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Everything posted by sunflower

  1. sunflower

    Isn't It Ironic...

    tyki, there is a similar Polish cake with poppy seed filling. It is called makowiec (pronounced makovietz), though I'd translate that as "poppy seed cake" rather than "bread"... It is also a traditional Christmas cake in Poland. Here are a few recipes that I found on the Web, although they are not gluten-free, I think you could try making them with a gluten-free flour substitute ( I never had enough patience to try to make gluten-free yeast dough myself, but the filling should be OK ). here's a recipe for makowiec and for the poppy seed filling (and for a few more Polish cakes): and a recipe for potica I hope you enjoy it
  2. I've been gluten-free and lactose free for many years, and I think I am not having (major ) problems following the diet. Still, recently I've been trying to go sugar-free and yeast-free and I am finding this next to impossible. I get such horrible cravings for ANYTHING sweet that I think I am addicted to sugar! Help! Anybody has been through this and survived? Any tips? The reason I am attempting this suicidal diet change is that I suppose I have candida overgrowth in my intestines. From what I read in the Internet, I have typical symptoms - I am going to see a natural medicine specialist about it, since no other doctor seems able (or willing) to help me with this, so hopefully I will have a doctor's diagnosis in about 2 weeks. I've been trying and failing to go off sugar a few times this year - one month is my biggest success - but it is so hard to stick to this diet. Firstly, it is another dietary restriction on top of gluten and lactose, and I hate restricting my diet further. Then, the way I learned to manage gluten-free and lactose-free diet is by finding substitutes, trying to treat the restrictions (like, "I can't have milk") more like changes ("I can have soy milk instead"). So, I managed the one month without sugar only because I substituted white sugar and processed sweets with lots of fresh fruit, but now I have read that in the anti-candida elimination diet you have to give up all sweet foods, including sweet fruit and dried fruit, and anything baked with white flour and yeast, and I just don't know how to stick to it. After a day or two without any sugar, my craving for something sweet gets so strong that if I don't find some substitute, I break down and eat some chocolate. Any ideas how to deal with it? I know that craving chocolate might mean lack of magnesium, so I could try taking some magnesium pills, but it still leaves the problem of sugar in general. It is really ridiculous when I stop to think about it. I mean, I don't smoke, but now I think I started to understand what some of my friends were going through when they tried to give up smoking. This is just sugar, it should be easier to give up, shouldn't it? I'd appreciate any input from people who had similar experience. I'm sorry for the ranting, I think I'm just feeling too sorry for myself today.
  3. sunflower

    Soy A Problem Too?

    Oh, yes, Richard is right -the marinated eel, too (the marinade contains soy sauce). I forgot about this one. To complete the list, obviously any sushi topped with any breaded seafood is a no-no, too. I'm wondering about the mayo that they put in some rolls - it would be good to check ingredients of this one, too (seems like lots of fun is awaiting the staff of the sushi place you are going to go to next time )
  4. sunflower

    Soy A Problem Too?

    I agree with both posts above. Sadly, many cereals, even if they are made of gluten-free grains, are flavoured with gluten- containing malt or they have some other ingredients which are not gluten-free. The crab is something I would have never guessed myself until I read about it some time ago somewhere on this board. Then, the next time I was in a supermarket, I found some frozen crab sticks and I read the ingredients list, which was very educative indeed. Basically, the ingredients were: white fish meat, wheat flour and lots of flavor enhancers and color additives. Yum! As far as sushi goes, you should also beware of anything that contains soy sauce, which would mean: the japanese omelettes (they contain soy sauce), marinaded vegetables (they have slightly brown color, that's because they are made with soy sauce), the salmon roe (again flavored with soy sauce) and sometimes even nori (the seaweed used for wrapping) can (but do not always) contain soy sauce flavor (the plain yakinori, or roasted nori, does not contain soy sauce, from my label reading experience). I think eating sushi is possible, only you'd have to find some reliable place where they would check ingredients and make sure your sushi does not contain anything with gluten. (BTW, even if a waitperson/ chef is a native Japanese, be warned that many Japanese do not know that soy sauce contains wheat! The most recent funny remark I heard from a Japanese whom I tried to convince that I cannot have anything containing soy sauce was "Oh no, surely the GOOD, ORIGINAL soy sauce brands cannot contain wheat!" I had to literally point him the "wheat flour" on the ingredients list of his "good, original" soy sauce bottle ) I hope you find the source of your problems and that it will turn to be some hidden gluten, not soy!
  5. sunflower

    Craving Sweets...

