A new challenge in the journey…

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I can’t say this comes as a complete surprise to me, but I finally got the official diagnosis of gluten intolerant the other day. I’m still learning a bit about the range of conditions that can be caused by gluten – anything from a sensitivity to an allergy to full blown celiac disease. Although my bloodwork was negative for celiac, the biopsies taken during some other testing showed damage to my small intestine which is a pretty good indicator of some form of gluten issue. My gastroenterologist has settled on “gluten intolerance” as my particular label, and said that the more I can eat gluten free, the better off I’ll be.

Of course, many of the healthiest foods for us are naturally gluten free – lean proteins, fruits, veggies – but some of my favorite things are not. Fortunately, given that I don’t have celiac, I don’t have to worry quite as much about cross contamination, so I can still have my favorite oatmeal without too much concern. I do have to start looking out for certain tricky things on labels – anything that is related to wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and triticale (not that I know what triticale is anyway).

When I went through my first gluten free adventure a little over 2 years ago, I started a blog where I posted some recipes and reviews of gluten free products. Rather than reposting everything from there, or trying to maintain two blogs – which I just don’t have the time to do – I’ll link to some of my favorite things from that blog as we go along here. If you do want to check it out – feel free to head on over to Gluten-Free Newbie!

Thanksgiving was likely my last real gluten containing meal – and I really tried to keep it low-gluten. The only things that were heavy duty on the gluten were the stuffing and the crusts of the pies. I did make stuffed mushrooms, but I used gluten free breadcrumbs and nobody seemed to notice. One thing I did notice was that they sucked up quite a bit of moisture, so I think I’d make the stuffing mixture a little more wet next time.

Hopefully I’ll keep learning about this new challenge – and I’ll overcome it like everything else!

Do you have any dietary challenges or food intolerances?



What a Wacky Week!

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This week has been incredibly busy… I realized today that I haven’t posted anything all week! I worked like a crazy person to get ready a really big presentation on Thursday night (after 10 pm at a meeting that lasted until almost 11:30!!). Thankfully it went well, and now that project is behind me!

I finally got around to replacing stuff in my fridge and freezer that I lost during our hurricane power outage last week. I knew the bill would be big, but whoa! I spent almost $250 at the regular grocery store, and almost $50 at Whole Foods. Granted, I replaced every condiment – I’m nervous that way. Plus, I bought all the regular stuff that I would have bought for the week, so I guess it wasn’t THAT bad. I made my favorite Turkey, Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese cannelloni for dinner last night. It still amazes me that my husband will eat sweet potatoes that way! I cubed and roasted a few extras to make some sweet potato hash with chicken apple sausage – I can’t for the life of me remember where I found the recipe, but this one looks pretty similar. It makes a great brunch or a quick dinner. That’s another way I can sneak in sweet potatoes without too much protest from my better half.

On another note, a couple of weeks ago I went for an endoscopy to check up on a few issues I was having a while back. At that time, I was getting awful stomach aches anytime I ate anything solid – it was really terrible. It seemed at the time that it was worse if I ate crackers or toast, so I started suspecting that I had celiac or some kind of gluten intolerance issue. Luckily, I haven’t had that problem lately, but I do have occasional tummy troubles. I really should keep track of when it happens to see if there are any patterns, but yeah…I’m a little lazy as far as that goes. Well, I got a call this week that things looked okay for the most part, but there was some persistent inflammation in my duodenum (here’s where that is). The doctor sent me for some bloodwork to check for celiac this time. I am really hoping it’s not the case, but if so, I’m going to have to change a lot in the way I eat. I love whole grain things – bread, English muffins, crackers… I am also finding that a lot of people that have celiac also have issues with dairy. That would be even worse!! I’m not sure what I’d do without yogurt, cheese, and a cold glass of milk once in a while. Yes, I know there are alternatives to all these things, but they’re just not the same. I am all about almond milk in my smoothies, but not to drink straight up! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Not too much else happening here at the moment. I’m bound and determined to get back into my link-ups this week, so look for more posts!

Do you deal with any food allergies/intolerances?

Any favorite substitutes?