Ghetto Ranch Chicken

May 24, 2008

Yes.  You heard me.  Ghetto.  Last night I couldn’t figure out what to cook,  I wasn’t in the mood to cook anything stove-top, so I settled on baking.

I had bought these “thin chicken breasts” the other day, they were about due to be used, getting close to the expiration date.  Now when I say thin, I mean like THIN.  Eh.

In the pan they went.  I kept looking at my options in the fridge… not much of a selection.  Been broke for a month or so, so my condiments, oils, and small veggies (ie peppers) had slowly diminished.  Ah ha!  Ranch.  Mmm.  So I covered the chicken in pepper and garlic powder, and then put just enough ranch to coat the top.  In the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  The last few minutes I decided to put a slice of swiss cheese on top.  Melted goodness.

It actually turned out quite well.  Served with Garlic Butter Aspargus (pan seared), and Mashed Potatoes.  Yum.  My husband has requested it again… go figure, the least put together, spur of the moment meal he likes the best.

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Well Go figure.

May 22, 2008

Well I’m back!  Luckily for me, I’m also feeling better.  Shortly after I wrote my last post, my husband took me to the emergency room at Highland Park Hospital (where my step-mom works) and I was admitted.

Unfortunately the treatment I received in the ER was horrible.  After telling me to “Eat more whole grain bread”, and over hearing (and finding out it was noted in my chart) “She must be anorexic” I fianlly called my stepmom and had her pull strings as the ER was trying to discharge me.

She called my now-gi doctor and he ordered a cat scan and I was admitted.  The inflammation in my colon was almost an inch thick.  I ended up staying in the hospital for 5 days, and I checked myself out.

I have Crohn’s Disease.  Gah!  Go figure, they aren’t even sure I have Celiac anymore, but I think so.  We’ll have to see.  Either way I have medication now, and for the first time since last October, I am in remission and feeling like a normal human being.  How great it is.

Anyways, I will update more often now, but I figured a quick post would do some good for some of the worriers out there.

Thanks for the support.


Struggle, TMI

April 14, 2008

I’m back, I’m sorry I have been away for so long, but unfortunately life has gotten the best of me, and my body is rebelling again.

I am sick.  Very sick.

March 1st 2008 I started having my stomach issues again.  Nothing horrible, just loose stools.  It lasted for 15 days.  I searched and searched my diet, for gluten and any possible gluten contamination, and yet there was none to be found.  On a whim, I removed Folger’s Flavored Coffee from my diet, even though it had become my sanity and was supposed to be Gluten Free.  I thought I had figured it out, I got better for 5 days, then it hit me again.  My husband and I have spent many hours trying to figure out what gluten had snuck into my food, to no avail.  Then we started on Allergies.  I have no idea how to even go about that one.  It is now April 13th and I am afraid.

I don’t so much have diarrhea constantly, all though it has happened a few days, but  I can’t take the symptoms that have plagued me.  Something is killing me and I don’t know what it is.  I have severe stomach pain 24 hours a day which is worsened by anything I eat.  I eat mostly all natural, non-processed foods so I’m at a loss.  After I eat I cannot stand up straight because of said stomach pain, earlier today I had such a bad cramp after taking a sip of gluten free apple juice that it doubled me over and made me yell out.  ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING I eat or drink makes me sicker.  I am now 126lbs at 5’6”.  That doesn’t seem abnormal to most people, but to me?  That’s insane, I’ve never dropped below 140.  In June of last year I weighed 160lbs, in December I weighed 140lbs.  Then I started maintaining my weight, still losing some, but not much.  March I weighed 135, and now 126.  I can now clearly see my ribs, hips, chest bone, arm bones and others.  I am scared.  I feel like I’m starving all the time, yet I can’t stomach more than half a plate of food with out going into severe pain.  Oh and I can’t forget the most recent symptoms.  My whole freaking body hurts, like I got run over by a semi truck (lol well, I did a few weeks ago, I got rear ended with my daughter in the car by one, but thankfully we were okay, but my car isn’t, but that’s a story for another day).  All of my muscles hurt like I pulled them.  My finger nails and toenails now have a purplish tint to them, and on two occasions for an hour or so a piece, blue tints.

