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Pegleg84 last won the day on August 1 2017

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About Pegleg84

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    hunting for good GF beer and perfecting that GF/DF/SF alfredo recipe
    (Celiac, dairy/soy intolerant, Fibromyalgia)
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  1. Yes, we drove around for 5 days. They drive on the right side. The paved roads and signage are really good, especially since you go up and around mountains all over the place. The dirt roads are trickier, especially when there's a cliff down to the ocean on one side, a blind hill in front of you, sheep on the side of the road, and so much spectacular scenery that you don't know where to look. No off-roads unless you have a 4x4 though.


    The (gluteny) bread looked fantastic, and reports from my man is that it was equally delicious (jealous). Didn't see any of this flat-bread you speak of, but did pick up some nice corn "flatbread" crackers for the road.


    All I can say is GO! Even if you just hang out in Reykjavik and go on a couple day tours. GO!

  2. Hey all,


    I just got back from 10 wonderful days in Iceland, and thought I should report back on the gluten-free food situation.


    Overall: pretty great! Staple foods in iceland is fish, fish, lamb, more fish, potatoes and veg. Mostly grilled, not a lot of deep-fried stuff. Bread tends to be served with meals, but usually on the side.


    Gluten-free knowledge: everyone speaks English, so communicating isn't difficult, and most good restaurants know what you mean when you say "gluten-free". Reykjavik is probably the best, but we found great places in Akureyri and the middle of nowhere Westfjords too.


    So, a few reccomendations: (keep in mind I can't do dairy or soy either, and my man is a strict vegetarian, so we mostly stuck to veg-friendly places)


    Self-catering: Bring what you can with you, if possible. You will be able to find gluten-free pasta, etc, but it will likely be twice as much. Unless you're lucky enough to be passing by Silva, then baked goods are probably going to be a rare treat. I saw corn/rice crackers a few places. For fresh things, produce is slim pickings, and also quite pricey since much of it has to be shipped in. Smoked and cured salmon can be found packaged and ready to eat. Avoid things that have to be frozen (I brought ice packs for my cooler, but didn't find a freezer to put them in), though if it's cold out you can just put it outside and it'll chill pretty fast.

    Bonus is the "discount" grocery store, some of which have gluten-free stuff but not all. Netto is more well stocked, and more expensive, but more produce and gluten-free stuff available. Here's a really great "food buying guide" http://www.iheartreykjavik.net/2013/07/the-ultimate-guide-to-food-shopping-in-iceland/



    Glo - fantastic mostly-vegetarian restaurant downtown. They have a few locations in the Reykjavik area. Cafeteria style, where you pick a main, and can have 3 salads. All their salads are gluten-free (no CC worries), and mains are labeled as gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. Oh, and great gluten-free crackers. We ate there twice, and the food is fantastic. Pretty cheap for Iceland, too.


    Sea Baron - little fish place down on the harbour, where you pick a skewer of fish and they grill it up for you. Just tell them you're gluten-free.


    Kol - this was the nice shmancy place we went to, a more modern take on Icelandic food (without the touristy whale gimmicks). We were tremendously underdressed and lucky to get a table. Gluten free was no problem, and they were able to switch out the buttery potatoes for another veg. Best lamb I'd had in... ever?


    Reykjavik Chips - French (or Belgian) Fries. Just fries. Nothing else in the fry fryer but fries. Pick a mayo-based sauce. So good! it's a little takeout place packed mostly with students looking for a (relatively) cheap snack and a beer.



    Akureyri - for Iceland's 2nd largerst "city", it's pretty small, and plan ahead if you're there on a Sunday, but they've got some good stuff:


    Silva - about a 15min drive south of town, this place not only serves fantastic vegetarian and gluten free food, there's also a spectacular view of the valley. We ate here twice! Had the flat-bread "pizza" one night, and soup the other, but the real draw is the excellent gluten-free crackers, and fresh gluten-free bread! So good! I would have bought a loaf if we weren't travelling.


    In town, if you don't have a strict non-meat-eater in tow, then the place to go is Rub 23, which is known as one of the best restaruants in town and in the country. They do sushi (I got some takeout. it was pretty good), as well as various meat and fish with your choice of rub. I didn't get to have the full experience here, but their gluten-free reputation is pretty good. 


    On the main floor of the Kea Hotel, Mulaberg Bistro also looked promising in the gluten-free department (their soup, first thing on the menu, was listed and Gluten and Dairy free), though we didn't eat there it was probably where we would have gone for a more upscale dinner.



    Westfjords - if you're brave enough to risk the crazy driving, it's worth it.


