Tag Archives: gluten free

Tools That You’ll Need To Go Gluten-Free

When you go gluten-free, cleaning out your fridge and pantry is only the first step. In order to truly rid yourself of the scourge of gluten, you’ll need to replace cookware and kitchen utensils as well. All porous surfaces can be harbingers of tiny amounts of gluten, and that may be enough to make you sick. If you want to truly rid yourself of gluten, here are some new tools you may need.

cutting board

Cutting Boards
It is probably close to impossible that your cutting board is free of scratches, and as is the case with your cookware, scratched surfaces equal gluten hideouts. Make sure to replace all cutting boards and use them only in gluten-free recipes.

Since the toaster is probably the appliance in your kitchen most likely to come into contact with bread, it is not surprising that it should top your list as one of the first to go. If you are avoiding gluten, it is crucial to buy yourself a new one of these, and also make sure that you never allow gluten bread to enter your new replacement.

Silicone Spatulas
What do you get when you flip a gluten pancake? A gluten covered spatula. You might want to get colored spatulas to separate yours from those of your gluten eating house-mates, but make sure to label them anyway. It only takes one bad pancake flip to contaminate your entire spatula, so better be safe than sorry.

Woman with wooden spoon

Wooden Spoons
Wood is another porous gluten trapping material, therefore all wooden cookware will need gluten-free replacements. If you live with roommates who are not cooking gluten-free, be sure to label your items to avoid contamination.

Rolling Pin
If you’ve got your Grandma’s rolling pin, you might want to keep it in the closet for sentimental reasons, but you’ll want to get another one to roll out the dough for your gluten-free breads and pizzas.

Baking Sheets and Muffin Tins
The scratches in your non-stick baking sheets and muffin tins will be sure to test positive for traces of gluten. While stainless steel sheets and tins may not pose as serious a threat, make sure to give them a thorough scrubbing, especially in the corners.

non-stick pan

Non-Stick Pans
It’s the scratches in the non-stick pans which trap the gluten, and, if you possess non-stick pans, you probably are aware of the likelihood of their being scratched. Even the smallest scratches are enough to warrant disposal. Stainless steel or aluminum pans without non-stick coating do not present a risk, as long as they are washed well to root out any food residue.

Unfortunately, a used colander is beyond salvaging from the ravages of gluten, so hopefully your not too attached to yours. The gluten from pasta sticks inside the holes, no matter how diligently you clean. If you’ve got an old colander, replace it.

Let us know how you’re managing post-gluten life. We want to hear your advice on parting with your prized kitchen utensils and appliances.

Understanding Food Intolerance

Woman reading product label
Trudy’s McCulloch’s digestive problems began at birth. As a baby, she suffered from bouts of diarrhea and gas, but managed to have a relatively healthy childhood. However, by the time she hit puberty, she started suffering symptoms that caused her eyes to seal shut with crust and her sinuses and head to throb with pain, but, as she says, “The worst part was the fatigue.” None of the doctors she consulted could understand why she was so tired. “I began to think it was in my head.” When she hit her 20’s chronic chest and stomach pain kicked in to the point where she thought she was “having a heart attack. My left arm was numb and I was short of breath.”

It wasn’t until 2004 when Trudy was in her 30’s that she and her family finally discovered the source of all of his. Trudy had multiple food intolerances which caused GERD ( gastroesphogeal reflux disease) and brought on the intolerable chest pain and sinus problems. Food intolerance is often misdiagnosed and can go untreated for several years, causing undue pain, misery, and frustration to the sufferer and his or her loved ones.

What does food intolerance look like?
Food intolerance can appear:

  1. On the skin, in the form of eczema, acne or skin rashes
  2. In the digestive tract as cramping, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, bloating, or constipation
  3. In the respiratory tract as sneezing, coughing nasal congestion, or asthma
  4. In cognitive ability and emotions, such as brain fog, headache, anxiety, insomnia or depression
  5. As an ear infection or as arthritis

How do you figure out which food is affecting you?
If you have a food intolerance, what is healthy for most Americans may not be healthy for you. Intolerance can be brought on by an immune response to a certain food, often caused by a protein or from deficient digestive enzymes.

Dairy products
Lactose Intolerance

The three macronutrients in the food we eat are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Dairy products contain all three. Lactose is the sugar found in milk. If you are lactose intolerant, the enzyme you need to break down lactose is missing and your gut will not be a be able to absorb the sugar. The sugar molecule, not having been broken down by the proper enzymes, then moves through the gut allowing gut bacteria to feast upon it. This leads to gas, cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. If you believe you are lactose intolerant, drink raw dairy to help with digestion, supplement with enzymes, and eat fermented dairy which contains almost no lactose, examples include yogurt and kefir.

Gluten products
Gluten Sensitivity
Food intolerance can occur at a very early age. It can appear when babies do not develop an immune response against certain foods. This often happens if the baby is fed on formula and does not receive the good bacteria and immune signals found in breast milk. In these cases, the immune system will react to almost any food as an invader, or “antigen” and will react every time it is found in the body.

When the intolerance is related to an immune response cross -reactivity may occur. This is when the immune system comes across a protein that is similar to a different food and reacts to this food as if it were the original antigen. This often happens to those with a gluten sensitivity. People who are sensitive to the proteins in gluten will also respond adversely to coffee and milk protein. Unfortunately, if you are cross-reactive, the treatment of gluten sensitivity may not be effective, and you should seek appropriate testing.

The most important thing to be aware of is the need to understand why some food irritate us so we can know which foods to stay away from. If you are battling or have battled food intolerance, please let us know. Awareness can be a very powerful tool.