How We’re Coping with Gluten-Free – Week 3

We’re going on 3 weeks of our diet changes.  One thing I want to be clear is Lexi is not particpating fully in either of these.  While she eats some of the gluten-free products and I make all of our dinners GF and milk free, she still eats the regular bread, cereal, ice cream, etc.  And while Emma is milk-free, Scott and I are not.  So we drink regular milk, have GF products that have milk in them, etc.  So basically we’re managing 3 different diet needs.

But even that said, this week was SO MUCH better than last.  So much.  While I’m not 100% happy with what we ate (wish we could have had less red meat, less grains and more veggies), we ate and there was very little complaining.  I was tallying it up last night and I realized I had cooked every meal for ten days straight other than Sunday dinner at Scott’s parents’.  That’s a lot of meals in a row for me.  I’m sure it’s some sort of record.  And I have to say, this week I kind of liked it.  While our grocery bill has obviously gone up, our eating out category has drastically dropped and it feels good to know that while the meals aren’t perfect, it’s a lot better than fast food.  And ya’ll?  I like the meal planning.  It’s worked out great for us to either shop on Saturday or Sunday and buy for the whole week.

I thought I’d share some recipes and products that have absolutely saved us these past 3 weeks, broken down my meals.

Breakfast

Snacks

  • Lots of fruits for the girls when they’re at home.  Their favorites are bananas, apples, grapes and kiwi.
  • Zucchini bread
  • Banana bread
  • Smoothies with Silk Vanilla Almond Milk

I always have at least one of those breads made.  I alternate between the two and Emma eats that for snack after school.  I’m pretty sure she would eat the entire loaf if I let her.  I wish it didn’t have so much sugar in it but I’m just going with it for now.

Lunch

  • Rudi’s or Udi’s Gluten-free bread.  It’s not the best thing ever but Emma has been a trooper and eats her PB&J’s at school.
  • Vegan mayo.  I use this to make Emma some tuna salad for her.  Sometimes I put it on bread for lunch and sometimes she just eats it as a snack after school.
  • Glutino’s pretzels.  Both the girls love these.
  • Pre-packaged fruit.  I don’t know what it is but they hate eating fresh fruit at school.  Is it not cool?  I don’t know.  But the packaged fruit is the next best thing.
  • Applesauce packs

Dinner – main course

  • Steaks
  • Salsa chicken in the crock-pot.  Just put a few chicken breasts and a jar of salsa in.  Shred it towards the end.  You can either make tacos out of it, put it over rice or just eat it separate.
  • Spaghetti with alternate noodles.  We tried rice noodles last time and trying quiona noodles tonight.
  • Manwich.  We tried Rudi’s hamburger buns and they were horrible.  They soaked in all the juice and made it very dry.  We all ended up opening up the sandwich and eating the meat plain which was just fine.
  • Sweet potato chili.  This was delicious.  Scott’s parents and my sister all tried it and liked it.  Lexi wasn’t a fan and I think she hate some sort of leftover that night.
  • Amy’s gluten-free, dairy-free spinach pizza.  Emma will eat the spinach pizza but I buy Lexi and Amy’s small cheese pizza and just bake them together.
  • BBQ.  Put a boston butt in your crockpot all day with a little water, salt and pepper. Shred after you get it out.
  • Pot Roast.  I don’t like potatoes and carrots in mine so I just put a chuck roast in with one package of onion soup mix and 1/4 cup of water.  I even made the gravy with corn starch.

Dinner – sides

  • Baked potatoes.  Earth fare has non-dairy cheese and sour cream Emma uses while the rest of us use  regular.
  • Refried beans.  Emma didn’t like these but Scott and I loved them with the salsa chicken.
  • Any kind of Alexia potato fries. We’ve done both yukon gold and sweet potato.
  • Spinach.  Turns out we like spinach.  Lexi of course hated it but Emma asked for me to make it the next night.
  • Cauliflower mashed potatoes.  I made this with the roast and put the roast gravy on them.  No one knew it was cauliflower instead of potatoes.  Amazing.  It felt so good to get up from that meal and not feel too full.
  • I also use canned or frozen corn, green beans, carrots or peas as a side.

Desserts

  • Chocolate Cookies
  • Earth fare Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies
  • Dairy Free ice cream.  You can get this in any store.  Just look for a yellow wrapping at the top.
  • Oatmeal raisin cookies.  These didn’t bake well for me but it still tasted good.
  • Peanut butter cookies

Miscellaneous

  • Smart butter is what I use for Emma on popcorn, potatoes, bread.  I actually really like it and use it too.
  • Dino’s BBQ sauce. I got this recommendation from Katie and it’s really fabulous if you like it both sweet and a little kick.  It was too hot for Emma and Lexi hated it but Scott and I loved it.
  • Agave nectar for sweetner in smoothies and coffee

So that’s what the last 10 days or so have looked like.

In really good news, Scott has seen no acid reflux at all.  Before, he would only see a few good days in a row before he’d need to take some medicine.  He did have one incident this week when he ate gluten by mistake and threw it all up that night.  The doctor said it was a normal reaction when you are cleansing yourself from gluten.  He also said it could be related to the bad fats they used to make it.  I think that speaks a lot to how his body must be changing because of the diet changes.

Emma has only had one stomach ache in the past week and it was one morning she woke up and I can’t say it wasn’t just because she was hungry.  She was fine as soon as she ate.  She also has been MUCH more regular.

As for me, I’ve lost another pound or two, I rarely get bloated and my skin is looking so much better.  Someone at work just saw me for the first time in a few weeks and immediately commented on my weight and skin.  That was a great confirmation for me.  I’m just enjoying having no cravings.  For at least a week now, I haven’t had ANY food after dinner.  We eat between 5 and 6 and sometimes don’t go to sleep until 10 or 11.  I think that’s huge.

Truth be told, I’m not sure we’ll go back to gluten.  This week really proved to me we could happily be gluten-free and I’m not impatiently counting down until our check-up at the end of the month.  Feels great!

Comments

  1. That is awesome Amy! You are a for real short order cook with all those diets, but it sounds like you’re doing awesome! Thanks for sharing the updates!

  2. Hey amy! I’ve been gluten free for about 5 years now b/c i have celiac. Just be careful when using onion soup mix packets b/c a lot of them are not gluten free! I actually make my own. Good luck with everything!

    • You know what? Scott’s stomach was hurting a little after that meal. I wonder if that was it.

    • I just checked the ingredients and it all looked ok. Hmm. Thx for the idea on making our own.

      I’d love any other products/tips you’ve learned over the years.

  3. This is such great news! I think you’re right – with every passing week of a healthy, happy family, it’s not worth it to go back to gluten. Also, I think you’ll continue to find great recipes to add to your collection. I’ve bookmarked the sweet potato chili – that looks delicious! Also, I just watched the latest Pioneer Woman episode on the Food Network. She has a great recipe for frozen fruit cups that her kids love. I’m sure you can use a variety of different fruits that suit your dietary needs & the girls’ tastes. The only questionable ingredient is the frozen concentrate juice, but I bet there’s a substitute available for that. Maybe your girls would like that for lunch!

  4. You really should go to Crockpot365’s site. Someone in her family is gluten free so many of her recipes are too. The dairy part ought to be easy enough to modify too.
    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/search/label/gluten%20free

    You can reduce the sugar in the zuke/banana bread and I bet it won’t have any affect on the outcome. I regularly reduce sugar/fat in recipes by about 1/3 and never notice a difference.

    Lastly, if you can’t have butter in that one recipe, just use margarine (assuming it’s GF) or substitute the equal amount of oil.