Saturday, August 27, 2011

You know what I mean

Hurricane Irene has been raining down on us since late this morning. We had plenty of time to let the kids run around outside and clear off the front porch before the weather turned nasty. We've been just hanging out, watching movie, baking chocolate cookies and pizza and having a grand 'ole time because friends from the coast up north evacuated to our place. We may lose power, but it shouldn't be for an obscene amount of time as it will be in other places and we don't have a big risk of flooding. We have a sump pump in the basement, so we're all good. Except for the fact that Come on, Irene is stuck in my head! Good thing it's a pretty good song.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


 I used Arrowhead Mill's Gluten Free All-purpose Baking Mix today to make Basic Bread, Blueberry muffins and Raspberry/Blueberry Pancakes. The bread recipe came from the back of the box. I used Egg-replacer and it was a very dense small loaf of bread made in a loaf pan. It was very crumbly, so I did as the box suggested and sliced it as soon as it cooled and froze the slices to put in the toaster later. I kept some fresh to have with dinner this evening which was just a thrown-together soup of carrots, potatoes, onion and rice noodles. G actually liked the homemade bread. The blueberry muffins turned out too salty. The mix already has sea salt in it, but I still added the 1/8 tsp of salt called for in the recipe from babycakes. I won't do that, again. The muffins were also quite crumbly. I was glad I used liners in the pan. The pancakes were from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan cook book and incorporate some corn flour. I only had one pancake because it broke when I put it on the cooling rack and it was DELICIOUS with maple syrup. I froze the rest to heat up in the oven or toaster. I'm going to make waffles to freeze as well. I also have Bob's Redmill baking flour to try and then I have Amaranth and Garbanzo bean flour to mix 60/30 to use for baking. I love this experimenting. It reminds me of when I first started baking vegan... 5 years ago!

Friday, August 19, 2011

So far, so good

We did a trip to Whole Foods and got gluten free baking mixes, garbanzo bean flour, amaranth flour, quinoa pasta, rice noodles, bread and ingredients to make my own granola bars at home. The kids are aware that I'm saying "No" to dyes and not eating gluten. It's not that big of a change for them, yet. But we're home and they can have fresh fruits and vegetables and are satisfied with the snacks I've been giving them. G does not like the gluten free bread, but S does. It's very thick, almost like pound cake. I also like it, but I want to get into the habit of making our own gluten-free bread in the near future. I'm going to have to do more baking at home to make snacks that are easy to pack for school. The girls get a morning snack at school and they'll need snack for extended care after school. I also like to freeze waffles and pancakes that can be put into the toaster for breakfast. It's more work for me, but in the end it'll be enjoyable for us to have the tasty food and it'll be more cost-efficient.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Two blogs

From now on I will be posting recipes (aka Food Blogs) and discussing my own diet adventures at Drink Your Salad. I will continue blogging here about family, family food, work and other miscellaneous stuff. If you're reading one blog and are confused, maybe I mentioned something in the other blog that will clarify. I know what I'm talking about, but if you don't, just ask me in a comment! Thanks for reading!!!

Here we go again...

I'm making more changes to my family's diet. Now, nothing has been diagnosed. I'm due for a blood test this week and then it'll be 2 more weeks before I get the results and the kids are seeing our new Integrative Medicine doctor soon. I've been doing a lot of research into a gluten-free diet. I've known for a while that it was a good possibility I would make this switch for my youngest daughter, but more recently I've realized it's something my other daughter AND I need as well. I don't know why my family has these food intolerances and we're not 100% sure what they all are.

For instance, S had an allergic reaction while we were on vacation after eating sausage, eggs and pancakes. She's never had a problem with eggs or the ingredients in the pancakes, so we immediately thought it was the spices in the sausage. She came to us and said she didn't feel well in her stomach and her chest hurt. I noticed right away her cheeks were swollen, red and puffy, as were her lips. After a few minutes, her lips turned purple. There was a time a while ago when she was 5 that this happened and we thought she had croup and took her to the ER. It was too long ago to remember what she'd eaten and we didn't think it was an allergic reaction at the time, but maybe reflux. She seemed to be having reflux at the same time as this allergic reaction, so we gave her a Benadryl and a Pepcid. After 15 minutes her breathing was less labored and her swelling had gone down. She still felt shaky and nauseous for about a half hour and then threw up. After that she felt fully recovered. Let me tell you, that was scary. She's had this type of reaction (minus the severity of the throat closing) to strawberries, cinnamon and nutmeg, and crabs. We don't know if it was the crabs, but she's been fine with shrimp since then--even with Old Bay seasoning on them, which we thought might have been the cause of the reaction. The crab reaction was the longest lasting because she had swollen, puffy cheeks for 4 days (even with Benadryl), but didn't have any problems with her throat. This last reaction really scared us and Will mentioned we should have epipens in case this happens more severely. I'll be discussing all of this with our new doctor, of course.

