Wednesday, January 12, 2011

let's eat!

i've been saving these up for a few months now.  ever since going on the GF diet, we've actually been eating really well, thanks to Silvana NardoneThe Cake Mix Doctor and magazines like Living Without and Gluten Free Living.  it's amazing what you find you CAN eat when you just get out there and pay attention.  GF diets are becoming more and more frequent in our society.  almost any restaurant you go to now has some sort of GF options.  (that's another post altogether, though.)  naturally, though, it's far easier to eat at home than out.  and surprisingly, a good bit of what we already eat is GF, we just didn't know it.  for instance, a roast cooked in the crock pot with potatoes and carrots, covered with Lipton French Onion soup is GF.  but when we first started, we bought Silvana Nardone's book Cooking for Isaiah and started cooking out of that.  here are just a few of our adventures in GF cooking:

this entire meal is from Sivlana -

Grilled Asparagus with Creamy Lemon Dip

this is the lemon dip - and it was SOOOO good!


grilling the asparagus

grilling the Grilled Peach BBQ Chicken Wings
the sauce for the chicken - has peach jam, vinegar, garlic, salt and hot sauce (which we left out)

yum!!!

chicken and sauce!


my plate!

bubba didn't like the asparagus...

and marti isn't a rice person...

but the meal was a HUGE hit!!!

loving our first meal out of Silvana's book, we decided to try the rest of her recipes.  this was breakfast for dinner:

banana pancakes...

with warm cinnamon goo!


cooking the pancakes

this was a first for me

but they were SOOOO good!!!

so here are a few other adventures - i'll let you know where the recipe came from in the caption:

rosemary sprigs...

Silvana's Maple-Mustard Pork Loin...

pork loin with bacon and potatoes

finally finished!!!  it was SO delicious!  and a great attempt for someone (like me) whose never done anything like this!

the kids' plates :)

mixing Silvana's strawberry cupcakes




perfectly pink...
for a princess's party cupcakes!!

gluten free noodles...must be cooked VERY carefully

ground turkey...

yep.  velveeta and stewed tomatoes...see where this is going?

mixed the noodles, tomatoes, and meat together and then threw in chunks of velveeta

baked it until the cheese was melted and stirred it in.  this was my recipe and it turned out really good, but it did NOT reheat.  ick.

my take on my Logan's Roadhouse favorite - Southwest BBQ Chicken.  i started by tossing the chicken breasts in a skillet with vegetable oil (olive oil works good, too)

then i poured some jack daniel's hickory brown sugar BBQ sauce over it 


...chopped a tomato and smothered it with cheddar and mozzarella cheeses!  and those are not normal green beans and corn - i cook them in a TON of butter and salt :)

bubba's ninth birthday party was a lego party, so we made pizza

store bought GF pizza crusts (they're squares), squeeze on sauce and cheese and pepperoni


pop 'em in the oven for about 15 minutes and you're good!


and this is the only picture i have of his cake, but i made it following the Cake Mix Dr's GF recipe for a yellow layered cake, i just didn't layer it.


and that's all i've got for now.  hopefully it's inspired you to try some new recipes!  it's inspired me to go have lunch!
sarah







Sunday, January 2, 2011

are YOUR drugs gluten free?

i'm not sure mine are...

i've been on doxycycline hyclate since the 29th of december...that's four days now.  and for the first time in a long time, i've been back to taking my zofran for nausea.  and in some cases, being sick anyway.  so i checked it out and the side effects are nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.  okay, so that's explainable.  but after talking to mom about it, we wondered: does it have gluten in it?  so we do a little research - www.glutenfreedrugs.com.  if you take medication, have you considered the possibility of it being gluten free or not?  i never had.  Gluten Free Drugs has a drug list - and you can read it in several different ways, but i chose the alphabetical list.  so i checked out my doxycycline...there are three manufacturers that ARE gluten free and have been checked.  naturally, the manufacturer on MY generic hasn't been checked, and i'll be darned if i can figure out how to do that.  so now i wonder...am i back to being sick because my meds to make me not sick are making me sick?  (get that?)

i also double checked my daily meds.  my celexa is good.  but - and if you have a thyroid disease as well, this is important - synthroid can no longer guarantee a GF status.  well, yikes.  isn't that the only thyroid drug out there?  and i know it doesn't even come in generic.  so i'm questioning it.  guess i'll be asking the doc when i go back.

what about you?  anybody else come across drugs making them sick?  i want to thank the people at Gluten Free Drugs for posting this list.  it's nice to be able to check my meds against it and, if necessary, make changes.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cosmetic Allergen Alert Campaign

just as with food, i believe that those of us with major allergies should be able to look at ANY label and see the words "MAY CONTAIN" followed by an allergen.  and likewise, if the product does not contain any gluten, it should have the GF label on it.  so what can we do about it?  we can band together.  i'm starting a campaign, Cosmetic Allergen Alert.  if you have a major allergy, please consider joining the campaign to contact the FDA and require allergy labels on cosmetic and drug products!!! 


