Monday, January 31, 2011

Gluten Free Diet - Day 5

I woke up feeling absolutely fabulous this morning! I am not in any pain, my head is clear, my tummy is not upset, my joints and muscles are behaving themselves and not screaming in pain. Life is good. I still am not ready to count my chickens and say it is due to a gf diet, however, I am very thankful to have a day free from pain.

I noticed something else this morning. My sweet daughter was cheerful as she woke up for school this morning. She used to be sweet in the mornings, but several years ago, she turned into a very unfriendly and angry monster every morning. Mid-day that monster would be replaced by my sweet angel, only to have a mean monster return before bedtime. I learned recently that she was skipping not only breakfast, but also skipping lunch on most days. If I packed a lunch for her, she was simply not eating it.

This weekend, she worked hard with me to make sure she was eating every meal and even snacks throughout the day. Her attitude became sweeter and she even was happy to help with chores around the house. Yes, I heard sirens going off screaming "Danger Will Robinson... Danger!" but she was chipper and pleasant.

After dinner last night, she went in and began assembling her lunch for today in her brand new Tiffin. She decided to take left over falafel, wild rice, raw cauliflower, radishes, and turnips, along with some corn chips and salsa. she then helped me finish the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. She went to bed on time without argument. I was thrilled.

My daughter is also embracing this new way of eating happily. She has asked that I make her favorite salmon croquettes for dinner tonight. I promised I would. So that is what I will be doing. Finding a way to turn what is normally a non-gluten friendly meal into a gf meal. Today I am spending time researching methods to change recipes to gf friendly so I can keep my promise to my daughter.

For breakfast this morning, my husband and I enjoyed more of that yummy cinnamon bread with sunflower nut butter and slices of Fuji apple on top with a nice 1/2 glass of cold almond milk. My husband also enjoyed some of the left over quinoa breakfast with apples and cinnamon that was in the fridge.

The day was rather quiet as I worked on a school assignment which is due later today. My husband spent most of his day reviewing job listings. We both were laid off of our jobs earlier this month so we are both looking for employment again. Not necessarily a fun place to be, but it is where we are at this moment in time.

For lunch today, my husband and I realized that our refrigerator is full of left overs, so we happily ate a combination of things from the past several days. I actually enjoy eating left overs, especially if I enjoyed the food the first time around. I drank a little bit of apple juice mid afternoon while I worked on my paper for school to give me a little boost.

When my daughter came home from school, she was in a great mood. She was laughing and enjoyable to talk with. She had a quick snack of apple juice, corn chips and salsa. Later she happily picked up her bedroom, started a load of her laundry, and then took her dog for a nice walk. I am still amazed at how my child is behaving. Her demeanor has not been this pleasant for quite some time now, so I am thankfully accepting her being so compliant, sweet, and helpful.

For our dinner tonight, we enjoyed GF Salmon Croquettes with GF Dill Sauce, with brown rice, and sauteed zucchini, red bell pepper, and walla walla sweet onion.

I am pleased to say that I actually like my adaptations even better than what I was doing before. I crushed GF cereal until I had crunchy bread crumbs and used extra GF All Purpose Flour, however, what I ended up with was a nice and firm salmon patty that did not break up on the griddle. This I loved. I have a serious dislike for having the salmon croquettes break up all over the hot stove, so this is a good thing. Not a single one of my croquettes were harmed in creating this dinner. I am happy.

GF Salmon Croquettes


I first learned of salmon croquettes when I moved to Mississippi in the summer of 1991. My mother-in-law, shared many of her southern recipes with me before she passed away. Although I have made this recipe my own with a few small adaptations, it is originally from my late mother-in-law's recipes that she handed down to me. Of course the most recent change to the recipe was to remove all gluten. I am happy to be able to continue this southern family tradition.

One of the changes I have made in Pat's original recipe was to buy the salmon fresh, not to use canned salmon. Living in Seattle, fresh salmon is fairly inexpensive and readily available so this change made good sense. I believe in trying to buy as many of my ingredients fresh and local as possible. I don't like to buy things that have been trucked in or imported. I also try to avoid processed foods. Additives and preservatives are not always necessary. By using fresh salmon, not canned salmon, I am improving the quality of the food I am feeding to my family and keeping it environmentally friendly.

