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About Offthegrid

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  1. I believe I was passed this from BOTH my parents, because my father's sister (my aunt) has it, and my mother has severe digestive problems that she claims are IBS. She won't even do the gluten-free challenge for a few weeks.

    Am I mad at them for "giving" this to me? Absolutely not. Sometimes I get mad that I have to deal with celiac in general and the inconvenience of it, but in another way it's been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

    I never cooked much before, and now I'm a passable cook and learning to be a fairly good baker. I used to eat out all the time, now I virtually never do. I eat about 7 servings of fruits and veggies a day. I've lost 30 pounds (I'm overweight) and am still losing. Believe it or not, I eat a variety of foods that I would not have eaten before.

    The acne I had since I was 11 has cleared up. I used to suffer from severe insomnia. I also used to have a binge eating disorder, where I ate extraordinarily large quantities of food in private. That problem has completely vanished.

    In short, it's made me so much healthier.

    In addition, being able to deal with this with other members of the family is a blessing. Because my aunt, brother and I all avoid gluten, we have someone to share good foods, bad foods, recipes, etc.

  2. Howdy. It seems frustrating if they won't accept Enterolab. But it sounds to me like you need to be super, super careful about hidden gluten.

    If you are being very careful and still having symptoms, have you considered that you may have other food intolerances? I'm not sure if Enterolab checked you for that. But I personally have found through trial and error that I am intolerant to casein (dairy), soy and potatoes.

  3. I really feel for you. All those years. All those stupid doctors who should have looked for something, or had you try an elimination diet, etc.

    We like to think our doctors know everything.

    But I'm so glad you know now.

    I'm relatively lucky, in that it only took me 6 months and a change in doctors to get my diagnosis. But I'm sure that's only because I mentioned to my new doctor that my aunt cannot eat gluten and maybe I have that, too. (But I had digestive problems for probably 10 years before I even mentioned it to a doctor, and only when it got so bad I believed I had food poisoning.)

  4. We are so totally NOT ready! We just bought a house and everything is in boxes yet. We remodeled the office, so that took a lot of time that would have been completely devoted to unpacking. And just for fun, we're having the in-laws over for Christmas dinner. (At least then I know exactly what goes into every dish.)

    And to boot, haven't even started the Christmas shopping yet. But fortunately this year I personally only have three people to shop for.

  5. Sorry the gift card reminds you of what you are missing. Maybe what you need right now is an Amy's gluten-free frozen pizza or to make yourself one (or some other goodie) so you realize that there is plenty of good food that you can eat.

    I personally would regift the card, or treat the students -- that's a good idea.

    I had a co-worker who KNOWS I'm gluten-free. And she gave me regular cookies. :angry::angry::angry:

    But even when people don't know, and I can't blame them, I get a little sad. We just moved, and we've received a pie, cookies and tea (with gluten in it) from some new neighbors. I thanked them very much and will mention the gluten and other food intolerances to them another time. I know they didn't know, that they meant well, and that it was very nice, but it still makes me a little bit sad.

    I want to make my own pie soon, and maybe some gluten-free mufins and gluten-free cookies, too!

  6. Hi, and welcome! I would think that on a gluten-free diet you would be able to gain weight now that your body will be able to absorb food. I hope you have good access to gluten-free food. You might want to avoid dairy in the beginning as well if you notice that bothers you.

    As to the soy. I was very frustrated because I had eliminated gluten and dairy and continued getting sick. I ended up having to remove soy AND potatoes. That's a pretty steep learning curve when I can't cook myself. But you may not have so many food intolerances.

    Don't be too hard on yourself in the beginning. It is a touch diet to adapt to! You might be able to find a celiac support group in your area.

  7. Be aware that you may have several food intolerances. If you are being very careful with avoiding gluten and not getting cross contamination from foods with gluten, and you still have symptoms, I'd eliminate dairy and then soy. I personally have found I also cannot have potatoes. I do hope this will clear up in time.

    For a long time, I just assumed I was always getting glutened. I got sick at every allegedly gluten-free restaurant. Now I know it was from the butter and vegetable oil (that contains soy) in them.

    You can get gluten-free soy sauce -- La Choy is one.

  8. Check out the specific carbohydrate diet. It is very strict, but lots of people report improvement. I am now intolerant to so many things that I am considering starting the diet after the holidays. Or at least making the yogurt (so that it has far more beneficial bacteria than commercially available yogurt). I currently cannot have dairy, but quite a few people report being able to tolerate the yogurt.

  9. I just got glutened. I couldn't figure out what the heck it might be from because I've been so careful, but after seeing this thread I checked into it. It's from a Celestial Seasonings flavored tea (sugar plum spice). The tea was a gift from our new neighbor (we just moved).

    It's right there on the label -- "barley." VERY stupid of me not to check the label. Sheesh. Double check that the tea you're using is gluten-free to begin with.

  10. The comment that I absolutely hate the MOST is "oh, you just can't eat bread, that's not so bad." Yeah, right. :rolleyes:

    I was lucky that my aunt was already diagnosed. Otherwise I'm convinced no doc would have figured it out, or at least not for a long time. I went to one doctor for about 6 months with various symptoms, and then switched doctors and mentioned it to the new one as a possible reason for my problems.

  11. One thing that made is extremely difficult in the beginning is that I never was much of a cook. So having to make everything from scratch was like a nightmare. But you know what? You live and learn. Now I make delicious gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free pumpkin pies. Tender and juicy chicken. Yummy steak. And I eat healthier than ever.

    The premade gluten-free food does taste horrible (most of it). So make your own. And give yourself treats, like chocolate if you can have dairy.

    Stay on the diet for a while, and it won't be so hard any more. I know that doesn't help you now -- I got annoyed when I saw that initiatlly -- but it is true.

  12. Because of the soy thing, I can't have "mainsteam" tuna. Some low-sodium tunas are soy-free, but I think they taste horrible, especially without the garlic Italian dressing I used to use that also has soy.

    Now I bake some chicken breasts on the weekend with lots of spices and some olive oil. I typically put that over spinach with gluten-free croutons from the gluten-free pantry (no soy or potatoes!). I make my own vinegar and oil dressing.

    Sometimes I crave something hot, though. Then the easiest is leftovers. I always try to cook more than we need so I'll have leftovers for lunch. I have also eaten cold rice for lunch on occassion.

    If you're really pressed for time, then have rice cakes with jelly and natural peanut butter. Resembes a PB&J sandwich a little bit. This was a suggestion from the board.

  13. Might it be that she has symptoms, too, but is in denial?

    It does take some time for people to "get it." Sometimes I think it's like when someone goes on a healthy diet, others criticize them because they know they should go on a diet, too?

    For now, try to hang in there. You'll also probably want to cook all your own meals or volunteer to cook. You shouldn't have to do it, but it's your health at stake here.

    Maybe you could also buy a book on celiac or gluten-free cooking for her to read?

  14. Ah, the gift-giving season has begun here. And what better to get your gluten-free co-worker but shortbread cookies or chocolate-covered pretzels.

    Seriously, what are people thinking? It's well-known in my department that I don't eat gluten. (I wouldn't blame anyone if they didn't know about the dairy, soy or potatoes.) In fact, the shortbread gift-giver even arranged a holiday lunch where I called the restaurant to make sure I could get something gluten-free. How hard is it to give somebody canned peanuts instead?

    So, what's the stupidest give you've ever gotten from gluten-eaters?