Simple Vegetable Stir-Fry

This stir-fry is the essence of simple, but the taste is amazing. While we usually make rich and delicious sauces like thai coconut curry, I decided that I wanted something more basic this time. Yesterday was my birthday and my husband was making me dinner. This stir-fry is great, and here is how my dear husband made it:

Yellow onion
Bell Peppers
[vegetables from our local organic delivery box]

Sautee in a steel wokwith olive oil and celtic Salt

Top over tinkyada extra smooth rice spaghettior similar.

My friend Kelly brought me some happy birthday banana bread. It was very yummy! and gluten-free of course. In the picture it is served with some Vanilla Voodoo Coconut Ice Cream.

You could also sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top of the stir fry. Oh! or chop up some fresh basil. Yum


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Books on Celiac Disease

Maybe it's just me, but I was hungry for any kind of information that I could get my hands on regarding celiac disease. I had to understand why, how, and what. I love this book, "Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic" by Peter. H.R. Green. He shares a lot of information, and the format that it is presented in is very easy to follow and understand. The only downside is that he advocates blood work to test for celiac disease, and for that the person has to resume a gluten diet if they have already adopted a gluten-free lifestyle. I believe this is unnecessary, and kind of crazy.

I did a test through Entero Lab. They offer a variety of tests, from a stool test to a mouth swab test. I chose the "Gluten Sensitivity Stool and Gene Panel Complete" because it offered the best selection for me and you saved money doing the set of tests. It included a test for intestinal malabsorption. And the best part, you do not have to resume eating gluten if you have already stopped. I mean, why risk more intestinal damage? For me, it just was not an option. I could not resume feeling like vomiting after every meal, and having my daughter break out in alligator skin thick rashes from the gluten in my breastmilk.

Ah, it is a true joy to be gluten free. Have you ever had people look at you with pity "Oh... gluten free? That must be hard"

Ha. I give them a look of surprise. "Why, no, not really"

The only hard part is avoiding gluten cross contamination and mislabeling of products. I do not find it hard to be gluten free. I do not miss it at all. There are so many wonderful things that you can eat that are gluten free, why lament on it?

So in truth, yes, I find it hard to be gluten-free because of contamination issues, but not because I miss gluten. Far from it.

À La Carte:
»Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic

»Kids with Celiac Disease

»Gluten-free Friends: An Activity Book for Kids

I have something else to say, and it's not too pleasant. If you are eating at the computer, though, I'd have to say you shouldn't be. It is bad for you. I read that somewhere, so it must be true.

My mom recently told me about this. She spoke to a lady who has celiac disease and she shared a story with her. The lady ate at Outback Steakhouse from their gluten free menu. She ended up in the hospital, having horrid stomach pains and bleeding from her intestines because the meal was not really gluten free. There's a big ado about it. But you probably won't be hearing that on the news. First of all, I would not be eating at Outback Steakhouse. But I realize that some people do, and so I have to respect that.

I have a confession to make anyways. I have not eaten out since I found out that I have to be gluten-free. I am too afraid. I have a hard time trusting people, especially when some people have never even heard of "gluten free", "celiac disease", or "gliadin"

Do you find it hard to be gluten free? What are you tips? Share with us if you'd like.


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Save the Bees, Save life as we know it

It's not that I don't think people care. Rather, it seems some people are unaware of the seriousness of the situation. Also, I believe some people suffer from "someone else will take care of it" syndrome. Well, in that case, I just have to say: wake up. We all have to do our part and there is something that each and everyone of us can do. For more information, I have listed some sites below that contain excellent information.

Here are some excerpts from the links below:

"Honeybees are the only insects that produce food for humans."

"In recent years, beekeepers have been losing 25 percent of their hives each winter."

"Insects pollinate two thirds of the world's crop species, whose fruits and seeds together provide 15 to 30 percent of the foods and beverages that we consume--approximately, one out of every four mouthfuls."

"The United States alone grows more than one hundred crop plants that need pollinators, such as apples, cherries, pumpkins, blueberries, and many other fruits and vegetables filling grocery store shelves."

"Insect-pollinated crops contributed an estimated $20 billion to the United States economy in 2000."

