Wednesday, July 01, 2009

4th of July and Summer Barbeques

Ah, summer. Outside barbeques, eating watermelon and getting “glutinized”…
Wait, what was that? I think it’s a term coined by my patients but getting “glutinized” is defined as unknowingly eating gluten and having to deal with the resulting consesquences of having done so – definitely no fun.

I’ll never forget a couple of summers ago when an arthritis patient, who had been pain-free for months as a result of removing gluten, went to a summer barbeque and got “glutinized”. She was in bed for three days with excruciating pain and swelling of her joints.

The point of holidays and eating with friends and family is enjoyment, not feeling ill.

So here are a few tips to enjoy the event with no lingering side effects afterwards.

1. If you know the host or hostess, call ahead and find out what they’re serving. If there’s a lot of pasta salads and desserts offer to bring some items of your own.
2. Ask questions. Don’t be shy about finding out the ingredients of something. This point goes beyond summer parties - to be successful at avoiding gluten you’re going to have to get over any shyness about finding out the ingredients in what you’re eating. Just think, you’re likely going to get into a discussion about celiac and gluten sensitivity that may very well save the life of the person you’re talking to! You asking questions may very well open the door to that person’s improved health.
3. When in doubt, do without! If you’re really worried about what is going to be served, eat before you leave home. If you’re not starving you won’t make unwise decisions.

I hope this helps!

To your good health,

Dr Vikki Petersen
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of The Gluten Effect

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