* Whrrl of the Week:
“What the heck is gluten anyways?” This is the question I’m most often asked after uttering the words “I’m gluten-free”, followed by a series of other common acquisitions such as “It’s just bread right?” or “You just avoid carbs?” Unfortunately, gluten (a common protein derived from wheat) is found in so much more, including most “boxed” foods, all baked goods, soups, salad dressings and sauces, band-aids, stamps, Play Dough and even beauty products. If I were to take a normal Thanksgiving dinner and eliminate all the items containing gluten, all that would be left is plain mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and turkey (assuming each never came into contact with other gluten-containing goods, contaminated butter or gravy, and wasn’t fried). In short, a world without gluten is…. well…. a pretty hungry one.
Most people who meet me for the first time say, “I wish I had to eat gluten-free”, whilst assuming it’s the secret to all ensuing weight loss. Although for most people suffering from celiac disease (like my eldest daughter and I), eliminating gluten from the diet can actually help you gain weight since your body begins processing nutrients again. And although it seems like a rather easy diet trick or trend from a distance (admit it, gluten-free is so “in” right now), my taste-buds hate everyone eating greasy cheese pizza or a crumbly Entenmann’s doughnut within a fifty mile distance.
However, there are some gluten-free brands that make living a GF lifestyle so much easier. Which are my favorites? Check these out…
* Glutino Berry Sensible Beginnings Cereal: My favorite food growing up was a bowl of Special K strawberry cereal with 1/2 cup of walnuts, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and soymilk. There was something about this combination that was so perfect I could eat it every night for dinner and never get bored. Until this new Glutino cereal was introduced, my Special K dreams were lost in the dust (and I often felt like weeping in the cereal aisle), but now I can not only get my strange cereal concoction fix… but it actually tastes better than ever before. Best of all, even non-celiacs will enjoy skipping that heavy, bloated feeling after eating grain (your body will digest this stuff in a flash!)
* Ian’s All Natural, Organic Food For Kids: I can’t pick just one food item from Ian’s that I love, because my kids literally love it all. Picture this: instead of driving through fast-food for greasy, grey-looking chicken nuggets, we take two seconds to heat up organic, gluten-free nuggets at home. When my kids wine for oil-laden pizza delivery, I whip up a personalized gluten and dairy free “french bread pizza” (with only 250 calories per serving). And when I am secretly battling an “egg and cheese biscuit” craving (which happens quite often), I grab a low calorie Egg & Maple Cheddar Wafflewich instead. Yes, gluten-free food certainly costs more (to put it lightly), but the trade off is well worth the price. My family’s taste buds quickly adapted to the organic, gluten-free, healthy fare, and believe it or not….so did mine!
Want more gluten-free advice? Stay tuned for the special GF Episode of Makeover Momma TV (airing on Tuesday, January 18’th at 7 PM/EST & 4 PM/PST). Post your questions or comments below, and I’ll answer all of your digestive, cooking and health related quandaries during the show.
* Speak Up: Have you ever tried gluten-free food before? What is your favorite item so far?