The Esther Trevino Guest Post

Today, let’s all welcome Esther Trevino to the world of King Gluten Free as she tells us all what it’s like to be her, to be gluten-free and to have Celiac Disease. Esther is the blogger in charge of THE GLUTEN CONUNDRUM and you need to go check out her site.

Honestly, until I had been diagnosed with celiac disease I had never heard of the word ‘gluten’. I grew up eating bagels for breakfast, challah bread weekly, and I absolutely love pizza. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease almost five years ago I was confused and relieved at the same time. I’ve spent the majority of my life in and out of hospitals constantly being misdiagnosed. After finding out I had celiac disease I was happy to finally know what was making me sick all these years, but I didn’t understand why it took so long to get properly diagnosed. And as a result of finding out I have an autoimmune disease, I went from looking like the walking dead to understanding how to live a healthy gluten-free lifestyle.

The transition of removing gluten from your diet after being diagnosed with celiac disease is interesting. Making my home celiac safe, to not worry about any cross contamination issues was the easy part. Learning what questions to ask when you’re out at restaurants with friends and family to avoid getting glutened was something I struggled a lot with in the beginning. Thankfully, now more and more restaurants are making an effort to accommodate for people with food intolerances and allergies, but it’s still a struggle to feel normal sometimes.

I greatly appreciate companies like Find Me Gluten Free, because having a phone app thats a gluten-free dining resource with honest reviews is priceless.

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After my first year of being on a gluten free diet I was starting to look healthier, but the deficiencies in my blood work were still not where my hematologist recommended they should be for me. This was when I started to read and learn more about living a gluten-free lifestyle, and not just eating a gluten-free diet. Ever since then everything I use is gluten-free. From my toothpaste and deodorant, to my makeup and nail polish. Nothing that touches my body contains gluten. Food is my medicine in terms of what keeps me healthy, but my lifestyle is also important because it affects my daily routine. Some may say that living a complete gluten free lifestyle is extreme, but the results I have seen in my health make it worth it everyday.

I’m more than just a gluten-free girl. Over the years I have learned that celiac disease is part of who I am, but it doesn’t define me. I like to think of myself as being perfectly incomplete. Everyday is different. Sometimes I have lots of energy and I feel like I can do anything. Other days I wake up feeling like I’m in slow motion. For these reasons it’s important to me to constantly read and learn more about ways to improve my health through my gluten-free lifestyle.

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Social media is one of the greatest unifiers available to connect you with people living just like you do. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are all significant resource tools when it comes to finding gluten-free restaurants that are Celiac safe, or seeing new gluten-free products and where you can buy them. It’s been amazing to become friends with other celiac maniacs and share common grounds with living gluten-free in a world full of wheat. Our social media accounts are a small window into our lives, and I love that I can connect with more people experiencing celiac struggles and gluten intolerances.

Help Back This Gluten-Free Cook Book

When you take to Kickstarter you have a goal in mind and you have something you’d like to see come to the light of day. I fully understand the idea behind Kickstarter and I really do wish it was around when I was younger (I had a lot of great ideas).

You’ve heard of Tiffany Hinton right? She’s the boss over at GF Mom Certified? C’mon. At least remember that I reviewed her awesome book Three Days to Perfection which you can read by clicking HERE.

The recipe for these apple cinnamon muffins are in the book. CINNAMON!!!
The recipe for these apple cinnamon muffins are in the book. CINNAMON!!!

Well, Tiffany is at it again, only this time she is putting the ink to the paper and attempting to get her newest cook book KID APPROVED backed by some supporters via Kickstarter. I was a huge fan of her last piece of work (even though she totally owes me gluten-free eclairs) and I want to be a part of her new cook book KID APPROVED which is of course a gluten-free kids cookbook with 200 pages of fun and full colour images. It includes menus, shopping guides, party solutions and more.I have a kid and I could make her some GF treats, even though they’d secretly be for me. But, I’d like to see you help her out too. Just go to this link:

www.kickstarter.com/projects/1652666192/kid-approved

And start backing this awesome project.

