In this article we will look at:
- Avoiding gluten
- Focusing on what you can eat
- Managing social situations
In a nutshell, if you know what to avoid, you can eat everything else!
The tricky bit is that gluten hides in so many foods, and you have to watch out for cross-contamination as well.
A detailed list of foods containing gluten is available on this website.
Focus on Gluten-Free Foods
While you must know what to avoid, you also have to know what you can eat. This both confirms what is safe (no avoid list can be complete) and helps you from becoming negative and depressed (“I can’t eat anything!” – not true!).
There is actually more gluten-free foods than gluten-contaminated foods.
If you have a short list of your favorite gluten-free ingredients (for example fish, rice and vegetables) and favourite gluten-free brands of prepared foods, then you have an easy place to go for sustenance whenever you are too tired, hungry and confused to venture into something new.
Managing Social Situations
It is one thing to know what you can eat and what to avoid, and another thing altogether when depending on others to feed you as a guest or at restaurants.
One pitfall is to feel like gluten-free is too much trouble for others to manage. If you have a serious reaction to gluten then it is up to you to make sure you avoid all gluten. If that is too much trouble for someone else, tough (for them). Actually, most people are very helpful, but for those who are not, insist on what you need, and if you can’t get it, leave.
Another pitfall is trusting people who think they know what they are doing but who don’t know enough or who aren’t careful enough. This is more delicate. Do ask lots of questions about the food and what was added to it. Try to sound interested in the food rather than merely distrustful but do make sure you know what’s in the food!
The keys to avoiding gluten are know what to avoid and know what you can eat, and make sure you know what’s in the food you eat (or make sure you are fed by someone who cares as much or more than you do).
What are your experiences with avoiding gluten? Do you have any questions? Please leave a comment.