Making food fun again for all people with Food Allergies and food intolerances, Autoimmune Disease, and Chronic Illness. New website launches later in March 2018 at MyAllergyAdvocate.com. Meanwhile, enjoy the "fun blog"!
Just as the POTUS is about to deliver his State of the Union address, this is a good time to talk about how things are going in the gluten-free world.
As I enter my fourth official year of going gluten-free in order to heal my guts from the damage of Celiac Disease (diagnosed April 2014, gluten free since August 2013 when I became suspicious I had Celiac Disease but was misdiagnosed), I am excited about life as a person with Celiac Disease. You can heal, You can eat. You can go on adventures.
And, I am also generally annoyed and occasionally infuriated.
After over two years of microblogging and participating in online forums and Social Media groups around the topic of Celiac Disease, there are three main camps I have encountered:
Read on more about what’s going right and oh so wrong…
When I laugh, you would laugh too. I’ve been told my laugh is more infectious than the Ebola virus and stomach flu, combined. One time, I made a tent full of people laugh so hard that people came running in to see what was going on. All they got to see was a Chinese woman squealing louder than a penguin being tickled.
In the world of food allergies, intolerances, autoimmune diseases, and chronic illnesses, food journalism is an understandably serious subject. I do not write nearly as often as I should or could, mostly because I spend a lot of time researching food subjects and “getting it right.” My readers deserve the best.
However, I thought it was time to also give you a little lightness and levity in the midst of all that seriousness. Why now? Because if I have to add the indignity of having had 21 days of runny, antibiotic-driven diarrhea post dog bite to the 2017 year, I might as well throw in there the bowel prep for a colonoscopy (wait for it) — three days before Thanksgiving Day. Nothing worse than clear liquid poo to make me want to crack a few jokes.
Yes, I chose this. It’s the right time, I’m due for a colonoscopy, our insurance will cover most of the cost, and it is still magnesium citrate hell. Maybe I’ll get an IV chaser or two afterwards.
So for your reading pleasure, and for kicks and giggles, here are my lovingly crafted Food Intolerance Haikus (with references to autoimmune disease and my chronic illness, Medullary Sponge Kidney). I hope to add to these every year. Feel free to share with others who understand.
And yes, I do know that food allergies, intolerances, Autoimmune Disease, and Chronic Illnesses, in themselves, are not funny. Adults and children suffer and some die from complications of these conditions. I am not making fun of them, but rather the eye-rolling situations many of us find ourselves in every day of the year as we manage to make food fun again.
As a reminder, I don’t edit for course language. It is what it is. Parental discretion is advised.
I am so excited about this, I could pee my pants (but I’m not going to!).
During my long rides on a Computrainer in our garage (affectionately named, The Cave of Suffering”), I compounded my miserable biking training sessions with the agony and ecstasy of watching multiple episodes of, The Great British Baking Show.
My friends rolled their eyes. How could I do this to myself? Isn’t it just torture to watch contestants making sugary, savory, creamy, gluten-filled pies, breads, and cakes, knowing that I would never be able to eat them?
Oh my Hungry Minions! There is always an idea waiting to be hatched whenever I am in my own mental trenches of gluten-free baking hell. My job was to focus on the “what” of an idea, and to understand that sometimes, I’m not the one who needs to figure out the “how.”
If two heads are better than one, I invite you to read on and participate in the “how” of this post: the first ever Sensitive Celiac (or Gluten Free Guru) Technical Bake Challenge!
Disclosure : As an IFBC Citizen Blogger, I received a reduced conference rate in exchange for sharing three posts about my experience. This is the first of three.
If it wasn’t for a little race called Ironman, I would have attended the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) 2016 conference, held in Sacramento, CA. But wait! What does an Ironman race have to do with interfering with plans to attend a food blogging conference?
Well, actually, Ironman training made a great many decisions for me in 2016, from what available time I had, who I socialized with, how much and when to eat, and yes — even determining what conferences I could attend.
