Thursday, August 16, 2012

EO Body Products: Certified Gluten Free!

Gluten free body products??!! Wah? Do we really need to worry about that?

I say, any gluten you put in or on your body is not good for Celiacs. Some doctors say that the concentration of gluten that would be found in body products is too low to have an effect. But if I can find good gluten free body products, that makes me happier. There is a good article on this issue at

Where would one find gluten in a body product? I think the most concentrated source of gluten in body products would be wheat aminos that are often put in hair conditioners. Upon scouring the ingredients of several conditioners and leave in hair treatments, I found that many have wheat aminos. Some just say "aminos," and you have to wonder what kind. Some products do have soy or quinoa aminos. You can't just believe the front of the label though; for example, Aveda's Quinoa hair products actually have more wheat aminos in them than quinoa.

Another common gluten ingredient is wheat germ oil, although this should theoretically have all the gluten proteins filtered out, it's possible it could have some in it. Additionally, oats could be contaminated. 

EO is a brand I've known about for a long time, but never was impressed with their products, mostly because they were expensive and the scents didn't intrigue. I recently bought their lavender lotion, to use lavender to help me relax at night. However, the lotion itself is incredibly silky and luxurious. I can't believe I never tried it!

My most recent purchase is a product that I had tried before, and liked. I bought it again, gleeful in my knowing that it is gluten free. It's a great product, making your hair silky smooth. One key thing, that I think is necessary with lots of all natural products, is to emulsify the hair product before putting it in your hair. I pump out a dime sized amount in my hand, then pour some water and get it all mixed up. Then I distribute it through my hair. The wild lime & ginger scent is one of the EO ones that I do like, though it's subtle.

EO is not paying me to write this review. Certified gluten free products are few and far between, and I want to support them, so they persist and create more demand for certified gluten free.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nuts for Gluten-Free Nuts at the Farmer's Market

Today at the Upper Haight Farmer's Market, the lady selling a plethora of nuts, flavored, salted etc, looked at me like I was nuts for asking about whether hers nuts possibly were exposed to gluten. As I asked her a few more questions about how the nuts are processed and packaged, she seemed annoyed by me and finally walked away suddenly to help another customer. She clearly thought I was NUTS and didn't want to waist more time with my silly questions.

I walked away without buying anything.

This situation may be due to both our ignorance. I certainly don't know a lot about how nuts are handled, processed and packaged. I have heard that I do need to be careful about that, because sometimes nuts are processed in the same facilities as wheat or other gluten. While I was told raw nuts usually aren't cause for concern, one can never be too careful. The great thing about Farmer's Markets, is you can speak to the employees or owners. You don't always get an immediate answer. At the Inner Sunset Farmer's Market, I asked one of the guys at the nut stand about their nuts, and he didn't know. He said he could check with his boss when she got back from vacation, and I told him I would come back in one of the following weeks.

This guy did mention that at least one of their nut products was seasoned with a gluten ingredient, and I would guess this would be the case for the nut lady at Upper Haight. However, as I walked away from her stand, I found a fruit stand that also sold raw almonds. I asked the cashier if the nuts could have been exposed to gluten. She wasn't sure, so she asked her boss, and he said they went straight from the tree, into the bags, and there was no gluten in the facility. Eureka! I bought a 5 pound bad for $20.

As an end note, some people may think I am NUTS for nit picking over the details about how the food I eat is processed. Well, they won't get my business. My health is not a trivial manner. If these people knew how bad I feel for months if I am exposed to a tiny bit of gluten, maybe they would get it. I do need to make myself more aware about how the foods I want to buy are processed. I welcome any comments - if anyone knows how nuts are generally processed, both for raw nuts and salted nuts. I'm specifically curious about Trader Joe's - one of these days I am going to do research on their policies and procedures and write a blog about that.