Wheatless Rochelle

Wheatless and gluten free vegetarian living in Los Angeles

Blog Mini-Reboot

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything and I’ve been thinking about why that is. After a bit of processing and review of my goals here, what I’ve come up with means a bit of a change of how I use this blog and my style of posting.

When I started WheatlessRochelle, I wanted to make it a casual, fun thing for me to document recipes as I try them and write about my experiences being vegetarian and gluten free. I quickly fell headlong into the world of professional blogging, joined some blogging groups, and started to feel a lot of pressure (fueled by the other bloggers I was interacting with) to create posts that were professional, magazine-quality. Anything less than that started to feel like failure. Since I couldn’t live up to the standards I was setting for myself (which were greatly influenced by these blogging groups, other bloggers, and their opinions of what I “should” be posting), I was beginning to lose the motivation to post and then felt guilty because I wasn’t posting. That’s not what I want.

I want this blog to be the fun, lighthearted, recipe and food documenting project for myself that I started it to be. It’s for me. If others find interest, that’s great, but I’m not doing this for others. I’m doing it for myself. I don’t need to be the world’s top blogger, the best food photographer, or have web analytics that rival professional bloggers. I don’t have the time for that and I don’t want to continue putting that kind of pressure on myself. I didn’t set out for this to be a professional endeavor and I don’t want to make myself feel pressured to turn it into that.

I’m certainly not giving this up. I love having this blog and I have a lot of fun with it. But what I will be doing is probably including more posts with cell phone photos, perhaps integrating Instagram, having more random/short posts, and probably making this blog have a more Tumblr-like “document as I go” type of feel. There are also some issues here that need to be fixed (for example, commenting appears to currently be broken) and so addressing those problems will also be included in the reboot.

I’m not doing this for anyone else but me. Because of that, I want to always have it feel like a fun project that I want to continue with, not something that is so overwhelming because every post must be the most professional tip-top thing I’ve ever created or else I’ve failed. Hopefully changing my viewpoint will leave me less stressed about this blog and help me to post more frequently. Thanks for sticking with me and I’ll be back soon with new content!

Common Questions, Part Three

This is the third and final part in my three part series of common questions about eating a gluten free and/or vegetarian diet. Go check out the Part One and Part Two posts if you missed those. Today’s common questions are all from Answers.com.

Is a gluten free diet good for you?
Certainly, if done right. Replacing white or wheat bread with gluten free bread made from rice flour is a good substitute. Even better would be avoiding the gluten free “replacement” foods and eating more fruits, vegetables, beans, and other healthy, natural foods. Just remember that rice crackers in place of Ritz crackers aren’t necessarily any more healthy. Don’t be fooled into thinking that switching to a gluten free diet and consuming lots of packaged gluten free foods is going to be magically healthy. In any case, packaged foods, whether gluten or gluten free, are going to be less healthy than eating natural, whole foods.

Is a vegetarian diet healthy?
It sure can be! As long as it’s done in a balanced way so that you get all of the necessary nutrients, a vegetarian diet can definitely be healthy. But just like any other way of eating, it can also be unhealthy if you don’t eat a well-rounded diet. Cereal in the morning, macaroni and cheese for lunch, and vegetarian pizza for dinner is a vegetarian diet but that’s definitely not a healthy, well-rounded day of food. Vegetarians, just like anyone else, must pay attention to what they are eating and make sure that all nutritional needs are being met.

Can you eat wasabi on a wheat free gluten free diet? What sauces can be eaten with a gluten free diet?
It all depends on how it’s made and what is in the wasabi and other sauces. Read the labels to see if they contain any gluten ingredients.

Can you eat sugar on a gluten free diet? Can you eat eggs on gluten free diet?
Pure cane sugar does not contain any gluten. If it’s processed in any way, you’ll have to read the labels and/or contact the company to see if any gluten ingredients were used in the processing. Pure, natural eggs are also gluten free!

Is Diet Cherry Coke gluten free? How about regular Cherry Coke? Diet Coke? Regular Coke?
It depends on what country you’re from. In the United States, Coca-Cola says that original Coca-Cola, caffeine-free Coca-Cola Classic, Coca-Cola Zero, Cherry, Coke, Diet Cherry Coke, Cherry Coke Zero, Vanilla Coke, Vanilla Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Diet Coke Plus, caffeine-free Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Splenda, and Diet Coke with Lime are all gluten-free to 20ppm.

