Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gluten Free Gamer

Blair was over a few weeks ago and suggested we grab "glutenfreegamer@gmail.com". Sadly, it was taken. However, over the weekend I realized a need to have a place online to store recipes I like and want to use again, especially since half of them come from other people on the internet anyway. So, let me introduce my other blog to you:


Hey, we'll even throw in game related posts every once in a while! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Celiac testing, etc

Kara's skin rashes have prompted me to do a lot of reading in addition to the diet modification. Here's a summary of the important points to help those reading understand (hopefully).

1) Celiac disease testing occurs in two stages. The first stage is a blood test. The second is an upper-intestine endoscopy done, which takes a small piece of her intestine and sees if the villi are damaged.

2) If Kara's rash is indeed from celiac, it is called dermatitis herpetiformis. Testing for DH is done through a dermatologist, and if it is proved by this test, no further testing for celiac needs to be done, since DH cannot occur without celiac being present in the first place.

3) These test require a diet of constant wheat exposure for 2-4 weeks before they can be completed in order to be valid, and have the best chance of a proper result. They also don't work properly for children under 3 because their digestive systems aren't fully developed. So we keep Kara off wheat for another 2 years and then work on getting referrals, blood tests, etc.

4) It is recommended that all members of a celiac's direct family are tested as well, such as parents, siblings and children. Some doctors recommend that secondary family (cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, etc.) get tested as well. It seems that studies show having a celiac relative makes your chances of also have celiac 1 in 22. (Normal occurrence rates are approx. 1 in 132.) This means that Mark, Chloe and I should probably be tested, especially since I think my sister Alie may also have celiac.

Please remember that Kara is not confirmed celiac. However, until we get her tested, we are treating her as if she has it so that people at public places such as restaurants have a chance of understanding what her condition is, and what kind of help we need from then. It also means we're eating out a lot less, which is good for the pocketbook.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baking up a storm

Kara's birthday was just over a month ago. With her birthday money I bought 3 gluten-free cookbooks. I am now attempting to put those cookbooks to good use. I've tried some random recipes and some "replace a normal food" recipes to varying degrees of success. I've also tried just substituting a gf flour mix in place of normal flour - it works well enough for cakes and muffins, but not much else. I'm baking muffins at least once a week so that I have breakfast food (since I'm off wheat/gluten right now too), and 2 kinds of cookies (one normal, one gf) at least once every two weeks. Mark, my mom and I have all remarked multiple times that it really is a good thing I like to bake.

Last night I tried making a gf pizza dough. It was edible, but the only thing that made it taste like pizza was the toppings. Today I made coffee cake, which was better than the pizza dough, but it didn't have a struesel topping on it because I haven't figured out how to make one without flour AND without butter :P

The hardest part of Kara's diet is the no dairy. For example, I had to make her part of the pizza with soy cheese that doesn't really melt, and I also had to make sure it wasn't contaminated by the cheese the rest of us were having. It just isn't the same. Also, Chloe and I had popcorn today, and I have to pull out some for Kara before I added butter, and then make sure she didn't eat any of the buttered popcorn.

The most important thing for me right now is to read the label for every product at the store. I have to avoid wheat and all other gluten flours (which means anything with malt is out because that's made from barley), I can't get anything that has the generic term "alcohol" (such as vanilla extract), and then there's all the dairy terms - butter, milk, cream, lactose and casien to name a few.

I've also been doing research into celiac disease testing, and I know that will make life horrible when we get around to it in a few years. But more on that later, I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Kara's first word is offically "uh-oh!" Any time she drops something, she says it. Its really cute :D

Poor Kara is sick with a cough. Its not frequent, but when she does cough its quite icky sounding. She's also got a bit of a runny nose.

We've had both Kara and I off wheat for 2 weeks now (and Kara off dairy too), and her skin is mostly better. She's had one breakout (it happened last week), but I'm not sure if it was from cross-contamination, or some other potential problem food. I've been keeping a food diary for both of us, and we'll take an in-depth look at it when we go to the naturopath on Friday.

The other crazy thing happening is that Kara is climbing up onto Mark's computer chair. This means that we cannot leave the computer room door open if no one is in there.

I don't want to leave Chloe out, of course. She's still doing preschool (she loves it), she's back at dance class (also enjoys it), and her and I are both learning to play the violin (its slow but fun). I think she's getting the short end of the stick with my no-wheat, as I don't make her favorite foods (noodles, chicken nuggets, hot dogs) as much any more since I can't eat them with her. But she's coping, and is really careful to make sure Kara doesn't eat anything with wheat or dairy.

Off I go now to make us lunch, then make a batch of Gluten-Free cookies for me and Kara, and a batch of normal gingerbread cookies for Mark and Chloe. This whole two-diets thing is really crazy! :\

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter, etc

Hey! We're alive. Really, I promise :)

Our lives have been busy. Mark is working again, 10 hours a day, with a few 11's thrown in. He comes home from work at 6pm exhausted, and gets 2 hours to eat dinner and spend with our girls before they go to bed.

Yesterday we moved Kara's crib into Chloe's room. We're hoping that will help her slowly get to the point where she sleeps through the night. I am so tired of her waking up 3, 4, 5 times a night. Sometimes she's up every hour from 12 to 6. It makes it really hard for me to get sleep, and Mark was suffering too.

Still working on Kara's food intolerances - they're not "allergies" because she doesn't have an almost instantaneous reaction to them, her reactions take a while. We've got her off wheat and dairy and they slowly seem to be clearing. However, since I'm still breastfeeding her, I also need to be off wheat, and mostly off dairy so that she's not getting any of it through my milk. Its really hard to come up with ideas for lunch for me, and its absolutely impossible to go out for food. Mark and Chloe got to have pizza for dinner on Friday, while I ate a chicken caesar salad - without croutons :P

Easter this year was good, but busy. The girls and I went to Rob & Karen's house in Mission on Saturday for dinner with my mom's side of the family; meanwhile, Mark was at his brother Paul's house for Battletech. Then yesterday I drove my mom to the airport for her trip to Hawaii, we had an egg hunt, went to church (the service was awesome), then did the crib, and then went to Mark's parents for dinner. It was good, but we're tired now.

And now I go try to make some headway in the mess that is our house...