My name is Liz, and I come from a family of crappy guts.
Growing up, there was always talk of cramping, intestines, digestion issues, and food issues. My mom has had Crohn's Disease for most of her life, so earlier this year, when I started having cramps so terrible that I thought my appendix was exploding, I figured my time for a Crohn's diagnosis had finally come. As the cramping got worse, so surfaced other issues: an itchy rash over my entire body, hair falling out, panic attacks, and weight loss. You know the story! After a few months of back-and-forth with doctors, a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy (on the same day no less...goodbye, dignity!), my gastroenterologist broke the mind-boggling, breaking news of my Celiac Disease.
The next few weeks were full of research, book-buying, a lot of tears and crying alone in the shower, and many thankful moments for finally having somewhere to start getting my health back. With good, clean food, Celiac Disease is very manageable.
So that brings me to THE FOOD!
Check out some of my favorite products...I eat a lot of naturally gluten-free foods (produce, cheese) but these are a few things I love having around:
1. Udi's GF bagels! I like these more than their regular sliced bread. I have slathered nutella on them, used them as burger buns, made mini pizzas, and they also are perfect carry-on food for flights.
2. Talenti gelato! This is a rich, sinfully delicious treat. Certain flavors are not gluten-free, so be sure to check the label.
3. Midel "oreos"! Tasty with almond milk and such a comfort food for me. I wish they made those white chocolate dipped ones that Nabisco always comes out with at Christmas time!
4. Wallaby Yogurt! The banana vanilla is my favorite flavor but they're all good. This is what I use in smoothies. It has all the good bacteria and protein that makes yogurt so healthy, without that weird chalky aftertaste that some yogurts have.
5. QUINOA! The most amazing grain ever! Cook it from its raw state (as pictured) and it can work in rice-style dishes such as stir fry, it can thicken up soups, and the company Ancient Harvest makes it into pasta shapes, so the linguine al pesto or pasta salad you've been missing is attainable again! Quinoa pasta is the only pasta I eat now, because of its great taste, texture, and its ability to hold shape for leftovers.
I know for fresh-out-of-the-doctor's-office Celiacs, coming up with meals seems overwhelming. I think it's really important to eat you are used to eating, but tweak it. So here is a basic day's worth of eating for me, normal food with small adjustments. You'll have to forgive my camera phone pictures!
Super powered smoothie.
1 Banana (in the bag, frozen), 1/2 mango (fresh or frozen is fine), Wallaby yogurt, soy protein powder, and Silk almond milk. Eyeball the last two; I only use half a scoop or less of the protein powder and maybe 1/4c almond milk. If you eat breakfast early and lunch later, the protein powder will help keep you full and give you enough energy to last throughout the morning!
This just depends on what you like to munch on! If you are a sweets person, consider trail mix. I make my own trail mix to be safe, with nuts, dried fruit (craisins!), and dark chocolate chips. If you like crunchy/salty, try Mr. Krispers Sea Salt & Pepper rice crisps with hummus.
Usually I bring leftovers from the previous night's dinner though, with a piece of whatever kind of fruit is in season. I wanted to use some sun dried tomatoes and arugula, so both lunch and dinner had similar ingredients this day! This is pizza, made with Bob's Red Mill GF Pizza Crust mix, sun dried tomatoes, minced fresh garlic, parmesan, and arugula. And a lot of extra virgin olive oil!
Sun dried tomato pesto stuffed into baby portobellos, arugula/basil/leafy romaine salad with tomatoes, garbonzo beans and balsamic/olive oil dressing, and crispy baked chicken tenders.
Follow this recipe for the pesto. I left out the salt (the jar of tomatoes I bought was already salty), and I didn't have enough pine nuts so I threw in some walnuts too. Pestos are fun to experiment with!
I hope you enjoyed reading this and thank you Marlow for the opportunity to post on Gluten Hates Me!
Editor’s Note: Thanks so much Liz!!! Awesome post and I really, really, can’t wait to make those stuffed mushrooms!!! <3 Marlow