Monday, November 29, 2010

Gluten-Free Bread Heaven!!!

I have found my bread heaven!  I am now one happy gluten-free eater.   Rudi's Organic Bakery now offers gluten-free products.  The Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery Original  is the BEST gluten-free bread I have eaten and honestly I don't think I'll be trying any more.  I swear it tastes just like real bread.  It's soft and not dry at all.  You can find it in the freezer section and I've seen it at several different grocery stores.  I would also keep it frozen at home.  Defrost it in your toaster.  I tried it today by having a tuna fish sandwich.  It was so good I was tempted to have a second sandwich just because I was so happy to eat "real" bread again.

Updated on May 2, 2012
I know longer thing Rudi's Gluten-Free is the best bread around.  It does taste good, but I've found it crumbles way too much.  Before you are finished with your sandwich your bread is in a big pile of crumbles on the plate. I will have to write a new post about better breads I've found.

Monday, November 15, 2010

More Gluten Free Product Reviews

I had the gluten-free macaroni and cheese for dinner tonight.  OH. MY. GOD. that stuff is seriously good.  It's expensive at around $3.50 for one serving, but if you are in need of some comfort food this is definitely what you are looking for.  I also love the cheese enchilada's.  Best enchilada's outside of an authentic mexican restaurant in my opinion.   I have the veggie burgers in my freezer, but haven't tried them yet.  They also make gluten free pizza's that I'm excited to try.

I've already reviewed the pretzels, which are delicious.  They now have pretzel sticks in addition to the traditional pretzel shapes.  I have since tried their original and vegetable crackers; also very delicious.   The original are a good substitute for saltine crackers.  I think the vegetable crackers would be good with some veggie or chive flavored cream cheese on them. 

Gluten Free Pantry products are also part of the Glutino family.  I have the all-purpose flour mix.  I use it for when a recipe calls for a small amount of flour and so far so good.

Udi's Gluten Free Pizza Crust
I did not care for Udi's white sandwich bread.  Did I review that already?  Anyway I picked up this pizza crust the other day and it is very, very good.  There are two personal sized pizza crusts in the package.  I think this would also be a good alternative for flour tortillas to make quesadilla's on and even a good choice for making a panini sandwich with the george foreman grill. 

Kettle Cuisine Soups
I tried both the chickenoodle soup  and the potato mushroom.  I was not at all impressed with this soup.  The package makes it sounds like they are made by a world famous soup chef so I expected more out of them.   The chicken noodle soup needed more noodles.  There was too much dark meat chicken and the base was very bland and watery tasting.   The Potato Mushroom was ok, but not great.  The potato part was actually very good, but the mushrooms were very rubbery.   I was very disappointed in this brand and will probably not try any of the other flavors.

Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookies
Not bad.  The dough is the consistency of sand.  You have to form the dough with your hands to get cookie shapes.  They dry out quickly after being removed from the oven and are crunchy like store bought cookies.  So, if you can look past that part they are actually not too bad.  I personally like soft and gooey cookies, but if I can't have Nestle Tollhouse these'll do.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chain Restaurants That Are Gluten-Free Friendly

I like to eat out.  A lot.  I know there are more and more restaurants become gluten-free friendly.  I do usually prefer to eat at smaller local restaurants, but this past week I visited two chain restaurants that I was very impressed with and felt they needed some recognition.

Panera Bread
My local military spouse meetup group had a breakfast meetup at Panera this past week.  I had asked the cashier if she knew if there was gluten in a particular soup.  It turns out they have a very large binder with all of their menu items in it.  Each Item has the nutritional info, the entire list of ingredients, and allergy information listed.  I was very impressed.  She didn't seem annoyed at all by looking up different things for me, but it also wasn't quite the lunch rush either.  I definitely would not recommend trying this at any Panera between 11am and 1pm.   You can also go to and find the nutrtional information and allergen statements for each menu item. 

