I just had a conversation with my parents as they are preparing dinner for tonight. One of the guests let them know that she can’t have peanuts, dairy or gluten and they needed help finding alternatives for a recipe. One of their ingredients said May contain milk so I asked whether she had an intolerance or a severe allergy but she had not provided that information. For most, a food sensitive individual could have a “may contain” but a food allergy makes that a definite no.
I’ve also heard complaints from chefs recently who make a special diet meal only to see that client eating off someone else’s plate. What do you think that chef will do the next time a special diet meal is required?
I think we’re doing a disservice by not communicating our special diets effectively like calling Celiac disease a gluten allergy or a food allergy as “minor”. If we don’t educate about the realities, how do we expect the general public (and those who serve us food) to understand and react appropriately?
I attend a lot of Gluten and/or Allergy Free Expos and every time I go, either as a vendor or as a consumer, I always get something good out of attending. Here’s why you should consider attending one in your area:
1. You’re Newly Diagnosed: Overwhelmed, having a hard time knowing what’s correct information on the internet or where you should start? Expos always have a roster of great speakers who can help demystify the new world you’re entering whether with information or wonderful recipes to try. Try to attend as many talks as you can to get a superb overview of how you can take your next step.
2. You Were Diagnosed Ages Ago: You too should try to attend as many talks as you can at the show. There have been so many studies of late with Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance and food allergies that you just may learn something new.
3. Taste Does Count: There are samples galore at these shows, it’s actually a good idea to come with an empty stomach or you’ll be full really fast. I heard a child say to her parent, “I can eat EVERYTHING here?” with wonderment. It just doesn’t get much better than that. And whether you’re newly diagnosed or old hat, you’ll be surprised at how good specialty diet food is these days and just how much variety is out there.
4. Discover a Small or Local Food Processor: Big grocery stores are getting so much better about offering gluten free and allergy friendly foods and that makes it easier to get your groceries done in one place. Yet at the same time, they all carry mostly the same items and those are the bigger names in the special diet world. At a trade show you’ll find smaller processors with innovative offerings and wonderful local restaurants and bakeries that have delights you just won’t find in your large grocery store.
5. You’ll Be Surrounded by People Just Like You! Really, imagine a world where everybody “Gets It”. Every booth you go to, all of the speakers, all of the people around you are experiencing the same issues that you do. You can strike up a conversation with any friendly stranger and discover that you’re not alone. Priceless!
A study published in October’s issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association says that American children get almost half of their daily energy from fast food. http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/2403/20101005/40-of-american-childrens-diet-is-fast-food.htm
This is the one time where I think that it is positive that my family has food allergies. Those same allergies that keep us up at night also mean that it’s not easy to just grab fast food between activities. Therefore I believe that we eat more healthfully and with more thought and that’s definitely a good thing.
We may be Canadian but we’re quite happy to join in the American Black Friday tradition. It’s not like our neighbors should get ALL of the fun!
So to jump in and join the celebration, we’ll have a 4 day sale to celebrate all the way from Black Friday through to Cyber Monday.
Starting at 12:01 am Pacific Standard Time Friday morning, you’ll see some great deals including:
Buy 3, Get 1 FREE granola bars
Buy 1, Get 1 FREE oatmeals
Buy 1, Get 1 FREE cranberry apple granola
All other NEW items are still 20% off until November 30
Still FREE shipping at $75 until December 31, 2012
For complete details on how to redeem each offer, please check out our enewsletter at: http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d7635c602f79005f4690035f9&id=6acac32029
It’s the end of the week and I’m a slug. Yup, I’m barely hanging on to my chair and all I want to do is crawl home and indulge in a bunch of fat and sugar – my drugs of choice. And it becomes so hard to fight against when it’s dark going to work and coming home.
But I’m not going to do that, nope. I’ve booked myself a massage and will follow that with going home for a 20 second hug from husband and daughters. That should nourish me.
Why 20 seconds? A hug that is at least that long releases oxytocin which makes us feel good and strengthens our immune system. It’s easy, it’s fast and our family loves it. So go get hugging!
I’ve been feeding myself food. Of course, that may seem like an obvious statement but let me clarify that. Food is recognizable with few ingredients, preferrably whole foods that your great grandma would recognize if she could read the label. Clean food does not require a chemistry degree or learning a whole new language just to read the ingredient panel.
Enter in Food Processing magazine, one of many magazines that I subscribe to so that I can keep abreast of trends and issues as a food manufacturer. In Food Processing magazine, there is a section on Wellness Foods which I read with a rather jaundiced eye over the last few minutes. It certainly gave me enough fodder to come write this blog post.
Why? The entire section is about formulating kids food to be healthier. Sounds like a great plan, right? Well, some ideas are simple, worthwhile improvements but what if the idea of healthier food is about less, not more formulation? What if the world doesn’t need a hot dog bun that has microalgae in it or a chicken nugget with whole grain coating?
A healthier hot dog?
Maybe the question we should really be asking ourselves is whether we actually need to “formulate” such overly processed foods in the first place.
There are very big changes afoot at Nonuttin’ Foods. The first change is the operating name of our company which will now be Libre Naturals.
