Cooking Gluten Free

When I heard Bob’s Red Mill had a cookbook, I was pretty excited. Bob’s Red Mill has an extensive selection of gluten-free baking products. The Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook didn’t disappoint.

What I thought would be just another cookbook about cooking with gluten-free flour was so much more. Recipes highlighting quinoa, sorghum, and millet bring so much variety to a gluten-free diet. If you’ve never cooked with ancient grains, here’s your chance.

According the author Camilla Saulsbury, she wanted people using this book to understand that eliminating wheat and other forms of gluten is simple and delicious. She hopes the readers will come to understand that working with ancient grains and ancient grain flours is as simple as it is delicious.

I’ve never seen such a comprehensive guide as the one in the beginning of this book. In addition to explaining many different grains (amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, teff, etc.), there’s informations about nuts, seeds, oils, spices and broths.

When it comes to choosing a recipe to make, they all looked so good I didn’t know where to start. The large soup selection shows you that the world of gluten-free soups is vast. All the soups you’ve been making in the past probably had gluten in them.

Gluten-free vegetarians will love the section called “Meatless Main Dishes”. I especially loved the casserole recipes. Even eating meatless can be convenient.

There was a big selection of creative main dishes. Who knew there was such a thing as gluten-free paella!

Make sure you save room for dessert, because there’s plenty of them in the book. The Ancient Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies use chia seeds to help give them the texture that’s lacking in so many gluten-free cookies. After making these, I guarantee you won’t be able to eat just one.

You can order a copy of the cookbook from Amazon. If you’ve been putting off going gluten-free because you thought all the your options would be the same, you’ve now been proven wrong.

What To Do When Life Is A Pain

Have you ever woken up with a weird pain because you slept wrong? Have you gotten a muscle strain because you worked out a little too hard? Or do you just have some general aches and pains?

This is me on any given day. I try different things to make myself feel better – roll on the foam roller, take some ibuprofen, use an ice pack, but nothing ever seems to work well for too long. Not to mention, who has time to sit around balancing an ice pack on a sore body part?

I found a solution that takes away the aches and pains, isn’t a pill (for those looking for a healthy solution), and helps while you’re on the go. the Salonpas family of products. Salonpas makes products that take away the aches and pains making products that let you put the relief right where the pain is.

Salonpas Pain Relieving Gel Patch Hot – If heat is your thing, these patches are for you. They deliver just the right amount of heat to warm up your muscles and allow them to move a little more freer.

Salonpas Pain Relief Patch – These are cooling patches. They work great, I loved the cooling feeling. My only issue with the patches is that once you open the package of five, you have 14 days to use them. I’d like it better if they were each wrapped separately.

Salonpas Deep Relieving Gel – I loved this gel. It’s not your average gel. I felt both heating and cooling working together to stimulate blood flow to my muscles. The pain I had in my back from one of those sleeping weird nights, started to feel better immediately.

Salonpas Pain Relieving Jet Spray – The spray didn’t work quite as well as the other products. I tried it out on my husband’s leg (one of those workout pains). He didn’t feel anything. Since I’ve never used a product like this before, I may not have sprayed enough on. This is a product that may take some trial and error to get the desired results.

Pain is an inconvenient part of life. It’s nice to have some easy to use products. My back feels better already.

Finding Delicious Low Carb Food

Have you ever ordered a sandwich and said hold the carbs? That would be a funny order since half of a sandwich is bread.

Carbs has been a buzz topic for a while. People often drop carbs from their diet as way to get healthy or lose weight. If you go paleo or gluten-free, you’re going carb-less.

Hitting the delete button on carbs is easier said than done. When you stop and think about it, you probably consume more carbs than you realize. The category of “carbs” covers breads, muffins, rolls, bagels, buns, crusts, bread crumbs, pretzels, and on and on. Those darn carbs are hiding everywhere.

Avoiding all these things when you are used to consuming them every day can get down right depressing. And for people with special issues, avoiding carbs is not an option.

