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About mtraezme

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    *I teach high school ESL in San Luis, Arizona. It's where Arizona, California, and Mexico border each other. I'm originally from Washington State. <br />*I love going to the gym and sometimes I teach a cycling/spinning class. <br />*My boyfriend lives in Guanajuato in central Mexico. I used to live there too. <br />*Life is good now that I'm not doubled over in pain all day every day.
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    Currently in Yuma, Arizona.

  1. Thanks for the info... do you think I need to worry about flour being in any of the tortillas, or do you think they're always made with corn?

    The corn tortillas are **usually** made with only cornmeal. I had the unfortunate experience of watching the girl at my favorite little restaurant pour wheat flour into the masa (cornmeal dough) in order to make it softer. The ones you can get at tortiller

  2. I tried to find a list of premade foods that were safe, but it's not really feasible in most third world countries because it seems, at least in Mexico, that the grocery stores get a lot of random things and when those are sold, they're replaced with other random food items. Some of the same brands are usually available like Kelloggs and Campbells, but they don't always label with allergens listed. I used to have a list of safe food items in Spanish, but I haven't been able to find it. If I do find it, I'll post it here. I did find a few things online. I realize you said you don't speak Spanish, but these might be good to have with you down there because unless people are fluent in English, they probably won't really understand the information in English.

    I found one of the food lists! It's from Argentina:


    These other ones are just information.




    I got those off of this site (in English):

    http://celiac.org/celiac disease-main.php

    More Spanish although most of the site is in English:


    Basic information, no foods listed, but discussion of the disease and symptoms:


    Argentinian celiac site in Spanish and some things in English:


    More food information:


    Here's a totally random Celiac blog. I think it's from Spain.


    I hope that helps. Send me a message if you need more help with stuff.


  3. Wow Hathor,

    Thanks for the long response! I learned a lot from it.

    I'd never heard of Dr. Harris nor Dr. Fuhrman, but there websites do seem to show a diet pretty close to mine. I'm going to check for Dr.Fuhrman's book at the bookstore since we don't have a library here.

    As for your tapas and wine, I don't think you can have one without the other, can you? Besides, look at all of the slim people in Spain who eat tapas, drink wine, walk a bit and keep themselves in good shape. I tend to believe that having some fats in the diet from olive oil, nuts, avocados, cacao (I buy the actual cacao beans so I can snack on them), and a little coconut are good for us. I know I never lost any weight on a low-fat diet and was never satieted.

    I do eat some grains. I'm going to Mexico on Thursday for two weeks to see my boyfriend and I know I'll be eating corn tortillas, tamales, rice, and beans, but I really don't miss not eating them most of the time. If I do have the desire to eat them, I do it. I'm not super strict with myself. Oddly enough, going gluten free for me has been quite simple because I never really ate bread, pasta, or other grain based foods. All in all, I'm not suffering for calories, but if I do get too thin, like 115 pounds, I will be adding in some grains and grain based products. I've never actually had to think of that before; I've always had an excess of calories.


  4. Hi,

    Since I've spent practically my whole life trying to lose weight, I should probably let you know what is working for me. I actually saw the smallest number I have ever seen on the scale this morning! 124! I got on and off the scale three times just to see if it was correct. That's 100 pounds down from my highest.

    I tried Weight Watchers and found myself obsessing about food and eating sugary, crummy food because it was low in points. I lost a little weight, but it wasn't the right plan for me. Since then I've tried eating a ton of meat, fruits, veggies, and low-fat dairy. I gained weight and felt horrible with that.

    So, then I moved to the other end of the spectrum and gave up all animal products. I did the McDougall diet that Hathor mentioned, but I felt worse after eating grains and potatoes, so I cut those out too. I also felt like I needed more fats, so I added avocadoes and nuts (not peanuts). After that, I felt better and lost weight without trying. Now I eat fruits, vegetables, cacao, raw nuts and seeds. It sounds restrictive, but I'm more satisfied now than I've ever been before. I really don't have cravings for foods, never have stomach pains, don't feel heavy after meals, and eat whenever I'm hungry. I would say that about 75%-95% of my food each day is raw, and I think that has helped me.

    I also exercise regularly and ensure that at least one of my meals is based around green leafy vegetables.

