Tag Archives: my new celiac life

Zucchini Noodles With Beef and Veggie Bolognese

I made this last nightย and enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it right away. It was easy to make and is a great way to use up all the veggies in the fridge. It’s hard to write out a recipe because this could really be anything. Any ground meat. Any chopped veggies. Add a can of crushed tomatoes and simmer. Simple. Delicious.

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But, for the sake of blogging, I’ll write a recipe. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Zucchini Noodles with Beef & Veggie Bolognese

1-2 zucchini, cut into noodles with a julienne peeler or spiralizer
1lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
4-6 mushrooms, diced
2 carrots, diced
handful of broccoli heads, chopped
more zucchini, diced (I peeled the outside of the zucchini and then when it got seedier I stopped, I then chopped up the center bit and added it to the sauce)
Or any other vegetables (spinach, peppers, cauliflower….)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Using a julienne peeler make noodles from the zucchini, peeling down to the IMG_1650seedy inside, then rotating around the zucchini until you end up with a “core” of seeds from the centre. Dice the inside bits and set aside.

When all the other veggies are diced, set a large frying pan on medium-high heat and brown the ground beef. Drain the extra fat. Add the carrots and onions (or any other harder veggies that take longer to cook). After a few minutes, add the mushrooms and broccoli, followed by the zucchini. (Harder veggies to softer veggies so that everything is done cooking at the same time.) Add garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste.

IMG_1652When all the veggies are cooked down and softened, add the crushed tomatoes. Add water to the sauce until it’s smooth and saucy. I ended up adding about 1/2 cup of water. Simmer.

When the sauce is simmering, pre-heat a large frying pan and add 1-2 tsp canola oil. Stir-fry the zucchini noodles until they soften up and become more noodle-like.

Serve the beef and veggie bolognese on the zucchini noodles. Add parmesan cheese if that makes you happy.

And that makes me happy.

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Exposing Baby to Gluten

I blinked and 5.5 months have gone by since my son was born. Ok. That’s a bit of a lie, because I barely have the time to blink these days. Which is why as much as I’ve been wanting to write, I have had other priorities getting in the way.

Priority #1

Priority #1

My little man is 5.5 months old already, and in that time we’ve had our ups and downs. He’s mighty cute, but he’s mighty disgusting. We’ve had challenges with feeding from the beginning (long story) and one of the major issues is a severe case of the spit ups. He’s on medication that seems to be helping and, as the doctor instructed, we started solids just before 5 months old. So far he has had rice cereal, avocado, banana, carrots, chicken, apple sauce, and sweet potato. He isn’t a huge fan of the texture of the chicken, but if I mix it with something that he likes then he eats it up.

This picture is a little deceiving. I did give him a cooked carrot stick but he kept choking on it so I pureed it instead. I don't know enough about Baby Led Weaning or infant CPR to go there right now.

This picture is a little deceiving. I did give him a cooked carrot stick but he kept choking on it so I pureed it instead. I don’t know enough about Baby Led Weaning or infant CPR to go there right now.

I’ve been excited to find more and more gluten free baby products, including some with the Canadian Celiac Association seal of approval. I’ve been really nervous about introducing gluten to my baby. I’ve researched it and debated it since I found out I was pregnant. Being a genetic disease he of course has the chance of having celiac disease, or at least the gene for it. There is no evidence that shows keeping him away from gluten will prevent him from getting celiac disease. There is no evidence that introducing it at certain times over others will help either. In the end, I feel like I need to feed my son gluten so that if he DOES end up with celiac disease, we’ll actually be able to test for it and know what we’re dealing with. Why prevent him from living a normal life unless I know I need to?

So I guess my anxiety is a bit selfish. I’m nervous about bringing gluten into my mostly gluten-free home. I’m nervous about the risk of cross contamination from my sons sticky hands and face. The faceย I can’t stop kissing. The hands that smear across my face and shove their way into my mouth from time to time.

I bought a box of oat cereal. First ingredient “oats (wheat)”…. the dreaded WHEAT. It was against my instincts to buy something with that ingredient. I also know how much the dry rice cereal flies everywhere, so I can’t imagine the oat cereal is going to be less messy.

I haven’t opened the box. I’m scared.

My New Pregnant Life

Where have I been for the past 6 months?

