Archive for Gluten
Surprisingly, pet food and products can be a source of gluten in the home. I didn’t move my cat’s food to being gluten-free until I had a gluten exposure from petting him after he had bathed himself a few years ago. That convinced me to take a closer look at the gluten issue for pets.
If you have children who play on the floor, pets who sleep with your children or infants/toddlers who might be able to get ahold of the pet food, this is especially important. After my experience, I strongly recommend any family with gluten-free children or adults who handle the animal regularly move their pets to gluten-free foods to prevent accidental exposure. I’ve met more than one family that took a while to discover that the family pet was the cause of the exposure they were suffering through.
Many pet foods use gluten as a filler. This is especially bad for cats, as cats are obligate carnivores- they don’t voluntarily consume plants unless they need to vomit. They only eat meat. Dogs don’t need grains, either, although I understand they can benefit from the inclusion of certain vegetables in their diet. Apparently, gluten isn’t naturally part of the diet of either animal, it’s included as a filler because it is a cheap ingredient. Health doesn’t factor into the decision and the presence of grains, as either a source of gluten or a source of excess carbs, is considered by some to be a cause of obesity and health problems in many animals.
In addition, gluten intolerance isn’t uncommon among pets, either. Prior to my exposure from petting my cat, he had a rash on his skin that was weepy and we had to keep him shaved. He’s a Persian, so that was a tall order with a lot of work involved. It promptly cleared up when we put him on a gluten-free diet.
There are many pet foods on the market which advertise that they are gluten or grain-free. I’ve personally used Feliade and Wellness canned and had good results with both. We’re transitioning him onto Instinct Raw, as it’s available locally. If it goes well and we see this will work long-term for us, we’ll look into making our own to save money.
Don’t forget to check your pet’s vitamins, supplements, litter or bedding and treats. They can also be a route of exposure. Make sure the cat litter you are using is clay, pine, corn or paper-based and not wheat-based as there are some wheat litters on the market.
If you want more information on gluten-free pets and potential routes of accidental exposure, we cover all of this and much more in our Gluten and Dairy-Free Traditional Foods eCourse.
We’re currently in a transition to move our almost eleven-year-old cat to raw foods. He’s been consuming human-grade canned cat food. Although the transition is slow because he is
stubborn set in his ways used to his routine, We’re already seeing good effects on his energy level and coat. We’ll blog about the details soon.
We’re beginning a new series today on the gluten-free and dairy-optional diet. Check back every Wednesday for articles and recipes.
I get a lot of e-mails and questions about the gluten-free diet. Many letters are from people who are thinking about trying the diet. They have not been diagnosed but instead are considering a trial run of the GF diet to see if it improves their health. They aren’t committed to a long-term, dedicated diet to start because they don’t know if it will help them. Inevitably bring up the subject of how complicated the GF diet can be and they’re looking for a push over the hump.
I went gluten-free in 2006 and at the time, real food resources for the GF diet were scarce and help for the GFCF diet was just about non-existent. Those who helped me didn’t point me to a book or a website, they e-mailed me their own recipes and told me what to do. I launched CTF in 2007 to help those who needed it. Now, there are many more resources available, even within the traditional foods community.
When it comes down to it, I don’t consider the gluten-free diet to be complicated. The issue is more that it is foreign. It’s a bit like learning a new skill. There’s a learning curve, even if it isn’t complicated. Yes, you do have to re-learn some things, such as baked goods. Yes, it takes a little time (and some new ingredients) to get on your feet.
Many main dishes you know and are familiar with are completely doable with just some minor substitutions. Look for dishes that only call for a small amount of flour and you can easily substitute it with any grain flour you can get at a health food store- sorghum, rice or buckwheat flours as easy to find.
My advice to those new to the gluten-free diet is to skip the bread. Go back to the basics and stick to the meals that are gluten-free or easily made so that are already loved by your family. Go for meals that are rice, potato or cornbread based instead of bread-based. Look for meals that are basic, quick and use easily-obtained, budget-friendly ingredients.
- Roast chicken
- Roast beef
- Meatloaf (use coconut flour instead of breadcrumbs)
- Meatballs in spaghetti sauce (using a good quality GF pasta like Tinkyada)
- Eggroll in a Bowl
- Cornbread and beans
- Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs
- ‘Bourbon’ Chicken
- Tacos or enchiladas made with corn shells
- Chicken cacciatore
- Asian and ethnic dishes
As you get on your feet and begin to experiment, you can add more dishes and begin to work on baked goods. Eggs make a good breakfast, as does a leftover soup. Don’t be afraid to eat a small dinner for breakfast or a big breakfast for dinner.
