Elimination Diet: Day 1

It’s been awhile for Amy and I, between her travels, both of us being crazy busy at work, and the holidays…let’s just say it has been busy. Look out for lots of stuff to come, especially on this new elimination diet I am on.

In the past few months, my food reactions have gotten worse. I am already on a gluten-free diet, but that is not seeming to be enough at this point–plus I overall eat pretty healthy. I eat whole foods, my veggies, and all that jazz–but I am obviously reacting to something. I have been getting terrible stomach aches, nausea, bloating, my skin hating me and more–fun stuff, huh?! 

I have been contemplating doing an elimination diet or something similar, but I wanted to check in with my doctor. After seeing my doctor, who focuses on holistic medicine, she also agreed this would be a good first step. She gave me a ton of great info to set me on the right path.

While an elimination diet may not be the most fun, if it will help me feel better and heal my gut, I’m in. Plus, I would much rather find out what foods may be an issue for me and not eat them, than have to take medicine to feel alright when I eat. I also work in the natural food industry and over time have learned a lot about whole foods and nutrition, so it seems less scary–which is good.

I will write another post about what an elimination diet all entails, but here it is in a nut shell. No soy, dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, corn, nightshade vegetables, red meat, citrus and any other foods you know or think you may be reacting too. The only food I am really adding on to this is oats, as some people what have a gluten intolerance sometimes have issues with oats. So that is a good amount of foods I can’t eat…and I am most freaking out about the caffeine and dairy…I mean I am from Wisconsin, so cheese 🙁 However, I can eat A LOT of food — from rice and quinoa to chicken, lots of fruits and veggies, most nuts and more. So, I do have options. I think the biggest part to the success of this is planning and having a positive outlook–which really is two key pieces to be successful in anything.

SS Elimination diet-day

Day 1 went well. Here is what I ate today:

  • Breakfast: Plant-based Protein smoothie
  • Snack: Banana and Cold-pressed juice (with no citrus)
  • Lunch: Rice and Vegetable Coconut curry
  • Dinner: Rice, Collards and Salmon 
  • Snack: Almond Butter and an apple
  • Beverages: Water, Herbal Tea, La Croix

Burning Brothers Brewery

While National Beer Day was yesterday, we are going to booze it up today by highlighting a local brewery. I do have to say being gluten-free really poses some challenges for finding delicious craft beer. I personally feel much better when I stick to my GF lifestyle.  Beer is one thing that is hard for me to give up. I know, I know. There is GF beer out there, but much of it is just not the same as good, ol’ craft beer.

Living in Milwaukee, and now the Twin Cities, there are huge craft beer scenes. It is always a great afternoon when you spend it in the tap room of a local brewery. One problem, my favorite local breweries are not gluten-free. There are some that do have one GF beer, but overall it is pretty tricky. Or, I just love one of their non-GF beers, and I really would rather drink that. I do usually let myself have one glutenous beer a week. I am lucky in that I only have a gluten sensitivity, so I am able to make choices like this.  But a brand new brewery opened up in Saint Paul called Burning Brothers Brewery. And, guess what?! It is a completely gluten-free brewery. Yes, every single beer they make is gluten free.

The brewery founders used to be fire eaters, hence the name “Burning Brothers.” They were talking about starting their own brewery when one of them found out he had Celiac’s Disease. He took his home brewing background and decided to channel his new found GF lifestyle into this brewery. Together the brothers formed Burning Brothers Brewing, which also happens to be the only dedicated gluten-free brewery in the Midwest. Lucky for me, the brewery is only a mile from where I live in Saint Paul.

burning brothers

Burning Brothers Brewing has been distributing beer around the Twin Cities. I have been following them closely for when their tap room opened. And…this past weekend the time finally came! Matt and I headed over there this past Saturday afternoon. They had their Pyro beer on tap, and it was delicious.

Their Pyro is an American Pale Ale. The Burning Brothers describe the Pyro as :

An American twist on an English bitter, this light fruity beer is a drink that can be enjoyed at any time! We substitute the traditional English flavor with our own unique blend of American hops. Note the initial taste of orange followed by just a hint of grapefruit. Three years in the making, our APA stands strong against any other APA on the market. It’s a beer that looks good and delivers a crisp beer taste, enough said!” 

It was a tasty session beer that I can see myself enjoying all year long. I can’t tell it is GF, which is a good thing. I look forward to trying their other beers in the future. But in the mean time, I have my growler of Pyro, which will be refilled often.

growler burning brothers

Right now they are only distributing to the Twin Cities area. So if you are in the Twin Cities, make sure to check them out! 

Emily’s First Attempt at Gluten Free Bread

frenchbread_nailed it

I recently discovered I have a gluten sensitivity. Due to this, I have started to eat gluten free. While some weeks I am very good at sticking to the GF (Gluten Free) lifestyle; other weeks I indulge in glutenous goodies. Overall though, being gluten free has not been crazy difficult for me. I worked in the natural food industry for five years, so I was able to develop quite a bit of knowledge about the GF lifestyle, which made the transition less scary.

There are a couple things I really crave. The first is delicious craft beer. I mean I am a Sconnie girl, so beer is in my blood. I have found some tasty GF craft beers, but I miss some of my local brewery favs. The other thing I crave other than glutenous craft beer is bread. Delicious, warm fresh bread. I love bread. Well, I love fresh, homemade bread–not the processed variety. While I LOVE bread and baking, I don’t normally bake my own bread. Yeast is scary to me. So, I am not sure why the first gluten free goodie I chose to make was French Bread. It was probably because I had been craving bread, and because I am overall good at baking, I figured it would all work out. It did not.

I tried a recipe from a great Gluten Free Cookbook. I won’t mention its name because of my failure, since I truly believe the reason the recipe did not work out was not due to the recipe, but operator error. HUGE OPERATOR ERROR. My first mistake was overworking the dough. Once you do that, there is no going back. After that, I tried really hard to make this bread work out…but it was too late. I wish I had pictures to show my french bread making process, or rather large mess. But, my hands were so covered in dough I would have forever wrecked my iPhone. I did eventually get the dough to be bake-able. However, bake-able does not mean it turned out. I would say rather than french bread, I made a new creation. I give you “French Bread Biscuits.” Fancy, huh?

frenchbread

I let Mr. Jack try some. Even he was not so sure about them at first, but he did end up eating some.  Whew, I passed the dog test.

jack and the french bread

Then, my boyfriend very kindly tried them. Trying to make the best of a bad baking outcome, he suggested we have Biscuits and Gravy.  This was a great idea. I mean, if you put enough delicious homemade sausage gravy on something, it’s got to taste good…and it did. So good! I made Pioneer Woman’s Sausage Gravy. I adapted the gravy by using GF All-Purpose Flour. I also don’t have seasoning salt, so I just subbed regular sea salt with a dash of cayenne pepper. It all turned out great…the gravy that is. Maybe just use Pioneer Woman’s biscuit recipe too.

sausage and gravy

Moral of the story: When you fail at baking bread, put sausage gravy on it.