Friday 30 September 2011

People Food - Go or I will kick you in the privates

A couple people have told me about this store called People Food - Food for People but it is located in Spruce Grove off Bow Trail, for us Southies, it’s the same as driving to the moon and back. It feels a little far for a Gluten Free store. BUT today I had to be in the area anyway so the kids and I popped by. I walk and in and immediately I wonder if we have gone into the wrong place because we have walked into a kitchen. A warm, delicious smelling, lovely kitchen and it’s full of people milling about and eating, Clearly, I think, I have intruded upon some sort of private party and I consider just backing out the door but then I hear this lovely “Hi!” from across the room and the hostess of the party makes her way toward me. Her name is Linda and with Brent, they have created People Food – Food for People. This store is my new favorite places because these guys get it, I mean really really get it. Not one BIT of Gluten has crossed through their door and their mission is to make Gluten Free food taste like food. Shockingly simple but amazingly difficult but take my word for it, they have mastered their craft.

They make something different each week and they make it fresh. Let me just repeat that, they have FRESH GLUTEN FREE FOOD, remain calm. The people milling about are customers and the guy doling out the tasters is their chef and the rest of the delicious smells are coming from peanut butter cookies being baked fresh three feet away from me. I am in love, it’s like Disneyland for Celiacs. It is so nice to walk into a store and know that I can eat ANYTHING in there. This hasn’t happened to me….well, ever. The prices are reasonable for fresh, organic food and the quality can not be matched.  Linda told me the hens that provided the eggs were not fed wheat….they are hard core and I love them for it.

I walked out with:

 The Peanut Butter cookies for the kids (but I ate one, ok fine, two and they were so good – soft and buttery),

Baby Cakes (mini cupcakes, made with Bernard Calibeau chocolate) which are awesome too, I told the kids they taste like soap, more for me!

Broccoli Cheese Buns – mini muffin sized delicousness – gorgeous texture

Oneder Bread – ( Get it? ONE - der! Love it!) this is really the best part, light fluffy, it holds together and yet is soft and flavorful – it’s like focaccia bread…love it!

So get over to People Food – Food for People because I might just be there, scarfing these baby cakes in the parking lot. But don’t all go at once, I hear perogies are coming up and I don’t want to have to hurt anyone to get them. I think I would sell one of my spawn for a perogie.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

You're not going to like this ....I'm not going to like this.......

Remember when I said that I wouldn’t talk about poop? Well, I kinda lied. Wait, wait, don’t click off, WAIT. I still have no intention of discussing the specific details of poop, I have my standards, however, I went to the doctor yesterday and something has happened that I am not content about and of course you need to be discontented with me. So I go to the doctor and it’s a new family doctor for us, this is not the guy who diagnosed my Celiacs so of course we discuss that and he seems pretty well informed on the whole thing which was comforting. So he starts asking about the family history with Colon Cancer and there have been a couple so then he says although studies have shown that there isn’t a direct link between colon cancer and Celiacs, with my family history, it’s a good idea to start screening. Screening, this is the term he uses, I immediately envision a red carpet, a screen with pretty pictures and me in a new dress. Not so.
Doc “I want to send you for an Occult Test”
Me, “I’m Caltholic”
Doc, “Pardon?”
Me, “Nothing”
Doc, “So you need to have one every year and then starting at 40 you will have to have the barium tests”
Me “So the barium tests in 10 years”
Doc “Five”
Me “Med school taught you math too hey?”
Doc “Yup”
Me, “So, um this test it’s um a blood test then?”
Doc, “No”
Me, "Written?"
Doc, smiling "No"
Me, “What is it testing for?”
Doc, “Blood”
Me, “I’m confused”
Doc, “It is testing for blood in your stool”
Me, “Nope”
Doc, “Pardon?”
Me, “Nope”
Doc, “You should have this test but I should make it clear that I don’t think we will find anything”
Me, “Can they do the test with my clothes on?”
Doc , “Well…’s not like that”
Me “So it’s over the phone”
Doc “No”

So he hands me a baggy. Inside the baggy is some paperwork, pieces of card board and three Popsicle sticks. This thing SCREAMS home craft kit and my soul dies a little. I shake my head.

Doc, “Would you rather have cancer?”
Me, “Let me think about it”
Doc, straight faced, “funny”
Me, “I am going to blog about this”
Doc, “You go ahead and do what ever you want but get the test done.”

So here I am looking at the contents of the baggy more closely. Do you know what the instructions start with? CONGRATULATIONS so I think I have won something, this was all a ruse, I actually was the 1000 customer at the lab and now I get an iPad or a dirt bike, neither of which I would use but I WON. But that’s not what it is, they faked me out, I have not won anything. I am considering writing a letter of complaint.

"CONGRATULATIONS you have taken a positive step towards staying healthy." Let me make it clear that I am not signing up for a zuma class and I didn't switch to soy milk, it’s a poop test. Then on the back of the false congratulatory letter is detailed pictures about how to “Collect a sample”. It has little squares with pictures of the same guy who is on airplane signs and high voltage warning labels only this time he is sitting on a little toilet. I hope he got paid more for the high voltage signs.

Then it goes into detailed step by step instructions that are upsetting but really, self explanatory so I won't copy the whole thing.  I will however share my favorite step with you:

Step 5 - Throw away the wooden stick

Thank you. I wouldn’t have thought of that.

So I am looking at the kit and I looked at Trev and said, “This sucks”
Trev Replied, “I ask only that you label everything as clearly as humanly possible.”
“Will do,” I said with a sigh. But I didn’t move, I don’t know if I can do this one. Don’t worry dear reader, you won't know if I do or if I don’t but I still look back at step 5 and sigh.