    Isafjordur - we planned to have dinner at Tjorhusid, known as the best place in town and one of the best fish places in the country. I'd emailed them to check on their gluten-free capabilities (possibility of CC from the skillets they use, but they can do the fish without flour), but we didn't make a reservation so arrived to find outselves out of luck. Very unique place down on the harbour, long communal tables, smelled fantastic, but not this time.


    Heydalur - instead, we had dinner at the country hotel we were staying at. Delicious! In the morning, they even made me gluten-free pancakes for breakfast, which I couldn only eat one of because they were so filling! Very gluten-free conscious, and vegetarian/vegan friendly too.



    We also stayed in Stykkisholmur, which has a handful of nice restaurants, though the meal we ended up having was mediocre and dissappointing in comparison to the rest of the trip (go to Narfeyrarstofa for drinks, but the food does not live up to the pricetag)



    is expensive, so choose your booze wisely. You can get wine and spirits from all over, but if you're looking for local, try the liquers (sweet but not too sweet) and schnapps from Reykjavik 64, be brave and have a shot of brennavin (carraway-flavoured schnapps, strong stuff but not as bad as it's "black death" reputation), or enjoy some really good local gin (try the barrell-aged, a bit of a golden colour). There's also local vodka, if that's your thing. I saw gluten-free beer at a grand-total of 1 bar, but it was gluten-removed, so no luck there. Everything is pricey, but they take presentation very seriously, so you'll get your precious cocktail or shot of gin in a lovely glass.


    Coffee! It's taken quite seriously on the Island, and even machine-espresso isn't that bad. Reykjavik Roasters is the place to go in the city (they also have very nice nut bars as a gluten-free treat!). Some of the best coffee I've had, perfectly fine black if you can't have soy milk. (I saw almond milk at the grocery store, but no cafes had it). Te and Kaffi is the Starbucks substitute, available all over the country and pretty good. Anywhere with an espresso machine will make you a good cup of coffee.




    So, that is my 10 kronor on Iceland. We were on the road much of the time, so I was snacking a lot for lunches, and only self-catered for a couple days. Overall, stick with fish and grilled lamb and you should have no problem. For vegetarians, things might be a bit tougher. There seemed to be a lot of "nut loaf" rather than tofu, but I'm not sure how many of those are gluten-free or not. Soup is another good option - fish soup if you can do dairy, meat soup in broth if you can't.


    As far as I can tell, no glutening. Probably a bit more butter in a few things than I should have had. Plan ahead and contact restaurants/hotels in advance if you you have questions, but there's nothing to stop a Celiac from eating perfectly well.


    Have you been to iceland? Add your suggestions!










  3. The very idea that you can "breed" the gluten out of barley is pretty incredible. Indeed, if the testing is correct, 5ppm is ok for most Celiacs (though not me). Good on em! As long as it's marketed as still containing trace amounts.


    I, however, am one of those people who can't handle the mysterious "gluten removed" beers, and though a beer brewed with this low-gluten barley would probably have less PPM, I probably still wouldn't touch it. There are quite a few good completely gluten-free beers out there now.


    Still, Science! It's great there are people out there working on these problems.

  4. Hey guys,


    so, if you get the "updates" from Celiac.com, you'll have seen some thing about a german beer being brewed with gluten-free barley. At first I figured it was just another "gluten removed" scheme, but:

    WHAT? Gluten-free barley?? Isn't that impossible? Barley contains gluten, right? Is there some kind of genetically modified barley out there? Has it actually been tested? Does anyone know anything about this? I want to see some science. If it's true, and it's safe (for celiacs. I'm not going to get into a GMO safety debate), then that's fantastic. But i'm highly skeptical.


    Any insight on this? Would be good to get the whole picture before anyone starts thinking barley is safe or some such craziness.




  5. Bartful is right, you have to take charge of your own decisions and your own health. However, if you and your man are going to be able to coexist in the long term, he has to support your need to have a safe home.


    so: take over the kitchen. Clean it from top to bottom (make your man help out too), make a separate area for gluteny foods where they won't get in your way. Buy a new toaster, get separate pans and things, or switch to stainless steel. Make sure to label jars of stuff that could be cross-contaminated. Try to get him to eat gluten-free stuff rather than the other way around. Make gluten the "special" food, and yours just normal food. Eat more whole foods (veg, meat, etc) that don't have any flour anyway. Find a gluten-free treat you both like. Oh, and don't forget teeth-brushing before kisses.

    If he can't handle that, then it ain't going to work out. Your health is more important!

