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  1. Hi there,

    My family will be traveling to Stowe Vermont in April. I would like to know of places to eat and/or buy groceries while there. My daughter has celiac and I like to know ahead of time where to eat so that she does not feel as if she is under a spot light.

    We will be flying into Boston and spenfing a day there also. So any Boston info will be appreciated as well.


    I ate at a NECI restaurant in Burlington several years ago, and they did just fine. I'd hope for the same at Chef's Table.

    There are also many upscale restaurants in the Stowe area that would probably be accommodating. Have you seen the Stowe tourist website? http://www.gostowe.com/

    Before you go, you could email restaurants of interest and ask if they can help you. I don't have any firsthand experiences to share, but googling turns up some promising options. There are also some places between Boston and Stowe if you're driving up. (And if you are, you can stop at a Whole Foods Market on the way for tasty if expensive gluten-free bread & goodies).

    I live in the Greater Boston Area, and I think I'm spoiled. Several chains here have Gluten Free menus: Legal's, Capital Grille, P.F.Chang's... You'll still want to ask questions, of course. Generally, I feel pretty safe anywhere where the kitchen prepares food to order and the waitstaff seems to be paying attention. FYI, There's a Legal's in Logan Airport.

    Your daughter may still feel like she's under a spotlight a little, but I think many restaurants here are familiar with celiac disease. So you're less likely to get a waiter looking at you as if he were a deer in headlights and/or you're speaking in martian.

    Have a great time, and best of luck.

  2. ..and I don't know of any other celiac love story.

    Good luck. :)

    Oooh! I have one. I met my sweetie at a party thrown by mutual friends. I gathered the courage to ask him out for coffee after work the following week... When we met up, he asked if I was hungry:

    "We could get dinner on Charles Street."

    "Oooh, that could be tricky," I said, "I'm allergic to wheat and corn and it's in everything." "How about shish kebabs? There's a Lebanese place up the street-- we could check out the menu and see what you think."

    We went there, the waitress was great and helpful, the food was tasty, and I didn't get sick. That was...um... I guess about 6 years ago.

    I should probably do a whole separate post about it, but I'm really lucky. My sweetie likes to cook and sees my restrictions as an interesting challenge.

    One time after I had my worst reaction to date, I was cleaning up the kitchen. I had just brought some candy back from a trip abroad (for friends and family) and was going to put it in the pantry.

    "Can you eat those?"

    "I don't plan to. I can't read the ingredients. They're for other people."

    "Well, then find another place for them. Only food goes in the pantry."

    In other words, just like everyone else says: In a way, it's a pretty good screen. If he can't deal with it, that's a big red flag anyway. And there are lots of really cool people out there.

    Best of luck to you.

  3. I visited my family for the holidays and we went out to dinner for Christmas, which is the worst day to ever go to a restaurant if you have any special concerns. Most of the food is pre-prepared and the staff is usually the least experienced, because the senior staff is on vacation. I was as careful as possible under the circumstances..and currently covered with little red spots nonetheless. And crampy and sick. Bleah.

    At least we all know what to do for New Year's Resolutions!


  4. I was done, my feet swelled, I got bad chills, nausea, gas pains and flu like symptoms. It is now Wednesday and I have acid reflux so bad I could die. I understand it takes some time to get this out of your system and believe me I am a very positive person, HANG IN THERE, it will go away (right now I can't wait for it to leave me) and you will feel great and energetic again. Its a small set-back and believe me you will NEVER EVER CHEAT AGAIN. This feeling is worse that a bad hangover from my good old college days x10 worse.

    Not to cause alarm, Sylvia, but swollen feet, fever/chills, etc. could be an anaphylactic reaction. There's a range in severity-- it is possible to have an anaphylactic reaction without going into shock. But I strongly suggest you be *very* careful in the future. Definitely mention it to your doctor (assuming you have a Doctor With Clue).

  5. Just wondering if anyone has had any experience in this regard. I have some pretty low lows and then good days too. The lows, I beleive, are to do with gluten ( big suprise) but last month my doctor suggested I see a phsychiatrist as I was have a rough go. Is this a bad idea? Should I even bother as I know that I can keep myself gluten fere to the best of my ability and be ok. When I am low I am so negative that people don't want to be around me! Has anyone had problems with signifcant others getting tired of 'negativity'?

    Thanks :(

    Hi Canadian!

