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Gluten-free Makes a Difference

In Diet, Editorial, Uncategorized on August 16, 2016 at 8:34 pm

IMG_20160803_1140453I took a break to fix my diet, to better my health, to figure out my relationship with food.  I’m glad to say that I have been feeling better than usual and I think it is because of my diet. I use to ask my rheumatologist  about diet and Lupus and he would say “there is no scientific proof that it will make a change in how I feel.” All the proof I need is how I feel.

Prior to changing my diet, I felt sluggish and absent minded.  I also lived my life as if were Russian roulette, never knowing how I would feel when I wake up.  Can’t say that everyday is not a gamble but I live with the game in my favor.  It doesn’t mean I’m not sick because I have bad days but I don’t feel as defeated as I use to.  For the first time I was able to take a vacation without thinking I will be sick for most of the vacation.  Did I get, sick? Yes but I was able to turn it around in less time and I do believe it is because of my diet.

I don’t eat or at least try not to eat gluten and soy foods which include bread, cereal, cookies, cake and pasta.  I have been able to find some great substitutes for my cravings and other things I have had to just forget about.  What is the biggest challenge?  Eating on the go, is next to impossible.  No burgers (not even vegetarian), sandwiches or pizza for me and they were my usual go to foods.  Now my go to is sushi and boy do I love sushi!  My favorite is spicy tuna rolls from this one restaurant close to me.  In a thousand years, I never thought I would eat raw fish but there were more bonuses than there were cons.  It is affordable, convenient to eat on the road, healthy and most of all yummy; don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

So you think that I would be the healthiest eater due to my new diet.  Not so much. I don’t eat as much junk food or fast food due to the limitations and it has helped me to finally lose over 10 pounds.  Unfortunately I skip meals because what I’ve cooked for my family is not something I can eat. I know some of you may be looking down on me because I am not making the whole family eat what I eat but that’s not fair.  I find the easiest way to adjust to this change is to experiment with Paleo recipes but that can be tricky too;  I’ll explain that in post to come. Vegetables should have increased, but my love affair with them is u and down.  I know I can’t be alone; please let me know of the challenges you have faced being gluten-free.

 

 

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Farmer’s Market Challenge:14-day diet jumpstart

In Diet, Editorial, Food on July 15, 2015 at 8:52 pm
Me 2015

Me 2015

Many of you have a “mommy body” which means that you are a bit thick in the middle and flabby everywhere else.  Trust me, I am not body shaming anyone because that is how I describe my body type.  Before having my beautiful boys, I was more of a boy shape which means I lacked curves but I was solid and healthy.  After having the boys, I am a full Rome apple meaning that I am very very round in the middle. There is a 50 pound difference in how much I used to weigh before and now.  Frustrated is the most accurate word that describes how I feel about my body.

Me while dating Alvin

Me while dating Alvin

Since being diagnosed with Lupus, I have been struggling with losing weight.  I may lose 5-10 pounds but it never stays off. Taking various medications over the last few years have not helped with my weight loss either.  For many of the medications prescribed, the side effect it weight gain. Only one of them had a weight loss side effect but believe me, it is no Dexetrim.  Do you remember Dexetrim? The Lupus has also made me afraid to exercise.  I was one of those people who became a member of one of the “$10 a month” gyms. In the beginning, I went with high enthusiasm because I thought it would get me skinny.  Instead I felt underwhelmed with 30 minute workouts because I didn’t lose any weight.  So what did I do?  I pushed to 45 minutes, sometimes an hour workout and I would do this 3-4 times a week.  This is totally not healthy for someone with active Lupus.  I ended up flaring more than once that year so I gave it up.  Then a girlfriend asked me to walk with her 3 times a week for 30 minutes.  I loved it because I wasn’t alone so I felt I had to do it.  What happened next? I flared again and this one hurt a lot and for whole lot longer than the ones before.  It’s been almost 2 years and I have been afraid to exercise ever since.

