Friday, December 27, 2013

How To Survive A Hospital Stay When Gluten Free




Piglet has had many hospital stays in her young life due to her metabolic disorder called MCAD, its a kind of an FOD (Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorder) if you feel like looking it up. She was born with it and it will be life long. Before she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 3 years ago, we were in and out of the hospital every 2 months, it was horrible. At that time we didn't know gluten and lactose were basically poison to her and what was causing so many hospital stays in the first place. When ever she gets a sickness like the flu and is throwing up she will always have to spend time in the hospital, so its normally at least once a year. Knock on wood, I think we have made it somewhere around 9-12 months now since our last stay. We definitely know how to survive the hospital with such a restricted diet and thought I would share some tips! Its been on my mind lately since baby #2 is on her way soon and since I am gluten and dairy free, I need to prepare to bring all my own food since I also can not eat a thing at the hospital. I also have a ton of food allergies so more restricted than Piglet is in some ways. 

Most of the time we don't have much of a warning when we are heading to the ER with Piglet. So usually when one of us is calling the hospital telling them we are coming and to prepare her special IV fluids we are also running around the house packing a quick bag and grabbing snacks we have available in the cupboard and fridge. We know that will get us through a few hours at least. Items we tend to grab are: Gatorade, popcorn, crackers, cereal, and fruit. Quick stuff that has some carbs for Piglet if she can eat at all once the IV is in. The snacks are also for me because I can't eat anything there and there are no options in a vending machine. We are usually in the ER a very long time before being transferred to an actual hospital room upstairs. Most of the time poor Piglet isn't feeling well enough to eat much of what we bring.

If its not a planned trip and rushed like most of ours, we have to rely on family, friends, each other and food delivery. Usually one of us can go run to the store and get some snacks and easy meals. Luckily the new children's hospital now has a mini fridge and freezer right in the room along with a microwave so that has been really handy. Before they built the new hospital the old one had a family room that has a shared kitchen that we would use. Keep in mind all of those items are shared so they are not safe for people with Celiac Disease and are gluten free. But it still had the fridge, microwave, paper plates, and plastic silverware we could use. I would imagine most hospitals have rooms like that. At the old hospital they had a huge book of restaurants that would deliver food at all hours. This was a life saver because lucky for us there were actually places close by that had safe gluten free choices. Once we moved to the new hospital in a new location we no longer had that option so had to get more creative. Make sure to ask the front desk if they have a list of food places that deliver to the hospital. Its spendy but a life saver when you are tired and stressed out.

Rely on others to help you, don't feel bad about asking because you need safe food and don't want to feel worse on hospital food that will just make things worse and possibility cause a longer hospital stay! Like I said before, one of us can usually run to the store. If not I ask my mom to bring a bag of items we can eat since she knows what is safe. And just because I like having references so I don't forget things I have created a folder on Pinterest that lists a ton of gluten and dairy free items that are safe and taste good. If I need to tell someone what items are safe to buy, I reference them to look at that folder. Or tell them it has to say gluten free and dairy free right on the item. You could also create a paper folder to keep someplace that lists items you can have so someone can reference that if they need to.

Easy things to pick up last minute:
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Cereal
  • Fruits and Veggies
  • Lunch Meat
  • Drinks
  • Bread
  • Salads
  • Oatmeal packs
  • Prepared Noodle Packs that you microwave
  • Rice Packs
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit Cups
  • Beef Jerkey
  • Nuts
  • Nut Butters and Jelly 
Some hospitals actually have a gluten free menu from what I am hearing from other people so make sure to ask. It would be so nice not to have to worry about going and getting your own food if you really don't have to and can trust the food staff! Our hospital does not do gluten free but we have gotten some things from the menu and haven't had a problem. Piglet sometimes gets jello, rice chex in the little box so its sealed and we know its safe, Popsicle, sorbet, fresh fruit, and veggies. 

As for my upcoming hospital stay, it is planned since I am having a baby so I have the advantage to plan ahead and pack as much food as I want. I will probably mostly go off the list above since its easy food to bring and prepare. But I can also plan some fridge or freezer meals if I want and have those ready to go so I can just grab them as we run out the door. That way I can just microwave them at the hospital. I plan to make some crock pot meals ahead of time and then just break them up into smaller portions to freeze so its easy to bring with. Now to actually remember to grab them when in labor! I also plan to call the hospital so I can talk to a dietitian, maybe the hospital would be willing to order some gluten and dairy free items, it doesn't hurt to at least ask! This would be easier if it was an actual scheduled date vs a two week window where I may or may not go into labor. So easier for those of you that have a planned surgery etc. 

