If you need to know if a product is “safe”, look for “Gluten-Free”, “Free of Gluten”, “No Gluten”, and and “Without Gluten”. Other notices may be posted (“no gluten ingredients” etcetera) and may be accurate, but they do not provide a government-backed guarantee that they are appropriate for celiacs. Click here for more specific information.
Popeys makes no attempt to attract gluten-free visitors. I appreciate their honest approach even though I couldn’t consider dining there. As one reviewer remarked, “All of the tasty chicken entrees at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen are coated with breading containing gluten. The only gluten-free items on the menu are apple sauce, Cajun rice, red beans and rice, corn on the cob, coleslaw and jalapenos. Not much of a meal there.” I’m sorry I didn’t save the notes that would make this comment seem more important, but I certainly agree with the summary.
With adequate preparation, people who live gluten free can enjoy vacations, even under challenging conditions. We enjoyed our winter vacation, even though we were unexpectedly “snowed in” for an extra six days, in a mountain cabin. I was pleasantly surprised that the snow-covered boondocks could be so much fun! Before leaving home, our computer had identified several local grocery stores that stocked gluten free food. That’s standard procedure for us.
What we ignored was that t that I had given up cows-milk a few months earlier. That was a great decision, but I had no plan for implementing it during a winter vacation. My blunder was that I was also totally unaware that Amazon.com provides powdered milk that is both gluten-free and non-dairy. The containers are too small problems in your car or suitcase. l’ll plan next year’s vacation more carefully! That way I can avoid eating my gluten free cereal dry because I have nothing to put on it. That’s just one example of the importance of planning ahead!
I searched for a coffee creamer that met very specific criteria: it had to be gluten free, dairy free, and I prefer a liquid. My internet search met my super-specific requirements. I typed the words “liquid”, “coffee creamer”, “gluten free”, “dairy free” into my computer, putting quotation marks around each of the phrases to make it clear that I did not demand that all my criteria be met. Nestle and Coffee Mate emerged as my brands-of-choice. Of course, a careful reading of every label is always an essential idea! An equally important idea is that you have — by reading this article — you already have the computer skills needed to support your determination to live gluten free! Of course, it is still important to read every label every time!
Everyone who lives gluten free needs “an elevator speech”; a memorized thirty-second statement that summarizes their reasons for living gluten free diet, my decisions about what is not allowed on the diet, and my expectations for them. I am certainly not advocating a gluten free diet for everyone. What do I mean by an elevator speech?: It is carefully rehearsed. It can be spoken in 30 seconds or less (the length of the typical elevator ride), and it is designed to give my listeners all the information they need to know about me and my diet, even if we part company after leaving this make-believe elevator. Here is an example: “CD (celiac disease) is not contagious. The gluten free diet is not a weight loss diet! It’s similar to a food allergy in that if I eat foods containing wheat, barley or rye, I have problems digesting food. These complications may occur if I eat food that has merely come into contact with wheat, barley, or rye.” You may need to add information based on the situation: ~> CD is not painful. ~> CD does not decrease life expectancy ~> CD is inherited,etc.
Give proper attention to the last sentence in the sample. It is your lead-in to your important conversation with the persons with whom you share a kitchen!
Prepare your speech carefully. Speak with authority and confidence. Include all the important details (and omit the debatable subjects.)
I agree with Lucy’s comment — My hope for 2017 is to be less “sick and tired”. But yelling at my little brother is NOT a resolution! I need specific plans for dealing with my situation:
My 78th birthday occurs this month, so a certain amount of tiredness is to be expected. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1966 but have had no physical symptoms during this century. My food is relatively expensive but my celiac-related medical expenses (after my initial diagnosis) are ZERO. My diagnosis let to the identification of three potential-celiacs in my gene pool Continue Reading
I’ve been a diagnosed with Celiac disease in 1966. One result of this is that I was pouring lots of milk on lots of gluten free cereal. Last month, I was told to begin using non-dairy milk. I was lucky: the advice “worked”. I’m feeling better!!!!! But, I made this diet change without first doing adequate research. The most important substitutes for cows-milk are soy, almond, rice, coconut, flax, and hemp. This article discusses the pros and cons of each choice. No differences that are important to the person with celiac disease but vital to anyone who is cooking with any of these ingredients.
