Rather be GF than deal with “A New Montezuma”

The New York Times Magazine has an article this week, “A New Montezuma” where a woman is misdiagnosed as having celiac disease.  Spoiler alert, it was her blood pressure medication which caused celiac like symptoms, right down to small intestinal damage.

Doctors put her on a gluten-free diet and this is what the article goes on to say about her experience on the diet:

What was really strange, though, was that almost five years earlier, she had the exact same problem. She ended up in the hospital that time too. They told her then that she had celiac disease — an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in many types of grains. She started on a gluten-free diet while she was in the hospital, and the symptoms disappeared. She stuck with that awful diet for a couple of years. It wasn’t easy. She wasn’t allowed to eat the breads and pastas she loved. The past year or so, she had moved away from the diet and fared fine; so it was hard for her to believe that food had caused all this.”

My first reaction, how rude.  That “awful” diet made her symptoms of dozen rushed trips to the bathroom, stomach gurgling and major discomfort disappear.  If you go on to read this article…this is not a healthy person and is on a plethora of medicines.

Is it so awful to have the cure to a major illness be a diet?  Is eating processed snacks, bread and pasta that important AND has she not seen the selection of  gluten-free food these days?

I once had an acquaintance drop off a bag of gluten-free products.  Her daughter had been misdiagnosed with celiac disease so they had tried the gluten-free diet.  After they figured out it wasn’t celiac, she said to me “Oh, I am so glad she doesn’t have celiac disease because that gluten-free food is awful, even my dog won’t eat those bagels.”  Gee, thanks.

People with celiac disease get frustrated with celeb wheat bashers and trendy posers on the gluten-free diet.  But the people who say to a celiac’s face, “Oh thank God I don’t have to eat that awful food” are TRULY THE WORST.

So it’s not a baguette or a croissant, it suffices and has improved so much over the past twenty years.  Some of the pizzas are fantastic and some of the pastas are even better than a wheat pasta.

Plus, it keeps me healthy.  My cholesterol and blood pressure are in check.  My vitamin levels are good and by not eating gluten, I hope to stay off medicines for as long as possible.  I plan to stay out of emergency rooms and don’t make a dozen uncomfortable trips to the bathroom every day.

So for all of you who think the gluten-free diet is just awful, just keep you mouth shut when talking to a celiac.

Kendall Egan

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Can I eat the whole box of cookies in one sitting?

If the cookie is Ginnybakes Coconut Oatmeal Bliss, then the answer is an emphatic and unequivocal yes.

I am a huge fan of crispy cookies.  Sometimes I find that crispiness hard to achieve when I bake gluten-free cookies so to find these crispy, “betcha can’t eat just one” cookie is wonderful.  To be fair, there are probably only a dozen cookies in the box but I have been sitting at my desk for the past few hours working and nibbling and there are only two cookies left!

Yes, that is a lot of calories and sugar but these things are chock full of gluten-free oats, coconut, walnuts and according to the package “love and care.”  They are certified gluten-free and organic, so devouring the whole box seems completely justifiable.

Kendall Egan

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The Gurgles

My tummy music was like a freight train last night.  I do not know what I ate yesterday that caused the burbling and gurgling in my intestinal track yesterday, but my stomach put on quite the concert!

I ordered the “healthy greens” for a chopped salad yesterday and assumed it would be some dark greens, romaine lettuce and maybe a little spinach tossed in for good measure.  It was actually mostly kale and other really dark greens which are not my favorite thing uncooked.

I had already rattled off my add-ins so I just rolled with the greens already dumped into the bowl.  Nothing had gluten, so I was only concerned about the taste of those greens prompting my choice of dressing to be chipotle ranch and lots of it.  That did not contain any gluten either.

Dinner was prepared by me and totally gluten-free, so I know I did not get glutened over the course of the day.  I just think all those healthy greens popped and motored loudly as they wound their way through my small intestine.  Does a little extra fiber do that?

Any-hoo, I felt great and I feel great this morning but it is embarrassing when everyone in the room watching an NBA game can hear your stomach!

Kendall Egan

Serious Winter!

This is the second time this week I have shoveled out from a blanket of snow and it appears that more snow is on the horizon.  Unfortunately, this is also the second “snow day” for our public schools this week which blows the best laid plans to be a productive citizen completely to smithereens.

All bets are out the window in terms of typical work hours because the kids want rides to  sledding hills or to meet friends for lunch.  All of my meal planning went out the window as well because this was supposed to be a busy week filled with basketball games so I shopped for quick and easy to prepare dinners.

But, weather like this calls for a slow cooked meals and baked goods that fill the house with savory and sweet aromas.  Just haven’t gotten around to it yet with the extra driving around during work hours and bonus exercise (aka shoveling).

I am going to buckle down for the next two hours and crank out some work and then I’m going to start slow cooking some Green Chili Pork with onions and tomatoes to serve over some jasmine rice this evening.  Perhaps I will find a recipe for some gluten-free cheese and chile corn muffins or make a batch of sugar cookies.

But first, I just need the pain reliever for my aching back to kick in and maybe I will take a little nap prior to working and cooking.  Days like today really aren’t productive at all because I just want to hibernate!

Kendall Egan