Maybe you’ve just been diagnosed with Celiac disease, maybe you’ve been a Celiac for awhile, or maybe you know someone who is a Celiac- there are basic golden rules that must be followed to maintain your health and your sanity. Here are my Celiac pearls of wisdom!
Rule #1: When in doubt, do without.
Not sure if that salad dressing is gluten free? DO WITHOUT! Believe me when I say, there is not a SINGLE piece of food that is worth sitting on a toilet until you have a ring around your butt.
Rule #2 NEVER cheat.
Every time you consume gluten, you damage your intestines. If you do this often enough, you will cause irreversible damage. Not to mention that you will poop water…
Rule #3: REFLEFT
“Read every freakin label every freakin time.” Why? Because companies often change their ingredients and policies. An annual update is done on most gluten free lists/manuals, and you should take inventory of the packaged foods you buy and check with their companies’ policies. This includes but is not limited to anything that goes on your or in you- your gum, your chapstick, your toothpaste, your makeup, your shampoo, sunscreen, dish soap, and just for fun, your ENVELOPES, STAMPS, and yes, even tape and PLAYDOUGH! I kid you not smh…
Rule #4 On that note, avoid packaged food as often as possible.
Why? Because gluten free doesn’t mean gluten free. There is no legislation about gluten labeling yet, though most “gluten free” products have 20ppm or less. But if you eat more than one serving of packaged food a day, you’re consuming more than 20ppm.
Rule #5 Try not eating other things.
1 in 5 Celiacs react to (gluten free) oat protein because its cellular structure is close to gluten, and most cannot digest dairy for similar reasons. In fact, it’s my humble proselytizing vegan opinion that animal protein and that found in dairy and eggs should be avoided completely because they have been scientifically proven to cause inflammation and cancer.
Don’t share a kitchen sponge, don’t share a toothbrush, don’t share countertops, toasters, microwave, etc. with someone who prepares gluten. Just sharing peanut butter will contaminate your food because of people putting their knife in after buttering your bread- things like butter, pb, jelly, and other condiments are big culprits, but so is exploding stuff on your microwave, a toaster, mixer, and other appliances. I urge all Celiacs to maintain a gluten free zone of their home at the very least, but it is ideal to maintain a gluten free home. Veteran Celiacs can attest to the loopholes in this theory, but that’s for another day- keep it simple!
Rule #7 Learn to take pills.
Not “pills” but a b12 supplement and probiotics. Sure, you can eat homemade yogurt like whoa, but to fix the dysfunction happening in an advanced Celiac’s gut, you’ll need an expensive probiotic. Additionally, most Celiacs are b12 deficient to start, and a supplemented vegan diet usually won’t correct the damage for a very long time because your diet has to fill your current need in combination with your deficit. Nip it in the bud and save your brain cells.
Rule #8 Always have a backup.
Whether it’s keeping a granola bar in your dash, or piece of fruit in your bag, prepare for hunger and impromptu social situations. Not only is this a vegan skill, but it’s a mega gluten-free skill. You never know when you’re going to get stuck in a food desert, traffic, or coffee date- and when hunger strikes, you may be forced with poisoning yourself or going hungry (which will cause you to be angry or impatient). Additionally, creating a backup plan makes for an easier lifestyle. I never leave the house without at least a water bottle and a snack, so if I want to visit a little longer or run an extra errand while I’m out, I’m all set!
And have a mental list of responses to people crapping on your lifestyle. The media is filled with silicone celebrities implying that people who are gluten free are just being finicky. This is in addition to people asking vegans stupid questions about protein and soy. At the very least learn to say, “I don’t usually talk about my health/diet…” HINT HINT.
Rule #10 Buddy up.
Join a support group, because the aforementioned jerkfaces will bring you down and make you feel like a freak. But remember- you are ONE IN ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY THREE!!!!!!!!!! That makes you unique dude 😉