My Gluten-free Journey and 3 Tips for the Newly Diagnosed Celiac

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on August 21, 2014

in Celiac Disease

This post has been made possible thanks to my partnership with Udi’s Gluten-Free.

In June 2010, with a new round of stomach pain and other symptoms, I was sent to a gastroenterologist for an endoscopy. This wasn’t my first endoscopy, but it had been many years since my previous one. This time, they were looking for an ulcer, thinking that explained my constant stomach pain. Given the stress I had been under during the previous year, it was our best guess. At this point, I’d had 18 years of playing “stump the doctor” with my various symptoms and health issues.

About a week later, my head buzzed as my doctor talked about my endoscopy and lab results. Instead of telling me I had an ulcer, or worse, telling me they didn’t know what was wrong with me, he said words I’d never heard before:
“Your small intestine showed marked villous blunting.”
“Your tTG and IgA scores are the highest I’ve ever seen!”
“…diagnosis of celiac disease”
“You can’t eat any gluten ever again.”

I was sent home with the stack of various test results and lovely photos of my esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Umm, thanks!

Though my head was spinning, and from more than my constant brain fog, I was extremely relieved to finally have a diagnosis after so many years of doctors shrugging their shoulders. The doctor gave me no information on celiac disease or gluten, just told me to go “Google it”. I headed home and started searching the internet and checking out books from the library.

Overwhelming. That’s the word I would use to describe my first feelings as I figured out what it would mean to eat gluten-free. I’ve heard from many others that they felt the same way when they were diagnosed. It is totally normal to feel that way, and also to mourn what this change will mean to your lifestyle and your family’s lifestyle.

Thinking back on that point in time, there are a few things that really helped me get through those first few weeks. I thought I’d share them with you in hopes that they would help you with your transition.

1) Find a gluten-free mentor. Ask your friends, neighbors, co-workers, or doctor for the name of someone with celiac disease that would be willing to talk to you and help you get started. A friend’s celiac aunt met me at the park within a week of my diagnosis and brought me a gift basket full of her favorite products, as well as several pages worth of tips she’d written out. This was so incredibly helpful for me! Even if you can just pick someone’s brain over the phone for a few minutes, just for some encouragement and tips, it can really help. I really think this kept me from having a meltdown! An online community can also be a great source for “virtual mentors”. Great tips and helpful people can be found online in gluten-free forums like Udi’s Gluten Free Community. Getting a doctor’s referral to a dietitian or nutritionist can be helpful as well.

2) Enlist a friend or family member to help you purge your pantry and kitchen. My husband helped me with this process. We referred to lists of unsafe ingredients that we found online and in books and went through our pantry and freezer item by item. By getting all of the “off-limits” food out of the pantry and kitchen, it not only removed any temptation from those products, but it removed any risk for cross-contamination too. We packed all of the food, condiments, strainers and toaster up and were able to distribute it to 3 families in our church. They were blessed by it, which really cheered me up!

3) Take a look at your favorite recipes and see what you can do to adapt them to gluten-free. I found this much less overwhelming than trying out all new recipes for myself and my family. Almost all of my family’s favorite recipes could be converted to gluten-free very easily by just swapping a few ingredients. We could still enjoy chicken tacos, just switching from flour tortillas to corn tortillas and making sure to buy a gluten-free broth and seasonings. We could still have grilled cheese sandwiches or club sandwiches if I picked up a gluten-free bread like Udi’s. Our favorite spaghetti dish - easily gluten-free by switching to a gluten-free noodle.

I’d love to hear about your gluten-free journey or your tips for the first few weeks after diagnosis.

Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/community

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Celiac Research Study looking for participants

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on August 15, 2014

in Celiac Disease

The following post is sponsored and written by CeliAction. I am sharing it for informational purposes only so that my readers with celiac disease can consider participating.
CeliAction Research Study looking for participants

Did you know there isn’t a single drug approved to treat celiac disease? Currently, attempting a gluten-free diet is the only option recommended by doctors, but a clinical research study called the CeliAction Study is researching if an investigational drug improves any symptoms of the disease.
You may qualify for the CeliAction Study if you:

  • Have been diagnosed with celiac disease by a healthcare professional
  • Are attempting to be on a gluten-free diet
  • Have experienced at least one moderate or severe symptom of celiac disease in the past month

If you participate in the CeliAction Study, you:

  • Will be able to maintain your current diet restrictions
  • Will be provided with study-related care at no cost
  • Do not need medical insurance to take part
  • May be compensated for time and travel
  • Will help advance medical research for celiac disease

To learn more about this research study and see if you qualify, visit www.CeliActionStudy.com
or call 1-855-3333-ACT.

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Peach Oatmeal Cookie Crisp {Gluten-free}

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on August 14, 2014

in Fruit Desserts

Gluten-free Peach Oatmeal Cookie Crisp - The peaches are topped with oatmeal cookies in this cross between a cobbler and a crisp.

Peach Oatmeal Cobbler, Peach Oatmeal Cookie Crisp, Oatmeal Cookie Peach Crisp, Peach Delight… so many name ideas for this recipe. It was hard to come up with the appropriate name for this dessert I created recently.

I got the idea for a dessert like this from a friend a few years back, and then put my own twist on it. I asked my friends on Facebook for name ideas and received all of the above, and more. While it looks more like a “cobbler” does, the topping is nothing like a cobbler topping, which is biscuit-like. In this dessert, cinnamon, sugar and peaches are tossed together and topped with my favorite gluten-free oatmeal cookie dough and baked until cooked through. That’s right, instead of the usual sugar/butter/oats topping for a crisp, this is topped with oatmeal cookies! Served warm, with a scoop of ice cream, this dessert is a perfect summer dessert!

Baking Gluten-free Peach Oatmeal Cookie Crisp

I use a Medium Cookie Scoop to make it super simple to scoop the oatmeal cookie dough onto the peach filling. No mess and super fast!

Make sure you use certified gluten-free oats when you make this. I have several I’ve used and recommend:

I’ve tested this recipe with both Gluten Free Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Flour and gjJules flour blends and recommend either.

I love the simplicity of this dish, as it really allows the flavors of the peaches to shine. I’d love to hear from you if you try it out!

 

Peach Oatmeal Cookie Crisp {Gluten-free}
 
Recipe from:
Ingredients
Peach base:
  • 11 cups sliced, peeled fresh peaches (about 5 lbs.)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. gluten-free all-purpose flour or cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Oatmeal Cookie topping:
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened (or non-dairy substitute like coconut oil or Earth Balance sticks)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. xanthan gum (omit if flour blend contains xanthan)
  • 1¾ cup good quality gluten-free all-purpose flour*
  • 2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats or quick oats
Instructions
  1. Lightly spray a 9x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
Peach base:
  1. In a bowl, gently stir together sliced peaches, sugar, cinnamon, flour and lemon juice until peaches are coated evenly.
  2. Spoon peach mixture into greased 9x13" baking dish. Spread evenly.
Oatmeal Cookie Topping:
  1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter (or alternative) on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, vanilla, egg, xanthan gum, and 1 cup of the flour. Beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour. Turn mixer to low speed and mix in the oats, stopping just when thoroughly mixed in.
  3. Use a large cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon to scoop the cookie dough all over the peach mixture.
  4. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until lightly browned and peach mixture is bubbly.
Notes
Good quality gluten-free all-purpose flour: I recommend gfJules, Gluten Free Mama, or King Arthur Flour.

Linking up at Gluten free and DIY Tuesdays, and Gluten free Wednesdays with gluten free easily and gluten free homemaker.

Some links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here. If you do decide to purchase something at Amazon or another retailer after following my link, I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use to pay for web hosting and services for this blog.

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June and July Favorites {plus a giveaway!}

by Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen on August 2, 2014

in Friday Favorite

We were traveling at the end of June/beginning of July, so I decided to put my favorites from both months together in one recap post. Make sure you enter the giveaway at the end!

My Gluten-free Kitchen's June and July 2014 Favorites

My favorite finds:

I found so many yummy gluten-free treats during the Bay Area gluten-free bakery hop that I did in June. Ready to go again!

Newly gluten-free? Check out these 10 tips for starting a gluten-free diet.

