Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery or Something

Whoa Whoa Whoa!

Someone else is blogging under my name. I am sure the wordpress version of glutenless goddess is lovely, but I am the O.G. I also have a distant cousin with the exact same name as me. Everyone wants to be me, I guess

If you're looking for recipes, look at her blog. If you're looking for sass from a doctor who can't save lives, you're in the right place.

Here is to a peaceful coexistence!

The Doctor Is In

This weekend was graduation, which somehow makes my PhD feel more real even though the ink has been dry on the degree since February and the Word document titled "dissertation" has been closed (temporarily) since September. 

Graduation weekend meant lots of preparing meals for other people and eating out, things I don't tend to do often. Mostly I don't do these things because I am lazy. It is very easy to feed myself because I am in control of my food and have low standards. I am happy to report, though, that neither my mother (also a glutard) nor I got poisoned all weekend! We explored a variety of restaurants, from Thai to Mediterranean to American, and although the service was surprisingly poor all weekend, the food was good and free of gluten. So let me remind you that eating out gluten free can be done, it just takes a little investigation up front and clear communication with the restaurant staff. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I am off to take nap #2 for the day after I microwave a batch of poor-itos. I'm living the dream!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Opinions about Food: Glenny's Oatmeal Cookies: A Review/Love Affair

Oops... apparently this didn't post when I meant it to! Sorry! But without further ado...

Welcome to Opinions about Food. DISCLAIMER: These are my own opinions. They are not fact. Just because I like or dislike something doesn't mean you will feel the same way. Please don't sue me.

Time for my first product review. As people who know me know very well, I have opinions and I like to share them. 
Today I will gush about how I much I love Glenny's Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Taste: Phenomenal. No weird glutard flavors in here -- just chocolate chips, oatmeal, sugar, and heaven
Texture: Soft and chewy. No weird glutard grainyness
Size: Small. I could easily eat half of a box. Note: The box only contains 10-ish cookies
Overall: Did 1,000 baby angels just high-five in my mouth? Awesome! Hands-down one of the best pre-made cookies you can buy! And soft and chewy!!

Caveat: Not all Glenny's are created equal. I found the glutard Brown Rice Marshmallow Treats to be disappointing... The portions were small and everything felt very 'meh' overall.

The Lazy Lunch Survival Guide

Here be some handy meals I came up with for very quick meals on the go specifically designed for glutards. Most of them can be made in one pot and in bulk on Sunday, then packaged to feed you through the week! 

1. Poor-itos
This is a very simple, stripped down version of burritos. Poor-itos are named as such because they were primarily what I ate when I was finishing my dissertation and wasn't getting paid. I could only afford the most essential groceries, so no gluten free versions of regular carbs. Buy the "Latino-sized" package of corn taco tortillas -- there are probably 50 of them in there and the not-marketed-to-White-people tortillas don't tend to contain weird fillers. They are also very cheap... so fantastically, amazingly affordable! Then buy a bag of dried black beans. Also very cheap. Soak beans per the package directions, then cook with cumin, lime, cilantro, salt, pepper, and chipotle tabasco sauce. Warm the corn tortillas, plop some beans in, sprinkle with cheese and salsa, and then you have lunch. Microwave acceptable for nearly every step! To quote Emeril, "Bam!" Cheap and easy (assuming you had the foresight to soak your beans)!

2. Stir fry
When you don't have the foresight to soak your beans a day in advance, you can easily make a quick stir fry to sustain you for the week. I like brown rice because it is heartier than white rice and people tell me it is healthier. There are some gluten free soy sauces out there (GF Tamari is the best, but La Choy is usually gluten free, too), so you can mix soy sauce with ginger, sugar, and garlic and use that to sautee veggies and tofu/meat. If you want to thicken the sauce, use corn starch. Frozen veggie combination bags make for thought-less cooking!

3. Glutard spaghetti (well... elbows or pagodas if you're going to be a stickler)
I have a carb-crush on quinoa pasta. I have never actually checked the label, but I'm assuming it is full of protein and fiber. I like to buy quinoa pasta and dump a jar of spaghetti sauce on it. To quote Shaq, "Shazam!" Now you can be just as lazy as you were pre-gluten allergy... it is just more expensive. 

4. La Fiesta
This is a lazy variation of the poor-itos in which the burrito fillings are placed atop of a bed of rice. If you don't feel like making your own Fiesta, you can always be ultra-lazy and go to Chipotle, where pretty much everything is gluten free (including the corn tortillas) except for the flour tortillas, obviously. 

5. Indian food packets
Many of the packets of Indian food at the grocery store or Trader Joe's are gluten free and pair well with brown rice. Ya know, you can even buy pre-cooked brown rice that you just need to microwave. La-zy.

6. Rice cake sandwich
I'm almost embarrassed to admit this one... 
When g-free bread was really bad in the early days, I stopped bothering with it entirely. Maybe it is better now, I don't really know or care. But if you make a turkey sandwich/PB&J/etc on plain rice cakes in the morning and let it sit until lunch, the rice cakes get a little soggy and no longer shatter all over you. This is my preferred vehicle for relish these days, since I can take or leave meat, but it is really hard to justify just eating spoonfuls of relish straight from the jar.

