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Goliadman

Going Crazy!

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Are many of you going crazy watching your spouse (in my case, my wife) with the significant limitations in the diet? I live in central Texas, and local stores are small with few items of Gluten-free items other than a number of flours, and crackers to deal with what she can eat. Meats are even suspect. We both are struggling just to work at our ages, middle age, and me at 64 also watching our younger daughter who is now suffering and disabled with severe systemic lupus of 12 years duration. Lupus has taken a huge toll on our daughter, and now this. I'm about to go "postal". Counselors can only do so much. We have not energy in the evenings to cook breads and all that sort of thing. We need better products. Even Ener-G, a popular online source of gluten-free breads have breads that are hard, and require toasting with butter to even approach edibility. The exclusion of wheat derived products just about wipes out the entire grocery shelf lines. So I'm a loss and we have poor support groups around here. Austin has the nearest big grocery with organic and gluten-free products, but is inconvenient and making constant trips there proves not only expensive on a regular basis, but the specialized foods have raised the costs of buying all such exclusive products. I have searched all over, and found very few things my wife likes at all. The crackers, cookies, and necessity for late night baking is a complete turn off, and very difficult for us to do. We are both exhausted and very stressed. I feel most here may have different tastes and some can tolerate this huge change better than others. What are your comments, or maybe some suggestions that might be a specific source of better, softer breads? (and other more palatable products.) Frito-Lay claims nearly all their chips and products are gluten free and largely safe. But who want to eat high carb crackers, hard breads, and snack bars all day? Going nuts in Texas.

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Where in central TX do you live? I'm from Burnet, but currently live in Georgetown, and have lived in Austin. I understand it seems hard to find a good selection of gluten-free products. If you are near Georgetown, there's a health food store on South Williams Drive called The Herbery. They sell more gluten-free products than Whole Foods, hands down, and aren't as expensive. They have all the baking mixes, quick mixes for dinner (like stroganoff, soup, etc), and many Kinnickinnick (did I spell that right?) products.

If finding the time to prepare gluten-free breads and such is troublesome and she's tired of starchy things, how about going gluten-free naturally? As in meats, fruits and veggies? That's what I've found is working better for me...I don't spend extra money on processed gluten-free things that might not taste good, plus it's all stuff my non-gluten-free boyfriend can/will also eat.

I hope that helps. :)

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First of all, Goliadman, kudos for taking your wife's health seriously and being such a supporting husband! ((hugs))

Like mightymorg said, the solution for me has been to eat mostly fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and meat and fish, eggs, nuts and raisins. I eat a lot of stir fry veggies and meat, and salads with canned tuna or salmon for lunch, and several pieces of fruit a day. I wouldn't go back to canned and bagged and packaged products even if I could, I'm liking my fresh diet so much!

Sometimes I make mini"pizza" with ricecrackers, topped with olives, goats cheese and spices, nuked in the microwave. :)

People here can also point you in the direction of regular products that happen to be gluten free, and companies that make gluten free bread that is better than the one you have been eating. As I'm not in the US I can't help you there that much.

Is your daughter also eating gluten free?

There's good food out there, don't give up hope!

pauliina

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I have recently read a book called Curing food allergies and it's pretty informative. I don't know if you have ever heard of Gerson Therapy. It explains that if you consume 13 glasses of fresh fruit and vegetable juices and make homemade soups with organic ingredients, it will eventually cure lupus and many other illnesses. I believe this. I don't think that searching for gluten free alternatives is the answer since they are man-made and processed and are still high carbs. I would live on a diet from mother earth for at least a year. If it's gluten free it doesn't mean it's healthy. I don't think that gluten free cookies, chips, and crackers are good for the body either. I would go back to mother nature and eat what god provided us and watch symptoms disappear...or you can get an Elisa food allergy/intolerance test to see what foods aren't good for you.. What may be your medicine may be another's poison. I knew a guy who was very violent and found he had allergies to tomatoes and dairy products. He's a new person now thanks to this discovery...

