Archive | November 2013

Review: Goldbaum’s Gluten Free Food

I love TV dinners and because I have Celiac I haven’t been able to get my hands on a good TV dinner in years. It’s a sad state that I can’t enjoy those great, convenient dinners, regardless of what people all say about how bad they are. When I was asked to review food for a company, they asked me what line I wanted to try, and this company has a line of TV dinners (a serious Celiac Pro) and I was all over that. I contacted them right away and said, send me those TV dinners (or a fair variation of a TV dinner for Celiacs). If you want someone to tell the world about this great product, then I am your man. 100% honesty.

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Sadly, they did not send me any TV dinners, instead I got a huge box of other great gluten free goodies, thanks GOLDBAUM’S, you’re about to get an honest review from a guy who doesn’t hold punches when it comes to food, me, Jordan Middlebrook: King Gluten Free. Goldbaum’s provides a whole list, a whole line, a whole ton of Gluten Free goodies and I got to try and review a whole crap ton of them.

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The box  of Gluten Free food stuffs had a bunch of products like crackers and noodles and ice cream cones. That’s right I said ice cream cones, when I saw these bad boys, I wasted no time in getting that box out and open, and by far, the greatest cones I have ever had. It’s a sugar cone, like a waffle cone, a chocolate sugar cone. I didn’t even put ice cream in it the first few times I had them. Just bare bones cones right in my maw. It was great. Then when you add some ice cream in it, gold. Pure gold. I wish I didn’t run out so fast, I wish I had more (dear Goldbaum’s please send me more).

chipsthat’s right, I was watching Avengers while eating the Quinoa Crisps

Goldbaum’s also sent along a quinoa crisp, you can imagine what that is based on the title. Little quinoa crackers/chips. Lighter than air snacks for a rainy day. I’m not a huge fan of ANYTHING quinoa, so like Kirk and his distrust for Klingon I had to settle my differences with these little guys. Guess what? The BBQ ones taste pretty good. At first there is a flavour of dirt, kinda like I licked a fresh pile of sandbox, but it’s just the faint nutty taste. I got past it quick, and just inhaled the whole bag.

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Their brown rice pasta was nothing to write home about, nor really write in a blog about. There is nothing super special about the flavour of this pasta. Yes it’s gluten free, yes it’s rice, but thats it. The only thing that would appeal to me. If I was to think this tasted better than all the other brands of GF pasta, I would be wrong. Though, a neat trick this past does, is that it manages to not be as sticky as other brands. It doesn’t adhere to itself like the other brands. So, each fork full was pretty awesome, i wasn’t getting four pieces stuck together.

Last but not least, the Goldbaum’s Chow Mein Noodles, you know the little orange noodles that come with North American take out Chinese food. Yeah, that stuff. The stuff I never realized I missed until I started eating these Goldbaum’s version. These are harder, look different, and salty as hell, but they taste just like the regular version and that’s awesome in my books.

Initially I thought that this American based company wasn’t available to me in my own little Canadian community, but I checked out the store locator at their site, and holy shit, I can get some of their products from a town twenty minutes away. I literally just checked it as I wrote this review. You can guarantee I will be there to buy more Goldbaum’s products.

No matter where you are, of all things, you need to find these chocolate sugar ice cream cones, and give some of the other Goldbaum’s products a try, but mostly those ice cream cones.

No Celiac is Ever Alone

I’m not out there advertising the fact that I have Celiac disease or the fact that I eat 100% gluten free, but the general public has little to no knowledge about the facts relating to my little problem. Time to beat a dead horse I guess.

Talking about this and the education that the populace receives is like walking up and down an empty road waiting for the houses or corner store to go up. You know it’s going to happen in the next couple years, but the developers just can secure the funding. Was that a good metaphor? If we bide our time, our time will come. Then again, maybe Celiac Disease is meant to live in obscurity, the obscurity of our 1%. I don’t think we’re meant to be there, tucked in the corners of medical books. Our time will come. There is only a matter of time until the movie adaptation of the Celiac and the Beast book gets made, that’s our saving grace.

