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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gluten...

...Rasputin, Vladimir Putin, Pollutin', Darn tootin'. That's right. I found out the other day that I can't eat gluten. Shouldn't eat gluten, I should say. I could go on eating gluten but it wouldn't be excellent for my health. See I have this thing called Celiac disease. Read the whole wiki article there, if you're interested because I won't get into the nitty gritty of what the disease would do to me if I didn't stop the gluten altogether.

I had an endoscopy done on Wednesday afternoon, the final step in diagnosing the disease, after which the doctor was certain that it was as he had originally assumed from the results of my blood work (that showed a Vitamin D deficiency and the presence of the antibodies typically seen with Celiac disease, two other dead ringers for the disease). The endoscopy was an interesting experience, well, I should say the anesthesia was. I don't remember the procedure because I was out. This was the first time I had ever had general anesthesia and man, was I doped. I don't remember falling asleep but I remember waking up and thinking that I had missed twenty minutes somewhere in there. I felt pretty stoned afterward and, only when that started to wear off did I start to notice the pain in my abdomen from the procedure.

That subsided though within a day thankfully...and gave way to a whole new kind of pain. A bittersweet sort of pain that I experienced the height of in the beer aisle at the grocery store. Yes, that's right. If you read that whole article you'd've seen that barley is in the same family of grains as wheat, Triticeae. Ergo, I cannot drink beer. Hence, I do not see the point in keeping my beer brewing equipment. Thank god, I can still drink wine. And also, thank god that they do make beer with different grains, sorghum mainly. I hear it's a disappointment to say the least, but I'll have to try it.

I think the main point for me to realize is that there are so many options out there beyond beer brewed with some obscure grain that doesn't have gluten in it. Thanks to the wonders of social networking, all I had to do was post a blurb about having to go gluten-free and the flood of resources from my savvy gluten-free friends came, well, flooding in. I'll post some of the best, mainly for you, mom, when I come home next week and you're wondering what to feed me besides potatoes and rice.


Non-Gluten Grains


Gluten free flour substitutions


An article about Oats not necessarily being gluten free.


Trader Joe's list of gluten free products

A Gluten-Free online store
A store that sells gluten-free products here in NYC

The list could go on forever. I even have my eyes on some books that I'm going to buy off of Amazon.com. This is the same sort of fervor with which I attacked my IBS diagnosis, years ago. It's ironic because I felt I had almost gotten those symptoms under control and now this. I'm determined however not to let it bring me down. The trick is going to be looking at this as a life-changing thing but not necessarily a bad one, or the end of anything. I may be cutting things out but I'll be trying things I'd have never thought to have tried. Quinoa. Millet. Flax. Almond Flour, Chickpea Flour, brown rice bread, sorghum beer, different kinds of exotic rice, for crying out loud. The list goes on.

At least I won't have to give up chocolate, wine, coffee or many of the other things that I enjoy. Sure pizza, cookies, muffins, bread, cupcakes, other baked goods, might be a problem but not impossible. A new friend of mine here, who is also gluten-free, (noticing a trend here..gluten-free friends coming out of the woodwork) noticed a gluten-free pizza bakery on 23rd and Park in Manhattan. Then there's these: Risotteria, Baby Cakes, which will make my life easier.

All that having been said. What else is new? Apartment hunting is progressing. We saw two more Park Slope apartments tonight with the fellow who showed us his apartment at 5th and Union the other night. Between the three that he showed us I think we're leaning toward the first, though it was the smallest. It's actually in Park Slope proper, whereas today's shows were down in what I like to call, Sunset-Park-Slope. 20th street and 4th avenue. Almost as shady as my neighborhood. Beyond that, though they had likable qualities i.e. size for the price (both were at $1650 and had decent sized rooms), these apartments were a little further removed from Park Slope proper and even from the closest R train stop than we'd like to be. One was also a railroad layout with the smaller room being a bit too small to fit a full bed into without blocking the door to the other bedroom partially, and not to mention simultaneously filling up every bit of floor space in the room and leaving no room for any other furniture.

Oh, the joys of city living. We're seeing another apartment tomorrow in Astoria and we'll probably make a decision next week. Will keep everyone up to date on that. For now, I should probably get some rest. Early morning this morning and I've been sluggish all day. I have to spend Sunday on finishing the music to George's picture once and for all. Wish me luck with that.

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