Saturday, 11 January 2014

Allergies Suck

I'm usually really good with the whole food restriction thing.  But every once in a while something happens.

Today I went to the farmer's market at City Hall in Edmonton.  We were walking around and someone asked if we would like to try some samples.  It was at an indian stand.  I saw that they had gluten free signs so on the off chance I asked if they had some that were also free of tomatoes and onions.  Oh and also eggs and dairy. To my surprise she said yes!  We got some chicken samosas.  We then walked around the rest of the market picking up a few things.

When we got home I took a look at the package, to my dismay it said that one of the ingredients was onions!  I felt so taken advantage of!  It reminded me of another indian farmer's market booth where the same thing happened.  The last time I noticed while I was eating it.  I emailed the address on the package to express my frustration.  She replied back quite promptly saying:
I am so sorry. We usually dont add onions to our samosas hence the mix-up. I think it is our old label and we have since stopped adding onions. That being said. If you'd like, I can make a fresh batch for you for next week.
It was too late though, the despair had already set in.  I'm sure I will feel better once I have a few good meals.  Now all I can see is what I can't have.  Normal tacos with tomatoes and real cheese, grilled cheese on fluffy white bread with gooey melty cheese, toast that is moist and soft on the inside, fresh made pasta with a cream sauce ...

I know it will get better but today is not a good day.

Friday, 16 August 2013

My Adventures with Detoxification

I am so hesitant to tell people when I am on a detox.  I guess I don't want them to get the impression that I have an addiction that I am trying to overcome.  Looking up "detox" on the web gives me what I expect: detoxification especially of alcohol or illegal and addictive drugs.  But looking up "detoxification" gives a better meaning to what I do:  the process of removing toxins.  That is exactly what I am doing, removing toxins that have accumulated in my body.

There are many different versions of detox programs and I will share with you what I have found.  I have this wonderful little book on detox "The Detox Handbook" by Maria Costantino that I have had on my bookshelf since university.  I don't even remember where I picked it up, I'm sure it was in one of those bargain bins in a grocery store or Canadian Tire.  I wish I had tried a detox when I got it, it would have been so helpful in figuring out my stomach.  I also have been doing detoxification programs through my naturopath Dr Patti Yik.  It has made such a difference, she has been invaluable.  I also got a pamphlet at the Calgary Wellness Festival a few years ago on Raw Foods Vegetarianism Detoxification, it sure has some interesting information but confirms what the other two have said in a lot of ways.  But it goes into some stuff that is too much for me: nothing cooked, enemas, impants, colonic .... :/

Don't take this as medical advice, I'm not a doctor.  I am writing this so you can see that detox isn't a scary thing and it doesn't have to be that hard.  You should read up on detox yourself before doing it and perhaps talk with a professional if you want.

Length of detox varies between all of the types, you can do one weekend, one week, two weeks, three weeks, one month or a lifetime.  I don't think any less that a week would be good but that is just my opinion.  You could also do it on a regular schedule.  Most suggest twice a year, but I have found that you can feel when you need another one.

1.  Most kits or books have a quiz that you take to help you see where you are, they ask all sorts of questions about symptoms that you might not think about: headaches, gas, bloating, energy level, moods, body aches, skin condition.

2.  The big part of detox is cutting out possible allergens.  So what you should do is a hypoallergenic diet like mine.  When I detox I also take out bananas, excess sugar, red meat peanuts, peppers and sometimes soy.  Try to eat whole food, not prepackaged. The important thing is to eat as much as your body wants/needs, detox is not a starvation diet.  Things that the detox handbook suggests to cut out are:
-wheat & gluten
-citrus (except lemon)
-night shade vegetables (tomatoe, potatoe, peppers, eggplant)

3.  The next part is taking something to help the liver and encourage elimination & cleansing.  This could be pills, shakes, or lemon in water.

4.  Last but not least is adding things to help you relax.  This could be anything as long as it makes you happy: meditation, quite time, yoga, morning routine, exercise, journaling.