2014 when I lost 10lbs...I think

2014 when I lost 10lbs…I think

I feel a need for a challenge.  I have been watching infomercial after infomercial about 21-day challenge, Daniel challenge, 21-day fix but I know I can’t commit to that. Here in NJ we have outdoor farmer’s markets that come in town once a week, but they are limited on what they provide. The other farmer’s market are indoor and sell fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, dairy and fresh bread.  I propose starting on Sunday with a new diet that I am calling the Farmer’s Market Diet.  For the next 2 weeks, we will eat food that can only be purchased in your farmer’s market.  How is this a diet, for the most part there are no mass produced orhighly processed food; everything is fresh, simple and if you’re lucky organic.  So no chips, no meat, no doughnuts, no coffee (for many of you that is going be major). The next step is to an add raw apple cider vinegar mixture to your morning routine.  This step will help curb your appetite and cleanse your palette.  Lastly, you must drink at least eight 8oz glasses of water that may include a squeeze of lime or lemon which will keep you hydrated. If you can, please try to do some type of physical activity at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes to jump start your metabolism. This is a real challenge.

a few pounds lighter in 2013

teaching NJT a few pounds lighter in 2013

Why are we doing this? I don’t want us to be an apple. I don’t want us to increase our chances for heart disease. I don’t want us to miss out on life because we don’t feel good about ourselves.  We will lose a few pounds by not eating processed foods. We will jump start a new lifestyle that will help our skin, our hair and our life overall.  Are you on board? Sign up on Twitter, Not Just Tofu Facebook page or in comments on the blog- http://www.notjusttofu.com.  Come on people, I need a support team; I can’t do this alone.  Three days and counting…

May never be this skinny again, but I'm proud

May never be this skinny again, but I’m proud

Where I’ve been: NYC Foodie Adventure

In Editorial, Event, Food, Local Eats, New York on July 14, 2015 at 4:23 am

I always think I haven’t been up to much, especially because I’ve been sick, but then I look at the pictures.  The pictures say that I have met a celebrity chef at a food festival.  It also looks like I’ve been to a local foodie hot spot, Chelsea Market. So I guess while I wasn’t blogging, I was out exploring the world around me with hopes of being able to write about it.  So let me walk you through it as best I remember it.

Young Love

Young Love

Alvin and I celebrated our 13th year of marriage this past May.  When Alvin and I dated we connected over food.  He being new to the country, he didn’t know a lot about international cuisine.  I remember one of his infamous lines “I don’t eat what I don’t know.”  The foodie in me just couldn’t accept this so almost every date involved eating somewhere new. Thirteen years later, he loves to eat international food.  His favorite thus far has got to be hummus and grape leaves.  So I planned for us to celebrate over a new food experience.  We got in my car and headed to NYC to go to an outdoor farmer’s market, a food festival and a vegan restaurant. Unfortunately, my plan went a whole new way.

Me and Chef Marcus Samuelson

Me and Chef Marcus Samuelson

Waking up earlish is not early enough if you want to get parking so that you can visit and outdoor farmer’s market in the city.  We must of drove in circles for 20 minutes trying to find public parking with no luck.  That being said, we moved on to the food festival, Harlem Eats 2015.  Not wanting to pay for admission, it limited what we could do but what would be the point of paying for food that most likely you wouldn’t eat because Alvin is vegetarian? Trying to make light of the event, I went around and took pictures. The highlight of the day was meeting Marcus Samuelson.  I have always wanted to meet a celebrity chef; surprising to me how nervous I was to approach him for a photo.  It was hot, a lot of people were trying to take a picture and he looked like he had been doing it for a good minute.  With Alvin’s encouragement, I asked for a photo and Alvin took the picture below.  My only regret is that I wasn’t smiling.

WP_20150517_14_17_45_ProAfter that, I guess we were ready to do something else but what? Then it dawned on me, let’s go to Chelsea Market.  When we arrived at Chelsea Market, I was giddy like a small child going to Disney World.  I couldn’t believe that I had finally made it. I loved it; the market was prettier and busier than I expected it to be.  I love the smell of all the different foods.  Alvin wasn’t as excited but I knew it would come when we got to the cheese shop.  Cheese is to Alvin what pork is to barbecue.  Lucy’s Whey was a wonderful place!  We found some wonderful goat cheese, we bought $25 worth.  I got excited when we got to the Spices and Tease spice shop.  So many spices, such rich aromas, they even have tea.  We spent $35 on 4 bags of spices.  Side note – the spices are such good quality that we want to go back.  Lastly we arrived at an Buon Italia, an Italian market, where we bought vinegar, more cheese, French lentils, who know what else because that was almost $60.  We walked, we nibbled on free samples and finally stopped at Amy’s bread, a bakery where we bought a loaf of bread and rice pudding.  I don’t think we liked the bread as much as everything else we bought but it’s OK.

Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market

I thought I could talk about my other adventures in this article but I’ve been a bit wordy already.  Honestly writing about that day has made me think more about writing.  I really did have fun that day.  We finished the day by crossing back over the bridge and ordering another $40 bucks worth of Greek food from It’s Greek to me and yes Alvin order hummus and grape leaves. It was a costly day for folks on a budget, but we don’t regret not one minute.  In fact, we are planning to go back and try the stuff we didn’t get a chance to eat.

Update: Good Food America

In cooking show, danny boome, Editorial, Good Food America, veria program on March 5, 2015 at 10:25 pm

Good Food AmericaOne of my last three post referred you to watch Good Food America.  At that time, I was watching Good Food America on a public television network and the show was being hosted by Nathan Lyons.  Since writing the posts, I have been contacted by the show and notified that the host has been changed in their new season.  I hadn’t watched the new season because I didn’t realize that I had the cable network channel Veria.  I am not endorsing Veria, if you don’t have the channel reruns of the program will do.

If you do have Veria, check out host Danny Boome. I first saw Danny as a guest correspondent on “The Chew”. He is knowledgeable about food, impressionable and energetic.  The show still focuses on presenting eateries that focus on farm to table, organic or vegetarian cuisine.  I hope in the future that producers of Good Food America will focus on eateries in the Northeast, especially in the tri-state area. I do remember one episode of a vegetarian restaurant in Asbury Park and one in Hoboken but I know we have more to offer closer to Bergen County. How often are healthy foodies looking for somewhere to eat that cooks meals featured on the program?

So producers of Good Food America and Mr. Danny Boome, please come visit northern New Jersey once we thaw out.  I would love to visit a hidden gem in the area.  Better yet I would love to turn my readers on to a place they could have a fresh food experience outside of  Whole Foods.

Article: Whole Food Cooking Shows

In Cool Stuff, Editorial, Products, Publications and Blogs on October 16, 2014 at 10:24 pm

For the life of me, I don’t know why both The Cooking Channel and Food Network don’t have a vegetarian cooking show.  Do they believe that that vegetarians don’t watch television? So 2 weeks ago I upgraded my Fios service to include the ZLiving channel which is dedicated to whole living.  I thought I would be blown away but I have yet to watch all of the programs. So what am I watching?

Ian KnauerMy first favorite cooking show is The Farm with Ian Kanuer that I watch on NYC TV.  In the New York Tri-state are it comes on Sundays at 9pm. The recipes are not vegetarian but they are wholesome.  He grows most of the produce he uses on his farm; you can’t get more sustainable than that!  He combines and updates fruit and vegetable dishes that agree with the Not Just Tofu style of cooking.  Other channels to check out are Create and surprisingly PBS for whole food cooking.   Learn more about Ian and his new cookbook  “The Farm” at http://ianknauer.com/

The Next show is not a cook show per say but you can learn tips and tricks on how to make better meals in your own kitchen.  Good Food America can be found on ZLiving (formerly known as Veria) and NYC TV.  He travels all over the states to meet with restaurant owners that cook whole foods.  Nathan LyonThis show made me realized that their are a lot more whole food restaurants on the west coast than the east coast. Come on east coast; time to catch up! At least when you travel, you have an inside track on where to go.

Delicious TVSome of you may be able to still find Delicious TV with Toni Fiore.  This is a vegetarian cooking show that is so simple.  The dishes she teaches are dishes that you want to make because they make sense in your life.  I was so happy with the show that I went and bought the cookbook.  She has embarked on a new project called Vegan Mashup that teaches only vegan recipes.  Check the website to find out where you can view her program. For more information on both programs visit http://delicioustv.com/

Christina CooksIf you are a hardcore whole foods vegan than Christina Cooks is for you! I haven’t reached to the point where I am sweetening things with brown rice syrup or using only brown grains and flours in my recipes.  I watch it because it is very educational. She is so out of my box that I am compelled to watch.  She has a blog too at http://www.christinacooks.com/living-the-well-life. Check it out.

So if you are looking for cooking shows, please check them out, follow them on Twitter and Facebook and check out their websites.  The more we support these programs the wider the variety of whole food cooking shows will become available.  I’ve written to the Cooking Channel and Food Network and never gotten a response but have noticed that there are more shows cooking the old fashioned way which means without a lot of processed foods.  Baby steps I guess.

