It’s Celiac Awareness Month. Domino’s and the NFCA already pissed me off earlier this month. Then Daphne Oz pissed me off on The Chew last week while Michael Symon was making polenta. I’m probably taking it completely the wrong way, but she inferred that people who are gluten-free are picky eaters. She was probably going back to Michael’s original statement at the beginning of the segment that his dish was good for when picky eaters are around because there were 3 different polenta toppings. However, she asked about it being gluten-free and then launched into her picky eater comment. Chaz said the look on my face was priceless. He called it the look of rage. I’ll let you see for yourself. The comment is at 3:40 in the video clip. Michael Symon’s Polenta Party
Tuesday was mine and Chaz’s 14th wedding anniversary. If you know me personally or are friends with me on Facebook, you’ll know we spent it apart. Thanks to my thinking that since I never get scheduled for weekday closing shifts anymore, why bother making sure I have it off and to Chaz’s client sending him down to Lexington the day before. I was thinking before work that I wanted cupcakes. This is new. I don’t normally want cupcakes. Except for when I look that the yummy artisan cupcakes by Elana Amsterdam, Carol Kicinski, and Peter and Kelli Bronski. I can’t seem to motivate myself to make their cupcakes though and I have the appropriate cookbooks by them to do so. But Tuesday, I really wanted cupcakes.
Then I remembered the American Celiac Disease Association’s month-long Cupcakes For A Cause event and a box of Gluten-Free Pantry cake mix that was sitting in my pantry. It’s been in there for a while. I got it for free and just haven’t used it because I don’t normally use baking mixes. I took it out and set it on the counter to use Wednesday since I had the day off and we were celebrating our anniversary. What better way than making a dessert both of us might like. Besides, I’m getting tired of not having a dessert option period since going dairy-free. I may not eat a lot of dessert, but sometimes I want that option. Yanno?
I survived the night at work and came home to some interesting responses in the Hypothyroidism group on Facebook. I don’t go there often anymore because of things like what happened that night. I had seen someone ask about migraines/headaches and wanted to know if anyone else had them. Well, yes, a lot did and were responding to her. I wasn’t going to say anything, but I saw someone mentioning gluten-free to her and they were commenting about it. I decided to add my 2 cents with my experience having migraines for as long as I can remember, not being able to go a month without at least 2, and that gluten caused my Hypothyroidism. So what I came back to was comments like:
I really doubt gluten causes thyroid problems or autoimmune diseases. It may aggravate them though. If cutting it out helps, go for it. If it doesn’t bother, then there’s no need. It’s more of personal decision I think.
There’s no way gluten causes hyper, hypo or hashi’s… it’s a basic protein that occurs naturally. people who have issues with gluten are either sensitive, or have full blown celiac’s disease. Celiac’s is to gluten, what lactose intolerance is to diary. sure some people say they feel better w/o it & I see a lot of people jumping on that band wagon. But think about this… the healthiest people don’t exclude anything in particular, they just consume everything in moderation. Too much of anything is never good for you.
…interestingly, being gluten-free does not cause you to live any longer. I think it is the fad of 2012. My daughter is doing it.
I definitely think it’s the new fad, and I never said it makes you live longer…
I’ve never heard that gluten causes hypothyroidism .. Are u sure ? Mine is an autoimmune disease hashi summet.. I’m sure that gluten particles look like something that the immune system attacks .. If u have hash ur immune system attacks ur thyroid coz gluten things look like summet ur body should attack.. But I thought that was mutually exclusive to auto immune hash.. I have hashi Wat Eva and I eat anything and everything.. Nout wrong wiv me.. Live a life not having to worry.I don’t . Think too much stuff about things linked wiv one thing n another giving u anxiety about ways wrong wiv ya.. So for me I ignore all the diseases n stuff related .. Take my thyroxine.. N am fine .. Coz people can be fine with it.. Just a bit of vertigo when I’m not fine.. It wud kill me going gluten free lol.. I like eating crap too much !!! Lol xxxxx
All of these comments came from 3 people. The woman who already mentioned that she was gluten-free was already on the defensive and another guy jumped in and was posting YouTube videos from a doctor about the subject. Since I was on my nook, it was taking a long time to type up my response so one of the people got annoyed with me because I didn’t see her comment in between typing up mine. (rme, right? riiiiight)
So here was my first response:
Gluten-free is only a fad for those who think they can lose weight by doing a gf diet. For me, gluten makes me physically sick and did cause my hypo. I do not have Hashimoto’s but I do have Celiac and Sjogren’s. There are many books written about how gluten negatively affects the health of many and has caused and/or co-occurs with other chronic illnesses and autoimmune disorders. The media and people who do not know and do not understand Celiac and non-Celiac gluten intolerance persist in calling this medically necessary diet a fad and those of us who NEED it suffer because of the “fad” perception. GF diet is the ONLY treatment for us and is not to be taken lightly. Just a fraction of a crumb can send me and my friends like me into a health tailspin that is neither pleasant nor fun. I am healthier than I have ever been WITHOUT gluten in over 2 years and I know a lot more people who feel the same.
