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About ciamarie

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    baking, computers, Debian Linux, politics
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    state of Washington, USA

  1. I think being afraid to 'stand out' or 'be different' makes it harder. However, you do need to take care of yourself but not become a hermit in the process; which is easier said than done. :)

    A few years ago I went to a Women's retreat over a long weekend, and tried avoiding wheat (though I wasn't gluten-free, I was avoiding wheat...) and that was tough, but not impossible. I wasn't concerned about CC either, I just avoided the obviously wheat-filled items such as bread, pasta, etc. Since everything was served 'family style', avoiding CC would have been close to impossible, even if it came out of the kitchen gluten-free.

    For something like that, even if you bring your own food, you'd have to be explaining to your table-mates why you're not sharing the food they're eating. And meal time is a big part of the social time, at least at the retreats I attended. So basically my advise would be that you'd need to get more comfortable with being different, and speaking up for yourself, asking questions, etc. That's easier if you're with people who already know you and are familiar with your 'issues'. But, you can do it! Stretch your comfort zone a bit, and it gets easier (though I'm still working on that myself).

    It's possible that the retreat location has the ability to safely feed you, also. It wouldn't hurt (in future) to contact them and/or do a web search to find out if they can accommodate you, or their policy on bringing your own food, if they have a microwave you could use, etc. And, you can start a thread or do a search on here about what to look out for, what to ask, etc. when the need arises in the future.

  2. I don't know if my rash was the same thing or not because I never had it diagnosed. But I had a rash / red bumps on the back of both arms for as long as I can remember (at least 30 years I think). It never really spread, and I also have had DH break outs a few times over the years.

    At any rate, the rash on the back of my arms cleared up after about 3 months of eating gluten-free. Are you taking probiotics? I think those can be helpful with skin issues, and in general. Otherwise, if you're strictly gluten-free, then it's possible there's something else in your diet that's causing some issues. ?

  3. Ciamarie, I'd like the resources. Thanks for the help!

    You're welcome. I actually hope it's dairy in your case, because that's easier to avoid than MSG and sulfites, in many cases. Except for butter, I was dairy free for about a year or so, now I have plain yogurt with my own added fruit, and cheese on occasion. Still testing the cheese.

    A couple of good sites for sulfites:



    As well as a thread I found on here:

    For MSG:




    I also thought I'd mention that my ears don't seem to always react right away after having something I should have avoided, though sometimes they'll start ringing louder. But then they'll get blocked up at night when I'm sleeping, and it will take 2 days for them to unblock. Also, I'll usually get a headache too.

  4. I have had precisely this issue, and while it's not a good thing, I'm glad I'm not the only one! Sometimes my ears get 'weepy' along with being blocked. And of course, gluten made them itchy too. So being gluten-free helps a lot with the itchy-ness, but for the swelling / blocking issue, I've finally figured out that it's primarily MSG and sulfites that I need to avoid. I just figured out the sulfite part of the equation about a month ago, or so.

    Let me know if you'd like some resources / links and HTH!

  5. hi heather806, welcome to the forum! I can answer some of your questions, but first I wanted to just say relax. It's going to take time to figure it all out, so start with the 'big stuff' like ingredients.

    As for whether you let gluten into the house, that's a decision you'll have to make with your husband. And that decision may affect what you do with the pots, pans and utensils. If your pots and pans are stainless steel, you should be fine to keep using them, just make sure they're well scrubbed and/or run through the dishwasher. If they're non-stick, then gluten can hide in scratches and such, so you may need to replace them.

    As for baking sheets and muffin tins, I've just been using parchment paper and paper muffin holder thingies. I did get 2 new small loaf pans on sale, and I replaced my ancient toaster oven. I also got a new spatula and nonstick griddle. However, I didn't replace my toaster oven for my first 3 months or so gluten-free. My mixing bowls are glass, but if yours are plastic, again gluten can hide in scratches.

