Sunday, March 22, 2009


Welcome to my world... living gluten-free in South Florida!

I've been on a gluten-free diet for a few years now and it has gotten much easier over time. When my doctor first said the words gluten-free diet, visions of my favorite foods that I would no longer be able to eat flashed through my mind.  Donuts, egg rolls, pasta, garlic bread, and the list went on... I jumped on the internet to look for all of the information that I could find, including gluten-free replacements to all my favorite foods, and wondered how I was ever going to eat out at a restaurant again.  I found a few websites that had a ton of information ( and www.celiac. org) and several with gluten-free products including Gluten Solutions.  I also bought a few books.  Many of the books out there were also filled with valuable information (what I could and couldn't eat) as well as great recipes.  Being that I am just the average cook and not into gourmet cooking, some of the recipes were too elaborate for me.  Two of my favorite books are Against the Grain and Wheat-Free Worry-Free.  They covered everything about living without gluten, including supermarket basics, reading labels, eating out, traveling, nutrition, as well as the emotional aspect that comes with this new lifestyle.  These 2 books are must-haves for anyone starting on a gluten-free diet!  However, for those really into cooking, also check out The Gluten-Free Gourmet books. 

I was very surprised how much information was out there and just how many gluten-free products were available.  I initially bought a lot of my new food online as I began experimenting with different products.  This quickly became expensive and I started to look for other options.  Luckily, I have a Whole Foods close by that carries a large supply of gluten-free products (the selection continues to grow over the years).  I also stop off at a few other health food stores nearby on occasion to buy items that I can't find anywhere else (Nutrition Smart and Tunie's).  I even still buy a few items online once in a while (my favorite tapioca dinner rolls from Ener-G Foods).  However, over the years I have changed my mindset somewhat from simply looking for "gluten-free" specialty products to eating simple and healthy.  There are so many options that are naturally gluten-free, that the question is no longer what can't I eat, but rather what should I eat?  Don't get me wrong, there are still a few gluten-free items on my shopping list each week (gluten-free pasta included), but I now buy most of my food in the regular grocery store.  My weekly shopping list includes more fruits and vegetables, and a simple dinner may be grilled chicken and asparagus.

Every now and then, dessert consists of a special gluten-free treat.  Last night was a chocolate cupcake I just discovered at Whole Foods!    


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