Super Easy Bison Gluten-Free Chili

Grocery Items! I didn’t end up using the Spinach and I wouldn’t use the paste second time around
Grocery Items! I didn’t end up using the Spinach and I wouldn’t use the paste second time around

Bison Gluten-Free Chili

1lb Bison stew meat or Bison steaks (cut into bite size pieces)

1 Green Pepper

3 Stalks of celery

1 Can of tomato sauce

1 Can of roasted tomatoes

1 Can of kidney beans

1 Can of cannellini beans

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1 Tablespoon garlic salt

1 Tablespoon onion powder

1/2 Tablespoon cumin

Lactose free or regular sour cream

Shredded cheddar cheese

**All brands of ingredients should be checked to ensure they are indeed gluten-free**

After browning I cut them into little bite size pieces.
After browning I cut them into little bite size pieces.

1. Cut the bison into small bite size pieces and put in a skillet or frying pan to brown to desired temperature. Medium is good for this because they will cook more in the chili while it’s on the stove.

2. Get out a large soup pot or slow cooker to put the rest of the ingredients.

3. Cut the green pepper and celery into bite size pieces.

4. After browning the bison and cutting the veggies, place everything together in the soup pot or slow cooker. I don’t drain the beans because it makes the chili less thick. Stir everything together and turn on a med/low heat. Let simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Just throw it all into the pot!
Just throw it all into the pot!

5. I love to top my bowl of chili with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. I found a great brand of lactose free sour cream that I really love.

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Of course feel free to add some spice, I like things pretty mild due to heartburn with spicy foods! I started out with adding some tomato paste but it made the chili a little too thick for my liking. I would skip it in your version if you like the sauce thinner.

 

 

 

 

 

PLC 30 Day Gluten Free Challenge – Important FAQ’s

30 Day Gluten Free Challenge
30 Day Gluten Free Challenge

I am completely over whelmed, honored and excited at the response for this challenge!! A couple of quick things based on emails and question’s I’ve received since the initial post….

  1. You do not have to eat the protein or dairy items. You can make some substitutions and I’ve also included a list of vegetarian protein sources on the Facebook Group Page.
  2. You do not need to actually complete the competition part of the program – you can do it on your own, with us or enter the competition. It is completely up to you!
  3. You do not have to have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance to do the program! If you want to give a try – that is awesome!!!
  4. We are starting the challenge on 10/22/12 but you can do it whenever you want! Just the part with the competition is officially starting. You can get the plan without competing.
  5. The workouts can be done at home or at the gym. They are quick, intense and get the job done.
  6. I am not a nutritionist, doctor or RD. This is a basic gluten free plan based on my own personal knowledge and experience in the fitness industry. I am a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, business owner, lifestyle coach, fitness competitor and personal weight loss story person.
  7. You can find the 30-day plan and other materials on the FACEBOOK group page – once I figure out how to get it as an easy download thing on my blog – I will add that too. Just waiting to get my new fancy schmantsy blog up and running!!
  8. Let’s have some fun.

I started a Facebook Group page for us to hold each other accountable, post our goals, interact with each other and become our own little community!!! Join here

 

Kroger Grocery Store making BIG Gluten Free Changes in 2013!

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Kroger!

Today I had the pleasure of being one of the guest speakers for the Kroger Natural Foods Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was invited to tell me story and give their store managers/buyers some insight on gluten allergies and celiac disease.

It was exciting to find out some great things they have planned for 2013!

Gluten Free Tags
Gluten Free Tags

First they plan on introducing many more of these gluten-free tags under the foods on the shelves. They have some already but it never did seem consistent throughout the store. These are great because they allow you to quickly identify the gluten-free options on the shelves! You will see them in some of their stores already but their main focus is to help consumers find the foods they need.

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Lots of Gluten Free Foods

Depending on which Kroger store you go to, you will find many options on gluten-free foods. The problem with their stores is the foods are all over the stores making it harder to shop there and time-consuming. They said the second most common question beside “where is the restroom?” is “where is your gluten-free section.” Well, guess what! They are taking note of that and working to find a better solution for all of us.

