Gluten-Free Simplicity

Useful Info, Tasty Anecdotes and Simple Recipes for Attaining Gluten-Free Simplicity

Archive for the ‘G-F Simp. Philosophy’ Category

This blogger is attempting to assemble a Philosophy of Gluten-Free Simplicity which will help explain what he means by this concept and might also guide his ongoing inquiry. (c. 2008, William T. Beverly, Ph.d.)

Way #29: Accept the Basic Nature of those Gluten-Related Symptoms and Make Way Through the Societal Fog Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on December 21, 2008

Way #29: Accept the Basic Nature of those Gluten-Related Needs and Symptoms and Make Way Through the Societal Fog Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  Let us try to think of a situation where Social Pressures kept us from doing what we needed to do regarding our Very Real Gluten-Related Issues or Symptoms. 

 What was it like?  Probably like many people — like me too, there are often regrets to deal with later due to earlier actions that were taken more in the interest of social norms than self.

I am Beautifully Unique like a Precious Orange Flower (c.2008, WTB)

I am Beautifully Unique like a Precious Orange Flower (c.2008, WTB)

  Here are a few ideas that might help one move more smoothly through these situations:

  1. Develop ways of quickly recognizing Gluten-Related Needs in given situations.
  2. Learn to rapidly recognize Gluten-Related Symptoms as soon as possible.
  3. Design and modify (as needed) a positive Gluten-Exposure prevention and recovery plan that works for you.
  4. Try to avoid situations where we are likely to be exposed to Gluten yet there is no foreseeable remedy or recovery plan.
  5. Actively learn from symptoms and situations that could not be avoided this time so as to try and prevent similar problems next time.
  6. Without seeming obsessed, it might help to sometimes discuss ones Gluten-Exposure Symptoms with those close to us as they occur.  This can be a good way of enlisting helpful allies in this struggle while also learning learning why or why not to burden others with such delicate information.
  7. Be brave enough to politely excuse One’s self in social situations when we need some Gluten-Recovery Time and/or Space
  8. When feeling really down in general about the whole Gluten thing try to recognize if any of this stuff is due to wrongfully assumed moral issues (i.e., “I deserve this suffering because I was a disobedient child”….) and dismiss it because there is no connection between morality and why one person has Gluten-Related Problems while another does not.
  9. Avoid blaming other people for our Gluten-Related problems.
  10. Practice getting support for Gluten-Related issues without broadcasting to the world about it.

  Surely there are other things one can try and do to firm up our skills and abilities for taking care of our Gluten-Related needs.  Peer pressure and even simple glances or noises from unknown but present strangers can often keep many of us from doing what we need to do in order to stay healthy.   And it is really just not worth it.  It is not worth being sick for a day just because one was too shy to ask the clerk at Burger King to please serve me my Whopper without a bun.  After all, their slogan used to be, “Have it your way!”

  We can each probably think of situations where we sacrificed our own good for others.  And I am all for that.  There are also situations where One’s need to keep confidential their health-related needs is important (such as in work situations where there is outright fear and/or hatred of the “sick”, or simply discrimination based on perceived health issues at school, work, commerce, or socially).  This is very unfortunate.  But also, unfortunately true in our world today. 

  It is a simple case of 5 Natures

  1. Naturehas given us Celiac Disease.
  2. It is Natural for other insecure human beings to fear illness in other human beings; while
  3. Hatred, Prejudice, Discrimination, and Opression of persons with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity may be common, but it is NOT  Natural.
  4. As we cope, survive, and develop it is our Natureto actively (or passively) flush away cruel and foolish pressures in order to include and accommodate environmental stimuli which are much more conducive to our Natural ultimate goal of thriving.

  Thus, if it is a case of avoiding a small amount of perceived/assumed (i.e., possibly not even real) social scrutiny from a stranger or to; versus avoiding Gluten-Exposure — I think I should choose my physical and mental health over the former.

  Perfectly natural, don’t ya think?

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity, G-F PsychoBabble, G-F Simp. Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gluten-Free Energy Diet (part 1): Energy Levels with Celiac Disease and Its Partner, Gluten-Sensitivity

Posted by nepeht on December 9, 2008

  How is your energy level these days? If you are like me then you are possibly looking for various ways to boost your energy because Celiac Disease (CD) and its Gluten-Sensitive (G-S)partner tend to take just about all I got sometimes. 

   There are always the standard recommendations for boosting energy such as eating right (woopssss!!! right there…. bang bang bang bang… “problem sir”!!!!).. 