Sneaky Bandits: MSG & Gelatin

In Editorial on July 17, 2014 at 6:03 pm

chinese take out Have you ever wondered why your favorite Chinese food leaves you bloated or with a headache? You could be reacting to the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate.  How about that bag of gummi bears you keep in your desk draw? Do you know what makes them so gummy? We are so concerned about eating organic and not buying GMO products, yet and still we mindlessly eat food that won’t make us sick but they won’t keep us well either.

I like Chinese takeout, I often use it as my go to when running late with dinner.  While in the food court at a local mall, I saw a sign that said no MSG. A little light bulb went off in my mind; do people know how much MSG they eat everyday? Monosodium glutamate aka MSG can be found in flavored chips, frozen dinners, salad dressings, seasoning packets and Chinese takeout.  MSG is used to help create flavor by manufacturers in the same way they use sugar and salt.  I remember watching “No Reservations” and while Anthony Bourdain was in either Costa Rica or Panama they purposely added MSG to their dishes.  In my local Korean market, you can find bottles of MSG like you find salt. MSG has not been proven to cause any damage over long-term use but some people do have a reaction to it; some get bloated while others can get headaches.  Next time you eat Chinese takeout or eat a bag of BBQ chips, gauge how you feel.

msgWhy do we need a flavor enhancers? Is it because our food has become so artificial that we need to add MSG to make it taste good. When you cooked last night’s dinner, did you need to enhance the flavor or was it delicious on its own? We don’t need MSG in our kitchens!  This just proves my point, the more you cook the better off you will be.  When you are in control of what goes in your dishes, you can control the flavor.  Who doesn’t like control? So it’s not only the GMO products we should be concerned about but the MSG too.  Take this pledge with me ” I will try not to cook with or eat anything artificial.”

With that thought in mind, I never bought my kids Chef Boy Ardee ravioli or beefaroni or…I think you get my drift.  We also never bought Hawaiian Punch or bologna because they were too artificial and highly processed. It wasn’t until years later that I started to read the ingredients on snacks that I was used to. One day I was eating a Starburst, my church aunt told me that they were made with gelatin.  Knowing that gelatin was derived from questionable sources of meat including the pig, I knew that it was a no-no.  From that moment on I started to wonder what else was in the snacks that I didn’t want me or my family to eat.  I found gelatin in marshmallows which make rice crispy treats, go in cereals and used to decorate desserts, gummi bears, jello snacks, Pop Tarts and yogurt.  Most surprising place I found a use for gelatin was in vitamins. The list grew longer and longer. So what you ask?pop tart

If you don’t want to put harsh pesticides, artificial colors or flavors into our bodies, why are you eating collagen from discarded carcasses in your snacks? Sometimes it may be a cow, other times it may be pig. Did you know that they use the ears, the skin and the feet to create gelatin? No matter how you put a spin on it, vegetarian or not, it just isn’t something you want to eat today or any other day.  FDA says it’s ok, but the FDA says using pesticides and feeding livestock hormones is OK too but I don’t see you buying that.  Just because the FDA approves it, doesn’t mean that it passes your test.

There are healthy alternatives to gelatin and MSG.  Instead of gelatin, try pectin or venture off to Whole Foods and purchase vegetarian gelatin made from seaweed.  If in a bind, I would use a Kosher Product just because I believe their standard of butchering is more sanitary than a regular slaughter-house.  Beware of the “k” found on packages, which I always thought meant  that Kosher gelatin was used but that is not always the case.  As for MSG, try using citrus zest, fresh herbs and exotic spices to enhance the flavor of whatever you are cooking.  Let cooking be an organic activity; meaning don’t bring a bunch of artificial ingredients to an original experience.

Shop wisely, prepare carefully and eat well.

Almost Converted

In Cooking Tips, Editorial, Publications and Blogs on April 3, 2014 at 7:54 pm

MP900402511 Desperately in need of a garlic bagel with egg and turkey bacon, I gave into my cravings. I, Sandra Lee Smith Calderon, will never eat another bagel in my life. I felt so uncomfortable, I thought my stomach was going to explode. I’ve had bouts with Candida before but nothing like this. I was so bloated; my stomach didn’t ache but it wasn’t happy with the bagel.On another day, I gave into another craving for pistachio gelato. I love and I mean this in a literal sense, love pistachio gelato. Then my stomach started up again with bloating and this time with the gas. This gas was no ordinary gas. I’m sorry if this is too much for you but these are the real signs that you should listen to your body and not your appetite. Tempted every now again, I take a few spoonfuls of gelato only to have it cause havoc on my digestive system.