    Hi guys, I can relate - I have the same problem. Have you ever considered yeast (Candida) overgrowth as the reason of craving sweets? There are threads about it on this site: and
  6. Thank you all for your posts and your encouragement! And sorry for my late answer. In the meantime, I've been to the natural medicine specialist, but I'm a bit disappointed and confused. Yes, he agreed this can be either Candida, or some undiscovered allergies, and so he tested me for several allergies and discovered about a dozen or so, including milk, eggs, pork, carrot, oranges and God knows what else. He told me to eliminate them from my diet for a month and then come back for a blood test by which he can define if I have yeast problem and what kind of homeopatic treatment I should have. Only I'm somehow not convinced by the allergy "testing" which consisted of waving a copper rod over me (it was some kind of machine for testing allergies using magnetic waves). OK, some people might believe it, but I need a more solid proof to start an elimination diet as strict as that one. So I'm planning to do some "proper" allergy tests (like blood tests) and see if I get the same results. Well, it seems like it's still a long way to success for me. Anyway, I noticed one good thing - after severely reducing sugar for the last couple of weeks, the sugar craving is almost gone! Maybe my yeast are dying out Or maybe it's just a matter of getting used to a different diet? I did not manage to cut out sugar completely yet, but I think I made some progress. Whitelacegal, Did you take any medicines apart from the diet? Or did you get rid of yeast just by sticking to the diet? The 8 month perspective seems like such a long time, but at least I can hope for a light somewhere at the end of that tunnel... Also, do you have a list of forbidden products from the yeast diet that you followed? I've seen some candida diets on the Internet, but some are stricter than the others, and I am wondering to what extent I should limit myself? Kabowman, In my case, I don't know if I have yeast intolerance, but I do think I have yeast overgrowth, because of frequent yeast infections which can be cured with drugs, but only for some period, and sooner or later they would reappear. I also have the sugar craving, I'm often tired without reason (even though I stick to the gluten-free and milk free diet) and for many years I was often treated with antibiotics. From what I read in the Internet, this seems like the perfect picture for yeast overgrowth. Tammy, This is what I decided to start from I greatly reduced the sugar, and I feel so much better now. I'm wondering about cutting it off completely, but I guess I need someone more experienced to tell me that this is absolutely what I must do to get rid of the problem. Tarnalberry, According to some diets I found on the Internet, the only allowed fruit are the non-sweet ones like grapefruits or kiwis. I don't like either of them very much, so I still continue to eat small amounts of apples, oranges, etc.
  7. Soba is japanese and unfortunately most of the original japanese brands would have about 30% of wheat flour in them, just to prevent the noodles from crumbling apart... This means that if you look for soba in places selling original Asian foodstuff, it could be hard to find soba without wheat added. I have once seen a 100% buckwheat soba (it said it was 100% buckwheat on the bag) in a natural foods shop. Possibly this is the kind of place to look for it. I haven't tried it, but I guess it would be more crumbly than the "regular" soba. Good luck!
  8. sunflower

    Baking For Family

    Hi, As for me, I never had any skin reaction to gluten (such as rash), so I also thought that kneading gluten dough should be OK if I am extra careful about cleaning everything afterwards, washing my hands and so on. However, I tried once to knead gluten dough with my hands (I was trying to make gluten dumplings for my boyfriend after making gluten-free ones for myself) and I am never, ever going to do it again. I'm not sure if it was from touching the dough, or from the flour dust that was in the air, but I got very dizzy and nauseous afterwards. We rarely make any gluten stuff at home, all cakes are baked from gluten-free flour, and only sometimes we make 2 kinds of pancakes (gluten-free and non-gluten-free), and it is my boyfriend who makes them so I don't have to deal with gluten flour. Still, it happened to me once to mix the flour with eggs and milk for gluten pancakes and it did not make me sick - could it be because I did not touch the stuff with my hands, but used a mixer, and there wasn't so much flour dust in the air? I'm not sure if it helps but this is just my two cents Anna
  9. sunflower

