Why I’m Happy To Be Gluten Free!

Just recently, I came to the realization that I have been gluten free for over a year now.  It caused me to reflect on how my life has changed in the course of a year.  Anniversary dates are like that for me.

I feel so much better than I did before starting the diet.  I had been miserable with heartburn, and living on antihistamines and ibuprofen.  Now, the only time I have stomach problems is when I’ve accidentally been glutenized.  It’s rare for me to need Claritin for my allergies anymore.  Joint pain is a thing of the past.  I’m still amazed by how much of a difference food can make in your quality of life.

I’ve always enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes, so I looked at going gluten free as an interesting challenge.  I was determined I wouldn’t feel deprived, that I would find ways to satisfy cravings.

I feel we’re actually eating better than we ever have!  More fresh fruits and veggies, freshly baked bread warm out of the oven, homemade pasta, fresh fruit sorbet, fresh herbs, and making my own stock and salad dressings really enhances a menu.

I still look at pictures of pizza with ooey gooey cheese longingly, but I am happy with the cheeses I can have.  Aged cheeses like Parmesan, Aged Cheddar, and Blue Cheese don’t seem to be a problem.  I can also eat goat cheese without problem.  Pizza with goat cheese and/or Parmesan is delicious!  Salads with Blue Cheese or Feta, Mmmmmm!  OK. Must stop thinking about cheese and salads now, extreme salivation.

Baking has had it’s share of failures.  But, I’ve learned a lot.  Now my breads, cupcakes, cookies, and pies are coming out great!  My friends tell me they’re even better than the glutinous versions. Even my failures served a purpose though.  Breadcrumbs, croutons, crumb toppings, bread pudding, and trifles are all good ways to use failures.

Coconut milk was a great discovery.  I absolutely love scalloped potatoes made with coconut milk.  Seriously, you’ve gotta try it, so creamy and delicious!  Coconut milk is great for baking, helps to tenderize meat when used as a marinade, and makes a wonderful dairy free ice cream.

Realizing what a difference being gluten free made, I’ve been motivated to improve my diet in other ways as well.  I started an organic vegetable garden, and we’re eating fresh veggies daily.  I’ve cut way back on soda, and drink green tea or vitamin water instead.

Vitamin water can be made with fruits or vegetables you have on hand.  My favorite is Watermelon Mint.  I use about 1 Cup of watermelon

"Watermelon Mint Vitamin Water"

Cheers! Here’s to being gluten free for one year! Life is good!

(use the seedy parts that you can’t use in salads, then strain it) , 1 quart of water, 2 Tablespoons of lime juice, and 2 Tablespoons of fresh mint.  Really refreshing on a hot summer day!

Going on into my second year of being gluten free,  I’m looking forward to learning more and trying more recipes.  My latest projects have been flat breads and pasta. I have more confidence in my ability to create gluten free recipes now, and I intend to start posting more recipes. I’m pretty excited about the food I’ve been making.  I hope you’ll enjoy the recipes as much as I do!

 

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