Whether it is a dedicated natural foods section with all the gluten-free items or a store map indicating where things can be found, they are focusing their energy on making our shopping experience better.

They also want to be able to provide a large selection of items at the lowest possible prices for their consumers. Now that’s what I’m talking about!! They are very motivated in bringing all of our favorite brands into their stores to help all of us shop easier.

I told them the easier it is for us to shop there, the more money and customers they will be getting because us gluten-free peeps are some loyal, loyal fans!

The first step was just me being there to educate them on celiac disease and what it means to be “gluten-free.” Only a couple of people in the audience heard of celiac disease or knew what it was.

I give Kroger 2 huge gluten-free thumbs up for taking the initiative to help their customers and make our lives even better (and easier).

And I want to thank all of them for enjoying my “crap my pants” stories!!

What suggestions do you have for grocery stores that I can emphasize as I continue my speaking engagements all over the place??

My speaker tag!
My speaker tag!

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty Little Celiac 30-Day Gluten Free Fitness Challenge!!

30 Day Gluten Free Challenge
30 Day Gluten Free Challenge

Since I started blogging on September 1st, I realized I wanted to share my experiences with the world. I wanted to build a community around the celiac/gluten free stigma and let people know they aren’t alone.

My experiences are no different than anyone else, I’m just okay with sharing them online for all to see!!

Fast forward to October 17th – my website has had over 13,000 hits and thousands of engaged people looking for answers and help to their gluten related problems and support for what was happening.

During this time, I’ve also allowed blogging get the best of me. Sure, I’ll eat that! Sure, I’ll try this! Why yes, I would love to try this dessert because I can blog about it.

I love you guys and this community, but I’ve gotta take this slower because I’m starting to really feel gross. I’m not eating whole foods or the things I preach to my personal training clients, but I am trying endless amounts of processed gluten free foods to share with you and let you know what’s worth the money and what isn’t.

I will still do these things but not quite to the extent I’ve allowed myself!! I’m out of control.

And, thus the 30-day challenge begins.

October 22 will be 30 days from Thanksgiving.

The day we all eat, eat, eat until our stomach hurts.

October 1st I wrote a blog post saying it would start and it did (ok a little).

October 22nd I will get back into healthy habits and make wonderful changes to my body. I’ve done it before and I’ve done it again.

If you read my bio, you already know I went through my own transformation in 2009 and ended up a fitness expert and entrepreneur.

When I asked my husband if he thought I looked fat, his response was “no, but your body composition is different.”

I used to be a lean, mean, strong machine.

Now I’m a mediocre, fluffy, weakling.

The funny thing about this is that I haven’t gained any weight but my body looks completely different.

Fitness Tip: If you aren’t doing measurements along with weight tracking – you will be extremely frustrated.

Many of you said on social media you were with me and I’m going to hold you to that – so here is what we are going to do!

What is the 30 Day Challenge?

You will get from me a gluten free menu for the next 30 days. There will be whole foods and very limited processed snacks. It is not designed to be a culinary dream menu, it is designed to fuel your body. That’s what we have to remember, food is fuel. We are basically going to do a whole food detox. No junk. No pop. No artificial sweeteners. No fast food. Just whole foods.

You will also get a 30 day workout plan that can be done anywhere. Outside. Inside. The Gym.

I am going to make a Facebook Group that we can all use to talk to each other, post comments and be supportive to one another. People can post recipes and things they learned along the way and I might even throw in some bonus workouts and video workouts too!

**There are dairy and nut options on the plan, modify as you may**

On October 21st – I will send out the plan to everyone that follows the directions below!

believe

If you want to enter the 30-day challenge, here is what needs to happen:

  1. You send me an email by Saturday October 20th
  • Pictures in fitness clothes with something dated – like a newspaper or magazine – front, back and side
  • Height and Weight
  • Measurements: Chest below your breasts, waist at your belly button, hips at the widest part

At the end of the 30 days, you are going to send me an email with the exact same information as the first one!!