    Hard Time Coping

    Tiffany, It's funny - I looked at the site again to see that about casein, and I am not sure if I saw that page "Unnumbered" last time I checked (well, about a month ago). So either they are doing some updating, or I missed it at first (though I'm pretty sure I haven't seen celiac disease mentioned there before). Well. Out of curiosity, I googled "casein"+"similar to gluten" and I did get some results of other pages where it is written about similar molecular structure of gluten and casein, too. I haven't heard of that either, which does not automatically mean it might not be true. I don't know everything. Regardless of the molecular structure of casein, I think that the sentence saying that celiac people must avoid casein as a rule is wrong. As for amaranth, Wikipedia ( says it can mean a few different things, among others "a general term for all members of the plant genus Amaranthus " and "a dark red to purple dye once used for colouring food but now banned by the FDA". It does not say that those 2 things are connected, which is good, because I love amaranth As for the other additives, well, there is quite a lot of them, so googling each one might be time consuming . I've never been good at chemistry - that is why I looked for this kind of page! This is the best one I found so far, compared to other "E" lists which give just the "E" number and its chemical name, which is of course no information for me. I'm not saying that it is the best one that exists or that it does not contain any mistakes for sure. If anybody finds a better one somewhere, I'd love to compare. I think your attitude (not taking anything for granted just because somebody made a Web site about it) is reasonable. A recent example, which has nothing to do with celiac disease: I googled the word "khamsin" to check when exactly it blows. Some pages told me that khamsin is a strong east wind, some that it is a strong west wind, some said it can blow March to early May, some that it blows late March till mid-April, some said it blows in April. The only thing they certainly agreed on was the fact that it is indeed a type of African wind that carries lots of sand. This just shows how you can find backup for almost any theory you can think of, if you search the Web for long enough
  10. sunflower

    Hard Time Coping

    Gretchen, You're welcome This was the best site about additives that I managed to find. However, they do not specify ingredients that can possibly contain gluten or dairy (this is what I actually looked for). I even wrote to them with a suggestion that if they update the site in the future, they might consider the matter of gluten and dairy intolerance. They wrote me back that their site is based on a research of some scientist who has not published any updates yet, so they cannot update the site, either. Still, I think that the site is very informative (although it did make me loose appetite for most processed stuff...) Anna
  11. sunflower

    Hard Time Coping

    An afterthought - I don't think that you deprive your family of anything by starting to cook from scratch and stopping to use many processed food seasonings/sauces. Firstly, fresh ingredients taste a lot better. Secondly, they are a whole lot healthier. (if you want some scary reading, try this site: It lists many possible side effects of all the "E" stuff that is added to processed food. To be honest, I never investigated this matter until I recently learned about possibility of hidden ingredients in spice mixes. I think that your family can only benefit from eating less of food additives, no matter if they have celiac disease or not. Take care! Anna
  12. sunflower

