Homemade Pizza with Seasoned Crust (gluten free, vegan option)

Pizza is one of my all-time favorites, and giving up pizza might be one of the hardest things about going “wheat-free”. I am thrilled to find this recipe and look forward to trying it out.

Natural & Holistic Living

I LOVE pizza! And I used to be really intimidated by the thought of making my own pizza atpizza home. Even if I thought of doing it at home, I would by a pre-made crust or a crust mix and I always bought a pre-made sauce. I enjoyed the results when I made a pizza at home, even doing it with pre-packaged mixes and sauces, but I still had that feeling of disconnection and intimidation. I usually just ordered a pizza or bought frozen. All that had to change when I had to go gluten free several years ago for health reasons. It was either go without pizza (NOT!) or learn how to do it at home inexpensively (which means without the gluten free pre-packaged mixes!) I am glad I learned how to get past my fears, because, like most things I have discovered in the kitchen, once I looked…

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Wait a minute…

At night the TV is usually on and while hubby watches I craft so it’s making background noise for me. Even when hubby goes to bed, the TV is generally left on while I craft…every-now-and-then something breaks through and grabs my attention. Last night, it was a commercial…I don’t know what it was for but it showed an older couple, sitting next to each other outside (on a bench maybe) and she’s talking about not knowing what she’d do without him, there’s something about a hospital stay, and he says, [Every muscle and joint in my body was in agony] (I’m paraphrasing because I can’t be sure I can accurately “quote” what I heard).

The first thought that hit me was “give up the wheat!” but then I had to stop and wonder if he got that advice at the hospital? And then I thought, “Wow! Other people actually go to the hospital for the way I’ve been feeling for months!” Wondering if I’m the odd one or if he’s the odd one could go on forever, so I decided to just let that go…Anyway…That got me thinking in several directions simultaneously and brought many questions to mind.

I don’t know how commercials come together, that couple could’ve been actors which leads me to wonder just how prevalent might this joint-and-muscle-pain be? Is there a specific age range it’s associated with? Is it possible that everyone has severe pain after they reach a saturation point? Or are certain professions more prone to this? Perhaps professions that don’t require a lot of physical movement? What are the diets of the people suffering these symptoms? Does everyone suffering this set of symptoms have a diet heavy in wheat? (My diet was very wheat heavy…my hubby, who is five years older, eats very little wheat and does not have the joint/muscle pain I did.) Are my hubby and I  typical? Is there anyone suffering these symptoms who doesn’t eat wheat?

I’m curious.

And I’m 14 days wheat-free (again) out of a possible two-and-a-half months.

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The Best Laid Plans…

Aahhh well….once again my plan to blog on a regular basis (such as weekly, if not daily) has gone awry. I don’t know why this is so hard for me to commit to… I don’t generally have a problem with commitment, after all, I’ve been married to the same man for over 40 years (and yes, we’re still waiting to see if this is going to work out) <insert grin here>

Well, this whole “wheat-free” adventure has been an eye-opening experience. When last I entered the wordpress domain, I was 14 days wheat free. That was a Saturday and on Tuesday I went to the doctor for an infected ingrown toenail 😦 While there was some preliminary talk of having to remove the toenail (yikes!), it is still with me. Because there was infection, there needed to be some antibiotics run through my system before anything else could be done.

In case you don’t yet know this ( I didn’t)…some medications contain wheat products. So, by day three on the antibiotics I was pretty certain they contained some sort of wheat. I went to the handy site recommended in Wheat Belly www.glutenfreedrugs.com and found out that my antibiotic was NOT on the list of those that are gluten/wheat free. 😦 After considering my options, I decided not to go through all the hassle of changing the prescription…I’ve been eating wheat all my life, surely 7 more days with what must be a minute amount shouldn’t pose any serious problem. By day 7 of 10 I wished I had. Once again, my legs hurt horribly, every joint from hips to pinky toes ached constantly and the muscles in both legs ached and had shooting pains running through them. Next time I need a prescription I will be printing out the list from gluten free drugs to take with me.

About a week or two after being wheat free again, I was at the frozen foods section of one of my local grocery stores (they have a gluten-free section right next to an organic section) and there at the bottom of the gluten free section were “Annie’s” frozen pizza’s, their selection of “Udi’s” was just cheese pizza-while Annie’s had tomato sauce with veggies and a delightful looking spinach-feta…well, long story short…while it was an organic pizza, it wasn’t a gluten free pizza. This just goes to show that my laziness in not reading the label because it was, after all, in the gluten free section of the freezer did not pay off. Either the stock person doesn’t realize the difference between the two or, as is my guess, grocery stores consider space more important than customers.

So…after a little over two months….I am again wheat-free for 14 days….again.

