Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Phase 5 - Removing Other Hidden Sources of Gluten

"How many phases are there???" you may be asking. Well this is the last step in removing all gluten from your home, and I am going to include a final phase which is a little more on the fun side...gluten free baked goods. We're almost there.

We have already covered eliminating gluten from the kitchen quite extensively in Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 4. Now let's take care of unfinished business...gluten in the rest of the house.

Crumbs, crumbs, addition to making sure your floors are clean, be sure to vacuum underneath the cushions of your sofa and/or upholstered chairs. This is really important if you have little ones crawling around that you need to protect from gluten, but even if you don't, why not make your house really safe for yourself? Then you don't have to worry if you drop a chip on the floor and want to use the two second rule...or, if you're looking for change in the cushions you won't have to make sure to wash gluten crumbs off of your hands before start chewing on your nails or have a snack.

Toiletries and cleaning supplies...gluten is not absorbed through the skin - the molecules are too big. But some celiacs with Dermatitis Herpetiformis have external reactions when their skin comes into contact with gluten. We are careful to select gluten free toiletries and cleaning supplies because BoyBee is so young. He helps to put the tabs in the dishwasher. He swallows the toothpaste. He may not rinse his hands very well after washing them. He sometimes even drinks the bath water. But even if you're older than two, wouldn't it be nice not to have to be paranoid about getting glutened in your own home?

There are a number of specialty companies out there who produce gluten free household items. Although it is typically more expensive to purchase specialty products there is a level of comfort with reading "gluten free" on the label (or finding it in the gluten free section of the company's website). Green Beaver is great for gluten free products. I did a search for "gluten free" on their site and 62 items were returned - toothpaste, deodorant, facial cleanser and moisturizer, shampoo and conditioner, hand soap, and more. Kiss My Face and Tom's of Maine also have a number of gluten free items.

As far as mainstream products go we tend to stick to Vim for cleaning (we really should find something more natural), Sunlight for dish detergent, Finish dishwasher tabs, Vaseline moisturizer and Dove soap, shampoo and conditioner.

Medications and vitamins: many medications and vitamins now come labelled gluten free if you look very closely. Others you, or your pharmacist, will have to contact the company to find out about. I recently came across a great article called How to Protect Yourself from Hidden Gluten in Medications. The article offers some great advice and I encourage you to take the time to read through it.

Miscellaneous: the only other thing I can think of is pet food. Yes, you can buy gluten free pet food!

It is a lot of work to go completely gluten free. Congratulations if you have made it this far!

Phase 1 - Start Eating
Phase 2 - Remove the Obvious Gluten
Phase 3 - Try Some Gluten Free Grains
Phase 4 - Eliminating Cross Contamination in the Kitchen
Phase 6 - Scour the Stores and Start Baking!

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