Another change I have made to the original recipe is to remove celery. I just don't find it necessary. Some people do. This is not something that I feel makes a big difference to the final flavor. I did find an improvement in the flavor by adding shallots along with bell pepper to the recipe.

Originally, this recipe contained Ritz crackers and flour. Although it would be easy to make the recipe with gf versions of these items, I see dollar signs when I review the different gf crackers for sale in the grocery store. My goal with converting this recipe is to keep the recipe economically friendly.

GF Salmon Croquettes

3 pounds fresh salmon
2 large eggs, beaten well
1 shallot, minced tiny
3-4 cloves garlic, grated
1 red bell pepper, minced tiny
1/2 cup gf bread crumbs (I used crushed gf cereal)
4 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
4 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 teaspoons thyme

Yields: Approximately 16 patties (4 inch wide/1 inch thick)

Serve with my GF Homemade Dill Sauce.

Step 1: Carefully remove skin and bones from salmon.

Step 2: Cut Salmon into 2 inch squares and place in food processor.

Step 3: Using pulse on food processor, give a rough grind to the salmon until it is in a hamburger like consistency.

Step 4: Place ground salmon into very large bowl. Add ingredients. Mix well.




Step 5: Grease cast iron griddle and bring to nice hot temperature. If it is smoking, it is too hot, turn the temperature down a little bit.

Step 6: Form patties from the salmon mixture and place them onto hot griddle. Wash hands. Pour olive oil around outside of patties mid-way through cooking on one side to help keep patties from sticking. When there are nice brown charred marks on salmon patty, flip to cook the other side. Immediately add more olive oil to the griddle around the patties to help keep patties from sticking. This also adds a nice flavor to the croquettes.

Step 7: One by one, remove salmon patties from the grill and place onto a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any extra oil.

GF Salmon Croquettes


I first learned of salmon croquettes when I moved to Mississippi in the summer of 1991. My mother-in-law, shared many of her southern recipes with me before she passed away. Although I have made this recipe my own with a few small adaptations, it is originally from my late mother-in-law's recipes that she handed down to me. Of course the most recent change to the recipe was to remove all gluten. I am happy to be able to continue this southern family tradition.

One of the changes I have made in Pat's original recipe was to buy the salmon fresh, not to use canned salmon. Living in Seattle, fresh salmon is fairly inexpensive and readily available so this change made good sense. I believe in trying to buy as many of my ingredients fresh and local as possible. I don't like to buy things that have been trucked in or imported. I also try to avoid processed foods. Additives and preservatives are not always necessary. By using fresh salmon, not canned salmon, I am improving the quality of the food I am feeding to my family and keeping it environmentally friendly.

Another change I have made to the original recipe is to remove celery. I just don't find it necessary. Some people do. This is not something that I feel makes a big difference to the final flavor. I did find an improvement in the flavor by adding shallots along with bell pepper to the recipe.

Originally, this recipe contained Ritz crackers and flour. Although it would be easy to make the recipe with gf versions of these items, I see dollar signs when I review the different gf crackers for sale in the grocery store. My goal with converting this recipe is to keep the recipe economically friendly.

GF Salmon Croquettes

3 pounds fresh salmon
2 large eggs, beaten well
1 shallot, minced tiny
3-4 cloves garlic, grated
1 red bell pepper, minced tiny
1/2 cup gf bread crumbs (I used crushed gf cereal)
4 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
4 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 teaspoons thyme

Yields: Approximately 16 patties (4 inch wide/1 inch thick)

Serve with my GF Homemade Dill Sauce.

Step 1: Carefully remove skin and bones from salmon.

Step 2: Cut Salmon into 2 inch squares and place in food processor.

Step 3: Using pulse on food processor, give a rough grind to the salmon until it is in a hamburger like consistency.

Step 4: Place ground salmon into very large bowl. Add ingredients. Mix well.




