So your thinking about going Gluten free..
First of all ask yourself; Why?
If your doing it because you have been diagnosed with Celiac or a gluten allergy, WOOT!
If your doing it because you think gluten might be the cause of some health issues you are having. Welcome to the club (this is why I did it).
If your wanting to lose weight.. just walk away.. really.. just walk away.. Though your welcome to stay and join the fun but you need to understand from the start, this is not a way to lose weight. Sure you will lose some, just by watching what you eat and leaning towards foods that are less processed. If you want to lose weight.. gluten free is NOT the way to go.
Starting out is hard the best tip I can give is to, simply change what you eat.
There are tons things that do not contain gluten but there are a bunch that hide it too so you have to read everything. If it says Wheat, Malt, Barley or Rye it is a no no.
Go as much towards fresh food as possible, meat, fruit and veggies are all gluten free naturally.
Now if they add things to these items thats where the problem comes in.
Sometimes companies hide gluten in things by saying it has “natural flavor or natural flavorings” I avoid these products (think of it this way if you are not allowed to know what is in it you probably do not want it in your body.) http://www.glutenfreegluten.com/wp-content/downloads/Hidden_Gluten_Sources.pdf is a pretty good list of items it hides in.
You have to read every label every time. I can not stress this enough. Just because it was fine last year, last month, or even yesterday does not mean it is good today!
As you get more comfortable add replacement items. There are a ton of good ones now but also a ton of really really bad ones. Read reviews, ask questions, look it up and WHEN IN DOUBT LEAVE IT OUT!
If you go to eat out pick a restaurant with a gluten free menu, more and more places have them look it up online prior to going.
If your doing this for medical reasons make sure that they know that when you order.
My standard spiel to the server is I have a gluten allergy, if I eat something with gluten in it, it is almost the same as if you have given me food poisoning. Gluten is anything with Wheat, Malt, Barley, Rye or Flour. Is this a problem?
IF you doubt that they understand ask for a manager. (I am pretty meek but this I push because no one else will take care of my health if I do not)
If they have a gluten free menu they will almost always point out that there is a chance of cross contamination. This is true this is a risk you take every time you go out to eat.Unless you go to a place that really gets gluten intolerance and they have a separate menu and a separate prep area. That has taken the time to train their employees on how to handle food allergies. Feel free to ask, if your really scared call before you go. Talk to the manager, explain the issue.
If you still feel that they can not provide you a safe meal request that they allow you to bring your own food if your going with group. If that is not allowed go somewhere else. After all it is your health and your money.
The reason I went gluten free. 4 years ago I was having trouble making it out of bed or to bed for that matter. I walked with a cane I could barely function. I had talked to my doctor he could not find anything wrong.. I was even hospitalized and they did scopes (from ever freaken direction) removed my gall bladder and told me I had a hiatal hernia. I asked about food allergies and was told that there was no way that was my issue and that I should think about seeing psychiatrist. I gave up went home and waited for something to happen that could tell me what was wrong because the doctors told me it was all in my head.. I KNEW better.
Then I saw someone online talking about their recent Celiac diagnosis. I had never heard of it! I read everything I could find, lists of symptoms, and checked off item after item. Finally I had some HOPE! So I spent another month looking up gluten free everything. I read anything I could. Recipes, what gluten is (frankly, I had NO idea) I looked and looked until I felt like I had the knowledge to do it.
Just after the new year in 2011 I did it. I went for a full blown elimination diet. I stopped eating anything that was on the list of the top 8 food allergens. I was so scared. I admit it.. I was sure I would screw it up.. the pessimist in me said this will not work.. but it worked! With in 2 days I had a clear head. I had not been able to think in months! it felt like someone had dipped the neural channels in molasses. Suddenly I could think. I also noticed that other things were getting better I had less pain, I could breathe. I felt so good! I added things back one at a time, 1st eggs, next tree nuts. Still good then peanuts even more symptoms gone. Kept going has some fish; waiting a day between each one. Had some shrimp, still doing great! Soy, had never been a big part of my life but I got some soy milk.. still nothing. At this point I am felling better than I have in years. For a long time I knew I had a mild issue with milk so I waited on that.. I added back wheat.. I had a single piece of bread (a biscuit) and 2 hours later all my symptoms were back.. everything.. and I threw up… it was AWFUL.. back to gluten free.. 3 days later it was better again.. So Gluten free is my life now. I eat a gluten free light dairy diet. I do not even know where the cane I went everywhere with is anymore!
When I went back to my doctor after 3 months gluten free. I discussed this with him, he told me that he could test me.. but that I would have to go back to eating gluten for 6 weeks.. My 1st thought was HELL NO. I mean really I finally felt good.. he wanted me to go back to where I was before when a piece of bread made me sick for days! Um no.. thanks a letter from a doctor that said I have x diagnosis was not worth that. If they could not find it before they missed their chance.
That said; I still make mistakes and sometimes I have no idea where I went wrong.. but tomorrow is another day.
Now I just need something like this!
Next time I will have to talk about the dreaded cross contamination..
For now.. Night all.
Update – It has been decided I do in face have celiac. Not that it changes anything, but there it is.