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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
more thinky thoughts on my new foodlife 
9th-Nov-2009 11:23 am
* In case you're wondering why I never took special note of feeling oogy and connecting that to something in my diet not being good for me: I've been nauseous and oogy to varying degrees every day for over six years, since I started anti-seizure medications. Pain and queasiness have been part of the picture for a while, and I never thought to look beyond side effects...

* I am very intimidated and very lost. That you for your help/recipes.

* This will be difficult and confusing. :(

* I keep realizing - every few minutes, feels like - all of the things I can never eat again. And how hard it's going to be to visit family over $WINTERHOLIDAY. And everything. It seems insurmountable, like I'll be subject to stealth gluten everywhere I go no matter what.

EDIT: Also? I don't cook. Like hardly at all. (I bake, but that's off the table now.) I'm used to being able to grab a peanut butter sandwich or can of soup or whatever for lunch. I'm used to shortcuts. This change is vast.

ALSO EDIT: And yes, I'll stop yammering on about this eventually. But it is a big life shift. So.
9th-Nov-2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
Hang on in there. As I always say: Heart and strength.
9th-Nov-2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
9th-Nov-2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
Folks who do low-carb (Atkin's style) pretty much do not use wheat, at least not white flour. I sometimes low-carb and have a cache of recipes that do not use wheat--I make a pretty mean almond pound cake with almond flour, for instance (should I send you the recipe?). There are a lot of recipes for the holidays, too. Let me know if I should send you the link.
9th-Nov-2009 04:38 pm (UTC) - Gluten-free anecdata
My mum (who got dangerously ill until her coeliac was diagnosed) says that it gets easier every year to find places to eat out and buy food that understand the disease and how to cater to it.
It's still a pest, but it is getting better and the gluten-free food is getting tastier.

When my mum first got diagnosed years ago she had to get all her food on prescription and it was pretty grim.
9th-Nov-2009 04:40 pm (UTC) - Re: Gluten-free anecdata
When I was a teenager, I was allergic to wheat. So my mom baked me rice-flour breads.

Which were unutterably disgusting. Dry and nasty and foul.

I know things have changed. Still. Nervous-making.
9th-Nov-2009 04:43 pm (UTC)
For visiting the family, it might be worth emailing ahead. If nothing else, there are two chilis made on Xmas eve; if one of those, for example, can be made gluten-free (which would depend mainly on whether they thicken with any flour), that would account for one meal. I can't imagine our hosts being anything but helpful here (just knowing them), as well.

One of the reasons I'm planning on both making a chicken for dinner tonight and on making chili is to give you lots of quick things you can zap for lunches this week. I'll carve the chicken before refrigerating it (instead of leaving it on carcass for me to nibble).
9th-Nov-2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Now that we have two crockpots, we might want to designate one gluten-free.

Searching Yelp for "gluten-free" turns up a bunch of stuff locally, thank goodness, but only one thing within an hour's drive of the birthfamily, and just a few things in South Florida. :(
9th-Nov-2009 04:43 pm (UTC)
In the last year, I've slowly come to the conclusion that corn is my personal bugaboo. Some days, it's not so bad; other days, a bit of corn sweetener in something (and it's in EVERYTHING) has me swollen and achy and droopy.

I've found that by saying, "I choose not to eat this; I choose to not have that reaction" resets my attitude into such a more positive and happy place than saying "I can't eat this; I'm not allowed to eat this."

If you make it about your choice and taking care of you, instead of some random restriction being imposed upon you arbitrarily, you can OWN this and make this experience a happier thing.

Good luck! It's a journey... don't expect to magically switch to a perfect eater instantly. Be gentle to yourself, and experiment, and enjoy the opportunity to explore what an amazing and powerful body you have (think of all the things that are going right!).

Thinking of you today as you start wearing this new perception of yourself... always a challenge!
9th-Nov-2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
a bit of corn sweetener in something (and it's in EVERYTHING) has me swollen and achy and droopy.
Are you allergic to or intolerant of corn? I have anaphylactic reactions to corn and people TOTALLY DO NOT REALIZE that corn is in EVERYTHING.
9th-Nov-2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
I have recently lived the same with dairy - which was the basis of my meals and my quick fixes. I also don't cook (much) and then all over sudden I had to cut out dairy completely, and watch out with sugars. I've adapted, but it's not been easy AT ALL. It really, really sucks to know that there's plenty of things I will probably never eat again.

Hang in there!
9th-Nov-2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
I really don't have anything new to add except:

My cat can't have gluten either.
She develops huge and ugly sores and has to wear a collar so she won't make them worse.

