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Jestgar

Musings On The Lunch Room

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So I'm in the lunch room at work heating up my home made sauteed eggplant and mushrooms over brown and wild rice and I see on the counter someone's Styrofoam container of CupNoodles that she filled with hot water from the tap and is letting "cook" on the counter.

Now, that stuff is disgusting. I'm not even sure how it is allowed in the food section of the grocery store - and yet I used to eat that too. Granted, I was a poor college student and never touched it after I got a real job, but I still thought of it as food, and pretended I was having a quick snack.

I looked at this stuff, with it's long list of chemical ingredients, and looked at my eggplant dish, which has nothing in it that didn't grow, and thought "it's all worth it".

I don't care how many hours I spend making food, or how annoyed I am that I can't just stop somewhere and get something to eat, I will be eternally grateful that I can now tell the difference between food and fallacy. If being unable to eat gluten means that I now eat food, it's all worth it.

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I loved cup o noodles. Tasty. I liked ramen better though.

I hate eggplant but mushrooms are pretty tasty too. Of course I like mine fried with some cheese on top... What can I say? :P

I prefer rice noodles over rice though.

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There are a lot of celiacs that share your sentiments. Almost everything I eat is made from scratch. Most is organic. As a result, my diet is not only gluten-free but also extremely healthy. I guess this is an example of the gluten-free diet

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I don't care how many hours I spend making food, or how annoyed I am that I can't just stop somewhere and get something to eat, I will be eternally grateful that I can now tell the difference between food and fallacy. If being unable to eat gluten means that I now eat food, it's all worth it.

Hear, hear! I'm with you, kiddo! ;) I eat better now than I have in my whole life!

ETA: While I have always been a creative cook/baker, I have had to be "more creative" sometimes since going gluten-free, but neither hubs nor I seem to mind.

Do I miss the convenience of food-on-the-go packaged items? Sure.

But I do NOT miss how rotten I FELT eating that crap.

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Since I was a little girl I've cooked and baked things from scratch and still do and always will. I was raised on a farm with a huge garden and all sorts of delicious animals so I grew up knowing the importance of real food versus those icky soup bowl thingers (I haven't tried one but they look grotesque!). I have never been able to understand purchased convenience foods. However, I do not have children and I see how parents may have to relent at times.

However, when I do purchase ingredients label reading is eye opening. It has actually forced me to be more cognizant of each morsel I choose to put into my mouth. Subsequently it has made me sit up and pay attention to all other aspects of my health. I certainly take better care of myself better than ever; my husband also habitually does the same and is making wiser choices. I continue to plant my own vegetables and herbs and harvest our lovely apples and hazelnuts from the wild and make my own jams and preserves and do canning.

As Michael Pollan says, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Admittedly I still struggle with the last bit as I am a voracious carnivore; however, I am improving!

I like how this shown me to be better to me. :D

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So I'm in the lunch room at work heating up my home made sauteed eggplant and mushrooms over brown and wild rice and I see on the counter someone's Styrofoam container of CupNoodles that she filled with hot water from the tap and is letting "cook" on the counter.

Now, that stuff is disgusting. I'm not even sure how it is allowed in the food section of the grocery store - and yet I used to eat that too. Granted, I was a poor college student and never touched it after I got a real job, but I still thought of it as food, and pretended I was having a quick snack.

I looked at this stuff, with it's long list of chemical ingredients, and looked at my eggplant dish, which has nothing in it that didn't grow, and thought "it's all worth it".

I don't care how many hours I spend making food, or how annoyed I am that I can't just stop somewhere and get something to eat, I will be eternally grateful that I can now tell the difference between food and fallacy. If being unable to eat gluten means that I now eat food, it's all worth it.

:) I'm with you, Jestgar! A neighbor recently told me that I eat cleaner than anybody she knows. (Her favorite tee shirt says "Kill your television!")

Last month I was picking up a take out order at a local deli. I asked the guy at the counter if they had a gluten-free menu. He responded, "You mean like real food?" That cracked me up!

The deli didn't have a gluten-free menu, but they're working on one.

The fresh cut fruit looked safe, so I had that with some Greek Yogurt I'd packed, but could have had a lot more fruit for the same money if I'd spent 15 minutes in the kitchen.

I think I'm getting reconciled with having to cook and plan, and I'm starting to get amused by the diets my obese co-workers have...Duncan Donuts, Hungry Howie's. Hmm. I definitely don't crave it, just wish they'd stick that rat poisin in the conference room vs. the lunch room.

