New To Gluten Free

If you are reading this then you or someone you know has an unhappy gut relationship. Sometimes these types of unions can be so tricky. Your stomach and intestines give you the whole “It’s not you, it’s me” speech and you are left wondering where it all went wrong. Weren’t there enough dinner dates? Didn’t I take you to nice restaurants? What about all that cake on your birthday? Then you find out there is a third party. A minx that has worked its way into your lives as you were blissfully unaware. Gluten. That witch.

I’m sorry that you have had to join this party. I promise you and your digestive tract will once again be happily connected. It can all be so overwhelming in the beginning. A new stage of life. Like leaving for college or realizing you can’t do a summersault anymore. It’s going to be okay.

Did you know that gluten can cause a whole host of issues? It isn’t just for the Crohns, Celiacs and intolerants of the world. Many diets that eliminate gluten as well as a host of other things (sorry getting rid of the junk isn’t always a cure all) are being used to treat multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, autism, and  eczema. There is a huge list of health problems that can benefit from gluten elimination. Many who suffer from joint pain, constant bloating, rashes and stomach aches have found that restricting themselves from eating gluten has relieved or aided symptoms.

Now I’m not a doctor. I went to film school, not medical school, man. I’m just telling you what I have come across in my research. I used to think this was all malarkey, but in the United States, the way our food is processed can be very harmful to our health. Gluten is a big player in that scary game. Did you know that the most popular white sandwich bread isn’t even bread? It is a cake that they add some vitamins to. It is so completely processed and bleached that you can probably see it glowing when the lights are out. We are putting this stuff in our bodies guys. Why? And why is it in everything? I was most infuriated when I found it was in a particular popsicle brand we used to buy. What in the world would require gluten to be in something that is supposed to be fruit juice that is frozen? Oh how naïve I was.

I would first suggest researching what gluten goes by and how to read labels.  I have a page on here that lists fairly comprehensibly what to look for in the ingredients list on items. You know your level of gluten sensitivity. If you have Celiac or Crohns… then absolutely no gluten. Equally important no cross contamination. Cross contamination is when your gluten free food gets goobered up by gluten. You get a gluten pasta noodle mixed in with your gluten free ones. Your fruit is cut on a cutting board where a sandwich was just cut on. A pan was used for gluten cookies and then gluten free cookies. The list goes on and honestly that was what freaked me out the most in the beginning. It will get better. You will learn how to be cautious and be an advocate for yourself. Sometimes being polite and not asking questions about how your food is prepared means you are going to be sick for hours later. It is always best to ask and tell people about your restrictions.

If you are choosing to be gluten free but not on a high sensitivity level or worried about cross contamination, then you have a little more playing room. All those boxes that say this can of tuna was processed in a facility that also processes wheat, gluten, liquefied trash and insect eggs won’t affect you as much. And yes that sounds ridiculous because that is just how labels are. Dumb.

I would find some recipes of foods that you enjoy and start cooking. Here is a great place to start! The sooner you can feel like you aren’t being deprived the easier the transition will be. Gluten free living does not have to be buying packaged items that say gluten free. Think of it as an opportunity to learn some new kitchen skills. Or maybe get first kitchen skills. My recipes are all easy and don’t require crazy ingredients. If there is an ingredient I think you may not have, I often have a link to it. Now cooking is my hobby, so I don’t mind crazy ingredients every once in a while, but for your sakes let’s keep it simple and fun. Yes, fun! You will do a happy dance when you take a bite of a melted crunchy on the outside tender and buttery on the inside chocolate chip cookie that is in fact gluten free, and you made it! You are a rock star!

Lastly, this site is a great place to ask questions. In the beginning things can be so confusing. If google didn’t exist I would have crawled in a hole and lived with the sewer rats. Confused about something? Ask and I’ll do my best to answer or others in the community will. Now go do some research and be happy. You are on the road to feeling great!