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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Our numbers are growing...we're coming to take you out!

Last week, I was in Chapters looking for a specific book about dealing with cognitive behaviour therapy (check my other blog for more about me and my therapy!) and ended up in the recipe books section. Yeah, I can't follow that logic either...but anyway...I did my usual scan for gluten free cookbooks (even though I don't buy them cause I just tweak all my recipes to make them gluten free) and couldn't believe how MANY there were. I swear when I was first diagnosed, there were TWO. Yes, TWO...and they were both by the same author. Cooking GF and Baking GF. Now, I found three SHELVES of gluten free (and other allergy free ones as well) cookbooks. My jaw hit the ground (I'm still bruised). I couldn't believe it. GF cookies, GF cakes, GF meals, GF...well, you get the point...it was damn impressive! I still didn't buy any but I stayed there for a little bit just taking it in and feeling pride that my "disease" was finally getting more recognition. In other news, I now have two other family members with Celiac (my dad's sister and my grandmother, his mom) and at least four friends with either diagnosed Celiacs (two-Rachel and Sarah) and two friends who eat gluten free because they feel better (Kelly and Natalie). In addition, one of my coworkers is Celiac and my boss is gluten intolerant. Sadly, this makes me happy. Not to see them suffer or watch as they struggle to find food but to have other people that understand EXACTLY what I am going through is like validation that I'm not just doing this to piss people off or being picky. I can bemoan the cost of food to them, share in the excitement of a new gluten free product that doesn't taste like a lump of sawdust, swap recipes, give each other tips on great places to eat or foods to try. When I go to eat at their house, I can relax knowing they aren't going to send me to the bathroom. When I was diagnosed 5 years ago, I knew NO ONE with my issues...now, I'm forming an army! Oh yeah!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Expanding my culinary horizons

It's funny when I think back to before I had Celiac. I've always been a "picky" eater. I don't really like veggies and I like my junk food too much. I know...time to shoot me huh? I know the arguments, I know I need to eat healthier...but well, I suck at it. But once I was diagnosed with Celiac, suddenly I had to rethink my entire food philosophy. A lot of things I had tried over the years (not usually of my own accord and I usually fought it kicking and screaming...I'm really sorry Mom!) but being an adult, I could choose to just not eat it or even buy it and who would ever know. But having to change a lot of my foods, I suddenly floundered to find ways to make my gf stuff taste relatively good. I delved into the world of seasonings. I experimented with new flavours and discovered something cool. I wasn't actually doing TOO badly. It forced me out of my comfort zone of food and suddenly I was eating roasted red pepper and tomato soup (cause I can no longer eat just plain tomato soup), I was eating spinach and four cheese pizza (instead of pepperoni or ham and cheese), I was dicing tomatoes and eating them in my pasta to give it more flavour, cooking stuff with chopped up onions, red and green peppers (even though I don't eat the peppers, I ate sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving and even tried asparagus...I'm working on it people!!) and making fruit smoothies with flax seeds and tons of fruit. I've even bought the V8 Fusion juice for Abby and drink it myself...because it's a sneaky way to get the veggies in me! And having Abby, I'm very conscious of how my hang ups can become hers. So I've always given her a variety of fruits and veggies...she's eaten cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, asparagus, as well as the common peas, carrots, corn, beans, etc. When I was feeding her the jarred stuff, I forced myself to take a bite (or mouthful) of whatever she was eating just to make myself aware of what was going into her mouth...fyi...pasty veggies NOT good! LOL
Now, whenever I cook, I try to reach for something different for different flavours. I keep onions in my fridge all the time, as well as carrots, tomatoes and tons of fruit. If I won't eat it straight up, I mince, dice, chop, cook or blend it to make it more palatable for my picky little tastebuds. I think I've even impressed my mom and aunt when they see what I'm eating...especially my poor mom who tried her darnedest to get veggies in my tightly closed mouth many many MANY times! She's very proud...I asked. I hope Abby doesn't share my aversion for veggies but I hope to be a good role model for trying stuff at least. I won't force it on her but if I can at least try a bite, so can she. If we don't like it, we don't eat it. But if she or I (or Clayton) likes it, I will make sure that it's something I keep in the house for us. Cause tastebuds can develop and change as we grow up. I still like my junk food but I enjoy a good mixed spring mix (with arugula, romaine, spinach-when before it was iceberg or nothing) salad, with grilled chicken, hard boiled eggs chopped up, cheese, tomatoes and topped off with honey dijon dressing. I actually crave it! So even us picky eaters can be taught...even if it takes us 33 years to get there! But if I eat at your house and don't eat your veggies (yes, I'm talking about you Lyndsie!!!) I still love you for trying but my lips and mouth are firmly closed...give me time, I might eventually get there...just as long as you have a damn good dessert! Gluten free of course!

Monday, July 4, 2011

You know you are a Celiac if...

I had read this eons ago when I was first diagnosed but a lot is still true today!


...you've ever had to give a doctor a crash course in Celiac 101.
...you weep at picnics, parties, receptions, and breakfast, lunch, dinner.
...you've "brown bagged it" to an elegant dinner
...a 7 course meal is a 1 course meal for you -Lettuce.
...you've installed bookcases in your bathroom.
...you've driven more than 40 miles to buy a cookie.
...it takes you 4 hours to grocery shop and your eyesight is ruined.
...you hold your breath through the bakery section.
...you feel like you need a loan to pay the grocery bill.
...your bread weighs more than a moon rock and just happens to resemble one as well.
...you've disinherited loved ones for putting their knife in your mayo.
...you've brought a suitcase full of food with you on an over night trip
...your family thinks you're crazy for not tasting their new chocolate chip cookie recipe, because surely a little nibble couldn't hurt right?
...you can spell transglutaminase and dermatitis herpetiformis.
...you show up at the annual church pancake breakfast with a mask and lettuce rollups
...having solid poop is the highlight of your day.
...you have actually doodled a new cartoon dog on your notes named "Sprue"
...you have actually considered using a gluten-free bagel for a hockey puck
...you've mastered saying "I actually enjoy MY food" (without your face twitching)
... you hide the gluten-free cookies when guests come over, so they don't eat them.
...you read the ingredient label on green tea - plain green tea.
...you pay relatives back east exorbitant shipping rates to send you a $12 six pack of gluten-free beer.
...you cried when you saw your usually careful significant other or family member brushing the crumbs off their hands (from making a gluten-containing sandwich) RIGHT OVER the open utensil drawer
...you hear of a new health food store opening in a city close by and get ridiculously excited only to drive there, spend 2 hours walking around, reading labels, only to leave empty handed (hahahaha...sob sob...yep!)
...you take a list of safe drinks to the bar with you, and actually consult the bartender before you order a drink.
...it drives you crazy when someone says they completely understand your diet, they did Atkins.
...people roll their eyes at you when you say "no thank you" to someone's gluten filled dessert
.....your friend invites you over for your birthday and want to make you a gluten free birthday cake, but you plead with them not to, because although you're trying to seem like you don't want to put them through the hassle, you're secretly terrified of cross contamination.
...your 'favorites' sites are mostly celiac sites
...you've mastered the art of lying when other people ask you if you're hungry.
...you go to a potluck at a friends place and your dish is gluten-free -you dive into it first so that you get something to eat before others contaminate it. (yep!)
...you long to look at the contents of other people's fridges and pantries just to see if you can eat anything (yep, at my mom's and friend's house)