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Gluten-free and cranky!


calypso
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I don't know how those of you who do the gluten-free thing are alive.

I am not a happy camper.

I am trying this diet to see if I have any improvement in my symptoms, especially the chronic gas issue I've been having. It's now the end of day 1, and so far no gas. I can't believe it. So far, aside from dying for a giant waffle or pancakes, the worst effect is that I am very irritable. I know this is supposedly typical for people who eat to many carbs, then cut back, but wow. I think I should tell my husband and toddler to go stay somewhere far, far away for the next three days. B) But I figure this will pass after I get through the withdrawal.

Anyway, just thought I'd share. A question, too: Is oatmeal gluten-free? I found some conflicting info on this subject. And what kinds of breads are OK to eat?

Amy

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Actually, you CAN have waffles! There are two really good brands of Gluten Free ones. I have the ones from Trader Joes in my freezer right now and had them for breakfast on Sunday.

Also, there are great pastas and breads. You just just have to know where to shop! I hardly ever go to the health food store for my stuff--too expensive. Again Trader Joes carries a huge assortment of items you can eat.

I also shop online at the Gluten Free mall. http://www.glutenfreemall.com/

From them, I mostly get pasta and mac & cheese (pastariso brand). Glutano cookies are pretty good, and also most of the g/f pancake and baking mixes are pretty good. I can't remember the brand, but there is a chocolate cake mix that ROCKS!!! The same company makes brownie mix that are great too.

The absolute BEST breads, cakes,cookies, pizza blanks, etc. come from g/f bakery not far from my home. But, they'll ship anywhere--and they are the darned nicest people too!!! http://www.mrritts.com/list.html

here's one of the previous posts on this topic, discussing some of the yucky and some of the goodies.

http://dinet.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtop...1&st=&p=entry

Don't be discouraged--there really are great foods out there!

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Oatmeal is fine. They used to believe it wasn't and that info is still floating about--the only thing you have to worry about is cross contamination--some oats are processed in facilities that also process off-limits grains like barley, wheat, spelt, ect.

Breads that are okay are usually in the frozen section of speciality markets. There are several rice based brands--

Not okay: barley, wheat, spelt, rye--or derivatives like "malt" which is made from barley, texturized vegetable protien (aka 100% wheat gluten). wheat starch, etc.

Here's where you can find a list of forbidden ingredients.

http://www.celiac.com/st_main.html?p_catid...-24105340172.a1

Happy reading! Nina

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Contrary to its name, buckwheat is not a wheat or even a grain, so you can have that. I like the Cream of Buckwheat cereal, but have to go easy on it due to carbs.

I also do corn tortillas instead of bread, and use them to make roll-ups (even with peanut butter and such).

Nina - thanks for the links. I use glutenfreemall, but was unaware of the other. I'll be checking it out soon!

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Nina,

Thanks so much for the wealth of info! I don't have a Trader Joe's, but we do have a Whole Foods, so maybe I can check there for waffles. If oatmeal is OK, that ought to make things a lot easier, too.

Opus, thanks for the info on buckwheat. I didn't know that was allowed too.

I will survive ...

Amy

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Amy, whole foods should have:

Vans gluten free waffles (they're delicious--I've found them in regular and blueberry)

Rice based bread is in the freezer--it's called "food for life" brand I think

the one by our home carries a brown rice based pasta called Tinkanyada and it's delicious

Also, gluten free pantry is the brand of the chocolate bake mix.

From the regular grocery: corn pops and honey combs cereals are safe.

However, corn flakes are NOT, nor are rice crispies--both have malt as an additive.

Fritos are safe, as are cheetos, and most corn chips/tortilla chips.

I buy polenta in the refrigerated section, and fry it up as a side dish.

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Amy, if you read the thread Nina posted that I started last year, you will have read my struggle with finding foods that my body can handle which I continue today. I have found, however, that gluten free is good for me. Mr. Ritts bakery (link from Nina) is FANTASTIC and Paul is the nicest guy to work with....although depending on where you live, this is an expensive route to go due to shipping. But, since there is so little choice of what agrees with me, I look at the bread I order as a necessity, not a luxury (yes, a little rationalization going on there!!)