At least you don't need to wear a stiff ruff!

(Did this make you smile, at least? :>)
10th-Nov-2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, save the stiff Ruff for Renn Faire...

9th-Nov-2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
It is a big shift. Yammer away.

Also, posts about recipes and things means that people who might be hosting you some night will be able to feed you.
9th-Nov-2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
(I bake, but that's off the table now.)

I recommend taking a look at the Good Eats Substitutions episode. That's where that gluten-free cookie recipe comes from. He talks a lot about why he made the changes he did, which might help you tweak your own recipes. I'd compare the original recipe to the gluten-free & start out with that as a ratio base for substituting flour in other recipes.
(Deleted comment)
9th-Nov-2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Baking is not off the table! Don't tell yourself that! It isn't true. Don't make this more limiting than it needs to be. There are plenty of ways to substitute and while it might not taste identical to how you made it before, it will still be good.

I just made some yummy pumpkin muffins this weekend! Mr. Rhi ate them all!!!! Well, except the ones that C and I ate. They were moist and yummy. Very good. Made with the Bob's Red Mill GF Flour, which you can substitute cup for cup for regular flour (with Xantham Gum added).

Edited at 2009-11-09 05:08 pm (UTC)
9th-Nov-2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
This this this oh this!!! :D
9th-Nov-2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
I think I missed something....you are now allergic to...wheat? yeast? something else? There are plenty of breads out there that don't use wheat...
9th-Nov-2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Gluten, which is in most flours...
9th-Nov-2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, celiac came up on a friend's LJ. Here are some useful links and comments from that:

Here are also some websites for you:

Gluten-free Baking by Rebecca Reilly.

The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Bette Hagman (She has a whole series under the "Gluten Free Gourmet" moniker.

Some useful quotes:
"My favorite fun thing has been Asian food stores - much less expensive than the health food store for potato starch, rice flours, tapioca starch, rice noodles."

"Oh... and spelt and kamut are on the "no" list. They have gluten in them. You don't find that out until you go to the health food store, looking for bread you can have... and they think you can have spelt or kamut bread. They're OK for some people with actual wheat allergies, but they're not OK for gluten intolerant people."

"You also have to be careful about "hidden" glutens such as caramel color, modified food starch, etc. Also then you can't eat some ice creams anymore because of added wheat or soy sauce, or tereyaki sauce. . .when you add the hidden gluten's out there it definitely becomes a complete lifestyle change when it comes to eating practices. Even have to be careful when eating out with cross-contamination issues, ie they fry their potatoes products in the same oil as their breaded products. There are a lot of restaurants out there now that do offer gluten-free menus such as Outback, P.F. Changs, etc."

Bob's Red Mill seems to be the best brand of gluten-free flours, according to the few celiac cooks I know.

I'm not celiac, but I am insulin resistent, and I suspect that my future is going to be wheat-free. So if I come up with really good recipes that are gluten-free I'll pass them on.
9th-Nov-2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
Caramel color! See? I would never have realized that.
9th-Nov-2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
I'm used to being able to grab a peanut butter sandwich or can of soup or whatever for lunch. I'm used to shortcuts. This change is vast.

Mr. Rhi makes this quite often for lunch: Rice or Corn wraps with canned black beans, tomatoes, salsa, and shredded lettuce.

I'll ask him what else he eats.

Oh, and McDonald's fries have gluten in them. Just an FYI.
9th-Nov-2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, and McDonald's fries have gluten in them. Just an FYI.

9th-Nov-2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
I have a really yummy macaroon recipe in which I've substituted cornstarch for the flour. If you're interested, let me know and I'll send it on.
9th-Nov-2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
There are so many gluten-free things out in the world now, I think you can still find a way to eat the things you love! Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, hell even my local Kroger has gluten-free breads and pastas. Trouble is, it will cost more. I have a friend with the same issue and she bakes MARVELOUS stuff with chick-pea and rice flour and such amazing foods you would never know they were wheat-less. You are an awesome creative person and I am positive that you are going to find the way to keep both your mouth and guts happy!
Holidays are coming, build your wishlist!
9th-Nov-2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
Bette Hagman's Gluten Free Gourmet Series

Dr. Mercola's Total Health Book and Program

Eating Clean by Lisa Allen

"No wheat, no dairy no problem" by Chef Lauren HOover

The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook written by Tom Malterre & Alissa Segersten

Gluten Free Vegan by Sue O'Brien

This is also a good resource: http://www.livingwithout.com/

And I suggest you look into seeing a naturopathic doctor. One of the many aspects of what we do is improve health via diet (hence all the GF resources I have). If you like, give me your zip code and I can find the best ones near you.
9th-Nov-2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
In case you're wondering why I never took special note of feeling oogy and connecting that to something in my diet not being good for me: I've been nauseous and oogy to varying degrees every day
Same here, though replace nausea with various other issues (tingly mouth, migraines, getting sick very easily, depression...)

