You hear a lot about gluten sensitivity these days. Store shelves are packed with new, gluten-free products. But that doesn’t mean people who have a wheat allergy are in the clear.
Gluten-free isn't the same as wheat-free. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains like spelt (which is a form of wheat), barley, and rye. A baker might use wheat that’s had its gluten removed to make a loaf of bread. Read ingredients lists to avoid wheat.
Try these tips to enjoy outdoor living, gardening, and hiking despite your allergies.
Thick of It: Is the grass getting high? Wear a mask if you're mowing. Nothing fancy -- an inexpensive painter's mask works fine.
High and Dry:
Pollen counts are highest on hot, dry, windy days. Check the forecast before making plans.
Good Scents, Bad Sense:
Allergic to insect stings? Don't wear scented deodorants, perfumes, shampoos, or hair products. Carry an epi pen when hiking.
You may be able to eat these grains instead. Check with your doctor before you try them:
Wheat flour. Use flour made from rice, potato starch, soy, tapioca, or corn instead. If you can't tolerate gluten, look for gluten-free baking powder. When you're baking, remember that wheat-free and gluten-free flour may be drier, may not rise as much, and may have a crumbly texture.
Noodles. Choose wheat-free pastas. They can be made from lots of different grains, including quinoa, corn, potato, rice, or beans.
Breadcrumbs. In recipes like casseroles, fried chicken, eggplant parmesan, or meat loaf, substitute shredded parmesan, crumbled wheat-free crackers, or cornmeal.
Thickeners. Bulk up sauces and gravies with cornstarch or rice flour. Pureed tofu can work, too.