Friday, December 3, 2010

Photo Friday: Henry's Aged

During my 6 month blogging hiatus, I swear Henry has aged years. He looks so... mature here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Living Gluten Free: the documentary

Oh my. Has it really been 6 months since my last post?

A lot has happened during that time: my husband got out of the military and got a job in upstate New York. We bought a house there and I will move in one week to join him. It's an exciting time with a lot of changes (and a kitchen of my own which means I will be posting here a lot more - I promise)

But, none of that is gluten-free related, so here's the exciting news and why I haven't been posting: All of my energy on the topic has been going into my gluten-free documentary. For my master's program I have to have a final project, a "thesis" if you will that is a documentary. And my topic of choice? Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity.

I have around 15 interviews on tape ranging from newly diagnosed Celiacs' to the gluten sensitive, world renowned experts on the topic, dietitians, researchers, gluten free cafe owners, and many more. It's a one-woman project - I acted as researcher, videographer, interviewer and editor. It's a lot of work, and nothing is perfect, but I'm excited to get this story out.

It will be 30 minutes long. I am hoping to apply for some grants so that I can make it feature length and tell the full story, I also hope to get funding to travel to people with unique stories.

Below you can watch a very brief teaser:

Untitled from liz clancy lerner on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Planning a Gluten-Free Wedding

It's been almost a year since our wedding. In honor of that special day, I wrote a piece on planning a gluten-free wedding for the Special Food Groups e-magazine. You'll also find it below.

Planning a Gluten-Free Wedding

As a lover of food and weddings, I enjoy receiving those little food cards that come in the mail with wedding invitations. The choices can let you in on the tastes of the couple: beef or chicken: traditional, pork or haddock: daring, pasta or vegetarian: alternative diet friendly. Well, maybe.

Four years ago I discovered my gluten intolerance and it has made replying to those cards a lot more complicated. Do I chose vegetarian and hope there are no breadcrumbs in my dish? Do I make a note on my card requesting a gluten-free dish and possibly confuse the couple? Or do I give up and bring my own food?

The answer was never easy. My responses have ranged from contacting the bride myself, to winging it and hoping something at the wedding was safe for me to eat.

I don't recommend either.

So, I vowed not to put my guests in that position for our wedding. A simple note was put in italics on our card: All food will be gluten-free. If you have a special food request, please make note on the bottom of this card.

It was simple really, and all of my guests happily ate what they requested. But, getting to that point took a lot of legword. We followed these steps to make our wedding gluten-free without a hitch:

Research, Research, Research

You will already be researching dresses, venues and bands, so make sure you take your time and pick out a caterer that knows proper protocol when cooking for those with food allergies and intolerances. Gluten-free message boards, wedding message boards and blogs are great for this. Review websites like Yelp and Chowhound are good resources too. Your local Celiac support group would help as well, I am sure. It's important to note that many venues require you to use "their" caterer. Speak with the caterer before you make a venue choice. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a caterer who thinks gluten is in potatoes.

Ask Lots of Questions

Don't be afraid to ask your caterer about the ingredients that go into each dish. For instance, Gorgonzola cheese was an ingredient in our beef dish and it can sometimes contain gluten. The chef was able to verify that the cheese they used was gluten free. When you ask your questions, be sure to stress how important it is to keep your allergen away from other food. And if your caterer offers one, do a tasting. This is a good way to spend time with the caterer and actually taste the food you will eat on your wedding day.

The Wedding Cake

This might be the scariest part of planning a gluten-free wedding: what to do for the cake. Luckily, I found a women who bakes only gluten-free specialty cakes, so that was an easy call for me. But I know finding someone that bakes gluten-free cakes in a dedicated gluten-free kitchen is difficult. If you have a family member that can bake, enlist her to help and stress the importance of keeping all sources of gluten away from the cake. There are great mixes out there and even one well-known gluten-free cake mix that has been used to wedding cakes. Or, if baking in a dedicated gluten-free facility is not a requirement for you, many independent bakers will take requests for specialty cakes. We had a small gluten-free cake for us, and cupcakes that were a gift from a family friend who was a baker, for the gluten-eating guests.

Hand Over the Reins

If you're a control freak, this can be difficult. But trust whoever is your day of coordinator and relax. If you did your research and communicated thoroughly with your caterer, all will be well.

And Lastly, Don't Forget to Eat!

This was advice given to my husband and I before our big day. You will feel obligated to spend time with each of your guests, but don't forget to eat. You put a lot of work into this day, be sure to enjoy it.

