Living 100% Gluten-Free is a challenge. Most of us, even after we've learned about hidden sources of gluten and done our best to stay away from them....are going to get "glutened" from time to time. This happens most often with:
1-Cross contamination 2-Eating out at a new restaurant 3-Eating products that don't have any "gluten" ingredients...but still aren't 100% GF.
We have to be extremely careful with cross contamination in our own homes. Most of us are living with non-GF people. So make sure everyone knows which toaster is the GF one....and when your grandma is baking glutenous pies, cakes, and bread....stay far away from the kitchen. Trust me, I know. Even a TINY bit of gluten will do THIS to me:
Of course, I often get the same reaction when eating out at a new place I'm unsure about. Many restaurants offer "gluten-free" items, but they are cooking them on the same surfaces as wheat products. This picture was actually taken after dining out at the California Pizza Kitchen. I was excited to try their new "gluten-free" pizza crust....but came home looking like this. (I have since contacted their corporate office and they are "making it a priority" to fix this problem..... Geez, let's hope so ;0)
There are also a lot of products out there that don't list any "hidden gluten ingredients" but are still unsafe. We've all seen those labels that say "made in a facility that also handles milk, wheat, tree nuts, and soy." For those of us who are super sensitive....it is a risk to eat any products with these types of warnings on them. I have had both good and bad experiences with this. Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Truffle, for example, has this label, and I've been OK with eating it for over a year now. Cocoa Boulders Cereal from Fresh & Easy, however, gave me a "gluten belly" within a few hours after eating it. So, it's up to you to decide if you want to take that risk.
The good news is, there are things you can do to help ease a gluten reaction. It won't necessarily go away within a few minutes or even a few hours...but there are things you can do to ease the discomfort.
* Eat some raw veggies and lean protien. This helps relieve some of the bloat and fluid retention that comes from getting glutened. *Exercise! Even though you will feel more tired...make yourself get up and move around for a while. It will help!