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Is gluten-free your way to be?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Okay, I’m not really sure how to start this, but let me just apologize for being M.I.A. lately!

So where have I been?

Well, a lot of places…and nowhere all at the same time! I have been alternating between feeling sick and being in pain for years now. I have gone from being on my parent’s health insurance, to not having any, to being on my husband’s, to losing it, to finally having some again! This last round of doctor visits has finally yielded a possible answer.

Celiac disease. I have tried explaining it to multiple people and every time I think “silly yak.” But the pain and discomfort is anything but silly! Basically, celiac is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine. There is no cure, but there is one effective treatment - a lifelong gluten-free diet. Simple, right?

Well, as I’m finding out, not exactly. The problem with gluten is that it seems to be everywhere! It is used as a binder in many foods. But it’s not just that, it can be found in beauty products like lotions, shampoos, makeup and even toothpaste. Even foods that are naturally gluten-free can become contaminated with gluten.

I have even found products that proclaim GLUTEN-FREE happily on the front and “processed in a factory that also processes wheat products” on the back. Gluten-free crackers that go down the same conveyor belt as regular ones are no longer gluten-free! With some online research I can find out that some of the companies put it on there for liability reasons, but they do actually use separate equipment.

I have to admit that I am completely overwhelmed in this. I have no idea what I’m doing! I have some recipes to try, but I don’t have most of the ingredients for them.

I have basically started this gluten-free journey with eating way more processed foods than I was before. Pretty much seeing what says gluten-free on it and eating that. I just feel so completely out of my comfort zone without being able to lean on the whole grains I know and love!

I don’t eat meat and my stomach can only handle limited dairy, so trying to get in enough protein has been interesting! My stomach is testy if I eat too much soy or beans in a sitting. AGH! Frustration…

So my food has been a pretty big repetition of the following:

Breakfast Quinoa (Yummy! Too bad, eating this a couple of days in a row made my stomach burn like someone threw a match down my throat. emoticon Ugh)

(recipe by Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point: www.healthytippingpoint.

FSTG chips, of course

Cut up veggies and hummus

Zing Bars (I have tried the chocolate peanut butter and the chocolate chip. The one in the picture tastes way better, but has whey in it, which my stomach doesn't always appreciate).

Van’s Frozen Waffles (Definitely not the same as regular waffles, I really have no idea why anyone would want to go on a gluten-free diet unless they really have to!)

Amy’s is a brand I trust and they have numerous gluten-free items. Some have been good, others not so much.

Amy’s Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Enchilada Dinner (doesn’t look that great, but it actually tastes really, really good).

Amy’s Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Burrito (the best gluten-free thing I have tried. I’m not really sure what the tortilla is made out of, but it actually tastes good!)

Amy’s Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Pizza (while the sauce and toppings are amazing, I really, really, REALLY miss soft chewy crust. The crust on this is crunchy and tastes too much like corn for some reason).

Dinner last night was what my husband and I called the “bean wrap” dinner. But, now that I can’t have my soft, chewy flour tortilla (corn tortillas are NOT the same!!) I just went without.

Here is my pile of bean mush (aka black beans, greek yogurt, green onions, bell pepper, lemon juice, cumin and other spices)

Looks much prettier when it is in a tortilla with the lettuce! Lol

On the side I had steamed broccoli, cauliflower, brown rice and salsa. At least I know I can cook one thing that works!

Next up I will try something with this Udi’s bread I bought.

Definitely wasn’t cheap! Luckily a friend gave me some coupons and another one told me how good it is. So hopefully that’s a good sign!

I have been told to invest in a bread machine. Which is probably true, but I have already bought some new pans, a new toaster, and some new plastic containers.

Throughout this week I will be going through the process of decontaminating my kitchen. I want to have one full cupboard dedicated to my gluten-free food and cooking ware that is free of gluten contamination. The holidays will definitely be an interesting experience….

Ok, that’s all I have for now. I’m sorry I don’t have any new, fun recipes to share with you! But, hopefully soon I will.

Had you heard of celiac before? Is anyone else having to live gluten-free?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I Personally think that I am gluten intolerant. I've been tested for celiac's disease and tested negative (Blood test). It seems like EVERYTHING makes me sick. Even some gluten free prepackaged foods so I think I'm also soy intolerant and lactose intolerant. I usually just stay sick :-(

    Any meal plans or recipes that you have to offer, or ideas you want to share would be great!

    ANOTHER sucky thing about gluten free processed products...they are so low in fiber!
    2692 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/4/2010 9:38:20 PM
  • DNJEN471
    I love Amy's products. They are so tasty!
    2694 days ago
    The easiest way to eat gluten free is really just plain fruits, vegetables, and meats. Some people can tolerate some legumes, but not everybody can do the starches. I found that rice gave me a lot of trouble too.
    2707 days ago
    Welcome to my world. I have been living GF since 1983... before there were all these nice GF products on the market.

    2707 days ago
    I am sorry honey that you are having to make so many changes. I am glad that you have been able to find at least a some foods right off the bat.
    2707 days ago
    There is a spark team called "Celiac disease and gluten free." It might be a god idea for you to join it for suggestions, too.
    2708 days ago
    There is a spark team called "Celiac disease and gluten free." It might be a god idea for you to join it for suggestions, too.
    2708 days ago
    It is for me because I don't want to hurt all the time if I eat those foods.
    2708 days ago
    My wife discovered she was gluten intolerant about 4 years ago. It is really tough at first trying to figure out what you can eat. We have pretty much perfected a gluten free diet. We use a lot of Red Mill flours that are gluten free. Since I do most of the cooking I use a lot of rice flour where I used to use wheat. I even make milk gravy using rice flour. For tax purposes save all your bills for purchasing gluten-free meals because it is a special diet.
    We have found some people have various tolerances to gluten. I know my wife has mistakenly eaten foods with gluten because of cross contamination. You have to be "SUPER" careful eating in restaurants. You have to really push your point across very hard to let them know what could happen if you are contaminated with gluten. My wife know someone who tells the waitress, "if you serve me food with any wheat, even if you only cut bread with a knife, call 911 and take me to the hospital" She adds that she will have the hospital send the restaurant the hospital bill. Most people don't have a clue what you are talking about unless you drive the point home.
    Good luck to you. You will bet better if you stick to the gluten-free foods.
    2708 days ago
    Wow, I would be overwhelmed with all that too. Elisabeth Hasselbeck has celiac disease and she wrote a book about a year ago. I saw her on TV promoting it. May be worth flipping through?

    Here is a link about her experience:

    Good luck and hugs!!!

    2708 days ago
    I'm so sorry for you, Amber! My friend Abbie has a fledgling blog that you might enjoy: http://www.aglutenforpunishment.blo

    Have you tried millet bread? Gina from Fitnessista swears by it (she avoids wheat)
    2708 days ago
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