Gluten-Free Recipes

Coming Home: The Story That Led to The Ultimate Gluten-free Power Smoothie Recipe

Posted by on Apr 13th, 2013 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Coming Home: The Story That Led to The Ultimate Gluten-free Power Smoothie Recipe

The Ultimate Gluten-free Power Smoothie Recipe #vegan #dairyfree #soyfree #glutenfree

Coming Home: The Story that Led to The Ultimate Gluten-free Power Smoothie Recipe

by

Mara Alexander

A few days ago, the strangest thing happened to me. I had just gone to the store to buy some items for this new smoothie recipe that I wrote. I was standing in my driveway unloading the groceries from my car when I saw HIM. I looked across the street and there he was just strolling across my neighbor’s front yard. It startled me.

No, it couldn’t be him….not after 13 years. Not after his disappearance so long ago. And he was staring straight at me; he had his eyes locked straight onto mine.

I froze for a minute not really believing what I was seeing. It was surreal that he remembered where I lived and who I was. I called out to him and to my shock he came running towards me. I nearly dropped the bag of groceries onto the ground when I saw him running. He stopped a few feet from me and hung his head. As he lifted his head toward me, he just kept staring at me. As I stepped closer, I realized how much older he was than the last time I saw him. He backed away from me and oddly enough he just sat on the grass. He started meowing. He let me pick him up and cuddle him.

“Jingles, is that really you?”

He meowed back at me and began purring. After cuddling him for a few minutes, I placed him on the ground and continued walking towards my front door to see if he would follow me. To my amazement, he followed me into my house. Max, who is my 4-legged child (dog), did not take so kindly to his Mommy allowing this strange cat into our house. Max’s barking ended up spooking the cat, who promptly ran out of my house and up a tree.

(The thing that you must understand about this story is that my cat Jingles ran away when he was just a few months old. That was almost 13 years ago to the day. This cat that found me a few days ago had identical markings to Jingles.)

The cat was in the tree and wouldn’t come down, for fear that the 4-legged creature named Max would again terrorize him. After much consoling and coaxing on my part, the cat finally came down to the earth safely. I fed him and put water out for him. And I haven’t seen him since.

It’s been several days since the mysterious cat showed up and subsequently vanished. Maybe it wasn’t really Jingles. But I wanted it to be him. It comforted me and brought me hope. Maybe it was a sweet angel sent to cheer me up or it could have been a cat that looked just like him that needed a meal and some water. Regardless, whatever cat that was that I saw, I’m glad he paid me a visit. Jingles will always be in my heart and mind.

The Ultimate Gluten-free Power Smoothie Recipe (and the story of the cat who inspired it all)

So I dedicate this smoothie recipe to Jingles: in honor of all pets that find their way home, even if just for a few moments.

The Ultimate Gluten-free Power Smoothie Recipe. #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #dairyfree #vegan #glutenfree

Jingles Ultimate Gluten-free Power Smoothie

10 oz Almond Milk (I use Silk or Almond Breeze)
2 tbsp Almond Butter (I use Barney Butter or Marathana)
1scoop or 1oz Chocolate Vega protein powder (or your favorite chocolate protein powder)
1 tsp flaxseed oil (Flora or Barlean’s are good brands)
1 medium banana (room temp is good but frozen makes it creamier!)
1 cup raw spinach

The Ultimate Gluten-free Power Smoothie Recipe

Place all ingredients in blender on high. Blend until very smooth. If you’d like to have it thinner, simply add more almond milk and blend again. If you’d like it thicker, add more banana and blend. For a sweeter drink, add 1 dropper of liquid stevia. Add a few ice cubes, pour into a lovely glass and make a toast…to Jingles.

