October 01, 2012

Day 1... What is Gluten?

To avoid gluten in my diet I, first, have to know what it is and where it lives.  

Gluten is the protein that lives in wheat, barley and rye.  

The strands that form to make yeast breads rise are developed gluten strands.  It is what gives structure and texture to breads and baked items.

There are different levels of sensitivity to gluten and wheat.  The most severe is Celiac Sprue.  If you have Celiac you will not even be able to tolerate gluten in your home or environment at all.    I have been tested for Celiac... and do not have it but there are still issues.  Other varieties of sensitivity are not as severe but can still cause intestinal distress, skin irritations, sinus issues, joint pain and swelling and more.  I suspect I have a gluten sensitivity and the one month elimination should be able to answer some questions I have about my condition and level of issues.  

I suspect that the changes in the way we "enhance" our grain (GMOs), process it, pour pesticides on it and so forth are a huge reason we have seen more and more people with allergies and sensitivities to the grains we grow... especially gluten grains.  It is possible that a simple switch to an organic wheat might solve problems for some.  In our efforts to make things "bigger and better" we have, in essence, made them intolerable by many people.  

So, where does gluten live?

The list is pretty extensive...

This includes, but is not limited to: 
white bread 
wheat bread
focaccia bread
rye bread
pita bread
spelt bread/products
Ezekial bread 
sprouted bread

7 or 9 grain bread
flour tortillas
some corn tortillas
cakes & cupcakes
flour tortillas
some corn tortillas
cakes & cupcakes
cookies biscuits
pancakes and waffles
hot dog buns
hamburger buns
pizza crusts
Cream of Wheat
quick bread
banana bread
soda bread
bread crumbs
wheat germ
wheat bran
pearl barley
barley grass
rolled oats (any oats)
wheat nuts
wheat grass
wheat protein 
wheat starch 
graham crackers
groats (wheat or oat usually)

Foods that contain gluten like any breaded items:
fried chicken
breaded fish fillets
breaded fish sticks
country fried steak
breaded mushrooms or zuchinni
corn dogs

Other foods to avoid that may contain gluten are:
many broths and soups
boullion (Herb-Ox is gluten free)
most soy sauces (La Choy is gluten free)
teriyaki sauces
canned or frozen items in sauces or gravies
some spices use flour to prevent clumping 
frozen french fries often dusted with flour
imitation crab meat
brewer's yeast
wine coolers (if contain malt)
yeast( Red Star is gluten free)
blue cheese(depends on culture medium)
Rice Dream rice milk(barley enzymes in processing)
malted milk
malt syrup
malt extract
malt flavoring
malt vinegar
vanilla flavoring (McCormick Real Vanilla Flav. is gluten free)
brown rice syrup unless states gluten free(Lundberg)
flavored coffee
nuts are sometimes dusted with flour
grilling seasoning or other seasoning blends
marinades unless say gluten free 
processed meats
poultry injected with broth
glazed ham
Rice a Roni (has vermicelli), most seasoned rice mixes do
Most mainstream cereals have malt (barley)
Rice Krispies is coming out with a gluten free version, check box
Cheerios (cross contaminated oats)
Special K
Corn Flakes
and most cereals

List taken from Gluten Free Diet Help

That is just a list from wheat laden products.  You have to check the labels on everything and grains like oats, that do not contain gluten, have to be specially certified as gluten free before you can trust eating them.  Many oat farmers are also wheat farmers and there is cross contamination in the growing process.  Gluten hides everywhere!

Today begins my journey to purge it from my home as best I can and to separate my food, client products and the rest of the family's food items into separate areas of the kitchen.  I am reorganizing the kitchen, revamping my menu plans and learning more about ways to change how I eat to become healthier.

Why would I do this?  I have Lupus and with Lupus comes arthritis symptoms and issues.  I have noticed that the days when I consume more breads and pasta... along with dairy and sugar... I tend to have flair ups with joint pain and swelling.  This month will be about finding answers.  I also have two clients that have made the switch to gluten free and this will help me to find a better variety of things that they can eat, too.  

The only real way to truly purge the diet from gluten is to make more and more of your own foods from whole foods and gluten free ingredients.  There are gluten free products on the market more now than ever.  I will share my discoveries with you as we go.  I will share ingredients for making your own food.  I will share some recipes and resources along the way.  There is much to learn and I am glad you are taking the journey with me.  Feel free to post questions or information of your own to share with us, too.  

So, let's get started!  

1 comment:

  1. I get really inrritated by things like corn tortillas that still are mostly wheat and rice noodles that contain wheat.
    Reading labels is the key. Sometimes challenging to the eyesight as they make lists of ingredients quite small and my eyes are not getting any younger.
    Best of luck with your experiment. Hope it gives some answers.