for everyone. You know what would really piss someone off? If they went out of their way to make a gluten free version of a dish and still have the regular sitting beside it, and you just don’t eat it.

Stick it to the man.

When you look at it, sometimes it is really a burden to others for you to be gluten free. All these rules and regulations come along with eating. After years and years of things like this happening, you start to believe yourself that you are a burden. I remember when I was first diagnosed with Celiac, I would eat before I went to any function. It was easier. Now, gluten free food is always available, but when its not and you get the big ‘I’m sorry, I thought it was gluten-free’ I’m like don’t worry, I’ll just stay here and lick the cats butt. Then ask for fruit.  Yah! Party like a rockstar… with an apple.

I do like when people put little ‘GF’ flags in the food. That’s always cute.

Allergy Riders I'm Dairy and Gluten Free Food FlagsI don’t work for these people, but I thought it was a cool idea for parties and stuff. Click the picture to get to the website to buy them.

Celiac Woes: Crêpes

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I never thought about crêpes being something I really missed until earlier this week when I had, almost had the opportunity to get my hands on some gluten-free ones. It was like a dream at the time, a dream that was washed away, unlike the washed cooking surface. The terrible possibility of cross-contamination stopped me from what I thought was going to be an awesome afternoon snack.

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There are GF alternatives to wheat flour crêpes, and yeah, you can make them at home. I know it’s simple to do, I have almost made them multiple times, especially when I screw up some gluten-free pancake batter and it ends up being too runny. Those are not the same as having the guy at the crêpe shop make them. On that cool little circle hot plate, then stuffing them with bananas and chocolate and strawberries and whipped cream. Folding them over and covering them with sauce and eating them with a knife an fork. I can’t even remember if that’s how you make them. I think the last one I ever had was around 2006 when I sat at a breakfast place all by myself and ate alone, like a loser.

Yes there are GF alternatives to crêpes, but I want to be able to have one at the mall, and I was so hoping that the local crêpe place was gluten-free, and alas, they could not prevent cross contamination. But I remain in high spirits that they will get their shit together to provide for me the gluten-free crêpe that I’ve been craving for almost seven years. If my small town is 10,000 people and Celiac affects 1-133 people, the odds can be pretty good that they’d have a great little snack for us.

I’m pretty sure 10,000 people in my town is a huge number, half that maybe.

There was a time way way back when my wife and I were at the mall and we split a crêpe. Just sat down and ate it and talked and giggled like two school girls. Now it’s more like, her and my daughter share it, and I get to watch and drool over it while I drink my coffee. Boring. Imagine a big vault filled with crêpes and diving into it, Scrooge McDuck style.

money-bin

That’s how I want to die; drowning in a vault of crêpes.

Helping out the Celiac

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It was only JUST brought to my attention that the community I belong to is awesome. Oh what community is that you ask? Because of my disease, Celiac Disease I have a great community of peeps who are friendly and attentive people.

Is the fact that I have a specific disease make my community a single entity that Only caters to our kind? Ha ha, I say it like we’re all fucked up mutants, like the ones from Total Recall (the Arnold one, not the Colin one). Sure being gluten-free isn’t without it’s downsides, I guess if you had an allergy to gluten or suffered from a gluten intolerance you’d be welcomed into our little club of Celiacs. Really, we all got the same problems, so just because you don’t have a “disease” doesn’t make you welcome to our little club.

Celiatites?

What support can you offer another diagnosed Celiac? Comfort? What kind of comfort? Sure they can’t have a Twix bar anymore, but that sort of support isn’t what we dole out.

Celiacateers?

We might all go back and forth and bitch and moan about how our disease isn’t taken seriously, and how on the surface, Celiac Disease isn’t as terrible as we make it. Are there degrees of Celiac? Sure there is. There are degrees of Cancer, so why wouldn’t our disease be any different? Treated any different? It’s because the public wants us to be different. Look at it like this; Celiac is low on the disease ladder, but can be just as harmful. THEY just don’t know it. So we back our own.

The support our community gives is always 100%. I find my own support through my fellow bloggers, and I follow a bunch of those bloggers on Instagram. To see them interact daily with their own surroundings makes me feel happy because, while people think the diagnosed Celiac is a whiny and picky individual, I am just as normal as them. I pick my nose just like them. My bathroom schedule is just like them and I am a normal person (while not in the confines of what society thinks) just like them. I’m starting to find that we’re all closer than I might think. It’s a weird thing to come to that realization.