Some gluten-free, carbless products make chewing on cardboard look appealing. Believe me I’ve tried them all. And if you eat paleo, forgot about finding any kind of bread-like product. You’re stuck making everything yourself.

Luckily there’s a website that sells low carb and paleo bread products. The Great Low Carb Bread Company sells all the bagels, buns, breads, granola, etc. that you’ve been craving. And they taste good.

They also cater to the paleo crowd, which for us paleo people is a huge bonus. Their Low Carb Paleo Bread is made from the same ingredients that I would use to make bread, except someone else has saved me the work. And, it’s just as good. The breads are also high in fiber and protein. Their paleo, low carb gluten-free granola was so tasty and fresh, I thought it had just been made.

The other thing I love about this company is their website. For every item, they don’t just give you the ingredients, they show you a copy of the label. I like to have as much information as possible before I order new things. Weight Watchers points are included in some of the product descriptions too. The products are also available at certain stores and on a few other websites such as Amazon.

Sandwiches beware, there are some new slices in town!

How to Eat Healthy On the Go

Like Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast,” and some days it moves so fast you don’t have time to stop and eat. I’ve done a lot of eating in my car. I’m not proud of it, and it’s not easy to vacuum all those crumbs out from under your seat either.

Sadly, the hardest thing to eat while driving is a salad. Believe me, I’ve tried. The only thing harder to eat while driving is frozen yogurt!

If the healthiest thing you can get on the run is the hardest thing to eat behind the wheel, what can you get on the go that’s good for you?

Have It Your Way
You can make special requests when ordering fast food. Hold the sauce is a big one of mine when I get sandwiches and wraps. Those weird sauces have a lot of calories in them. I try to keep mustard packets (picked up from fast food establishments) in my car since mustard adds a lot of flavors and little calories.

Act Childish
Kids meals are a great option. The portions are smaller and the sides are often healthier. Some meals include apple slices and give you the option of milk as a drink. At the fast food restaurant I worked at as a teenager, the hamburger in the kid’s meal was half a regular hamburger patty. That’s great if you have a taste for a hamburger, but don’t want all those calories.

All Chicken Is Not Created Equal
A chicken sandwich seems like a go to meal – healthy and easy to eat behind the wheel. If you can find a chicken wrap, take it. Eating a tortilla is better than eating a bun. And believe it or not, the nuggets, if they’re all white meat, are often the lowest calorie chicken option.

It’s Not What You Eat, It’s How Much You Eat
What if there is no healthy option? This is a reality. If this happens don’t panic. Eat what you need to eat, just don’t eat a lot of it. Sometimes portion size overrules the actual food.

Don’t Be Fooled
Fast food and quick restaurants are doing a better job of listing calories. This information comes in handy when you go to order what you think is a “healthy” meal. Sometimes what a restaurant bills as “healthy,” is actually more calories than one of their regular items.

Drinking Calories Won’t Quench Your Thirst
When you roll through the drive through, you’re probably going to order a drink. Pick a zero-calorie drink – tea, diet soda, or a bottle of water. More places offer water bottles these days. And as for diet sodas, I’m not as anti-diet soda as some people. Having one every now and then won’t kill you.

Eating on the run doesn’t have to blow your diet. Just make sure you ask for extra napkins!

Using Your Brain to Feel Better

It’s an age old adage – The Power of Positive Thinking. Thinking positive has been known to help in a lot of situations. After all what’s the alternative, thinking negatively? That’s not going to get you anywhere.

What about when it comes to improving your health? Can positive thoughts really change your health? According to the new book “Change Your Mind, Change Your Health” by Anne Marie Ludovici, MS, they sure can.

The great thing about this book is that it doesn’t just tell you to think about better health. It tells you HOW to think about better health. In life things are always easier said than done. To be successful, the more steps and hand holding the better. Especially, when it comes to changing habits that are deeply ingrained.

