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ppatin

Cooking Question

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I just learned yesterday that a someone I've started seeing has Celiac disease, and I was wondering how careful I have to be when cooking for her. We went out for drinks once, and she said that she shouldn't really have beer, but she tried a sip of mine to see what it was like. Because of this I assumed that small amounts of gluten weren't a big deal, but after doing some reading about it today it sounds like even a tiny bit of contamination can be disastrous. Is it possible to have a "mild" form of celiac disease where exposure to small amounts of gluten won't really harm you, or do I always have to be super-careful when I have her over for dinner? Obvisously I'll be asking her this myself, but I figured I should do some research on my own as well.

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I just learned yesterday that a someone I've started seeing has Celiac disease, and I was wondering how careful I have to be when cooking for her. We went out for drinks once, and she said that she shouldn't really have beer, but she tried a sip of mine to see what it was like. Because of this I assumed that small amounts of gluten weren't a big deal, but after doing some reading about it today it sounds like even a tiny bit of contamination can be disastrous. Is it possible to have a "mild" form of celiac disease where exposure to small amounts of gluten won't really harm you, or do I always have to be super-careful when I have her over for dinner? Obvisously I'll be asking her this myself, but I figured I should do some research on my own as well.

Welcome and so glad you are doing some research on her behalf.

Celiac is all or nothing. There are no minor forms of celiac although the damage done can run from slight to total flattening of the villi. No amount of gluten can be tolerated without causing damage.

When a celiac consumed gluten, the protein in the gluten will kick off an autoimmune reaction which turns the body against itself and causes the symptoms and damage. In other words, one crumb or a whole pizza will create the same havoc in your intestines.

In your words, being super careful is a must.

There are some wonderful recipe's here that you can try. And I'm sure that she will be impressed.

Welcome again and always, feel free to ask away.

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Thank you for the reply. How thoroughly do I have to clean pots or dishes that may have had glutten containing foods in them? Is a good scrub with soap and water enough or a run through the dish washer enough?

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You'd probably want to use a comet-like scrub for pans or things that have gluten essentially cooked into them. Dishes are fine through the dishwasher, unless you run them with a pot you just cooked pasta in....

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Thank you for the reply. How thoroughly do I have to clean pots or dishes that may have had glutten containing foods in them? Is a good scrub with soap and water enough or a run through the dish washer enough?

A good rinse and the dishwasher should do it. Scratched Teflon pans can hide gluten and I choose to get rid of my wooded spoons. Don't share the toaster. Charcoal Briquets may have gluten in them.

I would start with simple foods. And there is no need to be deprived of good tasting foods either.

Fresh unprepared meats, seafood, rice, potatoes, fresh steamed veggies, eggs. All of Mrs. Dash's Seasonings are gluten free and I use them all the time. LaChoy soy sauce is gluten free.....could go on and on.

NoGluGirl (a member here) has a wonder list of main stream food products, that I am sure she will get to you.

Hope this was helpful.

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The beer sip wasn't good for her. This can be such a socially frustrating and limiting condition that sometimes we just get irritated that we can't have what other people can or don't want people to think we're making too big of a deal, and take a chance. We usually pay for it in one way or another. Hopefully she skated through on that one.

You might want to try finding a gluten-free beer made by Anheuser Busch called Redbridge - see the ad to the right - in your area. They just released it a couple months ago, so it's not available in all areas yet.

If you have stainless steel pans, that's the best. When I first went gluten-free, I was the only one in my house that was gluten-free, so I bought a cheap small stainless pan and a cheap small stainless pot and cooked out of those a lot. That way if my husband forgot and used one of them, I wasn't going to have to worry. Just scrub it out. Teflon can hold gluten in the scratches.

Other cooking things that you should have a "gluten-free only" one of are - cutting board, wooden spoon if you use them and strainer.

If you have a Whole Foods near you, they have a Gluten-Free Bakery brand in the bakery area and some stuff like gluten-free pizza crusts in the frozen food area. Most healthfood stores have at least a few gluten-free products as well.

That is so cool that you're looking into all of this so you can cook for her.

Nancy

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Thanks again for all the advice. Do you know if cast iron pans are a problem? They're not supposed to be cleaned with soap, and they're made of a kind of porous substance, so I'm thinking that I should probably avoid using them.

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What a wonderful friend you are! You remind me of my friend who cooked for me the first week of my diagnosis. She went to Wild Oats and we had a great meal and companionship. That's what is important,too. Not being afraid to have "us" over....and to be careful for us! One couple completely backed out of our dinner plans at their house, and they are in the medical field!

Kudos to you !

