Food Allergies: Gluten (including recipes)

Jill Miles, Assistant to 100 Days of Real Food

Have you noticed lately that everyone seems to be avoiding certain foods for one reason or another?  Maybe it’s a food allergy or intolerance or perhaps just a dietary preference.  Whatever the reason, avoiding certain foods can present challenges for both eating and cooking, but, as I have found, you can overcome them.

My Story

I am Jill (assistant to 100 Days of Real Food) and a little over 2 years ago, my husband started suffering from digestive problems following back surgery.  After countless visits to doctors, including specialists, numerous medical tests and a weight loss of 40 pounds, we still had no answers.  While his most severe symptoms had subsided, he was still not feeling well and was continuing to lose weight.  Frustrated, we decided he should eliminate both gluten (despite him testing negative for celiac disease) and dairy (for which he had tested positive for a slight allergy although the doctors did not recommend avoiding it).  It has been about 9 months now and his weight has stabilized and he is feeling pretty well overall.  Even better news though is that his change in diet, although forced upon him, was really a gift.  His diet of highly processed foods was finally catching up with him, even placing him at risk for elevated cholesterol (combined with a family history of high cholesterol and heart disease).  Having to eliminate so much from his diet forced him to add in more whole foods, including fruits and vegetables.  So, at the end of the day, while the initial change in diet was both difficult and frustrating at times, the long-term health benefits have been immeasurable. Continue Reading »

How much time I spend in the kitchen

I get a lot of questions about how much time I spend in the kitchen and how to best manage your cooking/cleaning time so you aren’t always in the kitchen. And after putting some energy into this post though I realized I may not be the best person to ask because…I honestly like to be in the kitchen! And more importantly I LOVE good food so more often than not I think it’s worth the effort it takes to prepare it. I’ve seriously seen my husband sit there and munch on lettuce (yes, plain lettuce!) because he didn’t want to take the time to make it into a tasty salad. First of all, I guarantee I will never be caught dead eating plain lettuce and the reason is because the enjoyment I get out of a delicious meal is worth the time it takes me to prepare it.

While lots of people might quickly throw together a sandwich for lunch (and trust me this can be done quickly while not relying on any highly processed food), a basic sandwich doesn’t cut it for me. Sure it would provide sustenance, but a PB&J just doesn’t satisfy me like a grilled caprese pita sandwich made with fresh, homemade pesto. So as a result I take the time to make it. Continue Reading »

Recipe: No Sugar Green Tomato Relish (Can or Freeze)

I’ve been waiting all year to have fresh red tomatoes in my backyard, but this green tomato relish recipe is SO incredibly delicious that I didn’t even think twice about plucking some off the vines before they could even ripen. I occasionally get obsessed with certain recipes, and my friends – this is one of them! I don’t think it’s a secret that I am also slightly obsessed with the crock-pot refried bean recipe and let me tell you those beans are suddenly reinvented when topped with this relish (in addition to the standard melted cheese and sour cream of course). Not that I haven’t been caught just eating this relish by the spoonful. :) Can you tell I am smitten?

Green Tomato Relish from 100 Days of #RealFood

Anyway due to all the chopping and simmering this recipe will require several hours of your time from start to finish, which isn’t a common theme with my recipes so I wanted to be sure to point that out. If you aren’t into the “canning” thing you can easily shave off some time by simply freezing the end results. Either way you won’t regret it…yum! Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I was introduced to this recipe at my canning class with Ashley Eller earlier this year. Thank you Ashley! Continue Reading »

Giveaway: $95 BlenderBottle® Gift Pack

This contest is now closed. Here are the four BlenderBottle winners…if you are one of the lucky winners check your email for details!

  • BlenderBottle of Choice Winner 1: Donna Porter “I would LOVE to try the Purple Sports Blender! I drink a lot of “green monster” smoothies and this would be the perfect match for a mom on the go…”
  • BlenderBottle of Choice Winner 2: Debi Clements “like”
  • BlenderBottle of Choice Winner 3: TeresaD “I would LOVE a mini sport mixer. I already have two tall classics that go with DH to work everyday for his workout shake and green smoothie…”
  • Winner of Grand Prize Pack: Jesse R “I already have a Classic Blender Bottle for the gym, but it’s getting major usage and will be needing another very soon…”


Today we have some fun products to give away to four lucky winners! In case you aren’t familiar with BlenderBottle they offer portable mixing bottles that each contain a little stainless steel mixing ball, called a BlenderBall, which actually mixes your food and drinks into a smooth consistency. They can be used for mixing up smoothies, salad dressings, and even sauces or marinades for your cookouts this summer. I actually think making and storing homemade salad dressing in one of these bottles is a great idea. Just think how the oil and vinegar always separate…all you have to do is give it a quick shake before serving!

Giveaway Details: 4 Prizes

1 Winner will receive a Grand Prize Pack worth $95 that includes assorted BlenderBottles and recipe books

3 Winners will receive one BlenderBottle of their choice Continue Reading »

Cheese and Other Dairy Products: Are they Processed?

There’s a question I’ve been getting a lot lately and it goes something like this:

If you avoid processed foods how is it that you’re still eating cheese (or cream cheese or sour cream or [insert dairy product here])? Isn’t cheese processed?”

The thing is even cooking is technically a form of processing or changing your food so unless you are on a raw food diet, which we are not, we are all eating food that’s been somewhat “processed”. So maybe it would be better to say we avoid all highly processed foods, which, to draw the line somewhere, we define as having more than 5 (or any refined) ingredients.

So to hopefully answer some of those burning cheese questions I’d like to share what we look for when it comes to purchasing dairy products in general. And in case you missed it be sure to check out our post earlier this month all about milk. Continue Reading »

“Real Food” Photo Dump

I took more photos than usual this week, so rather than clogging up everyone’s Facebook news feed I thought I’d publish the pics here in my first ever “photo dump” blog post. So here are some observations and things I’d like to share from our week….

  • This week both of my daughters attended their last dance class for the year, and all year long the pictured candy (below) was given out to students at the end of each and every class. At the beginning of the year I asked if there were any alternatives to the candy, and they said they would give my daughters stickers instead (which let’s face it…usually end up in the garbage pretty quickly). My daughters complained a couple of times about wanting the candy, but overall it was not a big deal because the complaints were far and few between and were thankfully always very short-lived.
    Here’s my question though…since when do we need to “reward” children with candy for attending a weekly class that frankly I think is a privilege in the first place? Last time I checked dance class (plus the shoes, leotards, costumes, etc.) is not cheap, plus it takes time to get there and back every week, so why isn’t the opportunity to simply participate reward enough? And for a place that’s promoting exercise isn’t it odd they would choose to handout Tootsie Frooties, which are basically sugar, corn syrup, and artificial additives (in the form of flavors and dyes)?

Continue Reading »