I’ve been struggling recently with why I blog and if I want to carry on with the whole gluten-free and Celiac bullshit. Somedays I just want to shut it down, others I’m gung-ho and want to hammer out posts and search up other Celiacs and give them all high fives and talk about fruitcake (mostly because it’s terrible and I’m so glad I can’t eat it. And if they ever find a way to make fruitcake gluten-free and someone tries to feed it to me….). Support comes in a lot of different areas. So maybe my blog gives that one person a little support when they read about my favourite food pre-diagnosis and how I can’t have it anymore, and how that one person loved that food too, and now, they’re not alone.

Thinking like that makes me smile.

Celiac-a-tron? That’s a dumb one.

Any iota of support is still support.

Celiac Woes: The Mandarin

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I could go on and on and on about every restaurant that I loved before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008. You’ve been here for at least two of them. But why has no one ever asked me about the Mandarin? The all you can eat Chinese food buffet in Canada? I think no one asks me is because A) I’ll go off on a tangent about how much I actually do miss it, and B) they know I have Celiac Disease and can’t just haphazardly eat at a Chinese food place.

Ah Mandarin. What a great place, rows and rows of food, even french fries. A chinese food joint that has french fries?!! Yes! It was like Disney World for my stomach. Egg Foo Yung with Fries and Frozen Yogurt. Why not? That shouldn’t even be the question. The question should be, why hasn’t anyone just made all Soya Sauce gluten free? Change up all the batter and use rice flour. I don’t care, I just miss my Mandarin. Lining up behind the masses and piling my plate high with what I can only call awesome. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME. Typing about it is making my mouth water, it’s actually 5:30pm while I type this, dinner time. So it makes this article that much better because you know it comes from the heart, er, stomach.

I have a few memories about going to the Mandarin; Grandpa’s birthday, Joey’s going away (was it Joey’s going away? I know it had something to do with him) and there was the time that my sister and I went by ourselves for a lunch date. Ah good times. Now she is gluten-free by choice and won’t go and eat there either.

photo 1This picture is of me from 2006 eating at a chinese food buffet.  Apparently it wasn’t The Mandarin, but really, they’re all the same.

I miss Chinese food buffets. There are food buffets out there that do have gluten-free items like fruit and salad and veggies. But I’m not paying a huge price to eat like a rabbit. I want to eat my weight in fried rice and egg rolls.

So, I asked my sister to call Mandarin (she was a good sport that day)and ask about gluten-free food. Maybe there was the off chance that yes I could eat there. The short answer; NO. Sushi was gluten free, but there was worry of cross contamination, the head chef even said that there might be cross contamination with the fruit. What kind of organization they running there?

Celiac can suck it.

Vegetarian Food festival 2013

Ever wanted to go to a vegetarian food festival and wanted to ask people all about but were scared to ask? I never was, but i was curious about my sister Katrina taking one for the team and snooping around a festival I wouldn’t go near with a ten foot pole (I of course say this in jest, because vegetarians are a fun people). Here is my first ever guest post from my little sister, Katrina Middlebrook.

Every Year in September the Toronto Vegetarian Association holds a Vegetarian Food Festival.

This festival is held downtown in Toronto, Ontario on The Harbourfront.

My First time attending this huge festival was in 2010.  I was not a vegetarian.

I was hesitant on attending because I loved my chicken, but my best friend has been a vegetarian for 12+ years and I thought I should go to support her.

Walking in to the Festival I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

SpineAssesment
Hi, Jordan here. Since I’m not writing the blog, I will comment on the photos. Here is Katrina getting her spine assessed. What does that have to do with vegetarians?

It was huge.  All sorts of people wearing shirts “Club soda, not seals” “Lettuce Turnip the Beet” I got a kick out of these.  People feel so strongly about not eating animals that they promote it!

Walking through the fair was eye opening. Animals really go through this? I won’t get into it.  At all.

The whole point of me writing this review about the Food festival is to get it out there that there are SO many business, restaurants & people that understand each and every one of our diets.

Dairy Free, nut free, Soy free, GLUTEN FREE.