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Dear ppatin,

It is wonderful you are taking the initiative and being courteous toward the woman you are dating. A speck of gluten makes me violently ill. Even if people do not get gastrointestinal symptoms, it can be damaging to their body. Eventually, the end up with diabetes, a destroyed digestive tract, thyroid trouble, possibly even intestinal cancer! :( This is a potentially deadly illness. The good news is, diet is the fix. However, it can be tricky.

You cannot use any utensils or pans that you have cooked gluten containing food in unless they are thoroughly cleaned and not scratched Teflon. My idea is, you are likely on a budget, as I am. So, getting just some basics is smart. I would go with either a wok (very versatile) or a large skillet/frying pan. A spatula, a spoon (metal or plastic or wood is your choice!) All of these should be new. Also, a mixing bowl is a good idea. Keep them in an airtight container to use when she is coming. That way, they cannot be contaminated by flour and crumbs. ;) Something else you could do instead is just get the utensils and bowl, and then just use aluminum disposable pans when you cook for her. Aluminum poisoning is a concern for me, though. I watch that when possible! Oh, yeah, and watch where you lay the soda bottle cap. I got glutened yesturday because my parents are inconsiderate and not gluten-free, and my father lays the soda bottle cap down wherever. I was fine until I drank the soda. I drank it when it was first opened (by me) and I was fine!) Having separate condiments is a good idea as well. If you use the same ketchup on her fries as you used on a sandwich, it could make her sick.

I have a list that should really help. This is overwhelming. I went through this with myself six months ago. You spend most of your day cooking and cleaning obsessively. The rest you are on the phone with reps from companies trying to find out what is safe. I decided to save you the trouble!

1. There are a number of things in the regular grocery that are safe. Some things are labeled already. Wal-Mart's Great Value brand has numerous things you can eat.

2. For the love of God use Coupons on items you are allowed to eat. People can get them and print them out online even. Call some of the local stores and ask if they accept online coupons.

3. Check the ads online and in the newspaper. You would be surprised how many people do not do this.

4. Some items like rice flour and rice noodles are safe to buy at the Chinese or oriental market. The merchants are more than happy to help you if you cannot read the label.

Now, here is my list of great things to get you started:

Condiments:

Smart Balance Margerine

Crisco Shortening

Crisco Oil

Pompeiian Olive Oil

Great Value soy sauce

Heinz Ketchup

Lea & Perrins Worchestershire Sauce

Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce

Kraft French Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Kraft Thousand Island Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Pace Picante Sauce

Ortega Salsa

All Classico Red and White sauces

All Jif Peanut Butters including Smooth Sensations

Welch's Grape Jelly

Cool Whip

Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Miracle Whip

Daisy Sour Cream (fat-free, low-fat, regular)

Snack Foods:

Utz Potato Chips (Found at Sam's Wholesale Club)

Lay's Stax (all others are not made in a dedicated facility, cc is possible)

Cool Ranch Doritos (Nacho cheese has gluten)

Act II Microwave Popcorn

Cheetos

3 Musketeers candy bars

Butterfinger candy bars

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Meat and Protein :

Eggs

Great Value Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Extra Lean ground beef

Carl Buddig lunchmeats all are safe

Johnsonville Original Bratwursts

Kraft Cheese Shredded or sliced (Kraft is a great company, they never hide gluten in their labels. If it does not say wheat, barley, oats or rye, then it is not in there!)

Cereals:

Cocoa Pebbles

Fruity Pebbles

Dora The Explorer Cinnamon Stars

Seasonings:

Durkee Cinnamon-ground

Durkee Ginger-ground

Durkee Chili powder

Durkee Vanilla Extract (in fact, all of their liquid flavorings, food colorings, and extracts are g.f.)

Emeril's Essence - Asian, Italian

Ortega Taco Seasoning (In fact, since they are under a very strict labeling policy, all of their products are gluten free at this time)

Miscellaneous:

Ortega Taco Shells

Starkist or Great Value Tuna

Butter Buds

Great Value Soy Milk

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Apples

Pears

Carrots

Great Value Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Del Monte Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Ore Ida Tater Tots

Ore Ida French Fries

Hormel Chili

Hormel Spam

Hormel Turkey Spam (Oven Roasted and Smoked)

Jimmy Dean Fresh Taste Fast Sausage (links, rolls, and patties)

Plumrose Bacon

PAM Non-Stick Cooking Spray (all except for PAM for baking; it has flour)

Beverages:

Coca-Cola (Diet, Regular, Vanilla, Caffeine Free)

Diet Rite

Folgers Coffees (all including Cappuccinos)

Luzianne Tea (We get decaf)

