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”.

 http://youtu.be/3MvAM97VDE8

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!

http://www.5buckpizza.com

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.

Milagro’s

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.

Gluten Free the Price We Pay

So why are Gluten free food products so expensive? It seems that gluten free breads and other such products are 5 to 6 times more expensive than similar wheat based product.

Supply and demand may be a part of this situation. More land is allocated to wheat crops than any other food crop. World trade in wheat is greater than for all other crops combined. Wheat is the most important source of carbohydrate in a majority of countries.

The USA is the third largest wheat producer in the world after Peoples Republic of China and India. With rice, wheat is the world’s most favored staple food.

The average America consumed 133 pounds of wheat flour in 2004. That is about 6 oz. or 1 cup of wheat flour a day on average. Wheat is an inexpensive and very filling grain that is in almost everything in the American diet.

Wheat provides more nourishment for humans than any other food source. It is a major diet component because of the wheat plant’s ability to grow from near arctic regions to equator, from sea level to plains of Tibet. Wheat offers ease of storage and versatility.

Wheat protein is easily digested by nearly 99% of human population. That is about .5 to 1 percent of the world population cannot. Mathematically speaking we could assume by those numbers between 35 to 70 million people worldwide have some form of celiac disease.

Ethanol Fuel

Rising gas prices have hit everyone’s wallet pretty hard. Not only do we pay more at the pump but also at the grocery store. It costs money to ship our food from farm to factory to store. One more effect of Ethanol fuel is that it is made from crops such as corn, sugar cane, and manioc.

These crops use a lot of land, decreasing areas that food crops can be grown, thus increasing food prices of crops, meat and poultry. Live which eat crops and use land as well. World ethanol production for transport fuel tripled between 2000 and 2007 from 17 billion to more than 52 billion liters.

Therefore wheat is a common, inexpensive and favorable food staple that you or someone you love cannot eat. We are the one percent that has little choice in how much our food will cost.