Archive | April 2014

Gluten & Weed: The Connection

I have no shame in admitting that I have smoked pot, the estimated use of pot in Canada is 2.3 million, so statistically I’d be there. I haven’t touched it in more than a decade because of the last time I did it I had a terrible experience, it wasn’t anxiety or hallucinating: I was sick to my stomach. I distinctly remember getting so sick that I just shut down and went to bed. That’s it, case closed, after that, I never touched it again.

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me. 2006. Big bowl of chips. Pre-Celiac Diagnosis.

This whole event happened four years before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and four years before I even knew what the world gluten was.

Before you get all stupid on me and start ranting that i think marijuana is a bad drug and only bad people do it and it’s illegal. Shut up. I have no problem with weed. I have no problem with it being legalized. I chose to stop using it because of my own health issues and not wanting to feel sick. One event set off that mentality. So, again… shut up.

Then it got me to thinking: does weed contain gluten? Was that the singularity that triggered my Celiac Disease? In some of my readings I did in fact find that traces of gluten have been found in hemp flour. Then that simple fact got me thinking, ‘gluten in hemp flour?’ Who the hell is using hemp flour?  Hippies. That’s who. And no, gluten isn’t in weed. Hey, I looked it up. My Celiac Disease was not triggered the last time I smoked pot (much like the dramatic shock of puberty triggering a mutant power in the Marvel universe).

Almost all the accounts I came across of people asking the same questions about the content of gluten in marijuana, people were adamant about the effects of pot eased Celiac symptoms. Slowed down digestive enzymes and masked the painful or gross Celiac issues. Could THC be the lynch pin to finding a cure for Celiac? I doubt it, but the idea of it is cool and would probably make for a cool movie plot.

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Matcha Marketplace Gluten-Free Oatmeal

Everyone likes breakfast food, if you don’t then there is something terribly wrong with you, but what breakfast food do you like most? Me? I like bacon. Today though I’m getting down and dirty with this gluten-free oatmeal from Matcha Marketplace (click HERE for their website). Since I have Celiac Disease and I have to eat gluten-free food, and I like and/or love breakfast plus oatmeal, I am all over this.

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MATCHA!? MATCHA? Yeah I didn’t know what it was either until I looked it up; dried and edible green tea. Could you believe it? Then Matcha Marketplace gets a handle on it and puts it in their food, notably the gluten-free oatmeal. My mother-in-law picked up a little bag for me while she was on a six week trip from Ontario to Arizona (it’s always nice to get free food. I’d rather get gluten-free food that a t-shirt).

Most instant type oatmeal asks for water when it comes time to making it, not Matcha, they ask for milk. A fine ingredient to make a robust breakfast. I was pleasantly surprised. I was also surprised that they had chocolate chips in the mix, already this gluten-free oatmeal is climbing the ladder to be the best. Milk and chocolate chips, that’s a boss breakfast.

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I preferred to make my breakfast in the microwave (which was an acceptable way to cook as per the package) because I’m all about getting my food fast and the less clanging of pots at five in the morning the better.

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So my review? You don’t need to rush out to get Matcha Marketplace gluten-free oatmeal. Even with the apparent health benefits of dried green tea leaves thrown into the mix, this is just oatmeal. You or I could just buy the same food, or make our own. Matcha Marketplace wasn’t anything special. Then again, I was thinking, they are just THAT much better, they had chocolate chips in it. So it’s not a complete loss.

I’m no chef/baker/cook but if you add chocolate to anything you’ve got an occasion. Think about the person who added it to milk. Truth.

My Aunts do Gluten-Free

After almost every family function I learn a lot about how people feel about my Celiac Disease, or about how they feel about being gluten-free . News flash, yes on many occasions, gluten-free is inconvenient. It’s just the lack of respect or ignorance that follows. It shows your true colours at the best of times.

While having to be gluten-free due to Celiac Disease is a pain in the ass for someone trying to prepare a meal, I had real winners doing extra special things for my family this year. Within our huge family, four of us are gluten-free, almost a quarter of the people that attended Easter dinner. This was the greatest year for myself (not only was I the first to be gluten-free in my family, but I was also the first diagnosed with Celiac, my Mother followed behind me) because the past family dinners weren’t always ‘Jordan friendly’. Two aunts went out of their way to make GF food. How awesome is that? And it was good food too. Dessert. No one tops that at all.

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The bunny on the right looks like it’s going to murder us all.

I’m almost 100% sure I blogged about this last year too. Same holiday, but noting the change from no Aunts making GF desserts to loads of gluten-free cupcakes and pie, it’s a good thing. A real Celiac Pro for someone who might feel like the black sheep in the family.

