Thanks to Costco and S&W Foods/DelMonte Foods

We made a quick trip to Costco yesterday and as can frequently happen, we left with more than we had on our list. In this case it wasn’t a bad thing. We’ve noticed that Costco is become progressively more gluten free friendly.

There has been a whole freezer full of this the last few times we’ve shopped there.

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These have also come home with us more than once.

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These noodles were a new to us item yesterday, and we are looking forward to trying them.

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I had been thinking that I would like to make a large batch of pizza sauce and freeze it. After all less than $3 for a huge can of tomato sauce plus some seasonings is way less expensive than buying pizza sauce in small jars.

I picked up this can of tomato sauce and didn’t even thinking about reading the ingredients until Guy looked at it.

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The ingredient list contains “natural flavors” and as many of you know that can be a hidden source of gluten. We couldn’t find any information on it in Guy’s apps or online while we were in the store, but decided to buy it anyway and research more later. I sent a question to them while we were on our way home and got a response today. The sauce is gluten free and they included this list of their gluten free products.

So today, I’m a little more information rich.

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Game Changer

I’ve avoided posting here because we had a game changer in our family almost 10 weeks ago.  Guy was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.    It means learning a new way to cook and being extremely vigilant reading ingredients on labels.   Guy’s symptoms were not those generally associated with the disease.  He had neck and upper back pain, and often complained of buzzing like an electrical charge running through him.  For weeks he thought a kidney stone was going to pass.   He would have sudden extreme weakness.  He equated the weakness to feeling like having the flu, but he would feel better the next morning.  Medical professionals told him it was stress. He eventually started to feel like he was having an allergic reaction about 30 minutes after eating.  He started paying attention to what he was eating and doing lots of reasearch.   He was the one who requested the doctor add gluten/wheat to the battery of blood tests.  A normal gluten antibody is 0-3 and his was in the 90s. He followed up with a biopsy of the upper intestine which confirmed he is Celiac.  Left untreated the disease can lead to further health problems including some types of cancer.   Some people don’t have any symptoms at all.

So what exactly is Celiac Disease?  “Celiac Disease (CD) is a lifelong inherited autoimmune condition affecting children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with CD and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even when there are no symptoms present.” — Celiac Disease Foundation   It is estimated that 1 in every 133 people has Celiac Disease, but most go undiagnosed.  It is not a disease that can be cured.  However, it is one that can be controlled by eliminating ALL gluten from the diet.  This means anything which includes any form of wheat, rye, barley and triticale must be eliminated for life!

We have found it extremely difficult to eat out.  Many restaurants are starting to offer Gluten Free options, however cross contamination can still be an issue.  For instance Borello Brothers offers a gluten free pizza, but it is made in the same area where there is wheat flour and baked in the same oven.  Guy started having a reaction within 30 minutes after eating there.  This means we are focused on eating at home most of the time where we can control everything.  Which means I should have more to post — right? 

So from here on out I will be talking about gluten free options.  We had been trying to eat vegan for the most part, I don’t promise to continue doing that.  We willcontinue eating as vegetarians.  Guy and the boys have never eaten meat, fish or poultry and I only ate it on very rare occasions before I was 12.  Adding any of that to our diets is just unappetizing. 

Final note:  After almost 10 weeks gluten free Guy is having some good days and still a lot of bad days.  He was visiting the chiropractor at least once a week and hasn’t had bad enough neck pain to visit since his diagnosis.  He will still be visiting occasionally because of an old lower back injury.  Based on research it could take  6 months to 2 years to really feel better.  We are hoping it was caught soon enough that there is no permanent nerve damage.

No Time Like the Present

It is time for a change.  A change in lifestyle that is.  As we reach middle age our bodies start to send out signals that they are tired of misuse.  Guy got the results of a blood test last week and it was a reminder that we need to take our health more seriously.

I participated in the Coronary Health Improvement Project about 3 years ago.  The changes did impact our health.  We all lost weight and my blood pressure did come down.  Over the last year or so we have slid back into old habits.  It is time to make new habits.

The biggest challenge for me in healthy eating is finding recipes that everyone in the family likes.  It isn’t enjoyable to cook when no one likes the food.  So one of the things I’m going to do on this site is try many  recipes, and as I do I will post here the family’s verdict.  Some actual recipes will be posted, and others I will reference.

Let the games begin!