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Angelica

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About Angelica

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  1. I understand, trust me, I understand. I was diagnosed in March. I was a famed cook and baker among my friends. I also felt like sh%t because of the celiac. Let me give you some hard advice-- my best friend, who is a doctor (pediatrician) but who also has celiac gave me this advice, and it was the best advice I got, although it was like having a pail of cold water dumped on me. And I know some people would not agree with me, because it is radical advice, and it doesn't work for everyone, but just hear me out. Give up on all processed foods. Go paleo (google paleolithic diet) I cook now only with veggies, fruits, nuts, meat, rice and a few legumes (which isn't true paleo, but cutting out the lentils and beans seemed like too much for me.) It seems hard, but its not, as most meals can be modified to fit this model. I do still eat gluten-free pasta as that was the one processed food I couldn't give up on. If I want a sweet, I make gluten-free cookies (mostly macaroons, which are gluten-free anyway- no modifications needed). Otherwise I tend to eat fruit as a snack. I don't mess with the gluten-free "replacement foods." And as I am lactose intolerant, cutting out dairy was never an issue. I haven't had real dairy since I was 8 years old. I will also be honest- every once in a while I buy a bag of potato chips or a small box of bakery-made gluten-free cookies. I am not super strict but I regard these things as treats. Like I said, it seems radical, but its not hard. You can have a steak and baked potato with green beans for dinner. Easy to make. I often make fish in a spicy tomato sauce and serve over rice. A nice spinach salad with a chicken breast. Chicken and rice soup. Turkey chili. You can still eat yummy, hearty food. It does require effort and learning to cook differently, but let me tell you something... When I was diagnosed in March I weighed 178 lbs. Was somewhere around a size 14, felt slow, sick, had sensation problems in my hands, vertigo and extreme fatigue. Spent much of my time on the couch, when I wasn't at work. Now I weigh 138 lbs. That's right, I dropped 40 lbs without trying- I didn't start a workout schedule or anything like that. (I am 32, and was thin most of my life but ballooned in the last five years.) Have energy- can work with more focus, can take dog on long walks and I feel (and look great). Am a size 8. My students have commented on how good I look (one last night at an event told me I looked "so happy, healthy and fabulous.") I feel so much better about myself, and just today I went though my closet and boxed all the clothes that are too big (which was a lot of clothes.) If I stay this way for a year, I will take them to a resale shop (as they are mostly good suits) and sell the lot. I didn't do this to lose weight. I did this to get better, and I am better. Its a bit of a scary road to go down and if you do it, it works to ease into it (initially I did eat a lot of gluten-free processed foods and so forth to make the transition easier, but I eventually discovered that I just didn't like them so I took my friend's advice and gave up.) And it is easier for me as I live alone, so I don't have to watch other people eat, or deal with the kitchen/sharing issues. It was the best decision I ever made. It might be too extreme for you, or perhaps something you may want to try later down the line-- its not right for everyone, but I just wanted to throw it out there. Giving up almost all processed foods (yes I do still use gluten-free chicken broth, or tomato sauce, and Schar pasta but not much beyond that.) made me approach food in a whole new way. It was like wiping the slate clean. Good luck with adjusting to the diet-- and its okay to be mad and angry-- I was. But I love the new gluten-free/Paleo me, I feel like I got a gift-- I found out before I became diabetic (like half my family) or sick with some other autoimmune disease and after being angry I approached it like life was a clean slate, or the restart button, and the new me feels so much better! Remember that- as long as you stay away from the gluten you will feel good. And because you feel good you will stop craving it (after a while- that takes a while) and no longer miss it. Best wishes!
  2. This doesn't surprise me at all-- I had an severe allergic reaction to a bee sting some years ago-- after the ambulance got me into the ER the first thing they did was shot me up with Benedryl and put a drip bag of Zantac into my IV, along with a steroid. They said that the combo works really well for bee stings. I also took the zantac for 2 weeks after the reaction to keep a rebound reaction from happening... I am really glad it worked for you.
