Everyday Gluten-Free

Learning to live with Celiac disease

Twitter ROCKS!

September25

Seriously, every time I pop on there, I stumble onto something that will just make everyone’s life a little smoother! This hop and skip visit started in my email though. I’ve been getting new followers often in the last few months, although I don’t post there regularly (nor here for that matter) but I always try to take some time to check out who’s decided I was interesting enough. My latest follower is, I’m guessing, the author of this WONDERFUL resource that I just HAD to share with all of you.

www.glutenfreemaps.com

It works with google maps but is targeted to search for gluten free restaurants in your area, or any other location of your choice. AWESOME for traveling! The only thing is that it seems that users are the ones that need to add restaurants in their area. So, even though there might be a plethora of restaurants that cater to the Gluten free clientele, they may not be visible if no one has added them in yet. Sounds a bit wikipedia-ish. Which isn’t a bad thing, just means we each have to do our part. Personally, I will strive to add every restaurant that we have found throughout our few travels and hope to see more and more appear from my area and across Canada! Enjoy!

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An old/new resource!

September15

You gotta love when you check out old resources only to see that they have more to give then before! Today’s researched was inspired by my medicine cabinet rummaging. Now WHY would I be doing something like THAT, in the beginning of September, when the weather can’t seem to decide what to do and I have 2 small children…. 2 guesses, but I don’t think you’d need them. Yup, we’ve been hit with a cold. Now, mind you, my eldest, and Celiac child, is a REAL trooper during the night. She’ll sleep through almost anything, cough up a lung while still sleeping. Ain’t that great? Right… But during the day! Oh dear, she is one very grizzly little bear. Her ears hurt because they are clogged, her nose is running like a faucet and even at practically 5 years old, she still hasn’t quite the hang of blowing her nose. Which invariably means her ears get more clogged and she sniffles and swallows (ICK!) more cold than is healthy. Then we have her 2 and a half year old little sister who’s a complete trooper during the day, has a runny nose but will just shout that it’s running while getting a kleenex. This girl could rival the big bad wolf! But at night, oh geez, she cannot stand to have a stuffed up nose and will cry every 10 minutes. She finally got the idea at, oh, 3am?? that she had a glass over water if she needed help swallowing (more Ick at drainage) and lots of baby facecloths as stand-in Kleenex’s for the night. Yeah, NEVER leave a toddler with REAL kleenex. You wouldn’t believe how small they can tear those suckers!

Back to subject. So, I was researching the two biggest brand names in fever & pain reducers and although I remembered reading on Advil’s website that all their products were GF, I wanted to double check it again. They still do say so and I was relieved. After some thought, I decided to check Tylenol’s again (last year they didn’t mention gluten at all on their website) because our health care services here in Quebec always say to use acetaminophen before ibuprophen as the latter is a little harder on the stomach. Imagine my surprise when I find that they are now saying that none of their products contain gluten! WOOT! And I even found a statement by the actual manufacturer of  Tylenol, McNeil, that they use Corn, Rice & Potato. Granted this statement is from February 2008 and is on someone’s personal website, so like always, take everything with a grain of skeptisism. Always check with your pharmacist and the actual source, the brand company itself.

And yep, I’m still totally off topic! Quite easy to do when you have a 4 year old hanging off of you because her ear hurts so much she cries everytime she burps, swallows and yawns. Basically, from Tylenol’s General FAQ, I followed a link back to the CCA (which originally turned up their old splash page with a choice of english or french). The old blue site used to be very basic and although it had a lot of information, it wasn’t quite interactive. This new site offers lots of new tools (although they aren’t yet active) that promise to be another great tool for Celiacs and their caregivers.

And that basically it, the CCA’s new website was a great resource in the beginning of our journey, but we quickly outgrew the stale information that was there. And now, with it’s makeover comes a promise of more interesting information and interactivity that will hopefully grow with the Gluten awareness that has changed so much in just the last 4 years.

Have a looksie and tell me what you think! www.celiac.ca

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I’ve been catching up…

September12

Catching up seems to be my trend this summer. Catching up with housework, renovations, friends, family, Twitter, Facebook and SO much more. I’ve added so many great blogs to my Google reader subscription, it’s quite insane really. Not that I truly have time to read EVERYTHING, but I peruse everyone’s blog and come across quite a few gold nuggets worth of Gluten Free information!

