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Member Since 20 Jul 2004
Offline Last Active Aug 05 2006 10:14 PM

Topics I've Started

Gluten-free And Sugar-free

08 November 2004 - 07:26 AM

I've been gluten-free and lactose free for many years, and I think I am not having (major ;) ) problems following the diet. Still, recently I've been trying to go sugar-free and yeast-free and I am finding this next to impossible. I get such horrible cravings for ANYTHING sweet that I think I am addicted to sugar! Help! Anybody has been through this and survived? Any tips?

The reason I am attempting this suicidal diet change is that I suppose I have candida overgrowth in my intestines. From what I read in the Internet, I have typical symptoms - I am going to see a natural medicine specialist about it, since no other doctor seems able (or willing) to help me with this, so hopefully I will have a doctor's diagnosis in about 2 weeks.

I've been trying and failing to go off sugar a few times this year - one month is my biggest success - but it is so hard to stick to this diet. Firstly, it is another dietary restriction on top of gluten and lactose, and I hate restricting my diet further. Then, the way I learned to manage gluten-free and lactose-free diet is by finding substitutes, trying to treat the restrictions (like, "I can't have milk") more like changes ("I can have soy milk instead"). So, I managed the one month without sugar only because I substituted white sugar and processed sweets with lots of fresh fruit, but now I have read that in the anti-candida elimination diet you have to give up all sweet foods, including sweet fruit and dried fruit, and anything baked with white flour and yeast, and I just don't know how to stick to it. After a day or two without any sugar, my craving for something sweet gets so strong that if I don't find some substitute, I break down and eat some chocolate. Any ideas how to deal with it? I know that craving chocolate might mean lack of magnesium, so I could try taking some magnesium pills, but it still leaves the problem of sugar in general.

It is really ridiculous when I stop to think about it. I mean, I don't smoke, but now I think I started to understand what some of my friends were going through when they tried to give up smoking. This is just sugar, it should be easier to give up, shouldn't it?

I'd appreciate any input from people who had similar experience.

I'm sorry for the ranting, I think I'm just feeling too sorry for myself today.


28 July 2004 - 05:31 AM

Hi everyone,

Today I noticed the post about recipes for pierogi, which reminded me of another traditional Polish dish which also tastes very good and is much easier to make. This is often my choice when I'm abroad and I'm asked to prepare something Polish - ingredients are very easy to buy and you can make versions that people with different tastes can enjoy.
The dish is called "placki ziemniaczane" (which means "potato placki", where "placki", pronounced "platzki" means flat round fried things that look like small pancakes - so on one frying pan you can fry one pancake at a time, but about 4-5 placki at a time).

Basic ingredients:
1 kilo of potatoes
2 eggs
2-3 spoons of flour (can be easily replaced with potato starch, or any gluten-free flour)
1 teaspoon of salt
oil for frying

Peel the potatoes, and grate them (when they are still raw!) (using a blender for this purpose helps a lot).
Put the grated potatoes into a sieve and drain them (some kinds of potatoes will give quite a lot of juice when grated, and if you don't get rid of the juice, the dough will be to watery).
Put the grated potatoes into a bowl, add eggs, flour and salt, mix.

Warm small amount of oil in a frying pan, put the dough into the pan with a spoon, spreading it to create "small pancake-like" shapes ( I prefer them about 2 mm thin, as it makes them more crispy, but I have seen ones up to 5 mm thick). Fry on both sides until light brown and crispy.

This is basically it, though there are regional serving variations:

1. Where I come from, we make placki as above, and serve them sprinkled with sugar (I know, potatoes with sugar doesn't sound good to most people at first, but it IS really good, you just have to try it :) )

2. In other version, a raw onion (grated or cut up small) and some black pepper is added to the dough, and the result is served with sour cream.

3. You can also make a spicy version with onion and any spices you like.

4. I have even heard of a version with onion, spices and grated yellow cheese mixed into the dough (though for someone used to version 1, as me, this version is quite far from the original thing).

When I make it for people who have never tried it, I usually make the basic dough above, then divide it into 2 bowls and make version 1 and version 2 or 3 to let people try both the sweet and the spicy version to decide which they like more. Whichever version, they are best when they are fresh and hot.

I hope the recipe above is understandable, as I'm not used to giving recipes in English :unsure: If you have any questions, let me know.


Dealing With Other People's Reactions?

21 July 2004 - 05:13 AM

Hi everyone,

I’m new to this site and I just wanted to say that after reading some of the posts in here I feel a lot better that other people are experiencing same problems and feeling about it in a similar way. Not to say that I have learned some new information. Thank you!

I was diagnosed celiac and lactose-intolerant shortly after I was born, and continued with the diet ever since (with a few breaks for introducing the forbidden food back to my diet and do the testing again, only to prove that yes, I still do have it...). I am 28 now and I have always thought that I have it pretty much under control – I mostly cook for myself, read all the labels when shopping, I work normally and travel quite a lot and manage to do it all despite my diet. OK, it is troublesome, but as long as I cook for myself I never really think I have such a big problem, except for times when I have to deal with other people’s reactions.

