Any changes in diet can be overwhelming, but going Gluten Free is especially challenging. If you are thinking that going Gluten Free is impossible, don’t lose heart. Focus on what you can have instead of what you are giving up. After a short adjustment period it will be easier than you imagined. Some of your favorite meals are already gluten free. With minor adjustments you can enjoy a healthy delicious Gluten Free life.
What Do I Eat?
Fresh, Whole, Unprocessed Foods– All fresh veggies, fruits, and unprocessed meats get a green light for a gluten free diet. Processed or flavored meats can be hiding gluten because wheat is used as a filler in sausage, lunch meats, and bacon. Be wary of seasoning, sauces, and salad dressings as wheat is often the thickening agent in those ingredients. Annie’s, Litehouse & Brianna’s make a variety of flavors to choose from for your favorite salad. (Note- Be sure to look at the labels as not all of the dressings made by these companies are GF)
Certified Gluten Free Goods– Familiarize yourself with the Gluten Free labels and symbols. Look for foods that are certified gluten free to take the guess work out of shopping. This will help to avoid the frustration of examining each and every label and attempting to decode suspect ingredients. Overtime you will learn which brands are Gluten Free friendly and which to avoid, but sticking with those labeled as such can save time.
Mexican– Many Mexican dishes are gluten free. Watch for wheat flour in the taco seasoning and spices. Use corn tortillas or Gluten Free soft shells. Mission brand has gluten free corn and rice flour tortillas. Make GF red rice or spicy black beans as a tasty side dish. Rosartia beans are GF. Chipolte ‘bowls’ with chicken or Barbacoa beef are GF. Costco has single serving guacamole cups, organic salsa, and premade tamales that are GF.
Asian– Asian foods that focus on fresh veggies and meat like stir fry are a great option. Rice wraps make excellent Spring Rolls. Use cornstarch instead of flour as a sauce thickener and switch generic soy sauce with the gluten free Tamari. Swap out regular noodles for rice noodles. Mia Thai downtown can accommodate your GF needs if you let your waiter know.
Italian– Any Italian meal can be made gluten free by using gluten free noodles. My personal favorite is Tinkyada brand rice noodles. These come in all shapes and sizes and can even be found at Walmart. Corn and Quinoa based noodles tend to have a grainy texture.
American Foods– Old fashion burger and fries are a family favorite. Gluten Free burger buns can be purchased or you can forego the bun all together for a lettuce wrap. While fries do not contain gluten they are generally cooked in the same oil as battered and breaded fried foods that contaminate them. Boise Fry Co has several locations in the valley and their staff has training on GF food prep when requested. They boast a locally made GF bun, a fresh quinoa salad, and all GF fries.
Soups & Stews– Most soups and stews are inherently Gluten Free, but the spices and soup stock can contain wheat. Better Than Bullion makes chicken, beef, and vegetable broth concentration that is gluten free and can be found reasonably priced at Costco.
Bread and Muffins– Franz has a GF white bread that is readily available at most grocery stores. If you like whole grain breads, Essential Baking Company makes a Super Seeded Multi-Grain loaf. Udi’s is easy to find but in my opinion very dry. Udi’s is Gluten Free, but not Dairy Free. Flax4Life makes surprisingly good muffins and brownie bites that are high in omegas to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Lastly, if you are not getting relief don’t give up. Look for gluten containing ingredients lurking in your diet. Then consider secondary food sensitives. About half of all gluten sensitive people also have difficulty with digesting dairy. Going diary free for at least a few weeks or months can be the next step to helping the gut heal.
Some of my Favorite Resources
Gluten Free Living www.glutenfreeliving.com
Against All Grain www.againstallgrain.com
Gluten Free Goddess www.glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com