Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I'm not merely sharing my tummy ache for the ick factor but because I have a palliative treatment for glutenization. It's not a miracle cure. You'll still be sick, but it's better than nothing.
As soon as you figure out you've accidentally ingested some gluten, take a dose of Pepto-Bismol and a couple Simethicone (Gas-X) tablets. You'll still have some tummy cramping, but it won't be as bad.
In addition, avoid all NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like Advil, Motrin, Aleve, any generic ibuprofen or naproxen, prescription COX-2 inhibitors, even aspirin, etc.) because these make the gastrointestinal lining more permeable (leaky), thus increasing the amount of gluten available to the immune system for a reaction. Avoid NSAIDs for several days. If you want a pain killer, stick to Tylenol (acetaminophen.)
One good thing about getting glutenized: I can't believe that I used to feel like that all the time. I feel so much better now that I stick to a GF diet.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
If there’s one decently healthy thing that a lot of people do, it’s taking a basic multivitamin. Good grief, taking a little pill with decent amounts of the essential micronutrients and minerals keeps you from getting scurvy, right?
Right. Most people don’t eat sufficient fruits and vegetables. Most people don’t get enough vitamin C over the course of a week to keep them from getting low-grade scurvy, unless you’re one of the smart few who toss back an orange juice shot in the morning.
(Just for the record, I imbibe espresso shooters in the morning. I’m not getting up on my high elliptical strider and being healthier-than-thou. We’re all on the same dusty rowing machine, here.)
However, you should consider your special circumstances before you even decide whether or not to swallow that vitamin pill.
There are also some very interesting studies relating the regular use of vitamin pills with an increased risk of cancer. Contrary to the expectations of the researchers, one study linked Vitamin A supplementation with an increased risk of lung cancers in male smokers.
In addition, taking a multivitamin increased the possibility of deaths from prostate cancer in men. Why would that be?
The multivitamin-cancer correlation suggests an interesting hypothesis.
In the past, our ancestors, probably even our relatively recent ancestors in the 1900’s, likely experienced transient malnutrition. In the winters, especially, they had less access to fresh, nutritious produce and almost certainly experienced cyclical vitamin deficiencies.
Thus in the winter, a budding cancer cell with its blazing metabolic furnaces would probably starve to death for the lack of vitamin C and vitamin K, which would manifest itself as only a very mild case of scurvy or a few nosebleeds in an adult and would be rectified when tender spring greens appeared.
Now, with our year-round produce and megavitamin pills, we do not experience these cyclical, transient vitamin deficiencies. We are super-nourished, and thus our cancer cells grow robustly in this rich stew of essential nutrients.
Before you give up your daily multi, however, there are some very important things to consider.
People with the highest levels of vitamin D (available in supplemented milk, pill form, and sunshine,) had lower levels of cancer and osteoporosis.
If you’re a woman of childbearing age, taking a daily multivitamin during any trimester of pregnancy or in the month before pregnancy decreases the risk of neuroblastoma in the infant by 30% to 40%. Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer seen in infants and accounts for about 10% of all pediatric cancers. Not to mention that whole folic acid—neural tube defect thing. Taking a big preggers prenatal multi during pregnancy is very, very likely the best course of action.
Also, non-smokers who do not have heart disease who use multivitamins that include A, C, or E reduced risk of dying from heart disease by 15 to 18%, and heart disease kills far more people than cancer does.
So, for a general rule of a healthy thumb, if you’re a smoker, avoid vitamin A, even if you have to take a handful of single-vitamin pills instead of a general multi.
If you have prostate cancer, stop taking your multi.
If you don’t smoke and you don’t have prostate cancer, a multivitamin is probably the best course of action.
If you want hedge your chances, however, here’s an idea: there’s some very good research that supports the hypothesis that eating 300-500 fewer calories per day extends lifetime and, more importantly, extends robust lifetime. That’s right. Eat less.
Some good research came up lately that showed that mice that ate normally every other day and semi-fasted (eating 15% of normal calories) on the off days had essentially the same life extension and reductions in heart disease, cancer, and inflammation. If you try alternate-day semi-fasting, don’t take a vitamin on those days. Taking a megavitamin on feasting days will nourish your body well.
Fasting is associated with life extension and with reducing the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy.
For celiacs, however, taking a multi is more important. Especially in the first few years after diagnosis, your gut is healing. You haven't been absorbing nutrients normally, and you may have low-grade vitamin deficiencies. One of the most common co-morbidities for celiac disease is iron-deficient anemia.
Therefore, it's probably best for celiacs to take a multi, especially in the first five years after diagnosis and the diet.
