The not so fun part of living with celiac disease

Passing out on the grass from exhaustion while walking around Quebec City after getting 'glutened'.

Passing out on the grass from exhaustion while walking around Quebec City after getting ‘glutened’.

I have been sick all week. I have a mouth full of canker sores. I am exhausted. I feel like my stomach is a toxic dump. And I am up most nights in the washroom. I have hit my low. I try incredibly hard to be positive about having celiac disease but weeks like this really bring me down. I love traveling and eating out but eating out while traveling is what made me so sick and there is very little those of us with celiac can do about it.

Option 1: Travel and eat out and take chances.

Option 2: Stay home, eat safe and have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Option 3: Balance of option 1 and 2.

I try my best with option 3 but it is hard adjusting no matter how long it has been (over 10 years since diagnosis and 8 years eating strictly gluten-free). This is a bit of a rant but I think I should also represent the reality of celiac disease sometimes. Having celiac disease sucks and while I will continue to be positive about it the majority of the time and share recipes and gluten-free tips for eating out I will take moments here and there to recognize the pain and frustration. It is not fun to be sick for a week and not feel right for a week later. It sucks to miss out on birthdays and dinners to stay home being ill. It is not fun to spend vacation in serious pain. It’s even more stressful to be the person who cancels work meetings at the last minute because they can’t leave the washroom. It all sucks. Rant done.

Hope everyone is taking care of their diets and feeling well. I tend to take my health for granted until I get a bad exposure and I am reminded why I have to be so careful.

Any tips on what helps you when you have been glutened?

Gluten-Free Cider & The Perfect Fall Day

Gluten-Free Cider

A recent perfect fall day was the best combination of one of the last warm days of fall, great friends and a visit to an apple orchard and the Michel Jodoin Ciderie. Cider has been my go to drink instead of beer since I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I prefer mine less sweet and most of the Michel Jodoin ciders are less sweet than some others on the market. They are located not too far from Montreal in Rougemont and you can also find their products at most SAQs and some fancier grocery stores and Deps,

http://www.micheljodoin.ca/en/

If you’re like me and have a million apples and you don’t know what to do with them try this recipe from my old blog Gluten-Free Montreal. My mom has been making me this since I was little and no matter how hard I try mine never tastes as good as hers. She made a few adjustments to her recipe to make sure her apple crisp is gluten-free and still just as delicious.

http://krisgf.tumblr.com/post/33660940887/fall-for-apple-crisp

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Gluten-Free in Montreal: La Fabrique for Brunch

Gluten-Free Breakfast at La Fabrique

I have a new person in my life and they love going out for brunch. I used to love going out for brunch. Pre-celiac disease crepes with raspberry sauce was my go to and brunch with my friends was always a great experience. Post celiac disease brunch became a little scary. Brunch spots can be so busy, have so much bread and so many opportunities for contamination. While on the other hand breakfast at home is pretty easy to make and I make a pretty decent brunch in bed. I have missed plenty of friend brunches eating my eggs and potatoes at home but this new person may have convinced me to attempt brunch out again once in a while. I have always felt comfortable at Aux Vivres which has a gluten-free items marked on their menu but it would be nice to broaden my horizons a bit.

This week we tried La Fabrique on St-Denis, near Sherbrooke Metro. While nothing on the changing menu is marked gluten-free they are very familiar with gluten-free and told me to look at the menu and they would make me something around what I liked.  I chose the Gravlax and they served it on a potato base with a yogurt sauce and they added an egg. I would definitely recommend La Fabrique for brunch if you are in the area but wouldn’t say you should go far out of your way. I also tried it once for dinner and it was great but there weren’t a bunch of gluten-free options since I don’t eat red meat. I ended up having two starters as my meal.

I will keep you posted about my future gluten-free brunch experiences.

La Fabrique 

3609 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3L6

http://bistrotlafabrique.com/

Accommodates gluten-free: Ok

Price: $$

Gluten-free menu: No

gluten-free

Gluten-Free Product Review: Sabatasso’s Gluten-Free Pizza

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My mom picked me up these Sabatasso’s Pizzas at Costco. The price is right at $12 for 2 pizzas. Almost unheard of in the gluten-free world. And while the price is right thankfully the taste was just as good. For frozen pizzas these are great. It’s a simple cheese pizza and would make a great base for all sorts of toppings. While I try to stay away from pre-packaged food this is a good option when you are in a rush, just pop it in the oven. It also made the perfect late night snack after a night out. Even celiacs need unhealthy pizza at 2 am!

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I have been poisoned! How to cope after a glutening

Egg Drop Soup and movies in bed is a pretty good cure!

Egg Drop Soup and movies in bed is a pretty good cure!

It sounds dramatic but it’s my term “I have been poisoned”. I even say it at work when someone asks why I haven’t been in the office for a few days. While at first people don’t get it, those who matter know what it means. It means I am exhausted, have been feeling terrible and all around I am not having a good time. A bad gluten-poisoning can have me in bed for a few days and not feeling right for up to 2 weeks.