Celiac Disease, the gift that keeps on giving you the shudders.

Sunday 18 September 2011

The Foods I like and the Foods I Eat and the Foods I like to eat.

Ok so eating with variation has never been my strong suit. I grew up in a meat and potatoes family. When I got married, I didn't know how to cook chicken - for realzees, I had no idea. I also didn't have a varied palatte. For example, I didn't know what an avocado tasted like until I was twenty, I didn't know you could make pasta out of anything other than wheat and I thought that a pomegranate was fake, seriously. Working in restaurants and feeding my Trevor and spawn has done wonders for my glossary of foods. I am happy to report that I can cook a variety of chow and I think I am a pretty good cook. I doubt Trev would disagree, he's an intelligent man. My new challenge has been Gluten free cooking. I have struggled to find the right products that act semi normal. Pasta has been a big struggle. I don't care what anyone says but brown rice pasta is craptastic. There is nothing worse then sitting and watching my family dig into a huge spaghetti dinner, twirling and twisting their way through the meal I so lovingly prepared while I sit with a pile of brown snot slathered in sauce on my plate. It's shit, I hate it, don't argue. Please see some of my fave Gluten Free items.

Best Pasta Ever! Most Gluten Eaters can't tell the difference. A word of caution, it does not last well for the next day (it gets grainy) so eat it right away and the spagetti is a little tough.

The closest thing you will ever get to a Ritz. Thats right, let go of the Ritz Crackers, they are dead to you.

The best bread crumbs for those who are too lazy to make their own, like me.

OK so.... most Celiacs are told that we can't have oats so WHY would I put this in? Well, we can't have oats because they are 99% of the time processed with wheat, these oats are not and therefore you can eat these. I will add my
recipe for granola. It's yummy good good.

Ok, I know these look kinda lame, but I will pull you into my cirlce of trust and tell you that these chips are to DIE for. My friend Megan and I polished off a bag in 10 minutes once. She is pregnant and I have no excuse but we still did.

Who doesn't love pancakes? Maple syrup is Gluten Free already and this is one of the few mixes that doesn't ask for a bunch of different added ingredients.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Gluten and Craziness.... soulmates?

The problem is that many people don’t “get it” with Celiac, they don’t appreciate how big a deal it is and really they don’t care. I am not saying that the entire earth should be aware of my allergy and cater to me where ever I go. I would never be a pain in the ass like that. I often bring a cooler with my own food in it to parties thus avoiding putting the hostess out at all. It's bad enough that I have to deal with my Celiacs why they hell should everyone? I’m saying that when I tell you it’s a big deal, you should believe me because I am not fucking with you. The issue is that some people consider Celiac as a little made up. They would never admit it to me but they think it, I can see it in their eyes because remember, that I used to be that person.

When I tell someone that I have Celiac Disease, I can tell right away with some people that their opinion of me is forever altered. They do this head shake and nod thing causing them to look like a bobble head doll, its actually very entertaining. They do this, because on one hand they think I am full of shit and on the other they don’t want me to know that they think I am full of shit. They also do this over exaggerated eyebrow raise, which screams over compensation. Then they say something benign like “huh really, yikes.” This is someone who has never said the phrase 'yikes' in their life and yet chooses this moment to use the term. And with that random Beaver Cleaver-esque response, I know, I know they think I am a total and complete lunatic. Regardless of how they felt about me before, they think I am a little cracked now. They don’t want to offend me though so they don’t actually come out with it, they just do the eyebrow thing again and then we move on. But from that day forward, things have changed, and to that person, I am a little off my rocker.

No one challenges me outright, I think they know that would go poorly for them. No, these people just patronize me . They treat me like the guy on the train that you get stuck sitting next to who tells you that he just had lunch with Donald Trump and he was consulted by Prime Minister Harper about his security detail. And you smile and look interested and try to remember every single word he says so that you can relay it to your friends at a later date. This is how some people treat me. They believe that I THINK I have a disease but they don’t think I have the disease. Make sense? It’s not like they don’t like me anymore, they just think I am a faker, you know who you are, don’t lie.

Now, this mentality is (I think) the fault of one type of person and one type only; the classic, old school, crazy ass hypochondriac. For some ridiculous reason, being Celiac has how become the answer to all your problems. Depressed? Stop eating gluten and you will be happy! Fertility problems? Have no fear! Stop eating gluten and you will have a baby! Celiac is the new snake-oil and it is ready to rock. I am not shitting you people; this is content on the World Wide Web today. Be afraid, be very afraid. Here’s some more and what I think about it.

I see spots when I eat Gluten. – Go tell your eye doctor that, wait to see what they say, record their answer for me please, I would like to hear it.
I have pain in one knee only, I limp when I eat gluten. – Stop running for three days, take a Tylenol and call me in the morning.

I have a fever, do I have Celiac? – Nope, you have a fever.

I am a self diagnosed Celiac but I can drink beer – then you are a self diagnosed nut case (and most likely an alcoholic)

I am having chest pains because of Gluten– call 911, you can eat an English muffin while you wait for the ambulance.

What types of bottled water are Gluten Free? – Umm all of them?

And my personal favorite...where can I find gluten free cat food? – I have no response

So don’t lump us all in together. I was a healthy, happy, well adjusted active human being prior to being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. After being diagnosed (by a medical professional I will have you know) I am still well adjusted and active. I am more healthy though which makes me more happy. If you think you have Celiac Disease, the ONLY course of action is to seek medical advice from a Doctor. If you are diagnosed, please know that the lack of Gluten will not fix your life in any way but to take away the symptoms associated with your Celiac's. For example as you can see from the above post, even without Gluten, I am still a little bit of a bitch.

So if you don't want to see crazy, don't treat me like I'm crazy.