    To answer another question, the one thing I find restrictive about it, is that I usually have to have food with me. I know that's not new for someone who is gluten free, but it can be a little harder with fresh foods. I usually have a ziploc bag with almonds, a banana, a clemetine or two, an apple, and a Lara bar with me when I know I'll be away from home. Having that keeps me from even glancing towards a food court or restaurant.

    I've been eating like this for about 4 months and don't see myself changing it in the near future.

    I think I answered all of your questions. If you're looking to lose weight, think about what feels right to you. I never liked meat, but always felt like I had to eat it to have a balanced diet. I really think that was wrong of me because I now feel better than ever.


  5. Hey Nanny B,

    I just noticed that you're a Spokie. I too am from Spokane :) I don't have experiences in Cozumel or Cancun, but I wanted to let you know that you should be able to bring Lara bars, cereal, nuts, and other dry goods into Mexico. You can't bring fresh fruits or vegetables, but you can bring them on the plane and leave any leftovers on the plane when you get off. I always do that and so don't have to declare any fresh fruits. Remember to pack some snacks for the return trip too because I forgot last time and almost starved!

    I don't have any experiences with all inclusive places or American owned restaurants, but I can say that you should be able to get lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Veggies that are peeled or need to be peeled are generally safe, as far as I've experienced. If you haven't tried fresh guava before, now is your chance! The seeds are a little weird at first, but the fruit is so good. I'm going to central Mexico on Thursday and my boyfriend is meeting me at the airport with a bottle of water and fresh guava.

    Good luck and have fun!

  6. Would you be able to bring your own supply of food? You should talk to someone in charge of the trip and explain your situation. They should be willing to work with you. How long is your trip?

    I agree. You should really talk to the people who are in charge of the trip. You should also have no problem bringing Lara bars, cereals, and things like that with you. Fruits and veggies should be plentiful. But, are you going to be eating with the missionary group or with Peruvians? That will make a difference in the foods you're served. Is there anyone who has gone on one of these missions that you could grill with questions about what foods were served and what options were available?

    Just a little FYI if you haven't been to Peru and are squeamish about whole animals being served on your plate, do an internet search on cuy. It's a really typical dish there but can be a bit traumatizing if you're not expecting it.

  7. If you have any trouble, just ask for the manager (I did get some deer in headlight looks from the servers that spoke very little English, but all of the managers were so nice and thoughtful).

    Happy Mayan-Riviera Gluten-free eating!


    Just a little vocab in case you need it.

    manager is gerente (sounds like hair-ehn-tay)

    boss is jefe (heh-fay)

    chef is chef but with a strong ch sound like chair

  8. I am afraid you have a very ignorant doctor. Diet is the most important thing right now. Of course, the pharmaceutical companies wouldn't be happy if you could get better by just changing your diet. That is why they make sure doctors are only taught to control symptoms with expensive pills, rather than treat the cause (which IS diet).

    I would agree with Ursa Major. You should try dietary changes before taking any drugs. Medications can alleviate symptoms for a time, but they aren't getting to the root of the problem. Try cutting out the gluten, dairy, and soy first and see if that doesn't help. Also, a LOT of people on these boards see drastic improvements in anxiety issues as well as physical issues after changing their diet.

  9. Hi, sorry you have that going on!

    I would agree with cutting out the dairy. It can cause all sorts of breakouts and reactions. You can probably add it back in after a few months, or test it after a bit and see if you react. Also, my dad had a horrible itchy rash over his entire body last year. He never goes to the doctor for anything, but he took a day off work to get this checked out. Turns out he really did just have super dry skin because of the change in the weather. The doctor told him to use a high quality skin lotion twice a day and to keep covered when in the cold. It worked and his rash cleared up in about a week.

    Good luck.

  10. Hi,

    I've never been to Cancun, but I don't think you'll find a gluten free store in Mexico - anywhere. You will, however, be able to find many naturally gluten free items in many places. You can have corn tortillas, tostadas, shrimp cocktails, fresh fruits, veggies, meats, tacos, salsa, pozole (yum), homemade ice cream, rompope (alcohol kinda like eggnog that's made and sold by nuns), jello with flavors like chocolate, vanilla, walnut, rompope, fruit flavors, as well as beans, rice, omelets, enchiladas (beware of the mole), etc.

