It’s been 5 weeks and there have been some ups and downs. I have had 6 definite gluten contamination incidents and it’s almost to the point of ridiculous the many products that have wheat in them and the extent of gluten exposure that causes a reaction. I ordered a hamburger with no bun at a restaurant. They brought it out and had the veggies on the bun top and the meat on the bottom bun. I told them about the mistake but it had taken so long, I just took it off, sent the bun back and ate the beef. Big mistake. Just that one side of the burger touching a bun caused a reaction the next morning. Nothing life altering, but it was obvious what was going on. And then there was the Play Doh. I didn’t eat it, of course, but handling 10 jars of play doh yesterday and today caused some issues.
I don’t think I can get my head around how all this happened. And because I do not have some life-threatening anaphylactic shock reaction that cuts off my air supply, I don’t realize the seriousness of this. It’s fairly clear to me that as long as I don’t take in large servings of food made with flour/wheat/gluten, then I won’t be begging for death on the bathroom floor. But when I’ve come in contact with it, I get anxious hoping the reactions will be short and I can still work and travel. I’m still learning my way around all this.
Shopping for a few gluten free staples is very easy. When Whole Foods posts these clever little green stickers “gluten free” under their products, it’s almost a no brainer. I have to be smart, though. Why buy gluten free bread crumbs when I can make a batch of my own using the same ingredients and just keep them properly stored? Why buy gluten free stir fry sauce when I don’t like the same flavor of stir fry EVERY TIME I make it? On the other hand, trying to make my own baking mix is daunting when trying to substitute gluten. I will gladly buy a gluten free baking mix and call it done.
I can see how someone with a new dietary challenge can load up the cart with packages and boxes. But I still have to go back to my nutrition goals—clean foods, minimal processing, and low in sugar/carbs. So for my first endeavor, I stuck with nut flours, potato starch, pancake mix, granola, brown rice wraps, and a gluten free pasta. I want the potato starch for gravies, sauces, and soups. The almond and coconut flour is for baking things that do not require a leavening ingredient. And the pancake mix is for convenience.
Some good news, though is that kettle cooked potato chips are entirely gluten-free. And dark chocolate 🙂