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      • Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

        This FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease SymptomsWhat testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease ScreeningInterpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test ResultsCan I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful?The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-FreeIs celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic TestingIs there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and DisordersIs there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients)Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients)Gluten-Free Alcoholic BeveragesDistilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free?Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free DietFree recipes: Gluten-Free RecipesWhere can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Store.For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity
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    Tales from my heart

    Entries in this blog

    Spiced Nuts

    By Rowena,

    For this recipe, I chose sliced almonds and chopped walnuts. However you can take your pick of nuts.

    Star Anise
    Cinnamon Sugar
    1/2 tsp butter

    Coat pan with the butter then place nuts and spices (pinch of each) in. Cook on a low heat, stirring frequently so that nuts don't burn. Nuts are done when completely coated and spices stick to nuts. Very tasty! (Just be careful, the nuts burn easy)

    Seasoned Rice

    By Rowena,

    Serves 2-3

    1 cup rice
    2 cups rice (or however much water to rice ratio your rice calls for.)
    Star Anise
    Garlic Powder

    Prepare rice as directed on package, mixing your spices (pinch of each) in as the rice cooks.
    This was a very simple recipe to make, and it doesn't bother me at all.

    [i]1 large sweet potato - chopped into large pieces[/i]
    [i]2 standard size Idaho Potatoes - chopped into large pieces[/i]
    [i]1 beet - chopped into large pieces[/i]
    [i]1 handful baby carrots (or 2 whole carrots. You can add more if you like, but I'm not a huge fan of roasted carrots)
    Italian Seasoning
    Garlic Powder[/i]
    [i](I don't eat pepper much any more, but you can always add pepper too)[/i]

    Preheat oven to 425. Place veggies on cookie sheet one layer thick. Sprinkle spices and olive oil over veggies. Cook for 40 minutes. Serve.

    (Feeds 2 as a meal or 4-6 as a side)

    Just Beet It!

    By Rowena,

    So what kid in their right mind is adventurous enough to WANT to try a beet, and if they do, what kid actually likes the weird looking root veggie? Not many are that brave, and I certainly wasn't. I was one of those kids who HATED textures and VERY picky about flavor. If it was bland, I didn't eat it, and if I didn't like the texture, GET IT AWAY! (Not much has changed in that regard to be honest - though I *HAVE* expanded my horizons by quite a bit.) As a kid, I ate 3 things... [b]Potatoes[/b], and a lot of them... [i][size=3](What? I was born in Idaho and the Idahoan who doesn't like potatoes should be SHUNNED... joking aside, potatoes was a staple and you NEVER put a potato in front of me and falsely claim its from Idaho. I WILL eat you if its not, because I KNOW the taste of an Idaho Potato like I know the back of my hand)[/size][/i] [b]Pizza[/b], and [b]spaghetti.[/b]

    So last night, I bought six beets because the nomato sauce recipes I found all called for beets. I had spent all weekend convincing myself, 'I can do this... I can eat beets. They won't be bad.' Well, six carrots, 3 celery stalks, some water, and a single beet later, (and don't forget the purple stained clothes) I was ranting and raving how good my sauce was. The carrots definitely masked the beet's flavor, but even still there was still a strong taste and smell of beets... Who knew? I can eat beets! I beat the beet!
    So I found an AMAZING tomato sauce recipe on the Food Network website... And it has NO TOMATOS so I guess it isn't really a tomato sauce but what the hey. Its very basic, but delicious. This is what it is as a FN forum member wrote it... (Well I paraphrased the instructions but shh)

    [i]6 carrots peeled and diced
    1 small beet peeled and diced
    1 large onion[/i]
    [i]3 celery ribs (stalks)[/i]
    [i]1 bay leaf[/i]
    [i]1 1/2 cups water[/i]

    [i]Put everything in a large pot, bring water to a boil, and then turn down to simmer until veggies are soft. Once that is done, put in a blender, and blend until its a saucelike consistently and serve.[/i]

    I cannot have onions, so I took that out and added a few spices to my tasting, (Italian seasoning, salt and very light pepper) I added the spices just before putting the veggies in the blender... it was amazing and tasted even better than s'ghetti sauce in my opinion... And the hubby who loves his food, he even loved it!
    [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='lucida grande'][size=3]Mini tomato free/dairy free/gluten free pizzas. (sorry crappy picture cause it was taken with phone)[/size][/font][/color]

