The past few months have been the best months I’ve had in a long time. I’ve hardly had any pain, my bowels are starting to slow them selves down, my energy has been at its peak and I’ve been so happy!
These days, many people are beginning to go gluten free, either because of being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, or because of other health problems, like digestive disorders or skin problems.
If it’s your first time going gluten free, I’m sure you can understand that visiting the grocery store can be frustrating! You go down the normal cracker/cookie aisle and pretty much every single box of crackers is made of wheat, or if they’re made of rice the fine print underneath the ingredients says that they may contain wheat. When you go down the soup aisle, all of the soups are either thickened with some sort of gluten, or packed with noodles. In the sauce and spice isle the fine print again says that they may contain wheat and in the deli section, the meats even can contain gluten! So now what? Only fruits and vegetables…and rice cakes? Well, not even rice cakes, as most brand name rice cakes are cross-contaminated with gluten.
When I first went gluten free, I thought I was fully eating a diet free of gluten…but I was eating Quaker oats, rice cakes and cereals that even though didn’t say they had wheat in them, were actually cross contaminated with wheat. Once I visited my new naturopath in September, she informed me that the oats I was eating every morning were so contaminated with gluten that it was equivalent to eating a slice of wheat bread! And the rice cakes I was eating for a snack also were highly contaminated…oh, and then the cereal I ate as a bedtime snack was also contaminated! So what I thought was a gluten free diet that I was following was not really one at all, I was still making myself sick with all the gluten contaminated foods that I was eating. Once I got home from my appointment, I began looking at all of the ingredients on the foods I had. The first box I picked up was my rice milk. In very small red print underneath the ingredients, it read: contains gluten from barley protein at less than .002%. Who would’ve known? I always read the ingredients of my foods to look out for dairy and sugar, but this print was so small that I guess I must have just missed it the first time. My chicken stock was the next thing that I looked at, and guess what? There was gluten in that as well! Dijon mustard…gluten, spices…gluten, soy sauce…gluten. I was also unaware of all the other grains that contained gluten…like barley and kamut. Gluten just seemed to be everywhere! After about two or three weeks of being 100% gluten free, my bloating Buddha tummy was gone!
As days went by, I researched about different gluten free products and learned about all the other foods that could possibly be contaminated with gluten. Even to this day, I am still learning about some of the foods that could possibly contain gluten and I am coming across so many more gluten free products.
The best way to live gluten free is to make sure the packaged food clearly states that it is gluten free, if it doesn’t and you are unsure, call or email the company inquiring if the product is gluten free.
Luckily most grocery stores have gluten free items in their aisles, some more then others, and some stores even have distinct gluten free aisles.
Transitioning to a gluten free diet can also be a shock to the taste buds. But don’t worry, your taste buds adjust and sooner or later you will totally forget what it’s like to eat gluten-containing foods. You also end up not missing the “regular” bread and pasta, because you know that if you go back to eating the “regular” gluten foods, you’ll pay for it a few hours later, by visiting the toilet and curling up on the couch. But wait! Why should I say “regular”? Isn’t this gluten free diet our regular now? Yes, it is! Your new (and my new) gluten free diet is our norm, it’s our regular eating style.
After trying many different gluten free breads, pastas, crackers, and other gf foods, I can finally say what my favourites are! (Oh…and ‘GF’ stands for gluten free).
So, my favourites thus far are:
(these are also dairy free, some are vegan)
GF pasta brand: Tinkyada – Just like their tagline states: ‘Not Mushy’! The pasta actually tastes like regular pasta, especially their spaghetti and fusilli.
Most GF breads are found in the freezer section…my favourite so far are:
GF breads: Food for Life Brown Rice Bread – sweet and nutty flavour, chewy and isn’t crumbly. Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas – soft and chewy, tastes just like wheat tortillas. Organic Works Buckwheat Chia (it’s fresh and has the texture of wheat bread!)
GF granola bars: Enjoy Life Caramel Apple
GF dry cereal: Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal – tastes like Kellogg’s Rice Krispies; Nature’s Path Crunchy Maple SunRise – so sweet and crunchy, perfect over top of yogurt or with some rice/almond milk
GF Honey Mustard: Mr. Spice Honey Mustard– a little saucy, but tasty and great on veggies, chicken or tofu
GF Worcestershire: The Wizards Vegan Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce – isn’t exactly the same as normal Worcestershire, but it does the trick on shepherds pie or over gf pasta salad
GF Salad Dressing: Organic Ville Orange Cranberry – refreshing – definitely true to how the website describes it. I love this on spinach salad tossed with some peppers, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries
GF Yogurt: YoSo Soy Yogurt (my favourite is vanilla). A creamy non dairy yogurt great as a fruit/veggie dipper, also great with granola…or by itself. Although the container does not indicate it is gluten free, the website does and I contacted the company do double check.
GF Crackers: Mary’s Organic Seed Crackers – packed with delicious seeds and gf grains. Perfect to snack on by themselves or with some vegan gf ‘cheese’. Also great dipped in hummus. SuperSlim Brown Rice Crackers – the garden veggie ones taste like Vegetable Thins and the sea salt ones are just delicious!
GF Rice Krispy Treat: Source Salba Krispy Rice Bars – has the texture of a Kellog’s rice krispy treat and definitely satisfies the sweet tooth
GF Dairy Free Ice Cream: Good Karma Organic Rice Divine Coconut Mango – nice and sweat and has the creamy texture of ice cream. Turtle Mountain Organic So Delicious Creamy Vanilla – the container doesn’t state it is gluten free, but the website does and I double checked by contacting them. It is the best dairy alternative ice cream I have ever had. It’s rich and has the consistency of dairy ice-cream. It doesn’t really taste like soy either.
Well, I’ve probably missed a few items, but I will definitely update this soon and when I find new products!
P.S – Did you know that gum can contain gluten?? As of now, all I know is that Trident Gum is 100% gluten free.
Don’t you hate when you wake up thinking it’s a totally different day, and then you realize that it is only “Wednesday”?? This morning was like that, I figured out it was Wednesday a few moments after thinking we were further into the week…then I was at the gym, and again, I had to think really hard if it was Friday or not. That’s what long weeks do to you I guess.
Remember in December when I found the Pure Fun Better For You Candy- Organic Candy Canes?