Category Archives: Gluten Free and Me

Living Gluten Free

IMG_8051

For anyone who’s ever been told you have to change your diet to be gluten-free, you know what a challenge it is. Luckily, here in the Tampa Bay area, we are lucky to have Gluten Away.  They are located at 3350 Ulmerton Road, Suite 13 in Clearwater.

In addition to hosting events, they also rent out their facility for your own gluten-free events! How awesome is that?

If you’re on Facebook be sure and join their gluten-free support group.

Today I attended one of their Gluten Free Sample Saturday events. For $10 you can come out and sample a variety of gluten-free products/recipes from their sample stations. You also receive a goodie bag that you are able to fill up with some great take home samples. My favorite thing I sampled today was their gluten-free turkey meatloaf! They’re going to be using that in their upcoming cooking class. It was so delicious I can’t wait to have that recipe.

 

Here’s some of the free samples I came home with today:IMG_8055

IMG_8057

IMG_8058

 

A special offer today, sign up for their only gluten-free support group and receive a free product from Bella. I opted for the Chocolate Chip Cookie mix.

IMG_8059

Today I picked up a number of free recipe cards and some information on their upcoming gluten-free cooking class where you can learn to make that delicious meatloaf.IMG_8060

Coming up in July Gluten-Free School! I’ll be signing up for this.IMG_8061

Know others who are facing a gluten-free diet? Please share the information about Gluten Away, they’re not just for local people, they have lots of online resources as well.

Thanks, have a great day!

Confessions of a non-gluten eating girl

First, to all my friends and family who try to prepare foods that I can eat, thank you. Please please please do not be offended if you see me not eating the food you have provided at whatever gathering we are at. It’s not meant to be an insult. Yes, I know you took the time to make your recipe with no gluten in it, so I should be able to dive right in and eat it, right? Sadly, I can’t take that risk. I’ve done so in the past and wound up sick for three days. What you might not understand about being unable to digest gluten is that it’s not just if the ingredients are gluten free, the pots/pans/plates/utensils have to be as well. Plus some ingredients (seasonings, sauces, etc) can have ingredients you might not even realize are gluten containing. All it takes is one plastic spoon that’s been used with non gluten-free pancake batter to stir your gluten free dish and there’s a possibility of cross contamination.

From http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/gluten-free-diets/what-foods-have-gluten.html

What Foods Have Gluten?

Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and any foods made with these grains.

Avoiding wheat can be especially hard because this means you should avoid all wheat-based flours and ingredients. These include but are not limited to:

White Flour
Whole Wheat Flour
Durum Wheat
Graham Flour
Triticale
Kamut
Semolina
Spelt
Wheat Germ
Wheat Bran
Common foods that are usually made with wheat include:

Pasta
Couscous
Bread
Flour Tortillas
Cookies
Cakes
Muffins
Pastries
Cereal
Crackers
Beer
Oats (see the section on oats below)
Gravy
Dressings
Sauces
This may seem like a long list, but there are still plenty of gluten-free foods out there! Choose from many fresh, healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy, nuts and gluten-free grains like quinoa or rice. There are also gluten-free versions of many of the foods above available in most grocery stores. You just have to look for them!

Gluten Surprises

You may not expect it, but the following foods can also contain gluten:

broth in soups and bouillon cubes
breadcrumbs and croutons
some candies
fried foods
imitation fish
some lunch meats and hot dogs
malt
matzo
modified food starch
seasoned chips and other seasoned snack foods
salad dressings
self-basting turkey
soy sauce
seasoned rice and pasta mixes
There are also many addititves and ingredients in packaged foods that may contain gluten. Always check labels and ingredient lists for these. For a more comprehensive list of gluten-containing additives, contact your local celiac support group.

Other Tips to Remember

Don’t forget that ingredients in food products change frequently, so always check the label before buying packaged foods.
Remember that “wheat-free” does not automatically mean “gluten-free.” While a product may not contain wheat, it can still contain rye or barley in some form.
If you have any question about whether a food contains gluten, contact the manufacturer directly.

The Fuss About Oats

Pure oats are a gluten-free food, but most commercially processed oats have been contaminated during the growing, harvesting or processing stages. In the past, many experts recommended completely avoiding oats those on a gluten-free diet in addition to wheat, barley, and rye. Now, some oats are grown and processed separately, and can be labeled “gluten-free.”

Many people with celiac disease are still advised to avoid oats initially. However, oats can help provide fiber and other important nutrients. Over time, most people with celiac can reintroduce pure oats in small amounts (about 1/2 cup of dry oats per day) without any trouble.

(end article)

So, as you can see, it’s not a walk in the park to be gluten free, there are so many foods out there that can be dangerous to someone with Celiac Disease.

Again, thank you for taking the time to try and make gluten free food for me, but please know that while I appreciate the effort, it’s just not worth the risk for me. My kitchen has two sets of everything, one set for my son to use with things that have gluten, and my set that never gets touched by gluten. It’s just how it has to be. I’d much rather be able to go out and eat whatever is placed in front of me, trust me.