Then my second, an addendum if you will:
And just so those of you who don’t believe, I did two months of research on the connection between gluten and chronic illnesses like Hypothyroidism before I did anything. I don’t walk into anything blind or unarmed. And before going gf, I had 3 friends diagnosed with Celiac and now I have a lot more thanks to the blogosphere. I also hope if anyone you love gets a diagnosis of a food allergy or intolerance, that you’ll be a bit more supportive and understanding than you have been here.
Then Testy Woman came back with:
Debi Smith, I already said that if you have Celiac Disease, you need to be gluten-free. I do not belive there is such a thing as non-Celiac gluten intolerance though.
REALLY? I think I had full-blown rage face again. So, of course I’m also updating my status on Facebook and my Facebook blog page about telling me that gluten-free is just a fad being a surefire way to piss me off and get me to give you a piece of my mind.
I answered her with:
[Testy Woman], there most definitely is and I have friends and doctors that would argue that with you.
And that was my last comment on the thread. It is still going. I look, but I refrain from commenting. The last time I stopped checking that group was after something like this happened. Close-minded people with a chronic illness not bothering to educate themselves about what it is that is afflicting them. Mindlessly taking their medication their doctor tells them to take and complaining about not feeling better. Ever notice how a lot of people like to complain about not feeling better or situations in their life not getting better but they’re not doing a damn thing to make change in order for it to get better? Yeah. Even Dr. Cuz commented on Facebook tonight: “srsly, i MEAN srsly!?!”
I have a low tolerance for ignorance. I’ll blame Kentucky for that one. Or maybe just my former career. People don’t just say crap like that to me and get just a smile in return. Unless we’re in a very public place for some kind of function, like say a wedding. It’s the advocate in me. And the desire to see less ignorance in this world.
After all that…I really wanted a cupcake.
I’ve been trying to come up with a cake recipe using coconut flour that I can use to make haupia cake. My last attempt was about a month ago. I’m getting closer!
Haupia is a Hawaiian dessert that is naturally gluten-free. I’ve made it for many parties and for a “luau” that a client of Chaz’s did at their office several years back. It is primarily coconut milk. When people ask what it is like, I say, “Pudding with the firmness of Jello.” It is set in a pan and cut into squares for serving. Good haupia can and should be eaten with your hands. It is also used for filling and topping in haupia cake. I like it because it isn’t super sweet and when used on cake cuts down the sweetness factor because there is only frosting on the sides of the cake. Who are we kidding? I like it because it’s coconut, too. That’s the main reason to like haupia. Unless you don’t like coconut. If you don’t like it, I’m eating your share.
I finally made them after my dentist appointment. For the cupcake, I followed the directions on the box subbing coconut oil for butter and full fat coconut milk for milk. I then baked them for 20 minutes at 350. The box suggested 28 minutes for a cake at 350. I felt like The Cake Doctor!
This recipe is one I’ve used for the last couple of years for fillings. It will not set up in the fridge to be like regular haupia. Any liquid or granulated sugar would work. Except maybe molasses. I wouldn’t suggest that one. I’m not sure about stevia. I don’t use it so you would have to play around with it.
2 3/4 cups (or close to it) full fat coconut milk – this is about 1 1/2 cans
3/4 cup raw local honey
7 tablespoons arrowroot powder (you can also use cornstarch)
Whisk together ingredients in a large saucepan until well combined. Then, turn stove on to medium heat and stir frequently to keep the haupia from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from heat once the haupia is thick. Allow it to cool before using. If you are using this for cupcakes, you will only need about 1/4 of this for a dozen cupcakes. If you are using this for cake, use it as a filling for a double layer cake, frost the outsides with a white frosting and sprinkle frosting with shredded coconut, then top with more of the haupia filling. If using for cupcakes spread over the tops, careful not to use too much or it will drip down. Once they are all topped, sprinkle with shredded coconut. I use Tropical Traditions.