Friday, June 7, 2013

The Gluten Free Minefield

Ok, so you are a human being that has decided to attempt to live a "gluten free" lifestyle.
Here's the basics of what you may need to know:

Gluten free foods don't taste the same as your usual foods that contained gluten. Foods made without gluten often contain rice/corn/arrowroot flour, tapioca starch, potato flour etc.

Many food that you perhaps wouldn't suspect of containing gluten may contain LOADS of it....such as soups, gravies, and chocolate bars.

Expect to pay much more to buy a gluten free product...., even more than double what you would normally spend. Note, that the Canadian government has some kind of tax incentive for people who can medically prove that they are "celiac" . Therefore, if you are interested in that kind of tax incentive, you should save your store receipts for anything you buy that is gluten free. Contact your tax professional or the Canada Revenue Agency for details.

I have noticed that some canadian grocery chains are finally noticing the market for gluten free items and have developed their own store brands of gluten free grocery products. Two stores that seem to be doing a pretty good job of it are  Zehrs and Food Basics. Food Basics even has a whole section devoted entirely to their new gluten free product line.

Lots of gluten free items are made with rice......rice breads, rice crackers, and yes, even rice pizza dough. Note, though, that foods made with rice won't make you feel as full as your old glutenish products did.....but at least you won't activate an unwanted response.

People who can't eat gluten respond to any ingestion of gluten in a HUGE variety of ways. Some people are very extremely reactive to gluten and can become seriously ill from ingesting even the smallest amount of gluten. Other folks who consider themselves "gluten intolerant" can handle tiny amounts of gluten, but may have reactions to gluten that are more inconvenient and not life-altering.
These reactions may include bloating, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, moodiness and
emotional upsets. The gluten may affect their levels of energy and their ability to fight off common colds and flu viruses. They may feel uncertain about traveling because they may not be convinced that they will be able to find gluten free food in their destination of choice.

So what to do? Do your best, my friends, and listen to your doctors. If you aren't having any success with your current "modus operandi", then, go and get a second opinion from another doctor.
You don't have to suffer unnecessarily. Strive to create a lifestyle that you can handle, that is productive and functional. If you are having trouble coping with it, seek some help.

If you are finding the lifestyle very difficult to handle, there are supports around in some communities for gluten free living. There are ooodles of websites to browse . If you are unable to figure out what to do, maybe your local librarian can help you find the support you need.
My point is, that the gluten free lifestyle can be a formidable endeavor, and if you are serious about sticking to it, you may need to get some outside support.
i want to encourage you not to give up, but to figure out ways to make it work for you.
Peace,
Carla

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