Author of RABID: A Novel, a novel of autoexperimentation, unwitting guinea pigs, and green-glowing rabies virus, and CALLOUS: A Novel, a story about free will, neuroscience, fate, the nature of memory, and the End of Days.
Friday, August 29, 2008
They have several options for us celiacs. If you like your GF food hearty, try the Black-Eyed Pea.
Soups & Salad
Classic Caesar Salad without the dressing
Signature House Salad with Grilled Chicken not fried and Red Wine Vinegar & Oil dressing
Sweet Kernel Corn
Tender Green Beans
Home Style Favorites
Slow-Roasted Half Chicken
Roasted Turkey Breast Dinner without cornbread dressing and turkey gravy
From the Grill
Top Sirloin Steak without onion rings
Charbroiled Chopped Steak without seasoned rice and gravy
Grilled Chicken breasts without seasoned rice
Ranch Style Pork Chops
Grilled Chicken Breast
Grilled Atlantic salmon without seasoned rice
Grilled Atlantic salmon without seasoned rice
Grilled Cajun Catfish without seasoned rice
Baked Cod without seasoned rice
While they don't list it on the GF info, I'll bet a basic baked potato is also a safe choice.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
These cookies are also casein-free (CF), corn-free, potato-free, etc., and even grain-free, but not low-carb nor low-fat. They contain peanuts, mais oui.
- 1 Cup peanut butter (I use Creamy Jif)
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 teaspoon GF vanilla (Many pure vanillas are GF. Many artificial ones are not.)
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Spray a measuring cup with GF cooking spray (most are GF, except for the "baking" ones that have flour in them.) Measure the peanut butter in this cup.
Microwave the peanut butter on the "defrost" setting until it is warm but not hot.
Stir in the egg, then the sugar and vanilla. A whisk works well.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls (about 1 Tablespoon-size) onto a cookie sheet. Press a criss-cross pattern on top with a wet fork. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffed and beginning to brown at the edges.
Immediately and carefully remove the cookies from the baking sheet and cool on paper towels. The cookies will be soft and delicate while hot, but they firm into crisp cookies as they cool.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I am hesitant to give a low review to anyone's GF cookbook, if for no other reason than there just aren't enough GF cookbooks out there and any cookbook is a good addition to the GF lexicon.
However, I recently perused a copy of You Won't Believe It's Gluten-Free by Robin Ryberg. There are some problems with it.
There are no major errors or dangerous problems with Ryberg's cookbook. Several years ago, one "GF" cookbook that I bought included recipes with spelt, an ancestral wheat, which is absolutely verboten to us celiacs. Ryberg's book is safe, as far as I read. I admit that I didn't extensively delve into the book, but she seems knowledgeable.
However, there are some problems.
First, in many recipes, the author/chef uses one or two, maximum, of our funny flours. It's like she's knocked us back to those terrible old pre-Hagman monoflour days of crumbly breads and hard-baked paste. This is the largest shortcoming of the book. Most of the recipes look like they'll be bland and crumbly.
Next, the cover states that it has 500 recipes in it. Well, sort of. For many recipes, probably most, the author remakes the recipe four times with four different flours, and most recipes utilize just one flour.
For example, a biscuit recipe might have a "rice-based" biscuit, made from just rice flour, a "corn-based" biscuit, made from just cornstarch, a "potato-based" biscuit, made with just potato starch, and one biscuit recipe from one other starch.
That's four recipes down, only 496 to go!
Last, most of the recipes are quite nutrition-free. Granted, I'm a bit of a health nut. Before my diagnosis, I ate 15 grain bread. Once, I found 18-grain bread and was in multi-grain Heaven. The bread that I make is whole-grain and has lots of fiber and protein.
Most of Ryberg's recipes make Wonder Bread look like a loofah sponge. They are based on starches like cornstarch or potato starch instead of whole grains or legume flours. If I ate the stuff in this book, I would never poop again.
I'm sure that Ryberg worked hard in writing this book, and I'm sure that she was meticulous in testing the recipes. This is not a personal attack on her. Indeed, if you are allergic to several grains or other funny flours, this might be a good book for you, due to its alternate versions of each recipe.
Unfortunately, if you're planning to buy a new GF cookbook, skip this one.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
When you go in, ask for the neatly printed gluten-free menu. The only caveat is that you may want to ask for a regular menu, too, as the GF menu does not have prices on it.
Many of Outback's menu items are GF or can be slightly modified to be GF. (I hate it when "GF menus" are basically a list of meats and a baked potato and an admonition to avoid any sauces, seasonings, or anything that might make it taste good.)