The person that loses the most weight and inches will be the winner of the Pretty Little Celiac 30 day challenge!!

What will you win?

1 year subscription to 11Athletics Magazine

An entry to a Celiac Awareness Tour that will be in or around your area in 2013

The Essential Gluten Free Grocery Guide by Triumph Books

A Pretty Little Celiac T-Shirt

2 Bags of Udi’s granola

Gluten Free Food Labels by Sweet Ali’s Bakery

And a 1 on 1 Skype or Phone Call Session for 30 minutes with Me!!!

wecandoit

 

 

My Celiac Rant of the Month – Be Strong my PLC’s!

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I’m working away today at Starbucks and am writing a wonderful little eBook for you guys about getting started going gluten free and I started thinking more and more about what a negative social stigma there is associated with a gluten allergy.

When we tell restaurants Aaron suffers from a tree nut allergy, the go above and beyond to make sure he is safe. But when I tell people I have a gluten allergy, it isn’t taken as seriously. Do they think just because I don’t get hives and my symptoms are different, the allergy isn’t as important?

Why are people afraid to tell the waiter or chef they suffer from a FOOD ALLERGY? It is the restaurants responsibility to ensure people dining in their establishment have a safe meal. I’m not embarrassed explaining my needs because I don’t want to get sick or have continued long term damage due to this illness.

It’s not a diet just because Miley Cyrus said she got skinny when she went gluten free. It is a lifestyle and a lifelong disease for many people struggling with celiac and gluten intolerance’s around the world.

Dining at places like Wildfire in Chicago really made me believe there is hope out there for other establishments to follow suit and make everyone feel welcome.

YOU ARE NOT AN OUTSIDER just because you have a food allergy. You are a human being.

Would you feel guilty if you had any other “normalized” allergy or handicap where you needed extra assistance?

If you broke you leg and needed special seating arrangements, would you feel bad asking for them?

It is our right as a consumer to be safe.

It is our right as a human being to be able to go out to eat with ridicule or feeling like no one understands.

If I want to go somewhere that is educated on gluten over and over again – that is my choice. And I usually end up spending a lot of money there AND recommending them to everyone I know along with writing a positive review on here for all of you to see. But restaurants and food establishments need to know there is a need, there is a desire that their clients want these things or they will never change.

There are times where I don’t have the best experience. That is OK too if after they were notified of the problem, they apologized and made up for it.

Don’t let these places or your friends/family steam roll you into thinking you are weird, a hypochondriac or shouldn’t be treated like anyone else.

We all have to take a united stand to let people know this isn’t a fad, it’s not a celebrity diet and it is a serious, life threatening food allergy and auto-immune disease.

Stand up for yourself. Stand up for those around you suffering from the same problems!

Share sites like this that promote positivity and confidence.

Don’t let other people think they are alone in this journey, because they aren’t!

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Moving Forward! New Content! New Ideas! Help Me!!

It’s 2am and I’m wide awake working on a million different things. As a business owner and fitness expert, I’m often pulled in different directions. This blog and community is something I’ve become very passionate about and is important to me. The Pretty Little Celiac community is near and dear to my heart and I’ve always been one to help others, share information and educate. My favorite job I ever held was a Training Coordinator position in child welfare. I designed my own trainings, taught new staff and provided advanced training for long term employees.

Then I fell in love with fitness and now my personal journey with gluten free living and celiac disease!

Help me help you…

I want to know what you need.

Tell me…

If I created different types of media would this be beneficial to you??

Podcasts

Webinars

Video Blogs (I admit I hate the video camera)

What kind of written content can I create in free downloads that would benefit you?

How to get started on  gluten free living?

Living gluten free in college

Clearly we’ve all established this need and desire for me to share my story, hear about yours and get fat trying all these gluten free foodie products for you!!! I want to broaden my horizons and methods to help you but I want some feedback before I spend hours making podcasts only to have no one listen in!

