Friday, July 28, 2017

What are Food Sensitivities

   When I use the term food sensitivity, I often get blank looks. It is a little more difficult to explain, but certainly is important enough to deserve an explanation. So, I decided to devote a post entirely to this misunderstood and often ignored topic.
   What is a food sensitivity? 
Well, simply put it is an adverse reaction your body makes to a given food. It is not a result of an IgE antibody reaction as most serious food allergies are, but can do just as much harm in the long run. Typically it is an IgG antibody reaction or an IgA, or other immune response to the troublesome food. Either way, it is an autoimmune reaction to what would otherwise be a harmless substance. If you want it in down to earth terms... it's the body making a big stink over nothin'...or, an overreactin' and frustratin' immune system. 
   What is it like to have a food sensitivity? 
Frustrating, annoying, but manageble. Your body goes through many steps before the offending food is out of your system. Think of it this way: let's say you have a sensitivity to corn. One day you knowingly or unknowingly consume (eat) some corn or food product that contains corn. The first place the food goes is in your mouth, where it may or may not cause discomfort. It might burn, or itch. It may not bother you at all. 
   Second, it goes down your esophagus where it can cause irritability, swelling, or acid reflux symptoms, usually minor. 
   Thirdly, it hits your stomach. Here is where most of the problem originated. There is not enough, or to much acid to break down the food proteins properly. Most people take antacids to combat the discomfort this situation brings on, not realizing they are only adding to the problem. Also, there is usually a deficiency in digestive enzymes as well. These are so necessary to properly break down the food into something your body can absorb and use.
   Fourthly, it goes into your small intestines where more enzymes are put to work turning the soupy mess into useful energy. Here is where most of the problem is: when the stomach hasn't properly broken down the food particles, and they enter the small intestines this way, they cause inflammation. Your immune system starts freaking out because of these larger than normal proteins that are being absorbed into the blood stream. It sends antibodies to attack and 'destroy' these invaders in order to protect the body from harm.
   Fifthly, what's left to this undigested food matter makes its way through the large intestine or colon. Here it causes symptoms of IBS, colitis, and crohns disease. The symptoms from this range from mild to severe. Irregularity, diarrhea, and cramps are often included in the mountainous list of symptoms.
   Many people think it ends here. They ate the food, it tore them up, it made its way out of their system, and now it's all over, right? WRONG! The damage done can last for up to 2 weeks depending on the food and your bodies response. The damage it does to your already screwy immune system makes this a monotonous circle. If allowed to continue (if the offending food is still being eaten, and not removed from the diet) adrenal fatigue will result. 
   What do you do about it? Remove the food from your diet. At least for several months. Take digestive enzymes and probiotics, and get plenty of rest. Eat a diet of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and high quality meat, nuts and seeds. Juicing is also helpful.
   As I said, it is difficult to explain, but definitely deserves an explanation. I will write more on this subject later, for now have a happy, healthy, gluten free day! 
~Gluten Free Em~

Friday, July 14, 2017

Digest Gold

If you suffer with food allergies....you need to check this stuff out! It will change your life!
For the last few years I have taken this brand of enzymes with success. It is allergy friendly, no gluten, corn, filler, etc. Safe for those of us who cannot consume nuts or shellfish. I could go on and on...but I urge you to check it out for yourself! When taken as directed everyday for a while you will see a noticeable difference. It has helped me to maintain a healthy weight and to suffer a lot less. It can be found in most health food stores, as well as on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and many other online retailers. You can even buy it direct from the company that makes it if you want. It is pricey, but worth it in the long run. Take my word for it. It is the best high quality digestive enzyme on the market today for food allergy sufferers.
Have a healthy, happy, gluten free day!
Gluten Free Em

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Summer Fun Gluten Free Style

As the summer is fast approaching, the weather is warming up. Families are spending more time together outdoors, and ice cream and Smores are on the menu.
What does this mean for us food allergy sufferers? Maybe you have a little one who cannot have corn. Maybe your immediate family is gluten free, but not distant family. Does this mean you can't still have that summer fun???
Of course, not! There are many products on the market now that are corn and gluten free and are safe for food allergy sufferers!

Pamela's makes a very tasty corn and gluten free graham cracker. And most of Hershey's Chocolate is gluten and corn free.

