Living with Food Allergies

Do you know someone who lives with a food allergy?  It seems that in today’s world we are seeing more and more people who have contracted allergic reactions to additives mixed into our food.
My wife suffers from Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten.
What does the term “gluten” mean?  Well…  Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye.
You probably can already surmise that gluten is used in bread, but did you know it is also added to other things like:
  • Imitation meats (aka pretend meat) Gluten, especially wheat gluten, is often the basis for imitation meats resembling chicken, fish, duck, pork and beef. When cooked in broth, gluten absorbs some of the surrounding liquid (including the taste) and becomes firm to the bite.
  • Other “foods” (beer is food too) Gluten is often present in beer and can be used as a stabilizing agent in more unexpected food products, such as ice cream, soy sauce and ketchup.
  • Animal feed (aka “furry friend” food) The protein content of some pet foods may also be enhanced by adding gluten.
Essentially people who are gluten sensitive will tell you that processed foods will cause them to become sick.  How many of us eat “processed food” on a daily basis?  Think how your life might change if you suddenly had to learn eat something not frozen or out of a can.  When my wife first became aware of her food allergy, we had a discussion about how we would approach buying food for the household.  I realized immediately that our food bill could easily double if we both bought food only for ourselves, so I volunteered to follow a gluten-free  meal plan to reduce our grocery expense.  I still have an item or two that contains gluten, like loaf bread, but by and large I eat the food that she eats and surprisingly, I feel better.
Is switching to a gluten-free meal plan and additional fresh food the right choice for you?  Guess it depends on your lifestyle and the time you want to devote to learning the ins and outs of cooking.  Hopefully you will have the opportunity to make the choice for yourself and not have it forced upon you.
Wrapping up, I am going to leave you with a couple of items for your reading and viewing pleasure.  The first is a link to a story done by CNN, which is a really good story covering the topic of gluten sensitivity.
The last is a video that demonstrates the lighter side of life with a food allergy.  Hope you enjoy it.

What do you think?  Please leave your comments below.

Remember to keep dancing!

Ryan

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5 Comments on “Living with Food Allergies

  1. Ryan I loved the video! Being Celiac I can so relate and it made me laugh. Luckily things are getting better and there are more mainstream producrs.

  2. Pingback: One Grain More {just for laughs!} – Living with Food Allergies | enjoylifetravel

  3. Ryan, I have CD and have been following a gluten-free diet for several years and making two separate meals (my husband likes his wheat) much of the time. Lately, I’ve been serving him gluten-free foods and he hasn’t even noticed. Shhhhh, let’s keep that a secret. 🙂

    • Hi Amy, your secret is safe with me. 🙂 I found that eating gluten-free foods actual made me feel fuller with smaller portions. Recently we also discovered that my wife has become soy sensitive as well. I just can not believe the number of food items that contain soy.

      • Of all my allergies, soy is the hardest one for me to manage! Soy is also the one that makes me the sickest. Check out my blog and the post “The Olive Oil Controversy” — Some olive oil is blended with soy. Ugh!
        Give your wife my best, and I hope she feels better after eliminating soy from her diet. http://wp.me/p2fyoW-6M

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