    [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='lucida grande'][size=3]Polenta slices[/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='lucida grande'][size=3]Mashed pinto beans (with tiny bit of garlic powder. Real stuff gets to me)[/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='lucida grande'][size=3]Thin sliced vegan mozza cheese[/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='lucida grande'][size=3]Drizzle of EO olive oil[/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(51,51,51)][font='lucida grande'][size=3]Light italian seasoning[img][/img][/size][/font][/color]
    So far, I cannot eat the following -

    [b]Fish [/b] (I don't eat seafood either because a lot of people with fish allergies have shellfish allergies...)
    [b]Dairy[/b] (Lactose intolerant, likely casein allergy/intolerance)
    [b]Gluten[/b] (Intolerant, not Celiac)
    [b]Rosemary [/b](suspect its an allergy)

    Lemon[/b] (and derivatives)
    [b]Orange [/b](and derivatives)
    [b]Cranberry[/b] (and derivatives)
    [b]Onion[/b] (powder seems to be better)
    [b]Garlic[/b] (powder seems to be better)
    [b]Chili powder
    Cayenne Pepper
    Red Pepper flakes/ground red pepper
    Taco seasoning
    Hot liquids
    Pepper[/b] (in excess)
    [b]Carbonation[/b] (Especially diet sodas/brown sodas)
    [b]Anything spicy
    Excess fat
    Anything fried[/b]
    [b]Excess salt[/b]

    Spaghetti Sauce

    By Rowena,

    Well it looks like I may have to learn to like beets... I've found a lot of 'Nomato' sauces. And they all include carrots and beets. Okay, I love carrots, no problem. But BEETS? Thought of them makes me shudder. Granted last time I was forced to eat them, I was really picky kid... so who knows, I may like them now. I guess I'll have to try them.

    Not gonna lie though, this idea of 'Nomato' spaghetti sauce sounds pretty good, looking at all the recipes. I think I can come up with something along similar lines. (Though I'll have to eliminate the lemon in like half the recipes I've found.) I wonder how they taste? Probably a lot like dairy free cheese. If you set it apart from the item its based off, its probably really good!

    Mexican Food

    By Rowena,

    Okay, so my mother in law recently made tacos for dinner. Now, this would be an easy dinner to modify to my problems. Just gimme the corn tortillas, meat, guacamole, and lettuce, and I'm good. However, one slight problem...I can't have the guacamole as my MIL makes it. Everyone in their house likes sour cream in their guacamole!

    Gimme my straight avocados people! I would have said something, but it was a big party for my MIL/FIL's anniversary, so I felt really bad about it. So I had very bland tacos, and it made me sad. Now I would have made it a taco salad, but they only have one dressing in their house. RANCH! *sigh*

    My MIL LOVES spoiling me, she always keeps a ton of food in her house that I can eat, but I always feel REALLY bad about it that I'm sooooo high maintenance with my diet. And then I feel even worse when I can't eat what she makes... Oh well.

    Lunch Meat

    By Rowena,

    So my all time favorite lunch meat is Ham... or rather WAS. Now, I've discovered that ham does me in. After eating it, my reflux/esophagitis acts up. Can't swallow very well, mostly is what happens when I eat it... Feels like its stuck in my throat.

    Problem is, ham pretty much is my default lunch meat. I like sausages like salami or pepperoni too, but they are WAY too spicy. I HATE Turkey and chicken, way too dry. But ham... mmmmm. Not worth the inability to eat after though.

    However, I did discover, thanks to my Mother in law, who discovered it from my sister-in-law, HUMMUS is amazing on sandwiches. And this girl LOVES cucumber sandwiches, despite the fact they are not that filling. However... Hummus and cucumber? Now THAT's the way to go! (On corn tortillas. YUM)


