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Gluten Free Homemade Newsletter, Issue #017 -- How to Go Gluten Free
January 11, 2018
How to Go Gluten Free
If you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance or with an allergy to gluten or gluten containing grains, then you know what a life shattering experience it can be when you first find out.
The shock of such a diagnosis is quickly followed by grief for a great loss, all the comfort and satisfaction food brings to a certain lifestyle.
The newly diagnosed are left adrift.
They are often too sick to cope, and usually don't have the energy to muster what it takes to make the dietary and lifestyle changes necessary to recover health.
Take Heart--You are Not Alone!
The good news is you now have a "label" for what is making you so sick.
That knowledge is power!
"Knowing" empowers you to focus in a positive direction so you can take back control of your health and of your life.
You will start feeling better soon.
Realize recovery is a journey that takes time.
Through this journey, it helps to connect with others who share your pain, especially during the first difficult weeks or months after diagnosis.
Consider connecting with online and local support groups.
You can find them by typing the keywords, "gluten free support group" or "celiac disease support group" in the search bar of your favorite internet browser.
Here are a few good places to start:
People in the gluten-free world generally tend to be kind, supportive and compassionate.
This is especially important when family and friends might be in denial about your diagnosis or might engage in negative behavior due to ignorance or frustration about what it means to live a gluten-free lifestyle and how that affects them when they have to make changes in the same household in which they live with you.
Be Hopeful; You will Get Better One Delicious Gluten-free Bite at a Time!Start by listing your most favorite meals.
Think "comfort food" and other great eats that make you happy.
Include a few of your favorite snacks, treats and desserts on your list, too.
Choose foods that are doable for you.
Search the internet and social media, especially image dominant social media, such as Pinterest or Instagram, for gluten-free recipes of your listed foods.
Look for recipes that have gluten-free success and special helps built into them.
While you are researching, collect future meal ideas and recipes you might like to try next.
Use your food list and the recipes you find online to create a 7 day menu.
Then, make a grocery list of the gluten-free ingredients you need to cook up the wonderful new menu you just created.
IMPORTANT! Know About Gluten-free Foods, Ingredients & Food Additives
Before you go shopping, know which foods, ingredients and food additives contain gluten and which are gluten-free.
DANGEROUS Gluten Containing Grainsbarley
oats (cross contaminated in the field)
wheat (atta, bran, dinkel, durum, einkorn, emmer, faro, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt, wheat berries, wheat germ)
SAFE Gluten-free Grainsamaranth
CAUTION!While oats are a naturally gluten-free grain, they are prone to cross contamination from field, transportation and food processing.
Consume only certified gluten-free oats produced using purity protocols, grown in certified gluten-free fields, dedicated gluten-free transportation and food processing facilities.
Most people with Celiac Disease can tolerate a small amount of certified gluten-free dry oats (about 1/2 cup per day).
TIP!Print off a list of gluten containing/gluten-free ingredients and food additives or download a similar app to your personal mobile device and take it with you to the grocery store.
ALWAYS Read Ingredients Labels Before Purchasing Food!
CAUTION! Just because a processed food is labeled "gluten-free" does not make it Celiac Disease safe!Many jurisdictions allow "micro" parts per million of gluten containing ingredients and food additives to be labeled, "gluten-free".
Learn about the food labeling laws in your country of origin
Know which foods, ingredients, flavorings, seasonings and food additives contain gluten and which are safely gluten-free, and know which ingredients are derived from gluten containing grains.
CAUTION!"Wheat-free" does not necessarily mean gluten-free as ingredients, flavorings, seasonings and food additives can be derived from other gluten containing grains not required to be disclosed on the ingredients label.
Gluten Cross Contamination in Food Manufacturing is Too Common!
Many pre-prepared and packaged foods are labeled "gluten-free", but are processed in manufacturing facilities contaminated by other gluten containing foods processed in the same plant and/or on the same food processing line.
ALWAYS Verify Ingredients!If after reading a food label, you are not convinced of a food's gluten-free safety, contact the food manufacture by telephone, email or posted mail.
