Today I’m going to be a bit snarky because I just can’t take it.
First, since we are all social distancing and staying at home, I should not be seeing posts about people being glutened – at all. We aren’t eating at restaurants. We aren’t eating at friend’s houses. Most of us are under some sort of “shelter in place” order, so we are all at home.
If you are new to celiac disease, then this is a really hard time. When I say new to celiac, I mean diagnosed less than a year ago. If so, focus on whole foods and things certified gluten free. Once you have some experience reading labels and understanding celiac, then you can branch out. Also, with all of this Covid-19 stuff going on, it will be easier to obtain fruits, vegetables, rice, and unmarinated proteins. Only buy certified sauces and dressings until you get used to this.
If you are a more experienced celiac, then there is no reason in the world to be getting glutened. I don’t live in a gluten free house. I do have one special gluten pan for the gluten eaters to make grilled sandwiches. Otherwise, I stay safe – no vomiting or nausea. Occasionally I will have bouts of gastrointestinal distress, but I typically don’t think of those as glutening episodes. We have lots and lots of rules around our house about gluten free eating and how everyone can help avoid cross contamination. I’ve written about cross contamination a lot, so just your best cross contamination avoidance skills to keep yourself safe.
For example, I made the Krustease Cinnamon Swirl Cake and ate a BUNCH of it. I ate almost a quarter of the cake. I had a LOT of gastrointestinal distress for the next 24 hours. Do I think it was the Krustease? Nope. That item is certified gluten free and I’ve made it many, many other times without issue. Did I just have a bad day because I don’t normally eat a lot of cake. Probably.
Anyway, I understand making mistakes. Just they should absolutely be kept to a minimum. This is a time where we should be very, very excited because we can eat our gluten free foods without interference from the outside world. We can be our biggest gluten free nerds! Embrace it, enjoy it, and let’s revel our gluten free world.
Second, if you are continuing to have persistent gastrointestinal issues, take a closer look at your diet. I know that a short term low FODMAP diet helped me a lot. I love broccoli, onions, and garlic. I can make onion rings and be fine one day. I warm them up the next day and bam, massive bloating and massive diarrhea. Does that mean I got glutened? Nope. It just means, I ate too many high FODMAP foods.
There are a million different diets out there – pick one that is gluten free that you can live on forever and experiment until you feel good. Give the diet 6-8 weeks before you feel okay. I tried Paleo/Keto and was miserable for all six weeks I did it. It just didn’t work for me.
Finally, beans are your friends. They are high in fiber which the gluten free diet is typically very low in. The beans might make you bloated and gassy, but that’s the fun part. Not the bloat, but probably the gas! If you don’t think so, I’ll send you my 12 year old boy to laugh at the gas for you. 😉 Just make sure to buy gluten free beans and all will be well!!!
As always, stay safe out there. If celiac disease is your only autoimmune disease, you are not at higher risk for COVID-19. Wash your hands, practice good social distancing, and follow the instructions from your local public health department.