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Author Archives: Katie

I’ve Moved – New Blog!

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Hello to anyone still out there! 🙂

I know that it’s been over a year since I’ve posted here, but I still have a lot to share about living gluten-free and a lot more! If you’re still interested in what I have to say, head on over to http://www.thethingsthatbringmejoy.wordpress.com.

I will eventually have the recipes and informational posts over on the new site. See you there! 🙂

Pumpkin Sherbet

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Do you say “sherBIT” or “sherBERT”?

“Naked” or “NECK-ed”?

“Cement” or “See-ment”?

Sorry, tangent.

I made Pumpkin SherBIT yesterday from skinnytaste.com.

 

 

 

 

 
(photo from skinnytaste.com)

Very, very yummy and a great Fall dessert. I loved this recipe because it didn’t have the heavy cream or any eggs to mess with and it’s naturally gluten-free! I had everything in my pantry or fridge and it came together very quickly and is an inexpensive homemade ice cream, er, sherBIT.

I highly recommend giving it a try!

Adventures in Gluten

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Last week was crazy. Actually, all month seems like a blur. I can hardly believe it’s already the 25th of October. Where has the month gone?

I have spent a good part of this month feeling rather crummy, which prompted the visit to my GI doctor last Monday. I have had some high notes to my month, one in particular was zip-lining at a ladies retreat weekend. Have you done this before? WOW! Now, some of you who are nodding your head yes have probably cruised down the side of a mountain, or through a jungle, dangling hundreds of feet above the ground – or water?!?! YIKES! This wasn’t quite as adventurous, but thrilling just the same. It forced me to step out of my comfort zone and I am so glad I did. What a blast. I think I had as much fun watching the faces of my fellow thrill seekers as I did actually going down. You really should do a zip line someday!

So anyways, last week. Oh last week. It was much like another thrill-seeking ride that we’re all familiar with – a roller coaster. Up and down, this way and that…I enjoyed roller coasters in my teens, not so much now and not so much when it comes to my health.

As I mentioned in my last post, I wasn’t experiencing the side-effects I expected to after eating gluten again after 11 months. I made a quick mention of some off feelings in my arms and some weakness, but that point, I felt it was a fluke. A fluke it was not. That warm, numb, tingling feeling and weakness in my hands got worse. A couple of hours after writing that post I was in some significant pain. My joints ached and my body hurt, with the strongest discomfort being in my neck, across the back of my shoulders and down my arms into my hands. Still no stomach issues, but a very noticeable discomfort like I just explained. I didn’t eat anymore gluten after the sandwich.

It turns out I was experiencing neuropathy side effects from the gluten. Sound weird? Yup, I thought so too. But, it’s not that weird. Dr. Peter Green, a leading expert in Celiac Disease in the U.S. dedicates an entire chapter in his book, Celiac Disease – A Hidden Epidemic, to the topic of neurological manifestations. I’ve read this book before and had it tucked away on my bookshelf (note to self: return book to Beth – hi Beth!). After getting some input from some celiac friends, I decided to take my symptoms a bit more seriously. It wasn’t until the next day (Wednesday) that I picked up the book to see if Dr Green had anything to say about what I was experiencing. Honestly, I was very surprised to see so much discussion about it! I was really hurting by this point and pretty discouraged. What was I supposed to do now? Keep eating gluten? Was I causing damage to my body? There are some pretty serious side effects listed in Dr Green’s book and were my symptoms going to escalade to a more serious condition?

It wasn’t until Thursday that I had multiple conversations with my DRs office to toss around a few options.  I couldn’t find any research that says the side-effects I had would grow into anything damaging or threatening and my DR didn’t think they would either. So, we planned for me to keep eating gluten and to have the endoscopy sooner. But, that still wasn’t sitting right with me. Now, let me remind us all of the golden rule of celiac/gluten intolerance testing…you have to be eating gluten and the standard for testing is having gluten in your system from a minimum of 1 month up to 3 months. Wow. Ok, not 5 days like I was planning. The test is going to be expensive for us, and it didn’t seem very smart to go ahead with the test with only 5 days of gluten under my belt (no pun intended) since damage probably wouldn’t show up within so few days. If we are going to shell out the bucks for the test, I need to be set up for success to have the most accurate test possible.

As it stands today, I don’t have the endoscopy scheduled. I am hoping to gather more information and possibly get a second opinion on my side effects to see how I might manage them while in the gluten-eating stage for the test. Until I can commit to a full 3-4 weeks of eating gluten, I am calling my testing “on hold”.

Have any of you experiences side effects like I did? What did you learn about them?

Also – how many of you are going to find a zip line to cruise down?!?! 🙂

Is Something Supposed to Happen?

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Mary Poppins is a favorite movie among the girls in our family. I remember the first time I watched it with our oldest. It had been years and years since I had seen the movie, and yet, I could recite not just the songs, but most of the script too. It’s funny how our brains do that! If only I could remember important things like that! I have always loved the chalk drawing scene where Mary Poppins, Burt, Jane and Michael hop into Burt’s country-side chalk drawing. It’s comical before they actually jump in because Burt attempts to get them into the drawing. Remember, “First you wink, you do a double blink, then JUMP!” Upon realizing they are still standing on the street, sweet Jane looks up and says, “Is something supposed to happen?”