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Goliadman--

Are you able to order foods online? If so, I could recommend a ton...as for bread, one would be Kinnikinnick. (www.kinnikinnick.com) There is another thread going on here about how favored their breads are. My fav is the italian white tapioca. They also have other baked goods. I totally agree on Ener-g. They definitely win nastiest gluten-free bread in my book!!! There are options out there that are sooo much better. Another product, one of the most popular gluten-free rice pastas is Tinkyada. Some of the more popular, and my favorite gluten-free snacks/desserts are Nana Banana cookies, Enjoylife cookies, Namaste and gluten-free Pantry baking mixes (these are very easy to prepare), Lundberg rice chips (they also make a host of quick rice dishes etc), Mi-del arrowroot cookies (my ultimate fav), various Glutano chips and cookies, and Mrs. Mays nut snacks at gluten-free pantry. Gluten-free Pantry has a lot of baking mixes and they have a recipe book with a host of easy recipes from each mix. They also have several quick skillet meals you can make by just adding meat and cooking. You mentioned meats, those shouldn't be too hard to ck on. ie. Tyson fresh and frozen chicken breasts are gluten-free. Ground beef and fresh meats should be okay if no questionable additives are listed. Your situation sounds very frustrating! Is your daugther seeing a rhemy? Has she been tested for Celiac?

I find that in cooking, it is easiest to stick with 'whole' food items, meaning plain meats, veggies, nuts, fruits, rice, potatoes, cheese or yogurt (if you can tolerate it) etc, and then using spices and different techniques to 'dress them up.' ..and then supplementing those with a few of the 'processed' gluten-free products like a pasta, cookies, crackers.

If specific gluten-free brands are getting to be too expensive, stick with mainstream brands that have helpful labeling, like Kraft for instance. They will list any form on gluten on their labels. So if you pick up any of their products, salad dressing, barbeque sauce, you can simply check the label and the product should be okay if no gluten is listed.

Those are a few thoughts off the top of my head. Any thing more specific ? I can give you web addresses for products too if you want to order online. Oh--and if you are interested in going that route, its not "cheap", but there is a gluten-free store in Milwaukee that ships and they have a HUGE selection of gluten-free products. I've ordered there several times.

Edited by jenvan

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My husband has one day off a week and he spends the whole day (almost) cooking for me so I have plenty of food for the week when we are always busy with three kids, from different marriages, different schedules, activities, etc. I come home and warm up the main dish and then add the sides so dinner is ready at a reasonable time. I bake bread on a weekend day and try to make enough for a week or two. I freeze slices in bags of 2 so they are easy to use.

We also stick with plain meat (I have a special homemade salt I add to almost everything), plain canned veggies, potatoes (which I nuke before cooking to decrease the cooking time), soups, stews, stuff that can be made and frozen, etc.

We have found that if we plan our meals for the week (I had to learn) then we do much better.

Hope some of these help...keep on trying.

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Other good mail order brands are breads by anna www.glutenevolution.com, cause you're special (good biscuits and yellow cake) and 123 gluten free (yummy pancakes and brownies). Shipping isn't too bad and it'll save you a trip to austin, cause whole foods is pretty expensive and a lot of their bakery stuff is loaded with milk and soy, which can often cause issues for celiacs, too. If you're near georgetown, definately check out the herbery, they have a great selection of kinnikinnik breads, which are, in my opinion, a lot better than energ. I had a hard time shopping at TX walmarts, personally, but some HEB's even have gluten-free sections, and most have a good selection of minimally processed meats and such, like I know that there is at least one brand of chicken there (can't remember the name, sorry) that is ok due to having no extra broth or anything. Look on here for lists of the mainstream brands that you can buy... there may be more out there to eat than you think... just hang in there because there is a pretty big learning curve on this, but once you get the hang of it you'll be ok!

oh, also central market (also in austin, but part of HEB) does gluten-free grocery store tours a couple of times a month... you might want to find out if they have any plans to start doing this in their regular stores, it might give you some good new ideas.

heather

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Oh, and the mention of walmart reminded me, in case you didn’t know, they have begun labeling of all their gluten-free products—so you can start looking at your local walmart for gluten free markings on their packages. That is a lower priced alternative for you…

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The only thing I use as bread are Vans Gluten Free waffels, Kinda strange but I love um! I just pop them in the toaster and do what I want with them like: PB&js, Mini Pizzas, turkey melts, garlic bread, hamburgers, or whatever kind of sandwich I want. But I make my burgers and sandwiches open, just one waffel, and they are not sweet so even though it may look and sound strange it taste just fine, and those little squares hold the mayo or pizza sauce real good too! Vans are sold most anyplace that carries any gluten-free food but they should have a website with a location finder on it if I remember right! Hope this is of some help to someone! By the way, I wish I was lucky enough to have a guy who actually gives a damn about my diet, you are a good man!