We sure did.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not Dead...

...just overwhelmed with end-of-the-semester projects, half-marathon training and roller derby stuff (we have our first bout in less than a month!)

Oh yeah, and my husband's home from deployment -- his LAST deployment. I am beyond relieved.

Updates and recipes will be up once I'm able (or want to procrastinate from school work).

And if you need some Henry in your life, here's some trouble he recently got himself into...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Photo Phriday: Cute Baby Butt

Darn school is getting in the way of my blogging again. Here's a photo that makes me smile:

It's of my niece and was taken last week at a local playground.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photo Phriday: Happy Birthday

Two years ago today I watched my sister give birth to my niece. It was done without drugs (this is not a judgement to any other type of birth; I'm learning just how hard women can be on each other on this subject) and in a birth center. It was truly the most beautiful and emotional experience I have ever had. My sister is tough; really tough. And she brought to the world a little human that has changed mine.

Less than a year after witnessing my niece's birth, I witnessed the death of my grandmother. At 95 she lived a good life, but in no way was I ready to let her go. She was my rock and she made me feel like the most important and most loved thing in her life, and it was really difficult to watch her go.

I think as humans we have a lot of love to give, and I still have more, but the emptiness of my heart when my grandmother passed, I know, has been filled up with this beautiful, bright little girl. A little girl with her Grandmother's name as her middle name: Adelia.

So on my niece's birthday I reflect a bit. I have been lucky enough to live next door to my sister, bro-in-law and my niece for the last six months and have seen how she has grown. She is being raised in a very loving family with parents whose attention and patience with her is inspiring. It makes me want to treat her the way in which my grandmother did for me: regardless of what she decides to pursue in life, I will always strive to make her (and every young person in my life) feel like they are the most loved and important person in mine. It did wonders for me.

She is my muse, and an affirmation that the A-man and I do, indeed, want kids. Happy Birthday La Dudarina. I think you're quite special.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Paleo: How it's Going

So. Basically, I eat paleo at home. And I'm fine with that.

I figured out that, on average, 17 of the 21 of the meals I eat in a week are cooked by me, and those are paleo. The other 4 meals are cooked for me by others, and when it is a friend cooking I figure they work hard enough to make gluten-free meals for me that asking for paleo would be too much. So I don't. Plus, I don't mind eating grains in 20% of my meals -- as an endurance athlete (endurance in the sense that most of my workouts are between 1 1/2 to 2 hours long), that's probably the safest way to go.

I've had some pretty boring meals, but some really great ones too. I made a meat-only chili (just tomatoes, onion, red pepper, ground bison, chili, cumin, and ground red pepper) this weekend and recently ate it over "cauliflower rice," which is minced cauliflower sauted with onion. It was great and filling. And surprisingly, I'm not as hungry as I used to be. I think carbohydrates make me crave more carbohydrates. I'm sure there's some science to it.

In case you're interested in learning more about eating this way, here are a few links I've found really helpful:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Going Paleo

The paleo, or paleolithic way of eating has intrigued me for years. In a nutshell, it is a diet of meats, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts -- that's it. *The theory is that humans have been eating this way -- this very simple way, for millions of years. If you compare that to how long we've been eating grains and processed foods (10,000 according to many anthropologists), it is literally a blink of the eye.

So, basically, we've had all of those millions of years to adapt to this way of eating, where we've only had a few thousand to adapt to eating grains.

Paleo-friendly stuffed mushrooms

Research in this field has shown that cutting out grains, legumes and sugars can slow the progression of autoimmune disorders, cure acne, and increase athletic performance. I have stake in all three of these: my mother has Multiple Sclerosis, I have skin problems, and as an athlete, I have always been interested in getting faster and stronger.

Paleo-friendly green smoothie

This re-interest in paleo comes from an experience that I had last week. I had a bit of a scare at
skate practice: during a time trial that I was leading my legs cramped up and I had to stand upright and glide for my last two laps. They cramped up in a way I hadn't ever experienced before. In fact, it seemed similar to the way my mother describes her MS-related leg pain. Because my mother has MS, there is a 30% chance I could get it too. That's not that high, but it's certainly an increased risk and that's awfully scary. If there's anything that I can do to possibly decrease my risk, I'll do it.

I've told my mother about the diet before. I've bought her books on the subject and sent her
presentations about it in the past. But she's not budging. In fact, out of my sister, father and I -- she's the only one who is not gluten-free. That is her choice and I respect that. But I want my mother to be around to see my kids grow up.

