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MissHaberdasher

Serious Angst

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I was diagnosed as having a gluten intolerance in June/July (blood tests for Celiac came back negative). I was doing ok up till now... At first I was sad but I quickly came to enjoy the fact that all of my food has simple ingredients and I'm not a victim of processed foods anymore. But for some reason this week I've been having such a hard time with this whole diet. I've been weepy, in denial, experiencing anger, irritability... What the heck happened?

I've just been so frustrated lately. I live on my own, work 40+ hours per week, am a full time student, and am always on the go. I don't have time to come home and cook every single night, especially if I work 7am - 3:30 pm and go STRAIGHT to school from 5:30 - 9:30 (only on Fridays, then Saturdays are 8-5 for school). It's hard for me to take the time to prepare the food, cook the food, eat it, clean the dishes, and find time to study/sleep. A lot of times I have no choice but to eat only fries, or a bowl of rice. This diet was supposed to help me gain weight but I'm so hungry all of the time, and when I finally get food, I end up feeling sick because I'm at work or school and had to go to a restaurant that doesn't understand my needs. I feel guilty for being high maintenance. I deny the fact that I have this, despite my signs and symptoms. I argue with myself, "oh, it's all in your head, just eat that subway sandwhich anyway" and then I spend so much time arguing "no, you have this" "no, it's psychotic". Even tonight, I thought "do I have time to go home and do dishes, cook, then finish my homework? I'm already sleep deprived". I ended up going to Chick-Fil-A and got a grilled chicken salad because I'm sick of eating only quinoa. Now I'm itchy.

I worry. I'm trying to become an EMT. How am I going to eat when I'm working 12 hour shifts? What am i going to eat? I can't buy lara bars all of the time... i HATE the fact that I have to worry about where I'll eat or what I'll eat when I'm with friends. I worry about going out at certain times of the night because I know all stores with gluten-free friendly foods are closed.

People tell me to carry power bars around at all times. Well I'm sick of it. I'm sick of the same power bars and having to watch my friends eat my favorite foods without me.

I just don't really know what to beleive, what's going on, what to expect, or why certain signs and symptoms appear when I feel like I've been behaving with the diet.

At the same time I'm thankful that I have everything I do. I could be doing all of this with a mix of six kids on top of it all. I realize I'm lucky. But for some reason I just can't process all of this, just this week only. Help? :(

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It is definately a process and I think it is common to feel tired of always having to work at the diet so hard. I know I went thru all kinds of emotions, anger, frustration, sadness.

The other thing I would suggest here too is that you make sure where all your vit levels are. Sometimes if one gets too low , or even too high, I will definately be more emotional.

There's lots of foods that are gluten-free that you can carry with you to work, school or where ever. Don't worry. It does take planning but don't let it overwhelm you. Sounds like you have a great career ahead of you, good that docs have figured out what was giving you problems, focus on what makes you better and what you need to do for yourself.

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It is definately a process and I think it is common to feel tired of always having to work at the diet so hard. I know I went thru all kinds of emotions, anger, frustration, sadness.

The other thing I would suggest here too is that you make sure where all your vit levels are. Sometimes if one gets too low , or even too high, I will definately be more emotional.

There's lots of foods that are gluten-free that you can carry with you to work, school or where ever. Don't worry. It does take planning but don't let it overwhelm you. Sounds like you have a great career ahead of you, good that docs have figured out what was giving you problems, focus on what makes you better and what you need to do for yourself.

Thanks :) I think my main issue right now is balance. My doctor that diagnosed me actually made the diagnosis off of a hunch (unexplained vitamin D deficiency, malaise, paleness, inability to gain weight, etc.) and she really doesn't know anything about the disease. I think she's learning more about it from me than I can from her. I just don't know how to start I guess. I dove in head first without testing the waters and now I don't know what I'm reacting to or anything. Just good old fashioned confusion and blindly trying to figure this out on my own.

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It is hard when you have so little time to cook. I do voluteer work and don't have the hectic schedule you have but I do have a couple of go to things on the days I have to work and am too tired to cook. One of them is Dinty Moore Beef stew. I add a handful of frozen peas or beans while it is heating so it is a complete meal. I also do a lot of rice and do confess I often use the instant but making a large batch of regular rice once a week and keeping it in the frig works also. I toss some frozen broccoli or other veg in the rice water when I do instant and then when it boils I add the rice. With leftover rice I cut up some onions and stir fry vegs and then add the leftover rice. Making a big batch of chili and freezing it in portion size containers and this also works well with stuff like pasta sauce. I do quite a bit of pasta sauce with meat over toasted Udi's bread instead of pasta for something quick. Those are quick and easy when you are home between work and school.

There are things like Kind bars, Bumble Bars etc that are good for snacking for variety. I make a mix of Snyders gluten-free pretzels, rasins (Sunmaid) and gluten free nuts that I can snack on in the car.