-Jennifer

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Raw meats in general are NOT suspect, unless there are other food problems to worry about. If a raw meat doesn't list obvious gluten, it's gluten-free.

richard

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Ditto what Richard said on the meat. I generally don't buy any specialty gluten-free stuff anyway. I focus on meat, vegetables, fruit, rice, and beans. I'll get the gluten-free grains like millet, quinoa, and buckwheat, but that stuff is becoming easier to find in mainstream stores - particularly quinoa.

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Are many of you going crazy watching your spouse (in my case, my wife) with the significant limitations in the diet? I live in central Texas, and local stores are small with few items of Gluten-free items other than a number of flours, and crackers to deal with what she can eat. Meats are even suspect. We both are struggling just to work at our ages, middle age, and me at 64 also watching our younger daughter who is now suffering and disabled with severe systemic lupus of 12 years duration. Lupus has taken a huge toll on our daughter, and now this. I'm about to go "postal". Counselors can only do so much. We have not energy in the evenings to cook breads and all that sort of thing. We need better products. Even Ener-G, a popular online source of gluten-free breads have breads that are hard, and require toasting with butter to even approach edibility. The exclusion of wheat derived products just about wipes out the entire grocery shelf lines. So I'm a loss and we have poor support groups around here. Austin has the nearest big grocery with organic and gluten-free products, but is inconvenient and making constant trips there proves not only expensive on a regular basis, but the specialized foods have raised the costs of buying all such exclusive products. I have searched all over, and found very few things my wife likes at all. The crackers, cookies, and necessity for late night baking is a complete turn off, and very difficult for us to do. We are both exhausted and very stressed. I feel most here may have different tastes and some can tolerate this huge change better than others. What are your comments, or maybe some suggestions that might be a specific source of better, softer breads? (and other more palatable products.) Frito-Lay claims nearly all their chips and products are gluten free and largely safe. But who want to eat high carb crackers, hard breads, and snack bars all day? Going nuts in Texas.

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Are many of you going crazy watching your spouse (in my case, my wife) with the significant limitations in the diet?

I stopped thinking about wheat and looking for substitutes. A few billion people on this earth do not use wheat as a main stay.

A few helpful hints from this end of the planet.

I invested n a quart size slow cooker. I can make a few basic things, then have left overs, for example:

grits. I cook up a batch and have them later with cheddar cheese or maple syrup and butter. ( its called hasty pudding)

I also make Indian pudding with a little orange peel and raisins. Again, I pull it out microwave and have a few meals. I often use lactose free milk.

Other nights, I bake potatoes and save a few for the moring for hash browns. We used to make a scraple at camp- onions chopped with baked potato and scrambled egg mixed in.

Another slow cooker are baked beans. Love that molasses for iron content. Make some extra. My quick meal at home is cooked rice with baked beans, covered with salsa and cheese. Makes a fast meal for the exhausted.

The exhaustion is so debilitating. Thats why I try to make a few meals at once. Or I will start the slow cooker in the the morning because by night fall I cannot face cooking.

If a slow cooker ( I got mine for 10 bucks) doesn't fit, try a good cast iron pot with a top and slow cook in the oven.

Then their are lentils. They cook faster than beens. Just remember to use salt with all this stuff and check a real old fashion cook book for recipes. Most of the new stuff is writen by dummies who don't put enough water to grian in the recipes.

Best wishes.

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I am in the Austin area as well and I have to second what Mightymorg said...ther Herbery is great and if you do ever make it into Austin on occasion Wildwood Art Cafe (Bee Caves Road.) has plenty of Gluten Free foods..it is one of my favorite places in Austin...also you can order from Kinnikinnick on line...and I have yet to find something from them that I do not like. Hope this helpes some!

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Two years ago when my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease we purchased a Breadman bread machine. We use the Gluten Free pantry bread mixes (purchased from Whole Foods, or mail order Gluten Free Pantry or believe it or not "Pathmark Supermarket.") You can make your dough one night and immediately put it in the refrigerator and bake it the next night. (make the dough, don't let it rise; refrigerate; take out next evening, let rise for about an hour at room temperature, then bake either in regular oven or in bread machine).

The crock pot idea sounds good: making a pot roast with just carrots and potatoes with water.