  6. I know exactly what you're going through.


    the dizziness might be slight gluten ataxia (I get it mildly too), but anxiety and panic can definitely be a symptom. For me it hits a few days later: anxious, panicky, and depressed, and then more anxious and depressed because you feel like crud because of the anxiety and on it goes in a horrible spiral.... It sucks!


    first thing's first: be as strict with your diet as you can possibly be. there's no reason you can't pursue your career dreams, but it will require a lot of planning, making sure you are able to make or access safe food, etc.


    Getting gluten out of my life (and soy, which also sets off my anxiety) made my anxiety 85% better... I say that because it is possible that it's not just the gluten causing the anxiety and if it's really bad, you should talk to a professional psychologist/psychiatrist about it. Even if it's only gluten that sets it off, learning some skills to cope with the anxiety could be a huge help. (I'm going through cognitive behavioural therapy treatment right now, to help with this very problem. It's supposed to help retrain your brain and body not to freak out about the syptoms of panic. So far so good, even just breathing properly helps)


    Anyway, breathe! The anxiety will pass. Celiac sucks. Getting glutened sucks, but it always feels worse and more insurmountable when you're in the thick of it. We're here for all your venting and advice-seeking needs

  7. oh man, I'm excited about this one.




    I saw these at the store today. Peanut butter and oat cluster things. But there was no indicating whether the oats were certified gluten-free or not, so I did my due diligence and contacted the company. Heard back super quick, and:


    "The only Earth Balance product that contains oats is our PB Popps and the whole grain oats in this product are gluten free certified."



    Has anyone tried these yet? I will report back. It's tricky to find tasty gluten-free/SF/DF snacks, so these things could be dangerous (as in I will eat way too many of them).
    Earth Balance soy-free spread is my butter substitute, and their PB is pretty good too.




  8. I also have trouble with anxiety, which was much worse before I went gluten free, but is still something I have to deal with 6 years on.


    A few possibilities:

    - as others said, you might need to be much more strict with your diet. Go through your kitchen and throw-out/replace anything that could be contaminated. Try cooking for yourself for a month to see if that makes a difference. cross-contamination might not do much once, but if you're eating out frequently then you could be getting hit more than your gut can handle. It's hard, but a full cleaning out can really make a difference.

    - you could have another intolerance. I've had to cut out dairy and soy. Soy especially gets my anxiety symptoms going. You could try cutting one or both out for a few weeks and see if that makes a difference. Maybe it's something else? Try keeping a food diary and seeing if anything sets your anxiety off.

    - the third, and maybe more difficult to face, is that you might have an anxiety disorder that might be affected by gluten, but isn't going to get better with diet alone. Talk to your doctor, or see a psychiatist about whether therapy and/or medication might be right for you. Honestly, it took me a long time to accept that my anxiety was more than just my gut being unhappy. There's help out there.


    Anyway, it can be a lot of work to get it all figured out, but it's worth it in the long run.

    Good luck!

  9. Welcome to the club!

    Orange juice, if straight from a sealed bottle, is highly unlikely to have gluten or soy, but it can irritate your stomach because of the acidity. 6 years in I still have trouble drinking too much orange juice because of the acidity (I get gastritis on occassion and acidic things are no help).

    Great to hear your feeling a difference on such a short time gluten-free (I was the same), but be aure to treat your stomach very gently for the first while. It's going to take some time to heal, but if you know what to do from the beginning, it will be much easier.


    Good luck!

  10. My Mom has an essential tremor (it's a thing. look it up), which is hereditary and gets worse with age. I'm not sure if it's directly related, but Mom has Celiac and thyroid problems. She says it does get worse when she's tired/stressed. I can probably look forward to it in 20 years.

  11. I had horrible nails prior to going gluten-free. That was one of the big signs that I was healing: my nails got stronger. Now, if my nails start getting weak again, it's a sign something is amiss in my diet.
    If you've just started the diet, I'd give it a few more months before you start seeing a real difference. However, a full thyroid panel is not a bad idea.

  12. Sorry to jump in, but I've been doing kind of the same thing at work. Get some thin, easy to soak rice noodles (this might take some time to figure out at home first. Sit them in some hot or boiling water and see how well/quickly they soften up), you can break them up into smaller bunches if you want, zippie bags, whatever, and soak in hot (as you can find) water in a mug or whatever.

    For seasoning, maybe a powdered broth of some sort, mix in extra spices. Get some dehydrated veggies if you can.

    I just soaked noodles and steamed broccoli in some hot water from the kettle here at work, so no reason why it wouldn't work on the go.

    A good insulated mug/themos would be a great thing to have on you.