    By Rowena,

    So I understand things that make esophagitis act up can vary between different people. However there are items that seem to be a gold standard for almost everyone with the problem to avoid. Things like Tomatoes, Onions, Spicy, Lemons/Oranges and their corresponding juices, and even caffeine and chocolate. So I thought, well, I wanted to see if I could have my old go to when it came to chocolate. Carob. Love the stuff,honestly, and too me its really not that far off in taste from chocolate.
    However, it seems, I go back to that awful problem of sore throat and constricted throat that makes it hard to swallow... and all those other crazy symptoms that come along with my esophagitis. (And when you can't swallow a pill that's supposed to help you with your swallowing problems, that SUCKS) So long story short, no more carob for this gal... Don't really want this awful pain and tiredness and sickness seeming attributes anymore.
    Frankly there should be a ban on labelling things vegan if they are made on shared equipment as non vegan food items. I bought some carob chips that had vegan written all over them. (Brand is Sunspire FYI). I swear I had read the allergen info at the store and saw no problem. But I also was tired and not feeling good, so it could easily have been one of those times when I saw, 'Vegan' and tossed them in the shopping cart. I don't honestly remember.
    Anyway, so today, I thought, well hey, I need a snack. I grabbed a rice cake and the bag of carob chips that were supposedly vegan. Okay, so I flipped the bag over for whatever reason, and saw the allergen info. I quote 'CONTAINS: SOY. DUE TO SHARED EQUIPMENT, PRODUCT CONTAINS TRACES OF MILK.' How the hell is that vegan! I mean there was no, 'may contain' it was a certainly how they phrased it. Frankly, just because you don't add any products that are contrary to the vegan lifestyle doesn't mean its vegan. Its like saying, 'Oh this food item is gluten free because I didn't add flour to it.' Um no. Try again.
    If anything, if you aren't worried about catering to the vegan lifestyle, cater to those with milk allergies. Don't put Vegan on a package if it contains milk. People who can't have dairy love vegan options because usually they are safe for them. No animals or their byproducts defines vegan. Vegan is not synonomous with vegetarian.

    End of rant.
    As you may be aware, I've recently been diagnosed with reflux induced esophagitis. I've been on reflux meds for years, with the exception of when I was pregnant. So I figure its about time to change my diet. No one ever told me that there was a better diet for people with reflux, so I probably just aggravated my symptoms. Looking back, most of the things that bothered me most when I was pregnant are on the reflux no-no list. Now with my esophagitis, I did a little research, and decided its about time to cut out the things that make reflux flare.

    I always knew I had a problem with chocolate. I never really quite understood why until now. Tomatoes while I was pregnant drove me INSANE and faithfully I threw them up.

    So here's what I cut out that I can remember at the moment:
    Orange Juice
    Cranberry Juice
    Anything tomato related.
    Spicy foods
    Dairy products (a lot in part cause of my allergy/intolerance)
    Many raw fruits and veggies
    Bacon (I know sad day!)

    My favorite okay foods
    Cooked spinach
    Those baby puff things, I obsess over the sweet potato flavor
    Hummus (with baby carrots or pretzels)
    Baked potatoes
    Apple Juice
    Rice Milk

    What I miss?
    Honestly there isn't a whole lot I miss. I stopped missing eating the cheap food items almost three years ago when I started eating gluten free, so I don't miss that. What I miss is eating tomatoes and black pepper. I miss some of the spicy foods sure, but honestly there isn't a whole lot of those that I miss. I miss having bacon. And I miss eating spaghetti!

    What I don't miss?
    This is an easy one. I don't miss the sore throat, the hard time swallowing, the constant feeling of something being stuck in my throat, the heartburn, the days where I feel like I'm gonna die. I don't miss the unexplained coughing either.
    As many of you may know, and many may not know, I had a baby just under 4 months ago. I lost all my pregnancy weight gain pretty quickly since I was so sick during my pregnancy that I didn't gain much weight. But before I got pregnant, I had about 20 lbs of excess weight for some unexplained reason. Now, I'm trying to lose that excess weight.
    However I haven't been able to, despite the fact I've still been sick for MONTHS post partum, and for about a month and a half of those four months pp, I could barely get in one meal a day. FINALLY after a long 13 months (since I was sick the entire time I was pregnant too and people couldn't quite figure out why) a GI diagnosed me with Esophagitis and lactose intolerance. I suspect a casein allergy, but he didn't test for that.
    Anyway, I got those results last Monday about 4 pm... And then I cut out dairy entirely, even the things I wasn't so careful to check before then. I also started a lower acid diet for my esophagitis (along with my stronger reflux meds) in hopes that would help.
    One week later, I no longer have diarrhea (sp?) from the dairy, I don't feel bloated, my stomach doesn't hurt, I am able to swallow better (that's a slow process though. I still can't swallow my vitamins/mineral supplements very well), I don't have as many sore throats, not as much coughing... And I lost a whopping 5 lbs in a week!
    Last time I lost weight that fast, was when I went gluten free. So it really is a miracle the difference that not eating the things your body can't handle makes. I hope I can continue shrugging off the pounds. Dairy free, you know, you're pretty okay! Sure, its taking a lot of work to get used to you, I often so desperately want a milky way or real cheese on my tacos. But if you give me results like this, I think I can handle it.
    So a while ago, (Sometime between the last time I was active and now) I discovered I've got a VERY random allergy/intolerance. Since I've not actually had a doc say anything about it because I keep forgetting to bring it up, we'll just call it a 'problem'...