Goldbaums makes a handy ice cream cone. There are several brands out there actually that offer gluten free ice cream cones, but be careful that they are produced in a gluten free facility!

If you live in the western part of the USA, you can get Strauss Family Creamery ice cream from your nearby health foods store. This stuff is awesome, corn and gluten free, as well as free of stabilizers, which means no xanthan gum, carrageenan, guar gum, or the like!

If you must make your own ice cream because you live in the east with a carrageenan allergy, the key is to find some Kalona SuperNatural Whipping Cream. 

Do you have a favorite summer time meal, dessert, or activity that is good for the whole family??? Tell me about it!!! I love to hear from my readers!
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Summer!
~Gluten Free Em~

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Updated Version of 'Could It Be Gluten?'

Take time to check out the updated version of Could it be Gluten?

This book is a guide to understanding the facts of the gluten free diet. It covers the Why, When, and How of going gluten free, and also touches on the possibility of food allergies being at the root of your health conditions.
If you have always wondered about the gluten free diet, but never knew where to start researching on it, start here!
Why look through endless medical encyclopedia's or medical textbooks? Why search the web for weeks on end for helpful information only to find that half of it wasn't legit?
Just take the facts from the trial and error that I have experienced, and learn it all from one source whether or not the gluten free diet is for you. I've already been through it and this is first hand information that can be very helpful in making your decision for or against the gluten free diet.
This book explains how to go gluten free in several easy to follow steps that will help you become free of gluten in no time.
Wondering about the elimination diet? This book also covers the details on the elimination diet. So, pick up your copy today and start learning the answer to the question...Could It Be Gluten?
Also available in ebook form from Kindle.

Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free day!!!
~EM KENNEDY~

Monday, April 10, 2017

Gluten Free Em's Tomato Free Lasagna

I got a new 13×9 baking pan the other day from that most important someone in my life (my awesome Husband). Naturally I was very excited as our family had recently outgrown the 9×9 pan I had been using. Of course, I had to break it in with our favorite pasta....lasagna!!!
As I've mentioned before in previous posts, I am slightly allergic to tomatoes, so I don't eat them very often, and certainly not in large quantities. (I always eat lasagna in large quantities, so tomatoes better not be in it:) I can eat ketchup, though...crazy as it seems.
Anyway, a while back, we came up with a sauce-like substitute for the traditional tomato-based pasta sauce. We use zucchini squash and carrots. Sometimes, I will throw in other vegetables, and when zucchini is not available, I will use yellow squash. The trick is to boil the vegies until they are soft, and then blend them in the blender, or food processor until they are smooth and saucy. Flavor them with the traditional parsely, oregano, salt, garlic, onion, and throw in some ground meat (I use either elk, or bison...but beef is fine.)
Woolah! You've got pasta sauce! Tomato free!
So, how do you get it gluten, corn, and annatto free you ask?
Easy!!! Tinkyada gluten free brown rice lasagna noodles is where we start. These fabulous noodles are perfect for me because they are corn free as well! Then we rustle up some annatto free, Sierra Nevada, Graziers raw, cheddar cheese, and shred a whole bunch of it. Here is what my recipe looks like:

2-3 large organic zucchini squash
2-3 large organic carrots
1 clove of organic garlic
2 small organic onions or 1 extra large one
1- 1 1/2 pounds ground bison
David's Kosher Salt
Fresh organic oregano leaves (about a tablespoon worth chopped)
Parsely  (optional)
1 1/2 boxes of Tinkyada organic gluten free brown rice lasagne
3/4 pound of Graziers cheddar cheese

Boil squash and carrots till soft. Brown meat in a skillet with sliced onions and chopped garlic. Boil pasta until soft. Don't forget to salt the vegies, meat, and pasta.
Spread a little sauce in the bottom of a 13×9, glass, baking dish, and then layer as follows: noodles, cheese, meat, noodles, sauce, meat. Repeat until you use up the noodles. End with cheese on top of the last layer of noodles, so it will lock in the moisture. Bake at 400° until the cheese on top is completely melted, and golden brown. Serves 6-8.



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Just Thinking Back...

