It is funny that I am starting this post with a morning beverage discussion since my last post addressed coffee creamers. This one is long, so you might want to read each section like a chapter of a book and come back until you have finished it. :)
My ongoing pursuit of foods that are healthy, safe, and satisfying
I have always had a love/hate relationship with coffee and recently a friend told me she thought I should consider giving it up. It is hard for me to ignore her because she heeded my advice to stop consuming diet drinks with their nasty, unhealthy, artificial sweeteners (that was no easy thing for her to do). But I do like a cup of something thicker than water in the morning, so this is my solution: I drop a bag of Good Earth Super Green Tea into a mug, fill it a bit less than half full with boiling water, allow it to steep for three to five minutes, and then fill the rest of the cup with Silk’s PureAlmond Dark Chocolate Almond Milk. When I mentioned this combination to a couple of friends a while back, they were both terribly grossed out at the thought of anything creamy being combined with green tea, but this tea has orange in it, and the combination of orange and chocolate has always seemed magical to my taste buds. I believe this screen shot of a Google search on chocolate and orange should adequately make my point.
When I had to stop eating eggs and dairy (in addition to the gluten ban) I found it so hard to get enough nutrition to keep me going. Since then, my energy and health have been gradually and decidedly diminishing.
A few weeks ago a friend told me about Hemp Hearts. You can go to the link to learn all about them, but what I want you to know is that the first day I had them for breakfast was July 4th, and the results were, well, explosive.
That first day I had energy overload. Even though I had eaten them for breakfast, I was still hyper from those Hemp Hearts when the fireworks were bursting in the sky that evening. I spoke with a lady at the health food store about it, and she said that my body probably didn’t quite know what to do with this sudden onslaught of nutrition, but trust me, it has figured it out. By the second day, things were processing much more efficiently, and by now I am thrilled to announce that I feel normal. A better normal than I have experienced in years. I am not tired in the afternoon. I am living again. I can actually enjoy my work instead of dreading it. Color me vibrantly happy. Note: Hemp Hearts do not overrule the need for sleep.
Dr. Vikki Petersen is our advocate. She cares about us and is always on the lookout for more information to help the world to better understand all things gluten free. At the Gluten Free Recipe Box, she has written an article on findings concerning MS and gluten intolerance. In the article I found this interesting, “Ten percent of the MS patients were found to have positive blood tests for celiac disease as compared to 2% of the healthy controls. Note: this study found 2% of the ‘general population’ to have celiac disease. This is significant for we have used the figure of 1% incidence for quite some time. It is my belief that it IS higher and this study certainly gives merit to that supposition.”
Our daughter graduated from college in May, and we spent several days in Salem, Oregon. I had googled the area to see if there were any new restaurants catering to the gluten free that we might try out. The results were surprising. I made a list of several, and we ate at a few of them.
Though we had new places to try, we still went back to Marco Polo after graduation. We love that place, and they never disappoint us.
Besides the yummy goodness inside, they have a lovely view to the outside,
They have become a tradition. I had this sweet and sour wonder,
and this amazo salad,
and yes, I did take a doggy bag for later. No way could I eat all of that food at one time!
On Sunday, we ate at a new to us, amazing place, Chipotle Mexican Grill!!! My daughter thinks I abuse the exclamation point, but sometimes I need the support of those little lines and dots to fully convey my message. This establishment has taken its place in my top five favorites (if there are five; I don’t know if there are. I need to think about that). The food is served up like at Subway. You get in line and when you get up to the counter you tell the first person what you want. He or she starts building your meal, passes you on to the next person, and then the next, until your order is filled, and you pay. When I said, “gluten free,” that first person peeled off her gloves, washed her hands, and put new gloves on. She told me the corn tortillas were safe and heated them between pieces of foil to avoid contamination. Those heated corn tortillas are soft and delicious, by the way. Before she passed my dish on to the next person, she let everyone in the line know that my food must be gluten free, and they all did the same thing with the gloves and hands that she did. This kind of treatment thrills me beyond words. It astounds and touches me when people are this careful.
I had the burrito bowl with pork carnitas, rice, black beans, salsa, and guacamole. I probably also had whatever fresh veggies were available, but I don’t remember for sure. I know I took a picture of my food, but I can’t find it in my files. I must have eaten it too! There was too much food to eat in one sitting here as well. It is so handy to have a hotel with a fridge and microwave. P.S. We ate there twice!
We also ate at the Olive Garden. I had the mixed grill with all chicken and boy did I enjoy their Garden Fresh Salad sans croutons and cheese. It had been a while since I had eaten one of those, and they are really just so fresh and delicious. No photos of this place. There was a certain, nice young man who joined us for dinner; I wasn’t thinking about my blog at that point.
We also checked out Lola Foods: Gluten Free in Lincoln City. Her baked goods are delicious. Biscotti, her macaroons (I definitely got some eggs and maybe dairy in her baked goods, but I survived) and some incredible molasses muffin thing with caramel sauce. To. die. for. Lola shares the facility with a regular baker. She wasn’t there that day, but the lady who was working said that the gluten free goods are baked on days the gluten-death goods are not, and everything is cleaned between. I was a bit uncomfortable being in a place where gluteny stuff was baked. Flour in the air and all that.
Because of the leftovers and the food I took along, those were the only places we had tummy capacity for. All in all, the trip was a success. Our daughter and her friends got all graduated and we saw and tasted some lovely bits of Oregon.
Home movies! Well, photos anyway
Mustard plants. These florescent beauties were visible for miles.
Lincoln City’s version of The Birds
It is surprising how beautiful this is for being so crabby.