Christmas in a small town

I spent two weeks of my Christmas break in Oregon. It was my birthday so my parents and I went out t eat at the nicest place in town. A hometown family restaraunt specializing in  seafood. I asked the server if I could get the seafood sampler prepared a different way. She said instead of battered and fried I could get it sautéed. She brought a mini what loaf bread and three plates. I chose salad instead of soup because of course their clam chowder does contain flour. When my salad came I picked off the croutons. I guess this is a boring story about what I ate but I promise it will lead into something.

So my seafood sampler was halibut chunks, shrimp, and scallops serves in a clear glass bowl full of melted butter and white wine.

Later at the grocery store we found a refrigerated section with gluten free cheesecake and cupcakes. A small box of 4 chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting seemed appropriate considering the occasion. They cost about a dollar  piece, that is $4 for the small box. The cashier commented that they looked good and that she was lactose intolerant and gluten intolerant but didn’t stick with the diet because it was too expensive. It seems like anything gluten free is 2 to 4 times more expensive than a comparable wheat based item.

My mom gave me a few gluten free mixes for cookies and bread and so forth for my birthday.

Every night we ended the evening by watching a movie. It seems like every Netflix movie was a dud. So I saw some documentaries that looked interesting. We watched Forks over Knives and my mom fell asleep. It mad some good points but I was totally convinced. The main point was to avoid meat and dairy. Then the next night I watched “Hungry for Change” by myself because my parents didn’t want to watch it with me. I found this one interesting and I agreed with everything said. I learned things I did not know for example MSG makes you fat and is used to make lab rats obese, that aspartame and caffeine combined kill brain cells and so many other things. All in all the main point was to eat a more plant based diet. To not restrict ourselves from anything but to have fruits and vegetables push out the bad foods.

So here comes the main conclusion: It is important to be nourished, individuals with celiac disease may not process nutrients as well as they should because of weakened bowels and such. “gluten free foods” those which are trying to mimic wheat based foods are full of strange ingredients and just because they do not have what they do have other ingredients that are not good. So instead of substituting I would guess it is healthier to avoid those types of foods all together. Either way I am eating more vegetables and fruits and not spending too much on foods labeled “gluten-free”.


Accidental Gluten Consumption

So how many of us have accidentally consumed a seemingly gluten free food to find out it has hidden gluten? I have been trying really hard lately to stay away from wheat, barley, malt, and rye. I can’t afford to only buy products that have gluten free labels. The companies have to be approved by agencies ensuring that they are certified to boast the seal of gluten free.  I don’t know but I hope that I won’t get sick if something I eat is made in a factory that makes another product containing gluten.

So I am looking for something to eat in my office break room. in the pantry I find Knorr pasta sides as well as rice sides. Well pasta is a no go for obvious reasons. I flip over the rice sides package and read the bold allergy information located after the ingredient list. It says a few things but does not say contains wheat. It does say something about being made in a factory that may process wheat ingredients.

So I cook the “rice” . When I start eating this broccoli cheddar rice I realize that that is not just rice. I am so mad. Now I see that there are little noodles cut to the length of the rice. Oh No! I am going to be sick in a little while. How dare they not label the package better.

I guess it is my fault after looking more closely it says the word pasta on the front of the package. So lesson learned read the entire ingredient list don’t rely on the bold allergy information.




5 Sources of Hidden Gluten in Your Diet


September 11, 2012 RSS Feed Print

Tamara Duker FreumanTamara Duker Freuman

Let’s say you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, or a wheat allergy. While the prospect of life without wheat was a hard pill to swallow at first, the bright side was that at least—finally—you’d start feeling better. Now it’s been weeks since you tossed out your pretzels, said goodbye to your morning bagel, and bid adieu to those flaky croissants.

So why aren’t you feeling better?

Most likely, there’s still some gluten lurking in your diet somewhere under the radar. If you’ve reviewed all of the usual suspects—salad dressings, condiments, energy bars, restaurant meals—and are still coming up empty, here are a few more places to check for hidden gluten:

Your toaster: It may seem obvious, but when you switched from regular bread to gluten-free bread, did you switch to a brand new toaster as well? If not, your old pop-up toaster has got to go. If you have a toaster oven that can be cleaned and de-crumbed thoroughly, it may be salvageable. But if you’re sharing it with others in the house, be sure to designate the top shelf as gluten-free only. By reserving the top shelf for gluten-free use, you’re preventing the possibility of any wheat-containing crumbs falling onto your food or shelf surface.

The peanut butter jar: If you share living quarters with others, chances are you may also be sharing a jar of peanut butter, sticks of butter, or a tub of cream cheese. This also means your knives are all double-dipping into the same common spreads—and depositing crumbs from your respective breads in their wake. If you can’t maintain separate condiments, you may need to institute a “no double dipping” policy to prevent cross-contamination: only clean knives can enter shared condiment jars, and each person should portion out what they need onto their plate before spreading it onto their food.

