How to keep safe if you have celiac disease on top of migraine.
The Migraine Relief Plan is gluten-free to reduce as much inflammation in your body as possible. But you also might have celiac disease, or gluten-sensitivity (which I have), and I want you to have good information about keeping yourself safe. If you’re new to gluten-free eating, this post will also help you understand what to focus on and what to avoid.
I recommend starting with a good gluten-free flour mix, like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour (contains xanthan gum), or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Biscuit & Baking Mix. If buying another mix, remember that the following ingredients are not on the Plan: fava bean flour, gar-fava flour, sugar (any), yeast. Ideally, no xanthan gum, as many people are sensitive to it.
Keep gluten-free items separate from other items in the pantry, and if you have regular flour in the house, those items should be on a shelf BELOW the gluten-free items, so if any gluten-dust is disturbed when you move the regular flour it doesn’t settle on and contaminate your GF items. If you have questions about living gluten-free, ask them in the Forums and I’ll create more posts to answer them.
If you need to be strictly gluten-free, you’ll need to replace your toaster, colander, bread machine, and cutting board. This is because crumbs will stick inside and are impossible to clean out. Many professional kitchens use purple items (cutting boards, colanders, etc) to indicate they should be used only for gluten-free items. You can choose any color you like! Anything that can go in the dishwasher is safe to use after coming out of the dishwasher (although I would not trust cutting boards or colanders if they have been used for gluten-containing items).
The importance of a dedicated (certified) gluten-free facility
A while back I was able to make a trek to Bob’s Red Mill while on a work trip to Portland, Oregon. Their Marketing & Social Media Specialist, Cassidy Stockton, was nice enough to take me on a tour of their dedicated gluten-free facility. Here’s why you should only buy certified gluten-free items if you have celiac disease or are very sensitive to gluten:
Once you see the regular factory, where they are grinding flour, you realize that the flour dust goes EVERYWHERE. There is no way to clean out the machines to prevent cross-contamination. Bob’s Red Mill has a dedicated gluten-free processing room in their plant. Here’s how they keep their products safe:
- Ingredients are received and moved into quarantine. Once they have been cleared by Quality Assurance as gluten free, they are moved into their gluten-free production facility.
- The room is cleaned daily.
- Workers in this room ONLY work in this room on a shift; they don’t go back and forth.
- All the items being processed in the room are gluten-free to begin with.
- Testing is conducted when an ingredient arrives, during packaging and after packaging to make sure no gluten has contaminated the products.
- Product is ground into tote bags and then moved into packaging. Both facilities are strictly gluten-free.
- If you are sensitive to gluten, make sure you buy products that say certified gluten-free, and check with the company if you have any doubts. It’s not enough to buy corn meal or oats, you need to buy ones that say “gluten-free” on the label.
Required FTC Disclosure: Bob’s Red Mill provided me a free factory tour. I was not paid to write this post.