I was just thinking back on the last six years of my gluten free journey, and marveling at the difference it has made. It has been a tough journey, (not for the faint at heart, if you know what I mean). When I first started out on the diet, I knew nothing about it. A few weeks before that, I had actually commented to a friend about wondering what the words gluten free meant. Wow! We had to start at the very bottom of the knowledge ladder, and move up one step at a time! Many hours of research, many experiments, many flops...but lots of learning.
The most important ingredient I have found in eating gluten free, is having a persistent attitude. One may make many mistakes before actually reaching the goal. But without persistence, the goal may never be reached!
While you whip up something good and gluten free today, add in a healthy serving of thankfulness! We have so much to be thankful for! We are truly blessed in many ways. God is good!
Whatever you do, be consistent. It helps in many ways.
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free day!
~Gluten Free Em~

Friday, March 31, 2017

Blueberry Muffins (Corn Free, Gluten Free)

So, this morning I tried something different...I put a twist on my favorite muffin recipe by replacing the oil with butter, and putting the sugar through the food processor till it was powdery. I also cooked the muffins at a lower temperature. The results were fantastic!!!!!
Please forgive me for my overdone enthusiasm...but I like when my experiments turn out good!
Fresh organic blueberries, kerrygold irish butter, sugar in the raw, freshly milled light brown rice flour, and Greek yogurt make a good team. They work willingly together to produce an amazing outcome!
As always, I try to stop and think about what it is that makes things work. I assess my desired outcome, and try to figure out how I can get there. With muffins,  you want it to be moist and somewhat heavy. Slightly sweet, but not overboard, and of course, fresh fruit needs to be involved.
Size matters, too. Texture is of the utmost importance. So, how do you get there???
Simply follow me.... I will show you how!!!
1 1/2 cups freshly milled organic light brown rice flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar in the raw put through the processor till powdery
1/3 stick butter cut into flour
Just enough greek yogurt to make a moist dough about 1 1/2 cups....a few tablespoons of milk to thin out the dough makes it easier to work with
1 teaspoon of vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract  (optional)
1 cup fresh blueberries
Line muffin tin with unbleached paper muffin cups. Fill cups almost entirely with dough. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven. If tops brown too quickly, reduce heat to 350 degrees. Muffins are done when toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Yields 9 muffins.
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free day!!!
~Em Kennedy ~

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gluten Free, Corn Free Cookies

Have you ever felt that uncomfortable feeling when someone offers your gluten free child a cookie without your permission? Brrrr, I tell you it gets to me. But they always mean well by it. The endless questions...the explanations...the blank looks you receive...the frustration all caused by a cookie! So, you mom, need to have a backup ready!!!!
"Oh, they can only have certain kinds of cookies. If you want to get them something, here is the brand you can buy, and Walmart sells them." (I can just hear myself saying it, again.) ;)
What is your favorite gluten free cookie brand? I like to give my kids the Glutino Wafers that come in chocolate, vanilla, and lemon. They are corn and gluten free and do not contain xanthan gum, carrageenan, or annatto. You will also notice that they are considerably low in sugar for a cookie! (Yeah, for you mom!)
Glutino also makes a yummy animal cracker, in two flavors...original, and graham. (These contain xanthan gum.)
Another favorite is Pamela's brand. They have honey Grahams, cinnamon flavored grahams, and a large variety of other cookie flavors including pecan shortbread cookies (YUM). The only hang up is that they contain xanthan gum.
There are other brands out there that are also good...What is your favorite???
Every child should have a cookie from time to time! (Every adult, too;)
Cookies bring a smile.
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!!!
~Em Kennedy~

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Perfect Texture

When talking gluten free baking, one cannot forget to mention the importance of the use of yogurt in making a high quality dough. Most gluten free flours lack the moisture and high protein content necessary to maintain a moist texture after baking. Because there is no gluten in the flour, you won't have that sticky gelatin like hold to maintain consistency as well. If you use traditional milk, or even buttermilk, or a thin yogurt, you will get a gritty crumbly texture. I don't know about you, but to me that is not appetizing! When I eat a cake, or a biscuit for instance, I want it to be moist and stay together as I handle it. I want to be able to slice my biscuit and put a piece of elk filly steak in the middle with fried onions (or sausage, bacon, beef steak). Don't you agree?
The trick in order to eliminate all gums, including xanthan gum, is to use the right flour, and the right yogurt. The best flour is one that is freshly milled from light brown rice. Not only do you retain the vitamins and minerals that rice is rich in, but you also end up with an excellent texture. White rice is too gummy and makes a tough dough. Brown rice is heavy. Light brown rice has the perfect combination of gumminess and fiber. When you mix your flour, baking soda, salt, butter, and vinegar, with high protein Greek yogurt you get the bond that holds the proper consistency once baked. The high protein is the key, and that combined with the texture of the light brown rice makes an awesome biscuit. If light brown rice is not available in your area, brown rice will work but it will result in a slightly heavier biscuit. Again, the Greek yogurt is the key to keeping it from being gritty. The Greek yogurt should have at least 20 grams of protein per serving size.
Interested in giving it a try???