Anne Marie not only gives us seven ways to tell our brain how to make changes, but she tells us anecdotal tales about her life and previous clients which are very relatable. Hearing these stories made me feel like my story wasn’t so unique, and making changes was doable.

The book talks about being ready for change; how to make change happen; and what I feel is most important, how to sustain change. It’s like when people lose weight, keeping it off is as hard as losing it. Sustaining change is especially hard when unexpected events happen in life. Anne Marie gives you the tools to handle this type of situation without losing the benefits of the work you’ve done so far.

If you work on the insider secrets presented in this book every day:

-Am I ready to change?
-How do I start?
-Return to recess.
-Building confidence through mastery.
-Change the way you think about it.
-Make a new Life plan.
-Game on!

you’ll be able to hold onto the healthy habits you’ve created. It takes work, but with this book, better health is possible.

To order a copy of Change Your Mind, Change Your Health; go to amazon.com at Change Your Mind, Change Your Health. Change is only a click away!

How to Count on Eating Less Calories

How is your new year going so far? Are you still trying to keep a resolution to lose weight? Is it working? Unfortunatley, no matter what kind of diet or plan you’re on, it always comes down to how many calories you’re eating.

There’s just no way around it. Eating is a numbers game. If you’re a little high for one meal, you better come out a little low in another. If you’re low all the time, you’ll lose weight. If you’re too high, you’ll gain weight.

The time has come to get ahead in this numbers game. No one likes to sit and spend all day counting. but maybe just a little keeping track here and there is all your need to finally conquer the calories.

Pick a Number
To start with, you probably have no concept of how many calories to eat in a day. There’s no one number for everyone. No one can tell you if you eat this many calories every day, you’ll lose weight. Your calorie intake depends on your height, weight, and activity level. You can get a general idea by plugging your info into websites like Free Dieting.

When you see what goes into determining how many calories to eat in a day, you see where you can make changes. Obviously you can’t change your height! But you CAN change things like activity level.

Make Calories Count
Have you ever wondered if some calories make you gain weight more than others? No, a calorie is a calorie.

But some calories are going to maximize your numbers more. If the food you eat contains fiber, it’s going to fill you up more. You’ll feel full longer than if you used the same amount of calories to eat something that didn’t fill you up as much, such as potato chips.

Ideally, you want to eat low-calorie foods that fill you up such as:
-grains like brown rice and oatmeal
-black rice (the lowest calorie rice there is)
-greens: broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, etc.
-watermelon
-beans: chickpeas, fava beans, edamame, etc.
-broth-based soups
-fat-free dairy products

Losing Count
Are you up for the challenge of counting calories? One reason why some people give up counting calories is because it’s just plain hard. Say you make yourself a casserole. How many calories is that? There’s just too many ingredients to keep track of to figure out how many calories you’ve consumed.

Don’t let this deter you. You can handle this situation in a few ways. First you could estimate the calories based on something else you’ve eaten that you do know the calorie count of. Or you can go to a calorie count website like Calorie Count where you list the ingredients and the website calculates the ingredients for you. This is great for recipes you make all the time. With help like this, you have no excuses!

Don’t Count on it Forever
Counting calories a good thing to do for a few weeks to kick of a new lifestyle. But, it’s not something that you should do long term. Different things affect our body every day: hormones, metabolic rate, exercise habits. Counting calories for a little while helps you realize how many calories you’re taking in every day. But there’s no need to do it long term once you see a pattern in your numbers.

When you see how things add up, meals, snacks, drinks; you’ll see where changes can be made. Foods that you thought were low in calories, might be thing making your numbers go up too high. Once you get the idea of where your calories are coming from, you’ll be able to establish better eating habits.

Now that you know it’s all about about the numbers, get out a pencil and paper and start counting!

Happy Grain-Free New Year

How is your new year going so far? Are you still trying to keep a resolution to lose weight? Is it working? Unfortunatley, no matter what kind of diet or plan you’re on, it always comes down to how many calories you’re eating.

