Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spelt Check

You might have noticed the dearth of updates about my gluten-free experiment. Actually, after I did a search of my own blog, I realized that while I have mentioned eating gluten-free several times, I have never given a proper update. It's much easier to update my gym experience on occasion. That place is like a blogger's bonanza. Eating gluten-free is a real sleeper in comparison. "Yes, I'm still avoiding gluten. The end." Yawn.

Well, there is finally something to report. This past week I decided to give spelt a trial run. Spelt is an ancient grain, related to but not the same as wheat. It does contain gluten, but many people who have trouble with wheat consumption have found they can tolerate spelt (this would not include celiacs). Before going gluten-free I used spelt in a lot of my baking. I liked the flavour and the texture, and found it a good whole grain alternative. After just over a year of avoiding all gluten I decided it was time to give spelt another try.

Monday I made a blueberry crisp and used spelt in the crumb topping. I had blueberry crisp for dessert that night and enjoyed every single bite. I enjoyed it so much I had some for breakfast the following morning. And again for dessert that night. (This is starting to feel like a confessional.) I went to bed Tuesday night thinking the spelt trial was a success, dreaming of all the great things I could bake now that I was able to add spelt back into my diet.

Those positive thoughts lasted until I got up Wednesday morning and looked in the mirror. It was back. The reason I had decided to stop eating gluten in the first place was to see if it would help clear up my ocular rosacea. (If you are interested in that story you can read about it here.) It did, and I haven't had a single flare-up since I cut gluten out of my diet. Three days into a spelt trial and my left eye looks like it belongs to a drug addict. It is rather upsetting on several fronts, but most especially because ocular rosacea can damage your vision if it gets out of control. Needless to say, I am off spelt again.

In other, cheerier news, my friend Ellen proposed that we each do a Self-Imposed Sock Club. This involves going into your stash and picking a skein of sock yarn for each month of the year and putting it in a bag with the name of the month you plan to knit it. I am feeling pretty good about this idea so far. I completed my January socks last night, which means I came in a day ahead of the deadline. They are basic socks knit with Poste Yarn's Bravery colourway.




It was fun digging through my sock yarn stash trying to match up yarns with the months. This looked like the perfect choice for February.



22 comments:

  1. I hadn't heard about your monthly sock plan and love the idea!
    Erin B

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    1. Notice I didn't mention how the other participant was doing? :-)

      It is a great idea. I think it originated with the Yarn Harlot. We'll see if I am as enthused when November rolls around!

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  2. Sorry about the epic fail with the spelt, but glad you stopped right away. And knitting a pair of socks every month? Not for me, sister, but I can't wait to watch you do it!

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    1. I'm hoping that since I stopped right away the problem will clear up quickly, unlike the last time when I dealt with it for over two months.

      We'll see if I stick with it. Socks are my "comfort knit", so I don't think it will be too hard. It has to be less tedious than the Sky Scarf I have been working on!

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  3. Oh thank goodness you stopped the spelt straight away and I guess it's back to the drawing board now. Hope your eye soon clears up.
    Patricia x

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    1. It has been a few days now since I had the spelt and my eye is starting to improve a bit. That's a good sign. In the past it would keep getting worse for weeks. The last time I had a flare up it took over two months to have the worst of it clear up, and a couple more months for it to go away completely. Definitely back to the culinary drawing board for me! :-)

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  4. OMG! February's sock yarn looks delightful! I'm going to have to pass on the information about spelt to my husband. He randomly decided he wanted to start incorporating some gluten free baked goods into our rotation. We made cupcakes with coconut flour last week. They were yummy.

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    1. I would love to find a cupcake recipe that used coconut flour that didn't taste like sawdust! Do you have a link to the recipe he used?

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  5. Hi Kirstie. So sorry to hear you had a flair up after eating spelt and hope it will clear up quickly. It must have been so frustrating after you have been clear for so long. I had never heard of the disease until Louise one of my blogging friends wrote about it.
    Your socks look so cosy, it will be fun to see all the socks you knit during the year!
    Sarah x

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    1. A lot of people have never heard of rosacea, and even if they have very few are aware that it can get into the eye. It is starting to get better, so I am hoping I caught it early enough that it won't become the mess it was last time.

      Now that I have announced on the blog that I am doing a pair of socks each month the pressure is on to stick with it!

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  6. Sorry to hear about your eye Kristie. I suffer with sore, dry eyes as a result of my RA, perhaps I should lose the wheat as well!

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    1. It can't hurt to try going wheat free for awhile to see if it helps. I highly recommend the book Wheat Belly. It talks about the modern wheat plant and why so many people have trouble with it.

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  7. Kristie,

    I maybe have ocular rosacea! About three or four weeks ago, I suffered pain in my left eye. Usually pink eye will go away by itself, so I let it go until I could no longer see things clearly and pain in my left eye. So, I bought an antibiotic (I think) ointment. After I applied it, the next day, the pain was almost gone, and my blurred vision is returning close to normal.

    Nowaday, I cannot eat spicy foods, and my eye and throat tend to get dry. But I don't think I'm allergic to gluten, but I don't know what products contain gluten. I eat oatmeal in the morning, and the last package I bought from Trader Joe's indicates gluten free. I love that rolled oats from Trader Joe. It tastes better than any other oatmeal I think.

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    1. Your description sounds like it could be ocular rosacea, but it is hard to tell for sure. If it happens again I recommend going to the eye doctor and having it looked at. Spicy foods are one of the things that can cause rosacea to flare.

      I love Trader Joe's. There is one where my mom lives, and I plan to go when I visit her in a couple weeks. I will have to buy some of the oatmeal. Thanks for the tip!

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  8. I hope your reaction to spelt has faded--and I'm sorry the experiment didn't work out.

    That's a great idea for a project. The socks appear to be Washington Redskins' colors, but I know that's not intentional. :)

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    1. Who are the Washington Redskins? :-) Actually, they are supposed to be Gryffindor House socks from Harry Potter.

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  9. OK, I just read that "match socks up with my moths."

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  10. Gryffindor House socks! Awesome! Can't wait to see how the February socks stitch up!

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    1. Hopefully the February socks will be done early so I can wear them for Valentine's Day. I'll post pictures!

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  11. Sorry to hear you had to remove smelt from you diet...but it is good that you are so aware of how your body reacts. To me, that's impressive (I was told recently that my brain has never been aware of my body...the comment was being said as a compliment that now I am more aware and that's a good thing....I don't know if I took it that way!). I digress.

    My friend did the sock-a-month thing. To spice it up, she let 2 of us from knit night pick sock/pattern combos for her. Later she cussed us (well me, I can be cruel when I want to be...I like to have my fun) but we had a ton of laughs over that 12 month period!

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    1. My friend and I are doing the lazy sock-a-month plan. No fancy patterns for us - we are just knitting plain vanilla socks. Your friend was much braver than us!

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