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FBF Blog (49)

Tuesday, 03 April 2018 20:23

No Red Sauce Does Not Have To Be A Gut Bomb

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No Red Sauce, Does Not Have To Be A Gut Bomb:

A gut bomb? Yes, you know that feeling when you totally over indulge and 30 minutes later you don’t just feel full-you feel like there is a giant balloon growing inside your tummy.  As the minutes tick by the balloon continues to expand, you start to look pregnant, and then suddenly the balloon POPS and here comes the gas. Yes, that is a gut bomb.

Many commercially produced red sauces are laden with man-made sweeteners that are high in fructose.  Couple those with tomatoes that are naturally high in fructose and you create a volcano in your gut (Cliff Notes® on Sugar Digestion blog)-a bomb that is ready to explode and wreak havoc on your intestinal system.

Our family struggles with the red sauce dilemma.  We enjoy Italian food and want to occasionally have pizza and pasta for dinner, but we do not want to feel sick.  We have discovered a few companies that make safe sauces, created our own red sauce recipe, found local pizza and Italian restaurants committed to using fresh whole food ingredients, and learned how to balance the higher levels of fructose in tomatoes with other lower fructose whole foods (Cliff Notes® on Sugar Digestion blog).



Our favorite Marinara Sauce:

We like Rao’s sauce. It contains 8 simple ingredients:  Italian whole peeled tomatoes, olive oil, onions, salt, garlic, basil, black pepper and dried oregano.  In a perfect world I would love to make homemade sauce everytime I make meatballs or other Italian foods, but in reality sometimes making the Italian dish uses up all of my prep time and I don’t have time to make a homemade sauce.  We like to use Rao’s when I make Mama Sorem Meatballs.



Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Whole Foods 365 Pork Italian Sausage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, Muir Glen
  • 13 oz canned tomato sauce, Muir Glen
  • 12 oz canned tomato paste, Muir Glen
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dried basil leaves
  • ½ tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. In a large pot brown sausage, ground beef, onion powder and garlic over medium heat.
  2. Add all other ingredients and stir.
  3. Simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. We prefer to use Muir Glen because of their commitment to the environment.

 

Tips:

  1. Definitely do not skip the fennel seeds.  They are the key to the sauce!
  2. We chose to use Whole Foods 365 Mild Italian Sausage based on Whole Foods’ commitment to creating a nitrate free,man-made sweetener free product that comes from pork that is vegetarian fed and raised without hormones or antibiotics.
  3. This sauce makes a terrific lasagna.  




Local Restaurants Committed to Using Whole Foods:

Both of our favorite Italian restaurants were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. When we visit a new city we always check out the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives website.  It is an easy way to find safe, chef driven restaurants.

Red Wagon Pizza:  we love the Margherita Pizza and the Dayton Delmonico Pizza.  

Broder’s:  they specialize in homemade pasta.  My favorite is the Quadrucci with Roasted Chicken, otherwise known as #11.  I will go out for dinner with girlfriends and we will all order #11.  

 

Our favorite Pizza Sauce:

We prefer Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce.  It is made with 10 simple ingredients that I can pronounce and feel comfortable feeding to my family.  And I can stand by their commitment to the environment and their slogan, "food made with love just tastes better".  When we make pizza at home we use True Dough.

 

How to Balance Red Sauce:

As mentioned in my Cliff Notes® on Sugar Digestion blog everyday you are living with Fructose Malabsorption is about balance.  You find balance through eating diverse whole foods; avoiding mass produced, man-made sweeteners; limiting fructose loads to less than 15 grams; and most importantly finding joy around home cooked and chef made meals.  Whether we go out for pizza or make pizza at home we choose fresh, whole food ingredients and limit other high fructose whole foods that same day. If my kids are craving pizza we go for it. We either roll up our sleeves and roll out dough, and turn our kitchen into a pizza parlour.  Or if we don’t have the time to cook at home we head out to one of our favorite local Italian restaurants. We choose to enjoy red sauce in moderation, not eliminate it from our diets.

