Going Gluten Free (Confessions of an Italian)

It's a controversial subject for many, including myself! Gluten-Free diets and products are popping up everywhere! If you would have asked me six moths ago if I would have ever gone gluten free I would have laughed at you...but here we are and I have to confess, it has been almost two months without gluten...bread, holiday cookies, flour....everything. Let me preface all of this with saying, if you do not have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac, not eating bread and flour will NOT make you feel that much better (unless it helps you cut out sugar or snack food) aka. Gluten is not the devil to everyone, just some.

I don't claim to be an expert on this subject, but I do feel like I have learned a lot in a short amount of time. This is in part out of necessity to eat and largely because I am a FOODIE; I was devastated when I found out the very thing I loved was the cause of SO many problems I had been having. Let me pause to say, if you are wondering if you have a gluten allergy or not HERE is a website you can look at to check your symptoms. My symptoms went away after one week of eating gluten-free. So here is what I have learned so far:

New Products I LOVE:

Not pictured here, but the ONLY bread that I have found to not taste like cardboard is made by Great Harvest Bread Company. They make a bread called Gone With Gluten and they make it twice a month. You have to call ahead and put in your order because it goes fast...it is really tasty!

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The Red Mill Company is awesome and have a variety of G-F products that I love. Not all oats are created equal since they are processed with a lot of wheat products, that is why I love this product!

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A lot of name brand cereal is coming out with G-F options, they taste the same and you don't have to worry about what is in them. Very nice for those of us starting out learning how to cook G-F! Best part, they are the same price as the regular cereals.

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Trader Joe's is a great place to get G-F food, they have simple ingredients in most of their food and it is easy to find the allergy info. This corn pasta a fantastic and good enough for everyone! Whether all your friends or just some of your friends can't have wheat, no one will complain about this pasta! If you are not near a Trader Joe's you can get any corn pasta at Kroger or your local grocery.

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Grits or Polenta are great "Gluten" place holders in a lot of dishes. If you are ever near the water, you have to try shrimp and grits, it changed my life haha!

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Still not 100% on a lot of recipes using Quinoa, but it is healthy and a great way to go G-F!

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A lot of nut crackers and such are out there and great for taking to parties with meat, cheese, and dips for everyone to enjoy! Not shown here, but my favorite G-F crackers are called Nut-Thins (great name right haha)

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Kroger's Private Selection has these delicious chips in a few different flavors, inexpensive and a great alternative for a mediterranean spread to replace pita chips!

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These cookies from Trader Joe's are delicious and another great food to have at a party that might have people who have food allergies! No one can tell the difference.

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Although this would be expensive to use to bake, it is great when you just need a little bit of it for thickening or, my favorite, on chicken for breading and grilling! Just dip your thawed raw chicken into a little of this flour and put into a hot skillet and sprinkle with garlic salt, my husband ate seconds :) Another great breading alternative is crushing up plain corn Chex and using it to replace bread crumbs!

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If you are not sure if something has wheat there is an easy way to check. These potato chips at first glance seemed fine. Upon looking at the ingredients (none of which are wheat, most products will sat "CONTAINS: (insert allergy here)" So they might also say contains: milk or something that a lot of people are allergic to.

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Here was a miserable mistake I made recently- Soy Sauce. I was wondering why I was feeling so terrible after sushi....yep, most soy sauce has wheat in it. La Choy does not, but I am not a fan personally, so if anyone knows a better one please leave a comment and let me know what it is! My advice, stay away from Chinese food, everything is cooked with soy sauce.... sad.

EATING OUT:

I have surprisingly found, a lot of places of separate menus if you just ask them that are G-F. Marcella's and other Cameron Mitchell Restaurants have G-F menus that are pretty extensive! This was a big relief! My favorite pizza so far is Z Pizza, although I have not had many....

GREAT SITES!

YouTube channel for cooking Gluten Free!

Here is there website/blog that is really nice as well!

I hope this is helpful to some of you out there who are new to GF living or know someone in your life that is! If you have any other links, advice, or comments, feel free to leave some love below!!!!!