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i-geek last won the day on October 24 2010

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  1. i-geek

    Celiac And Religion

    There is unity of teaching, and transubstantiation is a non-negotiable. Unfortunately, there is often bad catechesis and it sounds as if your friend is the result. Catholics should not believe that the Eucharist is symbolic.
  2. i-geek

    Celiac And Religion

    Yes, this. I'm very blessed in that my home parish offers wine to everyone, so it's not been a big issue. But if her parish doesn't normally offer wine, she needs to talk to her priest. I've found that in most cases, they are helpful because their job is to ensure that the faithful receive the sacraments. I'm a music minister so I explained to my pastor why I would only receive the wine at Masses (in case some nosy-body made a big deal about it) and he even offered to look into the low-gluten hosts on my behalf. I've been receiving just the wine for the past year now and it hasn't been a big deal at all. Now that I think about it, my celiac friend belongs to a small parish where there are a couple of other celiac and wheat-allergic parishoners. Their pastor arranged for them to have their own special small chalice of wine at one Mass each Sunday. Another poster here bought a pyx (small metal box in which to carry consecrated hosts) in which she places a low-gluten host and then gives it to the priest, who consecrates it with the other bread and then gives her the entire pyx at communion.
  3. i-geek

    Angry About Food In General!

    Try laying off of all alcohol until you've healed somewhat. It made my stomach burn for the first month or so after I went gluten-free. I don't have problems with it now (officially 1 year gluten-free today!). Ditto for onions and things like peppers and broccoli- notoriously hard-to-digest veggies. This is such a hard time of year to go gluten-free, but it will be so worth it once your gut heals. It does get easier and so much better, I promise. Could you take a big fruit salad to your work potluck? If you bake, how about gluten-free cookies? I found in my holiday baking this year that a mix of 1 part each sorghum flour, millet flour, potato starch and arrowroot starch with 3/4 tsp xanthan gum per cup of flour mix worked beautifully as a substitute for gluten flour in my old favorite standard cookie recipes. In fact, the only cookies that crumbled were the ones that I made with a store-bought flour mix. I took big gluten-free cookie and candy trays to family parties and all the gluten-eaters were quite happy.
  4. I think the only food gifts I received were a holiday lunch from my boss (at a restaurant where I could get a safe fish and rice meal- he was kind enough to ask before making the reservations for our group) and a fancy box of Penzey's baking spices from my sister- and brother-in-law. Oh, and a bottle of wine in a gift exchange. My parents and in-laws cooked dinners for us, but they were both very careful and kept the meals simple on purpose (and they apparently did well since I didn't get sick). I admit to giving (gluten-free) goodies as gifts this year. Family and co-workers got homemade candy boxes from us- although I specifically only gave candy to people who I know would like to receive it. It's tricky to give it to acquaintances since I don't always know dietary habits. And on that note, I like the idea of regifting sealed packages of candy. I'll have to remember that in future if it comes up.
  5. i-geek

    Wishing A Cc Free Christmas!

    I survived! My in-laws roasted a safe ham and served it with spinach salad (homemade dressing, all safe ingredients), mashed sweet potatoes and homemade cranberry-walnut sauce. I brought food from home for breakfast and lunch, and the extended family dinner main dish was gluten-free homemade sloppy joe meat with either buns or corn chips. Couldn't eat all of the sides, but there were a couple of bean-veggie salads and a fruit-jello dish that I could eat safely. I ate my own cookies and candies for dessert both nights (as did many gluten-eaters, and they all raved). Yay! So great to hear others' success stories, too. Here's to a happy, gluten-free new year.
  6. This. I totally agree. I don't know that such an extreme diet would be healthy for anyone out of childhood. I am 5 feet tall and small-framed (105-110 lbs is my natural weight set point), and I have to eat at least 1600 calories per day or else I turn into a crabby, shaky mess. I also find that my weight stabilizes if very few of those calories come from refined carbs, simple sugars, and highly processed foods. I try to get in significant exercise twice per week (one cardio session- elliptical, spin bike- and one core training session- yoga, pilates, calisthenics). I actually lost 12 lbs last year by cutting portions down a bit (I think I was averaging 1700 calories per day), paying more attention to what I ate, and adding the exercise to my routine. It took several months but it did work. A daily menu for me might look like this: Breakfast: two brown rice cakes with peanut butter and a banana OR two eggs with corn tortillas, black beans and salsa OR hot cereal (gluten-free oatmeal or Bob's Red Mill gluten-free hot cereal). Lunch: Dinner leftovers OR a can of gluten-free soup (Progresso has a delicious lentil soup) and cup of yogurt OR a big salad Afternoon snack: herbal tea, Kind bar, piece of fruit Dinner: gluten-free pasta and sauce with ground beef or Jennie-O turkey italian sausage OR grilled chicken, homemade rice pilaf or quinoa and side veggie OR chili OR chunky homemade soup, etc. On average I eat every 3-4 hours, which for me is key to keeping the blood sugar stable. Stable blood sugar = no frantic rummaging to eat the first food (usually junk) that I can find.
  7. i-geek

    Wishing A Cc Free Christmas!

