Excellent Find: Del Destino Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad

While walking down the rice and bean aisle in HEB recently, I spotted product I had never IMG_4262noticed before: Del Destino Ready to Eat Quinoa Salad. On the off-chance that it might be gluten-free, I picked up a package and read the label: Quinoa, Hearts of Palm, Artichoke, Water, Sunflower Oil, Piquillo Pepper, Onion, Basil, Jalapeño Pepper, Sugar Cane Vinegar, Garlic, Salt, Ginger, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid. So far, so good. No gluten. Then I read the allergy warning: Produced in a facility that also uses milk, pine nuts, almonds, chestnuts, nuts, mustard, sulphates, and lysozyme. (I actually had to look up lysozyme, which is an enzyme found in tears, leukocytes, mucus, egg albumin, and certain plants. It destroys bacteria and functions as an antiseptic.) Again, looks good! No wheat! I picked up two flavors, the artichoke and hearts of palm and the piquillo peppers, to try. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free @ Austin City Limits 2015

In the past I’ve posted lists of gluten-free / gluten-friendly restaurants

Max's Wine Dive

Max’s Wine Dive

for the benefit of out of town guests attending Austin City Limits and SXSW, in Austin. Look here, here, and here for previous lists. To these lists I’m adding to more restaurants:: Max’s Wine Dive and Cenote.

If you want to cry for joy, for longing, for nostalgia, for something once lost but now regained, run as fast as you can to Max’s Wine Dive and order the gluten-free fried chicken. Continue reading

Home-Made Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Bars

August in Texas is hot. Just plain hot. At times when I run and see the

image of Texas from wikepedia.com

image of Texas from wikepedia.com

brown, dead or dying grass, parched plants, and cracked earth, I think of the words the narrator in Browning’s “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Comes” imagines spoken by Nature:

No! penury, inertness and grimace,
In the strange sort, were the land’s portion. “See
Or shut your eyes,” said Nature peevishly,
“It nothing skills: I cannot help my case:
’T is the Last Judgment’s fire must cure this place,
Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.”

Without trying to minimize the tone of despair expressed by the unnamed narrator in Browning’s poem, I do feel a sort of despair at the over-whelming energy, life-sapping heat of August. To get ourselves through the often steamy, always sweltering days of August, Phillip and I plan an October race somewhere in a cooler region outside of Texas. We plan this yearly October trip for two reasons: October is our anniversary month, so our fall race in a less taxing climate doubles as our anniversary celebration, and planning for the autumn trip and race throughout the summer adds purpose to the miserable runs we must endure throughout the scorching summer months. This year, on October 18th, Phillip and I will be in Bar Harbor, ME, running the Mount Desert Island Marathon. Whoo-hoo! The date is quickly approaching! Relief from the heat is in sight! We will feel very sad for our friends and family in Texas, who will still be suffering temperatures in the 90s as we are enjoying a much cooler climate in beautifulMaine!

Image from mountdesertislandmarathon.com

Image from mountdesertislandmarathon.com

In the meantime, Phillip and I are ramping up our miles and the distance of our runs. Continue reading

Delicious Tex-Mex: Easy, Safe Gluten-Free Eating At Rosario’s

In a recent blog post, I wrote that I have reduced the number of high carbohydrate foods in my diet. I emphasized in that post that I do not

Rosario's on San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX

Rosario’s on San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX

plan to completely omit carbs altogether. Food factors into my quality of life and to do away with carbs completely would mean to reduce the joy I derive from eating delicious food; for example, I live in South Texas, where one can find the best, most satisfying, carb-laden delicious Mexican food in the world. Of course Mexican or Tex-Mex food naturally low in carbs is available, but I, for one, cannot and will not resist those traditional enchiladas or tacos just to skip a few carbs. I find other dietary areas from which to delete my carbs – from other foods in which they’re not so irresistible. My claim about the superiority of Tex-Mex food in the Southern region of Texas is fact, not at all hyperbolic. No one has to take my word for it, however; doubters are free to do the field research themselves. I suggest they begin their culinary investigation at Rosario’s in San Antonio. Continue reading

The Flagstaff Trail Marathon: Traveling Made Easy With the Find-Me Gluten-Free App

“How wonderful that the universe is beautiful in so many places and in so many ways. But also the universe is brisk and

Photo from Great Taste Magazine

Photo from Great Taste Magazine

businesslike, and no doubt does not give its delicate landscapes or its thunderous displays of power, and perhaps perception, too, for our sakes or our improvement.” (Mary Oliver, “Wordsworth’s Mountain,” Long Life, De Capo P, 2004, p 21)

“Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him. One who pressed forward incessantly and never rested from his labors, who grew fast and made infinite demands on life, would always find himself in a new country or wilderness, and surrounded by the raw material of life. He would be climbing over the prostrate stems of primitive forest trees.” (Henry David Thoreau, Walking , Manor, 2007, p 28)

Morning on site of the Flagstaff Trail Marathon 2013

Morning on site of the Flagstaff Trail Marathon 2013

After having run many trails in various locations throughout the United States, I’m almost positive that Mary Oliver is right in her assessment that the universe displays various types of beauty, expressed in myriad forms, but that for all its loveliness and power, it remains oblivious with human concerns. Our recent trip to Flagstaff reminded me how much at the mercy of the universe’s nature we remain. Having struggled through another summer of harsh, dry conditions, Phillip and I – on a whim, actually – darted off to refresh ourselves in the soothing, cooling air of the Flagstaff and the nearby Coconino National Forest. The focus of our trip was the Flagstaff Trail Marathon, a small autumn race that starts and ends at the Flagstaff Nordic Center (about 40 minutes North of Flagstaff).  Elevation at the race site is 8,000 feet, and the trail route takes runners up to nearly 9,000 feet. This high elevation makes breathing, and thus running, pretty difficult for people who live much closer to sea level. The course was beautiful, despite its difficulty. We ran through pine and aspen trees, breathed (the best we could!) the fresh, clean air, and enjoyed wilderness setting. We were happy with the time we ran the first half of the race; however, the thin air challenged us during the second half so that we slowed dramatically. We finished the race with a much slower time than we had planned, but we can way without equivocation that this race is among those we have most enjoyed. Continue reading