  3. In about a week I will travel to San Francisco for an academic conference for four days and then on to Los Angeles to visit family for Thanksgiving. This is my first trip since being diagnosed. My family has been supportive of the celiac diagnosis, so I know my mom and dad are already planning to have a gluten-free Thanksgiving. My mom is diabetic and eats few carbs anyway so it won't be hard to cook around me. My concern is the conference. Despite the fact that we will be in one of America's great food cities, conferences are tough. You are stuck eating food around the conference center because you don't have time (between sessions) to go very far because you need to get back in time for the sessions. Its lots of socializing and going out in groups, so I'm the "difficult" one. I have to travel only with my computer and my carry-on and pack for 10 days like this, so I can only bring a few snacks with me, and because we'll be downtown in the touristy section I won't have time to get away to a store to buy back-up snacks. So friends, what do I bring with me while traveling, how should I approach this? I just figured I'll be starving the whole time but that sounds like a miserable way to be now doesn't it?
  4. I am Catholic, and after I was diagnosed it was actually very easy to sort out. My church gets has the low-gluten wafers and its no biggie. I just spoke with the ministry coordinator and the priest. When I get to church I get the wafer from its place in the fridge in the main office, place it in its own plate and hand it off to the ministry coordinator. he makes sure its makes its way up to the altar during the mass. When the Eucharistic ministers go up to get communion ready I go up and stand with them, but just to the side. They bring me the gluten-free wafer and give me the first drink from one of the cups. Done and done. I was told that this is the way that the Vatican officially decreed to take care of communion for people who cannot have gluten (and the Vatican thinks of everything) so even if your priest is unaware of the protocol, protocol exists for this exact issue. So just talk with your priest-- its no big deal.
  5. So I've been gluten-free for almost four months and I feel great, but some evenings I come home late and all I want to do is eat something fast (eggs, beans and gluten-free sausages are a favorite dinner of mine), but I often can't because I always cook a "double dinner" in order to have food for lunch, which can take time, and sometimes I am too tired to really do it, but if I don't do it, I won't have a lunch the next day. I am a university professor, so I have a fridge and microwave in my department, so what I am asking for is suggestions of gluten-free meals that freeze well and then heat up easily. I hate salad- I prefer my veggies cooked. I am thinking of cooking on the weekend (like on a Saturday morning) and freezing everything for week-- so what freezes well (besides beans- I do cook batches of lentils and beans already)? Suggestions? Also, I am dairy-free too.
  6. I went gluten free two weeks ago and have been having the same problem-- I want to eat everything! (And like you, I have mainly been eating lean meats, veggies, and fruits). I have learned to curb this by drinking lots of water-- it is an old dieter's trick I learned from a few super-skinny friends-- drink sparkling water with a meal (that is, if carbonation doesn't bother you. If it does, don't do it.) It helps you feel full. Also I drink lots of hot tea- so instead of eating I drink! But still, when I come home I usually ravage an apple with peanut butter before I make dinner because I am so hungry. I totally understand.
  7. Wow- I read all this and I feel pretty lucky. I am a college professor, so I don't have the office environment to deal with all that much. My department is pretty cool and autonomous. When I went gluten free (about two weeks ago)- I told a few select people. They encouraged me and reacted positively. One of the older members of the department sent me a listing of local restaurants that had gluten-free menus. Plus I live in the Southwest so as long as I can get authentic Mexican food I tend to be okay. I have a lunch group- made up actually of European professors (kinda ended up that way.) They are French and Swiss and they were horrified at the prospect of me never being able to eat bread again... but on Tuesday (our first group lunch together since the diagnosis) they gamely went with me to the only gluten-free restaurant in town and munched on gluten-free bread, rolls, and cake. I really appreciated the effort that they made. I live far from my family and have no family of my own so I don't have those dynamics to deal with. But my mom has been super supportive over the phone. She's been educating herself and reading up on the problem, and is scheming up gluten-free menus for the holidays. But I understand. When I was in grad school I tended to work in offices and everything is pizza, doughnuts, sweets, etc. And you felt like you had to eat the crap even if you didn't want to. Pizza for me was the killer. I am lactose intolerant, and I could never have it and it was at EVERY EVENT from middle school through grad school. The only difference is once I was in grad school my colleagues felt sorry for me and always got me pasta (glutening myself, but i didn't realize it them) There is a whole culture of food in this country that is really hard to get out from under.
  8. Thank you all so much- I am so new to all of this that I have been feeling overwhelmed. It is just good to get some feedback on brands to look for and ideas to try out. I am going to buy some small boxes of different mixes and try them out before I buy in bulk-- I figured as much but your advice was really super helpful. And I had never heard of Better batter. Going to have to look for that. And thanks for the made in China warning-- my parents had a cat that died from the contaminated pet food (broke my dad's heart) a few years back. Now he doesn't buy anything (food wise) from China-- including for the new cats (they eat a new premium American food.)
