Gluten-Free Simplicity

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

Posts Tagged ‘Celiac Disease’

Valid and Reliable Information on Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on November 22, 2009

  Here at Gluten-Free Simplicity, it is super important that we ONLY provide information that is both Valid and Reliable.

I won;t give you no bull; and I hope you won't give me the horns.

No Bull; No Horns! (c.2009, wtb)

  Often, when someone begins to ask me in-depth questions about Gluten-Free Simplicity and Gluten-Free Living, I share with them how I learned that perhaps the most crucial element to successfully negotiating Celiac Disease is accepting that perhaps the most significant ingredient is information (i.e., What does and does not have gluten; where to get affordable gluten-free products; and/or how to think critically about important Gluten-Related information).

  Giving bad information to a person with Celiac Disease is kind of like handing a glass of poisoned water to a person who is very thirsty.  At G-FS, I don’t give you any Bull, and so I hope you won’t give me the horns.

  And by the way… if by chance you ever run across any data on this site that seems like it cannot be right, send me a comment and I’ll triple check it. 

  Thanks for reading this blog.

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Intriguing Site: “Celiac Today”

Posted by nepeht on November 18, 2009

  From the Celiac Today tagline, one can read their meaningful goal: “News and Knowledge to Unite the Celiac Community”.

  As one reads further, one will read, “Our Aim is the Unify the Community”.  They mention several sections including: Medicine, Lifestyle, Community, Food Chain, and People, where one will find Celiac-related information.  The site offers a bounty of information and best of all, it appears to be free.

Mountains of Information at "Celiac Today" (c.2009, wtb)

  This idea of “Unifying the community” also appears to be a wonderful and timely notion.  My experience of the online Celiac crowd has been about 98% positive.  At the same time, there have been one or two instances where it seemed that those with whom I was dealing had something in mind other than providing a truly diverse wealth of free information to anyone who needed it.

  Anyway, I thought this site was worth mentioning and I hope you find it as interesting as I did.  It really appears to contain a mountain of information.

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Adventures on The Planet “Glutenia”

Posted by nepeht on November 13, 2009

Gluten-Free Fiction Date 001; Hour 01

  I was just out of my doctor’s office.  It seemed soooooo long ago, yet it was probably only a few moments to someone anywhere else.  But I had arrived.  Per my recent diagnosis, when leaving her office, I exited her doorway onto the Planet Glutenia!  This is what I saw.

Mars Crater 2

Glutenia At First Glance (c.2009, WTB)

  I wondered if I could breath… and I could.  I was afraid to take those first steps.  But I did.

  My doc had said something about “Celiac Disease”…??? 

  I wondered, “Am I a Celiac?”  “What the heck is a Celiac?”

  “Will I find more Celiacs here?”

  I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep, praying to have nice dreams…  Perhaps I can wake up some day on a different planet that the one I just walked onto.  Or even better — maybe I will learn to adjust and possibly I can learn to thrive as a free person…. a Gluten-Free person… on Glutenia.

  More later…  I hope.

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Nice Article on Celiac Disease and Emotion

Posted by nepeht on November 7, 2009

Check out this article at Psychology Today.com, “Gluten: The Secret Stalker“.  It discusses the Emotional impact of Celiac Disease, an important issue for many of us.

Posted in G-F PsychoBabble | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Way #41: Get a Little Obsessed for a While with ENERGY in order to faciliate your journey to Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on July 9, 2009

Way #41: Get a Little Obsessed for a While with ENERGY in order to facilitate your journey to Gluten-Free Simplicity

  First off… This is about HEALTHY Energy… OK??? I find that much of my Celiac-related foiballing is related to my serious and chronic lack of energy.  I have tried sooooo many things…. caffeine, sugar, protein snacks, B-vitamins… etc….  I won’t even mention some of the things I have tried….  I am sure you already can guess based on your own experiences.
 

Gluten-Free Energy: Does it radiate? (c.2009, WTB)

Gluten-Free Energy: Does it radiate? (c.2008, WTB)

 

 

 
  BUT what could Gluten-Free Energy look like? 

  This is about getting a little obsessed with this issue for a while so that you can learn about:

  1. Your own energy needs;
  2. The vast variety of G-F energy options that are healthy; and
  3. About which ones of these healthy energy options work for you individually.

  To start out, one might construct a chart to monitor one’s experiences of energy in her/his own life over the next month.  This can be a really simple qualitative, journal-type thingee where one simply notes what they consumed (including supplements) in the left column and how they felt in the hours afterward in the right column.

  Do this for about a month and it can be revealing for almost anyone. I have tried it and it really helps.

  I have researched and written about some of this before in several postings.  Just type in the word “energy” in the “search” box on this page (look up and to your right) and you will find some of them.

  For now… just think… what would my world look like if I had more good energy?

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Way #40: Awareness of one’s Celiac-Related Painful Feelings might help one move toward Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on June 22, 2009

Way #40: Awareness of one’s Celiac-Related Painful Feelings might help one move toward Simplicity

  Life is not easy.  It is just that simple.  And for people with Celiac Disease, one could argue, that life is a bit more complicated, thus LESS easy that it is for many others.