I had to go see my colo-rectal surgeon (I had a fissure back last fall that required surgery, turns out I had an abscess that caused me to almost go septic…. which set off the Celiac Disease) I ripped open my incision and have developed another abscess.  I have to go back in a week to see if I require surgery again.  Unfortunately for me, not only does my husband have no time to take off, but these abscesses won’t go away unless I get better.  Great. Awesome. (sarcasm)

I do have an appointment with my gastro-doc in a week and four days.  She is a very popular doctor, and has a long wait.  In the mean time I have seen my general doctor who has no idea what is going on.  I’m losing blood somewhere (according to my blood tests, gee I wonder if it’s in my intestines) so I’m going anemic again.  I also have low protein… again, gee, maybe because I can’t eat.  I’m calling my gastro-doc tomorrow to see if they’ve had any cancellations.  I need a doctor now!  I have contemplated going to the ER, but my step mom, who is a doctor (who referred me to the wonderful doctors I have now) told me that they won’t know what to do and just send me home.  Which thinking about it, I’m sure she’s right.  Sometimes the pain gets so bad that I’m tempted.

The worst of all of this, is my constant pain is keeping me from taking care of my daughter correctly.  I can’t play with her.

Again, I’m scared.


Baking

March 7, 2008

So all of my family and friends know that I’m not that great of a baker. However, I out-did even my own expectations yesterday. I made Chocolate layer cake (Gluten Free) and home made cream cheese icing! I wish I could claim credit for the layer cake recipe, but it was “Old Mill” I think, but the cheese icing, mine. After that I made mozzerella chicken, sauteed zucchini and eggplant with onions. It wasn’t the best meal, but it was creative for me. Tonight I’m making Meat loaf with gf cracker crumbs, fresh tomatos, onions and such, and garlic and butter corn on the cob. Yum


Cheap GF Beef Sandwich

February 29, 2008

I bought a package of “Steak-ummms” the other day.  They’re just frozen steak slices (think italian beef).  I was starving and sick of eating chips all week (I refuse to cook a full blown meal if it’s just me) and figured what the hell, I’ll experiment.  I pan seared some of my gluten free bread (flax seed to be precise) with a little butter, seared the slices of steak (they’re paper thin, so I did two) put them on the bread with a little cheese, nuked that sucka for 15 secs to melt the cheese.  A huge dallop of sour cream on the side and wallah! The best tasting sandwich (and most filling) I’ve had in a LONG TIME.  Just thought I’d share, I’m mighty proud of myself for not eating chips and cheese again.


I’m back!

February 23, 2008

Wow, I went poof for a little while. Things got really crazy at my house, my husband’s hours are getting ready to change, my daughter has been a demon since her teeth came/are coming in!

Anyways, things have been going better with this Gluten-Free diet.   There are benefits (other than health) from it too!  I actually enjoy cooking dinner now, I figure things out from scratch and try new things out!  My husband seems pretty happy with it too, originally he was complaining.

Oh and to those of you out there who Lo Lo Love restaurants… go to Uno’s Pizzeria!  They have a wonderful gluten-free menu.  I had the Chicken Cheesy one (lol I don’t remember the real name) and was really really impressed.  It was actually far better than most normal restaurant choices.  They even owned up to a mistake, some server (not our own) brought out our food, mine with a bread-stick.  I immediately went to the manager and they re-cooked the entire meal for me.   I apologized for being such a pain and the manager said ” Don’t worry about it, it’s your health, we don’t want you getting sick on our accord”.  Needless to say I’ll be back!

Made new discoveries too!  More or less figured out what I can have out of the things I thought were completely off limits!  Good for tummy stuffs:  Starbucks (minus anything with java/mocha chips, and two teas), Lays Stax chips (oh the chip goodness), sodas, certain soups, and Trader Joe’s sells the most excellent chocolate cake (even better than gluten-containing) I have ever tasted!

I also crossed paths with another Celiac a month ago (and then again last Saturday).  I went to a local bar, and was in a bad mood.  I still don’t have drinks down, so I don’t ever know what to order.  I used to be a beer drinker but obviously that’s out.  So I go up to the bar and start explaining to one bartender that I need to see the label of one of the mixes.  She looks at me and asks straight out “Are you a Celiac?”  Turns out she’s been a celiac since she was 5!  So needless to say she gave me the run down on the drinks, and made me some yummy stuff.  Even has a secret stash of hard cider for Celiacs!  So my husband and I have a new spot for our date nights!!

Alright, that’s enough for now .


Restaurant Disaster

January 15, 2008

Sorry I haven’t written in here recently, things have gotten a little hectic with an ex of my husbands and my dogs getting sick.

