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Ursa Major

Leaving For Cruise Tomorrow

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Well, we're leaving home at 5:00 AM tomorrow morning (driving to Toronto, flying to Montreal, and from there to Miami), and will board the cruise ship in the afternoon. We're going from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, then to Cozumel, Mexico and back to Miami. It's a four day cruise, that my husband's work is paying for (his group of executive personell recruiters and their spouses get this cruise as a reward for high production last year).

I sent them a list of things I can and cannot have, explained how serious these intolerances are and what they do to me, and have been assured that they'll keep me safe. I am supposed to give them another list when I board, and to work closely together with the Maitre'D.

I made sure that at the end of the list I put a note to the cook and kitchen personnel (in large, bold letters), telling them that I appreciate their efforts. And that I understand that accidents can happen, and as long as they do their best trying to keep me safe I have no intentions of suing them if they make a mistake.

Because if they are afraid of me, and are afraid of maybe losing their jobs in case of a mistake, they won't happily look after me. If they're happy about cooking for me, they will likely make much nicer food, and will dare to be a little more adventurous.

I will have my epi-pen and strong painkillers with me, just in case (and I very much hope I won't need to use any of them).

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Have a great cruise! :D

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I am sooooooo envious!!!! B) You are so lucky!

Have a great time, and make sure you print off that gluten free alcohol list so you know what you can have in the bar!!

On a side note, my sister lurks here occasionally (because I am still trying to convince her she has a gluten problem even though she had negative bloodwork). Anyway, she said to me that when she gave birth to her daughter Joanna (who is 18 now) at Toronto East General, there was an Ursula there with her who also just had a baby and she looked just like you......... thought you would like to know you have a twin (if in fact it wasn't you, of course.....) :P

Bon Voyage!


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Thanks everybody for your good wishes and prayers. Karen, I hate the taste of alcohol (and get drunk from the smallest amount), and will stick with water and chamomile tea.

I guess I have a twin then (it is said that everybody has one somewhere), because I never had a baby in Toronto, and my two youngest kids are 14 and 20 anyway. Strange, though, that my twin even shares my name!

Oh, that makes me wonder: How does your sister know what I look like? That maple leaf in my pic doesn't look a thing like me! :ph34r:

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She saw your model pic before you changed it..... I just got around to mentioning it.... Which reminds me, I have a few phone messages to give to my daughter from last week! (Brain fog sucks!)


OMG! OMG! OMG!!!!! Talk about a brain fog moment!!!!!!

Ursula, Rusla - Rusla, Ursula, no , wait, ummmmmm Rusla! That's weird! She saw Rusla's pic, but Wanda said the woman who looked like that and who gave birth at the hospital where she was at, her name was Ursula!

Wait, my brain is trying to wrap around this........


I give up..... :blink:


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Have a great cruise Ursula! I can't wait till March gets here and I fly to Jamaica.

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Sure, Rusla, are you trying to confuse me any more than I already am?? :huh::blink:

Okay, I think I got this straight. My sister saw your pic, Rusla, and said you looked like a girl who was in the hospital with her when she gave birth. But, this woman's name is Ursula...... Got it now! So, just to be clear, Ursula, you no longer have a twin, but Rusla, you do! :huh::blink:;)


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Aaawwww shucks, and I was actually excited about having a twin! :( Oh well.

Well, I'm sure I'll be safe on the cruise. The five days we will be staying somewhere in the keys are another matter.

Originally, when I asked Ken to get me into contact with the cruise representative, to make sure I was safe during the trip, Ken said, "Don't worry, I'm sure they'll be able to find something for you to eat, the buffet should be fine!"

And I told him that I'm not going unless I have had their personal assurance that I'm fine, and have let them know what I can and cannot eat. Because if they don't have it on board, it won't be there. So, he gave in and they have been a real blessing this far.

Okay, I wasn't thinking about the rest of next week. After the cruise, we're staying in Florida until Saturday. I was stressed, and I was testing foods, and my brain wasn't functioning. So, I didn't make a fuss and insist that Ken let the people in the place we're staying at know about my food problems. Meaning, I'll likely either have to fast for five days, or be back on codeine 24 hours a day with excruciating pain (not to mention all the gastrointestinal problems I'll be having, even if I will be able to stay away from gluten).

