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About Offthegrid

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  1. You will be disappointed by the gluten-free bread. Get the kinnikinnick over the Internet if you want to try it. Otherwise, try corn tortillas -- you have to heat them, but they aren't bad. Otherwise, make yourself some banana bread for quick breakfast at work or muffins. There's a banana bread recipe on the Ener-G potato flour box I believe. Try cornbread for dinner.

    If you're GOING to get gluten-free bread in the freezer at a local store, get the almond rice. It's a lot better than tapioca, IMHO.

  2. Oops, wanted to talk about lunch. The eastiest thing to do is take leftovers or cook on the weekends. Chicken breast, steak, pot roast -- anything can be made gluten-free. Use McCormick spices. They will use the word "gluten" in the ingredients. Rice. Potatoes. Veggies. Fruits. You'll be eating a lot healthier, too. Bake some gluten-free cookies. I freeze gluten-free treats here, and then when there's cake in the office I throw them in the microwave so I have something, too.

  3. Welcome. Getting the gluten-free diagnosis can be very difficult, emotionally, socially. I know I was angry for a long time. And a bit in denial. And it does take a while to get used to this stuff, so please be patient with yourself.

    As for going so long with a wrong diagnosis, I am sorry to hear that, too. I only went through 6 months of testing because I was having numbness and then later gastro problems so bad I was sure I had food poisoning. I had to switch doctors because the first was clueless (and mean), and I believe the only reason the second doctor gave me the blood test was because I mentioned my aunt was gluten intolerant. BTW, my numbness completely went away after eliminating gluten and dairy.

    I personally believe this should be routinely tested for in anyone with a wide variety of symptoms.

    ANYway, as to alcohol ...

    I like bacardi and Coke and southern comfort and Coke. Those have always been my favs. :-) They do make gluten-free beer, but I have heard it's not all that great. You might like it though, because I was never a beer drinker. If you research ahead of time which vodkas are gluten-free, you could order any drink with that particular brand, too.

    As to the food. It will be hard for a while. When eating out, try first eating plain things -- plain chicken breast or steak with steamed veggies or potato. You can also try bringing gluten-free pasta to an Italian restaurant if they are receptive to that type of thing. Make sure it's cooked in a clean pot and strainer. MOST tomato sauces are gluten-free. Chinese is another option -- get steamed shrimp and veggies or steamed chicken. Just make sure they cook in a clean pan as their soy sauce will most likely have wheat in it. BUT you can bring your own soy sauce because La Choy soy sauce is gluten-free. In Thai food, pad thai is rice noodles, so that is gluten-free.

    Lastly, I just wanted to forewarn you that many celiacs also have other food intoelrances, especially in the beginning. Many find they can't eat casein (dairy), so switching to Lactaid may not help. Others are also sensitive to soy. I recently found out, after a year of being incredibly frustrated because I was so careful about being gluten-free, that I am intolerant to nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers). Some report that after abstaining from these things for 6 months, they are able to slow reintroduce them. I'm hoping that will be my case!

    As for athletic foods, Clif Bars, Power Bars and those foods are NOT gluten-free. They have malt. But the gels are. Sports Beans are. LaraBars are a type of energy bar that are gluten-free, although kinda bland. Of course bananas, raisins, peanut butter is all gluten-free, so you can replace athletic foods with those types of things for energy. (On a side note, Desiree Ficker, who came in second place in the 2006 Ironman Championship, doesn't eat gluten.)

    Be patient with yourself. You will learn over time. Try not to give in to gluten cravings, though. In the beginning, I cheated far too often (usually after an accidental glutening), and once you have a bite, you want more, more, more, MORE!

    Good luck. If you have any more questions, be sure to ask. This is a great resource.

  4. So glad to hear of everyone's good news. Rachel, I don't know your entire story, but I did read the beginning of the thread, and I'm so glad to hear that you are making tremendous strides. I am really impressed by how you've hung in there through it all and now you have something to celebrate.

