Bake Sales Are My Bitch / Celiac Disease / Recipes

Have a Very Autoimmune Christmas!

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image via Lifetime

Merry Christmas, Happy (belated) Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza and 2016, party people! It’s time to get our eat and drink on, and I’m more than happy to celebrate every holiday that comes on down the pike.

Sure, I’m missing crescent rolls like nobodies business, and a gluten-free puff pastry has been more than challenging to find, but I’ve been able to tackle the gluten-freeness of the holidays for the past few years and everyone has seemed happy. This year, however, we’ve got a whole new challenge that is (surprisingly) not at all related to ME.

The hubs has a brand new RA diagnosis, which, you know, is not awesome. I mean, I thought I was the one with the autoimmune issues, so his rheumatoid arthritis was quite a shock. While he’s doing pretty okay with it, it’s still an AI and it must be managed in order for him to be happy and healthy.

Seriously, this seems like a raw deal. Why couldn’t his issues be good-lookingness related so we don’t pass on all the bad genes to our offspring?

Anyhoo, this means there’s a new diet-related restriction in our lives as he was told by his rheumatologist to cut way back on the sugar. He loves sugar. It’s his favorite food group. This is going to be a holiday problem.

While I am recipe testing for my new book that tackles the 8 main allergens (dairy, gluten/wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and eggs), sugar was to be included in most of the treats for my new book. But hey, now I can add sugar to the list just for fun. (That was sarcasm.)

Naturally, I’ve been struggling to come up with some of our favorite Christmas treats that can be made without sugar (even sugar substitutes). I gave up and decided to just ask my husband, “Hey, what do you NOT want to have treat-wise, for the holidays?” Turns out, my husband hates cake. Who knew? Well, maybe if I’d listened every time he told me he hated cake. But I didn’t listen because I LOVE cake.

So I’m making a gluten-free Christmas Cake! Huzzah!

IMG_9697.JPGI mean, I did it last year too, and it’s just a variation on my gluten-free rainbow cake (only two or three layers, red and green) but now I have a great reason to make it and eat it all myself. Maybe I’ll let the kids have a bite. Maybe.

Until I can come up with the perfect sugar-free candy bar (dude loves candy bars), I’m just going to have to stick with cake. I realize this is the equivalent of people telling me to “just have a salad” at restaurants that don’t have any gluten-free options. And I’m sorry, babe. But don’t worry, I’m on the sugar-free case and I will find something that is delicious, if not kind of sad, ASAP.

I swear if someone winds up with a dairy thing it’s all over at my house.

Happy Freaking Holidays!!!!!!

And, how do you  manage multiple food issues around your table?

5 thoughts on “Have a Very Autoimmune Christmas!

  1. I’m so sorry for your husband’s diagnosis. Good luck on going sugar free. I assume that means fruit, too? Ugh.

    There are two people here, me and hubby. I’m celiac, he’s lactose intolerant. That means I do my best not to make food with dairy but really, I’ve gotta have baked mac and cheese once or twice a winter. So he takes dairy pills when we have a dairy dish. That works for him. Might be that others wouldn’t be able to do that.

    Merry Christmas to all. Eat Safe!

  2. April, there’s a great new candy store at Fashion Square Mall in Sherman Oaks and they have bunches of sugar-free candy. Lolli & Pops.

  3. I feel for your hubby!!!!! I have Rheumatoid Arthritis AND…. Wait for it… Fibromyalgia! I have had RA since I was 23…(I’m 32 now) And and a little over a year ago was diagnosed with fibro. (Though they do feel I have probably had it for 2 or 3 years prior to my diagnosis)

    Last January, in hopes of helping myself in a NON drug related manor (as I am on a RHUME of medicines already for the RA … Cause ya know… I can’t do anything without going big… My RA is a douche and is extremely active… Huzzah!) I was only using a sleep aid to help the firbro… And come hell or high water I was going to keep it that way and use home remedies to treat the symptoms if it killed me…. And it almost did!

    Remember that lovely elimination diet you mention in your book? (which I got for Christmas and is my new best friend!!!!) oh yea… This girl did it… Longest month and 1/2 of MY LIFE!!! Lol Thankfully the only things I noticed a huge difference when eliminated was gluten, caffeine (but was extremely minor difference… Not near enough to keep this girly from her morning Java… I’m an early childhood educator… I NEED my coffee lol) and alcohol (mostly because the dehydration pokes at the RA and stirs it up a bit… Not a huge drinker anyways so it’s usually a non issue) I am proud to say I have been gluten free for a year now… Though I will admit I fall off the turnip truck from time to time and cheat…. Which I pay for lol but for at least 98 percent of the time I am GF!

    I did not notice much help from the elimination of sugar … But… I kinda cheated and ate a small handful of chocolate chips through the elimination process cause let’s face it… It helped me not care about everything else I gave up! So it’s definitely fair to say I did not give being sugar free a fighting chance to show me if it helped or not. I know I can manage with the gf lifestyle… But I would go bonkers without sugar!!! Heck I’d give up caffeine and alcohol before sugar!!!!!!

    Ok so now that I’ve gone on and on, I’ll ask… 1) has he attempted the sugar free? And 2) does he find a huge difference? (I hope this is a no … But I have a feeling it’s more likely a yes lol) and lastly 3) did they give actual medical reasoning behind the no sugar idea? Does th sugar do something in a RA sufferers body that I’ve yet to learn about (I try to keep up o date on my conditions)

    My family doctor said something that really helped me with deciding if something was worth giving up… I am in pain 24/7…. I have had to make many sacrifices due to my conditions. If it didn’t make a hugely significant difference in my day to day pain level, (as in dropping one or two pain levels) then it’s not worth me forcing myself to cut it out and suffering mentally because of it.

    According to him (and my rheumatologist… Oh btw I’m up in the great white North, Canada so we migh have different Doctor opinions) there hasn’t been much yet scientifically to prove that avoiding anything other the gluten will help me significantly. He told me if I wished to do the elimination diet he supported it, but if it became to much of a stressful situation that I should just stop. Not sure if the suggestion from your doc was just that… A suggestion… Or if they were like…. Awwww hell no! Sugar is officially out of your life… Period.

    So that’s my rant… If your hubby has any questions ect…. I am a font of useless information (and I know some decent books on the subject too!) good luck with the sugar free hunt… And I will keep watch to see if there is any I can try 🙂

    Happy new year!

    The Crazy Canuck

    • Thanks for all of this Cheri!!! My husband’s doc also recently told him to give up gluten, which he was like, “Yeah, no problem.” But I’ll be honest, he’s looking for a second opinion because some of the meds he’s on seem pretty extreme. And it’s always good to get a second opinion, especially when you’re eliminating food from your diet that you love.
      I do think your doc is onto something about noticing a big difference or not. The whole reason I never cheat on my diet, like ever unless someone slipped it to me without me knowing, is that the result is so painful and horrible it’s not worth it. If it weren’t, I guarantee you I’d cheat sometimes.
      Also, my husband had some pain before his diagnosis but it’s all but disappeared. He’s only had flare up once and it was mild and went away pretty quickly. He’s lucky I guess 😉
      I’ll keep you posted on the new opinions and I so appreciate your info as well!! We’re all in this together, even though we all present totally differently.

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