Posted in health and wellness, loreeebee.ca, wheat allergy

Eliminating Wheat from your Diet will Provide Real Results

For several years, I suffered from various symptoms for which my doctor could find no solution.  Although my low ferritin or iron stores level explained my chronic fatigue and low energy, the supplements prescribed did not help boost the level, but it did make me constipated.  I was beginning to feel like a hypochondriac since none of my symptoms could be reasonably explained or alleviated.

My Results From Eliminating Wheat

The primary change, at least for me since I first went to the doctor because I was tired all of the time, is the ferritin or iron stores results.  The normal range is between 80 and 300.  In 2007 my ferritin level was 9, extremely low.  By adding more iron to my diet I was able to get it up to a whopping 18.  I then discovered a wheat allergy that was preventing my body from absorbing iron from my diet or supplements.  Two months after eliminating wheat from my diet, my ferritin or iron stores result was up to 42, one year later up to 63 and four years later to a normal level of 100.

A second  major change was the disappearance of my asthma symptoms.  At my last visit to my respirologist he was amazed at how my pulmonary function tests were completely normal.  I didn’t tell him about the wheat-free diet until after he expressed his surprise at my results.  He was skeptical of the fact that a naturopath figured out my problem, but agreed I should continue avoid wheat.

Another healthy change is the difference between my before and after cholesterol results that went from slightly high at 545 to a mid normal range of 315.  My weight had also been creeping up over the years hitting 140 pounds before the wheat elimination.  I dropped 5 pounds within 6 weeks of eliminating the wheat and currently weigh in at 130 pounds four years later.  At five feet and five inches in height, I am satisfied with my current weight.  The biggest bonus to the weight loss has been the loss of flab and excess fat around my middle.

I have experienced similar positive results with arthritis symptoms which were getting worse every year until I eliminated wheat.  I currently suffer from very minimal arthritis symptoms. Although I have not have repeat ultrasounds or chest x-rays to see if the ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and lung hyperventilation are no longer present, the symptoms associated with those three conditions have disappeared.

My white blood cell and platelet counts still remain low, results I have been aware of for many years.  Having worked in the field of laboratory medicine for thirty years, I had many opportunities to test my blood.  I have always suspected some form of autoimmune action within my body; someday I may investigate this suspicion.

Posted in food

My Favorite Gluten-Free Secret Ingredient…Skotidakis Jalapeno Flavored Greek Yogurt

I have been using this jalapeno flavored Greek probiotic yogurt made by Skotidakis in many gluten-free recipes lately.  I love the kick it gives to stews, soups, and pasta sauces, blending well without clumping or separating.   Because it is made from yogurt, there is much less fat involved than the sour cream or cream cheese called for to make the creamy sauces in many recipes.  An equal substitution of the cream cheese or sour cream for this yogurt alternative is simple and healthy…

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As I believe it was intended for, it also makes a great dip for chips or raw veggies and a tasty spread for wraps, sandwiches, hamburgers and soft tacos.  I buy it at Costco, in a twin-pack, but I have also seen it sold individually at other grocery stores.  It also comes in a plain flavor, but the jalapeno is my favorite…

Posted in lorieb.com

Bye Bye Asthma…

In one of my first posts, I think I told you how the last time I went to my respirologist to check on my lungs, he told me the condition of my lungs had improved.  I had been diagnosed with asthma several years earlier, with my symptoms and test results getting worse each visit to the respirologist.  Since my father had recently died from pulmonary fibrosis, and my mom from lung cancer before that, the deteriorating condition of my lungs was worrisome.

At that 2012 visit, I didn’t tell the respirologist about my wheat allergy news (discovered by a naturopath) and the fact that I had been wheat-free for almost one year before this round of testing as I wanted to see if there was a change in the pulmonary (lung) function test results first.  His response to my belief that my wheat-free diet was the reason for the change in my lungs was skeptical, as not many doctor like to be told that advice from a naturopath is sound.  His comment at that time was “well, whatever you have been doing, keep doing it.  Come back and see me next year”…

Well, i just returned from the annual respirology appointment, and my pulmonary function test results were even better than last year!  In fact, the respirologist  feels he doesn’t need to see me anymore, unless my symptoms return.

Although some things, like smoke and strong chemical smells, still bother me, I know to avoid them.  I also know that daily exercise and reduced stress make a difference too; my new career takes care of that aspect…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in food

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

This is another recipe from Living Without that sounds really good and easy to make…

 

Gluten-Free Pasta Pickup Salad with Pesto and Tomatoes

 

SERVES 6 to 8

 

This beautiful dish explodes with flavor. It’s best when assembled right before serving. If garden tomatoes aren’t in season, use good-quality roasted red peppers.

 

Ingredients

 

1 (10-12 ounce) package gluten-free brown rice or corn spirals, penne or elbow pasta
1 pint fresh, local tomatoes, chopped
½ cup good-quality pesto,* more for garnish
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil + 1 tablespoon for cooked pasta

 

1. Bring 2 to 3 quarts salted water to boil. Cook pasta until chewy or just al dente, 3 to 4 minutes less than directed on the package. (Undercook pasta to prevent it from falling apart when tossed; pasta continues cooking after it is drained.) Rinse pasta under cold water and drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil to prevent sticking. Reserve.

