Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Does Wheat Free Mean Gluten Free? Q&A

Question: Is there a difference between wheat free and gluten free? I mean, gluten is a protein found in wheat, right?

Answer: Actually, there are several grains in the family with wheat that also contain gluten. So, to answer your question, no, wheat free doesn’t mean gluten free. Something that is gluten free will not contain any wheat, barley, rye, or sometimes even oats. It won't be processed on the same equipment with one of these, and should be tested before it is certified gluten free. Many times we find gluten free on a label because the product is naturally gluten free but not tested. Other times it says gluten free and then mentions that it was produced on the same equipment with wheat. So, never trust the gluten free words alone, look at ingredients, look for other hints, and when in doubt, call the manufacturer!
#glutenfree #questionandanswer

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Lemon Thyme for Relief from Congestion

Lemon thyme is one of my favorite herbs. It has soooo many uses, but I will only take time to mention a few. The most powerful use of this fragrant herb is relief from chest congestion. We grow this wonderful herb in our garden every year and dry some of it for use during the winter months when colds and flu seem to be everywhere. Because of its awesome antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties, it is very useful when fighting a respiratory infection of any type. Simply boil a few cups of water, put some fresh or dried lemon thyme leaves in (I use about 2 cups water to 1 tablespoon of thyme), let it seep till the water starts to change color. Add a teaspoon or so of raw local honey, then sip on it to relieve congestion. Also adding it to a big pot of boiling water, and then placing a towel over your head to create a steam tent, you can breath in the fumes and find amazing relief! It opens up and moisturizes the lungs. It is my go to for asthma as well.
Another way to use this herb that is very beneficial is for anxiety or tension relief. Feeling tense can come and go, but when it prevents you from sleeping, or gets so severe that your stomach feels funny, maybe it's time to do something about it. Don't worry there are many things you can do that can relieve tension without taking a drug. I personally have tried and found it to be true that the oil from the leaves of a lemon thyme plant can relieve tension. Just take some fresh leaves off of your plant, crush them between your fingers until the oil is released, and then rub the oil behind your ears or where ever you can smell it. I like to use it behind my ears as my ears are usually related to the feelings I am experiencing. It has calmed vertigo for me several times, relieved nausea, and calmed me down. I am sure it can be used in more serious ways if purchased as an essential oil, but I have not as of yet needed to try it in that way.
Of course, the most logical way to use this powerful herb is to season or enhance food dishes. I love the lemony taste it gives, as I am allergic to lemons themselves and can not enjoy them. I have personally used it to season fish, lamb, and several vegetable dishes. It has a mild peppery taste with a citrus hint. It smells so much like lemon that you may be fooled at first. It works well with seafood.
This herb can also be used to thin blood, fight yeast infections, lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, relieve indigestion, relieve bloat, encourage digestion and elimination, and treat sinus infections. Seriously, there are soooo many ways to use this wonderful herb. If you haven't yet, you should consider adding it to your indoor or outdoor herb garden!
Here's to the medicine God created--natural herbs, food, vitamins, and minerals.
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!
~Gluten Free Em~

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Van's Honey Crunch

Here is my product recommendation for this week! It is delicious and filling, low in sugar, and high in whole grains. It is gluten free, corn free, dairy free and awesome! It is available at many stores like Kroger, Walmart, and health food stores. I prefer buying online by bulk to save $$$. Enjoy!


Oregano--the Natural Antibiotic

Did you know that a simple herb you could be growing in a pot right in your home could hold the keys to unlock you from the prison of constant urinary track infections or yeast infections?
Did you know that most of us already eat a little bit of it each time we make or order Italian food?
What is this miraculous little herb, you ask? It's oregano, also known as the pizza herb.
Oregano has natural antioxidant properties that can really give your immune system a boost! Not only is it tasty in it's natural form, but when added to food at the end of cooking, or right onto your plate, it can really give your body a push in the right direction. It works best when used in it's fresh, natural form. You can take the leaves of the oregano plant, chop them, and add them to your favorite dish.
Not only does this little plant have antioxidant powers, but it is also a natural anti-fungal! I don't know about you, but this was a big one for me. For years I suffered with candida overgrowth in the form of thrush, dandruff, and in other unmentionable places...yes, there, too. No matter what I tried it would always come back. I finally won the battle when I incorporated raw oregano leaves into my normal diet. The results were amazing! It tasted good, too. I simply ditched the powder form of the herb, and used fresh oregano.
Since then I have experimented with some of the other claims oregano holds. I learned it truly is anti-inflammatory in nature. It lowers blood sugar. It thins the blood (which in turn lowers blood pressure). It helps with menstrual pain, muscle aches, and headaches. It helps my body flush out urinary track infections without the use of prescription antibiotics. And whenever I feel a cold coming on, I reach for the oregano to give my immune system a boost. It helps me to find some relief when having an asthma attack, and helps break up the congestion bought on by colds and allergies.
Got you interested? Try it for yourself! Fresh oregano can be found at most grocery stores. It can also be potted and grown in your kitchen for fresher than fresh flavor! Experiment with it to see how much your body can tolerate. I usually use about a tablespoon or two of fresh chopped oregano with wonderful results. Some may need more or less depending on size and weight.
Here's to better health....
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!
~Gluten Free Em~

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Nature's Substitute For NSAIDs (also known as...Ibuprofen, aspirin, Motrin, etc.)