Friday, 23 March 2018 11:18

Why You Want To Be A Room Parent

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Why You Want To Be A Room Parent:


Yes, you truly want to be a room parent.  I know it’s a lot to ask...coordinating volunteers, planning holiday parties, receiving at least 100 PTO emails each month.  However, when you sign up to be a room parent you sign up to have control over all treats and food served at classroom parties.  Fructose Malabsorption is a hidden allergy in elementary schools. Most schools now are nut free, have peanut free tables in the lunchroom, acknowledge dairy and gluten intolerances on health forms; but totally are in the dark regarding Fructose Malabsorption.  


Imagine your child is so excited for the 3rd grade fall festival at school and no one is advocating for her needs.  All of the kids with nut, dairy and gluten allergies have no worries. The room parents are aware of these issues due to required health forms; and therefore, serve treats that meet their dietary requirements, but are loaded with man-made sugar sweeteners.  These supposedly safe treats will wreak havoc on your child’s gut. Truly, the room parents have the best intentions when choosing these items. They are just not aware of your child’s issue. Trust me, this has happened to my daughter. It took us learning the hard way to make a change.  


No, Grace, can not eat candy corn nor frosted pumpkin cookies from the local grocery store nor orange and black sprinkle donuts from the donut chain.  Now that I am a room parent I have control. I put up with the 100+ emails; diligently coordinate volunteers; and search Pinterest on a weekly basis to find the cutest fall craft for 26 elementary school children to complete during a 5 minute station.  But, it is all worth it. My daughter feels advocated for. She knows I am looking out for her, speaking up for her and teaching her to claim her Fructose Malabsorption just as loud as kids with nut allergies do.


We have a found a few products that work at school parties:

  • individual bags of Skinny Pop popcorn
  • clementines
  • Smartie lollipops
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Cheese slices and Wholefoods 365 Saltine crackers
  • Hershey Kisses


***These items are also nut free as of 11/15/17.  Please check labels before serving to students with a nut allergy.  Products tend to change frequently.

 

This is a picture of Grace and me at her Wacky-Tacky-Walk-A-Thon.  Grace had a great time walking with her friends, raising money for the school's charity and enjoying a snack that all of her classmates could enjoy together.

Grace has written a few articles for our blog.

Grace's First Article: What to do when you go to birthday and team parties

Grace's Favorite Products and Recipes

Grace's Passion For Baking: Yellow Butter Cake With Raspberry Coulis and Lemon Buttercream

Grace’s Story:


Hi my name is Grace Sorem, I am 11 years old and I am living with Fructose Malabsorption. The hardest thing is going to friend’s birthday parties or team parties/celebrations. It is very tempting to want to have a piece of cake or ice cream that you can not have. But, my family and I have solved this problem in two ways.

  1. My job is to say, “I am allergic to that” (it is important not to give to many details, just keep it simple).
  2. Also my mom has helped me fix it by always having a treat that is one of my favorites at home waiting for me.

So, in conclusion to all the other kids living with this, it is not the end of the world when you can’t have cake or ice cream at a birthday party. Instead of it being the end of the world it is just a chance for you to have a special treat at your own house that is special to you.

 

Two of Grace's favorite treats are featured on our site: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups and Safe Chocolate Candy Cookies.

Grace's other blog articles:

Grace's Passion For Baking: Yellow Butter Cake With Raspberry Coulis and Lemon Buttercream

Grace's Favorite Products and Recipes

Rotisserie Chicken:  a dangerous or safe meal prep shortcut?


Many current cookbooks, recipes and Pinterest posts suggest the use of shredded rotisserie chicken as a shortcut to meal preparation.  Purchasing rotisserie chicken is definitely a time saver; however, it can be dangerous. Many of these chickens are seasoned with “spices”.  Be aware-”spices” is a secret code word for a multitude of mass produced food additives including HFCS.


I, like you, want to enjoy this short cut. I want to put together a family dinner in under 30 minutes and need shortcuts.   But, I don’t want to do so at the expense of my gut. My gut definitely yells at me when I eat overly processed foods: foods that have ingredients I can not pronounce, that are made in a factory, and do not come from the Earth.  


