Father’s Day Brunch

Today we are at a new restaurant for us called Beast + Bottle in downtown Denver. The food was amazing. I had lamb hash. My son had bacon, sausage, tortillas, and salad. The service was spectacular and they were very knowledgeable about foods that I could have that were Celiac friendly. There wasn’t a separate allergy fryer, so the fried tostadas and fries that said gluten free weren’t Celiac friendly. But, our food was delicious. After we left, we went to Little Man Ice Cream. They used clean scoops so that we wouldn’t get sick and told us which ice creams weren’t gluten free. They also wiped down the shake machine. I got a butterscotch ice cream shake and my son got orange creamsicle. Other than my son having a reaction from eating, then driving, then eating ice cream in the 100 degree weather (poor guy!), we had a great time:)

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Eating out with Celiac’s

Eating out while having Celiac’s is an interesting endeavor. Now that my son has it as well, it’s even more interesting. Many people with Celiac’s won’t even attempt to eat out, and I don’t blame them. It’s tough. But, with my husband and I being such foodies, we try to make it work. But, we have a select number of restaurants that we eat at. And this list narrows and narrows as time goes on. We also don’t even try most fast food restaurants, except Chipotle. Before we try a new restaurant, there is a lot of research that goes into it. I search gluten free restaurants. Then, I search reviews by the Celiac community. Then, I email or call the restaurant. I tell them that although I see that they have a gluten free menu online, we have Celiac’s. How do they avoid cross contamination? Do they have a separate fryer? Do they clean off their utensils? If they pass this test, we may try them. When we go to the restaurant, I either talk to the server or the manager and confirm what I originally asked. When I order my food, I ask the same questions. Again, when my food comes out.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am very polite. I tip well. I even write letters to the company letting them know how well they have done. But, I am cautious because of too many mishaps. I got severely ill from a restaurant a few weeks back, likely from cross contamination. I got ill from an ice cream shop that didn’t clean the machine after making a malt. I had a restaurant bring me my sandwich on a croissant. When my husband said it didn’t look right, I asked. Sure enough, it was non-gluten free bread. When I’ve asked what the restaurant has that is gluten free, I’ve been told they don’t give out “free” things. I was also told that a hotel who had a free breakfast had no idea what a “glutton” allergy was.

Once I find a restaurant that is extremely cautious and I can trust, we go there often. I know many people don’t eat out with allergies. But, I’ve been glutened by eating at home. There is always a risk whenever I eat. It’s scary. Coming out of a recent gluten reaction and having been sick for the last month, it’s scary. But, I do the best I can. I pray that I make the best decisions. And I stop worrying about what people think of me, and I ask questions. Politely, mind you. But I ask questions. And I don’t let the fact that my son and I have Celiac’s stop us from living our lives.

Almost Over?

Still dealing with symptoms from my gluten reaction back in May. I was beginning to have some severe symptoms the last month, but I thought it was attributed to changing medications or kidney problems. I have been having severe side and back pain along with anxiety and depression. I have also been having nausea for a month and a half. I had everything checked out by my endocrinologist(I go frequently since I have hypothyroid). Good news is everything is fine. Kidney function and thyroid are fine. Bad news is (as always), they don’t know what’s wrong. I am now thinking it’s still my gluten reaction.  Good news is, when they checked my cholesterol, they said my numbers improved and to keep doing what I’m doing. I wanted to write about this so people know they’re not alone. So many times I have gone to the doctor with severe symptoms, only to be told nothing is wrong. I fought for my celiac diagnosis ( now they say they have never seen numbers as high as mine) and for my Hypothyroid diagnosis( I was told I ate too much and had an overwhelming mood). My symptoms now could be my gluten reaction   ( probably are). But, don’t give up fighting for answers. Get a seconds, third, fourth opinion. Do your research and never give up. You are worth it.

Taco Night

My son never used to like tacos. I then discovered if I put everything out in bowls and he could make his own tacos, he suddenly loved taco night.

After I was diagnosed, I was so disappointed because we always used flour tortillas. We tried gluten free flour tortillas, and, let’s just say, they were far less than appetizing. The breakthrough was corn tortillas, both hard and soft. Now, we love taco night more than ever. I know it sounds simple, but sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones:)

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey

Taco Seasoning (See Recipe on Recipes tab)

1 cup lettuce, chopped

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

1 cup shredded cheese

Sour Cream

Taco Sauce

Salsa

Corn Tortillas (microwaved according to packaging)

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Prep Time: 15 minutes                                  Cook Time: 15 minutes                                    Servings: 12-15 tacos

Steps: In a stovetop pan, brown the ground turkey. Add the taco seasoning.

Put the cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce in separate bowls. Arrange meat, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, taco sauce, salsa, and corn tortillas on the table. Invite your kids to dinner and enjoy!!

