Grubbin / Livin

Mastering the Gluten-Free Diet

Some think it’s a fad, and for many it’s a way of life, but for those caught in the middle here’s some (gluten-free) food for thought.

Quick science lesson; gluten is a protein found in grains, rye, wheat and barley. As a binding agent, gluten gives foods that special touch. It makes pizza dough stretchy (and yummy), gives bread its spongey texture (and nobody likes hard bread) and is used to thicken sauces and soups (again, making them delish).

For years I was consuming gluten in majority of the foods I ate. White bread, pasta, granola, baked goods–you know, the normal stuff. I lived a happy, enjoyable life and I felt good; at least I thought I did. Then one day, after returning to my office from lunch I casually mentioned feeling “bloated and heavy”. I know, I know…not exactly work appropriate, but in airing out my biz a fellow co-worker suggested I try eliminating the g-monster from my diet for one week. It wasn’t easy, no trips to the deli for a quick sandwich, no late night pizza by the slice, just a whole lot of veggies, quinoa and chickpeas but by-golly I felt fantastic! No bloating, my energy levels were up and my waist-line looked and felt slimmer.

Gluten-free products were originally marketed for people with Celiac disease or a sensitivity to wheat but there are loads of benefits to adopting the lifestyle even if you don’t experience either one. But like anything, there are downsides to the diet too. I’ve pinpointed the pros and cons for you below.

Pro’s

  • When you carefully plan meals you’re more likely to eat “real” food versus the processed stuff; incorporating more fruits and veggies in your everyday grub
  •  You’ll feel better!!

…and Con’s

  • Going gluten free is a giant pain in the ass but with the influx of special websites and cookbooks it’s becoming a helluva of a lot easier
  •  You can end up with nutritional deficiencies when eliminating vitamin-enriched, whole grain foods from your diet

Make sure to check out my absolute favorite gluten-free cookbook…

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The Big Book of Gluten-Free Recipes” by Kimberly A. Tessmer (this book has so many amazing recipes)

 

 

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