About two years ago I was having a lot of health issues, I was exhausted to the point that I was peeing on sticks to see if I was pregnant and generally felt like crap. I went to see a nurse practitioner who specializes in food allergies and takes a naturopathic approach to medicine. She ran some blood tests and within a few days told me that I had serious vitamin deficiencies. (Ding, ding, ding– red flag.)
She gave me supplements, did some additional testing and told me I should feel better in a few weeks. I was extremely skeptical but after 10 days of supplements I did start to feel better. By the time I went back to see her I felt better than I had in months.
“You cured me!” I told her.
She was glad I felt better but said my latest blood work had shown her what she suspected, I was gluten sensitive which was most likely the cause of my vitamin deficiencies.
I was not impressed. She rattled off a list of typical gluten sensitive symptoms but nothing sounded familiar.
“I just don’t think I have that?” I said.”There’s one way to find out. Cut it out of your diet for a month and see how you feel. Then add it back in.”
So I did.
It was hard.
Gluten= protein found in wheat, rye & barley that binds bread & gives it it’s texture, i.e, what makes it delicious.
I had no idea what I was doing or what I could eat but realized quickly that there was gluten in EVERYTHING. After about a month of starving I was at the beach on vacation and made a calculated decision to commit glutenicide over a cup of gumbo. The flour in the roux contained gluten but I didn’t care. I ate it with abandon.
Within the hour I broke out in a rash on my arms, legs and back. Message received.
The longer I’ve been off gluten, the more strongly I react to it when I commit glutenicide or accidentally “get glutened.” The only way to be tested for celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, involves eating gluten for a week and having a biopsy of your stomach– that seems extreme since I know if I eat it I will get sick. I’m not going to pay someone a couple of grand to tell me what I already know. No gluten for me.
I found out about Udi’s within the first 6 months of being gluten free and it made my life so much easier. I quit trying to measure weird ingredients and make bread or a pizza crust that was barely edible. I stocked my freezer and pantry with Udi’s and made a few simple changes to the way I cook, I learned how to tweak recipes to make them gluten free.
TIPS FOR COOKING GLUTEN FREE:
- Use cornstarch as a thickener for soups and sauces instead of flour.
- Make your own gluten-free bread crumbs for dishes using Udi’s bread or use cornflakes.
- Buy a bag of gluten-free flour to substitute cup for cup when breading, frying or pan frying. (Proportions will not be the same for baking.)
- Keep gluten free tamari (soy sauce) in your pantry for making your own marinades and stir- fries.
- Check the label on chicken/beef stock that you buy. There is often gluten in these products that you may not know about.
- Learn how to make a gluten free *béchamel sauce (if you live in the South think Cream of Chicken Soup.) This sauce can be used as a base for casseroles, pot pies, creamy soups and macaroni and cheese.
Check out Udi’s website for more information on going gluten free and take their Udi’s 14-Day Gluten Free Challenge!
Got any questions about being gluten free? Let me answer them for you!
I was not paid for this post but did receive a box of Udi’s product samples which I inhaled. Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites? Almost as good as cash dollahz.
* Béchamel Sauce or White Sauce:
2 Tbs of butter melted on the stovetop
2 TBS of Gluten free flour, add to butter and whisk
Slowly add 2 cups of liquid: milk, half/half, cream, chicken stock or a combination of these.
Salt and pepper to taste
Add grated cheese for a cheese sauce for gluten free pasta.