Hubby and I had an amazing time on our very first trip to the eastern part of the US. I particularly loved Pennsylvania and will post about all of the yummy places we ate there soon.  I can tell you that I’m still thinking about how much I enjoyed my first ever cannoli at Grandma’s Grotto. It was so incredible!

I’ve already told my hubby that I REALLY want one of these gluten-detection dogs

or one of these portable gluten scanners (Can you imagine how handy this would be?!)

I bought these sandals before our trip and love them!

This dress from Target is perfect for summer travel. I was super comfortable in it and got so many compliments too!

This Lego representation of the 50 states is one of the coolest things I’ve seen!

I need to try out some of these: 6 Things the Most Productive People Do Every Day.

On these very hot summer afternoons, my kids have been watching these 3 movies over and over: The LEGO Movie, Rio, and Rio 2

This article served up just the right mix of conviction and encouragement for me as a mom.

 

5 recipes I want to try soon:

Grilled Pesto Chicken and Tomato Kabobs – Perfect for using up our cherry tomatoes!

Gluten-free Vanilla Wafers – Boy have I missed vanilla wafers!

Gluten-free No Bake Cinnamon S’mores Bars – I can make these and not smell like a campfire!

Homemade Fudgecicles – I love chocolate!

Gluten-free Blueberry Peach Coffee Cake – Our peach trees are full of peaches so I can make this soon!

 

and now for the giveaway:

back to school giveaway: Enter to win $400 cash just by following these bloggers on Pinterest!

I’ve teamed up with a bunch of other bloggers (some gluten-free) to bring you a fun giveaway. You can enter to win $400 cash to use for back to school! Seriously, how fun would this be to win?! If I could win, I’d get a new laptop for my kiddos.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: Some links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here. If you do decide to purchase something at Amazon or another retailer after following my link, I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use to pay for web hosting and services for this blog.

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White Chocolate Raspberry Muffins with Almond Streusel Topping {Gluten-free}

July 24, 2014
White Chocolate Raspberry Muffins with Almond Streusel Topping

I recently asked on Facebook what everyone’s favorite muffin was and a few people mentioned white chocolate raspberry muffins. While I had seen that combo before, I actually had never had them myself. To the kitchen I went, and created these gluten-free white chocolate raspberry muffins with almond streusel topping! We grow raspberries in our […]

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Rio2 Family Movie Night

July 21, 2014
Rio2 and Pop Secret Movie Night

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group, Pop Secret and Fox Entertainment, but all opinions are my own. #pmedia #PopForRio2 http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV My kids were super excited when I surprised them with a family movie night this weekend! While they were up cleaning their rooms, I got everything […]

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3 Bay Area Gluten-free Bakeries you don’t want to miss!

July 14, 2014
3 Bay Area Gluten-free Bakeries you don't want to miss!

I’ve never been so blissfully full as when I visited three incredible gluten-free bakeries in the Bay Area all in one day! Last month, when I was on my way to the CDF Conference, I planned a long layover in San Francisco so I could bakery hop. My partner in crime, Charissa, ended up needing […]

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CeliAction Clinical Research Study Looking for Participants

July 12, 2014

The following post is sponsored and written by CeliAction. I am sharing it for informational purposes only so that my readers with celiac disease can consider participating. Managing celiac disease may be more than just a gluten-free diet. A clinical research study called the CeliAction Study is researching if an investigational drug – which would […]

Read more…

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Fudge Bars {Gluten-free}

July 10, 2014
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Fudge Revel Bars {Gluten-free}

This recipe for gluten-free peanut butter oatmeal fudge bars makes a huge pan of treats, which makes it perfect for bringing to potlucks and parties. I always come home with an empty pan! These gooey, fudgy bars are so good, no one will know they are gluten-free. Have you ever had revel bars? That’s what […]

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Guest Post: Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats

June 23, 2014
Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats guest post

I’d love to introduce you to my blogger friend Sarah. I guest posted on her blog a few months back and am so happy to have her here sharing her favorites here today with you all. The recipe photos that Sarah posts always have me about to drool! She is a wonder in the kitchen […]

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