hemhawseesaw

The ups, downs, and runarounds of Celiac Disease and food sensitivities

Well, my iron r…

Well, my iron results came back within normal limits, so not sure why my red blood cell count is so high. The bone density scan results indicate osteopenia, which is not so bad as osteoporosis, but I’m about 25 years ahead of the “normal” time when this sets in for women. To be discussed with general care physician, but I’m not sure what I can do as I already take calcium and vitamin D daily supplements (in gummy form for easier absorption) and do cardio or weights on a regular basis. So, now I’m awaiting an appointment to discuss what I can do to halt the advancement of weakening bones and an appointment with a dietician. Some days I still feel completely exhausted digestively (you don’t know it til you’ve experienced it! pretty weird phenomenon), but these days seem gradually fewer and fewer.

I made some AWESOME, easy, grain-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, low FODMAPs muffins this evening, and highly recommend the recipe! I used almond butter. No sweetener needed, even though liquid stevia is suggested. The ripe bananas and nut butter really add a great flavor, and they magically blend with other ingredients to form a very legitimate bready result.

I also had recent good results with a vegan frosting recipe, but learned from the first batch that in place of lemon juice it’s best to add in 1 Tbsp of water, and increasing the amount of coconut milk (recipe calls for almond, but I had canned coconut milk in my cupboard) helps the consistency along. I used 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup in place of honey to keep things FODMAPs friendly. My amended recipe really only took 30 minutes or so in the fridge after beating with a blender to reach “normal” frosting consistency. I particularly like this recipe because it does not require arrowroot (aka obedience plant!) flour (if you Google “paleo coconut frosting”, most recipes include this un-paleo ingredient. Maple syrup is not exactly paleo, but I can’t handle the permissible sweetener- honey. Hey at least it’s better for you and more natural than granulated sugar!).

I bought some cheesecloth to try my hand at homemade almond milk- perusing several online recipes revealed how easy it can be, particularly if you’re ok with unsweetened milk. You basically soak the almonds overnight, blend/process them, strain/squeeze the milk out in cheesecloth, and you can even bake the remaining crumbs to get almond flour! I wish it were safe to purchase from bulk bins (most stores specifically say that their bulk bins are not safe for people with severe allergies, including Celiac) to save a bit of money, but I may try my hand at smaller amounts of almond milk to keep on hand for cooking and adding to coffee/tea.

I knew about gluten and Celiac Disease before receiving my diagnosis, but only briefly, and I’m still learning about all the possible sources of contamination. While it is frustrating to not be able to eat naturally gluten-free foods at a buffet or potluck (risk of crumbs or shuffled utensils), I know that it is not intuitive to appreciate the severity of reactions if you don’t have a food intolerance or other allergy. Still, I really feel for one of my patients (did I mention I got my first job as a speech-language pathologist 2 months ago? yay!) with Crohn’s Disease, whose meal ticket specifically lists an intolerance of shells/seeds and peas, whose 2 lunch trays (yeah, mix-ups abound in the skilled nursing realm) both had a huge helping of peas! It’s interesting that the categories of “Dislikes/Allergies” are listed as such, together, on meal tickets, negating the discrepancy in choice between the two. If I am in a nursing home when I’m old, I hope by then they’ve come to a better understanding of food intolerance. I don’t even want to think about cross contamination in the kitchen, and it’s not the fault of the staff, it’s the nature of demand to serve 100+ people all at once with different dietary needs.

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