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About Agee

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  1. We had Christmas day at my mom's house and since she and my stepdad are vegetarian it is always a challenge for us to think of menus to share. Bless her heart, she does her best. I brought dessert, she made a nice tofu-nut-rice loaf (tasted much better than it sounded) and she used soy milk and "fake butter" (as she calls it - Smartblend to the rest of the world) in the mashed potatoes and we had many wonderful vegetables. She also used cornstarch to thicken the mushroom gravy...but after I'd eaten a lot of that (I lurve it) I asked her how to make it and she said - use one bouillon cube....sure enough, the veg. ones she buys use wheat protein. Gah. Symptoms all the next day, although not too bad. Better than last year, though, when we were all new to this gluten-intolerance thing and she bought a "wheat free" crust at Wholefoods - not understanding that wheat free wasn't gluten free - although she told me that it was...very, very sick the day after Xmas last year. BUT dh surprised me with a box of gluten-free treats and baking mixes. I never buy that stuff for myself as I'm always trying to lose weight but for special occasions it will be nice to have all those things around. Agee
  2. Hey ya'll - I have been gluten-free since last November, dairy-free since last December (except accidental exposure, of course). I quit eating dairy because although I felt better eating gluten-free, I did not feel 100% - and when I quit the cow milk products I started on the real road to recovery. I am self-diagnosed, but my doctor is 100% behind me. When I told her about eating this way she said she would never ask me to re-gluten in order to get a biopsy. Anyhoo, I don't know if I'm lactose intolerant or casein intolerant. I'm suspecting lactose, as I've been able to eat goat milk products a couple of times a week and I don't have any bad results. I'm wondering how long those of you who were lactose intolerant because of celiac/gluten intolerance waited until trying cow milk products again? I bought a yogurt to try it out...but I'm scared of what might happen. I HATE accidentally eating that stuff and I don't have the time to spend half of the day in the toilet for the next week. Any suggestions? Maybe try it with some Lactaid tablets? I would really love to add some yogurt back into my diet. I eat very whole foods (meat, nuts, veg, fruits, only have gluten-free treats on special occasions - like tonight and tomorrow) and I think it will give me more variety. Help! Adrienne
  3. My son is from Voronezh and was adopted at 15 mos. so he doesn't know how to make pelmini! He knows how to make a mess, however. I have often thought that when he gets older (he's 3 right now) we might adopt an older child (younger than him, but older than 3). I have two boys and I'd really love a girl, but I am done with babies! I also thought one of the summer programs might be a good way for us to adopt the next one, if we end up doing it. Did you use a summer program? I hope that the confusion in Russia clears up soon. I feel for those who are waiting - especially the children. It's taking so much longer now than it used to. For little ones, like mine was, it's not such a big deal because they don't know the difference. It must be so painful for the older ones, though! Thank you for the pelmini recipe and I'll have to look for the pelmini maker. Pierogi are larger and I have a pierogi press, but that sounds like a fun little device. Hey - I am going to be the Russian adoption blogger on adoption dot com (I'm not sure if I can post a URL here and have it come out). Would you mind if I use your recipe in my blog? It will belaunched after the holidays. Thanks, Adrienne/Agee p.s. I have discovered that kutya is supposed to be creamy. I am going to use a combination of cream of rice and flaxmeal. I'm not going to make much, though. I don't think this will be as popular as the pierogi and kielbasa I also serve. I've heard you're also supposed to throw kutya on the ceiling to see if it will stick. It predicts something about the coming year. Our house is on the market, however, so we'll not be throwing food around this Christmas eve.
  4. Thanks for the responses. I have some buckwheat that I used for kasha and it didn't seem to bother me, although I also didn't like it very much! I am going to try the millet. Someone else suggested using cream of rice because some recipes call for cream of wheat, but I get the impression that kutya is supposed to be more of a whole-grain type thing as opposed to a creamy porridge-like thing. I am also going to go to Wholefoods and quiz them for suggestions. How do you make gluten-free pelmini? Do you just use gluten-free flour mix for the dough? Every xmas eve we have a big party for our friends and family and we serve 10 dozen pierogi (which are the same as pelmini, but my husband is Polish so to us they are pierogi) and every year until now I have made them. This year I ordered them because they take all day long to make and I told him there was no way I was spending a whole day cooling something I couldn't eat - not to mention having my hands in gluten filled dough all day long. I could just see how I would spend my Xmas. But gluten-free ones? Hmm.... I love, love, love sauerkraut pierogi. Let me know how you do them and perhaps I'll whip up my own little batch of dumplings. Mmmm. Agee p.s. congratulations on the adoption of your son! It's added a whole new dimension to our lives.