Aside from the food side of being gluten free, always make sure the medical team is always giving you gluten free meds. Some are not safe, so make sure to verify they are so you don't get sick! You can request a wrist band that says Celiac Disease. Hope this helps a little! 


Here is Piglet when she was younger at the hospital. Going around and around and around the children's unit at 2am

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pumpkin Granola Bars



Finding gluten and dairy free granola bars in the store that don't break the bank is a joke! Sure there are some to pick from, and some taste pretty good too, but one box with 6 granola bars inside cost way too much money!! You can make them at home for less cost and no yucky preservatives in them. And you get way more for the cost!! Win, win! I have been looking around the web and trying some different ones, some work well and some don't. This one is a favorite in our house and they stay together pretty well. I found it here at My Whole Food Life. The only thing I had to change was use pear sauce instead of apple sauce since I can't eat apple. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Cups gluten free oats
  • 1/2 Cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened apple sauce (I use pear sauce)
  •  1/3 Cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 Heaping tsp Cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg 
  • 1/4 tsp Salt 
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda 
  • 1/4 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract 




Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In one bowl mix all dry ingredients. In another bowl mix all the wet ingredients. Combine the two and make sure its all really well coated. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and push down the mixture really well with a piece of the parchment paper. Make sure to push it down well so it stays together when you cut it into bars. Bake for 20-25 minutes, let cool all the way before cutting into bars. Store in an air tight container, I put ours in the fridge. 




Enjoy! They make a great snack to send to school! Piglet requests these for her morning snack at school and I am happy to pack such a healthy snack that will help her keep focused at school! Yay for brain food!

A note: Trader Joes is a great place to purchase gluten free oats and also the pear sauce. The oats come in a large bag and are inexpensive and the pear sauce comes in pack of 6 individual cups. 


Gluten And Dairy Free Chicken Nuggets


I found a great recipe on the web for gluten free chicken nuggets. I altered them to also be dairy free and you can't tell a difference at all! Piglet and I made them for dinner tonight and they turned out great! Here is the link to where I found the original recipe, click HERE 

I did everything the same aside from using the cheese and seasoned salt.

Ingredients:
3 cups Corn Chex cereal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 tablespoon milk( I used almond milk)

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1x1-inch pieces 
 
Directions:
1. Crush cereal, I put it in a zip lock bag and rolled over it with a canned food item from the pantry until it was crushed. 
2. In a bowl stir together all the dry ingredients. In a small bowl combine the milk and melted butter/margarine. 
3. Take chicken pieces and cover in liquid ingredients and then put in bowl of dry ingredients and coat and place on cookie sheet. 
4. Bake 9 minutes, flip chicken pieces and bake another 9 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle! 
 
Here they are after being baked, made quite a bit!
 
Simple as that! Enjoy these healthy homemade chicken nuggets! It's so nice to eat healthy non-processed meals knowing exactly what is in them!! 
 
 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween School Lunch & Treats!


I love doing special things for holidays. When I ran my own child care we had such fun with crafts and special meals and treats! Piglet has a class party today and can't have a lot of what they are serving because her diet is so restricted. So I made some things at home to send with her, I never want her to feel left out because she can't eat what other kids can. Thankfully her teacher is fantastic and let me know what I needed to send so it was similar to the rest of the kids. I also wanted to make a fun lunch that was Halloween theme! Here is what I made:

Her class was getting frosted donuts as a treat so I made some chocolate donuts with frosting of course! They are gluten and dairy free. She brought one and I will freeze the rest for special treats when we need them! What I used:

Bobs Red Mill gluten and dairy free chocolate cake mix. The only reason I picked this one was because it was on sale. I followed the directions but replaced the oil with pear sauce to lessen the fat. Then scooped the batter into a zip lock bag and cut the corner so it was easier to fill the donut pan. Baked for 15 minutes at 350 degrees and let cool. 
When they were cooled I frosted them. I used Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Classic white. It is gluten and dairy free. 