Mara Alexander is the Founder of GlutenFreeWorld TV©, a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a Certified Health Consultant and a Professional of the Academy of Healthcare Management.  She can be emailed at mara@glutenfreeworld.tv 

 

Gluten-Free? Three Key Things You Need to Know Before You Go On a Cruise

Posted by on Mar 22nd, 2013 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Gluten-Free?  Three Key Things You Need to Know Before You Go On a Cruise

Gluten-Free? Three Key Things You Need to Know Before You Go On a Cruise

By

Mara Alexander

“There is no way that I’m getting on a cruise ship while being gluten-free. No way. I’d rather stay home.” These were my thoughts a few years ago about going on a cruise. The first cruise that I ever went was only a few weeks after I had gone gluten-free back in March 2007. I was still extremely new to gluten-free, and quite honestly I was also going through some denial about my Celiac. Part of my experience on that cruise was enjoyable; however, I spent a good deal of time in bed sick from gluten mainly because I don’t think I really understood fully what gluten was or what cross-contact was. My second cruise was within the past month and I had a wonderful experience, and except for a bit of motion sickness, I did not get sick at all. 

I want to preface my advice with something that you already know: there are risks in everything that you do. Hearing about some of these recent cruise ships that have been stranded or had other mechanical failures can be of major concern. So, be absolutely sure that you fully understand the risks of going on a cruise first before you do. Being a healthy individual and going on a cruise is one thing, but if you have a medical condition, you need to understand the risks and investigate fully before going.

From the two cruises that I’ve been on, I’ve learned several key points that I really think you need to know before you go on a cruise…

1. Pick a cruise line that you feel 100% confident that they understand Celiac, gluten-free, and the exact steps that they take to avoid cross-contact. If there is ANY doubt in your mind of their understanding of your condition, do not risk it. Many major cruise lines like Norwegian and Royal Caribbean now offer gluten-free menus and some even have separate areas in their kitchen to avoid cross-contact. So, be sure you investigate their gluten-free procedures in detail first before booking your cruise.

2. Call at least 90 days in advance of your sail date to alert the cruise line of your Celiac, gluten sensitivity and/or other food issues. Many times they will ask you to fill out a form detailing the exact nature of your request. Be thorough when filling this form out and be sure to send it in at least 60 days before you sail. Call the cruise line a few times to be sure they get the completed form and that they have everything ready for you. This will give the cruise line time to make sure they have all the gluten-free flours, bread, pasta, etc already on board in anticipation of your arrival. Meet with the executive chef and/or executive restaurant manager within a few hours of your arrival on board so that you can plan out your meals. Some cruises require you to order your meals at least 24 hours in advance while you are on the ship so that the chef can have everything prepared. This is for your benefit so that they can have your meal properly cooked.

Packing a small suitcase with gluten-free snacks and RTE's (ready to eat meals) can be quite helpful.

Packing a small suitcase with gluten-free snacks and RTE’s (ready to eat meals) can be quite helpful.

3. Most cruise lines that accommodate for gluten-free patrons will have more than enough food for you to eat while you are on board. However, I always pack an extra bag full of gluten-free snacks just in case. For example, I pack enough for 2 protein bars per day and one “just in case” ready-to-eat meal per day. GoPicnic has some great gluten-free RTE meals that are perfect to bring on cruises so that you’ll have something to eat for any off-ship excursions that you might do.  You can also request a small fridge if you’d like to have gluten-free leftovers to snack on in between meals. During the days that the ship is at sea, it may be wise for you to stick to eating in the main dining halls as opposed to the buffet lines. I recommend this simply because buffets are notorious for cross-contact; for example, people using a utensil to scoop up pasta and then using that same utensil to scoop up gluten-free vegetables right next to it. Playing it safe on a cruise is wise. If the buffet is your only option, then you can meet with the manager of that restaurant and they can pull untouched food for you directly from their kitchen. 

GoPicnic meals pack well and they make great options for off-ship excursions.

GoPicnic meals pack well and they make great options for off-ship excursions.  Be sure to buy the GoPicnic meals that are labelled gluten-free.

Again, know the risks fully before you decide to go on a cruise.  Being prepared is especially important. Planning is your friend. It may help you avoid potential issues on board the ship.   And knowing what to expect really will help you.  Just remember that you can run into gluten issues anywhere you are, so be wise and ask questions. Here’s wishing you a safe and happy cruise!

