THE Premier Low-Carb store .. .. AND Meeting Place

Saturday, December 31, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!



Hi everyone - Happy New Year to you all.  May 2012 see all your New Year dreams come true.  What an amazing time we live in.  I can remember when we didn't have the internet and yet today I could not imagine my life without it!  I can remember a day when we didn't have TV - in fact, we only got TV in 1974 in South Africa - the year I graduated from high school.  I can remember simpler times and a time when I thought drugs were something you bought only in a pharmacy.  I can remember lots and lots about a simpler life than I lead today and definitely a slower pace than I lead today.  Do you think life has become more stressful with all our high-tech gadgets?  I mean I can remember a time without my Blackberry - not so long ago actually.  Now I would feel lost without it.  What did we do in the days before cell phones? - called home from a call box?  :)  What would I do without email or blogging?  Eeek!

Anyway, interesting times, more stressful perhaps, but interesting all the same and I wouldn't want it any different now that I'm used to it.  How about you?  What do you remember?  Would you want to turn the clock back with regard to some things?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas, Smiley - Some Photos of Smiley and His Present (Clearly Smiley is a low-carber)

Any doubts as to whether a doggie is a carnivore?  Just look at Smiley finding his ham bone under the Christmas tree!  He has spent many an hour sleeping next to or under the tree since finding the ham bone there. I imagine he is dreaming of another ham bone.  We are leaving the tree up at least until January the 11th, which is the day we adopted Smiley and it is the day we called his birthday.  He will find another ham bone under the tree for his birthday.  I think we will make this tradition every year as he loves it so much.

Smiley discovers the packet with his ham bone present.


Dog with head in packet - important mission to retrieve ham bone! You can see my eldest son's (27) laptop on the table.  On the other side was another for youngest son (24).  They were visiting over Christmas and we had a wonderful, quiet family Christmas for a change.  Just lovely!

Finally - Smiley takes his ham bone into the living room.

 This is how Smiley looked for the next while until he picked it clean.  He hardly lifted his head. lol


Smiley had made some inroads by now.  I left a lot of meat on the bone so it was literally a meal for little Smiley (or not so little - he has quite the appetite and each day it seems his life's mission is to make sure he gets to eat as much as possible!).



This year there was an extraordinary selection of hair trimming and beard trimming devices under the tree for my guys.  This was Ian's selection of those presents.  The funny thing is DH knew about his presents (as we often do. Haha.) and so he would often tease Smiley before Christmas that we would take a photo of Smiley finding the hair trimmers (since he has so much hair on his face, in his ears and everywhere) and DH finding the ham bone!  We didn't do that of course, but it was funny to hear DH talking to poor Smiley that way.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!! Say it with something sweet.

Here is last year's confection list.

Say Merry Christmas with Shortbread Cookies and other cookie assortments (see previous posts) for tea time.  Merry Christmas my low-carb friends and blog friends.  Thank you for a wonderful year of friendship and sharing. Blessings to you and yours this wonderful season. Let's also remember the reason for the season and spread the joy, the love and the good news.




SHORTBREAD COOKIES
These cookies have a slight twist with the lemon juice in it – actually makes them rather interesting. You may dress these up with a frosting glaze, if desired. This dough would make wonderful pastry for a pie crust or for little pastry tarts. 

1 egg
Liquid sucralose to equal 1 cup (250 mL)
  SPLENDA® Granular
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (125 mL)
1 tbsp lemon juice (15 mL)
1/8 tsp almond extract (1 mL)
13/4 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (425 mL)
  page___

In food processor, combine egg and liquid sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular, butter, lemon juice and almond extract; process.  Add Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___; process.  Form into couple of balls, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate until easy to handle.  If you refrigerate it overnight, you’d need to leave it out for at least half an hour. 

Then roll each disk into 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch (0.3 cm to 0.6 cm) thickness between sheets of plastic wrap.  Remove top sheet and cut out cookies.  Otherwise form two, 6-inch (15 cm) rolls and slice the cookies from the rolls.  Place the cookies on greased foil on a cookie sheet and bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until brown underneath.

