Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Notes from Oregon

Well, I didn't expect to be able to post anything during our vacation, but here I am, posting! :)

We arrived here Sunday evening, and went to eat at McGrath's Fish House in Medford because they have a gluten free menu. Really good food, very reasonable prices!

We've rented a three-bedroom home for a week so that we can be comfortable and cook gluten free. Had to bring some of our own utensils and pots and pans to avoid being glutened; I even brought one of my Crockpots.

I'm currently making a HUGE batch of the Obama Family Chili in the Crockpot, and I plan to make Kay's Fish Pie, Kay's Pasta Gratin, and Garlic Chicken for other dinners later in the week. We may go out to Outback once as they also have a gluten free menu, but they are more expensive than McGrath's.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Gluten Free Menu Plan - Week of August 17th

OK. Time to post another menu plan. This is a short week of meals because we'll be on vacation in Oregon beginning Saturday August 22nd, and I won't post anything while we're gone. Should be back home by sometime Monday, August 31st.

I plan to cook a couple of extra meals and freeze them to take with us on the road (in a large cooler), plus I'll make extra loaves of Pamela's Amazing Wheat Free Bread to freeze and take as well. There are no Trader Joe's nor Whole Foods Markets in Southern Oregon where we're going.....scary! :(

And yes, I'm making Kay's Fish Pie again, even though we had it recently....can't resist! For anyone who loves both seafood and Shepherd's Pie, it's fantastic!

Monday: Creamy Tuscan Chicken, rice, steamed broccoli

Tuesday: Grilled Steaks, Parmesan Cottage Potatoes, green salad

Wednesday: GF Spaghetti and Meatballs (same meatballs as in Meatball Subs), green salad

Thursday: Kay's Fish Pie, green salad, GF Brownies for dessert

Friday: Grilled Tuna and Swiss Sandwiches on GF Bread, carrot and celery sticks, Trader Joe's GF Potato Chips

Saturday: on the road (vacation) - Outback Steak House (has gluten free menu)

Sunday: on the road (vacation) - ?? play it by ear

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gluten Free Menu Plan - Week of August 10th

Well, we did have the Pasta Gratin yesterday for Matthew's birthday party. Although I didn't manage to snap a picture before my family inhaled it, here is what was left after the first go-round:

We also had a gluten free birthday cake made with the new Betty Crocker's Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix; yes, I decorated it....stop laughing!!

Well, I tried.... :)

So here is this week's menu!

Monday: Leftover Kay's Pasta Gratin (GF), green salad, leftover Betty Crocker birthday cake for dessert (yum!!)

Tuesday: Perfect (Gluten Free) Meatloaf, baked potatoes, green beans with dill

Wednesday: GF Pasta with Shrimp, steamed broccoli

Thursday: Beef Mole (resurrected from the freezer), warm corn tortillas, rice, green salad

Friday: Kay's Fish Pie (one-dish meal)

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Crockpot Garlic Chicken, brown rice, green salad

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Gluten Free Birthday Party Tomorrow

Matthew will be 4 years old on Monday, so we'll be having a small family party for him tomorrow.

I didn't manage to make Kay's wonderful Pasta Gratin yet this week (was supposed to make it on Friday) so I've decided to make it tomorrow for Matthew's birthday party dinner. Instead of the breakfast dinner listed on this week's menu.

Also, I've bought 6 boxes of the new Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake mix from Amazon; they just arrived a couple of days ago. Each box only makes one layer or 12 cupcakes, so you have to use two boxes if you want a two-layer cake. I made a batch of 12 cupcakes last night just to try it. My husband and I were both surprised by how good the cupcakes were! I'm definitely using the cake mix for Matthew's birthday cake!

Friday, August 7, 2009


Because of my previous post, I should probably explain why I expected to be gaining weight (or at least not losing).

As you may know, I started this blog to record my journey through the land of gluten free foods after finding out in 2008 that I have the following autoimmune disorders: rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune hepatitis, and celiac disease. I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia at the same time, which may or may not be an autoimmune disease itself, but is frequently associated with AI diseases.

This is in addition to the AI diseases that I already knew I had: asthma, psoriasis, and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

Then I found out a few weeks ago that I've now developed Sjogren's Syndrome. Another AI disease!!

Well, as the links near the top will tell you (under FAQ), celiac disease apparently causes many people to develop other autoimmune diseases. Since I have celiac disease, it's not surprising I have other AI diseases. I'm on a gluten free diet in hopes that all of them will improve.

Some people have reported that their RA and fibro have gone into remission on a gf diet.

So, because of all of these nasty health issues, I'm currently on about a BAZILLION medications, and at least two of them (probably more) are known to cause weight gain: prednisone and Lyrica. The prednisone has already helped me gain more than 50 pounds in the past year! :(

My prednisone dosage was recently raised, and I started to take Lyrica about a month ago. I was warned by the doctor that it would probably cause me to gain weight.

Consequently, I am so relieved to see even the small weight loss reported in my previous post! I'm sure you understand!!


I stepped on the scales for the first time in over two weeks, expecting to be upset by either a gain or (at the very least) staying basically the same. Instead the scale registered a six-pound loss!!

Wahoo!! :)

Ok, so why exactly have I lost weight? That is, what have I been doing differently?

Mainly I've been concentrating on protein foods/fruits/veggies for breakfast and lunch. I frequently eat cottage cheese and fruit for breakfast (a low carb fruit like berries). And I eat leftover proteins from dinner for lunch (leftover pesto chicken is great for lunch!). Salads are a good choice too!

Dinners have not been low carb in general, but apparently that's OK! I seem to be following the low carb diet made popular by Drs. Richard and Rachel Heller, who wrote the book called "The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet". The premise is that as long as you eat low carb for most of the day, you can have one hour per day during which you can eat "normal food"....in other words, pasta, pizza, even dessert. Of course, they suggest that you make the meal that you eat during this time a balanced one, with protein, starch, veggies, etc.

Frankly, I never thought this approach would work....I've always been more of an Atkins dieter myself. Now that's a REAL low carb diet!

I may end up on Atkins again eventually (when this stops working), but for now I'm enjoying having some carbs with dinner!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gluten Free Menu Swap!

The Gluten-Free Menu Swap was started by Natalie and is now being continued by Cheryl.

It's being hosted this week by Kimberly at Gluten Free is Life. Her ingredient choice for this week's Menu Swap is cherries! Yum, I love cherries! I don't have anything on the menu with cherries in it, but I'm going to have to go check out those cherry recipes right now! :)

There are some wonderful Gluten Free menus posted at Kimberly's blogsite, including hers!

Gluten Free Menu Plan for the Week of August 3rd

Yes, I'm actually posting a menu plan this week! I'm still grading papers, but things are slowly settling down so that I can actually catch my breath! I have a lot of sweet potatoes to use this week, as you can see....

Monday: Crockpot Pesto Chicken and Baked Sweet Potatoes, steamed broccoli

Tuesday: Crockpot BBQ ribs with homemade gluten-free BBQ sauce, potato salad, celery and baby carrots

Wednesday: Crockpot Beef Stroganoff, gluten free noodles, green beans with dill

Thursday: Cheeseburgers with Microwave Buns, Sweet Potato Oven Fries, green salad

Friday: Kay's Pasta Gratin (gluten free version), green salad

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Banana-Blueberry Muffins

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Grading, grading and more grading

The final exam for my 6 week summer class (algebra) was this past Friday, 31 July. I'm grading papers now.

HOWEVER, I definitely intend to post a menu plan.....

I know, I said that last week. But this time I mean it! :)