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Posts Tagged ‘gluten’

Another Gluten Free Blog

…With some great-looking recipes! I have her carrot cake in the oven right now, made with Ener-G egg replacer. (The girls helped me make it for my birthday today.) And I plan to make the coconut frosting as well. Yummy!

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A great Gluten summary

From my friend Staci

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Gluten

OK, everybody. Staci asked specifically for this info, but I’ve had SO many conversations with people recently about gluten, that I figured I would post it. I hope it is helpful to some of you.

First, our story. I got pregnant with Audrey when Hannah was only 8 months. By 11 months, I was so exhausted from being pregnant and breastfeeding together, that I made the tough decision to wean her earlier than I planned. We put Hannah on a combination of raw goat’s milk, rice milk and water, she LOVED it, and we moved on. After 6 months on that formula, Hannah began to look kind of yellow. People would comment about it all the time. She also had a huge round belly, loose stools, and constant temper tantrums. She was also a baby that was hard to communicate with – she refused to make eye contact, even though I worked with her. She did not laugh until 6 months old. She seemed very “OCD”, even as a baby. She would line things up all the time and get very upset when they were messed up.

At that time we took her to Dr P. He looked her over, tapped on her belly and said it was very swollen, and said we should take her off the goat’s milk. She was 15 months old and I was 8 months pregnant. Her symptoms disappeared overnight. Two weeks later, a friend was feeding her child and shared a pretzel with Hannah. All the symptoms returned. I was confused, so I called Dr P. “You will have to keep her off gluten,” he said. “Many times an allergy to casein, the protein in milk, and gluten, the protein in grain go together.” “For how long do we have to keep her off gluten?” I asked, as I realized what that meant. “For a very long time.” “Oh.”

And that’s where the journey began.

The symtoms of gluten sensitivity are very strange, because it seems to effect people hundreds of different ways. Here is a fantastic FAQ on gluten. Actually, just read the whole site. Here are testimonials where people tell about the terrible symptoms they had that went away on a gluten free diet. The distinctive telltale symptoms of gluten sensitivity are red, flushed cheeks, and digestive problems.

On a personal note, I have gone gluten free myself in the past couple of months. I am feeling better than I have in a very long time. I was having constant aching in my arms and legs, and often felt despressed for no good reason. When I stay off gluten, I have more energy, I do not ache, I feel happier and more stable, and my stomach feels great. Thursday night I ended up eating out and the restaurant where we went did not guarantee any gluten free food. I did the best I could to order well, but I still had a terrible day yesterday. I ached so badly! No food is worth that, no matter how good it tastes.

I should say here also – gluten is not the only allergy that can cause problems. I also have an egg allergy that is so intense, if I eat even a bite of bread with egg in it, I’m sick 10 minutes later for 12 hours. I avoid egg like the plague! I and my family are also allergic to all dairy (except I can get away with a little goat’s milk yogurt and cheese now and then), most of us to soy, and several of us to corn. Hannah and I are also allergic to yeast – which incidentally is a common cause of Colitis.

So what do you eat, you probably want to know? Here’s a common meal plan in our house:

Breakfast:
turkey sausage (make sure it’s GF! Shelton’s is very good.)
cooked rice cereal with pure maple syrup and rice milk
fruit

Lunch:
open faced turkey sandwich on 1 piece rice bread w/ avocado
sweet potato chips
strawberries

Dinner:
Chicken with stir fried vegetables
Brown Rice

Snacks:
applesauce cups
Larabars
rice crackers
fruit
organic hot dogs
almond butter on toast

You get the idea. There are lots of options, you just have to know what they are. For the most part, it is all fresh – no “easy” packaged food. In fact, there’s nothing easy about this. But in my opinion, life is too short to be sick all the time if there’s something you can do to change it. I’ve said it before, but I’m fairly convinced that Hannah could have been diagnosed with Autism if we hadn’t caught this. She’s a different kid on gluten. By the way, here’s an article about the gluten/autism link.