Here is my recipe for a pan of biscuits:

Yield 9 large biscuits:

1 3/4 cup freshly milled organic light brown rice flour (brown rice will work)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (not baking powder)
3/4 teaspoon salt (I use David's Kosher salt because it has no added ingredients)
1/3 stick of butter ( Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be used but is not as good)
1-2 teaspoons vinegar
1 1/2-2 cups high protein Greek yogurt (Use just enough to be sure that all the flour is wet. There should not be any dry flour at the bottom of the bowl. It should all combine into a sticky kinda wet dough.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees:
Mix together dry ingredients first, then add butter cutting it in with a pastry cutter. Add vinegar and yogurt stirring well. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls into a buttered 8 or 9 inch square glass baking pan (should make 9 biscuits). Bake until they are brown and no longer doughy in the middle. 15-25 minutes based on your oven.
Let cool in the pan for five minutes before serving.
ENJOY!!!



Monday, February 13, 2017

Is It Really Gluten Free?

Someone asked me a few weeks ago, "So how can you tell if something is really gluten free?" Of course, label reading is the first step. If the label says gluten free, it probably is. But I have noticed how some products claim to be gluten free, but also say that they are manufactured on equipment or in the same facility as things containing wheat. This is typically not gluten free. The chance of cross-contamination is so high that it stands the chance that you will get sick if you are gluten intolerant. Of course, not always is this the case, but most of the time it is. If you haven't been sick for a while, and are feeling brave enough to try a product like this...you are taking a big chance. Remember the symptoms may not appear immediately, but the damage will still be present!
It is always best to be careful. There are so many products out there to choose from, you don't need to risk it.
I found personally that even some that say they are gluten free can still make me sick. For instance, some products claim to be certified gluten free because they have less than 20 ppm of gluten present in the product. Hey, people, there is still gluten, just not very much. Eat this in large quantities, or a little bit everyday, and it will add up! (I learned this one the hard way, you know stomach cramps, fatigue, weight loss, etc.)
If you are unsure, you can always call the manufacturer! You know they hear stuff like this all the time, and actually may have a gluten statement already ready for you on their website!
Remember, we are following this diet to improve our health. We don't have to, we choose to. We want to improve the quality of our life so we can be there for our families and friends when they need us. When you focus on why you are doing it, it helps make the 'what to eat' decisions a lot easier.
Have a Healthy, Happy, Gluten Free Day!
~EM KENNEDY~

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Could It Be Gluten?


I am so excited to finally be able to share my journey from chronic pain and poor health to a whole new life living gluten free. In my journey I learned about food allergies and intolerance, and how they affect your body adversely. It has been many years since my journey began, and I am very happy to share it with you now! Read it for yourself! #glutenfree #cornfree #annattofree #carrageenanfree
Could It Be Gluten? by EM KENNEDY is now available for sale on amazon!



Do you have questions about the gluten free diet?
Get your questions answered! Contact me through the contact form on this blog, read about my journey by following the link above, or message me through my Google + . I'm looking forward to answering any questions regarding all things, allergy and gluten free!
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!
~EM KENNEDY~

Friday, January 6, 2017

Vans Gluten Free Foods

Vans is a brand that contributes tremendously to the deliciousness of the gluten free diet! I'm a fan of Vans because they offer a wide variety of products that are not only gluten free, but also corn free!!!!!!! Wooohooo!!!! Ok, forgive my childish expression, but I love eating cereal, crackers, and granola bars. Especially when they taste yummy, and have very little sugar in them. They also offer granola. These pictures were taken at Walmart who seems to be embracing the fact that people want gluten free products. 
 Vans cereal selection...
 A few granola bars....
Crackers anyone???
Want to know more about Vans delicious products?  Check it out here:www.vansfoods.com