Yield:  24 to 30 cookies
1 cookie
73.9/59.1 calories
1.6/1.3 g protein
6.6/5.3 g fat
1.7/1.4 g carbs


OR SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS with Apple Spice Cheesecake 


APPLE SPICE CHEESECAKE
This delightful recipe may replace apple pie, a beloved, traditional dessert.  Serve with a few extra slices cooked apple, if desired.  I tossed the cooked apple with a little cinnamon, melted butter and sweetener.

Crust:
3/4  cup ground almonds (175 mL)
3/4  cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (175 mL)
  page___
1/cup butter, melted (60 mL)
Filling:
2 cups peeled, chopped apple (500 mL)
2/3  cup water (150 mL)
1 tbsp lemon juice (15 mL)
Liquid sucralose to taste
16 oz regular cream cheese, softened (500 g)
1/cup sour cream (60 mL)
2 eggs
Liquid sucralose to equal 1/2 cup (125 mL)
    SPLENDA® Granular
1/3  cup granulated erythritol (75 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1 tsp ground nutmeg (5 mL)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (2 mL)
1/tsp ground allspice (1 mL)
CrèmeFraiche, page___ (optional)

Crust:  In medium bowl, combine ground almonds, Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___ and butter.  Press into bottom of 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish.  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 10 minutes. 

Filling:  While preparing the filling, place chopped apple in water and cook over medium heat 10 minutes.  Drain and stir in lemon juice and sucralose to taste.

In food processor, process cream cheese and sour cream.  Add eggs, liquid sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular, erythritol, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice; process until smooth.  Stir in apples.  Bake in oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until center is set.  Cool.  Frost with Crème Fraiche, page___, if desired.

Yield:  12 servings
1 serving
259.6 calories
7.4 g protein
22.6 g fat
6.4 g carbs




Sunday, December 18, 2011

PIZZA CRUST A LA PEGGY-STYLE






PIZZA CRUST A LA PEGGY-STYLE
This excellent thin, crispy pizza crust was inspired by Peggy Hardaway’s pizza crust. I followed her basic recipe but used my bake mix, a little  oat flour and only 1 egg.  Do visit her blog: http://buttoni.wordpress.com/    I think you can see from the photos that this crust (thin, golden crust) enables one to pick up the pizza slices to eat, if desired.  It is quite sturdy.  Thanks, Peggy for the inspiration.  This recipe is also in Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume 2.  I love my Low-Carbing Among Friends' collection.  I just wish I had enough time to try out many, many of the amazng recipes from all the authors.  I have to keep making net new recipes for the blog, Facebook and new cookbooks, so I am actually pretty envious of other cooks out there, who have the freedom to make whatever they want, whenever!

4 oz cream cheese, softened (125 g)
1 large egg
1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL)
11/2 tsp Parmesan cheese (7 mL)
2/3 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 3  - means either Bake Mix 1 or 2 as well - no xanthan gum or gelatin required (150 mL)
2 tbsp oat flour (30 mL)
1/2 tsp baking powder (2 mL)
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, OR (125 mL)
  Mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).  Line a 12-inch (30 cm) pizza pan with foil or parchment paper (also possible to just fit the foil inside a bigger pan).  Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In food processor, combine cream cheese, egg, 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and Parmesan cheese; process.  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, oat flour, and baking powder.  Add to food processor along with Monterey Jack, OR Mozzarella cheese; process.  Drop dough on prepared pizza pan.  Using a large piece of plastic wrap, press dough out and use a rolling pin to further roll out the dough.

Bake 10 minutes on middle rack and 10 minutes on lower rack.  Remove and brush crust with 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil. Top with scant 1/2 cup (125 mL) thick Pizza Sauce*, page 56 in Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume-1.  Add meat and vegetable toppings of choice and shredded Monterey Jack, OR Mozzarella cheese.  Place back in the oven on middle shelf and bake 10 minutes.  Then place on the lower rack and bake another 10 to 12 minutes.  Check the crust as it should be evenly brown underneath. 

