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Three Weeks Remaining to Eat Gluten - FOREVER! What would you include??

Bloodwork indicates strongly I have Celiac Disease. Am awaiting official diagnosis by colonoscopy and gastroscopy January 4. Prior to this I was off gluten 5 months. Now I am almost in a panic as I want to eat all the things I love containing gluten while I can. It is so sad to say that "I will have this for the last time in my life" as I reach for a French pastry or pasta or ciabatta bread. In addition to wheat, flax, barley, malt (and all derivatives) celiacs cannot have regular soy sauce, kecap manis, Lea and Perrins Worcestershire (in Canada), MSG, ponzu, and so on. Not easy.

Question: If you were given three weeks to cram all you can think of into your diet for the last time, what would you choose? Amongst other things my list is comprised of:

- pasta of all sorts
- gnocchi
- breads of all sorts
- butterscotch cake
- many Thai dishes
- Steak and Ale Pie
- Yorkshire Pudding
- all types of pastry
- Italian pizza (last time we were in Italy I had no gluten - very tough)
- phyllo and puff pastry
- shortbread

And so many more - too many to list. Can you help me out? I don't want to miss anything!!

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  1. Couple things...

    If you're basically an unconfirmed Celiac, won't stuffing yourself with gluten turn into a rather terrible experience?

    Secondly, Celiac disease seems to be EXPLODING. Everywhere you turn lately, there's a gluten free option, alternative, etc.

    Many of the items on your list can be made to be gluten free. It takes a while to trial-and-error your way through new or tweaked recipes, but Celiacs is by no means as difficult a lifestyle as it was even three years ago.

    I honestly didn't realize how easy it is to live gluten-free until I tried - my ex-gf had a severe case of Celiacs which basically meant I might as well have ;) As I said before, it's a little tough at first but you get the hang of what adjustments need to be made pretty quickly and it just becomes second nature.

    I know this doesn't really address your question, but I wanted to let you know it's not as bad as it first seems :)

    11 Replies
    1. re: Chow_Down

      Fortunately for me I have no symptoms. I feel absolutely no different on gluten than I do off. I've been back on gluten for nearly a month and loving it!

      I teach culinary classes and know that many things can be made GF BUT some things just cannot compare (i.e. most breads). The town in which I live has very few GF options in stores - zero in restaurants. However, I don't like the GF food anyway - I'd far rather make my own. It's true - I do feel sorry for myself at times. When I first went GF it was literally cold turkey - I was far more anal about it than most celiacs I know. The first few days back on gluten were hard mentally but now it's such a pleasure. I know that once I get into it again I will be just fine. The trickiest thing for me is eating in different countries and avoiding patisseries in Paris, pizzerias in Italy and so on. Sure, there are definitely delicious options but I still find it rough.

      I am just so obsessed with food that at times it seems daunting!

      1. re: chefathome

        Cross contamination is also an issue, obviously. Most fine restaurants' staff are well trained. However, average places can be tricky. For example, I went to a restaurant and ordered some sort of salad (the only thing on the entire menu I could have) and made it clear I could not have croutons. So, the server brought me the salad with croutons. After I reminded him he literally took the croutons out and gave it back. I had to insist on a brand new salad. That kind of thing drives me crazy! I do have restaurant cards in different languages but it is difficult to explain things in detail in various languages when traveling. When we have get togethers with family there are lots of little ones who touch the cheese then the bread then the whatever, making it difficult for me to eat at homes. Social functions are also tricky, as I'm sure you've found! Once I was unable to have one single thing at a dinner. Zero. Sometimes I just take my own thing along. But what others have just looks so good! Perhaps if I were symptomatic it would almost help in a warped way. Even though I do not exhibit symptoms I know precisely what is going on inside my body which is incredibly scary, however.

        But I'm not the only one - just venting!

        1. re: chefathome

          If you are asymptomatic why are you cutting the gluten out and why bother testing for it? Please feel absolutely no force in answering. I am just curious. I have a relative that has made a decision to be completely gluten free. It now rules her life. I also understand that if you are asymptomatic that you may end up being so if you go back heavily on gluten after eliminating it - like there is a rebound effect.

          If you have not a confirmed problem absorbing gluten, why put your cart before the horse? Why eat what you dislike if there is no ill effect from eating gluten?

          Please do not think in any way that I am trying to be rude and if it comes off that way I am truly sorry.

          1. re: Sal Vanilla

            Cutting out gluten will reduce her (his?) morbidity by a huge amount.

            However, she (he?) will need to do the colonoscopy on a full "normal" diet, otherwise it's pointless. The colonoscopy is to biopsy for presence of inflammation, which can only happen, assuming it is Celiac's, when gluten is ingested.

            Good luck, and eat well!

            1. re: xIcewind

              Like Sal, I am a bit unclear about this subject and I don't want to appear callus or rude. I am, however, fascinated. xlcewind - Could you please point me in the direction of any data, studies, etc. supporting a causal relationship between gluten consumption and morbidity rates? Or, were you referring only to eventual symptomatic Celiac's?

              Edit - I'm sorry, chef, as I didn't mean for my curiosity to take the thread off-topic. If I were on the eve of going gluten-free, I think I'd spend the first week in San Francisco devouring as many breads as I could. Week two would be doing a bagel-fest in New York. On week three, I'd probably retire home to attack the rest of the list.

