Wednesday, July 09, 2008

on going gluten-free

One of the many things that happened during my 9 month blogging hiatus was that Little Sister's health problems finally received a real diagnosis. If you've been a long time reader, you may remember my royal freak out in October of 2006 followed by the diagnosis. This diagnosis turned out to be wrong-- the medication didn't help and she continued to have trouble. When we moved to Arizona, we went to see a new pediatric gastroenterologist and he did another colonoscopy and endoscopy on Sidney. He mentioned Celiac Disease, but doubted that was really it since she does not fit the typical physical mold for a child with Celiac (small, thin, etc). We learned that this disease is difficult to diagnose in children under 2 (thus the reason for the wrong diagnosis the first go around).

My reaction was less than pretty. I called my mother-in-law to tell her the news and burst into tears and could barely speak. Going Gluten-Free seemed incredibly daunting and all but impossible. Little Sister existed on gluten foods! But we did it. And guess what? It hasn't been all that bad! I've learned to find hidden gluten by reading labels carefully and have learned to cook pretty well gluten-free (GF). I don't feel like Sidney misses out on much. I make delicious GF brownies, corn bread, cakes, muffins & cookies and I can buy delicious GF pretzels, cookies, bread, crackers, pastas, etc. In this day and age, going gluten-free isn't so bad. The hardest part is restaurants, but even then we've learned how and what to order and she can eat great meals.

Timing is everything, as they say, and this diagnosis couldn't have come at a better time. Twenty years ago, we would have struggled to make meals that we could all eat, eating out would probably have been next to impossible, and we certainly wouldn't have been able to buy any gluten-free baked goods. Now, Gluten-Free is practically the new Low-Carb. The LA Times is reporting that it's becoming a popular diet to try for various reasons. I don't care about the reasons, I'm just thrilled about this new trend and hope it continues because it improves Little Sister's (and selfishly, my own) quality of life with more gluten-free options available.

Go Gluten Free----It's the cool thing to do. *wink-wink*


jauna said...

Oh I bet you are happy to finally find out what the cause is! I bet going gluten free was way hard at first i'm glad to hear everyone is doing well with it.

ditndetes said...

I'm glad she is doing so well with her GF diet. I miss her... It sure was fun seeing you though!

sweetpea said...

That is wonderful--I'm so glad she is doing so well, and thriving on the gf diet. Kudos to you for being such a great mom!!
I grew up with celiac in my family, and I honestly never thought I missed out on anything.

jd said...

Oh my little brother just got diagnosed too! There is a stand at the farmer's market I'll have to look at more closely everything is gluten free there.

sweetpea said...

I thought I would leave you this recipe, in case you're interested. This is my mom's White Cake, and it's perfect for birthdays or anytime. It's very good. My siblings still use this as their birthday cake!


1/3 c. oil
1 1/2 c. white rice flour
3/4 c. sugar
4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. xantham gum
1/2 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 c. buttermilk
2 t. vanilla

Place oil in large bowl. Set aside. Sift all dry ingredients 3 times together, then sift into bowl containing oil. Add eggs amd 1/2 of the milk. Mix until flour is moistened. Beat 2 minutes at high speed. Add rest of milk and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes. Bake in greased and lightly floured 9x9x2 pan at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes (or clean toothpick).

This cake is good unfrosted with strawberries and whipped cream or frosted with either vanilla or chocolate frosting.


1. Chocolate Cake: reduce buttermilk to 3/4 c. and add 2 squares melted chocolate when you add the rest of the milk and vanilla.

2: Lemon Cake: add 1 T lemon rind to the dry ingredients after sifted, and add 1 tsp. lemon extract instead of vanilla.