May contain Wheat!

I was sorting through some files on my PC this morning and came across this photo and thought I really ought to share it, mainly for those who may be looking at my blog who haven’t experienced what it means to live gluten-free.

In the first week after my diagnosis last year, I went through all my kitchen cupboards and my freezer and took out everything I was no longer allowed to eat.  It was quite heartbreaking at the time, so much so, I decided to record it:

As you can see, it’s not just bread, biscuits, cakes and pasta.  It includes almost all processed foods such as packet sauce mixes, cereals, crackers, stock cubes, frozen turkey burgers, fish fingers, soup, vinegar, soy sauce, oats and probably worst of all, Maltesers!

I fed most of this now poisonous food to the rest of my family over the next few weeks, I gave some away to relatives and friends, and even threw some away.

OK, there are alternatives, but most of them don’t taste the same, and it makes shopping a minefield.  Take chips for example, McCains Crinkle Oven Chips, they are fine, but McCains Homefries Crinkle Oven Chips – nope, contains wheat – as I pointed out to my other half when he proudly brought them home from Tesco last week. Fair play he did try,  and pointed out that the ingredients list said “rice flour”, but as I pointed out, it also said “wheat flour”, and said “Contains – wheat” in the Allergies box!  So now we’ve a huge bag of chips neither my daughter or I can eat in the freezer.  Ho hum.

So, I now cook most meals from scratch using fresh ingredients, and we’re probably much healthier for it, so it’s not all bad. I know there are many worse things in the world than having to live on a gluten-free diet, so I don’t like to moan too much, but I just thought I’d share this, for me, life-changing photograph.

And I do wonder just how many people don’t realise they are eating so much hidden wheat every day without knowing it?

Next time,  a proper cake recipe – promise!!

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8 Responses to May contain Wheat!

  1. Adriana says:

    I love the photo! It really does sum up the situation and am with you on Malteasers. My absolute favourite, won’t touch them now as can’t bare the thought of my daughter not being able to have them. Great blog!

    • LilacDebs says:

      Hi Adriana, glad you like it. Most things I can live without, but I really miss Maltesers and Party Rings. My daughter really hates not being able to have Iced Gems. I’m currently searching for a way to recreate them for her I was thinking of using a crunchy shortbread biscuit (the “Quick Easy Biscuits”) someone posted on the GF forum the other day seems to work well) and maybe some royal icing, but ideally the base should be less sweet and more crunchy (all ideas gratefully received!) 🙂

  2. Adriana says:

    My daughter has requested those too- the party rings are so nice and the other thing that I’d like to make for her are those little chocolate sticks dipped in chocolate- branded LU. I am tempted to have a go starting with the lady finger recipe in my book and perhaps adding a bit more flour? You want something crunchy and light, so not a shortbread type bisuit and as you said, not too sweet either as the icing is the star of the show! Good luck, let me know how it goes. Adriana

  3. redfyre says:

    It’s scary when we find ourselves in the situation of assessing what it is we are actually eating. Thankfully I don’t have food intolerances, but in my drive to ensure neither I nor my son ever develop any, I have been purging a LOT of processed foods from out diet and my pantry. Certain shelves are now painfully bare, and my fridge and freezer get the work out because so much more of our diet is fresh, whole, foods. But incidentally, I have also found that my grocery bill has dropped too, which is a bonus.

    • LilacDebs says:

      I have been doing my home accounts recently and I noticed that I spent SO much money on food in the 3 months after I was diagnosed. Seems I bought every bit of gluten-free food I could find. Trouble is, most of the “free-from” foods aren’t very nice, and loads are still in my cupboard. I now buy a lot more fresh food and organic where practical and cook sna bake from scratch. I had a quote I was going to put in my blog one day but I’ll put it here, because it’s so appropriate. My (non-coeliac, 20 year old) son said recently “Mum, there’s nothing to eat, you don’t buy food any more, only ingredients!”

  4. Lois Parker says:

    Great photo – keep finding wheat etc in odd places. Did you check your cosmetics and toiletries? I get migraines if I use toiletries with gluten in.

    • Debs says:

      I don’t really use much make up. I do remember looking at what I use and not finding any problems though. Unlike you, I think I’m fairly tolerant (well so far anyway, only diagnosed for 18 months). I used to get quite a few headaches, but I don’t seem to get them much any more, so perhaps it was another symptom that’s gone away. One thing I do seem to have gained is constant aches in my legs and feet, don’t know if it’s connected or not.

  5. Helen says:

    I’ve just been told that I may have codliac disease, bloods said yes but just waiting for the hospital appointment. Have been told to keep eating gluten til my biopsy to get a confirmed diagnosis but am still checking out what I’m eating. So I went to the shop, fancying chocolate which I don’t actually eat that often, picked up a bag of maltesers, checked for wheat and thought they were fine. Didn’t think about the clue being in the name! Had really bad pain about 20 minutes after eating them. At the moment I’m feeling abit depressed about it all as I’m veggie too and even veggie sausages contain gluten. Think once I’ve got a definite diagnosis I’ll feel better and can just get on with it. Suppose the positive is the fact that I should be so much healthier!

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