Internets, I have a secret.

I’m working my way through a possible food allergy.

The culprit? Perhaps gluten, perhaps a wheat allergy. Maybe it’s adrenal fatigue. It could also be cancer, or a third world parasite.

Regardless, if you know me at all, being allergic to the main things involved in baking chocolate cake is pretty much like telling a dolphin “Sorry dude, but you’re totally allergic to water.”

Tonight I made dinner that had finely chopped cauliflower as a stand in for rice. Not only did I feed it to the people related to me, I fed it to guests.


What a bad time to come eat at Casey’s house, when she’s working through a possible gluten allergy. Kind of like going to Olive Garden and having them say “WHOOPS! SORRY! NO NOODLES! May I interest you in some garlic with a side of garlic?”

It’s probably just as bad as going to Olive Garden expecting olives and being very disappointed.

People come to eat at my house with a twinkle in their eye and stretchy pants on.

Imagine their disappointment when I serve them vegetables posing as rice, mixed with vegetables. And no dessert.

But I have had a rash. A horrible awful no good very bad rash. That burns and itches and welts and travels and is fairly unnerving. Thankfully my very lovely Jessica has recently suffered a very similar welted nightmare and told me everything she tried, everything that worked and more importantly everything that didn’t work.

I joked with her that God must like us most since we’re all Job like with our nasty rashes and vomitous pregnancies.

We also may have blamed our rashes on reality television.

She has come to the conclusion that diet and adrenal fatigue are most likely to blame which has led her to omitting anything fake from her diet, telling gluten to take a hike and taking enough supplements to restart a whale shark’s adrenal glands. (Do whale sharks have adrenal glands? Grant?)

Anyway, I turned to a local raw food healer whom I met through twitter and she talked me through an adrenal jump start.

(May I just say I love how the Internet has brought people to me so that I don’t have to suffer in puffy hives alone?)

Today I picked up my adrenal support capsules she recommended.

They are made from cow adrenal glands. And for some reason (taste? I think?) they add cloves and ginger to the cow parts in the capsule.

I loathe ginger (thanks pregnancy!)

I despise cloves (clove cigarettes, I was once young and stupid and impressionable.)

So dehydrated powdered cow parts, cloves and ginger.

If a 98 year old woman hadn’t stopped me in the health food store and commended me for not giving into the man and believing the lie that FDA has my best interests at heart, I would have left the cow caps there.

Three days gluten free. I’m really an awkward kind of hungry. I know I’ve eaten plenty, but there’s all these empty cracks waiting for chocolate cake and noodles. Carbs give you a very deliciously full feeling. For me, looking at gluten free recipes is probably similar to people reading their credit card statements, depressing, but it has to be done.

Cake porn

We’ve never been really crappy eaters. The treats we eat are almost always made from scratch by me. But we’re no perfectionists either. This isn’t a really dramatic change, just a sort of depressing one.

The cow caps begin tomorrow morning.

Forgive me if I moo.


  1. Oops! One last comment. No need to substitute cauliflower for rice. Rice has no gluten.

  2. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in Nov 08, just before my birthday. No cake for me that year.
    BUT NOW Betty Crocker has an amazing GF Devil’s Food cake mix that is SUPER DUPER. Their frosting is labeled GF too.
    I’ve been searching for good GF too, so email me if you want some tips. 🙂

    Casey Reply:

    @kj, Thank you, I saw that Betty Crocker mix but I was too busy throwing a fit to care.

  3. Ohh, Betsy! says:

    Oh, it is so sad but you’ve made it so funny. I asked Grant if whale sharks have adrenal glands and he said no. but only because he doesn’t know what adrenal glads are. He did want me to tell you that seals snort water out of their noses and beluga whales can swim backward.

    Casey Reply:

    @Ohh, Betsy!, I’m so in love with that kid.

  4. May I direct you to this gluten-free cooking/baking blog? It’s fairly new, but the recipes up so far look divine.

    Casey Reply:

    @Lady, I like the name already.


    I thought I would simply die of starvation if I had a gluten allergy. There are very few vegetables that I like. Cauliflower, in particular, makes me vomit, in the absolutely literally true and not hyperbolic kind of way.

    Now I feel a little better from the folks above – corn bread, at least, is yum?

    Someone else had a good point: did they give you a real allergy test yet, or are you waiting on the results of your elimination diet?

    That is really, really, REALLY horrible and I hope you don’t slap me for being as horrified here as I have been on some of the more-important-to-you issues. But gluten allergy would devastate me. I’m hoping it’s something else.


    Casey Reply:

    @Della, Corn. Nope.
    Elimination diet yes.
    No insurance for real allergy test. It could get too pricey.

