Gluten Free Food

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Learning to live on a diet of gluten free food has been a challenge for me and somewhat of an adventure. In the beginning, I didn't realize the difficulty it presented. I figured that it would just involve eating wheat free or specially made gluten free pasta and bread. I didn't realize that wheat gluten was an ingredient in so many different things. Many processed foods have wheat gluten added for some reason. Although gluten sensitivities vary, for some people even a little bit is too much.

Many people with wheat allergies have difficulties beyond those I have. In my gluten free diet, I can have certain kinds of wheat with the gluten taken out, but people with high allergic reaction to the wheat itself can't. That means basically no premade baked goods unless they are made of spelt or an alternative grain. It must be a difficult life.

Fortunately, my city is big and the options for alternative diets and lifestyles are many. Portland has tons of gluten free restaurant food available in many different places. As a matter of fact, your typical vegan restaurant has staff so knowledgeable that they can tell you exactly what gluten free food to get off the menu. This simplifies the process to eat out with minor difficulties. There are some places that are off limits, but about half of the restaurants here still have some sort of gluten free food.

Of course, I can't recommend eating out until you are familiar with how to eat gluten free foods. Sometimes you can get surprised by something that isn't supposed to contain wheat but unfortunately does. It happened to me once, and the results were disastrous. It really hurt my stomach and sickened me for the rest of the night. Getting to know what recipes contain gluten can be time comsumming, so stick with items that you are sure you can digest easily.

Usually, the friends I know who have to eat gluten free foods tend to stick with a few favorite restaurants. It is a real hassle to go to some new place and have to worry about whether or not there's going to be an ingredient in it that makes you sick, so once you find a place that agrees with you, you tend to stay put. The bright side is that having a gluten free food diet requires me to cook at home more. In retrospect, this is probably better for my health anyway.

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Author: Tom Johnson

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