So, how do we, Fructose Malabsorption sufferers, find a shortcut for rotisserie chicken?  The key is preparation. I have found 3 ways to cook chicken in advance that are a lot healthier than store purchased rotisserie chickens; cheaper because I am not paying for the chicken parts we do not eat; and delicious.


1.  Crockpot Shredded Chicken:

  • put four chicken breasts and 32 oz of chicken broth in a crock pot for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low
  • remove the chicken breasts from the water, shred them with 2 forks
  • you can store it in your fridge for up to 4 days


2.  Boiled Chicken Breasts:

  • submerge four chicken breasts in cold water, bring to a boil and boil for 12-16 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breast, remove the pan from the heat and allow the chicken to cool for 5-10 minutes
  • remove the chicken breasts from the water, shred them with 2 forks
  • you can store it in your fridge for up to 4 days

3.  Baked Chicken Breasts:

  • preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • place chicken on a baking sheet, rub olive oil onto chicken breasts, add salt and pepper
  • cook for 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breast, remove the pan from the oven and allow the chicken breasts to cook for 10 minutes before shredding the chicken
  • you can store it in your fridge for up to 4 days


How easy are those three recipes?  They are definite shortcuts and they are definitely safe for your gut!


I bet you are now wondering what to do with all of your shredded chicken?  Here are a few suggestions.  Gluten Free options are included.


Recipe Ideas:


Quick Chicken Quesadillas or Chicken Nachos:

  • warm up the shredded chicken with a little olive oil over medium low heat in a saucepan
  • add your favorite salsa and vegetables to the chicken
  • saute until warm and add to a tortilla or chips with your favorite toppings


Chicken Pot Pie:

Check out my Chicken Pot Pie Recipe in the Quick, Easy, Healthy section of this website. 

 

Very Quick Chicken Noodle Soup #1:  

Ingredients:

  • 4 “rotisserie shortcut” chicken breasts (previously cooked and shredded)
  • ½ bag wavy egg noodles
  • 64 oz chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ chopped onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh dill

 

Directions:

  1. Boil the noodles, carrots, celery and onion in 64 oz of chicken broth along with spices.
  2. When the noodles and vegetables are finished cooking add the shredded chicken.
  3. Turn off the heat and allow the ingredients to cool; and the dill to enhance the soup’s flavor.
  4. This soup can be gluten free if you use rice and gluten free chicken broth.  

 

Very Quick Chicken Noodle Soup #2:

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 64 oz chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh dill
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ chopped onion
  • ½ bay wavy egg noodles

Directions:

  1. Add chicken, broth, spices and vegetables to a crock pot.  Cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.
  2. When the time is up, turn the crock pot down to warm.
  3. Boil the noodles according to the package directions in separate pot.
  4. Remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred it.
  5. Add the shredded chicken and noodles to the crock pot and stir.
  6. Allow the flavors to ruminate for 20 minutes or so before serving.

Tips:

  1. You can also use this recipe to make chicken soup made with rice or wild rice.
  2. Substitute your favorite rice for the noodles.  
  3. If you want the soup to be gluten free make sure you purchase gluten free chicken broth. 

 

BBQ Chicken Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Organic Ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon allspice

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Add shredded chicken.
  3. Serve your favorite way:  on ciabatta rolls, with rice and sauteed vegetables or on homemade pizza with red onions.

Tips:

  1. We use Heinz organic ketchup.  It is made with real sugar.  Always check ketchup labels for man-made sugar additives.
  2. Our favorite pizza dough is True Dough made in Stillwater, MN.  True Dough has no additives, no preservatives and we can pronounce every ingredient.  Check out my blog on How To Read a Label to learn more about what is safe and what is not safe.

 

Greek Chicken Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 2 “rotisserie shortcut” chicken breasts (previously cooked and shredded)
  • ½ cup Just Mayo
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • ½ cup diced cucumber
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta
  • ½ small can chopped olives
  • 4 canned artichoke hearts, diced
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy with a side of cooked farro or pita bread.

Tips:

  1. Our family prefers Just Mayo.  It is minimally processed, made in small batches, non-GMO, dairy-free, egg-free and gluten-free.

