Monday, May 7, 2012

Gluten Free is a Lifestyle Not A Fad Diet

This is a repeat blog post from last year.  Since it is Celiac Awareness month and I have so many new followers I thought I'd share it again.

Photo from rprata via flickr commons 

For those with Celiac disease or non-Celiac gluten intolerance the gluten free diet is the only way to maintain their health.

I'm writing this blog while the butter softens and fruit thaws out for a recipe.  I started with that sentence because I want you to keep that in mind while reading the rest of this post.  This is now my life in the kitchen.  The days of making cookies in 20 minutes or kneading bread to remove frustration are gone.  Replaced are all day cookie recipes, bread that is more like cake batter and numerous non-traditional bags of flour.  Do I want to toss it all in the trash and go back to 3 types of flour? (all purpose, bread, cake)  You bet.  That's my comfort zone.  Will I? Absolutely not!

When I got married my husband told me that he was a Celiac.  I had not clue what that was and hadn't seen anything that he wouldn't eat besides pasta.  I knew what gluten was, there are times you want it, like making breads and pizza crust, and there are times you don't, like making pie crust.  It didn't effect or affect me.  I didn't make pasta for dinner.  Other than that I continued cooking as I had always done.  That would all change in about six months.

My husband had a health episode.  I call it an episode because I can't think of a better word for it.  He collapsed in the yard but I wouldn't find out for a week.  When I finally did find out I drug him to the doctor.  After a battery of blood work the results were in, he had a heart attack.  So off for EKG and stress test.  He passed both which made us all scratch our heads.  There was no heart damage, no blockage, and he beat the stress test with flying colors.  The only other things that could cause the blood work results, muscle damage, was MS or Lou Gehrig's disease.  My heart sank.  How was this happening?  My husband was a fit 41 year old man.  He didn't have any fat, he was muscular, he was active.  After a battery of tests he was diagnosed with extreme exhaustion and  dehydration.  I thought it was a bunch of bull.  There was something wrong with him.  So off to Google I went.

That's where I found the answer.  It was because his Celiac was uncontrolled.  So I started reading, studying, and learning.  About the time I was finding this out my husband told me, "I need to go back on the diet."  I had a lot of learning to do. So I'll flashback so you can learn what I did.

Celiac is an auto immune disorder.  IT IS NOT AN ALLERGY!  It's similar to diabetes.  Gluten is found in all kinds of things that people don't think about.  It takes an average of 13 years to get diagnosed after the first time you go to the doctor.  My husband was lucky it took 3 weeks.  95% of Americans that have Celiac are not diagnosed.  Celiac can lead to cancer and even death.  Joe C. part of Kid Rock's group died from it.  Symptoms very from person to person.  Here is a list of those symptoms.

So what is gluten?  The standard definition is the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.  Oats are sometimes listed but they contaminated.  There are gluten free oats on the market.  I tell people that gluten is what makes bread and pizza chewy and yummy.  It's what holds cookies together.  It's what thickens soups and stews.

Here is a list of UNSAFE foods.  It's really more ingredients.  Look at it and then go look at a few things in your pantry.  I bet you find lots of gluten in things you never thought it was there.  It's not easy to start tossing out staples in your cooking.  No more cream of mushroom soup, no more soy sauce, no more bread crumbs, or crackers.  It took some adjusting and I'm still adjusting and working on it.

My big pet peeve is when people think this diet will be a cure all.  I'll be thinner, prettier, healthier, ect.  That's what makes the general public think this is a fad like no-carb diets.  It's not a fad.  This is a way of life without it people suffer.  There's no concrete proof that it helps any other issues.  Normally people gain weight on the diet.  There's no trying in this diet.  Gluten-free doesn't mean for the most part.  It's all or nothing.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fabric Covered Button Earings

Hi there! My name's Amy and I have a jewelry shop over at I'm so excited to share a tutorial with you today for some fabric-covered button dangle earrings. They're really simple but make a big statement. We've all seen the fabric covered button earrings, but I put my own little twist on it today. This is the first time I've made fabric covered buttons, and I was amazed at how easy it was! Let's get started! You'll need a fabric button making kit (you can get this at any craft store), a scrap of fabric, paper clips, and ear wires. Tools you'll need are scissors, wire cutters, and a hot glue gun (or adhesive of your choice). Make your fabric covered buttons by following your kits instructions (it's super easy!). In four more steps you'll have some pretty dangle earrings...
1) First you'll clip off the button loops from the back side.
2) Next clip off the top part of the paperclip, making a long skinny U shape.
3) Add a large dollop of hot glue and press the paperclip into the glue.
Be careful at this step, the paperclip and button radiate the heat very quickly.
If you have more patience than me, you can use a glue like E6000 and let it dry
before completing the last step.
4) Finally, open the end of your ear wire by twisting it sideways and
slipping on your button. Twist it back shut and you're done!
If you'd like to go all out and make some beaded dangles, you just have a few more steps and you can add some extra fun to the buttons. You'll need a few extra things for these: round nose pliers, 24 gauge wire and beads.
1) Follow steps 1-3 above. To make a wrapped loop, wrap your wire around your pliers making a circle. Then take the short "tail" of the wire and wrap it around the long tail about 3x.
2) Add the bead and start your second wrapped loop by bending the wire at a 90 degree angle.
3) Make the second loop around the bottom of the bead.
4) Before you finish the loop, attach the button. Finally, finish the wrap and add the earwire.
Thanks for letting me share with you today! I'd love to see your button dangle earrings too so if you make some, please post them on my facebook page!
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