Arizona Teas

Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice

Some Household Items that are safe include:

Cascade Dishwashing Detergent

All Laundry Detergent

Wisk Laundry Detergent

Dawn Dish Soap (all including the Power Disolver)

SoftSoap Hand Soaps

Murphy's Oil Soap

Hygiene, Cosmetics, and Beauty Items:

Dove Soaps, Shampoos, Conditioners, Lotions, and Styling Aids (Will clearly label gluten if present)

Crest Whitening Expressions Toothpastes

Colgate Toothpastes

Suave Soaps, Shampoos, Conditioners, Lotions, and Styling Aids (Will clearly label gluten if present)

Maybelline (Gluten is clearly labeled when present)

CoverGirl (Gluten is clearly labeled when present)

Wet'n Wild (All except for one of the mascaras)

Olay Quench Body Lotion

Crest WhiteStrips

Colgate Simply White

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

P.S. To make it easier to distinguish between her stuff and yours, get those little colored dot stickers in the stationary department of the store. You can put dots on her stuff to remind you not to use it to avoid cc!

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Yes. Cast iron should be avoided. See, you're getting the hang of it. :)

Nancy

LOL...

Actually I think if they were a celiacs pans its possible to clean them ... basically using a drill and emery paper and actually taking off the layer then use oven cleaner in the oven and repeat and then re-annealing the pan with oil like you do when they are new....

However... overall... if your cooking for someone who thinks its OK to have a sip of beer and cheats on a regular basis then all your efforts are a bit pointless.... :ph34r: at the same time its wonderful you are taking the time....

I had a similar situation in a way.... I have a friend who's sister "used to be" celiac. I did try and explain there is no such thing as "used to be" ... you either are or you are not and absense of symptoms doesn't mean its not hurting you.

However some people will not want to believe this... or not care...

Its really hard... ?? Its like having a friend who is obese... in some ways if they come for dinner I would feel I don't want to actively contribute to killing them... or having a friend who's sick and can't leave the house asking you to collect some cigarettes?

Momma Goose already said this in a down to earth fashion... a sip of beer or a crumb will start the process just as much as a whole pizza...

The problem is the process it starts is a long process.... that takes weeks to run the cycle so if your friend is eating a small amount of gluten on even a weekly basis its probably no better for her than not bothing with the diet at all.

One of my life rules as it were is I don't do something for someone they wouldn't do for themselves... at least not on a regular basis. My mind is fuzzy so I'm rambling sorry... what I'm trying to say is your friend really needs to accept she can't cheat... and in a way you going to all the effort is in some ways contributing to her idea its OK...

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This is why I love the internet. Two days ago I was only vaguely aware that celiac disease even existed & now I'm getting answers to every question I could think of asking about it.

The whole sip of beer issue really surprised me. At this point we've only known each other for a few weeks so I don't really feel like I have the right to start questioning her about what she chooses to eat, but I'm surprised she did something that's so potentially unhealthy. I don't want to put anything too personal about someone else online, but from everything I know about her so far she doesn't seem at all like the type of person who'd just ignore potential food dangers. Anyways, thanks again to everyone who gave cooking advice though, it's good to know that I need to be really careful.

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if she was diagnosed a long time ago and hasn't stayed up with the new info that is being discovered about celiac, she may not know that a "little bit of cheating" really is not ok. there have been people on this board that have had their doctor tell them a little cheating was ok. she also may have been a little embarrassed about the whole thing because she only just met you.

it may possibly be that she will feel a sence of relief to know that you are so willing to accept her condition and that you are so willing to help her to keep herself "safe". we all like to know that someone cares about us.

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if she was diagnosed a long time ago and hasn't stayed up with the new info that is being discovered about celiac, she may not know that a "little bit of cheating" really is not ok. there have been people on this board that have had their doctor tell them a little cheating was ok. she also may have been a little embarrassed about the whole thing because she only just met you.

it may possibly be that she will feel a sence of relief to know that you are so willing to accept her condition and that you are so willing to help her to keep herself "safe". we all like to know that someone cares about us.

Yep this is really true...

The friends sister I talked about was diagnosed as a child and back then celiac disease was considered a "childhood illness" ....

ppatin:

Your really a great person... and I completely understand why you'd find it hard to say something.... seriously I have old friends who still think I can sip a beer... its one of the weirdest things about the disease... Ive got friends who really care for me but just can't get over the celiac disease thing... and then other friends who I don't know so long who are like you...

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Yep this is really true...