A Paleo-friendly dinner

I know how difficult it can be. I've tried to following this diet before, but I failed when I was traveling and eating in social settings. I thought, "I can't eat gluten and that makes me enough of a misfit. Why make it more difficult?" I even once suggested a friend try it out to see if it helped an autoimmune disease she had -- it did and she lost a lot of weight. I saw her everyday at work, and I saw what a transformation she made, but I never made it more than a week for myself. The thing is, I was really strict about it when I tried it. And it seems like there are some people who are 100% paleo. However, it's not going to be all or nothing this time. I'll let myself eat grains on special occasions (in fact I'm sure I'll still make grain-based recipes). I'll have dessert if it's once-in-awhile. And I'm not planning on giving up coffee. There is also the idea that athletes who eat paleolithic should ingest some carbohydrates from grains, so I'll give myself that.

I'll end this with a few thoughts; I do not want to insult people who do not eat this way. Studies have shown that East-Asians are the healthiest people. I, in no way, discredit that. I also have a lot of respect for vegans and believe in that way of eating as well. However, with my own health issues and my family history, this seems to be the best choice for me.

In my next post I will be linking to some of my favorite paleo resources.

*I've only skimmed the surface of the history of, benefits from, and details of the paleo diet.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Enjoy Life Foods Crunchy Flax

The super cool folks at Enjoy Life Food sent me a couple of boxes of their crunchy flax and crunchy rice cereal. I was a frequent buyer of it under it's previous name, Perky's Nutty Rice, but was excited to learn Enjoy Life Foods acquired the company. Which is good because I would hate to see this stuff go!

Crunchy is the first thing that comes to mind, and as my dad said once, "Americans love to crunch!" Really, we do. There's something very satisfying about biting down and crunching a food. Maybe it's primal. Maybe it's cultural. Who knows. (Any food anthropologists out there?)

So, I eat the cereal for breakfast often and have for years because it's a great, healthy go-to breakfast, but when my sister wanted me to bring over a dessert for dinner recently I whipped up a simple bar recipe. It came from memory of a recipe that was on the back of the old boxes of the cereal for dessert bars, and is really quite simple.

And still keeps that great "crunch."

Crunchy Flax Bars (er, triangles -- I didn't have the right size square pan for bars)

1 box of Crunchy Flax Cereal
1 1/4 cup almond butter
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life also makes great chocolate chips)
1 pinch of salt
Combine the almond butter, rice syrup and salt in a small pot and cook over medium heat until it melts. In a large bowl put the cereal, then the almond butter/syrup mixture and chocolate chips and combine. Spread into a pie dish, or a 8x8 pan and let cool. Or speed up by putting into the refrigerator. Then, cut however you'd like.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Video Friday: Vita-Mix Review

This was a review I wrote recently for a multimedia class. The quality of the video isn't great, but you get the idea. I might be doing more of these if I can work on the set-up on my home computer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tomato, Basil & Chicken Quinoa Salad

Link Orgran's Falafel Mix w/hummus: so very tasty

I have been craving carbohydrates lately. Mostly because I've been working out more than what is normal for me. I'm half-marathon training and I skate 4 times a week with my roller derby team. My legs started cramping during a sprint at last night's practice, so I think I'm doing something wrong. A lack of potassium maybe? I'll try upping my banana intake and see how it goes.

In the meantime, I'll share a good pre-workout meal. It's hearty enough to make me feel nourished, but it's not terribly heavy so you don't feel sluggish after eating it. Quinoa is possibly my favorite grain; it's super high in protein and has a texture that reminds me of my beloved (in my non-gf days) cous-cous.

This recipe is simple and only takes a few minutes to put together. I served mine over a bed of baby spinach.
Tomato, Basil & Chicken Quinoa Salad (gluten-free, dairy-free)

serves 2 as a meal

The juice of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups of quinoa, cooked
2 baked chicken breasts, cubed
A handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 loose cup of cherry tomatoes, halfed
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Add the quinoa, chicken, basil and tomatoes and toss gently. Salt and Pepper to taste and add more oil if you'd like.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Photo Phriday: Maine Again

Last winter: New Years Day. The A-man decides that a negative ten degree wind chill is the perfect temperature to fly a kite in.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mini-Crustless Vegetable Quiche

There are three questions I often ask myself before making a recipe: Will it be portable? Will it be healthy? And, will it be tasty? The answer for this recipe is yes, yes and yes.