I’ve been saying, “Is something supposed to happen” to myself since last night when I devoured an entire plate of a delicious pasta dish I made with traditional semolina pasta. It was terrifying, exciting and very strange to be eating that pasta after so long. I took those first few bites cautiously, trying not to psych myself out and create side effects that weren’t really there. I finished my plate of food and even took the last leftover bites on my daughter’s plate and went on with my evening. Honestly, I strongly expected to be miserable. Doubled over in pain…stuck in the bathroom…horrible headache. Just plain sick. I hardly got a tummy ache. WHAT? Yes, my stomach felt, I don’t know, surprised by this foreign ingredient, but hostile to it? Not so much. I sort of felt dizzy a couple of times, but nothing to write home about.

This afternoon, I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a piece of wheat bread. My stomach stirred on it for a bit, but nothing painful, just again, it seems a bit surprised. This is so weird to me. What I am noticing, however, is that my arms feel like they are burning and they are weak. Like, if I try to tighten my hands into a fist, I don’t have as much strength as usual. Who knows.

When I decided with my doctor yesterday to pursue the endoscopy and to eat gluten again for the test, it never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t have a reaction to it (at least not a intestinal/stomach reaction). I was trying to mentally prepare myself for 2 weeks of feeling awful and never entertained the thought I wouldn’t be sick. Since I am not having that reaction, I, of course, have all sorts of things going through my mind. What if gluten isn’t my problem? What if I don’t have Celiac? What if I have spent the past 11 months educating myself on the ins and outs of gluten-free cooking, baking and living and I am going to find out I don’t have to live gluten-free? Wow.

To say that I feel confused is an understatement. Which brings me to another line in Mary Poppins that is floating around in my head. “Burt, what utter nonsense.”

Time for Testing

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Hi blog friends!

Nope, I haven’t forgotten about you. Life has just been busy. You too?

So, I haven’t been feeling well. The past month or so, a lot of my pre gluten-free symptoms were rearing their ugly heads along with some new ones – I’ll spare you the details. I have just plain felt awful. So, today I went back to my GI doctor to discuss my options. You might remember from my story post that I didn’t have the endoscopy to test for Celiac. I did the anti-body panel and bloodwork (which came back inconclusive), but because I had already gone gluten-free and was feeling better, I didn’t see the point in eating gluten again to have the test. The treatment for Celiac is gluten-free living, so as far as I was concerned, I didn’t need to know for sure. I’d just stick to gluten-free and feel better – Like I had been.

Fast-forward to the last month and how crummy I have been feeling. Low energy, some joint pain, headaches, tummy issues – I know something isn’t right. So, today I explored all my options with my doctor and we both agreed that more tests need to be done. While my DR originally thought I was Celiac based on my symptoms and the elimination of those symptoms by being gluten-free, today she told me she isn’t as confident. With so many of my symptoms returning, could it really be? Well, yes, it could be Celiac and it might be with something else going on. We just can’t know until they get a good look inside of me. So, first step is the endoscopy. As of right now, I am planning to start eating gluten again (gulp). My test is scheduled for 12 days from today, Friday October 28th. I have always preached the, “you must eat gluten for at least 3 weeks before testing” standard, but at this point – having not taken that first bite of gluten again – I am not sure I can last a full 3 weeks. The times I have glutened myself, I have been so miserable that 3 full weeks of that sounds torturous if not impossible. I have a life to live! So, I don’t really know how the next 2 weeks will go or if I’ll even be able to do it. What’s going to be REALLY weird is if I don’t have any issues (which seems very unlikely). They will be doing the biopsy to test for the Celiac, but also doing biopsies in my stomach as well. I’ll also be having a lower scope at some point. Jealous, right? 🙂

Beth watched my youngest today so I could go to my appointment and when I got back I asked her if she thinks I am going the right thing. She said yes. Then, I asked her what she would eat for her first gluten meal. Without hesitating, she said her favorite pizza place. 🙂 So, now I am trying to be hopeful and decide what I should eat that I have gone without for the past 11 months. What would you eat if you could have your favorite gluten containing food?

I might be posting updates over the next couple of weeks…please pray for me if you think of it. That I would be able to tolerate the gluten for the next 12 days and that the tests would give valuable info! Thanks!

So why am I testing

Gluten-Free Open House

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Don’t forget! Tomorrow is the day!

Gluten-Free Open House
Natural Health Center of Kalamazoo
11:00-3:00

Come check out your favorite vendors and products, eat some samples, enter in some raffles, pick up some great deals and hang out with other gluten-free friends!!

I can’t wait! See you there!

Happy National Coffee Day

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It’s National Coffee Day today!

I love coffee and don’t go a day without it. I’m partial to Starbucks and realize my delicious caffeinated friend can be a bit on the pricey side. While perusing Pinterest recently (oh how I LOVE Pinterest!) I came across a recipe to make your own Starbucks Frappuccino at home – for .32 cents. Say WHAT? Yup, you read that right. Someone figured out how to make their favorite drink at home for pennies. Smart thinking! Take a look and maybe you can start making your own and save some big bucks. I personally love all the pie charts and details this person put into this. They meant business. 🙂

So, have you enjoyed your favorite coffee drink yet today? I decided to treat myself to Starbucks new drink for Fall, the Salted Caramel Mocha. It was just ok. I love the salted caramel, but I guess mochas aren’t my thing. I don’t even want to think about how many calories were in that bad boy – I didn’t allow myself to see the nutrition info on the website when I grabbed the link above – HA! Oh, and not to mention that I completely spaced out and didn’t even stop to think about whether or not it was for sure gluten-free. I feel fine thus far, so I think it’s ok, but duh!

I’ve heard that McDonalds and other restaurants are serving coffee for free today. If you’re needing an afternoon cup of joe, check and see if anywhere near you is serving it up for free today!

Happy coffee drinking!