Step 5: Grease cast iron griddle and bring to nice hot temperature. If it is smoking, it is too hot, turn the temperature down a little bit.

Step 6: Form patties from the salmon mixture and place them onto hot griddle. Wash hands. Pour olive oil around outside of patties mid-way through cooking on one side to help keep patties from sticking. When there are nice brown charred marks on salmon patty, flip to cook the other side. Immediately add more olive oil to the griddle around the patties to help keep patties from sticking. This also adds a nice flavor to the croquettes.

Step 7: One by one, remove salmon patties from the grill and place onto a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any extra oil.

Almond Milk

As we begin this journey through removing gluten and dairy from our household diets, we are learning new tricks. Having always been foodies, my husband and I immediately began to research what we could eat and how to cook with our new dietary restrictions. We read several recipes on how to make almond milk, but finally adapted several different versions to better suit our taste preferences.

The almond milk is absolutely wonderful in homemade hot cocoa and in cereals. I personally have taken to drinking this yummy milk several times a day. It is the exact pick me up I seem to need periodically throughout out the day.

Almond Milk

2/3 cup Raw Almonds (blanched with skins removed)
4 cups water
1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
6 - 7 dates (optional: to sweeten the almond milk)

Yields: 4 1/2 cups Almond Milk

Step 1: Blanch the almonds.
Place almonds in a shallow skillet with about 1 to 2 cups water and boil for approximately 3 minutes to blanch the almonds. Drain water and allow almonds to cool.


Step 2: Remove the almond skin.
Once cool enough to touch bare handed, gently remove almond skins with your fingers. The skins will just rub off rather easily at this point.

Step 3: Make the almond milk.
Place the blanched and naked almonds into the blender with 4 cups water and the salt. Blend on high for about 2 - 3 minutes. Blend until all of the almonds are broken down into a fine paste.

Step 4: Add dates to sweeten milk.
Remove seeds from dates and then drop into blender with the almond milk. We prefer to use 6 to 7 dates per batch, however, your preference might be different. Blend on high until dates are fully incorporated (1 - 2 minutes).

Step 5: Strain the almond milk.
Using a fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth, strain the almond milk through the strainer. We strain our milk twice to get a very clean milk without almond pulp floating in it. Reserve almond pulp.

Step 6: Place almond milk in fridge.
Place almond milk in a nice covered pitcher or jar that is easy to pour from. The almond milk should be fine in the fridge for 3-4 days, although ours has not made it past 2 days. We love it!

Step 7: Store the almond pulp.
Place almond pulp in a covered container in the fridge. We use the almond pulp in our cereal, but this just as easily could be used in cookies or a dip.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gluten Free Diet - Day 4

As I opened my eyes this morning, I heard my parakeets singing away. The sun was peeking in through the blinds through our bedroom window above my vanity. And as I moved to sit up, I noticed that my knees and ankles were not feeling stiff, sore, or swollen. My shoulders are not hurting. I don't have a headache. My lower back is a bit spastic and stiff, but otherwise, I am not in pain. I also noticed something else rather strange...I was so hungry. I am not normally hungry when I wake up in the mornings. In fact, I am one to skip breakfast much of the time. Now in my defense, I have taken to having smoothies for breakfast since June of last year. So eating breakfast daily is not something totally new. I just usually have to force feed myself that smoothie each morning.

As my husband woke up, I announced I was starving to death. I simply laughed and made his way to the kitchen to make his coffee and start breakfast. He is the one that insisted that I start eating breakfast daily. This morning, he prepared Creamy Rice Hot Cereal for breakfast with Organic Raw Blue Agave Syrup and a half glass of cold almond milk.

I was a little disappointed I must admit. The cream of rice has a consistency similar to grits. I had so truly hoped that it would be almost the same as having cream of wheat. I grew up eating cream of wheat for breakfast and it has always been a comfort food for me. I ate it daily during pregnancy with all three of my children. I even ate it when I was in labor with the oldest child.

How am I going to get past not having my cream of wheat cereal if I cannot find a good substitute for it? I wanted to panic, but at the same time quietly told myself to get a grip. Life is not about cream of wheat. I will find other thing to enjoy. I might even find foods that I enjoy even more than cream of wheat. More than cream of wheat?