Why the change? Well, we’ve begun to outgrow the name, Nonuttin’. When I first started the company, my whole focus was on creating a nut free product because of my daughter’s peanut and tree nut allergies. Along the way, I’ve changed the company to become much more than just nut free by moving to gluten free, all natural, genetically modified ingredient free, not to mention all of the top food allergens now, not just nuts.
Libre in French (one of Canada’s official languages) and in Spanish means “free” and that’s exactly what we’ve become: clean, natural products with great taste. Our team is proud of our products that change the way that people eat while always astounding that “free” can taste so good.
The new Libre Naturals website will be ready to launch with the new year on January 1, 2013. As part of that change, we’ll have a newly upgraded website that is much easier to use and negotiate.
Nonuttin’ isn’t going away, it’s simply becoming one of the brands that Libre Naturals sells. So you will continue to see Nonuttin’ products on the website and in stores. Besides Libre Naturals and Nonuttin’, you may also see other brands on our site as we do produce for other companies in our dedicated facility but in their brand packaging. We’re working on partnerships to bring you those products. It simply means more options for you, our biggest fans.
And, just in case you were wondering, this doesn’t mean that I’m no longer the owner of our little family company. I plan to have Libre Naturals (and me) stick around for a long time to come.
I’m getting my mojo back, yippee! I actually had enough energy this weekend to do all the usual groceries runs, soccer deliveries, child activity deliveries, teenager hosting sessions and had enough left to clean out my cupboards.
Whoohoo I’m sure you’re saying. And yet I’m thrilled that I had energy left over to clean my cupboards because I haven’t had any energy left over at the end of the day for over a year. And it wasn’t just any cupboard clearing, nope. It had everything to do with my Nourish project.
Basically, following the general rules of Michael Pollan, I pulled out everything from my cupboards and fridge that had ingredients my grandmother wouldn’t recognize, had GM ingredients in them and/or were high in sugar (like pancake syrup). I’d already separated most things but hadn’t completely followed through and either composted or recycled many items. I’m also going to be the new favourite of our local food bank.
What’s left actually fits in my one long pantry cupboard and I finally have room to bring up my breadmaker and electric skillet from the storage room downstairs. Although I will miss getting my exercise running those up and down every 3 days or so. Maybe it’s finally time for that Zumba class!
One of my goals for The Nourish Project was to eat good food but eat less of it. I’ve been doing that in various ways such as using goat cheese because it’s rich and satisfying in a recipe (like the omelette I had yesterday) but you don’t need a lot to get great flavour.
Research suggests that we North Americans use outside stimulus to determine if we are full compared to other cultures. In Europe, people relate that they eat until they’re full. In North America, we relate that we eat until our plate is clean. So what happens when those plates are getting bigger all of the time?
Since 1990, our standard dinner plates have increased from 10 inches to 12 inches. And have you checked out our glasses and mugs now too? On the weekend I went to the store with my daughter to try to get smaller dinner plates and smaller glasses. Not only could I not get any dinner plates under 12 inches, there were several sets that boasted even larger measurements as one of their features.
I also tried to get smaller glasses like my parents used when I was a kid (and still have). Those old glasses are about 8 oz (1 cup) for the large and 1/2 cup for the smaller, juice glasses. Again, I was thwarted. The absolutely smallest size of glass (besides a shot glass) was a martini glass of 10 oz – that’s a whole lot of liquor!
So today I got out a tea cup of my grandmother’s to have my morning cup of tea rather than a huge mug. It sure seemed awfully small but it was also really wonderful to drink out of a beautiful old real china cup with a saucer. I have 4 of them, all with different designs so maybe I’ll rotate through them each morning.
If you know anything about a nice 10 inch dinner plate that is microwave and dishwasher safe, be sure to let me know.
I have a confession to make; I didn’t make it through the weekend true to my Nourish rules. It’s not like the rules are meant to be torturous, just to truly Nourish myself in all ways.
I was just so darn proud of myself last week and I was feeling really good. I felt more “normal” (whatever that means) and when hubby got home from his business trip, he noticed my face looked different. It’s amazing what eating good food, getting good sleep and working on stress levels will do for a gal.
You might recall that junk food was in the house to appease the kids and friends for their rare movie nights. I didn’t escape unscathed which is really why I don’t want any of it in the house to start with. Not that I was hiding in corners and bashing children to rip the junk food out of their hot little hands, but it’s just so darn easy to check to see what they had in the cupboard that they didn’t finish.
And it’s not like I ate a ton but it’s amazing how once you’ve greatly reduced sugar in your diet for a week how a bowlful of vanilla ice cream and Ghirardelli caramel sauce on Friday night will reduce your sleep to a hot mess. Once sleep is messed up, it’s also harder to nourish yourself because nourishing takes a little extra thought.
Some great parts of the weekend were to be had though include dinner with friends Saturday night, watching my youngest play soccer on Saltspring Island and putting a few meals into the freezer by doing some cooking and baking. In turn, that will make crazy work/soccer weekdays easy to put a healthy meal on the table before 8 pm. And one we can all sit down to.
So here I go again, bravely going where plenty have gone before, just not me.