I never really looked at the different options of food when I went to the food fair.  Everything was either vegan or vegetarian so I was safe to eat all.

This year was a whole different story.  I have been a “Flexatarian” (I eat seafood still) for 3 years now, Gluten Free for 1 month.  I have changed my diet because I am always sick.  Bloated, diareha, nauseas.  I made the change because for the last 5 years my doctor has suggested it.  “You have celiac Katrina, the tests are coming back negative because they sometimes do” “They may have not got a piece of the intestine that was bloated at the time”

I get it, took 5 years to click in.  SMARTEN UP!

I was nervous going in to this festival. Will they have food catered to me?  Should I just eat before I go?  I did, to be on the safe side.

My best friend, who is now a vegan, made me so confident going.  Of course she would know, she is the book of knowledge!

There was a ton of options for me here. I would have to say 75% of food served was Gluten Free.  Upon arriving, the only thing going through my head was getting me some vegan “Jerky” SO DELICIOUS (and gluten free).

My Friend walked around with me to see what my options were for food.  She kept saying she wanted Indian.  My mouth drooled right away.  BUT was it Gluten Free?  Of course we asked, and the answer we got “Everything is except the samosas” UH, YES PLEASE!

GFFoodMinusSamosa
Hey, Jordan here. I’ve never been a fan of indian food. So, here is some indian food that Katrina ate.

I devoured that Indian food like I hadn’t ate in days!

I was so shocked with the options out there.  I was in heaven! If only I brought more money with me. They had so many treats.  I was upset, of course, to see that the “Sausages” they were serving were not Gluten Free as I would have loved to eat one.

As we wound down and parked our butts on the astro turf to enjoy some interactive dancing, live music and to take in the view, I reflected on my day with my best friend.  She supports me in so many decisions.  She helps me along in my dietary change, gives me advice.  She’s a Holistic Nutrionist with a ton of knowledge.  I was thankful that there are people around me with the same issues as me. People asking the same questions as me “Is this Gluten Free?”

Next time you’re out and you think you’re alone.  You’re not.  Look into groups you could join.  Facebook, Twitter & of course kingglutenfree.com for any advice, problems, emotional support on this disease.

I’m here, you can even email me!  Katrina.middlebrook@gmail.com

I’ll try to help you.

Keep Calm, eat healthy, keep a smile on your face.  You’re not the only one out there that suffers.

Pictures Provided by Janine at The Vital Vegan

I Review Maddington Farms Gluten-Free Pancakes

Any Celiac Pro is when you can eat a delicious Gluten Free meal without problems. That’s why Maddington Farms Gluten Free Pancake Mix is a solid gold winner. A straight up Celiac Pro, across the board.

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If there is one thing I know, it’s pancakes. Pancakes and being gluten free, so of course I’m gonna let you in on a little secret about Maddington Farms gluten free pancake mix. If you ever wondered if a gluten free pancake could ever have the same texture as a regular wheat based pancake, this is it. It is the closest to flavour to a regular wheat flour pancake than any before it. Thats what makes Maddington Farms gluten free pancake mix number two on my list of best ever pancakes.

When the instructions call for tablespoons of butter you know it’s  gonna be a boss pancake.

It’s a great flavour, but its not a grand flavour. the flavour is so close to wheat flour you’d swear you were eating at the Waffle House. Before you think they pulled a sneaky trick and used wheat flour, they didn’t. It’s a great mix of: Rice and Tapioca Flour, Buttermilk and baking powder, Baking soda, potato starch, salt, sugar and Xanthan Gum. Direct from the company I acquired the list of ingredients because this product won’t be available in store until the start of next year and I’m super awesome getting the inside track on what you need and what makes a good Celiac Pro.

Maddington Farms is Canadian and local and friendly. I had the privilege of meeting the owner and it was a good experience. They make some great syrup too, so don’t count that out. But we need to focus on their Gluten Free Pancake Mix being the second best to my taste buds. You know what’s missing? Coconut flour. While you can use 2% milk in the mix, you could easily substitute cow milk with coconut milk. But for this review, I will stick with the real good, fresh wholesome filtered milk.

Trust me, Maddington Farms Gluten Free Pancake Mix is a Celiac Pro.