I keep realizing - every few minutes, feels like - all of the things I can never eat again...
Ditto. I still do that, to this day.

You should be able to bake, but the recipes will be different. It is a big life shift. Dude. I have to have a doctor's note for work because of my allergy. I am allergic to cardboard boxes now (yes, there's corn in that, and I'm that sensitive), so my entire office had to stop bringing in their heavy mail.
So. Yeah. Those of us with allergies and intolerances will understand.

9th-Nov-2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
!! I'm allergic to cardboard boxes, too. Have been for years.
9th-Nov-2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
btw, I hit the catalog at $University, and although we don't have any cookbooks locally (big surprise), we do, for some reason, have electronic access to this book.
9th-Nov-2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Baked potatoes make a tasty, quick, and gluten-free lunch!
9th-Nov-2009 06:02 pm (UTC)

I was allergic to wheat as a very little girl waaaay back when the only substitutes for it was rye or rice flour. Yuck.

Nowadays, there are lots of other options and many people who share this. Hell, back when I had it, no one even knew if Celiac's, you were just "that weird kid who can't eat bread." I grew out of it at about age 6 just as I was going to school (and about the time of my molestation, oddly enough.)

Try not to think of it as "never again"...who knows, your system might change and you might 'outgrow' this.

I wish you all the luck with adjusting to this lifestyle change. Hopefully the change in health symptoms will balance out the other stuff.
9th-Nov-2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
While many gluten intolerances can be "out-grown," celiac disease is a life-time genetic illness. Even if symptoms are not active, eating gluten (which is also in rye, to clarify for shadesong) is always harmful to people with celiac disease.
9th-Nov-2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Also? I don't cook. Like hardly at all. (I bake, but that's off the table now.) I'm used to being able to grab a peanut butter sandwich or can of soup or whatever for lunch. I'm used to shortcuts. This change is vast.

Depending on your budget, you won't have to do a lot of cooking - there are frozen gluten-free ready-made dinners out there (and probably soups and such as well), it's just that they can be a bit pricey. :( Too pricey for my sister's budget, but maybe not for yours?
9th-Nov-2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
Three-person household on a single income in one of the most expensive cities in the country. Our food budget is not so much. :(
9th-Nov-2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
This is not a practical comment.

But I mean. You're not yammering. You're trying to figure out how to integrate this into your life. It's hard. It'll take time.

It's /OK/ for it to be hard.
9th-Nov-2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
Do you follow rm? She has been living with celiac disease for some time, and has the low down on many ways to a) still be happy and healthy and b) get what you need out of a gluten free lifestyle.
9th-Nov-2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
I keep realizing - every few minutes, feels like - all of the things I can never eat again.

Yeah. I go through that too. I had gastric bypass surgery in May and it was a huge diet change. I'm still finding out ways that it's changed my life. I have to cook a lot more than before the surgery, and eat a lot more often than before the surgery. (Which, strangely, is the part of it all that drives me nuts.)

A lot of the shortcuts I used to rely on don't work anymore. Sandwiches are pretty much out. Soup is out. Quick meals like Hamburger Helper are out. All of the little treats I used to like are out. I could theoretically have sugar-free versions of the treats, but it's almost impossible to find sugar-free food without Splenda in it, and Splenda makes me ill.

I know I've learned to enjoy the food I can have more. And I have less of those "I can't have that?" feelings as time goes on. I still have moments of being completely overwhelmed, but I've learned that if I have my breakdown or throw my tantrum, it's easier to move on and keep going.

If you want to learn to cook, I recommend Cooking Basics for Dummies. That'll give you a complete study of everything related to cooking from picking knives to making sauces to cooking a Thanksgiving dinner. There's a crapload of info in there that you might not ever use, but hey.. It's helpful to have anyway. It has a lot of recipes in it, but maybe you can make substitutions in them to make the recipes gluten-free? I don't know.

Also they have Living Gluten-Free for Dummies. Maybe that will help too? It's got recipes at least.

Write about what you're going through all you want! I don't mind reading it and I'm sure everyone else who reads will agree. This is a huge life change, and you're going to go through all the stages of grief. If writing it out in your journal helps, why shouldn't you? It's your journal, and we're just here to support you, not to dictate what you write.

-offers hugs- Every one of your friends is pulling for you and believes in you. Keep that in mind, okay? :)
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