Good news: many of the salad dressings are GF, as are the Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and the BBQ sauce.
Bad news: The Bloomin' Onion cannot be made GF.
Outback even offers three desserts, though the "Cinnamon Apple Sundae" turns out to be vanilla ice cream with pecans and caramel sauce, after you remove the gluten-containing items. The "Chocolate Thunder from Down Under" is GF through and through. Just order it and slide into an Aussie chocolate coma.
Menu Main Page: http://www.outback.com/foodandmenus/ (Click GF PDF on the left side.)
PDF of GF Menu: http://www.outback.com/foodandmenus/pdf/glutenfree.pdf
Find an Outback near you: http://www.outback.com/locations/
Don't forget that they have curb-side take-away and online ordering: http://www.outback.com/curbsidetakeaway/
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
They also have a mini-site for mobile phone reference: http://gfregistry.mobi/
You can even download GPS info directly onto your GPS system: http://www.glutenfreeregistry.com/order-gps-download.do
Now that's a FANTASTIC resource.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Currently all of our fried food is prepared in soybean oil. Our French
fries are fried in the same oil as our breaded items.
Please be aware that we do serve white and wheat hamburger buns which all contain wheat flour. Our premium knot roll and rolls used for Ruby Minis are white bread, while our Golden Bun used for most burgers is a wheat bun. All are made from wheat flour.
The following menu items are acceptable for guests with a gluten
intolerance or Celiac Sprue disease:
Steaks (with Ruby's seasoning only)
Any burger without bread (EXCLUSIONS: turkey burgers, the onion tanglers on minis, French fries)
Broccoli as currently prepared
Mashed potatoes as
Baked potato without sour cream
Salad bar with discretion (excludes prepared salads on the salad bar)
Acceptable salad dressings:
Unfortunately, for all other food items, Ruby Tuesday, Inc. cannot provide a listing of allergens that might be present in our menu items for the following reasons:
It is always possible, as we are preparing food in over 800 restaurants every day, that one item will be substituted for another, and that the substitute product's contents may be different from the ingredients in the products we normally use.
As food is being prepared in our restaurants, it often comes in contact with other food, so even though a specific item may not contain allergens, it could be affected by another food item that does.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The batter is very thin, so don't try to put strudel or more than a light sprinkle of sugar on top. It will fall through the muffin in a "China Syndrome" meltdown and end up on the bottom.
This easy recipe can be stirred together in a mixing bowl. I let my preschooler mix the batter together in a big bowl set on the floor with a whisk. Have been doing this for two years.
Easy substitution below also makes these muffins dairy-free (casein-free and lactose-free).
You can also add up to 3/4 cup pureed vegetables to make these more nutritious in a "Sneaky Chef" way. Pureed carrots work great.
1 cup Celiac Maniac's Muffin Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthum gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons corn oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk or non-dairy liquid (soymilk or non-dairy creamer works best)
1 teaspoon GF vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray 8 cups of silicone muffin pan with GF cooking spray. (These rather low-fat muffins will stick to anything else, even paper liners. Spray 9-12 muffin cups if adding pureed veggies.)
Sift dry ingredients together to eliminate lumps onto waxed paper. Single-sift is fine.
Stir wet ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Dump dry ingredients into the mixing bowl. Whisk or stir thoroughly. (You don't have to worry about toughening the gluten.)
Ladle the batter into the sprayed muffin cups.
Bake at 375F for 20 minutes.
If eaten right away, muffins are a little crunchy on the outside and tender in the middle. Placing warm muffins in a sealed plastic bag (like a Ziploc) will soften the crust.
Muffins stay moist in a sealed plastic bag for up to a week at room temperature, or freeze in an evacuated Ziploc bag for up to 3 months.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
TK Kenyon, the Celiac Maniac, is pleased to tell you thatChipotle's Mexican Grill is a great place for celiacs to eat gluten-free.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
The downloadable GF menu includes a couple starters, most entrees, two sauces (mango salsa and lemon butter,) most sides, and even TWO desserts: the flourless brownie and berry creme brulee.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Taco Bell, the ubiquitous fast food restaurant in the US, has some options for us gluten-free folks.
Try the following:
- Fiesta Taco Salad (order Chicken instead of Beef; order without the shell and without the Red Strips)
- Express Taco Salad (order Chicken instead of Beef)
- Zesty Chicken BORDER BOWL® (order without the Zesty Dressing and without the Red Strips. I use Hot or Mild Sauce instead.)