Good, Smart, Dependable Info Does NOT Make Energy By Itself (c.2008, WTB)

Good, Smart, Dependable Info Does NOT Make Energy By Itself (c.2008, WTB)

  Even with the best information in the world, it can be difficult to “eat right” when one has CD or G-S.  First of all, the energy to follow such advice is already lacking from the start.  Then, there are other issues such as adverse cravings etc…

  I am not meaning to poo poo it all.  Just to be realistic… at least being true to my reality.

  OK… wait a minute.  I am NOT trying to bring you down.  I’m just trying relate ya see???

 I remember hearing about an early French scientist who proposed the idea that energy never really goes away, it just changes form or phase.  Well, if that is so, then where does it come from one has CD and/or a G-S problem?  Perhaps supplements could help kind of like little pieces of kindling for a fire.

  Then there is the idea of getting plenty of sleep… man sleeping is also irregular (at best) these days.

  But no kidding, I do try to eat enough veggies, fruits, proteins, dairy etc…, but it never seems to be enough to boost my energy level.  I even take B-12 injections sometimes.

  I have been curious about supplements.  I found a site that gives some specific recommendations about CD and Vitamin supplements.  Exploring this can help clue one into the various related vitamins if nothing else.  But first I need to quote from the site:

“Claims made on line about specific vitamins formulas or individual health supplements on or through this site have not been evaluated by the FDA and Vitamins on line custom vitamins, custom multivitamins, herbal supplements and health supplements are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.”

  Now, I can say that this site is at http://www.mitamins.com/formulation/showFormulaDetail.do?AT=showOutDetail&actionType=formulator&dformulaID=966&diseaseName=Celiac .

  It is interesting to see the various vitamins that a person with CD or G-S might need as a supplement to her/his diet.

  I am not recommending that anyone try this.  But it is food for thought.  And I hope it is food that gives energy instead of that which taketh away.

  To be Continued … as soon as I get the energy.

 

Posted in Celiac Disease, G-F Cooking, G-F Diet Tips, G-F Lifestyle, G-F Simp. Philosophy, The Personal Side | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Way #27. Survivor versus Victim and Gluten-Relapse: Ending Blame can help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on December 8, 2008

27. Survivor versus Victim and Gluten-Relapse: Ending Blame can help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  The Blame Game is, “accusations exchanged among people who refuse to accept sole responsibility for some undesirable event”, according to the Free Dictionary by Farlex.  Playing the Blame Game is generally discouraged as it tends to cause more problems than it solves. 

  According to ChangingMinds.org, “This game is driven by our need to explain and effects such as the Self-Serving Bias. Attribution Theory generally explains much of how and why we like to blame.”

  OK, so what does this have to do with Gluten-Sensitivity or Celiac Disease?  Good question. 

  For the most part, bringing the Blame Game to the fore is intended to encourage personal responsibility around issues related to Gluten Relapse.  So NO!!! this is not about either Blaming someone or accepting 100% responsibility for the fact that one has either a Gluten-Sensitivity or Celiac Disease.  The evidence about genetic properties of same as well as documentation of their hereditary natures has convinced me that no person gets either problem due to anything they have done other than being born.  And I don’t think that this is their fault.  So no blame there…. right?

  This is about me (and/or any of us) finding excuses for the reasons why we relapse with Gluten.

  Probably, the most acceptable blame for a relapse — other than blaming ones self — would be when one relapses by consuming something that contains a hidden and undisclosed form of gluten.  Enough said.  If one does not know and is not informed about gluten content, then one consumes at their.  So it is shared responsibility right. 

  The  producer or provider could possibly have given notice of Gluten content AND the consumer could possibly have refused to consume the product without some sort of prior knowledge about Gluten content.

  But what about those days when I have relapsed and I already had a good idea that the object of my relapse contained gluten?  Who is responsible then?  Well I guess I am.  And then there are other days where I am just angry and feeling more like a victim than a survivor.  On these days, the blame game can get dangerous.  My hostility can lead to a blindness about my responsibility and then onto a relapse or binge where  just like with other forms of violence, someone gets hurt.  And that is typically me.

  Sure, people with Celiac Disease and Gluten-Sensitivity are “victims” in the strictest sense of the word in that they did not ask for these medical problems nor did they do anything to deserve them.  But then the question is, “where does one go from there?”

  One can be a career “victim” and passively more on with very little productive energy.  The victim can take but so much pain, then she or he might become hostile or agressive and very difficult to be around. 