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I had the privilege of being in a show recently, me with my tiny table and t-shirts. Doing what I do for our community. Or at least I thought I was. I spoke to a handful of people who are on a gluten free diet for various reasons, none of which I will get into, but each one knew what I stood for because I had ‘GLUTEN FREE’ right there in their face. Though, the majority of people looking at me with my ‘greatest blogger sign’ and my gluten free t-shirts and scoffed. I actually heard a woman mutter under her breath ‘pfft gluten free’ as she walked by my table, not making eye contact with me as I smiled at her and her forehead. She could have been turning her nose up at the trend of gluten free or she could have been muttering to herself that she didn’t believe in gluten. I don’t know. If she stopped to ask I would have told her what I do.

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There was one gentleman, a kindly old guy with a ruffled baseball cap and worked in hands. The hands of a farmer, actually, he and his wife sold homemade preservatives and custom dips at this show. This one guy walked up to me at the end of the show and looked over my shirts and read  my sign, he never asked about Celiac or even if I had it, he just looked at me and said “at least you’re here bringing awareness to it”. I thought at the time he was just being polite because I was the one table in the whole show that was not like any of the others. Turns out, his son has Celiac. I had heard from my sister who was working with me at the show and at my table that while she was talking to this man and his wife, she learned of the Celiac son.

No matter the people that think gluten free is dumb, a fad, not real or a money maker, there are still those few people, that 1% that might appreciate that I’m giving Celiac Disease a voice. The kind old farmer that spoke to me that day raised my blogging self worth with knowing that his son wasn’t alone, and even if the Son’s Mom and Dad didn’t get it. I did.

Celiac Woes: Stove Top Stuffing

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My little sister Katrina has only been strictly gluten free for a month or so now, and she has had an almost daily Celiac Woe. So this week i have asked her to guest blog and tell me all about the food she misses. I get at least one text message a week asking if she can eat a certain food. Well now she is starting to understand the real difficulties it is as a person on a 100% gluten free diet and missing all the food we used to love. Welcome to our own little version of Hell Katrina.
With the Holiday season approaching there is nothing I enjoy more then food! The treats I get to devour, the amount of mashed potatoes i will have piled high on my plate and the delicious steamed vegetables.
My mouth is drooling thinking of this.st_feature_img
There is one thing I miss, just one…for now….
STOVETOP Stuffing.  That delicious, melt in your mouth gluten filled, perfectly spiced stuffing.
This was always my go to on holidays.  Who doesn’t love stuffing you could cook in a pot in 15 minutes?
I would purchase the stuffing during holidays because it was cheapest then. I would go home, get it cooked and eat it.  I even ate a bowl full in the bath once.
Now, this past October was the first holiday since I decided to go Gluten Free. Each holiday I like to take a trip 2 hours East of Keswick to small town Havelock. Now, they do not offer much for us gluten intolerent people.  They have 1 grocery store….a small one.  They had ROWS of Stovetop stuffing and my best friend went right for it.  My sad face came on. I said to her “If I can’t eat it, you can’t” She totally agreed with me an put that stuffing away.
Just sitting here and typing this blog all I can think about is that candy apple red box with the picture of the fluffy stuffing on it. I’m drooling and I just ate dinner.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my mothers gluten free stuffing.  It is delicious and so flavourful, but what I would give to eat a whole box of stovetop with no side effects
Gosh, I could go on and on about this friggin stuffing.  I just want it. I want to eat it. I want to not get ill after it.
Damn you gluten for being so magical, so addicting, so delicious!
This is my celiac woe.  This is a big celiac woe.
you can follow Katrina on her Instagram

GLUTENLIBRE. Awareness Through Performance

Glutenlibre_Logo-X-on_black-150x150Our sad state is that the general public believes that the while ‘gluten thing’ is a joke. A fad. A way to come off as a picky eater. That we as Celiacs or people with gluten intolerance’s are a bunch of sissy Mary’s. The education is missed, the awareness is dodged, and in the end we fight together as a unit, a collective of Celiacs bringing the hammer down, trying to educate the masses about our shit. Our group is amazing, and in the months since I’ve started blogging I have never come a cross a company like GLUTENLIBRE.

If you’re a part of our Celiac group then you know who they are.