  9. This is a two-part question, since I have just gone gluten-free about a week and a half ago. I (was) a huge baker- kept a mess of flours on hand and famous for my breads and muffins (my colleagues would fight over them-- think on that-- college professors fighting over blueberry muffins.) Anyway the whole baking thing is for me the hardest thing about going gluten-free. We have a gluten-free bakery here in town and they make a fantastic bread, but it cost $8 a loaf, and I am determined to somehow make a bread that good. Willing to try at least. Okay first of all, what are people's opinions on the mixes? I have seen Pamela's, Bob's Red Mill and King Arthur Flour locally. I tried the Bob's Red Mill Biscuit mix- the biscuits came out of the oven looking nice, and they were flaky but when I bit in they tasted like dry hummus to me. Then I checked the label and noticed the garbanzo bean flour in it. Wasn't working for me, but I am curious about the others... given how expensive it is to buy the mixes, it seems like a waste of money to try them all out if they don't end up working for me... Anyway, I have gotten a few cookbooks and decided that i want to try to make my own bread with my own mix. Thing is the flours needed are very expensive at the store-- I am curious, do any of your buy off the internet at a bulk rate? Where is the best place to get bulk flours (like brown rice, potato starch, tapioca... ect)? Advice for a newbie?
  10. Thanks! The pain eased today. I feel better today and I finished clearing out my pantry-- my neighbor (who is a friend) got four large paper bags of gluten containing groceries (lol). All good stuff-- as I tended to eat whole grain so lots of organic, multigrained pastas, good soups, flour, etc. She was amused, but commented that it would help them save on groceries this week. Her husband was tickled about the cookies. Hanging in there on the gluten-free thing. Headache today, but my period is coming so that could be it. My energy is up, and so far my stomach has been quiet. Hopefully, all good things.
  11. So I just went gluten-free four days ago. So far I am not finding it too hard (I live alone so its easy to control what comes in and out of the apartment)-- my stomach issues are quiet for now (except for gas, but I am chalking that up to eating more veggies than usual), and my energy and mood feel better than they did before. But yesterday I woke up with a weird pain in my right hip area. The skin hurt (like if I touch it) and by the end of the day it was flu-like achy. I slept well last night and woke up and that weird pain is back, plus my legs feel sore- like I worked out (but I didn't- I was in my office all day helping students with their papers.) My skin feels sensitive-- like when I move and my dress brushes the area I feel it. This is super weird as it has never happened before-- could it be gluten withdrawal that I have heard about? Even when I was feeling pretty sick I was tired but not achy, and other than these strange muscle aches, I feel fine. (Cheerful even) What's up?
  12. I have just gone gluten free, and as I live alone and have always been a big cook (i was already on an unprocessed, whole-grain diet before the gluten-free one) it hasn't been a rough adjustment... I didn't eat junk food already. But here's some advice that my best friend (who is celiac) gave me (she's a doctor) Because my friend is a hospitalist pediatrician she is always running around and on long shifts. So she keeps a box of Larabars in her locker and makes sure she has a couple in her labcoat pockets at all times. She cooks her meals for the whole week on her day off and freezes them, so that she never has to cook during the week. (Also she has retired parents who are big foodies and sometimes they do this for her to help her out.) She also buys her snacks in bulk over the internet (amazon is often cheaper than the store when you buy in bulk) and packages them up so that she can grab and go. And her partner has adjusted to the gluten-free lifestyle-- eating gluten-free at home, and only have gluten products when they go out to eat. She manages fine, and trust me, as a doctor who works insane shifts she knows about having no time. See if there is a gluten-free bakery near you. Ask around- I found one in my city (San Antonio) and went in today-- They had amazing bread (not like the gluten-free bricks at the store), pie and cupcakes. Cupcakes!! I bought one. It is just good to know where you can get the gluten-free comfort food if you have a craving. I feel better already having found the bakery. Also find people who are just generally supportive. I got lucky in that my best friend is and that my parents have been super supportive. My dad surfs the internet (he's retired) and sends me gluten-free recipes. Also I told a few select colleagues and they have been helpful too (they were the ones that gave me the info on the bakery and they aren't even gluten-free.) best of luck- I have just gone gluten-free too, and am trying hard to just stay positive.
