I’ve been in denial for several months now about the possibility that I might have a gluten intolerance. I love pasta. I love bread. I love beer. The thought of having to give these items up in order to stop the icky feeling that I get after I eat them gives me shivers up my spine. What is a person to do without pasta, bread or beer? I’m actually hyperventilating just a little right now as I’m typing this up.
I have a gazillion allergies to begin with, but up until now which is 43 year of life, none of them have been food related allergies. I take a nasal spray, eye drops and two different types of blockers per day. I’ve also won the asthma lottery and carry a rescue inhaler in addition to my EpiPen where ever I go. So right now, my head is spinning. What do I do? Where do I start? What else do I need to add to my list of what not to do things in order to remain alive? I have so much anxiety, I swear that my hair is falling out, it’s going grey and I’m getting fat just thinking about it.
Last year, I took the 23 and Me Health and Ancestry test which revealed that I am a carrier of the Celiac gene. Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding… what did I win? What in the world? How can this be possible? Don’t Celiac people have issues with food? I’ve never had issues with food. I can eat anything and everything I want whenever I want. Hold up, stop, hit the pause button, let’s look at this statement a little bit closer. I just announced that I don’t have any food allergies which is factual based on my skin allergy test that I had conducted on my back. However, I do have lots of stomach issues, but I’m not 100% sure as to what is triggering these problems. Could it be Celiac related? Is this 23 and Me health test legit? Did I actual learn something new about myself that I had no prior knowledge about. Your genes combined with eating foods with gluten and other factors can contribute to Celiac Disease, but the precise cause isn’t known.
Celiac Disease is a disorder in which eating gluten triggers an immune response in the body, causing inflammation, many negative symptoms, digestive issues, nutritional deficiencies and damage to the small intestine. Sounds lovely doesn’t it? What is gluten? Gluten is a type of protein found in grains including wheat, barley, spelt and rye. I hate to be the one to tell you, but beer is a grain-based beverage made from either barley, wheat or rye, which means that, if you’re gluten-intolerant, regular beer may be on the list of drinks you need to avoid.
Is gluten free beer even a thing? Who drinks gluten free beer? Where do I find gluten free beer? I’m getting anxious just thinking about all of this! Fortunately a good friend of mine told me about this site, Best Gluten Free Beers which gives their opinions on you guessed it, gluten free beers. They also offer information on gluten reduced beers. Gluten free breweries are popping up all over and distributions of gluten free beer is improving. Industry leaders include, Ground Breaker, Ghostfish, Burning Brothers, Holidaily, and Aurochs according to Best Gluten Free Beers. FYI, those with Celiac Disease will always be safest consuming a beer which was brewed from gluten alternatives such as millet, buckwheat, sorghum, corn, or rice.
At this point, my options are to continue to do what I’m doing and feel like crap after every meal or beer I drink or to educate myself on what gluten free or gluten reduced options are available to me. While shopping at our local farmers market today, I came across Clayton’s Bakery. They had beautiful doughnuts on display and plenty of people forking out $4 in cash per small doughnut. The small doughnuts were gluten free whereas the larger doughnuts were vegan. I purchased two doughnuts, a maple and a traditional sprinkle doughnut. My husband ate his sprinkle doughnut faster than I could take a picture of it, so you will only be see my maple doughnut photographed. Both doughnuts were very tasty, they were heavy in weight whereas most donuts are light and airy, they were more cake like. Overall, the two doughnuts that we purchased we very good, but we could only eat one doughnut versus going to our regular donut shop where we can each put away two to three donuts if we wanted to.
Clayton’s Bakery has an actual store front located at 5001 Newport Coast Dr
Irvine, California 92603 (949) 400-3438 per their Facebook page, “We make high quality gourmet donuts and bakery products and put 100% into our products to ensure you get the very best. Serving both vegan and gluten free!”
I ate half of my small doughnut and guess what, I had no bloating issues! My stomach usually hurts immediately after I eat foods that have gluten in them. It’s a pain having to be near a restroom, because you never know what other issues I might have. Part of me has been so worried that I have to give-up foods that I love or taste amazing because of this thing called gluten. I’m starting to realize that there are plenty of wonderful and flavorful food options to eat including doughnuts that wont give me tummy issues. The less gluten free items I consume the less symptoms I have. However, discovering replacements for the things that I love to eat will be difficult, but I’m certainly up for a good challenge!
Here are a few foods you should avoid unless they’re specifically labeled as gluten-free:
Fortunately, there are plenty of nutritious and naturally gluten-free foods out there. Cutting out processed foods, enjoying mostly whole foods and practicing label reading can make it much easier to follow a gluten-free diet.
Here are some foods that can be included in a healthy gluten-free diet:
- Meat, poultry and seafood
- Gluten-free grains, such as quinoa, rice, buckwheat and millet
- Healthy fats
- Herbs and spices
There’s tons of information about living Gluten Free and living with Celiac Disease. After speaking with your health care professional and coming up with a plan with your doctor the real work begins. It’s up to you, to heal your body. A doctor can diagnosis but they can’t make you eat the right foods. Being disciplined and staying consistent is key to making you feel better. Where do you look for help? Thankfully, there’s the internet which makes getting information easy. Gluten Free Living is a good place to start and The Gluten Dude has a pretty good website with lots of helpful tips. https://www.glutenfreeliving.com/gluten-free/
Oh no, my second wave of a panic attack is coming on as I think about all of our international travel plans that we have coming up this year. I hate having to pack a plethora of pills prilosec, prevacid, immodium and many more just to help ease my stomach issues. As I was doing some research I came across this site Gluten Free Drugs and Medications which is managed and actively updated by a pharmacist http://www.glutenfreedrugs.com/ I was focused on the foods I can eat and the beverages that I can consume that I completely forgot about the medications I take to help ease these symptoms and can actually be causing further damage. FRUSTRATING!
If your travels take you to any of these 19 USA states, consider checking out their dedicated breweries and food trucks. I will certainly track down the The Bakery Truck, Los Angeles and will give you my feedback once I try them.
What I’ve learned so far, is that living Gluten Free doesn’t have to be tasteless and healing from Celiac Disease is possible. I’m tired of feeling tired, dealing with bloating and a number of other symptoms. I’ve been told that these symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet, I really hope that’s true. If you suspect that you may have Celiac Disease, consult with your doctor to get tested for it and determine if a Gluten Free diet is necessary for you.
With a Side of ~ EatTravelFun