Later in the day, I realized that I was hungry again, so my husband spread almond butter on the cinnamon bread and sliced Fuji apples very thin to place on top of the peanut butter. Lunch is served! I drank a full glass of water with it, but it was delicious and just what I needed.

For dinner we had a nice and quick meal. Organic Polenta covered with ground chicken and Classico Tomato and Basil pasta sauce along with a salad made with spinach, red bell peppers, zucchini, and sliced almonds for dinner. Super quick and easy, but it was nice to have a quiet evening with a super quick and easy meal.

Just a note about eating tomatoes with IC, I have found that if I eat tomatoes with certain brands and not a large quantity of it, I still need to take Prelief to keep the foods acidity from causing me harm. This is a wonderful little aid to help me be able to enjoy a small amount of lemon or tomatoes in my foods. I certainly cannot overdue it, but it does allow me to eat a little bit of the things I enjoy without causing further damage to myself.

We had a snack later in the evening consisting of hummus and Boulder Canyon Chipotle Cheese Snack Chips. We found these chips at our local Costco on our shopping adventure. They are delicious! The flavor is not spicy hot like you might imagine. The hummus was a wonderful dip to complement our snack.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gluten Free Diet - Day 3

This morning began with a nice glass of delicious cold almond milk. I am finding that I look forward to my morning almond milk and that I feel better after drinking it. I am trying not to read too much into these seemingly small things, but simply taking note of them for now. Yes, I am a very skeptical person, I don't like to jump to conclusions quickly. As my husband went downstairs to start breakfast, I began working on some school work on my laptop.

For breakfast we enjoyed gf cinnamon bread (purchased fresh from a local bakery) with Organic Almond Butter spread on top of it, scrambled eggs, and 1/2 cup of blueberries. Normally, I nibble at my breakfast and don't eat much because I get nauseous, however, I managed to eat nearly the whole plate (minus a small corner of my cinnamon bread).

Today was a fairly lazy day as I worked on school work and watched a few movies on Netflix. We have found ourselves taken with a mini-series called, Undercover Bosses. We do not generally watch reality type shows and do not subscribe to cable televisions. Well...let me back up. Our cable provider charges us $15 less on our internet if we subscribe to basic cable, so even with basic cable, the grand total bill is $15.00 less than it would be without the basic cable. So, yes, technically we do subscribe to cable. However, our televisions are not plugged into the cable. We use the internet. Even our teen-aged daughter is not concerned with what is on the television. We do watch movies via Netflix or our Blockbuster DVD's that we receive in the mail each week, but we don't simply watch television.

Mid-morning, we noticed we were feeling a little hungry so my husband brought up IC friendly Fuji apples for us to snack on along with the last Pumpkin Pesto cracker from Marlene's Market Deli for us to split. He also brought me a small glass of cold almond milk. Isn't he amazing?!

I took a nap not long after our morning snack as I was still exhausted from all of the activity yesterday. I did notice that even though I was exhausted, I still felt as though I had more energy than normal. Again, I am waiting to count any chickens or admit that this gf diet might be helping. I want to see more evidence in my health before I let myself get too excited. I guess I am afraid of being disappointed and finding that it did not help me at all. I am so hoping that this will fix my health issues and I won't be in bed so much of the time, hurting, and tired. I don't want to get my hopes up.



After my nap, my husband made our lunch. Although I am not supposed to have tomatoes, we have found that I generally do not have trouble with the Classico Pasta Sauce Tomato & Basil so we do use that in moderation from time to time. He used Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice Pasta Fusilli noodles with browned ground chicken meat, topped with a rice mozzarella cheese, and sauteed zucchini and red bell pepper together for a yummy side dish to go with it. We were very pleased with the Fusilli noodles. We were afraid that we would not care for them. The one thing that we did notice is that they do not have the rich flavor that whole wheat noodles had, however, with a good sauce, these noodles will be wonderful. Although it was a very quick and simple meal, it was exactly what was needed.

