Healthy Obsessions

The Adventures of a Mild Obsessive Compulsive

Tag Archives: Health

Best Gluten Free Products I’ve Found

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This list is for a friend who just went gluten free to see if it would help his health. I was telling him about all my favorites and realizing I hadn’t made an updated list. So. (And yes, many of the links below are affiliate links.)

Box Mixes:

I have never found a gluten free cake mix that was okay without doctoring it. All of them require something. The Betty Crockers, at least, are simple. I really dislike the Bob’s Red Mill mixes. Most of them are garbanzo bean based, which is a strong and unpleasant flavor for sweets. Most mixes have corn starch.

Trader Joe’s mixes are mostly from Bob’s Red Mill. So, I avoid them.

Pasta:

  • Jovial Organic Brown Rice Capellini – the only gluten free capellini I’ve liked. All their pastas are good. Wholefoods carries this brand.
  • Schar Gluten Free Anellini – pasta for soup. I use these in place of pastina or acini di pepe. All their pastas are good, but they do have corn (if you’re not avoiding corn, no worries). I’ve seen Schar products at Safeway,Wholefoods, and Nob Hill. But very inconsistent selections.
  • Conte Cheese Ravioli (frozen) — you can order these online, but don’t. Link is only for reference. Wholefoods and some Safeways carry this. Under cook by at least one minute, if you don’t want it falling apart. They have other great frozen pastas.

Cookies:

  • Schar Chocolate Hazelnut Bars — BEST gluten free chocolate wafer cookie out there–by a long shot. I’ve only seen this at Nob Hill or online.
  • K-Toos – best oreo equivalent (most taste like cardboard, this tastes like cookie). Best dipped in milk.
    Wholefoods.
  • Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies — similar to Nantuckets. I like these better, though.
  • Glutino Lemon Wafer Cookies — these are great. Avoid the chocolate ones like the plague. Many stores carry these.

Bread:

  • Udi’s gluten free sandwich bread — take your pick of flavor, but remember to toast the bread. All gluten free bread is better toasted. Lots of grocery stores carry this.
  • gluten-free-ciabattas-plain-largeRudi’s Gluten Free Ciabatta Rolls – I’ve only seen these at one Safeway in Mountain View, but they are far and away the best dinner roll I’ve found. Again, toast them. They are actually the best gluten free bread I’ve found of any kind.

And… there are more, but that’s it for now. I’ll try to do another post continuing the list.

Sleep Cycle Messes Up

Sleep Cycle woke me at exactly the wrong moment this morning. I was in the middle of a dream (which the Zeo was quite aware of) when Sleep Cycle went off. Which just goes to show that Sleep Cycle really is  quite imprecise. It’s better than nothing, but not better than the Zeo.

Gluten Free is Such a Fad

I’m standing at the checkout at WholePaycheck with my usual basket of gluten free items, and the checker looks at my basket and then smirks and says, “That’s such a fad right now.”

Anyone else ever get this kind of reaction?

On a very personal level, I find it frustrating. Not the fad itself, not precisely. But… Celiac disease is a pain in the butt. Particularly when I was first adapting to the lifestyle, I resented it. No cookies, no kitkats, no pasta, no flour tortillas, no easy shopping anymore. And getting that kind of smirk and snark just made it worse. Like ladling a cup full of condescension sauce over schadenfreude pie. No one likes being the on the receiving end of schadenfreude.

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23 and Me Sale! (and another health tracking related sale)

OMG. They’re back down to $99 until 11/29. That’s the deal I took advantage of in April. For full genetic testing – health and ancestry. That’s how we learned that both of my parents carry the same marker for celiac disease. And that my mother’s Italian Catholic family can be traced back to Yemeni Jews. And that my father’s family can be traced back to one particular Jewish woman 2000 years ago.

You know how obsessed I am with health and data. This is exciting! I need to ask my Mom if she wants one for my brother, or her brother. Or if Grandma wants one…


Edited to add – The glucose testing meter I bought the other day (impulse buy at the pharmacy) is also on sale at Amazon. For those, like me, who want to obsessively check everything. Or are at risk for diabetes. Or who have diabetes. You get the gist. Bayer Contour USB Blood Glucose Monitoring System. Has a USB interface that allows you to upload data to your computer and track that way. I’ve tried the meter today, haven’t played with the USB interface yet. Amazon has it for $29 + $5.48 shipping. Walgreens has it for $30, in store (sold out online).

