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Packard

Food Testing Methodology

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So many people have eliminated so many foods from their diets that it is scary.

What is your food testing methodology?

I eat out a lot (lunches, breakfasts). When I get blindsided by some gluten it is often difficult to pin down the culprit. I could eliminate everything that I ate that day to be safe, but it would be too inclusive.

For example: Recently I got a bout of "unpleasantness" due to gluten ingestion. I was on pretty firm ground on everything that I ate that day. I did suspect that the chili from Wendy's was the culprit because everything else I ate that day had a safe track record. The chili is listed in Wendy's website as being gluten free, but I suspect that they have different vendors for different parts of the country.

To confirm my suspicion I carefully monitored everything that I ate another day and only ate items that I was sure were gluten free, plus I had a bowl of chili. The results were convincing.

But if you eliminate something each time you get ill without re-testing you are going to end up with nothing left to eat.

I eliminated dairy in the beginning because I had no clue what was causing my problems. But there is a definitive test for dairy and that came back negative. Ice cream is now back on my menu (I need something to replace the brownies).

So what is your testing procedure? And how confident are you that your list of verboten foods is a relevant one?

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This is tough one. Mostly I try to only add one "new" food a day, and then if I feel ill, I assume it was that food. I admit I don't very often go back and try that food again - it's just not worth it to me. Also, I don't eat out very often, so that makes it easier to know exactly what I'm eating. I find eating out to still be tricky.

As for brownies.... the Gluten-Free Pantry makes a good mix. I make them all the time and keep them in the freezer. I have even served them to my gluten eating friends, who loved them! They couldn't believe they were gluten-free.

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The chili is listed in Wendy's website as being gluten free,

My husband used to work at Wendy's (a long time ago, granted). He says that there's no way it's gluten free. Cross contamination issues.

Liz

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You have to have completely knowledge of what you are ingesting if you're going to determine what foods to eliminate - that means bringing your own, self-packed lunch and not eating out until you've finished testing.

A more rigorous approach would be to make a menu - for a week or two, at least. eat that menu, record your symptoms along with the foods. then, when that time period is over, eat the exact same menu again, only adding in a food you want to test - only one food - recording your symptoms along with the foods. then, go back to the original menu. it's time consuming, but the life-span of the body's digestive processes isn't hours or a few days, so there's not much getting around it being time consuming.

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I eat out a lot (lunches, breakfasts). When I get blindsided by some gluten it is often difficult to pin down the culprit. I could eliminate everything that I ate that day to be safe, but it would be too inclusive.

I found that cross-contamination issues throw a monkey wrench into my food testing methodology, so I stopped eating out altogether. For instance, McDonald's fries are supposed to be gluten-free but sometimes they bother me and sometimes they don't. So I had to eliminate them just to be safe. Now that everything I eat is something I've prepared myself, I can eliminate cross contamination as a consideration. If I get glutened, I can consult my food log and know that something I ate recently made me sick and it had nothing to do with random flour on a kitchen work surface or breadcrumbs in the peanut butter etc. I've learned a lot that way. It's a pain in the ass -- especially if you have a full time job -- but I'm trying to think of it as a learning experience that will pay off someday.

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This diet sucks, BUT, I have to admit, it has helped tremendously. I no longer have the bouts of D. I don't have that constant pain in my abdomen. And I stopped being hyperactive the same day I stopped the gluten. And I didn't even know I was hyper until I stopped being hyper. Duh !! I just thought I was antsy.

I cook foods in a large quantity and freeze them, so I can just pull them from the freezer when I am hungry. Millet, buckwheat, quinoa and brown rice all freeze well. As do beans. And I keep some gluten free smoothie mixes and fruits to take with me while I am on the go. I will add plain frozen veggies to any meal. I'm still working on the gluten free bread. My motto is "If I cook it, no matter what it looks like, I will eat it". I draw the line when it comes to any burnt, though.

I keep messing up by adding little things for flavor. I saw where sometimes people who are sensitive to dairy can tolerate yogurt. SO, I added yogurt and calamata olives to some of my meals (saw this on the food channel) ... yummm... but I got cocky and added cashews too. So now, I have to go back and see which of these ingredients really nailed me. I suspect the cashews.

Oh, well ... it was fun while it lasted ...hang in there ... marcia

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I did suspect that the chili from Wendy's was the culprit because everything else I ate that day had a safe track record. The chili is listed in Wendy's website as being gluten free, but I suspect that they have different vendors for different parts of the country.
A Canadian list that I saw indicated that Wendy's chili can be contaminated.

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