Your medicine cabinet: We tend not to think of vitamins, supplements, and medicines as food, so these items often get overlooked when doing a household gluten purge. But almost all pills contain inactive filler ingredients or coatings in addition to their active ingredients, and some of these are wheat derived. Since a pill travels through your digestive tract just like food does, it can easily be a source of gluten exposure. Whereas a common ingredient called “modified food starch” is virtually always corn-derived (gluten-free) when used in food, it’s usually wheat-derived (not gluten-free) when it’s used in medicine. To complicate matters further, many products do not even list inactive ingredients on their labels, making it impossible to assess their safety without more research. More and more pharmaceutical and supplement manufacturers have voluntarily begun printing allergen statements on their labels; but when in doubt, ask your pharmacist or call the product’s manufacturer directly to verify whether your brand is gluten-free.

A co-worker’s candy jar: You probably know to avoid chocolate bars with wafers, cookies, or pretzels in them, but perhaps you hadn’t realized that gluten appears in a variety of other candies as well. Licorice (including Twizzlers) contains wheat flour, as do Jordan almonds. Barley malt, which contains gluten, is an ingredient in malt balls (e.g., Whoppers), and some candy bars that use crisped rice pieces, such as Nestle Crunch and 100 Grand bars. In some cases, a candy bar that is gluten-free (e.g., Butterfinger) may have a spin-off version that contains gluten (e.g., Butterfinger Crisp), so it’s important to read labels for each individual product you buy. If you’re a gluten-free Christmas cookie enthusiast, be aware that those decorative, edible, metal balls—called dragées—often contain gluten as well.

The Chinese takeout container: Even if you’re avoiding the obvious flour-containing dishes like lo mein noodles, wonton soup, moo shu pancakes, egg rolls and General Tso’s Chicken, if you’re eating restaurant Chinese food, you’re almost guaranteed to be eating gluten as well. Virtually all Chinese condiments—including soy, oyster, hoisin, and bean sauces, contain wheat. And these ingredients touch almost everything on a Chinese menu. If there’s a group dinner being planned, and Chinese food is under consideration, try steering the festivities to a gluten-free-friendlier venue, such as a Mexican or Indian restaurant. But if its got to be Chinese, seek out a national chain that offers a dedicated gluten-free menu, such as P.F. Chang’s. (I can’t vouch for the healthfulness of their food or the appropriateness of their portion sizes, but at least it will be safe to eat there!) Alternatively, try bringing your own wheat-free tamari to flavor an order of steamed chicken or fish with steamed veggies and rice—and hold the sauce.

If you’re still having symptoms and are stumped as to why, it may be time to visit your dietitian for a second pair of eyes on your diet. Then, check in with your gastroenterologist; she may want to evaluate you for other possible conditions that could be causing you trouble.

Hungry for more? Write to with your questions, concerns, and feedback.

Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN, is a NYC-based registered dietitian whose clinical practice specializes in digestive disorders, Celiac Disease, and food intolerances. Her personal blog,, focuses on healthy eating and gluten-free living.

celiac disease, 
food allergies, 
exercise and fitness,
diet and nutrition, 
digestive disorders

New Grains Bakery

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New Grains Bakery is a Gluten Free only bakery. I had the opportunity to tour through the bakery. The owners, Nicole and Tim welcomed me to their home.  They showed me how just a few employees and the family can produce delicious breads, cookies, and flour mixes to be sold in grocery stores in nine states.  The company is definitely a labor of love. Tim suffers from the full-blown auto immune disease, Celiac Sprue. Tim also had a very long frustrating battle to find out what was really wrong with him.

After meeting Tim and Nicole I know that they are not in the business to make money. I know they work really hard to make a product that any one would eat because it tastes so good. They also try to keep costs down for the customer. One way they keep costs down is by grinding their own flours. As we all know specialty ingredients like xanthan gum can make gluten-free products much more costly than wheat based products.

The company is fairly new and is working to get the product out to more people. If you don’t see it in your store ask them to get it. You can also order online at .

Everything that I have tried I love. It doesn’t seem like I am being punished, which is how I feel  when I taste what some gluten-free brands have to offer. I am new to the GF world I can still remember how cookies and breads should taste. I went to school for Culinary Arts I am a bit of a food snob, but I would be proud to recommend any and all New  Grains Bakery products.

