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This is the second in a series about being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Read Part One.
The clean out day. The discussions that I had with Julie were pretty severe. Much of this is the party line. The house was full of ingredients that I would never use again so today we tossed them. Cereals that Morgan wouldn't eat, flours, pastas, the works. Pretty much everything had to go. Since Morgan doesn't cook very often (and I couldn't eat it anyway) we just didn't need it. Those items that she might eat we moved to a different cabinet.
It was a lot of food and ingredients and after I did it the act seemed a bit rash. Even so, it's done and time to move on.
By now I had a pretty good understanding of some of the esoteric ingredients to avoid such as soy sauce, whiskey and blue cheese. We had a great meal of mustard glazed salmon with lentils. This recipe is one based on a friend of mine's and it seemed a perfect start to my gluten free lifestyle.
It's not been too hard but this is another weekend where we didn't eat out. It's not that big a deal but we are used to going out a couple of times a week. We talked about it and I can't say that Morgan was all that happy about not eating out, but there it is. Despite what I said at the Thai restaurant it's clear that I need to be on board with this.
It's funny how even though I didn't feel bad really prior to the diagnosis but there are times when I do now. It's interesting how I used to be able to ride without thinking about it even though I was slow. It wasn't like I was having trouble breathing while on the bike, but I would be breathing hard when I climbed a flight of stairs. Today I got really short of breath and light headed after running up the stairs at the house. I was so light headed that I had to sit down. Weird.
It seems like I am a bit fixated on beans right now but that's OK. I like legumes and eat them a lot. While I cook a lot, I have been used to going out so I need to create dishes that have leftovers. Worked on the last iteration of a chick pea and chorizo stew and man it was good. There's enough to hold for at least one night and a few lunches.
I am hungry. I have been hungry for some time and I don't think how much I realized that I was eating. In the afternoons I would come home and snarf back two packs of Nature Valley granola bars and some nuts. I didn't think much about it because I was bicycling a fair amount. I had lost weight and not really even noticed.
In the last few days I realized that I was going to need to completely change my snack strategy. Fruit stays, nuts stay but there will need to be something to eat when I am ramping up for the bike. This past weekend I gave all the snack bars to Mr. Mason who takes care of my yard.
There are some good choices but one of the best to replace the granola bars is Lundberg honey nut rice cakes. I like something with crunch and they work great.
OK, gluten-free bread sucks. So far, I've tried a number of them and there's a lot of them in the freezer case at Whole Foods and, amazingly, Winn Dixie.
I have had cheese toast for breakfast for years. It's a great choice for me because the high fiber bread with some reduced fat cheese keeps me satisfied throughout the morning. The gluten-free breads are a bit gummy in texture and have a sort of chemical aftertaste. The best so far is Whole Foods Prairie Bread. Good for cheese toast but not so much for sandwiches.
I have taken sandwiches for lunch for a very long time. Sometimes I use cheese or good prepared meats. Often I will use leftover meat, shrimp or fish. The gluten-free breads are so dry and crumbly that it's really impossible to use them for sandwiches. If that sounds a little contradictory – dry and crumbly but gummy – it's that once you get the bread crumbs in your mouth they turn sticky. So far, breads in general are OK toasted - but not for sandwiches.
Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.