Monday, January 9, 2012

The gluten continues...

It has been awhile since I wrote last! I've been putting pictures on facebook, and sort of forgot to blog..I also realized, that as I continue to eat gluten, this turns into The Chronicles of my unhealthy diet! 

Some highlights are...

  • Matza Ball Soup: delicious!!!!! Made my Grandma Char. Those things are WAY more filing than I could have possibly thought!
  • Burrito-- I had one from Qdoba. I liked it! Not too bad. Way too much food.
  • Bourekas-- I tried these today and WOW they were awesome. The kids in Hebrew school made them with cheese and tomato sauce in them.
  • Chinese food- this has opened up a whole new world. I have been able to eat WHATEVER I want at Chinese restaurants, and share with others. I have never been able to do this before, because I need to order things in such a boring way (nothing deep fried, no soy sauce, etc)
  • Leinenkugel Berry Weiss-- I know, I know. It tastes like Juicy Juice. But I happen to LIKE Juicy Juice, and not the taste of it works out well! One (such as my mom) might ask...why not just drink Juicy Juice? Well, because drinking a beer is still a novelty at this point.
  • Turtle Chex Mix-- need I say more? :-)
  • Ice cream cone from Dairy Queen: WAY too much food. I could barely get down to the cone part. I actually felt a little bit queezy eating that much ice cream. That quickly (it melts so you kind of have to inhale it, as opposed to when you eat it with a spoon- it melts comfortably in the bowl).
  • Twix- GREAT candy option.
  • Eggos- These taste JUST like gluten free waffles, which I am not crazy about. So, no-go on the waffles. GF folks: Vans GFree= Eggo's
I'm sure there is more but that's what comes to mind. I have to confess..I recently bought a box of GF Annie's shells and cheese-- I like GF food!! Sorry guys, I think it's tasty. Not to say I don't like all of these new foods I'm trying, but I would not find it tragic if I end up with a positive CD test. I go back on Jan 17 (a date I will not forget-- Grandma Gloria's 27th birthday) take the blood test, having 2 months worth of gluten in my system. We'll see how it goes! I don't actually have my hopes up either way..I just want to know. If it's negative, it's a pretty good indication that I was misdiagnosed, but if it's positive, I'd probably need to get another endoscopy to see if there's intestinal damage (if I have any MD readers, please comment on whether or not this is logical!).

PS-I have not gained 100 pounds, fortunately. I do not ONLY eat carb-filled junk food :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Olive Garden, a Pop Tart, a Bad Reaction, and Kugel

It's been a very glutenous few days! I'll give some of the highlights. On Friday, started off by day by having something that everyone who knows me knows I have been wanting to try for quite some time. I was waiting for the right moment, and now..I will no longer be able to say during "2 truths and lie" that I've never...had a poptart!! I had one! I tried strawberry. Before eating, I made the mistake of peeping the nutrition facts. 410 calories?! What the heck?? People eat those like those are a casual snack! A chicken mcnugget mighty kids meal is 380 (100 for the kids fry, 280 for the nuggets). I only ate one, and it DID taste good..but I'm sorry...not 410 calories good.
I went to a potluck at work and ate a TON. It was just cool being able to eat whatever I wanted, without worrying about if it touched gluten. I probably took advantage of that a little bit TOO much.
 After that...I went to Olive Garden...gluten Mecca. At first, I really wasn't sure what to order. Everything looked awesome! Do you know how weird it is to go to a restaurant and be able to eat ANYTHING on the menu? I ended up going with the chicken parmesan. I started with the bread sticks which were yummy! Nothing gluten free tastes like that- bread is one of the things that really is different. As you can see though, I did not make much progress- that food is so rich!! I took home three bread sticks and probably half of my meal. The pasta though is also very different from gluten free pasta. It's a completely different texture. I'm not sure I liked the sauce though...It was pretty sweet.
Then, miss Sarah Garfinkel "made" me (with not much convincing needed) try the tiramisu. SO TASTY!!!! Again..couldn't even eat so much of it.  
Anyway..On the way home, I started to get a REALLY bad stomach ache. It ended up being a rough evening of stomach symptoms (I'll spare the details :-) ). It was my second bad reaction since the experiment started...but, I'm pretty sure that ANYONE who slept 3 hours in a night, and then ate a ton of food at a potuck, chicken parm, breadsticks and tiramisu, all before 3pm would have a stomach ache!!  SO I'm writing that one off as not Celiac :)
Last night, I went to a Hanukkah party that was amazing!! It was cool, again, to not worry about what was in all of the dishes. For sure, the highlight of my night was the kugel!!! AMAZING. Probably the best thing I've eaten. Most high fat things I'm turned off by, just because I know that it's bad for me but I did not care in the LEAST that kugel is probably the least healthy thing in the world. A gluten free person today told me that they have had gluten free kugel that tastes the same (shout out to rabbi Daniel!)..I have not. I have had potato kugel that is awesome (hi mom!), but not noodle kugel. I also tried sufganyot (well, sufganya)! Also good!
Thankfully, I have not yet gone up a pants size or anything due to all this craziness. I went to the gym a couple times this week to make sure I don't go too crazy...but I need to be going more if I keep it up! I'm going grocery shopping tonight for my first big grocery shopping trip since I haven't been scared to get too much gluten- I'm very excited to see how little money it will cost me.

