Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Going Gluten Free and the Wonderful World of Disney!

We've neglected the blog... But we've been BUSY! I wrapped up my seventh year of teaching and then the whole family went to Disney World, since then it's been enjoying the unseasonably cool (but wonderful) Wisconsin weather. You can thank mom for that... She FINALLY got central air put back in the house and she hasn't needed it... yet...

But onto the stuff related to the title...

Mom has been gluten free since January and I joined her in April. Her chiropractor suggested she reduce inflammatory foods so her dominant hand wouldn't hurt so much. It got to the point where she couldn't write or knit due to pain and inflammation. Once she went gluten free her hand stopped hurting so much and she is back to knitting! I had similar pain, but not as crippling as hers was. At first I was skeptical and thought she was a little crazy, but I supported her decision and thought I could never do it. Then on Palm Sunday we went to a brunch and I indulged on cakes and buns. That night my hand was really hot... I could feel the temperature difference in my palm near my thumb. That was a wake up call... I didn't want to end up with the crippling pain my mom went through. It wasn't as tough as I thought and it was nice to have support from my mom and from my friend/coworker Christine who is also GF. It made me feel like less of a weirdo... But it made staff breakfasts on Friday really tough because there weren't many options. I found an AMAZING GF coffee cake recipe and made it for Christine's bridal shower and another staff breakfast. Coworkers who are not GF said "If you hadn't told me it was GF, I would have never known!" What I love the most about it is that it uses GF Bisquick, so I don't have to do all that crazy mixing flours and such. I added lemon zest to the cream cheese layer because I LOVE lemon and I also used almond milk instead of regular milk. I had to add TBS extra of almond milk because the batter just seemed too dry.

When we went to Disney it was also an AWESOME experience to be GF. At each restaurant we worked directly with the head chef or restaurant manager to find items that were already GF or recipes that were easily adaptable. Not once were we let down by the quality of the food. I had a delicious pasta dish at Via Napoli that had an Alfredo type sauce with chicken and FRESH SPRING PEAS. I picked every pea out of that plate and declined dessert. Next time they can just make me peas with Alfredo sauce. I didn't take a picture but I wish I had! What I did take a picture of was the Chocolate Banana Creme Brûlée I had at Kona. I wanted to lick the plate it was so good! It was so refreshing by the end of our trip that the manager of our resort quick service, Contempo Cafe, recognized us and had her allergy pad ready to take our order. We are vacation club members and were staying at our home resort, Bay Lake Towers, so the walk over to the Contemprary was a welcome jaunt to get a quick meal that was delicious and GF! I cheated a bit near the end of our trip and paid for it hand pain the following days when I was knitting. But it seemed to leave my system quicker than when I first went GF... about two days of pain and then I was back to normal. No heat in my thumb area and no throbbing pain.

Here is that delicious Creme Brulee I meantioned... see how the plate is scraped clean!

My husband and son have also joined me in reducing their gluten intake. We already ate lower on the gluten scale, but noodles and bread were a staple in several meals a week. They've been okay with replacing the noodles (D-man actually prefers the GF noodles), but I haven't found a good bread that pasts their test. It is more of a texture thing than a taste thing. I on the other hand love Goodbye Gluten's multi-grain bread. Today I used a GF flour mix to make chocolate chip cookies and no one could tell the difference. YUMMY! The change has been slighlty different than our normal diet, but I feel better and I feel better knowing "my boys" are reducing their intake as well. It might not be for everyone, but it is certainly for me!

Here is my favorite family photo from the trip.


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