Just about every recipe on our site is gluten and dairy-free. Check out our Recipe Index for many recipes that are safe for you. Find some good recipes that you like and rotate through them while you get on your feet.
If you’d like the Menu Planning done for you, check out our Budget Menu Mailer or our Classic Menu Mailer. If you need a tutorial to get you started on how to go GFCF, consider our Gluten and Dairy-Free Traditional Foods eCourse. It goes over all of the basics of going GFCF, in detail, with over 85 videos and hundreds of recipes to get you on your feet.
You might have noticed the blog was quiet this weekend.
The bad news: I’ve been glutened.
The good news: It took a twice-daily repeated exposure for 12 days before any symptoms other than brain fog showed up. And it took over a week for the brain fog to kick in.
Last week, I became very, VERY dull. I couldn’t pull a good thought out of my head despite much effort. I worked and worked to come up with some great recipes, something nice for the blog. Nuttin’ happenin.’ Everything I touched exploded, burned, bombed or otherwise fell to pieces. I couldn’t get the right words out of my mouth when talking or out of my fingers while typing. I’d think one word and type or say another, IF I could get the word out at all. It had hit the point it was funny. I’d just laugh and give up or ask Jeff to take over since I couldn’t do anything right.
I blamed it on crazy hormones from the miscarriage. After all, I had put on ten pounds since I lost the baby at the beginning of the month despite no diet changes. Surely it’s just hormones trying to settle, right? I hoped it would pass soon because everything was suffering and I was sleeping more than normal but always tired. I woke up tired after 9-10 hours of sleep every night.
Well, no. Yesterday, I finally had my classic ‘you’ve been glutened’ symptoms. Read More→
Just a quick mention- Jill from The Prairie Homestead has launched Your Custom Homestead! I received an advance copy of this amazing eBook and I recommend it highly. If you’re interested in homesteading, this is a wonderful resource. Use code “CUSTOMHOMESTEAD20” when you checkout to receive 20% off of the book’s price through the 24th. Look for a review and giveaway coming on my blog soon.
I have received a flurry of e-mails in the last couple of weeks asking questions about grains in a traditional foods diet. My readers have become confused because some are publicly flip-flopping on the subject. One day grains are practically of the devil, the next day they’re the best thing on earth. There’s eCourses, blog posts and books everywhere on both sides of the issue.
Where do I stand? In all things I do, I wish to be consistent. I never want to jerk my readers around chasing fads, money or notoriety. I wish to be transparent and ethical. I want my motives to be clear to my readers. My blog is about my own journey and as my journey chances, so will my blog. I hope you see a consistent journey to health, not a series of jumping from fad to fad and topic to topic, chasing the elusive result that never comes. However, if research comes to light that I hadn’t before been aware of or if I see my own health getting worse or start to develop health problems, I will tell you the truth and I will change what I am doing.
There comes a point in every person’s life where you have to step back and say ‘it is enough.’ Chart your course and stay on it for three to six months before you evaluate your progress. Don’t be blown about by other’s opinions. When that happens, you never know what caused the positive or negative changes in your health. You only frustrate yourself.
Here’s the bottom line: If you Read More→
For a long time, when I didn’t have time to make my own gluten-free bread or tortillas, I turned to Food for Life as a back-up source. It wasn’t often, but I did do it when needed.
GlutenFreeWatchdog.org recently tested two of their products that are labeled as gluten-free and both came back as containing gluten! You can read about it on the GlutenFree Watchdog Blog. Both the millet bread and the brown rice tortillas tested as containing gluten. To see the full test results including how many hundred parts per million the test showed, you’ll need to subscribe to their website.
I am now embarking on a major freezer cooking session in order to stock my freezer with sourdough bread and corn tortillas so I no longer purchase anything from Food for Life. I am terribly disappointed that a company that I have promoted and used since 2006 is producing tainted products. Although their sprouted corn tortillas were not tested, I no longer trust this company to show integrity after a product labeled gluten-free tested as having several hundred parts per million of gluten! Read More→
Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this post. I do not make any profit off of this information, I am just a concerned consumer and mother trying to alert others to unethical companies labeling gluten-containing food as safe.
One of the biggest problems you face when you have a food allergy or celiac disease is that you have no choice but to trust the companies that provide your foods. There is currently no home-based test kit that is reasonably priced. We have been at the mercy of these companies to be honest and ethical.