              1. re: MGZ

                I second all of this right down to stealing the thread.

                I would park myself in front of a big Sunday ragu and some garlic bread and then spend the rest of the time at the bakery. I find non gluten bread and all things flour mix to be the pits.

                1. re: MGZ

                  Hey, sorry for the late reply,

                  Celiacs and morbidities can be found on numerous publications. The difficulty, again, comes down to how the study was done, since it relates to management of a chronic disease, and gets into the spectrum of autoimmunity that the general population has.

                  The major one I can think of would be fatigue and anemia.

                  I just looked this up: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21... Again, it is tough to associate a causation or effect on things.

                  On topic though: Definitely wait for your small bowel biopsy. The tests aren't perfect, but without the biopsy, the diagnosis can't be confirmed.

                  Good luck!

                  1. re: xIcewind

                    Thank you. I had to read it through a couple times to get it! Interesting that so many have it (in varying degrees) and that it could be a sort of secret source of maladies or play a part in maladies, but not considered.

                    I also thought morbidity meant like cause of death and NOT just disease or illness. So you can imagine my being stunned when reading your first post! Sometimes you have to laugh at yourself. I am completely medically clueless.

                    But anyway, thank you.

                    And best of luck with your tests Chefathome. I hope they find there is no need to cut the gluten and that this is merely a fun exercise.

                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                      "I also thought morbidity meant like cause of death and NOT just disease or illness. "
                      that's a common assumption (and honest mistake!) by people who haven't studied or worked in a medical or health-related field - it's confusing :)

                      FYI, morbidity refers to the incidence of illness within a population, whereas *mortality* refers to the incidence of death.

                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                        I'm so sorry to have confused you regarding morbidity and mortality!

                        1. re: xIcewind

                          Oh it was not YOU! LOL. It was purely my ignorance. I readily admit that. YOU cleared it up.

          2. I don't fully understand your predicament. But I'll answer your question.

            There is decent gluten-free pasta made by Tinkyada. So I'd probably indulge in pasta that Tinkyada doesn't make such as ravioli. btw, when cooking with brown rice pasta, key is to rinse the pasta (I know, a big no-no with wheat pasta). Otherwise the pasta will stick to each other. Many Thai foods are gluten-free (unless you're talking about eating at a restaurant where you may encounter cross contamination and some dishes made with soy). If you're cooking your own Thai food, you can use wheat-free tamari instead of soy sauce and make your own ketjap manis using tamari as your base. You can also make your own ponzu as well.

            I'd concentrate my efforts on breads, cakes, pastry, pizzas, etc -- really have not found an appropriate substitute that can compare to the wheat versions.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Miss Needle

              Sorry - when I was talking Thai I was thinking more of restaurants where cross contamination is an issue. Thankfully I love to make Thai at home. The examples I used above probably weren't great (such as ponzu) - you're right - they are makeable at home. Which I do - I make my own mustards, ketchups, seasoning blends (many spices have gluten in their fillers but I love to buy whole spices and grind anyway).

              I need to look at it as a challenge in a good way - not the negative so much. I am the only one where we live who teaches culinary classes and also the only one who teaches GF classes (working in conjunction with the medical professionals). So, in that way it is a good thing for others. It is certainly gratifying doing something you love and help others at the same time! It truly is seeing things differently and a great deal of education.

              Most days I am ok with the prospects - sometimes it's hard when I see someone slurping pasta and munching on delicious bread at the next table when I am stuck with a lonely salad with greens (and a dressing if I'm lucky!). The good thing about not having ANY good restaurants in town is that we don't go out to eat often and can control that at home. Oh, well. I do fully realize things could be so much worse!

              Although it is currently -25C outside I feel a sudden craving for a Dairy Queen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard coming on!! Oh, and onion rings (which I otherwise never crave). Hurray!

            2. Sorry to have been so unclear! When one has celiac disease even a couple of grains of wheat can cause havoc internally. It is an auto-immune disease - your body's villi in the small intestine cannot absorb nutrients such as vitamins, iron, etc. This, of course, increases the likelihood of certain cancers by many times. It can also cause organs to eventually shut down. It is so serious that when I got my bloodwork results back my doctor told me to go off gluten 100% immediately. Getting tested is not part of routine bloodwork; I requested it as my sister has CD and it is hereditary. So, not thinking I had any issues I requested the specific bloodwork which is 98% accurate (so that is why my doctor and GI surgeon both strongly believe I have it!) my numbers were off the charts. I was shocked, considering I was asymptomatic. My sister exhibits all sorts of horrible symptoms. The one negative thing about being a "silent" celiac is that you do not know if you accidentally ingest gluten or not (i.e. at a restaurant). Therefore dieticians feel silent celiacs are in more danger.

              So, it is not just symptoms that are a pain (literally) - it is the actual internal damage it does that is even scarier. In order to be tested definitively you must have a colonoscopy and gastroscopy. One reason is that you can claim groceries up to a certain point (they are EXPENSIVE - i.e. a tiny loaf of bread can be $6-$7) and you cannot claim without the "gold standard" diagnosis. In order to have these scopes you must go back on gluten for 4-8 weeks, depending how long you were off, as the villi damage can be clearly seen. Most people do not want to go back onto gluten as it causes much pain. I, for one, am really enjoying having gluten. Of course there is a teeny weeny chance I am not celiac but very minute. There is also a difference between gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease - when you are intolerant you will likely have GI symptoms BUT will NOT have internal damage. Sort of like lactose intolerance - it can be annoying and painful but at least your insides will usually not be affected. If a celiac ingests a tiny bit of gluten it can set you way back to where you where when initially - that is why it is so crucial to not have any. My husband and I were told to use separate bread knives, separate toaster ovens, no double dipping in jars and so on.

