Friday, May 27, 2016

Rudi's Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

"Gluten-free doesn’t mean bread-free." 
"Made with stuff you can pronounce and ingredients you recognize"

O…M…G – that’s all I have to say.  Honestly.

I guess I’ll have to explain my death bed wish.  It’s ok…my daughters already know.  When I’m down to my last 30 minutes of life…I want two pieces of the best glutenous Cinnamon Raisin Toast with real butter - and a Boston Cream Donut of course.  I’ve been Wheat-Free, then Gluten-Free for nearly 20 years now so it’s been a looooong time since I’ve had a really good piece of bread.

Until the other day when I received a package from Rudi’s Bakery.  I tore into it like a kid into a Christmas package.  I’ve heard the rumors…this was supposed to be the best around.  Now I have to admit…I was expecting tasteless white bread.  And what did I find right there on top??  Gluten-Free Raisin Bread!!  Oh My Goodness!!  Raisin Bread.  I couldn’t wait to pop the first slice into the toaster.  I grabbed the butter out of the fridge while I waited.  I know…cold butter, warm crusty bread…I was going to make it work.  Oh, my kitchen smelled incredible while it toasted.  I pulled the Raisin toast out even before the bell had a chance to ring.

Five minutes later I sat down with my Gluten-Free Raisin toast and a nice cup of Tea.  I was in heaven, absolute and total heaven.  This was by far the tastiest bit of bread that I’ve had in decades.  And it had raisins!!  Not just one or two…like I’ve gotten in others I’ve tried…but many!!  Enough raisins for every single bite…plenty of raisins.  Did I mention taste??  This is wonderful bread - incredible toasted, nice and crunchy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside with a great taste.

Now I do have to toaster has a tendency to burn the top crust of this bread.  I don't know why.  So I have to watch it while it's toasting...but I don't mind.  It is soooo worth the watch.

Instructions on the package state keep frozen.  I did that and pulled another slice out to defrost at room temperature…just to see how it was.  This bread is incredible without being toasted!!  Now that’s pretty much unheard of when it comes to Gluten-Free breads.  So the next day I made myself a Peanut Butter & Banana sandwich with room temperature bread and was incredibly impressed. 

I can’t wait to try this out on my Gluten Intolerance Group.  They’re going to love it!  And I guess now I’m going to have to change my death bed wish.  Hmmmm…a real Boston Cream Donut and I think perhaps my mom’s Mince Meat Pie.  That will do it!!

Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery
3300 Walnut Street # C
Boulder, CO   80301

Consumer Hotline: 877-293-0876
Phone: 303-447-0495
Fax: 303-447-0516

Water, raisins, potato extract, rice starch, rice flour, sorghum flour, organic evaporated cane juice, organic high oleic sunflower/safflower oil, egg whites, yeast, sea salt, xanthan gum, organic cinnamon, organic molasses

Carolanne Le Blanc
Email: GlutenFreeInFlorida @
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771

Friday, May 20, 2016

Shopping Gluten-Free

I like to support my local small business first.  I live in Florida and just hate seeing so many of our small businesses…some several generations old…closing up.  These days it just seems epidemic.  With more and more small businesses on the edge of survival, it’s become much more important for us to support them with our dollars.  My favorite go to place for Gluten-Free stuff is right around the corner.  And apparently they have a new online presence too!

Vitamin Outlet
3690 East Bay Drive in Largo, FL 33771
ph: (727) 536-0120, fax: (727) 538-9805

When I first bought my house over 12 years ago they weren’t too savvy about Celiac or Gluten-Free.  But they’ve gotten quite an education over the years, which is why I love small business.  They know me, they take the time to talk to me, they strive to keep me happy and they know the importance of great customer service.  Over the years they’ve become one of the best places to get anything Gluten-Free.  They’re knowledgeable, and willing to consider any requests.  And the store is just packed full of the most current choices!!  Granted, things may be a little more expensive…but I’m a firm believer that you always get what you pay for.  When I want the care and customer service that only a small business can provide I’m willing to pay the extra to get it.

Now my Publix Grocery across the street is offering some real competition.  It’s the largest Grocery Chain in Florida so they can offer cheaper prices on many of the items I use every day.  But what they carry is pretty mundane - basic items from some of the larger manufacturers and nothing too adventurous.  I love their new GF shelf labeling…but have to be careful…I’ve caught some items indicated as GF when they’re not.  Like Ezekiel’s bread – that is NOT Gluten-Free.

