This article is for others like me who follow a gluten-free diet out of necessity.
After reading this information those of you who are not here yet may consider me quite honestly a little obsessive — or even slightly nuts — but I assure you, I am not! Some of you will completely understand, others will hopefully learn from my errors in judgment.
I have been on a gluten-free journey for some time now.
As my gluten-free journey continues I keep learning more and more. Being well is the ultimate goal. And every time I get knocked down, in other words, glutened (a word I picked up somewhere), I have to consider why?
How many times can you get sick without reevaluating your choices?
Something to consider; over time, the longer you abstain from eating gluten the more your sensitivity increases and the more your tolerance decreases!
Things you may have missed in your gluten-free diet
We all like to go out from time to time, whether it’s for a meal or just an iced tea. I used to go out and attempt to get a meal but that has proven to be an unsuccessful endeavor.
It is possible to get a gluten-free meal out — however, the reliability is too inconsistent. If you’re like me and are knocked down for 3 weeks at a time it’s simply not worth it.
The issues are:
- Cross-contamination in the kitchen
- Servers who are either uninformed or careless
I have even found items I knew contained gluten on the gluten-free menu!
What about just having an innocent drink?
Drinking a gluten-free drink in an unsafe glass defeats the whole purpose! Glasses can be improperly washed or washed in a detergent that isn’t safe and leaves soap residue behind. Soda dispensers can also be contaminated through the cleaning process.
Packaged and Processed Foods
There is always a risk of being glutened when you eat any packaged or processed food. This is because there are still no effective labeling laws defining gluten-free.
What do gluten-free labels on packaged foods mean?
It can simply mean no gluten ingredients as far as the manufacturer knows or the product, e.g., rice is inherently gluten-free. Inherently gluten-free grains may have been contaminated somewhere along the line, either in the field or when transporting or processing.
You must question the company and see what their practices are.
- Do they test?
- Is the facility or the production lines where the product in question is produced dedicated gluten-free?
Certified gluten-free products are much safer. They must submit to very strict standards and products must test at less than 10 ppm.
What about your pets?
Do you even think about what your pets are eating?
A source of gluten which is often overlooked: pet food!
Whether it’s dog, cat or even fish food, there is probably gluten in there. This can easily put gluten all over your house. Dogs and cats have gluten in their mouth and are licking themselves, and you too.
Fortunately this is easily resolved.
I found a grain-free, gluten-free cat food which is actually considerably cheaper than what I was paying and I think it’s healthier for my kitties too!
The last three sources of gluten are pretty well known but I feel compelled to address them for any newcomers to the gluten-free world.
- Shared food, e.g., peanut butter, jelly margarine (crumbs)
- Lip products seem obvious, but are often overlooked
- The silverware drawer is one of the top sources of contamination. Just go look!
I hope this helps and spares you some of my trials and tribulations!