              My doctors and dietician gradually put me back on gluten and now I can have however much I want. In fact, I must have at least the equivalent of four pieces of bread daily.

              Does that explain things better? My dilemma is this - I'm suddenly in a panic mode, thinking this may be the last time I have such and such. I am such a carb/gluten person! Now I crave things I never used to like doughnuts and obscure recipes I've only made once or twice in my life. So, if you were given only a few weeks to basically go wild and pig out while you could, what would you choose to eat (with gluten)? It sounds weird but I am scared of missing something...

              4 Replies
              1. re: chefathome

                The possibility of having Celiac's without any indication of it is a food geek nightmare for sure. I'm certainly still interested in learning more.

                I think my approach would really be quality first. The BEST bagels. The BEST bread. The BEST beer. Go out with a bang!

                1. re: MGZ

                  You make an excellent point. For three weeks I am going to have the BEST of the BEST of whatever I choose! As someone so obsessed with food it is indeed nightmarish to think about. My husband and I travel a lot and as such miss out on a lot of experiences we would otherwise have. We travel for food!

                2. re: chefathome

                  Just FYI - my two nephews were told, based upon blood work, that they have celiac. They had been having stomach problems since their teen years, and finally got checked out. Well, after years of being gluten free, they were re-diagnosed as having IBS, with some level of gluten intolerance. One nephew is still gluten free, the other is not, and they are both doing OK, with occasional flare ups.

                  Good luck to you - we have a dear friend with celiac, and we are always concerned about keeping her safe at our parties. We're having a fondue New Year's party, and we are giving her her own cheese pot to avoid any contamination.

                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                    That is very interesting! My doctor himself was very surprised with my bloodwork so I have always had a teeny bit of hope in my mind of not having celiac. I am assuming I do but it would be lovely to be pleasantly surprised!

                    You are a very kind and considerate friend, giving her her own cheese pot! Wow - she must really appreciate it so very much.

                3. I would make sure to include sausages, something that is roux-based that you've loved, and beer (if you are a drinker). I would also think about breakfast foods, like biscuits and gravy, or pancakes, or waffles but those would come into heavy competition with the cold pie I would want to eat with my morning coffee. I would eat a lot of bagels. I would also have to hit up the local taqueria for a burrito, flour tortilla and a filling of meat and rice. Also, I would have to have a pastrami on rye. Or salami on rye. Or anything on rye with *mustard*. I love soy sauce, and I know my extra spicy singapore noodle dish would be on the menu for sure. I would make a batch of chili. And a nice potpie. And some fried chicken. I would eat *many* boxes of Triscuits, in between bags of my favorite seaweed rice crackers. I resisted adding 'with beer' to every item on this list.

                  My boyfriend's mom is a celiac, and the first few gluten-free months were a shock for her, but she's adjusted very well, and feels so much better. Good luck.

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: onceadaylily

                    You're right - I need to focus more on savoury things as well as sweet. In fact, my preference is almost always savoury over sweet. I would take a great home-grown sausage over a piece of chocolate cake (except for now, of course). Bagels are an excellent idea. As mentioned above our town has very little GF stuff - the nearest city is a 3-hour drive so when (and if) necessary we will stock up like crazy.

                    One of the yuckiest GF things in my mind is cereal. BLECH. I believe in the U.S. there are a couple of regular cereals that are GF but not here in Canada. It tastes like air with a bit of crunch! There are lots of differences between products in the U.S. versus Canada. When my husband was in Phoenix September he brought back Worcestershire sauce, cereal, etc. that we cannot get here. Well, we can get WS but it has malt in it here.

                    One of the first things I made was chicken pot pie - soooo satisfying. I still plan to do fried chicken. It's funny you mentoin Triscuits - I went through about 6 boxes and at this point don't want to see one for quite a long time. I still need to make more waffles and pancakes and crepes. Oh, and bread pudding.

                    I think that if I felt better off gluten it may be easier but for the 5 months I was off I felt no difference whatsoever. That would certainly be good incentive! Great to hear about your boyfriend's mom who is feeling much better. My sister is, too. I feel for her as she is also lactose intolerant - it would be tough not to have gluten AND dairy!

                    1. re: chefathome

                      And rice pudding!

                      Sushi would be at the top of my list as well. My favorite unagi roll would be stricken from the list. I know you could specify no rice, or soy, but cross contamination would be a bit of a worry for me, as you've pointed out concerning the Thai food.

                      You seem to have a very good attitude about this. I think this situation is likely easier for someone who likes to cook, and can rise to the occasion, compared to someone who doesn't enjoy their time in the kitchen.

                      1. re: onceadaylily

                        Oh, of course - rice pudding and sushi! Man, my list is growing longer and longer. It is so true that it is easier for someone like me who is so passionate about food (and pretty darned informed) in a way. Cooking GF for me is not daunting. In fact, it actually is fun to experiment and play with a whole new set of ingredients. I currently have 8 types of flour (each with different properties) that I have experimented with but nothing will ever, ever come even remotely close to my homemade pastas and breads and pizza doughs! I am bound and determined, however, to find the right ratio to make the perfect thin crust pizza and pasta. I must!