  Or one can be a “survivor” with an active sense of productive energy.  One can more along assertively and recognize those positive rewards as they materialize.  And these people are probably more easy to get along with.

  There are lots of resources on the internet about Victimhood-versus-Surviorship.  There are blogs and many others.  One source speaks of the idea of resiliance and the ability to adapt to and overcome challenges.  One blogger recently discussed the links between Celiac Disease, Gluten and Depression.  And which sort  would “Depression” be most related to… the “Victim” or the “Survivor”?  Or would it be related to both, but either would deal with it differently???  Yes.. perhaps.

  In looking over various internet postings concerning victims, survivors and relapse, I was unable to find one that was specifically addressing the issue of Gluten-Relapse.  The principles of the post however, are the same. 

  The principle proposition that I am making is that if one feels more like a victim than they are more likely to relapse with Gluten (or anything) than if they are primarily in the survivor mode.

  What do you think?

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity, G-F PsychoBabble, G-F Simp. Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stress and Gluten Free When Out of Town???

Posted by nepeht on November 25, 2008

  If you are like me, two things are all to frequently true:

  1. Going out of town on serious business can be stressful; and
  2. Stressful times in a foreign atmosphere often lead to a Gluten Relapse — however small or catastrophic.

  In a way, I could admit that I am talking about how being in a stressful and strange atmosphere facilitates me giving myself permission to drift (and in some cases dive) away from my good-boy Gluten-Free maintenance.  Stress has been found to increase the likelihood for drug and alcohol relapse.  And there has been some reasonable discussion about Gluten and Addiction.It seems the same principles could be at work with Gluten: One is stressed, so they are more likely to do something convenient that they know could hurt them.

  Still this does not make it right. 

  And furthermore, beating myself up for my gluten relapse is probably not going to help either.

  The key is to get back onto that wagon and ride on out of here.

  Can I do it?  Yes I can!!!  OK, so on we go now.

Posted in G-F PsychoBabble, G-F Simp. Philosophy, The Personal Side | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Increasing Valid Information Can Help Increase Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on November 11, 2008

  This section is an attempt to logically explain the need for valid information and how even though there may be more information to manage as a result; the windfall from the validity of the information compared to the previous state of confusion makes the increase in information acceptable.

Assumption 1: Increasing Valid Information Can Help Increase Simplicity:

  This is particularly true in complex situations that are populated with invalid information.  There are few things more frustrating than having an often awful disease with irritants to which one is frequently unintentionally exposed, yet one cannot readily identify either the irritants or their sources.

  It is something like this:

  1. Imagine that you are a human being who needs to drink at least a gallon of water per day to survive.
  2. Imagine that the water available to you is also harmful to your system with negative and painful effects following each exposure as well as in the long run.
  3. Imagine that you do not yet know that this water is harmful to you.
  4. Imagine that you try and try to find out what in your environment is causing you these problems yet you cannot get valid information that specifically identifies this water as the source of your problem.
  5. Imagine that you frequently consume other products (i.e., Foods, Beverages, Food Supplements, Health and Beauty Aides) as do other human beings, simply in order to survive and that many of these products contain that particular water that causes you the misery of these short-term and long-term reactions to having this poison in your system.
  6. Imagine that you often ask family, friends, servers, retail vendors, purveyors, manufacturers, preparers, medically-related experts, elected officials and others for help in identify the products in your daily life that contain this water, yet few even respond, and many who respond do not give valid answers.
  7. Imagine that those who can provide a small variety of products for your necessary daily consumption, products that traditionally have needed this poisonous waterfor preparation have agreed to provide it to you, yet when they label it as “Poisonous Water-Free” they really mean that it actually probably contains a potentially harmful amount of this water in it and on top of that, they charge you from 3 to 5 times the usual price for these products.
  8. Imagine that some of those who you turn to for information and instrumental support necessary to prevent further exposure to this poisonous water either directly or indirectly label you as abnormal, deviant, or simply to blame for this problem, some assert that you must have done something wrong to have incurred this problem; some feel that you deserve any adverse effects related to this problem; and some over-react to you having this problem.

*** Now, substitute the word “Gluten from Wheat” for the word “Water” above.

  OK, so if someone could come along and finally give you valid information that would help you more reliably and accurately navigate your way clear of exposure to this poisonous water, wouldn’t that help make your life simpler, and perhaps more enjoyable?