There’s just no way around it. Eating is a numbers game. If you’re a little high for one meal, you better come out a little low in another. If you’re low all the time, you’ll lose weight. If you’re too high, you’ll gain weight.

The time has come to get ahead in this numbers game. No one likes to sit and spend all day counting. but maybe just a little keeping track here and there is all your need to finally conquer the calories.

Pick a Number
To start with, you probably have no concept of how many calories to eat in a day. There’s no one number for everyone. No one can tell you if you eat this many calories every day, you’ll lose weight. Your calorie intake depends on your height, weight, and activity level. You can get a general idea by plugging your info into websites like Free Dieting.

When you see what goes into determining how many calories to eat in a day, you see where you can make changes. Obviously you can’t change your height! But you CAN change things like activity level.

Make Calories Count
Have you ever wondered if some calories make you gain weight more than others? No, a calorie is a calorie.

But some calories are going to maximize your numbers more. If the food you eat contains fiber, it’s going to fill you up more. You’ll feel full longer than if you used the same amount of calories to eat something that didn’t fill you up as much, such as potato chips.

Ideally, you want to eat low-calorie foods that fill you up such as:
-grains like brown rice and oatmeal
-black rice (the lowest calorie rice there is)
-greens: broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, etc.
-watermelon
-beans: chickpeas, fava beans, edamame, etc.
-broth-based soups
-fat-free dairy products

Losing Count
Are you up for the challenge of counting calories? One reason why some people give up counting calories is because it’s just plain hard. Say you make yourself a casserole. How many calories is that? There’s just too many ingredients to keep track of to figure out how many calories you’ve consumed.

Don’t let this deter you. You can handle this situation in a few ways. First you could estimate the calories based on something else you’ve eaten that you do know the calorie count of. Or you can go to a calorie count website like Calorie Count where you list the ingredients and the website calculates the ingredients for you. This is great for recipes you make all the time. With help like this, you have no excuses!

Don’t Count on it Forever
Counting calories a good thing to do for a few weeks to kick of a new lifestyle. But, it’s not something that you should do long term. Different things affect our body every day: hormones, metabolic rate, exercise habits. Counting calories for a little while helps you realize how many calories you’re taking in every day. But there’s no need to do it long term once you see a pattern in your numbers.

When you see how things add up, meals, snacks, drinks; you’ll see where changes can be made. Foods that you thought were low in calories, might be thing making your numbers go up too high. Once you get the idea of where your calories are coming from, you’ll be able to establish better eating habits.

Now that you know it’s all about about the numbers, get out a pencil and paper and start counting!

Five Reasons to Tape It Up

I have my shares of aches and pains. My biggest issues are arthritis in my neck and knee. Every day there’s something that hurts on my body. I’ve tried more things than you can guess to make myself feel better. Whenever I go to the chiropractor, she always tapes me up.

At first I didn’t know what she was doing. She’d ask what color I wanted, and then put tape on my knee or top of my shoulders. I eventually figured out that the tape made my pain go away. And, that’s how I was introduced to sports tape (also called kinesio tape). Sports tape is different than traditional athletic tape in that it’s pliable and allows for full range of motion.

If you watched the Olympics you saw a lot of taped up athletes. This tape was developed in the 1970s, but really came into prominence after the 2008 Olympics. Arms, legs, shoulders – athletes had all kinds of body parts taped up. And I’m sure you were thinking, “Does that really work?”

My experiences with sports tape has been positive. Whenever I’m taped up and people see me they always ask, “What is that?” I try to explain the benefits of sports tape:

– Sports tape works with the contours of the skin. It moves with the skin while it supports, unlike a brace which supports, but doesn’t move with the skin.

– It treats injuries externally. There’s no need for medication or injections.

– The tape can be used for hundreds of common injuries.

– Using the tape lets you recover from an injury while still remaining active.

