I first found out about “going gluten free” from my best friend, who’s husband and daughter has Celiac disease. Celiac disease is very serious. Eating things that contain gluten, irritates the lining of the small intestine making it difficult to absorb certain nutrients in food, which takes a toll on your body and health.
She is such a good wife. She changed her whole way of cooking, baking and food shopping in order to help her family enjoy meals and desserts. I learned how difficult it was to go food shopping because you have to read ALL the labels on EVERYTHING and avoid anything with “gluten” or “wheat”. At the time, I wasn’t interested in going gluten free because I was pregnant. I planned on eating what I needed to eat to keep me and my baby healthy. I had an awesome pregnancy and labor. I ate healthy, drank a lot of water and took my prenatal vitamins. I felt great! But shortly after having my daughter, my health and body changed. Things I ate weren’t sitting well with me. I had digestive problems. I felt the food I ate sitting in my stomach. I needed to do something to fix this. I increased my fiber, ate more fruits and vegetables. Then, I tried eliminating coffee and dairy. I saw a bit of improvement but the digestive issues were still there. Then I said to myself “Man! What else can it be”?
“Ah ha! Gluten free! Everyone is doing it!” So I tested it out. For 3 weeks, I ate nothing with gluten or wheat. I read the labels when I went food shopping. It was definitely eye opening. Wheat and gluten is in everything! Reading the labels also help me realize how many weird ingredients and additives are in many of the foods we eat. I tried to eat fresh, clean foods with no additives and preservatives. I also found myself baking more. My weakness is bread. I bought Red Mills Cinnamon Raison Bread Mix. It came out ok. Not sure if it was because of the recipe itself or because I was still a newbie at gluten free baking. One very important tip for gluten free baking is: Not over mixing your batter. Perhaps I did that and my bread came out dry.
I was very careful with what I ate for those 3 weeks. Each day that passed, I felt better and better. Food digested SO much better. At first, the diet change was difficult and frustrating. It was matter of getting adjusted to the”lifestyle” change of what you eat but it is worth the health. I was sold! I looked into baking my own stuff from scratch because the all purpose GF flour was a bit pricey and just enough for maybe 2 recipes. So, I collected a whole bunch of flours: white rice, brown rice, tapioca, sorghum, and my favorite coconut flour. I also bought xanthan gum. Try saying that 10 times in a row! Xanthan gum is the “glue” to effective gluten baking. It’s a must have. It’s a bit pricey ($9-$10 Red Mill brand) but it’ll last you forever…well not forever but a very long time.
Try going gluten free. You’ll be surprised to see that you have more energy, aches and pain go away, and even perhaps lose some weight. I’ve been on a gluten free diet for almost 2 years and it’s going great. I do plan on getting officially tested to see what the allergen is: gluten or wheat or both. But for now, I would like to represent myself as a”Self Diagnosed Gluten Intolerant”.
This is my first posts for the Gluten Free section of my blog. I plan to share many great recipes I’ve tried, tested and loved! I’m going to show you how I shop and where I get my gluten free specialty items.
I would love to hear your gluten free journey, comment or questions so feel free to comment.