Mostly spinach, with just enough egg to hold them together, I feel like I'm starting my day off on a good note when I eat these for breakfast.

This recipe is adapted from one in the South Beach Diet cookbook. I snagged it from my parents (sorry Mom and Dad -- I'll get it back to you!) when I first began eating gluten free -- thinking it would have lots of recipes for me. It does, in a sense, but it's very dairy-heavy so I end up adapting many of them. Including this one:

Mini-Crustless Vegetable Quiche (gluten-free, dairy-free)

makes 12 quiche

2 whole eggs plus 3 egg whites 1 ten ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed with liquid squeezed out
1/2 of a small onion, chopped
a handful of mushrooms, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, garlic powder & red pepper

Mix the egg together until combined. Add all of the other ingredients and pour into muffin tins (I have re-usable silicone ones that I love) and bake at 350 for twenty minutes.

The recipe for this is very basic, so feel free to substitute ham for mushrooms, add some cheese or some bell pepper.

Henry looks MEAN in this photo, but he's not. I caught him mid-yawn.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Photo Phriday: Beavers!

Taken last winter up in Maine. I wonder if it's still standing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Coconut Flour Waffles

It's rare that on a weekday I have time to cook a hearty breakfast, but fortunately, with half-marathon training in full swing, I have to take a few days off a week to recover. So, I forwent my usual quick breakfast and had a little time to cook up something nice before my first class of the day.

Low-carb, refined cane sugar free, and light and tasty. I had half of a grilled Al Fresco Sweet Apple chicken sausage with mine.
Coconut Flour Waffles

gluten-free, dairy-free

4 tablespoons melted butter (I use Earth Balance to keep it dairy-free)
6 eggs
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup coconut flour

(When working with coconut flour I tend to use my blender to mix my batter because it can easily clump up)

In a blender, mix the butter and eggs until combined thoroughly. Then add the agave, salt and baking powder and mix to combine. Lastly, add the coconut flour and mix until completely combined without any lumps. Let the batter sit for at least five minutes (it will thicken) before adding to your waffle maker.

This recipe makes 4, large round waffles.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Photo Phriday (and a recipe!)

So the clean eating kick isn't quite at full force anymore. I still try to eat healthy, whole foods as much as possible (and really always have) but dessert and wine have won out in quite a few instances.

Fortunately, there's a nut butter (though, is cashew technically not a nut?) that I've whipped up that tastes almost like dessert to me: maple cashew butter. My sister first introduced me to cashew butter back when she was in grad school -- five or so years ago and I was immediately smitten. And as of late, I've been really loving Justin's Maple Almond Butter, but it's a bit too expensive to buy on a regular basis. So, I was recently at Harry & David and purchased a few bags of roasted cashews that were on sale, popped them into my trusty Vita-mix, added a little oil and maple syrup and viola! Maple Cashew Butter.

Maple Cashew Butter

1 1/2 cups of roasted cashews
2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Put all ingredients in your blender or food-processor, and start on low, the increase speed to medium and blend until smooth. You might have to turn your blender off and scrape down the sides to make sure it's all getting blended smoothly, but it's not terribly labor intensive.

So far, it's been good on toast, in oatmeal and on bananas. Or, even by the spoonful when you need to feel like you're eating dessert.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Photo Phriday: Guess Who's A Derby Girl?

Me! I'm all about trying new sports, and this one has been a challenge (let's just say I'm not a natural on skates). I'm part of a small group of women that's starting a league in my college-town. It's been a blast so far. I was even thinking about my derby name being The Good Eatah :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Clean Eating 2

In an effort to give my liver a break, I've been attempting to eat healthier: no sugars, no processed foods, and no alcohol.

And, so far, so good. However, I've taken my sister's approach on dessert and I'm allowing myself to indulge on the weekends. The jury's out on this: my dessert cravings are pretty severe right now, so I might have to go with no dessert for awhile. But for now during the week it's whole food, lots of veggies and lean protein.
I've been eating lots of citrus too. Oranges, grapefruits and lemon in my water. I honestly am not a big fruit person, but cutting out dessert has made me crave fruit more.

I thought my diet would be very boring since starting this, but really, you just have to get a little creative. Stuffed acorn squash was a simple and flavorful dish I threw together when I wanted something substantial.