If you’ve stumbled across this blog because I am going to tag ‘boobies’ in it and now you’re stuck read about Celiac disease and all the gluten free goodness that it entails, listen up while I talk about a great company named GLUTENLIBRE.

Stolen almost right from their site, GlutenLibre is approaching Celiac and Gluten-Free and branding the shit out of it. Giving it the youthful spin it deserves to better raise awareness in the pop culture by sponsoring athletes, musicians, artists and even the public service sector. A firefighter. A firefighter!!! That’s rad. You don’t see that everyday. GlutenLibre is one of those special companies that deals with our disease like it should be, not a big deal to us, but to educate the people around us. We all stand up and say ‘Hey, I have Celiac Disease that don’t mean I still couldn’t still wrestle a polar bear’. Our disease doesn’t hold us back, it’s not a sad label it’s just a tagline to our names. Not who we are, but a footnote in our lives.

I’m Jordan Middlebrook: Celiac Disease.

I don’t scour the net looking for companies that do the same thing, like a Cancer team or a MS team or even a Receding Hair Line team. I’m in the Celiac/Gluten-Free clique so GLUTENLIBRE jumped out at me. My daughter is three years old and just starting gymnastics and who knows maybe she will go up and up in the world and become a star athlete and maybe just maybe have Celiac (I wouldn’t want that) or maybe just want to support Dad and her Grandma (who has Celiac), I would direct her to GlutenLibre. You never know?

This is an amazing company doing an amazing thing for themselves and for our Celiac community.

I’m Jordan Middlebrook, I have Celiac Disease and I could still wrestle a polar bear.

Celiac Woes: Mary Brown’s Taters

There has a been a long standing tradition with french fries in the fast food world and the people who crave them. You always hear about the stoners who just want a large fry or a pregnant woman that craves a poutine. Me, I’m just a guy that loves fries. Potatoes in every form.

body-tatersMary Brown’s taters are just begging for me to eat them. Looking at the picture now from their website is making my worth water something fierce. And I seriously just ate a whole plate of mashed potatoes, and now my brain has clicked into the breaded wedges mode and all I can think about are these fucking potato wedges. A lot of it has to do with my sister who was joking the other day that for Christmas she was going to get me a Mary Brown’s gift certificate, knowing full well that I have Celiac and therefor 100% gluten free, and the Mary Brown’s Taters are breaded and deep fried, BREADED! Because of that text my sister sent me I had to write today’s Celiac Woes about how I miss those taters.

As I always try to fit in a story regarding my Celiac Woes, I will do another one with the Mary Brown’s. Many moons ago, like late eighties, Mom, my little sister and me were all back to school shopping. Lunch time came upon us and as a special treat Ma took us to McDonalds (before all you health nut people go off about how it’s not a special treat and how McDonalds kills you, shut up). Instead of eating the fries there, I distinctly remember asking Mom to buy me Mary Brown’s Taters instead, but I still ate the McDonalds hamburger. Funny the things that we really remember, because I can also remember the sheepishness I felt carrying that Mary Brown’s bag while my mom ordered at the McDonalds counter.

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Here is something else, after that time, I don’t ever really remember eating any other Mary Brown’s. And even up until my diagnosis of Celiac in 2008 I still have no clear idea when I had the taters. Just that one story sticks in my mind.

Funny how the memory is.

Funny how un-funny Celiac is.

Auto-Immune and Gray Hair

mrfantasticThere is a distinguished air to a man when he has gray hair. Just look at Mr. Fantastic, the boss of all gray hair, the smartest guy in the Marvel universe. When women get it, it’s the end of the world, and they go into hair colouring overload. Me, I look forward to it, I’ve been looking forward to it. So why now at 33 are my grays starting to show more and more?

I remember the story my grandfather told abut him graying at an early age, like 20, and he dyed his hair though out the rest of his life until is was just time to stop. Here is a little bit of science for you, your hair genealogy is passed down from your mother’s side, so If you want a clue as to how your noodle will look in twenty years, look at your Mom’s brother. So Grandpa grayed early but I didn’t, I’m just starting to now. Then I read that early graying could be associated with auto-immune disease and all of a sudden I tried to connect the dots. I have Celiac but no grays. Grandpa had gray hair, but before he died we never got to test him, Gramma was clear of Celiac. So did Grandpa have it? Was it his lineage that passed the Celiac gene to Mom and then down to me? That answer will never be found.

