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    Gluten-free? Tips for Successful Eating in Shared Housing


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 07/09/2012 - These handy tips will help you to better navigate the challenges of gluten-free living in both dorm rooms and shared housing. Having the right tools, and adopting some wise practices will help you eat gluten-free week-in and week-out, without breaking your bank account, or risking gluten exposure.


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    Photo: CC--Stu_SpivackHaving a few tools can help your efforts come together much more easily, and keep your eating consistent over the semester.

    Helpful tools:

    • Rice Cooker
    • Small Crock Pot
    • Microwave
    • Blender
    • Fridge/freezer (even a miniature one will come in handy)
    • Resealable freezer bags
    • Sharpie permanent marker

    Shop wisely by making lists
    What's the old saying? Proper prior preparation prevents poor performance? Nowhere is this more true than with a gluten-free diet. Planning your meals in advance can save you time, money, stress, and, of yes, the pain of an adverse reaction to gluten. This practice starts with shopping, and shopping starts with planning.

    Make lists and use them. Check out Asian, Mexican, and other ethnic markets in your area. They often have good, gluten-free food at reasonable prices.

    Cook your food in advance
    You can make the most of your smart shopping practices by planning and preparing your meals in advance.

    Consider spending one day each week, or at least a good block of time, cooking and prepping food. Just a few hours of gluten-free cooking can prepare you to sail smoothly through the week ahead. Use all the tools at your disposal. Use your crockpot, use your rice cooker, your freezer bags, and your markers.

    Keep your own shelf and label your foods
    Package and label the food you make, then store it in your fridge or freezer. By packaging and labeling food, your housemates are less likely to "accidentally" eat it. If they do, you'll likely be on top of the situation.

    Keep gluten-free dry goods on hand
    Having a drawer full of gluten-free food that does not require a fridge or freezer is also helpful. Good items to have include microwaveable rice, gluten-free pretzels, crackers, chips tuna fish, fruit snacks, and beef jerky.

    Gluten-free Condiments
    Keep a collection of spices and sauces to help keep your snacks from getting boring. Good things to keep on hand include honey, gluten-free tamari, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and hot sauce.

    Cover the Basics
    Make sure you keep simple items that are rich in protein and carbohydrates on hand, so that you won’t go hungry and will always have gluten-free food available.

    Avoid the Dining Hall
    Unless your dining hall is one of the more progressive campus dining halls that offer a variety of good, reliable gluten-free foods, you should avoid it.

    Some good foods to prepare in advance or keep on hand include:
    Fried rice - Frying rice is a good way to use leftover food, and it's easy to pack and take with you to campus. Try it with lots of veggies, meat, eggs, and any other items that seem tasty.

    Grilled or roasted chicken, or other meats cut into small slices - These are great items to add to your fried rice, or to your pasta sauce.

    Stews, soups or casseroles - Stews, soups and casseroles freeze easily and age well. They can be prepackaged and frozen ahead of time. They can be easily thawed in the bag by placing them in the microwave, or in lukewarm water.

    Sauces - Making sauces in advance and freezing them can cut your food prep time during the week. They can give you plenty of room for adjustment and broaden your options. Ideas include: Pasta sauce, pizza sauce, sweet and sour sauce, teriyaki sauce,

    Pizza - Use your favorite gluten-free pizza crust to make gluten-free pizza. Then place it in individual bags, label and freeze. If you have hungry roommates with boundary issues, consider numbering the bags to keep track of them.

    French toast - Making French toast with your favorite gluten-free bread is a great way to have a quick, reliable breakfast ready to go.

    Fruit - cutting up fruit and putting it in bags for the week ahead is a great way to be ready to make quick breakfast smoothies, or to have a great fruit salad ready to go.

    Yogurt and kefir are also good to have on hand. They are excellent for making fruit smoothies, or for giving you much needed protein and fat with that fruit smoothie.

    Dessert items - Chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and cakes are a great way to enjoy dessert when you want it without being forced to choose from the often dismal gluten-free selection at the local coffee shop, or the over-priced frozen section of your local grocery store.

    Lastly, compile a list of reliable local eateries where you can get good, safe gluten-free food when you are in a pinch, or need to dine on the spur of the moment.


