Using the Force

Speaking of hidden ninja gluten, did you know that gluten can be in toothpaste? In ibuprofen?? It’s insane.

I recently heard that gluten can be in toothpaste, so I tried to find a brand that doesn’t have gluten. It is remarkably hard! A lot say they don’t add gluten, but very few guarantee that the ingredients they use haven’t been contaminated. I found Auromere at my local PCC (like a co-op kinda). I was very unsure about the flavor (cardamom-fennel? Neem and peelu?), but it was the only guaranteed gluten free toothpaste they had. I was pleasantly surprised when I got it home that it tasted really good. Refreshing.

The other item I heard can have gluten is ibuprofen. I take a lot of ibuprofen.

If you read the labels of ibuprofen, you will see that there are a LOT of extra ingredients in there. Again, although they do not ADD gluten, they don’t guarantee that the ingredients they use haven’t been contaminated. In addition, they change their ingredients all the time. Even its ok this time, the next batch could be contaminated. Its enough to drive you crazy.

I heard from another blogger that it is best to buy the name brand because it is more likely that they will have higher standards for their basic ingredients. I have no idea if that is actually true or not, but since I switched to not only name brand ibuprofen but also to the gel caps (which have significantly fewer ingredients), my girlfriend says that I no longer smell “chemically”. And I’ve had fewer headaches.

Was my headache medicine giving me headaches?

This whole trying to live life without gluten contamination has so many vagaries and unknowns. So many things I can’t control.  A water filter sitting on the counter. A bottle of medicine. Things that shouldn’t have gluten, yet easily can have enough to take me down for an afternoon, or even a few days. It can feel enormously hopeless and overwhelming.

I think living gluten free successfully is like using “the force” (or my idea of it any way! Sorry Steven Spielberg). Trying to live each moment attuned to my surroundings, aware of energy both inside my body and around me. Recognizing that at any moment an enemy can ambush me, but not living in fear. Rather trying to live each moment to its fullest – in order to be prepared, yes, but more because having a full, rich, satisfying and enjoyable life is the greatest f-you I can give to the forces of gluten evil.

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