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i-geek

Member Since 08 Mar 2010
Offline Last Active Dec 28 2010 04:01 PM
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#663338 Christmas Goodies... Aiaiaiaiai

Posted by i-geek on 27 December 2010 - 08:53 AM

I think the only food gifts I received were a holiday lunch from my boss (at a restaurant where I could get a safe fish and rice meal- he was kind enough to ask before making the reservations for our group) and a fancy box of Penzey's baking spices from my sister- and brother-in-law. Oh, and a bottle of wine in a gift exchange. My parents and in-laws cooked dinners for us, but they were both very careful and kept the meals simple on purpose (and they apparently did well since I didn't get sick).

I admit to giving (gluten-free) goodies as gifts this year. Family and co-workers got homemade candy boxes from us- although I specifically only gave candy to people who I know would like to receive it. It's tricky to give it to acquaintances since I don't always know dietary habits. And on that note, I like the idea of regifting sealed packages of candy. I'll have to remember that in future if it comes up.
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#659420 Interesting Article About Autoimmune Diease

Posted by i-geek on 09 December 2010 - 11:32 AM

Here's a link to a short review on autoimmune T cells from the Public Library of Science Biology journal: http://www.plosbiolo...al.pbio.0040393

It should be freely available to the public. If I come across any other good ones that are free I'll post links.
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#659418 Interesting Article About Autoimmune Diease

Posted by i-geek on 09 December 2010 - 11:24 AM

Thanks for the web suggestion Skylark! Do you have any specific articles on auto immune problems that you would recommend?

It is hard to know what really is what medically with celiac and auto immune conditions period--especially for us lay people--plus it seems difficult for many doctors. Auto immune conditions seem so counter intuitive if you get what I mean-- i.e., we have an over active immune system rather than the usual under active one when someone is not feeling well.

Bea


Nerd alert again- a lot of why you feel sick when you have, say, a cold is due to your very active immune system spitting out inflammatory chemicals and causing tissue damage in the process of clearing the infection. And fever is actually good- it upregulates heat shock proteins that help cells recognize infection. Autoimmune cells are behaving in a similar inflammatory manner, except that there's no target infection to clear, just one's own cells.

I've also noticed from watching my grad advisor and dissertation committee members teach immunology to med students that the vast majority of med students don't give a toss about immunology beyond what they need to memorize for the test or the basics of very specific diseases. That is why so many medical doctors don't seem to have much of a clue about autoimmune disease.
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#659164 Interesting Article About Autoimmune Diease

Posted by i-geek on 08 December 2010 - 09:53 AM

Um... That's a really bad article. It's taking some legitimate science and spinning a ridiculous story from it. Note the complete lack of scientific references and all the scare words.


This. Also, the T cell biology is out of date and what is there is highly inaccurate. As a T cell immunologist, I am actually offended that someone wrote this article with so many inaccuracies. T cell-based autoimmunity results from inappropriate selection of immature T cells during their development in the thymus. T cells are normally selected so that they recognize but don't respond in an inappropriate way to self-proteins- T cells that respond too strongly to self-proteins are normally directed to die before they finish developing, a failsafe which is broken in people with autoimmune disease. It has nothing to do with cells in the peripheral organs not being able to signal that they are "self". I'll stop there so as not to nerd out too much, but I couldn't read on much further anyway.
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#656692 Who Survived Thanksgiving?

Posted by i-geek on 27 November 2010 - 07:53 PM

I survived!

My parents hosted dinner for the four of us (mom and dad, my husband and I). I provided gluten-free bread (one loaf of my own recipe, one loaf of Gluten-Free Pantry French bread mix) for the stuffing and Mom stuffed it in a fresh turkey from a local poultry shop. Gravy was from scratch: pan drippings and cornstarch. She opened a fresh pack of butter for mashed potatoes and buttered green beans with mushrooms (to replace the usual green bean casserole). I brought a sweet potato casserole, fresh cranberry-orange relish, and for dessert, a pumpkin cheesecake with gluten-free gingersnap crust (Mi-Del gingersnaps are SO good).

The food was awesome and we all agreed that the gluten-free bread made better stuffing. LOVE Thanksgiving dinner. Still loving the leftovers.
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#654428 Poll: How Were You Diagnosed? (Or Were You?)

Posted by i-geek on 18 November 2010 - 08:49 AM

I had to self-diagnose. My doctor was convinced that I was simply under stress since I'm a student and couldn't possibly have celiac disease since "it's so rare!" and thus ran only one celiac test from the panel (TTG IgA). That came up negative, but 1) we don't know if I produce normal amounts of IgA or not since she didn't test for total IgA and 2) I was already on a very low gluten diet since that was the only way to make the headaches stop. She refused to do any more testing at that point and referred me to a nutritionist for an elimination diet, then told me to eat more dairy for calcium (after I'd already explained to her that even small amounts of it made me ill even with lactase supplements).

Needless to say, I put myself on the gluten-free diet, could actually feel my gut healing over several months and can now digest dairy along with a lot of other foods that previously gave me trouble. Considering that there's a strong prevalence of autoimmune disease on both sides of the family and that it often manifests in the early 30s (I was 31 when I went full-blown symptomatic 14 months ago) I believe that I do in fact have celiac disease and describe myself as such.
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#652182 Are Places Like Panera & Chipotle Safe?

