As you all know, I just LOVE Mrs. Tammy Credicott’s The Healthy Gluten Free Life Book. It changed the way my family cooks. It is full of amazing recipes and a full color photo library at the beginning which is my favorite feature. Well she has done it again, Tammy has created another fabulous cookbook, Paleo Indulgences. It is beautiful, insightful-especially to those of us who don’t live a Paleo diet but want to eat cleaner, and is easy to follow. Again, the color photo library was my favorite feature. My family and I have been enjoying meals from this book all week long! We started with her fantastic Cincinnati chili. The sweet cocoa, cinnamon and allspice flavors merried so well with the spicy cayenne. Every bit was full of flavor and intrigue. My husband even liked it and he usually doesn’t like me to mess with our chili recipe. Next we made the onion dip. Oh my goodness the caramelized onion flavor was fabulous! It was so hard to follow the instruction to refrigerate overnight to let the flavors develop. I kept sneaking little bites. The other recipe we tried was the BBQ beef. YUM! Who doesn’t love a good BBQ? The best one about this is that the sauce is homemade which means, high quality ingredients and taste.
Tammy has such a passion for cooking and baking gluten free. I love that many of her recipes also accommodate other common food allergies. Her books are the ones I recommend above anything else for great gluten free recipes. She and her husband also have a passion for the Paleo lifestyle SO…the winner will not only be receiving an autographed copy of Paleo Indulgences BUT a one-year subscription to Paleo magazine as well!
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Your books have become “necessity” cookbooks not only for the gluten free community but also the Paleo community. Did you envision this would be the case when you wrote them?
I always hoped that would be the case! But the release of each book is a little nerve wracking. Since I create recipes for my family and our lifestyle, each time I put out a book it’s really putting my “whole self” out there for public view, which can be a little scary. But from the beginning I’ve tried to remember that if we were going through something, others were too. I just carried that into our kitchen as well. If I was a lazy, frugal cook, then many other people probably were too and might benefit in seeing how we do things to maybe inspire them or make things easier for them.
What has been your biggest challenge with having to live gluten free due to celiac disease, while doing appearances and book signings around the nation?
Traveling is always difficult for those with Celiac Disease and severe food allergies/intolerances. Not that you can’t find wonderful, naturally gluten free foods, but unfortunately, in the restaurant industry, they think they have to bury it in sauces or pile it with pasta so it’s tough to find places that are truly safe and understand all about cross contamination. When we fly places, we bring trail mix, jerky etc. for snacking. Our first stop is always at a natural foods store in town to pick up fruits, veggies, olives and uncured lunchmeats. And we always research the area heavily on-line and make phone calls before the trip to see if there are any safe restaurants to eat at. When we drive to locations, I always pre-make food and pack a cooler. Sometimes I also bring pre-prepped food and an electric skillet and whip up a quick dinner in our hotel room! A little extra time before we go results in a better trip and us feeling great when we arrive back home.
You are doing it all, being a wife, mother, fabulous cook and book author and huge supporter to your equally talented husband. How do you and your family “celebrate” the gluten free life and make it a more positive experience for yourself and others?
Ok first, I am absolutely not doing it “all.” :-) People need to understand, especially women, that’s it’s impossible to do it all and be sane. For me, that means my laundry piles up most of the time and my house is not spotless. Also, I don’t do enough at my kid’s school, I should exercise more, I don’t see friends enough…should I go on? Something has to give in order to work full time, travel and cook as much as I do. I really want other moms to know that it’s ok to not try and be perfect because it’s something that’s not attainable. Pick the things that are most important, do them well and get to the other stuff when you can. If you see someone you think is “doing it all,” I can guarantee there are at least two aspects of that person’s life that is unraveling a little, so cut yourself some slack and don’t think you have to do everything 110%.
As far as how we make our lives a positive experience, it’s really as simple as looking at things positively. We could be a victim and complain that we can’t eat fast food anymore, but really, is that a bad thing? I feel lucky that our bodies are so vocal in telling us what is good and what isn’t, and that we actually listen to them. Also, believing fully in our choices for our nutrition and trying to be good examples to others helps keep on the positive path. When you believe in something whole-heartedly, I think that enthusiasm and passion automatically spreads to others.
Your husband is the Founder of Paleo Magazine. How has the Paleo lifestyle affected your family?
I always tell people that going gluten free made a big difference in our health as a family, but going Paleo made THE difference. From my husband’s gut finally starting to heal, to my finally dropping extra pounds, having energy again, clear skin and a clear mind, to both my daughters doing better in school and my oldest reversing some of the neurological issues brought on by her diet in the past, Paleo has really made a world of difference in how we all feel.
We are so excited to see what is next for you! Speaking of what is next, what do you have up your sleeves for the upcoming 2013 year?
Well, I have just started work on my next book, which is always exciting! It will be out September (or so) 2013 and will also be grain free, gluten free, sugar free (Paleo) as well as offer as many egg free options as possible. I’m excited about the concept of the book and think others will find it extremely valuable. I also have some great events to look forward to, like the Gluten Free Expo in San Francisco in February and the awesome Gluten Free Calendar event with the Miami Heat in April! We are soooo excited about that one!!
What are some words from the wise on those newly diagnosed with celiac disease?
I would suggest that people not freak out and try to replace every food they’re used to eating with a gluten free version. This is what’s overwhelming to people in the beginning…the “How am I going to do this?” panic. I highly suggest that folks take a deep breath, and simply eat real, whole food for the first month. Meaning, good quality meats, lots of veggies, good fats such as coconut oil and avocados, some fruits, nuts, and seeds. Eat this way, feel better, and then tackle how to re-create some of your favorite foods. I think trying to learn how to cook and bake gluten free immediately, when most people are still feeling bad, is a recipe for failure. Eat simply, feel better, then you’ll be in a much better state of mind to answer the “What’s next?” question.
*These are my opinions and my opinions alone. I was provided with a copy of this book for review purposes. I was not paid or compensated in any way.