Yield:  10/12 servings
1 serving
131.3/109.4 calories
4.7/3.9 g protein
11.2/9.3 g fat
2.7/2.3 g carbs

Helpful Hints:  *For thicker Pizza Sauce, page 56, Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume-1, use a few tablespoons less water than stated; seems to work really well with this pizza crust and ensures a crispy crust.  I have a small rolling pin which is great for rolling out pie crust dough in the pie dish – this is ideal but a small can of food will work almost as well.  It is possible that different ovens will require shorter or longer baking times, but once you’ve figured it out, this pizza crust is a real winner!



For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 

http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced! 



Friday, December 16, 2011

Low-Carb Diets vs Standard Low-Calorie Diets -STUDY



Hmm, this was rather an interesting study, I thought.    Here is the article.  Both the low-carb diet variants (which were for only 2 days a week) did better than the low-calorie Mediterranean diet alone (7 days a week).  Interesting!  However, even more interesting is that it helped to keep calories in check with a low-carb diet as well - it was more effective.  Guess that makes sense!  What surprises me though is that 2 days of low-carbing was enough to lose weight.

However, one should be aware that there are low-carb Mediterranean diets by Dr. Steve Parker who wrote 2 books, the Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet and the Advanced Mediterranean Diet; now these diets are bound to be even better - i.e. low-carb and a Mediterranean diet combined - that is superior!

"Harvie and her colleagues compared three diets during four months for effects on weight loss and blood markers of breast cancer risk among 115 women with a family history of breast cancer. They randomly assigned patients to one of the following diets: a calorie-restricted, low-carbohydrate diet for two days per week; an "ad lib" low-carbohydrate diet in which patients were permitted to eat unlimited protein and healthy fats, such as lean meats, olives and nuts, also for two days per week; and a standard, calorie-restricted daily Mediterranean diet for seven days per week."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cookies, Cookies and More Cookies for Christmas and the Holidays!


Carolyn Ketchum, one of the authors of Low-Carbing Among Friends did a fabulous post featuring her cookies and cookies from several famous bloggers and authors in the low-carb community.  Many of us have begun our Christmas baking and are freezing cookies, for instance.  Here are some lovely ideas.  Enjoy!

Low Carb, Gluten Free Holiday Cookie Round-Up

Jimmy Moore Recognizes and Praises one of the Authors of Low-Carbing Among Friends!


Kent Altena has the unique distinction in Low-Carbing Among Friends as being the only male chef.  His book is after the ladies in Low-Carbing Among Friends as the publisher said, "Ladies first;" to his daughter's chagrin.  His recipes are very sought after by the folks who enjoy his many detailed food videos on YouTube and who adhere to stricter low-carbing guidelines.  He is so comfortable in front of the camera and a delight to watch.  His eldest daughter is now also following the Atkins Diet and is also an athlete (long distance runner) like her dad.  She seems to be a real chip off the old block as they say and she even looks a lot like her dad!  Kent has many talents and cooking is only one of his hobbies as he works in computers (don't ask me exactly what he does), volunteers as a Fireman and a Paramedic and a few other things he does as well (I forget now).

This discovery today was a lovely surprise.  Congratulations, Kent!  Here is the wonderful post by Jimmy Moore: Five New Must See Videos for December 2011.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

COCONUT COOKIES YOUR WAY




COCONUT COOKIES YOUR WAY
These lovely, flavorful, soft cookies can be custom made to your own taste.  For Christmas you could add sultanas or dried sugar free cranberries.  You can add 1/2  tsp (2 mL) coconut extract or pineapple extract or whatever you fancy. You may leave out the lemon peel. You can keep them completely plain and simply add a bit of vanilla extract or another flavor of extract that you prefer.

1/2  cup finely grated coconut, (125 mL)
  (unsweetened)
2 tbsp granular sweetener (30 mL)
1/2  cup butter, softened (125 mL)
2 tsp finely grated lemon peel (10 mL)
1 egg
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup sugar (250 mL)
13/4  cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix (425 mL)
1/2  tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/8  tsp salt (0.5 mL)
1/2  cup sour cream (125 mL)
1/2  cup sultanas, OR seedless raisins, OR (125 mL)
  dried sugar free cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Combine coconut and granular sweetener and spread out on dinner plate. Set aside.

