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  • Writer's picturecocoy montenegro

It Takes Guts To Go Gluten-Free

Growing up Italian during the holidays meant special treats…I was surrounded by cookies, pasta, cakes, and breads. All of them were homemade, and each one became a comfort food. And them in March of this year, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. One of the first things I read was the importance of removing “gluten” from my diet.

Wait…what? You’re asking me to give up everything I’ve come to know and love about food?

I can tell you truthfully that up until very recently I had absolutely no clue as to what it meant to be “gluten free.” I had friends that were gluten free. I loved them dearly, but eating out with them was a pain in the ass. And now? I’m “that” friend! LOL.

Gluten is what you would call the protein part of certain grains like wheat, barley, rye or other similar grains. Sounds easy enough, right?

And how gluten affects people varies differently from person to person. For me? It’s joint pain or skin irritation.

I began eliminating pasta, cookies, and breads right away. I felt a little better, and then I discovered gluten hides in plain site!

Nearly everything you eat and/or put on your face or body has gluten in it. It’s not just pasta, sweets, and breads. Gluten is found in these every day products: prescription drugs, vitamins, over-the-counter medications, lipstick and cosmetics, spices, soap, shampoo, cheese, deep friend foods, gravy, soy sauce, candy, play-doh, and finger paints.

I began going through my vitamins. One vitamin I’d been taking for 3-4 years had gluten in it. I ended up giving away $100 in vitamins to a friend.

I started looking at my make up…and pretty soon I was researching “gluten free brands.” I’m changing my soaps and shampoos too.

I’m now 99% gluten free, and learning to eat in new ways. Most people tell me “I could never give up my (insert gluten item here). All I can say is that when you realize your food choices are hurting you, you begin to make changes and you don’t think twice about what you’re missing.

I found a bread recipe that’s pretty good. I make a loaf, cut the slices and freeze it so it’s ready whenever I need a bread fix. I found Konjac pasta aka Miracle Noodle. It’s a different texture than pasta, but it’ll do in a pinch. I’m looking forward to trying to make gluten free pasta with some gluten free flour.

If you suffer from either of these gluten allergies don’t worry overly much however as there is hope. A diet that can suit your special needs can be formulated and you can live a good life.

Foods that you could eat on your gluten free diet can include corn, soya, rice, and tapioca. You also have the choice of jams, and marmalades, sugar, honey, treacle and molasses as well. If that is not enough your gluten free diet can include all fresh fruits and vegetables, along with eggs, milk, creams, butters and cheese (unless you’re dairy intolerant). If you want still more then you can also have tea and coffee, fizzy drinks and most alcoholic drinks as well.

I have found by sticking with lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s pretty easy to stay gluten free.

If you’d like to see whether or not you’re sensitive to gluten, I can’t recommend taking the Check My Body Health food sensitivity test. It’s about $38. You send in a few strands of hair, and they check against 970 foods to see what may be causing you issues. If you’re not feeling “quite right,” I highly recommend this test!

If you’d like to try my delicious gluten free bread (made in a bread machine), please see my recipe below!

With love, your "gluten-free" girl.

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