the crazy thing about gluten {and my favorite gluten free flour mix}

she scooped her hands around my waist and asked if i was pregnant. 

my immediate thought was, oheemgee do i LOOK pregnant?  😞

i laughed, embarrassed and said "no, no i am not." (i sincerely love this friend so i wasn't the least bit....i can't find the right word for this....bruised? by the question, but it did make me think of a recent e-card my brother just sent me with a tagline that reads: "quick, check your face because i just found somebody's nose in my business."😂)

she said, "oh i hope it doesn't seem like i am prying or 'one of those people', you'd just mentioned some health changes on your blog so my mind went there."



i feel silly saying out loud that i have an autoimmune disease (alopecia areata) - because it sounds like it's more serious than it is - or most everyone knows what it is - and it's really just the fancy name for you lost a chunk of hair and no body knows what to do about it.

this autoimmune disease is like, so minor it's embarrassing. and from what i've read, most doctors dismiss it like it's no big deal...

but i can't help but think, guys, it's just the body attacking itself, NBD? 

the more i've read and researched about alopecia - they (as in the ambiguous team of doctors we assume are working to find cures for everything) don't know what causes it and don't have a recommended cure nor treatment. 


the consensus of what people are doing to fight against auto immune diseases is to stay clear of gluten, sugar (especially refined) and dairy.... WHICH IS LIKE MY VERSION OF A PERFECT HELL.

you guys, dessert is my jam.



BUT, reality's hit hard so I'm going to try it.

and by "it" i mean go gluten free for a little bit. 

No matter what kind of sickness has taken hold of you, let’s blame gluten, If you want or need to get gluten out of your diet, bravo! Kick that nasty gluten to the curb. . . . Not sure if gluten-free is for you? Perhaps gluten simply causes you some discomfort, but you’ve never been diagnosed. Then eff that gluten!
— April Peveteaux*

you know this, but gluten free is so hot right now

(side note: i first heard the term "gluten" back in my food science days when we actually had to write the chemical equation to a gluten matrix #😝! )

but what the poo is it you may ask?

short version: 

it's a protein. (it's what makes bread and cakes have an amazing bouncy texture). some people have a chronic genetic intolerance of it which means their bodies can not process the protein and if they eat it, it causes their body to attack itself - and the war is in their intestinal lining - people with this genetic intolerance most commonly have an autoimmune disease called celiac disease. i've read this affects only about 1% of the population. 

BUT there's another HUGE percent of people who are gluten intolerant. people who express some discomfort or symptoms like headaches (me!🙋), numbness in the limbs, sleepless nights (who doesn't?🙋), fatigue (ME!🙋) etc. when eating gluten but they don't have celiac disease. 

some people think this is a bunch of crap and say there is absolutely no scientific proof to prove that people without celiac disease, have any sort of gluten intolerance.

but for me? i think it's completely real.

(ps. there is so much more i want to say about the science behind super glutenous crazy man-messed-with flours what they're doing to our bodies but that's for another day!!)  

i'm no doctor, but i believe whole heartedly in the power of food. 

and since there is a strong tie to autoimmune diseases and "curing" them by avoiding gluten, i'm gonna jump in and try it for a little and share what i learn along the way.

this does not mean i think gluten is evil nor does it mean it will never grace this space again... i think.

this is an experiment. 

nothing may happen. it may make no difference at all.

but i feel i owe it to my health to give it a try.

and maybe the next time a friend wraps their arms around my waist there will be a little less jiggle and some definite good news to share...either way, gluten free, maybe a little less jiggle free? win-win. 😉 

see my favorite all-purpose gluten free flour mix below. this was used for the honey sweetened peach cobbler for john's birthday i posted last week.

ps. forgive me if this post seems self indulgent, i wanted to be candid and open about this and i can assure you, never in a million years did i ever think i would "need" to go gluten free. so, here goes nothin'. love to you. xo

ps. wanna learn more about gluten? here are some more resources that are super fascinating and so so so good: 

wheat belly 

grain brain

against the grain - should you go gluten free? a fascinating account from a journalist reporter that takes us inside bread factories and the various type of gluten injected into our food.  

*i thought this quote was so good and funny that i had to share. it's found in the article link above, but april has authored a book and blog, check it out here

huckleberry's gluten free flour mix

from the amazing Zoe Nathan author of Huckleberry

makes 6 ½ cups / 815g

i can't take any credit for this. i can take credit for purchasing the amazing cookbook and reading every single page in it and frequenting Huckleberry Bakery with john on the fly. i've tried a variety of gluten free flours and this homemade version to me, is the best. how do i know that? i love it when non-gluten-fearing peeps love what they're eating and they don't even know it's gluten free. i feel in some strange way i've "arrived". 

bakers note: this works swimmingly well in cobbler and cookies.

2 ¾ cup / 430g brown rice flour 

1 ¾ cup / 430g oat flour

1 ¾ cup / 230g potato starch

½ cup / 90g cornmeal 

combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. keep in a sealed container indefinitely. 

side note: i try to buy organic and non GMO products whenever i can. check your labels!