Friday, May 11, 2012

A Beginner's Gluten Free Quick Guide

Guess who's back! Sorry for the lack of entries these past couple of months. Pregnancy has taken its toll on my body, and appetite. Some days I'm ravenous, and other days I have no desire to look at food. At least I'm in the home stretch (my final trimester), and soon I'll have a screaming baby in my ear as I cook. I welcome it, my husband and I have waited and prayed for this moment. So it's a great blessing for us.

And before the sleepless nights begin, I want to do my best to enter some more entries to my blog. After all, I love blogging and talking about food!

On a recent tweet Miley Cyrus posted she has gone gluten free and loves it. No surprise, we've all been feeling the benefits of a gluten free living, but I am glad to hear another celebrity endorsing and going completely!

A friend of mine, Antonette, for medical reasons has also gone gluten free.  She had asked me to point her in the right direction --where to start? Since I have a two year jumpstart on her in the gluten free world, I shared with her a few of my go-to websites, products, as well as a few of my favorite cookbooks so far.
First things first, finding good replacements for the foods you eat on the daily.

Breakfast: If you're a cereal and milk person, this is no biggie. You only need to make sure the cereals you buy specifically indicate gluten-free. My top picks: Erewhon and Nature's Path. There is a line of kid's cereal also by Nature's Path called Envirokidz, even though it's for kids, I'll occasionally buy a box of the Panda Puffs, it's sort of reminds me of Peanut Butter Cap'n' Crunch cereal.

Lunch: You can still enjoy a sandwich for lunch - *helpful tip - toast the bread, it just helps with the flavor, specially if you're making a BLT. My top favorite bread - Udi's Millet-Chia bread. For cold cuts I swear by Applegate Farms meats, both their organic and natural meats are gluten free and chemical free (a big bonus). *tip -try out their Stadium-Style hot dogs, oh so yummy!

Dinner: You'd be surprise to find that a lot of the dinner staples are already gluten free: rice, beans, grilled meats, salads, and veggies. But say you want to make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner (check out my meatball recipe), you must try this brand, Pasta d'Oro. Affordable and delicious.

Websites to Bookmark

Gluten-free foods seem to be popping everywhere, I even found it at my local  food market. However, just in case it's not offered anywhere near where you live, these sites will be helpful:


Gluten-Free Mall

Gluten Free Saver - for deals of the day at deep discounts. I've discovered more great gluten free goodies through this site. Sign up today and you'll receive an alert when they have a deal, always gluten-free.

Support Sites

Anytime anyone asked what were the benefits of going gluten free, I would refer them to The G-Free Diet website by Elisabeth Hasselback. I read her book in 2 days! If you ever need motivation, just glance at her site.

Of course, the mother of all gluten free websites : - even if you're not suffering of Celiac disease, this is a chock full of good stuff to know about gluten free living.

Fun Sites

I absolutely LOVE Elana's Pantry blog. I recommend you look through her recipes, you will get tons of inspirations. She also has a great cookbook The Gluten-Free Almond Flour cookbook. I was lucky enough to receive for my birthday this year.

Gluten Free Girl and the Chef is a very popular and well-known blog. Another site full of inspiration, specially if you enjoy cooking. They released their first cookbook which I recommend, great recipes along with heartwarming stories.

Remember, if you're new to gluten-free foods and you slip up, don't be hard on yourself. Like anything else, it will take some getting use to. Eventually you will begin noticing how much better you feel that you won't think twice about slipping.

Good luck to you, and please feel free to share with me your thoughts and any new things you find.