In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, process butter and lemon peel.  Add egg and liquid sweetener; process. 

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, baking soda and salt.  Add to food processor alternately with sour cream.  Mix in sultanas, OR raisins, OR cranberries. Leave mixture on counter top 20 minutes. 

Roll teaspoons or heaped teaspoons of cookie batter into balls and roll in sweetened coconut.  Place on lightly greased cookie sheets.  Bake in oven 10 to 14 minutes (depending on size of cookie), or until golden brown underneath.  Keep at room temperature.

Yield:  24 or 48 cookies
1 cookie with cranberries
96.8/48.4 calories
1.9/1.0 g protein
8.6/4.3 g fat
2.3/1.3 g carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies (GF)




CHOCOLATE CHIP CRANBERRY COOKIES
I love the touch of cinnamon in this cookie.  It is a substantial, crunchy cookie. The cranberries give it a distinctive, festive accent, however, if desired use 1/4 cup (60 mL) raisins snipped in half instead.

2 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (500 mL)
  page___
3/4  tsp baking soda (3 mL)
1/tsp baking powder (1 mL)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (2 mL)
1 large egg
Liquid sucralose to equal 1 cup (250 mL)
  SPLENDA® Granular
3/4  cup (11/2 sticks) butter, softened (175 mL)
1/cup granulated erythritol (60 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
11/2 cups sugar free chocolate chips (375 mL)
1/2 cup dried sugar free cranberries, page___, OR (125 mL)  See Vanessa Romero's Recipe
  fresh cranberries, chopped in the food processor

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.  Stir to mix well.

In food processor with metal blade, process egg.  Add sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular, butter, erythritol and vanilla extact; process.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and process about 1 minute.  Stir in chocolate chips and sugar free cranberries.  Using heaping tablespoonfuls, place dough on greased cookie sheet.  Flatten dough slightly with back of spoon.  Bake 10 minutes or until golden underneath.  Allow to cool 5 minutes.  Transfer to freezer or refrigerator.



Variation: Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies:  Substitute with raisins if desired, but halve the amount and snip the raisins in half as well.


Yield:  28 cookies

1 cookie

124.9 calories

1.9 g protein

9.9 g fat

2.3 g carbs


Low-Carbing Among Friends needs another little "friend" in the kitchen





UPDATE:  I am happy to say that now both coil bound and perfect bound cookbooks are available in both volume 1 and 2.  Click HERE to purchase.  Thanks! :)

This cookbook holder (made out of perspex or acrylic) is wonderful for all my perfect bound cookbooks. I find it to be perfectly stable on my countertop. The reason I like it is that I'm a bit of a messy cook sometimes and this keeps my books clean from splatters and messy fingers even with all the busyness around me. I tend to use too many pots, pans, bowls, knives, spatulas and you name it. Haha. Just me doing the dishes too - and no dishwasher!

My cookbook holder is a little worse for wear as I brought it all the way from Canada in the container which went by ship. I would like a new one but this one still does the job even although there is a serious crack in the base of it. They are a one-time investment usually and cost about $9 on the internet. I use it for practically all my cookbooks - even some of the spiral bound ones in order to keep them clean. As an aside: I've used my older low-carb cookbooks so much that they simply fall open on the spot I desire - and stay open! I don't bother with the holder when I'm referring to them at my desk.  Instead I will use a pretty paper weight.

I hope this idea helps some people as it has helped me.

Monday, December 12, 2011

CHICKEN, BACON AND BROCCOLI QUICHE




CHICKEN, BACON AND BROCCOLI QUICHE
Rich, super-tasty, creamy quiche that becomes much firmer upon refrigerating. I even like it cold!  You can even use leftover turkey in this quiche.