The one thing that I like about this project is that this was a dream of her husbands and in the course of history, not a lot of people get to see their dream fulfilled. Sometimes not even a good idea gets to meet it’s full fruition. I’d like to see Mr. GF Mom Certified get to his goal: to see his idea of a kid friendly gluten-free cook book come alive.

You only have until April 22 2015 to back this great project. So get on it. So here is the link again, in case you missed it: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1652666192/kid-approved

I donated.

Could you?

The Celiac Teen Dad Guest Post

Next week is a big week for my son, Cameron. He has the chance to experience an opportunity that we didn’t know existed before last September. It’s something that if you would have told me about it a year ago, my ignorant, inner-jerk would have said “Um…why?” It’s one of the good things that has come about since his official diagnosis as a celiac; a silver-lining in his damaged intestines if you will. You see, next week he’s off to camp. But it’s not just any camp, its gluten-free camp.

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Yes, there’s a gluten-free camp. Actually, there are several every summer located all across the United States but the one he is going to is located in Wake Forest, North Carolina and sponsored by the Gluten Intolerance Group. Like I said, last year I had no idea that such a thing was even in demand, let alone knowledge that it even existed. By chance, I became familiar with this opportunity through the same avenues that I met King Gluten Free; through the land of social media (Can you imagine an actual land of social media? I think would make a great addition as a special themed area at Universal Studios or some other family fun park but I digress). Rudi’s, a company that specializes in manufacturing gluten-free breads and other products, held a Happy Camper contest back in March. I found out about this contest from their Twitter and Facebook pages. The only stipulation for entry was that the potential camper needed to write an essay of 100 words or less on why they were “special”. I spoke with Cam about this topic and, seeing that he’s the only kid in his middle school who has celiac disease, the idea to share how he is the sole-source of awareness in his school community made the essay fairly easy for him to write. We submitted the entry and found out a few weeks later that he would be receiving a scholarship to attend a week long camp of his choice.

So it’s off to Camp Kanata for what’s promising to be a hot and fun-filled week. While the camp is not 100% gluten free (there will be other campers attending who do not have to follow a special diet), there will be a dedicated chef to prepare and substitute meal items for those who suffer from gluten-related illnesses. And they’re pulling out all of the stops on the menu items; hamburgers, pulled pork BBQ, pizza, tacos and a final celebratory Thanksgiving dinner on Friday night. I still haven’t been able to get the smile off of Cam’s face when we talk about what he’s going to eat.

And, in a nutshell, that is how celiac has changed our lives. One year ago, Cam would have been excited and looking forward to all of the activities that the camp has to offer. He’s going to get to do things such as a down the river canoe trip, play pick-up basketball every day, and partake in multiple activities on the lake. But he smiles more when we talk about the menu and what he’s going to get to eat. For he knows he’s not going to have to think about it. He can be just like any other 13 year old boy and gorge himself with as much food as his heart desires. You can see that a burden has been lifted; the burden of worrying about eating safely away from home. It is a menace that stays with him every day, something that I don’t understand but I know wears at him mentally. And for one week, it’s not going to be there. Camp Kanata, the Gluten Intolerance Group, and Rudi’s have each given him an opportunity that we all wish for. The chance to just be a kid again.

You can check out CELIAC TEEN DAD and his site by clicking HERE

The Pam Jordan Guest Post

We all love a good guest post, and today is no exception. From our good buddy Pam Jordan of imaceliac.com has graced my webpage with her wit, wisdom and whimsy all about travelling gluten free. SO PAY ATTENTION!!!

…and now Pam will start. 🙂

Travelling Gluten Free

You can let being Gluten Free keep you trapped in your home or you can get out there and enjoy new things!  I choose to do the latter.  I’d rather go to new places, try new food and experience life.  I travel a lot for work, family and with my blog, ImaCeliac.com.  My travel schedule has me gone about 1 weekend a month.  This means eating in new cities, eating on planes and taking road trips.