  13. Thank you all for your advice. I have spent a lot of money on dental work (totally unrelated, but thousands) in the last three months, so I am desperately trying to avoid the doctor at the moment. The bills are threatening to sink me, so I won't be pursuing any more tests unless the pain comes back. At the moment there is no pain, and I am trucking along okay. I just don't feel the need to "know" medically. I have had so much trouble with doctors over the years that if this works, then it works. If it doesn't then I go back, but I really hope it works. Being gluten-free is a small price to pay to no longer constantly be sick. But thanks for your help. Certainly if I get another "gallbladder attack" feeling I will go in and demand a HIDA but frankly I really hope it isn't. I can't afford surgery right now (even with insurance it would cost thousands and with my student loan debt I have no wiggle room.) So I just am crossing my fingers and hoping to stay healthy.
  14. They did not do the HIDA scan-- the doctor was adamant that nothing is wrong. She said that they would only do more tests if the problems "escalated" and seemed mildly annoyed. So I didn't press the issue (I had known about the HIDA-- my secretary had one when she had stomach pain.) Given that they don't seem to want to deal with me, I am not going to deal with them for the moment (unless the pain strikes again and is super bad. Then I will go in and demand a HIDA.) the fact is that I had malabsorption of B-12 and chronic intestinal problems before this new bout of "gallbladder" pain. What I found weird is that when they did the ultrasound it hurt way more when he was pressing on my central stomach area compared to when he was pressing on my gallbladder area. Which did not hurt at all... but the center of my stomach HURT. Anyway I am eating now, and feeling okay.I think I will just stay gluten-free and low-fat for now-- because I have lost 18 pounds since December, and I feel a lot better on that front. (I wasn't really heavy, but getting chubs. Now I am getting back to normal and a few more pounds and I'll be sleek, lol.) I am on gluten-free day # 2 and all is well, I am just super hungry- I think I am going to have to adjust to eating more small meals because the bigger meals are not tiding me over. Tonight I have a student event to go to at a local restaurant as a faculty advisor-- I think for this time I am going to eat ahead of time and not eat while there....
  15. Okay so I woke up this morning and decided to give gluten-free a go- I mean, as the other poster said, I have little to lose. So I went through my pantry- I keep a well-stocked pantry btw-- and moved everything with gluten out of the main pantry-- the unopened boxes of pasta, crackers, etc went into cupboards over the fridge (if this works I will haul them down and take them to a food bank. Its good food as I already only ate whole-grain and organic). I moved the gluten containing soups and cereals and stuff down to a lower portion of my pantry. The empty spaces I cleaned thoroughly. I have plenty of rice and beans, nuts and popcorn, so I left that, especially since it lived on a separate shelf from the pasta. Then I went to my baking pantry. I am a huge baker-- actually really renowned for that among my friends and when I opened it to see all the flours, sugars, and specialty baking stuff I almost cried. I decided just to leave that alone (since it is separate from the other pantry) and face it if/when the gluten-free thing works. Then I went to the store- I have plenty of veggies, fruits and lean meats on hand, but I bought some rice pasta,gluten-free corn tortillas, gluten-free oats (I know oats are controversial but I bought the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free ones. I love oatmeal, I eat it every day and it is often something I eat when I can eat nothing else, so I'm going to try keeping the oats) and some gluten-free bread mix (going to try my hand at baking something gluten-free.) I also bought some corn snacks, and these gluten-free lemon meringue cookies to staunch the munchies. So the kitchen is re-arraigned. I scoured my KitchenAid mixer (I have a professional one that I use for baking) and my baking pans. Those were easy because they are metal. I figure that if I take up gluten-free baking I will have to get a new baking stone because it isn't so easily cleaned. I also bleached my cutting boards and gave them a good scrubbing (they are plastic.) I know that I need to a get a new inexpensive toaster, but that will have to wait (no toast for now!) As it turns out, my dog's food is gluten-free (its a premium food- she has allergies- lol, my dog went gluten-free before I did!) I have requested a bunch of books from the library-- so does anyone have favorite must-read books to recommend? (I am a historian by trade, with a PhD- so it suffices to say that I research everything because I am hard-wired to.) I will also write down everything I eat. Any other advice?
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