One last thing, because this post is really long. You have to do this for several weeks to see if it works. If you decide to “kinda try it” for a couple weeks, and hope there is some improvement, don’t waste your time and energy. This is all or nothing, unfortunately. Dr P told us that with Hannah, one trace of gluten will set her back 7 -10 days. Some people it takes a year or more and then suddenly their body feels incredible. We noticed a difference after one week, and an even bigger one after about two months. And your body will feel even a trace of flour – eating out, except at a select few restaurants, is not safe. You’re also better off getting rid of all gluten in your kitchen, cleaning out your toaster (crumbs, you know), and feeding your whole family gluten free. Cross-contamination is very hard to avoid. Get your husband on board with you first!

I don’t mean to discourage you from trying this – I really hope any of you with unsolved health issues will do it, I just don’t want to give you a false picture of what it’s like. Imagine – feeding your family healthy, fresh food. Being healthy and strong… It’s worth it!

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Traveling

Nick grew up in a town of 30,000 people called Kearney, in Nebraska. Life is simple there. Nebraska has a funny culture – people talk about leaving the state as if they’re going to some alien planet. Honestly? They kinda are… 🙂 People live quiet lives. They farm, they attend their church, they do their job…

There is, as you might expect, a shortage of health food stores. And restaurants with gluten free menus. There is a tiny health food store in Kearney called “The Health Barn.” It’s literally a red barn in the middle of town. There’s only two other health food stores in the state, as of the last research I did.

Last time we went, I literally planned every meal for Hannah for the whole time we were there. Breakfast was cooked-at-home sausage warmed in the microwave. Lunch was turkey sandwiches. Dinner was…I can’t even remember.

One thing they do have in Kearney, is fast-food. Everywhere. Everything you can think of. So, last night I started looking up gluten-free fast food. Several thoughts here…first, gross. Second, relief. Did you know that McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Sonic, Hardee’s, Chick-fil-a, and Burger King all have gluten free information online?

Now, I do not intend to feed my kids fast food for every meal while we’re there. But once or twice would be okay, seeing as how they’ve never had it before in their lives. And, I’m dealing with a new challenge because after seeing Dr P last weekend, I am now eating gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free and yeast free. Amazingly? I can get pretty close even with fast food. Most fast-food places even have gluten-free fries, because they only cook fries in them, not other fried foods.

So, I can plan a couple of meals a day, and we can still eat out with Nick’s family (because they like to). Now I just have to stomach the fact that I actually know what’s in all that “food.”

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Enzyme for Gluten?

Thought those of you in the GF world might find this interesting. What do you think, will it work, or will it just be another drug that causes different issues?

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Thanksgiving Dinner

Dinner was a smashing success, I must say. I should have followed my instinct and turned the heat up on the sweet potatoes so they were a little softer, and it was difficult to have everything more than just lukewarm by the time it was on the table, but it was….delicious. And completely gluten-free!

Turkey, gluten-free bread stuffing with dried cranberries and water chestnuts, fresh cranberry sauce, green beans with sauteed almonds, maple-orange mashed sweet potatoes, and gravy with thyme and thickened with rice flour. Not pictured here was another dish – maple thyme acorn squash.

The most amazing thing about all of this is, Nick and I keep saying how we can eat a ridiculously full plate and we don’t feel sick! Thanksgiving is a day to be sick, right? I mean, what’s Thanksgiving without feeling bloated and gross and almost achy afterward? You can make delicious food that is good for you!

Anyway, if there are certain recipes you’re interested in, let me know. I almost always find things online and then adapt them.

Hope you all had a great dinner, and great time together as a family!

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Thanksgiving

The Gluten-Free Girl has once again written a beautiful, helpful Thanksgiving blog. I love her attitude toward having to be gluten free. Rather than seeing it as deprivation, she is grateful to be well, and she does gluten free in such a delicious way that no one will miss the gluten.

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