Friday, March 29, 2013

Gluten Free Drugs & the Sick Celiac

I've been down with a bad cold all week. Headache, congestion, sneezing, coughing, fever...miserable.

So I figured this would be a good time to review our gluten free drug list.
I spent most nights on Niquil. (liquid only) This stuff usually knocks me out and I'm foggy until noon the next day, but it does K-O the symptoms so I can get some rest.  Dayquil tablets (not liquid) are supposed to be GF too, but I don't get any help from that stuff.  Then its hot tea with honey, soup and crackers and lots of sleep.

If you need information on any drugs go here: Gluten Free Drugs
They list everything by category so when you need something it's easy to find. If its not on this list, I won't use it. I've even shared this list with my doctors so they can help other patients.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gluten Free Toaster Pastry!

I'm excited!!! A Gluten Free version of the Pop Tart is here!!! I've been waiting for this forever!
Sorry about all the exclamation marks...but I'm excited!
These yummy little toaster cakes are flaky, fairly low in fat and very flavorful. Right now I only see the Apple Cinnamon flavor but I'm going to email them and ask for blueberry.
Check out Glutino's GLUTEN FREE toaster pastry!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Celiac Disease Desserts

In my never ending quest to protect my Celiac Gut and still enjoy ice cream, I emailed Turkey Hill. I do eat Turkey Hill frozen Yogurt and was pretty sure it was Gluten free but I always go back and check every now and then. You never know when a recipe will change. I used to love the Peach Melba but I can't find it anymore. I'm hoping its a seasonal item and it will come back. 

I was impressed with Turkey Hills quick and concise answer. I'm even more impressed with the handful of coupons that arrived in the mail today. 
Yay Turkey Hill! They nice peeps!

So here's the answer from Turkey Hill. Enjoy! 

Dear Aimless,

Thank you for contacting Turkey Hill Dairy. We appreciate your comments and interest in our company and products.
We understand that more and more consumers are being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Therefore, we work with our suppliers to obtain gluten-free extracts and modified food starches. At this time, all of our extracts are gluten-free. We also use corn and tapioca modified food starches, both of which are also gluten-free.

We list our allergens on our labels. Below the ingredients, you will see a CONTAINS: statement. If the product contains gluten, wheat will be listed. Wheat is the only ingredient we use that contains gluten. Therefore, the ice creams containing cake and cookie pieces will contain gluten. All of our drink products are gluten-free.

You can also find our gluten information on our website. Please visit and click on the "Our Products" link. Click on the product category you are interested in (i.e. Frozen Desserts). Then click on the product line you are interested in (i.e. Premium Ice Cream). The individual flavors will be listed. Click the flavor name link to view the complete nutrition facts. The gluten and wheat information is listed at the bottom under the "Contains" statement or "Additional Info".

We have a number of Frozen Yogurt's and No Sugar Added Ice Creams that are fat free. This information can be found while viewing our product line on our website
Thanks for taking time to contact us. In appreciation, we will be sending you a follow-up letter and coupons. We appreciate your comments and thank you for choosing Turkey Hill.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Celiac Vegetarian Day

I've eased into Vegetarianism slowly. Previous diet experience had me rushing head first into the Eat Clean program and I'm ashamed to admit, I crashed. I did great for almost a week and then life happened and I cheated a little, then a little more, and then forgetaboutit!

I'm caught between wanting to be a Vegan or just going Vegetarian. Its a tough choice. Which is healthier? Which one will I be able to sustain for life? I'm going Vegetarian for now. Once I get this nailed down I'll consider the Vegan aspect. I think as a Celiac our choices are a bit limited anyway and I wonder why I want to limit it even more? From everything I've read I think a plant based diet is healthier.

So here's my typical day as a Vegetarian so far;

Coffee with Vanilla Coffeemate
Udi's gluten free bagel with humus

Banana or Yogurt or other fruit-I cut up the fruit and stir it into the yogurt.

Salad with Romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, shredded carrots, olives, dressing
Nuts (I buy a couple different kinds and mix them together)

Spaghetti with sauce with kidney beans and Parmesan

That was yesterday. I vary this from day to day. I still need  a vegetarian cookbook because I'm a lousy cook! I need to learn how to be a creative vegetarian in the kitchen so I don't get bored.

