Tuesday, April 19

Cooking Gluten Free

This is our first week on our four week challenge to eat gluten free.  We are embarking on this to try and help my son with his recent diagnosis as well as trying to resolve some of the health problems that my husband and I have dealt with or are currently dealing with (PCOS, heartburn, allergies, asthma, migraines, depression, ADD, etc).  Hopefully this experiment with help, but we'll have to wait to see.  I have read everything from 2 weeks to 6 weeks are needed to see a quantitative change, we're going with four because it seemed manageable to me and not too overwhelming to my husband.

The biggest change so far has been the need to plan more specifically.  While I almost always menu plan dinners for at least a week at a time, I now have to plan breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for every day of the week.  Buying convenience food that is gluten free (though possible) is expensive and it's difficult to find places that are safe to eat out.  I also felt it would be easier to just focus on cooking while I'm still learning more about what is ok for us on the diet.  I have made a general rule to not buy things with extensive lists of ingredients as I'm still not sure about all the hidden gluten-containing things I need to watch for.  By buying things with readable ingredient lists, I have a better chance of getting things that are a) healthier and b) don't contain gluten.

For the most part we have avoided a lot of convenience type foods for ourselves, though I have splurged a bit on things that are quick or good snacks for my son...things like gluten free graham crackers (which are surprisingly yummy), crackers, Lara bars (until I can make some from scratch), cereal bars, and animal cookies.  I also ordered a box of gluten free food from Angel Food Ministries which is an EXCELLENT way to buy some more convenient gluten free food and not go completely broke.  I also try to spread out my shopping, only purchasing the absolute necessities at more expensive stores like Whole Foods and buying what I can at Aldi's (where I buy gf lunch meat, canned veggies and fruit, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc.).

So that is where we are right now.  I'll update more as we progress :)


Anjanette said...

One of the best things about going gluten and sugar free for us is that we're eating less processed food. We already consumed very little that was processed, but me being too cheap to pay even *more* than I was for just high-quality/organic in order to get gluten free has meant eating more whole foods. Definitely a win!

Bri said...

Yeah, we did buy some convenient items for Carter. But mostly we are making things from scratch at home. Whole foods have been a big part of that and helped us save money. Though restocking with things like gluten free flours is not cheap! Hoping to get a grain mill in a few months so I can make my own.

I have actually lost 3 lbs so far and I'm sure it's because we're just eating better and absolutely no fast food or prepackaged things :)