Until next time...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gluten all the time

So it's been awhile since I posted, mostly because the novelty is wearing off A LITTLE bit. It's still kind of funny to be able to just eat things. I did have my first REAL sandwich that was made by someone other than me at Potbelly's in Hyde Park. I had a chicken salad it was pretty good..but when I'm used to eating chicken salad, I'm used to really tasting it..and I felt like on the sandwich, I mostly just tasted bread (I even got the kind with 1/3 less bread!). I think I'd actually prefer a chicken salad salad, with a side of that tasty bread.

But WOW, on Sunday morning, I had brunch with three of my favorite people and had toast from a GREAT bakery! This was my first time having bread from an Austrian bakery, it was was delicious- my favorite was the cranberry walnut toast. It was cool eating gluten with my sister!

I've eaten some other random things here and there..I really like s'mores chewy granola bars! I don't know why people don't love these. I also made my own creation today which was Nutella and Pumpkin Butter (from Tanner's!) on honey whole wheat..mmmm. Oh and I had potstickers again- this time from Friday's! YUM! And I joined their stripes club so now I get a free appetizer or dessert- any suggestions (I know I know...cup of dirt :) )...

So I've gotten some suggestions that I'll take into consideration. I've heard that I need to take more pictures. I will do that! I always forget. Also-- I want to give a shout out to all my Celiac readers (I've heard from people that they show their Celiac friends my blog). Leave me comments and tell me what you miss eating, and I'll eat it on your behalf! I have about a month left of this experiment. I need to keep in mind that even though I am not having symptoms, I still might test positive (could be causing damage). So what else should I try?? Some things that sound good are:

Pumpkin or butternut squash ravioli
Mongolian beef
Deep dish pizza
Kraft Mac n Cheese
Warm chocolate chip cookies

Any more??

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving, a wedding, and a sandwich!

Sorry- long time no update! I have been crazy busy. But..I have eaten a lot of gluten!! Let me see what I can remember...

The last I blogged it was the day before Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving morning, I tried fried matzah for the first time, made my the one and only fried matzah chef, Mark Le Vine. It was good!!!! WAY better than I expected! Dinner was traditional, gluten free and amazing. Dessert on the other hand....WOW! I tried my first apple pie which was SUPER FREAKIN GOOD...I had a small piece of the pumpkin pie, and bite of a cheesecake brownie- holy cow. I don't have a crazy sweet tooth, I'm learning, but small forkfulls of these things are so tasty! Grandma char was also very excited that I tried her mandel bread. After that, I went to a THIRD Thanksgiving stop, as usual, and tried just a little bit more dessert- a cookie, and a tiny bite of pecan pie. I did not eat ANYTHING bad on Thanksgiving :).
Saturday night...I went to a wedding and tried what has so far been one of my favorite things- a beef potsticker!!! Those do NOT taste at all like what I would have expected. I'm not sure what I expected exactly...but not all of that deliciousness. I also tried a little puff pastry thing with sundried tomato...not really my thing (but beautiful and classy, as was the rest of the wedding).
I'm not sure what else I ate but today's gluten was the best.....drum roll please....I had my first sandwich!!! Those of you who keep kosher..cover your ears/eyes....but I had a pinapple ham sandwich with provolone on a honey whole wheat sandwich thin. I'm not sure what was better..the taste of a sandwich on bread (a first)..or the fact that I, Jenny Mann, was eating whole wheat bread! I also got some other things when I went grocery shopping..including (but not limited to) those thin bagles (everything flavor), honey bunches of oats, and a chicken rice soup (that happens to have wheat in it). Again, I know everyone says to try more sweet things like brownies, far..I must say, I'm more of a savory fan. Aint nothin like an everything bagel, some gardetto's and a potsticker. Til next time....:)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cheez Its and Chicken McNuggets

It's been a few days since my last blog post so I'll try to remember my gluten adventures! It looks like that last I wrote, I had tried that delicious bread from Jim's Bistro and that was Sunday night.

Monday, if I recall correctly, I did not try any new gluten (BORING). I have continued, however, to love on those Honey n Oat granola bars! I think I've actually been losing some weight by skipping a big unhealthy snack and eating one of those per day instead. They're super good.

