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Archive for March, 2010

Pizza Hut I Loathe You

March 30th, 2010

Pizza HutI used to love you, but now I loathe you. Oh what I wouldn’t give for just a bite of your pepperoni pan pizza. The delicious crispy buttery crust with bubbly cheese that oozes into your mouth as you close your eyes and take a bite of heaven. One bite would no doubt have me in digestive discomfort for a minimum of three days and make my fibro flare for quite possibly a week. Pizza has always been a comfort food to me, with the Pizza Hut Brand topping my list of favorites.

Yet tomorrow I must cross the threshold of a franchise that use to be my favorite spot to dine-in or carry-out. I will be taking 20 of my sixth grade students on a field trip where after watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid we will head for the lunch buffet. While I am dinning on salad and the homemade french dressing I will be carrying in with me, I will suffer in silence as I smell the garlic and fresh bread. The field trip was obviously planned before I found the fibro gluten connection, otherwise I would not be putting myself into such a tempting situation.

After visiting Pizza Hut’s website today and discovering they pretty much have nothing on their menu (click here for link to allergens chart) except for salad that I can eat, I gave the local restaurant a call to verify what salad dressings I might be able to have. Even though I called at three, the gentleman that I spoke with sounded busy and was frustrated after I asked him to read the ingredients on the cottage cheese and the french dressing.

I thought it would be better to call ahead, rather than try and find out tomorrow I couldn’t have any salad dressing or cottage cheese, not too mention they will be much busier at 1PM. The guy was nice enough to offer to try to top a crust if I brought in my own although he couldn’t guarantee the quality. I might try that another day.

What I really want is for Pizza Hut to join on the gluten-free band wagon. If Monical’s Pizza can offer a gluten-free pizza and gluten-free salad dressings Pizza Hut can too. Don’t make us suffer!

Diary, Restaurants ,

Gluten-Free Girl Book Review

March 29th, 2010

Gluten-Free Girl (Amazon) is an inspiration to those of us that will never eat wheat bread again. Shauna James Ahern focuses on the foods that we can eat, and the whole new world of tastes that are available to those of us that have been trying to live on processed foods. I had the best hamburger I have ever eaten thanks to Shauna. I call her by her first name, because I get the sense that I have met her and that she has become my friend just through reading her book.

Although at times the book can be a bit self indulgent, Gluten-Free Girl is inspiring. Thanks to her I tried and fell in love with fennel, a vegetable I had never even heard of before. Shauna meanders through the world of food, and sometimes she can seem to ramble on a little too long, but mostly she inspires the reader to slow down and enjoy life while experiencing new foods. This book that is upheld as the Gluten-Free Bible is definitely worth a look to the newly diagnosed.

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Healthier Without Wheat

March 29th, 2010

Healthier without Wheat (Amazon)

The world would be a better place if all the doctors were as well educated about gluten as Dr. Stephen Wangen. Unfortunately many of us suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have had to take matters into our own hands to figure out what is making us sick. Dr. Wangen goes into great detail about how to get a proper diagnosis of Celiacs or Gluten Intolerance, and then gives tips on how to proceed with treatment. Many additional resources are provided in the appendix and the book is supported by a 45 page bibliography, meaning the good doctor did his research.

Initially I set this book aside because I was turned off by the cover, thinking the information was as outdated as the lame graphic. It just goes to show, never judge a book by its cover! This is the most informative book that I have read thus far about gluten sensitivity. The research is current and so are the resources. I must say that the author does shamelessly plug his own website and other book a few times, but it doesn’t seem to distort the overall message. I would like to have read more research relating gluten sensitivity, Celiac Disease, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.

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School of Hard Knocks

March 28th, 2010

Well I have spent the past month attempting to follow a strict gluten-free diet, and I feel like I have been on a roller coaster, physically and emotionally. This past week I hit rick bottom. I should have been celebrating my health and the birthday of my three year old son, but instead I found myself sitting on the porcelain throne hugging a trash can, thinking “Oh God when will this stop? What did I do to deserve this?” I finally told my husband that I needed to go to the emergency room because the stomach pain and nausea were so terrible I just didn’t know what else to do.

After being given anti-nausea medication, pain medication, and fluids the hospital released me. I went home and threw up at least one more time. After managing to finally fall asleep, I woke up stiffer than I had been in about a month. The next day, my husband started feeling nauseous, but the flu didn’t hit him quite so hard. He only tossed his cookies once; I threw up three times (not counting the dry heaving). It has been almost a full week and I am still moving slowly, feeling pain and muscle stiffness. James didn’t even have to go to the doctor. It only took him about 3 days to be back to 100% functional. Why would he recover so much more quickly than me, besides the fact that I am a wimp?

Birthday Barn Cake
A few days before my trip to the ER, I was happily baking a cake for my son Corbin’s birthday. I made a regular chocolate cake for the family, and made gluten-free cupcakes for myself. I almost licked the chocolate cake batter, but I caught myself and washed my hands. After mixing the chocolate cake, I noticed flour everywhere and the “Gluten Headache” setting-in. My hands started turning deep splotchy red. I’m not sure if Benadryl helps or not, but I took some since my hands were splotchy and called it a night.

On Sunday, I was constipated, but felt well enough to host a family birthday party for Corbin. We went out to eat at Monical’s Pizza where I had salad and a gluten-free pizza. Monday morning I woke up feeling nauseous, but thought it was probably because of being constipated. I went to work and made it through the day, but got really sick later that night. I didn’t really eat much until Wednesday when I had a banana.

On Thursday I had a lunch meeting at a Mexican restaurant where I learned that cross contamination is hard to avoid in this type of restaurant. No corn chips for me because they fry everything in the same oil. I must stress that I did not eat even one delicious freshly fried corn chip with the yummy salsa. Instead I ordered beans, rice and eggs and still got a Gluten headache. I assume this is from the fact that they make quesadillas on their grill.

At lunchtime on Friday I ordered a baked potato from the students in the life skills class. Of course I had to ask if the butter and sour cream were gluten free. The teacher of the class was just diagnosed with Celiac’s, so I felt confident that they would be able to answer the question. The butter and sour cream were brought on the side and I was told that the container for the sour cream said, “May contain trace amounts of wheat.” Now I know this is really stupid, but by this point in the week I was starving, and I just wanted sour cream on my potato….so I ate it anyway. The day before I managed to deny myself fresh chips and salsa, but I couldn’t pass on a little sour cream. Big mistake.

So today is Sunday, and I am hoping to get back to more normal bowel movements soon. Maybe in a few days the muscle pain will leave again. It has been a rough week, but sometimes we learn best through the school of hard knocks.

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