    I don't have very many 'problems' that make my throat close up... But there is one problem that does. It gives me cracked lips (in the corners) and my throat becomes very swollen. Swallowing? Forget it. So what is it? Randomly, its Rosemary. Yeah, the herb. Don't ask me why, but its true. I suppose it could be worse... It could be something like, oh I dunno pepper. Oh wait, I can't have a lot of that anymore with my esophagitis anyway... So better example... uh... salt?

    But seriously... Try finding Italian food without rosemary! (In fact, pretty certain my mother puts it in her spaghetti sauce... And she makes spaghetti almost every time our family gets together since its easy to make and easy to make in large quantities...)

    Okay, just had to get that out, because I crave those multigrain gluten free crackers, and my favorite flavor? THe one with Rosemary. (Which I actually have double reason not to eat now since they contain Milk in the flavoring)
    [i][font="Palatino Linotype"][size="3"]So lately I have been craving all sorts of baked goods that I can't have. Sure I could make a gluten version of nearly all of them, but that's more work for a simple craving. But its not like I can go to the nearest bakery and pick up goodies, because even if they did have some gluten free items, most likely there would be cross contamination, with all the regular flour in the air. So I decided to search for a bakery that was gluten free, ANY bakery. Turns out there is one only fourty five minutes from me. Which considering the fact there were only 4 bakeries that I could find in Utah, I was rather pleased. So, on Friday we drove down to Sandy from Salt Lake to try it out. It's a family run bakery, and they all have Celiac, so you can pretty much GUARANTEE its safe. But we tried nearly every item on the menu. Or at least, a flavor of one of everything. SO DELICIOUS! They have these sandwiches made with corn flatbread which they call Arepas. (Based on the South American bread of the same name) SO GOOD! And the soups are all homemade as well, and utterly delicious. Everything is fresh, and homemade (obviously), and the arepas are made right there in front of you.
    I also would like to note that even my husband who is a heavy gluten eater when I am not around, loved it. He is the one who has actually been recommending it to everyone and their mothers. *chuckle* I'm so thrilled.
    So if you ever hit the Salt Lake area, definitely stop by Eleanor's Bakeshop. Its a must have. Plus the people there are so friendly and love to chat, so it definitely is welcoming. Oh very cheap in the way of gluten free goes.[/size][/font][/i]

    Pushy Pushy Pushy

    By Rowena,

    [i][font="Palatino Linotype"][size="3"]Well, yesterday anyone who was anyone stopped by without a phone call, just to "talk." Okay so it was only three people, my church leader and my two visiting teachers (two women in my ward who have been asked to visit me each month and give a spiritual message. Every woman in my ward has them.). But normally these people call before they stop by. It was too coincidental, honestly. And I really didn't like it. They were pushing me to see a counselor (for my anxiety and miscarraige) through my church, all three of them. I'm sorry, but I do NOT need to see a counselor to have them tell me I am being stupid, and that my parents are right in treating me like crap, and I have no reason to fear them or hate going to family parties. Etc, etc, etc. I need a doctor more. Which I am TRYING to find. Sure its been a while since I attended church, but still, I don't need to be pushed. Sure they meant well, but it just makes me want to stay away, ya know? I'm trying to be strong through these trials, but please, for heaven's sake, don't push me. It's not gonna get you anywhere. I'm healing, its a long process, so LET ME FRICKIN BE! I'll come to church when I am ready.[/size][/font][/i]
    [i][font="Palatino Linotype"][size="3"][color="#4b0082"]So on Saturday, I finally succumbed to my pizza cravings. But I didn't make it homemade like I should have. I bought it from a local restaurant that assured me that it did everything to ensure it would be gluten free, from changing gloves to washing hands, to putting it on its own special tray. Sure enough, glutened... Yeah. Shoulda known. (Not to mention I have a bad habit of trying gluten free restaurants on saturdays, which is bad because then I get glutened and am down for sunday. I haven't been to church between glutenings, anxiety attacks, and colds in two months.)
    And then today, I rushed out the door with no time to prepare a lunch so I had grabbed cereal and carrots. And since its one of THOSE days, I am not very hungry. So I figured that would be enough. Nope... 2:00 comes round, and I am starved... So I get a special order mexican... And you got it... glutened again. Ye'd think I would learn... Nope.