Any other ideas?

I’ve got 1 big, brownie cake from Rose’s Bakery for a random giveaway to someone who posts on this blog post and gives me ideas….

Celiac and Ear Wax: Is there a connection?

qtip
Ear Wax and Celiac?

My entire life I’ve been accused of “yelling” or speaking too loudly. I never understood what anyone was talking about because I spoke in my normal voice. Regardless, I seemed to always get hushed. I’ve always found myself asking people to repeat themselves or saying “what.”

In 2005, I jumped in a pool and it caused my ear drum to pop leaving me in the emergency room with my new boyfriend. Talk about embarrassing. Aaron sat there while I laid in agony on the table as the nurse pulled ear wax balls out of my ear canal. The doctor said I must have had an ear infection for a long time and it finally had enough with the pool water. I left the emergency room with a ton of medication and a wonderful boyfriend who later became my husband.

I know you aren’t supposed to use Qtips – but they feel SO good. Every single time I use them, I get so much junk out of my ear. I realize I’m pushing more probably into my ear canals but I don’t think what comes out of them is normal.

The ER doc referred me to an ENT specialist that I went to off and on for a few years. He always seemed to have the same reason for the wax and pain in my ears – “seasonal allergies.” I honestly think that’s the generic term for everything and can just be cured with allergy meds.

It wasn’t until this year when I started putting all the pieces together. I recently found this article on the Livestrong website about Histamine and ear pain with celiac disease:

“During an allergic reaction to gluten, various chemicals are released that cause your blood vessels to dilate and irritate soft tissues. Histamine is the primary chemical in your body that causes inflammation and swelling to occur in soft tissues. As histamine levels increase in the soft tissues in your ears, swelling causes blockage in your inner ear that can lead to congestion. The congestion may also cause fluid to build up within the ear, causing temporary hearing loss.”

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/542914-gluten-ear-problems/#ixzz28WfLkMDJ

Ear wax is 20 to 50 percent fat, and it coats the ear canal to moisturize it, fight off infection, and help keep dust, dirt, and other debris from getting deep inside your ear. Maybe it is also a protector against other things your body doesn’t want too and it’s a response from having the gluten poison.
I did notice when I stopped eating gluten, my ear pain went away and my “seasonal allergies” seemed to disappear. There are occasions when I think I’ve got a little ear pressure or runny nose but sometimes that’s just normal life.
Again, I’m not a doctor! Just one gal describing her symptoms and signs wondering out loud if they are all related. Sometimes it takes a while to put all the pieces together… With over 200 symptoms of Celiac disease… how could anyone piece all this stuff together??

 

 

That’s It… I’m Done… Time for a Change… Who’s With Me?

For those of  you who also read my bio, you know that I am a fitness expert as well as a gluten free/celiac blogger! Well, the celiac diagnosis has taken a toll on my health, not to mention the hypothyroid problems that came along with the gluten allergy.

I love working out. I really do. Admittedly, I haven’t been adhering to my own standards and beliefs because honestly I just haven’t wanted to. I spent the last 8 months trying to figure things out, frustrate myself and run myself in circles just with the celiac disease – let alone work out.

Yesterday, I ran the Hell Run 5k with my husband and today – I hurt. My knees throb, my back aches, my shoulders are sore and my core is tender. When I ran the Mud Ninja in July, I felt fine. What happened to this fit girl in the picture above? This is what I frequently say to myself almost every day when I look in the mirror. Sure, you might not notice anything in the photos but I feel the difference.

I feel weak.

I feel vulnerable.

So I decided today will be my last day feeling weak and vulnerable. Starting tomorrow, I’m taking control of my health. I’m taking control of my fitness. I’m taking control of my diet.

October 1, 2012 is the day I take control.