Tuesday, upon the FIRM recommendation of my sister, I tried a brownie with peppermint cake pop from Starbucks! That was pretty yummy!! I only ate half of it, because I just don't eat mass amounts of sweets, but that was pretty damn good. It was different than something gluten free in that it was much lighter (density wise, not calories!). I also had Cheez-its! Let me tell you...not what I expected. At the beginning, it tastes AWESOME..but what is up with that aftertaste? Not cool. I think goldfish might be better in the aftertaste department. I ALSO had a California Roll with mock crab meat that had wheat in it (zero difference between gluten free and gluten full mock crab meat).

Today, I had my VERY first Chicken McNugget Mighty Kids meal!! I did enjoy the taste of chicken nuggets...I would get them again. I WAS surprised by the little space between the meat and the floury one warned me about that! Also, I asked for honey, and they forgot to give it to me :( . They were pretty good though. You know what tastes the same or even a little BETTER?? Applegate Farms Organic Gluten Free chicken nuggets. I also had one of those sugar cookies with frosting- they were tasty but I could only eat about half! Also, much lighter than a gluten free cookie (most gluten free baked goods end up like rocks).

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I hope to try a few new things! So far, my thoughts are that gluten free food is actually not too shabby. I think that some gluten lovers might just have an unhealthy relationship with food ;-). So far, the only things that have WOW'ed me have been: Gardetto's, hot dinner rolls, and an everything bagel (Oh yeah...And the prices!!!!!).

Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blue Moon and [kind of] Pizza

Since I've blogged last, I've had some amazingness, and some not-so-amazingness. Friday night, I went out and figured it was about time to up my beer standards. I tried Blue Moon- man, that actually tastes good, a lot better than Miller Light!! I also tried Corona, also tasty. So far, I'd rank them in order of yumminess: Blue Moon, Corona, Bud Light Lime, gluten free beer, Miller Light.
Saturday, I toned it down again. I've been a little hesitant because I've been thinking about the possibility of long term consequences. I think I might call the doc and ask him if I should be taking it easy or going all out, before the test in January. I did eat another honey and oat nature valley bar- those are super good! I also..uhh tried a little bit of pizza (as pizza won the poll). However, it was Little Caeser's. I had a TINY bite of the crust, and then proceeded to just eat the cheese. FYI for the world- GLUTEN FREE PIZZA IS BETTER THAN LITTLE CAESERS! What in the world is that? I'm gonna go ahead and say I still haven't tried pizza. I also tried some Nacho Cheese doritos lat night (which I had actually tried before, by mistake)- those are pretty good.
Today though....I had part of a warm amazing dinner roll from Jim's Bistro in Peoria. Wow. That's not what gluten free tastes like. I can see why people like to eat 12 of those before dinner even starts. I also had a part of the cheesy bread there which was equally delic. I've always wanted to dip a roll in olive oil! I also had the pleasure of splitting a bag of goldfish with Michelle when she was in Peoria- those are yummy! Much better not stale :).

As of now, I'm proceeding with caution. I'm going to just try little bits of things assuming I don't get symptoms, until I hear otherwise from the doctor. Can't wait for Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

On the 7th Day: haMotzi lechem min ha'aretz

Ok, for those of you who read my blog that AREN'T Jewish (which I'm guessing is a small crowd), that title is the blessing over challah...which I said for the first time tonight. It was very good! It wasn't freshly baked so I still need to try one of those!! I want a nice, warm challah at some point before this experiment ends (I still have a funny feeling that I do, in fact, have Celiac...but it's a fun test!!)
Onto a ridiculous topic- BROWNIES!!!! Wow. Those of you who have told me that my gluten free brownies taste the same as regular ones: Thank you SO much for keeping up the lie for sooo many years. They absolutely do NOT taste the same, as glutenous brownies happen to be gooey and delicious (at least the ones from Harvest Bread Co). I think the closest though are Chocolate Truffle Brownies made by Gluten Free Pantry. I was only able to try about a fourth of a brownie because they are WAY too rich. But it was nice to be able to bring yummy treats to a meeting and be able to try them! I also tried a little piece of a Savannah Bar (blueberry deliciousness) from there, and a TINY sample of a pumpkin cinnamon roll. Annd my stomach is a little bit annoyed, not hurting, just gross, probably from sugar and carb OVERLOAD (those little tiny pieces add up, who knew...). Good thing I worked out this morning!! Rose's Gluten Free Bakery in Evanston, and Apple's Gluten Free Bakery in Peoria have similar items to the Savannah bar and actually taste very good.
I also tried a Honey and Oat Nature Valley bar today. Those are a very solid snack- tasty and a little bit satisfying (those also don't have wheat, rye or barley in them).
Anyway, I might take a gluten break tomorrow just because I'm eating too much probably! I've managed to not gain any weight this week, but I just have eaten lots of sweets, etc. Oh yeah, I tried a triscuit (sp?)-- Those aren't good. I decided to have my cheese sans cracker.
 I think I would still be very much OK with going back to a gluten free diet if I had to. Gluten is good, but the food is so heavy (no offense glutenvores!). I'm not done playing yet though! Going out now- I may stick to Woodchuck tonight, we'll see!