It happens every now and then. I let my guard down, get distracted or busy and forget to read ingredient labels. This week, my husband had a stomach bug and was drinking ginger ale. My stomach started to feel a little off too, and I was out of ginger tea, so I had some ginger ale. I’ve never been a soda drinker and for some reason, I didn’t stop to read the label. A little while later, my gut started to cramp up and then the pain started in my hips moving down to my knees and into my feet. At that point, I knew what was happening. My body started attacking the glutenie invaders and my own tissue along with it. The next thing to happen was the brain fog, fatigue and having a really hard time making decisions. Although I was annoyed at myself for being careless, it ended up being a good reminder of how much better I feel now that I’m eating gluten free. I can’t believe that I felt that miserable everyday for a couple of years before I took the big leap to change the way that I eat. Often people will say to me that they feel bad that I can’t eat things with gluten anymore. I always tell them not to feel sorry for me, because I am so much happier and feel so much healthier not eating it that I have absolutely no desire to eat that piece of cake or bagel or whatever it is they are eating.
This little trip down memory lane of feeling miserable made me curious about what exactly is in caramel coloring anyway, so I did a little Google research and here is what I found. Caramel coloring is made by heating a carbohydrate at an extreme temperature and mixing it with acids, alkalis and salts. In the US, the carbohydrate that is used is usually corn or wheat but can also be things like barley malt or sugar. This is where the gluten can come in. But I also found this disturbing information in an article from The Center for Science in the Public Interest, February 16, 2011, FDA Urged to Prohibit Carcinogenic “Caramel Coloring.” According to this article, the process of making caramel coloring by reacting sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures results in “the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats.” You can read the article yourself here, and the FDA’s position here. If you aren't convinced to give up your favorite soft drinks yet, you might want to check out this Consumer Reports article for some product comparisons. For me, the answer is clear. It is not worth the pain, brain fog and 3 to 4 days of healing not to mention the possible long term effects of continued ingestion of this chemical ingredient. My motto is, if it doesn’t feel good in your body, then it isn’t good for you, regardless of the research.
So what did I do to feel better? Well to be totally honest, I did some moaning and groaning and complaining, because it really can be a good emotional release. Then I used some of Young Living’s Digize essential oil to help with the gut distress. I drank ginger tea to help with the inflammation and gave myself some Reiki to help with the pain. I drank lots of water to help move things out of the body and did some gentle stretching to help loosen up my constricting muscles and joints. I also forgave myself for being careless and allowed myself to be out of sorts and less productive, so that my energy could go into healing my body. What do you do to help yourself feel better when you get glutened?
Now for some happy news- Congratulations to Gail Chase! Gail was the winner of the first gluten free cookbook give away. Thank you to all of you who completed the Food Sensitivity Survey. Now, I could really use your help figuring out the title of the cookbook. You can take the Cookbook Title Survey here. This is totally new opportunity to win a free copy even if you did the previous survey. I look forward to hearing your responses.
I'm a nature loving, garden growing, foodie who loves to eat sweet treats, walk barefoot, snuggle with my dog, discover waterfalls, gaze at the stars,explore my dreams and co-create my own reality.