I learned a couple of years ago that I have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. You might ask, “What is that?” For me, it has been a complete lifestyle change. Gluten is the protein that is found in wheat. Wheat is in flour which is used to make most breads, pastas, crackers, and many food additives. Gluten has made my life miserable!
Becoming gluten free takes a lot of learning. I had to first learn what gluten was and then I had to learn which foods contained gluten. Basically, almost everything I was eating contained gluten! It has been a tough switch but one well worth it since I no longer suffer from horrible stomach pain and diarrhea after eating.
So, what do I eat? Fresh salads without the croutons don’t contain gluten. However, most salad dressings do. By carefully scanning the grocery aisles, I found gluten-free salad dressing. For, me Caesar salads digest the best. For you, it might be another salad with a different type of lettuce. I prefer baby romaine lettuce that I grow myself whenever possible.
Fresh fish without a coating (and that hasn’t been sprayed with preservatives) is also a treat. My old favorite was a McDonald’s fish burger. That was probably one of the most horrible things that I could eat since it’s coated with a breading and cooked in hydrogenated oil. Now, I eat fresh cod and can tolerate tartar sauce if it’s natural and doesn’t have preservatives. It is scrumptious!
Lundberg pasta is a regular in my diet. This pasta is made with brown rice, not wheat flour. As long as I rinse it in hot water before serving it, the pasta tastes great. I’m not sure anyone eating it would know that it’s gluten free! I make chopped suey (pasta, tomato sauce, and hamburger) often. I can make meatballs (with gluten free bread crumbs) too! It is wonderful!
Rice is a standby for me. I can eat all types. My favorites are plain white and brown rice with organic butter. To go along with rice, I make organic chicken or organic beef, fish or whatever I want. Food For Life makes English muffins that are great to eat. My husband likes them better than regular English muffins now. Udi’s brand also makes many gluten free breads and pizza crust. It’s amazing how good things can taste once you get used to them.
Fresh eggs (from free range chickens) are a fabulous meal at any time of the day. I love hard boiled eggs, poached eggs and scrambled too. Omelets with fresh vegetables are gluten free and make a hearty dinner or great breakfast to begin the day.
I can eat lobster, crab, haddock, shrimp and almost anything from the sea. Thankfully, all of this food does not contain gluten. I can’t eat much of this in restaurants, however, since it often comes breaded. If we go out to eat, I can order a fresh, boiled lobster anytime!
Betty Crocker has come out with many gluten free cake, cookie and brownie recipes. Although I try to limit my sugar intake, I do cheat once in awhile and make a pan of chocolate chip bars or brownies. These mixes are great for birthdays and holidays. I’ve made them more than once for family gatherings and others in attendance can’t tell they’re gluten free.
Purely Decadent brand makes awesome coconut milk ice cream. Again, we do limit sugar intake but every once in awhile treat ourselves to a small dish of ice cream. There are more and more flavors on the market every time I shop. Our favorites right now are chocolate, vanilla, mint chip, butter pecan and cherry amaretto.
Now that I’ve done this for quite awhile, it’s easier to eat gluten free. Gluten is a hard to digest grain that complicates digestive issues for many people. If you suffer from gas, bloating, stomach upset, diarrhea, or what you think is acid reflux, perhaps you should go a gluten elimination trial. Go 30 days without eating gluten. (Be careful that gluten can be in anything that says “natural flavors”.) If your stomach feels better, you may be suffering from gluten sensitivity. It’s certainly worth trying!
Written by Shirley Wright