- Southwest Steak Bowl (order without the Creamy Jalapeno Sauce)
- Pintos N Cheese
- Mexican Rice
- Fruitista Freezes
- Hot sauces (Mild and Hot, not Fire or Tomatillo.)
The beef is not GF. Contains wheat gluten.
Taco Bell is really problematic with their gluten info on their website. For example, they say that all the hot sauces are ok, when the Fire and Tomatillo Sauce packets list wheat right on the packet. They also say that the Steak and Flatbread thingee is gluten-free, when the flatbread is obviously bread.
At this point, Taco Bell is Not Recommended for GF folks, due to serious, ongoing concerns with information from the company.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
First, find a location near year on this page, then click on the menu icon on the right. The one near me has a whole gluten-free menu. They even have GF croutons for the salad, GF Cajun spice, and a junior menu with fish sticks coated in garbanzo bean flour!
Besides several locations in major malls, Legal also has restaurants in Logan (Boston) and Reagan (Washington, DC) airports.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Even the simple French fry can be fraught with gluten dangers.
However, some fast food restaurants are better than others.
Wendy's French Fries are fried in oil with other glutenful items, but at least they don't sprinkle wheat on them. AVOID. (However, the baked potatoes are a good choice.)
Burger King French Fries really are GF! They're sprinkled with salt, not weird concoctions, and fried in a seperate fryer dedicated to french fries. GF King of the Celiacs. Let the rejoicing commence!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
The TenderGrill Garden Salad with TenderGrill Chicken has no wheat nor, as far as I can discern from the ingredients, any gluten. It has "natural flavors," which can sometimes be contaminated with gluten, but at least it's a safe start. The allergens list (link below) also lists the TenderGrill as containing no "wheat."
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Shop in ethnic stores! Indian (like, relating to India, not Native American,) grocery stores in particular have a wide variety of gluten-free flours, including types that your local health food store will never carry, and their prices are great.
(Caveat: I live just north of New York City, and prices up here are higher than in many parts of the country. A gallon of milk, right now, runs $3.30-$4.80, depending on where you shop. Therefore, please don't say, "Oh, millet flour at my health food store is only $6/lb," because your Indian grocery store prices should be correspondingly lower, too.)
The problem with Indian grocery stores is that many of the GF flours are labeled with Indian names. These are generally labeled in the English alphabet, so figuring out which ones are our funny flours is a matter of learning a few new words.
Brush Up on Your Hindi
Garbanzo bean flour is called BESAN. A superfine grind is best. Maya, from Maya Overseas Foods, makes a nice product. A 2 kilogram bag (= 4.4 lbs.) was $5 in my local Indian store, which works out to $1.14/lb. I substitute besan for garfava flour because I think the flavor is milder and it works as well or better.
To contrast, Authentic Foods Garbanzo bean flour from the Gluten-Free Mall is $6.62 for a 1.25 lb bag, or $5.30/lb, plus shipping and handling.
Sorghum flour is called JOWER flour. Kanaiya brand is a a soft, well-ground, light beige flour. Avoid brands were the flour looks lavender. A 2 lb. bag from my local Indian store was $4, or $2/lb.
To contrast, Authentic Foods sorghum flour from the Gluten-Free Mall is $6.38 for a 1.25 lb bag, or $5.10/lb, plus shipping and handling.
Millet Flour is called BAJRI flour, and Jalpur brand makes a good grind. A 1 kilogram bag, (2.2 lbs.) from my local Indian store was $5, or $2.27/lb.
The Gluten-Free Mall doesn't list millet flour, but my local health food store charges $6.50 for a 2 lb bag, which works out to $3.25/lb.
Finding Little India in Your Neck of the Woods
Your best resource is still your local yellow pages book. If you live in a major city or a university town, you probably have an Indian grocery near you.
However, the internet has its tentacles in everything nowadays.
Online Indian Grocery Store -- Delivers to your front door
Author of CALLOUS: A Novel, a story about free will, neuroscience, fate, Schrodinger's Cat, and the End of Days.
Monday, April 28, 2008
If you want to read CALLOUS any time soon, muscle your way to the head of the line and snatch a copy from some milquetoast's virtual shopping cart now!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
- Pumpkin cake p64
- Banana cake p61 (These are both like really good breads.)
- Chocolate Mousse cake p282 (One of the better flourless choc cakes I've had)
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Breyers All Natural Ice Creams are tasty and generally gluten-free. Other brands may include odd ingredients like modified food starch (that old devil!) or other, obscure fillers, so Breyers really is the safest choice.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Yeah, it's a weird thing to be congratulated on, but if you had to choose an autoimmune disease, with celiac, you don't have to take drugs or injections or lance your fingertips every day, you aren't going to gain weight from any steroids, you aren't going to pass away, and you are going to feel better within a couple days of going on the gluten-free diet.
