What better way to start the day than with a rousing discussion of gluten?? None! NONE!!!
food, gluten, gluten-free
If you don't have a medical problem with gluten, eat some fucking bread.
@iceberg nonononono give all the bread to meeeeeeeeeeeee
#meneither #icanliveonbreadalone #baguettesandcroissantsandnaan #theseareafewofmyfavoritethings
@iceberg Hush your mouth! The more people willing to buy into this fad, the more GF products out there for my actually-diagnosed-with-celiac-disease-by-a-doctor daughter.
At least that's how I try to look at it when the millionth person tells me they think they have gluten sensitivity after learning Baby Razor has celiac. It's either that or say, "Oh, pasta gives you gas? That's nice. It makes my daughter's intestines try to EAT THEMSELVES."
@PatatasBravas Your hashtags are all acceptable to me. What joy on earth is greater than eating a stuffing sandwich after Thanksgiving? Bread, between pieces of bread -- and the only acceptable condiment a healthy smear of mashed potatoes.
@Daisy Razor Good point. Ugh I can't even imagine how stressful it must be dealing with that. Are there gluten free breads? Also boo to asshats trying to be special snowflakes.
@iceberg Yup, there's GF bread, although it doesn't hold a candle to real bread. Other GF products fare better though, and with some of them, you'd hardly know the difference. The main difficulty is that it's all wicked expensive. Our food budgeting changed entirely when Baby Razor was diagnosed.
@PatatasBravas Everyone who knows me knows I love bread. When our wedding caterers asked us our favorite foods I was just like "...bread." A gluten problem would kill me.
@Daisy Razor I have a friend with celiac so I buy gluten-free snacks for when she comes over. I've tried a bunch of stuff* and for the most part I don't think they hold a candle to gluteny snacks. BUT have you had Glutino yogurt-covered pretzels? They are TO DIE FOR.
*Admittedly, not THAT much because I've got allergies of my own.
@Daisy Razor a recommendation: gluten free pretzel rolls. After my sister was diagnosed my dad started experimenting with different things to try and make HF foods better. And for some reason of you make pretzel bread using a normal recipe just switching to GF flour...it tastes way better than regular gluten free bread. Also add juice to GF deserts. So for cupcakes make passion fruit cupcake s with passion fruit juice. It makes it more moist. Apple sauce works too
@fondue with cheddar Glutino yogurt-covered pretzels, yessssss. Also, their version of a bagel chip is good. And pretty much any company's version of a "table cracker."
I am also like you, I'll eat gluten until it comes out my ears, but I have friends with sensitivities and I like to be able to offer something more than "Uh, would you like a celery?"
@fondue with cheddar Glutino pretzels were exactly what I was thinking of when I said some things are just as good GF! We've actually done really well with snacks. The gluten free Bisquick mix makes really good pancakes too. And I recently discovered GF donut holes, so my poor girl no longer has to look on sadly as her classmates enjoy Dunkies' Munchkins at parties.
@TheLetterL One of the women in my book club has to eat GF and she made the most incredible brownies last night with almond flour. I wanted to eat the whole pan.
@TheLetterL Good to know! I'm allergic to raw fruits and veggies so my snacking is generally pretty gluteny, and I suspect I might have a gluten sensitivity. If that's the case I will be eating a lot of packaged GF snacks.
@fondue with cheddar Also, I've been happy enough with frozen GF chicken fingers that I don't bother getting the regular type anymore. I've tried a few brands, and they all seem pretty standard. Ditto chips.
@packedsuitcase Those sound amazing!
@Daisy Razor Snyder's actually makes gluten free pretzels that are good, and are half the price of Glutino pretzels. Keep an eye out for them in supermarkets! I have celiac, and one of my favorite foods used to be chocolate covered pretzels, but I can't bring myself to their $8 a bag nonsense.
@iceberg MTE. I get so oddly incensed because I saw it as a social phenomenon on my res hall floor freshman year. The year started with two people who were legitimately, diagnosed as celiac, and yet somehow by the end of the year practically half the floor had just "decided" to go gluten-free for no good reason.
Like someone else said, you will have to pry my cupcakes, pizza, bread and macaroni and cheese out of my cold, dead hands.
@iceberg Card-carrying celiac here, the Glutino chocolate covered pretzels are CRAP. UTTER CRAP. The quality of the chocolate they use on the pretzels is just miserable. The yogurt covered ones are crack though.
@twinkiesandwine That was me! As far as I'm concerned, those foods are essential to life. Especially macaroni and cheese (she says while eating her frozen pizza).
@iceberg Gluten-free bread is what the Hebrew slaves used as building material after Pharaoh stopped giving them straw for their bricks.
@twinkiesandwine Ugh, that was my res floor freshman year as well.
@TheLetterL Here is a recipe for almond-flour brownies! I don't know if they're the same ones @packedsuitcase had, but I made them for Passover one year and they were really good. (Also very dense/fudgy and incredibly addictive. I don't like to think about how much butter I ate in a few days by eating most of the pan myself.)
Yeah, the whole "I can't eat gluten for unspecified, unresearched vague health concerns" thing pisses me off. One of my oldest friends missed an entire year of high school because she had a then-undiagnosed gluten intolerance (she might have diagnosed celiac by now, not sure), and my friend's ex couldn't even eat anything that had touched flour. Not in the same universe as having a stomachache after you eat a whole loaf of bread.
@Faintly Macabre Oh, shoot, edited without redoing the html. Here it is.