    The weird thing is how fast reactions come. I never seem to remember that all the reactions I get are immediate... And so here I am at work, trying to survive another three hours... Yeah, something's gotta give now because of my stupidity... Excuse me while I run to the bathroom... thanks...[/color][/size][/font][/i]
    [font="Palatino Linotype"][size="3"][color="#4b0082"][i]Well at least I feel like it is killing me. And no, it ain't one of my intolerances. I wish I could say it was. At least ten I would feel better sooner... But no... Its a stupid, infernal cold! Just as I was starting to return to normal, I caught my husband's cold. And I feel like I got it worse than he did. Between the coughing fits that result in a lot of gagging since I cant throw up very well, my lost voice (which by the way never happens), my cold chills and a fever that I am sure is only barely a fever, because that is all I ever get, and the immense pain.... I feel like I am dying slowly.... And truth be told, it isnt helping my anxiety any. (Though not eating gluten is easier because I dont want to eat at all.) Colds, I hate them... Well actually, I hate any sickness I get. I dont hate my intolerances, because I learn to live with them every day. But the illnesses that come and go, I hate them. I dont like being in so much pain. I dont like feelin like any minute my lungs are going to pop out of my throat. I dont like the Fevers and chills. And worst of all, I hate it when nothing seems to help me feel better.
    [i][font="Palatino Linotype"][size="3"][color="#4b0082"]So on friday I had a severe panic attack, and no one was around to help me. I should explain that I have been working close to, if not more than 40 hrs a week the past few weeks, and I am supposed to be a part time employee. No benefits, no overtime, no nothing. Plus I have a messy house that I cannot even walk in. Dishes are piled a mile high. Laundry is three weeks overdue. Nevermind my expensive food, car payments/insurance, rent, hospital payments, registering a broken down car which includes repairs that cost my entire paychecks for the month. Oh and incessant worry that we may have goofed, and I may or may not be pregnant. So on Friday, I broke down when I couldn't find my bus pass. Yes, of all things, my bus pass made me break down. (Turns out it was in my sweatshirt the whole time.) But finally, with the help of my mom and my MIL, I got my house mostly in order (Laundry is still three weeks over due but hey.) over the course of two days, and I finally can relax...for now. (And my husbands parents paid for our car repairs... yay!)
    So now, you are probably wondering what my valuable lessons are that I mentioned in the title. Well here they are (and I will go more into detail later)
    #1. You are not Superman. You cannot do everything
    #2. Do not be afraid to ask for help
    #3. It ain't bad to cry
    #4. Take time for yourself
    #5. Breathe
    #6. Eat
    #7. Don't be afraid to tell people you have a problem. (ie Anxiety)
    #8. If medicated, take your meds.
    #9. Never be alone during an attack (even if it means yelling/crying/whatever via phone IM or whatver)
    #10. Don't be embarrassed by anxiety or whatever your problem is.
    (Explanations to come in their own posts)[/color][/size][/font][/i]
    [i][font="Palatino Linotype"][size="3"][color="#4b0082"]Ok so yesterday I had some of my neighbors come visit. And it is a well known fact that I can no longer have gluten in our apartment complex. But apparently it is less well known that I can't eat chocolate. (Probably because I don't make a huge deal of it. I just dont eat whatever has chocolate.) So strangely said neighbors decide to bring me treats... Gluten free brownies. Now how can I resist eating that? They were soft and gooey... (And probably slobbered all over by a three year old, but hey!) and well, just delicious looking. So I begged my husband to bring me a mug of rice milk... I was only goint to eat one, but well, I ended up eating two and a half before my husband was finally able to stop me. You can bet I was sick that night...
    Silly people... Don't bring me chocolate![/color][/size][/font][/i]