I found my energy levels were soaring (well for me they were). I got up and cleaned the entire kitchen and did dishes. I then made dinner for the family. I made Falafelhummus, corn tortillas, wild rice, green salad with spinach  zucchini, red bell peppers, and almond slices. The salad dressing was a gf blue cheese that we already had in the fridge prior to the diet change. My husband came in just before I finished preparing dinner and put together a dip for the falafel made from a Walla Walla Sweet Onion and Poppy Seed salad dressing in the fridge that is made here locally, some roasted red bell peppers, water, shallots, olive oil, salt, and Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose GF Flour. Dinner was really good. Both my husband and I were pleased with the outcome. I was pleasantly surprised when my daughter who is a very picky eater looked at me and said, "Mom, may I please have more falafel?" That just made my day!

After dinner, we watched a movie together and had vanilla bean ice cream. Again, I became immediately aware of a reaction taking place. The mucus, the wheezing, the nausea. I also managed to get a headache not long afterward. Now, I am trying to be cautious and not jump to conclusions, but I am really starting to feel that this is isolated to dairy in my diet. My husband and I are going to talk about this more tomorrow, but for now, I am exhausted and ready to get some well deserved sleep. It has been a good day.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Gluten Free Diet - Day 2

Today started out rather well. My joints were not quite as sore as the past several weeks and my head was not pounding nearly as bad either. I don't know why for sure, but I'll take it. I quickly unloaded the dishwasher and re-loaded it with last nights dishes. Then I "rebooted" the laundry (meaning I put the wet towels into the dryer and a comforter into the washer).

My sweet husband prepared our breakfast, Cinnamon/Apple Quinoa breakfast cereal. It smells great! We had tried Quinoa on a different occasion and decided we did not care for it, however, it is quite possible that we needed to prepare it differently in order to appreciate the grain properly so we are trying it again. This time around, we both found it to be enjoyable and we will be eating this one again. I am excited to try other new Quinoa recipes in the future.


We had errands to run today, including another dental appointment for my husband, so the day was filled with activity. I still had trouble keeping up and knew I was over doing it. We picked up some fresh vegetables from a local fruit market and found some wonderful deals. The red bell peppers were 2 for $1.00 so of course I picked up several. The sweet potatoes were also on sale. By this time, I was in need of a nap, so we headed home.

For lunch we had a beautiful taco salad with organic corn chips, homemade white chicken chili, spinach lettuce, homemade yogurt (as sour cream), and a Monterrey Jack cheese. My husband topped his with tomato and salsa as well. Very yummy. I love homemade chili. This was a mild chili with no tomatoes or hot spices so my IC will hopefully stay quiet as well. I do miss my tomatoes. We have read that home grown tomatoes might be okay for some IC individuals because it will contain less acidity. We have a greenhouse in the back yard, so we are growing tomato plants. We hope it will work for me. I miss my tomatoes badly.


In our greenhouse, we are also growing herbs, zucchini, bell peppers, radishes, spinach, and baby Parisian carrots. We have growth but no fruit yet. We are hoping to keep a healthy supply of vegetables on hand while lowering our overall budget for organic foods. My husband is wonderful about keeping up with the day to day watering and care of the garden. I am not always able to go outside to tend to the garden. I hope that soon I will be able to work in the garden with him. We have a nice back yard that will certainly need tending this spring.


I had forgotten my daughter had an appointment early afternoon so I did not get a nap. After her appointment, we decided to go on a gf field trip of sorts with my daughter to show her what gf means, how to look for gf friendly foods,  and what to look for when reading a label. She was a real trooper. She got in there and read labels with us and checked everything she thought was okay with my husband and I for final approval. She did become discouraged before the shopping trip was complete because most of her favorite foods were no longer something that would be brought into the house.


She did help us locate a good juicer so that we would not spend so much on fresh juices. The prices for fresh organic juice will break our bank quickly if we are not careful. So, we make our own juice.  We discussed the prices for the foods that we will be able to eat and how juicing is actually more healthy especially if the juice is drank immediately after it is juiced. My daughter is excited to be able to help us come up with new juice ideas. We plan to involve her in as much of the planning and tasting as possible. We let her know this was a family effort and all members have to be involved in the taste testing process for it to work. She seemed very happy that we were including her in this, and smiled big throughout the store.