Red Robin
My husband had a co-worker tell him that Red Robin was gluten-free friendly.  We did our own investigating and found out that, yes indeed, they are.   Their regular fries are not gluten free because of the seasoning they put on them.  Also, they have a dedicated fryer for making gluten-free fries so there is no cross contanimation from using the same fryers as breaded foods.  The chefs know what items have gluten in them. On one visit, I had asked for carmalized onions and the waitress came back to let me know that they did have gluten in them.   On a second occasion I asked about a different item.  The waiter printed up a gluten free menu for me to take home.   Their gluten-free menu can also be found online at   At the main Red Robin website click on the FAQ page and you will also be able to obtain menus for other food allergies.  You can also sign up to receive email updates when their ingredients or allergens change.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lesson Learned

So I know you all want to know what happened to me and why I ended up in the hospital for four days. 

Wednesday night I thought I would throw a little gluten in my diet and we ate dinner at The Olive Garden.   I ordered the Fettucinni Alfredo.   Later that night my stomach started to hurt.

When I woke up Thursday, every muscle in my abdomen hurt like I had done a thousand sit-ups, but I haven't been doing any ab exercises.  My intestines also felt like they were tied up in knots.   Of course I just chalked it up to eating the pasta.  My hands were all tingly as well, but I just assumed that it had to do with my neck injuries and I was going to go see the physical therapist that morning anyway.

After the physical therapist I went to Chik-Fil-A to hang out with some of my friends.  My tummy still hurt, but I didn't think it was anything serious.  After Chik-Fil-A I went home.  Around 1pm I was feeling extremely short of breath.  I couldn't walk across a room without hyperventilating.  Everytime I would sit or stand up I would have sweat pouring off me and felt like I was going to pass out.  I decided to take a nap until it was time for me to do my crossing guard duty at 3:30.   I lasted about 15 minutes and nearly passed out in the street.  I felt so sick I just left and drove home.  I checked my blood pressure and it was 90/60 and my heart rate was 137.   I thought I was having a heart attack and promptly drove myself to the hospital.  I felt so awful I honestly was afraid I was going to die if I waited for someone to come get me.  Thankfully, we only live one mile from the hospital.

When I got to the E.R. counter all I said was shortness of breath and they rushed me to the triage room.  I didn't even get to finish telling them what else until a little bit later.  I had to wait in the triage room for about 10 minutes while they found a room to put me in.  I almost passed out in the triage room waiting.

Of course in the E.R. they did a million tests.  I still thought that my low blood pressure/feeling faint and my stomach pain were unrelated.  My white blood count was 23,000 and the normal range is 3,000 - 10,000.   They also did a lactic acid test.  My level was 2.8 and the normal range for that was 0.6 -2.2  This meant I had lactic acidosis, which apparantly is bad.   Also because of all the digestive problems I have had over the last few months they did a CT scan on my abdomen which showed that my intestines were inflamed.   They assumed there was an infection in my intestine.   They did urine and blood cultures to tet for bacteria, started administering antibiotics, and admitted me to the hospital.   The E.R. doctor made it quite clear several times that I was very, very sick when I came in to the E.R. and it was a good thing I went in when I did.

I was in the E.R. room for six hours.  Remember that tingling I had in my hands earlier that morning?  Well it started travelling all over my body, but stayed mostly in my hands and face.  The dr. said that it was most likely due to my blood pressure being so low.  My blood pressure stayed around 90/60 for quite a few hours.   I was given oxygen for a couple of hours as well which REALLY helped with my breathing. 

I pretty much just slept the rest of the time.  I was getting two different antibiotics pumped into me plus saline.   They actually had to turn the saline off because it was making my blood pressure too high and my hands and feet looked like balloons.  They were pumping 200ml/hour into me.  That doesn't mean anything to me, but the nurses said it was a lot. 

Yesterday morning the dr. gave me the choice between going home last night if I could keep a meal down or staying until this morning.  I decided to stay just to be on the safe side.  When the dr. came to see me this morning she said that the blood and urine cultures came back negative for anything.   She lectured me sternly about eating the gluten.  I asked her if the gluten really could make me that sick and, of course, she said yes.  

I have read up some on Celiac Disease and I know it is an autoimmune disorder.  So apparantly what happened is that I ate too much gluten and my body started attacking my intestines.  It really was kind of like a severe allergic reaction.  

So there you go, that is the whole sordid story.