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What Do I Eat Now That I’m Gluten Free?

I’ve talked about all of my food sensitivities and how going gluten free and dairy free has changed my health in such a positive way.

Not only has my stomach healed, I’ve also managed to lose about 20 pounds of weight without even trying. My hair has grown in thicker and fuller, which was brought to my attention by a hair stylish who asked me if I had undergone a change in life recently. He pointed out the new, healthy growth. This is all due to my dietary changes.

I’m not saying everyone should go gluten, dairy or soy free but that cutting those foods out of your diet can help clear up a lot of digestive issues.

Most packaged goods contain soy, which is genetically-modified and tough to avoid but is possible. The organic grocery store will be your best friend. You’ll spend more time in the kitchen preparing fresh meals. I make everything from scratch so it’s definitely a huge commitment and also a challenge when travelling.

So what do I eat now that I’m gluten free?

Well I’m also soy and dairy free too so it’s much more of a challenge! What to eat on gluten free diet can seem daunting but I assure you, you will quickly adjust.

I use stevia in my coffee, coconut palm sugar in my baked goods and a mix of almond, tapioca, coconut and sorghum flour in my breads and desserts as well as ground flax seed (great for egg replacement). I’ve recently tried ground tiger nuts too.

Soda pop is a no-no, as is white sugar, artificial sweeteners and chocolate unless it’s dairy and soy free. If I drink orange juice, it’s freshly squeezed. I also buy organic unsweetened cranberry juice and add a little to water along with dandelion root tea and fresh lemon slices as a cold drink.

I use organic chicken broth and bouillon without soy or gluten and buy coconut aminos instead of using soy sauce in my Asian dishes. I’ll use guacamole and fresh salsa, skipping the sour cream and cheese for my Mexican dishes.

I also take a daily probiotic, and have been also taking vitamins B and D as well as an herbal supplement for my stomach.

Here is a simplified gluten dairy and soy free menu:

Breakfast

Pea protein shake with 1 cup frozen fruit and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Sometimes: Bacon, eggs and homemade home fries
Sometimes: Gluten-free pancakes with maple syrup

Lunch

1 cup of soup
1 flatbread
100 g of preservative free ham or turkey – I buy fresh roasted turkey from Sobeys which is cooked in-store, or McLean’s organic deli which is nitrate free.
Lettuce, tomato
1/4 avocado
Organic corn chips

Dinner

Chicken breast or steak or burger or any other protein
Any vegetable or salad
Sometimes ~ rice, potato and/or organic corn or rice pasta

Snacks

Not all at the same time!
Homemade cookie or muffin
1 apple with 1 tbsp almond butter
Fruit (except bananas)
Handful of almonds and 2 figs or dairy free chocolate chips
2 tbsp hummus and organic carrots
Air popped organic popcorn

Brands/Products I Buy

Nature’s Path organic corn pops
SweetLeaf Stevia
Earth’s Own Almond Fresh milk
Lara bars (treat)
Kettle brand chips (treat)
Enjoy Life chocolate chips
McLean’s organic deli
Que Pasa or Neal Brothers organic tortilla chips
Imagine Organic low sodium chicken broth
Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss
Zevia natural sugar cola drinks (treat)

Sample Gluten Dairy Soy Egg Free Menu

I’ll keep adding to this list because I’m sure I’ve forgotten something!

Gluten Free Bread

I have been wanting to make my own gluten free bread since going gluten free. Although I haven’t tried gluten free flour already prepared (which would be the easiest thing to do), I’ve been experimenting with my own variety of flours.

I’ve had a few unsuccessful attempts. Using the right variations of flours to create an edible recipe was a bit of a challenge – until I received a bread machine from Hamilton Beach.

There are so many variations of gluten free bread recipes but I found that this combination (what I had in my pantry) worked very well!

Ingredients

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 cups hot water

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ grape seed oil

½ cup tapioca flour

½ cup sorghum flour

½ cup potato flour/starch

2 cups brown rice flour

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

4 teaspoons guar gum

3 tablespoons sugar

2 ¼ teaspoons yeast for breadmaker

3 tablespoons coconut milk

gluten free bread recipe

 

Directions

Mix all wet ingredients together and pour into breadmaker. Then mix all dry ingredients except the yeast and pour on top. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast. Turn your breadmaker on to the Gluten Free setting. In a few hours, freshly baked gluten free bread!