                        1. re: chefathome

                          I'm almost certain that rice is gluten free...

                          1. re: link_930

                            +1. Rice is gluten free unless it's been cross-contaminated with a gluten-containing grain.

                            Link to a great guide from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center....scrolling down will show full list of common gluten-containing ingredients, and common gluten-free ingredients below.


                            1. re: 4Snisl

                              Bags of lentils can contain wheat kernels. The last time I was going to make lentil soup I sifted through the bag and found 4 kernels. But the lentils were obviously cross contaminated unfortunately. And they are the good lentils de puy, too...

                            2. re: link_930

                              You're right - rice definitley is gluten free. I wasn't thinking of the rice in the rice pudding but rather the non-traditional stuff I add to it.

                              Today I am making pecan sticky buns.

                            3. re: chefathome

                              Rice is definitely gluten free. A good friend of mine at work has celiac and she eats rice cakes all day long. Quinoa is also gluten free.

                              1. re: valerie

                                Thanks for the clarification. I had more than one GF-free customer tell me they 'couldn't have' rice, so I just assumed it was a cross-contamination thing. But maybe it was just the . . . 'self-diagnosis followed by lazy research' thing.

                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                  lily, don't be too quick to judge - a large proportion of Celiacs also struggle with intolerance or allergy to one or more additional non gluten-containing foods, and rice is one of them (as well as soy, corn, eggs and dairy)...and some just can't tolerate *any* grains whatsoever.

                                  but yes, assuming the person is NOT rice intolerant, rice is safe because it is GF.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    You're right, I was being a little quick on that trigger, GHG. I was thinking of a specific customer who was 'severely allergic to gluten', but was mystified by the word celiac. My time in the field has jaded me a wee bit. :)

                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                      i figured you had a reason for the knee-jerk reaction...and having heard it, i have to say it does sound as though this particular customer might be full of it ;)

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        It's nice to be given the benefit of the doubt on CH. ;) I just dislike seeing what is such a real health concern for some to be treated as a fad (though, truthfully, I have no idea if that particular customer was doing such a thing, it was just what I sensed).

                                        I read threads like this in closet preparation: the boyfriend's mom is celiac, with one of his brothers undergoing the diagnostic process to determine the severity of his intolerance (he is exhibiting many of the same signs his mom did). The boyfriend is being urged to get checked out, as he has many digestive issues.

                                        And here I am with a brand spanking new pasta maker. But I like reading how people who love food as much as we do adapt to these things.

                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                          "And here I am with a brand spanking new pasta maker. But I like reading how people who love food as much as we do adapt to these things."
                                          looks like you'll just have to become an expert at homemade GF pasta dough ;) adapting isn't "easy," but it's most certainly doable...and gets easier with time as awareness increases and we all share our successes, failures, tips, tricks & discoveries. Chowhound is such a blessing in situations like this!

                                          keeping fingers crossed and sending out positive thoughts for BF's diagnosis. but even in the worst case scenario, you know where to come for advice & help :)

                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                            Just how attached are you to this boyfriend?!? I'm VERY fond of my pasta attachment. J/K :)

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              He's a keeper. Who do you think bought the pasta machine for me?

                        2. the things i'd kill for and i wish i'd had the opportunity to gorge on after my diagnosis (no chance, i went GF *immediately*):
                          - true NY/NJ bagel
                          - NY pizza
                          - Kossar's bialy
                          - *really* good pumpernickel, sourdough and rye bread
                          - ethereally flaky croissant
                          - beer
                          - baklava
                          - cold cereal (believe it or not, one of the things i miss most is simple bran flakes!)
                          - pretzels
                          - regular soy sauce

                          there are more, but those are the things that haunt (and taunt!) me on a regular basis.

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Where I live in Canada (prairies) we unfortunately have no access to fresh NY bagels but I am making my own (plus my own pizza, pasta, breads, noodles). I've had awesome sourdough and fabulous croissants. We recently purchased about 3 lb of various types of baklava at a tiny Lebanese bakery in a city a few hours away last weekend. My teeth are actually growing sick of it! ;-D

                            I keep thinking of more and more things to eat such as Chicken and Dumplings, scones, onion rings, cous cous, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Banoffee Pie, licorice, barley risotto, orzo risotto, anything with panko crumbs, sourdough croutons, ice cream cones (and many kinds of ice cream), tabbouleh, angel food cake, root bear, cherry (or any) pie, many blue cheeses, fish and chips with malt vinegar, seitan... The list is just far too long and daunting. Thankfully there are many naturally-occuring GF foods but I love food far too much to not plan each and every meal meticulously to include gluten right now.

                            GF quick breads can actually be pretty good so am not worried about muffins and such - the yeast breads are a different matter. Oh, and I have a superb recipe for GF chocolate chunk cookies that are better than regular recipe.

                            1. re: chefathome

                              It sounds like you're on your way to enjoying your favorite gluten-containing foods.
                              How about Twix? Or onion rings?