Very quick and simple meals for gluten intolerant folks! FIguring this out was critical because I developed my gluten allergy while in grad school pursuing my PhD and didn't have a lot of time to cook, but could no longer exist on sandwiches, frozen pizza, and macaroni & cheese. These options are far healthier and tastier than what I used to eat while being about as simple. Bon appetit!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ear Infucktion Summary and Recap

Last week's spike in visitors to my blog has almost healed me!

Since I don't want the blog world to wait to find out if I am dead any longer, I thought I'd throw an update your way.

After nearly a week of intense ear and throat pain, I am finally just about back to normal. Like all of my life's journeys, though, this was not a straight and easy path.

I couldn't get in to see my regular doctor on short notice last week, so I saw this other doctor and her med student. The med student asked all sorts of prying questions under the guise of obtaining a social history. I passed the alcoholism screening, which was awesome (congrats to me!), which meant they could actually attend to my ear. The Doc and the Doc Jr decided that an ear infection was the source of my intense ear pain and gave me a heavy duty antibiotic to kill the beast within me. ...Apparently the same antibiotic that they use to treat people who have been exposed to anthrax. Doc and Doc Jr don't eff around. Nice. 

Except two days later I didn't really feel any better. So I went to see my normal doc, who took one look at my throat and decided I was misdiagnosed. Not an ear infection; probably strep throat or -- Lucky Lindy's Ghost -- mono! I am queen of childhood diseases! Normal Doc gave me strep meds and some real pain killers. I laid around some more with my sore ear/throat. Now I feel better. I felt so good on Saturday that I bet on the ponies and drank a mint julep.

Average daily popsicle consumption pre-infection: 0
Average daily popsicle consumption peri-infection: 5
Average daily popsicle consumption post-infection: 0

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

(Relative) Health: Update

Apparently I shouldn't have been stealing the other kids' toys at daycare and jamming them into my ear, because I have an ear infection. In true 6-year-old style. That's right. All I want is some chicken noodle soup, except that is complicated by my glutardedness. And so I will cook up my own broth-based soup with rice or quinoa noodles while I eat popsicles and whine about how painful this is. 

My Super Simple Sick-Proof Chicken Noodle Soup (Ingredients to Meal in about 15 min!)

Make some noodles. Toss them into some vegetable or chicken broth and cook for a little bit with some salt, pepper, parsely, and thyme. If you want veggies, add some microwaved frozen veggies (I like green beans) and boil a few more minutes. Then eat some sad soup and think about how sad you life is :P 

Monday, May 2, 2011

(Relative) Health

I seem to have picked up some variant of flu/cold/plague/ebola yesterday, which has me sidelined from life today (unless, of course, you count eating frozen chocolate covered banana slices as being in the game). This minor illness has got me thinking about some of my long-term health issues. ...Just a little thinking with the teeny bit of brain power I can muster when the evil dwarves inside my head aren't punching the inside of my skull with their brass knuckles and pouring acid down my tender throat. 

Sometimes it is easy to get down on oneself because of long-term health related issues, such as gluten intolerance. I know that this is something I struggle with from time to time, because I'm not just a glutard -- I'm broken in many ways. If I had lived before science and it was truly survival of the fittest, I would have been selected against as a child when it became apparent my visual capabilities were in the realm of 20/600. But hey, I look cute in glasses. That last sentence was brought to you by optimism! When I so start to feel like my health issues are preventing me from enjoying life to its fullest, I take some time to pause and think about all of the things my health does allow me to do. Like go for long walks, read books and look at fabulous things in magazines, craft delicious meals, make my friends laugh, and so on. Sure there is some stuff I can't do, but there is plenty I can, too. Sometimes I also engage in a little downward social comparison (aka, It Could Always Be Worse). Gluten intolerance is shitty, but it isn't as shitty as actually having brass-knuckle-clad dwarves living in your head. Neither gluten intolerance nor any of my other health issues will kill me as long as I am a responsible adult and exert the effort to manage my care. Life isn't easy and sometimes it takes active effort to find things to be happy about. Sometimes my gluten allergy is hard to cope with, but then I remember how lucky I am to be surrounded by people who are willing to adapt with me to meet my needs. While acknowledging this doesn't instantaneously make me feel better about my health, it does remind me that no one ever has to face their health challenges alone. If you feel alone, be brave and take the first step to find help. You're not alone. 

And on that serious note, I am off to make more tea with honey and devour some more frozen banana slices. Effing dwarves. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Help a Sal Out!

Check out Already Pretty, one of my favorite places on the internet. Not only will you probably love it as much as I do, but you'll also be helping out Sal, who issued the following plea:
So, this is me swallowing my pride: I’m gonna ask for your help and hope earnestly that I’m not overstepping. I am trying to push through a big Already Pretty-related initiative that has turned out to be frustratingly traffic-contingent. (Meaning it has stalled out because the Powers That Be say I don’t get enough hits.)...
So that means Sal needs hit. And you probably need another way to procrastinate. There is something for everyone over there, be it tips for self love and acceptance, pretty pictures of fabulous outfits, style inspiration, and gift ideas (lookin' at you, boys! ;-) ), to name a few. 

So do a gal a favor and help a Sal out!