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Old 02-03-2010, 09:06 PM
Seeker Seeker is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 156
Default GF trial troubles

I am about a month into my attempt at a GF trial but am going crazy as I note one food product after another that I have in kitchen and have been eating (even during the GF trial) that might be questionable. Go to put relish on something, then notice the ingredient "natural flavor." Same for worcestershire sauce. Tonight was about to open a can of "all natural" tomato sauce when I saw that diabolical "natural flavors" ingredient. Then there are the foods I've bought that say approximately "made on equipment shared by wheat" or "made in a facility that processes wheat." I've seen the statements of foods like ketchup and natural barbeque sauce from Trader Joes, that are on their list of GF products! I called up Wrigley's today to ask about their gum and lifesavers (okay) and the mfgr. of the worcestershire sauce (haven't heard back yet) but is this what I'm going to have to do every time I want to know if a questionable food item has gluten - contact the mfgr? So many foods seem to have natural flavor or flavors or other questionable ingredients or those statements about being made on shared equipment or in a shared facility. Is there a way of handling this without becoming totally obsessive?

Also, am going to a Super Bowl party if we don't get snowed in. There are going to be lots of gluten temptations, naturally. Since I don't have Celiac and am just testing to see if I have gluten sensitivity AND if this might help my neuromuscular problem, is cheating for a day now and then (like at a Super Bowl party) going to cause irreparable harm? I don't get clear symptoms that I can relate to gluten and haven't noticed any real change in muscle situation (which might actually be a good thing) since I went GF (more or less) so don't get that immediate feedback of bad symptoms that so many others report getting when they have gluten. Otherwise, guess I"ll have to bring my own food while the others at the party order carryout pizza.

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Old 02-03-2010, 10:05 PM
GFPaperdoll GFPaperdoll is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 251
Default Start Now !! :)

Hi Seeker, yes you are going to harm yourself if you eat the food at the party. Yes, you should take yourself lots of good things to eat - pack a bag. & do not be eating their potato chips etc, because they will have wheat on their hands & be dipping their hand in the potato chip bowl...

No one will care or even notice that you have brought your own food. Just have a great "can do" attitude that this is the new you & everyone will follow your lead...

Natural flavor does me in every time. I would not use the pickle relish or the tomatoes. Contadina tomatoes only have tomatoes and also the Hunts Baby Diced tomatoes - but read the label...

If you are in the U.S. Lea & Perrins Worchestershire sauce is GF. In Canada it is not. Kraft Miracle Whip Salad Dressing is GF & Heinz Ketchup is GF.

It gets easier because one really does not use that many different products. You will also start buying more things fresh. No need to worry when you are cooking a roast with potatoes, carrots & onions. homemade coleslaw on the side, etc.

If you are living with others eating gluten be aware of the condiments in the refrig being cross contaminated.

You might be very surprised to find that once you are really GF that you will get symptoms or other symptoms when glutened. Happens with most people. Just give it a couple of months...
Welcome to our GF world Seeker, & better health !!
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:25 PM
Naominjw Naominjw is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 971

Just start over. Buy fresh foods - fresh veggies. Cook from scratch. I carry my cell phone with me as I shop and call the 800 numbers on products that say "natural flavors" and don't have the Unilever symbol guaranteeing that all ingredients are listed. Is TUMS OK? Call the 800 number. YES. It's OK. The Kroger chicken has broth listed. Is that OK? NO.

We have to avoid gluten, dairy soy...

And it matters.

We can react up to 5 days later.

My older daughter recently had a reaction to a little bit of dairy in a compounded medication she was switched to. I would not have believed it! Symptoms didn't look anything like an "allergy." It was affecting mood and cognition!!!!

I had no idea the little bit of gluten in one of my meds mattered and wasted so many months of MY "gluten-free" trial because I only saw a difference after I COMPLETELY stopped all gluten.

From my family's point of view, it has been so so so worth it to be meticulous.

Learn a different way of eating.

I have gone to parties, including potlucks. I always eat first or take food that I can eat. Then there is almost always some fresh veggies, fruits, salads there as well. I have lots of food bars, nuts, etc. I have with me - in the car, in my purse, in coat pockets - so I never have to go hungry if I am out later than expected and miss a meal, or if I would have felt deprived because everyone else is snacking. I have learned to eat my bars in tiny tiny itty bitty nibbles and chew thoroughly. They are a small meal in themselves!
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:01 PM
jcc jcc is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: WI
Posts: 1,195

You've been given some good realistic answers. Don't let your guard down... no cheats!

The first couple of months ARE difficult as there is a steep learning curve. I can't tell you how many things I bought and then threw away. Ugh. But, within about three months time, you are back to having a regular shopping list... just slightly different items. It gets easier!!! It does help to focus on eating mainly whole foods, but I must admit I stoop to some processed foods.

Soon you will know that Lea and Perrins Worchestershire sauce is ok, La Choy soy sauce is one of few that doesn't have wheat, Herb Ox Buillion cubes are gluten free, Progresso chicken and beef broth in the cartons are ok, etc., etc.

As for the disclaimers...some are just cya statements.. .which is really too bad... because it leaves us all wondering. Some people won't eat any processed food unless it comes out of an entirely gluten free facility. Some people will eat it if it is made on a dedicated line. Some people will settle for stringent cleaning in between runs. Some won't eat anything unless it is tested. There is some gray area here. I will generally eat things if the ingredient label reads clear, but you will find vastly differing opinions on this.

You can also start checking online for gf status. Many companies do keep gf product lists online. Or you might find someone who has just recently checked and posted about it. Supposedly Kraft, Unilever, and Con Agra are companies who won't hide gluten in "natural flavors".
Here are some online gluten free lists put out by manufacturers.

I always try to google a product first, and if the website doesn't say anything.... then I might call. But, I rarely have to make calls as we usually just stick to what we know is ok, but even then... ALWAYS double check labels... because things can change.

We just had a near miss with El Monterrey corn taquitos which used to be gluten free, but now have wheat! (except for a special one they market only through Costco!)

For a quick pizza, we use Scharr brand shelf stable pizza crust, contadina pizza sauce, and hormel pepperoni.... and whatever else you might throw on. It is not hard to make it ahead at home, and then reheat elsewhere in the microwave.

Don't hesitate to ask about products because many of us know off the top of our heads what items are gluten free.

And, did you know that Delphi Celiac forum keeps an updated list online? You can enter there as guest, and download a pdf of the file, or just check it while online.
The Gluten File
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