*Sorry in advance for this massively-wordy-with-only-one-photo post
I told my husband a couple years ago that he should look into cutting his gluten back or even going gluten free. Just reading the sensitivity symptoms, I thought it could maybe help him. Last year, he finally (when he thought of it on his own of course because he’s a MAN!) decided to try it and did really well for awhile. He felt better and could tell a difference when he introduced it back into his diet. He fell off the wagon for a little while, but recently decided to go full throttle again. Now, he’s a type A personality. Jumps in with both feet kinda personality…an all or nothing even if it kills him type. SOOOO very opposite of me. I’m a think it till it’s dead, gotta introduce it slowly, need to have a plan that I’m comfortable with type. Although it can cause a little friction at times, I like to think I’m the ying to his yang and vice versa. As opposites, I feel like we balance each other out.
Up until now, I’ve been fine with his dietary needs/wants. He tells me what he wants from the grocery, I get it. He hasn’t really cared if I made something specific for him or not. Actually I tried a couple times, but he wasn’t really that interested. So I just let him be and let him figure out what he’s eating.
Recently though, he’s been reading Grain Brain and I’m about to bash him in his brain if he doesn’t stop saying, “this guy [insert nutrition advice]“. I’m a big fan of moderation. I think everything in moderation is okay. But, my husband has been feeling really good without having gluten in his diet and he’s convinced me that we should all try it. Now, if you’re old hat at not eating gluten, you’re probably thinking, no problem! But since 80% of my kids’ diet is apparently gluten filled, it’s turning into quite a big undertaking for me. I spent hundreds of dollars this past weekend and went to three different stores, shopping for gluten free items to replace some favorite foods and also buying ingredients to make my own gluten free items. I’m trying to take it one step at a time, but it seems really overwhelming right now. My son is embracing this new way of eating, but the teen is being teenager-y about it. On Monday, I made their lunch sandwiches with gluten free bread without telling them. I was certain the teen wouldn’t be pleased about it so I didn’t even bother asking how their sandwich was, but surprisingly she offered up that she liked the “new” bread better than the regular bread.
Say wha?! Color me shocked people. Seriously, I can’t figure her out sometimes. When I expect an attitude, she doesn’t have one, when I’m not expecting it, it comes out of nowhere like a sucker punch to the gut.
here’s what a typical day for the kids was like (don’t judge…molly homemaker, I am not!):
breakfast: cereal, pop-tarts, or waffles
lunch: sandwich, chips/crackers, granola bar, cheese, fruit
dinner: meat, veggie, starch
Well, let’s see, there are no breakfast items that they were eating that didn’t have gluten and they don’t want eggs & meat for breakfast.
Lunch was 50-75% gluten
Dinner was usually 50% gluten depending on if their meat was breaded or not.
While I know that it’s better and we’ll be eating overall healthier, it’s overwhelming. I feel like all I do is think about gluten-effing-free! I’m sure it will get easier and I’ll use that to comfort me when I’m curled in the fetal position, with a vacant expression, obsessively rocking back and fort while repeating, “does it have gluten?!” “why does everything have gluten!?”
Oh, did I mention that that stupid Grain Brain has my husband nitpicking how much sugar we’re eating too? Seriously?! I can only handle one dietary restriction at a time and the kids need to be crossed over SLOOOOOWLY. I’m already having them make a huge lifestyle change. I’m all for limiting the excess candy and whatnot, but leave my freaking gluten free baked goods, smoothies and FRUIT alone!
I don’t like change. I’ve was a bit (okay more than a bit) of a holy terror this past weekend.
So, I thought I’d share what I’ve found helpful so far…
This blog has been uber helpful…Gluten Free on a Shoestring. I made her easy oatmeal breakfast cookies at the beginning of the week and also one of her flour blends that I later used to replace the wheat flour in this zucchini banana chocolate chip muffin recipe. Both recipes were delicious and kid approved! Plus, the muffins are only 150 cal and 4g of protein. Holla! Now I don’t have to feel guilty about eating 2 of them. I also bought one of her books that has a homemade goldfish cracker recipe! I was never much of a baker, but maybe it’s inside me somewhere because I want to make everything on her site!
Against the Grain is also a great site. I bought her book several months ago when I was going to help the hubs try some new things, but I haven’t gotten around to trying any recipes yet. There are a ton of recipes on her blog that look great though.
A blog that I enjoyed following, Iowa Girl Eats, has recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease so all of her recipes from here on out will be gluten free. Woohoo!
I know that convenience foods are not very healthy, but they are an essential in this house. I’d love to say that it’s going to be only homemade goodies, fruit & veggies all the time, but I’d be lying. I’m trying to limit them, but I’ve been thrilled to find some really great packaged items in the store and most of them I found at my Target or Publix.
- Goldfish Puffs
- Annie’s Organic Bunnies (cocoa & vanilla, snickerdoodle and ginger snap)
- Annie’s gluten free mac n cheese
- Kind healthy grain bars
- Glutino pretzels (the chocolate covered & yogurt covered are SOOO good!)
- Udi’s pizza
- Canyon Bakehouse for bread (it’s surprisingly soft after you defrost it!)
- Barilla GF Pasta (not an everyday thing or even every week, but this pasta was kid approved and great as a treat when you feel like you’re missing out on all your favorites. Great taste & texture!)
Of course, there are items that we usually eat that are gluten free as well.
- Greek yogurt (Chobani for the kids and Fage plain for me)
- Fresh fruit
- Chips (A lot of brands are gluten free, you just have to read the label. PopChips are a favorite of my sons and the Terra Sweet Potato w/Sea Salt chips are downright delicious!)
So, as you can see, with a few replacement items and checking the ingredients in what I use for dinner, breakfast is our most challenging meal. And eating out of course. Eating out just plain sucks and as much as I hate to admit it, we ate out a LOT. :o/ Don’t even get me started on all the sneaky places that gluten hides.
I’m currently still on the hunt for more breakfast options. The kids are enjoying the breakfasts this week, but I’m not sure if they’ll still be excited about the same items next week. I have had pretty good luck with gluten free pancake blends, but neither of them really want pancakes for breakfast during the week. The teen will eat boiled eggs so I made some of those for her to have this week with the oatmeal breakfast cookie.Disclaimer: No one in my family has been diagnosed with Celiac disease. I am not an expert. I’m just sharing what I’ve found through online researching. In case you are a Celiac and are rolling your eyes at me because I’m so clueless and possibly think we’re jumping on a bandwagon. First of all, that’s your opinion and you’re certainly welcome to it. However, I feel the need to say, we aren’t doing this as a fad diet or to lose weight. My husband felt a world of difference mentally and physically when he took it out of his diet and felt it’s affects when he introduced it back so he thought it could maybe benefit the rest of us. I am constantly fatigued, have brain fog and some attention problems. Now, is gluten my problem? I don’t know. But the only way to find out is to eliminate it and see if I feel a difference with it gone and then see if I feel a difference when it’s reintroduced back in. Plus, after realizing how much gluten we ate in general, it can’t be a bad thing to cut it out where we can!