    Don't forget that you can bring Lara bars, dried fruit, and other non-perishable items (cereal, almond nut butter, rice cakes, hot cereal like cream of rice,...) into Mexico so that you will always have a safe snack. You can't bring dairy, fresh fruits or veggies, or meat into Mexico although jerky is usually ok.

    There were a couple of other posts about Cancun on the travel board on here with very positive things to say. I'd recommend checking those out as well as any that talk about Mexico.

    Have fun on your trip! When are you going? I'm going to central Mexico, in the mountains, for the last half of December. I'm just hoping it doesn't snow. :blink: Seriously, it snowed once when I was there!


  11. I'm in exactly the same boat. Make sure you're keeping a food diary to see which fruits have the most effect. For me, asparagus and honey have the same effect as gluten on me. Apples are similar. I brought it up with my doctor and he laughed in my face. Literally. :angry:

    This pamphlet thing is kinda handy. It describes me to a T. You might find it useful as well.



  12. I also figured it was green for Celiac. The magnetic ribbon things for celiac awareness are green.

    Unfortunately, something about how the colors are set up is also giving me a really bad headache and making me dizzy. I don't think it's the ads, I think for me it's more the colors.

  13. My roommate just started getting that for her dog. The vet thinks he's gluten intolerant, and it's much cheaper to try to change his diet than run tests. Right now the poor animal is still taking tons of anti-histamines because he'll rub his eyes on the carpet until they bleed and then he starts screaming. Hopefully the food will help him.

    My mom actually makes the food for our two pugs and the vet was absolutely amazed by how nice their fur and faces were when they went in for a visit.


  14. Have you added anything else into your diet? I was feeling great off of wheat and then got heinously bad headaches. I realized that I was adding a little packet of stevia to my cup of tea at night. I had used it before, but I think because my gut was so messed up it didn't get absorbed or something. When I cut out the wheat and started absorbing things more, I started to get headaches.

    I don't know if that helps you, but it was an experience that I had that might help you figure out what's triggering things for you.

  15. Hi,

    I'm going to cut and paste a response I gave to another poster about Mexico. If you search through the travel section on the boards there are some more posts about Mexico.

    Here's what I posted earlier, if you have more questions, send me a message or post them here and I'll try to respond.

    I ate a lot of corn tortillas, chicken, beans, fruits, veggies, consomme (veggie soup), enchiladas, rice, tamales, rajas, strawberries with cream and sugar, meats, gorditas, eggs, yogurt, and ice cream from La Michoacana which has locally made ice creams. I only had problems with getting glutened once and it was at my favorite restaurant. They made quesadillas estilo de DF (they make the quesadillas differently in Mexico City). I was watching the girl make the fresh tortillas and because the masa or corn meal mixture for the tortillas was too firm, she poured a bunch of wheat flour into it and mixed it together. I was really sad. I also had to avoid the mole because in some restaurants they added bread to it in order to thicken it up.

    My advice would be to use corn products whenever available like tortillas and chips and to enjoy the variety of fresh veggies and fruits and cheeses. Things like chilaquiles (tortilla chips or hardened corn tortillas with salsa, cheese and sometimes an egg), fruit, consomme (nothing with fideos or noodles), jello (I'm not sure why they love jello so much), ceviche, tacos, and things like that should be safe. You should also try some pozole (hominy soup) if you get the chance. It's my favorite (they usually have green with chicken or red with pork).

    There are a bunch of the celiac websites that have their information in Spanish. You could always print some of those out to take with you. I can help find some for you if you need me to. If at all possible, I would call the resort in the next week and find out what the menu options are so that you can pack extra food if you need it, but they should be able to cook plain foods for you.

    You CAN bring Lara bars and other bars with you. The only things you can't bring are fresh dairy, meats, fruits and veggies. Dried foods are okay, but fresh foods won't make it through customs. That's okay though because they have tons of fresh fruits and veggies.

    I hope that helps. Let me know what other help you need. I haven't been to Vallarta for a long time, but I do know that people there speak English. I was in Mazatlan for a few days this summer, I spent the summer in Mexico visiting my boyfriend, and had no problem whatsoever with the food.


  16. Sorry :(

    I used to be that girl, but now that I'm older I've realized what a monster I was and have apologized. After all of that, for some reason, I chose to teach 9th grade.

    Although it might not work for you, the phrase I repeat to myself thousands of times a day is, "Never let a 15 year old kid ruin your day." It keeps things in perspective for me.