    I've been surprised at how much gluten can affect my emotions... I've had pretty good luck seeing a Licenced Social Worker (a counselor, does not prescribe meds) for several years. It won't "cure" the gluten-triggered lows, obviously, but it could help *if* you find the right person to talk to. She may be able to help give you some survival techniques to manage some of those lows. And of course, it's no picnic going gluten-free either, or dealing with people who think it's in your head (or in "demons"-- poor Ursa!)... As I just posted in another thread, be willing to meet a few shrinks/counselors/etc. before you decide. You may have to visit a few before you find one you like. I met with five before I found the person I see now. And trust your gut (er, so to speak). A good counselor can be a great help, but unfortunately there are a lot of really bad ones out there, too. Remember, you're paying someone to help you. Don't be afraid to screen them like you would any other job applicant.

  6. Some psych's suck. A good doc/patient relationship here is all about interpersonal compatibility, and you won't be compatible with everyone, so if you decide to go that route at some point, don't be afraid to do a little hunting around, and asking for recommendations.

    It's not unusual to talk with a few psychiatrists before you find one that you like & can work with. It's harder when you're limited by the insurance company. I would encourage you to try meeting with a few different ones and see if you can find someone to talk to. At this point, you deserve to have every possible thing that can help you, and a good shrink can be part of your healing process.

    Good luck. I'm sure you'll find plenty of support in Rachelville! :lol:

  7. I think I posted this earlier this year but can't find the post right now... either way, anyone know which alcohol is safe to drink for intolerances to gluten, dairy, soy, and egg (and preferably without corn as well though not necessary)... and what mixers for that matter...

    been about 7 months too long since I last drank and that was the only time I drank since avoiding dairy, soy, etc. in addition to gluten... I should be able to drink vodka and cranberry, right?

    and I'm pretty sure Heineken's not on the safe list, but I figured I'd check anyway :D

    If you are avaioding corn, note that most "cranberry juice cocktails" have corn syrup in them. You won't be able to get a cape codder/cosmopolitan/vodka & cranberry at a bar, but you can mix your own at home with a corn-free cranberry juice (an all-juice blend or something. not your typical Ocean Spray)

    I haven't had any problems with Chopin. I make my own simple syrup & sour mix when I'm inspired.

  8. Where is the best place to shop for all these wonderful foods? I am new on the board and live in an isolated rural area. I will have to order everything through the mail. I do get to Lincoln, Ne about twice a year. What are the best store chains to shop in if I do get to a city?

    A very belated answer, but I believe there's a reasonably well-stocked health food store in Lincoln that has gluten-free stuff. It's not cheap, but I found a lot more goodies there than I expected to.


  9. Off topic, but the dilation is going away and the vision is clearing. It should be ok in the am.

    Thanks for all of your impute.

    I'm glad your eyes are getting better.

    I've had problems with re-wetting drops too... I was very careful checking out the ingredients when I bought them, but they definitely stung and made me light sensitive (so they probably caused dilation). I don't know why. Guess maybe we're stuck with dry eyes. :blink:

  10. Ah for the days of fast food, frozen dinners and big old boxes of goldfish crackers... :lol:

    I'm not sure what's going to happen with my family member, but I can't just let her keep doing what she's doing. I'm more the type to just leave it alone and let it work itself out. Which is what I did this past year and it went from bad, to worse, to just plain ridiculous. So I've pretty much had it. Not going to burn the bridge, but I'm going to have some conversations and put everything out on the table as gently as possible.


    oooh, I used to looove goldfish crackers...

    Just wanted to pipe up with a "hang in there." December can really suck, and I think it's worse when you have anniversaries of sad events while everyone around is all merry & bright.

    As for the family member in question: do what you need to do for your own mental health. She may or may not be ready to hear what you have to say. You may lay it all out on the table and she might have a huge tantrum and flip the table over. I think it's wise to prepare for that possibility. Speak your mind (gently, as you say) and let it go. She may come around...she may not... again, do what you need to do to be at peace with yourself, because you can't chnage her or solve her issues.

    As for the other family members, well.. can you just talk to them directly, so they aren't getting misinformation?

    I wish you sunshine and a Happy New Year.

  11. I am sitting at my desk looking at the nicest fruit cake I have seen all Christmas, and it is so difficult to resist. I am trying though, my boss just gave it to me he doesn't know thw extent of my allergies

    How do you do it? Need encouragement !!!!!!