Mara Alexander is the Founder of GlutenFreeWorld TV©, a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a Certified Health Consultant and a Professional of the Academy of Healthcare Management.  She can be emailed at mara@glutenfreeworld.tv 

 

I’m His Caretaker, He’s My Caretaker: How to Face Chronic Conditions Together

Posted by on Mar 20th, 2013 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

I’m His Caretaker, He’s My Caretaker: How to Face Chronic Conditions Together

I’m His Caretaker, He’s My Caretaker: How to Face Chronic Conditions Together

by

Mara Alexander

It can be a challenge when a spouse or loved one is dealing with an illness.  But what happens when both spouses have chronic conditions?  And what happens when both spouses are sick at the same time? Kevin and I have been married for almost 12 years.  In that time, we have had to learn how to care for each other.  I don’t mean just how to love and nourish our relationship. Of course, that is essential to our relationship; but we both have chronic conditions in which we must become each others caretakers when we are ill. 

What happens when both spouses are sick with chronic conditions?

What happens when both spouses are sick with chronic conditions?

I have an autoimmune disease called Celiac and I also struggle with multiple food sensitivities. I’m very fortunate that my Celiac is manageable with a gluten-free diet and other practices such as good nutrition, cyanocobalamin shots, exercise, rest, avoiding problematic foods and having good sleep habits. Kevin has a very rare genetic disease called Phenylketonuria (PKU) in which his liver doesn’t have the enzyme to break down the amino acid PHE (phenylalinine).  Thankfully he was diagnosed when he was an infant.  To keep his body from building up too much PHE and doing any brain damage, he is on a lifelong low protein diet and he takes essential prescriptions via pill and liquid.  He’s never eaten a steak or drank a real glass of milk.  And he struggles with low energy levels and sometimes difficulty with concentration. But he has a full life and thanks to modern medicine, he is able to lead a mobile life.

So what have we learned in 12 years of caring for each other?  What happens when I accidentally eat gluten or his PHE levels get too high? How do you deal with a spouse or loved one when they are sick?

1. Write, write, write.  Seriously, keeping a journal is vital.  Writing down any concerns that you may be experiencing with your loved one is so important. I can look back at my journal entries from many years ago and see improvements on how Kevin and I deal with each other when we get sick.   And also get to know your loved one’s symptoms so that you can write them down.  For instance, Kevin knows what symptoms to look out for when I accidentally eat gluten.  He knows that when I start getting slurred speech, blurry vision, joint pain, and flu-like symptoms, he knows that I’ve gotten “glutenized” and how to help me. 

2.  Patience and Kindness.  When your loved one is sick, they may have a tendency to get moody and angry.  I know when I accidentally get “glutenized,” I do NOT want to be around anyone.  And sometimes I can get cranky. So, the best road to take when your loved one is sick is to be as patient and kind as possible. Believe me, the last thing that I want when I’m sick is someone to get impatient or frustrated with me.  I truly believe that patience and kindness are essential to bringing about your body’s natural healing abilities. 

Don't walk this path alone.  Ask for help.

Don’t walk this path alone. Ask for help.

3.  Know when to ask for help.  In 2011, Kevin was struggling with his PKU.  He is 5ft 11in and back then he had lost weight, and was down to 130 lbs.  He was way too thin. His muscles were catabolizing and he had no appetite.  He was losing motor skills.  I remembering distinctly one day while we were biking that he just couldn’t get control of his motor skills.  He just had to stop and lay on the ground because he was losing his ability to grip. 

Being your spouse's caretaker can be a challenge, but is manageable through good practices.

Being your spouse’s caretaker can be a challenge, but is manageable through good practices.

He was sick for many months and after getting his medication straightend out, he was finally able to get back to a normal weight.  But we had to ask for help.  Between my Celiac and his PKU, we asked friends and family to help us and support us.  Some people were there for us.  Others were notBut the reality is, sometimes you just have to ask for help. 