    Hard Time Coping

    Charlotte, I agree with everything above. Your health is most important and you cannot risk it for the short-term benefit of others. After all, it's you who do the cooking, so it's you who decide about ingredients. You should not feel guilty about it, because it's not your fault that you have celiac disease! On top of everything that was said above, I can tell you that I am gluten-free from the time I was born and I have a few years younger sister who is also gluten-free. My mom told me once that when I was very small, she used to cook ALL dishes separate for me (gluten-free) and for herself and my father (non gluten-free). Then my sister was born and she had to do 3 separate kinds of food: gluten-free, non-gluten-free and baby food. At this point she said stop! She knew she'll go insane if she continues like this, so she decided that she doesn't mind eating gluten-free, and as for my father, either he gets used to eating gluten-free, or he can go and eat out. This way MOST of dishes cooked at my home became gluten-free, with the exception of bread, pasta, and pancakes. Even cake was gluten-free for everyone, and if larger amount was necessary, non-gluten-free one was bought. This worked perfectly well and I don't remember anybody complaining. Sauces for everyone were thickened with gluten-free flour, soups were not thickened at all, etc. I live now with my fiance (non-gluten-free) and we stick to this pattern with no problems. When I make pasta, I make gluten-free sauce from scratch in one pan, then I use 2 separate small pots for cooking gluten-free and non-gluten-free pasta (being careful to stir with different spoons etc.) and then I put each one's pasta to a separate plate and pour the sauce over. A bit complicated (considering there is just 2 of us), but doable. Then we only have to be careful about washing up separately. As for pancakes, this is about the one and only dish I cannot make, hate to make and refuse to make especially that my fiance is soo good at making it! So this time it's him who has to worry about making 2 separate kinds of pancakes in 2 separate mixing bowls and frying them separately, etc. Sandwiches for breakfast can be easily made in 2 versions: on gluten-free and non-gluten-free bread. For a big family like yours, you can make it even easier by putting a separate big plate with gluten-free bread, another one with non-gluten-free bread (both kinds possibly firstly spread with butter, or serve 2 separate butter dishes and knives for gluten-free and non-gluten-free), and all the stuff to put on bread (I personally love many kinds of veggies, like tomatoes, radishes etc, sliced) separately, so that everyone can choose whatever they like and put on their bread themselves. Although, this option would probably require a dishwasher or making other members of the family wash up (after all, why not? ). I've decided that the only way of survival in a mixed (gluten-free/non-gluten-free) household is to learn the art of making simple dishes that everyone can have, preferably with lots of fresh veggies and herbs and spices for the taste - and it does taste better than using the instant sauces / mixes that you can buy at regular shops! I skip any recipes that require long and complicated cooking, as I also work full time. My recent greatest discovery is Greek cuisine - they have many dishes that are easy to make, and many of them can easily be prepared gluten-free. You can search the Web for recipes you like and save them to a separate folder, to use whenever you have no idea what to cook for dinner I also do the planning of meals for one week ahead, to be able to go to a supermarket just once a week and save time for shopping. I think the planning part is the hardest, once you decide and write it down it's easy. BTW, guys, thanks for the Mexican spices recipes - this was something I was just trying recently to figure out after I learned that the regular mixes you can buy have doubtful ingredients! I'm so happy I found it here! Thanks again, Anna
  13. sunflower

    Celiac In Toronto News Today

    Debmidge, This link says it was wheat and barley. I checked it out just out of curiosity - I fully agree with the posts above that it does not matter what the communion bread is made of. Originally, Christ used bread, not a communnion wafer which was developed by the Church much later, I suppose. So, I think the rule about percentage of wheat must have been made by someone who didn't want the Church to be accused of replacing the original bread with something completely different. Also, I think the rule must have been made when no one knew that wheat can be harmful to anyone, so now the Church will have a hard time trying not to admit that they made a mistake when they created the rule about wheat based communion wafers. And admitting that they could have possibly been wrong is the last thing that the Catholic church is likely to do (I was raised as a Catholic, too). celiac3270, The reality about the Pope is that many people believe that he is not the person that really rules the Church anymore. He is far too elderly and far too ill and there are plenty of advisors around him who are really holding the power. And I suppose many of them love to stick to rules, however ridiculous they be, just because the rules give them power. Sorry for the cynicism, but with all the reverence that I still have left for the current Pope as a person, I believe in God, but not in Church anymore. Anna
  14. I think you can do a blood test to define your blood type, and it should show your Rh factor, too. As explained on those link pages, it might be worth knowing if you ever consider having a baby, and in case of blood transfusion (0 Rh- cannot receive 0 Rh+ blood in transfusion, but the other way round it is OK). (which is so unfair! ) have a good day! Anna
  15. Kalo, Positive and negative means Rh factor positive or negative (Rh+, Rh-). I used to learn it at school a long time ago, but according to the saying of one of my teachers that "education is what you have left when you have forgotten everything you learned" , I find it easier to post those explanation links than to actually explain I am 0 negative, BTW, and my boyfriend (non-Celiac) is 0 positive, which means we can have a bit of a problem some day... Anna
  16. sunflower

