Friday, May 7, 2010
Having a Break Down!
Well, last night, we had a bit of a break down here.  It is really hot here in Atlanta and today is going to be worse.  Yes, we have two air conditioning units, but the illustrator's office is upstairs and there is far too much equipment to move downstairs.  Besides, he is really busy right now and the constant commotion of kids and animals running in and out is way too distracting.  Long story short, the manufacturer of the AC unit went bankrupt in 2006.  Luckily, we kept our home warranty so it is covered through them, but the parts are really hard to come by.  So, after a month and a half, they have found the parts.  I hope this will fix it...if not, they will replace the unit.  They don't call it Hotlanta for nothin'!  Anyway, I have not used the oven in the afternoons in quite a while and I don't know about you, a nice hot meal when you are sweating to death really does not sound appealing.  So, we decided on sandwiches and salads for dinner last night.  We bought our first loaf of gluten free bread from the freezer section since I wasn't about to crank the oven up for an hour to bake a loaf (which is what I normally do) since heat rises.  We also purchased some gluten free beer.  That stop at the grocery store for the few things we bought was $40.  Seriously, we bought 5 things.  Then it was time for me to make dinner.  The illustrator wanted a ham and cheese sandwich.  I had to do the quick defrost on the bread since it was frozen.  I toasted it up a little so it would not be soggy.  I brought the food up to him since he is busting his butt working to feed our family.  He took a deep sigh and I asked what was wrong.  He said he was tired of having celiac.  Trust me, we both know it is not the worst thing.  It is just frustrating.  I found out about my food intolerances before he did, so it is still shocking to both of us that he is gluten intolerant.  It is hard in the beginning to get used to the "can't haves"!  Honestly, I don't care about the things I can't have anymore.  I have gotten past that point.  I have come up with alternatives, so I just go with it.  The illustrator on the other hand, it is still too new.  His stuff is really expensive too.  He dearly loves beer and that one is extremely tricky to find and it is not so easy on the wallet.  He has done such a good job working through this so far...last night was just a hard one.  Something as simple as a sandwich and a beer was just not easy.  The heat made everything worse!
Back to the bread...I liked the convenience factor, but the Food For Life Rice Almond Bread was a little too sweet for the illustrator's taste.  It toasts up really well, so as a peanut butter sandwich or french toast, I think it would be perfect.  Maybe a monte cristo would be good too!  He just was not a fan of the savory sandwich on this one.  Don't get me wrong, it was good, we just need to use it in different ways.  Have you tried the rice flour wraps?  We love those.  They are different from regular wraps, but tasty in their own way!
I had the job of cleaning out the fridge for my dinner.  I needed to eat the green beans, pasta sauce and lettuce that was on its last leg.  I also had one of my homemade protein rolls.  This was the perfect mix of crazy.  Think Italian gazpacho on a salad.  I know it looks weird, but it tasted right on!
This month is Celiac Awareness Month.  When my grandmother was diagnosed years ago, it was so unknown and thought to be rare.  I would have never thought my husband would end up having it as well.  It can be so frustrating and overwhelming to not be able to just eat what you want when you want. For those of you out there that can't have certain foods and have frustrations, know that you are not alone.  I blog about our food issues to work through my frustrations and learn new ways of cooking.  Trust me, they did not teach me anything about food alternatives like this in culinary school!  I am on a culinary adventure in hopes to find easy alternatives to our everyday favorites!

Do you have food allergies or intolerances?  Does a family member?  What was the hardest part for you to deal with?

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 11:03 AM  
  • At May 7, 2010 at 11:05 AM, Anonymous Newlywed, Newly Veg said…

    I hope things cool off soon!!! There's nothing worse than being in the southern heat without working AC!

  • At May 7, 2010 at 11:18 AM, Blogger Becca said…

    I absolutely feel your pain - I am (and my 2 kids) intolerant to both dairy and meat, and it has been a struggle - especially with my husband, who still insists on his cheese & red meat. I blogged about it recently:

    I have been loving your blog though!! We tried your Tofu Pie and the unbelievably delicious Oatmeal Cookies - which my husband LOVES! I

    It is comforting to know there are other people out there with similar dietary issues, and that they are willing to share experiences and recipes to make things easier.