Also, the Tinayada rice pasta is wonderful and my husband loves the fettucini and he doesn't have any eating challenges. It has a lot of carbs so if you need a fix, it should do the trick!! The other thing that I love is Blue Diamond Nut Thin Crackers which the nutritionist recommended. My favorite is the almond crackers and my "normal" friends really like them as well. They are great with almond or peanut butter. I get both items at Whole Foods and can highly recommend. This past year I have tried to incorporate more organic foods into my diet. Don't have any proof that helps but highly suggested by the nutritionist.

Nina, that is interesting about the oatmeal being OK. I have avoided it thinking it was on the forbidden list. Maybe I should give it another try. I love oatmeal.

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Nina, here is a funny story. Last year you wrote that Cheetos were ok for a g/f diet and when I read that, I thought I had won the lottery!! Since I was a kid, cheetos have been one of my all time favorites. So, I rushed out THAT day and bought the largest bag of cheetos I could find and then went home and proceeded to eat the bag in 2 days. WELL....while, cheetos may be g/f, they have a whole lot of other stuff that is soooo bad for me and let's just say I got really sick!!

You would think that incident would cure me but NO. Several times I have tried them again, buying just one of the small kids lunch size bags. I never get away with it...so sadly, I have had to swear off of them!

The lesson is don't forget to use your common sense (LOL)

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Those almond crackers are GREAT...so are the hazelnut ones. Also, in the aisan food section, I get the rice crackers, sesame crackers and seaweed crackers. They're all really good.

Nina

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Just a word about the oatmeal...I have to stick to a very strict gluten free diet because I have celiac. I cannot have even a little gluten. As a result I do NOT eat oatmeal, as there's just too much risk in cross contamination as it's usually processed in the same machinery as wheat and other gluten grains. I tried doing Oatmeal and had a bad reaction. Some people can tolerate it, but I'm not one of them! B)

The links and info that the others have posted are great. I just want to add one more of my favorites...

http://www.glutensolutions.com/store.asp

This website has ratings and reviews of the food by consumers, and they're pretty reliable. They have a huge selection of yummy GF foods. :D

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Day 2 report: Mood better, gas worse. I think it's the oatmeal. I went for an annual visit with my midwife a couple weeks ago and she suggested I go completely grain-free. I thought this was a bit drastic, so I thought the gluten-free route would be a good first step. But maybe she was right. Seems as though I have so much bacteria in my intestinal tract that I just can't tolerate any carbs right now. It's a dilemma, because I still am about 10 pounds underweight. And I really don't like to eat meat but am forcing it down because I know there's little else to eat otherwise.

So I think I'll stick to the gluten-free thing a few more weeks and hope it gets better before completely cutting out the grains. Hopefully it'll just take a while for me to adjust and see some results, rather than needing to cut out even more grains.

Amy

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Some of the things you can use to bolster your weight and are a high quality protein and good fat source: nuts

I buy bulk bags of walnuts, almonds and pecans. I use the pecans to perk up my breakfast cereal.

Most cheeses are safe. Exclusions--roquefort, blue, stilton, and other "moldy cheeses" as they use bread to start the mold process. At home, we ususally have havarti, gouda, brie, camambert, Parmasean, etc. Most hard and most soft (not processed) cheeses are fine.

Oh, I buy Barbara's brand cereal. They carry two versions at my local market right down the street. She makes a few with rice and oat flour in a "clean facililty". The ones that are gf include cinnamon puffins, regular puffins and peanut butter puffins.

It takes weeks for your system to calm down after starting the diet. My first two weeks were hellish, but if you can hang in there, I bet you'll really notice a difference. Milk and lactose intolerance usually go hand in hand with gluten intolerance, but will clear up when you've been gluten free for a few months. I was able to reintroduce dairy at that point without problems. You may be able to try the oats again later without a problem--consider getting them from a speciality grocer to ensure safety from cross contaminents.