  And I truly believe that not one of us deserves the Extra Pain that Celiac Disease provides for us.  I really do.

  With these assorted and abundant extra pains of ours naturally come emotions…  I mean it would be normal if we actually felt some emotions in their wake.  It is these emotions that I am writing about here.

  I get depressed, shamed, angry, wanna isolate, feel rage, serious bouts of loss, etc….. etc….. etc…..

  And that is probably a lot like many other people — with or without Celiac Disease.

  What is different though, is that we tend to get a whole lot of it and on a pretty consistent basis.  Sure, I find that the more I am able to live in a Gluten-Free way, the better I feel….  But there seems always to still be that train in that tunnel that is heading straight for me when ever I decide to acknowledge it.

  So I am just saying here that when we have such feelings, they tend to show on us… no matter what we do to hide them.  So then, rather than denying them, why not allow ourselves to feel them (within reason and safety limits)?

  FOr us with Celiac Disease, it seems these pains and their emotions are gonna come and go…. but probably come again, more often than any of our non-CD folks can really understand.

  So I am suggesting that the first step to dealing with all of that will be to accept them as part of our normal daily life… and then try to be aware of them as we learn more and more constructive ways of channelling the enormous bounty of energy they tend to generate into increasingly positive outcomes…

  Try it.  I am trying to try it… my self.

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Way#39: Use Critical Thinking to Facilitate Gluten-Free Simplicity in Your Life

Posted by nepeht on June 20, 2009

Way#39: Use Critical Thinking to Facilitate Gluten-Free Simplicity in Your Life

  Clearing away the B.S. to help illuminate reality might help facilitate simplicity in a gluten-free life.  Life, and in particular life during periods of serious challenges such as going gluten-free, can be unnecessarily difficult when paying too much attention to invalid and unreliable information.

   According to its Wikipedia entry, critical thinking can be defined as:

Critical thinking consists of mental processes of discernment, analysis and evaluation. It includes possible processes of reflecting upon a tangible or intangible item in order to form a solid judgment that reconciles scientific evidence with common sense. In contemporary usage “critical” has a certain negative connotation that does not apply in the present case.[1] Though the term “analytical thinking” may seem to convey the idea more accurately, critical thinking clearly involves synthesis, evaluation, and reconstruction of thinking, in addition to analysis.

Critical thinkers gather information from all senses, verbal and/or written expressions, reflection, observation, experience and reasoning. Critical thinking has its basis in intellectual criteria that go beyond subject-matter divisions and which include: clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, significance and fairness.

  What does this say to you?

  Well, to me it says in simplifying my gluten-free life I need to frequently rethink my assumptions so that I can better understand the facts.

  For example, I often find myself looking up whether or not a grocery item brand contains gluten.  And this is a good thing.  Why?  Because manufacturers often alter ingredients.  They can do this for their own reasons and they do do this.  Many of them will advise curious consumers that while the current version of a given product is “Gluten-Free”, one should always read the labels in order to rule out a change that has lead to Gluten-Contamination of said product.  See this listing at Gluten-Free Brands for another example.

  So, when using Critical Thinking: even if an item has “TRADITIONALLYNOT contained Gluten, it may be wise to reconsider this possibility each and every time you purchase a new batch. 

  Sure… it is a lot of work… But it can make life much more simple.  At least it is becoming more and more worth it to me.  How about for you?

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Learn More!

Posted by nepeht on June 8, 2009

Click here for a list of Books and Guides Related to Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Living.

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Tonight’s Gluten-Free Menu Item Choice: Is It Celiac SAFE; or Is It Simply Gluten?

Posted by nepeht on May 8, 2009

By William T. Beverly, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.
This is the question that a typical person with Gluten intolerance is possibly asking her/his self from the time they know which restaurant they are going to be eating in tonight, to the time that they leave that establishment.

When a place has a “Gluten-Free Menu” or items that they advertise as “Gluten-Free”, a person with such a medical condition is still going to probably be a bit cautious. That is, until they know with whom they are dealing and just what they are getting.

With whom are you dealing?

Well, there are big chains that are beginning massive advertising campaigns claiming that they serve some “Gluten-Free items” and that is all well and good. At the same time, one can sometimes get a pretty scary feeling when entering such an establishment and asking a question about such an item, and the server is not at all versed on the terms “Gluten” or “Celiac”.

I guess in cases where the item is fully automated and totally hands off from the time it leaves the corporate big house to the time it is served to you, then perhaps it can be assumed to be truly “gluten-free”. But then who really wants to eat something that mechanized. I mean, even at the fastest, fast-food joints, the folks in the back at least bless your entree with a pickle or something prior to serving it.

And then there is the problem that one often encounters in massive chain operations where the consumer gets an item that is supposedly “Gluten-Free”, yet the item is served with a brand of ketchup or mayo or dressing that is known to contain gluten. Then one nudges up to the counter-server to ask about this and is met with an “I don’t know” or “If you cannot eat wheat, can you eat white bread instead?”