    Additional thought: If you had an insulated mug, you could actually put the noodles, seasonings, and even some fresh veg in there, seal it up, and then when you're ready fill it up with "boiling" water, shake it up good, and let it sit for 10-15 min or so. Tahdaaaa...

    I haven't skied in years. Let me know if you figure out the portable microwave.



  13. Had my ultrasound today. Won't get results for at least a week, but from the horrid pain I had on my left side during the scan, I'll be surprised if something's not up with my kidney.

    Did anyone else have really bad tenderness in your side/back when dealing with stones, even when it's not super painful? The pain has been coming and going, but is still in the same spot. No sign of anything "passing" or moving.

  14. Hi guys!


    It's been a while, mostly because I've been doing very good in the gluten department. Aside from catching more than a couple cold bugs this year, I've been a-o-kay in the food department.


    Or at least (possibly) up until this Thursday. I ate some oatmeal for breakfast, and we had an extra long meeting at work and I was getting really hungry (weak and nauseous) by the end of it, so I wolfed down a Macro bar when I got to my office. I was feeling some discomfort before that, but the nausea didn't stop, and I got this HORRIBLE pain in my side. right down in the left side above my hip, too far over to be in my stomach. It was not the usual pain I get from indigestion or anything like that. This was different. I toughed it out for a while, decided to try to eat my lunch (thinking I might still be hungry) and ooooh man, it just kept getting worse. It hurt when I pressed on my side, and I could hardly see straight. Something told me very strongly that this was not normal. So I abandoned my half eaten lunch, told my boss what was going on, and was off to the clinic. It didn't get any worse but not much better while I wated. Doctor thinks its either a stomach bug or food poisoning (unlikely, no fever or vomiting), kidney stones (most likely), or an ovarian cyst.

    So, we're treating it like a kindney stone at this point. I did a urine test, have an ultrasound scheduled for Monday, and she gave me a prescription for pain killers. Drinking lots of water. Eating mostly soup.


    The pain was bad but not horrible the rest of Thursday, was ok Friday morning but came back in the afternoon (right after lunch, oddly enough), so I went home and doped myself up (percocet works! but man does it make you loopy). Today is so far so good. I'm still hoping it's nothing, or just my stomach being a pain and doing weird things, cause if it is a stone it's not going to be fun getting rid of it. There's still a mild ache in my side, a bit tender.


    Anyway, since this is my first experience with these (possible) suckers, anyone want to share their experiences? Or posit alternatire possibilities? I know the pain is intermittent, but can you tell if the thing has passed or not (ie: is the pain actually gone, or will it be back with a vengence?).

    I know this might not be directly related to Celiac, but I have read (very old) threads about stones being common in Celiac sufferers.


    Anything you can offer would be great!





  15. The really irritating thing is I'm anxious about anything. I get anxious, and then I worry about how that anxiety will affect things, not the other way around.


    I'm trying to up my b12, being super careful with what I'm eating, etc etc. Iron would be a good idea too. Getting out in the sunshine when it's out. November hit me hard this year, but now it's snowing and that's actually cheering me up a bit. But this is more than a seasonal thing.


    I do also think that we're kind of prone to it. I was more or less fine for a few years and now, bam! Depression kind of runs in our family even though we don't really talk about it. We also (as a society) don't often talk about the fact that depression/anxiety isn't just about being sad/worried. It's an underlying tension that's there even when you're feeling ok. It's an instability. Today I'm doing ok, but I've got this slightly neurotic shakiness that makes me feel I could just break down at any moment. It's very unnerving.

  16. Hi guys,


    Putting this in here since the "behaviour" forum doesn't get much traffic.


    Lately (past month or so) I've been having some bad axiety, panic attacks, depression, etc. All the fun stuff. This was a big symptom for me before I wen't gluten free, and got much much better once I did. Over the past few years, when I did get an attack I could usually link it back to something I ate, or an actual stressful event.


    However, lately there's nothing I can point to and know, yes, that's what it was. I do have a few gluten-related possibilities: My boyfriend and I recently moved in together, and while my BF still brings gluten into the house, it's mostly frozen things that go straight into the oven, and he's super careful cleaning up, washing hands, no kissing, etc etc. It is possible that I'm getting low-level cc from something, but it would be pretty minor.


    Also, I often feel low-energy, slightly depressed, a bit gittery and get worked up easily after a glutening, but it's usually a single incident and is done, and there's always some kind of stomach thing to go with it. The past while has not felt like that. I've also considered that something could be up with my thyroid, though my doctor (who I saw last week) thinks everything looks fine.


