Saturday, March 24, 2012

GF Product Review- Arrowhead Mills AP Baking Mix

So in this journey to being Gluten Free I've tried many new things.  I did find a brand of bread that is tolerable (only when toasted) for sandwiches.  I've did find that corn pasta will hold up to a reheat whereas rice pasta turns to glue, but the consistency is still weird.  I've learned that my favorite candy bars are no longer a temptation because they all have malt in them, but at least I still have potato chips to munch.  I can eat as much fruit and veg as I can hold, but when it comes to salads I need to be wary of dressings.  I can eat meat, as long as its not deep fried in a glorious, golden, brown, delicious coating.  Yup, you guessed it- I'm really struggling with this.  I miss real pasta and pizza desperately!  That is why tonight I'm trying GF pizza.  I've tried the Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix before and it was a rubbery, heavy, bland dough.  Tonight I'm trying Arrowhead Mills GF All Purpose Baking Mix (found at Walmart for about $5 a box).  The box says that it can be substituted 1 for 1 with regular AP flour so that is what I'm doing.  I took my pizza dough recipe and used this instead of the regular flour. 
So far, it is definitely a much courser dough and lacks elasticity due to the lack of gluten but it rolled out OK and transferred to the pizza stone without incident.
First one is done pre-baking and seems a little heavy but at least the little piece I tried of it actually tasted like something close to the 'real thing'
Much better than Bob's Red Mill.  It reminds me of the thin crust pizza at Marco's down the street.  I do think I need to cook the crust more on the pre-bake than just 8 minutes.  If I have to eat thin crust pizza, I like it to be crispy on the bottom. 
Verdict- good enough to keep trying to perfect!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fit at 40

This is the year. No, this is THE year. This year I've made and have been forced to make many changes. I started karate- yay! I've never been involved in a sport before, unless you count power shopping. It has been an eye opener for my on many levels. I've come to see that I have even less coordination, but more strength than I thought. I can get up in front of a group of people and not be frozen in terror. I've also come to realize that I am in terrible, horrible shape. Yes, I wear a 6/8 but size doesn't determine health. This is where I fall drastically short.
Through some very stressful health issues, it has come to pass that I have Celiac's Disease, aka- gluten intolerance. For anyone not familiar with this I am allergic to the gluten in wheat. This means traditional breads, pastas, baked goods, many sauces, condiments, even makeup and shampoos are off limits now. You just wouldn't believe all the stuff they put it in! The other night I made bratwurst for dinner. I knew I couldn't eat the bun but before I realized it I couldn't eat it at all because I boiled them in beer before I put them on the grill. Beer is off the menu. Then we went out for Asian food, I knew I couldn't eat the tempura but without even thinking I had eaten two dumplings. No more wonton wrapped goodness for me.
I'm really struggling with taking a positive approach to this because there are so many things I can't have and none of the things I can have have impressed me. The gluten free products I've found so far taste almost as good as I think their packaging might. Gluten in bread is what makes it light and fluffy, it holds all the molecules together. Gluten free bread is heavy and crumbly and not something I can make from scratch without investing in a boat load of hard to find ingredients.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no looking for pity here. We all have things we have to deal with in life that suck, this is just mine and as I get more used to it I'm sure it will diminish in severity. Although, if any of you out there have any suggestions of recipes I would love to hear them.
Now onto the other part of this little equation. I'm turning a milestone this summer and I intend on doing it in style with the most fit, fab self ever. I've already taken on the challenge of karate and I am dead set on earning a black belt. I'm only a gold belt now. Of course, in order for me to accomplish this I have to be able to make it through a class without needing to pass out. This has actually been an issue for me a couple of times. My stamina is pathetic. My core is weak. My head likes to play little tricks on my and say, 'You can't do it'. I've seen the benefit of karate in my husband, a dramatic weight loss and dramatic attitude improvement. It has transformed his body, mind and life. This is what I want and need but I will never accomplish it by my only physical activity being going to the class twice a week for an hour.
I'm getting up off my arse. A wonderful friend has agreed to lend me her P90x DVD series to help me kick start this and build some muscle. The weather is getting lovely and the dog is getting lazy so I can take him for walks. The kid will be out of school soon and will be wanting to go to the zoo and the parks. All these and the fact that I have a house to keep clean and a vegetable garden to tend to should help me get where I not only want to be but need to be if I want to be that Fit and 40 person.