Learning to eat gluten free takes time and a lot of “trial and error”. Since everyone reacts different to gluten there is no one single right way to start or maintain a gluten free diet. I recently found these tips which list three things to avoid when going gluten free:
Do not eat lots of food labeled “gluten free.” The first thing people usually do is load up on all sorts of gluten-free cookies, crackers, cakes, cereals, pretzels, pasta, etc. Beware: These are still highly processed junk foods made from high-glycemic, low-fiber flours, and most contain high amounts of sugar. “Gluten-free” doesn’t mean healthy.
Do not make “reasonable” assumptions at restaurants. You ordered a simple meal of fish, chicken or meat and vegetables. Why would there be gluten in that? Foods are dredged in flour, cooked with a “roux” or prepared with marinades that contain gluten. Many restaurants, even nice ones, serve french fries that are a reconstituted mix of dried potatoes and flour. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so be your own advocate, and always ask your server.
Do not do gluten-lite versus gluten-free. It takes up to two weeks for gluten to leave your system, so if you’re indulging once a week, you’ll never get the benefits of removing it from your diet. Moreover, recent research shows that even a small amount of gluten negatively impacts inflammatory markers for six months. Try a regimen of lean protein, lots of vegetables, a little fruit, nuts and seeds. You really don’t need those grains at all, and you may feel a lot better without them.
The first tip is really right on point. We would go to Whole Foods and buy a pack or bag of anything that had gluten free written on it. Most all of it turned out to be tasteless, flavorless junk that provided absolutely zero nutrition.
Along with these three things to avoid when going gluten free, do your research before you go to the grocery store and you will have a head start on the process.
A new study has been released in which the connection between celiac disease and migraine headaches was studied. The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of headache in clinic and support group patients with celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) compared with a sample of healthy subjects. European studies have demonstrated increased prevalence of headache of patients with celiac disease compared with controls.
The subjects took a self-administered survey containing clinical, demographic, and dietary data, as well as questions about headache type and frequency. The ID-Migraine screening tool and the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) were also used.
The results of the study in medical terms:
Five hundred and two subjects who met exclusion criteria were analyzed – 188 with celiac disease, 111 with IBD, 25 with gluten sensitivity (GS), and 178 controls (C). Chronic headaches were reported by 30% of celiac disease, 56% of GS, 23% of IBD, and 14% of control subjects (P < .0001). On multivariate logistic regression, celiac disease (odds ratio [OR] 3.79, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.78-8.10), GS (OR 9.53, 95%CI 3.24-28.09), and IBD (OR 2.66, 95%CI 1.08-6.54) subjects all had significantly higher prevalence of migraine headaches compared with controls. Female sex (P = .01), depression, and anxiety (P = .0059) were independent predictors of migraine headaches, whereas age >65 was protective (P = .0345). Seventy-two percent of celiac disease subjects graded their migraine as severe in impact, compared with 30% of IBD, 60% of GS, and 50% of C subjects (P = .0919). There was no correlation between years on gluten-free diet and migraine severity.
The study concluded that migraine headaches were more prevalent in celiac disease and IBD subjects than in controls. Future studies should include screening migraine patients for celiac disease and assessing the effects of gluten-free diet on migraines in celiac disease.
The official citation for this information is: Dimitrova, A. K., Ungaro, R. C., Lebwohl, B., Lewis, S. K., Tennyson, C. A., Green, M. W., Babyatsky, M. W. and Green, P. H. (2012), Prevalence of Migraine in Patients With Celiac Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2012.02260.x
We decided to give Carino’s in Pigeon Forge, TN a try after it was recommended by a few friends. our friends told us that Carino’s had a gluten free menu so it sounded good. I did not do any research online prior to going to the restaurant. When we asked about the gluten free menu we were told that the gluten free options were in the main menu and that our server could answer any questions. Upon reading the menu we saw that there was a “GF” next to items that could be “made” gluten free. Carino’s is an Italian Restaurant and the items that could be served gluten free were all non-Italian type foods.
The rib-eye steak was the safest selection and our server assured us that she would make sure the order was processed in a way to avoid cross contaminati0n. The steak was cooked to perfection and came with a side of vegetables and potatoes. The meal tasted great but within about 30 minutes, my wife was experiencing signs of a celiac attack. I have double checked Carino’s online menus and they do list allergy information. The rib-eye is not on the online menu at this time. I think that the food was gluten free but there are no precautions taken in the prep areas to avoid cross contamination.
If you are looking for gluten free Italian food you will not find it at Carino’s in Pigeon Forge. In order to make the Italian dishes gluten free they just remove the pasta and sauces and substitute vegetables. Based on our experience, we will not be going back.
Papa Boudreaux’s Cajun Cafe is located on Main Street in historic downtown Franklin, TN and is one of very few restaurants in the area to offer Cajun style food. We have found that the staff is well aware of celiac disease and gluten free issues. The fried redfish is gluten free and is one of the best items on the menu. The staff can explain exactly how the food is prepared and what precautions are taken to avoid cross contamination.
The major review sites like Yelp.com and Urbanspoon.com have many good reviews of Papa Boudreaux’s Cajun Cafe. I’m not a big fan of community seating in a restaurant but the food is good enough for me to look past it. be prepared for a small wait if you go during peak eating times.
The address for those who need it is 325 Main Street, Franklin, TN. They are open Sunday – Thursday 11am to 9pm and Friday & Saturday 11am until 10pm.
We were excited to find a bakery in our hometown that knows how to bake gluten free! Pie Sensations, a bakery located at 26 Public Square, Columbia, TN routinely has a gluten free coconut cake on their menu. While Pie Sensations is not a gluten free bakery, they are well aware of cross contamination issues and take great care in making sure that anything they make gluten free is prepared in an environment to prevent cross contamination.
After buying 3 of their gluten free coconut cakes and not having any issues with them, it was time for a custom order. Wanda’s birthday request was for a gluten free birthday cake. Since we loved the taste of their previous cakes I called to see if they could make a gluten free birthday cake. They let me know they were not cake decorators and that was fine with me. I told them I just needed a white cake with white icing, all gluten free. They said that was not a problem.
I picked up the cake a few days later and was very surprised! The cake was huge and it tasted better than any other birthday cake I had tasted. If you are looking for gluten free baked goods anywhere near Columbia, TN, we recommend Pie Sensations. You can contact them at 931-223-5846.