Celiac, gluten allergy, gluten sensitive, or gluten intolerant….
I am not Celiac, at least that is what the tests have shown over the years. But I am gluten intolerant. I have been unable to tolerate oats since childhood and blood tests from a year ago showed intolerance to all of the gluten grains.
But my body already told me that.
My mother used to tell me to listen to my body. Often when you are young and busy you ignore that advice. I did.
Gluten free to help with fibromyalgia symptoms
I went gluten free in December 2012 in hopes of helping reduce the effects of a very serious flare of fibromyalgia. To my great surprise I felt remarkably improved in less than a month. My body had been screaming at me and I couldn’t understand what it was trying to say.
The initial learning curve in going gluten free seemed daunting. I had to learn what gluten free meant in different contexts. Certified gluten free means no processing or possible cross contamination with gluten products in a facility. Some of my Celiac friend are extremely sensitive to even the most minuscule bit of gluten so products like this are safe for them.
I have learned that many processed foods of all sorts contain gluten and the label probably won’t say ‘contains gluten’ but will list ingredients which cause our eyes to glaze over since we have no idea what that ingredient even is. I’ll discuss some of these in future posts. I learned that most candy and some chewing gum contain gluten. Who knew?
So no wheat, barley, rye, or oats for me. Sometimes other words are used for wheat, barley and rye products. Spelt, tritacale, malt, couscous, bulgur, and farina are a few of them. I’m continuing to learn about gluten products by reading labels, reading posts, and asking questions. Lots and lots of questions.
I miss writing restaurant reviews
In my pre-gluten free days I used to write restaurant reviews for a website. It was one of my favorite jobs and I miss it. My husband loves trying new restaurants. Whenever we go out to eat it is an adventure for me. Will this place have gluten free options? Will anything I eat here make me sick because of my food intolerances? Maybe others in the Edmonton area would like knowing about some of the gf options out there.
So here it is, the first of my observations and experiences with restaurants and gf ingredients.
Cora’s on Calgary Trail (near the South Edmonton Common) has a dedicated gluten free toast station. When you ask, they offer you the option of gluten free toast with your meal. Very nice and greatly appreciated.
I also learned that their buckwheat pancakes are NOT gluten free because they mix the gluten safe buckwheat flour in with regular flour. They are open for breakfast and lunch and are known for their fresh fruit sides with many of their breakfast choices. I had a time limited spring breakfast special with omelet, Granny Smith apple slices and real maple syrup. It was delicious! And most importantly, it did not make me sick.
Last time I checked the Cora in Leduc and the one in Sherwood Park did not offer a gluten free toast / dedicated toasting station option.
Original Joe’s Sherwood Park
The original Joe’s in Sherwood Park had a gluten sensitive menu available. They offered a gluten free bun with my pulled pork sandwich. The sweet potato fries and dill dipping sauce were delicious. Their honey coleslaw was not very flavorful and was unimpressive in my opinion.
Depending on your level of sensitivity to gluten you may or may not be able to have fries or sweet potato fries when you eat out. Some places dust their fries with a gluten containing coating before frying them. Other places will fry gluten battered food in the same fryer as gluten free food. Ask, ask, and ask some more.
A few gluten free discoveries
I was in Costco Sherwood Park yesterday and saw these gluten free baking items, Cloud 9 Gluten free baking mix and Sunblest almond flour. I have not tried either of them but I am grateful that Costco carries gluten free products. Let me know if you have tried either of these and how you liked them.