I invite you to come on my journey as I develop my vegan dietary lifestyle.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gluten Withdrawal

Day 15 gluten free I thought. I had some commercially made barbeque sauce on Saturday. By Saturday night the old familiar symptoms were back. Sunday was a write off.
Gluten is VERY sneaky. The barbeque sauce had corn maltdextrin (I understood that barley malt was a no no) and I thought corn was Ok. I guess not.
I'm feeling a lot better today. The old usual symptoms are gone. Just have to be more diligent.
I checked this website the-gluten-free-chef.com for his list of foods to avoid.
And thank you to Gluten Free Goddess for her bread recipe. Get the recipe at the link. I tried it first with the bread machine, pretty good results. Tasted good. Next time I'm going to try the oven baked method.
Gluten Free Goddess Picture of her "Delicious Gluten Free Bread"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance

What is Celiac Disease? from celiac.com

Celiac disease, also known as gluten intolerance, is a genetic disorder that affects at least 1 in 133  Americans. Symptoms of celiac disease can range from the classic features, such as diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition, to latent  symptoms such as isolated nutrient deficiencies but no gastrointestinal symptoms. The disease mostly affects people of European (especially Northern European) descent, but recent studies show that it also affects Hispanic, Black and Asian populations as well. Those affected suffer damage to the villi (shortening and villous flattening) in the lamina propria and crypt regions of their intestines when they eat specific food-grain antigens (toxic amino acid sequences) that are found in wheat, rye, and barley. Oats  have traditionally been considered to be toxic to celiacs, but recent scientific studies have shown otherwise. This research is ongoing, however, and it may be too early to draw solid conclusions.

Because of the broad range of symptoms celiac disease presents, it can be difficult to diagnose. The symptoms can range from mild weakness, bone pain, and aphthous stomatitis to chronic diarrhea, abdominal bloating, and progressive weight loss. If a person with the disorder continues to eat gluten, studies have shown that he or she will increase their chances of gastrointestinal cancer by a factor of 40 to 100 times that of the normal population. Further, gastrointestinal carcinoma or lymphoma  develops in up to 15 percent of patients with untreated or refractory celiac disease. It is therefore imperative that the disease is quickly and properly diagnosed so it can be treated as soon as possible.

Digestion problems and abdominal distress, a dirty little secret. You may know of people that are close to you that are suffering, but you are unaware. Why, because these issues are found to be embarrassing and people are unwilling to discuss these problems.
20 yrs ago I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (diarrhea/constipation/flatus/bloating-abdominal distress) and 40 yrs ago I developed digestion problems. I've had numerous doctors tell me that I don't have celiac disease. Over the past 2 yrs the digestion and abdominal distress got worse. I was unable to digest meat without stomach pain, then became lactose intolerant followed by egg intolerance. The decision to become vegan was made for me. Within the first 3 months, the joint and muscle pain eased along with some slight decrease in the digestion/abdominal distress problems.
I used seitan as a dietary source of protein. The abdominal distress became worse. I began researching the possible celiac connection after my neurologist suggested it as there was nothing to determine why I was having tingling and twitching in my legs and an intermittent left facial droop.
I've decided to try a gluten free diet and see if there is an improvement(note-that gluten withdrawal does have side effects).
In the first 24 hrs the abdominal distress was reduced and I went from 5-7 trips to the washroom to just 2. Day 2, same with a little more energy. Day 3, More energy, some stiffness(possible side effect) and was able to be out to the grocery store. Day 4, migraine with upper neck and back tension(another withdrawal effect). But I recovered in 12 hours, feeling clear headed without stiffness or pain.
It has been noted that gluten binds with opiate receptors in the brain which contributes to the withdrawal symptoms.
I'm going to continue with the gluten free regimen for a couple of weeks and take my findings to my physician. I realize when I do go for any testing I'll need to do a gluten challenge.
Good news my local grocery store has Bob's Red Mill products!!

They also sold a Gluten Free Buckwheat pancake mix by Bob's Red Mill.
I bought both and made some pancakes, they were very good. I replaced the egg with Egg Replacer.
Bob's Red Mill has a huge selection of Gluten Free products. When I'm up to it I'll be checking them out at my nearest natural foods store. If they don't have what I need I can order on-line from Bob's Red Mill.
I've got an idea about making a crepe from the pancake mix and filling it with bananas, mango and pineapple with orange "cream" using soy. Thank heavens soy is not a problem.
Going vegan the digestion and abdominal issues were more clearly revealed. This in turn may truly turn my health around.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Know Your Omega Fatty Acids, Pt. 1

Not all omega acids are created equal. Some are healers while others can spell danger. Are you eating the right kind? Dr. Oz lists the foods you...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Vegan Woman and Menopause