    I had a minor relapse last night, but feeling good today. Only new foods were that I had two bananas at lunch, and then natural peanut butter on a rice cake as a snack. Maybe was just too many bananas too close together.

    In other big news, hubby and I are settling on our first house tomorrow. I'm really excited -- but I also won't have Internet access for a few days (or time to surf anyhow). And food is taken care of for moving day on Saturday (I've prepared ahead of time), but then I'm a little bit worried about Sunday because I don't know how much we'll have unpacked or even if we'll have food in the fridge yet. I'll figure something out.

    Moving day Saturday will be cool because there will be three gluten-free people there -- me, my aunt and my brother. We almost outnumber the gluten-eaters. Heh. I got tons of gluten-free snacks for everybody.

  5. Sorry you are in pain! Do you think hot tea would help soothe you? I second the pepto bismal also.

    It is really hard in the beginning, so be patient and gentle with yourself. I can sit in any restaurant now and not be drooling and ravenous and nearly crazy to want to kill someone to steal their food, but it took a while to get this way.

    One thing I did that was stupid when I first started ... if I got accidentally glutened, then I would go on a gluten binge. The problem is, for me at least, whenever I have a little bit of gluten I want more, more, more, MORE! But if you go without it for a while (few months), you don't miss it.

    Also keep your eye out for other food intolerances. I was so annoyed because whenever I ate out at a restaurant that supposedly had gluten-free food, I'd get sick. Well, duh, I should have put it together sooner, but I also can't have casein (dairy) or soy. I most recently found out that I can't tolerate potatoes right now either. Once you've healed, you may be able to eat these foods again. Quite a few on this board said if they were strict gluten-free and dairy-free for 6 months, they could eat dairy again.

  6. I used to get the potato at Wendy's, but looks like that's out for me at least. I just usually bring my own food and then buy a soda. No one's ever said anything.

    Do you have a Panera Bread near you? I have heard they will prepare a salad for you in a clean bowl. I personally have not tried it.

    Another sometimes safe quick option could be Chinese. You can get steamed shrimp and veggies with plain white rice, but you do have to ask them to prepare it in a clean bowl so there is no soy sauce CC. This is sometimes difficult if there is a language barrier.

  7. The premade gluten-free breads are junk. If you make a bread from a mix, I don't think it's that good. If you make it from scratch, it will taste pretty good -- but it's time consuming.

    I personally just don't even do bread anymore. I don't even miss it, although I did in the beginning. For hamburgers, I have them plain with veggies on top and mustard. (You can make your own french fries for the side.) Put steak "sandwiches" on rice. When I used to eat hot dogs, I just had them without the bun, too. You could make it fun by giving them a couple different dipping sauces (just make sure they're gluten-free).

    If you want to give them a "bread," try homemade banana bread (yum!) or corn bread (yum!).

    This may make lunches a little bit tough in the beginning -- I have chicken on a salad with red wine vinegar and olive oil -- but they'll adjust and soon like the new foods. Try things like apples dipped in peanut butter, lunch meat rolled in lettuce, veggies, fruits and nuts.

  8. Yeah, does anybody have an idea to substitute for mashed potatoes? I know there *is* no substitute, but I can't help dreaming. Maybe something inventive with carrots?

    I might try a homemade apple pie. With the crust on top and everything.

    My family for some reason typically has gluten-free meatballs as well as with turkey. I might bring my own meatballs because they will be in a crock pot with tomato sauce. Homer Simpson voice, "Mmm... meatballs."

  9. Everyone, lately, well really about the last year, I wake up with my hands numb and they've fallen asleep. What could that be from?

    This was actually the initial symptom I went to the doctor with. I knew I had digestive problems for a while, but I guess when you have them virtually your whole life you don't see them as abnormal until they get *really* bad.

    I had tons of tests. Sleep test, stress test, MRIs of the spine, nothing. Doctors never could explain it. Eventually I switched doctors, mentioned my aunt can't eaten gluten, and got the blood test but no answer on the numbness. Since eliminating gluten and casein, my numbness has completely gone away.