You've been doing some research. You found that heavy use of medications can wreck your body. You learned it can create more disease down the road, but you are desperately trying to treat your high blood pressure, headaches, joint pain, etc. You know there must be another way than popping pill after pill. Just look at the list of possible side affects on the label. I'm telling you what you already know...you need other options! So what do you do? You can't function properly without some kind of relief!
There are so many options out there, even for people like me who have multiple food and chemical sensitivities! I stopped taking NSAIDs like Ibuprofen, aspirin, Motrin, and all their off brands when my body decided after 10 plus years of regular use that it wouldn't except it anymore. I used it for crippling menstrual cramps, severe headaches, joint pain, swelling, low grade fevers... I used it at least 7 days out of the month but usually much more. At that point in my life, I began to have swelling of the throat and difficulty breathing anytime that I tried to take it, so I quit.
Out of desperation I looked for other things to help with the pain. Thank God, I came across some information that told me garlic in its raw form taken orally can lower blood pressure, block pain, reduce inflammation, kill bacteria and viruses, and thin your blood. At first, I was skeptical. I mean, like, everyone uses it to cook with, but can something so little really have such a powerful affect? All I had in the house at that time was dried garlic powder. It didn't do the job, just left my breath smelling worse than ever. But I wasn't ready to give up just yet. The next payday, when we went shopping, I picked up a bulb of fresh raw garlic. That night, I tried it as my headache was worse than ever. I minced some up and put it on a piece of buttered gluten free bread...The results were amazing!!!! Not only did it help the headache, but I slept better then usual that night (probably because it lowered my blood pressure).
For the last 7 years, this has been my go to for pain relief. It also helps with congestion if you are fighting a cold or asthma. The only side affect that can sometimes be a problem is it lowers my blood pressure. (I fight with chronic low blood pressure anyway.) And of course, the bad breath. :) LOL. Which can be fixed with peppermint oil, or chewing gum.
Are you tired of popping pills for high blood pressure, headaches, pain, and swelling??? Give garlic a try! (If you are currently taking medication for blood pressure, start with a small amount of garlic to see how your body responds. Your medication dosage will probably need reduced, but always consult your doctor first as it must be done gradually.)
I am not a doctor...this is for informational purposes only, and I can not be held responsible for any adverse effects caused by consumption of garlic.
~Gluten Free Em~


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ginger The Natural Remedy For Tummy Trouble

One thing all of us gluten sensitive people have in common is tummy trouble. Belly pains that can cause you to double over, acid reflux, nausea, bloating....
It's true, we have touchy tummies. Even the smallest trace of gluten can leave some of us feeling really bad for weeks.
How do you treat this problem without medicines that further upset our sensitive body chemistry? Well, long before medications were developed, back when life was simpler, there were herbs and spices used as medicine. God designed the perfect solution to tummy trouble when He created ginger!
Ginger is a strong spice, when consumed raw it acts as a natural relief for indigestion, nausea, bloat, gas, etc. It is naturally gluten free and can be juiced with other fruits and veggies to make a great anti inflammatory drink! Say bye bye to tummy trouble and hello to relief!  Ginger is my best friend.
~Gluten Free Em~

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What grains/flours are gluten free?

When I was first going gluten free, my biggest question was what kind of flours are naturally gluten free?
The answer is detailed. But I will assure you, there are a lot of choices out there. Some are delicious, some are not.

Almond Flour
Amaranth Flour
Arrowroot Starch
Brown Rice Flour
Buckwheat Flour
Chickpea Flour
Coconut Flour
Cornmeal/Corn Flour
Fava Bean Flour
Millet Flour
Navy Bean Flour
Oat Flour (If particular labeled and certified GF)
Peanut Flour
Potato Flour
Potato Starch
Quinoa Flour
Sorghum Flour
Soy Flour
Sweet Rice Flour
Tapioca Flour
White Rice Flour
And any seeds that are naturally gluten free that you want to grind into meal...I use pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and have in the past used sunflower seeds.

This is not a comprehensive list...other flours may be out there particularly in other cultures that I am not aware of.

So which ones work the best? I have found that a combination of flours works best. I like to mix potato starch, tapioca starch, almond meal, and white and brown rice. These have proven to be the best combination for me in the past. Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix is a great combination of these with their own signature buttermilk solids and xanthan gum added. (Check them out here.) If you have a corn allergy like me, this probably won't work because of the xanthan gum being derived from corn. I used to use it before I developed the corn allergy, and it was phenomenal!
There are many different mixes on the market today that I have yet to try because of the xanthan gum. Most of the Bob's Red Mill mixes I've tried and they were good. (Check them out here.) Just be sure that you call and make sure that it is processed in a gluten free facility if your sensitivity is severe.
Check this out from America's Test Kitchen
Do you have a favorite flour or blend of flours that you would like to share with us? Comment and let us know!!!! We would love to hear from you!
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!
~Gluten Free Em~