“Tonight we’re playing ‘Button, Button, Who’s got the button?”–Go Ask Alice
I think the most difficult thing that I have found and that I have heard others complain about is trying to find hidden gluten. When you are first starting out, it seems easy enough. Just don’t eat bread right? How hard can that be? Wrong!!!!! There is so much more to the picture. Being gluten free or allergen free is not easy. It requires diligence, dedication and commitment, just like love. And just like a vengeful lover, it will bite you in the ass, literally.
Don’t expect your friends, family and co-workers to be of any help. We have all heard the careless questions:
You can eat just a bite, that won’t hurt you
Can’t you even eat a wrap?
You have such great willpower
What are you bringing to the potluck?
We’re ordering pizza, what kind do you want?
We got you a birthday cake!
It’s enough to make you just tell people you are diabetic-it’s just easier to explain. If you are not gluten intolerant, celiac, dairy or lactose intolerant, or have food allergies in general, you will never understand what it is like to live in a world where wheat is king, and in some of the most ridiculous places you could ever imagine.
Here is a pretty comprehensive list on where gluten might be. Pretty mind blowing, isn’t it? A lot to keep track of? You bet your sweet bippy it is. Not for the weak of constitution.
I see people posting food labels and asking-is there gluten in this? A simple google search can answer that if you don’t know. Here are a few surprises to watch out for and not regret later:
- soy sauce-contains wheat in the US, but not in Japan-go figure
- scrambled eggs and omelettes-pancake batter is often added
- sausages and hot dogs-filler may be wheat
- imitation crab meat-might contain wheat
- teriyaki sauce-contains soy sauce-has gotten a few people I know
- pre-marinaded meats-buy plain and add your own
- potato chips-buy plain and make sure it has just oil and salt
- dairy free cheesecake or pizza-make sure crust is gluten free, it isn’t always
- inulin-chicory or agave-can be a problem for gluten intolerance, and it seems to be in everything
These are just a few. Believe me, you will learn the hard way once you get glutened a few times. It is a learning process. I can’t stress enough-educate yourself! You are your own best advocate. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.
As I’ve said before, your journey begins with the first piece of gluten free bread.