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Day 14 – Wheat Free

Fourteen days without wheat…I never expected to be here.

However, I have to say the physical changes have been amazing. My level of muscle and joint pain has dropped drastically. I’m nearly 60, so the little pain that I still have may be from age…and then again, maybe it’ll disappear completely as I avoid wheat longer.

Significant reduction in pain. Better sleep. Longer sleep. No afternoon slump. Significant decrease in inflammation. Waistbands starting to get really loose…if this continues for another week, I’m going to be in trouble…nah…I’ll just get to break out a wardrobe I haven’t worn in a while 😉

Each week it gets easier to find tasty foods to eat, and my cravings for bread and pasta aren’t as bad as they were at the start of this adventure. My DIL loaned me her copy of “Wheat Belly” and even though I’m only a little way through the book, I am a believer in what Dr. William Davis has written because I’ve experienced it and am experiencing it still.

I have long been a fan of Mother Earth News, believing it to be a fairly sound journalistic endeavor…however, their discussion of this book was way off base. They quote several sources that claim there’s no evidence to support Dr. Davis’ findings. I beg to disagree with their take…I am in the process of experiencing exactly the things he discusses…and I was already in the process of going wheat free and learned of my intolerance to wheat by personal experience…so, if his “science” isn’t up to snuff…I don’t care…my story isn’t a “placebo effect” event…my pain was not imaginary, my journey to this point came before reading his book or hearing much about it.

I’m looking forward to finishing the book, I’ve joined his Facebook page and was welcomed by him(?) and other page members. I have found that several of my Facebook friends joined me in this adventure and it’s been fun to share our progress and recipes. Who knew? There seems to be a whole lot of people looking for answers to their health problems. Maybe it’s as simple and as complex as the food we eat. Could Hippocrates and other’s have been right all these years?

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Still in pain :(

Well, it’s Friday, the 5th day of September and my knees, hips and muscles still hurt a little…tonight will be 6 full days since I ate Taco Bell corn tortillas (made with wheat as one of the ingredients it turns out). Still noticeable inflamation around both knees and ankles and probably both hips as well since they both ache a little again/still.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I look forward to waking up tomorrow and, if everything goes as it has the last few weeks, I should be pretty much pain free again tomorrow. It continues to stun me how something I’ve eaten all my life has now become something that causes such intense pain.


It’s a little after 9 PM and I have to tell you that the pain has diminished significantly from earlier today. Excited to see how I feel in the morning….and how I’m going to feel come October 1 after 30 days wheat free.

Posted in Better Life, diet, headaches, Health, muscle pain, Pain, rashes, Swollen joints, Wheat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Missing In Action

I’ve been away from WordPress for a long time now…maybe a year or more.

It’s been a tough time. Along with work, the same financial stress as most American’s with our economy doing crazy things, not to mention all the world strife the media flashes past our faces….well, a lot has been going on all over the place.

For me, however, along with being a business owner, wife, mother of adult children and grandmother to eight beautiful children, I have not been feeling well the past couple of years. Nothing I could “name” but just….”off”. Quick to catch whatever is going around (which has not been my historic normal) and experiencing odd pain off-and-on, in different areas of my body. Nothing that would stay-put long enough to be a problem for more than a few days…except for my knees…they hurt most of the time…and it all just kept getting a little worse.

Maybe 12 or 13 years ago I injured my left knee and it has hurt ever since. Some days it’s just a nagging ache but other days it’s like hot lightening shooting through it. On the really bad days, I baby it. Well, as you can imagine, after years of this, low-and-behold, my right knee has started to hurt. Over the past two years, it has gotten to where the right knee hurts worse (on most days) than the left knee.

So…now I’m trying to baby both knees which really affected my gait and so it was no surprise when my hips and ankles began to hurt. But, when my leg muscles also began to scream on a far too regular basis I knew I was in trouble. I’ve done “natural” childbirth for all four of my kids…that was a piece of cake compared to the pain in my legs. No place or position would ease the pain. Sleep happened only when I hit exhaustion because of the pain. I was seriously at the point where I was looking for a way out. I didn’t want to wake up anymore…and the idea of another 20 or so years with this to look forward to was pretty hard to get happy about.

Two weeks ago, I ran out of bread and any other bread-like convenience food (I forgot about two boxes of pasta I had in the pantry). I didn’t want to go buy commercial bread because I had all the organic ingredients needed to make a beautiful whole grain loaf of  healthy and delicious bread right in my own kitchen…and a handy-dandy bread machine that makes it all so easy. Well, it wasn’t in the cards…no matter how much I thought I wanted that bread there just wasn’t enough time between one commitment and the next to get those ingredients in the machine and be available while the machine ran (in case of the rare problem) so I didn’t make bread.

