Gluten Free Jury Duty Lunch

I’m doing jury duty today at the Central Justice courthouse in Orange County, CA.  I was worried in advance about lunch.  They actually have good options here.

I tried to check my options in advance online, but they just said there was an onsite cafeteria and restaurants nearby.

At break, I checked out the cafeteria and noted they had chef salad.  The dressing had malt/barley but I brought my own Walden Farms packet.  I had a little of the salad meat and my stomach tightened up, so I stuck up the  veggies & had a Pepcid pill just in case.  No further ill effects though – probably just paranoid.  I also bought a payday candy bar & corn snacks.

They also let you bring food from home – I did bring some water, macadamia nuts & “Paleo bars” from Steve’s Paleo Goods just in case so I have tons of food.  Haven’t been picked for a case yet but if I am, I’ll probably just bring lunch from home each day.  Pretty impressed overall with their organization at this location.    

They had cooked food too but I didn’t feel like interrogating the staff.  They seemed really nice and I don’t think they’d have minded.  

This weekend I’m having dinner with a friend and the first restaurant we checked had a gluten free menu!  And it’s Italian (Brunos in Brea)!  It’s gratifying how many restaurants offer this now.

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Paleo vs. Gluten Free vs. Low Carb

Which is better for optimal health, the Paleo diet, low carb or gluten free?

I guess it depends on your reasons and particular health situation.

I started low carb last February and I haven’t been sick since. I also lost 30 pounds and reversed my Metabolic Syndrome. The version I followed was Atkins, and of the 3 diets, I think it’s the easiest to follow. Easy to dine out etc. I’m glad I started with that one.

After 6 months, my weight loss with Atkins stopped no matter how low I cut my carbs. My hair also started falling out and my thyroid was down by 25%. I still think low carb works for me , just not super-low carb.

I moved on to Paleo. I lost 5 more pounds and felt much better. It was more difficult to adapt my lifestyle though. After a few months I switched to a moderate carb diet excluding dairy and gluten. I gained five pounds back but maintained the rest. Still never got sick.

Around the holidays, I switched to gluten free only. Although my allergies & digestive issues significantly improved from strict compliance, my overall well being declined. I started to have sugar cravings again and basic meat-and-veggie meals lost their appeal.

For 2015, I’ve decided to proceed with a diet that includes the best (for me) of all three concepts:

–Keep my carbs on the low side, between 45 – 150/day

–Focus on whole, unprocessed foods

–Keep my sugar intake low

–Strict gluten-free compliance

I think for me that gluten is my first priority but sugar is the second. I can tell it affects me physically and mentally. I also am taking liquid multivitamins, a probiotic, L-Glutamine, digestive enzymes and fish oil to help my GI tract & immune system heal, & reduce my systemic inflammation. Although I feel I have a way to go to reach “good health,” if I look back over the past year I see a tremendous improvement in my quality of life. That motivates me to keep pushing forward.

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Yummy Gluten Free lunch – Pizza & Soup

I just had such a delicious homemade lunch and I’m so full!

First I started with some delicious bone broth. I purchased it from Pete’s Paleo as part of their “New You Box.” They include flavor cubes which I added and then also added a generous amount of dried dill and just a sprinkle of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Soooooooo good! Wow! My tummy has still been a little sore and it was so warm and soothing all the way down. Bone broth has extra gelatine so it really feels good and promotes gut healing. Their supplier, Bare Bones Broth, uses only pasture-fed cows & chickens so there’s no grain contamination in their feed.

Then I made a gluten free pizza. I used Pillsbury gluten free thin crust pizza dough – my favorite so far (bought at Ralphs/Kroger grocery store). For the sauce, I used Peach BBQ from Steve’s Paleo Goods. I sautĂ©ed some onions and shredded some baked chicken breast and added just a little mild Pico de Gallo salsa & a lot of fresh avocado on top. Next time I’ll add fresh cilantro,

WOW that was super good. Enjoyed the whole thing outdoors on my patio in the California winter sunshine, Now I need a nap!

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Awesome Gluten-Free Chik-Fil-A Meal!

I finally got brave and ventured to Chik-Fil-A. I tried a gluten free meal of fries, grilled chicken nuggets, root beer and Chik-Fil-A sauce.

It was sooooo yummy! So far so good and no ill effects yet. They say the items are gluten free but don’t have a dedicated GF prep area. The nuggets were a good bet though, since kids probably order those. The nuggets were in a sealed plastic container with a lid. They have a separate fryer for the waffle fries.

If I don’t get glutened I will definitely plan to go back!!

UPDATE: Still feeling good!

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Food Allergies Improving On Gluten-Free Diet

Wow – my food allergies are REALLY starting to improve after committing to 100% gluten free. I have been about 95% gluten free the past year but that last bit really is helping.

My food allergies are really improving now. Most are resolved. I still react to dairy, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, almonds, strawberries, sulfites and chocolate but the symptoms are greatly reduced. Previously I would get laryngeal edema, anaphylaxis, asthma and a “squeezing” sensation in my heart. Now I get slight congestion, sinus, a slightly sore throat and red eyes. And a tiny bit of lip swelling. Not fantastic, but doesn’t require an Epi-Pen either. Not even sneezing except from dairy the next day. I think it will just continue to get better and hopefully these will resolve as well. Hanging on to the liquid Benadryl & epinephrine for now though. I think this is a sign my gut is healing, although it really is sensitive. Between the bourbon shots & some gluten-free wing sauce the other nite, my tummy is sore (but better than being glutened). Guess I need to stick to bland food for a bit after my accidental Christmas glutening episodes.