  5. Hey there - I am going to make kutya as one of the dishes at my annual Christmas eve party. Kutya is a traditional Russian Christmas eve dish that I believe is like a hot cereal. The main ingredient is wheat berries - you're supposed to cook them three hours then add nuts and fruit and poppy seeds and honey. I have never had it, but since I have a son adopted from Russia I wanted to add something Russian to our (Polish) holiday party. Does anyone have any suggestions? I was wondering about buckwheat (although I don't really like the flavor of that) or maybe quinoa? Since I've never had it I'm not sure what would be appropriate. Agee
  6. Whoa, Mrs Files you are posting all over the place about this! Obviously, you are in a panic! I don't blame you. While I am new to eating gluten-free I am in no way new to the battle of the bulge, but I can tell you some things I've observed. First, gluten-free baked goods have tons more calories and a lot less fiber than whole wheat bread or other baked goods. When I first started eacting gluten-free (about 2 months ago) I was going a little nuts on the gluten-free baked goods (the wholefoods gluten free bakery is right up the road...mmmm...lemon-cranberry scones) and every night I would try a new gluten-free treat. In about 2 weeks gained back the 5 lbs. I'd just lost from running 20 mi./week for the 5 weeks previous. This ALARMED me. I have a really tough time losing weight - and those 20 mi./week were tough to do - so I decided I needed to lay off the baked goods. After about two weeks (and not being on a diet) I'd pretty much dropped the scone weight. I thought back to the diets that worked for me before. The only one that worked for me physically and psychologically has been the Carbohydrate Addicts' Diet. You eat 2 lowcarb meals and 1 moderate-carb meal a day. This is very simple to do eating gluten-free and does give me the feeling of deprivation that Atkins or WW has in the past (like most overweight 30-something women I am no stranger to dieting). Now, I've only been back on CAD for a week and a half but I really think I'll make it this time - 1)I have my head on straight and 2)I think that when I've cheated/binged in the past is probably had something to do with gluten consumption. Since starting the whole gluten-free thing I've felt so much better. It's been incredible. And to follow up on the person last April (!) who said they got diarrhea on Atkins, in the book Protein Power it's explained by your body having to produce more of its meat-digesting enzymes if you've suddenly switched your focus from eating less carbs/more meat. So - what I'm saying is I think you should really lay off the baked goods, eat more vegetables, and look into controlled carbohydrate eating. The low carb friends message boards are a great support system. It sounds to me, especially since you say you have no energy, that you may really need to think about your blood sugar and how you are responding to any simple carbs you're eating. Agee
  7. Infertility

    I completely understand the need to try to conceive, but I wanted to share the fabulous happy success story of adopting our son, Jamie, last September. I had had 5 miscarriages in 20 months, had been on various fertility drugs, and my husband and I were stressed and sad - but the day we made the decision to adopt to grow our family all of that melted away! I felt like we were finally doing something productive instead of simply spinning our wheels. So good luck to you whichever way you go - it always heartens me when people consider adoption as an option. Adrienne
  8. I don't get why he wants you to go back to eating gluten. If you feel better not eating it then what's the point? Does he want to see if your symptoms return? It's not like gluten-containing foods have nutrients that you can't get other ways. This is one reason why I'm really reluctant to go to a doctor to get a "real" diagnosis - first, I will have to go back to eating gluten to be tested (and honestly, there is not enough time in my day to spend 2+ hours in the bathroom and do the rest of my life as well), and 2nd, I have yet to be convinced that there's a point to it. Doctors aren't God, and in the end we are all responsible for our own health. Agee
  9. In regards to being overweight - I actually am pretty active (I run 15-20 mi./week), so lethargy caused by lack of energy isn't really a problem. Or maybe I should say that before going gluten-free I was able to keep my energy up by snacking all day long and drinking coffee continuously - well, at least I used to be able to keep my energy up. The 2-3 months before going gluten-free I felt a steady drop in energy and was not able to finish a race in November - after training for 6 months and feeling less and less fit as I went on. I still soldiered on my 15-20 miles/week, however. Unlike a lot of celiacs who have no energy, I don't think it's been inactivity that's caused my current weight. Before going gluten-free I ate A LOT. And even though it went through me quickly it obviously wasn't going through me quickly enough. Since starting gluten-free I've cut way back on coffee and have noticed that I am not constantly hungry and tired as I used to be. I eat until I'm full and I don't have the urge to stuff more in after reaching fullness. It's a strange and wonderful feeling. The only time I've lost weight in the past 5 years was when I was doing locarb, but then I lost like 1/4 lb./week being perfectly religious on the diet, and that's not much if you know anyone who normally does a LC diet. I did feel great doing LC - I had tons of energy and looked good even though I wasn't losing much weight. I quit doing LC b/c I was trying to get pregnant. Stupid! Since I also thinking my recurrent miscarriages were caused by gluten. My theory is that for the first time in a while (this was when I didn't have acute symptoms like I've had the past several months) I was not eating gluten and therefore my body was absorbing all the calories and nutrients I needed through my food. Hence, no weight loss. So - long and confusing but I'm seconding what several of you have said. Agee
