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Sunday, April 6, 2014

What is Gluten and Who is Affected?

I thought that this post would be of great interest to my readers.  Please visit MPHOnline.org for the original post.  This info was used with permission.  
Source: MPHOnline.org
Gluten is the spongy complex of proteins found in wheat, barley and rye that allows dough to rise.
The main cause of all the hype is Celiac disease, which can cause patients to develop headaches, tingling, fatigue, muscle pain, skin rashes, joint pain and other symptoms because the autoimmune attack at the root of the disease gradually erodes the wall of the small intestine, leading to poor absorption of iron, folate and other nutrients that affect everything from energy to brain function.

Is Celiac Disease Common?

Despite being a primary reason why many people claim they can’t have gluten, Celiac disease is still exceedingly rare.
Percentage of U.S. population with given disease or disorder
Celiac disease 1%
Bipolar disorder 2.6%
Diabetes 8.3%
Arthritis 20%
Cancer 4.2%
Heart disease 11.5%
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity 8%*
Note: Some rates listed are for adults only
* Estimates place the number between 5% and 10%.
Remember: Gluten sensitivity is not a form of Celiac disease. Celiac is an autoimmune disease in which the body triggers an attack on the intestines every time gluten is eaten. People with sensitivity may have similar symptoms, such as headaches, but they don’t experience the same type of intestinal damage as those with the disease.

Gluten-Free Everything

Estimated size of gluten-free industry by year
2012 2015 2017
$1.9 billion $5 billion $6.6 billion
How much more expensive gluten-free food is compared to its counterparts
North America’s share of global gluten-free market

Why Not Go Gluten-Free Anyway?

Unless you’re one of the unlucky few who actually have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, removing gluten from your diet won’t necessarily make you healthier.
If you suspect you have either condition, contact your doctor; you can’t self-diagnose either one. And don’t eliminate gluten “just in case.” Cutting out gluten before getting tested will cause test results to be inaccurate.
Think going gluten-free will help you lose weight? It may not. Following a gluten-free diet doesn’t guarantee you’ll drop the pounds. Many gluten-free products contain more sugar and fat than gluten-heavy counterparts.
And some foods that are naturally gluten-free, like potato chips and rice, can be unhealthy in large portions.

Monday, November 4, 2013

How Clomid Worked for Me

Many women with PCOS go to Clomid in order to get pregnant.  However, in cases like mine, not only did the drug not work.  I think it made the issues I had been having worse.  I gained weight while I was on this drug and had such large hormonal swings that I thought I was going to lose those close to me.  This was personally one of the worst drugs that I have ever tried. 

My issue is not that I have PCOS, which is an issue that many women have.  I however, have severe PCOS and Clomid was simply not made for that level.  While I have seen others with Severe PCOS manage to get pregnant on this drug.  I was told that it was not very likely for me.  They were right.  During the entire time I was on Clomid, I didn’t even ovulate.  I went from the starting dose the the maximum dose within four months with no result.  However, what I did get was every single side effect.

I remember gaining weight, having headaches, my breasts were swollen and very tender, I was dizzy, and with the dizzy came nausea.  I was told that all of this will pass as I got used to the medication.  Since I showed no sign of the severe side effects that I would be fine.  It was four months of this.  Finally the doctor and I had to call it quits.  The reason for this was that even with everything I had been going through.  I was not ovulating.  I still had to take pills to make my period start. 

I remember at one point on the medication I really wanted to hit my husband.  Who hadn’t done anything!  He had walked in after a long day of work and I started in on him for no reason.  All he asked was that I give him about twenty minutes to unwind from work so that he could handle everything.  I went ballistic and really wanted to hurt him.  At that point I went outside and took a walk.  What he had asked was more than reasonable.  This point was the beginning of month four.  At this point I talked to my doctor and decided that if I didn’t ovulate after this I was going to try something else. I couldn’t handle this anymore. 

This was brought up yesterday on Facebook.  A friend of mine was asking some questions about Clomid on PCOS Woman.  I really had to think about it.  I decided to share my experience.  Even though I had a very negative experience with the drug.  This is for all of those women who didn’t get that miracle that they were hoping for from this drug.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gluten Free Spooky Spaghetti

Spooky and child friendly gluten free dinner idea

Want to make a Gluten Free Halloween Meal for your little one.  Don’t want to spend a lot of time on it? 
You can make Black Spaghetti. 

Gluten free spaghetti noodles of choice
Black icing paste (the paste used to color icing)
Your Favorite gluten free spaghetti sauce
(Orange icing paste can be added to the sauce or you can even make the sauce black as well.)

Prepare your water for the spaghetti as directed.  Add in the black icing paste to the color you desire.
(Note: the amount of paste that you use will determine the color of the spaghetti that you get.  With less color you will get purple noodles, with more you will get a rich black.  Either color works well for this.) 
Boil the spaghetti to the directions
While the spaghetti is boiling heat up your sauce on the stove top in a pan.  If desired add the color you wish to get a spooky effect.