    It's my first gluten-free Christmas (last Christmas was my unofficial gluten challenge/last hurrah) and so far, so good. I've survived two restaurant lunches (the second in an awesome restaurant with a big gluten-free menu) and Christmas Eve dinner at my parents' house (my mom has been super awesome about gluten-free cooking and roasted a whole beef tenderloin). I made four batches of candy and four batches of cookies, all gluten-free. Now the real challenge will be tonight's dinner with my husband's parents (although they have been asking all sorts of questions about safe foods and food prep and husband had food allergies as a kid, so they do understand the complications) as well as husband's big family party tomorrow. His celiac uncle is hosting, but considering the menu includes the line "cheesecake from [local bakery], crust not gluten-free", I'm thinking I should bring my own food. I'll definitely bring a big dessert plate.
  8. i-geek

    Need Advice :)

    Do the bread and cookies both have tapioca starch in them? I had trouble with that one for a few months post-diagnosis. I can eat it now, but it used to upset my stomach. Otherwise, yeah, check your ingredients. Anything that a glutened knife or measuring cup/spoon could have contaminated is cause for suspicion. I replaced all of my sugars and leavening agents for that reason. Ditto for peanut butter.
  9. i-geek

    French Fries?

    I wonder if it's CYA- the fries themselves don't contain gluten, but this warning covers all the restaurants that don't use dedicated fryers and thus drop the fries in the same oil as battered stuff.
  10. i-geek

    French Fries?

    Five Guys burger joints have safe fries. They only do french fries in the fryers. Mmm...
  11. i-geek

    Poll: gluten-free Diet - Easy Or Hard

    It will be one year for me at the end of this month. As long as I can control food purchases and prep or can rely on someone I trust (my husband, my parents)- about 95% of the time- it's easy. The other 5% is sometimes a challenge but it's worth it.
  12. Here's a link to a short review on autoimmune T cells from the Public Library of Science Biology journal: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0040393 It should be freely available to the public. If I come across any other good ones that are free I'll post links.
  13. Nerd alert again- a lot of why you feel sick when you have, say, a cold is due to your very active immune system spitting out inflammatory chemicals and causing tissue damage in the process of clearing the infection. And fever is actually good- it upregulates heat shock proteins that help cells recognize infection. Autoimmune cells are behaving in a similar inflammatory manner, except that there's no target infection to clear, just one's own cells. I've also noticed from watching my grad advisor and dissertation committee members teach immunology to med students that the vast majority of med students don't give a toss about immunology beyond what they need to memorize for the test or the basics of very specific diseases. That is why so many medical doctors don't seem to have much of a clue about autoimmune disease.
  14. This. Also, the T cell biology is out of date and what is there is highly inaccurate. As a T cell immunologist, I am actually offended that someone wrote this article with so many inaccuracies. T cell-based autoimmunity results from inappropriate selection of immature T cells during their development in the thymus. T cells are normally selected so that they recognize but don't respond in an inappropriate way to self-proteins- T cells that respond too strongly to self-proteins are normally directed to die before they finish developing, a failsafe which is broken in people with autoimmune disease. It has nothing to do with cells in the peripheral organs not being able to signal that they are "self". I'll stop there so as not to nerd out too much, but I couldn't read on much further anyway.
  15. i-geek

    Hodgson Mill

    I haven't tried any cookie mixes, although I was impressed with Gluten-Free Pantry's truffle brownie mix (even more awesome with a few tbsp of peanut butter swirled into the batter before baking) and all-purpose flour (used to successfully replace gluteny flour in a standard cranberry-nut bread recipe). So far I've done my gluten-free cookies from scratch with mostly good results. The best results were from the 36-Hour Chocolate Chip cookie recipe on the Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef blog. The recipe made a HUGE batch and my gluten-eating family and friends scarfed them down. This year the same bloggers are posting a new gluten-free cookie recipe every weekday in December up until the 23rd. Here's the first post for Jam Tarts and a list of what they'll be posting later in the month: gluten-free jam tart cookies Long story short: you can totally still make all sorts of cookies with your kids. Have fun, good luck, and happy holidays!