I have tried the sour dough bread and I made it into a grilled turkey and swiss sandwich on my George Foreman grill. I was just so happy I could eat a sandwich. I have tried the pink cookie with sprinkles and even my boyfriend who is not celiac begs me for a bite.
I love the Marvelous Multigrain Bread for tuna sandwiches and pb&j. This bread is great for toast and eggs for breakfast as well as toasted with butter and jam. Nicole told me that I should separate the bread into sandwich bags and freeze them so I could use a little at a time since I am the only one eating it. Since this bread doesn’t have preservatives it can get hard if not cared for. I took her advice and froze bags of 3 slices then i just defrost it in the fridge and eat it the next day and it tastes fresh.

New Grains Bakery has flour mixes as well. The all-purpose flor can substitute any wheat flour in a regular recipe. This makes things a lot easier and I have found that these items taste better than those I have tried to make from GF cook books.  I buy Newgrains products at Macey’s in Orem on the corner of State Street and 800 North. They have a New Grains Bakery display in the bakery (not the freezer).

I just love it and i know that when you get the chance you will love it too!!!!!

Like an Alcoholic at a Bar

The temptation is real and so are the hangovers. I can’t sleep… my insides hurt. Last week I was in the land of sourdough bread, or more commonly known as San Francisco. I attended a conference there. During the conference we had a nice breakfast most morning provided by the hotel for all in attendance. Oh joy! Coffee and pastries, two things I can’t have. I just watched as everyone around me enjoyed their evil breakfast.

I just though about the last time I “relapsed”. It was during a training week at work. Employees from our international offices came to our headquarters office. I didn’t attend the training, although I was invited to have breakfast. Everyday for a week I could have breakfast for free. The only thing more tempting than pastries are free pastries. I stayed strong Monday and possibly Tuesday. Then I couldn’t take it anymore. I caved. I ate an english scone. The next day I ate a breakfast sandwich on a large and delicious ciabatta roll. I felt fine. Well I felt fine for a day or two.

Then came the hangover.  I found myself writhing in pain in the handicap stall. Thoughts of guilt and remorse ran through my head as I wished I hadn’t done what I had. I wanted to die or maybe I was dying for those 10 minutes. I tried to return to my desk. I must have visited the restroom 7 times that day. I am just thankful no one came in to the restroom while I was in there. The sounds I made would have made a bystander ill.

I made a promise to myself that day that I wouldn’t eat bread. Well guess what? I takes a lot of control. It seems like bread is everywhere and it is often free. Well I caved, sure I didn’t eat the bread at every chance I got in San Francisco but I ate some. Now I have been sick for a couple of days. I am writing this post because I woke up at 4 a.m. I have work at 9 a.m. I hope I can sleep more. It hurts to even move. If I stay really still maybe I can sleep. My stomach is cramping, my left side has sharp pains, my intestines hurt! I am sorry I ate a chocolate croissant at breakfast last week. I am sorry I ate a sour dough roll with my crab at the Crab House on Pier 39. Everybody was doing it. I am sorry I ate the apple muffins the Bishop’s wife brought to church on sunday. I am sorry I ate a tiny pumpkin chocolate chip cookie at the Munch & Mingle after church yesterday. Please forgive me.

Food Matters

After watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead I watched another documentary that Netflix thought I would also like. The documentary Foodmatters  examines how the food we eat can help or hurt our health. Nutritionists, naturopaths, doctors, and journalists weigh in on topics organic food, food safety, raw foodism, and nutritional therapy. This documentary brings in a lot of theories and ideas from specialists of all sorts. What stood out the most while watching this documentary was a comment made about eating too much cooked food. The comment alleges that eating a diet that consists mostly of cooked foods will cause your body to react to the food as if it is a toxin in the body. The specialist explains that our diets would ideally consist of at least 50% raw food items. I’m sure that wouldn’t hurt any. It would defiantly cut out a lot of processed foods which I am certain are not as healthy as fresh produce and nuts. Anways while watching this documentary I kept thinking about this whole gluten intollerance deal. I have done research and found claims that people with celiac react to gluten as if it is a toxin in their body. “Celiac Disease (CD) is a lifelong inherited autoimmune condition affecting children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed,” Celiac Disease Foundation.

The documentary makes a point that the unhealthy American diet is all a plot to get doctors rich.


“What you eat is what you are”, is a phrase my grandpa would say to me. As a child I would imagine myself as a large bunch of grapes perhaps like the character in the Fruit of the Loom commercials.

While the phrase made me imagine myself as variouse foods the meaning remains intact still today. If you eat unhealthy you are unhealthy.

I watched a popular documentary on Netflix called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  The movie follows an overwight man in his journey to get healthy again. “100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well- with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind. FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health. With doctors and conventional medicines unable to help long-term, Joe turns to the only option left, the body’s ability to heal itself.