To make it less like cake frosting and more like donut frosting I melted in the microwave to make it thinner and then added orange food coloring. Took the donut and dipped it in the frosting and let it set. Then did the same thing with the chocolate version of the frosting and drizzled that across the orange! Dada, done! They were pretty tasty and Piglet was super excited to bring one to school!! 
I also decorated a juice box as a mummy. I have seen these on Pinterest before and looked easy enough! I didn't have tape that would work on hand so just used some balloon ribbon I had and wrapped it around, taping every once in a while and glued googly eyes on! Turned out cute!
For lunch I put together a collection of fun things to eat! I made a mummy out of a turkey dog and pancake batter. I didn't have any dough on hand so just used that since I was making ghost pancakes for breakfast. Just took some and drizzled across and baked for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Then used a bit of mustard for the eyes with a tooth pick. Turned out pretty cute!
Made some caterpillars out of green grapes, a pop stick, frosting and mini chocolate chips
Then decorated the outside of a jello cup, cup up some red peppers and made teeth out of apples, marshmallows and jam (ran out of peanut butter) 
Pretty easy stuff to make for a special day! Happy Halloween!!



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Halloween Candy List 2013




I needed to create a list for Piglets classroom party so thought I would share! Makes life easier when you have a list to reference. I plan to send this to family so they have a reference for parties and holidays! Hope it helps!

  • Wonka Pixi Sticks
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Wonka Fun Dip
  • Nerds 
  • Sweet Tarts
  • Everlasting Gobstoppers
  • Starburts
  • Skittles 
  • Dots
  • Charm Blow Pops
  • Ring Pops
  • Dum Dum Suckers 
  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
  • Mike and Ike
  • Now and Laters
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Swedish Fish 
  • Chewy Spree
  • Fluffy Stuff Cotton Candy
  • Airheads
  • Peeps
  • Pez 
  • Pop Rocks
  • Life Savers
  • Life Savers Gummies
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Hubba Bubba Gum 
  • Wonka Brand Bottle Caps
  • Starburst Fruit Flavor Candy Corn 
  • Annies Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
  • Lemon Heads
  • Fruit Stripe Gum
  • Red Hots
  • Bazooka Push Pops 
  • Smarties 
  • Necco Wafers
  • Fun Dip
  • Runts
  • Original Spree 
  • Enjoy Life Chocolate 
Some items may be manufactured in a facility that also processes other items. If you are very sensitive, double check to stay safe! 

Happy Halloween!!
 



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

You Know You Are Pregnant When...



  • You have to cross your legs quick before you sneeze
  • You change sides of the bed with your hubby so you can be closer to the bathroom. In the beginning for throwing up and after that for peeing 100 times a night!
  • You crave pickles and a brownie right after
  • You stop wearing shoes you have to tie because its a pain in the butt to bend to tie them
  • You crave everything known to man that you cannot eat (food restrictions)
  • Showering is absolutely exhausting
  • The strangest commercials make you cry
  • Everything makes you cry
  • Strangers touch your belly. Um, hello, just because there is a tiny human growing in there doesn't mean you can touch me!
  • You want to tear your husbands head off for leaving the blinker on too long in the car and then cry because you got mad at him for leaving the blinker on too long
  • You get heartburn just looking at certain foods
  • You HAVE to have Mexican at 10pm and are willing to drive anywhere to find it if your hubby doesn't
  • Your husband has to push you out of bed because you are stuck and cant roll
  • You swear you smell something even if no one else in the house does
  • Your kid gets to eat junk food because you are craving it and didn't feel like hiding it
  • You eat chocolate in the bathroom or closet because you don't want to share with your kid
  • You get stuck in the booth at a restaurant
  • You want to punch people in the face
  • You find yourself constantly looking at baby pictures on the internet
  • You beg a doctor to put a gigantic needle in your back
  • You buy 4 jars of pickles
  • You bounce off of things because you forget you have a belly
  • You forget you are pregnant and something moves inside of you and you think, "what the hell was that" oh yeah
  • You buy the entire grocery store because everything looks so good
  • You are craving spaghetti, a hamburger, pizza, ice cream, a pie and a pickle all for the same meal!
  • You are SO FULL from dinner and then 5 minutes later you want to eat again
  • You get up in the middle of the night to pee for the 100th time and decide its a good time to go eat a snack at 3am
  • Colace and miralax are your best friends
  • Your secret candy stash has grown 3 times in size
  • Your boobs would make Pamela Anderson jealous 
  • You have to look in the baby isle every single time you go to Target
  • You drop something and say screw it and walk away
  • You are thirsty ALL THE TIME
  • Your husband gains 20 pounds because every time you send him out for food, he has to get something too
  • You use your husbands electric razor to shave your legs because its easier and you wont fall on your butt in the shower trying to twist and turn to get around your belly
  • You wake up in the dead of sleep screaming in pain from a charlie horse, smack your husband yelling "RUB IT, I CAN'T REACH," and he starts just poking it with one finger because he is dead to the world. Then you yell, "FORGET IT" which promptly wakes him up in a panic to rub it out!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Garlic Chicken

I found an easy and delish recipe from www.keyingredient.com

Here is the recipe  

 Ingredients 

Four Boneless skinless chicken breasts

Four Garlic cloves, minced

Four tablespoons brown sugar 

One tablespoon olive oil 


Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. 