How many people are on gluten free diets?
About 1 in 133 people have Celiac Disease and about 0.21% of adults have a wheat allergy. These people must follow a gluten free diet. Beyond that, it’s difficult to know how many people follow gluten free diets for other reasons. Some of those reasons include wheat or gluten intolerance or a diet preference.

How many people are vegetarians?
The Huffington Post has a great article from 2012 with lots of statistics about vegetarians in America. According to a Gallup poll quoted in this article, about 13 percent of adults in America identify as vegetarian. 2 percent of people consider themselves vegan. Vegetarian Times says that as of 2008, there were 7.3 million vegetarians in America. For a look at number of vegetarians around the world, check out the Wikipedia article on the topic, which has statistics from 18 different countries.

Famous people who are vegetarians? Famous people who are gluten free?
Wikipedia has a giant list of famous people who are vegetarians. Some of my favorites are Mr. Rogers, Bob Barker, and Kate Bush. The Glutenista has a list of celebrities who are gluten free (categorized by their reason for following a gluten free diet). According to that list, Zooey Deschanel and Chelsea Clinton both have wheat allergies.

Can you eat lard if you are vegetarian? Can you eat lard if you are on a gluten free diet?
Lard is pig fat. Because it’s from a pig you cannot eat lard if you are vegetarian. Lard can be eaten on a gluten free diet because it does not contain any gluten. However, lard does not contain any gluten (unless it has added ingredients in packaging) so lard can be consumed by people who follow a gluten free diet.

lard

Wandering Wednesday

This week’s Wandering Wednesday has a few interesting links I’ve found. Check them out!

  • The Guardian has a great article about Dr. Robert Lustig’s book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. His book outlines research that shows sugar is the cause of the majority of obesity in the United States. He says that the body’s reaction to foods that raise insulin (like sugars) is to store the insulin in fat cells, which leads to obesity. Unlike what we’ve heard for years, he does not believe that dietary fat is the cause of obesity, in most cases. According to the American Heart Association, Americans consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. Lustig says these levels should be at about 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. His book sounds very interesting and I’ve added it to my “books to read” list.
  • A few weeks ago, I wrote about an artist using food to create beautiful art on plates. This week, I found another artist who is using food to make creative scenes, like a sinking Titanic made of cucumber and green onions and a banana octopus. Cute!
  • One of my favorite booths at the Natural Foods Expo was Holy Crap Cereal, which I wrote about them in my review of the Expo. I was happy to see them mentioned in an article in The Globe and Mail this week about new power food cereals. Below, I’ve posted two photos of information from their booth at the Expo. One is information about their cereal and the other is a recipe for a breakfast parfait using the cereal. If you get a chance, give their cereal a try. It’s incredible.

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View my disclaimer and previous Wandering Wednesdays links here.

Dave’s Midnight Bakery Cookies

At the Natural Foods Expo, I was overwhelmed with delicious food samples. Many booths had gluten free cookies and being a cookie lover, I had to try them all. Only a few stood out to me and one of those was Dave’s Midnight Bakery.

Dave's Midnight Bakery

Dave’s cookies are all gluten free, vegan, and use organic, fair trade sweeteners and chocolate. He has three flavors currently: chocolate chip, lemon coconut, and ginger molasses. He was kind enough to send me some cookies to sample after the Expo and I must report, they didn’t last long around here. As you can see in the photo at the bottom, my cookie bags are empty! All three varieties are super soft and moist, the perfect size, and individually packaged to keep them fresh.

Dave's Midnight Bakery

Dave started baking cookies late at night because he was working a job that had long hours and midnight was the only time he had to bake. He has the full story on his website. One thing I really like about his cookies is that they are made from things I have in my own kitchen. There are no crazy ingredients, nothing I can’t pronounce, and nothing I can’t identify. You can check out the nutritional information and ingredients and see what I mean.

Dave's Midnight Bakery

You can order Dave’s cookies on his website and if you check out his Facebook page, you can see where else to find his cookies. It looks like Locali is the store closest to me that carries his cookies. Be sure to check them out for yourself!

Dave's Midnight Bakery

Dave’s Midnight Bakery provided me with free cookies to review and I was under no obligation to review them if I so chose, nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free cookies. All opinions here are my own.