Learning to Be Gluten-Free
In my determined quest to identify and cure Sam’s previously unknown food allergy, we spent the month of March exploring a gluten-free lifestyle. And guess what? I think we finally found the culprit. Silly gluten.
Being gluten-free isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it definitely means some major adjustments to our current diet. Most processed foods contain gluten, including some of our favorite go-to items. No more Dave’s Killer Bread (or any normal bread, for that matter), pasta, pies, thick crust pizza, pita bread, beer, flour tortillas, soy sauce… I think you get the idea.
Our cupboard is now filled with brown rice pasta, gluten-free oats, 100% corn tortillas, and a whole bunch of other interesting items. The natural foods section at Fred Meyer has become my new best friend, along with Trader Joes – which labels all gluten-free products with a cute lil’ “g.”
As you know, Sam and I both love cooking – but we also love to eat out and try new restaurants. That’s a bit more tough now. You’d be surprised how many food products contain gluten. Along with the obvious culprits like bread and breading, many cheeses, oatmeal and even tea have trace amounts of wheat. And get this: even if a product doesn’t contain wheat in the ingredients, if it’s packaged in a facility that packages wheat (usually printed on label), it could still contain gluten particles! Wheat is sticky icky icy. So sticky, in fact, that it’s used in wallpaper adhesive. Seriously. So naturally it sticks to our stomach linings as well. Ugh.
Despite the fact that I can still eat gluten (thank GOD), we usually make breakfast and dinner together, and pack lunches together as well. So, it’s just easier for me to shop primarily gluten-free. I mean, I hope it will be. Our recent grocery store trips have consisted of hours, literally, standing in the store reading labels and agonizing whether certain products might make Sam sick or not.
So, that all said, here’s to a new foodie adventure, and to lots of brown rice flour.
[Editor’s note: Sam’s gluten test later came out negative. Back to square one.]