Calm, Cool and Committed

Three Moms and a Dude

Gluten, free me!

on January 3, 2013
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor! The information in this post is based solely on my personal experiences and recommendations.

***

I love food…ALL food! So, when my neurologist told me I was allergic to gluten, I reacted dramatically. I’m pretty sure I leaned forward, put my head in my hands and yelled, “Nooooooooooo!” Then, the beloved carbs I could no longer eat flashed through my mind. After that, I sulked and told my doctor that my husband was going to kill me. Gluten free? My hubby? No way…not happening…ever. Dinner was going to be even more of a royal pain…sigh.That was 6 months ago, and I can honestly say that I’ve been doing my best (which is pretty darn good, if I don’t say so myself). Along the way, my rocky journey went something like this:

Month 1 – I’m not allergic to gluten, and I’m sure not going to waste all the food we just bought (kicking, stomping, holding my breath)!

Month 2 - Checkin’ out the gluten-free isle…I’m doomed!

Month 3 – Google search: gluten-free food, gluten-free recipes, symptoms of gluten intolerance

Month 4 – Food experiments, less gluten, this sucks, I want my mac-n-cheese.

Month 5 - Feeling better…feeling much better! Vacation – crash, recover…

Month 6 - Getting the hang of it, gluten-free can be yummy. Holidays – resist, resist, RESIST…crash, recover…

Eliminating gluten from my diet has been quite the process. Gluten is everywhere and avoiding it requires constant searching, label reading and question asking, not to mention a  heroic dose of willpower. It almost feels like I am learning how to eat, shop and cook all over again, and my family has been less than thrilled about some of my “experiments” (That’s what my husband calls any new recipe I attempt).  Having said that, it’s not nearly as terrible as I thought it would be, once I got the hang of it. And, I have to say that I feel MUCH better without gluten. The most difficult part, however, was finding a place to start. Even when searching the internet, I didn’t find anything that told me which gluten-free products were gritty or mushy and which ones were yummy substitutes for the comfort food I craved. I needed recipes, alternatives, brand names and pictures. So, here are my favorites so far (in addition to lots of greens and veggies, fresh fruit, pure meats and cheeses, rice, potatoes and beans!):

Favorite Links:

Betty Crocker Recipes

Yummy Gluten-Free Pie Crust

The Gluten-Free Lady

 Made with Love, Not Gluten (bakery)

Favorite Foods:

glutenFreeBakingMixes_Header_1011

So far, I’ve tried the brownie mix. My fam didn’t even know the difference!

Lucy’s cookies were great, especially the chocolate mint! Also, when using the gluten-free flour, add xantham gum. Note – Some gluten-free people cannot eat oats.

I cannot live without tortillas and pizza. While neither compare to the “real stuff,” I’ve found these to be great substitutes.

Some Prego flavors are gluten-free, while others are not. Remember to always read the label! This lasagna is awesome and the pasta pictured is almost exactly like regular pasta, while others I’ve tried are gummy and fall apart. And, if you stick to products made with brown rice, there’s more fiber (a serious, gluten-free challenge).

Most Coffee-Mate creamers are gluten-free, but their Natural Bliss cuts the chemicals out too. They just need chocolate flavors now! The cookbook pictured is from my hubby and has easy recipes for gluten-free comfort food.

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