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Wheat Wacker

Trapped In Gluten Prison

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I'm new. diagnosed in April. I though It would be easy to avoid gluten foods, you know? no breads, cerals, beer, etc. I never realized the disease was this complex.

It seems managable for someone who lives in a built up city can cook in the safty of there own homes and shop at modern western shops. I however face a diffrent battle.

I'm a Tug Boat Captain, in Egypt. I'm form California, but work for an international supply boat company. I work with an 8 man Egytian crew, there nice guys but there stable is bread, battered fried anything, and baked sweets. we have a cook who I have been trying to communicate my needs with, but I'am still figuring out what I need. After reading about Cross contamination it seems that my battle is hopeless. I work in a remote part of Egypt in the middle of the dessert and join the Vessel for two months at a time then take a month off. There is know way to go to the store, and I can only get limited things from the ships supplier, I'm still working on that. I'am basically trapped in a prsion like compound surounded by gluten.

Being the captain is good becuase I have the power to simpley through everything off the boat and any person that challenges that discion. But I Feel that's the extreme last option. Does any one have any advise on my situation?

Things I have been eating- fruit, vegtable, penut butter, snikers bars, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, edam cheese.

I'm afraid to eat anything cooked becuase the pans are old scoured and I assume gluten infested.

Is it possible to de-glutenize pots and pans... how?

Thanks

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Wheat Wacker,

It sounds like you're eating better than the crew! Seriously, you may be better off in the long run being forced to eat fruits and veggies. That said, I'm sure they feel a lot more full, and it sounds like it's hard to put together a "balanced" meal.

It's hard to respond since I don't know what you have access to. Can you get ahold of canned goods? If so, maybe sardines or kippers from the can, canned soups (which you could just ask the cook to heat up in a pot), ethnic foods in a can, like thai or indian meals?

Sounds like this is a learning experience, albeit a painful one. Next time you ship out, you'll be able to prepare better. You can purchase clean pots ahead of time, and figure out what food to bring on board.

Good luck!

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Try the website below. I ran across this recently and hope it helps...

www.liveglutenfreely.com

click on the recipes link. It has a plenty of recipes to choose from...

As for the pots and pans, try scrubbing by hand and then putting in the dishwasher for a cycle before each use...until you can get your own set.

Wenmin

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How bad shape are the pots in? Can you give them a good scrub with steel wool and the strongest soap you can find? Also, how gluten-sensitive are you? It's kind of unusual to be so gluten-sensitive that residue on a freshly-scrubbed metal pot is troublesome. Then you just need to be sure that your cook knows to use a separate, clean spoon in something he's trying to make gluten-free.

If you can get clean pots, I'm sure you can find rice and beans to add to your diet. Aren't chickpeas and lentils popular in that part of the world? That should give you a little balance to go with the fruits, vegetables, and eggs, and cheese. Hummus with veggies or rice cakes is a gluten-free staple even in this part of the world!

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Rice, legumes and vegetables are also staples of Egyptian food. I cook a lot of North African food and usually it's just a matter of avoiding bread and pastry recipes and substituting rice for couscous. Does your cook do Tajines? That's sort of a slow cooked stew. If it's served with rice it should be gluten-free.

I think you need to embrace rice. Maybe you could buy one pot that is purely for your use. Tinned legumes would also be a good idea. If you mix them with rice they become a complete protein and can replace meat in your diet if necessary. Tinned vegetables may also help.

As for dessert, most Egyptian sweets are based on Filo pastry or Semolina so you need to avoid those. But Egyptians do a great traditional rice pudding. Maybe see if your chef can make one.

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Also, rice keeps very well in the fridge for a few days. I often cook up a big pot of rice and put most of it in the fridge. That way I can graze off it during the week. You can have it cold with beans, salad, canned fish or hard boiled eggs; Fry it up with onions and peas etc to make fried rice; toss it into the pot when you are heating up leftovers, or mix it with milk or eater and cook it as porridge for breakfast.

