Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It's not so much living without as living differently

I was diagnosed with gluten and casein intolerance last Friday, which seems eons ago now. I have enough information to know that this is probably celiac's disease but I'm not going through any more testing for the sake of a label. I thought long and hard about getting the biopsy after two people who are close to me expressed their wish that I not go overboard with this and "allow yourself a treat now and then." I also have enough information from my tests to know that there was significant intestinal damage and a piece of birthday cake, however scrumptious, is less than a brilliant plan.

But on to the food! On Saturday I rampaged through the kitchen and pulled food that is designated "Autumn Only" (h0t chocolate, oatmeal, egg noodles) aside for charity and marked my darling's dangerous food with scarlet G's and D's. This took hours and lots of scrubbing on my part because apparently we are not clean people and areas like the top of the fridge were downright gross! I then took to the store and got fabulous things like brown rice tortillas, meat, vegetables, and tapioca flour. I'm not saying it's easy but it's not torture either. It's a matter of setting priorities and figuring out yummy food that won't send me to the bathroom. Last night's supper was quite a success, though I first under-cooked and then over-cooked the chicken. I sauteed the lacinado kale with olive oil, shallots, and drippings from the chicken. The most wonderful success of the meal were the mashed potatoes! In planning this meal I was paralyzed with indecision regarding the starch because mashed potatoes in my world are dripping with butter and cream. So, after an ungodly amount of time googling, I just went ahead and made them, no recipe, no fear. I used olive oil, a little chicken broth, water from boiling the potatoes, celery salt and garlic salt. And I have to say, they turned out lovely!

Unfortunately, my tea didn't fair as well as the mashed potatoes! My great-grandmother emigrated from England and in our family, the only way to drink black tea is with cream and sugar, which I have been doing faithfully since I was old enough to drink to hold a teacup. I've already experimented with soy and almond milk. It also appears that hemp milk does not do the trick either. I've switched my morning tea from this disaster to green tea, which doesn't require dairy, but I'm not giving up hope that this one small ritual can get back to normal some day!


  1. Hi Autumn, I found you from Bix's blog.

    ...two people who are close to me expressed their wish that I not go overboard with this and "allow yourself a treat now and then."

    I don't know how sick eathing gluten and casein made you, but you read my mini-book over at Bix's, so my hubby doesn't want me doing treats that cause enough pain and swelling to put me in the ER (granted know that I know it wasn't intestinal blockage, I won't get all panicky LOL).

    The two things I miss the most are pastas and packaged food. So I'm going to learn to make my own pasta, and get back into cooking large meals. I also need to make a few breads in the breadmaker to see how that's going to work.

    Have you tried goat's milk products yet?


  2. Hi Sherri. Thank you so much for your support! This has been a challenging transition but it's definitely worth it. To this day I haven't cheated or bent the rules and I feel really good. I'm with you on the packaged food thing- the only thing I have found so far are frozen Whole Foods Taquitos, which are decent but don't fulfill all my needs. And if you find a pasta recipe that you love, definitely pass it on!!

    I have not tried goats milk yet because it has the same proteins as cows milk but I understand that works for people with other conditions.

  3. I don't have a pasta recipe, but have you tried Tinkyada pasta. It is made from rice and is really very good. It comes is lots of different shapes.