I bought mine in store; it’s normally around $80.

Six Gifts for the Recently Diagnosed Celiac in Your Life

Friends and coworkers seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately asking me what they can feed/give a recently diagnosed celiac relative (amazing how many of us there seem to be wandering around). And seeing as the holidays are fast approaching, I decided to write up a  list of several things that can be incredibly helpful gifts for a celiac just starting out on a gluten free diet.

  1. Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic – Did you know that Sweden had an epidemic of celiac disease among children born in the 1980s and 90s? This book tells you how and why it happened. Did you know that celiac patients are at higher risk for Lupus and Diabetes? This book goes over the research. This book was first on the list of resources my celiac doc gave me (and first in this list I’m making) because it gives a superb big picture overview of Celiac Disease.
  2. Gluten Free Living Subscription – I recommend this one because I know how much I want it :) It’s a quarterly magazine covering the gluten free lifestyle, the latest medical developments, recipes, events…
  3. Read more →

How Long Should a Gluten Challenge Be?

celiac diseaseRecently, I talked to someone I’d gone to college with who was trying to figure out how to do a gluten challenge in order to test for celiac disease, after having been gluten free for several months (not that I’d know anything about that). Her doctor had told her to eat gluten for a few days, then tested her, and the tests – so surprisingly – came back as negative.

Then, a few days ago, I talked to my 92 year old grandmother, who was diagnosed with celiac disease 42 years ago, who had a doctor tell her pretty much the same thing. Two weeks of eating gluten, she was fine, no problems, he tested her, told her she didn’t have celiac disease, she’d outgrown it. But then…

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A Follow Up on the Nasal Turbinates

I had the turbinate reduction towards the end of October. We’re now about mid November, and it’s mostly healed. It’s kind of funny. You don’t think about the issue of scabs going into it. Or at least, I didn’t. I just thought about the inflammation being gone, and actually being able to breathe through my nose. And then I thought about needles being inserted into my nose. But I didn’t think about the scabs.

You do get them. And they’re kinda big, all things considered. The first couple weeks, your nose feels dry. The saline solution nasal spray is a must. I had one I kept at work and another I carried in my bag. Use them freely, should you ever be in this situation. Because if your nose gets too dry, it will hurt. And the injured area will ooze. And it will crust. And that will be unpleasant, too. Do, however, keep kleenex around. You’ll need it about two minutes after using the saline spray, because your nose just starts to drip.

I’ve stopped using the saline. Doesn’t seem necessary any longer. I’m back to using my antihistamine nose spray and my steroidal nose spray. And I don’t know yet how much of a difference the procedure will make. Because of those scabs.

(Do not read further if scabs gross you out, k?)

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SCD Compatible Ice Cream

Yogurt Ice Cream, with Blueberry Sauce

A friend of mine has Crohn’s Disease, which makes celiac look like a visit to Disneyland (assuming you like Disneyland). She’s on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which is incredibly limited. Much better than the alternative, though.

Turns out, she hasn’t had ice cream for nearly a year. Possibly longer. She can’t handle the sugar or the lactose in most commercial ice creams, and she can’t handle the agave nectar in the coconut milk ice creams. She does, however, make her own yogurt. And she can have honey.

I know what you’re thinking (well, I probably don’t, but I’m going to pretend). Frozen yogurt is usually pretty meh. Too soft. Bland. The diet version of ice cream. Thanks to Fraiche, I now know frozen yogurt doesn’t have to be that way. And that sparked an idea…

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A Quick Poll on Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease Doesn’t Go Away

There’s no outgrowing it. It’s not a childhood disease. It’s for life. If you have it now, you will have it tomorrow, and next week, and next year, and next century – should you be lucky enough to live so long.

I’ve had several people tell me, now, that they had celiac disease when they were kids, but they outgrew it. And it drives me bonkers. I try to tell them, no, you should get checked. But they don’t want to hear it.

They are absolutely confident, in a way only the blindly faithful can be, that they do not have celiac disease (and I have been guilty of this, too). And meanwhile they have any of a dozen different symptoms that can result from celiac. I feel like I’m watching someone drowning, and I’m reaching out to grab them and drag them back to shore, but they keep telling me, No, no, the water’s warm.

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