@packedsuitcase - King Arthur makes a GF chocolate cake mix that is DELICIOUS. It's like $8, but so worth it. Especially if you use coffee instead of water NOM NOM
I like how doctors think they're soooo coool. Just let us simple folk enjoy our mass hysteria regarding the new magical way to cure everything.
@Evan James@twitter perfect comment.
Doctors don't know jackshit. But chiropractors on the other hand....
@Tuna Surprise And noted medical authority Miley Cyrus.
@Tuna Surprise In all seriousness, this is the life philosophy my (crazy) mother ADAMANTLY sticks to and violently defends.
To finish what Edith started in the headline of this piece...
to come into my loaf.
@raised amongst catalogs :-O
“We have absolutely no clue at this point”... “And that’s my biased opinion.”
Dr. Guandalini, I like the cut of your jib.
@SarahDances Hahah. Doctors. Keepers of all the Knowledge.
I will never stop eating cupcakes, pizza, bread and macaroni and cheese! In fact, I could survive on those four foods alone and be really happy.
@fondue with cheddar Eff Why Eye, you can make all of these things GF and they're delightful. I'm one of the non-celiac gluten whatevers from this article. Come over. I'll make a pizza that will knock your gluten-filled socks off.
@shart_attack I believe it! I have a friend with celiac, and we went to a restaurant near my work that makes gluten-free pizza. It's fantastic. There's also a bakery in nearby Philly that makes gluten-free, vegan, kosher, refined-sugar-free, dairy-free, etc. desserts, and most of their stuff is pretty amazing.
I will still come over and let you make me pizza, though. :)
@fondue with cheddar No, I think I'll come to you. There's nothing like that in Boston so far as I know :( :(
@shart_attack Stone Hearth Pizza has a gluten-free thin crust. It's kind of crackery, but good.
@anachronistique YES. STONE HEARTH PIZZA. It is amazing. You will not regret it.
@TheLetterL I've heard mixed things about that place, and I'm skeptical. The only GF pizza in the Boston area that has blown my mind is at this tiny hole in the wall in Everett, but who goes to Everett?
@shart_attack Where in Everett? (Ha, I just typed that as "Where is Everett?" because, indeed, who goes to Everett?)
Stone Hearth will also do GF pasta dishes and desserts, and according to the menu, apparently has GF beer on hand?
@shart_attack If you ever find yourself in the area, the pizza place is called Seasons Pizza and they've got locations in NJ, PA, DE and MD.
The bakery is called Sweet Freedom and is in Philly. It's pretty amazing, and even more ______-free than I previously stated. From their web site:
"Not only are our products vegan (dairy-free, casein-free, egg-free) and gluten-free, but we avoid the use of corn, wheat, peanuts, and soy as well. The only sweeteners we will ever use are the most natural and unrefined of sugars that are gentler on your body. Rest assured that we also avoid the use of toxic chemical sweeteners and other highly processed sugars and preservatives at all times."
@TheLetterL Yeah, but almost all of the GF beer is GODAWFUL.
The place in Everett is called Nana's: http://www.nanaseverett.com/
The guy who owns it has celiac and is like, the nicest ever.
@fondue with cheddar Oh man. I was thinking about trekking out to Philly with my dude this summer, now I'm absolutely going to have to. Thanks for the tip!
@shart_attack DOOOO IIIIIT. And if you do, let me know because I've got a friend with celiac who can recommend other places to eat! jennifer k ward at g mail.
@fondue with cheddar Yaay! Thanks, friend!
@shart_attack You're welcome! Did you copy down my email address? Because I'd like to delete that comment.
@fondue with cheddar Sure did! I don't understand. You don't want everyone on the internet emailing you?
@shart_attack ONLY 'PINNERS BECAUSE I LOVE YOU ALL
@shart_attack Shit, I forgot that there's a time limit and I can no longer delete that comment.
Okay I know they're talking about digestive sensitivity, but sometimes I get a burning sensation in my soft palate when I eat wheat products, especially cake donuts for some reason. Not often, but it happens. Does this happen to anyone else?
I think I may have a digestive gluten sensitivity but I'm afraid to find out because I don't want to find out that I'm allergic to everything but meat. I'd rather live in blissful (bloated and lethargic) ignorance.
@fondue with cheddar Right? Soda gives me bad indigestion sometimes but you can pry my soda from my cold dead etc. although that is not as mysterious as your problem because carbonation, duh.
@iceberg Me too! Carbonation feels delightful in the mouth and throat, but once it gets into your belly it's not so great. I would drink it all the time if not for the HFCS (I hate artificial sweeteners). It doesn't give me indigestion though, just gas. I get indigestion from acidic foods, like orange juice or tomato soup, and maybe eggs? I don't know, it's hard to pinpoint sometimes and I've never done an elimination diet.
@fondue with cheddar I get something like that! For me, it is worst with pancakes. But also muffins, donuts, cake-y things. People think I'm crazy because I don't like pancakes but they make my mouth uncomfortable.
@LJ6000 Yes, all those things! Pancakes aren't the worst for me, because I slather them with butter and/or syrup, which seems to lessen the reaction. It seems like the drier the food, the worse my mouth handles it for some reason.
Hey, something just occurred to me. My brother famously doesn't like cake...I wonder if that's why. I should ask him.
@fondue with cheddar
Oh! oh! I might know the answer to this.
Sometimes your body can become food sensitive when youre stressed. It's like a weird reaction like crying or something. I have it and I asked my doctor how to get rid of it and he said not to bother because the stress will come out in other weird ways so just chillax.
