Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Going Gluten Free: Just the Beginning
So, I realize there are A LOT of GF blogs out there, and I, by no means, have as much experience as they do, BUT I do want to share my experience as I make the change! So here I go!
First, I realize how overwhelming this could easily become if I let it, but I'm not going to. I have done my research and am going to take the advice of all those gluten free bloggers and start simple. Meats, fruits, vegetables. I know for a fact that they are GF. There is list upon list upon list of ingredients to avoid (I've printed it out for future reference and emailed it to myself for phone access) and it can get a little crazy so I'm starting small. This blog is a good place that tells you what to watch out for when starting out.
Another thing I've read/learned.... stay open minded when starting to make your own gluten free version of things (like pasta or breads). If you go in expecting it to taste the same as the gluten filled things you're used to then you're going to hate it. Realize that things will have different textures, but that doesn't make them bad! Have you ever had Almond milk? The first time I tasted it, I was told "Ohhh it's just like regular milk!!! You'll love it!!!" Um... WRONG! It was DISGUSTING! But then I tried again, knowing it was different, and I actually LOVED it. Stay open minded.
Try different brands/options/recipes. Go on Pinterest. There's a GAJILLION (translation: a whole freakin' lot) of GF chocolate chip cookie recipes. Seriously. There's a lot. And a lot of them are different. If you don't like the texture of your first recipe, try a different one. Play around with different flours, they have different textures. Don't give up just because ONE recipe didn't taste quite right. Read Gluten Free Mom's story of their first GF meal. It was a disaster, to say the least. She also gives a list of things you can eat now that are naturally GF.
Google as you go. Today I was curious about different snacks I could carry in my purse that are GF, so I got out my phone and Googled "gluten free on the go snacks". There are TONS of options! Most of them are naturally gluten free, like almonds or sting cheese and there are several power/breakfast bars you can buy from Whole Foods too! Google really does know everything, so take advantage! Instead of trying to know everything right now, I just Google it when I think about it. Also, if you search Pinterest for "gluten free" there are TONS of things on there too!
Get together with your GF friends and ask them for help! I happen to know a lot of people through my church that are GF and we are having a dinner party (hopefully in a month) to trade secrets! I'm hoping that it will work out that everyone makes/brings their favorite dish and some recipes with them. It's going to be FUN! If you don't know any one, ask. Go up to the person in charge of planning events and tell them to put it in your church bulletin that you want to throw a GF dinner party to help you learn more about it. Someone will help you!
A word about restaurants. When you're out at a restaurant ASK your waiter if things are GF! That's what they're there for! You can also look online at Find Me Gluten Free or GFRAP OR at UrbanSpoon! TONS or resources!
Well, that's what I have so far. I am off to my sister's house to do some more GF planning/research. Is it weird that we're both kind of excited about this? Maybe it's because we are choosing to go GF instead of being forced. Don't despair my GF friends! Together, we can become gluten free and happy! I hope you enjoyed this gluten free Southern Soapbox!