Crust:
1/2 cup ground almonds, OR (125 mL)
  almond flour
1/cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (60 mL)  or more ground almonds/flour
3 tbsp butter, melted (45 mL)
Filling:
6 bacon slices
2 cups chopped broccoli (500 mL)
1/2 cup chopped onion (125 mL)
2 cups diced, cooked chicken, OR turkey (500 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
8 oz light cream cheese, softened (250 g)
1/cup sour cream, OR yogurt (60 mL)
5 eggs
4 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese (125 g)
1/cup Parmesan cheese (60 mL)
2 tbsp shredded Monterey Jack cheese (30 mL)
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese (15 mL)

Crust:  In medium bowl, combine ground almonds, OR almond flour, Gluten-Free Bake Mix and butter.  Press into 9-inch pie dish.  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 10 minutes.

Filling:  In large skillet, cook bacon until just before it gets crisp.  Set aside to drain on paper towels.  In bacon fat, cook broccoli and onion until tender.  Stir in chicken, OR turkey and stir fry couple of minutes.  Sprinkle with salt, Italian seasoning and black pepper.  In food processor, process cream cheese and sour cream, OR yogurt.  Add eggs one at a time while processing.  Stir in 4 oz (125 g) Monterey Jack cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Add to skillet along with chopped bacon and stir everything well.  Pour over crust.  Sprinkle with 2 tbsp (30 mL) Monterey Jack cheese.  Bake in oven 40 minutes or until set.  Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before cutting.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
453.4 calories
41.4 g protein
28.9 g fat
4.9 g carbs

Variations:  Chicken, Bacon and Leek Quiche:  Use 2 cups (500 mL) chopped leeks. (8.9 g carbs)

Turkey, Bacon and Broccoli Quiche:  Use turkey instead of chicken. (4.9 g)


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 


http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CREPES WITH PEACH CUSTARD




CREPES WITH PEACH CUSTARD
Comfort Food for sure!  This custard makes a nice pudding all by itself.  This recipe may be halved.  The crepes will keep a week in the refrigerator and the custard will keep a few days. 

Note:  For lower calorie crepes, you may also leave out the butter (yep, I did that accidentally one day, and the crepes were fine!).  I do have 2 lower carb crepe recipes for those who are on stricter low-carb diets.  HERE and HERE.

Crepes:
1 cup half and half, OR half water and half cream (250 mL)
6 large eggs
3/cup gluten-free oat flour (175 mL)
1/4  cup butter, melted (can reduce to 2 tbsp or leave out) (60 mL)
Sweetener to equal 2 tsp sugar (5 mL)
1/4  tsp xanthan gum (1 mL)
2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
Peach Custard:
2 cups half and half (500 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 2/3 cup sugar (150 mL)
 6 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1/4  tsp xanthan gum (1 mL)
12 oz canned peach halves, drained and rinsed (375 g)
  (chopped), OR fresh peaches, chopped
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg for garnish (0.5 mL)

Crepes:  In blender, combine half and half, OR cream and water mixture, eggs, oat flour,  butter, sweetener and xanthan gum.  Blend well, stopping to scrape sides of blender a couple of times.

Into cereal bowl, pour olive oil. Using a pastry brush, brush a tiny amount of oil to cover a 6-inch (15 cm) nonstick pan.  Pour 3 tbsp (45 mL) crepe batter in pan (tilt to cover) and cook over medium low heat until edges turn brown and bubbles form.  Flip crepe and cook the other side briefly.  Transfer to a dish with a lid to keep the crepes warm. 

Peach Custard:  In double boiler, combine half and half and liquid sweetener.  When scalding hot, pour into small bowl with 6 egg yolks; stir.  Return to double boiler and stir constantly until custard begins to thicken (about 5 minutes).  In food processor bowl, pour custard and add vanilla extract and xanthan gum; process until smooth and thickened.  Stir in peaches.  Place crepes (folded) in a single layer on an attractive, large platter.  Pour custard over the top and down the center of the crepes.  Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.