I also had a bad reaction to some fast food fries. Turns out, some are coated with a flour or wheat starch to make them crisp better and brown better while in the fryer.

As for Mr. Ritts, if you're a chocolate nut, get their succretorte (spelling?). It just plain ROCKS. Gluten free or not, it's hands down the best chocolate cake. Their cookies are wonderful, as is their challah bread (egg based batter).

Most GF breads taste best toasted, but Ritts breads are great as is. Wish ya lived nearby so you could feel as spoiled as I do when I need a safe carb fix!

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Nina,

I know ... let me tell you that in Madison (WI), there are plenty of health nuts and people on special diets, but we don't have that big-city kind of bakery where you can just walk in and buy fresh gluten-free bread and baked goods. Oh, Mr. Ritts, how about a satellite bakery ... say in Chicago?!

Amy

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I love those Puffins cereals, especially the peanut butter variety, BUT if carbs are a problem, be careful. I can only handle a small handful (no more than a dozen little puffs) added to other cereal, or just as a snack. Even then sometimes it will backfire on me.

Amy, we have many of the same situations. I'm 5"3 and 92 lbs., and have been very thin all my life. It doesn't bother me that I don't gain weight (with a diet like mine, there's no opportunity!), but I certainly don't want to lose any. As of a couple of years ago, I had to adopt the almost gluten-free and completely wheat-free diet. I also learned that I was intolerant of milk products, but it got worse after going gluten-free instead of better. Now I cannot do milk products at all - not only because of bloating, cramping, etc., but my hands and feet become painful and stiff after even small amounts.

Nina - Thanks for the heads-up on the fries! I do treat myself occasionally with those and have inconsistently had trouble. That could very well explain the problem. I don't know if this is true or not, but a long time ago I was told that McDonald's adds sugar to their oil to help the browning - I've avoided McD's since hearing that.

Gena - Another link to gf foods. Yippee!! It's nice to have more options now, thanks to this string. Thanks for adding that info.

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Amy,

I just wanted to say that I know exactly what you're going through. When I was first dx'd with celiac I was also tested for other food allergies. I was allergic to everything under the sun, due to having a leaky gut from the celiac. Anyway I had to cut out gluten plus everything else I was allergic to for 90 days. Those were the most depressing, awful 3 mos. of my life. I lost even more weight and felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

But gradually my gastro symptoms and neurological symtpoms started to subside and I started feeling healthier. I also drank Ensure whenever I could to help keep some weight on. (although the sugar content is a little much for me to handle at one time)

It took me a while to figure out that gluten can be hidden in soooo many foods, so I had some setbacks whenever I ate something I thought was gluten free. (Like my favorite hot tea at the time was flavored with barley malt and I didn't know it)

There's a list of GF foods at the Delphi forums website under the celiac forum that contains hundreds of brand name foods that are GF, many of which you can buy at a regular supermarket. Delphi Forum - Celiac. This list is updated each year. Click the link and then scroll down the page and you'll see the link to GF food list. If I'm ever unsure, I always call the manufacturer to find out if it's definitely GF.

One other note (sorry this is so long!). I also took a Renew Life product called Intest a New. It has gamma orryzanol (rice bran oil) and other ingredients that help sooth and repair the intestinal lining. I used it for about 4-6 months and it truly helped heal my gut. I am no longer allergic to any foods except a couple that I only have mild reactions to. Of course I still have to stay gluten free. Sometimes it takes up to a year of going GF before all of your body recovers fully. So hang in there, but you should definitely feel an improvement within a couple of months. (If you have a local healthfood store nearby, they should have GF breads in the frozen section that you toast. Food for Life brown rice breads are my favorite.) :)

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I have a growing list of recipes on my web site:

http://www.coolkarma.com/Foods/index.html

Most are gluten free (avoid ones with spelt or rye -- I am wheat sensitive not gluten sensitve) so take a look and see if something will help your cravings. For me when I had to do the candida diet and give up all sugar/sweet foods for a year was REALLY hard. But really worth it in the long haul.

