Sunday, January 10, 2010

Coeliac rant

Thank you all of your supportive comments below but there are a few things that I want to clarify, not necessarily with any of you but just because I keep repeating the same conversations with lots of people. Being coeliac and vegan are not really similar, I seriously never found going vegan hard because it was a choice I made, and there were many reasons that I went vegan, that I am passionate about. This isn't something that I am passionate about, I'm not helping the environment, animals etc and it's not really a choice, it's something that I sadly have to do but really don't want to. Also, to everyone who says that I should stop being vegan to make it easier, I'm not going to do that, so don't even think about it.

So I might complain a lot for a little while, before I go back to being positive me. I will go back to being happy me I promise. Although I've read that even after I adjust, there will still be days that will be frustrating. It's seriously a lot harder that you might imagine and I know it will get easier but right now it's not good. It's mostly because I am discovering all sorts of stupid things that have gluten in them, and kind of grieving for all foods that I won't be able to eat. It's weird, I will be in the shower, or on the computer and then just random foods will come into my head and I will yell out to toby 'ohhh funky pies', or 'ohhh tofutti cuties' or 'puff pastry' and then sigh. It's also not the food, but the emotional stuff that is linked to the foods. Like being able to just grab a salad sandwich when I'm out in the middle of nowhere, and eating fry's sausages in hotdog buns when we can't be bothered cooking, or eating ninja vegan jelly beans in our work meetings and listing all my favourite coloured jellybeans in order because it keeps changing (white is my current fav), and making Oreo cupcakes for almost all of my family events several times a year because they get disappointed if I made any other variety and growing up eating BBQ shapes and then discovering the exciting fact that they are in fact vegan.

It is also looks like it might be expensive, I even read online that I need to get a new toaster. Also, I'm still sick, in fact I seem to be worse at the moment as my body slowly starts to adjust to my massive change in diet, I really used to eat a lot of gluten! I still haven't seen the specialist, but I have read it could take a while of eating g/f before my health is perfect. So it's not like I can see instant results. And you know when you are sick, you want comfort food and my comfort sick food is toast with vegemite, and vegemite isn't even gluten free. I've still got to have lots of tests including a biopsy and check that I haven't done any major damage to my bowel/intestines and see if I have any of the related coeliac problems. It's a lot more serious than I initially thought. And everything that I read online seems to say that I should never have even small amounts of gluten, because even small amounts can do damage to my body, so apparently it's not a case of having a little bit here and there, although some people do it. Also, people talk about being 'glutened' which sounds a lot like us vegans with dairy. Once you give up dairy, even if you are not dairy intolerant and you accidentally have a little bit, you body tends to overact. So after giving it up for a while, the reactions might be even more obvious to even small amounts of gluten. Also, I personally think having little bits here and there might be harder since I won't be able to forget how awesome regular bread is.

I read this good article online about the emotional impacts of being celiac and some of it has already resonated with me. It's a little alienating because I normally have lots of vegan and vegetarian friends who completely understand any eating issues that I have and I normally have vegan and very friendly restaurants where I can eat almost everything. Now when I chat with people, I feel like people don't really allow me to complain about foods that I can't eat, and keep wanting to talk about the positive stuff that I can eat, but I need to talk about both. I will get to a place where I just talk about the positive stuff, but I'm not there yet. It's all brand new to me, remember! Also, most of the omni places that I used to go to had vegan options that generally tended to not also be g/f. Also, I can't imagine many of my omni friends inviting me over to dinner anytime soon. If they thought it was hard feeding a vegan, now it's going to be extra hard for them. Even reading vegan food blogs, it a little sad right now, so you might not see that many comments from me because I still don't know how to adjust everything to be g/f. In same ways it actually seems easier to read g/f omni blogs because I don't crave meat than to read vegan blogs, isn't that weird?

On a more positive note, I really want to thank Steph for making me gluten free chocolate jam muffins yesterday. It was so nice to have freshly baked delicious gluten free things, I was so touched I almost cried but then proceeded to scoff 3 down in a very short period of time forgetting about my nausea and upset stomach and ending up with chocolate all over my face. They were delicious and it was extremely comforting!

Now I need some gluten free advice because I am don't want to spend another $60 on gluten free products that we both dislike. I'm looking for:

* a filling but nice vegan cereal, I love cocoa bombs but have found that 1 hour later I am starving

* vegemite replacement. There is 'vegie spread' and 'mightymite' that are both g/f but i'm not sure which one tastes good. I normally would eat sanitarium marmite because it contains b12 but neither seem to have it.

* tasty gluten free muesli type bars. I tried aribar's but they taste like fruit juice and not in a good way.

* are there any accidentally vegan lollies that are also gluten free that I can get at any supermarket?

* has anyone tried making the moist chocolate mud cake packet mixture?

Thanks for listening to me whinge, I think I needed to get a lot off my chest and now I better go back to my thesis world.


  1. Kristy when you go to the specialist I'm sure they will be able to give you some good advice about how to transition, nutritional info and stuff like that. I guess you've arranged to see a specialist asap? Hugs to you. I know it can be shit when you want to talk about stuff but no one else does - people always want to talk about the positive, which is nice because it means they care and want you to be happy, but which is frustrating when you feel like you're not being heard.