 

Saturday, 17 February 2018 23:50

It's Ok To Give Your Child White Bread...

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It’s OK to give your child white bread….

 

For years now we have been inundated with health claims regarding wheat bread vs white bread. Whole wheat bread is touted to be a much healthier choice by many manufacturers. In fact, in many kitchens white bread is considered very unhealthy and has gained treat status due to this incessant marketing.

I was wandering the pre-packaged bread aisle of my local grocery store and found these claims on a loaf of wheat bread.

“All whole grain, 100% whole wheat bread:  heart healthy, diets rich in whole grain foods and low in total fats may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers”

Wow!  If I don’t make sandwiches for my kids with this bread I must be increasing their risk of developing heart problems and cancer as adults!  How could I not use this bread?  I would be a terrible mother if I didn’t use it.  

I know many moms and dads who feel this way; who have succumbed to defunct food product marketing.

But, I ask you to stop looking at the health claims on the bread’s label and instead turn the loaf over and look at the ingredients.  Chances are you will find many ingredients you can not even pronounce like calcium propionate, azodicarbonamide, and fumaric acid.  Do these ingredients come from the earth or from a factory?  What is better for our children?  Is it food that comes from the earth, food that we can pronounce; or products that are not real food, products that claim to be real food?  

I am not advocating for you to switch from pre-packaged wheat bread to pre-packaged white bread.  Instead, let’s try to find bread that is made locally from fresh ingredients and only those ingredients we can pronounce like flour, sugar, eggs, water, yeast.  

I haven’t even mentioned the fructose loads in many of these supposedly healthy whole wheat pre-packaged breads.  Along with high fructose corn syrup many of these breads contain unsulphured molasses, agave syrup, honey, tapioca syrup, and/or cultured corn syrup solids. These breads will definitely not make our children healthier, they will only make them suffer more.  

There are many fabulous bakeries in Minnesota who use real ingredients and have options for those living with Fructose Malabsorption.  We have embraced and supported these bakeries.  I actually feel like I am living like the French and pick up a fresh baguette each day.  

Our favorite bakery is Breadsmith.  Along with baguettes Breadsmith bakes various sandwich and sweet breads fresh each day. My children love to visit Breadsmith.  You can smell the bread rising even before you even open the door, it is simply divine.  And, best of all they offer samples.  

My daughter, Grace, especially loves the country white sandwich bread.  It has 7 simple ingredients:  unbleached flour, water, sugar, margarine, organic eggs, salt and yeast.  I am a very proud mom when I pack her a sandwich for lunch made with Breadsmith white bread.  I know Grace is eating something that comes from the earth and it will not make her tummy hurt.  

 

If you curious about the differences in organic flour vs non-organic flour, why bread made in Europe is better for us, and why pesticides in America are making us sick link to blog article on this topic.

Click here for more information on how to read a label.

Lauren Renland, MPH, RD explains on her website the differences between low FODMAP and low gluten, and why even if you are following a lower FODMAP protocol why you can enjoy a fresh baguette.

 

"For a product to carry a health claim on its package, it must have a package, so right off the bat it's more likely to be processed rather than a whole food."

Michael Pollan

 

 

 

My new obsession, Cranberries...NO, they are not just a Thanksgiving side dish:

Lately, I have become obsessed with cranberries.  It all started at Thanksgiving.  Every year I look forward to Thanksgiving cranberries.  They are my favorite part of the holiday meal.  In my opinion turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes need the tartness of the cranberry to bring out their savory flavors.  Without the cranberry the other traditional foods just don’t have the same flavor and are just not as good.  


When I was cleaning up Thanksgiving evening and packaging up our leftovers I noticed that most of my guests do not share this obsession-there were a lot of leftover cranberries.  I wondered where is the cranberry love?  After all blackberries and blueberries are hot foods right now.  They can be found on most top 10 healthy food lists.  But, why not the cranberry?  Cranberries, too, are packed with antioxidants and nutrients just like their more favored berry cousins.  Cranberries even have their own advertising campaign. Have you seen the commercial of the guy water skiing in a cranberry bog?  You can’t do that in a blueberry bush. I knew that evening that I needed to embrace the cranberry and turn my family into cranberry lovers.