    Of course that probably is not your case since you're already off these substances.

    It's also a symptom of carpal tunnel -- one of the first symptoms actually, because you curl up your hands and cut off blood circulation. You might want to try a night splint to see if that helps. Also can be symptom of diabetes. Or the B12 like they said.

  10. I posted this on some other threads, but should add here: I believe it is potatoes. One day I ate a baked potato for dinner the night before, another baked potato for lunch, gluten-free potato chips fried in 100% pure cottonseed oil and then plain mashed potatoes for dinner. I was SICK as a dog the next day. Ouch! :o

    I have eliminated all potatoes since then, and WOW! Much improvement, although it took four days to return to "normal." :lol:

    Since then, the only processed food I've eaten is Fruity Pebbles. Do they have corn? All the rest has been whole, raw foods, so I will have to eventually test corn, too. I have been eating white rice.

    I'm excited to find out what's causing my problem, and so far not as bummed out as I thought I'd be. I'm actually a little bit excited because down the road I want to challenge some things that I *thought* were making me sick before, but that I now know may have been the potatoes.

    In another sense, I'm a little bit scared, too. I guess I'm afraid that I will get sick again, even though I've eliminated so many things. :( But I'm feeling positive after two days of normal trips to the bathroom. :D

  11. There is a protein in milk called casein. It very well may be that she cannot digest that protein. Lactose is an enzyme. Therefore, if she is casein intolerant, she would NOT be able to use Lactaid products. I tried them, fell in love with the Lactaid chocolate milk, then had to reluctantly give them up. And I *think* Lactaid pills contain gluten, although I'm not positive on that.

    I'd caution you not to switch to soy. Many people who can't tolerate casein can't tolerate soy, either.

    There are rice milks and almond milks that are VERY good. Using rice milk on cereal to me tastes almost the same "real" milk and WAAAAAY better than soy milk. Just check that the brand you use is gluten-free because some are not.

    If you eliminate dairy and soy, my bet would be that you would see rapid improvement. (If not, then there is a possibility that he digestive tract is so damaged that she cannot eat nightshades either. Nightshades are potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.)

    For cooking and baking, you can use coconut milk and coconut oil in place of butter. There is also a soy-free, dairy-free shortening called Spectrum. I have not used that, however, because I've had great luck with the coconut stuff in quite a few recipes.

  12. I *believe* there are some commercial chocolates available that are dairy-free AND soy-free. I forget the brand because it's packed in a box, but it's one of my top foods to challenge later now that I'm off nightshades and starting to feel better.

    You can also have those Larabar Jocolat bars I think. They have a few different chocolate flavors. I personally LOVE the espresso bar because I miss my lattes. They taste more like an energy bar than a chocolate bar, though.

    Also I think there are some brownie recipes that you can make without these ingredients. Try using coconut milk and oil. I haven't tried these yet, but want to once I get settled in the new house.

  13. I had tried goat's milk in pumpkin pie, and got sick, but that *may* have been from potatoes eaten around the same time. It's something I'm going to have to test in the future.

    Coconut milk is a good dairy substitute for baking. I like rice milk for the occassional cereal or fruit smoothy. Almond milk is also really, really good, but some contain soy and I'm not eating that right now either.

  14. Wait, is there corn in Fruity Pebbles? I may have inadvertently eliminated corn, too, by eating so many unprocessed foods. I'm certain on the potatoes, but I might have to do a corn challenge possibly.

    -- start rant --

    So it looks like if I just keep eating "real" food, I should stay healthy and happy. I feel a lot better already. And I'm glad that I had this problem in another era. My mom REFUSES to be tested for even gluten intolerance/celiac. She says, "I've been diagnosed with IBS my whole life." Or, "I have problems no matter what I eat." Of course if she's intolerant to gluten, dairy, soy and potatoes she's going to get sick no matter what she eats.

    And why, after decades of chronic D, would you not want to try to feel well? I don't get it.