Suddenly, while talking to a friend on the phone Tuesday night (day 6 without bread) I realized that I wasn’t in pain! Now you would think that would be something I’d have noticed immediately but it wasn’t. I don’t know what time my pain left but it was gone by evening. The next day, Wednesday, I was as close to pain free as I could ever remember. Wow! I can’t begin to explain how marvelous that was after two years of steadily worsening pain. I got so caught up in doing household chores that had been neglected that I ended up just throwing some organic whole wheat pasta on to boil and opening a jar of organic pasta sauce while I sauteed onions and baby Bella mushrooms to put on top. It was wonderful! I love pasta and veggies and this just really hit the spot; my hubby is not as fond of pasta, but he deals with it gracefully most times. Sadly, there was no garlic bread to go with it 😦

When I got up at 4 AM the next morning, my knees were achy, and I didn’t think about it too much…but by the time I was done babysitting two of eight grandchildren for the day it was all I could do to keep from crying – the pain in my joints and leg muscles was THAT bad. Friday they felt better…Saturday even better still…and Sunday I was back to feeling almost no pain. The only thing that had changed was the organic whole wheat pasta I’d had for dinner Wednesday night. It took two days for the pain to ease up again.

The following Saturday, I ran some errands and picked up some wheeled carts that I brought home to use in a kitchen re-vamp. I got so involved working on that project that before I knew it, it was time to make supper, I was starving, and there was no food ready and the kitchen wasn’t exactly in the shape it needed to be in to make a meal. Hubby handed me some cash and said, “Why don’t you run to Taco Bel and get us some tacos, the corn tortillas should be safe enough.” so I did exactly that. Not even 20 minutes later, I could feel my knees start to ache and become inflamed and my thigh muscles started to really hurt. So much for that!

A daughter-in-law told me to go online and check out ingredients (I didn’t even know you could do that) and sure enough! the corn tortillas contain wheat!!! Well, that cost me Sunday and part of Monday (Labor Day) with too much pain in my legs to do much more than be really upset with myself for not planning better, with Taco Bell for putting wheat in their corn tortillas (who does that?), and with Monsanto and their ilk for screwing around with plants without proper testing along the way to see if it created problems for people.

The same daughter-in-law who told me to check the ingredients online, loaned me her copy of a book she thought I needed to read soon…it’s called “Wheat Belly” by William Davis, M.D.

This book is changing my life!!!!! Not only does it explain what happened, it showed me that I’ve been on this path for probably about 18-20 years and only in the last two had it gotten bad enough to make me really take notice. Had it not been for that six days without bread I probably would’ve ended up either dead or on the operating table hoping a knee replacement would help….and yes, I know that would’ve been the prescribed treatment…after 3-5 years of shots in my knees and pain pills to manage the pain on a daily basis (poisoning my liver and other internal organs) all because of WHEAT!!!!!! Wow. Just wow.

So, if you’ve been suffering anything, ANYTHING that you and/or your doctor can’t trace to a reason…read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. Davis.



Posted in Better Life, diet, headaches, Health, Home Remedies, Massage, muscle pain, Pain, rashes, Swollen joints, Wheat | Leave a comment

Label Foods with HFCS

With all the health information available about the damage done by ingesting High Fructose Corn Syrup, I think we need be aware of what we are ingesting. Labeling laws need to change to allow those of us who care about what we are eating to make informed choices. I’ve signed the following petition, please think about doing so also. thanks. 🙂



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Fall is Here

Fall is here and that means cooler temps in the Northern Hemisphere….like the Michigan area…while it appears our desires tend toward warm beverages please remember that your body still needs plenty of fresh, clear water to flush those metabolic toxins away. Another way your body needs water during this cooler time (many of us have already turned our furnaces on, at least at night) is to keep your skin moisturized from the inside out.

Keeping your skin hydrated from the inside out is cheaper than slathering all sorts of expensive moisturizers on it…and some of those moisturizers (maybe most of them) are full of chemicals that should NOT be put on the skin. Remember that your skin is your largest organ of ingestion…so if you’re covering it with toxins……the result might not be what you were hoping for.


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The Bully and Coward Archetype

The Bully and Coward Archetype.

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Stinging Nettle Itch

It is rumored that rubbing a burdock leaf over an itchy, burning area that came in contact with stinging nettles, will relieve the itch/burn. I could’ve used this info many times several years ago.

As with all the posts under this heading, use them at your own risk and be aware that they may or may not be valid treatments. I am not a doctor and am simply trying to establish an online archive of all the home remedies that work…or not…as the case may be. Please feel free to add to the cornucopia of knowledge (or myth) as you find things that pertain. If you have info as to which ones work and/or which ones should never be tried for medical reasons, please feel free to comment. Thanks.

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