Anyways, my husband and I went out to our first restaurant the other day, boy was that a disaster.  We chose Rainforest Cafe, I had Tim call ahead and do the spiel: Hello, my wife is a Celiac, which means she’s allergic to Gluten/Wheat, we would like to dine there and were wondering if you would be able to accommodate us?”  So on and so forth.  The manager, Chris, said that she knew what a Gluten-Free diet was and that they even had a special menu!  So off we went!  We walk in and get seated, immediately asking to see said manager.  She comes over, plops down at the table and asks me point blank “So what are you allergic to now?”  I reply with “Gluten” thinking in my head ‘I thought we went over this on the phone’.  “Well, like what?  What is Gluten in?”  I nearly fell off my chair… she had no idea what was going on, and she had lied to us on the phone as well because she had no special menu for us.  So I decide to play it safe and trust the cooks, I know they have an allergy cooking section so I hope for the best.  I ordered Fajitas with out the tortilla and am assured there is no Gluten.  The server comes out with our food and places a bowl (with my food) of “Rice Noodles”.  I pick one up, ask what they are, am assured they aren’t wheat and I take a small nibble.  WHEAT.  Sure enough, with in the hour I’m sick and in the bathroom.  Needless to say I wrote a very very long e-mail to the head office.  I think I’m going to stay away from restaurants from now on.


One more “now I know.”

January 6, 2008

Okay, well Starbucks Chai Tea Latte makes me sick.  Ugh.  I asked, they said they were pretty sure it was gluten-free, so I took a risk.  One more thing added to the *Not-For-Sarah* list.  I’m not sure if I mentioned this yet, but all Celestial Seasonings Teas are Gluten-Free.  ❤  Hurrah.

Anyways, I went shopping the past two days… once at Walmart, then again at the Gluten Free Store.  Bought a bunch of fresh fruits and cheeses, meats and random things from Walmart, then got some interesting things from the Gluten-Free Store.  Kinnickinnick’s waffles (the one’s a mentioned previously kicked a lot of butt) also make a Cheese Bread that I picked up.  Still hesitant to try it, but it’s something new.  Also got some Sesame Bagels to try with my fruit spread I bought.  I’ll let ya’ll know about that later.

The more I research recipes, and tweak them, the easier it gets.  What I’ve come to realize is that this disease does suck, but at the same time, if you’re willing to cook real meals for yourself instead of buying pre-made at the store, it’s a lot easier, as well as a lot less expensive.

Oh.  Ps.  Brown Rice Cereal rocks (just like kashi)


Chai Tea

January 3, 2008

Wow, this week has been really long.  Right now I’m just trying to relax with a cup of Chai Tea, thankfully my daughter has learned how to sit up on her own so she is occupied at the moment.

Things are going alright, last night’s dinner was rather bland tho.  We had Lemon Pepper Chicken and Stir-Fry veggies.  Not a favorite.  Breakfast is still my biggest challenge.  I’m sick of GF bagels but the leaves little else.  So I ate a banana and some mild cheddar cheese.  I’m definitely digging the cheese, all though I’m all out at the moment.  I’m going to have to pick up some more at the store… makes for a healthy snack.

So I’ve come across another aggravation, which for a change has nothing to do with my lack of GF food.  I am sick of people underestimating my disease.  When I told my MIL that I can’t have foods with Gluten in it, she said, well a little won’t hurt you.  Gee, thanks for your input.  I explain it to people and I get “oh, well you want to go out to eat?”  No.  I don’t.  I’m not that comfortable yet.

Every time my stomach twinges I immediately wonder if maybe I ingested some gluten on accident.  Definitely stressing myself out.  Got to stop that.


Now I know.

January 2, 2008

Well what a way to bring in the New Year.  Last night Dh and I had our friend Rob over and made some Steaks and Red Potatoes, but while they were cooking I cut up some Mild Cheddar Cheese and Deer Sausage which I was pretty sure was Gluten-Free.  All was good until right before I was going to go to bed, then the Vice-Grip on my Intestines decided to tighten and in the bathroom I went.  My stomach pain was so bad it actually kept me awake in bed for a while hence why I am so tired now.  So now I know… Deer Sausage bad.  Damn.  At least the dinner was good.

It was definitely a tad bit depressing to have the stomach pain and “the runs” return after feeling relatively normal for 3 days.  I definitely fought the urge to cry while laying in bed last night.  I know, it’s just a minor set back, but when you’ve been in pain one way or another for so long and you get a break from said pain, it just sucks to go back.

Well, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to eat for breakfast today.  Dh is going back to work after his holiday break today, so I have to fend for myself.  Maybe a banana and a bagel with peanut butter?  Either way I have to go shopping this weekend.

As to shopping I heard that Walmart has a lot of Gluten-Free products, so I’ll stop there and then run down to the Gluten-Free Market in Northbrook for the rest of my stuff.  Definitely need to pick up some GF seasonings too… and a cereal that doesn’t taste like wax.