Pretty Little Celiac posted about this and mentioned about being B12 deficient and how it can contribute to premature graying. We all know the Celiac Woe of missing that specific vitamin. Even Iron can affect our hair. While everyone on the outside of Celiac thinks its just a bunch of whiny wussies complaining that can’t eat bread, the damage that gluten does to our bodies even alters the most unusual of places our hair. Pretty Little Celiac even mentioned in her post about going gray early and colouring her hair. Proving two things I talked about today.

I then started having this huge debate with myself about the use of the word GREY and wether or not I was spelling it right, or more specifically using it in the right way. We all know it can be spelled two ways. I went greyorgray.com and it answered all of my questions. And since Canada is still a big part of the British heritage, I was spelling it grey, but using it incorrectly. 

It seems that my graying is just normal aging. Boo. Just once it would be nice for Celiac to work for me, and graying early would have been pretty rad. A big beefy gray beard would totally rock. Right now, I’m just a 33 year old Celiac with one patch graying hair slightly off to the side of my mouth on my beard, in the right light, I look like a doofus with my small patch.

Now I just have to gray like the rest of the population.

Celiac Pros: U-Be-Livin-Smart Muffins

Name a gluten free muffin that isn’t dry as sand? I bet off the top of your head you couldn’t do it, you have to think hard about it, well kids, I’m here to tell you that the moist gluten free muffin dilemma has been solved.

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Introducing U-Be-Livin-Smart and their line of gluten free Muffins or Karmaffins in what could be the most moist muffins on the planet. When you bite into one it’s like the insides have been sprayed glycerine. Now that may sound unappealing but mark my words it is far from it. I was able to try out four flavours Apple Cinnamon, Smoothie Derry Medley, Belgian Chocolate and Orange Cinnamon. All moist and all good tasting.

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Something bothers me about the muffins though, the very first bite of each muffin was delicious, and then after each bite the flavour seems to just diminish. I tried to describe it like eating a potato. The first bite is potato then then every bite after that is just potato (my wife told me this was a dumb analogy). So, a better one; it’s like when you drink an alcoholic beverage with ice, drink the first drink, then leave it and come back to it later and all it tastes like is water. Now don’t get me wrong, the U-Be-Livin-Smart muffins are delicious, but after the first bite, the flavour doesn’t carry through. I wish I could get a grasp on these muffins.

The ingredients along would blow your mind; sweet potato, advacado, every fruit on the planet starts out as ten pounds of protein which is squished down to one pound. Like the Optimus Prime of baked goods, and you have to appreciate that. If you don’t, you’re reading the wrong blog.

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The U-Be-Livin-Smart Karmaffins are incredibly good for you, one single muffin supplies you with one serving of fruits and vegetables. There are no preservatives, of course GLUTEN FREE (The most important part), no nuts, nut free, no natural sugars and packed with so much stuff thats good for you it blows the mind. Nutrient dense like a boss. The most nutritious muffin you will ever have, I guarantee.

My favourite by far is the Belgian Chocolate, I would buy these again. The others I could give or take. I tried them all again too, I pounded back three muffins after dinner to taste test even further what I was missing and what Karmaffin from U-Be-Livin-Smart I liked the best. The muffin looks brown, but the chocolate isn’t as predominant as you might think, but still good.

My own final verdict.

Flavour is okay, nutritional value is off the charts of awesome, square muffins are cute as buttons and you have to give points to that. I would buy them again, I would recommend them to another Celiac or Gluten Free eater but I would direct them to the Belgian Chocolate ones, avoid the rest, I don’t think it would be worth it if your into the muffins for flavour.

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I even had my daughter try the muffins like I always do, see what she thinks of the muffins. To keep things fair, I took two pictures of her, it’s like a guessing game as to what you think she thought of the U-Be-Livin-Smart Karmaffins.

Don’t take my word for it, find some and try them and let me know you think.

I’m just one guy telling you to eat chocolate muffins

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