So what I have I almost converted too? I think I am going to live Gluten-Free /Dairy Free Diet. Early last year, I got tested for food allergies. It was determined that I was allergic to wheat, barley and rye.  It resulted in a cut back of how much gluten I ate. I don’t have Celiac disease; I classify it as a gluten sensitivity or intolerance.  Trust me this decision didn’t happen overnight, I have been contemplating this for a while. I wondered if I could give up bread, pizza and pasta. After my incident with the bagel and the after effects of my carb loaded breakfast, I don’t think I have a choice.

wheatAfter researching alternate diets which included vegan and Paleo, I decided that gluten-free would be best for me.  Having an autoimmune disease really sealed the deal because wheat causes inflammation.  With Lupus, the last thing I want are for my joints and muscles to be inflamed.  The dairy may be more of a challenge because of my love for cheese but over time I think I will get used to it.  It is important that when making a dietary change that you (1) don’t give yourself a hard time if you do give into temptation (2) for success you will need to find alternatives for the things you love so that you can make a permanent change.

A speaker I heard weeks ago said that if you could control your appetite you could control a lot more in your life. It was at that moment that I realized that I needed to make a change. So after countless hours of Youtube videos, cookbooks and blog reading, I am leaning more to gluten-free lifestyle. Sorry Paleo, more meat and less grain doesn’t sit well with me. On the bright side I still have french fries!

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For those of you interested in becoming gluten-free, check these out:

Is it Spring Yet?

In Editorial on April 3, 2014 at 5:54 pm

March Madness 267Holy Mackerel Folks! It is so hard to believe we are over 15 days into spring and places like Minnesota are predicted to get over a foot of snow. On a better not, today in NJ we are supposed to get over 60 degrees;so sorry Minnesota. It was that prediction that motivated me to go on my first fitness walk of 2014. I can’t say I went far because I started to feel my body talk within the first 10 minutes; half a mile seemed adequate enough. My mind wanted to go further but my body said let’s play it safe so we can do it again tomorrow. I gotta say that the walk made me feel like I wasn’t being a lazy fart, I also didn’t feel for a mid-morning nap as I usually do. Maybe it’s the sunshine, the much-needed vitamin D or the fact that it wasn’t freezing that I finally have a need to write. I thank those of you who have been checking to see if I posted and I apologize for not posting this winter. I admit that the clouds, the cold and the darkness did not inspire me to cook or write. The food around here has not been anything exciting.

So what have you been doing over the long exaggerated winter? Stews, soups and casseroles I assume. It’s hard to be excited about the winter that wouldn’t end. I would get so annoyed talking to my brother in Florida when he would gloat about it being 70 degrees when I wish it was just 20 degrees. Born in New Jersey, I pride myself a lover of the 4 seasons. I appreciate what each season offers because they all offer something. I am excited for spring because I am ready to get my hands on produce. My sons and I will try again this year to grow something we can eat. Not blessed with a green thumb, I find this task overwhelming. Elias’s eagerness every spring makes us try. We go to Home Depot, purchase our boxes, soil and seeds only to grow nothing. This year will be different!

We will grow herbs if anything this year; I hear that it is hard to mess that up. I also want to grow some berries or beans. My grandfather’s garden will provide us with onions, tomatoes, callalloo (wild greens from Jamaica) and peppers. I am gonna really try to start with a hydroponic garden which allows me to start growing in water then transplant them to the box. We are determined to grow something we can eat. This means I am gonna be reading a lot of books and blogs. It is because we are foodies and I am so weary about where we get our food and the condition we get it in that I keep trying. Plus I have eaten enough beef this winter to start a small cattle ranch. What? Don’t be shocked that I am not vegetarian, I am a conscious eater. I encourage everyone to be conscious about what they put into their temple.

So let’s say hello to spring and the fresh fruits and veggies. Let’s support our local pop-up farmer’s markets. Dust off those grills and put everything on it…fruits, veggies, clean meats. I’m just so excited to eat outside in the sunshine with the family and some cool tunes in the background. I will deal with fighting the bugs and allergies just to be outside again. Who is with me?
March Madness 269

Review: 3 Great Cookbooks

In Editorial, Food, Publications and Blogs on November 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Anybody who knows me, knows that I have a real addiction to cookbooks. My addiction has made me buy cookbooks that aren’t so good…I am trying to be polite. So instead of buying cookbooks, I have been borrowing cookbooks from the local libraries. It is awesome! I borrow, I try recipes and than I rate. I have found 3 cookbooks over the last couple of visits that I am very excited about. I rate them on layout, photos, practical application and just plain fun.