Post gluten-poisoning it is easy to see the whole world as a gluten-filled nightmare full of wheat and cross contamination. Getting sick definitely reminds me to be careful but it sometimes happens when you are careful and that’s just a reality.

My simple non-scientific tips to making a gluten poisoning better:

  1. Don’t stress. I used to panic and get so upset that it definitely lengthened my symptoms. Severe stress about the pain and missing work etc. will just make the symptoms worse. Try your best to rest and not think the worst. Since I have worked on not catastrophizing when I’m feeling sick from gluten my symptoms have been easier to control and do not last as long. Even though it can be terrible it is not the end of the world. You will feel better soon!
  2. Everyone has different trigger foods; gluten-free foods that you are sensitive to and that you should avoid when you are feeling glutened. Mine are dairy, alcohol and heavy foods. So figure out your triggers and try to eat smaller amounts of easy to digest food until you feel better. I also take gluten-free and dairy free probiotics.
  3. While it may be hard to eat make sure you get enough liquids and water.
  4. Sleep as much as you can.

This egg drop soup is my favorite recipe to make when I’m sick with gluten-poisoning or a cold. This recipe for simple and easy egg drop soup from Gimme Some Oven is perfect. This soup is super simple and easy enough to make when I’m feeling weak. All you need is some gluten-free broth, eggs, gluten-free cornstarch and green onions for a basic soup.

This soup is super easy to make and easy on the tummy.

This soup is super easy to make and easy on the tummy.

Easy & Delicious Coffee Cake (Gluten-Free with Dairy Free Option)

Gluten-Free Coffee Cake- thegfbff (with dairy free option)

This coffee cake is simple, easy to make and delicious. It makes the perfect late breakfast or afternoon snack. After seeing it on one of my favorite blogs I realized I already had all the ingredients I needed to prepare it on a recent lazy morning. Without a mixer or anything fancy I had this delicious breakfast/snack cake ready in no time. It reminds me of the cinnamon cake my mom used to make me  as a special treat when I was little, except it’s gluten-free. If you’re a fan of basic cake with cinnamon this recipe is for you. The drizzle is super sweet and can be optional. It can be kept in the fridge and drizzled on individual slices of cake, instead of being poured over the entire thing.

Simple Gluten-Free Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 375 F.

For the cake batter:

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil softened (I used coconut oil to make mine dairy free)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used Bod Red Mills)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (if your flour mix does not have)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking gf baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with butter or coconut oil.

Combine wet ingredients: egg, butter (or coconut oil), almond milk and vanilla.

Sift dry ingredient together and mix into wet ingredients: gf flour, xanthan gum (if your flour mix does not have), sugar, baking powder and salt.

Once all combined pour cake batter into a baking dish and top with the cinnamon crumble below. Throw it in the oven for about 25 minutes. In my old oven it took closer to 30 minutes to set.

Let cool and serve with the optional sugar drizzle below.

For the cinnamon crumble:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps gluten-free flour
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsps melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used slivered almonds)

Combine in a medium bowl. It is easiest to use your hands to mix the crumble and distribute it over the batter.

For the Sugar Drizzle:

This is to be added after baking and can be optional

  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Adapted from this recipe from Haut Appetit

Gluten-Free Coffee Cake

Gluten-Free Coffee Cake

Gluten-Free Coffee Cake

Gluten-Free Passover Dinner

Toasting friends and a great gluten-free seder.

Toasting friends and a great gluten-free Passover dinner

The title of this blog comes from my friends and family who are my GFBFFs (gluten-free best friends forever). I am very blessed with a group of friends who are very accommodating to the fact that I have celiac disease and constantly go out of their way to assure I can eat safely whether it be at one of their homes or when we are out.

This was on display this past week when my friend invited us all over for a Passover dinner that was 95% gluten-free and 100% vegetarian. I always find it easier when cooking for a group to keep the meal 100% gluten-free or at least to keep the non gluten-free items completely separate, in this case we prepared the glutenous part of the meal in a different area and served it separately. Here are some ideas to help make your next Passover more gluten-free friendly.

On the menu:

Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup: We used a gluten-free mix and added garlic, onion, carrot and celery to the broth.

Vegetable Latkes made with potato starch and “matzo meal” made from gf kosher for passover crackers: we didn’t really use a recipe. We grated carrot, zucchini and onion in a food processor, removed the excess liquid and combined the veggies with eggs, potato starch and the crackers (which had been pulsed pulsed in a blender). Then we fried them in oil. It was that easy.

Flourless chocolate cookies: http://food52.com/recipes/19209-divine-gluten-free-chocolate-cookies-no-seriously These were delicious and according to the hostess easy to make. A great anytime gluten-free recipe.

Prepping Dinner

Two of my GFBFFs Prepping Dinner

Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup

Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup

Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup Mix

Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup Mix

Gluten-Free Kosher for Passover Crackers

Gluten-Free Kosher for Passover Crackers

Gluten-Free Veggie Latkes made with zucchini, carrot and onion

Gluten-Free Veggie Latkes made with zucchini, carrot and onion

Flourless Cookies

Flourless Cookies