We did go by Marlene's Market Deli and picked up a Tiffin and Reusable Bamboo Utensil Set for my daughter to take her lunch to school. She is very excited about the shiny new bento style lunch box. I am thinking I will make a custom carrying bag for her Tiffin. The ones at Marlene's Market Deli were $40 and I am simply too frugal to pay that much for a small fabric bag. I will post once I make the Tiffin bag. This will require a trip to the fabric store (not that I am complaining at all).

When we arrived back home late afternoon I was simply exhausted. I had overdone it and was hurting. We put away the groceries and then enjoyed a nice glass of organic carrot juice from Trader Joe's along with these really yummy gf crackers we purchased from Marlene's Market Deli. They have Pumpkin seeds and pesto in them and have such wonderful flavor. Even my teen-aged daughter loved the crackers. We were surprised about that but also thankful.

My daughter tried the carrot juice, she does not like it straight. She has agreed to try it mixed with perhaps apple juice or some thing else. She has not given up on carrot juice, just in drinking it straight. This is a good thing as well. My husband and I however, enjoy the flavor in straight carrot juice. It is going to be interesting to see how things progress and what juices she will like. I am trying to get her away from sugar drinks. She has accepted the removal of soda and sugar drinks rather well. I am encouraged.

For dinner, my husband prepared a lovely dinner for us consisting of red snapper (pan seared), wild rice, sweet potato cubes,and Sesame-Garlic Mochi by Grainaissance. Dinner was delicious. The mochi was okay, we might try it again. It is very different than bread we have been accustomed to in the past so of course things that are new are strange to our taste buds at times. We didn't dislike the mochi like we did the other day with the rice bread, so that is a plus.


Later that evening, we each had a few scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. I immediately noticed that I was possibly experiencing a reaction to the dairy. My sinuses went into over drive and I became very nauseous. I have felt like this frequently after eating, but always attributed it to the weight loss surgery I had in March 2000. I had always felt like this was something I had to simply deal with to have the weight loss surgery. Tonight, I have decided to question that belief. I am going to test a few more nights with dairy ice cream to see if I only have that reaction when I eat the ice cream. Then I will try it with a glass of milk. If that is the only time I am experiencing this reaction, I will remove the dairy from my diet as well. We had already discussed that dairy needs to be avoided as it is an inflammation causing food, but I was going to wait before removing it completely until we could grow more accustomed to our gf diet. Now, I find myself questioning the logic in that.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gluten Free Diet - Day 1

This morning, I woke up to a small glass of fresh, homemade almond milk that my sweet husband made for me last night. It was super yummy. The dates added just enough sweetness (it was NOT yummy without the dates). Breakfast was a basic scrambled egg with mushrooms and onions and Monterrey Jack cheese. I also drank a full glass of water. Bleh.

Water. This is a new thing. I know I should have been drinking more water with my IC, I just really dislike the taste of water. We have a nice water dispenser that provides either nice cool water or hot water with the push of a button but I still don't care for the taste of water. Because my husband was giving up both cokes and beer and will be giving up caffeinated coffee once he runs out of the beans he currently has, I agreed to give up root beer - the one last thing I was allowed (in moderation of course) on my IC diet that I held on to tightly.

Although I was only supposed to be drinking it in moderation, I was mostly drinking root beers due to my severe dislike of water.  Thankfully, my daughter and my husband love water. This is going to be an adjustment period for me. I am sure after a few weeks to a month, I will not have such a dislike for water. For now, I will just get past it and deal.

Today we need to run a few errands and take my husband to the dentist, however, when we get home we plan to clean out the kitchen cabinets. I am giving a friend my gluten-based foods. By cleaning the kitchen out of any of the dangerous gluten, I am preventing the opportunity to  forget or become lazy in this journey. My health is too important to allow myself to backslide or take this like another "diet" plan to lose weight. This is so much more.

