Tag Archives: gluten free

Musings On Going Gluten Free

Have You Ever Tried Going Gluten Free?

I sat down to chat the other day with one of my best friends and daughter, Sarah, who now follows a gluten free eating plan. I wanted to know more about why she chose this and what the benefits are. She told me that when she was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder a few years back she trialed a few different medications and med adjustments to bring her lab levels back into normal range. Even though this was accomplished, she still “felt like garbage.” Through her network of friends she was referred to Hashimoto’s Food Pharmacology by Isabella Wentz. She gave the recipes a try. The cookbook covered both dairy free and gluten free recipes, but, being a native Wisconsin girl and cheese lover, she really didn’t take to the dairy free part. But, the gluten free part was a hit. She began to feel better and her antibody levels, previously off the chart, were cut in half or more.

Sarah said some people try a gluten free diet for weight loss and although she lost about five pounds initially, it really was not a weight loss diet and there are better plans for that. It is also expensive to go gluten free. And, gluten is part of what makes food taste good.

Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye. Sarah said that there are some schools of though that conclude that US wheat is so genetically modified for higher gluten percentages that a gluten sensitive person in the US can actually eat wheat products in other countries and tolerate them as long as the wheat is not imported from the US. I also have heard going gluten free leaves you feeling less bloated, feeling better, and with increased energy. There are schools of though too that say avoiding gluten reduces the body’s inflammation levels, not just in the gut but throughout the body.

I can’t say I am planning on going gluten free anytime soon, but, I am interested in lowering my dietary gluten intake just for the sake experimenting to see if it makes any difference in how I feel. And, hey, I’m all about reducing inflammation in my body if possible. This week I have experimented with with making a gluten free sourdough dough starter. I just followed the directions from one of my previous posts, https://platinummusecom.wordpress.com/2020/04/19/why-does-the-yeast-shortage-keep-bubbling-up-in-conversation-lately/?fbclid=IwAR2uqk9Y0iBKALhy379zPxgWd60WSKGpVILM_StjZPAKN8ZUhlMSH7Nve2s I used gluten free flour instead of regular flour. I started with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Bread Mix and ran out half way through so finished with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. Then, I took some of that starter and made these sourdough crackers which were great! https://thefreshexchange.com/pantry-staples-simple-sourdough-crackers/ I topped them with just a bit of course salt. Roll them out on the thinner side too unless you want a hearty cracker. Top with a bit of your favorite cheese! Yum!

Stay healthy and stay safe! Thank you for reading the Platinum Muse this week!

Glass canning jars – Grandma had something there…she always said plastic was bad for you..

Rethinking Your Lunch and Food Storage Containers

I was chatting with my daughter, Erica, over the weekend about plastic food containers. Or, should I say, picking her brain because I knew she knew a little bit about plastics. She said it first came onto her her radar about 15 years ago during an Army National Guard deployment. She had pulled bagel out of the microwave in what was now a deformed plastic container, and, someone said “You are going to die!” Over the course of the past 10 years she and her family have been transitioning to glass food storage containers. She went on to talk about many of the plastic food containers containing BPA (bisphenol) which can mimic estrogen. It turns out many of the BPA free plastics contain a replacement that is just as bad. BPS, BPF, BPAF, BPZ, BPP, BHPF. Notice they all contain the letters BP. Avoid these. BPA and it’s alternatives are even worse when heated. BPA is the substance that makes your plastic food container strong, flexible, rigid, and heat resistant. Even canned foods are typically in a can lined with plastic containing BPA or alternative. BPA as been linked to obesity and hormone disruption and even linked to breast cancer. And this doesn’t even began to touch on the issues of plastics in our oceans and in our drinking water. A CDC survey done in 2003 and 2004 found BPA in 93% of urine samples. BPA replacements decrease sperm counts and result is less viable eggs as well. So, toss your BPA plastics and avoid BPA alternatives to be safe. Throw away plastic food containers when scratched or when they appear to be ageing. Glass and stainless steel are great alternatives. Ball or Kerr canning jars make great water glasses and you can buy lids with straws to fit them (see below.) The lids are plastic but they do not sit in the water you are drinking. You can also purchase reusable stainless steel straws. There are also many economically priced glass food containers on the market now. They are especially great if you are packing your lunch and plan to pop your food container into a microwave.

Primer on Plastics (look for the # in the triangle on container bottom):

Plastic #1:

Polyethylene Terephthalate or PET. Lightweight, clear, smooth, single use only. Used for water, sodas, peanut butter. Recyclable. More toxic when exposed to heat or sunlight and with longer exposure more toxic materials are leached from the plastic. The acid content of the food can also affect the toxicity levels. PET is porous and bacteria can accumulate in it so avoid reusing PET containers

Plastic #2:

High Density Polyethylene or HDPE. Used for milk and water containers. Recyclable. Not bad

Plastic #3:

Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC – AVOID. Stabilizers used in production include salts of metals such as lead. Decomposition of PVC releases harmful chemicals like lead, DEHA and dioxin – yikes! When checking my food containers I found several old discolored “popular brand name” container marked with 3. I tossed them immediately! Whew!

Plastic #4:

Low-density polyethelene or LDPE. Used for bread packaging, frozen food, plastic wraps, grocery bags, and to line milk and juice boxes. Low level of toxins. Not usually recycled. Generally considered safe, except for the fact that our oceans are becoming clogged with plastics which do not readily decompose!

Plastic # 5:

Polypropylene or PP. Translucent or opaque. High melting point. Microwavable and dishwasher safe. Used in yogurt containers, cream cheese containers, maple syrup bottles. Not easy to recycle. High heat tolerance. Another plastic which doesn’t seem to decompose into harmful byproducts but which poses other problems because it does not decompose fast enough!

Plastic #6:

Polystyrene or PS. Not economically beneficial to recycle. Used for egg cartons. EPA classified carcinogen. Releases styrene which acts as a neurotoxin and can accumulate in the body’s fat stores.

Plastic #7 Mixed:

Almost impossible to recycle and has the most potential health hazards. Used for 5 gallon water bottles and sports bottles. Avoid heating. Wash with mild detergent.

Stay safe and keep your family safe. Opt for glass or stainless steel when available. Plastics #s 1,2,4,5 seem pretty safe, aside from clogging our oceans. Avoid #3 and #7 at all costs. In general it is best to avoid using plastic containers to heat food in a microwave. I try to to avoid heating plastic which will be used for food storage as the heat might cause the plastic to break down and release nasty toxins. I transfer foods sold in plastic packaging to a glass container before heating in a microwave.

Thank you for reading the Platinum Muse! Up next week: My gluten free sour dough starter which is currently in the works on my kitchen counter, and, my gluten free sour dough crackers! Stay tuned!