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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

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    Scott Adams
    This article comes to us from Karoly Horvath, M.D., khorvath@POL.NET, who is one of the two directors of the celiac center at University of Maryland in Baltimore.
    Breast milk contains antibodies against all the antigens the mothers immune system has met prior to or during the pregnancy and has produced antibodies to them.
    This system is the wisdom of nature and this is the way that mothers milk protects babies from all the antigens (infectious agents, toxins etc.) occurring in the environment where the mother lives. These antigens without this protection may enter the body through the digestive or respiratory systems. The best example is that breast milk protects babies from bacteria causing diarrheas in the underdeveloped countries.
    The antibodies are produced by the cells (plasma cells) localized in the gut and the lung. These cells are migrating to the lactating breast-tissue for hormonal trigger (enteromammal plasma cell circle) and they continue producing these antibodies in the breast. These antibodies appear in the breast milk. In brief, the breast milk may contain all the antibodies the mother has in her digestive and respiratory systems. The function of these antibodies is to block the entrance of antigens infectious agents, toxins, allergens etc) across the digestive or respiratory tract of babies.
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    Celiac.com 12/11/2009 - Happy Holidays, gluten-free food lovers! Our readers enjoyed the Thanksgiving edition of Celiac.com's Gluten-free Holiday Guide so much that we've decided to provide even more gluten-free food for thought as the holidays kick into high gear!Once again, the basic message is the same: With a little of planning and a few tips, anyone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance can enjoy safe,delicious gluten-free foods, treats, and baked goods this holiday season without worrying about accidental gluten consumption.
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    Chris Bekermeier
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    Ingredient Keywords
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/15/2015 - The steep costs of getting food onto the shelves at major grocery chains has claimed another notable start-up, the Charlotte-based gluten-free foods company, Bumbalooza.
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    They say they spent thousands and paid grocery chains more than $20,000 each in "slotting fees" to get Bumbalooza products on store shelves, only to face delayed and partial payments. They declined to name the large grocers involved.
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    Celiac.com 07/17/2018 - What can fat soluble vitamin levels in newly diagnosed children tell us about celiac disease? A team of researchers recently assessed fat soluble vitamin levels in children diagnosed with newly celiac disease to determine whether vitamin levels needed to be assessed routinely in these patients during diagnosis.
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    Celiac.com 07/16/2018 - Did weak public oversight leave Arizonans ripe for Theranos’ faulty blood tests scam? Scandal-plagued blood-testing company Theranos deceived Arizona officials and patients by selling unproven, unreliable products that produced faulty medical results, according to a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter, whose in-depth, comprehensive investigation of the company uncovered deceit, abuse, and potential fraud.
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    Celiac.com 07/14/2018 - If you’re looking for a simple, nutritious and exciting alternative to standard spaghetti and tomato sauce, look no further than this delicious version that blends ripe plum tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil, and firm sliced ricotta to deliver a tasty, memorable dish.
    Ingredients:
    12 ounces gluten-free spaghetti 5 or 6 ripe plum tomatoes ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed ¾ teaspoons crushed red pepper ¼ cup chopped fresh basil 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Kosher salt and black pepper ⅓ cup pecorino Romano cheese, grated ½ cup firm ricotta, shaved with peeler Directions:
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    Cook spaghetti until al dente or desired firmness, and drain, reserving ¼ cup cooking water. 
    Meanwhile, chop remaining tomato, and place in food processor along with garlic, red pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt; puree until smooth. 
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    Jean Duane
    Celiac.com 07/13/2018 - I went to a friend’s home for dinner.  A few days before, she called and asked me what I could eat.  I asked her what she was planning to make, and she said she was grilling meats with side dishes.  I said, “Great.  Please just grill a piece of chicken for me with salt and pepper, and I’ll be happy to bring a side.” She said, “No need to bring a side.  I’ve got this.” When I arrived, she greeted me and said, “I spent all day cooking tonight’s dinner so you can eat it. Hey would you just check this salad dressing to see if it is OK for you?” I looked at the ingredients and it contained gluten and dairy, both of which I cannot eat.  Then I glanced around the kitchen and saw evidence of wheat cross-contamination, including buns being toasted on the grill, and gluten-containing barbeque sauce spilling on the grill where my “clean” chicken was cooking. She had other guests to tend to, and I couldn’t offer instruction or read the ingredients of everything she used in the meal. 
    At social gatherings, I’ve been challenged too by those who ask if I am really “allergic,” or just eating gluten free as a “fad.” I’ve been told many times by hosts and hostesses that, “a little won’t hurt you,” or “everything in moderation,” or “if it is made with loving hands, it is good for you to eat.”  Of course, all of this is bunk for those with food allergies or celiac disease.  A little bit may kill us, and whether made with loving hands or not, it will certainly make us sick. 
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    Etiquette books advise us to eat what is put in front of us when we are guests in someone’s home. They caution us at all costs not to insult our hostess. Rather, we are instructed to compliment the hostess on her good cooking, flavor combinations, and food choices.  But when foods are prepared in a cross-contaminated environment with ingredients we are allergic to, we cannot follow the old social constructs that do not serve us.  We need to work together to rewrite the rules, so that we can be included in social gatherings without fear of cross-contamination, and without offending anyone.
    Let’s figure out how to surmount these social situations together.  
    Each edition of this column will present a scenario, and together, we’ll determine appropriate, polite, and most importantly, safe ways to navigate this tricky gluten-free/food allergies lifestyle in a graceful way.  If someone disagrees with our new behavior patterns, we can refer them to this column and say, “Here are the new rules for those of us with food allergies or celiac disease.”  When we are guests in someone’s home, we can give them links to this column so they understand the plight we are faced with, bite after bite. Perhaps this will help those of us living with us to understand, be more compassionate, and accepting of our adaptations to keep ourselves safe. 
    This column will present a scenario such as the one above, and ask that you comment on how you would navigate it. Let’s talk about it. Let’s share ideas.  Using the example above, here’s the scenario for this issue:
    What would you do?
    Your kind-hearted friend invites you to dinner and insists on cooking for you.  You arrive and the first thing she says is, “I’ve spent all day making this for you. Oh, I bought this salad dressing for you, but you might want to read the ingredients first.”  You do, and it contains malt vinegar.  You look around the kitchen and notice evidence of cross-contamination in the rest of the meal.  What do you do? 
    Please comment below and feel free to share the tricky scenarios that you’ve encountered too.  Let’s discuss how to surmount these social situations.  What would you do?

