Living Life with Celiac Disease


November 2013

Gluten Free Persimmon Cookies

Made and tried persimmon cookies for the first time. I heard they were a “Taste of Fall.” This recipe from GlutenFreeda was a winner. It has cloves and cardamon which I absolutely love. They remind me of a gingersnap cookie (which is one of our favorites). We are adding them to our holiday family cookbook. Hope your Thanksgiving is safe and gluten free, filled with loved ones human and furry.

GF Persimmon Cookies


Satisfying the Gluten Craving


Sometimes, you just want a real cookie, or a real tortilla so you can eat a burrito and not get sick. Well these are my go to foods when I just need to satisfy the flour/wheat craving.

Craving a good bagel, maybe Sara Lee’s Onion Bagels? Well UDI’s makes great Certified Gluten Free bagels, my personal favorite is the “Everything Inside Bagels” .

Craving pasta, that taste good with a cheese sauce or Alfredo? I recommend a pasta that only contains rice! Corn pasta, may upset a Celiac tummy and it only tastes good with red sauce. Some pastas contain pea proteins, which leave a nasty film on the pasta. This brand that I pick up from my local gluten-free store is really good, and my boyfriend can’t tell the difference.  The only difference he notices is the price difference from “real” pasta. The brand is PastaJoy and this one is made with Brown Rice (a healthier option to White Rice pasta).

Craving a good cookie? WOW makes some great wheat & gluten free cookies, my GFF (Gluten Free Friend) found them in San Francisco and she told me that day, how delicious they are! Believe me, it takes a lot of self-control to only eat, one or two in one sitting.

Craving something to snack on? Glutino makes a really good Sea Salt flavored snack crackers, they taste very similar to Wheat Thins. Also Van’s makes some certified gluten free crackers, my favorite is Lots of Everything Inside. The great thing about the Van’s crackers is that all of the ingredients are all natural, no added sugars, no trans fats, just a delicious and nutritious snack.



Craving a yummy quesadilla or burrito? Food for Life makes a Certified wheat and gluten free Brown Rice tortilla that satisfies the craving of a flour tortilla. I still can’t wait for something even better then this tortilla!

Craving Garlic Bread? Against the Grain makes amazing baguettes that can be baked to be garlic bread, or cut up to be served with spread, cheese, or meats. It is amazing, but not too amazing on the wallet.

Those are my go to Certified Gluten Free foods. Not only do they pass my taste test, but Robyn & Kate’s taste test. My GFF from San Fran. Emily also loves the Van’s Crackers and the WOW cookies (since she was the one who got me hooked on both of them).

Hope this helps your taste buds be a little happy when craving BREAD, FLOUR, WHEAT, BARLEY, etc.

Happy tasting!


Slow Recovery

It is amazing the damage a piece of grain can do. Since my last post, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” my recovery is slow going. It’s been 6 days since my cross contamination at Red Robin and today is my first adventure out of the house. If not for Robert driving and accompanying me through the grocery store, for last minute Thanksgiving needs, I might be writing this from the floor of a shopping aisle.

The migraine is gone but the shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue, joint pain, and exhaustion remain (I’m still waiting for the onslaught of hives).

The worst part of it all is knowing it may happen again. How many times do we play Russian Roulette with our body? When this episode is long forgotten, and I am caught up in the joyous whirlwind of love and family, I will let my guard down. I don’t know if it’s the black hole each episode leaves in my memory or wishful thinking it won’t happen again. Short of tattooing, “Do not feed the Celiac” on my forehead, I am doomed to repeat this mistake. Hopefully it won’t be days before a holiday again.


A Series of Unfortunate Events

The unexpected can come as a visit from out of town friends and/ or relatives, an unexpected night out, peer pressure, or lack of preparation. The latter is usually the one that gets me sick.

I was prepared for a visit from my out of state grandmother and my mom who brought her here from the airport. I had beans from the freezer, rice, tortillas, and a cornucopia of fruit. A safe haven for my celiac disease and a comfortable atmosphere for my guests.

I knew we were driving an hour and a half to visit Robyn and her family. I knew we needed to eat. I got caught up in the happy moment of family and let my guard down at Red Robin. I never have a problem with their fries since they are fried in separate oil and I ask for no seasoning salt.