Stuffed Acorn Squash (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1 acorn squash, cut in half, seeded and baked at 350F for 35 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 loosely packed up of chopped kale
1 lb ground chicken
1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

Add the oil to a saute pan over medium heat and add the onion and celery and cook for about five minutes. Add the chicken and cook until slightly brown. Add the rice, kale, spices and dried cranberries and cook for another five to ten minutes. Pile the mixture into the halved squash and put back in the oven at 350 for another ten minutes. They're good to eat after that!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Clean Eating

Like many Americans, the weeks surrounding my Christmas were spent eating, drinking and socializing. And then I went away and ate and drank too much again. It could be the winter "blah's" and lack of vitamin D, but my body is telling me get back on track. So I am.

Starting yesterday I decided I'd cut out all refined sugars (cookies, cake, sugary cereal..) and processed carbohydrates (chips, traditional gf bread, french fries...). And dairy too. I've been eating dairy in small amounts in social situations for a few months now without any instant reactions, but I don't think it's necessarily meant for me in the long run. So that's out too. And then there's alcohol -- sigh. I do love wine. I'm not planning on restricting all of these foods completely from my diet, but just for a week or two to give my liver a bit of a break, and then they'll be incorporated back in small amounts.

So, I'm hoping to chronicle what I've been eating here -- on my food blog. Crazy, huh?

Breakfast Day 1: 1 cup oatmeal w/tablespoon almond butter, green tea & green smoothie (spinach, frozen blueberries, fresh ginger, cucumber)
Lunch Day 1: a whole lot of Mexican chicken soup (recipe below)
Dinner Day 1: a whole lot of sauted veggies (onion, carrot, kale seasoned with salt, red pepper and garlic powder) & a cup of cooked pinto beans

Breakfast Day 2: 1 cup oatmeal with 1 tablespoon sunbutter (tastes amazing on oatmeal), 1 grapefruit & small cup coffee

Before I get to the simplest. recipe. ever. I have to give a shout out to my two healthy eating inspirations: Ricki of Diet, Dessert & Dogs and Melissa of Gluten Free for Good. I have been reading both of their blogs for quite awhile now and their recipes and insight continue to inspire me to eat well and healthfully. Thank you ladies.

This recipe was given to me by my mom who was inspired by Mexican soup she had here at a local IL restaurant. It's good stuff - and perfect for a "blah" day.

Mexican Chicken Soup (gluten-free, dairy-free)

2 quarts of Organic, Low-Sodium Chicken Broth (homemade would be great)
Shredded meat of one small roasted Organic chicken
1 jar of salsa (or fresh salsa would be great here too)
1 bunch of fresh cilantro

Bring the broth to a boil, add the chicken and salsa and simmer for at least ten minutes. Serve in a bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro (this really adds freshness to the dish)

So simple. And so tasty.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Photo Phriday: Oh Henry

Whipped cream. On his nose. Poor fella.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sloppy Joe

Like many people this time of year I've decided to start *eating healthy: no refined sugar, no processed foods, no alcohol. But not yet. Not before I get in some good, bad food. Like a gosh darn sloppy joe.

(*I'm not going on a diet really, I just feel like I need to detox a bit from the many alcoholic drinks, sugary treats and restaurant meals I've indulged in over the past month -- more on this on Monday, when it all starts)

Though, I guess you could say I've already begun my health kick -- I used bison meat after all. I've talked about the benefits of bison here before, but the take away is that there's less saturated fat than beef and I have yet to hear about a bison being injected with hormones. Then again, I think the ketchup in the recipe slaps the dish right back into the non-healthy category.

I adapted mine slightly from one I discovered on recipezaar.

Sloppy Joe's (gluten-free, dairy-free)

2 lb ground bison meat
1 onion, chopped
8 oz of crushed canned tomatoes
3 tbs worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbs brown sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tbs chili powder
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Brown the bison and onion together in a pan on medium high heat. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix. And simmer for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Serve on it's own or on a gluten-free roll. I used Gramma Mill's gluten-free roll mix (they were delicious fresh out of the oven)

I also served it with a side of my kale salad

Friday, January 8, 2010

Photo Phriday: Christmas Toys

My niece and Henry playing (er, chewing in Henry's case) with their new Christmas toys.

On another note, a big shout out to the Boston gluten-free girls whom I had dinner with last night. We went to Burton's Grill ; they have a gluten-free menu and take it seriously. It would have been my photo Phriday picture, but I forgot my darn camera. We'll just have to do it again soon!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gluten-free in the Swiss Alps

You may have noticed that I left out the words "casein free" in the title of this post. I did eat dairy on this trip, and have been incorporating some dairy back into my diet as an experiment. Fortunately, I've had no reactions, which is a big change from a few years ago when I absolutely couldn't tolerate it. I'll probably continue to eat it when out, but when cooking for myself I'll leave it out. But enough with the explanations and on to the travel.