My latest find, how to make your OWN Almond Milk. When I first read that title, I was a little skeptical. Then I read the ingredients list and also the directions (a little too quickly though) and convinced myself I would have a go at it. Of course, once I read the directions clearly, I realized I didn’t have the special equipment she mentions… Well, Magic Bullet to the rescue! I worked it out with it and made some very tasty milk AND the left over pulp has been oven dried and needs to be Magic Bullet-ed (love to invent words if you hadn’t noticed) to a flour consistency. SO happy my mother decided to buy herself a MB, she got a 2 for one deal and I was the happy inheritor!

Here’s what my milk looks like. It is Oh so tasty, especially in a nice piping hot Chai Tea. YUM. It was also delicious in my morning cereals!

On another note, I’ve also gone GF & Sugar free myself. I had some very tasty and savory Pizza Hut Pizza for lunch Thursday (which has been happening often with the renovations when I made the girls a GF version). Although the other times it made me feel a wee bit bloated or over full, this time, I just felt down right wrong. It’s taken me most of this long weekend to feel better. Honestly, I’m still feeling off this morning and haven’t had gluten or actual sugar (well, except the 4 teaspoons worth in my two yummy coffees at a friend’s yesterday) since then. I’m hoping another week of this and I should feel MUCH better. I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I’ll also start writing up all the great subjects I have that are trying to beat themselves out of my brain from this summer! With all the great reading, life experiences and new things we’ve discovered, I’m ready to get back into the swing of the Everyday, Gluten Free thing! Granted, Photography is still taking a HUGE chunk of my time, but I’m figuring things will calm down when the weather gets too cold for outside photography.

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Where have I BEEN all this time…

September1

For your reading pleasure, the details are on my photography blog. With this journey coming to an end, hopefully SOONER rather than later, I have GF eating anecdotes, tips and stories to share galore. But first, I really MUST finish this fantastical project. Stay tuned, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, just been hiding out in my GF kitchen ;)

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Goodness!

June25

It’s summer already! How did the time fly by so fast?! Last time I wrote, there was still some scraps of snow on the ground (barely, because I remember it being too warm for that sugar to harden on the mashed ice!) There has been a LOT going on the past few months. Not all gluten related though.

I found a slew of Gluten-Free peeps, or tweeps, and SO much great information on twitter! Come on board the GF express and follow me! EverydayGF is the name :)

There has been quite a few things going on that I’ve been meaning to write about. Things like school outings and letting go of that control but keeping everyone on the know. Speaking of letting people know of your child’s special needs, don’t forget mundane everyday playdates with friends and their sitters. Those sitters need to know too! Then there’s summer traveling and in our case what to do when you renovate your kitchen?! You can’t order in or eat out everyday (unless you’ve got a whole choice of restaurants to pick from and/or are fine with doing that!) In our case, we’ll be renovating in the coming days/weeks and I’ll let you know how we’re dealing with that and keeping things as GF as usual!

Hopefully I’ll get to post here more, the hours in the day just seem to fly by. Always something to do, someone to take care of and so much more. But I ain’t singing any special tune, just the same as all of you! Be on the lookout for these new subjects soonish!

SU-GAR…

April15

Need I really say more? It was awesome! The staff was very upbeat and careful that we sat in spaces where the utensils were double washed. The food was good and the taffy was yummy!

Here’s my girl with her FIRST ever taffy and our little family (I’m behind the camera of course) filling up our tummies!

sugartaffy
family

We are definetly going back to this restaurant (well, maybe the Laval location) for a family outing with no stress or extra lunchboxes!

And what happens when you give a 2 year old too much sugar…

really
sugarcrazy

Sugar Shack, GLUTEN FREE!

March25

I’ve been away for some time, lots of things going down in the next couple weeks, I’m going to be part of a hobby/work fair this coming Sunday to show off my up and coming Photography business (You can check it out here: Nayanna.biz). Then the following Sunday I’m running my first 5K ever. SO excited! And now, one more event I’m adding to the calendar for April 5th…

Yep, you read that title right, we’re going to the Sugar Shack! And it’s ALL gluten free!! Wahoo!

It’s closer to home than you’d think… it’s right in the heart of our family’s first “home”, in Ville Saint-Laurent! Check out the flier here and be sure to buy your tickets in advance at either locations if you want to enjoy this great activity! It will be our daughter’s first ever Maple Sugar experience, so I’m completely excited over all of this :D See you there!