Considering how sick you have been feeling, and you probably have been feeling pretty sick or else you wouldn't have gone to enough doctors to finally find one that can accurately diagnose celiac, that's a pretty good disease to have.
So, what now?
For this article, I'm going to assume that you're going entirely GF. Just make your house GF. Especially at the beginning, that's the easiest way to do it. It's not like going cold turkey from cigarettes. It's more like cleaning up the spilled paint to avoid tracking it everywhere.
Things you will need to buy new:
- Toaster -- Absolutely necessary. There is no way to clean all the crumbs out of a toaster. Start with a new one.
- Toaster oven -- if you use one. Same reason.
- Cast iron skillets, if you have cast iron. Because cast iron pans build up a layer of "seasoning" that is non-stick and keeps the pan from rusting, this layer has gluten trapped all the way through it. I like the "Emeril" brand at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They're reasonably priced and have a "helper handle" on the far side. They're also perfectly flat for glass cooktops.
- If you have non-stick or steel skillets, inspect them carefully for a layer of burnt oil build-up. Stainless steel can probably be scoured with a steel wool pad until it is shiny and new-looking. Non-stick (Teflon) skillets, especially if they are the kind with recessed ridges, should be closely inspected and discarded if you see anything sticking in there.
- Baking sheets and pans that have become "dark." Again, layer of burnt-on oil that has trapped gluten.
- Wooden cutting boards, wooden spoons, or other wood items.
That's really all that you need to buy new. A good cleaning, perhaps a trip through the dishwasher, should suffice for pretty much anything else.
More on setting up your GF kitchen next time.
Did I miss anything? Send me comments!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Chi-Chi's Fiesta Sweet Corn Cake, a mix based on the sweet corn cakes from the now-defunct Chi-Chi's Mexican restaurants, is tasty, sweet, and has never given me tummy troubles.
I use this mix for a carb base for spicy chili or baked beans. With fresh, smashed strawberries and whipped cream, it's a great dessert.
This is a mix, and you add butter, water, and a can of creamed corn to the mix, scrape it into a bread pan, and bake for 45 minutes. I usually bake it at 400F instead of the 350F that the pouch recommends.
BEWARE: Green Giant creamed corn is gluten-free. Del Monte contains modified food starch and is thus suspect. I believe that I had a minor reaction to Del Monte creamed corn.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
I adapted this recipe from a gluten-ful one, as none of the recipes in the GF cookbooks satisfied me. This one is light, with a solid crumb and moist texture, almost indistinguishable from Marie Callendar's cornbread. It is not low-fat. Rather than a GF flour mix, this cornbread comes out best with just cornmeal and besan.
"Company" cornbreads were light, fluffy concoctions that used flour, eggs, and sugar, all luxury ingredients.
9-inch cast iron skillet or heavy cake pan
1 1/2 C cornmeal
1/2 C garbanzo bean flour (besan)
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 C buttermilk (or same amount of sweet milk soured with 1 1/2 T lemon juice)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 C sour cream
- Spray skillet with GF cooking sprary and heat it over low heat until medium hot. Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Sift dry ingredients together into a bowl or onto waxed paper.
- Whisk eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and sour cream in a bowl. Add dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
- Pour batter into hot skillet. It will sizzle but should not boil.
- Bake at 425 F for 30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Please remember that reactions vary by individual to minute concentrations of gluten, that products vary batch-to-batch, and that restaurant experiences vary by the chef or waitstaff’s knowledge and care.
5 Happy Tummies = No gluten reaction.
4 Happy Tummies = Possible, very minor reaction. May be due to cross-contamination in a restaurant or product assembly line or cross-reaction by my own tummy. Use caution. Monitor your response.
3 Happy Tummies = Probable, very minor reaction. May be due to cross-contamination or trace quantities of gluten-containing compounds like modified food starch or in “natural flavors.” Use great care if a restaurant or avoid.
2 Happy Tummies = Definite very minor reaction. May be due to cross-contamination or trace quantities of gluten-containing compounds like modified food starch or in “natural flavors.” Avoid.
1 Happy Tummy = Definite minor reaction. Probably due to trace quantities of gluten-containing compounds like modified food starch or “natural flavors.” Avoid.
0 Happy Tummies = Definite major reaction. Probably contains significant amounts of gluten. Avoid.