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Everything posted by i-geek

  1. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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 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. Five Guys burger joints have safe fries. They only do french fries in the fryers. Mmm...
  11. 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 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!
  16. My rule of thumb is that if it's made in a shared facility, give it a try, especially if it's as carefully labeled as the Nut Thins (which are quite good IMO). I don't knowingly eat things made on shared lines anymore. I've gotten sick a couple of times from doing that.
  17. My husband has two uncles and a cousin who are supposed to be gluten-free. Uncle #1 is a diagnosed celiac and a medical doctor. Mostly he's gluten-free, although I did see him take communion from the common plate at a recent family funeral and then pull the filling out of a sandwich and eat it at the wake (both of which would have me paying with symptoms for a week). Uncle #2 and his daughter completely ignore their doctors' advice and continue to eat and drink whatever they want. It makes me not want to eat at family events because even if the food is supposedly gluten-free, no one else is being careful with it. Interestingly, my husband is strongly suspecting a wheat intolerance (he's fine with barley and rye). The family Christmas is going to be really interesting this year.
  18. My blood tests were negative: I was eating a very low gluten diet to make the migraines stop, plus the doctor only tested for TTG IgA and never ran a test for total IgA, so the test might have been invalid anyway. I fully believe that I have celiac disease and have no problem telling others that. The majority of my parents' siblings (on both sides) have some form of autoimmune disease, my mom has always had nutrient malabsorption problems, and my dad often has problems digesting high-gluten foods. Plus, the symptoms lined up really well with celiac disease, I got immediate relief from headaches and fatigue on the gluten-free diet, and the GI stuff eased up over a few months in a manner consistent with healing villi and the repair of leaky gut (i.e. I regained the ability to digest lactose-containing foods and several other new food intolerances eased up).
  19. I had lost enough weight via diet and exercise to go from a size 6 to a 4 the summer before celiac kicked in full-steam. My weight hasn't changed at all in the past 11 months of eating gluten-free (106 lbs at 5'0"), but I've been doing more resistance training and have dropped down to a size 2 pant. The fact that I'm not bloated anymore helps too. I'm not much of a sweets eater so I'm not particularly tempted by the gluten-free goodies. We try to eat a balanced diet of as many whole foods cooked at home as possible.
  20. Haha- yep! I was sure I was intolerant of peppers. Never mind that when I made something naturally gluten-free with peppers in it, I had no problems. I usually ate peppers on pizza or pasta, so it must have been the peppers. And my lactose intolerance was just getting worse with age. That happens, right? Lactaid pills don't work for everyone, right? And lots of people have trouble digesting cabbage and broccoli when they get older (never mind that I was only 31 and it was sudden onset). Oh, everyone gets headaches every day after lunch. Migraines are really common, right? It was amazing how many justifications I was willing to make to overlook gluten.
  21. I can eat dairy now. I don't have daily headaches, bloating or alternating C/D anymore. My skin is a lot clearer and I'm not getting weird mouth sores. I don't have strange food cravings or hunger pangs every 90 minutes, and I'm not waking up in the middle of the night dreaming of food. I'm not exhausted, sluggish and fuzzy-headed all the time. A year ago, none of that was true. I keep reminding myself how awful I felt just a year ago and how limited my diet was becoming thanks to the gut damage...and how much I've obviously healed since then. That's enough for me to keep on the diet.
  22. I survived! My parents hosted dinner for the four of us (mom and dad, my husband and I). I provided gluten-free bread (one loaf of my own recipe, one loaf of Gluten-Free Pantry French bread mix) for the stuffing and Mom stuffed it in a fresh turkey from a local poultry shop. Gravy was from scratch: pan drippings and cornstarch. She opened a fresh pack of butter for mashed potatoes and buttered green beans with mushrooms (to replace the usual green bean casserole). I brought a sweet potato casserole, fresh cranberry-orange relish, and for dessert, a pumpkin cheesecake with gluten-free gingersnap crust (Mi-Del gingersnaps are SO good). The food was awesome and we all agreed that the gluten-free bread made better stuffing. LOVE Thanksgiving dinner. Still loving the leftovers.
  23. Ooh, rice cooker. We use ours at least weekly. We also do quinoa in it, and I've even done lentils in it.
  24. No, I don't think you're overconfident. If you're already cooking from scratch and aren't a baker, you will have few difficulties switching to gluten-free cooking. My husband and I love to cook so switching over wasn't a big deal. I always tell people that 95% of the time the gluten-free diet isn't a problem, and the other 5% is when I'm not in control of my food (eating at restaurants, other peoples' houses, etc.). These boards are a great resource so don't hesitate to ask questions.
  25. Awesome! Your planned meal sounds delicious. If you don't have a stuffing recipe, we found out today that bread made from Gluten-Free Pantry's French bread mix makes terrific stuffing. I baked that up and my mom used it as the bread in her regular stuffing recipe. Everyone liked it better with the gluten-free bread- my dad said that the texture was better.
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