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When my daughter and I decided to make the pancakes, we needed two eggs. Guess what, we had one egg and it was already in the batter. Since it was so early on that fateful Sunday Morning, we resorted to go the corner store to buy eggs (this was scary since I’ve never bought eggs at a corner store). So, a dozen over priced eggs were bought. Mental note, be prepared next time.

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I was going to whisk the Maddington Farms Gluten Pancake Batter, but I was like, why would I do that when I have this perfectly good blender from the 70′s sitting right here. It sounds like a jet engine taking off when you mix. It’s pretty awesome. You get a great consistency.

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Never let a three year old decide if a pancake is good. Because really, it’s a pancake and they like pancakes, and they just use syrup, and everything tastes better with syrup (also, I never used syrup when I taste tested my pancakes).

If you really want to get your hands on some of the pancake mix before it gets to stores, they will be selling some at the Cranberry Festival in Bala this weekend

Maddington Farms is a winner in my book. Don’t count them out as a competitor. They might surprise you, I will buy this product when it’s available in stores and promote it as a great food to share with my family and all my Gluten Free friends.

Just make sure you have eggs available. Corner Stores at 7am on a Sunday are kind of creepy.

Celiac. The Funniest Disease.

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The whole point is that if you have a disease, deadly or not, and someone makes fun of it, you’re not amused. Why can’t we be? Is it because all the Celiac’s want to be taken seriously? There are those Doctors that think Celiac Disease is a joke, made up and all in our heads?  Then tell me asshole, how can they diagnose us with it.

Maybe Celiac Disease isn’t an actual disease but a matter of opinion?

With that statement, have I blown your mind-hole?

So, being gluten-free is all the rage, and there for a new target for humour and ridicule. Is there a problem with that? I don’t think so. Dance like nobody’s watching right? As long as you have your supporters: family, friends, community then who really gives a shit? Who cares about the Hallmark greeting card ordeal? Who cares about the Gluten Kid on that Disney show?

Oh now I get it. It’s a matter of tolerance.

Not just adults have Celiac Disease so we can take it all and let it roll of our backs. Okay random guy, make fun of the fact that I can’t have a Twix bar. For me, a diagnosed Celiac it doesn’t bother me. Ribbing me because I can’t eat wheat, rye or barley is just fine. Sometimes you get a good zinger, and with the spectrum of gluten being small, gluten free jokes are usually pretty good. But what about the three year old who has been told they can’t have gluten? The tolerance is for them and the children around them that don’t get it nor understand.

junior-1994I’m not about to say which is more tolerable, but you can eat all kinds of other stuff if you have a peanut allergy. Hell, most companies make peanut free stuff and throw it on the label. Cheap and easy going peanuts free it is. Say gluten free to someone and they think it’s the end of the world. Educating people about Celiac is important, but bully Celiacs isn’t cool. We’re just normal people, well, not really, we usually look like a pregnant Arnold Schwarzenegger from Junior when we eat gluten, and while it sucks when it happens to us, the visual is hilarious, especially on a bearded 32 year old.

Picture it.

Celiac Woes: Cornetto

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You watch movies? Edgar Wright makes them, he wrote and directed Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and the new one The World’s End; he calls it The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy. If you’re not sure what a Cornetto is, sit back and read about what I miss this week. All based on the fact that Edgar Wright named three movies about them.

Cornettos are a pre-packaged ice cream cone. served in a chocolate coated graham cone. Does that seem like a great description? Even as I wrote it I was like, what? That don’t help. So here is a picture.

NEstle-Drumstick

Cornettos are a British name for the treat, here in Ontario we call them Drumsticks. I dunno why it’s like that, it just is. And fuck do I miss them. You can buy them at the corner store in the freezer section, and they were always a treat. Mom or Dad would buy them, usually on a walk, not just because they loved you, but because it would get you to shut up or calm you down, get you interested in something instead of running into traffic. They were that good. Like in the Edgar Wright movies you can buy them in the corner store in singles or in bulk at the grocery store, but really, buying them in bulk was always just a disaster. Especially when I became and adult and lived on my own for the first time. A single serving of Nestle Drumsticks could never fill me, I needed the whole box. In one sitting. I crave more. Still do crave them.

They do not make Gluten Free alternatives. It’s horror.

Let’s just say I miss them.

