I’ve got a laundry list of items I want to blog about.
I haven’t touched upon the FDA ruling yet. There’s the new gluten-free dating site. A new “Gluten Free Vodka” is being marketed…even though all vodka is gluten free. The Today Show AGAIN showed they have their heads up their behinds.
But then I looked at my inbox, saw the plethora of emails I have not responded to (that’s right…I said plethora) and said “Dang it Dude…you are way behind. It’s time for a Gluten Dude Mailbag.”
And so it is.
Q: From one dude to another, what do you order when at the bar. I see you’re a family man so I imagine you’re probably not boozing it up all the time but, when you do go out, seriously, what do you get? I know I’ll never be “normal” again, but it’s nice to pretend sometimes.
Being a family man means I actually drink more…but I suppose that’s besides the point. The options at a bar are limitless. Vodka, rum, gin, tequila, scotch, wine….the list goes on. Most distilled spirits are gluten-free (thank you God). Stay away from anything flavored just to play it safe.
Q: I am spending my birthday next week in St. Louis and really want to eat sushi while I am there since I went from eating it every week to never when I moved to Southern Illinois. Anyway, I was wondering what questions/precautions I should ask/take?
This email was sent to me in June. I think I just missed the deadline. Sorry about that. Anyway…yes, some sushi places add soy sauce or vinegar to their sushi rice but I have only come across that twice. Stay away from anything with imitation crab meat. No tempura anything. Your safest bet is sashimi. I personally go with sushi and avocado rolls with wasabi. Now I’m hungry.
Q: Your blog has been SO INCREDIBLY helpful as I worked to get my house gf for my 4 year old daughter who was diagnosed with Celiac. My problem is that I was also diagnosed with Celiac. I seem to be split…with my daughter, I am incredibly thoughtful, aware, concerned about her short term and long term health. With me, I am in total denial and a complete mess. So far (it has been about a week), I have mostly hidden my diagnosis. While I have had health issues off and on throughout my life, they are no where near the severity of my daughter. I just can’t truly believe I have Celiac. (Yes, the blood tests were positive and I was confirmed with an endoscopy.) I guess I am scared that I won’t be a good role model for someone with Celiac. Do I really need to be gluten free if I don’t have the symptoms? I know what you will say. You’ve said it before. It is just so hard to believe that I need to make this life change when I don’t have the symptoms kicking me in the butt. If I am worried I can’t hack it, should I just hide it from my daughter?
It’s only been a week. Do not beat yourself up. Moving forward…yes you MUST be gluten-free, regardless of your symptoms. It was just announced this week that celiacs who continue to eat gluten have a much higher risk of lymphoma. If that won’t scare you straight, nothing will. You wanna be there for your daughter? You gotta take care of yourself. And you’ve got an awesome community here to lean on.
Q: Why does Schar multi-grain fall apart right after opening the package. This happens all the time, I can’t even eat a sandwich with dignity. Is the bread old? I have no clue as to why this is happening. Any suggestions where I can buy gluten free bread where my sandwich does not come apart. This is expensive enough and have to throw this out because I can’t eat crumbs for a sandwich. If I wanted crumbs I would have bought crumbs. A response would be appreciated.
Well…I think the good folks at Schar will be able to answer your question better than I can…and I will pass it on to them. But in short, gluten is the glue in bread. Without it…well you see what happens. That being said, I find it pretty inexcusable that you are paying a premium price for a product that falls well short of expectations. While the big companies continue to try to perfect their breads, there are many smaller companies doing a great job at it. I just had some Three Bakers bread and it was pretty darn amazing. You can buy it online from them or find a store near you on their website. May the bread be with you.
Q: I’ve just had blood tests come back positive for coeliac disease and I’m having my endoscopy tomorrow afternoon. I have mild symptoms. I’ve been doing some reading about the disease and I’m getting a bit overwhelmed! I’m fine with eating gluten free food. But my questions are about cross contamination: do I need to worry about it a lot if I have only mild symptoms? If I only have mild symptoms, am I still doing damage to my insides?
See the question above. Symptoms don’t matter. All celiacs have different symptoms and various degrees of symptoms. So yes…you need to be concerned about cross-contamination. I know…it sux.
Q: I’m not sure exactly what to say in restaurants when asking for gluten free meals or at other people’s houses to educate them without sounding bossy and snooty.
I’ve been a celiac for almost six years now and I STILL hate giving the speech. Read this post about ordering gluten-free in a restaurant. There’s a method to our madness. As for other people’s houses, unless you are very good friends, I suggest you bring your own food. The person can have the best intentions but unless they are well-schooled in celiac, it’s just too risky.
I am on 100% Gluten Free diet since April (but who is counting) and I feel so much better. Now the problem is that emotionally I am having a hard time accepting the fact that I have to live gluten-free for the rest of my life. I am so sad and angry ALL THE DAMN TIME. How can I suck it up and stop mourning my previous gluten-filled life? Well just wanted to vent and tell you that you are my hero; I admire you and your blog and the force behind you or in you.
Since you feel so much better, I suppose the obvious question is “what’s there to mourn?” But I totally understand where you are coming from. It’s a process. You just haven’t completed it yet. Since my kids are now teenagers, I’m not sure I fit the “hero” bill anymore :) so thanks for your kind words. They mean the world to me.
How do you manage chocolate cravings?
By not having them. But if you do, Hershey’s Bars are gluten-free. So are M&M’s.
Half question half rant here… I was wondering what you thought of the Paleo people (or really any non-necessity gf dieter) comparing themselves to those with medically based reasons to be on a gf diet. They want to eat that way, great, but don’t try to compare grocery war stories because at the end of the day they have the luxury of not getting sick from food.
Anybody that eats a certain way to be healthier I am 100% behind. Now if that person complains about their diet and how hard it is, I don’t want to hear it. Walk in our shoes for a week.
I loved your Celiac disease symptom chart, it was so much help! But i needed to ask you a a few things since lately i have started feeling i might have celiac. I have almost all symptoms that you’ve listed on your chart. Frequent Migraines, low calcium, low b12 (my left leg gave away last month because of this deficiency), low iron, low vit d since ever, migraines, fainting spells (that doctors say are normal), puffy face and very puffy eyes some mornings,and terrible debilitating pain in my knees after just one glass of beer, sometimes even a sip makes me realize that i should stop drinking! i have seasonal allergies as well and most other symptoms that you mentioned. But sometimes i think i am only imagining all these things, and there is actually nothing wrong with me. But do you think i should go ahead and get checked for Celiac?
I was just diagnosed with celiac disease a month ago, (blood test and biopsy), and I’ve been following a gluten free diet. Like you, I started by clearing the grocery shelves of every gluten free comfort food I could find. But it worried me that I was still eating processed foods. I notice that I’m eating way more rice and rice flour than ever before. With reports of unhealthy levels of arsenic in rice, coupled with my increased intake, I’m worried about my health. I feel like there’s nothing I can safely eat anymore. I even just read an article about arsenic in chicken! I’ve been trying to buy all of my meat and vegetables from local farm markets: organic eggs and vegetables, grass-fed beef, and local free range poultry. A huge change from the McD’s diet I followed for almost a decade prior to my diagnosis. I’m making great progress, but I’m still really unsure of how to approach my new health-conscious dieting. I read your blog on why it’s bad to eat “gluten-free”, and that a 30-day whole foods diet can do wonders. Please Gluten Dude, tell me what to eat!
Stop living in fear. That’s my first bit of advice. Just be sensible. Eat meat, fish, fruit, veggies, eggs. There are tons and tons of things celiacs can eat without being afraid. We are actually blessed in a way. We get to treat our disease the natural way.