Hiding. Confused. Scared. Sick. And pregnant! ๐Ÿ™‚

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in February 2014, and as readers of the beginning of this blog could probably tell, I was struggling, and sick still. Under weight, suffering from continuing stomach issues and overall unwell. And then, just as I was feeling better – SURPRISE – near the end of April I found out my husband and I are expecting our first child.

Well, it wasn’t really a surprise. We were trying, we just thought that with all of my health problems and the fact that we’re almost 30, and… I don’t know… we just thought it was going to take a while. So although my health wasn’t at its finest we decided we should start trying… and it didn’t take long. When I saw that positive test I was less excited and more terrified.

“I’m not healthy enough. How can I be a good host to this growing babe? What are the risks? Have I been gluten-free long enough to avoid all the scary things I’ve read about celiac disease and miscarriages?”

I wasn’t ready to share the news on this blog – so I just stopped writing. I didn’t know how to be honest and open about my new celiac life because I was, and still am, really confused as to which of my symptoms were celiac related and which were pregnancy related. How could I share what it’s like to have celiac disease when I don’t know what’s going on inside my own body. I’ve never been celiac before. I’ve never been pregnant before. What’s causing what?

There has been so much I’ve wanted to share. So many blog posts written in my head and not on this site. For example:

Morning sickness and the gluten-free diet: how to deal with morning sickness when all you want is a saltine cracker and you can’t have it. (Answer: gluten-free rice crispies and a few too many bags of salty regular lays potato chips)

Pregnancy cravings and the gluten-free diet: Oh the torture! So many unsatisfied cravings. But let’s be honest – thank goodness! I’m sure I would have gained a lot more weight by now if I could eat all the fast food, pizza, donuts, and cakes I’ve been craving. I guess while being honest… the gluten-free bakery knows me and my love of their vanilla cupcakes all too well, and I should’ve bought stock in Lays with all the potato chips I’ve been eating.

More gluten-free travel tips: I went to a wedding and am realizing I’m really starting to figure out this pre-planning and communication thing. I ate out successfully with the help of the CCA Facebook folks’ suggestions, talked directly to the caterers at the wedding to eat safely there, and have nailed the pack-your-own food game. We ate complete breakfasts in the hotel room with hard boiled eggs, fruit, muffins, juice… Probably saved a lot of money too.

And then of course just what my pregnancy has been like – but then again, maybe you don’t want to know if you haven’t had/plan to have kids one day. Haha! My pregnancy has not been as smooth as I’d like it to be. Morning sickness kicked my butt through the first trimester, but luckily eased up in time for our awesome East Coast trip in July. The fatigue has been debilitating, and then baby started growing, and growing fast, and that came with new aches and pains I wasn’t expecting….

And then… I got kidney stones. I was admitted to the hospital for 5 days, had them surgically removed, and have been off work for almost 3 weeks. (There goes the sick leave I was hoping to save for the end of this pregnancy if I needed it!)

And that’s another blog post – Gluten-free diets in the hospital! Wow – you’d think a hospital would know how to accommodate special diets?! Perhaps it was a lack of communication, as they did figure it out eventually, but the first morning in the hospital I went without breakfast. The lovely nurses managed to scrounge me up a banana and a fruit cup, and luckily I had my purse stash of granola bars. But wow – I was unimpressed. And I know I’ll be back in the hospital in a few months to deliver my little guy, so now know how to pack a hospital bag that keeps me comfortable and fed. But I hadn’t planned to be going to the hospital when I did – nor did I plan to be there overnight… or for 5 days…

Today I am 28 weeks pregnant and hoping the next 12 weeks go much more smoothly than the past month. Now that I’m finally feeling better, I am getting excited again. I am really looking forward to getting baby’s room together, and welcoming him home right around Christmas (I’m due Dec. 21). I look forward to becoming a mom, and watching my husband be a father – if the way he’s been taking care of me the past 6 months is any sign, he’s going to be an AMAZING father. He has really stepped up, and cuts me more slack then I allow myself.

And I hope to start sharing my celiac life again. On that note, I have made a lot of progress. Living gluten-free is becoming 2nd nature, and I’ve seen some big progress in the way I respond to food, how my stomach feels, and how my bowels works. (haha, only fellow celiacs can relate to and understand poop talk!) I look forward to sharing my new celiac mommy life in 2015 as I’m sure that will bring a whole new set of challenges and success stories.