In fact I was at one of those “Have it your way” burger chains the other day and ordered a Double _____ “with everything except the bun”; and the counter guy, savvy as he was — and polite — whistled back, “One Double ______, Low Carb!” OK… so I didn’t say a word. I was delighted that at least he was trying…. but does “Low Carb” necessarily mean “Gluten-Free”… I don’t think soooooooooo.

Part II of With Whom are You Dealing?

OK, so then there are those wonderful mom-and-pop places that just seem to be perfect, and they are trying their best to serve their Gluten-Free-Needy customers a wonderful item and they do….. Except, they get a little touchy when one asks… nicely, “Hey, this steak is like…. mulllahhhh wonderful!!! But can you tell me…. is it marinated?” (yes)… “OK… and I love it tooo……. but how bout… , Does that marinate include any items that might contain gluten???”

Their first defense (and unfortunately it is often a defense — which it does not need to be) is. “Well that’s Jenny’s Secret Recipe and I cannot divulge…” So you explain to the waiter about the Gluten-Free thingee, while at the same time, he is wondering why his establishment actually cares about such “food preferences” and he goes back to consult with the Chef… Jenny…. or Jenny’s daughter or somebody close enough to know the secret.

Of course she gives him a list of the ingredients in the marinate because as the Chef, she is somewhat aware that the Gluten thing is in her face more and more every day now…

The Waiter returns to the table and says, “The ingredients are some herbs and spices, vinegar, mayo, beer (cannot tell you what kind), sugar, a (not-to-be-named) steak sauce, an anonymous fruit juice, and tomato paste.” “Nope, nothing in there could contain Gluten.. so, you are home free.”

“Now can you please cut into your steak and tell me if it is done to your liking?”

At this point, it is kind of hard to tell the guy……. the waiter about how almost every ingredient he mentioned could contain gluten, depending on which brand they use etc… (e.g., Gluten can be in some brands of vinegar, mayo, beer, confectioners sugar, some steak sauces, some fruit juices, and in tomato paste).

I’m Backing Off Now…

So with tons of years in food service under my belt, I say with some firmness that in every establishment, there should be at least one person who cares about this “Gluten issue”. Food service people are people too and they are typically underpaid, overworked and they have to deal constantly with social situations where they clothes smell more like their fryer grease than like the cologne that they splashed on this morning. This is a hard life. So some slack is warranted.

At the same time, as an over-educated person with years of Celiac Disease under my belt (literally un-der my-belt), I can say that this life too is difficult and unfair and some slack is definitely warranted.

So How can We Meet In the Middle?

I am not sure what the solution is going to be.

I am certain that there are two things that cannot be helpful:

  1. I do not think that half-hearted “Gluten-Free” menu and advertising overhauls in corporate America are going to do anything but aggravate the situation UNLESS… and I said, “UNLESS!!!”, those same corporate bosses are willing to also act consistently in terms of training ALL involved staff and also sincerely analyzing recipes and inventoried product brands to see that only “Gluten-Free” product makes its way to the consumer’s table. This is an expensive undertaking and I would be surprised if even the majority of those touting “Our New Gluten-Free Menu” are taking it as seriously as all this.
  2. and, at the same time: I am certain that nothing really gets solved when a person in need of a Gluten-Free meal gets visibly angry about what she/he is served and then takes out 100% of that anger on the extremely low-level staff-person who served it to them. Yes, I think ALL staff are or should be responsible in such cases, but if a person is a teenager making minimum wage and has not ever even been reasonably briefed on the “New Gluten-Free Items” thingee… then I think it is management who is in the wrong; not the line worker.

So this morning, I was going to write up a list of what kinds of dishes on restaurant menus that say they are “Gluten-Free” are likely to be safe, versus which ones are probably not. I could not write that yet because I think these types of problems — as listed above — are much grander and much more significant at this time.

Surely, I will put together a list of “probably safe” and “possibly not” Gluten-Free “safe” menu items soon. And I will publish it. But for now, I think the “Safe” thing to do would be for America’s Corporate Bosses to wax sincerely about the “Gluten-Free” issue or NOT wax at all. And I think that those of us who sometimes have emotional rants in our empty dining enjoyment quests that sometimes lead to “Gluten-Free” starvation — oh… and I have been there many times too.. — should also think next time before we blast an unsuspecting cashier the local “Minute Burger Joint”.

What do you think?

 

Read what others have said about this issue:

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Texas Bishop Includes “Celiac” in Special “Swine Flue Directive”

Posted by nepeht on April 30, 2009

  In a special “Directive” released to the press yesterday evening regarding the “seriousness of the Swine Flu”, Bishop Edmond Carmody, of the Diocese of Corpus Christi included “people with celiac or special needs” in his seven (7)-item list of “directives to Priests regarding distribution of Communion in wake of N1H1 virus situation”.   Story…

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