He trades in the junk food and hits the road with juicer and generator in tow, vowing only to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for the next 60 days. Across 3,000 miles Joe has one goal in mind: To get off his pills and achieve a balanced lifestyle. While talking to more than 500 Americans about food, health and longevity, it’s at a truck stop in Arizona where Joe meets a truck driver who suffers from the same rare condition. Phil Staples is morbidly obese weighing in at 429 lbs; a cheeseburger away from a heart-attack. As Joe is recovering his health, Phil begins his own epic journey to get well. What emerges is nothing short of amazing – an inspiring tale of healing and human connection. Part road trip, part self-help manifesto, FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD defies the traditional documentary format to present an unconventional and uplifting story of two men from different worlds who each realize that the only person who can save them is themselves. ” Written by Jamin Mendelsohn

The movie is inspiring. It is amazing to see how much the food we take into our bodies is a help or a hinderance to our physical and emotional health.

So why is eating gluten so unhealthy? This is the question that seems unanswerable. There are so many theories. Everywhere I go I talk to someone who ethier has celiac disease or knows someone who does. Isn’t what supposed to be healthy? Aren’t grains the foundation to build a healthy diet? Did celiac disease exist 100 or even 50 years ago? Why now? One theory is that too much of anything is a bad thing. The American diet has a large of amount refined wheat flour.  I think there is something to research here.

I haven’t started a juice fast, but sometimes I feel so rotten that I think I should do something that extreme.

5 Buck Pizza

I was talking to my friend Skippy Jessop the other day who happens to work at 5 Buck Pizza. He told me I should come in and get some pizza. I used to like going there. I worked across the street and I would get a really yummy chicken alfredo specialty pizza on my lunch breaks.  I told him that I couldn’t because I recently stopped eating gluten, and that means no pizza, Right? Well maybe not. He informed me that they had a gluten free option. What!!!??? Yay!

I finally went and got my gluten free pizza. It comes in a 10 inch option with a crispy herb crust. The order the gluten free crust from some other place. They try to keep it away from wheat flour by cleaning the preparation surface and using clean gloves. That was good enough for me! I was just so happy to eat pizza.

So I pretty much got all the topping because they are free! So now you can go get pizza with your friends and actually order pizza for yourself and not just chicken wings and a salad.

Oh and 5 Buck Pizza is very inexpensive. The GF option will set you back $8, which is pricy for the place but well worth it to me.

I highly recommend this pizza!

Doctor’s Orders

I made an appointment to meet with a doctor at the Utah Valley University health clinic. I wanted to get a blood test to see if I really have celiac disease. I read somewhere online that you shouldn’t start a gluten free diet before you have a diagnosis. The reasoning behind the advice is based on the fact that a blood test will be negative for celiac disease if gluten is not present in the body. The test measures something in the blood that reacts to gluten in people who have celiac disease. I stopped eating food that contained wheat 5 months ago and I have noticed improvements in health. My mood has been better, my insides don’t hurt as often, my bones don’t ache, and I have a bit more energy.

So this is what happened at my appointment:

Doctor: Does your family have a history of celiac disease?

me: not that I know of.

Doctor: Well the blood test can be expensive and inconclusive.

Me: uh huh well…

Doctor: So what makes you think you have celiac?

Me: Well after meeting with a gastrointestinal doctor and having blood and stool samples taken nothing was conclusive and my insides still hurt… So I stopped eating wheat.

Doctor: Did it help? Do you feel better?

Me: Yeah, but I still feel sick.

Doctor: Well if you feel better than you are celiac? It takes six months to get a new bowel.

Me: ( thoughts in my head about how scientific doctors are these days followed by whats a “bowel” that takes six months and so on. )

So in the end she told me to take acidophilus  capsules to heal my gut. I am to open two capsules and sprinkle them on my food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then I am to take two more unopened capsules with water before bed.

So thats that. I am celiac? ! Well I am so smart.


Located in Orem, Utah near Winco on 800 North. 970 west 800 North is the address.

Milagro’s Mexican restaurant  offers many gluten free options. I shared the Milagros Mata Hambre for 2 with my boyfriend. I just used corn tortillas. On the phone before visiting the restaurant I talked to the owner. He said there are many gluten free options. Just stay away from the Green Chile sauce and the flour tortillas and you .

*MILAGROS MATA HAMBRE – For One $15 –  For Two $20
Mata Hambre means “appetite killer”. Our most popular dish. Oven roasted pork, marinated grilled steak and tender chicken breast, served with grilled vegetables, a sweet grilled onion ball, sour cream, salsa fresca and lettuce. Served with a basket of fresh cooked corn and flour tortillas. Choose your rice, beans.

The portion was quite large. I’m sure it could easily feed 3-4 adults. They also bring out chips and salsa like most sit down mexican restaurants. I really like the green salsa it is very sweet and not even spicy. This was my first time eating at this restaurant. Their menu can be found online.