– It’s lightweight, comfortable, waterproof, and sweat proof.

I’ve never used sports tape myself at home, so I was really excited to receive a sample of a sports tape called KT Tape. It’s endorsed by the beach volleyball player Keri Walsh. I’ve watched her many times, and have often noticed the tape on her shoulder.

KT Tape provides muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. It’s lightweight, but can be worn in water. KT Tape creates neuromuscular feedback that inhibits or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. This results in support without bulk and restriction.

The tape looked great, and how could you go wrong with bright pink (it comes in ten colors). It was time to tape up the family. I taped my knee, I taped my son’s shoulder (he’s a swimmer), and I taped my husband’s knee (which was suffering from a few too many racquetball games). I considered taping the dogs, but I managed to control myself.

The consensus among those wearing tape in my house was that everyone felt better. The shoulder and the knees showed improvement when they were taped with KT Tape.

Out of the three of us, I’m the only one who has worn other brands of tape, and I was definitely impressed. Compared to other tapes I’ve worn this one was more comfortable. I didn’t even realize I was wearing it. It stayed on through a workout and in the shower.

The tape was easy to use thanks to the instructions and videos on the website. There’s instructions for every body part you can think of.

My husband said he liked using the tape better than other things he’s used, like cremes, because it was subtle and unnoticeable. And my son the swimmer said, “It’s very effective.”

If you have any aches or pains, you need to try this tape. It’s available at a wide variety of stores as well as online. For more information go to KT Tape

This is one sticky situation that will make you feel better!

How to Keep Gluten Out of Your Rice

Lately things haven’t been going well with my “operating system”, which is a polite way of saying I’ve been having gut issues. The doctor told me flat out to avoid gluten.

The first thing I did after hearing this was to take a look at what I eat. I’m one of those weird people who love to eat dry cereal as a snack. My two favorites are Rice Crispies and Cheerios. I thought I was safe with those – a rice cereal and an oat cereal. But on a hunch, I googled both of them to see if they contained gluten.

What an eye opener. Both cereals have gluten in them!

I was stunned. Gluten in a rice cereal? How could this be? But, barley malt is an ingredient in Rice Crispies. And what about my Cheerios? They contain wheat starch. It turns out nothing is safe, even Frosted Flakes contain gluten, Tony the Tiger, say it isn’t so!

I started to panic. If these two food that I thought were “safe” contain gluten, where else is gluten hiding?

If you’re trying to avoid gluten, these are some food that seem safe, but aren’t:

-multi-grain or “artisan” tortilla chips or tortillas
-cheescake filling (may contain wheat flour)
-eggs served at restaurants (some restaurants put pancake batter in scrambled eggs and omelets)
-pre-seasoned meats
-salad dressings and marinades (could contain malt vinegar or flour)
-soup (cream based soups are often thickened with flour)
-french fries (batter may contain wheat flour)
-gum (some companies use flour to coat the gum so it doesn’t stick to the wrapper)
-soy sauce
-mustard (some contain wheat flour)
-instant coffee (gluten is used as a bulking ingredient)
-pickles (some are made with malt vinegar)
-flavored potato chips (wheat flour is used to distribute the flavor on the chips)
-anything with carmel color (it’s usually made from corn, but sometimes it’s made from malt syrup)

Reading labels is a must when looking for gluten at the grocery store. Obviously you’ll look for words like barley, brewer’s yeast, rye and wheat. But gluten also goes by aliases like malt (made from barley) and hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

Keep in mind that when a product is labeled “Gluten-Free” that may not mean it’s 100% gluten-free. There may still be traces of gluten in it. As long as those traces are very small, it can be labeled “Gluten-Free.” Remember gluten is gluten. Wheat-free doesn’t mean gluten-free. Gluten is also found in rye and barley.

Eating a gluten-free diet takes a little time, but once you know what to look for, it’s a easy as making a sandwich with lettuce instead of bread. Now that’s gluten-free!