As I was pondering over what to cook with a cranberry I knew I should ease my family into my cranberry obsession.  I intentionally chose to start with cranberry streusel muffins knowing that the brown sugar, oatmeal topping would trick my kids into trying the muffins.  It worked!  The kids loved the muffins and actually loved the flavor of the cranberries.  The tartness balances the sugar in the muffin mix and makes them quite delectable.


As I was experimenting with cranberry recipes it occurred to me how good cranberries are for people suffering with Fructose Malabsorption.  Cranberries only have .7 grams of fructose per serving.  They have the lowest amount of fructose of any fruit.  Wow!  Need I say more; time to love the cranberry.  Well yes, I will say more.  Cranberries are known to reduce overall inflammation and studies have shown that this anti-inflammatory component can benefit people living with digestive disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.  This is a powerful little berry.


However, please do not confuse a cranberry with a craisin.  Craisins are like raisins, or any dried fruit, they have a lot of fructose.  A typical serving of craisins has 40 grams of fructose-definitely not Fructose Malabsorption friendly, definitely not gut friendly, and definitely not something you should embrace.


Let’s be honest.  The cranberry streusel muffins were an easy sell in my house.  Everyone loves a good muffin.   But, how about a salad?  Wouldn’t it be great if I could pack my kids a chicken cranberry salad for lunch that they actually enjoyed?  I would feel like a super mom providing my kids with a low sugar, anti-inflammatory, super kid lunch.  I was up for the challenge.  The only obstacle standing in my way of super mom success was the raw cranberry.  I knew raw cranberries would not be good in a salad.  After a few attempts I conquered the obstacle and came up with a super easy solution.  I put ½ cup of frozen cranberries in a coffee mug, covered them with water and microwaved them for one minute:  perfecto, cranberry success!  They were soft, not over cooked and added a texture similar to the forbidden craisin to my salad.  And, yes I do feel like a super mom when I pack this salad for lunch for my kids.


We are all now embracing and in fact loving cranberries at our house.  Do you share the cranberry love?  If so, please send me your favorite cranberry recipe.  And, by the way the next item on my cranberry bucket list is to visit a cranberry bog.  I might even try the water skiing.

 


Cranberry Chicken Salad:


Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup Just Mayo
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Litehouse Basil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • ½ cup frozen Wild Harvest® cranberries


Directions:

  1. Mix mayo through fresh lemon juice together in a medium bowl.
  2. Add chicken and mix.
  3. Place cranberries in a coffee mug, cover the cranberries with water and microwave for one minute.
  4. Drain the cranberries and add them to the salad mixture.

Tips:

  1. Our family prefers Just Mayo.  It is minimally processed, made in small batches, non-GMO, dairy-free, egg-free and gluten-free.
  2. I prefer to use rice vinegar.  It has no added sugars.
  3. Your favorite fresh vegetables would be a great addition to this salad.
  4. We use Litehouse Basil at our house.  It is freeze dried, not dried like spices you find in your spice aisle; and gives a very fresh flavor to dishes.  I have hard time keeping basil leaves fresh in my fridge.  Litehouse gives me this fresh option.  In the summer I grow fresh basil and love to use it.  That is not an option during our cold Minnesota winters.
  5. We totally stand by Wild Harvest® products.  They have an extensive list of products and additives that they do not use in their products and produce.

 

 


Cranberry Streusel Muffins:


Ingredients:

Streusel topping:

  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Muffins:

  • 2 cups flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup frozen Wild Harvest® cranberries


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 serving muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl mix the streusel topping ingredients together with your fingers until the mixture comes together in clumps.  Set this aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Make a well in the center of the mix.  Add the eggs to the well and whisk it.  
  4. Stir in the milk and melted butter.
  5. Gently fold in the cranberries.
  6. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and top with the streusel topping.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes.
     