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I hear you....I never really noticed how badly my coworkers eat until I had to be aware of where they were setting their food down so I would not get contaminated. Its all salt fat sugar and chemicals. And then they say - oh dont you miss being able to eat this??? NO!

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I don't work now but when I took left- overs ( before gluten-free) people would be jealous. It's just yummyer ( sp?). :). I go to sports banquets and take my food & some moms always say they wished they had brought chicken salad or something else to eat.

In defense of Ramen noodles & cup noodles - these are great for Boy Scout campouts. If my son's In charge of the meal & the kids choose Ramen, he will bring cooked chicken or some hamburger to cook & add for a 1 pot meal. He thinks of Ramen as Camping Junk Food - only a once in awhile meal for fun ( like McDonalds should be).

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I can see it as a junk food treat, but this is a grown woman with kids, and 99% of what she brings for lunch is something packaged. The Noodle Cup is this week's offering. I imagine next week she'll be back to Healthy Choice, or whatever chemical laced "health" food is on sale.

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I think I've seen Mark's Daily Apple referenced here once or twice. It's a website that focuses on paleo style food which is truly just real food with emphasis on eating grass fed beef/animals/protein, healthy fats, vegetables and fruits, and dairy. Mark Sisson is very, very anti-grain so most of what he promotes is gluten-free--but his program is not gluten-free as much as it is healthy. gluten-free is a byproduct of his healthy diet.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz1hpx04zGi

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!00% agree Jesgar. When I started reading labels for gluten I was confused trying to pick out the ingredients that might have it. There are so many chemical names on processed foods these days. And the ingredients in the USA at least are listed in order of content. So if sugar is the first ingredient that means the product is mostly sugar! Ugh! :P:blink:

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Jestgar - would you mind sharing the recipe for your eggplant dish? That sounds yummy! :P

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I have a coworker who started bringing those cup of noodles after she had a stroke. She said she was trying to eat healthier...yes I'm serious. Not only are they full of fat, carbs, and chemicals the sodium is through the roof!!! There could not be a worse combo for preventing strokes!

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Not only that, those things smell bad!!! I would return from my lunchtime walk and think that there was something burning in the office - but no, Phil was eating his stinking noodles :o

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Jestgar - would you mind sharing the recipe for your eggplant dish? That sounds yummy! :P

Cook 1 c brown rice and 1/2 c wild rice in 4 cups chicken broth (45 min or so)

Bake eggplant until soft. Let cool and remove skin. Cut into (mushy) cubes.

Slice ~1 c mushrooms

Saute eggplant and shrooms in oil (I used 1 T bacon grease) until mushrooms soften.

Add 1 c chopped greens (if you like greens), salt, pepper, garlic powder.

Serve eggplant on the rice, ratio is up to you.

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I don't work now but when I took left- overs ( before gluten-free) people would be jealous. It's just yummyer ( sp?). :). I go to sports banquets and take my food & some moms always say they wished they had brought chicken salad or something else to eat.

In defense of Ramen noodles & cup noodles - these are great for Boy Scout campouts. If my son's In charge of the meal & the kids choose Ramen, he will bring cooked chicken or some hamburger to cook & add for a 1 pot meal. He thinks of Ramen as Camping Junk Food - only a once in awhile meal for fun ( like McDonalds should be).

I had to laugh at this a bit. Many children love to eat playdough, which, in my opinion, is exactly what ramen tastes like to me. I am sure that if it is cooked into something with some real flavor, it probably is much like tofu in that it takes on that flavor. My children used to love the stuff before they figured out that they had celiac.

My husband and I both take our lunches when we eat at work and everyone always comments on how good it looks and smells. When we have potluck at work, everyone wants to know what I am bringing. And when we have family dinners, no one complains about the toxic, gooey stuff missing from my meal and everyone goes back for seconds and asks to take leftovers home, which to me is the real testament to the fact that people actually want 'real food', they just need to learn what we here have had to learn. While the drive thru may seem quicker, it almost always makes you sicker! BWaaaaaahaaaaaa!

Home cooked meals rarely take as long as it takes to get the car out of the garage, drive to a drive thru, buy the food and drive it home again and it always tastes better. Yes, I too miss the convenience, especially when travelling but would not trade the quality of the food I eat any day for convenience.