If you and your loved one both struggle with chronic conditions, it can be a challenge, but it also can be manageable through patience and making sure that you have a plan in place to help each other.  Remember that being a team is vital to your success.  And no matter how difficult things may be, just remember that your strength and tenacity will always be an inspiration to others.

 

 Mara Alexander is the Founder of GlutenFreeWorld TV©, a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a Certified Health Consultant and a Professional of the Academy of Healthcare Management.  She can be emailed at mara@glutenfreeworld.tv 

Owning Your Emotions: 4 Ways to Deal with People Who Don’t Care About Your Medical Conditions

Posted by on Mar 11th, 2013 in Uncategorized | 7 comments

Owning Your Emotions: 4 Ways to Deal with People Who Don’t Care About Your Medical Conditions

Owning Your Emotions: 4 Ways to Deal with People Who Don’t Care About Your Medical Conditions

by

Mara Alexander

 

People can be so mean and spiteful.  Hateful really.  All of us inside have the ability to be really inconsiderate human beings.  But it is what we do with the way we feel that makes all the difference in the world.  Our emotions can be tools of power, both for the detriment and the encouragement of others. When medical conditions enter our lives, then our already strained emotions can be compounded with fear, hate, anxiety, nervousness and a litany of other challenging feelings.  And this can be further hammered with the negative reactions that other people may have towards you and your diagnosis. It can be completely isolating. I’ve experienced a wide gamut of reactions from people about my Celiac disease and issues with multiple food sensitivities, and also seen firsthand how people treat my husband Kevin due to his rare disease called PKU. So how do you get control and own your emotions?  How do you deal with inconsiderate people who don’t understand or care about your medical problems?

Kevin and Mara Alexander must face their medical conditions together.

Kevin and Mara Alexander must face their medical conditions together.

1. Know that there will be people in your life that may not understand the trials surrounding your medical difficulties.  Realize that some people have never (and will never) experience the physical and emotional pain of serious medical problems.  Facing this realization in the beginning is really important.  If I had a TARDIS, a Delorean or some other type of time machine, I’d tell the Mara from 2007 to be prepared for some major hypocrisy coming from people who I thought were close to me.  Believe me, medical conditions have a way of revealing who the true kindred spirits in your life really are.

2. Lower or eliminate your expectations of people’s reaction to your condition.  I guarantee if you put someone on a pedestal, then they will fall very hard from it. This sounds harsh, but some people will absolutely disappoint and hurt you. And unfortunately many times after a diagnosis, there could be both family and friends that won’t be there for you.  Sometimes it is because they are scared of seeing you in pain and they push you away.  Sometimes it is really that they don’t understand what it is like and they expect you to pretend like nothing is wrong.

3.  Educate those closest to you about your diagnosis.  It took many years of me educating certain people in my life in order to get them to understand my Celiac.  The first few years, it didn’t matter how many brochures, books, pamphlets or videos that I showed them, they absolutely thought that I was making it all up.  They thought that my gluten-free lifestyle was just a fad and that I would eventually move on to something else.  But after being tenacious in my diet and sharing my story everywhere I go, I believe that I’m finally being heard and understood.  And being heard and understood is especially important to anyone.

4. Be a hero to someone else.  If you have already experienced the hurt of people making fun or simply not caring about your medical condition, that is the absolute best time to be a hero by telling your story, writing a blog, writing a book, or publicly speaking about it.   The quicker that you can begin doing this, the quicker the emotional healing will come.  This is because when you feel a sense of commonality with someone else (especially due to a shared medical experience), it has a way of mending the soul. You may be that person that feels a deep sense of isolation and desperately needs to feel accepted. And I need to tell you:  there is someone out there that wants very badly for someone to reach out to them…so why not be that person that is willing to do the reaching? And by doing this, you will bring about your own emotional healing.