    Casey Reply:

    @Della, Corn. Nope.
    Also no Allergy test. It’s cheaper to do the elimination diet instead of allergy tests. But if I had insurance? Whoo!

  6. @Nicole, I’d say cover them in cheese, but that’s not going to happen.

  7. @Nicole, The stuff we do for our kids. THEY HAD BETTER APPRECIATE IT!

  8. @Haley W., YOU’RE WELLLLCOME!!

  9. @Teresa, I found Elena and she’s the one that suggested the cauliflower in place of rice, I feel the need to bow down to her.

    Teresa Reply:

    Elana avoids all grains. She has MS and follows a very strict diet. That’s why she avoids rice as well as gluten products.

  10. Hope you get some answers. I recently had a test to check my adrenal system. It came back normal (yeah) but then the doc still cannot find a solution of my chronic fatigue and low blood pressure (boo).

    Casey Reply:

    @Angie, Not enough cake. Boom baby.

  11. I hear ya on the crying part. My husband is doing a gluten free trial right now and of course since I’m the wife, I want to be supportive and cook only gluten free, especially since it is genetic and if he has it chances are one of our three kids will have it too. Last week we celebrated my sons 3rd birthday with gluten free pizza and Betty Crocker’s gluten free devil’s food cake. DELICIOUS! No kidding and the rest of the family would not have had a clue had I not told them later that it was all GF. Though I admit, I cried over this as what I use to think was hard, cooking, now seems like a joke. I wish I could go back, but if he feels better, he feels better and that’s all that matters. Really though, in the short few weeks we’ve been doing this I am amazed by the ease of transition and I do feel healthier for it! Hang in there and mourn the loss of your favorite foods, but keep inspired because you will probably find new favorites!!!

    Casey Reply:

    @Meredith, I’m right there with you, 24 hours later…perspective. It’s tasty.

  12. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in October and have been gluten free since then. There are decent pastas and flours out there! Some days I want to cry about everything I can’t have. But there are ways to get around gluten and make nearly everything I miss. Good luck!

    Casey Reply:

    @Sara, If gluten free came with side effects of glowing skin and a tiny waistline within 24 hours things would be much different.

  13. My gluten-filled diet weeps for you. Although I would probably do well to cut back on gluten and a few others things (like, food. in general.) because I have not been able to exercise for two weeks due to a cracked rib. My gut is greeting people ahead of me. I feel for you with food limits, but at least you’re doing something about it, not just enduring poor health so you can have your cake fix. Good luck on those cow caps, eh?

    Casey Reply:

    @dusty earth mother, Shh, between you and me, the cow caps (or maybe the influx of vitamin B) made me pee florescent yellow today.

  14. I’ve been gluten free since November. It is hard, but it is not completely terrible. You just have to get a lot of different flours and a good scale for measuring those flours. Have you checked out Gluten Free Girl and Gluten Free Goddess? Two fabulous blogs I would highly recommend to you.
    I hope you find the answer to your rashiness soon.

    Casey Reply:

    @Kim, Thankfully I have all of the tools to cook properly, I just have all this flour and oatmeal in the way. 🙂

  15. Not sure if anyone else has said this but rice doesn’t have gluten in it. You can eat all the rice you want!! And so many Asian restaurants serve rice noodles so YAY!! I have a gluten allergy so I stay away from it as much as I can and my mom made me a delicious gluten free birthday cake recently!! So don’t despair, there really is yummy gluten free fare out there! 🙂

    Casey Reply:

    @SP, Yes, rice! Thank you, it just seemed like carb=gluten. But I’ve learned a little bit since Wednesday night.

  16. I have had stomach problems for a few years now and so has my sister – she just started a gluten free diet a month or so ago and said all of her problems are GONE…meaning mine probably would be too if I can convince myself to stop eating gluten.

    I am with you – how do I live without chocolate cake, pasta, bread, cereal… the list goes on. It’s depressing to think about.

    Casey Reply:

    @Sarah, Four days in. I was feeling gooood. And then I mindlessly threw some gluten in my mouth, I feel like hell now.

  17. To live without that chocolate cake would kill me.

    I tried to share this link with you on facebook…. but I couldn’t figure out how to share it with your moosh page. Hmmm. I suppose I could have pasted the link.

    Anyway… my friend Kara posts all kinds of things that you might be interested in.!/pages/Living-Life-Without/319751992064?ref=ts

    Casey Reply:

    @Colleen, Thanks! And eat a piece of cake for me. You’re such a good friend.

  18. And now that link didn’t fully work anyway. I’m having one of those days.

    Anyway… if you go on facebook and search “living life without” her page should come up.