When you finish the detox you take the quiz again and see how far you have come.  Then try adding things in one at a time for a few days each, the slow introduction allows you to identify what might be bothering you.  Sometimes you don't notice the symptoms when you only have something once, it might need to build up in your system.

So it's not that hard and it's really great for your body.  Also, from my blog you can see that eating out is possible on a cleanse, so don't be scared to do it for an entire month.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Gnocci Gnocci

The first and only time I had gnocci was at this high end italian restaurant downtown.  It was a great experience and I got an appreciation for it at that time.  I was so excited to see a gluten-free gnocci when I was in CO-OP.  It was a nice quick meal, only a 2 minute cook time.  I paired it with some olive oil and fresh lime juice.  I had enough for leftovers though I would recommend boiling again for reheat as the microwave made some of the pieces a bit tough.  I will get this product again.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Home-made Goodness (aka I have the best boyfriend)

So when I started dating this lovely guy he started cooking for me.  It has been a delicious adventure.

He made pancakes using a gluten-free flour mix.
It was an awesome idea, next time we will use a gluten free recipe.
Both removing the gluten and the eggs require a specifically tested recipe.
It tasted great though ended up a bit doughy.

Another breakfast.  Gluten free vegan french toast!
An awesome combination of coconut milk, banana, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Also check out my default juice mix, cranberry + orange.

Again some coconut milk and cocoa powder and not sure what else.

Scrumptious adobo chicken.  Oh.  So.  Good.

Marinated salmon steak on a bed of brown basmati rice, boiled asparagus and salad.  
Those are brussel sprouts sliced thinly and pine nuts on the top.
I am definitely spoiled!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Noralta - Grey Wolf

Work moved to a new camp.  I was nervous.  I had only ever been at one camp, a PTI, and now we were changing to a new provider and I did not know what to expect.  I was pleasantly surprised.  The flavours were amazing.  People said the food at Noralta was the best and they were not wrong.  The chefs were a pleasure to work with.  When the new camp opened it was a breeze to make sure they knew my restrictions as they cross train their staff and move them around between their camps.

Another difference is that the kitchen was open 24 hours and that you could pack your lunch whenever you wanted.  There was always a selection from the night before in the fridge.  The relaxed atmosphere was great.  Again they were good and packed leftovers from the night before to take for lunch.

I did not get as many pictures as I would have liked as my time up north ended abruptly.  I got so excited when there were french fries I could eat (hence all the pictures).  They also loved giving me stir fries with rice.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Elk and Oarsman - Banff

We went on a hike up to Johnston's Canyon and went all the way to the inkpots.  It was supposed to be a light hike as it was Roger's first hike in the mountains.  We got a bit later start as one of the hikers was working in Banff that day.

Once the hike was done we ventured into Banff for supper.  We got in around  9:30 so we were pleasantly surprised that the kitchen was still open at the Elk and Oarsman as it was mid week.  I had been here in the past and was impressed with their ability to feed me with my unique diet.  They went above and beyond this time.  I got a lamb shank with a red wine reduction on a bed of potatoes.  Delicious!  I also had a pear cider.  Such a refreshing flavour and a nice change from apple cider.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Gourmet Camping

It has been quite a while since I have been camping.  I was excited to get out.  Then I realized that I didn't know what I could bring to eat!  I had not been on a big camping trip since my diet change.

Of course there was steak and potatoes.  We (Cole) premixed the spices and pre-packaged the potatoes with oil and spices.  We used a grill toaster and cooked the steak over the fire.  Oh and we had salad on the side with oil and balsamic vinegar.

The next meal was salmon steaks (again done on the grill over the fire) pre-marinated by Cole.  Then another salad with balsamic and olive oil.  Next we cooked some tasty rice pasta with spinach and peppers and used this oil and vinegar bread dip that I got when travelling in the Okanagan.  Paired it all with some delicious Cherry wine from a farmer's market and it was a tasty meal.