I celebrated the end of week 3 of gluten free living with lasagna, garlic bread, & bruchsetta...all stuffed full of gluten. It was a party...what was I suppose to do? Overall I think I did excellent job over the three week period. I had a few beers with my brother over Labor Day and a Corona on Saturday night. I guess beer is my weakness?! Otherwise I was gluten free (except for that piece of italian bread with butter with my pot roast on Saturday night...and 2 bites of carrot cake. I guess 2 weeks and 6 days is close enough!)
I've discovered the real key to sticking with a gluten free diet is planning ahead. All the easy quick foods tend to be loaded with the enemy. It's also forced me into really preparing dinner every night. Typically two nights a week Jim and I grab something from the freezer, which is stacked with Trader Joe's stuff, add a steamed vegetable, a small salad, and maybe couscous or rice. This "laziness" is mainly a result of our work schedule. Who feels like cooking dinner at 8:30 at night? Now, almost all of our favorite frozen pre-made meals are off limits...forcing me to plan ahead.
It also forced me to get creative and try some new things, especially with my vegetables. I good up some delicious fried eggplant, roasted kale, piles of roasted veggies, and lots of different salads. Recipes and a few photos to follow...
If you're looking to start a gluten free diet, start basic: meat (no marinades or sauces), vegetables or fruits, and dairy. Rice, corn, potatoes, and quinoa are also on the O.K. list, but again I have to be careful with any additives or sauces. I'm still trying to figure out which preservatives/additives are in and which need to be left alone. I've been a label reader for a lot of years now and try to stick with the rule of thumb...less is more. The smaller the ingredient list, the better I feel about consuming the product. I also try very hard to avoid products with ingredients that I can't pronounce or just sound gross. And no high fructose corn syrup. Now, I just need to decipher which ones contain gluten.
Because it's likely that I'm gluten sensitive, opposed to allergic (celiac disease) a little is Ok anyways. Gluten sensitivity causes inflammation in your gut as it builds up. The main idea is to flush the gluten out of your system (i.e. 3 weeks gluten free) then only consume in small amounts. I will say I feel better...not 100% cured of my angry gut, but definitely better (no one's looking for details I'm sure) so I'm planning to stick with it. It will just be easier knowing if I'm going to a party, out to dinner, or eating at a friend's house that I don't have to be a complete weirdo and pass on everything but the salad. I'm weird enough with out dietary restraints!