Gluten Free Living

I became gluten intolerant in 2007.  I didn’t know what gluten was at that time, but got up-to-speed quickly.  I was miserable and thought I had developed an ulcer.  The only thing that will help, I was told, is to follow a gluten-free diet.  There are no medicines to treat this condition.  I have done that diligently since then, for the sake of my health, and because I hate how awful I feel if I get any gluten.

Quite a number of people that are gluten-intolerant may also have allergies to either soy, dairy products or chocolate.  Unfortunately, I am allergic to all of those (and more), as well as, gluten.

There are some very basic things you need to remember when living gluten-free:

Read all the ingredients, even if it is marked gluten-free, or you have eaten it in the past. Manufacturers are famous for changing their ingredients.  I have had this happen with a couple of my favorite foods.  Make sure you always check, even on things you have eaten for years.

Be diligent about the appliances you use, that they are dedicated to gluten-free foods. For example, a toaster. It would be very hard to get all the bread crumbs from wheat bread, or other gluten filled bread, out of the toaster slots.  If a piece of gluten-free bread is then put in the toaster, the gluten-free bread would probably suffer from cross-contamination. A toaster that is dedicated  only to gluten-free foods is needed. Some things can be worked around.  If you use a toaster oven, cover the rack with a new piece of foil every time you toast gluten-free bread in it.  I have been able to avoid cross-contamination that way.

When you decide to eat out, do not be afraid to speak up and tell your server exactly how you need it prepared.  Explain why.  Also, if something is done wrong, you have to tell them that as well.

I HATE doing that.  But I am so sensitive to gluten,  if a wheat roll or piece of gluten filled bread is accidentally put on my plate, any food it has touched would cause an allergic reaction for me.  If a mistake is made, my food has to be done over, or I have to forgo eating the food that has had a gluten filled object on it.

Someone once said that if you decide to eat out, you must always remember you are taking a chance of getting food that has been accidentally contaminated with gluten. Sadly, I have found, that is true.

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