My lapse of judgement was to order a fried egg on the UDI’s GF bun. In retrospect the egg must have been fried on a shared grill. Although I told the server of my allergy, the bottom line is: I trusted a stranger with my health. No matter how many times I make this mistake, it happens again.

The worst part of this whole experience? The voice in my head warning me, screaming at me not to order anything but fries. My desire to be somewhat normal pushed that voice aside and now I am spending my second day home sick from work and on the couch with a killer migraine, breathing problems, and digestive issues I will save for another post.

The bottom line? We aren’t normal, we have sensitive bodies that see wheat as the enemy. As we would protect our children from taking candy from strangers, we need to protect ourselves from taking food from strangers. Listen to that voice screaming in your head (not the one begging to be normal) the one that knows what’s better for you than you do. Be strong and good luck on your family visits and outings!


Easy GF Rice Pudding

I am a big fan of rice. It’s so versatile and if brown rice is used (or half brown rice), it’s even good for you. Since I have a mini 6 cup rice cooker at work, I always have something to eat to get me through a 12 hour shift. A co-worker suggested the following recipe and I felt another life changing moment come upon me (I suffer from an extreme case of sweet tooth itis). I hope this easy GF recipe makes you as happy as it did me 🙂

5-6 cups cooked rice
½ can sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp vanilla
Cinnamon to taste
¼ cup raisins (optional)

Combine all ingredients sans cinnamon. Serve warm or cold with cinnamon sprinkled on top. All measurements are a approximate and can be increased or decreased to personal taste. Enjoy and let me know if you have a personal twist to this recipe that we might like too 🙂


Yummy Home Made GF Teriyaki Sauce

Check out this recipe by “One Good Thing by Jillee” the next time you’re in the mood for some stir fry!!! 

So If you’re like me and you really really miss your favorite snack food, you will pick up every different Gluten Free brand of  that product just to see if it taste like the real thing. Well I have tried multiple brands of oreo’s, cake mixes, mac & cheese, breads, granola bars, and protein bars and these are my absolute favorite items, that I hope your taste buds will also find pleasing! (Please feel free to comment below about your favorite store bought food items for me to check out!)

Robyn’s Favorite’s:
GF Bread- Canyon BakeHouse (feels and tastes like real bread & it’s not hard or rubbery, and does not need to be microwaved before eating like Udi’s, and it does not fall apart like Rudi’s)


GF Oreo’s– Trader Joe’s O’s


GF Brownie, cookie, and cake mix– Betty Crocker (Never eat Red mill! Tastes like grass)


GF Mac & Cheese (powder mix)- Annies (not the one with Cheese sauce)


GF Alcoholic Beverage– Angry Orchard


Protein Bar– Think Thin Peanut butter 


Granola Bar– Nature’s Path Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip


Cereal– Nature’s Path Vanilla Sunrise (all though it has become harder to find) 


Safe Restaurants

Social gatherings, meetings, and lunch dates, all involve food. Finding a safe restaurant is hard! Some have gluten free menus, but that jut means they have foods with no wheat, flour, barley. It does not always mean that their food is made without cross-contamination.

Red Robin:
Most Red Robin’s now have a separate fryer for French fries, most restaurants fry all of the French fries (naturally gluten free) in the same fryer as onion rings, fried fish, breaded chicken and mozzarella sticks and all of the other breaded fried foods.
Red Robin also carries a gluten-free Udi’s bun which tastes great.
Be careful all of their dressings and sauces are not gluten free, honey poppy seed and ketchup are safe.

Most people know that they will wrap the burger in lettuce, but did you know that if you say “allergy to wheat” they will cook your burger on a gluten free grill that does not handle buns.
Since they have such a small menu and only fry French fries, their fries are also GF.

Most of Chipotles food is gluten free, minus the tortillas and the hot salsa. But if you let the person starting your bowl or salad that you have an allergy to wheat, they will wash their hands, change their gloves and they usually make sure no one else handles your food. They will also get cheese and lettuce that have not been contaminated with flour tortilla hands.

These are my three go-to places. I will fill you in on other SAFE places to eat. Just remember ALWAYS let your server know you have an allergy!


Mark Your Territory

Cross contamination is real, even at home. Mark your territory with stickers, labels, whatever you have or can make to show family “This is a Gluten Free zone.” Knives used to spread condiments can carry pieces of gluten bread to your once safe container. Speaking of bread, either mark half the toaster Gluten Free or have a dedicated toaster for your non gluten goodies.




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