Menopause the change in life that some woman gracefully transition through with few problems, or for others a stressful upsetting time.
It affects your health, your moods and even relationships. HRT-Hormone Replacement Therapy has been the route prescribed by doctors for their patients that were experiencing the uncomfortable effects of menopause.
However, one of the HRT medications used is called "Premarin", it is distilled from pregnant mare's urine. These mares suffer one pregnancy after another. Then when they foal their babies, the foals are often sent to be slaughtered.
Being a vegan women going through menopause we need to be aware of the sourcing of the medications we take.
Check this site- meatfreezone.org on this page Preventative Medicine and Nutrition Menopause
The article explores other options for managing menopausal symptoms.
Now put a face to a lovely horse that was saved from the Premarin industry and slaughter.
Lazar was rescued with his twin sister, Zoe, from the Premarin industry. They survived four separate life-threatening issues - They were born twins, born in a pasture that was 20 degrees below zero, taken from their mom at one month old when they needed to nurse, and sent to slaughter where they were rescued at the last minute.

Lazar and Zoe are now happily living at The Gentle Barn an animal sanctuary in California.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Being vegan is so much more than health issues. Check this video from The Gentle Barn about a rescued cow searching for her baby. Mother's Love shows the living beings we share our world with have the capacity for sorrow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Late posting from Monday.  I like checking into Vegan Epicurean and I noted that she enjoys a savoury oatmeal for breakfast (love her blog, she's so creative, she makes me think out of the box).
I recently saw a show about ramen in Japan( they eat it all the time). They even have masters of the ramen soup. It is a broth with various seasonings, vegetables that may or may not include meat.
I had a craving for savoury one morning. Voila, my breakfast soup. I don't know if this would be considered a ramen soup, but it works for me.

It's not really a recipe as you throw in what you want.
I started with vegan broth(vegetable, chiken, beef,  mushroom). Added soba noodles when the broth came to a boil, I threw in some broccoli rabe. For the last 3 minutes the noodles cooked I tossed in some sliced seitan. When done I poured it over lots of baby spinach, topped with sliced green onion.
It was very filling.

Although it was only -13 degrees Celsius the sun was out, the skies were blue, I went for a refreshing 20 minute walk. I felt like a little kid, I was so bundled up. But it felt good to be outside. It reminded me when I lived in Thompson, Manitoba back in the '70s. Mind you at -13C, this would be a mild day up there.

Supper ingredients.

For supper, hubby was wanting a stir fry. I cut up a lot of onions, celery, carrots, green pepper and red pepper. A small can of crushed pineapple, a can each of bamboo shoots and sliced water chestnuts. Cooked/steamed with pre-made sauce and non-meat "chicken" strips. Served over some brown Basmati rice.
Hubby liked and ate the whole thing. Didn't have the heart to tell him there was no meat in it. He can be a picky eater. It was a good veggie filled meal in spite of the sweetness.
I"ll definitely try this again.

21 Day Vegan Kickstart

I happened on this website.
It has loads of info.
The 21 Day Meal Plan page opens with the following:

Each day during the Kickstart, we provide recipes and suggestions for every meal. Don’t let this overwhelm you. We want you to know there are tons of options, but you get to pick and choose how many recipes you make each day or week—and how much of each recipe you make. For those of you cooking for four to six people, the serving size of the provided recipes will be spot-on. But if you are cooking for just yourself or one other person, you may consider cutting the recipe in half or making the full amount and freezing it. We recommend trying to cook a big batch and eating off of it for a few days. This will save you time and keep you eating healthy meals. And for those of you cooking for one, you might check out the book Vegan Cooking for One by Leah Leneman.
Grilled Polenta with Portobello MushroomsHoppin' John SaladSpeedy Black Bean Burritos

Linked to this website is:
On their recipes page they open with this:
Let’s plan a healthy diet. You can choose the foods to include in your routine, and we’ll make it easy by giving you suggestions. If you like, we’ll also give you recipes and a shopping list
Meal Planner and Shopping Lists: Get menu ideas to plan meals for the whole week, and print out a shopping list of all the ingredients you'll need. Start by creating a free account, or login if you're already registered (it's free, and we won't share your information with anyone.) Creating a free account lets you automatically access your personal meal planner and shopping list every time you log in.


Next website linked to the 21 Day vegan Kickstart site is:

"The Cancer Project"
Not only does this website have recipes but also data regarding cancer and lifestyle.
Altogether a happy accident web surf episode.
I'm going through the recipes.
I'd like to read the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart, then determine what I've got in the cupboards, pantry and fridge.
I like to start next week.