Some people make meatballs that look like eyes to add to this.  Let me know if you wish that recipe?  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Gluten Free Cocktail Ideas

I was thinking Halloween.  I mean most people are.  Only a few days away and I realized that I am not ready?  You would think with all the time they give you prepare now that I would be able to get my act together and get the holidays right.  Well the issue this year is that I am working.  This leaves me with little desire to do anything when I get home.  If it doesn’t include eating, working out, or relaxing then you can write it off my list.  I may have gotten used to working my schedule now.  However, that doesn’t always mean that I am full of energy when I come home.  Ok, anyway enough defending myself.  While I am going out on Halloween after I hand out the fantastic candy stuffs to the little ones.  I still was thinking about some great drinks that I could serve.  A lot of Halloween based drinks have Oreos in them which makes them full of gluten.  While you can use the gluten free sandwich cookies as a substitute and still have a fantastic drink.  I found one that really knocked my socks off.  Well two.  I am going to share these drinks with you.  Fun, gluten free and alcoholic drinks to share with your friends on Halloween night or at a party. 

The Brain Hemorrhage.  I am sorry if you have seen this everywhere, I just can’t get over how cool it is.

most of a shot glass of peach schnapps
1 tsp Irish cream
2 drops grenadine syrup

Pour the peach schnapps into a shot glass. Slowly add the Bailey's, top with the grenadine, and serve.

Want an Alien Brain Hemorrhage?  Just add a small amount of blue curacao and allow it to settle before adding the grenadine.

Ingredients for Candy Corn Vodka: 
1 1/2 cups vodka
1/2 cup candy corn

add the candy corn to a mason jar and pour the vodka over it.  Close tightly and allow it to sit for 5 days out of direct sunlight.

Candy Corn Martini

5 ounces of Candy Corn Vodka
1 ounce of vanilla Vodka
2 ounces Orange Liqueur
The Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Candy Corn (for a garnish)

Directions: Mix the candy corn Vodka, the vanilla vodka, the orange liqueur and the lemon juice together.  Shake over ice and add to your glasses.  For an extra  snazzy look, pour the mixture over candy corn at the bottom of the martini glass.  

What are your favorite Halloween drinks?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Homemade Cleaning Solutions

Cleaners have been known to contain gluten.  That is one of the sneaky ways that it can make its way into your house.  However, there are cheap, green, gluten free ways to clean your house.  Here are common items that you could use.

Baking Soda
Cream of tartar

A few recipes that I myself use are as follows…

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Good News (Sort of)

My test results have come in.  Also at some point my Doctor had time to look over the information I had given him.  While he found no Celiac proof during the endoscopy he was able to find out that I was right the entire time.  I was telling him the truth when I said I had the issue.  I can’t believe that it took them this long to be able to see the evidence I had sent to him at the start of all of this.  However, what sparked this is what I was saying before the procedure.  “The symptoms were right, and I know that you didn't get to the gluten levels we need for the damage.  However, it sparked my interest.  I took time to read what you had sent me.  I also verified this information with a specialist in Celiac.  I agree that you have this issue, even if the test I gave you didn’t show evidence.” 
I had to be a little happy that I was vindicated, I am also sad since I now have more evidence that I will not be able to enjoy gluten filled foods again. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gluten Free Cooking and Baking Tips

You can have a roast. Brown it without using flour.  It takes longer, however, nothing changes in the flavor.  You get the browned look, the right texture and you didn’t add flour, gluten free or not.  Then to make the gravy from the dipping use corn starch.  (Or another starch if you can’t eat corn.)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Staying Gluten Free at Work

Keeping your home gluten free can be a challenge.  However, once you have that done you should be good to go right?  Nope, being gluten free at work can also be a challenge.  There are many pitfalls which are easy to fall into.  Such as the Potluck, the lunch for breakfast, the work late, and the fast food gambit.  The issue with being gluten free at work is that it can be hard to stay on track.  Your co-worker brings in these cookies that everyone is raving over.  The truth is that you can’t eat them.  Here are a few suggestions to help you stay gluten free.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why Those with Celiac Should own a Crock Pot

With the weather cooling off and the days feeling longer due to less sunlight this means that those of us working full time or more have little energy to cook.  Not only that but with many forms of celiac there is no choice but to cook.  This is why gluten free families should have a crock pot.  Something that you can start in the morning and then eat when you get home.  If that first paragraph didn't convince you.  Then here is a list of reasons why you should own a crock pot.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gluten Free Halloween Candy - 2013

This image is public Domain
 So many places are doing trick or treating this year, and also they are not doing it on Halloween   I figured that this would be the perfect time to get this information out.  This is this years list of gluten free candy.  This list is as complete as possible at this time.  However, please make sure that you check the labels.  This is for the safety of you little one or even yourself if you like to pinch Halloween candy.  This could also be used as a guide in order to make sure that you yourself are giving out gluten free candy.