Hang in there.

EM

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EarthMother,

I loved your site and your recipes. I have virtually all of those ingredients in my kitchen for the recipes, but I never thought to combine them in such creative ways. I can't wait to try one of the recipes tonight! Thanks for sharing. :)

Gena

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Thanks, Gena, Opus and EarthMother! I love getting all of this info so I don't quit too soon or eat things I shouldn't. My doctor won't order an actual gluten allergy test because I have no diarrhea or cramping or floating stools (sorry for the graphic image), even though it's the cheapest test on Earth. So I am basically trying this as a way to cut down the bacteria in the intestine and hopefully reduce or eliminate the gas. I never had this problem until eight months after developing POTS. I used to have anxiety-induced episodes of diarrhea, but otherwise have never had a problem tolerating any food. It's very odd how POTS sets in, then everything else in my body goes haywire.

Amy

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Amy, it is strange how once the ANS is off balance how many things in our bodies go wrong. I have to avoid all meats, dairy, milk, chocolate in addition to gluten and finding foods that I can eat gets frustrating. I think when I stopped gluten that I noticed an improvement in a few weeks time so I hope that you will too. I wasn't tested either but since g/f has been discussed here many times, I thought I would give it a try and it has helped so I am sticking with it.

good luck!

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EM, I made your recipe for Rice Mold earlier today and it is very tasty!! I have recently switched from eating white rice to brown and am still trying to adjust so this recipe is a way to incorporate it with other foods I like. Thanks so much.

I would really like to try your freezer black bean patties but would like to do it without the oats. I can substitute the flour but do you have any advice on what to use in place of the rolled oats?

Amy, how are you doing on day 3? Hang in there!

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Gena, I am so glad you enjoyed the rice mold. I made it the other night and added carrots to the top layer. It was so pretty. I just placed a bag of organic carrots in the juicer and then added the dry pulp as my first layer before the rice. Then I used the carrot juice for a sweet gravy. It was cool.

Hmmmm.... oats in the black bean patties, you can probably add cooked brown rice and it would work just fine.

Salubrious.

EM

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Geneva,

I'm doing just fine with the diet. I went to the co-op and picked up a bunch of gluten-free goods ... I can't believe that I never noticed how much GF stuff they have. I got Nut Thins, Van's waffles (then had one immediately after I got home -- YUM!), baking/pancake mix and some more rice. I am kind of getting sick of rice and corn, so I think I will try to eat more potatoes this week instead.

I still am having lots of gas and don't know if this diet will be complete enough for me ... may still have to cut out ALL grains ... but hopefully not. I know it may take more time to see results.

Amy

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I can't seem to find this info anywhere ... is all chocolate gluten free, or do I have to look for a specific kind? Also, balsalmic vinegar? And ice cream?

Amy

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A lot of pure chocolate is gluten free, (like Hersheys' milk chocolate bar), however, I always check with the manufacturer by calling them or checking the GF list at delphi forums. Same goes for ice cream....I like Haagen Daz ice cream, unless it has cookies, cake,etc. or specifically mentions a gluten containing ingredient on the ingredient list, it is gluten free...I believe the same goes with Edy's and Ben and Jerry's, but it's always best to check. Most manufacturers will gladly send you a GF list of their products if you just call their 800 number and ask.

Balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar and distilled white vinegar are gluten free. Be careful at some restaurants (like Ruby Tuesday) are now serving a malt vinegar when you ask for "oil and vinegar" to go with a salad. Malt vinegar is not gluten free. Also, eating out, in general can be tricky, so be careful. If you have an Outback, Bone Fish Grill or PF Changs in your town, they can all provide you with a special GF menu to order from (you'll have to ask the mgr, because most of the wait staff don't know about it). I highly recommend the celiac forum at delphiforums.com for more great tips and information.

Hope your gas and tummy troubles start to subside soon. :angry:

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