    Restaurant Mayhem

    By Rowena,

    [font="Palatino Linotype"][size="3"][color="#4b0082"][i]So the other day, my dad was sworn in to be a Utah attorney. (Cool Experience to see by the way). My mom calls me the day before, "Oh yeah, honey, we're goin out to lunch before hand. We were going to try the Restaurant at the Joseph Smith Memorial building. That okay?" So I hesitate, because it wasn't on the list of safe restaurants that the Celiac/Gluten Intolerance Support Group for SLC put out. So my mom and I once again get into a discussion about how strict I am being. (She thinks I am being too strict. But since I got sick from instant potatoes that were processed on equipment that processes wheat products... I am not inclined to be any less strict.) She says, well can't you order a salad? How about a piece of chicken? Yadda Yadda Yadda. To which I give my usual reply of, "It depends on the environment it is prepared in." I've tried to explain to her about cross contamination a number of times, but I don't think she quite gets it.
    Well anyway, while I am work sitting at the reception desk I look up the restaurant and discover they have a gluten free menu. I don't look too closely at it, but I did notice that it said chips are fried in same oil as breaded products. So I call my mom, "They have a gluten free menu there."
    "Oh good!"
    Once I get off work, I look at the menu closer. (Fortunately I wrote down the restaurant's number.) I looked and saw that there were a ton of fried foods, and if the chips were fried in the same oil what's to say that these weren't? And then I noted the dressings they had. I questioned that. And all of their sauces... So I called them and asked all my questions, and up distraught. It seemed like they didn't really understand what Gluten FREE meant. It was more of a gluten light menu. Besides the fact that about 50% of the menu was seafood of some sort.
    So I call my mom, and say "The Gluten Free Menu isn't really a gluten free menu. So I think I'll just eat before we go and come for the company." She wouldn't have that.
    "Would you rather go to Mazza?" (Mazza is a lebanese restaurant that I told her had a good gluten-free menu)
    "I'd feel safer."
    "Frank*, is Mazza all right with you for lunch?" My mom says to my father who sits near her. He must have nodded or spoke his approval quietly. "Okay Mazza it is then."
    So when I get home, (the previous conversations were in the car) I look up Mazza's number and call them. They reassured me that I could safely eat there, though they couldn't guarantee all their items were perfectly safe, but they did have quite a few I could definitely safely eat. To me, it seemed like the Employees were well informed about gluten free items.
    Well next morning, I wake up, and head to work. (Just as a note for clarification I work in the same office as my dad.) I do a morning interoffice mail run, and my dad's secretary stops me. "How does Sage's cafe sound." I told her it was definitely a recommended place by the gluten free society of SLC. And then she explained to me that my father had her look up places I could eat at. I thought it was funny. (I love my parents, they are awesome.) But I couldn't fathom why he asked his secretary to look up places when we decided the night before we'd go to Mazza. So I told her that, and she was like, "Okay, let's look at that one." So she looks at it, chats it up a little while longer, then I continue on my way to finish the mail run.
    So a few hours later, I meet up with my dad and his secretary, and then we drive to meet my mom and my husband at the restaurant. (And yes, apparently the consensus remained on Mazza) We eat there, and I talk to the waitress because there were so many choices of food. She smiles and reads over the menu with me and points out the safest items, and told me that the sandwiches and Entrees are not as good as the starters. She recommended a sampler platter and a few specific dishes for said platter. So of course, I took her advice. IT WAS YUMMY! And the waitress was completely right. And helpful too. She always made sure I was well taken care of. It was definitely a wonderful experience.[/i][/color][/size][/font]
    [font="Palatino Linotype"][size="3"][color="#4b0082"][i]So I should probably explain in advance that I am highly intolerant to fish and possibly other seafood... (Not sure on the latter as I aint never tried it) The worst fish for me is tuna fish, especially when it is that canned stuff. Its strong stench alone is enough to make me throw up, hence I cannot be in the same room with it. Normally I hide in my bedroom until the stuff is completely cleaned up and scoured clean. And yes I mean scoured. My mom used to think rinsin the plates was good enough. Unfortunately for me, my gift of havin the nose of a bloodhound is a curse in this situation. So yes she has to actually wash the dishes and wash the sink. She has to put a lemon down the disposal to clean out the smell. And she has to scour the counters before I can get near the kitchen. All this work for a measley little sandwich. My mom didnt mind though. She was a wonderful woman when it came to my fish intolerance. She always made sure my food was pure. (Although sometimes shed get a little annoyed when at new years eve I wouldnt let her put any fish balls or shrimp in one of the woks. Although admittedly it is in more recent years that she gets a little annoyed, as I aint been livin at home. We always have Mongolian Hot Pot for New Years Eve.)
    Anyway, one day one of my coworkers brought in a tuna sandwich. She said to our supervisor, "Do you mind if I run and grab my tuna sandwich?" Supervisor of course said sure, but then I piped in and said, "Er Sara*, I hate to ask you this, but do you mind eatin your tuna sandwich in the breakroom. I have a severe fish intolerance, and tuna is the one fish that makes me sick just by smelling it." I seriously work with some of the best people, because she said, "O yea, sure! No problem." And she aint brought a tuna sandwich since, not that I asked her not to bring one, but she just aint brought one, because she was worried of my reaction.
    Anyway, just the other day, she brought cup of noodles. It was the shrimp flavor. And knowin I dont eat seafood, she asked me, "It wont bother you if I eat this in here will it?" And like I said, tuna is the only smell that bothers me, so of course I said no. But I just was thrilled that she was considerate enough to ask me if it bothered me. I just love the people I work with. They are so kind.
    Anyway, just had to share my cute story...