The lentil idea sounds good. Make enough for several nights. PUt in large pot: Lentils, water, salt, tomato sauce, powered spices like garlic or onion. Put in a lot more water than lentils. Let that come to a boil then reduce flame and let simmer for about a half hour. meanwhile cook large amount of gluten free pasta like elbows. When both are done, serve by making bowl of elbows and pour your cooked lentil mixture over it. Healthy, low to no fat unless you add a little olive oil in lentils. Serve with a tossed salad and you'll have a lot of lentil and gluten-free elbows as left overs.

:)

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I have not found this diet hard at all, as I have discovered over the course of 5-7 years I was slowly eliminating gluten without even realizing it. We ahve 4 boys under the age of 12 and are a ON the GO family!!! Quick and easy is my way of life. Some gluten free staples in our house are

Delimex Brand Beef Taquitos

Thai Kitchen Stir fry noodles

fresh meats (either grilled on George Foreman or a variety of casseroles dishes I have)

Fresh veggies and fruits

Idahoan Premium Mashed Potato flakes

Cocoa Pebbles (for me mostly, I hide them from the kids... :blink: )

Corn Tortilla chips and salsa, guacamole (SO easy to make!!!), a sour cream/salsa dip, or homemade cheese sauce that takes 5minutes

Hormel ham and bacon (they told me it was gluten-free)

Homemade soups, baked potato, cheesy veggie, clam chowder and beef stew are the most used here ....I can put on some of my recipes if wanted and they take 10 minutes to throw together

I snack on mixed nuts, almonds, cashews, etc.... (chocolate too!! :P ) and have recently started ordering Glutino Pretzels by the case. Lundberg Farms rice chips are EXCELLENT!!! The seaweed ones and the pico de gallo...YUMMMMMMMYYYYyyyyy!!!!

You could also talk to the manager at your local grocery and tell them some of the products I have listed, if they don't carry them already they could order them for you. My grocery store orders things all the time that various people request.

New things that I have found in the last month or so are the Chebe mixes. Make excellent crackers, rolll out very thin and bake until dark golden brown, then cool and break into pieces, these keep for a while in a baggie, so you wouldn't ahve to bake them every week.

Also search for a gluten-free bakery, most of htem will ship to you for a nominal fee. One about an hour away ships for $5 to my friend.

I have found that this is just an overall healthier way to live. Eat things that are more as they were created by nature, the boxed and pre-packaged things are so unhealthy anyway.

Good luck.....

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About the only expensive items my wife and I buy are the meats. I am semi-retired and my wife works from home. I do most of the cooking and my wife eats most of the same meals I do. I bake my own bread or buy a few bread items from Good Foods. I decided from the beginning I was not going to depend on convenience items. First of all it is too expensive. Second there aren't that many choices. We eat mainly meats(beef, chicken, pork and fish), veggies (fresh, frozen, canned) fruits, dairy(milk,cheese), bread (gluten-free rice or corn), water,juice,soft drinks, coffee or tea. We buy some of the meat items in bulk and freeze. We thaw a few different meat items at a time in the fridge. The crock pot is an excellent vehicle to combine meat and veggies ( also limits cleanup). I make bar-b-que in the crock pot. Leftovers are welcome and helps reduce the overall cost. Cooking is a must. It is one of the most important aspects of healthy dining. If you don't want to or don't know how you should learn because unless you have deep pockets it is difficult to have to depend on processed items. I have been on the diet for 7 months and have not been glutened a single time! Being able to multi-task is very important. I do not spend all day cooking. In the long run we actually save money on food because now nothing is wasted. There are enough items like potato and corn chips or an occasional candy bar to to tide me over if I'm not far from home. Dining out has been my biggest issue. I have finally done it and was not bad. Once again it is not cheap. You should sit down and chart out a sample menu for a week and work from there. Instead of fried or scrambled eggs boil a few and she can have one or two with fruit or gluten-free toast . Cook enough of something the night before and have for lunch the next day. I have found enough speciality items (Organ brand pasta made with rice and corn ) to satisfy that urge and it is easy to fix with meat and sauce. Since you are in Austin I suppose you like Tex-Mex. Tacos or other corn tortilla dishes would be ok. I eat chili at least once a week. The answers for you are out there. Take control of the diet and I know your wife will appreciate it. I am 55 years old and don't look foward to cooking but do it because it is the best and cheapest way. Good luck to you.

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