January 17, 2011

Gluten Free and Celiac Disease

Okay, I'm back.  I'm sorry I've taken so long to publish this post.  I've been busy (sort of) learning about cleaning without chemicals, making yogurt, pressure canning, making my family plan... Maybe I'll post about all of these someday.  Don't count on it being soon.
On to gluten free...
What is up with everything being gluten free?  Suddenly during the past couple of years whole shelves and freezer cases at grocery stores have been dedicated to items with "Gluten Free" written in bold across the font of products.  Chex cereal has "Gluten Free" written on the box in several locations.  I could go on.
Let me start at the beginning of my gluten story.  When I was in high school I had several friends, family members of friends, and family friends who had celiac disease, and consequently did not gluten.  So I became familiar with the disease, and learned that gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats (if grown in a typical fashion).  When I started having some tummy problems, my mom had me go off of all gluten for one month.  It didn't help, so I happily regained my diet of lots of bagels.
Just over two years ago, two of my siblings were diagnosed with celiac disease.  It is believed that about 1 in every 130 people have celiac disease.  If you have a close family member with it, your chances of having it increase a lot.  So I did a blood test to see if I had it.  I did not.  However, that doesn't mean I'll never have it.  Celiac disease can be triggered by an emotional or stressful event(s). 
So, between my two family members, a growing number of friends and neighbors, and the chance that I could someday have it (maybe I'm a little paranoid), I have a lot of interest in celiac disease and gluten free eating.

So, I'm going to take a break from wheat, barley, and oats.  (I don't think I'll ever mention rye on this blog.  But who knows?)  My next two series are going to be about beans and powdered milk.  My favorite way to eat beans is in soup, and this is the perfect weather for that, so expect a lot of soup recipes.

A note of caution:
I will post a lot of recipes that call for chicken bullion.  Some have wheat, some do not.  It is important to read labels if you want something you're making to be gluten free.  Food that is manufactured in the US require labels to say if the product contains wheat.  So just read the ingredient list and look for this warning.


  1. I'm really interested in the beans. I'm trying to incorporate more into our diet, so I'm looking forward to what you will share.

  2. Jessica! Don't get too paranoid! Or else you could trigger it! Bahhh!

    Also, just as a side note, food manufactured in the US requires labels to say if the product contains wheat in bold at the bottom of the ingredient list, however, you have to read through all of the ingredient list to look for oats and most commonly, barley (usually barley malt).

  3. Thank you HL for the clarification.