Going Gluten – Free.

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

I’m not gluten intolerant. I don’t have celiac disease. For many, they have to go gluten-free, because of health issues that make it a necessity. Still others stop eating foods with gluten because they’ve read it’s linked to certain diseases, or they are dealing with health concerns that although unrelated to gluten intolerance, or celiac disease, may be a common factor in getting better. Then there are those who eliminate gluten for health, those who have decided not to eat anything gluten because it’s not considered part of their healthy diet.

So, what’s gluten, anyway?

Gluten is a protein found within wheat, barley, and rye. There are other sources of gluten, ones you wouldn’t even consider, like chicken broth, or salad dressings. Soy sauce and seasonings. I had no idea. I’ve spent my life enjoying gluten to it’s fullest, and when the topic for this week’s blog group (Find an article in a magazine or online for something you’d like to do, self-enhancement-wise and follow *at least* one of the suggestions. Then write about your experience doing that.-thank you Melissa, for the topic) I decided I wanted to give gluten-free eating a try. A friend of mine also encouraged me to try it out. She’s been having an inner-ear issue and swears that going gluten-free has helped. When she tried pizza after 6 weeks of not eating anything containing gluten, she said she was very ill, and needless to say, the toilet became her best friend that day. I was fascinated.

Last Friday, at the grocery store, I stayed away from the usual whole wheat pasta, and chose rice pasta instead. I also invested in a ton of brown rice, and white rice. One of the arguments regarding a diet devoid of gluten, is that often the substitutes are just as fattening, if not more so than it’s wheat counterparts. And more expensive. I have to admit, my $4.00 box of rice spaghetti pasta is probably the most I’ve ever spent on pasta, but I didn’t notice much of a difference in taste, and neither did my family. We’re used to eating rice, so there were no changes in that aspect. Even my sons participated. They love Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese, and chose the rice pasta mac and cheese instead. I have to admit, I thought it was tasty.

I had no idea that there are so many hidden gluten sources, though. I made soup this week with chicken broth. Organic, but I have a feeling that doesn’t matter. I also used salad dressing for my salads. Oops. I should have researched into this a lot more, but I was under the assumption that changing up the form of my carbohydrates would be a major factor in steering clear of gluten. Boy, was I wrong. Even veggie burgers can contain gluten. And oats!

I have lost a few pounds this week. I’m not sure if it’s the switch, if it’s due to working out more, or a little of both. I’ve been working on eating a well-balanced diet, one full of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Or is that whole gluten-free? I can tell you that after eating healthy all week, we decided to splurge on Chinese last night. I still prepared brown rice, and I cooked up shrimp to put over the rice, for myself. My husband and boys ended up getting their own thing from the restaurant, and I did try a little of what they’d ordered (sesame chicken and beef noodles). I also ordered won ton soup, and had some of that, too. Immediately after, my stomach was a wreck. I was in some serious pain. Was it the gluten talking? I can’t say for sure.

My thoughts, after this experience: do what works best for you, and for your health. If you feel crappy when you eat gluten, don’t do it. Try gluten-free, and see if that makes you feel better. If you have a disease or illness that doesn’t do well with gluten, don’t eat gluten. There are plenty of products out there that are gluten-free, and plenty of ways to get around it, you just need to research. There are plenty of websites (like this Dr. Oz diet plan) which will aid in getting you where you need to be, but you should check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

As for me? I’ll most likely go back to eating the way that works best for me, but a lot of what I choose to eat is gluten-free, anyway. However, I recently made a batch of whole wheat banana bread with chocolate chips, and I did sneak one. Or three. But who’s counting?

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5 responses

  1. Great post! Now you know what Passover is like. It’s not just the breads, cookies and pastas, but also salad dressing, ketchup, etc. :) Seriously though, some of my close friends are GF, so I’ve learned a lot about GF lifestyles. I’ve even tried GF pasta and it was decent. (Could be that my friend is a good cook!) I’m glad to connect you with them if you decide to stick to this diet and want recipes.

    1. Thanks! I discovered after this week that I really don’t eat much with gluten- other than salad dressing, broth if I make soup, etc. I don’t eat bread very often, either. I am a little nervous to drop gluten out of my diet totally. Can I live without dressings, and do they make ones that are gluten? lol.. and I didn’t know about ketchup!

  2. I know there are a lot of people who just swear by a gluten free diet. So far I haven’t had a reason to try. So does that mean potatoes are gluten free?

    1. from what I’ve read, potatoes straight from the ground are gluten-free. It’s all the good stuff you put into the potatoes that will change that. :)

      1. Well, that’s interesting. I guess I thought it included potatoes as well. You can do a lot with potatoes!

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