I find a thermos to be helpful when I am going to be away from home when it is time to eat. It is hard to have to rely on restaurants when you don't know what if anything they have that is safe.

It is frustrating and hard to cook when life has us so busy but hopefully others will come on with their go to stuff and safe options at restaurants you could stop at. It is hard to concentrate on classes when your hungry so I hope these ideas are helpful.

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I also hate all the cooking, washing up etc but be thankful for your health. Tell us more about what led you to this forum? Where do you live? What is the level of "gluten free" understanding in your area? Do you own a slow cooker ((I couldn't live without it)). How do you prepare your foods. Tell us more and those members that are more like your lifestyle will be happy to help you out !

Just remember what life without the diagnosis/explanation.

I had always been overweight but recently have lost way too much weight than anything normal ((( I am one of the overweight, bloated, and now DH all over sufferers so food, any food, often seems like a toxin to me )). I try to add butter to anything. Literally. If it ain't supppose to be sweet I add butter and I've finally managed to keep my weight normalised. ( I was losing about average 2-3 kilograms a week for 5-6 week, not due to gluten but due to food avoidance).

Tell us more about you situation.

JyotsnaIndu what the hell does that mean? I would take a guess at something south asian but please explain!?!?!?!

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My brother works two jobs 7 days a week for a total well over 100 hours a week so he has a similar problem. My suggestion would be get a simple crock pot (check wal-mart/k-mart for good prices), a vacuum sealer, and a bunch of ziplock twist-lock freezer containers (that are microwaveable).

Suggestions to give you a variety of foods in your freezer:

Throw 3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot one morning with some red potatoes, a couple carrots, a clove of garlic, and a splash of white wine. Will make lunch and or dinner for several days.

Make bean and beef stew one weekend, chili, or soup in the crockpot. Freeze up individual portion servings in the freezer containers. Get a small insulated bag at a camping store or outdoor outfitters. Throw a frozen soup the bag and take it to work.

Look at your local supermarket or butchers for a sale and get a 'value pack' of drumsticks or thighs. Toss them in the crockpot with some gluten-free BBQ sauce. Vacuum pack and freeze the left overs in individual servings.

A small roast in the crockpot in the morning with potatoes and a bag of frozen pearl onions ($0.99 on sale at supermarket) can give you several days worth of dinners.

If you can do one small crockpot worth of stuff (especially soups) every other weekend for a couple months and freeze the leftovers it doesn't take long to accumulate a good variety of MREs (well except for microwaving).

This is where most of my meals for work come from.

Edited by Korwyn

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Oh, and another thing we (we being my wife and I) do. It does take an afternoon but only every few months. When there is a sale on 'value packs' or 'family size' packs of beef, I buy two or three of them. I BBQ them medium rare, then when they cool cut them up into serving size portions. Freeze them individually. They make a great fast meal in a variety of ways. Because they are beef you don't have to worry QUITE as much about them thawing out if you toss one in your backpack or something (not like poultry/pork). Eat stand-alone, shred one up and mix it with mayo for a couple wraps or sandwiches, dice one up and serve it over microwave brown rice or quinoa.

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I also hate all the cooking, washing up etc but be thankful for your health. Tell us more about what led you to this forum? Where do you live? What is the level of "gluten free" understanding in your area? Do you own a slow cooker ((I couldn't live without it)). How do you prepare your foods. Tell us more and those members that are more like your lifestyle will be happy to help you out !

Just remember what life without the diagnosis/explanation.

I had always been overweight but recently have lost way too much weight than anything normal ((( I am one of the overweight, bloated, and now DH all over sufferers so food, any food, often seems like a toxin to me )). I try to add butter to anything. Literally. If it ain't supppose to be sweet I add butter and I've finally managed to keep my weight normalised. ( I was losing about average 2-3 kilograms a week for 5-6 week, not due to gluten but due to food avoidance).

Tell us more about you situation.

JyotsnaIndu what the hell does that mean? I would take a guess at something south asian but please explain!?!?!?!

I google searched "celiac forum" :) I live in Colorado, and really, only Boulder understands (somewhat). Boulder is the place where all of the hippies and yuppies with high maintenance diets live. Everything is vegan, organic, vegetarian, and gluten free. It's pretty nice!

Mom did buy me a slow cooker for an early birthday gift, but I have only made gross soup and weird broth so far. And honestly, before I started this, I didn't know I was sick, then I tried this and I felt better and more energetic for some reason... but I guess the saying that "what you don't know won't kill you" doesn't really apply in this situation ha.

I would add butter to everything but that has never worked for helping me actually gain weight... and if I did, I'd be worried a bit about clogging my arteries, high cholesterol runs in my family. I used to drink protein drinks with extra supplements but it didn't do much either. At this point I'm more concerned about making sure my body is balanced and nourished than getting to a normal weight, but eating potatoes or quinoa for weeks in a row isn't really helping haha.

