Today at the Apple Crate, one of the locally owned health food stores in Fayetteville, I found these Mrs. May’s gluten/wheat/dairy/all-kinds-of-things free granola-type snacks. I’d had ones made with cashews before and they are really good, but today I was particularly happy.
They had one flavor that has no nuts at all– it is made with cane juice, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. I normally don’t get excited about seeds. But this week is a special week for me. That’s how I’ll choose to make myself think about it.
I’m cutting nuts and beans out of my diet. I want to do three weeks. But I’m telling myself just one, then two, then we’ll make it three.
You might have seen some previous posts about our awesomely awesome raw and flourless cookies made with almond butter, almonds, walnuts, dates, chocolate. These have been my treat to myself since not eating gluten.
They are a healthy treat I honestly believe you can feel good about. And I LOVE almond butter and jelly on toast (gluten free of course!).
So giving up nuts has been nagging in the back of my mind for about a month. I don’t know if Ada is allergic to nuts, or beans.
But she’s still rashy sometimes, still doesn’t nap well sometimes, still doesn’t seen to have an entirely healthy digestive system… all the time. There is still something nagging at me that it seems like we haven’t figured out.
I’ve toyed with cutting out corn, beans and nuts for a while now. And also, complicating my actions, is that fact that I’ve been eating waaaaaaaaaaay tooo many “gluten-free” products. The problem there is that 20 ppm of gluten is considered the acceptable limit to market something as gluten free, and things marked “no gluten” may or may not be tested. It’s a company’s call, not a legal thing, from my understanding.
I am a part of one forum where the members test all kinds of things that should naturally be gluten free and find gluten in them. This is called cross-contamination. It’s essentially the same thing as cutting bread on cutting board and then putting something me or Ada will eat on the same board. Or stirring a pot of regular pasta and then using that spoon to stir our food. On a large scale, it has to do with facilities manufacturing gluten-containing (or dairy, or soy, or nut) ingredients. And this is often disclosed on the labels but there are different issues with that too. Maybe that’s for another post.
Me and Ada haven’t eaten things manufactured in the same factory as wheat in a long time. Yet, all the gluten free products probably do have trace gluten in them. Even if the flour is ground in a clean facility, it may be harvested on or near or with the same equipment as wheat, barley, rye or oats. I have no way of knowing. And people can and do react to these tiny, 3ppm, little trace gluten amounts.
Does Ada? I don’t know. But if she isn’t reacting to these trace amounts its something else. Beans, nuts, corn, we shall see, hopefully in the next few weeks.
In my post called “The great experiment” I talked about cutting out a lot of the gluten free breads to avoid cross contamination and using lettuce to make burritos and wraps and to dip and things like that. I used celery to dip into hummus, wrapped burgers and beans in lettuce, and last night I made spagetti squash spagetti (that turned out really awesome! Naturally grain free noodles!)
Well the great experiment worked well while it lasted but I kept eating more and more grain products and treats. My birthday didn’t help that!
To me this is a sign that it might be cross contamination. The little trace amounts of gluten add up and then in two weeks Ada has a rash I’m not sure the cause of. But then again, rashes and tummy aches that come and go every few days could just as easily with from corn chips eaten once or twice a week, almond cookies, or chickpeas at dinnertime.
So wish me luck! I’m telling myself to just have some discipline for a few weeks,even if it means the only snacks I can eat are apples! And what’s so bad about apples anyway! And after this few weeks, if I reintroduce beans or nuts and she is fine, awesome. And if she’s not, then I will know that I can do soem GF baking, and just not eat chickpeas!
I haven’t written an update on Ada’s food goings-on in a while, probably mainly because the past few weeks– maybe month– I’d say since the middle of August– she’s been reacting to things on and off. When she’s having tummy trouble, she can’t sleep with out me by her side, and even then, it’s hard to type laying down with only one arm! And also, when she’s awake, I need to devote some time to my little neglected Azita.
Sometimes people ask me how I know she is allergic or reacting to a food.