Last year, I spent 15-20 hours a week on top of my hours in the office as a private practice counselor, training for Ironman Mont-Tremblant. Every spare hour was spent in the pool or in the lake, riding my bike on a trainer or up and down hills, and running for hours. To do all those things, I also had to grocery shop, prep, and cook all my own meals and make my own race food. Over time, my needs grew to the point that I could not eat outside my home, and could not spare even a day of food sensitivity by making inferior food choices. When the IFBC 2016 dates were announced, I realized they were just too close to the dates of my race, creating some risk for the Celiac athlete to try new food combinations or sample beverages. It didn’t make sense to put my race in jeopardy, so I took the conference off my plate (pun intended).
When I heard that the IFBC would return to Sacramento in 2017, my mind was made up: I would come back again. This was an exciting development, because I was really kicking myself for having missed the 2016 conference at that specific location. This post is about why I’m attending IFBC 2017 as a “citizen blogger” for the second time. And it’s also about why you as a reader should care.
How many times have you had one of these “tummy days”, when you’re even too tired or embarrassed to admit that you’ve been struggling with diarrhea, cramping, flatulence, and digestive problems?
Anyone who has mild to severe intolerances, a gastro-intestinal disorder (i.e.Crohn’s, IBD), or an Autoimmune Disease that creates a whole host of sensitivities and intolerances knows the painful reality of how many hours and days we lose in a battle against “Tummy issues”.
The reality of living with these symptoms often enough that you can no longer call them occasional should have you thinking that the best remedies aren’t always grabbing a bottle of Imodium. So what is a food-sensitive person to do?
Gluten | Gluten-Free Living | Home | Health | Food Allergies
In 2014, I entered my first race Olympic Distance race as a relay, the Victoria BC Subaru Saunders Olympic Distance Triathlon. I took on the 0.9mile swim event, M took on the 27 mile bike event, and a fellow runner friend Rosie took on the 10 kilometer run around Elk Lake. When it came to giving our team a name, I ended up submitting the team name, “Imei and the Gluteneaters.”
Three seasons later, and an Ironman Finisher now going on for her first Ultramarathon, I’m reflecting on what it means to live — and I mean fully live — in the Land of the Gluteneaters.
If you must be gluten-free for medically necessary reasons (meaning: you must avoid gluten or you will become seriously ill or risk severe complications or death), avoiding gluten in your food is a complex enough task by itself, since much of our food supply in westernized countries are embedded with gluten and cross-contaminated as well as cross-reactive ingredients. What happens if you live with others who eat gluten? What happens if you live with others who eat the foods you are most reactive to, such as nuts, dairy, gluten, soy? What if you have multiple food allergies, and your partner/spouse does not?
On any given week, I receive well-intended yet unhelpful suggestions from people who believe they can “help” me. Sometimes it’s from a well-meaning Vegan person who thinks my Paleo options are not only immoral and cruel, they are unhealthy for me. As usual, I kindly ask that person to design me a minimum 1538 calorie meal plan free from nuts, dairy, seeds, soy, legumes, beans, gluten (including no corn), alliums, goards (pumpkin, squash, cucumbers), and certain oils, certain sugars, plus more calories on my training days that are easily absorbed, do not cause my guts to rebel and fall apart, and deliver iron, protein, and healthy fat well enough that I don’t suffer a loss in cognitive processing.
Every person I’ve encountered who has looked at that list usually tells me it cannot be done without severely compromising my health.
And so, here I am again, stating the obvious: nutrition is an individual matter. Stop eating like everyone else.
Instead, eat like only you can, and only you should:. Eat like you.
Among my friends, they have a reply to newcomers who mean well when they suggest a food or new recipe to me: “That sounds safe, but is it ‘Imei safe’?
They say this because I am my own canary in a coal mine: if it isn’t safe for me to eat, it might not be so good for them either. Why? Because while all of the ingredients in processed foods are FDA-approved for public safety, a good amount of them will still leave me writhing on the floor, vomiting, cramping, racing for the toilets, or leading to poor nutritional status over time.
Yet the real truth of eating well and transforming your life is a journey of discovery, trial and error, and extreme customization. What we’re learning more than ever is that a nutritional profile that works for one may not work perfectly for another.
The good news: there exists one shared food factor among those who have autoimmune disease and food allergies, one in which no health expert would ever argue against. It is a simple equation: eat a natural diet free from highly processed foods.
By doing so, you will not eat in the manner of everyone else. You will eat like you.