Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Uno's Gluten-Free Pizza

Yes, you've heard it right! Uno Chicago Grill is test marketing gluten-free pizza! Click here to read an article from QRS Magazine.com. Click here for Uno's online Gluten-Free Menu. Unfortunatly, I do not live in the test market area, but might be willing to travel a little to get to one!
I would be interested to hear from anyone in the test market areas who have tried it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Living Well

Celiac never made me skinny. I have heard that many people with severe cases lose lots of weight. No, I'm not saying that it's a good thing to be sick. I really wouldn't want that. I'm just saying that having Celiac disease has never stopped me from eating and gaining weight.
Before my Celiac diagnosis last year, I had joined Weight Watchers and had shed about 16 pounds. I was looking and feeling much better about myself, although still having "tummy troubles". After I began eating gluten-free, I still was able to shed another 4 pounds to get to my goal weight. It took a total of nine months to lose the 20 pounds.
Well, as they say, "life happens". I kept the weight off until I had my cervical fusion in March of this year. Recovering from surgery made me think that I had an excuse to eat anything I wanted and sit around a lot. Sure, this excuse worked for about the first month after surgery, but I find that I'm still using it today.
Yes, I'm still hurting. Yes, I'm still going through more tests to see what's going on. Yes, the doctor's have told me I'm still "recovering". They have also told me that "moderate" exercise such as walking helps with recovery.
I had been doing a lot of walking until about three weeks ago when I had a set back and wound up in a lot of pain again. Now I'm having trouble getting started again. I can always find an excuse why I should stay home instead. I have laundry to do. I have to finish my book because it's over due at the library. I have to read one more email.
Then, there is my huge sweet tooth. I had it before my surgery and I still have it! Too bad they couldn't remove it along with my herniated discs! Can you believe I actually make bowls of chocolate frosting and then eat it? This is something I'm not very proud of, but there it is. I'm coming clean. I will eat anything sweet. The sweeter, the better!
I've also found that since being diagnosed with Celiac, I seem to fill my pantry with all of the gluten-free snacks I can find. I guess I don't want to feel deprived. I have cookies, brownie mix, snack bars, sweet cereal and my all time favorite food group in this world...M&M's!!!
I've been reading a book by Montel Williams called "Living Well". Montel has Multiple Sclerosis which is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the nervous system. He is managing his disease by eating healthy and exercising along with taking his meds. The main thrust of the book is that by eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, less processed foods and red meat, you will feel better. You can see a nice little video about the book on You Tube by clicking here.
Now, I didn't have to read his book to know all of this. I know that eating more fruits and vegetables and less sweets is right. I tell my daughter this every day. I make sure she has healthy meals and snacks. Luckily, she loves fruit and eats many vegetables.
So why don't I care enough about myself to practice what I preach? I'm not sure I know the answer to that. I have never loved fruit. I'll eat a half of banana in the morning with my cereal and call it good. The only meal I have that includes vegetables is dinner, unless I have soup with vegetables in it for lunch. I have to force myself to eat salads. I'm definitely not getting my 5-a-day and definitely not eating the amount that good, old Montel recommends!
Since I started reading "Living Well", I have been trying to eat at least one fruit or vegetable per meal. Today, I had hot rice cereal with dried cranberries and walnuts for breakfast. I ate chicken and wild rice soup with gf crackers, an apple and natural peanut butter for lunch. Green tea with honey and soymilk for afternoon snack. No candy, no soda, no home-made frosting in a bowl.
It's now dinner time. My belly feels so full and so, excuse me, GASSY, that I don't know what to eat for dinner! Does everyone who eats "right" have this problem? I feel terrible!
Still, I am going to try to stick with my fruit and veggie plan for a while. I want to see if my tummy will eventually get used to it. I want to be healthy. I want to feel well. I want to shed the 16 pounds I've gained back since March!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Enjoy Life Soft and Chewy Caramel Apple Snack Bars

One of my blog readers asked for a review of the Enjoy Life Caramel Apple Snack Bars I bought on my gf shopping spree last month. Time is passing by and I've been really slacking on my blogging! Sorry, guys!
Now, I actually hadn't gotten to the box of bars in my pantry until this afternoon. I was looking for something to throw in my purse for a quick snack in between errands today. The day ended up being so hectic that I didn't actually get to try the bar until I just sat down to start this post! So, my memory is very fresh!
The Enjoy Life Caramel Apple Snack Bar wrapper states that it is gluten-free and free of the eight most common allergens: wheat, dairy, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish or shellfish. It's also made without casein, potato, sesame and sulfites. The bar is made in a dedicated nut and gluten-free bakery. It has 110 calories, 2.5 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber. That's 2 points per bar, for those of us on Weight Watchers.
When I first unwrapped the bar, it seemed a little smaller than I thought it would be, but still pretty good size for a snack. I broke the bar in half to take the picture below and noticed it was a little crumbly, but nothing that I wouldn't expect from a soft cookie bar. I wouldn't recommend cramming it into your purse, as I did with mine though, I was lucky it was still in one piece.
I found the bar to be kind of dry, but chewy, with the texture of maybe a regular oatmeal-type breakfast bar. Definitely more like a cookie than a granola bar. The bar was slightly spicy with a hint of caramel and apple. I think it would be really great with a glass of milk or a cup of tea! Unlike some other gf bars I've tried, this one wasn't overly sweet or too gooey.

You can check out their website for all of the ingredient information and there's even a coupon you can print for $.55 on Enjoy Life products! Their pictures are also way better than mine!

All in all, I would definitely purchase these bars again. I will probably even try their other three flavors.