Ken told me that I have a very 'un-Christian attitude' (as in being negative), when I say that I know I won't be safe. He says, "trust me, it will be fine, we should be able to find you SOMETHING to eat!' Whenever he says, 'trust me', that's usually the time to not trust him at all.

Of course, since he booked a room, not a place with a stove to cook for myself, I'll be at the mercy of others.

Here is the list I printed for the cooks on the cruise. You read it and tell me that I will be safe without people having prior knowledge of me coming, and having prepared for the way I need to eat!

Food List for Ursula Stouffer

Forbidden Foods (even very small amounts will be a problem)

Wheat, rye, barley and oats and everything made with them. That includes most soy sauces, all regular breads, rolls, pies etc., gravies (but they can be thickened with arrowroot flour or tapioca flour). The bad ingredient of these flours is gluten, I have Celiac disease. Reading all labels is essential. Often gluten is hidden in things like brown rice syrup, vegetable protein, natural flavourings etc. If you didn’t make it from scratch, I’d rather not have it.

I can’t have any dairy products. That includes butter, milk, yoghurt, cream, whipped cream, ice cream.

I am intolerant to the nightshade family. Those include potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. And with peppers, I mean ALL of them, including paprika, chili etc.

I am intolerant to chocolate. I can’t have it in any shape or form. MSG is also a big problem.

I am intolerant to ALL grains, including rice and corn. I am also intolerant to all dried beans, peas, lentils, soy, peanuts and eggs. What all these have in common is, that they contain high amounts of lectins (which are also found in all the previously mentioned foods).

I am also intolerant to foods and drinks containing high amounts of salicylates. Unfortunately, these are in almost everything. The worst offenders are honey, all juices, most herbs and spices (I’ll list the ones I can have below), all teas (even fruit and herbal except for chamomile), coffee, zucchini, almonds, lemons, oranges, cherries, grapes, all berries, pineapples, olive oil, coconut (and coconut oil), mint (natural and artificial).

Allowed Foods (we’ve all been waiting for this)

Almost all meats and fish (exceptions are shellfish and organ meats). I eat meat for every meal (usually in a stir fry), otherwise I won’t have any energy. Yes, stir fry for breakfast (or leftovers from supper)!

I only drink water and occasionally chamomile tea (sweetened with maple syrup). Decaffeinated coffee is also fine.

The fruits I can have are pears and in small amounts golden delicious apples (both peeled, as the peel contains salicylates), and limes (great for fish and for salad dressing).

The only oil left to me is cold pressed sunflower oil (it really has to be cold pressed), and what I am cooking with is lard. I am bringing some oil with me. The only sweetener I can have is maple syrup.

The vegetables that are completely safe (even in large amounts as they contain no salicylates or lectins) are: Bamboo shoots, cabbage, celery, iceberg lettuce, rutabaga, kohlrabi.

I can have in limited amounts: Brussels sprouts, chives, shallots, green peas, leek, red cabbage.

In very small amounts: Fresh asparagus, beetroot, cauliflower, green beans, onion, turnip.

Seasonings that are allowed are: Sea salt. Parsley, garlic, dill and chives in small amounts.

Seeds and nuts: The only ones that are 100% okay are poppy seeds. Sunflower seeds and hazelnuts in small amounts are allowed.

The starches and flours I can tolerate in moderation are: Buckwheat (which is not a grain and totally unrelated to wheat), tapioca, arrowroot.

What will happen if I have any forbidden foods?

Gluten: I will get severe gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, stomach ache, nausea, excruciating cramps) from even a CRUMB of bread that accidentally lands on my food, or a dusting of flour from nearby baking. Even if you can’t see it, it will be a problem (and hand washing between touching flour products and my food is essential).

Dairy: Pretty much the same as gluten, except the reaction won't be delayed but immediate.

Lectins: Severe stomach ache, incapacitating pain in my hands, feet, knees. Diarrhea by the next day.

Salicylates: Generalized, burning body ache (everywhere, including the skin), headache, tooth ache.

All of the above: Brain fog, not being able to think clearly, depression, mood swings, irritability, angry outbursts.

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