Friday, March 14, 2014

You are not crazy. You have NCGS... which just sounds crazy.

I grew up in a family that worshiped bread.  My Italian side served it at every meal and would often refer to it as 'the staff of life'.  My Slovenian side would actually kiss a piece of bread before it was thrown away (because of mold or whatever). The sentiment was that it was a sin to throw out something that was so precious.  I think it all had something to do with a reference to Christian Communion and the featured entree of... bread.

When I discovered through trial and error (and then medical confirmation) that I had a sensitivity or allergy to wheat, my relatives and many friends responded with comments like "What do you mean you can't eat bread? Why can't you have cereal?  No pasta? Pasta is not bread. That's crazy!"

Although less than 1% of the U.S. population has Celiac disease (an immune disease to wheat and other grains with gluten), many more people have ‘Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity’ (NCGS). NCGS is suspected to affect one in every twenty Americans - that's about 31 million people.

My nearest and dearest have learned a lot with me on this gluten-free journey and now they love to point out all the restaurant menus and commercials they have seen that advertise their gluten-free selections.

Food manufacturers are not shy about seizing upon a need and a huge potential customer base. Since Americans eat 3 or more meals a week out, the restaurant industry is also courting the growing gluten free customer.  

Maybe we should change the acronym to mean: Not Crazy-Gluten Sensitive :)

Tip for the Weekend:
       I’m a loyal, rabid fan of Trader Joe’s Supermarkets because they will give you (FREE) a complete list of every product in their stores that is made without gluten.  They will use shelf tags that will identify products in their stores with the symbol ‘GF’, and in their monthly flyer will they will promote their gluten free products in addition to their other items. 
      If there isn’t a TJ’s near you, consider making the drive to the closest one you can find.  You will be amazed at what you can find there and how little it costs to eat healthfully and well... and they won't think you're crazy, either.  ( )


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