Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gluten Free and NOT Nuts

Many years ago an acquaintance and I were eating lunch and she didn't touch the bread or order any carbs. "I am not eating wheat." she said. My brain could not conceive. She went on to describe what I imagined would be my worst nutritional nightmare. No wheat, bread, crackers, cookies, cake....why live?
She explained she couldn't process the gluten and it made her tired, crampy and dizzy. I could not imagine, I put it out of my mind and labeled her borderline nuts.

Just two years ago I was napping every afternoon, sleeping in late if I could and was still always tired, cranky and hot tempered with my family. As a 30 something year old woman I realized I couldn't blame it on the kids not sleeping through the night anymore, because they were. I had trouble with going to the bathroom (number 2) and congestion, leaving me feeling not sexy and I had had enough. I went to 4 doctors in a few months and all tried to prescribe me allergy medicine that would have killed a horse. So I went to an iridologist/herbologist, recommended by an enthusiastic friend, and she took a photo of my eyeball, analyzed it in a computer program, all the groves and colors... and pronounced I had a gluten intolerance. My heart sank.

1 out of 4 women ( especially Blood Type O's ) over the age of 30 develop this she said, and don't know it. It's the cause of fatigue, weight gain that is almost impossible to lose, fogginess ( read Mommy Brain!) and irritability. It can lead to depression and even schizophrenia...What??? who said that? Not Me! Yes you did!
She said "Your energy is like glue..you are grinding through the day." She was like a psychic for my health. Yes.
I was shocked. But at that point, ready to try anything to feel better.

She recommended a herbal cleanse, gave me structure on the diet, and I was off to the health food store. By this time however I was fortunate enough, even if it was unfortunate for them, to know a family with Celiac's disease. My closest Mommy friend's husband and children could not eat wheat or it would literally eventually kill them. Days of play dates and hours of curiously listening to my friends trials and tribulations with fast food restaurants, certain food brands and stores, had me know enough about avoiding wheat that I could take this on with some clarity. Without her help when I was struggling, my life would not have altered. Shout out to Jennifer!
6 weeks later I was a new person. No longer napping at all. Not even interested in a nap. I was 14 pounds lighter with a waist line that actually curved like a 19 year old! I bought a bikini! I was happier, more cheerful, sexier and clear.
The diet became a lifestyle change and I share some tips for any who find themselves at this crossroad.

My basic advice is this...buy Ezekiels's ( sprouted grains do not have the gluten)or UDI's Bread from Mother's or online, several loafs at a time and freeze some, and always have ONLY gluten free bread on hand.
The UDI's is the best bread out there and very different from the heavy Trader Joe's rice bread. You can't even tell its gluten free.
This bread alone will make gluten free bearable.

Edward and Sons BROWN RICE SNAPS are the best crackers, crispy and tasty.
Yellow and Green package in Mothers and Sprouts.


I advise rice pasta only, not the green box of quinoa pasta at sprouts. That brand of quinoa pasta has alot of corn in it too which I avoid unless organic, as non organic corn in the USA is 80% from Mansanto seeds which is Genetically Modified with pesticides inserted into the seeds.


The Mothers GF Blueberry Muffins are expensive but delicious for a treat.
The Arrowhead gluten free brownie mix is much softer than the Trader Joe's brand
PAMELA"s Amazing Gluten free Bread mix is great if you have a bread machine and also great for PIZZA Dough.
There are tons of cookies, snacks -ENJOY! has nut free, dairy free, soy and corn free etc...carried by Amazon.com and by Sprouts/Mother's/Whole foods.
I use garbazo bean flour or arrowroot flour to thicken stews and to bread chicken.
there are great gluten free pancake mixes.


Buy the Tamari gluten free or wheat free soy sauce or BRAGGS enzymes, which tastes just like soy sauce.
Buy BBQ sauce, Mustard and Ketchup that is gluten free. most of these are organic and high fructose corn syrup free which is healthier anyway.


MUST be " Certified Gluten Free" not even organic is gluten free. Buy it in bulk on Amazon.com in packets or plain for cooking at Mother's- Bob's Red Mill.
Keep in mind Rye and Barley also have gluten so watch out for soups.
Make your own chicken noodle or chicken rice soup when anyone is sick, less preservatives anyway.

I alternate between Trader Joe's for hormone free meats and frozen fish (cheaper) and Mother's/Sprouts for the gluten free foods (more variety), which has a label saying GLUTEN FREE under all foods, which is great!
I buy bulk on Amazon and save money for some snack items too.

The main thing is to take it one day at a time, get the wheat stuff out of view or out of the house entirely
( when I did gluten free for the family my husband lost 10 lbs too) and Do NOT shop in the regular Ralph's and Albertson's because its seems like everything in there has gluten or preservatives or high fructose corn syrup...no wonder why mass market America is the most obese group of people on the planet???!!! It's too tempting if you shop there. The awesome thing was that this journey has had me be MORE present to what my family eats, more powerful in choosing wisely and more interested in food and my health. I plunged head first into the green movement by being Green all around, inside and out.

EMPOWER Yourself and make a list of the things you like you can eat like:

organic corn
organic soy
Veggies Galore!

Chinese dishes without meat that is breaded- just ask, they can make great garlic sauces or sweet and sour without breading the meat.
Mexican dishes with corn tortillas rather than flour
Japanese dishes except the tempura
American food meat, veges and rice/potato/organic corn or beans there are hundreds of varieties!

gluten free corn dogs
potato crusted fish sticks at sprouts (Praggers)

icecream ( check the ingredients) in a cup rather than a cone
gluten free cakes, cookies and muffin are cheaper when you make them

gluten free pizza- cheaper to make yourself

Oh and make sure you and the kids eat protein every two hours, meat, cheese sticks, nuts, yogurt or beans because they are not getting heavily processed breads that sits in their stomach for 4 hours. Its healthier and more the way we are wired anyhow.

Most people want to know, is it Ok to have it once in a while? It depends on what you are committed to and what is going on with your body. If you have Celiac's NO amount is ok. If you have a wheat allergy, NO amount is ok. If you have a wheat intolerance, once in a while isn't going to traumatically affect you health, however it will reverse everything you have so diligently been doing for those weeks or months. Gluten and wheat stay in your system for 6 months. If you are committed to cleansing your body of the gluten and one day being able to have it now and then, then I recommend doing a no-kidding, no- gluten-in-the-house-or my- mouth-ever plan for 6 months and then make the choice about how rigorous you are going to be about it afterwards. Take steps. See how great you feel, look and interact with people. Your nutrition affects your body, health, sex life, life span, sleep, performance in school or job or as a parent as well, as well as all your relationships.
Stay present to, What's more important all that or that food, for the moment, with wheat in it?
The side benefit besides loosing weight and being happier, is that you become very very conscious of what you eat and your body. Being conscious, being PRESENT is always a fabulous thing, and also affects your whole life.

Here are some other sites that give their take on gluten free too:



1 comment:

  1. Update, ZPizza has great Gluten free pizza and Ruby's Diner now has Gluten free buns for burgers!