If you have huge family gathering at holiday times like; Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas let them know how they can make traditional meals gluten-free, in the end it is super easy. Making gravy with gluten-free corn starch is the easiest, the GF brand is rich there in the ‘regular’ aisle just read the label. Since corn starch is classically gluten-free anyway there should be no issue (of course watch for the cross contamination), as long as it says gluten-free right on the label you’re golden. Any other food is good to go when making or finding GF alternatives. Veggies, meat and wine all gluten-free. But dude, just watch what glaze you put on the ham, that’ll get you. Hidden gluten. There’s a real pain in the ass.

I collected a lot of blog fodder over the last few days. Some good. Some bad, but all eye openers. I learned a lot too, not just a bout myself but a bout the food I was eating. Some real shit went down.

After everything is said and done, and all the smoke has cleared it’s a good thing that there is gluten-free beer.

No family gathering is complete without gluten-free beer.

XO Baking Company is the Best Gluten-Free Food Company

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind I like pancakes. If you follow me anywhere on any of my social sites like Twitter or Instagram then you know this is a solid fact. I’ve done reviews of two different pancakes mix (HERE and HERE) and they both had my thumbs up, and in both reviews I was very blatant about saying neither of them were my number one brand. Like I said, if you follow me, you know XO Baking Company tops my list of the best gluten-free pancakes ever made. Gluten-free and otherwise.

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When I was diagnosed with Celiac in 2008 the quest to find gluten-free pancakes was tough, even more so finding good gluten-free pancakes, so imagine my surprise when one year for christmas my mother-in-law bought me a giant bag of XO Baking pancake mix. How odd it is to give your son pancake mix as a gift, but by now you should know that it’s probably the best gift you could ever get me. Then, when I actually had these pancakes, followed the preparing interactions correctly POW POW POW like an orgasm in your mouth, the best pancakes ever. To this day, I still say it’s because of the coconut flour.

There really is no other store bought gluten-free pancake mix on the market that compare to XO Baking Company’s. That is a solid fact, I know, I’ve tried a lot of them. Not all of them, but a lot of them. Then, when you go to their website, right on the homepage is a statement from founder and owner of the company Lindsay Deitsch where she says “Taste and texture has to be spot on”. Her and her company XO Baking have done this, no shit.

My family eats pancakes on a weekly basis, so I know what I’m taking about when it comes to gluten-free pancakes. I had a family member go on a cruise and had pancakes there, regular wheat pancakes, came home and told me that those pancakes were not as good as mine, and by mine she was referring to the awesome and taste filled pancakes of XO Baking Company.

Now, go get some. There is no excuse for you. You can order it online.

If I’m wrong. You’re dumb. You don’t know what pancakes are.

All the Men Gluten-Free Bloggers

Where are all the men gluten-free bloggers?

You’re probably a male gluten-free blogger reading the and are like ‘hey, I’m a male gluten-free blogger’. So my question is; where are you?

Then it hits me like a ton of bricks, the disease we all know of called Celiac isn’t really running rampant in the world of men, is it because we’re immune to it? No, it’s because men might tend to look at Celiac as a less than manly disease. At a certain age, every dude needs to go into the doctor for a yearly prostate check up, just like woman goat get their boobies checked for cancer (I know it’s called a mammogram, but who wants to call it that?). What REAL man wants to sit and talk about not being able to eat what he wants? Complain about his bloating? If you’re a man who has digestion problems, or any of the symptoms of Celiac Disease, you really need to get check out, or at least, mention it to a medical professional.

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When I want a cool picture I just look on the internet and find something fun and different, then link the source, unless of course it’s my picture. So go HERE for where this picture came from. This is great, because I couldn’t stop laughing. Look at this guy. He is blown away by what is on the computer. Ha ha ha ha.

If a man has Celiac Disease and wants to talk about it or talk about gluten-free and what it brings to the table, where do you turn? The good old internet. Start a blog. I did, and I feel better for it. Not digestion wise. Blogging didn’t cure my Celiac, but it has helped me barf my feelings out and share my thoughts about the one portion of my life (that’s Celiac Disease if you’re just joining me). Is Celiac generally considered taboo in the disease field among men? I have only met ONE other man with Celiac, but know of others across the internet, Celiac bloggers, and those men have Celiac, or are a parent of a diagnosed Celiac, but those numbers are small.

A small portion of male gluten-free bloggers talk about what the deal is. You know I’m a man, and the other male bloggers are all popular, so why are we in short numbers? It’s a question I’m trying to figure out an answer to, but it is tough to figure out. Recently I was on the list of bloggers attending an expo, a list probably about 25, only two were men. Weird right? That list and its numbers itself are baffling….

