Keep on Truckin’
Does your life have to stop if you have a gluten intolerance? HELL NO! It means that your life is only going to get better by being more interesting and more creative. You have the opportunity to change and to transform yourself and you have some pretty great benefits that will be coming your way.
Some of the things you will feel living gluten free:
- Lighter in between meals
- Less stuffed, more satisfied
- Skin will clear up and shine
- Eyes will be less cloudy and the color will be more true
- Lose weight, significant amounts, without trying
Our Shop is Filled with Gluten-Free Goodness
If you are intolerant, just want to give gluten free a go, or you are somewhere on the spectrum in between, there is something for you. The marketplace is filled with so many available options. There are long-standing tested products and catchy one time buy-to-try products and even new age products. Gluten has become one of the fastest growing industries in the world of food.
There are some things that you will want to be aware of, depending on your level of severity.
- Gluten is found in most of the main grains of the Western diet: Whole Wheat 7-Grain Bread is the worst possible combination for a gluten free person.
- Gluten can be airborne: Eating at a bakery is not recommended.
- Gluten can be used as a thickener: Often it is found in sauces and dressings.
- Gluten can be used as a substitute: To save on the use of higher priced ingredients, everything from meats to rices may have gluten added.
- Gluten can be masked as something else: Gluten is found in a long line of ingredients, so make sure you know the entire list when looking.
- Gluten can be found in absolutely anything: Play-dough even – it is ‘dough’ after all.
Origin Gluten Free: Grains found in nature without gluten
- White Rice, Brown Rice, Black Rice, Wild Rice (verify the mix)
- Oats (if noted as ‘gluten free’)
Origin Gluten: Grains found in nature with gluten
- Barley (also in the form of barley malt or barley extract)
- Oats (if noted as ‘containing gluten’)
- Wheat Bran, Wheat Germ, or Wheat Starch
- Wheat Berries
Some Popular Foods to Avoid (made with gluten)
- Soba (doesn’t have to be, but rare that it is void of wheat fillers)
- Panko or Bread Crumbs
- Low Quality Brown Rice
Gluten Free Living
Gluten Free Solo
If you live alone, it should not be a tremendous worry and your decisions for placement and organization are up to you. When unpacking groceries, always take a quick look at the packaging again to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Make sure if guests bring food into your house you label properly or place in a dedicated area.
Gluten Free Co-Living
At home the kitchen, pantry and household are entirely gluten free. It is less about ‘deprivation’ and more about CHOICE for us. We do not feel as though we have compromised, we feel that we have made a lifestyle decision.
Many people have switched to sugar free households because it is healthier and keeps the cravings at bay when at home. We look at gluten like sugar – it is not good for me, so it is not good to have around the house.
Shelf and product labeling are not recommended because you never know when something will get contaminated. Was the bowl used before cleaned thoroughly? Did you use a wooden cutting board making something before? Gluten can exist and manifest as dust in any possible corner of any room if airborne. Especially if baking, it can contaminate anything in your kitchen if the proper measures are not taken.
For children who are gluten intolerant it is essential to not allow gluten in the house. Regardless of the age, curiosity takes precedent to what is best for them and the consequences can be great. Likewise, at home you want the child to feel safe in their kitchen and as though they are just as normal as their siblings. Making dinners will be easier because you will only have to make 1 meal, instead of a meal with the gluten free substitutes and it will eliminate questions. It is important to provide important guidelines to anyone who watches your child, especially if they are out of the house (i.e. friends houses or eating at restaurants).
Just Dabbling. For those with limited sensitivities or just preferences, it is not necessary to be so black and white. Have a dedicated area for gluten-based products. If you are not the person buying the products, it is always best to ask to the shopper to label the products or just put it away in this area. (Note: if you are the opposite and just trying out gluten free at home, you can make a gluten free shelf instead).
Gluten Free in a Crowd
Don’t be shy. The worst thing you can do is downplay your needs and pay for the issues later. If you truly are intolerant, your best advocate is you and you should not be shy to take matters into your own hands.
Abstinence is always best. Just like people have special diets for physique, you have special diet for allergies. Many restaurants have gluten free menus, and all restaurants participating with theNational Restaurant Association require their waiters and culinary staff to be trained in managing gluten allergies. Always feel free to call ahead and ask any questions that you want about the kitchen, or to even request a tour when you get there to make sure you are seeing good food safety standards in place to eliminate cross contamination.
A simple solution. It is more and more accepted these days to be gluten free, but the benefit of being out at a restaurant, is that you can choose items which don’t have gluten on them and you don’t have to talk about it. Have a salad, and just ask the server to not put on the croutons. If the entree arrives with the croutons on, send it back and say, “please make this again without the croutons… and don’t feel bad for a second.” (make sure to triple check the lettuce and that they haven’t in fact just removed the croutons from the top). A health nut wouldn’t feel bad about sending back a perfectly good piece of fish that had been dressed in a sauce if they asked for it without. If nothing looks appealing on the menu with your available options, you can always make up your own meal with other ingredients on the menu, so ask for protein with rice and vegetables on the side.
Label accurately. When having friends over for potlucks or social events where a gluten-based product may potentially enter your house, make a point to put it in a special area, or out of reach for the children with allergies. It is always a great idea to have already made party-card tents with ‘Contains Gluten’ on it as a reminder for yourself or other guests. Or ask your guests during your invitation to avoid bringing anything in the house with gluten. For newcomers to the gluten free movement, they will be intrigued to learn more and if they are not, simply let them know that you have everything that you need.
Let it be known. When dining at a friends house, now it is standard practice to ask if their guests have an allergy at the time of invitation. But if your host is not aware, make them aware. It is always best to not risk a surprise on their part or yours.
When in doubt, be your own best advocate.
Honesty is the best policy.