I sliced the bread once cooled into fairly thin slices and froze half. The texture is a bit dense – not quite the texture of a banana  bread but not like a regular loaf either. My husband, who isn’t sensitive to gluten, loved it so much. The fact that it’s made with brown rice flour means it’s high in protein, iron, fiber, vitamin B and more.

I’m assuming that you could make this without a bread machine if you don’t have one. Swap the bread machine yeast to traditional yeast, add to a small bowl of warm water and sprinkly with a little sugar and let it rise. Add to the rest of the ingredients and knead until dough forms. Then cover with a cloth and place a warmed oven to allow to rise.

Enjoy!

 

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Pasta, Pasta, I Love Pasta…Or I Used To

by Sarah Johnson Carter

This summer started off with a major blow to my habitual carb devouring when I was diagnosed with celiac disease (an immune reaction to foods containing gluten, like wheat, barley, and rye). The solution is to eliminate all gluten from my diet. It’s not a lifestyle choice, it’s a medical necessity, since eating gluten with celiac disease can lead to cancer and osteoporosis. Some food choices I can make confidently. A fresh, unpeeled banana? Yes, please! A carton of organic nonfat cow’s milk? Sure! Other items are a definite N-O…like a lemon square from my favorite bakery or a plate of pasta at my favorite restaurant. But with some options, the water gets murky, and further research is required. Wait…research? Eating used to be fun.

going gluten free

One morning, I tried to treat myself to a latte at Starbucks. Oh yeah, that turned out to be a real treat (insert eyeroll here). I asked the barista at the cash register if the sugar-free vanilla syrup is gluten-free (because gluten hides everywhere). After giving me a blank stare, she turned to ask one of her colleagues, who shrugged her shoulders and looked to a third associate. She said “I don’t know, but I guess you can read the bottle.” Okay, so I scanned it as quickly as possible.

Survey says? Um…none of the ingredients listed on the bottle screamed GLUTEN, so I played the celiac version of Russian roulette and ordered a skinny vanilla latte. Yep, nothing makes getting a latte more relaxing than interrogating the baristas while incurring the wrath of the dozen people behind me in line and possibly poisoning myself.

When I got back in my car, I checked Starbucks’ website, which I should have done in the first place…or not. “Allergen information is not available online for our beverage selections at this time. If you have an allergen concern, please feel free to ask our baristas to check the ingredient labels.” Come on, Starbucks…you can ethically source your coffee, but this is too much for you to deal with? Note: I haven’t been back since.

Another food dilemma I faced was if I could eat my mom’s yummy meatloaf (she makes it with dried onion soup mix). So, I went to the Lipton Recipe Secrets website, only to get this answer, “Since product formulations change from time to time, we do not have a printed list of products that identifies those products that contain specific allergens or gluten. The best advice we can give you is to check the ingredient list on the label. If you cannot determine whether the product contains the ingredient in question, we suggest you do not use it.”

At this point, I thought I was being punked. Really, you can’t make a database that tracks what ingredients you are currently using in your products and filter out a gluten-free list? So I’m back to reading labels at the grocery store…which is totally fun, you guys! Especially while I’m trying to stop my toddler from rearranging the jam jars, and using the spotty store wifi to see if an ingredient could be secretly packing gluten.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a rule regulating the labeling of gluten-free food. The rule defines the term gluten-free, but doesn’t require that food has to be labeled one way or the other. Perhaps that will happen in the future. In the meantime, I want to buy $5 lattes…I want to make onion dip from a little white envelope, and I’m sure some of the other millions of celiac sufferers in the United States do too. Food industry, please work with us and take a cue from Chex:

going gluten free

Now, about that genetically modified corn…

 

Sarah Carter Sarah Johnson Carter is an attorney, mom, and occasional writer. When not reading food labels, she connects families affected by rare chromosome disorders. Explore her story at www.misscayli.com and follow her on Twitter @sarahjcarter for some general nonsense.