Category Archives: celiac

When You Realize What You Are Missing

When I went gluten free I stopped eating in restaurants entirely. It has been nearly 3 years now. Originally I stopped dining out because I did not know what restaurants offered gluten free options. By the time I had done the research to find out I had realized how sensitive I am to any sort of contamination.

I am sensitive enough that if I get even the tiniest crumb of something on a plate I will have a reaction. I pretty much immediately get a headache that starts on my forehead right in between my eyes. This lasts for 20-30  minutes then turns into a full migraine with nausea and light and sound sensitivity. This lasts anywhere from one hour to four hours depending on how soon I catch it. Within the next day or so I start having digestive issues. For the next two weeks I suffer from severe brain fog and anxiety. This sort of reaction is not something I am willing to risk by eating in restaurants. Most of the time I don’t miss the luxury of restaurants but I certainly have my days. Especially recently.

This past weekend my parents left to go back to New York. Before they went we wanted to get together. We decided to go to a restaurant. Originally I was just going to go and sit and talk with them. Definitely not planning on eating.  After a little debating I decided to bring my own food so I could eat while they were. This is something I feel sort of weird about. I am never sure how people at restaurants are going to react to me bringing my own meal. No one at the restaurant said anything about it which was a relief. The only problem I encountered that night was remembering how much I enjoyed the social setting of eating out. I never knew how much I missed it. So now that I remember what I am missing I am trying to decide how to move forward.  I would love to be able to go out to have dinner with friends but I still feel weird about bringing my own food. I know I can’t eat in a restaurant that has any chance of contamination, I have yet to find an entirely gluten free restaurant in Colorado, but I am not sure that I am willing to miss out on things like this anymore.

I would love to hear about your experiences with dining out. Do you do it? If so do you worry about contamination? How has this sort of thing affected your life?

Thanks for reading!

~Chelsea

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My Gluten Free Goals For 2010

As the new year begins I have realized that major changes in my life are in store. One of those changes is that I want to become more involved in the gluten free world.

I have already begun that process by starting my own gluten free Meetup.You can check that out here: http://www.meetup.com/The-Denver-Gluten-Free-Gang/ My goal with this group is to create a place for fellow celiacs to share stories, frustrations, recipes and support. I am really excited for this!

I am also going to try to commit more time to my blog. I really want to turn it into a one stop resource for everything and everyone looking for gluten free information.  I have added a resource page. This page is going to be full of websites that I find useful.

My other gluten free goal for 2010 is to create my own recipes to post here, so check back for those.

As always, thanks for reading! I appreciate the support

~Chelsea

Thanksgiving!

Last year  was my first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my whole family. It was ok, but I felt like a lot was missing. It was not like our normal Thanksgiving dinners. So this year I am committed to cooking food that tastes like real food.

So far I am planning on cooking:

Turkey (I am still trying to find a gluten free brand)

My grandmas sweet potatoes (best things Ihave ever tested, Trying to figure out how to do it gluten free)

My moms mashed potatoes (Trying to figure out if rice milk will work to replace the whole milk)

Stuffing (This is the big one. Most gluten free stuffing I have found either has corn or sugar in it, so I am still working on finding stuffing cubes I can use)

Lemon Bars ( I have an amazing lemon bar recipe, I am so excited to make these again)

Pumpkin Pie (I am still looking for an amazing gluten free pumpkin pie recipe)

 

As I get closer to Thanksgiving I will post recipes to these as I find them.  If anyone has any recommendations for any of these recipes that would be awesome.

 

Thanks for reading

~Chelsea

Celiac For Beginners

I have had a lot of clients recently telling me that there child, sister, cousin, friend, etc. have just found out that they are allergic to gluten. I always try to offer them some sort of information. Here is a great video I came across  today. It has some awesome basic information on celiac disease.

Scitimes Video: A Profile of Celiac Disease

Enjoy!

 

Why I am Happier Living Gluten Free

I saw a tweet on twitter a few days ago that has inspired this blog post.  It was from @glutenfreedude and the tweet was: “GF Discussion Forum: What are your reasons to celebrate being gluten-free? Article Link #gfree #celiac”

Here is why I personally celebrate my gluten free lifestyle:

My health: I feel like I can enjoy so much more now because I don’t feel sick all the time.

My sanity: I don’t feel crazy for feeling so bad all the time, I now know it wasn’t all in my head

Eating on Purpose: I feel blessed to have to think about what I put into my body. I can no longer mindlessly eat fast food and junk food.

The Education: I feel like I have learned so much about health, our bodies, and the true impact the American lifestyle has on our bodies. I love learning about Celiac disease and other peoples experiences with it. I also love being able to pass the things I learn onto other people who may not understand what we go through

Getting Creative with Food: When I first went gluten free EVERYTHING tasted the same. 2 years later I can now cook some great gluten free dishes and I love learning and creating new recipes all the time.

Getting Creative with my Social Life: Because I don’t eat at restaurants anymore I have to put thought into meaningful and fun things I can do with my friends.  This may not sound like a good thing, but I feel like I spend more quality time with people now, we don’t default to eating out in order to spend time together.

All and all, even though it hasn’t been all fun I really truly enjoy the gluten free lifestyle. I feel like it is a blessing in my life.

A Light At The End Of The Tunnel

I just wanted to take a minute to talk about something that helped restore my faith a little bit in non-celiacs understanding celiacs.

I had been in a relationship for 4 and a half years, and thankfully when I found out I was celiac we both went gluten free together. I never had to worry about cross contamination or anything. I felt so lucky. So when that relationship ended, and I realized I had to start dating again, I was really scared. I was afraid first of all to tell people, “hey I can’t eat anything” and I was also afraid of how to address things like brushing your teeth before kissing, etc.

So, long story short. I finally met someone who I was interested in. It took me a few weeks and a ridiculous amount of text messages, to finally come out with my entire list of allergies. To my surprise she completely accepted my allergies, and even started doing research about gluten free living.

A few weeks into dating she realized that when I went to her house, unless I brought food, I never ate. So she has found a gluten free cooking class to take, is going to attend a gluten free convention with me, and is in the process of buying separate pots, pans, and basic dishes so I can safely eat.

These gestures mean so much to me because it means that some people really do care.

I would love to hear anyone elses stories about friends or family that really do understand. I feel like a lot of what I hear is horror stories about no one understanding and how lonely the diet can be.

Thanks for reading.

Am I Afraid Of Gluten?

I have noticed a very strange phenomenon since, well even before I went gluten free. The final thing that brought me to my celiac diagnosis was my anxiety problems. I had a serious social anxiety disorder and no one could figure out why, yes my childhood was weird, yes I had normal stress, but I had an anxiety that could not be cured no matter how much therapy I went through. FINALLY I met my current therapist who referred me to a naturopath. This guy told me to cut the gluten and refined sugar, and miraculously I started feeling better. Stomach and anxiety wise.

So now 2 years later my anxiety is pretty in check, but I have recently started noticing something strange. A few days ago I went to an entirely gluten free bakery. I walked in, got a huge whiff of the baking goods, and I panicked! Just the thought of being in a bakery, picking up a loaf of bread, and I flip out. It must be a deep rooted psychological reaction to the 22 years I was poisoning my body. But my question is, how do I conquer my deep subconscious and convince myself that going to a bakery and getting a loaf of bread is not going to make me sick. That night I made sandwiches for dinner. As I was cooking the bread and making my sandwich, I got the panic feeling again. It took me a lot of convincing myself that the bread really was gluten free to be able to eat my sandwich. Has anyone else encountered this sort of thing or am I just crazy?