    So, I am facing facts: this is a serious mental health issue, and I've asked to see a psychiatrist. This is a huge step for me, since I've dealt with depression/anxiety in some respect for most of my life. I've just blamed it on gluten for the past few years. The problem is our guts and our brains are so connected: If I eat something bad, it makes me depressed, which in turn makes me feel bad (a lot of nausea lately).  It sucks. It's interfering with my work and my life, and as much as I will do my best to eat right, sleep, meditate, exercise, socialise, and all the good things, I'm going to need some help.


    Anyway, has anyone else gone through this? Celiac affects our mental health, but maybe it's not the sole reason for it? Any advice for coping? I'm taking this all one day at a time.


    Thanks a bunch!



  17. It's not a fun situation, but your health is the most important thing. Blame the disease, not your friends, and be clear that it will be easier on everyone if you're on your own. Help them find a new roommate, hopefully the friendships will stay, even if you're not there.

    Pretty much since going gluten-free, I've lived on my own mostly for the piece of mind of controlling my own kitchen. Handling rent on your own is not an easy thing to do in this city, but it's been worth it. Now my gluten-eating BF and I are living together, but the kitchen is my domain, and he's been super super careful. No problems as of yet.

    Unless your roommates/significant others/family are willing to truly commit to keeping you safe, then it's better to go it alone. 

    Good luck with the move!

    Also, welcome to the forum!

  18. I buy mostly organic products these days, but the same rule applies. Regardless of whether it says gluten-free or not, I inspect the labeling for anything that looks suspicious. If it says "make in same facility as" I usually leave it on the shelf. However, if it doesn't say gluten-free but also doesn't list any gluten-containing ingredients or anything else suspicious, I'll still trust it. The only times I'm wary is if its the one gluten-free product made by a very gluteny company. I don't expect every company to test, but if you're going to label something gluten-free, you'd better be able to back that claim up.

    I also have to watch for soy, so no Kraft peanut butter for me... But I'm sure most of their products are fine.

  19. What about in the same city? I don't drive, but it probably takes a good 30min to get from point A-B around here. I would travel up to an hour on transit if it was something really worthwhile (haven't found that thing yet).

    (of course, I'm also lazy. Allegendly there's an all-gluten-free grocery/shop somewhere in the north part of the city that I've never been to because it's out of the way).

    Toronto is actually lacking in completely gluten-free restaurants. I know of... 3? And maybe half-a-dozen bakeries?


    If I'm travelling, then a 20min drive/cab-ride or 45min on transit, tops.


    That said, I might use going to Montreal as an excuse to buy gluten-free beer, and someday I will do the 9-course gluten-free dinner at Senza in Chicago.

  20. 2 words: Digestive Enzymes. They really do help your poor tired gut break things down.

    If you've just started on the gluten-free/SF diet, then your gut it going to take a while to heal and adjust. In that time, it's going to be super fussy and not agree with things that otherwise are perfectly safe. Go easy on it. Cook your veggies. Lean meats. Not too much rice and such. Kick the soda! Don't be tempted by "gluten-free" versions of cookies and pizza and all that.

    Soy and gluten is in a lot of processed foods and sauces, but if you stick to whole foods you'll be ok.

    The big thing is just getting used to cooking. Every meal. All the time. Ok, it's not that bad, You can make big batches and freeze things, or have lots of leftovers.

    It takes time and patience and persistence, but if you're already starting to feel better, then you know you're on the right track.


    Good luck!

  21. This is interesting. I'm also soy-intolerant, and ibuprophene is my go-to drug. I usually take a generic brand. I've never had any trouble with it at all. Also have never noticed a problem when taking Advil, but it's possible the formulas are different in the US than in Canada? I guess I will have to look at the ingredients again. I'm pretty sensitive to soy, but never had a problem.

    It might have to do with the coating on regular Advil, which isn't always on generic brands.


    Let us know what you find out!

  22. (sorry, jumping in a bit late on this one) I definitely get the "on a ship" feeling sometimes. The airbed description is a good one. I used to have it quite frequently/persistently, (and could have sworn something was up with my inner ear, though aside from tinnitus, the ENT assured me nothing was wrong with my ear). It's gotten a lot better since cutting dairy/soy and (trying to) cut back on salt. However, I still get it on occasion. Feels like the floor is sinking under you or something. Humidity and changes in air pressure can also set mine off (which to me suggests an ear/balance thing). I tend to get it while doing the dishes or things like that. Very odd.


    Anyway, I have no idea about high B12 symptoms. I think mine is about borderline/low, so I supplement on occasion. Definitely get a nice energy rush, but not sure if that could be causing other problems. I could be taking more vitamin D though.


    If you can figure out a good solution, definitely let us all know!