  10. Thanks for the replies, everyone. Frustrated was definitely the word to describe me when I posted the other day. I'm glad you all have been so welcoming - I've been talking about this a little to my friends but I'm really self-concious about being a one-subject kind of person around them. So it helps to have people to talk to who are in the same boat. On the plus side, at my regular grocery store yesterday I found tons of gluten-free products and different kinds of flours. I live in a somewhat rural area and I thought I was going to have to drive a half hour to a WholeFoods (and pay their high prices) to find your basic gluten-free stuff. I'm really trying to stick to whole foods (I mean non-processed foods, not the store!) anyway but it's good to have a few pasta/bread type options now and then. In retrospect, I think my husband is just trying to help me get to the bottom of this. Eating gluten-free is really difficult and I think he wants to spare me from it if at all possible. The main thing I've had to wrap my head around has been that I can't really eat out/get take-out as much as we used to. We're used to picking something up for dinner 2x a week or so because we have 2 small children, we both work and we have so much going on. I've yet to find any take-out type restaurants that would offer a reasonable alternative for me. Chinese, pizza, Japanese express, Subway, etc. are all out. Add to this my husband has started a 2nd business and literally has worked for 6 weeks straight (minus Thanksgiving) which has been fairly stressful. Sooo - I just have to be a better home manager, I guess. Oh - and I figured out why I was so sick the 2 days after Thanksgiving. There was spelt on the tofu, which was obviously an issue, but my mom figured out that the pie she had made, which had a "wheat-free" crust, was NOT gluten free. It was largely rye flour. Gah. She felt really badly about it, but live and learn, I guess. It helped me confirm that gluten really is my problem. Next year we are having TURKEY and potatoes and green beans, like regular folk. I will cook it so I will know what is in it. Thanks for the welcome, everyone. I *really* appreciate it. Agee
  11. Hey there - After months of hideous stomach cramping and constant diarrhea (actually, for the past 7-8 years I've had constant diarrhea but this was worse than before) I finally figured out that I have a sensitivity to wheat. I don't know exactly what it is because I haven't seen a doctor but I responded immediately to going gluten-free and every time I've had an accidental slip I have had terrible reactions. Other symptoms (?): leg cramping, low energy, cravings for glutenous foods, hunger, and bloating and oh yeah, a little itchy, painful rash on my rear end that doctors have been telling me for 5 years is a fungal infection (eeuw). Anyway, I am feeling a little depressed about the whole thing. I know there is a problem and I know that this is the solution. My husband wants me to go see a doctor and get a "real" diagnosis. I'm not adverse to this but it bugs me that he won't accept that I have this problem without an expert telling me. Also, I am overweight by about 40 lbs and in everything you read or hear it says that celiacs are wasted looking so everyone I've told gives me a look like I'm crazy. I actually have tried really hard to lose weight in the past but nothing happens - I guess the only bright side in this is that I'm thinking I might lose weight once my gut gets back in order. The thing that is bugging me the most is that I have always prided myself on not being a picky eater and very low maintenance in that regard - but all of a sudden I have to scrutinize everything, call people before I go to their house to see what we're eating, and read every label there is. I cannot believe how many things contain soy sauce or modified food starch. It's hugely annoying! Also, I have 2 very picky children at home and it was already a struggle figuring out what we could eat that they would eat and wouldn't be hot dogs and mac and cheese every night. AARRRGGGH! I could go on and on about it - I'm sure this is a common stage of figuring this all out, but I needed to vent. I'm also thinking the easiest way to get a diagnosis is to get my rash looked at in regards to DH - because I'm sure that's what it is. Not too keen on a biopsy and don't have the $ for enterolab. No doubt the dr. can do blood tests, though what will I say to people if they come back negative? Agee p.s. I will try to be less negative in the future. I think this is magnified by the fact that it's my birthday, my husband is working, and I have to make my own birthday cake as well as cook my own b-day dinner and my mother, trying to be helpful, made tofu with spelt coating (she's a vegetarian, another complication to this whole thing) the other night and I've been sick for 2 days b/c of it...
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