    Casey Reply:

    @Colleen, ah, got it. THANKS!

  19. Michelle says:

    Gluten free…yes I have been for 12 months now. After a lot of trying to figure out for about 18 months: why I was always exhausted (sleeping an extra 3 hours after the kids left for school on my days off and still being tired); pain every month when I never had pain before; finally feeling sick no matter what I ate. After an ultra-sound, blood tests (no celiac), and top and bottom check (involving me being unconscious and pipes and cameras), I finally told my doc that I was giving up gluten as no matter what I ate I felt awful. He said that if that was the problem I would know in 2 weeks. After two weeks of no gluten, I couldn’t believe how much better I felt. I just try to cook unprocessed foods more and buy GF when I can. The food I miss the most? Cinnamon doughnuts – but toasted GF bread with butter and sugar and cinnamon makes a great substitute.

    Just a side note – my son was complaining of a sore stomach regularly so we took him of gluten too, and told him if he ate any he would pay the price. After about 4 months he went into hosp and had his appendix out and is FINE. And can eat anything.

    Hope you find the cause of your rash soon, very soon. And can get back into yummy foods – even if it means adapting recipes.

    Casey Reply:

    @Michelle, There’s a bakery here with the worlds best Cinnamon donuts. My goal is to be able to withstand them.

  20. Could you really be suddenly allergic to gluten if you never had been before? Why is the world so cruel?

    Casey Reply:

    @Elizabeth Kaylene, Not sure. It’s probably always been there, I’m just getting old. (see previous post about gray hair and wrinkles.)

  21. You can get a simple blood test done to determine if you have celiac. That way you don’t have to live GF unnecessarily. Unless, you’ve had the blood test and it came back negative and you still feel like crap like michelle a few comments ago. But if you haven’t had blood work do that first!

    Casey Reply:

    @Laura, I doubt it’s Celiac. I think it’s closer to wheat sensitivity, I feel better with just eating differently and one day I may ask a doctor.

  22. I have the greatest respect for people with gluten and/or dairy allergies. My heart goes out to you as you find new foods and new ways to prepare your favorites. And mostly, I hope you feel better!

    Casey Reply:

    @Sherry, I still weep for diabetics. Always will.

  23. I so feel for you! My allergist put me on an elimination diet… no wheat, egg, milk, yeast, tomato, potato, rice, corn or soy… four weeks of GF oatmeal (Bob’s Red Mill is a great brand), green veggies and meats. I definitely did the freak-out. Now I can have all of those things back again on a 4 day rotation. At least the weight loss and energy gain was a huge bonus – I’ve spent a small fortune replacing my wardrobe.

    The good news is that so many restaurants (including Olive Garden!) have gluten free menus now. Our favorite pasta at home is a Quinoa pasta I found on Amazon (Ancient Harvest).

    Hang in there!

    Casey Reply:

    @Jesica, I’m glad it’s becoming more recognized and people are becoming hip to it. I’d rather just come with instructions, and a personal chef, you know?

  24. oh Casey. I ACHE for you, seriously. What a crappy crappy thing to have to deal with! My wish is that you’ll figure out the problem and somehow magically be able to eat what you want again. GAH! No fun.

    Casey Reply:

    @Jen, WORD.

  25. Laura Frank says:

    Hey, my sister tries to keep it gluten free, and here is an awesome cookie recipe that tastes just like those peanut butter cookies that you criss-cross a fork on top of…

    1 cup of sugar
    1 cup of peanut butter
    1 egg

    That’s it! I swear, they’re almost the same.

    Also, Whole Foods’ website has recipes, and pretty much every single recipe I have tried there is awesome. A couple of gluten-free options there that I have tried: black bean/sweet potato enchiladas with verde sauce and the chickpea lentil stew (made in the crock pot).


    There are so many delious “carby” tasting GF treats out there.

    She’s GF for the most part.

  27. we went to a specialist in Canada here, and we found out that my hubbys bi-polar, depression problems all root back to be has a gluten allergy and a few other things, its quite interesting what it does to your brain, if you want more info (because i have now had to learn about it) let me know

  28. Oh, ick. The bovine caps remind me of the mega 3 fish oil capsules I took for a while before they were tiny and didn’t taste like fish. Nothing is better than burping fish when you haven’t done anything but take your vitamins.

    Oh dear. Was that too much information for a first comment? So sorry. Good luck gluten free…

  29. So, we just had a gluten-free friend get a job offer elsewhere and leave town.

    A little bit of me is secretly hoping that this is a cosmic case of conversation of celiac. That way, our recent efforts to collect gluten-free ingredients, recipes and ninjitsu moves has new purpose.

    I mean, I hope you get better. 😀