Yield:  16 crepes
1 serving
159.3 calories
5.5 g protein
12.1 g fat
6.4 g carbs

Saturday, December 3, 2011

CHUNKY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES


CHUNKY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
These are excellent, substantial cookies! No one will guess they are gluten-free, sugar-free and low-carb.  That’s the best part, I think!  Keep them in the refrigerator or the freezer (they become quite crunchy), depending on your preference.

Gluten-Free Bake Mix with gelatin - I am finding the two bake mixes which are similar, but one uses xanthan gum and the other unflavored gelatin are pretty much interchangeable.  That's good news!!

2 eggs
Liquid sweetener to equal 1 cup sugar, (250 mL)
  (a concentrate from EZ-Sweetz - sucralose or stevia)
1/2 cup granulated erythritol (125 mL)
3/4  cup butter, softened (175 mL)
1/2  tsp vanilla extract (2 mL)
11/2 cups almond flour (375 mL)
11/cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix (300 mL)  OR GF Bake Mix 2 - use 1 1/2 tsp gelatin with the butter and eggs
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/tsp salt (1 mL)
2 cups sugarless chocolate chips (500 mL)
1 cup chopped walnuts (250 mL)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).  Spray large cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

In food processor, process eggs, liquid sweetener, erythritol, butter and vanilla extact.  In large bowl, combine almond flour, Gluten-Free Bake Mix, baking soda and salt.  Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and process at least one minute.  Stir in chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.  Let cookie dough rest 10 minutes.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet. Flatten dough with back of spoon. Bake 10 minutes.  Allow to cool at least 5 minutes on cookie sheet.  Transfer to a plate and place in freezer.  Refrigerate later or keep in freezer in an airtight container.

Yield:  34 cookies
1 cookie
150.7 calories
3.2 g protein
12.3 g fat
1.9 g carbs



For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

New York Times Article - Should We All Go Gluten-Free?


Wow, this really makes one realize that gluten intolerance and Celiac disease is on the rise.  I wonder why?  At any rate, reading the article and the enthusiasm of General Mills to produce tons of gluten-free products to address this fairly new and growing market, one realizes that it is not likely to be a fad diet.  There is a real need for gluten-free products as many people are discovering that they feel better without gluten in their diets.  Certainly my husband is intolerant of gluten and whenever he gets "glutened", his weight goes up by about 5 to 6 lbs in one day.  It's hard to believe.  It takes a few days for that water weight (reaction to inflammation in his body) to come off.  The extra water weight puts pressure on the blood vessels (a closed system of pipes really) and pushes his blood pressure up.  Gluten is not a good thing for my husband.  Not everyone is gluten sensitive.    I don't think I am, however, I'm now of the opinion that it doesn't hurt to cut down on gluten and we already know that the wheat people are consuming is not good for them.  One only has to read Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis to realize that.  Wheat (as in a slice of whole wheat bread) raises blood sugar more than a candy bar, plus wheat has a protein in it called gliadin which stimulates the appetite and also gives one a "reward" - a  feeling of mild euphoria similar to being on a drug like opiates (eg. morphine).  No wonder bread has such an allure for many of us.  It's addictive.

This article makes me realize that the cookbook team is on the right track and that our cookbook could not be more timely.  Not only are we addressing gluten-free, but also those folks who must control their weight (including me) through a low-carb diet.  I know that if I was on a high-carb diet, I'd be eating all manner of junk in no time flat (especially sugary things with white flour) and I can gain 5 lbs in 2 weeks.  Imagine if at this age with my thyroid and hormone problems (perimenopausal) if I kept that up for an entire year!  No, the only way I can control my weight is by low-carbing and now I realize, too, that gluten-free gives me even better control over my appetite.  I suspect gluten-free will remain main stream!  Most low-carb diets in their early stages are gluten-free, however, many of us used to add in gluten (eg. in my earlier bake mixes) fairly soon to help out with creating familiar comfort foods such as bread and desserts. Again, I must reiterate that gluten is not a problem for everyone - only a certain percentage of the population is affected, but still it bears thinking about and doing a little test.  Go gluten-free for a month and see how you feel.  :)  It's actually not that difficult if one is already low-carbing.