I saw online that October is Celiac Sprue Awareness Month, but so is May so I’m not entirely sure which one is correct. But, I think its a great place to get started. I’ve purchased all my “whole” foods. No more snacky snacks. No more processed junk. Just good, whole foods.

Steak, fish, rice, potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, tuna, spinach and berries. That’s it for the next few weeks. I’ve got my coolers out, my containers ready and my food prepped. Preparation is key. I know how to do all of this – I just need to stick with it!

Back to my workout regimen of 5 days per week. It feels good for me to be in the gym. I need to sweat and pump iron

I’m incredibly busy the next 10 weeks and I absolutely have to make time for myself.

No excuses. Hold me to it!

Who wants to commit to an October change with me? Post your October resolutions below and let’s get this party started!!!

I’m going to promise Coach I will take him to the park at least 3-4 days per week so he can get exercise too!

Gluten Free Review: Red Robin – Yummy Yum Yum

Red Robin Gluten Free Bun
Red Robin Gluten Free Bun

Today my husband and I ran the 2012 Hell Run at Buckeye Lake in Ohio to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. Our in-laws even came out to watch the event and they grabbed some great pictures. We were starved after the event and decided to head back towards our house. I saw on Find Me Gluten Free that Red Robin had gluten free menu and after some internet searching found that they even have a gluten free bun!

This trip was not healthy by any means but I figured we just did this 5k right with obstacles so I decided to indulge in a gluten free cheeseburger. After all, I have to try it for all of you right?

This was a GREAT cheeseburger. Not only did they give me the gluten free bun but they cooked the french fries completely separate so they wouldn’t be contaminated with the other fried gluteny stuff. This was so exciting! I don’t think I’ve had french fries in months. The bun was fluffy and big, the burger was juicy and it hit the spot perfect. My husband even got a gluten free bun and shared my fries, which he enjoyed as well!

Best part is not feeling sick or bloated after my meal. 2 meals in a row – out in public – without getting sick! WooHoo

Highly recommended! They were very sensitive to my celiac disease and gluten free needs.

*Although I do smell like a stinky, greasy, oniony burger – even after showing and playing in the mud*

Red Robin Gluten Free Burger
Red Robin Gluten Free Burger

 

 

 

Pretty Little Celiac of the Month September 2012 – Sarah Casebolt

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Congratulations to Sarah Casebolt – She is the very first Pretty Little Celiac of the Month!!

When I read her story, I teared up and couldn’t believe her amazing strength during this journey.

Meet Sarah!

~My Celiac story is interesting, back track to 1983 or so and I was a young one-3 years old.  I had entered Kaiser Hospital in California because I was literally going to the bathroom 20-30 times a day, I looked well pregnant which is obviously odd for a 3 year old.  I lived in the hospital off and on for almost a year and was living in the children’s ICU.  It came up finally that I had Giardia which is a parasite, but that was odd as this is usually caught from streams, creeks, rivers, mountain areas, etc.  Regardless I was released and told to live on, yet the symptoms where always present.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and here I am STILL dealing with issues, I am a working professional yet I cannot eat at work for fear of running to the restroom.  I was in the Air Force for nearly 13 years and had the same fears, issues, and I was a flight medic so I was always hungry to say the least on those long flights transporting injured from Iraq and Germany.

Yet I digress, in 2005 I was tested for Celiac disease via the ever awful Colonoscopy and the Dr stated “He was not sure!”

Hmmm, so I went from Dr to Dr trying to find SOMETHING that resembled a diagnosis, during this time I began having major thyroid issues, an overactive thyroid caused me to be very skinny to the point of looking like death.  Dr’s said the culprit was my thyroid, yet I did not really believe that, in fact I started doing research on my own because I felt I had no other way.  I finally moved to Colorado Springs, now married we wanted to have a baby yet after 8 miscarriages at around the 12-16 week mark we sought help from an infertility specialist and became parents to beautiful girl/boy twins in 2009, then another daughter in 2010-yet despite these babies I always had a “tender” stomach and if I ate something wrong I was in for it.

