Day 4

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Breakfast:  Gluten Free Rice Chex with sugar and milk – not bad, considering I’ve never been a Chex fan in any fashion.

Lunch:  I finished my left-over sirloin tips, mashed potatoes, and corn from Texas Roadhouse.

Dinner:  I cracked open a box of liveGfree G/F Pizza Crust Mix and topped it with sauce and cheese.  This was ok.  The family seemed to like it.  Not quite the same as usual, but definitely not bad.

Snacks:  Usually during the day I have just been snacking on carrots and applesauce because I know they’re safe snacks, and I try to take in a lot of water, but today I decided to try the Snyder’s G/F Pretzels covered in vanilla frosting.  I wasn’t pleased, but they weren’t terrible.

Check out the “My Reviews” page to see how these new items rate!

EDUCATION

After my shopping trip yesterday, I needed to do some research online to compare prices.  My wallet was NOT pleased with Giant’s prices.  I checked out descriptions and reviews of multiple brands of g/f flour combinations and then compared prices between Amazon, direct producers, and some local stores.  After a thorough comparison of reviews, ingredients, and flour abilities, I decided to purchase Pamela’s Bread Mix and Bob’s Red Mill’s 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour.  Walmart came out on top for both of them, price wise, but when I tried to actually purchase the flour, it wouldn’t let me, and then said that it’s not sold in my area.  I went ahead and purchased three 4 lb. bags of Pamela’s Bread Mix for about $40 from Walmart, but I had to start searching again for the flour.  I was very happy to find the site http://www.iherb.com.  They by far had an even better price (granted, your first purchase is reduced by $10 and all purchases over $40 get 5% off), so I purchased six 44 oz. bags for about $32, including shipping.  I was very pleased with that!  I can’t wait until they arrive and I can start baking and experimenting with them!

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Day 3

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Breakfast:  Rice Krispies with milk

Lunch:  Another one of my salads with broccoli, but NO cupcakes this time!

Dinner:  Serloin Tips, Mashed Potatoes, and Corn from Texas Roadhouse.  I avoided the rolls with only a little trouble – made sure I took a good whiff or two to hold me over.

EDUCATION

I had a few more tips arrive on my Facebook page:

  • Wegman’s is a very gluten-free friendly place.
  • Canyon bread from Target is one of the best g/f breads you can find.
  • Byers’ Bakery in Hanover makes great g/f fresh bread.
  • Domino’s has a g/f pizza.

After more research, talking to a few of my “gurus”, and putting a list together, I talked my mom into going shopping with me to the few stores the people had said they find their favorite gluten-free goods.

I started at Big Lots and found 2 decent-looking brands of g/f crackers and a bag of Snyder’s g/f pretzels, all for $7.

Then, we went to Aldi’s and found some g/f croutons and another brand of g/f pretzels for about $4.  I thought it would be good to have some sort of comparison.

Ollie’s didn’t help us out at all, so we followed that with a stop at Giant, where I was pretty sure I would be able to find things I was looking for, but was doubtful that my wallet would be happy.  Mom and I found some of Bob’s Red Mill flour (we chose the all-purpose and the bread mix), some Chex cereal that I could settle on, g/f bread crumbs for coating chicken, g/f Bisquick, and g/f Barilla pasta, all for the great price of about $40.  What got me was the fact that g/f pasta in the “health food aisle” was about $2 more per box than the g/f Barilla pasta in the traditional aisle.  Same for the Chex cereal vs. the “health food aisle” g/f cereals.  So apparently, if you’re willing to take the time to search, you can find things for a reasonable price that fit your needs.

On day 4, I will be sampling some of these things and I will let you know how they compare to their “wheat” enemies.

Day 2

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Breakfast: Rice Krispies (yes, I know they have about 2% malt flavoring in them, but it was still the best I could do in a rush since I hadn’t been shopping yet).

Lunch:  I again made my famous lettuce, carrot, chicken, sunflower seed, bacon bits, and 2 crouton salad and finished it up with some more string beans.  I again followed it up with 2 cupcakes.  *cringe*  But they were soooo good and they were the LAST 2.  However, I paid for it later.

