Originally, I was going to forgo publishing a menu plan this week as we are cleaning out our deep freezer to make rooms for the holidays (I’m little afraid to see what’s buried in that arctic abyss!), but the lovely Erin gave me a wonderful idea when she shared on my Facebook page that she also has a sister who was recently diagnosed with celiac disease.
Well, what are sisters and girlfriends for, if not for friendship and support?
So, for this week’s menu plan, I will be sharing some simple “just gluten-free” recipes that can easily fit into any busy lifestyle.
But first, I want to share my number #1 recommended resource for the newly gluten-free: Shirley Braden over at Gluten-Free Easily. Note the name of her blog: Gluten Free Easily.
Gluten free since June 2003, Shirley leads a celiac/gluten intolerance group in Virginia. Her passion is educating folks on gluten issues and showing how eating gluten free can be easy if you focus on “real” foods versus processed and specialty foods. read more about Shirley and her GFE Approach here.
Shirley is the quintessential gluten-free mom: warm, cozy comfort waiting with arms wide open for those of us stuck in the dark shadows of despair and confusion over this brave new gluten-free world. Shirley was my saving grace three years ago when I finally decided to quit cheating. I can vividly recall the first time I came across her blog and the wealth of information she shares. I would spend hours pouring over her blog and slowly but surely, I began to feel as though everything would be okay afterall. In fact, it was better than okay…I can now say with utmost certainty that I am blessed to be gluten-free and I will never go back to eating the way I used to, not even if a scientific cure for celiac is discovered. I already have my cure and it’s called Real Food.
I love you Shirley and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do.
So I have a few easy homework assignments for gluten-free newbies this week – I promise, it’ll be painless:
Homework Assignment #1: Read Shirley’s article, Top 10 Reasons to Live GFE
Homework Assignment #2: Download the following tip sheets from Shirley and print them out, they’re real brain-savers for the newly gluten-free!
Homework Assignment #3: Shirley doesn’t just share recipes on her website, she also shows her readers how to live this lifestyle to the fullest. She does this not only by inviting us along on her worldly travels, but through some of the most helpful discussions. Case in point, Shirley just published a fantastic post, HONOR your Body: How to Recover After Being “Glutened” (definitely read that post, including the comment section, great stuff!).
This photo of Shirley was taken on the way to Oceanside, California last month for our gluten-free girls weekend.
Homework Assignment #4: Watch Food, Inc. if you haven’t already done so. I’m not kidding when I say this, that documentary singlehandedly and forever changed the way I view food and in many ways, it changed how I view celiac disease too (I STILL can’t go into a “normal” grocery store without hearing the film’s introductory music in my head, LOL!).
Monday: Chicken and Rice Casserole
Thursday: Garlic Lime Chicken
Friday: Loaded Bacon and Cheddar Baked Potato Soup and Salad
Saturday: Chicken (or Turkey) Enchilada Casserole
*For more easy and delicious recipe ideas, check out the full GFE Recipe Index!
Lastly, I want to let you know that Shirley is hosting a fun holiday event this year called Home for the Holidays, Gluten-Free Style. I can’t even describe how hard it is for me to keep my flapper zipped on a few of the very exciting giveaways right now (details coming soon), but I will say this…you will not want to miss it!
Connect with the lovely Shirley:
By Subscribing to Gluten Free Easily
Follow GFE on Twitter
Like GFE on Facebook
Do you have a special story about Shirley and her approach to living gluten free easily? Or perhaps a question that you’d appreciate Shirley’s take on? If so, please leave a comment – I believe that sharing our stories and engaging in helpful discussions are two of the most powerful tools we can utilize when Grieving Gluten and Moving Through the Stages of Grief Process (yes, it does happen and it’s completely normal).
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