  • At May 7, 2010 at 11:20 AM, Anonymous Heather (Where's the Beach) said…

    Ugh, I hear you on the AC being out. I live in AR and know about heat too. We have 2 units and the end of the first summer at our house, the downstairs went out. During the summer, I grill out A LOT to keep the downstairs cool (even with AC it's hard to keep up with summer heat). We recently found out that my husband has a dairy allergy. So we've reduced dairy to almost nil. Luckily there is so much information out there and new products for people with food allergies.

  • At May 7, 2010 at 11:32 AM, Blogger Adrien said…

    Oh- I totally get where you guys are coming from- I'm not supposed to have dairy, but my family can have it, so I spend days staring at my "can't haves", like ice cream and always end up eating it about once a week and then feel gross for about two days after.

    I still haven't gotten over it, and they always seem to forget that I can't have dairy because it's only been a few months since I found out. Kind of rough, but we're all learning.

  • At May 7, 2010 at 11:32 AM, Blogger Colleen said…

    I have a wheat, egg, and seafood allergic child. He isn't quite 2 years old yet and doesn't understand why he can't eat certain things. We were recently at a function and someone offered him a brownie. I intercepted the brownie before any damage was done and explained why he couldn't have it. People just don't get that they should ask before handing a child food without permission.

    I too struggle with the cost of wheat free etc... products, even at the commissary. (We are military) A small bag of pasta is 4 dollars, when double the amount of regular pasta is $1.

    I used to live outside Atlanta, many years ago. It looks like we will be moving back to Georgia this summer, but to the Augusta area. I'm not looking forward to the hot weather. I hope you get some relief soon.

  • At May 7, 2010 at 11:47 AM, Anonymous MelissaNibbles said…

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I can't wait to read more of yours :)

  • At May 7, 2010 at 11:53 AM, Anonymous Estela @ Weekly Bite said…

    I've been to HOTlanta in the summer... its pretty steamy! I hope the AC gets fixed soon!!!

  • At May 7, 2010 at 11:54 AM, Anonymous Danielle (Coffee Run) said…

    Sorry about the AC! That really sucks [for lack of a better word]

    I don't have any food intolerances which is really different than being vegan. I was in a cooking class with a girl who had celiac disease and we were the only 2 people who didn't eat any of the food we cooked. She would always complain and say "Doesn't this suck?" to me and I'd be like "Uh, not really?" It's the whole choice vs. no choice thing

    I hope your hubby feels better :)

  • At May 7, 2010 at 11:55 AM, Anonymous homecookedem said…

    I had no idea that it was celiac awareness month! I hate seeing Andrew feel deprived. Of course we get really creative at home and make fantastic gluten free alternatives, but when we're out with friends and everyone else is eating pizza and he's got a boring ol salad, it sucks. I wish there were a cure!!

  • At May 7, 2010 at 12:01 PM, Blogger Christina said…

    no food allergies here - thank goodness! although i do get really itchy when i drink this one particular coffee brand. can't remember the name but YIKES

  • At May 7, 2010 at 12:06 PM, Anonymous Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly said…

    I am so sorry you still don't have AC...I hope that gets fixed ASAP!

  • At May 7, 2010 at 12:30 PM, Blogger Lele said…

    Eeeeeeeesh Atlanta with no AC. That is AWFUL.

    Thank you for your sweet comment about my kitty.

  • At May 7, 2010 at 12:55 PM, Anonymous Food Makes Fun Fuel said…

    Ugh. I know how bad Atlanta can be as much as I love it there. Hope everything gets resolved soon!

    I haven't even looked for gluten free bread since going that direction because I'm afraid of being disappointed by what I find.

  • At May 7, 2010 at 12:56 PM, Anonymous Food Makes Fun Fuel said…

    Oh, and did you know diagnosed celiac's can count the extra expense of GF products as tax deductables? I got this through some link on Twitter I can't find, but it's true! I didn't think to save it because I'm not diagnosed.