If youre being irritated by a food then you can leave off it for a bit and then come back to it in smaller doses when you feel better, but really it's up to you to decide how much you really want to give up stuff.
Sorry this answer was really specific to me, but you never know - it might help!
@teaandcakeordeath Hm...that's possible for the mouth-cake reaction because it's not all the time, but the rest of it has been going on so long that I don't know. Then again, I've been stressed and/or depressed a lot over the past few years, so maybe? Bodies are so weird and hard to figure out!
@fondue with cheddar I wonder if you're actually reacting to the baking soda/baking powder in quick breads and cakes? Sometimes I can taste it in baked goods and it sort of has a burning sensation. Does it ever happen with things that are only leavened with yeast?
@pointy Now that you mention it, I like the scones at Panera even though they have a strong baking soda/powder taste, and they always burn. The typical burn I get from other things is so mild that I never actually thought of them as the same phenomenon. I think you've nailed it!
@pointy I think you're right about this -- especially if it is worst with commercial products or mixes because those really load up on the rising agents (bisquick being totally unpalatable and burn-y to me)
@fondue with cheddar: That happens to me. Especially if I haven't eaten in a while? Two Yom Kippurs in a row I broke the fast at my college Hillel with an AMAZING honey cake and it burned so good. Actually it just burned bad. For various reasons, I don't fast anymore. (It makes me feel barfy, is another one.)
I have had all sorts of weird digestive issues that I think were ultimately stress and/or vacation related? I think sometimes being away from home just puts my digestive system into turmoil.
Also -- sometimes bread and tortillas smell really terrible to me. Has anyone else experienced that? Based on that, I once stopped eating gluten/wheat for a week, but it wasn't conclusive. I later went to a doctor and got tested. Allegedly I was negative for Celiac (I don't know if I trust those tests), but he told me that as an Ashkenazic Jew I have lactose intolerance for sure. Cutting back on dairy hasn't really solved all my problems, but things are somewhat better. I thought it would be tragic to give up fro-yo, but in the end I think it was for the best.
Also I have had terrible digestive reactions from certain antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Blah.
@yapplebee Honey burns me, too! Especially clover honey, which is the most common one. I find differing degrees of burn from different honeys. The best is the Really Raw brand, IMO.
I think certain cheap white breads smell bad; I wonder if that's the same thing. Wonder Bread smells like vomit to me.
Uggggh, this topic is so stressful to me right now. I had all these GI problems last year and went gluten-free for a miserable month and it did nothing, and now I am having different GI problems that are stumping the doctors so I went gluten-free again and not only did it not fix my problems, now I'm having a hard time getting enough fiber and not being starving all the time (gluten-free fibery foods are mostly watery things like carrots and fruit). It seems like gluten should be the answer to all my problems, since I'm typically such a bread-head and don't really like vegetables, but while cutting it out makes me eat healthier it doesn't actually improve my health issues. :(
@sophia_h That sucks so hard. I really hope you're able to figure it out!
@sophia_h I sympathize and I too hope you figure it out soon! I've been considering trying gluten free for a while. I have IBS and I have a friend who also has IBS who told me that she recently cut out gluten and feels better. For me the IBS been very manageable in past years but has been worse lately which is making me consider trying a new approach. The problem is that due to the IBS I eat a low fiber diet (which obviously can create its own digestive issues, and I also worry about getting enough vitamins) and most of the food I love to eat (except Rice Chex) is bread products.
@Ellie Yep, I have suspected IBS, and the symptoms are all over the place, but when it was bad last year I had problems with very fibery stuff like beans and wanted to stick to a nice plain bready diet, so cutting out gluten seemed crazy. Now my digestion has swung the other way and it still seems crazy, since it means I can't have FiberOne stuff or super-healthy whole grain bread or anything else that seems indicated in the situation.
But I would give GF a try for a while, just to see if it helps you, since it does make you eat healthier foods. There's nothing really wrong with cutting out most processed carbs. :)
And @fondue, thanks! I would really like to fee better.
@sophia_h I would be careful about cutting out too many foods. I have always had a sensitive stomach and have several allergies (not to gluten, but to other things) and all of the doctors I've been too say that restrictive diets, cutting out too many foods/cutting out a whole food group, and eating to much of the same thing can exacerbate stomach issues, or create them where there weren't any before.
Elimination diets are good for figuring out which food is causing an reaction (assuming you are having a reaction to a particular food, rather than just general stomach issues) but if cutting out gluten didn't help don't keep cutting it out over an over, it will just mess your stomach up (same for any other food). Remember also that gluten isn't bad for you, it gets a bad rap because it's in some foods that are unhealthy (processed carbs) but it is also in plenty of very healthy healthy foods (like barley and wheat germ). Sort of like how glutamic acid is in msg and also naturally occuring in vinegar and nutritional yeast.
As someone with a very sensitive stomach I find what helps me most (and of course, everyone is different) is to eat the widest variety of foods I can, but make them healthy. So lots of veggies, healthy carbs (like barley noodles, or rye bread), fruits, legumes, some meat and fish (preferably hormone/antibiotic free if you can afford it), etc. I'm allergic to diary but if I wasn't I'd probably add cheese and milk in there (but healthy cheese rather than some heavily processed cheese slice). Then after you've been eating like that for a while go back to your doctor and talk about maybe doing an elimination diet for the common allergens, but if taking one out doesn't fix your problem just go ahead and put it back in.