God, what a boring post today. I wish there was more to it really. I got so distracted doing things for my appearance at the Fall Ball this Saturday September 14 that I wrote half this post on Monday and then didn’t get back to it until 9:30 at night, the day it should have been up. BAD BLOGGER BAD! I will make it up to you next week, blogging on time and like a champ. I promise.

995155_10152047388058943_1588069459_nI’m here tomorrow if you want to come give me a high five.

I take two creams in my coffee too. Just an FYI

 

Celiac Disease Does Not Own Me

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When I first was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, the first question that was going through my mind was ‘what the hell is that?’ My wife at one point in our relationship had made mention of someone she knew who had it, but at the time she mentioned it I had forgotten about it almost instantly. Of course when I was diagnosed and the word was The big CD my world felt like it crumbled.

USP0812_Celiac_F1Dang. A disease that no one has heard of nor understands. At that time in 2008 I was close to the truth. Gluten wasn’t a big deal at the time, and Celiac Disease was just reaching the pop culture with Liz Hasselback revealing her bullshit regarding the CD (ha, calling Celiac Disease the CD is pretty awesome, and I recommend you call it that too, makes it seem like a potentially deadly disease. Go ahead, scare the living crap out of someone with it). Now Gluten is everywhere and everyone knows about it. So no big deal.

CD is is a shock to someone when you tell them you have it, they ask what you can’t have and oh no no beer? Can you drink milk? All the greatest questions. And if you have Celiac Disease, you’ve gotten these questions too. For me, the response I use now, after four years is “there are alternatives to everything”. Being forced to eat only Gluten-Free because of my body is no big deal anymore. Yeah I get cravings, not all Celiacs do, I’m like a smoker in that respect.

When I was diagnosed in June of 2008 instead of going cold turkey I took a few weeks to just ween myself off of the gluten and all the normal food in the house. Which is pretty stupid considering A) my wife isn’t gluten free and B) I was unaware of the actual severity of what gluten could do to my body. I was just uneducated, and now, all these years later, I find myself to still be pretty uneducated about my disease. I know the basics, I know what I can and can’t eat, but it really ends there.

Having Celiac Disease isn’t a death sentence. I’m the same guy I was before the diagnosis. I’m just a little less crabby and I crap a little less, and It’s pretty awesome that I’m not always sick to my stomach. But that has to do with the being crabby part. Like total bitch. Having CD is like another chapter in my life. It’s not a hurdle or a burden, it’s just a different way to live. Everything you can do, I can do. Everything you can eat, I can eat an alternative of.

I am not a slave to Celiac Disease, because this is my body and Celiac Disease is just coming a long for the ride.

The Celiac That Went Camping

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How do you plan your camping trip around the fact that you have to be eating Gluten-Free?

Really, you don’t have to do that much shifting around when it comes to the food department. Gluten-Free alternatives for camping trips are really simple. I’m not what you would call and avid camper, I camp once a year with my high school buddies and this will only be the third year we’ve done it. So me and camping are like newlyweds.

IMG_1770FUN FACT: I’m writing this blog while i’m under the influence of cough medicine, I have the dreaded man cold and I am trying to evaporate this runny nose and itchy throat before I actually go away this long weekend. Also funny, is that sometimes I try to write my blogs as ambiguous when it comes to the date. As in, I’m writing this the day before it goes live and talk about the following weekend. That’s not like me.

On a canoe trip, it’s not like you can just take a whole mess of stuff with you, even if it’s a few days. So supplementing is a thing. Big meals? Depends on how you want to eat and how much you want to carry. Gluten-Free instant oatmeal isn’t too hard to come by, but it’s expensive. Like, I had to go to the specialty store to get it. Dried fried is good for your canoe/camping trip, but buying it from the local bulk store may prove to be disastrous. You know they roll them in wheat flour to keep them from sticking together? You’re best bet is to buy prepackaged fruit. It’s usually more expensive, but you save your health.

This year I’m opting to go the non-cooler route. Nothing that needs to be kept cool. No eggs or fresh veggies. But, yeah I bought bacon, and I bought hot dogs. So yes I did buy meat that needs to be cooled. This year though, because I’m not bringing a cooler, I’m going to stick it under water. Nature’s Fridge.

So you’re gluten free. You want to go on a backwoods camping trip. But the GF foes is so expensive. You know how you remedy that?

Don’t go camping.

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