FBF Latest Cranberry Recipe:  Oatmeal Cranberry Protein Breakfast Bar 

About a month ago I started a science experiment; a sugar science experiment to be exact.  I have been reducing the amount of sugar in all recipes by 50%.  It is working.  It doesn't change the recipe or the taste.  For more information on this experiment check out My Sugar Experiment.  I am planning on trying it with this recipe, too.

This recipe could be made gluten free by changing to a rice flour blend.  We discovered a great gluten free flour mix that tastes divine in baked products.  Mix 24 oz brown rice flour, 24 ox white rice flour, 24 oz sweet rice flour, 20 oz tapioca flour and 2.5 tablespoons Xanthum Gum in a large container.  When baking equally substitute this mix cup for cup if a recipe calls for regular flour.

Friday, 16 February 2018 23:11

Traveling with Fructose

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Traveling with Fructose:

Last summer our family had the opportunity to visit Boston and Mount Desert Island, Maine.  It truly was a whirlwind adventure.  In 5 days we traveled 2800 miles by air, 570 miles by car and 60 miles on foot.  Highlights included walking the Freedom Trail, driving a Duck Boat on the Charles River, walking the hallowed grounds at Harvard, and hiking Cadillic Mountain Trails in Acadia National Park.  

On our trip we also ate like kings.  In Boston we sampled homemade gelato at Eately and dined at La Famiglia Giorgio’s in Boston’s North End.  Jack and Grace loved exploring the cobblestone alleys in this historic neighborhood, and got a kick out of watching the tuxedo clad delivery man supplying fresh baguettes to Giorgio’s.

 

 

In Beacon Hill we bellied up to the bar at Cheer’s and enjoyed a “mocktail”.  No, we did not see Norm or Cliff, and not “everyone knew our names”.  

 

While in Cambridge we visited Guy Fieri’s top Boston pick, Mr Bartley’s Gourmet Burger, featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.   I ordered an “IPhone” burger complete with boursin cheese, grilled mushrooms and onions-completely indulgent and 100% worth it.

 

Our first morning in Maine we hiked along a wooded path with a peak-a-boo view of the Atlantic to the most charming quintessential New England town, Northeast Harbor, for fresh donuts at Colonel’s.  Later, that same day, after another long hike we enjoyed fresh clam chowder at the Terrace Grill at the Bar Harbor Inn.  Our 60 miles on foot definitely helped us balance all of our indulgences.

 

 

We were in Maine for a friend’s wedding.  Did you know there is a suggested attire for a groom’s dinner called “Lobster Casual”? Jeff and I were at a complete loss when we received this invitation.  Neither of us had ever indulged in a traditional lobster bake and had no idea what to wear.  After much debate and inquiry we honed in on a prep school look with a hint of mountain man:  Vineyard Vines sundress, men’s pastel dress shirt, a Patagonia fleece, Sperry’s, and of course a plastic bib.  It was a magical evening under a tent devouring lobster with the sun setting on sailboats moored in the harbor.

 


When I was first diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption traveling made me anxious.  How was I going to find safe food?  What if I felt sick on my trip?  How does anyone with a food intolerance travel?  

As you can see based on our latest adventure I am not an anxious traveler any more.  I actually love to travel and especially love planning a trip.  After my kids go to sleep and the house is quiet I spend time exploring the internet, creating a Pinterest page, and using shows like Diners, Drive-ins and Dives to find local haunts that use fresh ingredients.  After all, a huge part of visiting a new city is to sample the local cuisine.


My daughter, Grace, loves to help me plan our trips.  When we landed in Boston she wasn’t anxious or nervous about her Fructose Malabsorption.  She was bouncing around ready to embrace all things New England.  We have actually discovered that our diagnoses makes us more adventurous eaters.  We revel in sampling new foods and exposing our taste buds to new flavors. We find immense satisfaction in not just finding safe foods, but discovering local chefs who share their passion for using real, fresh ingredients.  


We plan to take our kids on more adventures in the upcoming years.   Jack and Grace would love to visit San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Austin, New York and Miami.  If you have traveled to any of these cities or live there please share your favorite local restaurants with us.  

Share With Me:  Have a favorite restaurant or product you would like to share on FamiliesBalancingFructose.com?  Tell me about it!

 

 

 

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