My hair is super fluffy after starting the liquid multivitamins. My hairdresser is excited about how much thicker my hair is now. Liquid vitamins are definitely working well. My gums are also getting tighter. I did also buy an antibacterial Oral-B rinse last week for bleeding gums that I’ll use for the rest of this week. My erosion on the one tooth seems to have stopped and one dark spot is getting lighter. I’m due for a dentist appointment soon anyway so he can check it again. We’ve been “watching” that tooth for about a year.

UPDATE: OK this Gluten Digest pill that I talked about in a previous post – hmmmmm. I did an update in that post but also posting here in case you don’t see it. I’ve revised my previously positive opinion. I got glutened a little bit at a restaurant recently and still had symptoms after taking the Gluten Digest pills. I checked into these pills’ ingredients further and basically they’re just regular digestive enzymes. So I think they do help a little in breaking stuff down, but they’re really not protection against gluten, basically a “snake oil” situation here. I was just desperate for some relief I guess. I don’t think I’ll buy them again. I’ll just go back to my regular probiotic and take Pepcid if I get an accidental exposure. They also contain maltodextrin! I found out my regular Chewyzymes also contain barley and maltodextrin, so I’m ordering another chewable enzyme that is gluten free from Amazon. I’ll share more after I give it a try.

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Gluten Free Bunco Nite

So this weekend I went to a super fun bourbon tasting party. I checked and since alcohol is distilled, I should be OK drinking bourbon with no gluten aftereffects. I brought some meds just in case! It did burn my stomach a little right after the shots but was fine after a couple minutes (and some water!) BTW, there were ten varieties of bourbon. I just had a little of each though. And a glass of wine! LOL. My friend drove me there and back, FYI. Plus it started at 2:30 pm and it ended at 11 pm so we were there for awhile.

Anyway, I did great for the appetizers – stuck to the raw veggies that I brought plus cheese, fruit and a bacon appetizer (I checked on the ingredients). I had also eaten something before I left for the party and brought a couple Larabars just in case.

I messed up at dinner though. I had been embarrassed to bring my own entree, and ended up just eating a plate of plain lettuce for dinner. That drew a bit of attention. I should have just brought something safe. People kept asking if I was vegetarian. Oops.

I resolved to do better at Bunco tonight. Well, I’m happy to say that Bunco was a big success!!

I brought my own veggies and gluten free corn chips & guacamole for appetizers to share.

For dinner, I brought a precooked chicken thigh wrapped in plastic wrap in a baggie and asked the hostess if I could keep it in the fridge until dinner. I brought a mini container of salad dressing too.

It was a potluck served buffet style. When it was time to eat, I grabbed a plate, was 3rd in line and put salad on my plate before they could add dressing & toss it. Then I scooted over to the fridge and stealthily added my own cold chicken & salad dressing. No one even paid attention! My entree looked similar to another that was served.

It was surprisingly EASY! I thanked my hostess later for being flexible & she really didn’t mind at all. She told me I should try Nut Thins – she loves them! LOL. She said a few of her other friends are going gluten free too.

I felt REALLY empowered and it went so smoothly – and I feel GREAT!! No gluten after effects!! I really feel like I can DO this!

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Why I Chose To Go 100% Gluten-Free

I do plan to get DNA tested for Celiac Disease, but I plan to stay gluten free regardless of the diagnosis. A few people have asked me why.

Below are reactions I attribute to gluten.

The “immediate” symptoms start 10-15 minutes after a gluten exposure. (I just get acid reflux if it’s a very slight exposure).

The “delayed” symptoms start a couple hours to one day later, some lasting up to 4 days.

The “Long Term” are health issues I have had, some starting at age 7, which I might be able to attribute to gluten intolerance. I think I have had undiagnosed gluten intolerance for over 40 years. Now after a year of being 95% gluten free, many of my conditions are improving slowly. I haven’t been sick for a year – not even a cold! Liquid vitamins also help.

If you recognize yourself in the symptoms below, you might consider a gluten free diet as well.

Immediate:

Burning intestinal tract
Acid reflux
Gas
Bloating 
Cramps
Sharp stabbing abdominal pain
Nausea
Regurgitating food

Delayed reaction:

Diarrhea
Constipation
Red rash on face or head
Swollen joints
Headache
Brain fog
Cognitive issues
Fatigue
Low energy
Shivering/chills
Rosacea

Long term;

ADHD
Severe tooth decay (13 crowns)
Constipation
Light sensitivity
Fatigue
Gum disease
Lipomas
Fibroids/fibromas
Numb extremities
Edema in lower legs
Low sex drive
Hair loss
Emotional issues
Poor vitamin absorption
Colon polyps
Low thyroid
Over 40 allergies, including various foods
Early menopause onset
Night terrors
Sleepwalking
Laryngeal edema
Asthma
Respiratory infections
Broken ribs from coughing
Sinus infections
Strep throat

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