    Oh, isn't that the worst?

    My first thought: How long have you been gluten-free? I ask because I used to cheat now & then before I was gluten-free long enough to feel better and really have a sense of how awful gluten made me feel. So for a good 2 years or so, I was *really* whiny about what I couldn't have. Now I'm only moderately whiny. :rolleyes:

    I'm all in favor of the "Oh, it was so sweet of you to think of me!" & then find the forbidden item a new home ASAP technique.

    As for the encouragement: Go jamrock! Hang in there! Everyone here wants you to be happy and healthy. This is undoubtedly the toughest time of year to be wheatless. Be strong! You can do it! Think of how much work you've done to get better! [Plus, you know the stories about fruitcake-- for all we know, it could have been "re-gifted" several times already!]

    Also, I highly recommend splurging on a gluten-free decadent goodie. Make some gluten-free coffee cake. Look for a recipe for gluten-free fruitcake. Buy those expensive gluten-free cookies/brownies/whatever. Give yourself a nice treat that you can enjoy guilt-free.

    When I went to my Mom's for the holidays, I brought my favorite gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and allowed myself one per day. It really helped to keep me from feeling too sorry for myself amid the usual temptations.

    And of course: post early, post often! That's why we're all here. :P

  12. Sometime in my 30's, I got one of those really nasty, in-bed-for-a-week flus. I was living alone, and when I finally broke out of the feverish delirium, I realized I was really, really hungry. I had no energy whatsoever, so I made the easiest thing I happened to have on hand: speghetti with sauce from a jar. I polished off a bowl and went back to bed. When I woke up again, I had big red splotches all over my neck, and one eyelid was swollen shut.. After a week, I went to a doctor who gave me hydrocortisone to put on the red spots, which helped for a few days. Then they got gruesomely worse. A friend said "Those look like hives. Do you have a food allergy?" Hm. Bought a book on food allergies, did the elimination diet, kept a food journal, discovered that any corn or wheat product brought the hives back.

    When I look back, I remember multiple doctor visits in my childhood due to severe constipation. And pretty much every winter since I could remember, I lost about a week or two out of the year to the flu.

    I figured it was just food allergies. My sweetie was the one who pointed out that I get pretty nasty digestive symptoms, too, and he thinks I'm celiac. He's probably right. I haven't been tested, but since the wheat allergy is a definite (anaphylactic reaction to my last accident) I don't feel the need to have any tests done. The end result is the same: gluten-free for life. After reading many posts here, I am really worried about Mom: she has many of the common symptoms. I'm also now worried about my MIL, because I realized that she has a lot of symptoms, too! Or maybe I'm just seeing Celiac everywhere. Anyway, I suggested she check out this board, so now I should be careful of what I post! :P

  13. I was diagnosed around 1 1/2 months ago. I'm not even sure where to begin really. I've just been so depressed. ...I know I'm rambling. I just feel like I have noone to talk to and noone understands. Did you all go through this when you got diagnosed?

    Hi angel,

    yes. yes. yesyesyesyes. I'm sorry you are in such a low spot, but at the same time, how could you *not* be? So much of our culture and socializing revolves around food, and the holidays are the worst! Cookies and pies and cakes everywhere. It's probably the hardest time to be a newbie. And people can be impossible to train, especially since they knew you before you were diagnosed, so they don't understand the change. Some of them will "get it" as they see how much better you feel.

    I think it's hardest in the beginning. You don't know what to eat yet, and you don't feel better yet.

    As an alternative to meat, can you eat nuts? beans? They can be filling, too. At first, I would recommend staying away from as much that is "prepared" as possible, and make a lot of simple foods at home.

    Please hang in there. It's like going through "detox" in more ways than one, and it can be rough. But it is definitely worth it. And rant and ramble all you want here!

  14. So, we are having a party at work today. Usually we sign up for food to bring and I will bring a big salad for myself and a coworker who have celiac disease. How about this girl signed me up to bring three pounds of pasta salad?

    Since when do other people sign you up for what you're going to bring? That alone sounds rude to me.

    I know I'm reaching here, but a surprising number of people don't think about food ingredients. It's possible that she didn't realize that pasta is a wheat product. I know that sounds ridiculous, but trust me, I've had people offer things like "Well, obviously I can't make it wioth bread-- should I use a pita pocket?"

