Two of my clients eat gluten free all the time. With Celiac, they don't have much of a choice. I told them I had a goal of going gluten free for a week to put myself in their shoes... and I found some good news along the way. It was DOABLE. Yep, even for a bread-loving human like me. It came with sacrifices, it came with rethinking things through, creative substitutions (spaghetti squash for spaghetti noodles, etc.), extra planning along the way... but I had so much help and support to make it possible. And I have to say, by the end of the week, I felt awesome. I never experienced a bloated stomach once, I felt like I ate healthier in general, and I conquered my fear. My two clients helped me so much, and taught me a few extremely helpful things. Some of them are below:
Let's start with the good stuff, shall we? I had a bunch of people through Instagram tell me about a yummy bakery downtown SLC with the best gluten free (and vegan!) baked goods. I still am dying to try it, but I thought I'd mention it here: City Cakes & Cafe. Planning a trip there soon.
Tip #1: Muddy Buddies are gluten free. YAYYYYY haha. In all seriousness though, I looked forward to the night I could make these because I had already given up cinnamon french toast, and my favorite biscuits at Ruth's Diner, among other things that week. Finding baked goods and treats for me was more difficult than anything else, and so it made me look forward to the things I knew I could eat. And muddy buddies are gluten free. *Just use the Guittard brand of chocolate chips!
There is another place downtown SLC that I've heard has the best pumpkin chocolate chip bread called @goodfoodglutenfreebakery. Can't wait to try it!
Halo Top Ice Cream is gluten free!
While we're on the topic of treats, I did try this GF Blueberry Cobbler posted by my friend Carly @thegardenspot, and it was delicious!
B L A C K B E R R Y C O B B L E R
1 stick of butter, melted
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup GF All-Purpose Flour (*I honestly loved the Namaste Organic Perfect Flour Blend from Costco. The great thing about this is that Costco and Amazon carry it, it subs cup for cup the same as regular flour, has a good texture, and don't forget to store it in the fridge so it doesn't go rancid!)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed and patted dry
1. Mix 1 cup of the sugar (saving the other 1/4 cup) with flour in a medium-sized bowl. Add milk and melted butter and whisk well. Add in baking powder and salt. Mix.
2. Butter a glass pie dish/8x8 baking dish and pour batter in. Sprinkle with blackberries + the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar over top.
3. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until bubbly and golden. Serve with ice cream or cream (or both!)
So simple, but so delicious, and my entire family approved.
Although eating gluten free meant sometimes having to leave out my favorite treats, I found so many recipes out there that looked absolutely delicious. One of my favorite cookbooks I have in my kitchen is "Celebrations" by Danielle Walker. It's a gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo cookbook I love. ON SALE HERE.
Here were some of my top favorite gluten free snacks I had throughout the week, other than just real, whole foods (which always makes up the majority of my diet). These were good fillers for when I was on the run and needed something quick.
Kind Bars + Rxbars
Bamboo Lane Rice Rollers
FoodShouldTasteGood Tortilla/Sweet Potato Chips
Babybel cheese (Have you tried the gouda flavor!? YUM.)
Gluten free crackers with laughing cow cheese spread on top
Salted sunflower seeds/raw sunflower seeds
As mentioned above, I felt like as soon as I announced I was going gluten free for a week, kind and supportive messages flowed into my inbox... recipes to try, GF breads that were better than others, apps that helped, blog recommendations... holy cow, I was overwhelmed with good ideas. THANK YOU! Here were some other tips/tricks I found helpful:
1. If you want a delicious gluten free bread, click here. Just trust me on this one. The Montana Gluten Free Oat Bread is a MUST. The picture I attached to this blog post is of this delicious bread. I am actually ordering more of this just because I liked it so much! And it's cheap off of their website. Don't go through Amazon to get it. Don't be afraid of the stickier dough... it is a different consistency, and didn't end up looking as pretty as my normal wheat bread, but it worked and tasted like a charm!
2. I also heard from multiple sources to look for the B-Free brand at Smiths (on it's own table near the bakery)... I heard they also make an awesome tortilla. Haven't tried it, but I'll take your word for it.
3. Whenever you're at a restaurant, which happened to me a couple times the week I did this, I just asked my server about their gluten free options, and they were more than accommodating. If you aren't quite sure, JUST ASK. I was surprised at all the items off the menu I could either have them alter to make GF, or how many other options they had.
4. For pancakes, choose Pamela's mix, no questions asked. Find it here. SOOO good!
5. Other people to follow: @againstallgrain (I mentioned Danielle Walker and her cookbook above), and my dear friend Kelsey @simplelife_bykels... even with Celiac, she has found a way to make BREAD using natural yeast... and she does it amazingly well, and it tastes divine! Go to her website/feed to learn more. Also, @punchofyum, @canyonglutenfree (for their bread!), and @myglutenfreekitchen were recommended to me!
6. Brianna's has 15 Gluten-free kinds of salad dressing out there! Including Caesar! Litehouse has some really yummy ones too.
7. Pretend I didn't tell you, but Cheetos are gluten-free. ;)
8. Be cautious with sauces... certain soy sauces (replace with Coconut Aminos!), BBQ sauce (I recommend using the sauces from True Made Foods), etc. Just be sure to read your labels!
9. Trader Joe's has TONS of gluten-free items, and Harmons as well as other grocery stores mark all of their gluten-free items with a color coded tag so you can easily spot them as you walk through the aisles.
10. I also heard from multiple sources to look up the blog, "Gluten Free on a Shoe String." Good recipes there. There's also an app by Super Healthy Kids called "Prepare" - you can input gluten free meals and it will give you lots of recipes there as well. I had that suggestion multiple times as well.
I know this is only a start to all the amazing tips you all had for me, but these were some really helpful things I learned and thought I'd share. I will be adding ideas to this post as I find them throughout my own health and wellness journey.
**Just for everyone's information, there's only a very small percentage of people out there who actually HAVE to eat gluten-free... either they have Celiac, an allergy, or gluten intolerance. The others that choose to eat gluten free choose to do it to either see if gluten is something that bothers/negatively affects them, or because they're hoping to clean up their diet a little bit by adding in more whole, real foods. However, with that last point being said, just because something is labeled "Certified Gluten Free," doesn't mean it's "healthy." I was SHOCKED by the amount of very unhealthy gluten free items that are on the shelves of the grocery store. Be cautious with this. You still need to read labels like added sugar and ingredients lists. Stick to whole, real foods, and you can't go wrong. The one-ingredient food item at the store is always a better option than the one with 40, even though it's "GF, non-gmo, all-natural, etc. etc. etc." Food claims can be deceiving. Stick with whole, real foods! That's the good stuff!
Good luck, my gluten-free friends! I hope you found a few helpful tips in this post and let me know other tips worth adding. Love you all!