Our Daily Bread----
What happens when your daily bread is suddenly toxic, if this staff of life is poison and causes excruciating pain to your system? For those of us with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, this is our reality. Celiac disease is known as the Great Masquerader, and is a silent disease that is frequently misdiagnosed, many times for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, crohn's disease, lactose intolerance, and many times after years of doctor's visits to be told "its just in your head." It took us over 10 years of misdiagnosis, and numerous doctors to be tested for celiac disease.
How to Become Gluten-Free 101----
After the initial shock, and the following adjustment of searching ingredient lists for hidden gluten and its myriad of sources, those of us with celiac disease or gluten intolerance become sleuths and can read a label like a true gluten detective. Our daughters could read a label better than any gluten-friendly civilian before they were preteens. Frosted donuts, pizza, pretzels, and beer are obviously considered no-no's. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Gluten hides in unlikely places:soy sauce, broth, spice blends, herbal teas, lip balm, vitamins, ready made soups, ice cream....the list goes on and on.
Kitchens must be thoroughly cleaned for toasters full of gluten crumbs, kitchen sponges that have washed the gluten littered pans, wooden spoons are a huge culprit and a hidden source of gluten contamination, as is the residue on cutting boards.
Sharing peanut butter, jelly and jam, butter, mayonnaise, (insert hundreds of other goodies) can be a gluten land mine. Since we keep a mixed kitchen at our homes, we keep separate jars of everything, with ours labeled with "gluten-free" on them, and since we have teen aged boys and husbands----we sometimes put huge XXX on them in magic marker. It is literally a crime punishable by death if you mess with the the labeled jar just because yours ran out. We also keep a designated cabinet for our gluten free cereals, breads, super expensive gf cookies and crackers. This is the GLUTEN-FREE Zone.
Eating out is worthy of its own post.
According to the Celiac Sprue Association, even a crumb size amount of gluten is enough to trigger an autoimmune reaction.
Gluten Free is not a diet, it is a life adjustment and commitment.
To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi:
Your (gf) actions become your (gf) habits, your (gf) habits become your (gf)values, your (gf) values become your (gf) destiny.