Posted by i-geek on 09 November 2010 - 01:11 PM

That's why I don't eat at Chipotle any more. I have successfully eaten at Qdoba several times- I always get the naked burrito (aka burrito bowl). The ones I've been to use spoons or tongs to handle all of the food items which lessens the chance of CC.
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#652096 Does Anyone Like Being Celiac

Posted by i-geek on 09 November 2010 - 07:40 AM

I'm not happy about the disease per se, but since autoimmune diseases run on both sides of the family, I'm very glad to have this one rather than Graves disease, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis (all possibilities with my genes). I'm hoping that I caught it early enough to stave off the others.

I'm not happy that I have to watch everything I eat and that when I go out with friends I often have to bring my own food while they chow down (and then explain why to everyone), but I'm happy that I can actually go out with them at all instead of being stuck at home with migraines, GI problems and intense fatigue.

Sure, some nights it's really annoying not to be able to stop and grab a pizza for dinner if I don't feel like cooking. But...it's nice to have the energy to cook once again since I always used to enjoy it.

I'm very happy that my usual severe seasonal allergies are now lessened to the point that I can use OTC meds sparingly, if at all. And I'm thrilled to be able to eat dairy again (full serving of ice cream last weekend without a lactase pill and no illness = VICTORY).
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#648692 Oh My! Do You Remember These Delicious Cookies?

Posted by i-geek on 24 October 2010 - 08:29 AM

I've never had those cookies, but can empathize in remembering. I can SO taste real homemade chocolate chip cookies that I spent years and years making. I don't bake them anymore cause no recipe or commercially baked cookie has been able to recreate that special taste.


If you haven't tried this recipe, I advise you to reconsider: 36-hour chocolate chip cookies. I need to make another batch of them. They were easy and SO good: buttery, just crispy enough, lots of vanilla and melty chocolate- my gluten-eating husband and coworkers scarfed them down. I think the only change I might make to the recipe is to sub in millet flour in place of amaranth (I'm not a huge fan of the amaranth flavor). I think they were better than the gluten cookies I used to bake.
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#648690 Oh My! Do You Remember These Delicious Cookies?

Posted by i-geek on 24 October 2010 - 08:25 AM

Oh I remember. I miss a lot but try not to think of it. It makes it harder for me because I have to avoid all grains, so even the gluten-free substitutes are off limits. If anyone has good grain-free recipes please let me know. I have some but all are from almond flour. I'm always on the lookout.


If you can eat peanuts, these are good: Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (scroll down for recipe). Last Christmas I made these with chocolate chips (maybe 1/2 cup? I can't remember) and they were a big hit. If you can't eat peanuts I don't see why they wouldn't work with other nut butters.
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#648440 Just Diagnosed: How To Keep Eating Enough?

Posted by i-geek on 22 October 2010 - 07:01 PM

I try and get protein and fat at breakfast (in the form of peanut butter on my rice cakes, eggs, cheese, whatever) so that I'm off to a good start.

Lunch is almost always leftovers from the previous night's safe and usually homemade dinner (e.g. last night's was gluten-free pasta salad with canned tuna, canned beans, diced cucumber and garlic-red wine vinaigrette). When I was first gluten-free and suffering from months (years, probably) of nutrient malabsorption, I was craving things like avocados for the fat and vitamins so I would often bring a whole avocado in my lunch and slice it up on my food (in fact I did this today since it went well with the tuna-pasta salad). I always make sure I bring a yogurt and piece of fruit or a Kind or Lara bar for an afternoon snack. If you're limiting dairy, So Delicious makes a good coconut milk yogurt. I ate that and soy yogurt for the first couple of months until my gut could handle dairy again.

I like to have a cup of herbal tea in the afternoon and find that ginger or peppermint tea help settle my stomach. I'm currently addicted to Tazo's Spicy Organic Ginger and Refresh (mint) blends.
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#647239 Are Some A Little Ocd?

Posted by i-geek on 18 October 2010 - 12:49 PM

To the OP: you know, it's funny. When I went gluten-free at the end of 2009 after being sick for months, I thought that people here must be OCD. Eating a salad after I'd picked the croutons off of it couldn't make me sick, that was crazy talk (until it happened: migraine, bloating, several days of GI distress, mouth sores, face breakouts, the works of my standard gluten reaction). Eating something that was made on shared equipment with wheat couldn't make me sick (until it did, and I had a multi-day migraine). Eating food that had been grilled on the same surface as bread should have been fine (I got a 3-day migraine with dry heaving from that one). I'm lactose intolerant (like the majority of adult humans), which becomes worse when I've been recently glutened, but I can easily tell the difference between lactose and gluten problems. The former doesn't result in migraines, sores/breakouts or multi-day bloating and digestive problems.

Point is: we're not OCD (well, I'm not at least, and I doubt the majority here are). We're doing what is necessary to keep ourselves safe. I don't shy away from doorknobs, but if I know that people have been eating sandwiches and then touching the same doorknob, you'd better believe I'm washing my hands before I touch anything that goes near my mouth.
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#645918 Can This Be Happening?

Posted by i-geek on 13 October 2010 - 03:54 AM

The boy is definitely a keeper. So thoughtful! :)
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#645398 Dining As A Gluten Free Guest

Posted by i-geek on 11 October 2010 - 06:45 AM

At this point my opinion is "screw 'em if they're offended". Admittedly I'm biased because last night I ate things that I wasn't sure about so as not to offend my parents-in-law and I started paying the price on the drive home (only CC this time, but still). I'm bringing my own food next time or insisting that they let us cook for them.
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#644804 Quaker Oats

Posted by i-geek on 08 October 2010 - 08:03 AM

Bob's Red Mill also sells gluten-free oats.
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