    My Vegas Trip Did Not Go Very Well

    How exactly did you explain your problem at the restaurants? I used to say "I can't have anythung with wheat flour or dairy" and I found out that it just didn't work in most cases. "I can't have" can mean "I can't have because I'm on Atkins diet or some other kind of diet to lose weight" or "I can't have because I don't like", etc. It doesn't explain that you will get very ill if you get any amount of gluten and that you cannot just push it aside if you find it in your dish. Also, I used to think "wheat flour" indicates anything made of it, so for me it was obvious that people will understand that breadcrumbs or croutons are also a no-no. I learned that they wouldn't. It took me a lot of painful experience to adapt the only strategy that seems to work: I say that I am ALLERGIC to gluten, which is a protein in wheat, rye, blah, blah, and that I cannot have anthing that contains anything made of those grains such as the following: flour, bread, cake, breadcrumbs, croutons, soy sauce, sauces containing wheat flour or soy sauce (have I missed anything?). When they suggest me a dish, I double check that it doesn't have any of the forbidden ingredients before I make my order. I know what I say is not strictly true, because I'm not allergic to gluten, I have celiac disease, but strangely it makes them treat me more seriously, because allergy indicates that I can have some serious problems if they feed me something with gluten (well, I know I will have serious problems, even if it doesn't show up immediately). And you really have to talk to them almost as precisely as a lawyer would , mentioning all the obvious stuff that is usually made of flour, because most of them will not get it (there is a thread about it somewhere here, let me look for it... here it is: And if they still bring you something that contains croutons or anything like that, you have every right to call the waiter and politely, but firmly ask to replace it. Most of them just have no idea what gluten is, that's why they make mistakes. BTW, I noticed from your signature that you became gluten-free only recently. Could it be that you find it stressful to do all this explaining and questioning at restaurants? I'm asking because I've been Celiac for years, I've eaten out many many times, I've travelled quite a lot including abroad, and to be frank, I still don't like that moment when the waiter approaches and I think to myself "OK... So here we go again " It's so much easier to be able to say "OK, I'll have this and that" without all this going through ingredients! Unfortunately, I've never had a chance to try it myself - I just had to learn how to eat out and survive it! I used to be very shy, now I've managed to "outgrow" it in some fields at least, but I'm still not the kind of person who would shout, thump, and yell for the manager to complain about food in a restaurant Believe me, ordering food in restaurants might seem so hard to you now, but if you keep trying, it will get easier and easier. Even if you feel like crying, because you explained so well only to find some wheat ingredients in your food again, you should not give up and leave! I take it like this: if I do explain everything and double check before ordering, and they say it will be OK, then it's their responsibility to replace any dish that turns out not to be gluten-free. If I do not explain anything because I assume some food would be gluten-free and it turns out not to be so, then it is my problem. That's why I have learned to speak up, even if it makes me feel embarrassed, because it's me who's going to be sick if I get gluten, and not the waiter! I hope you will have better experience next time you travel!
  17. ??? Can you give some example? This is beyond my imagination, as the only other Celiac I have a chance to meet is my sister - no other people with celiac disease among my relatives or friends.
  18. I liked your comment about the good genes! Once I said, jokingly, to my boyfriend (who is not Celiac), that considering the future possibility of having children, maybe he should have chosen a woman with a better set of genes than mine. To which he answered that if he thought that way, he'd have to shoot himself first, because his own genes are not perfect either I wish there would be more people who have a similar approach to people as he does... Comments like the one your grandmother said just beg for an answer "Why do you see the straw in your brother's eye...?"
  19. What your sister-in-law did, is very much like noticing a disabled person in a wheelchair in the street and then running and jumping around the wheelchair and laughing in that person's face saying "OH, I'm so happy! *I* can run and jump! Oh, lucky me!" (not that I ever saw anything like this happen, I was looking for some comparison and came up with this one, which is maybe a bit exagerrated, but not much, I think). No one is guilty of being ill, or disabled, or anything like that. If they could choose, they would surely choose to be healthy. I think many people, when they see someone who is less healthy then they are, may think: "Oh, I'm lucky - I could have ended up with something like that", but it's a very selfish thought, and to say it aloud laughing is lower than low!
  20. sunflower

    You Gotta Be Careful!

