Showing posts with label gluten free Em. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gluten free Em. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Seriousness of Cross-Contamination



Do you ever find yourself wondering what the right thing to do is in the case of cross-contamination? Do you feel pressured to just give in? Do you find yourself second guessing your decision to completely abstain?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this post is for you! READ ON!

Many years ago when I first went gluten free, I knew nothing about food allergies or intolerance. I simply knew I wasn't feeling well and wanted things to change. My doctor suggested a gluten free diet to help my body heal. I listened to her, did some research and found out about Celiac Disease. I didn't wait to be tested for Celiac, I just went gluten free. Long story short, my life changed drastically! Things weren't perfect, but the difference was huge. I faced the music from friends and family concerning the diet...as I am sure we all do...and began to give in. Just a little here and there. I shared microwaves with them. I would hang out in the kitchen as they were preparing a gluten filled meal, or baking a cake. I would even allow them to bring their food into my kitchen thus contaminating it. I knew it made me sick. I felt it. I really couldn't deny the obvious result was that just a little bit of contamination was all it took to make me SICK! I thought it was just in my head at first and did some serious research. I found that people with Celiac experience intestinal damage by even the tracest amount of gluten ingestion! 

There was no getting around the truth. I couldn't afford to get exposed to even the smallest amount of gluten equaling the size of a crumb. One crumb was all it would take to make me sick.
The truth was devastating at first. But it did confirm my suspicion based on my symptoms. The next step was to completely rid my life of gluten. So I did. My life is so much better now. My kitchen is safe from gluten contamination. My soaps, meds, and even my supplements are free of gluten. But every now and then I get exposed when out of the house. Those infamous cramps, diarrhea, brain fog, inflammation, moodiness, and much more symptoms all come back for a few weeks until my body is able to rid itself of the gluten.

Of course, food allergies are different...but still very serious. One trace amount of one of my food or drug allergies can cause me to go into anaphylactic shock! So cross-contamination is truly a big deal with allergies as well.

The bottom note of this post is this: Cross-Contamination is serious and must be avoided at all cost!

Don't second guess your decision to avoid gluten at all cost, just do it! You know what is best for your body. The Glute Free diet isn't all fun and games but it is a life necessity if you are Celiac or sensitive to gluten. Do the right thing for your body and avoid Gluten!

Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!
~Gluten Free Em~

Monday, March 4, 2019

I'm Hard at Work on Something Fabulous!

I am sorry that I haven't been posting much lately...

But I have been working on some amazing research that will no doubt make a huge difference in my life and the lives of many who are also gluten free! 

Finding healthy sources of nutrition that won't set off a reaction can be daunting and sometimes seem impossible...but with knowledge, there is hope!

I still have a ways to go in this research, but I do hope that you will bear with me as I spend less time on this blog and more time in the books... as I am currently working on a new book that will discuss the different nutrients that our bodies need to work properly and the various food options for obtaining those nutrients.

The idea behind this book is to offer those of us on a limited diet new ideas for ways to maximize our nutrient intake without making ourselves sick with a food our body reacts to.

Please stay tuned for updates as the work progresses... and for new posts, because I am first and foremost a blogger at heart!

Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day!
Em Kennedy

Monday, January 7, 2019

Navigating the Sticky World of Sugary Sweetness--Valentine's Day

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day with your kids???
This holiday is like all the rest with candy, and kisses, you must be on the look out for hidden sources of gluten, (and food allergens if you are a food allergy parent).
Most of the time, our favorite trusted brands change things up for the seasonal candy. I learned this one the hard way a few years back when I gave my little one a Reese's peanut butter cup Valentine's version. Of course, I only did it once as the cross contamination was enough to make him very sick.
So does that mean I can't give them candy for Valentine's day? My answer is simple, Of course I can! But I buy them traditional candies that are not packaged or shaped for the holiday at hand. This goes for Christmas and New Years all the way to Halloween. Most seasonal candy is unsafe for those of us with Gluten Sensitivity and Food Allergies.
What about you? How do you handle the sweetness of Valentine's Day? Share your story with us, and how you navigate this sticky world of sugary sweetness. Comment here or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GlutenFreeEm/!
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Day, and make it FABULOUS!
~Gluten Free Em~

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

How my Gluten Free journey began...

Well, we've started a new year!!! I can't help but think back 7 years to the beginning of my own gluten free journey. It all started as a result of an endocrinologist's recommendation. I was dealing with autoimmune thyroid issues which had me feeling pretty worn out. My thyroid numbers had actually gotten back into the "normal" range, but my symptoms had remained. My vitamin D was borderline low. My energy was missing, and my hair was falling out. Nothing that I had tried had helped, and I was beginning to think there was no answer to the chronic fatigue that I had faced for many years.
"Have you tried a gluten free diet?" she asked. Me, I'm like, "What is gluten?"
Her response was pretty lame..."Go home and research it on the internet. I think it may be able to help your fatigue." I was like...whatever....but I did take her advice and looked it up.
I found out that gluten is a hard to digest protein in wheat, barley, oats, and rye which can create digestive issues with those who are sensitive to it. Digestive issues is something I had dealt with since a child, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. Boy was I in for a life changer!!!!! The fatigue was relieved, the pain was lessened, the digestive discomfort left, and I felt like a new woman after only a short two week abstinence from gluten. The rest is history...but here I am 7 years later, still gluten free and still researching how I can improve the lives of myself, my family, and others out there who are still looking to find answers when gluten may be at the root of their problem.
The gluten free diet is NOT for everyone, but there are a lot of people out there who do have a sensitivity to gluten and are feeling the negative health affects from it, just as I was. There are also those out there who have an autoimmune disease called Celiac Disease which causes severe intestinal damage, etc. because of gluten ingestion.
To learn more about Gluten, and whether or not the gluten free diet could be for you...Check out this book that I wrote explaining in detail, everything about going gluten free. It is available in kindle and paperback form. (See Below!)
Could it Be Gluten? A guide to understanding the facts about the gluten free diet. by Em Kennedy