    *Name changed as I am not sure she would like her real name known
    [color="#4b0082"][i][font="Palatino Linotype"][size="3"][color="#2f4f4f"]"Are you still gluten free?"[/color]
    What in heavens name are you thinkin? I told you yesterday that I was gluten-free for medical reasons. Ye think I really would give up suddenly? [color="#2f4f4f"]"Yes I am."
    "How long you been gluten-free?"[/color]
    I got no idea of how long its been no more... [color="#2f4f4f"]"Uh, since October 1rst"[/color]
    [color="#2f4f4f"]"Two weeks! Wow. Are ye gonna do this the rest of your life?"[/color]
    [color="#2f4f4f"]"Most likely."[/color] Didnt I just say I was doin it for medical reasons? If I feel better I aint stoppin no time soon. Besides, I aint got a choice. If I did, I sure as heck wouldnt do this hard diet. But I dont got no choice. Why dont she get it? Everyone else seems to get it. Even though sometimes I gotta remind them, but thanks for offerin. So why dont she get it none? Ive tried explainin its like an allergy... Nope. She dont get that neither. Other people get it... And they even ask me if it bothers me if they eat it around me...
    [color="#2f4f4f"]"The only way I could go gluten-free was if there was some weight loss involved."[/color]
    I really hate that she keeps insinuatin my weight loss is only due to this diet. No it aint. I been workin on losin weight since august. I lost 13 pounds before goin gluten-free. I also hate that she keeps sayin that she could only do it if weight loss was involved. And then it would probably be for a short period of time. Arent friends supposed to be supportive of you? I cant say she is bein supportive. Its really rather annoyin. And also is it really all that we have to talk about? I hate walkin by her desk just to have her belittle my diet. Really. Come on. From now on, I aint deliverin no mail in that area. I just will stay at my desk. Stay in the copyroom doin me projects... Whatever. Just leave me alone already, unless you got somethin to talk about other than my diet. Okay? Sound good? No? I dont care...
    [i][font="Palatino Linotype"][size="3"][color="#4b0082"]So some people on this forum suggested I try carob, since I cannot eat chocolate. So today when I went to the Whole Foods store near my apartment for my normal grocery shop, I discovered carob ricemilk. I thought that would be a good way to ease myself into chocolate. And if I did react to it, hopefully it would not be so bad because the ricemilk would dilute it. Guess what. NO REACTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That makes me so happy. Of course maybe it was a horrible idea to try it, because instead of craving chocolate, and resisting the temptation, I'll be obsessed with carob. Who knows. But at least I know I can resist the candy at work now, so hopefully having the carob won't affect me wanting that. That would be bad. Oh well. But at least I found an alternative. I wonder if anyone would notice if I used carob in my cooking instead of chocolate? Hmmm.... It would be interesting to try.[/color][/size][/font][/i]

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