Mara Alexander is the Founder of GlutenFreeWorld TV©, a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a Certified Health Consultant and a Professional of the Academy of Healthcare Management.  She can be emailed at mara@glutenfreeworld.tv

5 Ways the World’s Largest Nutrition School Enhanced My Career and Changed My Life

Posted by on Feb 9th, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

5 Ways the World’s Largest Nutrition School Enhanced My Career and Changed My Life

 

Mara Alexander with diploma from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Mara Alexander with diploma from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

5 Ways the World’s Largest Nutrition School Enhanced My Career and Changed My Life

by Mara Alexander

I’ve been in the healthcare industry for over a decade now, and if there is one thing that I’ve learned it’s that we need more people that are an authority on true wellness. There is so much misinformation out there on what it means to be healthy. Not only that, but where is the personal responsibility anymore for making sure that your first line of defense is to take care of your own body? I’m the first to admit that many years ago, I thought I was treating my body right, but in all actuality, I was doing quite the opposite. In 2007, I was the sickest that I had ever been in my life. I honestly believed at that point that I was dying. It took going to 12 doctors before I found out that I had an autoimmune disease called Celiac. After changing to a gluten-free and active lifestyle, it changed my life.

It's amazing what gluten will do with someone with Celiac disease!

It’s amazing what gluten will do with someone with Celiac disease!

In 2011, a colleague of mine named Julie told me about a health coaching program that she completed via distance learning online through a school called the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her enthusiasm enthralled me. I could not imagine a school that had the potential to change someone’s life like that. She was already a Registered Dietician, so what made her hungry for more knowledge in the wellness field? She wanted more depth. She wanted to understand the politics behind food, the psyche behind a person’s cravings, and the need to help those who wanted to be helped. At the time, I had already been working in a wellness and marketing capacity in my job, but I too wanted more. So, in late 2011, I enrolled in the online program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Health Coach and graduated 12 months later.

So, what exactly is a “Health Coach”? And no it’s not a personal trainer (although some trainers do also become Health Coaches). Health Coaches aren’t the ones physically helping to spot you bench-press 200 lbs, but rather Health Coaches are a wellness authority and someone that you can depend on to help you make good choices on your road to health. Health Coaches sometimes call themselves Health Counselors or Life Coaches.

After 12 months of going through the Health Coach Training Program and graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I can truly say that it is one of the best things that I have ever done for myself. And there are numerous ways that the World’s Largest Nutrition School has enhanced my career and changed my life:

1. Having a new certification and a few extra letters after your name really does give you extra credibility. I’m not saying that’s why I enrolled in the school, but it is definitely nice to have a certification. The school is incredible because I could work at my own pace and in my own timing. Sure, there are deadlines and tests, but it is online and I could log in when I wanted to and at my own pacing.

2. A very heavy focus of the program is on the aspect of marketing. When most dieticians and nutritionists graduate from a 2-yr or 4-yr college, one of the first questions they ask is “Now what?” The school has a wide range of lectures on everything from Marketing 101 to very focused marketing lectures on how to publish a book. I’ve been in the marketing world for nearly 11 years, and this aspect of the program was my favorite; not because I know everything about marketing, but because I know that I don’t. Learning how to properly market myself has done wonders for my career. (I also loved the fact that included in my tuition was an iPad pre-loaded with all my lectures!)

Included in my tuition was an iPad pre-loaded with 12 months of lectures!

Included in my tuition was an iPad pre-loaded with 12 months of lectures!

3. I thought I was going into the program to primarily learn about nutrition, but the program actually taught me about myself. Of course, I learned how to help other people with balancing their lives, but in the process of learning, it changed me. Look at your life as one big circle; now split up that circle into smaller slices like your career, eating habits, exercise, relationships and your spirituality. A Health Coach takes into consideration all “slices” of your life and helps you to become a more balanced individual. And I am learning to apply what I learned to my own life. I am continuously learning how to take the root of my deepest fears, and use it to purge myself into a stronger person.

4. And a real accomplishment: everyone who completes the program clocks 761 hours in a 12-month period; soaking in information that that will help them for the rest of their lives….Nutrition Concepts, Modern Health Issues, Health Coaching, Good Marketing Practices, & Healthy Eating and Living.