i'm not entirely sure how i'll be going about this.  i do know that to start with, i need YOUR help.  if you have one of the eight major allergies -
*milk
*egg
*tree nuts
*peanuts
*fish
*shellfish
*soy
*wheat
i need to know if you've ever encountered that allergy in a cosmetic product.  that can be makeup, hair care, body products (such as body wash, soap, lotion, scrubs, shaving cream, etc), or any kind of drug or medication.  from there, i plan to contact the FDA with my findings.  i know i'm not the only person in the world who has dealt with this.  and what if my allergy to wheat was severe?  what if it was a peanut allergy?  anaphylaxis?  has anyone considered the fact that someone with a severe allergy might encounter an "organic" product that contained their specific allergen?  who wants to go into anaphylactic shock in the shower because of a shampoo????  these things should be clearly labeled.  so if you agree, please comment below, leaving your first name, location (state only), and blog address if you have one.  share this blog with your readers.  when i have fifty names, i'll start the FDA complaint process.  i believe this to be important.  i know that my reaction of acne and a flaky scalp seem minor to some.  but does that mean that i should have to carry my list of products in my purse -

cosmetic ingredients containing gluten:
hyrolyzed malt extract
hydrolyzed wheat protein
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
wheat germ
vitamin e
cyclodextrin
barley extract
fermented grain extract
oat (avena sativa)
stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl
samino peptide complex
phytosphingosine extract
triticum vulgare
dextrin
dextrin palmitate
maltodextrin
Secale Cereale
Sodium C8-16 Isoalkylsuccinyl Wheat Protein Sulfonate
yeast extract
anything with wheat in the name

- so i can cross check ALL ingredients before i buy?  there are so many other things i could be doing with that time.  because, again, if it was a serious allergy, it would be taken seriously.  and i know that my frustration level was just as serious.  and if you've been through this, you know what i mean. 

it's becoming easier and easier to EAT gluten free.  shouldn't it also become easier to LIVE gluten (or dairy or egg or fish or nut) free???

Acne Victim update!

well, happy new year, dear readers!

since my last post, a lot has happened!  my parents and i took my kids to disney for Christmas and had a wonderful, wonderful time.  i've also changed concealers and what a difference!!!  see for yourselves:

i know my numbers are backwards :)  this was on December 15, just two days after my last post.  

this side, thankfully, looks better...

...but my forehead still looks bad...


so i didn't get to take DAILY pictures, like i promised, what with disney and Christmas and New Years. however, i did start noticing a HUGE difference.  i bought a concealer that i know for a fact - ingredient list! - does not contain any wheat derivatives.  combined with serious acne therapy - benzoyl peroxide face wash (which WILL bleach your towels, fyi) and salicylic acid emergency gel (be sure you still use some sort of a moisturizer - oil free, acne, whatever - at night), my face is looking MUCH better.


this is today (excuse the bored look) - january 1, 2011

i know the pictures are not as close up, but you can still tell...it's not as angry red, there are fewer itty bitty bumps and the break outs are NOT (yay!) cystic!!!

it's amazing.  truly amazing.  unfortunately, while i was in disney, i started using a hotel shampoo (not from WDW) that turned out to have wheat or some derivative in it.  my scalp has been flaking for two and a half weeks now.  soon as i can, i'll be getting a T-Sal shampoo by Neutrogena to pull all the dry flakes off the scalp and hopefully start a repair on that.

in doing all this, i've come to learn that with food products, the FDA requires an ingredient label that includes an allergen warning.  you can read about it here.  however, in my research, i can't find ANYTHING requiring companies to include that MAY CONTAIN warning on other products.  products like cosmetics (FDA's labeling manual can be found here).  i know i'm not the only person in the world who has had this problem.  and i think it's time that the FDA recognized that allergens are not only contained in food products.  and by allergens, i don't mean fragrances and things like that.  i know people have allergic reactions to those type things.  being a Clinique master consultant for quite sometime, i learned a few things.  but what i'm talking about are products that contain one of the top 8 major allergens (provided to my by Mayo Clinic):

*milk
*eggs
*tree nuts
*peanuts
*fish
*shellfish
*soy
*wheat

i do realize that very few, if any, cosmetic products contain shrimp or dairy.  but you would be really surprised at the number of products containing wheat, soy, and nuts or nut oil.  if you have an allergy to one of these major allergens, you need to be carefully checking the labels on your cosmetic products - everything from make up to hair care to body wash, shaving cream, and lotion.  wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to learn what products to look for?  i carry this list in my purse everyday to check against ingredient labels:
cosmetic ingredients containing gluten:
hyrolyzed malt extract
hydrolyzed wheat protein
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
wheat germ
vitamin e
cyclodextrin
barley extract
fermented grain extract
oat (avena sativa)
stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl
samino peptide complex
phytosphingosine extract
triticum vulgare
dextrin
dextrin palmitate
maltodextrin
Secale Cereale
Sodium C8-16 Isoalkylsuccinyl Wheat Protein Sulfonate
yeast extract
anything with wheat in the name


seriously.  shouldn't it be easier?  just as with food, i believe that those of us with major allergies should be able to look at ANY label and see the words "MAY CONTAIN" followed by an allergen.  and likewise, if the product does not contain any gluten, it should have the GF label on it.  so what can we do about it?  we can band together.  i'm starting a campaign, Cosmetic Allergen Alert, which you can read further about in my next post.  if you have a major allergy, please consider joining the campaign to contact the FDA and require allergy labels on cosmetic and drug products!!!  i don't think people realize just how serious these allergies can be.  i know i didn't.  i figured it was only in what i ate, but thanks to Glutenista's Tips and Tricks, i learned that gluten can be in anything.  which explained SO much about my weird breakouts!  so let's get together, help each other out, and bring this to the attention of the government agency that can make our lives easier, simply be requiring a little label.  