Specify what the questionable ingredient is.
Include lot number and any other manufacturing information printed on the label or container.
Be clear about the information you need in order to determine whether or not you can safely consume the food product.
Temper persistence with politeness and patience; most food manufacturers are happy to help.
If in doubt, DON'T EAT IT!Consume only verifiable gluten-free foods.
NEVER purchase foods from bulk bins in grocery stores or co-ops in order to avoid cross contamination.
Whether or not a person with Celiac Disease has symptoms after consuming gluten contaminated food, damage to the small intestine occurs.
CAUTION!Eat at restaurants at your own risk, even establishments featuring gluten-free menu items or claim to be 100% gluten-free.
Check with restaurant owner, chef or manager about purity protocols and staff training.
Roll up Your Sleeves!
Clean out all gluten containing substances in your life.
Use the list below as a guide:
*CAUTIONDrink distilled alcoholic beverages at your own risk.
While research shows distillation removes the harmful gluten peptides from mashes composed of gluten containing grains, resulting in a gluten-free alcohol liquid product, some people still suffer a reaction.
It is possible the reactions are due to allergies or sensitivities to other components of gluten-free grains.
On the other hand, most distilleries are not dedicated gluten-free facilities using purity protocols to prevent cross contamination.
Also, many distilleries continue to age their propriety brews in barrels sealed with gluten containing grain pastes, which may not be disclosed, because it may not be required by food labeling laws in some countries.
Consider purchasing wines and distilled hard liquor beverages from certified gluten-free sources with dedicated gluten-free facilities or from establishments where you can verify the product is gluten-free.
Prevent Cross Contamination At Home
Make your kitchen gluten-free and safe.
Give your cupboards, pantry, range, microwave oven and refrigerator a good cleaning to eradicate gluten food bits, crumbs and residue from all surfaces, nooks and crannies.
For people with Celiac Disease, be extremely careful when preparing food to avoid any gluten-free food or ingredients coming into contact with gluten.
Do not share utensils, kitchen tools or equipment, or food storage where risk of cross contamination can occur.
Of particular risk are commonly shared containers of any kind and improperly cleaned and sanitized containers.
Shared condiments are a problem, butter, dips, jam, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, peanut butter and other similar shared foods.
Never deep fry gluten-free foods in the same oil or fat gluten containing foods were previously fried in.
Dedicated Gluten-free Kitchen Tools and Equipment Required for People with Celiac Disease:colanders
deep fat fryer and thermometer
toasters and toaster ovens
CAUTION!Gluten containing flour, especially wheat flour, stays airborne for hours or even days, as it becomes part of the dust particles in the air, continuously contaminating exposed surfaces, kitchen tools, equipment and appliances, and any exposed gluten-free foods, not to mention other surfaces throughout the house.
Restock Your PantryMost grocery stores offer some gluten-free pantry basics.
What you cannot purchase locally, you can usually order online.
Protect your health by choosing foods processed in dedicated gluten-free manufacturing facilities and those that are stamped with logos on their packages indicating they are "certified gluten-free".
To save money, make your own gluten-free flour blends and seasoning mixes.
Double recipes and freeze leftovers, which can easily be reheated to eat on days when you are too challenged or too sick to cook; try to have plenty on hand to choose from.
Start with the gluten-free pantry essentials you need to cook up your first week's menu, and then increase your pantry inventory as you go.
Some certified gluten-free pantry basics to stock include the following gluten-free foods:
REMEMBER! It is your responsibility to do your due diligence when protecting yourself from gluten contamination at home and away.You cannot trust others, even though they are sincere, to have your best health at heart.
So, educate yourself about your health condition, and then, when the opportunity arises, help others to learn about it, too.
By eliminating ignorance and false information about gluten-freedom, we can make the world a safer place to live for everyone with gluten and wheat related health problems.
Recommended ReadingGluten Free Diet: The Definitive Resource Guide by Shelly Case, RD, Case Nutrition
Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family Guide by Dian Korn, Woodbine House
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