@Sea Ermine Thank you for the advice! It just seems counterproductive to not eat the nice fiber-filled Alvarado Street flax bread I was having before, so I think I will just try to avoid really processed gluten-containing stuff like crackers and cookies. I'm also pregnant, so I know my digestive system is going nuts and that I need to be really focusing on eating healthy, but I've had so much pain and discomfort it was hard not to also focus on alleviating the symptoms.
To everyone who's all "A gluten allergy would kill me!" If other actual gluten allergy sufferers are anything like my wife, you don't really eat a lot of bread in the first place. She never really liked bread her whole life and only recently (right before her 28th birthday) was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance.
@Biketastrophy My dear friend who was diagnosed as a celiac in her mid twenties was the same. She never really liked breakfasty foods, which are very gluten heavy, or sandwiches, both of which really drove her mother crazy when we were growing up.
@temporal_paradox My wife has fun stories like her dad would give her a bagel every day and she would hide them in her backpack and one time she got caught with a backpack full of stale bagels and her dad was soooo mad.
@Biketastrophy Actually, one of my friends is a celiac and sadly, he loves him some pasta and cupcakes and all that jazz. Anecdotes!
@H.E. Ladypants I was diagnosed with celiac when I was 18, and before that I was a vegetarian who literally only ate pasta, bagels, crackers, and cereal. My family used to make fun of me that I only ate things in shades of white. But that makes me feel like, for everyone who's like "OMG CUTTING OUT GLUTEN WOULD KILL ME!!!!" my answer is "calm the fuck down." Entirely changing my diet was a long, extremely hard process, and it was also 6 years ago, when the "fad" hadn't quite happened yet and everything gluten-free tasted like cardboard. But ..health is more important than habit. And mine weren't the usual symptoms - I had horrible allergies and chronic migraines, and was also always underweight and sickly-looking. And those lessened severely, I hit a second puberty (not kidding), and look healthy and normal now, plus have tons more strength and energy on a daily basis. The best part was that my taste palate pretty much exploded, and I became really adventurous with food, and now I cook a lot, love experimenting and will try almost anything, and genuinely enjoy food way more than I used to.
@Biketastrophy I have celiac, and all I ever wanted to eat in life was bread and cheese. Also I love (LOVE) beer. I have sublimated all of this thwarted affection onto nachos.
@JanieS Same! It's the natural step.
"(Blame the artisanal bakers.)"
I couldn't care less how or what other people eat. The only thing I have a problem with are restaurants who claim a gluten free menu without taking preparation and exposure into consideration. I was out to dinner with my friend who has celiac and she ended up getting sick off the so-called gluten free menu because they prepared her food in the same space and way they prepared the other food. It's great for people who aren't celiac, but not so much for the actual sufferers.
@Slutface I'm sorry that happened to your friend. In my experience, the preparation is something you have to specifically ask about.
@fondue with cheddar I agree, but I think it defeats the purpose of offering and advertising a gluten free menu you know?
@Slutface It absolutely does! I think some people just don't understand.
@Slutface oh god we went out for japanese steakhouse recently with a friend who is allergic to shellfish and the restaurant was like okay, we'll just prepare yours first. Then we all watch in slow motion horror as the dude dumps a batch of scallops onto the grill. He asks my friend "so you're allergic to shrimp right?" "...and scallops." And the chef just kind of shuffled them off to the side.
Luckily he didn't get sick or anything but it was a tense evening of will he or won't he! (Also, is it bad for me to say I wish he had reminded me beforehand that he was allergic so I could have taken that into consideration when picking the restaurant?! Or am I a bad friend for not remembering?)
@redheaded&crazy Wow, that sounds tense, indeed! I don't think you're a bad friend for not remembering. But I feel bad that he didn't speak up and say, "Hey, maybe that's not such a good restaurant choice for me." I totally get it though, because I have allergies/sensitivities/Things about foods and I feel bad making everyone change their plans over me.
I have some allergies, though they're not so intense that I can't eat anything prepared in the same space as the things I'm allergic to. For instance, if I order a cake that has nuts on top, I'll just scrape the nuts off and I'm good to go. But when people in a restaurant hear the word "allergic" they scan the ingredients with a fine-toothed comb and will warn me that there are traces of nuts or almond flour or whatever and it's hard to assure them that all I really want to know is, "Can I eat this without biting into an actual nut?"
And I'm allergic to raw fruits and veggies, but if they're well-cooked or processed they're okay. But it's a hard thing to ask a restaurant about, because I'm basically asking them to tell me if their food is good or bad, and nobody wants to admit that their food is bad but for me bad is often good. For instance, fresh or lightly teamed veggies are bad, but overcooked, mushy veggies are okay. Fresh fruit topping is bad, but processed fruit dessert topping is fine. It's a difficult conversation to have.
@fondue with cheddar yeah, I told him at the time, in the future if I'm making dinner plans, can you remind me of your food sensitivities? Not that this is the case, but if I'm making dinner res for 10 people and all of them have food allergies, it's impossible for me to remember.
Also he frequently comes out with us to get sushi and then just has his order kept separate so it's one of those things where ... I should know about it, but he comes out and manages it anyway, and a japanese steakhouse is a much less obvious place for food sensitivities to shellfish than a sushi place.
But yeah, if he had said "hey that doesn't work for me can we go somewhere else because food sensitivity" I would be more than happy to accommodate. As long as he didn't want to go to Medieval Times or something.
@redheaded&crazy That's reasonable. It sounds like he's someone who doesn't like to rock the boat, so if you assure him that you're perfectly happy to change the venue if necessary I think he'd really appreciate it.
@redheaded&crazy Hold up, what's wrong with Medieval Times??