    As for utensils, wood and scratched plastic are problems. Some of those may need to be replaced, if they've been used for gluten-y cooking.

    Spices? Some may still be o.k., you'll have to check labels, and you'll probably at least want to wash lids and bottles of things like vanilla extract, cinnamon bottles, etc. if you used them while previously baking with gluten flour.

    I avoid anything that says processed on the same equipment as wheat, and I also generally avoid anything that's processed in the same facility, but it depends on what it is. I would start off avoiding those things when possible, and as you get used to it you could test and see how it goes.

  6. Do you live in a household with gluten-eaters? If so, what do you do to avoid cross-contamination? Those are the questions I come up with right off the top of my head, but I'm sure others may have other questions. We'd need more details about what you eat and where you eat, do you cook for yourself? Do you eat out frequently? So now I added 2 more questions. :)

    Having the answers to those questions would be a good place to start, and I'm sure you'll get lots of good advice and questions from others too.

  7. I'll chime in with GFinDC about the 'other food intolerances', though for me it's not other foods (except soy) so much as it is additives. Ingredients processed with sulfites will make me tired and give me brain fog (maltodextrin and corn syrup are the worst for me in that respect).

    A food diary would probably be helpful, but just in case, here are some links I have related to sulfites:


    "In one study, 2,000 micrograms of sublingual vitamin B12 significantly prevented reactions to sulfites in 17 of 18 sulfite-sensitive subjects challenged with sulfites.

    Here's an old thread from these forums:

    and another good resource: http://www.readingtarget.com/nosulfites/

  8. Hi Steve, and welcome to the forum! I hope you get some answers soon.

    Since you didn't mention it, I also wanted to make sure the Dr. didn't tell you to start on a gluten-free diet yet? Sometimes they do, but that may have an effect on test results. On the bloodwork, did that include any celiac tests? You should probably get the results for your own records if you can, and feel free to post them here so others who are familiar with such things can give you input; if you want to that is.

  9. Here's one I just found, it's for a flat bread. I was actually looking for one that's very similar on the same website that I'd found a little while back, but this one has similar proportions. The other one I found used 1 cup of rice flour (I use a combo of brown and white rice flour), and 1/2 cup corn (or other) starch. In place of baking powder, I used 1/2 t baking soda and 2 t rice vinegar as I'm avoiding baking powder. It worked fine!


    As for a loaf pan bread without yeast, I haven't gotten there yet, but this flat bread is pretty good!

  10. I thought I'd add one of my personal favorites for Windows systems (I use Linux, but I have a WinXP virtual machine that I use on occasion), is called WinPatrol. There's a free version, as well as a paid version. And the creator of WinPatrol has specials now & then which I've seen on his Twitter feed, for upgrading to the paid version. I've only used the free version so far, and what it does is have the scout on patrol (a little dog named Scotty, there's a dog icon on the task bar), and alert you and ask permission for any changes to the system, such as new software or an auto-scheduler. If you have your speaker turned on, the permission window will also have a little 'rruff' bark alert.

    And I'm not associated with the software in any way, except as a user, and I follow the guy (BillP) on twitter.

  11. I hope you don't mind me butting in with this, but I would strongly suggest going slow on the supplements / vitamins until you've been on the gluten-free diet at least 3 months or so. When I realized that my skin issue (DH) was gluten-related and started eating gluten-free, I was in a hurry to 'get healthy' and bought some vitamins that didn't agree with me. So then I tried another brand. It's not at all in my budget to keep trying to find something that agrees with me, so I'm currently not taking any supplements -- not even probiotics. Though at this point, dairy seems to be o.k. in moderate amounts, so I have been eating some plain yogurt with fruit every few days.

    As your system heals, you'll start absorbing nutrients from your food, also. Adding a bunch of supplements may only complicate things if you end up (as I have), trying to figure out other things you may be sensitive to. Plus it's expensive to have to throw them away well before the bottle is empty if you discover you can't take them.

