hemhawseesaw

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

Archive for the tag “grains”

Carbs

I’m about a week in on the return to grains. Let’s just say that there is visual proof that I’m not digesting them fully. I’m sure that paleos would jump down my throat at having let myself be swayed by a mainstream medical professional, but it certainly does seem that there is benefit to eating carbs, particularly due to my low glucose levels. I’m also considering trying lentils for fiber & protein. That said, I’m removing dairy a bit more staunchly, even the lactose-free products, just to see if I feel any better. Even lactose-free cheese immediately makes me feel bloaty, so casein (milk protein) may be the true culprit. I purchased a better-quality probiotic (including acidophilus and bifidobacterium) today, as my Costco probiotic with much fewer strains may not be cutting it.

While I wouldn’t go back to my thinner pre-diagnosis, miserable self, weight gain has really got me down (doesn’t help that I literally feel weighed down by bloating). This quote from a Celiac Disease message board on the topic of weight gain made me a bit more optimistic: “I think the most important thing your body needs is time to heal. Gluten has done a lot of damage and your body is probably still in “starvation mode”, which could explain it trying to hold onto everything you eat. It sucks right now, but trust me, it WILL get better with time. Hang in there:)”

In addition to my quick-n-dirty frozen banana “ice cream” I’ve also started frying plantains in a smidgen of ghee (no lactose or casein!) with a dash of cinnamon and a tablespoon or two of coconut milk. If you are patient enough to wait until the plantains are nice and black, man are they tasty! 1 plantain is a day’s worth of starch (so try not to eat any acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, beets, corn, green peas, snow peas, sweet potato, regular potato, turnip or parsnip on the same day). They are much easier to get our of the peel if you cut them lengthwise and pop each half out of the peel.

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No grain no gain?

After a long-awaited appointment with a nutritionist, I’m just as confused as ever about what is required for adequate nutrition. I know that the paleo diet is a bit faddish, but I underestimated the necessity of grain in anyone’s diet, particularly for those who don’t eat beans and who consume very little dairy (AHEM). I do think that the American diet includes way too many grains (did you know that the daily recommended amount of grain is the equivalent of just 1 cup of cooked oatmeal?). They are up for discussion in the paleo community, with some people even eating white rice on a regular basis. Well, my nutritionist was shocked at how few carbs I’m getting these days, and strongly recommended consuming 1/4 cup of pure grain (i.e. not processed or in flour form) twice a day. Apparently the body can’t produce enough glucose aka brain fuel without carbs, so grain-free may not be the way to go. I was initially appalled at the suggestion I resume grain consumption, particularly given the frequent cross-contamination with wheat at any stage of production. I just had my first 1/4 cup of certified gluten-free grain in 2 months. (thanks, Bob!). I also purchased some quinoa that sounds pretty darn free of any gluten traces. The nutritionist also seemed concerned that I’m consuming too much protein and fat, so I’m measuring everything I eat, by which I mean EVERYTHING (even oil for saute). Despite my decision to stray from the paleo diet, I give it all the credit for getting me away from processed, packaged foods and sugar (that means no store-bought sauces, either!). If I can consume grains comfortably in the prescribed, minimal amount, this may be my only dalliance from the primary tenets of the paleo diet. P.S. Many paleos have reneged on giving up dairy and potatoes. Returning to the “balanced diet” concept? While keeping away from processed foods of course.

Pseudo-pesto (gut-friendly), & why juicing is not healing for everyone

I whipped up some pesto-like sauce as a topping to make my basic ingredients more interesting:

1 1/2 cup mint

1 cup parsley

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

salt & pepper

Throw in blender, and utilize, as I am currently doing with salad and turkey burger. You could add garlic or onion, but they are currently on my no-no list.

Among other appliances, I’d considered purchasing a juicer, thinking that store-bought juices were out, but not homemade. The issue with fruit juice, regardless of origin, is the high concentration of fruit required, yielding high levels of low-fructose foods (and other offending FODMAP variables) to the point that they migrate from the “safe” list to the “avoid” list (aka bloat-tastic). From what I’ve read, green smoothies (kale, spinach, celery) with 1 serving of fruit, ice cubes, and water as needed are more easily digested.

I AM, however, still in the market for a food processor, a toaster oven, a crock pot, an electric kettle, and maybe even an ice cream maker, though I’ve read recipes for ice cream that simply blend frozen bananas, nut butter, and other desired ingredients.

In other baking news, I figured out a way to bake for events- use gluten free grains (I have quite the stockpile that I’m unable to eat for now) so no worries about cross-contam or ingestion, then make myself a smaller, grain-free portion. Normally I’d just make a grain-free version to share, but needed quantity surpassed my current supply of coconut flour. This is nothing ingenious, but it took me a while to figure out. If you have gluten allergy/intolerance or Celiac and can comfortably consume grains, THAT IS AWESOME! But from the interwebs I take it I’m not alone in all-grain intolerance. Even quinoa’s not verified kosher, so just be attuned to your personal response.

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