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    POOKASLUAGH   117,392
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Food Frustration

Friday, December 06, 2013

Yesterday I posted on my status that I had been gluten-free with absolutely no cross-contamination for a full two weeks. I was very proud of myself, because the longest I've been 100% GF since I discovered the stupid allergy has been 16 days, and I was almost back to that point. I felt GREAT the last time I got past two weeks GF, and I wanted to get there again. Sometimes it's hard, though, to know what foods I can/can't eat. Some things you think are GF, only to realize they are made alongside gluten-containing foods, and cross-contaminated. I've discovered over the last three months that I can't eat just about anything made by my local grocery brand, even something as simple as grits, which are technically a GF food, because everything my local brand makes is cross-contaminated. As I've said before, I am VERY sensitive.

I thought I was doing so well. I was so excited to be past two weeks again. Then last night, I noticed my oldest son carrying a bag of rice made by my local brand - rice that I discovered on 11/12/13 must be cross-contaminated, because I had a reaction to it that evening. Since then, we've been using a different brand of rice, and I've been fine. But my son was carrying that bag, and I noticed that it was much, much smaller in quantity than the last time I saw it, and we'd had some rice with our dinner last night.

My husband does the cooking in our family. He's a far better cook than I am, and he enjoys it. He tries very hard to make sure he doesn't cross-contaminate the food he's preparing. We even have our pantry separated out into two - one that's safe for me and one that isn't - so that he doesn't accidentally grab the wrong thing. But it turns out, we'd had a misunderstanding about the local brand of rice, and he thought we'd decided something else was the culprit on the day I had the reaction. It wasn't. It was definitely the rice. And so I found out last night that I had NOT been GF for two weeks. For the last three days, I've had at least one meal daily with contaminated rice in it.


No wonder I've been starving and eating like crazy. No wonder I haven't been sleeping as well, and have been getting really severe headaches. No wonder I've been extra sore. No wonder my skin is starting to break out. No wonder the scale has gone up something like 7 lbs in the last couple days (even though I've been eating at maintenance level). It's frustrating, because I just started this new weight-lifting program, and it's also TOM week, and so I thought all these things - extreme hunger, sleeping issues, headaches, soreness, breakouts, and scale - were all related to one of those two things. If I hadn't been starting a new program this week, I would have realized earlier that I'd been cross-contaminated. I was already starting to suspect last night, BEFORE I saw my son with the rice, because I COULDN'T STOP EATING and I haven't felt like that in a very long time. Three days in a row of mild cross-contamination leads to symptoms equal to a more major contamination.

So I guess I only made it twelve days GF this last time, and now I'm starting over at Day 1 again, after three days in a row of exposure. Ugh! Sometimes I just feel so hopeless and exhausted. Gluten is just so ubiquitous, and my particular allergy to it is severe and affects so many different parts of my health. My husband offered to take me on a vacation (to see Hogwarts!!!) this coming spring, and I actually declined because the idea of trying to travel GF scares me to death. I can't handle it yet. I can't even make it two weeks in my own home without messing up somehow! In three months, I've literally only made it longer than two weeks without gluten exposure ONCE. In the 89 days since I stopped eating gluten, I've messed up 19 days. That's over 21%, more than one out of every five days. How is my body ever going to heal if I mess up this often?

I'm just so frustrated. Will I ever get this right?? Ugh. Thanks for listening, guys. :(

PS - I find my FAIL stamp funny, so don't worry, that was my attempt to try to cheer myself up a bit, rather than a demoralizing tool.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
DEZZIEJAMES 12/11/2013 10:03AM

    It is very frustrating to try to steer clear from gluten. It is in just about EVERYTHING.

My suggestion to you (if you don't mind my 2cp) is to try something closer to the paleo diet. This diet cuts out everything processed. You eat only foods that are in their most natural state, and rice is unfortunately not on the list (however you can make "rice" out of cauliflower!).

Paleo is difficult only because of all of the food preparation involved, but once you get the hang of it - you will learn to cook double batches, freeze some things, and pull them out for later in the week, etc. (Or your husband will cook double batches.)

You do still get to consume carbs (in the form of carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.), so this isn't a carb-less diet.

The site is a great tool for learning how to implement this lifestyle. Especially if you sign up for the e-mails for the first 30 days. Let me know if you decide this is right for you, and I will be of any assistance I can. It was life changing for me, and I only gave it up b/c of the expense of keeping all the fresh foods/produce in the house. If that weren't a problem, I would still be doing a variation of it (due to being preggers).

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SBEAR5 12/9/2013 2:49PM

    Oh gosh, Amanda. I'm so sorry you're having to go through all this. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be. Allergies suck.

I DO have a friend from school that you should be able to use as a resource. She has a son with severe food allergies, and took it upon herself to write a cookbook for those with food allergies.

Here's her ebook:

Also, she has a facebook page "The Baking Evolution LLC". Hopefully you can get some encouragement from her. She really has a passion for it and has come up with several awesome recipes.

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DAISYLEIN 12/6/2013 5:14PM

    Dear Amanda,
have u tried BOB'S RED MILL gf-Products? i was reading that they are safe to eat, produced and packed without contamination. @

Comment edited on: 12/6/2013 6:01:04 PM

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C8TSON 12/6/2013 3:37PM

  emoticon I am so sorry to hear how difficult this has been. I have a whole new respect and level of empathy for anyone who deals with gluten sensitivity/allergy/etc. I so wish you didn't have to go through this. Maybe as time progresses, manufacturers will be more sensitive to this growing issue and come up with solutions to prevent cross-contamination. In the meantime, hang in there, no matter how frustrating it becomes. emoticon

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MOMMACASSEY 12/6/2013 2:14PM

    Ah, you should tell me where I can find a "Fail" stamp. Or even, a "Ya Fail" stamp, because that was a very long-time running joke between me and a couple friends back in college...

Looking at your math, I still think it's a matter of working on figuring it all out--79% success rate doesn't sound GREAT, but for a first try/tries, and with all the gluten sneakiness, and working out kinks and everything... it looks kinda good to me.

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KAMINEKO 12/6/2013 11:48AM

    So sorry you are still struggling with this. It really is very difficult for you!

It'd be nice if there was a "certified gluten free" designation like there is for organic foods (maybe there is and I am just ignorant of it).

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RYDERB 12/6/2013 9:08AM

    emoticon I'm so sorry Amanda. Eating Paleo clean (which is gluten free) is hard, but I've never even considered cross-contamination emoticon I hope the effects are out of your system soon, and you start feeling better again quickly.
emoticon emoticon

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LORILEEPAGE 12/6/2013 8:45AM

    In a gluten tainted world, it's highly likely you will have an impossible time being completely GF for long periods of are doing great with it! But you can look at your 89 days and say you've been 79% GF (rather than failed 21%), or break it up into 3 meals a day and estimate your GF life based on percentage of meals you were GF. You can strive for improvements in percentage. Rather than trying to hit 100% from the top. I know you feel miserable when not GF, but you must feel better a greater percent of the time now than before.

If you are running, you run to improve your speed. The first run you make won't be at world record have to work up to it.

I feel bad for you that you have to battle against gluten. You're doing great, and I know you're determined and will keep feeling better.

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