My husband is deployed right now and I had prepared myself not to see him for over six months. For reasons that can't be shared on the internet, we were able to meet up in Germany and Switzerland for a week of leave (vacation). I actually didn't believe I was going to see him until I got off the plane in Germany and saw his smiling face, but my goodness, this was exactly what we needed. After three months of him away, being able to spend a full week together in Interlaken, Switzerland -- quite possibly the most beautiful place I have ever been -- was close to heaven. And what I needed to recharge after a long semester and many moments of missing him.

We stayed in Hotel Rossli, a great hotel/B&B/hostel in Interlaken, Switzerland with an English speaking (and German and French...) owner/host. That was key since neither of us speak the two main languages of the country. This really wasn't a problem throughout the region either though, every service person we spoke with spoke English to us. We attempted to use the little French and German we know, starting a conversation with a "guten tag" or a "bonjour", and they'd reply in French or German which we didn't understand, so to keep things less confusing, we had to be the ignorant Americans who only spoke English. It didn't seem to be out of the norm because English seemed to be the most spoken language in the tourist areas. So a tip if you don't speak the languages fluently: use English and it seems to make everyone's life easier.

At Hotel Rossli a buffet breakfast was offered each morning that consisted of boiled eggs, cold cuts, hard cheese, yogurt, assorted cereals and rolls and croissants. I had to steer clear of all of the starches obviously, but because of the time change, I often wasn't ravenous in the morning. So, I ate some eggs, some cold cuts, a little cheese and I purchased some gluten-free muesli from a local health food store that I brought with me and ate with yogurt each morning.

That brings me what you can buy. I'd recommend on your first day to find a health food store (there were two in the town of Interlaken) or a regular grocery store ("coop" is the name of the store we frequented) and stock up. Schar is the big gluten-free brand there (and it's starting to become a big brand in the U.S. too) and they have a huge variety of foods: from ciabatta rolls to cookies, to bread to breadsticks to muesli -- they were all great. The health food store had more of a selection of gluten-free foods, while the grocery store had some of the staples. For hikes and skiing, we packed some meat (pepperoni-type meat and/or proscuitto) and some hard cheese. As well as a few gluten-free bars and some cookies.

But we were also able to get some vegetables in. Weight Watchers brand foods are surprisingly big there. They have lots of pre-made, packaged foods like marinated zucchini and cut up carrots with dips and lots of salads. Those were a great go-to food when we were out and about.

Eating out was always a pleasant experience in Switzerland. We got some great recommendations from the owner of our hotel and partook in fondue on more than one occasion. Bread is served with cheese fondue, but you can also order other foods to dip in the cheese. We got small, boiled potatoes, gherkin pickles and pickled onions. The potatoes were great, but the pickles and onions were surprisingly delicious. This was at a restaurant/cafe in Interlaken called De Alps. Laterne was the name of the traditional Swiss restaurant on the outskirts of town where we partook in meat fondue. Meat fondue or, chinois fondue is raw meat served with lots of condiments and a large pot of boiling broth or oil to cook the meat in. I really loved this meal, mostly because I love social foods, but it was quite tasty too: there were different dips to put on your meat, like curry, mayonnaise, tartar sauce and cocktail sauces and they all were good.

But perhaps the best meal we ate was on the mountain after a few ski runs. The A-man had an awesomley hearty meal of fried eggs, bacon and rosti (the delicious hash-brown like potato dish that I was obsessed with during the trip), while I had a "fitness" salad. Which, could have had more fat than my husband's dish. The salad, with it's mayonnaise-based dressing came with a chicken breast and little portions of potato salad, cucumber salad and carrot salad. It was awesome. And to get a little carbs, I ordered some pomme frittes (french fries) as a side. I didn't feel too horrible though -- with the not-so-great conditions skiing, I was working hard on the slopes skiing.

Just look at the color of those yolks!

I can't end this post without a huge shout out to British Airways. For my overnight flight to London, they upgraded me to business class (which was absolutely amazing -- they have seats that completely recline so they're flat like a bed) and I spent my five-hour layover in their fancy lounge. And their gluten-free meals are great: full with gluten-free rolls and sandwiches.

But I truly can't end this post without a dog photo: the friendly retriever we encountered on a hike through Bratenberg in Switzerland.

She was a bit of a shedder...