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My Birthday… Just Another Number

Five or six years ago, if you would have told me that today, on my 43rd birthday, I would be holding my two-month-old child, I would have told you that you were crazy!!!! I had actually given up on my dream for a third child about five years ago. I figured my husband or I was infertile and it just was not meant to be.

Then on that cool March afternoon, I peed on a stick. Keep in mind this was after 1½ years of both of us being gluten free… and the magic began on that day. I will not lie, I did not have high hopes that this old body could handle a third pregnancy. My other pregnancies were pretty much problem free, but that was of course, TEN years ago!

I feared the morning sickness, and despite my gluten-free diet, it stayed with me for 18 weeks! I feared diabetes, I dreaded a c-section if my body was not up to the labor. But, I was so surprised, I had a great, easy, pain-free, symptomless pregnancy.

My only issues were my little acrobat, Charli, kept wanting to be ‘heads up’ during the third trimester. Lo and behold, with a little chiropractic and acupuncture, we kept her ‘head down’ the last three weeks. I delivered her on November 6th, just four days early. I labored for only 4½ hours! I dilated 8 cm in 1½ hours! I would say that my body really stepped up to the plate.

I tell you all this for one reason… don’t let your age stop you from doing anything… even having a baby. Of course, I blame the whole experience on my ‘gluten-freeness’. I have mentioned before, one of the symptoms of a gluten intolerance IS infertility.

But, as I have said before, don’t take my word for it. Do the experiment yourself. People always ask me, “Lisa, how long do I have to eat gluten-free before I notice any results?” I tell them this: First of all, gluten-free living should become a way of life, not just another “diet.” And second of all, you have been eating gluten, and destroying your insides for 40+ years, it is going to take more than a month or two to reverse that damage. But if you dedicate yourself and your family to gluten-free living, you will not regret it. I know our family doesn’t… and I am reminded of this all the time as I look into the eyes of my brand new baby girl.

When I first met my husband, one of our favorite dinners was Calzones made with the Pillsbury dough in a tube. I can still hear the sound it made as I would break it open against the counter. I finally attempted to make my own calzone dough and I was quite pleased with the results. The fillings can vary, this is just one version I came up with. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Calzones

Ingredients:
1 c. brown rice flour
1 c. sorghum flour
1 1/2 c. potato starch
1 Tb. sugar
1 Tb. instant yeast
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
2 Tb. olive oil
1 1/2 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
Fresh mixed vegetables
shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small jar pasta sauce
olive oil for brushing on top

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using a whisk, combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer. Add the olive oil and water. Mix until the dough sticks together.
Gather the dough together and form a ball. Place it on a mat, board, wax paper, or parchment paper that is sprinkled with rice flour. Only a little is needed.
Roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Then use a round bowl turned upside down to cut circles from the dough. Just press the bowl down firmly. Mine was slightly smaller than 7 inches in diameter.
You have to keep regathering the dough and rolling it to use it all up. The cut circles I placed on a plate with pieces of wax paper between them.
Once all the dough has been cut, you are ready to make the calzones.

Place a little pasta sauce, meat, and cheese on one half of each circle. Leave space around the edges, and don’t overfill it. Dip two fingers in water and run them around the outside of the circle, then fold it over and press the edges together. The water will help the dough stick together and seal.
Place the calzones on a baking sheet and brush the tops with a little olive oil. Place the baking sheet in a 400-degree oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Top each calzone with additional pasta sauce before serving.

About Lisa Velick

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