Lesson learned: I was lucky this time, but I will no longer make changes without without adequate research.
Gluten free resolutions are an annual ritual that has a painfully low success rate. Many of them are nothing more than a “wish list” for the first few weeks of the new year. We need to remember that a 50% failure rate is exactly the same thing as a 50% success rate so there is always room for hope. I wrote about this in 2010.
A year later, I wrote a series of articles on how to improve our chances for success. I’ve already mentioned that a 50% failure rate is exactly the same as a 50% success rate and that there are methods for improving our odds. Look here to learn the rules: replace a bad habit with a good habit. The third rule is to accent the positive. An example of this : a 50% failure rate is disgusting, a 50% success rate can be the beginning of a success story.
The acronym SMART is part of most New Years Resolutions, including the endeavors of people who are trying to improve their gluten free life style:
—> S= Smart or Specific
—> M= Measurable
—> A= Attainable
—> R= Rewarding or Relevant
—>T= Time limited or Time Bound
Here are those principles applied to gluten free dining
—>1. eat fruit with breakfast.
—>2. make sure you are getting enough calcium
—>3. go easy on a bag of….. “don’t eat them all in one sitting”
—>4. “use measured amounts of sugar in a cup of tea”
—>5. take a gluten free vitamin and mineral supplement
All three items are OK for people who live gluten free. Of course, there are “rules” related to these items, but they apply to everyone. And, of course, they may be part of a product that is gluten toxic.
I was born in the tiny village of Mayville, New York. Seventy eight years later I was (thanks to the internet) able to order a gluten free meal in that tiny village. Since high tech has reached those boondocks, it is likely that computer-savvy celiacs can can dine eat almost anything almost anywhere. Try your luck!
This article has two purposes! I suffered a minor stroke in April. I’m glad to inform you that I have recovered the necessary computer skills and rediscovered my enthusiasm for blogging so you will be hearing from me! If you are not already on my mailing list, fill out the form in the upper right corner of the screen. I’d love to hear from you!
This article is also a Christmas present to myself. I’m back action!
“Most distilled white vinegar is made from corn, a safe* ingredient. The single word “vinegar” on a food label indicates apple cider vinegar. Distillation, one of the oldest scientific processes on earth, successfully removes gluten from the final product. The only place in the world where vinegar was questioned was the US.” (In the context of this quotation, safe = gluten free).
People who live gluten free are always concerned about how their food is prepared, even when it is cooked on an outdoor grill. They need to be concerned about the food itself and also about how that food is prepared. The charcoal used in grilling can have an important effect.
Food shopping on-line can be expensive, but it will probably save your time, and is certainly hassle free. How wonderful to shop in your living room or computer nook with shopping lists and reference books at your fingertips!!!!!! There are no delivery charges if you follow a few basic rules.
Living gluten free does not require that you give up eating oats. Here is a way that The Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago explains the matter: “Oats can be part of the gluten free diet provided that they are selected from sources that guarantee a lack of contamination by wheat, rye, or barley….symptoms that occur are probably due to increased fiber.” The FDA’s policy on the use of the term ‘gluten free’ never mentions oats. The only requirement is that the food in question contains less than 20 parts per million gluten.