The friends sister I talked about was diagnosed as a child and back then celiac disease was considered a "childhood illness" ....

ppatin:

Your really a great person... and I completely understand why you'd find it hard to say something.... seriously I have old friends who still think I can sip a beer... its one of the weirdest things about the disease... Ive got friends who really care for me but just can't get over the celiac disease thing... and then other friends who I don't know so long who are like you...

Dear gfp,

My family and friends are like that as well. They still do not get it! They do not realize how important being so careful is. It may make me look paranoid, but it is better than being sick. Unless people actually deal with this illness, they have no idea what it is like. They have never gotten sick from coke because someone contaminated it by putting the lid face down on the crumb filling counter, or from drinking their drink which someone else inconsiderately poured their cereal or buttered their toast on top if it. :( One little microscopic speck is all it takes!

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

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Actually I think if they were a celiacs pans its possible to clean them ... basically using a drill and emery paper and actually taking off the layer then use oven cleaner in the oven and repeat and then re-annealing the pan with oil like you do when they are new....

at that point it's easier to buy new...... :rolleyes:

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at that point it's easier to buy new...... :rolleyes:

Its not as much hassle as it sounds.... but its equally not something to do every week....or you'll soon have no pan left...

If you are the sorta person has that stuff lying about anyway :D

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I just learned yesterday that a someone I've started seeing has Celiac disease, and I was wondering how careful I have to be when cooking for her. We went out for drinks once, and she said that she shouldn't really have beer, but she tried a sip of mine to see what it was like. Because of this I assumed that small amounts of gluten weren't a big deal, but after doing some reading about it today it sounds like even a tiny bit of contamination can be disastrous. Is it possible to have a "mild" form of celiac disease where exposure to small amounts of gluten won't really harm you, or do I always have to be super-careful when I have her over for dinner? Obvisously I'll be asking her this myself, but I figured I should do some research on my own as well.

I see this is an old post, but I just saw my doc, and I am new to this , but she did say to me that (one crumb is = to a whole loaf) so no amount how ever small is good to injest. So my advise is yes super careful, is the way to be. I know for me, being a celiac, not even a taste will I take, as it can harm me. hth you with you'r question. :) have a great day!

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she also may have been a little embarrassed about the whole thing because she only just met you.

I have eaten things from embarrassment. Back in the days when it was "only" an allergy to several key ingredients in a lot of things, I took my kids to a friend's house to play with her kids. We stayed for lunch, as she had taken great measures to make something safe for me. As she was wrapping up preparations, she slathered my sandwich in mayo after I had just told her I am allergic to eggs. I about died! I didn't know what to do, so I ate the sandwich, let my kids play with hers for about an hour, and then went home, put in a movie for the kids and went to bed. And then to the bathroom. And then back to bed. And then back to the bathroom. Rinse and repeat.

I am no longer willing to put up and shut up, but there was a time when I didn't have my routine down for dealing with eating away from home and would go ahead and eat things that made me sick. Now I just don't eat away from home unless I bring my own food.

Anyway, I think it's great whenever anyone is willing to make such a thorough effort for someone else.

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I think you are AWESOME to make the effort to come to this forum to make sure her health is secure. So many of us have friends as well as family who don't care enough to do the same. You've received a lot of great information here. Have great dinners togethers and keep her healthy in spite of herself!

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Even if this is an old post, I'd like to thank NoGluGirl for the starter list. I'm compiling a huge list of gluten-free food and restaurant information for myself but this would be great to send to my family members. They are always wanting to make sure they have food around that I can safely eat, but they get confused on the issues of dextrin, modified corn starch, caramel color, and many of the places gluten can "hide." They are trying hard and I'd like to make it easy on them. Again, thank you.

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This is why I love the internet. Two days ago I was only vaguely aware that celiac disease even existed & now I'm getting answers to every question I could think of asking about it.

The whole sip of beer issue really surprised me. At this point we've only known each other for a few weeks so I don't really feel like I have the right to start questioning her about what she chooses to eat, but I'm surprised she did something that's so potentially unhealthy. I don't want to put anything too personal about someone else online, but from everything I know about her so far she doesn't seem at all like the type of person who'd just ignore potential food dangers. Anyways, thanks again to everyone who gave cooking advice though, it's good to know that I need to be really careful.

When it comes to Celiacs disease many people just don't get it, even some Celiacs, I think we can call it denial of sorts. Sometimes it takes awhile for a Celiac to realize that thier tiny indulgances are really very hazardous to thier health. It took my wife several years to understand the seriousness until she got completely fed up with the discomfort. Mind you her doctor could have educated her a little better on Celiacs disease. Maybe mention to your friend that you've been researching Celiac's disease and tell her what you have found out. She just may not know the issues. My wife didn't until a few years ago and now we are a gluten free household.

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