Yoghurt is really nice when mixed with hot rice.

I'll have a look at some of my North African/Middle Eastern cookbooks when I get home and see if anything else occrs to me.

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Thank you all for the repley's its been helpful. Yes they eat alot of beans, and rice, I actualoly got my hands on some brown rice, which is crazy. I ate really healthy before I got sick, the only gluten I really ate was from occational bread or pasta but mainly from muisli/granola that I would eat daily. I have always eaten alot of friuts and vegtables, I'am just worried about the cross contamination thing, if there's bread crumbs on the counter/cutting board, knife, could that make me sick. I'am not sure how senestive I'am yet since I'am newly diaganosed. I'm and Ex fisher man, so naturally there is a constant supply of freash fish on the boat, but the Egyptians insist on battering it which I never eat anyway. I have just been worried about the pots and pans and cross contamination,even if it's boiled or baked.

Hummus is my favorite, I have worked with 4 or five 5 diffirent cooks, here some of them very good, yet when I ask about hummus everbody looks at me funny? know body know hoew to make it. They do make a tahina galic sauce simlar to hummus with no chickpeas, it's good and I think gluten free unless the CC again. Again thanks for the advice, I wasn't sure if Gluten could survive a soap wash or not, that make me feel better, like I said I'am working on Implementing a system for my food and trying to get more stand by gluten free foods.

Thanks again

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The safest and easiest way for you to eat fish would be to seal a piece tightly in aluminium foil with some butter or olive oil. Then just toss it in the oven on a lowish heat for about 25 mins. Then it's done. No cc issues and heaps healthier than battered fish.

It takes very minimal effort so it shouldn't inconveience your cook too much. Sometimes I put other stuff in the foil with the fish - like green beans, spinach, carrots or pesto. They cook together just fine.

Or you can fry your fish in a frying pan on a piece of foil. That would solve the cc issue.

Hommus is traditionally gluten free. Ingredients are usually chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and maybe a few spices. Tahini sauce is made from the same ingredients but without the chickpeas. They should both be fine as long as they are made from scratch.

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I, have been trying to get pots and pans for a month but appreantly my health is not that important to this comapany. I was diagonsed with Celiac right before I left and unforutntly, I have to travel Internationaly to work, due to weight restrictions I can't bring much back. I did have the foresight to run by a health foods store and buy a bunch of gluten free bars and stuff, which I already ate. I also bought Some powdered super friuts and greens mixes and protien shake mixs, all gluten free of course, so I had some sort of nutrients to fall back on. I was hopeing to have things sorted by now, but It just keeps getting more complicated the more I research. My next step is to make standing orders for my Cook in regards to the galley.

So far it reads:

The Capt. Has a Disease that will cuase him to become ill if he eats even tiny amounts of bread flour pasta. The following are his orders:

1. Keep seprate plates, bowls, silverware, pots and pans for the Capt.

2. Wash these plates, Bowls, Silverware, pots and pans, with a seprate clean sponge and soap/bleach

3. When preparing Captains food there will be no flour or bread in the cooking area.

4. Do not touch or handle flour or bread when preparing the capt. food

5. Use a separate clean cutting board an knife when preparing ingredients, no flour, no bread crumbs.

If these orders are not followed all bread, flour and pasta will be removed form the vessel.

So that should be a good start, please any comments, or If I left anything out????

\Of course I will have to get this translated into Arabic so he can read it.

Thanks

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One suggestion. When you get off of the ship, go to the store and buy a microwave (small) for your cabin. (I think microwaves work in ships lol) Or, get a small rice cooker/crockpot.

Stock up on instant rice and steam-in-bag veggies. These things last forever! And, for meat, eat canned tuna fish and chicken.

The other items you listed are good.

But, you may very well have to get a designated pan in the kitchen and just order that nobody cooks on it, only you.

These reason I suggested instant rice was because if you're capn, you're going to be busy and won't have much time to cook.

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