Saturday, May 5, 2018

why, margaritas?

I made a rookie mistake this afternoon. I was at a party and neglected to ask the hostess about every single item that went in my mouth.

The unlikely culprit? A margarita. It is cinco de mayo, after all. I had just finished my first one when my belly started to feel little weird. I didn't suspect gluten and figured it was because I've been eating a lot of junk food lately (plus I had just consumed a margarita at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.) Figured I'd drink some water and visit the vegetable tray instead of the nacho bar and I'd be fine.

What could be bad about the refreshing combination of limes and tequila on a beautiful sunny afternoon? Well, nothing.

Except when the hostess's secret ingredient is a little bit of Corona. I happened to notice she was making another batch and boom, she nonchalantly popped the bottles open and they happily glugged their way into the pitcher.

My stomach turned again and a feeling of dread washed over me. I didn't even taste or smell the beer when I drank it. Shit.

I knew I had to act fast. Some glutenings are more severe than others, but no glutening ends up good.

I usually have some activated charcoal* capsules in my purse, but this time I didn't have any with me. I practically ran out of the party and fortunately it was only a few minutes from my house.

I took the meds as soon as I could and started pushing water and drinking ginger tea.

Overall, I was able to avoid the worst symptoms, but even the best-managed glutening is not fun.

Really bummed that I had to cancel my plans for the evening. I'd been looking forward to them all week. It's been so long since I've had to cancel plans for a tummy-related issue. I'm so MAD at myself for being careless.

Constant vigilance!

*Now, we know that once gluten is consumed there's nothing you can do; there's no reversal of the gluten hitting your system. You're gluten-screwed.

Although lots of claims have been made, I have not seen any studies that test the ability of charcoal to adsorb gluten.
I take it just in case it does. Maybe future studies will prove this? Plus I have found that it does help with the symptoms of being glutened.
(Keep in mind that if you take any other medications within 2 hours of the charcoal (pepto, immodium, zofran, etc), they will not be as effective.)

Thursday, April 26, 2018


Sometimes you make dinner plans. Then sometimes when you're on the way to the restaurant, burritos pop into your cute friend's brain and the next thing you know, you're headed to a different restaurant.

Restaurant spontaneity can be scary if you have celiac disease. The unknown! Quick, do a google search! Typically scenarios like that end up with a sad, overpriced salad in exchange for good company, which is not terrible because at least I don't get sick.

However this time, the new route led us to Chipotle. Thankfully, they've got an easy, mobile-friendly allergen menu, which I was able to quickly pull up on my phone and order WITHOUT holding up the line. Sweet.

So I happily enjoyed my bowl (with guac, duh), and suffered no ill-effects from the spontaneous restaurant choice. Gotta love that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

True Food Kitchen, Austin

You know how I keep mentioning how awesome Austin is for gluten free noms?

Well I've got another one for ya. True Food Kitchen.

In addition to the fantastic weather on the patio and custom mimosas, the menu was very clearly marked with several gluten free options. Which always makes my little heart sing, mimosas or not.

I had the inside out quinoa burger with a side of kale salad, planning to eat half and take the rest home for late-night post-bar noms.

Yeah, that didn't happen. The darn thing was SO GOOD. I kept eating and the next thing I knew, I was staring at quinoa crumbs.

No regrets.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Wildwood Bakehouse

My recent travel adventures have taken me to Austin, which is about the gluten-friendliest place I've ever been. Not only do waiters know what you're talking about when you say the words, "gluten free," but there are several restaurants that are ENTIRELY gluten free.

Like Wildwood Bakehouse, a cute little COMPLETELY GLUTEN FREE restaurant with an impressive menu.

I was particularly thrilled to see plain old chicken tenders on the menu, because I haven't had anything breaded and fried in years! Which is probably a good thing.

My pretty sister, who suggested the place, ordered a pasta dish (which I got to TRY) and it was good. My breaded and fried chicken tenders with fries were crispy and tasty and excellent.

Of course, when I find a gluten free bakery, I get some desserts to go.

I wish I could say that I froze them or shared them, but I ate them all. No regrets.

gluten free musings

I've mentioned that I'm traveling a lot for work, which pretty much requires eating at restaurants. I'm super careful, and have been hungry a lot, but it's better than getting sick.

I've also mentioned that it's hard to eat at restaurants lately. I think it's due to the whole "gluten free" movement and many restaurants now offer "gluten-friendly" dishes with a big fat disclaimer about how you should only eat them if you're gluten intolerant and they're not meant for those with Celiac disease.

Gee, thanks.

Because of that, I've become skeptical of all gluten free claims. This gluten free movement has now been brushed off as a fad, and those with Celiac disease are left in the dust as it moves along. To me, that means we still have to be diligent even though there's a supposedly safe gluten free menu.