    I never take anyone's knowledge about ingredients for granted anymore. I once told a waitress I cannot have anything containing wheat ingredients, such as wheat flour, or any dairy ingredients and asked for any dishes I could have. She then suggested a meat and potato dish, but I still preferred to double-check: is there any flour or cream based sauce? She said no. Is the meat covered in flour? She said no. So this is just plain fried meat without any batter or sauce? She said no, the meat has batter made of breadcrumbs. I used to think that anybody would know that you make breadcrumbs from bread, and bread is made from flour, but this girl did not seem to be able to make this connection. So I have learned to say that I am allergic to wheat and milk (from my experience, this works better in restaurants than saying "I can't have..." or "I have celiac disease"), and to ask for food that does not contain (and here goes a list of food ingredients which are obvious to me but might not be obvious to someone). What serendipitystreet wrote is scary. I always thought they don't know about gluten, because many people don't, but other ingredients also... It's unbelievable. For someone like me, who has learned to read food labels almost since I knew how to read, it's hard to imagine that someone working in food industry can be so clueless.
  21. Do you mean a pill that would cure my celiac disease forever, or a pill that I would have to take everyday, till the end of my life, just to be able to eat gluten? If you mean the former, I would pay any amount I could afford, even if it would take not just one "magical" pill, but a longer therapy (say, a few weeks or even a few months). If in the end I could hope to be cured, I would give it a try at any cost. If you mean the latter, I'm not sure I would use it - maybe for special occassions, as the people above already said, and only if I could be sure that it really blocks the damage done to my intestines. Having a pill that would enable us to eat normally sounds just great, but I'd be worried about the side effects of taking any medication every day, for years and years. Surely that cannot be good for your liver. I'd be worried even more that the pill could not be 100% sure - like I'm not sure Lactaid helps you digest every single bit of lactose that you ingest. What if despite taking the pill, there would still be some amounts of gluten left that would hurt your intestines? In my case, I could not know about it for a long time, because I don't have symptoms after small amounts of gluten, but I would still suffer from it in the long run. To be honest, when I first read the question, it reminded me of an opinion I have read in some newspaper some time ago, stating that it will be a long time before some kind of vaccination for AIDS will be invented, mainly because drug makers gain too much profit from selling all those medications that are believed to help people with AIDS live longer. I am not jumping to conclusions that the question that started this thread was asked with such meaning, and I think any efforts to find remedy for celiac disease should be supported, because some day, someone might manage to find it. Still, as for myself, I'd prefer a treatment for the disease itself and not for its effects only.
  22. sunflower

    Sandwich Subsitute

    Unfortunately, I don't know anything about corn tortillas, but I have one comment regarding the nori (roasted seaweed wrap) described by gfmelissa. You might want to check the ingredients of this one before you buy. I can't give you any brand names, but as for Japanese nori, there are 2 types: plain roasted nori (yaki nori) that is just roasted seaweed "paper" (this is OK) and flavored nori (aji nori) that can contain various flavoring ingredients, but mainly soy sauce! (and you can be almost sure that the sauce is wheat based, if the nori is made in Japan). So better make sure about the soy sauce before you buy nori. Except for that, nori is just great!
  23. I won't help you much with your results either, as I was diagnosed as a baby and don't know about meaning of test results or what they are supposed to be like... But I think that if your results are so high it should mean that your body's reaction to gluten was quite strong, even though you didn't show "classic" symptoms. I understand the shock and I am sorry for you. I noticed that there is a part of this board called "Gluten-free diet and weight issues" ( )- I haven't read it until now because I'm OK with my current weight, but after reading your post I looked through some messages posted there and I found out that there is quite a number of people who were diagnosed with celiac disease even though they were also fighting with their overweight. I thought you might want to look through those messages to see if they can help you. Unfortunately, I can't offer any more help, but I hope that this board will help you learn how to change your lifestyle, as it has helped me.
  24. sunflower

    Women Celiacs

    Licking Evra is not an option that I have ever considered Still, thanks for the explanation - I've started looking for hidden sources of gluten not so long ago, and I'm still going through the painful process of re-checking every food item I use and tormenting the producers. I haven't started looking through medicines yet, and I guess this is going to be even more "fun"... So right now, paranoid is my middle name!