Moving on through the pain

I know I have posted several times on this subject, but it is heavy on my heart recently. As many of you know, I had a severe gluten reaction about six weeks ago. Three days of stomach issues. Then several days of joint pain, back pain, and headaches. Now, for the last six weeks, I have had insomnia, depression, memory issues, chest pains, and anxiety. My last reaction lasted three months. I do not know how long this will last. This reaction was caused by cross contamination at a restaurant. I do not know what would happen if I accidentally ate a whole piece of bread that I thought was gluten free but wasn’t.

As I have been going through this process, I just wish more people understood the severity. I also wish I knew years ago why I struggled with depression and anxiety. No doctor that I went to was helpful. Even now, my doctor’s just tell me to stop eating gluten. They do not know how to address all of these symptoms.

I love the fact that this gluten free fad has created more options at restaurants and the grocery store. But, I wish people understood Celiac’s. I don’t expect everyone to carry gluten free items or accommodate me. Quite the opposite. I just hope that people understand that even cutting my food on a cutting board with gluten can cause a severe reaction. And maybe they shouldn’t carry gluten free items just to bring in more traffic.

When I have these reactions, I worry how much damage it has done to my system that is irreparable. I wonder if these reactions will ever stop happening. I pray for a good night’s sleep. I pray that I’ll stop getting sick. But most of all, I pray that my story will help someone else. Even if it helps one person, I will feel satisfied. I feel that I have an obligation to share my story, no matter how difficult it may be, so that maybe one more person will get the help they need.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

There is a cookbook that I use all the time. It’s called “The Joy of Vegan Baking” by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I absolutely love it. Since I am lactose intolerant as well as Celiac, I adapt these recipes all the time so that they are gluten free and lactose free. I also didn’t add as much sugar as it calls for, and used eggs instead of flaxseed. Lastly, I changed some of the spices. It turned out delicious!

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups applesauce

1 14 ounce can pumpkin puree

3 cups gluten free flour

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Prep time: 10 minutes                 Cooking time: 60 minutes                        Serving size: 2 loaves

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Steps: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add eggs, sugar, applesauce, and pumpkin puree together in a large bowl. Then, add flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix together with a hand mixer until just blended.

Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray. Spoon half of the mixture into each pan. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Enjoy!!

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Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

I always seem to have leftover bananas. I think that’s why so many of my recipes include them. I also wanted to make cookies this morning. So, I thought, what better combination than peanut butter and banana?

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup Gluten Free Flour

1 cup Brown Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Egg

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Banana

1/2 Melted Butter ( I use lactose free butter)

1/4 cup Cashew Milk

3/4 cup Reduced Sugar Peanut Butter

Prep Time: 15 minutes                             Cook Time: 18 minutes                         Serving Size: 22 cookies

Steps: Combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add egg, vanilla extract, banana, melted butter, cashew milk, and peanut butter. Using a hand mixer, mix until thoroughly combined. Spray baking sheet and scoop batter onto sheet, about 2 inch scoops. Bake for 18 minutes. Enjoy!!

 

Taco Seasoning

One of the items that is hard to find when you can’t eat gluten are seasoning mixes. I was bummed when I realized I couldn’t find taco seasoning until we found it is simple to make your own. Always check all your seasonings that you add to make sure they are gluten free.

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Ingredients:

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

Steps: mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Enjoy!!

 

Traveling with Allergies

My family and I travel and also eat out a lot. We are foodies. Even though we have Celiac’s and lactose intolerance, we still eat out. It is one of our favorite things to do. I will be using this page to share those experiences. We just recently traveled to Santa Fe, Phoenix, and Crested Butte, eating as much as we could along the way. I can’t wait to share all we have eaten and learned through our journeys.

06/07/16 I was just looking through the pictures on my phone, and I realized how many pictures I take of food. When we go out to eat, my husband and I love to share pictures of the amazing food we have eaten. Here are just a few examples. The first one is from Back road Pizza in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The second picture is from Panzano in Denver, Co. Delicious!!

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Glutened

I wish people understood the severity of food allergies or in my case autoimmune diseases. I never did until I had one. I was diagnosed with Celiac’s over three years ago and Hypothyroid a year ago. We found out my son can’t tolerate gluten over two years ago. They said my numbers were higher than they ever see after a blood test, and I should never eat gluten again. No other help. No other explanation. I felt lost. I cut out gluten but had no idea what I would go through in the process. Terrible stomach pain, joint pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, memory loss, headaches, back pain, etc. I never knew all these things I lived with for years were from gluten. My parents took me to several doctors growing up. The doctors told my parents I was making it up. Now, because of all the damage to my intestines over those 27 years, I also have an intolerance to eggs, dairy, apples, sugar, and coffee. This is real. Food intolerances and allergies are real. They don’t just cause stomach issues. My anxiety and depression are terrible when I have accidentally had gluten, which happened two weeks ago. First time in almost two years. Three days of stomach issues. Thanks to activated charcoal I was able to stop the severity of it. Next came joint pain, headaches, insomnia, and memory issues. Now, anxiety and depression. I am writing this so others know what food can do. Don’t give up searching for answers. Listen to your body. This is real and you have a right to fight for your health.