Monday, July 16, 2012


Lately, we have been more intentional about eating more protein and cutting back on carbohydrates.  A side effect of this was that Rich unintentionally went about 5 days without eating gluten.  His skin felt better than it had in years. The red splotches from his severe excema cleared up, his itchiness went away, and generally just felt better. When pizza night rolled around, he ate as many slices as he normally would eat and within an hour he could feel his skin becoming inflamed. It was at this point, he started to think that perhaps he has a gluten intolerance.
My first thoughts were doom and gloom. I've spent the last 6 years figuring out how to make everything from scratch using healthy whole grains ... and now he's not going to be able to eat any of it! Once I got past my own selfishness, I was able to think more clearly. I can do this! The most important thing is that he feel better! I have prayed for my husband for years to feel better ... have asked others to pray for him, and this could be the answer to prayer that I have been waiting for all of these years. Of course I want to be a part of the solution. So, if I need to make changes in my kitchen, then I am going to do it!
We already are super health conscious. This is not going to be that hard. I can make delicious meals without gluten. We've already changed our evening meals to include more raw vegetables, less carbs, and more protein. Since I already make almost everything from scratch ... how hard can it be to eliminate gluten?
The Powerballs pictured above are a special snack that I make for Rich for those times that he has a  little bit of a sweet tooth. They are gluten free - with minimal amount of sweetener ... and packed FULL of protein. They are also easy to play around with as far as substitutions go.

I started with a basic recipe and just played around with it until I got the right consistency. 
The recipe:
1 1/4 Cup Brown Crispy Rice Cereal *
2/3 Cup of toasted unsweetened coconut**
2/3 Cup natural peanut butter
1/2 Cup chocolate chips
1/2 Cup raisins or other dried fruit
1/2 Cup flaxseed
2/3 Cup ground almonds
1/3 Cup honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 scoop of protein powder (from peas, hemp, and rice)***

Mix all of the ingredients together and then refrigerate for 30 minutes before forming into balls. Keep refrigerated once they are formed into balls.

*Brown Crispy Rice Cereal has to be marked gluten free - they aren't all gluten free. Some of them contain Barley Malt. You actually have to do a search for the gluten free variety.

**I use Unsweetened Coconut - it's not easy to find at a store, so I order it from Amazon. Since these balls are not cooked, I toast the coconut before putting it in the recipe. I place the coconut on a baking sheet and bake it for a couple of minutes at about 300 degrees. You have to watch it closely so that it doesn't burn. It draws out the flavor of the coconut while also making it easier to chew!

***If you don't have protein powder you can just add more almonds or cut back on the peanut butter a little bit. You really can't go wrong with these since they are no bake.


  1. That gluten can be so sneaky without us even knowing it! So glad you figured it out and Rich can have some relief from his eczema.

    I had to keep Penn gluten-free for a couple of months to clear up some problems. He doesn't have to be glutun free anymore, but I had already made the switch to use kamut and spelt whole grains and white spelt flour. I do use a small amount of wheat in my bread just to help it hold together a little better since there is hardly any gluten in it. But wheat doesn't go into anything else I make and I can't even tell.
    Spelt does have a small amount of gluten in it but it is different than the high gluten in wheat. As far as I have been able to learn, kamut doesn't have any gluten in it.

  2. Both spelt and kamut contain gluten as far as I can tell. I found this statement online about both of them.
    I did know that spelt can be tolerated by those who have wheat allergies - but I from what I can gather having a wheat allergy is different than having gluten intolerance. Although, I am not sure the specifics of that. I am pretty certain that Rich is gluten intolerant. He had extensive allergy testing after we were married and wheat did not surface as an allergy.
    I found this online:Spelt
    Spelt is closely related to wheat, and not suitable for people who must be gluten-free. Spelt is often marketed as a ‘wheat substitute’ that can be tolerated by people with a wheat allergy rather than a gluten intolerance.

    Kamut is a trademark name for a species of wheat that is an ancient relative of durum wheat. Like spelt, there are claims that kamut can be tolerated by people with a wheat allergy rather than a gluten intolerance. It is recommended that kamut be avoided by those on a gluten-free diet

    1. Well, I wish you all the best as you take the gluten free journey!
      There are grains/flours out there that are gluten free and I'm sure you will be able to find them :)
      I had to do a yeast/wheat/gluten/sugar free diet for a couple of years before I was married. Oddly, I was allowed spelt...hmmm?

  3. Katie Albright has a gluten intolerance and makes everything from scratch too! So glad that maybe you found something that will help Rich feel better!

    1. I think I knew that about Katie - but had forgotten it until you just mentioned it. I do hope that this will be what makes him feel better!