In December 2011, they removed my Thyroid and said all my problems would disappear, how dumb I was to believe them!  I took my thyroid replacement medication from there on out, once daily and during this time my husband who is still in the Air Force went to Korea and it would be a year long time away from his family, so I became a single mommy not near family and still sick, still could hardly eat.  In late February of 2012 my wonderful neighbor who is a retired nurse came over, at this point I weighed maybe 100 pounds, she said “Sarah either you head to the ER or I take you.”  I did not see what others saw until I allowed myself to see how much weight I lost, I was literally shutting down, she took me to the ER the next morning, demanding admission for me, my thyroid levels were 195 when “normal” is 4-9.

My organs began shutting down, I had oxygen on, the nurses and technicians were contemplating ICU, made me sign over rights to Kathy my neighbor until my husband or parents could get there.  WOW! I was put in ICU, on pain medications because of the horrible stomach pains I live with daily, and was seen by a GI Dr who would be my savior at the end of this story.  I was prepped for an EGD/Colonoscopy the next morning, sadly due to malabsorption due to lack of thyroid and GI issues so severe I was not able to absorb the conscious sedation so yes you guessed it, I was awake and mean WIDE AWAKE the entire procedure, talk about painful and awful.  The next morning it was revealed I had Colangelous Colitis in my lower intestine, Gastro-paresthis in my upper intestine and severe malnutrition, not to mention my horrendous thyroid levels that could kill me if not taken care of.

I began a lengthy hospital stay, filled with TONS of steroids, and tests, you name it and I had it.  At this point thank God my parents flew in to watch my children all under 3, and the Red Cross was working on getting my husband home to help.  I went home several weeks later very gaunt, sick still, but thankfully the Air Force gave me my husband for 3 weeks.  I was off work for nearly 2 months, returned in the end of May.

We have had a great summer with my kids and I, single parent duty still until 3 weeks ago symptoms returned, I had another EGD/Colonoscopy just this past Friday so we will see but even living a VERY STRICT Gluten free lifestyle I am sick again some how, I am literally at a loss.  I am back to eating 2 meals a day if I can even keep that in and simply doing my best to be a single parent since my husband is still in Korea.  My Dr on Friday was at a loss but said he will find the cause and help me, this GI group has been amazing and I am so blessed yet I still am having a tough time.

I am now at 150 pounds and for my 5’2 frame it is heavy, I am on steroids for inflammation and other types of steroidal medications to help me day to day until we know what is wrong.  I do know this I have a VERY SEVERE case of Celiac disease, my children now eat what I eat, we all love organic fruits and veggies, and Gluten free products.  This is my story, I am still living it but I find peace in your blog and others in knowing I am not alone in this journey that at times feels like a nightmare.  I am so glad I could share my story with you.

Kind regards,

Sarah

 

 

  • cheire gordon

    amazing courage!!!!

     

    •  PrettyLittleCeliac

      Agree!

       

  •  Victoria Rutigliano

    Are you on any supplements to help your digestion, such as digestive enezymes, probiotic..etc . A lot of people with Celiac react to “sugar”. I have to go VERY light with eating fruit. I would be really happy to share what I am taking for supplements, I have a VERY long story of recovery from my symptoms.

     

    •  PrettyLittleCeliac

      Victoria-

      I struggle only with the fruits that have latex in them. Sugar doesn’t seem to disrupt me as much but I have been noticing lactose problems. The Kefir with all the probiotics in the smooties are something I’ve been drinking a little bit each day with my vitamins! Do you use that?

       

  •  Sarah Casebolt

    Thank you all! I am just one of many with amazing stories. Victoria I am very interested in supplements used and what might help. I do take a probiotic daily and have since Feb 2012 and it helps a bit. The sugar piece is interesting, I never really thought of sugar being a potential culprit! I know that all gluten/wheat/dairy I simply cannot touch for fear of troubles looming! At any rate thank you all for the support and making me feel not so alone in this journey.