Save the Bees Article
Colony Collapse Disorder
Join the Hunt for Bees
Adopt a Hive
Help the Bees
Save the Bees Facts and Info
5 Ways to Help

Simple things you can do to help:

• Do not use insecticides
• Support local organic farmers
• Plant seeds to attract bees:
      › Calendula
      › Clover
      › Shasta Daisy
      › Lance-Leaved Coreopsis
      › Plains Coreopsis
      › Purple Coneflower
     › Sweet William Catchfly
• Buy honey only from bee keepers that use sustainable practices (no chemicals!)
     › Honey Gardens
• Spread the word!


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Drown your sorrows with Vanilla Voodoo

Okay, this is so good. You just have to splurge sometimes, and if this is as bad as it gets, then you're doing pretty good. Most people, it seems, have a habit of over eating when they are stressed. For me, it has always been the exact opposite. It is sort of a toss up on which is worse, over eating when stressed or not eating at all. On one hand, you overload your system but you still are getting some nutrients. On the other hand, you are too stressed to eat and are not getting nutrients. So, my vote is the latter is worse. But, luckily, I've learned to just "chill" for the most part and eat anyway. To practice, I decided to try it out on some Vanilla Voodoo.

They have other flavors, including:
Coconut'n else
Chocolate Cay

Check out more info and other flavors at:
Sid Wiggy

They are based in Fort Collins, Colorado and are gluten and dairy free.

I purchased mine at the Vitamin Cottage in Lafayette. I am not sure if Whole Foods carries them or not. Be ware, their "where to buy" section is out of date... as they list the Boulder Co-op, which is no longer in operation.

So, I'm a Vanilla Voodoo kind of girl... I'm also into drinking plain water or herbal tea. But for those of you who are more hardcore, I give you Red Bridge [Gluten Free]. I twiddled my thumbs over posting about it, because I really don't believe in the consumption of alcoholic beverages. It's just not my thing. But we tried it recently, or at least my husband did, I only took a taste. It's okay, I guess. I don't like the taste of any beer, so I'm a bad judge. My husband drinks maybe 3 or 4 once a year, literally. But he at least likes the taste, and he says Red Bridge is good. So there you have it.


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A Quiet Place

I was going to post something that I've been meaning to post for a while. But after yesterday, I just don't have it in me. Having a blog doesn't seem to really matter now. Yesterday, my daughter started choking on a pine nut and had what seemed to be an allergic reaction at the same time [hives]. A 911 call and hospital visit later, she appeared to be fine. We also took her to our pediatrician for a triple check. Nothing invasive needed to be done nor did she need any medication, thankfully. Her body, essential, knew what to do. Get it out.

Life events like those make you appreciate everything so much more. Warm sun on your face, a nice meal, the support of friends and family. So that is where I'm at I guess. Still a bit stunned and knocked off my feet. Having children really, truly means that your heart is no longer yours.

"The central struggle of parenthood is to let our hopes for our children outweigh our fears."
-Ellen Goodman

"A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary."
-Dorothy C. Fisher (1879 - 1958), quoted in O Magazine, May 2003

"What children take from us, they give…We become people who feel more deeply, question more deeply, hurt more deeply, and love more deeply."
-Sonia Taitz, O Magazine, May 2003


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Crayons, err on the side of caution?

"Tests conducted on eight brands of crayons revealed that three of those brands -- Crayola, Prang, and Rose Art -- contained asbestos. Of 40 crayons from the three brands, 80 percent were contaminated above a trace level, according to analyses by two government-certified laboratories. The asbestos is most likely a contaminant of the talc used as a strengthener for paraffin and coloring agents, laboratory officials said."


It looks like this information was released in 2000 and I could not find any current information regarding asbestos in crayons.

However, we have decided to not err on the side of caution. Some say you can't be "too picky," however I say why not? When it comes to the health of my child, I will be as picky as I very well please!

I did some research on safer crayons. Because, besides the asbestos, I still would not like the idea of my daughter using crayons from paraffin wax [derived from petroleum].

Here is what I found:

Crayon Rocks: Crayons made with soy and tinted with mineral powders. Designed to strengthen the tripod grip muscles, preparing fingers and hands for handwriting skills. Used by occupational therapists and teachers of children with special needs to develop fine motor skills and provide handwriting practice.

Beeswax Block Crayons: 8 colors in a sturdy storage tin.

Beeswax Crayons: Stockmar voluntarily sets their safety standard high: their products conform to food safety levels! The natural transparency of the wax and the lack of additives result in a high degree of opacity like that of watercolours.

