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LivesIntheSun

Gluten Making Me Uproot Myself

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From a purely "gluten" perspective, Andalucia in Spain would not be my first choice. They fry everything, usually with flour.

You can ask for food plain "a la plancha", and I think you'd get better results than in Colombia, but there are other parts of Spain where you'd be safer. What about Valencia/Murcia? They are very vegetable/paella oriented. Also Madrid/Barcelona are the most cosmopolitan and "food aware".

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Thanks for your kind words Foogirlsmom. So are you generally Paleo now then? I'd be really interested to know what brand of shake you buy.

I've been "off the map" for the last week after another glutening- switched off phone, unplugged computer, just tried to wait it out, I can't trust myself not to do or say stupid things when I'm like that.

Sorry it took me so long to reply. I've been off the board here for about 2 months. Busy!

Unfortunately, I have not located a gluten free shake mix (yet) that I can use. The reason is that I'm highly reactive to soy (except soy lecithin). There are mixes out there I can try but with my husband still unemployed, and not used to our normal income, I am reticent to invest $20+ on something I might hate. I need to do my research because I prefer it is also low carbohydrate.

You asked about Paleo-- yes---I'm back to that. When I first went gluten-free in October I could not handle proteins very well and gravitated more toward a balance of gluten-free grains, meats, veggies & fruits. It has taken 5 months of healing for me to be able to go back to the Paleo/Atkins type of diet. I've been on it a week now and I feel TERRIFIC. Someone posted in the Coping section about Candida and Gluten. Candida overgrowth was the first major health meltdown I had. It was in the 90s that I figured out that a lower carb diet (and if I ate grains make sure it was quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth or millet) healed me up. I never made the gluten connection until last October. Being on a meat/veggie diet makes me feel awful for about 3-5 days, then I receive a burst of energy and I feel healthy/normal again. I feel better right now than I have in 2 years (when I went off Paleo and was eating gluten & carbs again)

If I solve my shake mix dilemma, I'll post it to the Coping page.

Take Care,

FooGirlsMom

If I f

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Hi Foogirlsmum,

I'm very interested in your success with the Paleo Diet. As I said, I've also had a big problem with candida. I had years of cystitis and bladder problems until I was recommended to try an anti-candida diet. I found that no sugar, alcohol, refined carbs or fruit was enough to heal my bladder, and I do wonder if going totally paleo would be even better for my health in general. But I have tried it and I just couldn't cope with the hunger. I had to eat such large amounts of meat and consume so much oil to fel satiated (and even then I didn't, all I could think about was food), it wasn't good. I was weak and very hungry, and I didn't like eating such huge amounts of meat so often. But I was inspired by you saying that you felt bad for a few days but then much better. My question is, what exactly do you eat and how do you avoid too much repetition? Do you find that you have to eat very large amounts of meat to ward off hunger? Have you cut out lentils and beans too?

Thanks!

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A few thoughts, fellow travel mate.

I am very stubborn. I try to make life work for me. Captian of my ship. Squarely at the wheel. Not going to let a little thing like gluten interfere with my life, right?

But I'm coming around to seeing, as you have, how difficult it is to live a gluten free life. Maybe I'm not in charge after all. Not in this round, anyway.

Having said that, please don't give up your life in Columbia if you really love it that much. Have things shipped in. Budget a package that your mother sends you every month full of good products. Befriend a local butcher, baker, candlestick maker----whomever you need to talk to and see if you can't recruit the right people to make it work. I know how hard it is to be abroad and try to eat gluten-free. Trust me, I know. But it's not impossible---not if your life really works for you where you are. Be creative in your problem solving.

Maybe you've already tried this...and if so... I'll hang up my flag. I am thinking of leaving my travel job for the same reason, but I have a whole lot less control over my environment than you do---as I travel all over, from one place to another quite a bit. If you really can't make it work, then there's no way out, except to move.

But do it when there is no other alternative left open to you. That way, when you move, you won't have any regrets.

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Hey MEH, thanks for the solidarity!

I felt, like you did, that something like gluten wasn't going to affect what I did and where. But really, I'm busting my a** trying to be 100% gluten free, and I manage it 99 times out of 100, but the hundredth time where I get glutened, I get really sick, and I'm bouncing back more slowly every time and I'm scared. And food being so omnipresent, the 100th time comes around pretty quickly. The thing is, as butterfl8 pointed out, its all about making choices. And my choice seems to be between being here, the only person I know with a problem with gluten, no awareness at all (except for those I've eduated ;) ) , not eating anything I haven't prepared myself from scratch (but even nuts, packets of lentils, ground coffee etc cross contaminated), not eating out at all. Right now I'm exhausted, and I still get glutened fairly frequently, it literally isn't working out right now. There's the physically getting ill and being knocked out for a few days or a week, and then there's the emotional part of feeling unsupported by the country in general- no labelling laws, no advocacy groups, no services. I couldn't find a single celiac in the whole country to share info with! I think I'm an individual who does need more support than than that.

From what I can see, at least in Spain they label food properly, there are very active groups of celiacs, directories of restaurants you can eat in safely, and specialist gluten free foods. After turning it over every which way I think I may have made the choice that it would be worth making the move to feel more supported and for my life to just be easier and frankly safer, and also that being mobile, somewhat spontaneous with eating, and travelling around on weekends are actually really important to me. I know a lot of people don't have these kind of options, but right now I do- I'm single, no kids, as a teacher I can pick up work pretty easily. If I can make it work, the whole of the rest of my life might be healthier. And if I don't like it there I guess I can come back here and somehow make it work!

It may be that I find that I still get glutened constantly in Spain, and like for many people, preparing everything from raw ingredients and only eating at home becomes the only option, time will tell. But I think maybe now is the time to try it, and I'd also have regrets if I didn't give it a go. This thread has been really helpful for me in terms of consolidating my thoughts, I've come to terms with the idea and my choices and reasoning a lot more in the last few weeks, and I feel better.

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I appreciate your dilemma! Colombia is wonderful. I was actually in Colombia for three months last year and the celiac symptoms started when I was in Cali and eating pan de queso every day. So much bread, god, I had no idea!

I want to put in a pitch for Argentina. I was in Buenos Aires last year and earlier this year and found the level of celiac awareness to be much higher than in the United States. There are many many products that are "apto para celiacos" so there are some possibilities for snacka and even frozen empanadas, pizzas, medialunas and more in dieteticas (health food stores).

What's fascinating too is that a Brazilian friend sent me the link for a 1992 gluten labeling law passed in Brazil that is better than what we have in the States now--and Brazil followed up in 2003 with an even stronger law requiring that a product says if it contains gluten or not. So. . . I have yet to be in Brazil as a celiac (spent a lot of time there before diagnosis) but it seems intriguingly advanced.

I am going to research this more, if anyone has any insights on other countries' labeling laws in South America, Asia, and outside the US, Europe, and Australia, please let us know!

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