Now, I have a lot of great people willing to learn about cross contamination of foods, but gluten is particularly difficult! It’s becoming more understood every day, but people still struggle. Especially if they’re the single celiac in a group. And I’m not sure friends, family, restaurants, or even some people with celiac realise just how difficult it is to eat out. Or even eat in their own home for that matter! To be truly gluten free is gruelling…
I have NCGS (non-celiac gluten sensitivity) I have all the symptoms of celiac disease, but the tests came back negative. If there’s gluten in my food I swell up like a watermelon within 30 minutes!
Here are some tricks I’ve found helpful:
Label everything – especially if you’re in a home with people that eat gluten. Even better, get your own fridge! If you use the same butter, the same jam, the same tub, pot of anything it’s likely contaminated…. who’s needed more butter on their toast before? and when that knife is dipped back into the pot after touching the bread, it leaves crumbs.
Education – Firstly educate friends and family…. Put out a platter with gluten and non-gluten free food? People take both and their water cracker crumbs get all over those rice crackers. Along with the education find GF food that’s tasty so you can have visitors and enjoy the food and friends without the fear of symptoms later. I’m sure they’d manage with a GF Mexican layer dip and some GF corn chips. If not, Have separate area’s, separate knives, separate everything.
Education take 2 – the restaurants/cafe’s/eateries you go to… Help educate them. I went into a gelatisimo and there were gluten free signs everywhere! But……. all the gelato was made in the same machine…. Yes, they wash it, but if there are cookie crumbs stuck in there when they make the classic vanilla, there is cross contamination. The signs should say may contain traces, or there should be a sign saying gluten free* and the star leads you to a disclaimer saying its made in the same machine, even though it’s cleaned well. You should be able to make an informed decision about whether you want to be sick later or not. The sandwich place the has Gluten free bread? … need I say more?
Skincare and Cosmetics – You got it! powder, lipstick, lip balm, body lotion etc, contains gluten. Research good (even organic brands) and find healthy GF makeup. GF lipstick, lip balms and glosses in particular. Don’t be afraid to write to companies and ask! If they won’t answer you, that sends up a red flag all on its own. I like Red Apple Lipstick and Besame Cosmetics (Though I don’t know how these guys go on the chemical scale… at a glance there’s nothing too harmful in them. Posts about the unregulated beauty industry to come.)
Final Tip – Don’t share! Sharing drink bottles, glasses, dips etc is a great way to get a good old dose of gluten in your system.
But most of all, do you. Everyone’s sensitivity varies, and the severity of their symptoms do too. You may be willing to risk a tummy ache for some gourmet ice cream! and that is totally ok.
I hope you’ve found something helpful if you’ve tried going Gluten free and aren’t getting any relief from your symptoms have a look at the tips above and feel free to send me an email if you have questions you think I can help with~!