  12. I just found this thread, and thought I'd add what I've discovered. I won't go into the whole story, but I've had issues with my ears, including ringing, for over 2 years now. Since I've been gluten-free for over 7 months now, the itchiness is thankfully mostly gone. But since I've had ongoing issues with ringing and swelling that weren't relieved with eating gluten-free only, I've finally figured out that I also need to avoid MSG and sulfites.

    According to some information I found here http://www.msgmyth.com/ , it's not uncommon for those of us that are sensitive to MSG to also have issues with sulfites. I wish I'd have known that 3 or 4 months ago, but at least I know it now. Actually, I wish I'd have known all of this 30 years ago, since it's not the first time I've had issues with my ears swelling, etc. but the other times were short-lived in comparison. And tinnitus is a symptom for both types of sensitivities, in case that helps.

  13. If they add a broth or anything, it should be labeled. Or was it one of the pre-cooked chickens? In that case there may be spices on the skin that aren't gluten-free. I've been doing fine with Foster Farms chicken, it's one of the few things I've been able to eat reliably while I figure out what else works for me. I've also found a local store that carries pork with no added broth or anything, as well as a line of 'natural' beef that I've been able to add. In the case of beef, 'natural' means it doesn't have any additives or dyes, etc. I think another term used in chicken is 'minimally processed' when they haven't added anything to it.

    Other safe foods for me are lundberg rice cakes, green beans and rice and peas and carrots and most beans and eggs and butter and real maple syrup. Those are the things I fall back to if I get too adventurous and I start having bad reactions, though not necessarily gluten reactions.

  14. I'm late to this topic but I thought I'd chime in with a comment. When you mentioned where you're getting the rash, I immediately wondered if perhaps there's some wheat or gluten ingredients in your shampoo? If so, you probably want to get a new shampoo asap. I use Suave, but read the label before you buy! I've also read on here that Dove, Garnier and one or 2 other brands are good about labeling any wheat / gluten ingredients.

    Also, I think I'm more sensitive to MSG and sulfites vs iodine and/or Sals, but then I've also discovered that the ingredient used to iodize salt is sulfited, so I avoid iodized salt on that count too. I've been doing o.k. with sea salt, I believe... hope it clears up for you soon!

  15. It's just you. The rest of us have been doing everything perfectly since we started on a gluten-free diet. B) Sorry - I'm kidding! There is definitely a learning curve, and some things agree with some of us, and others can't tolerate those same things. And the 20ppm is the proposed FDA standard, though there isn't any legal requirement on the 'gluten-free' designation in the U.S. at the moment.

    Plus sometimes companies that used to be good, or not so good, change their practices so you still have to check labels on a regular basis. There are also a couple of private 'certified gluten-free' organizations, you can research their standards and look for a listing of the products with their certification. Here's a link for one I have bookmarked: http://www.gfco.org/

  16. I posted my recipe for buckwheat pancakes on a thread about flapjacks. (Apparently flapjacks outside of the U.S. aren't the same thing as what we call flapjacks, i.e. pancakes...) My recipe is message 6 -- and I'd tried using a larger amount of buckwheat in a previous attempt, but it was too strong for me. This amount works I think... and if you use a bit less moisture it should work for waffles too, I'd think?

  17. There was a thread on here a few months ago about those, several people (including myself) had bad reactions. I suspect either MSG or sulfites, due to the reaction I had. At the time I suspected msg cc, but now that I know more about sulfites and that they're frequently used in the processing of potato products I suspect that's more likely.

  18. Here's something funny, last Thanksgiving or so my (twin) brother, who would not consider putting down the wheat bread, said something to the effect of ' Before you know it, the only thing you'll be able to eat is tree bark' ! Maybe he's not too far off... lol. :lol:

    Though seriously, it looks similar to some of the ingredients in EnerG bread.