I’ve done it again. I have fallen off of the very much needed allergy free bandwagon! Craziness has been amongst me recently and I wrongfully chose to choose cheap, delicious (yet horribly awful) food choices due to them being easier. I need to snap out of it and WAKE UP!
One of my biggest problems is the cost. Being a 20 year old who pays all of her own stuff, lives in an apartment, attempting to start school, and has medical bills stacked up to her chubby little waist, it’s hard finding the extra amount of cash to buy organic and allergy free foods. It is SO much more expensive!! For instance, a box of macaroni and cheese is like $.99….allergy free macaroni and cheese easily almost $2!
So here I am trying to decide which one is more important… my health (putting a little extra dent in the wallet) or making sure my bank account doesn’t hit zero(buying the cheap, unhealthy boxed food). Why can’t I have both?? Why can’t I eat healthy and allergy free AND not spend a lot? It’s time…I’m going to have to take it into my own hands. Decide what at the store I REALLY need, and what can I live without. And then again, why should I live without? Can I make it on my own?…Can I buy it in bulk for cheap? I know I’ve said it before but it’s time to put my size 10 (probably should be 12) big girl pants on. I am determined.
So keep reading, readers, whowever you may be. Watch as I either succeed beautifully in my quest for a healthier lifestyle or end up having to write similar blogs like this one in the future due to strolling off course yet again.
Wish me luck…and bon appetit, fellow food lovers!
I work midnights and it is very quiet and uneventful. I am also one of those people that munch on something when they are bored. Hence, why I have more than just “winter weight” latched on to my thighs and stomach. So I have recently tried (more than usual) to be more aware of what I’m eating, how much, and to really decide if I’m actually hungry or not during those 8 hours of nothingness. When I am hungry what am I going to pull out of my bag? Twizzlers… no, bad Becca! Chex Mix…no, gluten BAD! A delivery menu… NOOOO!
NOT ANYMORE! I use to pull out all those things but I am looking at food and even my body differently now. It’s like putting cheap gas into your shiny (curvy) sports car. It may work but not as well as it should. First I had to decide what those specific “things” were that I craved. Chocolate? Carbs? Both. I am always looking for something to fill my instant crave, but never something to fill my body’s needs.
So now every night here I am, carrying my big ol’ bag of goodies. Some crack jokes that I’m “moving in”, some say I’m feeding a family with all that I bring…but I say they’re just grumpy from the delicious yet terrible red bulls, jelly beans, and cheetos they’d been eating all day. So what do I bring in my magical bag of deliciousness? I bring several different options because your mood can change. At one point you may want something sweet and light…at one point you may want something with more substance.
Now let me explain the process of packing the bag….
First, you ALWAYS pack the hazelnut/ chocolate spread!! (unless you have a coco, nut, or unfortunately even severe dairy allergy) I cheat on the dairy a little ;) You can put the hazelnut/ chocolate spread (Nutella, etc) on many different things, and you don’t need to use a lot. I personally spread a little on either two gluten free graham crackers or a serving of gluten free animal cookies (both kinnikinnick brand). That right there, kicks my sweet tooth for the night! Next I always try to pack at least one type of vegetable and one type of fruit with a dip for one. My personal favorite is bringing either fresh cut bell peppers with some hummus, or some fresh cut apples with almond butter.
Now the big challenge for me is carbs. I love bread, I really really do. And on midnights I want to eat lots of it. So what do I do? I either bring gluten free crackers (also good with hummus), pretzels, fruit bars, OR …I make the best stinkin’ sandwich ever! I prepare it at home and then quick microwave it when I’m getting the craving. It is the sister sandwich to the one I posted recently.
toasted Rudi’s english muffin
hormel’s gluten free ham and turkey
fresh yellow or orange bell pepper
The vegetables make it so delicious! I sometimes combined my bread and sweet cravings and put just the hazelnut/chocolate spread on the english muffin… yum!
But for the most part, try and keep your snacks simple. Bring a granola bar, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, crackers, a yogurt (soy, greek, whatever!) It is also a great time to eat up all those leftovers! I even bring little kid snacks, such as yougurt meltaways, fruit bites, etc. All my friends laugh because I am a 20 year old that always buys baby snacks for herself. But they are sweet, delicious, and have less hidden additives.
