Good Foods Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad

chicken-salad-img_20161128_172455171Thank you, Costco, for this delightful chicken salad. (I found it at Costco, not sure where else it might be available.) It’s chock full of high-quality white meat chicken, and is conveniently packaged into eight single-serving cups so they’re easy to take along on picnics or travel, and there’s no measuring for portions if you’re on a diet. I normally don’t eat food with almonds in it (salicylate sensitivity), but this is too good to pass up. It’s clearly marked on the packaging that it’s gluten-free, too. So yay for that!

The taste? Well, the cranberries are not bitter (they’re prepared with sugar…), and the celery seems slightly pickled – and sweet. I’d definitely consider this on the SWEET side. If you like that kind of thing, then this is for you.

chicken-salad-img_20160821_095444494But, can chicken salad be healthy with all that mayonnaise? Good Foods doesn’t use mayonnaise – they use low-fat Greek yogurt. One four ounce serving-size cup contains 140 calories, 4g fat, 12 carbs, 1g fiber, and 14g of protein. Not too shabby. And, it’s affordable, too. I am pretty sure the last time I purchased it, it went for $9.99 for all 8 servings.

If I know I’m going to have a particularly busy week, I’ll buy a package of these and put them in the fridge so I can grab a quick lunch that is as complicated as putting lettuce on a plate and opening one of these cups. Pretty easy.

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What Can I Eat?

I’ve made up a new game.  It’s called “What Can I Eat”? 

Things changed drastically concerning my food allergies this past Monday when my new doctor told me that I’m not actually allergic to 15 of the 16 foods as I was earlier diagnosed.  I am allergic to wheat, intolerant to lactose, and sensitive/allergic to Salicylates.  Salicylates are an acid that is found in most fruit, vegetables and many seasonings.  There was, after all, a common thread.  Now things were finally starting to make sense.

There was a complication, however:  over the years of my illness, my system was hit hard.  In an effort to help it recuperate, my latest assignment is to cut out all foods containing Salicylates.  Hey, I’ve avoided wheat since 2005, and soy since 2007, and thirteen other foods since 2008.  I only have to do this for a month or so?  No problem.

That was said before I really reviewed the list of the foods containing Salicylates.  What are the foods, you ask?  It would be easier for me to tell you what they are NOT in:  meat, rice, water.  Pretty much anything with the word berry, melon, or the letter O contain Salicylates. 

I figure my new diet is a lot like Abbott & Costello’s “Who’s On First.”  You’re really not sure what’s what or who’s where.  When in doubt, don’t eat it.

Okay, luckily I found some great 100% rye bread, which toasts up wonderfully.  I’ll just put some jelly on it…um, no, I won’t, since it is strawberry;  well, how about some honey…nope, can’t have honey, remember the O rule;  what about cinnamon toast?  Nope, there’s that pesky O rule again.  Maple syrup?  Not on Rye bread.  That’s just gross.  Forget it.  Just slather some plain old canola-based margarine on there for me.

To me it is more than ironic that the orange Vitamin C smoothies, the mounds of blueberries piled high on my yogurt, and the ginger tea that I thought were helping me get better were actually doing me in.  All these years we wondered why my health wasn’t improving, and now, we finally know.  In fact, this week marked the 7 year anniversary of the spider bite that started the whole downhill spiral.  Seven years of a person’s life…at one point so weak that I had to use a walking stick and could work only a few hours a day.  It seems like a lifetime ago.

I’m only on Day 5 of not eating most everything.  I think I’m feeling a little better – I noticed I have more positive energy.  I also noticed that I’m FRIKKIN HUNGRY!!!

I will post more on Salicylates later.  Until then, you can read more here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salicylate_sensitivity

I hope, wherever you are, you are well.