@meetapossum oh gosh, I somehow knew this question would come up! I'm trying to be better about sharing easily googleable details of my life but, anyway, specific circumstance was NYE. There is something wrong, just in my little ol personal opinion, with going to Medieval Times on new year's eve. That's all.
Any other time I'm all for it.
@redheaded&crazy Ok, that's understandable for NYE. My birthday dream is to go to Medieval Times, so I was taken aback that someone wouldn't want to go there.
@meetapossum There is a Medieval Times out in NJ (near Giants/Jets stadium, which is relatively travel-friendly)... we should definitely rent a van one day and have a Pin-up.
@Alli525 In high school my friends and I discovered that particular Medieval Times was not at all bothered about underage drinking. Lots of fun, in a surreal kind of way.
I'm thinking of making bialys today. Bialys of DOOM. (Best or worst bad name ever?)
@LacunaKale I had to google them, but I vote best.
@LacunaKale BIALYS ARE THE BEST. So that band name is also the best. (Some of my family is from Bialystock originally!)
I once had the joy of sitting next to a woman on an airplane who had found out the Secrets to Life and wanted to share them with me. Some of the Secrets included giving up gluten, dairy, and meat, which she talked about as I munched on my roast beef and cheddar sandwich. She learned these Secrets from the receptionist at her gym, who probably learned them by listening to the universe itself or something. "I lost my stomach fat after giving up those foods," she said, and I reflexively sucked in my stomach.
@hahahaha, ja. Urrgh, those conversations. I especially resent the part of my brain that, no matter how hard I work to remind myself to keep all appropriate skepticisms in-place, will *still* internalize enough people saying whatever pseudo-scientific fad-diet thing into "maybe it's true after all"?
@ThatWench Right? It's like, they believe this REALLY HARD, so there must be something to it...?
@hahahaha, ja. I have a friend who is steadily becoming the loudest evangelist for raw-vegan gluten free diets I have ever heard. She will expound for hours on how dairy is actually poison to the human body, how meat is impossible to digest and literally rots in your gut releasing all manner of poison, how salt is poison, how sugar and caffeine are poison....meanwhile I'm likely to be digging into a bowl of chicken paprikas with extra sour cream and a well-sweetened coffee to follow...but she convinced me once to try her diet by enthusing about how much happier and clearer-headed and generally healthier she felt since she'd been on it. Well, ok, worth a try. So I lasted about two weeks, and when I complained to her that i just felt tired, cold, depressed, and was either losing my temper viciously at innocent people or bursting into tears at the slightest provocation, she assured me: "Oh, that's just because your body is starting to recover from all the trauma you were putting it through! You're processing out all the toxins now, which is going to make you really emotional and vulnerable for a month or two, but once you're clean you will feel AMAZING..."
I think I ate an entire rotisserie chicken that night, and felt instantly myself again. So, you know. Anecdata, but it's pretty funny to me in retrospect.
I've thought a lot about this because celiac disease runs in my family (like, my grandpa was diagnosed back in the 30s) and I know a lot of people who've gone gluten-free for some reason or another. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. But here are conclusions I've come to:
-People who go gluten-free usually end up eating fewer calories because their favorite foods are cut out. I know this will be a controversial statement, but, I think a lot of people tend to slightly overeat just given American habits/patterns, and the abundance of processed foods... I think people feel a lot better just because they're not overeating anymore. That will cut out lots of heartburn and digestive issues!
-I think most people tend to cut out gluten when they SHOULD cut out dairy.
Also, reading the ingredients list on most gluten-free processed food should be a turn-off. Bread only needs 4 ingredients: wheat flour, water, salt and yeast. Basically a whole food. Processed gluten-free foods are just chemicals. How on earth is that better for you? Just get rid of the processed crap, the dairy and be mindful of what you put in your body. No reason to cut out a potentially very healthy protein!
I'm one of the gluten-sensitive non-Celiac people. Cut out gluten about two years ago at the insistence of my mom (who has cut out gluten and also a bunch of other foods and feels a million times better. Like, "got her life back" better). It helped a lot with my skin and eczema issues, as well as stomach and bloating issues. Within days I was less itchy, and within a few weeks my patches of eczema were gone.
I try to be a considerate friend about it. When I'm getting together with people for a party or whatever, I'll always try to bring something that is GF but that other people will also enjoy (like GF crackers and cheese! All the cheese!). But it can be sucky at work when someone brings in [delicious, gluteny food] and offers me some, and then is like, "Oh, right, nevermind..."
But also, I've always been kind of a picky eater, which is both good and bad with this. Good in that it makes it easier for me to refuse foods ("I really don't know if that's safe for me to eat" works well). Bad in that it makes some people think that my gluten intolerance is just me being picky. I'm fortunate in that accidentally ingesting a sip of beer or a few bites of something doesn't make me instantly ill (which it does with my mom), but it still gets tiring to have to justify my choices to other people all the time.
So I guess, just do whatever works for you?
@VerityStandingStill I am exactly like you except instead of gluten it's other things. I have allergies but I am also sensitive to certain tastes and particular about certain textures. I also sometimes use "I don't know if that's safe for me" when I know damn well that it's safe, and I worry that people will think my allergies are just pickiness. And that my pickiness is just me being fickle where in reality it's that things taste different to me and some textures make me gag. Having to justify my choices to people SUCKS and sometimes I overstate my allergies just to avoid having a conversation about it. But then people ask me questions about the allergies and it turns into a big thing and AAAGGGGH JUST LEAVE ME ALONE WITH MY CHEESE AND CRACKERS FOR DINNER.