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The long road to health. 2 years to present

March23

3 Years

The years since her diagnosis sort of start to blur together after some time. I was also pregnant at the time, which didn’t help me deal with anything. Let’s just say that although I loved being pregnant and had two uneventful pregnancies, being pregnant just doesn’t agree with my digestive system, if you get my meaning.

I started baking my own GF bread some time between the end of ’06 and baby girl’s birth. Once I gave birth, I had so many things to think about daily that I just “survived” day to day by making sure she had the basics to eat well and not get “glutened” and tried to make some home made bread every so often in our dedicated bread machine.

Then when baby sister, started eating solids… well, yeah, there were many more issues that started cropping up. We actually kept whole wheat bread and pastas and other things in the house for a long time. At least until the littlest one was old enough to undergo testing herself. She also seemed to have symptoms akin to Celiacs (reflux, whining, weird growth patterns), but I was also prone to come to that conclusion easily. Then again, I didn’t KNOW what was “normal” for that age since, as per the specialist, big sister had started showing signs of decreased growth around 9 months of age. Basically, at that age her system was already very compromised since we could SEE she started dropping off her growth curve. It takes time for that kind of internal damage to make such a symptom appear.

In any case, after 2 negative blood tests on baby sister and being SO over cleaning the floor 5 times a day from bread crumbs, thrown gluten pasta and more, I decided to ban gluten entirely. Afterward we ALL started eating my home baked bread as the store bought kind was, well, not that tasty really. This pushed me to start reworking the recipe over and over until it started tasting satisfactory to my gluten loving taste buds. My daughter on the other hand, loved the store bread just fine, she didn’t know any better. But after some time, she came to like mine better, although not every batch is as good. Even baby sister eventually accepted the new bread instead of the whole wheat kind she had been chewing on since she started eating bread.

4 Years

It took about 3 months, but we did it. There is very little left in this household that has gluten. My husband’s beer (which I think is safe to assume isn’t an issue yet :P), some popcorn that I can’t confirm is gluten free and my husband’s luncheon meats, which, let’s face it, with him eating 5 sandwiches a week is just not worth buying GF unless we want him to eat us out of house and home. ;)

That is, a gluten free home until this past January. But more on that next time.

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Quickly!

March18

I’M just dashing on! I haven’t abandoned this blog, my photography venture is simply taking over both my waking hours and some of those hours that I should truly use to sleep ;) As posted here, I have a busy weekend coming up and I REALLY need to get a jump on things, so bear with me, it’ll be another couple of weeks before I can get back onto the posting bandwagon. In the meantime, I’ll plan out my next posts and come back with loads of stuff to talk about :) See you on the other side!!

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Now What? 23-24 months

March16

Once all the excitement of the hospital stay, the biopsy and those first few outings to find all these specialty foods were over, what now? We had a meeting with the hospital dietitian the week following her biopsy and she gave us the lo-down on the diet and the hidden sources of gluten. Alright. Cool. But now what?

We bought things left and right to replace staples she liked, Rice Krispies, Corn Puffs, oatmeal, all things she couldn’t have anymore. We found nice alternatives and she took to them without flinching. She really enjoyed every bite and started asking for seconds and thirds! My little girl that barely ate had finally found her appetite again. Come her 2 year birthday, she looked positively glowing and plump and had gained about 5 pounds in a few short months, going from her mini 23.5lbs (yes, at 21 months!) to somewhere around 28.5 lbs on her 2nd birthday. A clear case of “the proof is in the pudding” if I ever saw one.

img_6047

By that time I made all the minimal efforts I needed to do. Bought what she needed only, none for us and made sure everything was kept separate and that we washed are hands and mouths thoroughly before handling her food, utensils and even her. We probably looked like complete basket cases when we visited other people. But, it worked, her follow-up tests came back clear, we were doing it right, she was growing both physically and mentally.

I mention this as well because she had sort of been “stuck” in her devellopment where she wasn’t learning things she out to. She had still a limited vocabulary, didn’t talk much and was just plain shy. You should meat her today, she’s still shy, but only to a point ;) In the weeks and months after her change in diet, she became this spunky energetic 2 year old that simply blossomed more every day. She started learning more words, stringing them together, running constantly and best of all, I suddenly couldn’t keep up with her anymore. Yes. A good thing. The best thing.

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