I've also noticed, over the past few years, when I tell people I have to eat gluten free, I'm met with a subtle sneer and immediate judgement. By new colleagues, new friends, even by wait staff at a restaurant, which is terrifying.

Usually after I explain that it's medically necessary, they become more accepting. But I shouldn't have to do that. It's frustrating on so many levels, mostly because if you choose to eat a certain way, for whatever reason, you deserve to be taken seriously, and you don't deserve to be judged.

Just another wave in Celiac adventures, I guess.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Last week's meals, travel edition

Traveling can be hard when you gotta watch what you eat so you don't get violently ill. Here is a little bit from the travel chronicles...

This time, I left the house with a snack size baggie of Snyder's GF pretzels, single serve peanut butter, and a granola bar. (The small container in the picture contains multi-vitamins and fish oil capsules.)

When I land, I always head to the grocery store, especially if the hotel doesn't have a complimentary happy hour. (That hotel was booked full so I was forced to book another.)
This is what I got:

[wine, chocolate, yogurt, fruit, rx bars, and a bar* my brother recommended.]

[I try to grab something breakfast-friendly if I'm not familiar with my hotel's breakfast style... sometimes they have nothing but gluten, but sometimes there are (naturally) GF options]

Breakfast- The hotel had a few breakfast options: I had a hard boiled egg with some fruit and yogurt.

Snacks- An Rx bar, granola bar, or an apple from hotel breakfast


-Monday: Travel day. Snyder's GF pretzels + peanut butter at the gate. I don't get airsick, but the flight was really turbulent and it freaks me out. I generally feel more comfortable if I eat light before a flight.

-Tuesday: Cafeteria salad bar, fruit, and potato chips

-Wednesday: Cafeteria salad bar, fruit, and potato chips (yawn)

-Thursday: Guess what? Cafeteria salad bar, fruit, and potato chips. Literally the only gf options in the cafeteria but I've seen way worse!

-Friday: Travel day. My flight was super early so I ate an Rx bar on the shuttle to pick up my car after I landed.


-Monday: Whole Foods hot bar! After a day of traveling it felt so good to dig in to a hot, GF meal and people-watch. [rosemary chicken, broccoli, peas, and mashed sweet potatoes]

-Tuesday: I hesitantly agreed to go to a nearby Italian restaurant with some colleagues, but to my surprise they had GF pasta on the menu! No disclaimer or anything, and the waitress noted that most of the dishes could be made gf. I wanted something on the lighter side, so I opted for the salad of the day and shrimp cocktail.

-Wednesday: I'm getting less shy when asking about gluten free options at restaurants. Lucky 32 had a very knowledgeable staff when I asked. I enjoyed catfish with some 'greens and beans.' Plus half-priced wine.

-Thursday: Was feeling a little eh, probably from eating out so much. I opted to grab a lighter dinner: veggies from Whole Foods, with the fruit and yogurt I bought earlier in the week.

-Friday: Since my flight was early I was actually home for dinner. I was hella tired though, so I thew some frozen chicken nuggets, tator tots, and broccoli on a sheet pan and made myself a cocktail.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Travel meals, last week

Traveling can be so, so hard sometimes. Especially when you gotta watch what you eat so you don't get violently ill. So. Here is a little bit from the travel chronicles...

Breakfast- Hotel had a decent breakfast. I had a hard boiled egg, with some fruit and yogurt.

-Monday: Whole Foods hot bar: Rotisserie chicken, carrots, green beans, broccoli. I ate first, so I wouldn't buy the whole store out of hunger, then purchased a few items:
     Crunchmaster crackers
     Turkey breast lunchmeat
     Fresh fruit
     Hummus + crackers snack
     Wine and chocolate

-Tuesday: McAlisters Spud Max for the win. Lunch was WAY later than anticipated, and I had a granola bar* in my bag to hold me over but I was STARVING. I originally intended to save half for dinner but I ate the whole thing. No regrets.
-Wednesday: The Lazy Dog in Plano has a gluten sensitive menu in the restaurant (but not online). Despite the disclaimer that nothing can be 100% gluten free, I enjoyed the chicken tortilla soup and wedge salad with no tummy issues.
-Thursday- No travel day is complete without freezing rain and delayed flights. At the gate I had an Rx bar* and apple from the hotel breakfast.

Dinner- Since lunches were eaten late in the afternoon, dinner was light; a few slices of turkey breast with crackers and fruit. Wine and chocolate for post-yoga dessert :o) (I did not consume all of it; I shared the chocolate with colleagues and hotel staff)

*I packed an RX bar and a French Meadow Bakery granola bar. (aka life savers)