5. Health Coaches not only receive training to provide wellness education and support, but they also have the satisfaction of having a diploma from the world’s largest nutrition school located in NYC.

If you would like to get more information about the school, please email ambassadors@integrativenutrition.com and cc in mara@glutenfreeworld.tv. Blair will send you a school catalog and can help walk you through any questions. Let Blair know that Mara Alexander sent you to her. If you want a sneak peek of the program, you can also click HERE.

Mara Alexander is the Founder of GlutenFreeWorld TV©, a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a Certified Health Consultant and a Professional of the Academy of Healthcare Management. She can be emailed at mara@glutenfreeworld.tv

3 Lessons to Prevent Freak-Out Moments When Ordering Gluten-Free

Posted by on Feb 4th, 2013 in Uncategorized | 6 comments

3 Lessons to Prevent Freak-Out Moments When Ordering Gluten-Free

3 Lessons to Prevent Freak-Out Moments When Ordering Gluten-Free

By Mara Alexander

Have you ever had one of those “freak-out” moments when trying to order gluten-free at a restaurant?  Very rarely do I get so frustrated at a restaurant that I want to cry and run away at the same time.  But today I had one of those moments.  Both the tearing up and almost wanting to run out of the place.  I had phoned the manager of a chain Italian restaurant earlier in the morning to let him know that I would be coming for lunch and to make the necessary preparations for me to have a gluten-free pasta meal.  He understood that I would be available to stay at the restaurant for lunch for 1 hour, but no longer. When I arrived and reminded them of my order, they had not made the necessary preparations.

3 Lessons to Prevent Freak-Out Moments When Ordering Gluten-Free

At first, I patiently waited for 40 min; upon the first time of bringing out the gluten-free pasta, it had fried glutenous chicken on top of it.  Not what I ordered, so I sent it back.  Then I patiently waited another 20 minutes.  When they brought it out a second time, and I took a bite of it, the pasta was so crunchy that it felt like I was eating it raw.  At this point, I asked to speak to the manager again.  I was so frustrated that I just wanted to cry; I was already late for an afternoon meeting and I didn’t have time for them to boil another set of pasta again.  The manager was kind and ended up not charging me for my husband’s meal or my drink; he also prepared some grilled chicken in a to-go box for me.

 

Mara and Kevin Alexander enjoy many safe gluten-free dining experiences together.

Mara and Kevin Alexander enjoy many safe gluten-free dining experiences together.

So, lessons learned here…

1. Be as patient and caring as possible, especially keeping in mind that many people in the food industry are not well-trained on what gluten is and what cross-contact can do to someone with Celiac.  Some restaurant staffers have never even heard of gluten.  Efforts are being made nationwide by many Celiac foundations and gluten-free companies to provide education to both chain restaurants and local restaurants.  It is still a learning curve for many in the food industry, so continue to be patient and don’t be afraid to educate those in your favorite restaurant.

2. While being patient and caring, you also have to be firm and unemotional in what you want and how it should be prepared.  Let the manager and waitress know that when you sent that salad back to the kitchen because it had croutons on it, that they cannot just take the croutons off of it and give it back to you.  Be very firm in explaining that they need to make a fresh salad and that even a few crumbs can cause a reaction in your body. And be firm without being emotional.  Being calm goes a long way.

3.  As much as possible, don’t be in a hurry and try to allow for extra time in your dining process.  The best time to order gluten-free in a restaurant is during their least busy times.  Most restaurants this would be avoiding the 12-1pm lunch rush and the 6-7pm dinner rush.  If you know that you have to go during rush hour, try to keep a protein bar with you to tide you over.  Remember:  the hungrier you are, the less patient you may be. Filling up on a gluten-free protein bar will add to your energy and your patience.

So being patient, caring, firm, calm as well as keeping your energy up will help you to have a safer gluten-free dining experience.