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Way #16: Accepting that Celiac Disease is a Genetically Determined Disease Might Help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on October 31, 2008

16. Accepting that Celiac Disease is a Genetically Determined Disease Might Help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  Many scientists are now reporting with great confidence that “Celiac Disease is Genetically Determined” http://www.csaceliacs.org/library/howsandwhys.php, or that “susceptibility to Celiac Disease is Genetic” http://www.csaceliacs.org/library/genetics.php.  There are numerous other concurring reports as well:

  Now, there are also benefits to this research in that practitioners in the field of Genetic Testing and Counseling are now able to help concerned would-be parents with questions about their future children’s likelihood of developing Celiac Disease due to inheritance of the related Gene coding.  http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/diagnosingceliacdisease/a/DNAtests.htm. http://www.celiac.com/articles/21628/1/Celiac-Disease-Genetics/Page1.html.

  And clearly, there is still a long way to go scientifically: http://www.genetic-future.com/2008/03/new-genes-for-celiac-disease.htmlhttp://celiacdisease.about.com/b/2008/03/04/breakthrough-in-celiac-disease-genetics.htm

  One can go to a blog such as Nancy Lapid’s “Celiac Disease Blog” at  http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=messages&webtag=ab-celiac and discuss such things as well as other issues.

  This blog article is also about the idea that if one accepts the Genetic properties of Celiac Disease as valid, then it is possible (if not probable) that somewhere in their ancestry, someone has/had Celiac Disease or at least the Gene Coding for such.  The kicker though is that for many of us, our ancestors were long gone before the word “Gene” or “Celiac Disease” made it into the mainstream U.S. lexicon.  So this can be complex.  It can also be needless.

  But the primary point here is that one no longer needs to feel blame or shame or guilt about having Celiac Disease or having a child with such.  It is hard-wired.  You can’t help it.  Perhaps, in the future, some cases might be prevented through Genetic Counseling, but then that too opens up a whole nest of questions.

  Finally, I am really saying that this sort of information could help bring more simplicity to ones quest for freedom from gluten. 

  With so much emotion-based and morally-based and superstition-based junk out of the way, one no longer needs to speculate about how they got Celiac Disease.  One can instead concentrate on how her or his next meal will be Gluten-Free.  A celebration of sorts.  I hope. 

  Smile, it’s not your fault.

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Way #14: Using Good Supports Might Help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on October 29, 2008

14. Using Good Supports Might Help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  Support is a good thing.  There, I said it.  (One disclaimer: As long as it is voluntary and healthy for all parties involved.)

  What do I mean by support?  Primarily, I am talking about the kind of support that we receive, largely from others who give it willingly (and sometimes effortlessly).  Support can be emotional, tangible and even instrumental.  Emotional support is when someone listens while we gripe, then helps us feel that we are OK even if we complain.  Tangible support is like when someone gives or lends us the use or ownership of something physical that we can use as we need.  And instrumental support is like when someone gives us the name of a great doctor to see about our Celiac Disease Symptoms.

  NOW … it is almost certain that some who read this see themselves as persons who NEVER need supports…. like that’s for weak people, right?  OK.. so move on… don’t worry about it.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for What You Need or Want .(c.2008, WTB)

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for What You Need or Want. (c.2008, WTB)

  As for you others: My sincere encouragement is that you learn how to accept your supports wisely and graciously.  You might also find yourself giving or lending some needed supports in return.  There is nothing wrong with that.

  It is just that part of getting to Gluten-Free Simplicity, is accepting that this is a challenge and that there are going to be difficult times.  Then the question arises: Do I have to do this alone or can I ask for help?  If nothing else, can I at least have someone to share my feelings with as I (hopefully) progress?

  There is no rule that says people who need to be Gluten-Free are required to also be alone.  At least if there is, I ain’t gonna do it.  Nope, wouldn’t be prudent.

  Give it a try?

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity, G-F PsychoBabble, G-F Simp. Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Body as The Temple; or a Finely Tuned Instrument?

Posted by nepeht on October 20, 2008

  From the beginning of time, there have probably been differing ways of viewing the Human Body.  Some have viewed the Body as a Temple while others seem to view it as a Finely Tuned Instrument.

The Body as a Finely Tuned Instrument - Like This Viola De Gamba

The Body as a Finely Tuned Instrument - Like This Viola De Gamba (c.2000, WTB)

  So is my body a temple?  I am not sure. 

  Is it a finely tuned instrument?

  You know, that is quite flattering to think of.  But, with Celiac Disease, in a culture where gluten is present in such a large quantity of food products, it is difficult to see my body in that way.  Perhaps I am wrong.  I don’t know.