And JyotsnaIndu is a mix of two Indian names. Jyotsna and Indu. I'm just mildly obsessed with India :)

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Colorado is the home of Udis ( baked goods and restaurants), Rudis & Canyon Bakehouse breads, new Planet Beer, etc. my son lives in Ft Collins and they had a gluten-free bike tour of the gluten-free places to eat.

Try googling the nearest big city and celiac support group. Or look at these:

http://www.enabling.org/ia/celiac/groups/grpus-co.html

Try this website for some crockpot recipes. I find mine don't cook as long as hers. Look on the recipe section here for some ideas.

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

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Colorado is the home of Udis ( baked goods and restaurants), Rudis & Canyon Bakehouse breads, new Planet Beer, etc. my son lives in Ft Collins and they had a gluten-free bike tour of the gluten-free places to eat.

Try googling the nearest big city and celiac support group. Or look at these:

http://www.enabling.org/ia/celiac/groups/grpus-co.html

Try this website for some crockpot recipes. I find mine don't cook as long as hers. Look on the recipe section here for some ideas.

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

Actually, I went to an Udi's restaurant and was surprised when the waitress really didn't know what was gluten free or not! I asked if I could have the ketchup, if the dipping sauce and dressings with my meal were ok, and she had to go ask. She was so nice and very helpful but it did instill a level of insecurity.

Heck, I'll still eat there, it's nice being able to eat with my friends (if they're willing to pay and stay at a sit down restaurant) and the food is SOOOooooo good. But again, not everything is gluten-free. I was a little disappointed.

I love the sound of this bike tour. Summer project, obtained! Thanks for the websites too!! :)

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Progresso has quite a few gluten free soups, including Clam Chowder, Corn Chowder, Lentil, and Nacho Chicken. They label them gluten free on either the front of the can or the back above the bar code. My schedule is pretty crazy too, so I keep a can at work, a can in my car, and a can at home at all times. I also have Lara Bars in each place too.

I also second what everyone else said about making large batches of stuff and freezing it. Maybe that's something you could do while you're home studying. The last time I bought hamburger, I cooked it all, divided it into 1 lb. sections and froze it. Last night I pulled some out, thawed it out, threw it in a jar of spaghetti sauce and poured it over polenta for dinner. Quick and easy.

Also, be sure to keep lots of fresh fruit in your house that you can eat on the go. Grab an apple, an orange or some grapes. Or maybe some carrots and hummus. I keep bags of baby carrots in the house all the time.

You can do it. I'm 5 months in and it gets easier each day. Hang in there.

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Actually, I went to an Udi's restaurant and was surprised when the waitress really didn't know what was gluten free or not! I asked if I could have the ketchup, if the dipping sauce and dressings with my meal were ok, and she had to go ask. She was so nice and very helpful but it did instill a level of insecurity.

Heck, I'll still eat there, it's nice being able to eat with my friends (if they're willing to pay and stay at a sit down restaurant) and the food is SOOOooooo good. But again, not everything is gluten-free. I was a little disappointed.

I love the sound of this bike tour. Summer project, obtained! Thanks for the websites too!! :)

Crockin' girls on Facebook.

Last year it was in August the weekend before the kids move into the dorm.

You might google " gluten free Ft Collins". Or any city and see what you find. You might find some bakeries. They might have a Facebook page that lists info like that bike ride. They did another bike ride Labor Day weekend. You dress up and ride to the different bars. I think this "bike hop" format is popular there.

I had good luck with Beau Jo's ( sp?) pizza. They are a chain. Expensive pizza.

I know we have had threads about gluten-free places in Colorado. You might look around.

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Thanks :) I think my main issue right now is balance. My doctor that diagnosed me actually made the diagnosis off of a hunch (unexplained vitamin D deficiency, malaise, paleness, inability to gain weight, etc.) and she really doesn't know anything about the disease. I think she's learning more about it from me than I can from her. I just don't know how to start I guess. I dove in head first without testing the waters and now I don't know what I'm reacting to or anything. Just good old fashioned confusion and blindly trying to figure this out on my own.

The balance issues will go away but you have to get real strict with the gluten-free diet. I was starting to wonder if I was ever going to NOT be dizzy, spent 9 months dizzy every day, all day long which was no fun at all. Once I able to stop any contact with gluten it took about 4 weeks and the dizziness went away and I knew then it was gluten ataxia and not something else.

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The balance issues will go away but you have to get real strict with the gluten-free diet. I was starting to wonder if I was ever going to NOT be dizzy, spent 9 months dizzy every day, all day long which was no fun at all. Once I able to stop any contact with gluten it took about 4 weeks and the dizziness went away and I knew then it was gluten ataxia and not something else.

Oy vey!! I actually meant balance as in trying to have a balanced diet instead of week 1: potatoes. week 2: chips. Week 3: salad. No nutrition at all.

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