  2. READ THOSE BLOGS I SENT YOU!!! girl. you have my solidarity. you are not alone. transitioning to this thing is really really tough but you'll get used to it and start making jokes about wheat-eaters. <3

  3. I know the feeling where everyone says, you are brave and doing so well, and I feel like I am barely coping - hope the gf blogs might give you some chance to whinge at length about what you miss - and hope you will start to feel the benefits of eating gf rather than just worse.

    re the lollies - I can only tell you my celiac sister's experience - she and my niece eat a lot of the ones with glucose syrup in them which has such small trace amounts of gluten that she has decided not to worry about them - I know you have been told never to have any at all but thought I might share this with you. And lindt dark chocolate is vegan and gluten free - which is important at times like this. So are larabars which sell at radical grocery.

  4. I think people will want to focus on the positive in case by commiserating with you they accidentally make you feel worse! I agree with Lisa that when people try to focus on positive things it's because they love you and want you to feel better. You need your time to be sad and learn about your new way of eating, but I'm sure that everyone's support will help you move out of that period when you're ready. xR
    PS: there is vegan, GF ready-made pastry available at Coles. It's pricey (and one of the two varieties has egg) but it's there!

  5. Chocolate is good for your face!

  6. My GF friend eats Mighty Mite. I gave you her email address - she's been luiving with coeliac disease for many years so Im sure she can give you lots of advice!

    Liz xo

  7. I have more experience with coeliac rather than vegan cooking, but here's a few of my fave products.

    Changs (asian sauces) have several products that are GF. Hopefully you'll find some that are vegan as well. I usually go with Fountain soy sauce.

    "the real bread mix" is probably the best I've baked. Its in the pink packs, available at Coles.

    Comfort food: stock up on asian rice noodles (vermicelli). Cooked up with some veggie stock (eg Massel) and a few veggies, makes an easy meal.

    I think I've made that cake mix you linked to above. Not bad for a packet mix.

    Massel are good for stock. All their range are GF and vegan. Their 7's range is also fructose free.

    Re muesli: my Mum made some yummy muelsi with rice flakes as the base, then added buckwheat puffs, nuts, coconut, seeds, dried fruit and maple syrup. (mix syrup and oil, pour over dry ingredients, bake, stirring often, add coconut, nuts and fruit right at the end). Very yummy! Could be a better option if you don't find anything you like!

    Hope this helps, all the best!

  8. Hey Kristy, sorry, I was one of those hoping it could be an exciting journey like veganism - but you're right, it doesn't exactly have passion behind it does it?

    In good news, I love Mightymite. I used to be a Marmite, then Vegemite lover. But I have since jumped ship. Just make sure to give it a few gos as it is quite different from the others (as they all are) and you may need to get used to the fact it's not the same flavour. Also Mightymite has no preservatives and less sugar if you care about that shit - I do.

    And cereal - depending on what you like, Carman's Deluxe Fruit Muesli is great. It's GF, no preservaties and no sugar. All natural stuff that you can pronounce. I'm not GF but I choose this cereal anyway as my fave of Carman's. And you can get it at Woolworths and Coles.

  9. I'm impressed that anyone read my massive post, I never intended for it to be so long!

    Rachel and Lisa, I think your right. Everyone means well and I am lucky to have friends and family who care, I'm just not ready to be 100% positive yet.

    Lena, I will, i've already added some to my sidebar. I'm glad that I have met you, the one vegan g/f person I know offline :-)

    Johanna, that's exactly it! Thanks for the tips!

    Steph, I agree :-)

    Elizabeth, thanks!

    blogerhythm, thanks. The muesli sounds awesome and you have just ticket a few more things off my list. At least I don't need to channge stock.

    Nikki, I might give Mightymite a go then. You don't need to apologise, hopefully one day I will see it that way. I will check out at Carman's. I thought they all contains oats but will have a look.

  10. I think its just the Deluxe Fruit one of Carman's that is gluten free, no oats or wheat. They claim it was in response to demand for a gluten free cereal.

  11. lady I feel for you, my ex is gluten intolerant Im a bit of an expert on this stuff now...

    and yes that cake mix is AMAZING

    if you want I can go to safeway with you and point out all the products I've tried and like. xoxooxox

  12. and there is of course sillyyaks bakery in westgarth if you didnt know about it, you could go and stock up on some things and put them in the freezer for times you dont feel like cooking... at least half of shakaharis menu is gluten free, I try and eat gluten free a lot... I feel a lot better for it...

    corn tortillas are your friend! they make fantastic pizza bases/wraps.. you can keep them in the freezer and use them whenever.. I also bake them into chips when I need some

    there is also the gluten free supermarket in carlton called alergy foods... get thee to it! the guy started it because his son has severe gluten intolerance.. he's super friendly and willing to help so if you have any questions out good tasting products.. he is your guy because hes tasted EVERYTHING xoxooxox

    it will be hard.. .and it sucks definitely <3

  13. "According to the latest European research, pure oats are safe for most people with celiac disease, and contamination is the main problem facing people with celiac disease who wish to eat oats"

  14. fear not kristy - my potluck contributions from this point on will be safe for you. no fun being hungry at a party, we know better than anyone else aye?

  15. Thanks Pip, you are so sweet :-)

    Nikki, thanks I found it and purchased it.

    Thanks for all of the info Carla! Glad to know that the cake is ok, yay. I've been wanting to go to allergy block, but they are in the process of moving so I'm waiting eagerly til he reopens. Great tip about the corn tortillas, any recommendations for brands?
    I've been reading up about oats, and apparently there are gluten free oats (they haven't been contaminated either in processing or in the way they are grown). I wonder if they sell them in Australia, might need to do some more googling.