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Monday, December 13, 2010

I was a (almost) thirty year old acne victim

yep.  twenty nine (no, really.  the first time around) and STILL breaking out like a pubescent teenager.  it's horrifying, really.  because we're not talking small little blackhead like breakouts.  we're talking gargantuan, massive, cystic clusters of acne.  disgusting, bacterial acne.  the kind that you remember on THAT kid in high school.  the kind that just looking at made you want to go wash your face.  yes, my friends.  THAT kind of acne.  do you have the full disgusting picture in your head yet, or shall i get more graphic?  Just to be sure we're all on the same disgusting page, i'm going to be extremely brave (WAAAAAY outside my comfort range here, folks) and show you what i mean:




this is a good day, too.  these are immediately after my nighttime cleansing, which is really when they look their best, sadly.  i refuse to put pictures of their worst.  this is hard enough for me.

let me give you a little background on me real quick.  

i never had perfect skin.  but it wasn't horrible.  i didn't have acne, per se.  i had your typical once in awhile break out.  then, after i had my first baby (i call him bubba in my blogs), my skin got worse, then better.  when he was six months old or so, i went to work for Clinique.  working for them, i took skin physiology courses and became the counter three step leader, selling their number one skin care line.  and the line worked for me.  for a little while, anyway.  gradually, my skin got worse.  then it would get better.  i started using the Arbonne Intelligence line at some point after my second baby (blog name marti) and had AMAZING results with that.  then they discontinued it.  at some point in there, i went on birth control to help with my mood swings, skin problems, crazy cycles, and early menopause symptoms.  anyway, in the last year, i changed birth controls - from ortho tricycline oral doses to the depo-provera shot.  well, i gained weight with the depo, my skin broke out, i was miserable.  so i quit.  haven't gotten around to going back on the pill yet. BUT my skin continues to get gross.  and stay that way.  since i went off the depo at the end of august, i've not had a single clear skin day.  sometimes i can wake up mostly clear and by lunch i'm breaking out.  i've changed skin care, make up, you name it.  nothing's worked.

then in october, i went gluten-free.  skin actually got some better.  i lost almost ten pounds, all my medical problems cleared up, feeling fabulous.  but my skin.  i STILL can't get it clear.  

the other day, mom reads on Glutenista about wheat in hair products and cosmetics...

...hold on.  i have a wheat allergy.

ingredient check!!!  

nothing i use has any of the derivatives of wheat in it.  at least that i can find.  well, shoot.

a little more internet digging and i find that while MAC cosmetics has some of the most amazing color and makeup options out there and is cruelty free, that they do have products containing wheat and/or gluten.

oh, you have GOT to be kidding me!!!  i've used MAC for years.  i worked for them for a long time and i LOVE their products.  so to find out that the very powder i've loved for the last seven years may contain kernel oil was very upsetting.  no, i don't have a corn allergy.  i have a wheat allergy.  but corn contains its own gluten.  they also mention that there's the possibility of equipment contamination.  i found all this on this website, which is admittedly dated.  but then, i realized that the newest product i've been using is my concealer.  and after a few days of thinking about it, i ONLY break out in the same spots over and over and over and over.  those are the places i conceal daily.  only to break out in more clusters.  (you'd think that it wouldn't take very long to make this connection, but it did me, because i've never had sensitivity issues.)  well, best i can tell online, my concealer doesn't contain any gluten products.  (FYI - don't EVER google all the ingredients in your cosmetics.  i now don't ever want to put that stuff on my face again.  ever.)  but i've emailed MAC to find out for sure.  in the meantime, i have purchased a different brand of concealer, one whose label i checked REPEATEDLY to make sure.  i'm going to give it two weeks and see if it makes a difference.  

i have also checked the ingredient list on every product i own - from toothpaste to deodorant to soap to hand lotion.  i had no idea that i might find allergens in my shampoo.  or my concealer.  that shocks me.  and frustrates me.  because the MAC Studio Sculpt concealer is the best stuff i've ever used.  but at the same time, i'm sooooooo tired of being an acne victim.  it's not fair.  i passed puberty sixteen years ago or more.  that i should still have to deal with this is maddening.  i will be doing ingredient checks on everything from now on.  and i will be taking pictures daily of my skin to see how it's clearing up.

i should also mention that i plan to continue my regimen of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid on my face to help dry up and kill the acne.  but i also plan to NOT add anything that might irritate it.

so i will be letting you know how it goes.

what kind of weird allergy/cosmetic issues have you had?  what did you do about them?  is there something i'm missing?

let me know!  and go be gorgeous!

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