Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Devil is in the...Dairy

I knew it would be, but still, the results were harsher than I expected. My youngest is so intolerant to dairy that he can't even have goat cheese, yogurt, milk which I had recently been relying on. Plus, they are both intolerant of almonds, so there goes the almond milk I use in all my baking, waffle making, etc and it also makes protein bar buying surprisingly difficult. My older one also needs to be off peanuts, eggs, and some other things that don't really matter for at least six months while their bodies heal from all the damage of ingesting gluten (and dairy) for years. Ah yes, the gluten~ I forgot to even mention that one, but that was a given also. The naturopath thinks my husband is probably also gluten intolerant b/c the kids' intolerances are so severe. He's finding out. Fun times at our house. Despite all my prepping for this, I am finding meal times exhausting during this transition period. I know it will get easier, my logical brain was fully prepared for a period of adjustment, some whining and frustration, and some uneaten foods that took a long time to prepare, but my emotional brain can't seem to keep my own level of frustration in check. When I look at the clock and realize it's close to a meal time I feel my cortisol levels rise and my mind starts speeding through options~ what can everyone eat so I have to make the least amount of separate meals that gives everyone balanced options and fairly happy and normal and not stressed out while meanwhile I'm stressing out before I even step foot into the kitchen...sigh. I know it will get easier, I really do~ I'm all set to start meal planning with input from every member of the family and to spend some extra time making food such as soups and casseroles that will last for a few days and will be good fall back food, but I don't feel like I can do that until I have all the bits of information assembled, namely my husband's and my own intolerances fully understood. We'll get there, I know. Of course I can say that calmly because it is 1:52PM and I don't have to make dinner for another 3+ hours...
On a different note, I read a very nice article today that spells out gluten intolerance quite well. For those who have to explain themselves all the time, or are just curious about it, this is a great (short) article to help make that explanation very clear and concise:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Gluten Free on the Eastside

Fremont Troll
Fremont Troll (Photo credit: jcolman)
The other day my friend told me about a vegetarian Thai restaurant she and her husband had found in Bellevue that had a lot of gluten-free options which were clearly marked, and many vegan items too. I looked up the place and it was the same restaurant I used to go to in Seattle when I was still at UW and I was so excited I talked my husband into ordering take-out that very evening and drove through a blinding rain to pick it up. When I was at UW we English teachers would usually celebrate the end of the quarter at Araya's Place, and meat eaters loved it just as much as the vegetarians in the group even though it is strictly flesh-free. The freshness of the produce plus the enlightened awareness of food intolerances makes the place truly a stand out in a world of Thai places on every other block. I had no idea that they had opened up shop in Bellevue, and apparently they have only been here on the Eastside since May 2012. The best thing is, long ago our favorite noodle soup place closed in Fremont, and we have been in search of one ever since. Araya's soup, finally, ended our search, and it isn't as far as Fremont. (Though we love Fremont, we usually stay on our side of the bridge.) Another reason we no longer have to go to Fremont, is Flying Apron opened up shop in Redmond~ though that was a good two years ago I think, or maybe even more, I still feel incredibly lucky whenever I go there. For my son's recent birthday I ordered a cake from there and it surpassed all expectations. It was chocolate cake with vanilla icing, completely gluten, dairy and egg free, and oh my gosh, I don't know if it's because I so rarely eat cake, but I thought it the best dessert I'd ever put into my mouth. The rest of the family seemed very impressed too and there wasn't much left on the plates afterward so I can assume their smiles and thumbs-ups were due to full, happy mouths. So, I guess we'll only be heading to Fremont when we need our troll fix, since the Eastside now has our soup and baked goods covered, because no one can replicate the troll. Ever.