    Well, you know what? If I had seen a gastro again (saw one, he was a jerk and I didn't go back) and said I keep getting sick despite eating gluten-free, I bet I would have gotten the IBS label, too. And given some pills. And sent on my merry way still having D and abdominal pain and bloating. I would have never known to try eliminating other foods. And I certainly wouldn't have thought someone could be intolerant to potatoes.

    It's just shocking to me, I guess, that gluten intolerance is finally getting some press, but none of these other intolerances are.

    -- end rant --

    In other news, I saw Amy's now makes a non-dairy, gluten-free pizza. I'm baking some Amy's for my gluten intolerant brother and aunt on Saturday because they are helping us move into our first house. The pizza has soy, though.

  15. Morning, everyone. I have a major, MAJOR announcement.

    Attention! Attention, everyone!

    Are you ready?

    Are you sitting down?

    Prepare to be shocked...

    I had a normal BM this morning for the second day in a row. :o:o:o:o AND, at the same time as yesterday. Can you believe it? I'm "regular!"

    I don't think that's EVER happened in ... well ... as long as I can remember. CELE-BRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON! :P;):P

    Seriously, I'm really happy. It looks like the potatoes were indeed a major cause of my problems. I'm still eating rice and corn. I want to go back and test a few other foods I thought I couldn't have now that I've ID'd the actual source. Read: dairy-free chocolate. :lol:

    I thought I'd miss potatoes, but honestly, no big deal. (Of course, it's only been a week.)

    This after my hubby went on a long rant about how NOBODY can be allergic to potatoes. :rolleyes: And how I'm not eating anything anymore. And he's sick of me being paranoid with my diet. And one day I'm going to crash because I don't eat any foods and I keep eliminating things and torturing myself. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: Like white potatoes are particularly nutritious to begin with. And what about the 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies I eat a day? Heck, I eat a LOT healthier than he does. Sometimes he can be incredibly supportive (he made me homemade spaghetti sauce when I eliminated soy) and other times he just is very ignorant.

    Kassandra, I'm so glad to hear the PICC line went OK. I think it's cute the nurse held your hand. I'm 28, but I'd still like a nurse to hold my hand. Usually they are just mean.

    What is IgeniX?

  16. I feel like this sometimes, too. My bet would be that you have other food intolerances. Dairy/casein is common. Soy is also common. In my case, I recently discovered by a challenge (eating tons of potatoes in 24 hours), getting really sick and then stopping the potatoes that I very well might not be able to have nightshades either. Nightshades are potatoes, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. I always noticed that I got sick after eating pasta, and it might have been the tomatoes all along.

    Elimination diet would certainly help you ID this stuff faster than I did. These days I eat primarily meat, veggies and fruits, and also some rice. There's also this diet out there called the specific carbohydrate diet. It is very strict, but offers some promise of letting you heal so you could again eat some of the things you are currently intolerant to now. I am considering trying it after the holidays.

    Hang in there. It is not so easy as just eliminating gluten it seems for many people.

  17. How frustrating! Family can be so insensitive sometimes. I was fortunate enough that my sister-in-law would make the stuffing outside the turkey this Thanksgiving, but then got to listen to them all rant about how it didn't taste as good. Well, excuse me! Sorry you had to have one little dish taste a little different while I got to sit and watch you slather butter all over warm rolls.

    Ahem. Sorry to steal your thread.

    Have you talked with your hubby about it? Maybe he could help smooth things over. If it were me, I might skip one of the events once in a while, but they might see that as very rude so not sure if that is a possibility either.

  18. A dermatologist can test the rash for dermatitis herpetiformis.

    I believe my niece and sister-in-law have it, and possibly my own hubby, but none of them will try gluten-free. You can't make someone do it.

    Maybe you can find out their objections. Are they worried about having to give up foods? Virtually anything can be made gluten-free and still taste good. As you learn more about it, you can have them over for gluten-free dinners and then they can see they can still enjoy foods.

    It was tough for me to accept, too. But hopefully they can see they are making their son suffer needlessly.