G is obviously sensitive to artificial dyes, namely Yellow #5. All through kindergarten she had trouble not talking at times and would have to have time outs at least once a week because of it. She certainly wasn't the most ADHD kid in her class, but she definitely has the tendency to be that way. Until now, I just chalked up her climbing, moving, running, going all around the house, antsyness at the table, incessant talking, tantrums, whinyness, impulsiveness and general lack of control to her young age. Many, if not all, of those behaviors are typical for a 1-4 year old and ADHD isn't really diagnosed at such a young age. Truthfully, I do not consider her as having attention deficit. She can play with other kids in a very focused imagination-rich game for hours. She can play on the computer for hours, too. Usually what stops her is her hunger. She does have difficulty sitting still when coloring, eating, watching TV, doing homework, etc. She's hyperactive and impulsive, which in itself is a type of disorder. If she has cereal or candy with dye in it, within the hour she will talk non-stop. She makes her voice funny and she doesn't even care what she's talking or who is listening or responding. She just keeps talking. Then it ends in whining, crying and often a tantrum which involves hanging on me, hitting her sister and/or needing to be isolated from people. She seems to crave bread items and sugar, especially chocolate sweets. My goal with her is to have a G.F. vegan, sugar-free diet. And I'm going to do it for me AND S as well. Now that's going to be difficult in many situations.

No more fast food (we only visit Chik-fil-a or Arby's once a month, usually when traveling or extremely busy). No more sugary, store-bought cereals and granola bars. Fortunately G LOVES Larabars and I've found very easy granola bar recipes that S is sure to like. Anything with coconut and chocolate in it is bound to be a success in this house. Probably Will is going to chow down on them, too. Hummus and veggies are one of our favorites. We all like beans and veggies cooked in chili and soup or with G.F. grains or rice noodles. I can bake with maple syrup and agave. The biggest challenge will be in reading more labels and finding ways to have GF products without spending more on food.

Make home-made cereals, snacks and dinners that can be eaten as left overs.
Plan ahead, have menus for each week and make bulk recipes on the weekend
to freeze or have through the week.

BTW, there are an abundance of bloggers out there with great GF recipes and even some who are GF and vegan! I'll be adding their sites to my blogroll.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Your brother might have broken his neck

I was happy I'd come back from the beach a little earlier than my parents so I could get my shower and clear out of our shared bathroom. I was just finishing up my hair when my mom knocked on the door and asked if she could get in there in a minute. Sure, I replied. Then she said she had to get over to my brother at the hospital. My stomach dropped, What happened?! She responded very calmly, Oh, he might have broken his neck.

What the?!

Turns out that right after my sister and I left the beach, our brother had a bad wipe out boogie boarding and the lifeguards were alerted. He was taken by ambulance on a board to the hospital which was just behind where we were at the beach. Ahead of him at the emergency room were three other people in swimsuits with neckbraces, apparently the injury of the day. Also, there were some dehydrated kids. After x-rays, my bro was diagnosed as having strained his neck muscles. Thank God. Another soul was not as fortunate and had to be transfered to a mainland hospital for his broken neck. What a vacation.

Monday, August 8, 2011

This Is Such A Wonderful Day!

NPR exposed me and my husband to My Morning Jacket and we bought their album, Circuital recently. We haven't been able to stop listening to the album! I play it whenever I drive and it's totally appropriate to play around children. This song is so beautiful. It comes to mind thinking about G at the pool yesterday. We arrived at our beach house Saturday and went to the beach Sunday. G was not happy at the beach after she got covered in sand. We rinsed her off in the outdoor shower at the house and went to our development's pool. She was more than thrilled. She put her hands together in a prayer formation and pointed them towards the water while standing on the stairs and jumped up and down exclaiming, "This is such a wonderful day! This is such a wonderful vacation!" to no one in particular. Of course a couple hours later she was throwing a fit in the shower about washing her hair. Still, I will hold onto the memory of the glee at the pool and try to suppress the screaming banshee she so often becomes.