Sunday, June 2

gluten free finds

Welcome to the first of many posts in a new series called 'gluten free finds'! In this series I will write all about gluten free food finds including restaurants, recipes, and foods you can pick up at the grocery! I love finding places and products that cater to the needs of gluten free eaters and thought I'd share the love here! Also, being a flight attendant, I have to do a lot of research when I travel to know where I can eat and/or pack enough food to last me for my trip. That being said, I figured an appropriate way to kick off this series would be with a post on why I'm gluten free and other frequently asked questions about gluten free eating!

Confession, I'm that girl who sits down at a restaurant and asks the server if there is anything gluten free on the menu. I've been a server before so I know that people with food allergies can be tough. That being said, a big thanks to the servers that bear with us! Unfortunately, the typical response to my question is, "no, we don't have anything without sugar on the menu". Umm...not glucose, gluten. Which leads me to my first frequently asked question...

1. What is gluten?
Gluten is "a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep it's shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture." I usually just respond by explaining that gluten is wheat, malt, barley, and rye. It's kind of the umbrella over the previously mentioned grains.

2. What foods have gluten in them?
Umm...everything? Haha. No, only 99% of food. Kidding. Kinda. Gluten can sneak it's way into many different foods you might not expect but think along the lines of bread, pasta, cookies, cake, pastries, gravy, etc. Anything that you use flour to make. Avoid foods with soy sauce, foods that are fried, and most broths and soups. The rule of thumb? Read every label! If it says gluten free on it then great! But there are a lot of things that could be considered gluten free that aren't marked 'gluten free'.

3. When did you start eating a gluten free diet?
About 3ish years ago? It's been awhile!

4. Why do you eat gluten free?
Trust me, I don't eat this way because I enjoy depriving myself of donuts and muffins and baklava. I love those things, unfortunately, they make me sick. A few years ago, I began following the paleo diet because my trainer at the time required strongly suggested it. I was working out, eating paleo, and feeling better than I had ever felt! Shortly after I stopped meeting with my personal trainer, I began to slowly reintroduce gluten and other 'restricted' foods into my diet. I quickly realized that gluten was what was making me sick. I wasn't super surprised by this because my mom was diagnosed with celiac disease a few years prior. I have not been officially diagnosed with celiac disease but being that the disease is genetic and gluten makes me sick, I have chosen to continue eating gluten free.

5. Soo, what do you eat then?
I'm glad you asked!! That's what this series is going to address! I'm going to talk about my go-to gluten free foods, new recipes I try, gluten free airport food, my holy grail gluten free recipes, restaurants that offer gluten free options, and more!

Gluten affects different people in different ways. Some people aren't very sensitive to it and others are severely sensitive to the point of not being able to use certain makeup, shampoos, or other body products due to the gluten in them. I would say that I fall somewhere in the middle. Most every time I eat gluten, I get sick. There are times in which I can eat a cookie and not have any side effects, but that is rare which I why I avoid it as much as possible. Also, let me be clear that I am in no way a nutritionist or professional in gluten free eating. What I know is from trial and error and years of practice! I'm excited to share all my finds with you so stay tuned for my first official food post!

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