 

2. Combine ½ cup pesto with vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil. Toss with pasta.

 

3. Add tomatoes and dollops of remaining pesto. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

 

Each serving contains 271 calories, 14g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 89mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 5g protein.

 

Posted in food

Gluten and Wheat-Free Cilantro Mango Chicken Recipe

This gluten/wheat-free cilantro mango chicken recipe comes from the website http://www.flourishingwellness.com and my cousin Carrie Marshall, a holistic health coach in Springfield Missouri.   Visit her website for information on food intolerances, recipes and more…

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
8 ounces plain yogurt
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 large ripe mango, peeled, finely diced

1.Preheat oven (375 degrees) or BBQ
2.Combine 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup of cilantro, half of the lime juice, cayenne pepper and garlic. Coat chicken breasts with this mixture, marinating for at least 1 hour.
3.While chicken marinates, make sauce by mixing remaining yogurt, 2/3 of diced mango, 1/2 teaspoon lime juice and 3/4 cup cilantro in blender.
4.Bake chicken in oven for 25-30 minutes or grill on BBQ.
5.Place chicken on serving plates, pour on sauce and sprinkle with remaining mango, serve with extra sauce on the side.
6.Add a sprig of fresh cilantro for garnish.

Serves 4

This recipe combining the tastes of cilantro and mango, with the common staple of chicken, sounds incredibly simple and delicious, and is gluten/wheat free.  It is very similar to a marinade made with lime juice, garlic and cilantro that I frequently use at the cottage.  I put the chicken and marinade in a ziploc bag at home and transport it to the cottage like that so it is well marinated by the next day.   The addition of mango, yogurt and cayenne sounds interesting;  it will certainly be my next experiment in the kitchen or on the barbecue!

Lorieb is the mother of three sons, residing in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.  She is the proud owner of GARDENS4U, and spends most of her time designing, planting, and restoring gardens.  Her other interests include reading and writing.  Please check out her website at www.gardens4u.ca

Notes:

Posted in gardening

Retirement Woes: “Is Today Tuesday or Wednesday?”

Since retiring last April, it seems I never know what day of the week it is.  I rely on my fifteen year old son’s school and hockey schedule to keep me somewhat on track.  My other two sons are older, can drive themselves around and so keep track of their own schedules.  The rest of the side effects of retirement are all positive…

To start, I spent a lot more time doing the things I had previously called hobbies…

I have read more books in the past year than I did in the previous 25 years combined.  My favorite was the Millenium trilogy from  Stieg Larsson; the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Girl that Played with Fire, and the Girl that Stepped on the Hornet’s Nest.   I had a hard time putting these books down once I started reading them, the suspenseful storyline and believable characters were gripping, from the beginning of the first book to the last pages of the third book.   Yes, I did read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, but it didn’t rate nearly as high in my books (pun intended!)  and by the third one I found the plot to be quite predictable and boring.

My other hobby was gardening, currently moved to the front burner in the form of a new business called Gardens4u.  This was a no brainer for me as I had spent many previous gardening seasons volunteering my green thumbs to friends, family and neighbours.  I now do gardening on a full time basis from April to October, depending only on Mother Nature for restrictions.

I was also able to spend more time at our family cottage, and what a summer it was for living lakeside.  The water temperature was the warmest it has ever been; I’m sure I spent more time in the lake than I have in the previous 10 years combined.

In the last half of 2011 and throughout 2012 I discovered first hand the health benefits of a wheat-free diet.  Just recently I began to share my knowledge with friends and family concerned about the same health issues.  Please share your knowledge on this important subject by visiting my blog…

Lorieb resides in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.  Please check out her website at www.gardens4u.ca  for gardening information and pictures, a blog, an online store and more.

Posted in lorieb.com

Wheat-Free Products

There are many alternatives to wheat on the market these days, many are available in your grocery store.  Listed below are a few that I have tried:

Arrowroot is the starch of a root from tropical plants.  It is easily digestible, and flavorless (unlike cornstarch).  It can be used as a thickening agent in soups, gravies, cookies etc.  Simply mix it with cold water before adding it to hot liquids to prevent clumping.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a grain-like (but NOT a grain) crop mostly grown for its edible seeds.  The plant is related to beets and spinach, although the greens are not widely available.  The seeds are easily digestible, and are high in protein, fiber, magnesium, amino acids, calcium, phosphorus and iron.  They should be cooked and used like rice.

Buckwheat is a grain-like (but NOT a grain) plant grown for its seeds, related to rhubarb and sorrel.  It is gluten-free, although it can be a potent allergen by itself.  Buckwheat is high in protein, amino acids, iron, zinc, selenium and antioxidants.  It has been known to reduce cholesterol levels, body fat and cholesterol gallstones.  It has also been shown to strengthen capillary walls in chronic venous insufficiency and is currently being studied for use in treating type II diabetes.  Noodles make of buckwheat are known as soba in Japan, pizzoccheri in Italy,and guksu in Korea.   Buckwheat flour or farina is used in breakfast foods like porridge, as well as a thickener in soups, gravies, dressings, breads, and pasta.  Buckwheat is also used in the making of honey and a gluten-free beer.

to order any of these products online, please visit:
http://astore.amazon.com/gardens4u-20