 

Mara Alexander is the Founder of GlutenFreeWorld TV©, a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a Certified Health Consultant and a Professional of the Academy of Healthcare Management.  She can be emailed at mara@glutenfreeworld.tv

 

How could I live without my croissant? Tales of a gluten-free Frenchman

Posted by on Jan 22nd, 2013 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

How could I live without my croissant?  Tales of a gluten-free Frenchman
Back Cover Portrait. low-res

French Chef Alain Braux enjoys his life in Austin, TX. Photo by ©Athena Danoy

How could I live without my croissant?  Tales of a gluten-free Frenchman

by Mara Alexander

“Me, a Frenchman, allergic to gluten! How could I live without my croissant for breakfast or piece of baguette with my favorite cheese? So you see, I will be making the same tough culinary choices in my life that you may have to make in yours.” — Chef Alain Braux, Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food

Chef Alain Braux is accustomed to a challenge.  It is what he lives for and what gives him that extra drive.  Cooking and consulting for a client family of 4 with a combined total of 140 food allergies?  No problem.  Being the Executive Chef and Nutritherapist at People’s Pharmacy in Austin, TX? But of course. These are just some of the many examples of Native Frenchmen Chef Alain Braux’s resilience and passion for healthy cooking.  And he’s been in the food and baking industry for an astounding 45 years, with his training coming from the famous French pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre. In the last few years, Chef Alain has discovered that he is gluten intolerant.  And having authored several books on healthy eating already, he decided it was time to write a book about gluten-free French food.  His newest gluten-free book,  Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food is jam-packed with over 80 original French gluten-free and dairy-free recipes.

Book Cover

Living Gluten and Dairy Free with French Gourmet Food by Chef Alain Braux

Pain au Sarasin (Gluten-Free Buckwheat Bread). Photo via ©Creative Commons by Janedo70

Pain au Sarasin (Gluten-Free Buckwheat Bread). Photo via ©Creative Commons by Janedo70

Everything from breads, appetizers, soups, salads, entrees to deserts line the pages of his book; and there’s no shortage of mouth-watering recipes like Classique Mousse au Chocolat (Classic French Chocolate Mousse), Galettes de Sarasin Complete (Brittany-Style Savory Crêpes),  and Pain Sans Gluten a la Farine de Sarasin (Gluten-Free Buckwheat Bread). In addition to his recipes, Chef Alain also gives over 150 pages of practical advice about gluten-free living. Alain has bragging rights to four impressive cookbook awards: Best Cookbook at the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival, Best Cookbook at the 2011 Paris Book Festival, Best Nutrition book at the 2011 Indie Excellence Awards, and Honorable mention at the 2011 New York Book Festival.

Alain’s book is easy to read and the recipes are scaled down enough that the you don’t have to be a skilled pastry chef to make them.  So, the next time you are in the mood for gluten-free French food, be sure to check out Chef Alain’s book. You can purchase his book Living Gluten and Dairy-Free with French Gourmet Food for $19.95 on amazon.com by clicking HERE.  If you prefer to purchase the Kindle version for $9.95, click HERE.

Chef Alain Braux offers nutritherapy and diet plans to people with health issues related to food.  His website is www.alainbraux.com. He lives in Austin, TX. When you visit his website, please tell him that Mara with GlutenFreeWorld TV sent you.

Chef Alain Braux. Photo by ©Athena Danoy

Largest Gluten-free Menu in the US?

Posted by on Nov 15th, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Largest Gluten-free Menu in the US?

Delectable hand made pasta. Savory cannoli. Heavenly bruschetta. Tempting mozzarella cheese sticks. Rich and delightful chocolate cake. What restaurant boasts one of the largest gluten-free menus in the U.S.?  On a recent quest for unusual gluten-free foods, I discovered Pasta Pomodoro’s in Voorhees, NJ.  The owner Pasquale Masters prides himself on serving the tastiest gluten-free Italian food outside of Italy itself!  Not only that but Pasquale himself spent a good 30 minutes with me and explained the extreme lengths that they go through to avoid cross-contamination.