@VerityStandingStill I go through the same thing -- okay, gluten won't kill me, but just a little of it will give me severe gas, stomach upset, and pain for a couple days. SO NO, I'M NOT BEING PICKY, BUT IF YOU THINK I AM, ALLOW ME TO MEGA-DOSE YOUR FOOD WITH LAXATIVES SO WE CAN SEE HOW YOU LIKE IT.
@VerityStandingStill I have a coworker who's non-Celiac but gluten sensitive. It's almost harder for her socially because she gets crap from people about not eating gluteny stuff, but can't say, "Oh, I have Celiac, so I can't eat that." She either has to explain what gluten sensitivity is or suffer the ribbing of people who think she's just trying to be trendy. Yargh.
@VerityStandingStill You know what else sucks about food allergies/sensitivities? When you go somewhere and there are only one or two things you can eat, so you eat them and feel guilty for not leaving enough for everyone else? Or you resent the people who have a choice and yet still eat the thing that should be just for you because you shouldn't have to go hungry? I guess I should bring snacks, but it seems so rude to go to a party and eat your own food that you smuggled in your purse.
@fondue with cheddar and @Leomonnier
RIGHT?! Ugh, it's my body, my mouth, and my stomach. Let me eat what I want to, and not eat what I don't want to. It's not hurting you in any way if I won't eat it.
And it's not like I force everyone else to eat what I do - I have been that person who bought food at a place across the street and brought it into a restaurant to eat with my friends so that they could eat what they want and so could I (awful in it's own way, I know, but at least we all got to share a meal).
@par_parenthese UGH, EVERYONE STOP MAKING EVERYONE DEFEND THEIR FOOD CHOICES. Sometimes it's easier just to stay home.
@fondue with cheddar
I have also been that person (the one who smuggles in food and keeps it to myself). No regrets.
@fondue with cheddar In my opinion, the 100% worst part of having celiac disease is bad salads at shitty pizza places. Because they are the only option, and you even have to ask for no croutons. And pizza is amazing and all around you. And if it was free pizza, I totally would just eat the cheese, but I'm not paying $3 to do that. Plus, you're usually at this establishment at 2 am when you're drunk, and fuck a salad at that point.
@itiresias It's also annoying when everything on an awesome-looking restaurant menu definitely has gluten except for the salads, and you're in the mood for a real meal. Or the real meals are like, the $25 fish dinner, and you're not in the mood to go that far.
Really just the extra money spending to avoid eating a mild poison (for me!) bugs me. Oh well.
@itiresias I hear that. I wouldn't be able to eat the salad, so if I had celiac I wouldn't be able to eat anything. At least at the more upscale pizza places you can get antipasto. That's probably okay, right? It's just cheese and meat and oil and spices.
It's so not fair that you have to spend extra money to not get poisoned. Gluten-free foods cost so much more! What do poor people with celiac do? I think health insurance should subsidize your food.
@fondue with cheddar yeah, I often eat at least a small dinner before I go to a potluck/party or similar and then show up a little late so that no one notices I haven't eaten/can't eat anything there, usually with a snack for later in my bag. My friends are awesome about restaurant stuff though.
@par_parenthese What's really great about food at the office is when people think you're claiming to be GF just to avoid eating whatever dessert they've prepared. As in, implying that because you don't eat THAT food, you must not eat at all, and that's why you're thin. Um, no, I eat plenty of fatty/sugary foods in my own time, thankyouverymuch.
@zamboni I almost always eat before going to a potluck/party!
And for restaurants, I usually try to look the place up online before going out so that I have a good idea of what I would be able to eat there. If the only options would be a salad or unseasoned meat, I eat before I go out.
@VerityStandingStill When I don't eat dessert due to allergies I always worry that people are thinking, "Huh...she doesn't look like someone who doesn't eat dessert."
I was told that giving up gluten and dairy might help with my ridiculous recurrent yeast infections (which I actually wouldn't even know I had if my pap smears didn't keep coming back abnormal). I'm trying it, and it sucks a whole lot, but I guess it's better than extra pap smears and painful colposcopies? Blech. I just hope it actually works.
I'm of the apparently bizarre opinion that people's bodies are different (!!) and work well with different things, which is why some people feel better eating paleo or vegan or macrobiotic, or eating eggs and fish but no dairy, or dairy but only if it's raw, or lots of seafood, or not much seafood, or lots of fruit or no fruit.
@par_parenthese Right? Diet is like religion; there's no perfect solution for everyone! Discussions like this are helpful in that they expose us to new ideas, but saying your way is the best and trying to convince others that they should follow the same path is not helpful at all.
@par_parenthese What is this heresy?!? Don't you know if we all just tried that One Weird Tip Doctors Don't Want You To Know About, we'd all be perfectly functioning machines?
@fondue with cheddar Agreed! I don't think people need to shut up about what works for them AT ALL, because who knows, maybe someone else has exactly the same issue? But people definitely need to quit saying, "This diet will definitely heal every single thing that is wrong with you."
@SarcasticFringehead I know, seriously, because doctors totally have time to be involved in a conspiracy to keep their patients bloated and miserable.
I have celiac disease, I've stopped eating gluten, and now I have anxiety dreams about eating whole piles of Hawaiian rolls because I forgot. So that's an interesting side effect.
@JanieS I used to always have these fears that I would start sleepwalking and eat something I was allergic to without knowing it.
(I don't have a sleepwalking problem, or any food allergies that I am aware of. Just anxiety, I guess?)
@JanieS Maybe this is a Thing? I have nightmares about eating/ordering food I can't have as well.
