This is usually the first thing out of peoples mouths when I tell them that I can’t eat any gluten. Actually, it is more like the 2nd thing, after they ask what exactly gluten is. I don’t usually run around telling everyone I meet that I can’t have gluten. It most often comes up in conversations pertaining to my son when his friend’s parents want to have him over or take him out to eat. Talk about a way to scare off new friends in a hurry! LOL! It has also come up at restaurants when servers or managers get curious and ask what I eat since I can’t have bread and pasta. I love to educate people on Celiac and the gluten-free diet. The more people that know about it, I feel, the better off all of us who have to follow a gluten-free diet will be. Not only that, but for those who ask about symptoms and how we figured out we had Celiac, they are now more aware of the disease and if it might be something that effects them or their friends & family. Now, my husband does not share my love of educating the public on Celiac and the gluten-free diet. He rolls his eyes and smiles (a little fake-like) when he detects me going into my spiel to the server, manager or parent of Jon’s friend. What can I say, I am passionate about things that involve myself or my family, and I like to help people.
Anyway, back to the question. What do you eat? When I first started my blog, I came up with a list of favorites for Jon & I. This shares more of the foods we use to replace the gluten-filled ones we can’t have. It doesn’t really show what we eat day-to-day. So, I thought that I would share a menu and some photos of what I eat day-to-day.
First up, breakfast. Breakfast for me is usually the same every day. What can I say, I am a creature of habit and I don’t like change. I typically have 2 brown rice cakes topped with either Skippy Natural Peanut Butter or Almond butter and some kind of 100% fruit spread. This picture shows me also having a bowl of fresh fruit with it, I have stopped that b/c the fruit was bothering my stomach for some reason. I now have 2-3 egg whites and grape tomatoes topped with fresh basil.
Jon usually has pancakes or cinnamon toast. Here are a picture of some pancakes. I usually make these once a week and package into individual ziplocks, 3 per bag, and freeze.
Snacks for me are usually one in the AM and one in the late afternoon. I usually eat every 3 hours or so. 3 bigger meals and 2 snacks. I find this helps keep my blood sugar stable and I don’t end up absolutely starving by my next meal. I also find that I need the energy to keep going. I usually go to the gym 6 days a week and I have to keep refueling throughout the day. Snacks vary day-to-day. I like cereal (Rice Chex, Envirokidz Gluten-Free Cereals, GF Oatmeal), Lara Bars, Cheese & Crackers (Diamond Nut Thins and Laughing Cow Swiss is my fav) or Enjoy Life Snack Bars. Jon will have cereal, Lara Bars, cookies, Nabisco Fruit Snacks or Carnation Instant Breakfast.
Cream Hill Estates GF Oats with Enjoy Life Granola & Blueberries
Lunches also vary day-to-day, but most times consist of sandwiches, veggies, salads and maybe some chips of some sort. If we have leftovers, sometimes I will eat those. I make my sandwiches on Pamela’s Amazing Wheat Free Bread most of the time. If I have bagels or GF French Rolls from Trader Joe’s, I will use those for melts or a bigger sandwich. Here is an example of what I had yesterday. I made a sandwich on Pamela’s Bread with cream cheese, Hillshire Farm Ultra Thin sliced Cracked Pepper Turkey and fresh spinach; on the side I had a veggie medley of okra, zucchini, yellow squash & grape tomatoes; I also sliced up a garden tomato and topped with fresh grated parmesan and fresh basil and completed my meal with some Smart Puffs, Wisconsin Cheddar, made by Robert’s American Gourmet.
Afternoon snacks are much like the ones in the AM. Sometimes I will get a non-fat Latte from Starbucks or Caribou as my “snack”. Like now, they have the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Dinners obviously vary day to day. There are so many options out there that I never get bored and often find myself faced with too many choices and recipes when I do my weekly meal planning. I try to plan out meals on Sundays (watch for the weekly posts on Mondays) and then go shopping for the week. I start by seeing what meats I have in my freezer or what meats are on sale and build my menu around those. This helps me from buying too much food or letting things go bad b/c I forget they are there. We eat lots of brown rice (jasmine, short grain and basmati), potatoes (baked, mashed, sweet, roasted) and veggies. I make corn bread, foccacia or rolls to go with our meals if needed. I try to serve a meat or meat substitute, 1 -2 veggies and/or rice/potato. One staple that doesn’t change is salad. I will eat a salad with dinner 9 times out of 10. It is a great way to get a good 2-3 servings of fresh veggies for me and I love them! I use spinach mixed with other darker salad greens or romaine and add in all kinds of fresh veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes or grape tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, cucumber, green beans, black beans and occasionally cheese. I switch up my dressings to keep it interesting. I really like Kraft’s Light French dressing. I also use T. Marzetti’s Light Honey French (YUM), Kraft’s Light Ranch, Balsamic Vinaigrette and Ken’s Steakhouse Raspberry Walnut Spray. Here is a shot of a typical salad with the Light French dressing:
Desserts are not every night treats, but we do have something several times per week. I like Trader Joe’s Meringue Cookies or Edy’s Slow Churned Ice Creams (Pumpkin is a current fav). If I have been a baking fool, we will eat those goodies for dessert.
So, as can be seen here, there is plenty for those who have to follow a gluten-free diet to eat. I don’t miss many (read: any) meals. When I was first on the gluten-free diet, I easily got discouraged and frustrated when it came to eating and found myself eating the same thing every day….brown rice, black beans, cheese and tortilla chips. I quickly realized that I couldn’t live on that forever and embraced the opportunity to concentrate on all of the foods I could have.