                              I do want to make a plug for Nature's Path gluten-free cereals. Their Mesa Sunrise is especially good; not like most gluten-free flakes. And it's a Canadian company, so they shouldn't be too hard for you to find. There are also some pretty decent GF ice cream cones out there. Root beer should always be gluten-free.

                              I used to sometimes buy an all-purpose GF baking mix from Bob's Red Mill, which had a recipe for pizza crust that was outstanding. It looks like Bob's has switched around their product line some (they now have a GF pizza crust mix, which uses a different recipe), but I think that this recipe is the same one I've had success with in the past:
                              I've had many, many, many gluten-free baked goods, and this pizza crust comes closer to its gluten-containing counterpart than any other. It did kill two cheap hand mixers, though.

                              1. re: guilty

                                Yes - I totally forgot about chocolate bars! And onion rings is on my list. Thanks for mentioning Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise cereal - I have not seen it around but will definitely look for it if I need to!

                                I have yet to encounter a GF root beer - perhaps it is different in the US? Funny thing is, I don't even drink root beer anyway!!

                                1. re: chefathome

                                  Perhaps root beer *is* different in the US than in Canada; the root beer I'm familiar with has no more reason to contain gluten than any other soda. Virgil's is the best by a mile, if you can find it.

                                  1. re: guilty

                                    I think root beer in Canada contains malt. It is on the dietician's NOT TO HAVE list. Unsure about all the brands. I'm not really a pop drinker at all but suddenly when I know I may not have it again I want it! Yes, I'm weird...

                                    1. re: chefathome

                                      FYI, Virgil's is indeed gluten-free. And once you try it you'll want it again--and you'll be able to have it :)

                              2. re: chefathome

                                i forgot about panko - that's a biggie, as is malt vinegar.

                                really good GF onion rings are easy to make, and you can make or buy GF ice cream cones. there's also GF licorice. and i personally never focus on couscous or tabbouleh, because in both cases quinoa makes a perfectly acceptable substitute for me.

                                oh, and i wholeheartedly second guilty's recommendation for Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise cereal - it's one of the only GF flake cereals i like (i can't stand the texture of their GF corn flakes). Arrowhead Mills Maple Buckwheat Flakes are great as well.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Awesome - thanks so much for the cereal recs!

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Hmm, I like Nature's Path corn flakes just fine . . .

                                    1. re: guilty

                                      they're okay if i let them get soggy in milk, but i love snacking on dry cereal sometimes, and when dry they have a weird texture to me. i'm not sure how to explain it, they're almost tough and *too* crunchy, and they make a weird, almost squeaking noise when you chew them! i'll stick with the Mesa Sunrise :) speaking of which, do you still buy the Mesa in boxes? they seem to have disappeared here in LA - every store carries the two new flavored varieties in a box now (Vanilla & Maple, i think), but i can only find those huge eco-pak bags of the original Mesa...

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        Ah, in bygone days I preferred Post Toasties to Kellogg's Corn Flakes because the Post's was more crunchy. Different style of corn flakes, I guess. Who knew?

                                        I *think* I've seen the Mesa Sunrise boxes where I live, though I started buying the larger bags when they became available a few years ago. Truth be told, I haven't bought either for a while. But Virginia is not *quite* as eco-conscious as California, so that may be a factor in the packaging available.

                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  You list "true NY/NJ bagel", but I have lived in NJ for 33 years and have yet to find a decent bagel. People in NJ think bigger bagels are better bagels. Every time I'm in Manhattan I stop by H&H and load up. If anyone knows of a good bagel place in NJ I'd love to hear about it.

                                  1. re: Hugh DeMann

                                    ha! H&H bagels are hardly puny :) but my comment was more about taste & texture - size never made much of a difference to me because i'm a scooper anyway.

                                    "If anyone knows of a good bagel place in NJ I'd love to hear about it."

                                3. My cousin has Celiac's. The symptoms are rough for her. She scrupulously avoids cross-contamination.

                                  I would go for as many different types of good fresh breads as I could possible find. I would seek out bakeries for all kinds of breads with chewy crusts, brioches, Challahs, bagels, sweet breads, olive breads, multigrain breads, ryes, anything that looks especially good.

                                  I'd have a hard time giving up crackers. So many good crackers and flat breads.

                                  There would be a different beer every night.

                                  I use soy sauce a lot, but I'd make sure to use some every day for those three weeks.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Helvella

                                    Flatbreads and crackers are finding their way into my snacks like crazy! In addition to all the yummy breads you mention I need to make focaccia.

                                  2. I haven't eaten gluten for a little more than one year. The one thing I would like more than anything else is a really good crusty levain -- eaten as toast, in sandwiches, as croutons. Second on my list, an excellent blistering thin crust local pizza. Last, locally or homemade butternut squash ravioli. Most of the other stuff I can do without.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: maxie

                                      Congratulations for doing it more than a year! Funny - this week I'm making butternut squash ravioli. I have a lovely pasta maker that I likely will be experimenting with GF ingredients in the future. We'll see!

                                    2. I haven't seen mention of blue cheese. I've read cases for it being GF and for containing gluten, so the jury's out. If you like blue cheese, have yourself some while you still can!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: agoodbite

                                        Some blue cheese is GF, some not but yes, I am going to have that, too!

