Sunday, February 12, 2012

Let Them Eat Cupcakes

So Mr. Tide and I have been completely gluten free for a week.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat and is found in countless numbers of products we eat and cook with.  We didn't find it too difficult to make the transition here at home since we've been semi gluten free for awhile now.  Week before last, I read Kate's blog and how she was feeling much better sans gluten, so we decided to go cold turkey.

My niece has Celiac's disease, and my sister is also gluten intolerant, so I'm well versed in what has gluten in it, or so I thought.  What I wasn't expecting was how difficult it is to really be completely gluten free.

I mean I knew a lot of things secretly contain wheat, like salad dressings, etc. but I wasn't fully prepared to be completely on my own when trying to find out what does or doesn't have gluten.

For instance, many restaurants are now touting gluten free menus, Panera is one of them, but when we went there for dinner the cashier couldn't tell me exactly what was truly gluten free and what was not.  Thankfully I had a smart phone that allowed me to look it up thanks to the help of some really great websites created by people who are gluten free.  And thankfully I'm not truly gluten intolerant, so eating a little gluten won't hurt me.

After several more instances where people working in stores or at restaurants either had no clue what gluten free meant or couldn't help me discern what was gluten free, I really began to have a much better appreciation for how difficult it must be for my college age niece.

Not only is she in college, the land of pizza and every other wheat laden carb imaginable, but she is also an athlete who has to travel because of her sport.  As I went through my week gluten free, and fairly frustrated at not knowing exactly what I could and couldn't eat, I kept thinking how hard it must be for someone who is forced to eat fast food while on the road.

For her, it's not a choice, if she eats even a tiny amount of gluten it makes her very, very ill.  My heart goes out to her, and I will try and be even more aware of her condition and be more vigilant about keeping lots of gluten free items in my house for when she comes over.

After just one week, and not feeling any different, Mr. Tide and I broke our gluten free streak and ate a cupcake.  I have to admit that I felt a little guilty for giving in so quickly, but I truly have to say that I didn't notice any changes, not in my weight or how I felt.  Now I know that one week probably isn't long enough to figure out if being gluten free made me feel better, but I would have expected to feel a few changes, and I did not.

So we are back to being "semi" gluten free, which does seem to make us feel slightly better overall.  But the most important thing I learned was how my niece and now my sister must feel braving a world where gluten rules!

And although I would like to take full credit for the gorgeous Tiffany blue almond butter cupcake with raspberry filling pictured above, that I devoured...I can not.  It came from a lovely new bake shop in our area called Anita's Cake Shop.  They create a new signature cupcake each week and feature it on their Facebook page.

Her cupcakes are yummy, and she also makes all sorts of specialty cakes, including wedding cakes.  But the best part is that they will also create gluten free items on request.  I hope that in the future they will be able to offer gluten free items on their regular menu so that I can say to my niece and everyone else who is gluten free...let them eat cupcakes!


  1. I know quite a few people who have to have gluten free diets and it's a real nightmare for them to try and find things they can eat. I sympathise. There must be some good fluten free cookbooks out there - if not then there's an opportunity for someone!

  2. Any allergy to certain foods makes life difficult. The cup cakes look delicious and how good to find an alternative that you can eat.

  3. Yum! There is so much talk of gluten free these days...I need to give up dairy. Yet I resist. sigh.

    Beautiful images!

  4. That cupcakes looks SO good and it is so pretty!! Love the photos! And I think moderation is good and little changes I think can help our overall health in the long run.

  5. My son-in-law and also granddaughter cannot eat Gluten, so my daughter is cooking everything gluten-free for the entire family. They have been gluten free for a year now I believe and she talks about it on her blog.

  6. P.S. If you search Amazon dot com for 'Gluten Free Cookbook' quite a few options come up... these make nice gifts for anyone you know that is Gluten Free or allergic to Gluten.

  7. Eating out while gf is hard, but restaurants and hotels are getting much better about it. For a pizza place, you can't beat Uno's for a chain restaurant that really does a good job with accomodating gf needs. They have a separate menu and are really good about letting you know what things (like fries) don't have gluten, but share a fryer with glutenous things and therefore aren't on the gf menu.

    That cupcake looks absolutely delicious! Even though we're gf for my son, I feel better, too, when I eat mostly gf. One of the obstacles to a regular bakery adding gf items to their regular menu is that they have to scrub everything down completely between batches of regular and gf items to ensure no cross contamination. One of the local bakeries here bakes gf on Thursdays. She says she'd love to do it all the time, but it's impossible to avoid cross contamination(flour "poufs" and gets in the air so easily) without setting aside a day for it.

  8. We tried just cutting out wheat in general a month or so. I read the book, "The Wheat Belly" and tried it out. Very interesting, indeed!
    I think it is better, but I do try to watch what I eat and live a healthy lifestyle anyway....
    My downfall is sugar!

  9. I would have a real hard time going gluten free. I always thought whole wheat is good for you, but I guess not for those who can't digest it. Wow, that cupcake sure looks yummy.

  10. My two nieces and sister in law are all gluten intolerant and like your niece, Bonnie is an athlete and travels with her college teammates to events. They have managed to get around the inconvenience and are healthy and happy. Thank goodness, I do not have this condition...that cupcake photo is making me drool!
    Such a pretty color too! :)

  11. I have followed Elizabeth on The View and her journey with Celiacs disease...such a challenge.....beautiful cupcake.

  12. Navigating the real world can be difficult w/ a food allergy... I imagine they usually have to make sure they carry their own snacks evrywhere, just like a diabetic. On a side note, that cupcake was like a work of art...if heaven had a taste, that sky blue would be IT. andrea@townandprairie

  13. I've been gluten free for two years...I am extremely intolerant and two of my kids are celiac. I don't eat much as far as fast foods go- and you have to really watch out anytime you eat out...most restaurants don't have dedicated fryers or prep areas, so cross contamination is rampant. You have to educate is hidden in so many foods that you wouldn't expect... Your photos are really yummy looking!

  14. It really does open your
    eyes, doesn't 't it? We do
    not have gluten problems
    at our house, but my doctor
    says to watch the soy intake,
    as it mimics estrogen in the body,
    I am amazed how it is in nearly
    every processed food, from
    chocolate to crackers, soups
    to cereals. All the more reason
    to stay away from store bought
    and make my own!

    Yourics of the cupcake are
    lovely and I can see why you

    Happy V-Day,
    xx Suzanne

  15. These are so pretty! I love how you displayed them with that beautiful vintage muffin tin and he aqua colored ribbon. It seems like food allergies are becoming so common these days, it is a little scary! xo ~Lili

  16. That cupcake looks so yummy!! I don't have a gluten allergy but I'm sure it is hard for people who do.

  17. OMG! gorgeous photos- the color! the clarity!
    you are talented to the 10th girl!


  18. Well I admire you for trying and at least you have a clear understanding of what a pin in the neck that is for your neice.

    The cupcake looks sooooooo good and I love all the hearts in your header!
    Happy Valentine's Day Kat!!!

  19. These look amazing...thrilled to be your newest follower!!

  20. pg,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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