    Or one sweet waitress who kindly checked the ingredients of a dish and sadly informed me that the dinner rolls had wheat in them. Nice of her to check, but, yeah, I knew that one...

  15. But, we all make mistakes......we just start over, and better, and try harder next time. We all remember our specific mistakes, even those who have been at this for a long time (i'm about 2.5 years in, and boy, do I remember some of them!!!!!!)

    good luck :)

    Oh yeah... I still vividly recall learning that Hershey's miniatures were not safe way back, um, this Halloween. All this time and I thought I was OK if I just avoided the "krackle". @#%*!!

    This board is so helpful with stuff like that. It can take a lot of trial & error to learn some of this stuff, and luckily people share info about their trials.

    Hang in there. It takes awhile, and even years from now you may get adventurous and try the wrong thing... but you *will* start to feel better, and as you learn more it will get easier.

  16. I'm feeling really sad right now about Thanksgiving which is usually one of my favorite holidays.

    I had called my mother, who hosts the gathering (there are 18 of us all together in 3 generations) weeks ago to offer to make the stuffing so that Rebecca would be able to have the turkey and not feel left out. She agreed, but then suggested we make two turkeys since a 22 pounder was getting hard for her to turn. I said that would be fine and that I would stuff one and she could use her regular stuffing for the other. I then got very excited about making a super stuffing and a few pies that everyone in the family could enjoy.

    Well tonight she called and said that since she really needed to have a LOT of her stuffing, that she would make a large turkey and I should just bring a small turkey for Rebecca. I agreed, but I said I felt hurt because:

    A) that would make Rebecca feel like a second class citizen

    B) I wouldn't get to share my cooking with everyone

    C) the implication was that my stuffing would be lousy

    If it helps:

    - people are funny about traditional foods on Thanksgiving. Have you ever had a debate about homemade cranberry sauce vs. "canberry" sauce? [if not, start one and you'll see what I maen. People can be very passionate about it in either direction!] So it makes sense to me that your mom is trying to make sure everyone is happy and gets the stuffing they expect.

    - stuffing has always been a big favorite of mine, and in my family it goes fast. But since I now have my own supply of stuffing, I am guaranteed plenty of leftovers, whereas before I used to have to fight for it. So, you and your daughter will get all the yummy stuffing you want!

    - If you make your own turkey, you don't have to worry about whether your mom got one of those self-basting, "TVP" injected turkeys.

    For me, I'm fine with the separate stuffing issue. As a biologist, I'm far too wigged out by campylobacteria & salmonella to put anything inside the bird: I make the "stuffing" on the side anyway ("dressing?"). My in-laws are invading for this holiday, and they love the gravy-soaked stuff. I like my stuffing on the dry side. So for me, separate stuffing avoids any debates about the "right" way to make it.

    Instead of a second class citizen, can Rebecca be a Special-Class Citizen?

    For your usually supportive sister, I think the diabetic analogy applies. If Rebecca had just been diagnosed with diabetes, would it still be okay for her to eat sugary deserts because she had been "just recently diagnosed"? I'm guessing your sister's perspective is that it'd be sad for her niece to miss out... instead of thinking how much happier her niece will be if she's healthy.

  17. As mentioned, I use the pre-made gluten-free goodies as a rare treat. Like many people on the board, I have other food issues as well, so just "gluten-free" doesn't mean it's safe. So I eat a lot of stuff that's naturally minimally processed, like bananas, veggies, etc.

    Some of it depends on where you are and what resources are available. Farmer's markets are great. I definitely stock up on my "safe" foods when they're on sale. I try to minimize my time in Whole Paycheck Foods because it's so tempting, but every now and then I get the chocolate chip cookies... And location makes a big difference, too. In some parts of the country, there's enough demand for organics that you find them at the normal supermarket, in others they're insanely expensive.

    Generally, though, since we rarely go out to eat and don't buy a whole lot of pre-made stuff, the food bill doesn't get too crazy. But there are times when dinner is embarrassingly basic. We cook generous amounts of stuff at a time and freeze it in meal-sized containers. To keep it simple, there is minimal gluten in the house.

    My long term plan involves a chest freezer. We do have a secondary mini-fridge that is just for my safe flours & such-- in the long run, buying in bulk is cheaper. If there's a craiglist.org site near you, that can be a great resource for things like fridges/freezers if you don't mind scouring them out.