Dinner:  I made fried chicken (had to use regular flour to coat it with, but did not eat that coating – yes, I know they touched), baked potatoes, and broccoli for everyone.  I felt pretty good in the hour+ afterward and had some vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips to finish out the day.

EDUCATION

After more discussions with helpful friends and new “gurus” I was give a few more recommendations:

  • Pamela’s bread flour is good for making most varieties of breads and crusts.
  • Betty Crocker offers gluten-free recipes on her website.
  • Kellogg’s has a few (seemingly hard to find) gluten-free cereals.
  • Cornflour and cornstarch are good substitutes for thickeners when cooking.

I learned that substitute flours cannot just be switched in for wheat flour cup for cup.  Most other flours also need a mix of Xanthum Gum and possibly a starch or multiple types of flour.  One of many helpful conversion charts chart-glutenfreeconversion was found at  http://www.gygi.com.

I am determined to find a way to easily bake in this house.  I am used to making my own bread, rolls, and crusts, so this will be something I have to conquer.  I also investigated the websites againstallgrain.com and elanaspantry.com and found some awesome looking and highly-rated recipes that I will be trying.

Education: Day 1

So, as I already stated, I learned that gluten can disguise itself in other wording, including wheat, and wheat gluten are also barley, rye, malt and hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

As I asked for help and tips, I had the following companies recommended to me:

  • Bob’s Red Mill is a company that makes gluten-free baking ingredients (can be found at Big Lots, occasionally, and Giant, as well as online).
  • Glutino is a brand that can also be found at Giant and online.
  • LiveGFree is a company that makes affordable (tastiness yet to be determined) gluten-free products, available at Aldi’s.

I read about other types of flours, such as almond, coconut, and potato, to name a few and was referred to the websites plantbasedonabudget.com and paleoleap.com.  I will do my best to search through these sites to come up with some favorite recipes!  I also had many people refer me to a cauliflower pizza crust, so I will searching for that as well!

Menu: Day 1

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Breakfast:  Today I had to use what was in my pantry and to the best I could.  I like eggs, but don’t like them that much, so I didn’t opt for them.  I also prefer my eggs with toast and that is now a no-no.  I went for the Frosted Flakes because I did not see any “wheat” listed on the nutrition panel.  I take a multitude of supplements before and after breakfast, so those were also included in my meal.  After breakfast I started researching Gluten/Wheat-Free sources and discovered that other terms for wheat and wheat gluten are also barley, rye, malt and hydrolyzed vegetable protein.  Frosted Flakes have (guess what) malt in them, so I accidentally messed up already.  I could tell because I was “feeling it” through my body for the next few hours.

Lunch:  My holistic nurse suggested that I build my meals off of a salad base to start with.  This is hard for me because I have never been much of a salad eater – my salads have always consisted of just lettuce, bacon bits, carrots, and croutons.  But, for lunch, I put together my old “salad” recipe and only put on 2 crunched up croutons – I was not ready to go cold turkey yet – and added some grilled chicken and sunflower seeds.  I do not use dressings either, so I gobbled that up like a bunny and it was actually quite good.  It didn’t leave me feeling like I was missing anything.  I followed that up with some applesauce and green beans and 2 cupcakes.  I couldn’t resist.  They were left-over from my daughter’s birthday party and it’s my favorite cake; I haven’t had any in many months and I couldn’t stand to see them go to waste.  I regretted it later.  :/

Dinner:  I had some leftover hamburgers (no bun), more green beans, and a baked potato.  I am so so glad that I am able to keep my potatoes (in moderation), milk, and occasional soda (for now).  Those things are making the lack of bread (my absolute FAVORITE mainstay) a little easier to “swallow”.  I followed up my dinner with a little vanilla ice cream and chocolate chips.

Here I Go…

Anything pasta and bread are basically my best food friends, so I am terrified about making this change in the sense that my “best friends” won’t taste like their familiar selves anymore.  I should have been Italian based on my food desires.  I am taking it day by day and trying to be successful with the change while doing research, testing out foods, and taking tips from all of my g/f cohorts.  If this is the last thing I need to take control of my Lyme, I’m more than ready to do it!