Thursday, October 25, 2012

What do you do?

Every so often something happens and you end up with gluten in your system. This could be an accidental cross contamination, or one bad day when self control went out the window. So what happens next? How exactly do you deal with getting gluten in your system? I am not a medical expert but after a recent incident I needed those answers. I turned to a support forum and general searching for my plan. After combining and tweaking a whole lot of information this is what I came up with.

1.) Take some activated charcoal as soon as possible.
Activated charcoal is used to absorb yucky stuff that can get into your system normally. The theory is that it will also absorb some of the gluten and other things that could upset your stomach. Be warned it can make your *ahem* bowel movements *ahem* an interesting color. Read the labeling so you aren't freaked out.

2.) Get Traditional Medicinal Ginger Aid Tea
I suppose you could go buy any brand of ginger tea but I have never had a tea quite as potent as the one Traditional Medicinal makes. Ginger is known to help upset stomachs, another option is to find some strong ginger ale or ginger beer if you prefer to have your drinks cold.

3.) Take L-Glutamine with your meals
Studies have shown that L-Glutamine can help heal your intestinal tract. Here is some more information.

4.) Take digestive enzymes with your meals
You can buy papaya enzymes at your local health store. They are made of an enzyme called papain, here's how it helps
"Introducing papain into a meal containing meat can significantly speed up its digestion. It may also help with the breakdown of other ‘troublesome’ proteins, such as the gluten in wheat and the casein in milk, that are often implicated in digestive problems."

5.) After a day or two get some probiotics going
Either buy some tablets at the store or stock up like crazy on the yogurt. (I prefer the tablets) Probiotics are the happy bacteria in your intestines that help break down and digest your food. After a good gluten hit these buddies can get knocked out and you can help them regroup just a little faster.

As I said, I am by no means a medical expert but this is what has helped me. I took the charcoal for two days with every meal and I am still taking the rest of the supplements with every meal and it has been a week and a half. Seeing as these are "normal" supplements you could consult your doctor and possibly just stay on them. Or you could stop after a week or two. It's your call.

Hopefully this helps you, or even better hopefully you never need this advice.

Happy Eating,

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Halloween Worries

If you are anything like me you have been worrying about Halloween for about 6 months now. This year The Jellybean is old enough to have her first trick or treating experience. Luckily she is also young enough that The Nerd and I can swoop in and decide how this experience is going to play out. For those of you with older kids who have already experienced trick or treating and the post celebration gluttony I imagine that your job is a bit tougher. How do you tell a kid that candy that they went out and got isn't really theirs?

Of course there is the stand by "well it has gluten in it honey". It works, it gets the job done, but if you have friends over or siblings who are not gluten intolerant or celiac it can really stink. Suddenly half (or more) of your child's stash is being taken away in the name of gluten while Bobby is already 2/3 of the way into a sugar coma. So here are a few simple suggestions that I have seen floating around or have heard from friends.

Introduce "The Great Pumpkin"
I'm not talking about the one from the Charlie Brown movie. (Although you could watch the movie before going out, you know, set the tone.) I have heard more than a few "normal" people say that the Great Pumpkin or Candy Crone or Harvest Helper etc. come to their house Halloween Night and take the bulk of their child's candy away in exchange for a toy. They let their kiddos pick out a predetermined number of candies and the rest get set out for the trade. This seems like a great way to dodge the gluten bullet. Your kid can pick out 15 gluten free candies and the rest of the offenders just magically disappear into the night. (In our case that would mean they go with The Nerd to work.) I know this works for a lot of families and the kids love that they get some candy and a toy.

Buy Extra GF Candy and set up a trading post
If you have older kids who are on to your gig here and just want the sugary goods, set up a trading post with your own candy. 3 Fun size offenders = 1 regular size candy bar. You can stock up at Sams Club or Costco ahead of time to save some cash.

Have a Halloween Party Instead
Just avoid the issue all together. We hosted Halloween parties the entire time I was in middle and high school. My friends loved it, we had something to do, and in hindsight my parents knew where we were. Get your kids involved in planning it and you won't be accused of being "lame".

Hopefully one of these ideas works for you, if you have another Halloween Tradition that helps with the gluten issue please leave us a comment below!

In the meantime here are some candy companies' gluten free lists:
Spangler Candy 
Wonka - Simply States to read the back panel of the product

Happy eating!