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/12/2018 - Previous research has shown that the oral administration of Bifidobacterium infantis Natren Life Start super strain (NLS-SS) reduces of gastro-intestinal symptoms in untreated celiac disease patients. The reduction of symptoms was not connected with changes in intestinal permeability or serum levels of cytokines, chemokines, or growth factors. Therefore, researchers suspected that the reduction of symptoms might be related to the modulation of innate immunity.
    To test that hypothesis, a team of researchers set out to assess the potential mechanisms of a probiotic B.infantis Natren Life Start super strain on the mucosal expression of innate immune markers in adult patients with active untreated celiac disease compared with those treated with B. infantis 6 weeks and after 1 year of gluten-free diet.
    The research team included Maria I. Pinto-Sanchez, MD, Edgardo C. Smecuol, MD, Maria P. Temprano,RD, Emilia Sugai, BSBC, Andrea Gonzalez, RD, PhD, Maria L. Moreno,MD, Xianxi Huang, MD, PhD, Premysl Bercik, MD, Ana Cabanne, MD, Horacio Vazquez, MD, Sonia Niveloni, MD, Roberto Mazure, MD, Eduardo Mauriño, MD, Elena F. Verdú, MD, PhD, and Julio C. Bai, MD. They are affiliated with the Medicine Department, Farcombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; the Small Intestinal Section, Department of Medicine and the Department of Alimentation at Dr. C. Bonorino Udaondo, Gastroenterology Hospital and Research Institute at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    The team determined the numbers of macrophages and Paneth cells, along with the expression of a-defensin-5 expression via immunohistochemistry in duodenal biopsies.
    Their results showed that a gluten-free diet lowers duodenal macrophage counts in celiac disease patients more effectively than B. infantis, while B. infantis lowers Paneth cell counts and reduces expression of a-defensin-5.
    This study documents the differential innate immune effects of treatment with B. infantis compared with 1 year of gluten-free diet. The team calls for further study to better understand the synergistic effects of gluten-free diet and B. infantis supplementation in celiac disease.
    Source:
    J Clin Gastroenterol