  • At May 7, 2010 at 4:49 PM, Anonymous Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) said…

    I don't have any intolerances/allergies but work with a number of GF products so I'm pretty familiar with it and certainly the hardships it can cause!!

  • At May 7, 2010 at 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry for the rough times, Sarena - hang in there, though! I know they'll have you fixed in no time ;) If they don't, I'm on my way down there to kick some booty.
    And isn't it crazy how it seems little things at the grocery store all add up so fast? Ugh!
    Kudos to busting out a good, nutritious dinner regardless. I hope today went better for you all down there in Hotlanta!

  • At May 7, 2010 at 8:13 PM, Blogger kelli said…

    Love your eats... Pasta sauce is simply good on anything..I could live off of it. Sorry about your husband, I can not even imagine if my dad had celiacs!

  • At May 7, 2010 at 9:17 PM, Blogger Megan D said…

    That's terrible about your AC! It's deathly hot here in North Carolina so I can't imagine how Atlanta must feel. And I stay away from dairy (one of the reasons your blog initially caught my eye!) because it upsets my stomach.. yogurt is fine but I don't do cheese or milk.

  • At May 8, 2010 at 2:15 AM, Blogger Averie @ Averie Cooks said…

    most of the time food allergies are not a biggie, like 99% of the time, i truly dont miss anything i used to eat (b.c it made me sick and feeling like crap so i dont miss it) but every once in awhile i of course do. i miss real triscuits. wheat. ahhh, glorious processed wheat. i will never eat it again. And the heat, or being tired or overly hungry or stress..lowers one's thresh hold for dealing with allergies..hang in there!

  • At May 8, 2010 at 5:02 AM, Blogger Amy said…

    It's been ages since I left a comment on anyone's blog *blush* but I just to chip in with this one and say I really do feel your pain (and that of your husbands!). You already know about my problems with soy, but once beans were added to the list and numerous vegetables I had to face the very big decision of whether to continue my vegetarianism not being able to eat anything but cheese and a few select vegetables or start to eat the foods I can actually stomach (physically speaking, emotionally it's been pretty tough) and decided in the end that ending up with malnutrition wasn't going to help anyone (least of all me!).

    I love that you are so creative within the limitations that your family has and having kids who also have intolerances I can understand people looking longingly at certain foods (I have 2 soy allergics and 1 dairy intolerance).

    Anyway, I won't leave you too much of an essay! I hope you get that air con fixed soon!!

  • At May 8, 2010 at 7:49 AM, Blogger Nicole said…

    I don't have any food allergies, but I try to eat gluten free most of the week. It just makes me feel better and less bloated in general. I imagine it must have been so hard for your grandmother! I have to try those wraps, I haven't tried either that or the bread. Have you tried millet bread? I heard that was good. Hope you cool off!

  • At May 8, 2010 at 11:48 AM, Blogger Kelsey Ann said…

    oh u found that one sweet! yea when i think about the fruit juice sweetened ones i can see what u mean.. ithink its hard cuz everyones taste buds react to sugar in such a variety of ways. sorry about the ltitle breakdown. i had my own yesterday. HUG! hopefully things will get back up and running. xoxo <3

  • At May 9, 2010 at 11:30 AM, Anonymous Andrea (Off Her Cork) said…

    I can only imagine how frustrating your situation is. It would be really trying and I'm sure sometimes you just want to throw your hands up in the air. My food allergy while not common (or at least it doesn't seem common!) isn't that drastic. I'm just allergic to strawberries although most people don't believe me when I tell them that. I'm not sure why!

    Do you read Kim over at She's GF and does a lot of recipes and product reviews. :)

  • At May 9, 2010 at 8:50 PM, Blogger Lyrically speaking said…

    It's so hard for me to buy the right bread at the store cause i'm always looking a for bread that's gluten/wheat free AND yeast free, the ones i've purchased are always hard and not flavorful. I decided to stick with brown rice tortillas

  • At May 10, 2010 at 10:04 AM, Blogger Ami "Mimi" Layton said…

    Alright Sarena - I think your next challenge is a gluten-free home brew beer!

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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