a lesson in cross-contamination

being newly diagnosed with gluten intolerance, i have a lot to learn. i mostly cleared out my kitchen of gluten containing products. i shop exclusively at wholefoods and traderjoe’s bc they have a good selection of gluten-free foods. but really, i keep thinking, how bad could it be if i ingested a little gluten as opposed to to a lot of gluten? well, i learned it doesn’t matter how much gluten it is… even the tiniest bit affects the gluten intolerant.

i purchased barbara’s rice puffins, which clearly states gluten free. and trader joe’s says all of their dairy products are gluten free on their website. so, e (my son) didn’t eat all of his breakfast, so i decided to finish it yesterday morning, thinking both items were gluten free. well, a little after finishing off the yogurt and cereal, i got a bad headache and felt unwell. then i read from other ppl’s blogs and discussions that flavored yogurt may contain traces of gluten. “traces” of gluten was making me sick. this morning, my husband informed me that the cereal, although gluten free ingredients, was made with equipment that also makes products containing wheat, which means the cereal also contains traces of gluten.

well, i’ve learned my lesson. READ ENTIRE LABEL! just bc it says gluten free doesn’t mean it is gluten free. i had such a headache yesterday and was in such a fog, i couldn’t drive my daughter to school. back before the diagnosis, there were many days when i was “sick” and couldn’t do much. and the rest of the days were just a slightly better “sick” where i did do stuff but never felt great. and now that my body has become a no-gluten zone, thanks to the colonoscopy prep cleanse, it reacts to even the slightest bit of gluten.

so there it is — our house needs to become a completely gluten free house.

so what do i do when i go out for weddings, parties, and other get-togethers? it’s not like i can raid the kitchen and read all the labels. and cross-contamination would be everywhere! i can’t even use the toaster for gluten free bread if it was used for wheat bread. or even a cutting board.

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2 thoughts on “a lesson in cross-contamination

  1. mercedesohara says:

    You can shop at Walmart grocery centers too – they label their food brands “gluten free” and also list if it is manufactured in a facility that manufactures products that may contain major allergens, even if the food itself doesn’t contain gluten. So helpful!
    Also, you might have developed other food allergies or intolerances that mimic your celiac symptoms. I found that I was lactose intolerant for many months after I was diagnosed, which made me thing I was being glutened, even when I wasn’t. and I was allergic to several spices until my system healed (2 years later).
    http://mercedesohara.wordpress.com/

  2. providentialfoodies says:

    I’m sorry that happened. Been there! I think it might’ve been with the same cereal one of the times that it happened to us.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out an easy solution to social settings like weddings, but over time, my friends and family have become fantastic about trying to provide things I can eat for smaller scale occasions. I went to a Pampered Chef party last week and my friend went to the trouble of picking up some specialty chips for me. I have found that many people will at least try to find things for me when it is within their power to do so.

    I do take my food for myself and my GF son to big events, though. I’ve found that fresh fruits and veggies in a small cooler or insulated lunch bag are easier to deal with than a main dish, especially if I don’t know what the kitchen/refrigerator/microwave situation is.

    Your “glutened” symptoms sound a lot like mine. The headache and brain fog are the worst. It’s awful to feel like you can’t really think, isn’t it?

    I see that this post is from March. I hope things are going well for you these days and that you’ve got some of your own tips and tricks for dealing with social situations.

    Take care!

    Esther

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