I've been remiss....
I know my readers appreciate the fact that I've been sick since the first of April. And I appreciate the patience of the companies and vendors who've sent me materials and samples, but I've barely had the energy to blog.
I'm sorry. Most days, I barely have the energy to get out of bed (or off the couch). Believe me when I say I am demoralized and debilitated by this new autoimmune disorder. I've been pampered and cared for by so many friends in the gluten-free community.
I wanted to write a great blog post about my visit to NYC with Jill Brack of Glow Gluten Free. And my fabulous trip to Denver with my brother from another mother, Gluten Free Steve, the Artist, Heather. Jillian's, Chadwick and Etai from Udi's, Glutenfree Dee, and my dear cousin Art in Boulder.
Those posts may never happen. That doesn't mean they didn't mean the world to me, but I meet myself coming and going some days. I will never catch up on the things that have passed me by since April.
I want to make amends. I know I can never repay the kindness of my friends, but surely, they understand. I pray they do.
But I need to get back in the saddle. Julie reminded me of that today. Blogging about the GF life is one of my great pleasures. And I miss pleasure in general. Mostly lately I've had pain. LOTS of pain. Caused by toxic drugs. With no end in sight. (There's the best update I can give you. Plus ca change, plus ca remain. With that little hook attached to make it French -- because as Jena said, resume without the accents is RESUME).
Being really sick brought something very practical to mind. What should someone gluten-free do when he or she is sick, but he or she has no immediate gluten-free resources? I mean, if all you have is your hometown grocery that still says, "gluten what?" when you ask where the section is?
Two words: Amy's Kitchen
Thank you, Amy's Kitchen. Your prepared gluten-free foods have been a mealtime lifesaver to me.
Let me explain: When I went on the nasty prednisone (blame it on the prednisone a la Jamie Fox's Blame it on the Alcohol will make you laugh out loud...) I found myself in need of healthy food fare. OK, I was on this Spam and Velveeta kick for a while, what can I tell you? Prednisone makes one eat massive quantities of food AND gain weight with no regard for reality.
And for a while, I had no energy at all. NONE. Zip. Nada. Thus the Spam and Velveeta (oh, and Turkey Vienna Sausages, too...)
But I found it incredibly easy to go to my local WalMart and Kroger and pick up gluten-free products from Amy's. Delicious, healthy, organic, vegetarian (sometimes vegan). Across the board I find their products easy to find and delicious to eat.
I've been lucky for a while -- I've been on the receiving end of several new Amy's Products (that's how I got in that Pasta recipe contest that I didn't win, but enjoyed). I'm glad, because these really were lifesavers to me some days.
What I love:
•Cheese Enchiladas and the Tamales with green chile sauce. OK, so I wanted one of each for a meal. They are WAY better than anything I can make or get out at a safe Mexican place. WAY better.
•The vegan chocolate cake. YUM. I was able to have a small slice of it without killing myself. It is pictured above. Find it. Buy it. Consume it in moderation.
•The tomato bisque soup. When I was sick as a child (and non-gf adult) I ate tomato soup when I needed comfort. This brought comfort.
•Mac and cheese, gf and vegan, or just GF. I make a killer mac and cheese, true dat, but there is nothing like taking it out of the freezer and popping it in the Michael-wave. Confort and speed. I feel so....NORMAL.
•Any of their frozen pizzas -- dairy free, vegan, regular, as long as it was GF I was there. Please don't judge that I added turkey pepperoni... (New ones pictured above).
•Burritos -- oh yeah! Gluten-free burritos with dairy and without (although I did top one of the cheddar cheese ones with gf turkey taco meat, sour cream, and chopped tomatoes). They are SO good.
I met Shayo Yohan, the southeast region sales manager, at the Atlanta GF Vendor Fair, and we chatted about how "mainstream" Amy's has become. I find this a good thing. The food is quality, the price is better than reasonable (not as pricey as some custom GF food) and it is good for you. Even the Supermarket Diet Book recommends Amy's dinners over things like....well, you know, those DIET dinners that so often aren't gluten free. And I can't name a grocery store in a 20-mile radius of Milledgeville, Georgia, that doesn't offer at least two of the above products.
Shayo also told me that most -- perhaps 40? of Amy's soups are gluten free. They are also very tasty. With winter coming, this is something to remember.
This isn't meant to be a big suck up to Amy's, but it begs a question: If Amy's can treat the gluten-free community so well with canned and frozen products, why can't the other mainstream frozen food distributors. I think it's a big faux feather in Amy's Cap.
And now that I find myself, how shall I say this, trying to keep an accurate daily food diary for the purpose of gaining control of some part of my diet -- well, Amy's fits in this program, too.
Good stuff, all around.
Good stuff, all around. Wait. I said that already.
Much love, and THANK you to Amy's and those kind folks in California at Fortune PR :-)