When the Gluten Free fad kicked into full gear, I sometimes thought that people were just grasping at straws and going gluten free for no legit reason at all. I thought this until a blood test said I had Celiac Disease. That diagnosis changed my life forever, as it explained the mysterious pain, brain fog and headaches I’d often get after eating some foods. For years my body reacted negatively after eating gluten rich Pizza, Fried Foods, bread and pasta, beer, certain sauces, etc. I’d just feel like I’d added 30 pound weights to my feet for several days after. I obviously have been Gluten Intolerant for a long, long time.
Now I am careful to avoid Gluten in my diet. If I am completely 100% gluten free I feel good, am able to think more clearly, don’t have gut issues, and oddly enough am a happier person. I suppose being poisoned by foods your body is intolerant of can cause more ailments than you’d think.
The food that I came to avoid like pizza and fried chicken from fast food joints are now back to being on my list of favorite foods. But, the difference is I make them myself or buy certified gluten free and minimally processed food such as frozen pizza. When I make gluten free foods at home, I use various flours from Bob’s and other companies that include no wheat, barley and other gluten free flours.
Currently Sonoma Flatbreads makes my favorite gluten free frozen Pizza, though Freshetta Gluten Free Pizza is very close in replicating good traditional pizza. I tend to doctor these pizzas up with additional pepperoni, home grown hot peppers, extra mozzarella cheese, mushrooms etc. I can’t seem to leave well enough alone.
Beer has been a passion ever since I discovered hoppy IPAs and rich dense ales, stouts and porters. But good grief I paid for this love of beer with endless heartburn and gut pain. So for the past couple years I’ve given beer up, as most of the so called Gluten Free or Gluten Reduced beers tasted like crap or still gave me a belly ache.
Then a good friend had a dinner party where he’d served Glutenberg IPA in my honor. OH MY GAWD! I was delivered lock stock and barrel into the joy of drinking beer again. The flavor was perfect and the glorious citrusy hops cascaded to all my taste buds and I was blown away and giddy with joy. Here was a Gluten Free Beer that killed all other gluten free or gluten reduced beers. I was and am still smitten.
I recently got a Glutenberg Stout and oh the joy. It does have a bit of cereal after taste, but it’s not at all offensive. Overall the flavor is just amazing and fantastic. Joy! Screw Gluten Intolerance! I have options!
Pasta was a mainstay for years because I’d followed my then girlfriend who became my wife into becoming a vegetarian. It was difficult then to find any satisfying vegetarian food in most American restaurants, and that was especially true when traveling in rural America and in the midwest. Pasta Primavera was a mainstay, pasta with steamed and boring vegetables followed. Breakfast became the three meals a day often to get some protein in our diet. Taco Bell offered bean burritos and Chinese Restaurants offered tofu / bean curd, though some in the small towns of New Mexico, Nevada etc appeared to not even know what bean curd was. Curious, right?
Now that I think back, the bloating and discomfort I felt from eating those pastas, bean burritos, and Chinese and other Asian foods was because my body hated them. All had massive amounts of gluten. The Chinese food had gluten in their Soy sauce – which probably should be called Wheat Sauce because cheaper brands often include ZERO Soy.
Now I know to ask wait staff to check with the chef as to whether the food is Gluten Free, or if it’s possible to leave out an ingredient that contains gluten. Some restaurants are better than others.
I’ve almost completely done away with fried foods such as French fries, chicken wings (that I dearly love), because even if they aren’t coated in wheat, they are often fried with other foods that do have wheat flour breading. I also think that some frier oil that has been used for too long or used chemicals to extend it tear up my guts. Best to avoid unless the chef will be open and truthful about the gluten containing ingredients and frier grease additives.
Gluten Free Recipes and Ideas to come… including gluten free cakes, cookies, pizza, sauces, salsas, grilled and smoked foods, Chinese Stir fry, etc.