The reason why I actually found this site is that I was having a bad day due to something that happened over the last weekend. I went camping with my boyfriend and his co-workers (I have never met them before, so of course they didn’t know I am on gluten and lactose-free diet). On the way back, someone suggested that we go and have a dinner in a good pizza restaurant that he knew. Then I had to explain that I will not be able to eat anything there because I cannot eat anything that contains milk or gluten. Then one of the guys said: “Oh you cannot have milk or gluten? I bet that sucks!” and he started laughing!!! I was speechless. My boyfriend stood for me and told this guy to stop, and said that if they really want to go and have the pizza than the two of us are going to another restaurant, where I can choose something. We did so, but I was still upset and hurt by the reaction of that idiot. Just how can you laugh at such statement??? If I said that I have diabetes or some other illness, would that be so funny too? I talked about it with my boyfriend (who is not celiac), and he said that he does not understand why I am taking this so seriously. He said that some people are just like that and you cannot expect they will understand somebody else's pain unless they experience the same pain themselves. OK, I agree with this, because I have experienced this just too many times. But we had a long talk about people’s reactions to my disease, and how I feel about it, and I could see he still did not get my point. This left me thinking – am I really exaggerating? So I started searching the Internet for message boards related to my diet, to see if somebody else is experiencing the same kind of problems…

Just a few examples of situations which really do make me upset/ hurt/ angry (depending on the case):

1.Your friends/co-workers decide to go and eat somewhere where you have literally nothing that you can eat (pizza, pancakes, ice-cream places and so on). I have nothing against going out to a place with a variety of food, where I can choose something edible, and I don’t mind if someone else is having pizza, pasta etc. But I DO hate it when everyone else made up their minds to go somewhere forbidden for me, and they don’t understand why it is a problem for me. In such cases I usually choose not to go, which still causes me to feel bad as the only one left out, but it’s still better than having to watch everybody else eat something yummy that I’d love to have also and to be the only one who is not eating. At times it really makes me want to scream, like when people try to persuade me that I should join them and go to a nearby ice-cream café and when I explain them my diet restrictions, their answer is: “Well, you could still go and have some fruit juice” and they don’t see why I say no. Aaargh. I sometimes do want to answer such person: “OK, but only if YOU also go and order nothing more than a drink, so you will have your mouth watering as everybody else will be eating this delicious ice-cream”.

2.Variation of the above. You walk down a street with your friends, and one of them says “Hey, let’s buy some ice-cream” and they line up for ice-cream cones, even though they know you have lactose intolerance and even though you have clearly told them before that out of all the yummy foods that you wish so much you could have, ice-cream is at the very top of the list. Then not only they buy the ice-cream, but start commenting on how good it tastes, which makes me so mad! Just as if I was invisible! I think this is what hurts me most about all this. I don’t expect all the world to turn gluten and lactose-free because of me, and I don’t care if total strangers pass me on the street while munching on their hamburgers or licking their ice-cream. I don’t mind if some newly met people who don’t know my problem say “hey, let’s all go and have some pizza”, because they don’t know, so obviously they don’t mind to hurt me. But I DO mind if my friends, who know about my diet, still act as if they didn’t know, because they happen to fancy some food so they go for it. Am I exaggerating here? I have this friend who has done this “ice-cream trick” to me many times, even though I explained to her that it bothers me and I asked her that if she really must have the ice-cream, then at least let her stop commenting on how yummy it is. Didn’t work. Still doesn’t, even though now we live in different cities and see each other only once in a few months, and even on these rare occasions she sometimes does it to me again. I gave up explaining it to her all over again but it hurts all the same. Is it selfish of me to think that it would not kill her if once in a couple of months she tried to surpass her crave for an ice-cream? She could have as much as she wishes every day, so is it really such an effort?

3.Explaining your problem to new people. Gosh, I hate it. I avoid it as long as I can, but sometimes you have to tell why you can’t eat something. And then you get one or more of the statements which you heard oh so many times, like “So WHAT is it that you eat???” “Oh, that must be hard. But at least, you are lucky – you don’t crave things like cookies or ice-cream, so you have no problem keeping your weight” “So what exactly happens if you eat some milk or gluten?” and so on. I have always tried to give explanations, just to make people more aware of this problem, but it never ends and I am slowly growing tired. I also hate this moment when they all stare at me and act as if I just said that I come from outer space. I always hoped that as the number of people with celiac (and all kind of food allergies) is growing, and as you keep explaining to people, that slowly the number of those who have heard about gluten-free diet will slowly increase, but it doesn't seem so. Are we really such a minority?

OK, enough ranting ;). Sorry I made it so long. I guess I just needed to share my thoughts with other people who would understand. I suppose most people with celiac encounter this kind of situations. Any ideas on how to deal with them? I sometimes wish I could handle such situations so that they don’t spoil my day, but every time it happens it always catches me unprepared…

Thanks to everyone who kept reading this until here ;)
and lots of love,


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