The Other Half of the Glass

I’ve been putting this off for a week now. It’s really been bothering me to think about all the foods I can no longer eat, because many of them I would describe as favorites. Not just good, but fabulous! To die for!! Okay, I never meant that literally. Well, maybe some chocolates…

But seriously, I hate thinking about this, and I hated writing it all down. Now I’m going to share, then it’s all going to go away, and we’ll try not to mention this again. Deal?

I broke all my foods into categories. They should be self explanatory as you go along. I may have missed one or two things along the way, but I think this is mostly complete.

Must avoid at all costs because they cause physical damage to my intestines, as well as a severe reaction:

Gluten: including wheat, barley, rye, contaminated oats. Meaning regular bread, pasta, pizza, cookies, beer, malt beverages, pretty much all cereals (either wheat, oats, or malt flavoring), soy sauce (contains wheat), malt vinegar, malted milk balls, Milky Way bars, Kit Kat bars, most salad dressings (contain wheat), original Doritos, bacon bits, pre-made marinades, sauces, gravies, soups, imitation crab, sushi, flavored coffees, most candies (either have malt flavoring or wheat flour is used on the conveyor belt to keep them from sticking), etc, etc, etc.

Must avoid at all times because they cause a severe reaction:

Soy – many of the things in the list above, plus just about anything else that’s been processed, contains soy. Most canned tuna has soy added. Really. Go ahead, go look. I’ll wait. You’re back. See? I told you so. No more edamame, toasted soy beans, tamari, chocolate (soy lecithin added to almost all processed chocolate), Cheetos, all gluten-free Doritos, most tortilla chips, salad dressings, drink mixes (I just read a Crystal Light label – soy lecithin added), most gluten-free breads, cookies, crackers, soups, stocks, etc, etc, etc.

Vinegars. All are gluten-free, except malt vinegar, but they all cause a severe reaction.

Apples, applesauce, apple cider, cider vinegar, peaches, nectarines, oranges, grapefruit, orange juice.

Natural or Artificial flavoring. Any time I see either of these on a label, I run the other way. They almost always means “reaction”.

Try to avoid as much as possible because they cause an uncomfortable reaction, but I have been known to eat rarely (usually only if dining out, because the gluten-free choices are very limited to begin with):

Chicken, turkey, chicken stock, including organic. This one is killing David, because it’s his favorite food. I can handle a small piece of chicken about once a month.

Potatoes, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, chili peppers, pimentos, paprika, eggplant, cayenne pepper, chili powder, any other members of the nightshade family. Paprika is in many spice mixes, so they are out. Potato starch is in most commercial gluten-free baked goods, so they are also out. I can tolerate these about as often as chicken (but not on the same day).

Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radishes, mustard seed, canola oil, horseradish, kale, rutabaga, and anything else from the brassicaceae family.

Spinach, quinoa, beets, amaranth flour (amaranthaceae family).

Tapioca starch, also used in commercial gluten-free baking.

Melon. I just tried cantaloupe last night. Ouch.

Olives, all kinds. Funny, though, olive oil doesn’t bother me. It’s probably the way olives are processed and/or stored.

Lemon juice and zest. I can have tiny amounts at intervals, but I have to be careful not to overdo it.

Black pepper.

Splenda. Don’t know why, but this stuff really doesn’t agree with me.

EDIT: I forgot to add coconut to this list. Any coconut produt, including oil, causes a reaction.

Try to eat only once a week or less, because the more I eat them, the more I react:

Brown rice.

Peanuts, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, navy beans, great northern beans, lentils, gar-fava bean flour, all other legumes.

Dates. These are in every Larabar, so I use them only in food emergencies.

Sunflower seeds and oil. The oil is in a lot of stuff…

Pistachios and cashews.

Things I reacted to at one time, but need to try again because it has been a long time and, well, who knows?

Artichokes, asparagus, kiwi, watermelon. Probably some other stuff I can’t think of now.


My cardinal food rule now is “Unless absolutely, postively sure about the ingredients, JUST SAY NO!” What a fun way to stay healthy, right?

About Li

A writer, runner, and Gluten-Free Zealot, I’ve been helping others navigate the gluten-free lifestyle for many years. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and when you’re gluten-free, it’s even better!

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10 Responses to The Other Half of the Glass

  1. Tenille says:

    Ouch. In some ways, my kiddos are really lucky to be diagnosed so young. A two year old doesn’t crave the foods she’s never had, or not had within her memory. 🙁

    But for all of us, thank goodness for all of the companies making allergy-safe products that weren’t around 20 years ago. I don’t know what I’d do.

    Tenille (Gluten Free Frugal Tenille, that is) 🙂

  2. Tenille says:

    Ouch. In some ways, my kiddos are really lucky to be diagnosed so young. A two year old doesn’t crave the foods she’s never had, or not had within her memory. 🙁

    But for all of us, thank goodness for all of the companies making allergy-safe products that weren’t around 20 years ago. I don’t know what I’d do.

    Tenille (Gluten Free Frugal Tenille, that is) 🙂

  3. Li & David says:

    Tenille, your young-‘uns are so lucky to have a mom like you who is diligent about their health and well-being! They shouldn’t have to worry about a lot of things us older people have had to deal with.

    And I agree about the safe foods that are now available. Even though a lot of them are off limits to me, I still am grateful for my rice crackers and Fritos. Plain white rice only goes so far, you know? 🙂

  4. Li & David says:

    Tenille, your young-‘uns are so lucky to have a mom like you who is diligent about their health and well-being! They shouldn’t have to worry about a lot of things us older people have had to deal with.

    And I agree about the safe foods that are now available. Even though a lot of them are off limits to me, I still am grateful for my rice crackers and Fritos. Plain white rice only goes so far, you know? 🙂

  5. Tenille says:

    Just curious, from someone else who cooks a whole lotta rice – do you use a rice cooker?

  6. Tenille says:

    Just curious, from someone else who cooks a whole lotta rice – do you use a rice cooker?

  7. Nemesys says:

    Is there anything you DO eat?

  8. Nemesys says:

    Is there anything you DO eat?

  9. Li & David says:

    LOL!

    Here is the list:

    http://lilovesdavid.blogspot.com/2007/10/glass-half-full.html

    Trust me, my scale says I’m eating plenty!

  10. Li & David says:

    LOL!

    Here is the list:

    http://lilovesdavid.blogspot.com/2007/10/glass-half-full.html

    Trust me, my scale says I’m eating plenty!

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