@zamboni Must be! I'll definitely take it over the losing-all-my-teeth dream!
Has anyone tried baking with Thomas Keller's new gluten-free flour? I usually use the Bob's Red Mill when my friend with celiac is eating by me, but then I have to add xanthan gum, which is hard to keep in fresh supply (who needs a pound of it?!), and also it tastes kind of ... I don't know, savory/legume-y? Not the best for desserts.
@stonefruit I've found the Bob's Red Mill flour works pretty well in dense desert situations, like some cookies or brownies. I think the trick is that it should be just part of the equation not all of it. (Which isn't perfect and I'd be interested in hearing more about other other flours!)
@stonefruit The Gluten Free Pantry brand (it comes in a green box) has a good muffin mix and I've used their flour for cupcakes before (my sister can't eat gluten) and both were successful. I've also used their flour for pretzel buns, which were delicious (even to me, and I can eat gluten).
My boyfriend and I have been arguing about this for weeks! He's been having digestive issues, and while the doctor doesn't think it's celiac disease, the doctor's advice isn't really helping much. My boyfriend's best friend is celiac and had similar symptoms so we went gluten free for a week. It didn't help, but now he's arguing "it's just healthier in general" to avoid gluten. Easy for him to say when I do most of the cooking!
@MilesofMountains While I don't know your situation I just wanted to offer some advice, as I have allergies and a very sensitive stomach, to be wary of cutting out things if you don't absolutely need to. I've talked with my doctor about this a lot since I've had been sensitive to a bunch of foods since I was a kid and am allergic to diary and palm oil and I've been told by a number of doctors that cutting things out, restricting your diet, or eating a lot of the same foods over and over can cause you to develop sensitivities to them. Elimination diets can be good to try an figure out what is causing the sensitivity (and in this case, since it didn't help gluten is probably not the cause) but after you figured it out try to eat the widest variety of foods (excluding, like, junk food and candy) that you can from the list of foods that you can eat. It will help your stomach and your heath.
As for the "just healthier in general" bit...it really isn't. There isn't anything wrong with gluten it's just that it's in a lot of carby stuff like bread and pasta which people think is bad, so they assume gluten is bad. Gluten is actually fine (unless you're celiac) and in a bunch of very healthy foods, such as barley.
Also sometimes eating healthier in general can fix stomach issues. Maybe you boyfriend should take a look at his diet and try and improve that (without cutting anything out), by eating healthier, eating out less, etc. before trying an elimination diet.
I like the lady from the article who decided to go gluten-free and attributed that to all these amazing change sin her body, but then it says that "she also gave up sugar at the same time and made an effort to eat more vegetables and nuts." Hmm, I wonder which one was more effective?
@twinkiesandwine I also wonder if sometimes these reactions to wild and unecessary (not talking about people who are actually celiac/gluten sensitive) dietary changes are part of the placebo effect?
@twinkiesandwine I feel like when people give up gluten (or kind of... anything easy and ubiquitous) and experience these dramatic shifts it's sometimes because they went from having two bagels for breakfast, drive thru for lunch, and a big plate of hamburger helper and garlic bread for dinner to having eggs and fruit for breakfast, salad with meat on it for lunch, and homemade pad thai for dinner? Like the change isn't so much that they quit eating gluten, it's that they started eating homemade food that they had to think about and plan for before cooking?
I gave up gluten for a month, for no particular reason besides the zealous people on facebook insisting that EVERYONE needs to because wheat is killing us, guys, and honestly, nothing happened. Then again, I wasn't exactly having health problems in the first place. I was half disappointed, because other people raved at how life-changing it was, but mostly relieved because I am not interested in a permanent overhaul of my diet.
Funnily enough, I gave up coffee and alcohol shortly after and THAT actually made a huge difference. Clearer head, way easier to get up in the morning, more alert....funny, it's almost as if bodies are different and respond to different things!!! Whodathunk??
@Briony Fields Honestly, restrictive diets and cutting out things that don't need to be cut out is far worse than gluten (which, as I've mentioned upthread is not actually bad! It's in plenty of healthy foods like barley and wheat germ and whatnot). I have a couple allergies and a very senstive stomach and what helped me (and what my doctors recommended to me) is to eat the widest variety of the foods I can, and only eliminate what I genuinely cannot eat. So someone who is celiac or gluten sensitive can eliminate gluten but if you aren't there is no reason to restrict your diet even more (especially since doing so can cause other stomach problems).
In case it wasn't clear by my ranty tone I am agreeing with you! I just feel strongly about this.
@Sea Ermine Interesting! I read your other comment, and now I'm thinking I need to expand my palate. I tend to rely on a few (veggie heavy, and healthy) tried and true recipes.
It's nice to hear some voices of reason! I don't know what it is about people that makes them try something diet related and then insist that ALL HUMANS need to do it too.
@Briony Fields I've made the point many times that one reason no-gluten is a fad diet is because when people cut it out, they're cutting out a lot of empty starch by default. Regardless of your individual body chemistry, eating less greasy pizza/mac and cheese/white bread is probably gonna be good for you, and you might lose weight and look a little better. Not eating gluten is a totally different way of looking at food than the culture that most of us grew up with, so it makes you get creative and that is good for you.
However, obviously replacing that bread with eating your weight in corn chips is going to be just as bad for you. People are just silly. Glad the no coffee and alcohol was good for you, though!
