"How's the new diet going?"
"ummm..." uneasy laughter, "my work brought in lunch today so I haven't started my gluten free diet yet."
"Angi, when that happens you have to tell people that you can't eat gluten so that they'll pick up something you can eat."
"But I wanted pizza!"
Complete denial! She hasn't even posted her diagnoses on her blog - for any of you that know her, that's really saying something! So Angi, this post is for you.
Gluten Free 101:
First of all, gluten is poison to your body. POISON! The real deal - skull and crossbones included! Remember that health movie when they show someone sneeze and they magnify it and show all the droplets in fluorescent colors so you can see where it lands? Gross, I know, but that is how you have to think of gluten. It's so easy to get gluten through cross contamination, so wash your hands constantly. It can get a little crazy when you're trying to feed your baby and feed yourself, but even if you have to wash your hands 50 times a day it will be worth it if it keeps you healthy. (Keep lotion on hand - all that washing can be brutal, especially in the winter!)
READ YOUR LABELS! Even if it's a product you've bought before, double check that the manufacturer hasn't changed any of the ingredients.
After saying all of that, being on a gluten free diet really isn't that bad or that hard. Sure you'll have bad days, but if you live in a state of preparedness those days will be few and far between. To help you get started here are some of my favorite things to eat that are naturally gluten free and can easily be found at your regular grocery store. I'm only doing this because I love you and don't want to keep seeing you get sick!
Remember the chili you ate for dinner last night with french bread? Next time try eating it with some crunchy fritos. I love those with chili! and they're gluten free!
Quesadillas - I started eating these on my mission and still eat them almost every day for lunch. Most corn tortillas are gluten free (always check labels on everything) and you can use different cheeses for variation. My favorites are mozzarella, colby jack and pepperjack.
Refried and black beans - eat with quesadillas
Corn Chips and salsa. I love the mango salsa from Costco.
Salsa mixed with cottage cheese. Eat with corn chips. This is easy to pack for lunch and filling too.
Apples and peanut butter
Fruity Pebbles (check Label)
Dora Cereal Cinnamon Stars (check Label)
Trix (check Label)
Popcorn, Cracker Jacks
Most Ice Cream
snickers, reeses peanut butter cups, m&m's
Yogurt (check Label)
Rice Crackers and hummus (check Label)
Cozy Shack Rice Pudding (I love this stuff!)
Trail Mix -store bought or make your own (check Label)
Trio Bars, Lara Bars (granola bar type snack)
And of course all of your fresh fruits and veggies! Eggs, chicken, pork, beef etc... Watch out for meats that are marinated.
This is a pretty good list to get you started. Please don't put it off any longer - your body will thank you! When you're ready for Gluten free 201: a crash course in gluten free baking, let me know. I've got all sorts of recipes that you're going to love!!!