Prang Soy Crayons: This company also makes paraffin crayons, which tested positive for asbestos. So, I would not order until contacting the company to make sure they do not contain traces of asbestos.

Stubby Pencil Studio: They carry soy crayons plus other eco friendly art supplies.


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A Poem For My Mom

Although I say "Happy Mother's Day"
within those words lies the truth of my heart
and what is hidden in folds of the letters is this;

I love you mother, for all that you do
and all that you are

For you are my mother, a priceless gift

You have guided me all these years with trust
and love,

and for that I cannot express my everlasting appreciation

For your strength as a woman, and your unbounded love as my mother,

I say, Happy Mother's Day

But I'm really saying;

I love you

and in my heart lies a special place just for my mother
and that it shall be, forever

I wrote this poem for my mom. I would appreciate that if anyone wants to use it, please contact me first. Thank you for your consideration!


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Don't share your snacks with your pets

Unfortunately, it's more than just chocolate that can hurt or even be fatale to your pet. Did you know that among the dangerous foods is Xylitol?

You might just want to check out this article: 'People foods' that can kill your pet


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Orange Blueberry Cream Smoothie

This was so good. Actually, I put more coconut milk than I would have liked. Or, maybe just not enough orange. After taking the picture, I squeezed my orange piece into the glass and it was just right! So, you might want to add less coconut milk... or put about 1/2 an orange extra.

» Recipe:
• 1 organic valencia orange, peeled
• 1 cup organic blueberries [frozen]
• 1/4 cup rice milk
• 1/2 cup coconut milk
• 3 drops vanilla creme stevia

Blend. Serve and enjoy!


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A Pie That's Not Green

Lemon Blueberry Pie

This pie was a big hit and it's not green! We don't have a problem with green pies, but if you do, then try this one. It still has avocado, but the blueberries make it a pretty purple color.

While I was making the filling for the pie, I wasn't thinking about posting it on the blog. So, here are my guess measurements:

› 2 Avocados
› 1/2 cup blueberries (frozen, organic...but you can use fresh if you have it)
› 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
› 1 1/2 tbsp Raw Honey

› 1/2 cup Pine Nuts
› 1/4 cup Cashews
› 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
› 1/2 tbsp Raw Honey

here's another pic... :)


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"Gluten-free" label can be unreliable, be cautious

This may not be news to some, but I am sure there are people who were just as unaware as I was of this. There seems to be a wide misconception of what "gluten free" really means to the effect that companies are truly misleading consumers.

I came upon this information after inquiring about a product that was deceptively labeled "gluten-free."

The product: Megafood Women's One Daily
The label claimed: Gluten-free

I started to have a reaction a couple days of starting the multi. My body warned me something was not right: stomach ache and bloating. I thought, okay what's new?

The question really is, why is this occurring? I am not so naive that I believe that companies aren't aware that being misleading in their labeling is not hurting some consumers.

So I stopped taking the multi-vitamin and I felt better again. Eager to know if my gut (in this case, literally) was right about this product being contaminated with gluten in some way, I contacted the company. I got a response that was very much unwelcome and extremely displeasing to me.

The exact quote:

"At this time we do regularly test lots of tablets for gluten although not every lot. However, the last time we tested Women’s One Daily it was less than 20ppm gluten.

The FDA has proposed a rule that anything under 20ppm gluten can be labeled as gluten free. To my knowledge the rule has not been published (become law) as yet, but it is generally accepted that less than 20ppm gluten is gluten free.

Considering our batch sizes and the fact our products that have tested higher than 20ppm gluten (not labeled gluten free) aren't extremely high in gluten, it is extremely unlikely that cross contamination could result in Women’s One Daily being over 20ppm gluten."

So press on cautiously. There are definitely companies out there that are apparently willing to cross the line simply for the sake of making more money. Though, in the end they are making a mistake once someone (like me) finds out the truth.

My question still remains unanswered. How can it be considered gluten-free if it still has gluten? It's like saying "hey bud, I know you're allergic to peanuts but I made some cookies that have less than 20ppm peanuts in them. So they are peanut-free, you can have them right? You won't get all hivey and itchy and have problems breathing right?"

While I know celiac disease is not a gluten allergy, I use the example above because I believe it should be taken very seriously, much like someone who has a severe food allergy. Gluten damages the small intestines for people with celiac disease after all.. not to mention all of the obvious physical symptoms that are unpleasant.