Isn't it amazing how perspective changes everything? That, and a positive diagnosis! :lol:

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I ate really healthy and cooked almost everything from scratch before I was diagnosed, and actually felt like I was eating less healthly when I had to go gluten-free. I used to love whole grain bread, bran flakes cereal. The gluten free stuff was all made with white rice flour. Then of course I realized I needed to stop eating the store bought gluten-free food and just make everything myself. There isn't really any food I miss because anything I really want I have managed to re-create gluten free and it tastes just the same, sometimes even better. But I do miss the convenience of not having to think about what I'm eating when travelling. I miss not being able to try the local cuisine. I've yet to gain enough confidence to travel to countries where I don't speak the language because in my limited experience, those translation cards don't always work. But I'll do it one day!

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My husband and I both take our lunches when we eat at work and everyone always comments on how good it looks and smells.

My bosses are always commenting on how good my leftovers smell as they walk through with their bags of Subway or Chick-fil-A. I just laugh. Mine is cheaper, healthier and tastes better.

One of the things that I've been ranting about, even before my Celiac diagnosis, is that there's no food in our food any more. It's all chemicals. It frustrates me. You can't even recognize the names of the ingredients on most of the "food" in our grocery stores.

I'll admit that I'll occasionally hit a fast food restaurant. Mainly for me it's an issue of convenience and not being home to cook (plus being the mother of a 5 year old who would go to MCD's every day if I let him). But I really do try to avoid it as much as I can and make as much food at home as I possibly can. But lately I've decided that a better version of fast food for me is an apple or some carrots and hummus.

I read somewhere that the average toddler in the U.S. goes to McDonald's 4 times a week. To me that's so scary.

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Jestgar, that sounds really good, but I have a question. What kind of greens do you use? I'm from the Deep South, so "greens" to me means turnip, mustard or collards. I don't think that is what you mean???

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Jestgar, that sounds really good, but I have a question. What kind of greens do you use? I'm from the Deep South, so "greens" to me means turnip, mustard or collards. I don't think that is what you mean???

This was a mix of mustard and ruby chard. I think the mustard flavor wasn't quite right with the eggplant, but collard seems like they would work. I've never seen turnip greens in the store here so no idea how they taste.

nettles would work well also, or spinach if you want a very mild green flavor.

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Ahhhh yes.....the lunchroom. I think there's been a different gluteny "treat" brought in to share every day for the whole month of December. It feels good to realize that I won't be one of those people struggling with their holiday weight gain.

But I must say that for the first time in years, I was able to eat the company holiday lunch. It was a potato bar :) It would be nice to assume that someone was thinking of me, but I know it was purely a coincidence. And we all got gift cards to Outback from the boss! :D

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I've always been a label reader and tried to avoid heavily processed foods. When I was first diagnosed in August all the people around me (basically my in-laws since we were visiting them when the biopsy results came back!) went on and on about how sad they were for me, etc. because of all I wouldn't be able to eat any longer. At the same time I was looking at the list of "permissible" foods the doctor had given me and thinking, "Huh, this is pretty much all stuff I normally eat anyway." On my first trip to the grocery store post-diagnosis I was standing in the check-out line and realized that except for the lack of gluten-filled pasta and bread everything else in the cart (fresh meats, fish, veg, fruit, plain yogurt, cheddar cheese) was stuff I normally bought! I'm so used to making everything from scratch that the 'switch' to a gluten-free diet has been relatively seamless. My husband is in the Foreign Service and for the last 13 years we've spent more time in places where there was either no pre-prepared or processed foods or the choices were so limited or so ghastly (makes those noodle cups look positively gourmet...scary huh?!?!) that they really weren't an option. I can see where the adjustment to the diet would be much much harder for people who are not at all used to cooking 'from scratch' since it requires a whole different mindset. I think the doctor who diagnosed me was good in also being really positive about all that was still available diet-wise...the information she gave me broke things out into different food groups and listed all the "you can still eat" first and then the "do NOT eat" second. For some reason it didn't seem as negative that way.

Anyway, sorry for rambling. Probably got off topic...

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Totally agree with you :) Going gluten-free was a necessity for me, but it also changed my lifestyle for the best. Before I went gluten-free my eating habits were bad, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. When I rented my own place I gained nearly 10 kgs in one year (22 lbs). Going gluten-free made me have to plan my meals and choosing healthier options. A lot of junk/comfort foods I used to eat are either unavailable now or hard to come by and expensive. No more snacks on the go or stopping somewhere for coffee and cake. Cooking also changed: I can't use pre-fab stuff like sauces and spicemixes so I have to cook my own. These are tastier, contain less salt and no flavour enhancers.

Going gluten-free also gives me the energy to exercise, I'm totally addicted to strength training now :) People often think that going gluten-free is very difficult and restrictive, they hardly see the positive side of it. As a matter of fact: I wouldn't want to go back to gluten even if I could.

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