                                      2. Honestly, if I had a diagnosis like that and really wanted to eat gluten, I'd eat nasty gluten-containing things..stale danishes, crappy bread in a bag, cookies made with shortening instead of real butter, etc. Why make yourself miss something you know you can't eat again? Seriously, though, why not mix the wheat with the rice, the oats with the spelt, etc., just to get used to eating GF grains slowly before switching over entirely?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Isolda

                                          Initially I thought of that; having icky stuff would provide interesting memories and perhaps quell my cravings! But I don't want to waste my time and calories on stale stuff. I cannot bring myself to purchase cookies and such - I always bake from scratch and love it - it's therapeutic! I've eaten lots and lots of GF grains and with only two weeks left now just want to eat lots of gluten-containing things - am running out of time! SO glad that I do not need to be careful over Christmas with lots of cross contamination issues with lots of tiny nieces and nephews! ;-D

                                        2. If I was told that a food might be really bad for my health and I had to wait 3 weeks for the test results - I'd give up the food immediately. Why take the risk?

                                          17 Replies
                                          1. re: Peg

                                            I have not had my scopes yet so must wait for them Jan. 4. Then if the surgeon tells me to go off gluten (if I indeed have CD) I will immediately go off gluten for good. For the time being, while I must have gluten, I am truly enjoying it (especially since I am asymptomatic).

                                            1. re: Peg

                                              As mentioned above, you must be on gluten several weeks before your gastroscopy and colonoscopy for accurate results. So, that is why I absolutely must be on gluten right now. If I went off gluten I would have to start from scratch, going back on glurten all over again!

                                              1. re: chefathome

                                                Ah - I must've missed that part, makes sense.
                                                So obviously you're eating loads of pizza, tempura, buttered toast, rhubarb crumble and croquembouche. Obviously.

                                                1. re: Peg

                                                  That's ok! Another part of having these scopes done is eliminating anything else. So, I'm having tons of gluten! Oh, croquembouche - yet another thing to add to my ever-expanding list! Another thing I thought of is panzanella. Not the same with GF bread!

                                                  1. re: chefathome

                                                    Ooh ooh ooh--soft pretzels! There are some passable gluten-free snack pretzels, but I haven't seen/had a gluten-free soft pretzel. Mmm, pretzel. Now I'm all nostalgic for NYC pretzels, which of course tasted slightly of sidewalk and pigeon. *Sigh* . . .

                                                    1. re: guilty

                                                      they won't have that hint of pigeon & sidewalk, but...


                                                      speaking of GF snack pretzels, have you tried the ones from Snyder's that came out this year? i just read about them, but haven't seen them in the store yet.

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                        Thanks for the link! I haven't tried Snyder's GF pretzels, nor do I think I've seen them.

                                                        1. re: guilty


                                                          i've read *glowing* reviews online, but when i used the product locator on their website it didn't turn up any results within a 50-mile radius of me! grrr.

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            same for me; sorry. Have you had Glutino's? I think they're perfectly passable. They're no Newman's Organics, though.

                                                            1. re: guilty

                                                              i refuse to try the Glutino pretzels on principle. they don't even contain any flour! just refined starch, far too much oil, and a boatload of sodium.

                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              This might be the best news I've seen lately. I happen to be a huge fan of the Glutino pretzels, but in my past life, Snyder's pretzels were my absolute favorite. The stores that sell them in NYC are few, far between, and somewhat inconvenient for me, although I'm considering a special trip just to find them. However, it seems that every single grocery store near my parents is carrying them, so I may have to send my mom on a recon mission.

                                                              1. re: whitneybee

                                                                I have no real knowledge of celiac, but it seems as though all of a sudden everybody's being diagnosed with it. Reminds me of the hypoglycemia panic in the 1970's. These ailments seem to be like fads that come and go. Just a thought.

                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                    Did it ever occur to you that there may be newcomers to the board that aren't aware of all the old posts?
                                                                    Oy yourself.

                                                                    1. re: Hugh DeMann

                                                                      of course. the "oy" was more about my frustration with people's continued insistence on calling it a fad or questioning the validity of the recent increase in diagnoses, particularly when the skeptics "have no real knowledge of celiac." it all just makes it even more difficult for those of us who live with these conditions.

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                        +1. It is a very real and serious disease, definitely not a fad. People literally die from it so I think it's about time celiac disease is taken seriously! I must confess before this whole thing happened with me I knew very little about it myself. But when it actually happens to you personally, wow. Scary and sobering stuff.

                                                                  2. re: Hugh DeMann

                                                                    Not so much fads as inevitable results of really badly flawed diet and nutrition guidelines promulgated by food interests and their influences on the government.

                                                                    Congrats if you've never had reactive hypoglycemia; I did, reversed it with a radical diet change. It was awful.

                                                2. I would have to add a deep dark chocolate cake with walnuts baked into it and a rich fudgey butter-cream icing. A huge portion of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. at least a couple of gyros dripping with tzatziki, and as long as we're going in that direction, a pan or two of baklava Mince pie. apple pie, pumpkin pie and one of every kind of donut known to man. About 30 packages of English muffins with butter and marmalade. Ditto for bagels with lox and cream cheese. Croissants and brioche and butter. Listen, I've got to stop now because I'm gaining weight just writing this! I dare you to do this without putting on a pound or five! '-)

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                    Caroline, I am officially gaining wait while reading this, too! I have put on a few pounds in the last couple of months. Now that I only have 10 days left I have literally (well, almost) been shoveling things into my mouth! Last night in a dream a physician told me I am only gluten intolerant and did not have celiac disease. Wow - if only that will happen!