@Briony Fields If you're no longer having stomach issues youre probably fine as long as you try to be healthy (so not a lot of candy or deep fried cheesecake). But if you end up with stomach issues in the future its worth taking a look at if youre eating too much of one thing and very little of other food groups. What every doctor I went to (when I was sorting out my stomach issues) told me is to try and eat a wide and balanced range of all the food groups, minus of course the ones you actually are allergic/ intolerant to. And if you experience discomfort with one thing try cutting back on it first rather than cutting it out and restricting your diet further
@Briony Fields Also, in case it wasn't clear in my comment I think you're probably fine with veggie heavy and healthy. My suggestions were more for people experiencing stomach issues. If you're diet is working for you then I don't see any reason to change it up!
I have had a lady come into the ice cream shop I work at, taste a bunch of cake-batter ice creams, and THEN inform me that she's gluten-free, what gluten-free stuff do we have. GLUTEN: you keep saying that word, but I do not think you know what it means.
I cut out all grain, not just wheat, and have actually noticed a dramatic improvement. Gas, acne, bloating, the runs, constipation, excess weight? These have basically disappeared. Also, before I did this, my mom worriedly told me that my skin was grey, so I knew it was time for a change.
I know that this isn't really possible for everyone - unlike most of the commenters, I've never really been a big sandwich or pasta girl - but it has been really effective. I'm not evangelical about it (hello Doritos and maki rolls!), I eat well-balanced meals, plenty of whole foods, and not a lot of processed foods at all, and the change has been awesome.
I have determined that my diet has basically no impact on how I feel so I now I just say eff it and eat pastries every morning. Exercise really makes a difference though, so now I'm one of those people that goes on a long run and follows it up with a pan of brownies. I'm ok with this.
@christonacracker: I do the same thing. I went for a long run on Sunday and then ate cheese and things-that-bring-cheese-to-my-face all day. I like to think this is what people mean by "balance."
Comments like "wheat only entered our diet ten thousand years ago, so it's still a novel food our bodies aren't adapted to" always bug me. As if there was some well-known, clearly established minimum time it takes for our species to adapt to a new diet. How do you know ten thousand years isn't enough time? If that isn't long enough, how long would it take? And btw, why did people keep munching on wheat for all those hundreds of generations if they couldn't digest it?
(Don't even get me started on the paleo diet....)
@Non-anonymous I feel the same way about people who think dairy is of the devil and is probably causing your (acne, weight gain, IBS, eczema, marriage problems). I'm always like please I have northern European ancestors and I will KEEP my handy genetic mutation that allows me to digest dairy properly, TYVM. Evolution hooray!
@Non-anonymous And corn? What about corn? I'm only counting a few hundred years for those of us without major indigenous american ancestry. How can we eat popcorn and live?
@anonatron UGH, corn as a thing does not stress me out, but corn these days? Bad news. Subsidized to death, cross-bred with fish and shit, genetically modified so it can be doused with Roundup all the time, sold by companies who intentionally make desirable traits suicidal so farmers can't save seed and who SUE organic farmers for trademark infringement if their corn gets cross-pollinated from that company's corn. It's one of the only things I absolutely always buy organic, just on principle to avoid giving Monsanto any more of my money than I have to (and yes, I know corn products are ultimately unavoidable, but just because I can't be perfect doesn't mean I won't do anything).
Ms. Golden Testa.
For the past 10 days or so, I have been eating (mostly) paleo. This is sort of an experiment, motivated (mostly) by curiosity. I haven't read any paleo books, am not on board with the whole philosophy behind it - I just felt like shaking things up.
So far, food-wise, it isn't that big of a deal. I have turned into a voracious label reader, which is weird, because I am now a different kind of label reader. I used to zero in on the nutritional data chart, but now I am strictly a reader of ingredients.
In terms of effects, it is still pretty early. Here is one thing, though, that I didn't expect: holy Christ, am I achy. I feel like I am trudging through mud all day, and I continually feel as though I worked out like a maniac the night before. Google tells me this is a common side effect from coming off the sugar/gluten/processed stuff. I would have never characterized myself as someone who ate a lot of sugar/gluten/processed stuff, so this is a little specious. But there is no denying that I am achy. Bones, muscles, head (aches).
The upside is that I feel nourished. Even after a big meal, I feel full, but not bloated or uncomfortable. And I have discovered a shit ton of things to cook that I would never have put in my grocery basket.
So yeah. I am gluten-ambivalent at this point.
@karion - I've been paleo-ish for about a month now and I know what you mean about not being bloated or uncomfortable. I used to get so bloated a few times a week that I would just like, stand in the shower and hold my achy stomach and wonder why this was happening because I didn't eat anything outrageous like mac n cheese or a bowl of ice cream or whatever. And since I started this paleo-ish experiment, it's only ever happened to me after "cheats." (Which, I hate that word because I didn't feel guilty about what I was eating, but you know what I mean.)(btw, definitely not going to stop myself from eating bread or cupcakes or pasta now and then, it's just nice to be able to tie it to something and anticipate it now)
One thing about gluten intolerance that bothers me is that I have an in-law who is gluten intolerant (it's v. debilitating for her if she eats a tiny bit) but she tells people she is a celiac.
I get why she does it: people don't push it and just make sure there is not any gluten in her food. I am also intolerant, so I understand the pressure that comes from others suggesting that you just try a little of their gluten-food. Come on, just one bite?
The problem is, sometimes she will eat foods with a little gluten in them. And then, like, not have anaphylaxis. Because she's not a celiac.
And then others get it in their head that celiac's disease is not a serious allergy that can kill, when in actual fact, true celiacs will not even be able to cope with food that has even touched wheat.
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