Blogging isn’t for everyone, I get that, and the small amount of research I did for this blog leads me to believe that men only blog about pop culture and tech. Blogging about having Celiac and being gluten-free isn’t for everyone, I do get that. As a man it could be seen as less manly (boy oh boy, I’m quite the wordsmith this time around. Emasculating? I think that’s the word I’m looking for), not me, you gotta own it like a boss.

If you’re a male gluten-free blogger, awesome. We’re in short supply.

 

A New Celiac Hero

They make a lot of movies with the protagonist having some disease or disability that makes them different. Hollywood does it all the time. Even occasions where characters have disabilities that no one knows about, look at Unbreakable with Sam Jackson and Bruce Willis. The bad guy had Osteogenesis Imperfecta; at the time, no one knew that that was, and really, no one really still does. But it was glorified on the big screen and then the people knew what it was.

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I have Celiac Disease (that shouldn’t come as a surprise to you) and where are all the character’s diagnosed with Celiac? It’s a true Celiac Woe that we don’t get a little bit of screen time. I get it that it’s not a disease that lends itself to super great storytelling, and really who cares about a person with an auto-immune disease? Well, guess what? I do, and I want to change that. Somehow.

I still say the Celiac and the Beast book could be a good biopic.

One of my hobbies has been making short films, ever since grade school. Friends would gather and I would direct them in a short story I came up with and make something fun and stupid all at the same time. Then it evolved into the last few years where I would make shorts like Empty Dragon and Today I Hunt (and currently have two unedited projects sitting on my desktop; Monster and The Corcoran Contract), what you might not know is that back in 2008 and 2009 I wrote and directed myself and my good buddy Chris in an internet series titled The Awesome Canadian Action Duo, where I in fact, and subtly made my character; the smartly named Jordan, gluten-free.

Click HERE for season 1 and HERE for season 2.

My one dream is to make a full length movie, and I have started the writing process of the movie version of The Awesome Canadian Action Duo where the character I play; the smartly named Jordan, in fact has Celiac Disease. As of today I am half way through the third draft of the script and it is exciting. The title of the movie is called The Gold Rush (which all makes sense when you read it, but I won’t reveal that little tidbit yet, but you can go and like The Gold Rush on Facebook by clicking HERE or just go and like me King Gluten Free AKA Jordan Middlebrook at Facebook HERE).

Nothing is impossible when you set your mind to it, especially when it comes to creativity.

Celiac Education is Hard

I understand the point of gluten-free conferences, and trade shows and meet ups is for each person with issues dealing with gluten-free to learn about what is new in the industry and see what we’re all up to. It’s a way to teach each other something new to go out and teach others about our thing, our Celiac Disease or our Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. We have to show the people what our deal is. They don’t know.

How do we do it?

Where do you start when it comes time to teach the masses about a relatively unknown disease like Celiac? That’s a question that I’m toiling with currently as kingglutenfree.com has started to reach an audience further that the Celiacateers. It’s people dealing with Celiac like symptoms that find their way to our blogging doorsteps. They have the hershey squirts afar eating a bagel and look it up online as to why, usually they will end up reading a blog or two about… our deal.

It could be a sad state when you have to be sick to look up whats wrong with you, but then again sometimes it’s nice to have a jack-in-the-box disease like Celiac. Spring it on a mother fucker when I’m drinking gluten-free beer and the other party people are drinking a Molson Canadian. What is Celiac? Why is Celiac? Where is Celiac? It never ends.

How do we educate about Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment (2)

This is what I’m going to tell people what Celiac Disease is from now on; cake with a crown, and cake without a crown. Then I get sick. 

I’m not sure where to start.

Do I start posting flyers on telephone poles? Do I go to home shows with a Celiac booth?

Where does it start? Right now, for me, as a blogger. I’ll advocate my way. Talking about Celiac Disease in a way that no one else does. Supporting other bloggers as I come a cross them in their own fight/right to educate people just that little bit more. I got these plans in motion to drop the Celiac word on people unsuspecting of it. Little plans, but plans.

Where does it end? I assume never. The fight of the Celiacateer is probably going to be never ending. With a rate of 1 out of 133 people we’re low on the totem pole. We’re not in dire need of medication or treatment, so where is our place in the medical/media circle? There is a bad direction to shift people when it comes to educating, while you may mean well, educating yourself is just as important. It’ll end when we all just get on the right page (I’m no saint, I just see it that way).

If we keep going to shows and expos and communicating with one another. Passing on what we know through blogs, e-mails, videos and even medical knowledge, our little disease known as Celiac will crawl higher and gain a little bit more acceptance. I accept Celiac Disease because I live with it, but what does my neighbour know? I’ll have to ask him.

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