I’m on the sofa, down for the count. Why? Because I didn’t read a label carefully. Simple as that. In this case the offending item that gave me horrendous cramps and kept me in the bathroom for a very long time, at work, wasn’t even one of my normal food intolerances. It was chlorella, a fresh water green algae that’s supposed to be a miracle food.

No miracles here, except that I  was lucky enough to reach the office, more specifically the bathroom, before my body decided to rid itself of the “poison” in whatever way possible. I already knew I had an issue with chlorella which I took in a powder form once before with a similar, although not as acute, reaction.

My point is you need to be excruciatingly careful to avoid known irritants. The Italian is constantly bringing home gluten-free cookies, bars, bread and even pasta that I can’t eat because they contain eggs or yeast or dairy. He just sees “gluten free”.

I recently ate prepared salad dressing on a United Airlines flight that had soybean oil (no no for me) and modified starch, from what? Because I was in Business class (upgraded by The Italian, isn’t he great?) on our trans Atlantic flight I though the food would be safer. The Balsamic Vinaigrette was already on my salad when it was served. I did go back and find a container to read the label and thus figure out I should not have eaten it, but not without some distress already. (Truth is you should bring your own food on the plane that you have prepared at home. More on that in another post.)

Hey I’m not perfect. Sometimes I pretend I’m normal and make educated guesses. Sometimes that works and is your only option, but you often you will end up eating something that will give you a bad reaction. I really have to stop eating things I’m not certain what’s in them. When you actually have a label to check, there are no excuses for not being vigilant.

For Gluten Intolerance do not eat products that contain:

•    Barley
•    Rye
•    Triticale
•    Spelt
•    Wheat (durum, graham*, kamut, semolina, spelt)
•    Malt, malt flavoring, malt vinegar (are generally made from barley, verify the source)
•    Hydrolyzed Starch (Wheat Starch) or vegetable protein
•    Soy Sauce (unless specifically labelled gluten-free)
•    Miso
•    Farro
•    Matzo meal/flour
•    Panko crumbs
•    Seitan
•    Wheat germ
•    Couscous
•    Beer
•    Grain-based alcohol (new research suggests this might be ok)
•    Many dairy substitutes
•    Dry roasted nuts
•    Many soups, bouillion and broths
•    Modified food starch
•    Most imitation seafood (like crab)
•    Some toothpaste, supplements, lipstick- need to check with manufacturer

*Not to be confused with Gram flour which is made from chick peas