Going Gluten Free…

Most probably think going gluten free is easy, when in reality it is far from it to do it right. If you’re having health issues and are serious about going gluten free there are some things you’re going to have to do/replace to make sure you do not continue to get exposure from items you have that may be harboring gluten. The gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye is a very strong protein that is nearly impossible to kill on surfaces. It takes extreme heat, hotter than most cookware will tolerate and/or higher than most ovens will heat to. Gluten hides in scratches in plastic, wood, non-stick cookware, etc. If you have non-stick cookware that has any scratches whatsoever on it they will need to be replaced. I recommend buying stainless steel cookware, as it’s safer for your health and the environment and will not harbor gluten. If you want non-stick cookware my personal favorite is WearEver Pure Living non-stick ceramic coated cookware. It is safe for the environment, healthy to cook on and works so good. If you use the right tools it will stay scratch free for a long, long, long time, making it perfect for making sure any accidental gluten doesn’t contaminate the cookware. You’ll also need to replace any plastic storage bowls you may have if they have any scratches on them. With as sensitive as I am to gluten I chose to replace them all whether they were scratched or not, just to make sure I couldn’t get sick from them. I have a few plastic containers, but for the most part I have replaced them all with glass Pyrex bowls. Black Friday at Wal-Mart they have had Pyrex bake wear and bowl sets all with lids for a very good price. The last couple years we’ve bought a total of 3 sets so we have plenty of storage bowls to use. You’ll also want to go through your drawers, replacing any plastic, wooden or silicone utensils you may have. I also recommend replacing any measuring cups or spoons you may have if they’re not seamless. If they have riveted handles with a crack between the spoon/cup and handle I recommend replacing them just to make sure there’s no gluten hidden in the crack. Don’t forget as you’re replacing things to replace any cutting boards you have whether they’re wood or plastic. Glass cutting boards should be safe, but if you’re worried about it feel free to replace glass too if there’s any cuts/scratches on them. And don’t forget to replace any plastic cups/dishes you have as well to make sure there’s no gluten residue on them.

Okay, so you’ve bought new everything for your kitchen, what now? Before you bother putting everything away get a large package of sponges. You’re going to want to use hot water and bleach or vinegar to thoroughly wipe down all your counter tops, stove, everywhere. For each area you wipe down go over it with one sponge then throw away the sponge and go over it a second time with a new sponge. You’ll want to clean every surface at least twice, throwing away all sponges after one use. It will probably take quite a few sponges and at least a couple hours to do it right. I think I used about a dozen sponges and spent at least 4 hours giving everything a thorough cleaning. You won’t want to miss anywhere that may have gluten contamination on it, don’t forget cabinet handles and knobs, also you’ll want to wipe down every door knob in the house to make sure there’s no gluten from someone’s hand on it. Anywhere that may have been exposed to gluten you will want to clean. If at all possible it’s best for your whole house to become a gluten free zone. Going gluten free, while it’s an adjustment, will not hurt anyone in the house. In fact others may benefit from it without even realizing they had an issue, so try to have everyone go gluten free with you if you don’t live alone. If necessary ask them to try it for at least 30 days to see if they experience any benefits that would make them want to stay on it. It can be very difficult to manage to not get “glutened” if you’re living in a house that’s trying to combine being gluten free with not being gluten free.

If you are going gluten free, good luck and I wish you many, many health improvements with the change. If you have any questions or comments feel free to sign in and leave a comment and I will try to respond to everyone that has any comments/questions.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

John 15:13-15

 

and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:3

 

sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

2 Corinthians 6:10

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 32:7

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Genesis 3:8-9

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

Hypothyroidism, IBS, migraines, chronic fatigue, etc.

Having thyroid problems, migraine headaches, IBS “irritable bowel syndrome”, chronic fatigue, etc?

Did you know that “thyroid problems” can be caused by many things other than a bad thyroid? A few years ago I went to the doctor for an infection, during the blood work testing it was discovered my TSH “thyroid-stimulating hormone” level was 6.5, which is high and an indicator of hypothyroidism. During that time I was also very sick, overweight, and felt like I was dying. I had a goiter “enlarged thyroid” forming that was painful and made it hard to swallow. Not wanting to take thyroid hormone medication I started digging into possible causes and remedies without the drugs, what I found through prayer and God’s guidance changed my life. Thyroid hormone is found in possibly every cell of our body, and quite often the cause of the “thyroid problems” is not the thyroid at all. In my case it was an autoimmune issue called Hoshimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is the immune system attacking the thyroid. Multiple things can cause this reaction, but what was causing it for me was leaky gut syndrome, caused by food intolerance. I found that I had an issue with gluten, eggs, dairy, soy and possibly some others. Another thing that can damage the lining of the intestines and cause issues are exposure to things such as pesticides in your food from eating conventional produce and conventionally fed meat products. GMO’s “genetically modified organisms”  are another big cause of all sorts of health problems. By going gluten free, organic, non-gmo, grass fed, free range, as close to God’s original creations as possible I shrunk the goiter, lost weight, felt healthier, overcame illnesses I had been struggling with, dropped my TSH from 6.5 to 1.38, which tested last at 1.23 and felt so much more alive. No drugs, no hormones, using food as medicine I cured myself of so much illness and misery.

Now that I’ve been gluten free for a while it’s very easy for me to tell when I get accidental exposure, and now know all that it had caused for so many years that I had no idea was caused by gluten. It causes severe, debilitating migraine headaches, gastrointestinal distress, extreme bloating, gas, pain, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, confusion, inability to focus or concentrate on anything. The slightest exposure affects me for anywhere from 1 – 3 weeks and it can actually take several months to a year to fully recover from a single exposure.  I have found after being off of them for a while so my intestines could heal that I can tolerate eggs again, as long as they’re organic free range. Occasionally if I eat too many they may bother me, but when they do I just back off for about a week then I can eat them again in moderation. I can also tolerate grass fed organic dairy, where conventional gives me issues every time.

Being gluten intolerant is a life sentence, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy any of the things you like. There are lots of yummy gluten free products out there you can buy and enjoy in place of your old diet. There are some pretty good breads, muffins, cookies, pastas, all sorts of things out there, and the more people recognize and realize this is a much more common issue the more you can find. There are way more stores carrying way more products than there were just a couple years ago. And while you have to be careful about cross contamination, there are multiple restaurants out there that are trying to cater to the gluten free society. Most, while they serve gluten free you have to remember that it’s still conventionally raised/grown ingredients, so if you’re an organic eater like me you may experience the side effects from the conventional food. Chipotle is one of the few places I can go and enjoy a meal without the worry of gluten or the quality of ingredients. If you tell them you are gluten intolerant they will do everything they can to try to make sure you don’t get contaminated food. Out of dozens of times eating there I’ve gotten sick from contamination maybe twice, which isn’t bad. And if they really understand and care they’ll give you everything out of fresh stock if they can with clean spoons and there is no worry of contamination that way.

If you have any serious health issues I urge you to at least try giving going gluten free a try and see if they don’t improve or completely go away. One thing that I do feel the need to mention is that if you’re on thyroid hormone medications going gluten free alone will not help enough to stop taking the medication. When you take thyroid hormones your body stops producing its own, so while if you’re still having symptoms despite being on hormones going gluten free may help relieve or eliminate the symptoms, you will likely need to keep taking the medication for the rest of your life.

Going gluten free is a lot harder than one may think, you can’t just stop buying gluten containing foods and think you’re good, you need to decontaminate your home so you’re not getting gluten from lingering sources. My next post will be instructions for how to prepare for your new gluten free lifestyle.