Bringing a drink it another important thing to put in your bag. No need to even stop at the pop machine! Don’t put all those sugars in your system and no need to buy bottled water when you probably have tons of bottles at home! Drink water, iced teas (look at labels!), natural juics, etc. I am a stinker at drinking lots of teas and coffee and never any water…not good!
Hopefully you all will give the “snack bag” a try. It’ll help save money (and the waist line) due to going through the drive thru, paying for delievery, and stopping by the vending machine. And as always I hope I am helpful and that I didn’t just waste precious, beautiful time off of your wonderful lifes by having you read this :) And with that… bon appetit my fellow food lovers!
The other day while going grocery shopping I decided to hit up a couple of my favorite spots.First I went to a local produce store, Farmer Q’s. Anyone who lives in Marquette, MI and does not purchase their items there are crazy! I got two large bags of fresh Michigan vegetables and fruit for $23! ￼ My next stop I went to was our local Co Op. I love shopping there because I support growing locally and organically (plus they have an excellent selection of allergy free items). However, my wallet takes a hit everytime! For two packs of Rudi’s gluten free english muffins (which I can’t live without) and a few other small items it cost me the same amount I had just purchased my produce for. So there I was $46 less, and I made a conclusion. If I can grow it or make it, I’m not gonna buy it. Sure the “growing” part will take time, and until then I will continue going to Farmer Q’s, but why pay for something when I can do it myself? And then there’s gluten free bread…I just don’t like it. It has always been the most difficult part of my allergies. So me making my own with allow me to test different recipes I find, see what’s best for me. Like I said earlier, I am a HUGE fan of Rudi’s spelt english muffins. However, it’s time to cut the cord. As much as I love them I’d prefer to save my wallet some cash and my belly probably a few stomach aches. Some people with wheat, and gluten allergies cannot tollerate spelt due to it being considered a subspecies of the closely related to wheat. So my next project (hopefully this weekend) will be homemade, gluten free english muffins. Here’s the recipe: Canteen GF English Muffins 12 ounces gluten-free flour: (3 oz. superfine brown rice flour, plus 2 oz. gluten-free oat flour, plus 2 oz. superfine white rice flour plus 1.5 oz. millet flour plus 1 oz. sweet rice flour, plus 1.5 oz. potato starch, plus 1 oz. teff flour.2 ounces dry milk powder1 tablespoon sugar1 teaspoon saltone packet yeast – not rapid rise! (about 2 teaspoons)1 large egg whitegenerous 8 oz. water, warm1 tablespoon solid shorteningtablespoon or two of gluten-free cornmeal Wish me luck…and bon appetit my fellow food lovers!
IF you learn anything from this blog, learn this….corn noodles are AMAZING!! They have such good flavor, they come in different types of noodles, and aren’t expensive. You can get them now at almost any grocery store. However, if you’re allergic to to corn try rice or vegetable noodles. The rice trend to get a bit mushy and the vegetable tend to stay on the chewy side. While the noodles are boiling, take a frozen pound of ground up organic chicken (turkey is good too) and cook it, then drain. Next add the sauce to the meat and allow it to heat up on the stove. I used olive and asiago sauce that I bought at our local Co Op. Once everything is all prepared, you were ready to eat!
I also made (or attempted) a rendition of Starbucks’ “passion tea lemonade”. Although not tasting exactly like the liquid perfection that Starbucks serves, it was pretty delicious! I used one glass of water, a sugar free personal pack of lemonade and Tazo passion tea bag. You can add Splenda, or any other kind of non-sugar sweetener as well.
After tasting and trying all of the allergy free stuff in the stores over the years (alof of it isn’t too grand) I have made a promise to myself that I will never settle for anything tasteless and gross because of this. Just because you have food allergies doesn’t mean that you have to deprive your taste buds. It does not mean that you have to sacrifice delicious meals for the sake of your health. No, once you’ve learn the tricks of the trade with your food allergies you’ll find you can practically turn anything “allergy free” to fit your needs. It has taken me 5 years to finally gain all the knowledge that I now have about food allergies. Here on my blog I will share my personal trial and errors with cooking allergy free, show new recipes, tips, websites, etc that I have found, and hopefully be kept accountable for staying allergy free. So bon appetit my fellow food lovers!