The new labeling rules have made it easier and “safer” to purchase gluten free food in the grocery store. Finding a gluten free restaurant meal is much more difficult. The survey below describes five situations that may cause concern when you are studying a restaurant menu. Continue Reading
During the upcoming holiday season, I will come into contact with many people who are unaware of celiac disease, my commitment to the gluten free diet. I need an elevator speech, a carefully prepared speech explaining my gluten free diet, my commitment to it, and what I expect from them. I need an “elevator speech”, I need to provide the information they need in 30 seconds or less in a carefully written and rehearsed statement. Continue Reading
As we begin to plan our holiday meals it is time to remember the distinction between “stuffing” and “dressing”. Both have the same recipes, the difference is how they are cooked: stuffing is cooked inside “the bird” and dressing is cooked beside it. If the stuffing is gluten toxic, the turkey will be contaminated, and I will go home hungry. Sorry about that!
If you have gone shopping, picked up a magazine or read a blog recently, you are likely to have seen “gluten-free” promoted for weight loss, improved health or enhanced performance. Gluten-free has become the newest diet trend and gluten-free food sales are booming with a threefold increase in the past five years. The burning question is: Will gluten-free help you lose weight?” Continue Reading
Families with children-who-live-gluten free need answers to these questions:
“Parents of gluten free children will have to pack at least 175 lunches (per child) this school year. Our goal is to make lunches that are envied (or at least not scorned) by other wheat-eating classmates and will be eaten (not traded or thrown away) by the child. Continue Reading
There are millions (don’t try to count them) gluten free ways to beat the summer heat. My personal favorite involves one or more frozen bananas which are ground up to be the basic ice cream plus dozens of ideas for flavoring the dessert. Continue Reading
As you probably know, Safeway and Albertsons super market chains have merged. You ‘ll see the same store names, but your local store may change its name and be operated by a different company. To complicate things even more, Continue Reading
Try these quizzes to test your knowledge of the gluten free diet. They’re especially helpful because in both cases you will receive, in addition to your score, a clear explanation of what is right and wrong about each possible answer. Click here to take the second quiz. Continue Reading
Meals can’t be guaranteed gluten free if they are prepared in a kitchen that also prepares gluten-containing food. That’s true, but it is also a cop-out: thousands of gluten free meals are prepared in kitchens that serve everyone. It takes knowledge, careful and competent planning, and a well-trained staff. Menus that include this disclaimer are simply making excuses that people-who-live-gluten free will accept. The simple truth is that no restaurant can promise that its food is totally gluten free any more than that it can guarantee that salmonella is not present. Mistakes happen! The goal is to improve our chances.
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No one should suffer the experience of being simultaneously intoxicated and glutened! Continue Reading
A freshman who lives gluten free might use ‘elevator speech’ like this to introduce himself and make his new friends aware of his situation: Continue Reading
Thousands of high school seniors who live gluten free will be entering college this fall. Up until this point, parents have had some control over their eating habits, their adherence to the gluten free diet, their snacking, their expenditures for food, and their restaurant choices. All this changes abruptly in September.
A “dedicated fryer” is a cooker that is used only for one type of food, thus miking cross-contamination impossible. That’s the theory at least! Continue Reading
October is Celiac Awareness Month. I became aware of celiac disease in 1999,when my doctor gave me my test results, referred me to a physician who who “knew more than he did” about that malady, and gave me a pamphlet on the subject. I left the office confused and afraid to eat dinner.
In the beginning, my major Celiac Awareness issue was that no one had the slightest idea what I was talking about. Today, things are much more complicated. For example, people need to know that the gluten free diet
~~~> was designed to deal with symptoms of Celiac Disease. It has nothing to do with weight loss efforts or anything else.
~~~> was designed to be a lifelong commitment.
~~~> is an elimination diet. We are not trying to cut down on gluten: our goal is eliminate it from our diet.
~~~> must not be initiated until after a person has been tested for Celiac Disease. Otherwise, test results are useless.
~~~> has generated a market for gluten free food. Manufacturers and restaurateurs are thriving. We are eating better as a result of their efforts.
What else needs to added? What can I (and other internet journalists) do to improve our nation’s Celiac Awareness?
People who live gluten free have different opinions on the importance of an “official” diagnosis of celiac disease. Continue Reading