How exciting - I won the cookie cutters Suzie was giving away!! & this is my 100th post! I've been thinking of what I'd write when it was still 'in the future' . . . & of a give-away of my own - & here I am with many thoughts to chose from, & what to send out into the world?? Ok, stay tuned!!
This weekend I went to the coast (ABSOLUTELY GEORGEOUS!) Blue skies & good fellowship with my 'sister circle' women's spirituality book group. We went to the lovely & historic 'Sylvia Beach Hotel' in Newport, & stayed in the two dorm rooms (4 & 8 beds).
And I'm becoming increasingly aware of the difficulties that arise in trying to avoid gluten (or any commonly used ingredient that happens to pose problems)! My carpool group arrived at 4, & after checking in, went out for a 'smackrel' to tide us over 'till the lovely 5 course dinner.
We chose a nearby cafe, & they all ordered a cup of soup (~ $5 & just right - except one galfriend who ordered desert - a berry cobbler) The soup, a tomatoe/basil bisque, contained wheat flour, (as did the cobbler) so I looked for other ~ $5 options - everyting else was ~ $10, (& heavier) many sandwiches, some appetizers (several with bread), some salads . . . so I suggested to the waitress I'd like ~ $5- cheese plate, using the cheeses mentioned in the grilled cheese san, & no salad, as we were eating at the Sylvia @ 7.
The chef came out - she's gluten free (then why did she use flour in the soup??) & could do the cheese on corn tortillia - basically quesadillas - & a nice salad . . . I repeated 'light!' as we were eating at the Sylvia, but didn't tell her 'let's skip the salad!' The salad was lovely, garnished with violas, & I could have said - "Oh, do you have a side salad option? Because I really don't want that much food!'
Dinner was lovely, but the rice crackers shared a plate (family style meals) with the wheat crackers, I'd brot my own scone for bread, there were several main course options (I chose the Halibut - delicious!), lovely veggies (inc. fresh Chantrelle mushrooms) rice, & a lovely chocolate flourless tort for desert! Very little to avoid & quite delicous.
We went for a moonlit beach walk (the strong wind had ceased about dinner time) & came back for a rousing game of 'the Great Dalmuti. It's always nice to sleep at the ocean, with the murmer of waves in the background! Did Tai Chi /Qigong on the beach in the morning, with clear skies & soft waves.
I'd been warned that even when you told the front desk folks 'gluten free please' the breakfast folks often didn't get the message. I'd also told our server (Mom) at dinner, & she'd said "I'll leave the breakfast cooks a note!" But no, if she did, they never got it!
So there were lots of sweet bread choices, even a lemon bar - all containing wheat flour! Banal cereal choices, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, some fruit . . . . the hot breakfast choices included a potato 'crust' quiche, so I had that, half a grapefruit, another of my scones, some herb tea.
& today I was discussing our Dec "Mom's group' Portland adventure, asked my friend if she'd thought to inquire about the gluten free options/ awareness at the $40+ a plate dinner at Melting Pot . . . "Oh! I fhave trouble keeping track of my friends' sensitivities!" This friend is Diabetic, so has been looking after her own dietary needs for awhile, & her husband's sensitive to garlic & onion (so when I invited them to share a meal last week, (last minute) & was serving rattatoui I'd made earlier in the day, I cooked an allium free version for him that evening!)
It is hard to keep track of the sensitivities of others - & it's interesting to watch my friends' reactions - commonly - "Why did you decide to go gluten free?"
(since my daughter tested positive, & I haven't been tested . . . . but she was told she recieved the genes from both of her parents!) & if I recite that - & that many of the problems many folks experience - IBS, other digestive problems, etc. may be linked to gluten sensitivity, they begin to get glassy eyed.
On 'Grain Damaged,' a blogger writes: 'General Mills research showed that 12% households want to eliminate or reduce their gluten intake' &“For some people, opting for gluten-free foods is a lifestyle choice rather than a health-motivated choice,” She also shares a great article by Carl Sherman that highlights some of the recent findings on celiac/ gluten sensitivity. He quotes Dr. Arthur Murray of the Mayo clinic: "While celiac disease in its classic form, severe malabsorption, is seen by gasteroenterologists, most patients won't present with this, but with a wide diversity of less well defined conditions."
They suggest screening for gluten sensitivity for those with Iron deficiency (3-9% even w/o iritible gut), osteoporosis, (esp. early onset), Down's Syndrom, type I Diabetes (3-8%), unexplained infertility (5%), all may be 'atypical symptoms' of celiac/gluten sensitivity. My daughter's best friend experienced early menopause (mid 30s!) triggered by her gluten sensitivity, & began this journey of going gluten free.
With gluten sensitivity, "Children may exhibit behavioral, learning or concentration problems(yes), irritability (yes), diarrhea, bloated abdomen, growth failure (yes), dental enamel defects (yes), or projectile vomiting." (my granddaughters, 4 & 9, have both shown improvement since going gluten free. They each have 'low tooth enamal' & have many filligs)
We're lucky to have a local support group that meets monthly - this is from their website: "To develop celiac disease (CD) three (3) things must be present: 1) you must inherit the gene, 2) consume gluten, and 3) have the gene triggered. Common triggers may include stress, trauma (surgeries, pregnancy, etc.), and viral infections. Approximately 1 in 20 first-degree relatives could have CD triggered in their lifetime. The disease is permanent and damage to the small intestine will occur every time you consume gluten, regardless if symptoms are present."
Tonight I went to a 'prom' - "wear the dress but ditch the date" that included a buffet - asked at the beginning of the line (I'm getting better!) which items (besides the lasagna) contained flour, as I was gluten free? (I'm getting better at this!)
Obviously hadn't crossed their minds, though the caterer commented "a lot of people seem to be having problems with that these days!" . . .
- The salad had crutons mixed in, 'you could pick them out' . . . (I mentioned that for 'really sensitive folks' even that would be a problem, & that it would be simple to have crutons in a bowl on the side, for people to add).
-The veggies were over rice?? (puzzled look - where does rice fit?) I assured them rice was fine, thanked them, & as suggested, picked the crutons out of the salad, enjoyed the bacon wrapped aspargus & the rice, veggies & cheese. Desert was a peach cobbler - I skipped it, & made tapioca pudding when I got home!