Here's to better health!
Have a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free Year!
~Gluten Free Em~

Do you have questions for Gluten Free Em??? You can reach her by the contact form on the desktop version of this blog, or by her Facebook page... https://www.facebook.com/GlutenFreeEm !!!!! Don't be left in the dark, find out today if you would benefit from a gluten free diet!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What is Celiac Disease?

 Support Celiac Disease Awareness!!!
As you may have already noticed, many of my posts are to educate and spread the word to the world that Celiac Disease is real! Many people in this world suffer from Celiac Disease and simply don't know the reason for their baffling symptoms... The reason is, lack of knowledge among medical professionals, and people just accepting their symptoms instead of seeking help. Take time to educate yourself and others on the symptoms of Celiac Disease, and Gluten Sensitivity!!! It could be life changing...and dare I say, Life Saving!
Some symptoms listed by the Mayo Clinic....

  • Anemia, usually resulting from iron deficiency
  • Loss of bone density (osteoporosis) or softening of bone (osteomalacia)
  • Itchy, blistery skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Damage to dental enamel
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Headaches and fatigue
  • Nervous system injury, including numbness and tingling in the feet and hands, possible problems with balance, and cognitive impairment
  • Joint pain
  • Reduced functioning of the spleen (hyposplenism)
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Short stature
  • Delayed puberty
  • Neurological symptoms, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, headaches, lack of muscle coordination and seizures
These are only a few of the possible symptoms...Some experience little to no symptoms, but experience serious results many years down the road. Spread the word about Celiac Disease!!! Gluten Free is not just a FAD, it saves lives.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Spread Awareness!





Here at GlutenFreeEm.com, we strive to promote awareness to the reality of Celiac Disease, and Gluten Sensitivity. We create products that promote awareness kindly, and effectively; and they come in a wide variety of colors. Please take time to look at our Teespring Store and if you are an Amazon shopper, you can also find a few of our shirts, as well as our book! Here is the link to our Teespring Store!
Please consider purchasing and most importantly, wearing one of our awareness products to share with the world that food allergies, and food sensitivities exist! Be Bold! Speak Up! Tell the World!
~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~


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Applesauce Raisin Muffins Corn, Gluten, Dairy, Egg Free

It is fall!!!! My favorite fall memory has always been my mom's awesome baking spree for Thanksgiving. We would always get a pumpkin or two and she would roast it in the oven until it was soft and then freeze what felt like hundreds of pints size servings of it. (I had to take the bags out to the freezer in the garage. You know, errand running.)
One of my favorites was always her applesauce raisin cake. I loved it! I still love it! I always will love it! But because of my food allergies, I no longer can have it the way she made it, and taught me to make it. I have to substitute, but who cares, I still get to enjoy that flavor!
Here is the most recent recipe I have for the applesauce raisin cake. This one I made into muffins, you know a little less sugar and mess.

Takes only a few minutes to prepare and yields 12 muffins. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin papers. ( I like to use the unbleached ones that I find at Fresh Thyme or Whole Foods.)
1 cup of freshly milled Organic Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Sweet White Rice Flour
2 Tablespoons or so of Tapioca flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon David's Kosher salt (any salt should do)
1/2 cup organic seedless raisins
3/4 to 1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
A few small shavings of crystallized ginger (not a lot or it will be overpowering. We just want to get that spice flavor in there. If you can use cinnamon instead that would probably be better. 1/2 a teaspoon or so.)
2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar in the raw (Or brown, or white sugar. I just like the flavor of the sugar in the raw.)
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped golden flax seeds soaked in 1/3 cup of water. (I chop them in a smoothie cup, but a food processor will work. If you don't have any of these, you can buy the flax already chopped, but be sure to refrigerate it to retain flavor.)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (The oil must be fresh. If it isn't it will ruin the flavor of the muffins. I use California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil. It almost always tastes fresh and can be found at Walmart, Meijer, Kroger, and most other places. (Other types of oil will work, but this is the best)
Mix dry ingredient together first, then add applesauce, flax water, and stir with a spoon until completely combined. Do not over mix. Divide evenly between muffin cups. Bake till a toothpick entered into the center comes out fairly clean. About 15-20 minutes depending on your oven.

If you have an egg allergy, corn allergy, gluten sensitivity, cinnamon allergy, or milk allergy this will work for you!
I hope you enjoy trying out my newest recipe, and please share it with your friends and family. Remember, don't be afraid to be creative in the kitchen and mix something up today!
Have a Happy, Healthy, 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.



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
1/2 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 ~



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