Eating Gluten Free can be difficult and intimidating when you are out of your comfort zone.  I get it.  There are some simple steps you can take to enjoy a Gluten Free trip.

1. Be prepared

Do your research about where you are traveling.  Use phone apps, websites and blogs to find safe Gluten Free places where you can eat.  I have experienced amazing food based on other people’s recommendations.

2. Take snacks

You never know when or where hunger will strike.  You also do not know if you will be able to find a safe option close by.  That means you need to have snacks handy.  I never travel anywhere without at least a Gluten Free protein bar.  I also bring small snacks of nuts, chips, granola bars and Gluten Free on the go meals.  A side note is that airplane food is a danger zone for Gluten.  It is safest to bring your own food.

3. Shop local

When you arrive at your destination, find a local grocery store.  Load up on fruit, veggies, Gluten Free cereal and other snacks.  When we go on family vacations we save money by cooking most of our meals.  This means I also create a weekly meal plan for us and buy all the groceries we need for the week.

4. Be flexible

Life happens and so does Gluten.  Do the best you can to find safe places ahead of time that you can eat at.  But know that sometimes plans change and you can end up at a random restaurant that you have not done your research on.  In those instances just order water, a salad with no dressing and enjoy the company of your family and friends.

Don’t let living Gluten Free keep you trapped!  You are free as a Gluten Free person, so get out there and live your life!

Thanks Pam. Now, make sure you check out her site imaceliac.com, then look at these two links to her books.

Family Approved Gluten Free Meals http://bit.ly/FamilyGfree

Succeed at Living Gluten Free http://bit.ly/SucceedGFree

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In case you missed those book links. 

Family Approved Gluten Free Meals http://bit.ly/FamilyGfree

Succeed at Living Gluten Free http://bit.ly/SucceedGFree

Celiac Woes: Stove Top Stuffing

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My little sister Katrina has only been strictly gluten free for a month or so now, and she has had an almost daily Celiac Woe. So this week I have asked her to guest blog and tell me all about the food she misses. I get at least one text message a week asking if she can eat a certain food. Well now she is starting to understand the real difficulties it is as a person on a 100% gluten free diet and missing all the food we used to love. Welcome to our own little version of Hell Katrina.
With the Holiday season approaching there is nothing I enjoy more then food! The treats I get to devour, the amount of mashed potatoes i will have piled high on my plate and the delicious steamed vegetables.
My mouth is drooling thinking of this.st_feature_img
There is one thing I miss, just one…for now….
STOVETOP Stuffing.  That delicious, melt in your mouth gluten filled, perfectly spiced stuffing.
This was always my go to on holidays.  Who doesn’t love stuffing you could cook in a pot in 15 minutes?
I would purchase the stuffing during holidays because it was cheapest then. I would go home, get it cooked and eat it.  I even ate a bowl full in the bath once.
Now, this past October was the first holiday since I decided to go Gluten Free. Each holiday I like to take a trip 2 hours East of Keswick to small town Havelock. Now, they do not offer much for us gluten intolerent people.  They have 1 grocery store….a small one.  They had ROWS of Stovetop stuffing and my best friend went right for it.  My sad face came on. I said to her “If I can’t eat it, you can’t” She totally agreed with me an put that stuffing away.
Just sitting here and typing this blog all I can think about is that candy apple red box with the picture of the fluffy stuffing on it. I’m drooling and I just ate dinner.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my mothers gluten free stuffing.  It is delicious and so flavourful, but what I would give to eat a whole box of stovetop with no side effects
Gosh, I could go on and on about this friggin stuffing.  I just want it. I want to eat it. I want to not get ill after it.
Damn you gluten for being so magical, so addicting, so delicious!
This is my celiac woe.  This is a big celiac woe.
Katrina has become a blogger now, as of December 02 2014 you can find her under a new moniker of Princess Gluten-Free over at her own website HERE, where she does reviews of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian food.

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!

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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