 In a small pan saute garlic with oil until tender. 

Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar.
 

Cover the chicken with the brown sugar and garlic mixture

 Bake uncovered at 450 degrees for 15-30 minutes or until juices run clear. I baked mine for 30 minutes. 

Enjoy your meal! It is super easy and very good!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gluten Free French Toast


I was in the mood for french toast today and found a really quick and simple recipe when I searched the web. Here is the link http://satoyafoster.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/gluten-free-french-toast/

Ingredients:
  • Gluten free bread, I like Udi's
  • 3 eggs, normally I use egg beaters but used eggs this time
  • 1/2 Cap Vanilla
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg (I forgot the nugmet, oops)
  • 1/4 Cup milk of choice, I used almond milk 


Mix it all together and spray olive oil on the pan. Dunk one slice of bread on both sides, let it soak up a bit and put in pan! 
It doesn't take much time to cook up on both sides! 
The mixture ended up making 9 slices, not bad! 



Thanks for sharing such an easy and delish recipe http://satoyafoster.wordpress.com/



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Felt Chicken Nuggets!



I love felt food and keep an eye out for nice quality products and certain food I don't see often. I received these felt chicken nuggets in the mail from a store I found on etsy. I love everything about them! I love the cute box they sit in to make them look like they are from a restaurant, I love how detailed they are and all of the creases to make them look so real, and the hand sewing is great quality and really professional looking! Also, a fun fact is that they are made out of Eco-Fi Felt, that comes from 100% recycled water bottles, how cool is that! These are hand made by Bianca at the etsy store Happy To Be Crafty. Please go take a look at her store, she has really cute items listed. Here is a link https://www.etsy.com/shop/HappyToBeCrafty



Of course Piglet couldn't wait to play kitchen when they came in the mail so we went right to it! 
Don't they look delish!

Make sure to go check out these great items! What kid doesn't like to play kitchen?! (Again, I apologize for the poor camera quality, I hope to get mine fixed soon)

Hand Painted Doc McStuffins Peg Dolls

I received these super cute Doc McStuffin peg dolls and Piglet couldn't wait to try them out, she loves that show! We received all of the main characters: Doc, Lambie, Stuffy, Chilly, and Hallie. These hand painted pegs where so cute and spot on as far as what they look like in the show. They are really detailed and Amanda did a great job painting them! Go check her shop out at etsy, she makes great stuff and they make great gifts for kids! They are also reasonably priced which is a big factor when shopping for kids! Her shop is called Apples and Elephants Custom Boutique. Here is a link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/anrcdb2006

 I apologize for the poor picture quality, my camera was deciding to die in the middle of all of this


Piglet had a grand old time playing house with them
Can you spot all the characters? They are all there!
Of course Doc had to have to lookout spot!
 Hope you enjoyed the pictures, these have been a great addition to our doll house toys! Please make sure to go check out Amanda's store on etsy!!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

How To Prepare An Artichoke

I have been meaning to try and cook my own artichokes, I know how healthy they are. The task seems daunting to me and I had no idea where to start. I found this great video and thought I would share, she also has a video showing how to roast them in the oven. Now we can all give it a try and eat healthy!! 


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How To Test Expired Eggs

I am forever buying eggs and then forgetting about them before they expire. I usually toss any food item that is expired, even if I think it's still ok. I had food poisoning twice and never want it again. It is such a violent sickness that I would never wish upon anyone! Thankfully eggs are easy to test! Make sure to do this trick before you toss your eggs and buy new ones!

Step 1: Find a deep bowl and fill it with water. Deep enough to submerge the egg

Step 2: Gently put the egg in the water

Step 3: The egg with either sink or float. If the egg sinks, it is still fresh and safe to eat. If it floats, it has gone bad and not safe to eat. Toss it!