                                                    1. re: chefathome

                                                      May your dream come true! Or better, "None of the above." I suspect I'm not the only one crossing my fingers for you.

                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                        Thank you so very much! If it turns out I do have CD I will, of course, accept it and be extremely diligent with whatever goes into my mouth (including toothpaste and oral rinse). However, if I do not have CD, I will be rejoicing! :-D

                                                  2. Some of the items on your list can be made GF, albeit with more difficulty and with results that aren't quite the same. I tend to think that GF breads, pasta, cookies, cakes, etc. are best not judged against the wheat versions. They are made differently, best made at home or bought fresh from a GF bakery (storebought, frozen GF stuff is particularly bad) and they stand alone. I would like to mention Authentic Foods brand flours here, which will make a HUGE difference in your life if you do indeed need to go GF, and bake at home with Bette Hagman and/or Annalise Roberts' books.

                                                    That said, in your predicament, I would eat many of the items on your list, particularly croissants and pizza, but would add to it:

                                                    beer! GF beer just isn't as enjoyable, as it's considerably sweeter in my estimation, and not in a pleasant ale-ish way. I'd be drinking at least one beer a day until Jan. 4th, easily. Cider and wine, while lovely, just aren't beer.

                                                    Korean food, because of the gochujang, which I haven't yet found without wheat in the ferment.

                                                    udon and ramen from the resties that make it in house. Mmmm...

                                                    buttermilk biscuits baked in cast iron with browned butter

                                                    assorted and sundry items like candies--licorice in particular comes to mind--that are difficult to find without wheat

                                                    ETA: Oh, and turkey dressing, which I made GF at Thanksgiving, and while it was good, it just wasn't the same...

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: amyzan

                                                      You are right - many things can be made GF (and I've done so) but so many results just do not cut it. Unfortunately we have no GF bakeries here (in fact, we have NO bakeries in town which may be a good thing). We also cannot get Authentic Foods brand here but if I do find I have CD I am going to have to start mail ordering I think.

                                                      Ah, beer. To be honest I do not like beer so I wouldn't miss it EXCEPT in condiments such as mustards and dishes such as Steak and Guiness Pie.

                                                      With only ten days left now (ARGH!!) I am down to planning each and every meal and snack to ensure I am getting as much as I can. It was much easier initially to go off gluten cold turkey - going back on for this gluten challenge and the subsequent going off is more difficult. But I'm not the only one - many have done the same!

                                                      My pasta machine and KitchenAid mixer are getting their workout, that is for sure!

                                                    2. Won't all that gluten just make you hideously ill? Or is that the whole idea? Make yourself so sick that on Jan 3rd they'll throw up their hands in horror at the look of your insides? It seems self-defeating to me. You did without all that stuff for five months - did it make you feel better NOT to have it? If so, why eat it again now?

                                                      (I see by your other post that you had no GI symptoms? If so, why was celiac even suspected?!)

                                                      Edit - Okay, so your sister is celiac... I hope that you don't have any damage to your insides that would make you have to go g/f for good. If it was me and I wasn't having any symptoms, I don't think I'd be able to stick to a restrictive diet no matter how important it was. I did sugar-free for a year (hypogloycemia), and I did dairy-free for a couple of years (lactose-intolerance) but not at the same time and neither of them 'stuck' after my symptoms disappeared!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Kajikit

                                                        Not the slightest bit ill. In fact, I must say I feel better eating lots of gluten! Seriously. So, it certainly is not self defeating. Of course I am going ahead with the scopes for a definitive diagnosis. The reason it was suspected (and I subsequently requested the specific bloodwork) is that my sister has it and it is genetic. She, however, is also lactose intolerant so I feel extra sad for her... Therefore all my family members had to request same bloodwork.

                                                        In order to do the scopes, as mentioned above, you must have the equivalent of at least 4 pieces of bread per day for several weeks to three months so the surgeon can see whether the gluten is doing damage to the small intestine. Whilst eating all this gluten I am constantly mindful of the damage it probably is doing to me but this is not optional.

                                                        BTW, there is such a thing as a "silent celiac" - those folks suffer from celiac without GI symptoms so there is still a very strong chance of my having it. Silent celiacs can have a difficult time because you can be "glutened", say with cross contamination at a restaurant, and not even realize the damage it has caused.

                                                      2. I helped my friend self test for a gluten intolerance and kind of walked the walk with him, mostly. I'm from the Philly area and I really missed a lot of combo dishes, like cheesesteaks. They just aren't the same without the good roll. Stuff like lasagna, chicken and dumplings, cheeseburger on a roll, stuffing for the chicken or turkey, chicken noodle soup, pies, breaded fish, meatloaf, donuts, buttered noodles. beef barley soup. I did manage to find brown rice pasta that was excellent, not sticky and preferred by some people not on a special diet and even gluten free frozen pizza dough already shaped and formed. I got these from Bova foods but the brown rice pasta and white rice pasta is becoming available at more and more places. I guess in general I would load up on all kinds of yummy sandwiches. I was able to have fried chicken with my friend as the rice flour works great.