After the dentist and before going home for lunch, we stopped by Trader Joe's to do a little GF shopping adventure. We managed to pick up several things to try. Reading labels in the store was quite discouraging, but together as a team, we still made it a fun time for both of us. Next door to the Trader Joe's was a bakery that has one different loaf of GF bread in stock each day. Today's bread was a cinnamon chip bread. I tasted it and it was really good. The taste and texture was much like bread should be. We bought the loaf. I am hoping my daughter will enjoy this with her breakfast tomorrow.

On our way home, we shared a white chocolate hot cocoa from Starbucks after reading the packaging to ensure it was GF. It was a nice treat and gave me a little energy as I was starting to feel just a tad run down and hungry. I did not want to eat out for fear of eating something not GF friendly, so the hot cocoa was a nice little pick me up. Reminder to self: Take GF friendly snack foods along when leaving house.

Immediately upon returning home, my husband carried in the groceries while I got started on the cabinets. We went through each and every cabinet bagging up anything that was not completely GF friendly. If the label mentioned even a trace or possibility of a trace of gluten, it was bagged. Several bags later, the pantry was cleaned out and only GF friendly foods remained. Next on the agenda was lunch. We were both quite hungry. I was out of energy and very fatigued. I knew I needed to eat but I wanted to sleep even more. I went upstairs and got into bed while my husband made us both a sandwich. We had a GF Turkey Sandwich with Ener-G Foods Light Tapioca Loaf made by Ener G, spinach and almond cheddar cheese with Vegenaisefor lunch. The bread was gross. We decided that maybe the bread was useful for croutons or toast, but definitely not for sandwiches. It was dry and tasted stale. I did not care for the smell either.

I managed to force half of the sandwich down and then picked the meat off of the second half of the sandwich and ate it as well for added protein. I drank an entire glass of water down because the bread felt stuck in my throat. It was really gross. By this time, I was dozing off, so I cuddled up in the pillows and pulled the comforter up over me and took a nice nap. I woke up to my husband bringing me dinner in bed. He is so good to me! Dinner smelled so wonderful, that is the first thought that came to my mind when I smelled our dinner. While I slept, my sweet husband had went downstairs, cleaned up the house a bit, and prepared dinner for my daughter and me. Because we had planned out the menu, I was a bit excited to try this new recipe. I know we would never have considered trying this recipe prior to deciding to go GF, but I am so glad we did.

For dinner, we had sweet potato and black bean enchiladas with homemade black refried beans. To drink, we each had 3/4 glass of 100% organic carrot juice that we picked up at Trader Joe's. I was really concerned about this, so I waited to try it until after my dinner was over, I drank the water instead. When I tasted the carrot juice, I expected it to be quite nasty, instead, I was pleasantly surprised with the nice flavor, the texture, and the smell. It was delicious and was a nice addition to the meal.

I was disappointed when I went through the cabinet today and read all the labels that were in my pantry. The brand of refried black beans I was accustomed to contained wheat. Thankfully, the cans of whole black bean in the cabinet were free of any wheat so we were able to use that for our dinner this evening. In the future, we will simply soak beans the day before as an additional cost savings. We noticed that GF foods are very high in price. We are looking at making most everything from scratch to keep costs down. I don't want our dietary restrictions to change our budget in a negative way. I have already determined that this new lifestyle will take a lot of research and understanding if our budget is to survive.

Tonight I have begun researching GF product manufacturers. I am looking for the best quality as well as the best price I can find for those foods. I am a bit disappointed with the bread because I was hopeful due to it being made here locally in the Seattle area. I prefer to purchase locally if at all possible. I believe I will call the company and inquire a bit more about their products. Even still I fear we will be making our own breads. I am very unhappy with the prices for GF bread. Although the cinnamon chip bread I purchased today is super yummy, I cannot afford $7 a loaf for bread. That simply does not work with our budget.

I have been told life is about change. Well, here we are, in the midst of change. Day 1 is nearly complete and it has been a success. As I finish my research for the night, and prepare to post this blog, I am sipping on more of that yummy almond milk my husband made. He promises hot cocoa with it very soon. I am looking forward to it. Life is good.