So far, I don't miss meat at all. Feel pretty good and I'm sleeping well.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bagel Shopping

Celiac Disease sometimes limits our choices. Bagels used to be a Sunday morning favorite but once I went gluten free that changed. No more bagels for me :-(
Then companies like Udi's and Against the Grain stepped up to bring back this Sunday morning treat; the bagel. Yay!
But no.
If you're from New Jersey you know there isn't a bagel anywhere in the country that tastes like a Jersey bagel. We Jerseyans think it must be all the chemicals in the water, but who really knows for sure? Either way, anyone who wants to sell a Jerseyan a bagel better know the rules.

Bagels should be dense, easy to slice for toasting and come in many flavors. Texture is the key here. Don't serve a mushy, empty shell of a bread like donut to me! Yes, there is a big difference in what a bagel should taste like and what bread tastes like.

Of all the bagels I've tried so far Udi's is my favorite. Against the Grain a close second. So let's compare.
Udi's has 320 calories but is a slightly bigger bagel.
10g of fat
48 carbs (necessary info for diabetics)
3g fiber
8g Protein.
I like the texture and consistency of the Udi's bagel because its denser, like a real bagel. Still kind of bread-like but not too bad. The outer crust toasts nicely and it's easy to spread your favorite condiment on it. I prefer humus but because of the dense nature of this bagel it won't tear or collapse into itself if you slather on firmer things like butter or cream cheese. Udi's has no dairy but does contain egg whites.

Against the Grain Bagels would be my second choice mostly because the inside of the bagel is more airy and when cut in half to toast sometimes tends to be almost empty inside. Still tastes good but not dense like a real glutenous bagel. This leaves something to desire when spreading condiments. However when I'm craving peanut butter I use one of these bagels and you can fill the hollow crevices with gobs of peanut butter. Yum!
250 calories (but smaller than an Udi's bagel)
13g fat
28 carbs (better choice for diabetics)
trace of fiber
5g protein.
The package of Against the Grain I found at Shop Rite was Sesame. I don't know if this made a difference in the ingredients beyond adding Sesame (no seeds seen anywhere), but it had Eggs, Milk and Mozzarella cheese. I'm not sure why they have Mozzarella cheese in a bagel but this could explain why it's very soft and more airy than Udi's.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Celiac, Gluten and SICK!

Into every Celiac life some gluten must fall. Diet be damned I have no idea where it came from, but I've been sick all week. I'm wracking my brain trying to figure it out.

It started last Saturday and at first, when I started feeling ill, I thought I was coming down with something. I was an event last Saturday and there were a few people who complained about being sick. (I wanted to scream, "WHAT THE HECK DID YOU COME FOR, YOU GERM SPREADER!")

So Sunday and Monday I had killer headache, stomach cramps and just achy all over. started feeling a little better but then it got worse again. Wednesday is my busiest day. I'm running from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m with barely any break.  I was halfway through and afternoon class and fighting nausea when it hit me. Gluten!

Why didn't I think it was gluten before? Now I'm checking vitamins labels, any new food I've eaten, a new ginger tea I just got last Friday. I suspect everything! I still don't know what I ate but I'm narrowing it down. I now move through my kitchen like there's an enemy hiding there and I have to get him before he gets me again. The tea was new, the fresh Parmesan from the Italian market could have contamination, can of mixed nuts? I feel like Sherlock Holmes.

I emailed the company, Traditional Medicinals that made the ginger tea. Here's what they said;

"Thank you for your inquiry.  Only two of the teas in our line contain oat straw:  PMS Tea and St. John's Good Mood, so they would not be gluten free.  The remainder of our tea line is without gluten, however.  Regarding the possibility of cross contamination:  we follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) which means that we thoroughly clean our tea bagging machines between batches.  In addition, the first of every batch is discarded as a further effort to eliminate the chance of contamination from the previous batch run."

Hmmm, could be cross contamination if they ran the ginger right after one of the gluten teas? I sometimes worry about teas being made with barley but the oat thing was surprising. Not sure if this tea was my problem but I did drink it a few times during the week because ginger is good for digestion. 

So all week it's been tea with honey, heating pads and the BRAT diet. (Bananas, rice, applesauce, and tea) 
And I'm still not sure what made me sick. Anyone have any trouble with tea?