Gluten-free Melenzane Madonna from Pasta Pomodoro’s. Sautéed eggplant with fresh diced tomatoes, artichokes, capers and pinoli in a garlic wine sauce on angel hair pasta.

 

Owner of Pasta Pomodoro’s, Pasquale Masters with Founder of GlutenFreeWorldTV, Mara Alexander.

Pasquale uses a very fine gluten-free rice flour to hand make all of their GF pastas and other breading products.  The results of this fine rice flour are astounding.  Every gluten-free meal that I sampled tasted like I was eating REAL Italian food with gluten in it, sans the pain and discomfort of course. 90% of their regular menu items are made gluten-free, so it is very easy to find something to eat!  Pasta Pomodoro’s is recognized by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and has the official approval of the NFCA.  This means that the entire restaurant staff is extremely well-versed about Celiac and the dangers of cross-contamination.

Gluten-free Bruschetta from Pasta Pomodoro’s. Grilled Italian bread rubbed with garlic and topped with diced tomatoes, basil and extra virgin olive oil.

Gluten-free cannoli from Pasta Pomodoro’s. Fried pastry dough filled with a rich filling, topped with chocolate sauce.

Gluten-free Mozzarella Sticks from Pasta Pomodoro’s. Lightly battered and served with marinara sauce.

The menu gives a huge selection to both gluten-free and gluten-ful eaters alike! Pasquale and his staff will also make anything for you gluten-free that you wish, even if it is not on the GF menu.

The next time you have a craving for hand-made delectable Italian food, take a road trip to Pasta Pomodoro in Vorhees, NJ at 700 Haddonfield-Berlin Road and feast upon some of the finest gluten-free food in the U.S.  You can call them at 856-782-7430 or visit online at www.pastapomodoronj.com.  When you see Pasquale, tell him that Mara from GlutenFreeWorldTV sent you:)

Happy Eatings!!  XOXO, Mara

Sherwood Valley Juice Smoothie Packets

Posted by on Nov 13th, 2012 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Sherwood Valley Juice Smoothie Packets

If you are an athlete or like to have a smoothie on-the-go, there’s a new company Sherwood Valley Juice Company that is worth checking out.  They have 4 flavors of instant fruit smoothie packets that are gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free, and as an added bonus it is 100% plant-based whole food.  Many people, like myself, struggle with multiple food allergies and sensitivities.  So it’s a relief that many companies are starting to take a multitude of food allergies into consideration when formulating their products!

Here are the things that I really like about these smoothie packets:

1)  They are totally portable and convenient.  Very conducive for bringing on a bike ride to mix with water.

2) They taste very good!  My favorite is the Cascade Berry Bliss because, well, it just is.  The texture is smooth, unlike a lot of grainy smoothie mixes that I’ve had before.

3) Simple ingredients.  No fluff.  Just real fruits and veggies.

4) The main dude at Sherwood Valley Juice, David Cascadden, is completely open to hearing what his customers have to say. I have had two phone calls with David asking him about where each of his ingredients come from.  He recently sent me proof that his oats meet the current gluten-free definition via the ELISA lab test (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay).  The results of the oats came back as 3ppm (parts per million).  See below for photo.

If you’d like to get more information on where to find these smoothie mixes, you can order them online at  http://www.sherwoodvalleyjuice.com or visit the several locations listed on their website! When you order, let David know that Mara from GlutenFreeWorld TV sent you;)

XOXO, Mara

 

 

 

Easy Gluten-free Quinoa Pilaf

Posted by on Nov 2nd, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Easy Gluten-free Quinoa Pilaf

Easy Gluten-free Quinoa Pilaf

1 Cup Quinoa (be sure it is the type of quinoa that doesn’t need rinsing first)

2 Cup water

1/2 Cup veggies

2 Gluten-Free veggie bouillon cubes

Salt and Pepper to taste

Add ingredients to pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-18 min. DONE!!!  So easy and delicious!

Enjoy!! XOXO, Mara