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This is the second in a series about being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Read Part One.
Went and gave blood work today.
Met with a friend who has celiac disease this afternoon. A very interesting and eye opening experience. She was nice and mentioned that there were only a few things on the Dr. Gourmet Web site that she felt were an issue and they were minor. She had parsed through the info and had about 10 items that needed attention. I felt pretty good because she said that even the best of gluten free Web sites have a lot more problems and she was impressed.
She started off talking about gluten-free bread. She had a slice of bread with her and it was tiny. She held it up and said, "This is about 150 calories, maybe double what the same size piece of wheat bread would be." As we progressed through the discussion there were three things that came to me:
1. The gluten free versions of wheat based products are higher in calories and generally lower in fiber.
2. There's a hard line amongst many that I had known of before, but the idea of having it here in my kitchen was a bit harsh.
3. I had a LOT to learn about what seems very simple on the surface.
I didn't tell her of what I still saw as a "suspect" diagnosis and we agreed that she would write for the site. We had a big hole of information and she was willing to write a set of basic information.
Another Friday the 13th and I heard from the GI guy. Titers are very high. Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (the clinical indicator of an allergy to wheat gluten) at 95: a high normal level is 5. His first question was, "Have you been on a gluten free diet?"
"No," I replied somewhat timidly.
"Well, you need to be."
That was about it. Not much more to the conversation than that, but he's that way: no bedside manner at all.
There was no farewell dinner. I figured that it just had to be. Morgan and I sat down to talk about this. While I am not really sure about the "kosher" aspect of this and the whole idea of cross contamination, I am going to do this for the first 5 or 6 months. Start right, clean out the kitchen. No restaurants. No eating at other people's houses. These are all the hard line things that Julie discussed. It all seems so harsh and unrealistic but I was committed.
We had risotto for dinner. Makes sense. Rice is going to be a staple in my new household and risotto has always been a go to dish when I am tired or not feeling very creative. It's simple and takes a single pan to cook. One of my favorite uses leeks and pumpkin seeds. I'll often add salmon, shrimp or scallops at the end of the cooking.