trisha yearwoodThe first cookbook is Trish Yearwood’s, “Home Cooking” which is wonderful; truly written for a home cook. Even though this is not a vegetarian cookbook, there are great sides and desserts that make this book awesome. Recipes like fancy cornbread will accompany your chili recipe. The cakes are great for company; I made the key lime cake for a Sabbath lunch and we were happy not to eat another yellow cake. I think this book is great for beginners because the pictures excite you and the back stories connect you to the recipes. Plus, she also has recipes for homemade candy which will make great presents for teachers, coworkers and service people.

vegan dinerThe second book is “Vegan Diner” by Julie Hasson which is a vegan’s dream for a cookbook. I learned how to transform homemade seitan because of this book. Her recipes for seitan can teach you how to make mock pastrami, pot roast and just regular seitan that can serve as comfort food for both vegans and vegetarian. It is also because of this book that I bought my first can of nutritional yeast which she uses to make a mock mac-n-cheese; I bet that is one of the things vegans miss most. It’s got great pictures so you know what things should look like. It is also great for dessert because she has recipes for cookies, pies and brownies. Even vegans have a sweet tooth. To find out more about Julie, visit her website http://www.juliehasson.com/

dirt candyMy last cookbook is “Dirt Candy” written by vegan chef and restaurateur,Amanda Cohen. I first saw her on Iron Chef America where she opened my eyes to the true abilities of vegetables. Chef Amanda Cohen concepts on vegetables are inspiring and not for the beginner but for those who know their way around a farmer’s market and a kitchen. Lemon Confit, vegetable nest, etc… are just a few that make we want to go cook right now. The layout of this book is fun because it has a comic book/ anime illustrations weaved in between recipes. Visiting her is recipe is on my bucket-list of places to eat. Dirt Candy is located just over the George Washington Bridge in Manhattan. Not close to NYC, visit her blog at www.dirtcandynyc.com.

So this holiday season, make the foodie in your life happy by purchasing one of these great books; I know I would be happy. Any reader wanna add to my library?

Taste Tested: Trader Joe Gluten Free Snickerdoodles

In Editorial, Food, Products on September 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm

wheatWhen I got diagnosed with Lupus, I started to research diets that would help me manage my new condition. I asked my doctor about removing gluten from my diet, he said that there were no medical research that supported removing it would help my condition. After that visit, I realized that my doctor was not open to alternate methods of management. Other people with this and other autoimmune diseases testify that removing gluten from your diet helps to fight inflammation. So in spite of my doctor’s opinion, I started cutting back on the amount of gluten I ate. Prior to my diagnosis, I had realized that wheat was not my friend because it would leave me bloated. For a good run I would eat one or less servings of gluten a day. I can’t say that I saw any great difference but I continued until I returned back to school when I ate out of convenience.

What is gluten? Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye barley and sometimes oats. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease when the body can not digest the gluten protein because it causes inflammation of the intestines. A person does not have to have Celiac disease to have an adverse reaction to gluten. Some have a gluten sensitivity like me which limits how much gluten a person can eat before they start to feel similar symptoms like inflammation of the intestines. Why are so many people going gluten-free? Gluten has been known to cause fatigue, aches and a lack of concentration. Some argue that it is due to the way that wheat is processed but I have read articles where Europeans suffer with Celiac as much as Americans. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are not new, it’s just recently doctors have been able to diagnose it accurately.

snickerdoodlesFor me eating less gluten is optional, but for others a gluten free diet is mandatory. I have a friend whose son has to live egg-less, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten free. I took it upon myself to create or find a cookie he could eat. I spent a good bit of time trying to bake, buy and taste gluten free baked goods and let’s just say some where good and some well….were not fit for human consumption. Then I stumbled upon Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Snickerdoodles which are not only gluten free but vegan. I have tried these cookies with those who have and don’t have allergies and both have given them the thumbs up. I bought a box for my friend to try with her 2-year old on a special diet and he liked them too. These are the only cookie that are moist, flavorful and don’t finish with a heavy grit and aftertaste found in most gluten-free baked goods. The price point is great too because they are only $2.99 which allows you to buy 2 boxes.

I am still working on a homemade version of gluten free cookies but none have met my criteria for a good cookie. As soon as I bake it, you will know.

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