  As I explore deeper into a philosophy of Gluten-Free Simplicity, such questions seem relevant.  Even though valid answers to such questions seem illusive.

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Way #10: Being Alert to How Ones Culture Promotes Gluten Use Might Help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on October 20, 2008

10. Being Alert to How Ones Culture Promotes Gluten Use Might Help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  Does your culture promote the use of gluten?  If so, how?

My culture (Southeastern U.S.A., Umpteenth generation, of Scottish/Irish/English descent origin) promotes gluten in a big way.  For my people, what is a dinner table without bread?  And surely, cornbread is sometimes there, but they put wheat flour into that also.  Realizing this, then it is no wonder that when I turn down the bread on my plate, the person on the serving end commonly looks bewildered. 

Quoting from a related article:

“Celiac Disease tends to be most common among people of Irish, English, Scottish, Scandanavian, and Eastern European decent. However, gluten-sensitivities can affect us all.  http://denver.yourhub.com/Littleton/Stories/Health-Fitness/Diet/Story~390017.aspx.

If it were not for my culture’s recent fascination with carbohydrate related diets I might really appear to be an oddball.  Unfortunately though, the Atkins diet is NOT a gluten-free diet and was in no way developed for people with Celiac Sprue.  However, one can if need be fuse the two diets together when health conditions require such a venture.  See this link for related ideas: http://www.atkins.com/Home.aspx.

If I grew up in a Latina/o culture, I might have frequently had a choice between wheat or corn totillas with any meal.  In fact, with such a high prevalence of diabetes in Latin American cultures, corn totillas are becoming more and more common as they are thought to be healthier.  If I grew up in some Asian countries, rice would be my grain of choice.

But going back to the topic of this essay about how understanding how ones culture promotes gluten can facilitate gluten-free simplicity:  One of the most common feelings I have had in my decade with Celiac Sprue has been the frustration of being unable to readily find edible foods.  And one of the most horrible ways to complicate such a life has been to form undue resentments and anger about related situations. 

I was finally starting to feel a welcome release from these painful emotions at the moment that I began to accept and even appreciate and value that eating wheat is a really big part of my culture as well as it is in some other cultures.  And that while it would be perfectly fine to advocate for menu mutations for the sake of those who have gluten intolerance; one could hardly expect that the common menus in such cultures would already be changed accordingly.

Sure, cultures can be changed.  And influencing my culture to change its diet to include less gluten would probably be a good thing.  But such change is very slow and that is ok.

Meanwhile, we have a choice: (1) We can resent the various evolution/devolution – related bounties of our culture; or (2) We can nudge a little at a time until our G-F needs become part of the mainstream http://www.slashfood.com/2008/09/20/gluten-free-is-going-mainstream.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity, G-F Simp. Philosophy | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Way #8: Using Your Smarts Might Help You Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on October 18, 2008

Way #8: Using Your Smarts Might Help You Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  If you were born and raised in the U.S.A., you quite possibly grew up thinking the word “Flour” was almost synonymous with the word “Wheat”.  As you got older you probably started to realize that there are other types of flour (eg, corn, rice, potato etc…).

  In the U.S. culture of modern times, Wheat Flour is probably the most common type of flour in kitchens and factories by a long shot.

  So, it is not far-fetched to suggest that Wheat is a predominant part of the diet in U.S. culture.

  Now for the simple part.  Just try for a while to imagine that you are living somewhere other than in the U.S.  In Latin America for example, corn totillas are practically as available as are wheat tortillas.  In Asia, rice noodles are common.  So the “bread” on the table or the “bread-stuff” in the stuffing does not necessarily have to be made of wheat.

  And if you were somewhere else, you might find that soups, sauces and other delicious meals are thickened with ingredients other than wheat.  For example, other thickeners include:

  • Corn starch
  • Arrow Root
  • Creme of Tarter
  • Air
  • Dairy Creme
  • Pureed anything (i.e., potatos, tomatos, carrots etc…)
  • Egg yolk
  • Egg white
  • and even Butter or fat

  Thickeners can also be created through process, such as:

  • Rate and temp of heat
  • Rate and temp of cold
  • Reduction
  • Evaporation
  • Time

  So if you are someone (like me) who loves nice thick soups and sauces, there really is no need to grieve for too long about the lack of wheat in your diet.  For while some of your favorite dishes may be notably different without wheat, there is probably a distinct possibility that the taste and consistency can be just as wonderful and appealing to you once you adjust your recipes appropriately.

Check out the following links for more ideas about this:

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