                                                        1. Had my colonoscopy and gastroscopy completed yesterday. I was told I must wait 5 weeks for the results!! I explained the situation and impressed upon the receptionist the importance of these results. It makes me nervous if I am celiac (which I suspect because of my bloodwork results). I was totally prepared mentally for giving up gluten today so to be honest I have mixed feelings now! On the one hand I want to continue to eat gluten but on the other worry about what damage could be going on inside. The surgeon told me yesterday to continue on gluten until I am told otherwise. Will wait and see!

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: chefathome

                                                            It's a shame they're keeping you in suspense. But you probably should keep on the gluten, simply because one or more of those tests may need redone.

                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                              Exactly. Until I know for certain there is not much I can do! And, enjoy gluten in the meantime.

                                                            2. re: chefathome

                                                              Five weeks!?! That's just flat out disappointing. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, though. Really, this has been interesting and informative, so I appreciate it. I guess you'll have more time to use the pasta machine, huh?

                                                              1. re: amyzan

                                                                Thanks for listening! Using my pasta machine was one of my first thoughts, actually. We had homemade pasta tonight. :-)

                                                                1. re: chefathome

                                                                  For me, giving up my pasta machine would only mean more room in the garage! HOWEVER, about all of this hanging on a verdict. Terrible! My suggestion would be to go ahead and give the gluten avoidance a try. If you feel better, then even if you come out clear and don't have celiac disease, you'll know what to eat to feel better. Food allergies can present very similar symptoms. The challenge is finding joy in what you can eat without feeling rotten! Good luck and happy solution searching! '-)

                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                    Thanks, Caroline. It's funny but I actually feel better eating gluten than off gluten! Strange. I don't really have symptoms (was tested as it runs in my family) but my bloodwork is pretty obvious - overwhelmingly positive. According to the doctor "wayyyyy off the charts". Anyway, we shall see!

                                                            3. It makes my tummy hurt just reading this thread. I hope you're enjoying your gluten binge. When I did mine, I thought I was going to DIE.

                                                              9 Replies
                                                              1. re: Vetter

                                                                mine too!

                                                                i never even did a gluten load - the doc took one look at my anti-gliadin IgG & IgA readings and positive tTG ABs, and said there was no need to put my body through all that and do a biopsy. of course looking back i wish i had done it anyway for insurance reasons, but i didn't know then what i do now :(

                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  My doc said the same thing. And of course, once I quit gluten, I was horrified to think I'd have to start eating it again in order to get an official diagnosis. So I never had the biopsy either. I really envy the OP his last chance to shine (such as it is!), but I don't envy his gut!

                                                                  Oh well, we're in good company, you and I! And we eat well!

                                                                    1. re: Vetter

                                                                      At first I was horrified as well when my doctor told me my bloodwork results. I was picturing my poor small intestine's villi all lying flat and dead. But as I had to do the biopsies (for both a definitive diagnosis and for, as you mentioned, insurance purposes) I thought I may as well enjoy the gluten. Plus my doctor wants to rule out a few other things. It's so strange, though; I actually feel better eating gluten than I did off. As soon the surgeon tells me to go off gluten I will at that very moment as there is a very good chance that will happen.

                                                                      BTW, I am a "she"! :-D

                                                                      1. re: chefathome

                                                                        i might have gone back & done the loading & biopsy, but after going GF my sensitivity became much worse! for the 30-plus years prior, my symptoms were less obvious - the typical insidious manifestations like nutrient malabsorption, anemia, bone loss, plus the standard bloating, etc. but now if i get glutened i have a pretty severe immediate reaction - blood blisters inside my mouth, an itchy skin rash, cramps, nausea, and occasionally a migraine....it's really lovely.

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          Oh, wow. That is atrocious! If I were in your shoes I definitely would have done the very same thing. How long do your (lovely) glutened symptoms last?

                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                              Yikes! I'm so thankful I do not have those reactions. However, it is scary if I am a true silent celiac as I will not know whether I have been glutened or not. At home I have had no trouble being GF (DH and I have different knives, boards, etc.) but I don't totally trust restaurants completely, even if they SAY such and such is GF. Cross contamination is frightening!

                                                                              1. re: chefathome

                                                                                "but I don't totally trust restaurants completely, even if they SAY such and such is GF. "
                                                                                you should eat out with me. thanks to my ridiculous sensitivity i'm now pretty much a walking lie detector, and you'd have the results within minutes ;)

                                                                2. I've been gluten free for almost four years. The things I thought I would miss have not been a problem as I have been able to rework all my tried and true recipes into gluten free versions (cakes, cookies, etc). What I find myself craving these days are the foods that have no gluten free substitute and that I never really ate before the diagnosis: any and all Hostess products (even the Suzy-Qs and I haven't had one of those since I was in the 5th grade and I hated them then) and Wonder bread...what I wouldn't give for a pbj on some freaking nasty, squishy white bread followed by a Twinkie or Ho-Ho. Sad and pathetic but true.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: marykatesmith

                                                                    Four years? Good for you!! I'm having weird cravings for things I normally don't even eat - weird. Find out my results soon, though so will finally know once and for all. When I was off gluten the thing I wanted most of all was thick homemade white bread.

                                                                    1. re: marykatesmith

                                                                      Sad and pathetic but true.
                                                                      hardly! try human :) and probably more understandable/relatable to most people than one of my ultimate regular cravings...a bowl of simple bran flakes. seriously.