    Also, since I don't buy my lunch, my morning latte, sodas, or any impulse snacks during the day, I save money there. Ironically, my whole food budget has probably gone up mostly because I'm a lot more interested in eating food than I used to be... but yes, the initial startup costs (figuring out which flours worked, discovering which brands have CC issues, etc.) were pretty high, and it felt wasteful.

    Good luck!

  18. There are different subsets of antibodies, and each tends to have its own specialty.

    Generally, IgA is a "front line" response and found is found in secretions (the gunk in your eyes, ears, etc.)

    IgA tries to keep infections out of your body in the first place.

    IgM is the first phase of internal antibodies produced once a problem is found internally. IgM titer spikes early in infection.

    IgG is the serious, specific response. In an infection, your IgG titer looks like a bell curve over time. It starts out low, builds up, and lowers as you clear the infection.

    That's a really rough explanation; I'm just trying to give you the general idea.

    I would guess that, as Jestgar said, the two profiles represent different stages of the disease.

    Side note: IgE antibodies are usually blamed for environmental allergens (dust/dander/pollen/etc.)...

  19. We have a similar problem with our family, and this will be the 2ed Thanksgiving in a row that we will do without dh's family (they live nearby).... My dh is allergic to nuts, and there are always nuts in the stuffing, desserts, salads...well pretty much everything. Even when people do make an attempt at making something gluten-free or nut free you do always run the risk of CC...and with a true allergy that would be really scary!

    I hope you enjoy your quiet, stress free Thanksgiving! What's on the menu?

    HOLD IT. Your dh is allergic to nuts and his own family puts nuts in the salad/stuffing/desserts?

    Honey, please move away from these people as soon as you can! But seriously, I am so glad to hear you aren't having Thanksgiving with them.

    Shai76, I think you've got exactly the right idea.

  20. Sorry, venting again...this whole situation is really bugging me, the torte was just the icing on the cake :rolleyes:

    And, I probably will need to explain to her again that expensive, European gluten will make me just as sick as gluten from a slice of apple pie eaten at the local greasy spoon diner!

    "the icing on the cake?!" Thanks a lot, I just splurted tea all over my keyboard... :lol:

    I don't think it's worth explaining it to her, anerissara. She said she knew it would make you sick. And chosing to bring you something that you can (and do) make a safe version of anyway may have been part of the, er, torture. I mean really, who brings a torte across an ocean?! And it's not like she went to the homeland of Sachertortes or anything. Since when is a torte a souvenir of Rome?

    I'm a big believer in lovely fantasy responses. But of course, everyone here is right, they're called "fantasy responses" for a reason. I have a stepmother who is an absolute master at making apparently offhand comments that are actually direct personal stabs. Usually I'm too shocked to do anything but blink, but after the fact I come up with all sorts of juicy retorts.

    I really like Sandy's comment. It does seem wrong to 1) accept that G-d made you exactly as you are, celiac and all, and yet 2) directly harm the body that you have been given. What if celiac is meant to be a challenge in your life?

    Sounds to me like you need to put some distance between yourself and this um, rather interesting family. It also sounds like it will be a difficult process. Perhaps your health makes it difficult for you to be arranging the family get-togethers these days. [you don't have to explain that you mean your mental health, right? :D ]

    Dunno if it helps, but sometimes when my stepmom is talking, I think of circus clown music in my head. Or Mancini's "Baby Elephant Walk," which I also find suitably comical.

  21. Thanks - unlike the "buffet moaners", I take my immune reactions to food just as seriously as my allergic reactions to penicillin and sulfa drugs. Maybe having had a near-death experience accounts for my attitude!

    As you should! If your friends know you have the penicillin & sulfa allergy, maybe it would be easier to explain it as a wheat allergy. Then, if people ask about it, you can clarify. I know it's not really the same, but it can convey the appropriate amount of caution when it comes to exposure. And in a non-medical, informal sense, it's sort of true:

    according to Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1) -

    al‧ler‧gy  /ˈælərdʒi/ [al-er-jee]

    –noun, plural -gies.

    1. an abnormal reaction of the body to a previously encountered allergen introduced by inhalation, ingestion, injection, or skin contact, often manifested by itchy eyes, runny nose, wheezing, skin rash, or diarrhea.

    2. hypersensitivity to the reintroduction of an allergen. Compare anaphylaxis.

    3. Informal. a strong dislike or aversion, as toward a person or activity: He has an allergy to hard work.