When I can’t find what I need locally, I automatically turn to my online best friend – Amazon at   Type in “Gluten-Free” and you’ll get over 10,892 choices!!  Scroll down a bit and select “Free Shipping” and your choices drop to over 4,190 results, but hey…I can deal with that.  I can shop to my heart’s content and not have to pay any shipping.  That’s almost as easy as a short stroll around the corner to my favorite Vitamin Outlet.

Carolanne Le Blanc
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771

Friday, May 13, 2016

Getting a LapBand with Celiac Disease - Part III

When I first considered getting a LapBand I tried to research any information about LapBands and Celiac Disease and the only thing I found were others asking the same answers. I'm hoping to help others who might be on the same search. Don't forget to check out Part I and Part II as well.

Well, I went for my first fill this week. That was interesting.  They had me lay down with a pillow at my lower back…poked around for the port…popped the needle in then helped me to sit back up again.  I’d been advised to bring in something cold to drink because it was easier to ‘feel’ it. So while I took a few sips she fidgeted with my fill. It was a bit weird…I really could feel the fluid stopping at the band while she timed it until I told her it had passed through.  I ended up with 3.5cc's for my first fill.  I think that it’s actually less than I really wanted because I was pretty nervous and anxious about it.  I know I’ll feel a bit more confident next time.

I lost a total of 8lbs between my pre-op and post-op visits…but felt I may have gained it all back while waiting for my first fill.  So I was pretty surprised when they told me that I had actually stayed the same.  Then I learned that I had lost an additional 6lbs and replaced it with 6lbs of muscle.  That was a good thing.  So I actually lost an additional 6 virtual pounds…lol!!  Now I know better…don’t get upset with a small gain or standstill until they check your BMI for virtual pounds…there may be a few lost pounds hidden in there.

I’m still using my food log…they’re very conscientious about keeping track of what I eat and making certain I stay on a healthy diet.  There are a few different ones out there but this is my favorite…  I've always been a healthy eater...real food, nothing processed, nothing white.  There was still room to make some small changes.  Sugar in the Raw for I'm using Agave syrup for most things...especially my morning coffee...half-caf, thank you very much :-)  And I do keep vanilla 60-calorie puddings in the fridge...for those times when I absolutely have to have something that seems like a treat.  When it comes to Gluten-Free replacements...breads, pasta, crackers, etc...I've always kept them to a minimum, but now I stay away from the white rice flours like the plague.  I've always preferred whole grain even if it was Gluten-Free.

As for my un-diagnosed Celiac Disease...I've been lucky.  The extreme dieting, the surgery, the pain medications, the recovery...I've managed to come through it all with very little trouble.  My tummy is just fine...I'm adjusting to the Band really well...and results are slow and steady...which is really fine with me.  Everyone's journey is a personal one.  When I had reached a crossroads in my life...there were very few answers for me.  Here's hoping you've been able to find some that have helped you.

Carolanne Le Blanc
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771

Friday, May 6, 2016

Celiac Disease Facts and Figures

Celiac Disease Facts and Figures
University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center

Celiac disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine.  When a person who has celiac disease consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, the individual’s immune system responds by attacking the small intestine and inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients into the body.  Undiagnosed and untreated, celiac disease can lead to the development of other autoimmune disorders, as well as osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions and in rare cases, cancer.

Prevalence of Celiac Disease in the United States
• In average healthy people: 1 in 133
• In people with related symptoms: 1 in 56
• In people with first-degree relatives (parent, child, sibling) 1 in 22
• In people with second-degree relatives (aunt, uncle, cousin) 1 in 39
• Estimated prevalence for African-, Hispanic- and Asian-Americans: 1 in 236
• Celiac disease affects at least 3 million Americans.
• Type 1 Diabetes affects 3 million people;
            6% (180,000) also have celiac disease.
• 610,000 women experience unexplained infertility;
            6% (36,600) also have celiac disease.
• 350,000 people are living with Down syndrome;
            12 % (42,000) also have celiac disease.

Celiac disease affects 1% of healthy, average Americans.  That means at least 3 million people in our country are living with celiac disease—97%of them are undiagnosed.

Putting Celiac Disease in Perspective:
• The number of people with celiac disease in the U.S. would fill 4,400 Boeing 747airplanes.
• It would take 936 cruise ships to hold every American with celiac disease.
• Fans with celiac disease could fill Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears, 37 times.
• The number of people with celiac disease in the U.S. is roughly equal to the number of people living in the state of Nevada.
• Alaska, Delaware, Washington DC, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah and Vermont all have populations that are less than 2,200,000 - the number of people living with celiac disease in the United States.

Carolanne Le Blanc
Email: GlutenFreeInFlorida @
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771