Monday, January 3, 2011

What I Learned in 2010 About Living Gluten Free

  •   What you create with food is only limited by your imagination. 
From cheesecake made from nuts, to coffee cake made from beans, and cheese made from tapioca, the possibilities are limitless.

  •  Raw is not always better.
According to Chinese Medicine, raw food can actually be harder to digest for some people. Cooked soups and vegetables may be easier to digest for some body types.

  • It is possible to travel to Kauai and maintain a gluten and dairy free diet.
I would love to travel to this tropical paradise yearly, finances allowing.  You can read about my experience here.

  • Some doctors, like Mark Hyman, are treating mental illness by addressing systemic problems in the body.   Dr. Hyman points out that gluten and dairy are inflammatory and affect brain function in some people.  

    • Healthy fast food is not an oxymoron.
    Chipotle redefines what we think of as fast food.  To the extent possible, they source local, organic and hormone free ingredients, and make most of what they serve from scratch.  Burrito bowls and tacos are naturally gluten free, and you can fill them with rice, beans, meat, delicious salsas, guacamole and fresh veggies.  I ate there safely and with satisfied taste buds many times this year.

    • It's the things you can't see that may be the most important.
    Science is uncovering the importance bacteria plays in our gut, from the digestion of food, to the production and assimilation of vitamins.  The food we eat contributes to this mass of bacteria our body accumulates, for better or worse.

    • Good gluten free bread is available in mainstream grocery stores.
    Udi's gluten free bread has broken the good gluten free bread drought that has plagued the United States for decades.

    • The simplest recipes are frequently the best, and the easiest on your body.
    By keeping recipes simple, and with few ingredients, it is much easier to identify which ones if any are problematic.  One of my favorite recipes this year is this green smoothie, featuring what is often called a superfood, spirulina.  


    1 to 1 1/4 cup frozen chopped bananas
    1 1/2 cup chilled unsweetened coconut milk (So Delicious works great)
    1 tsp powdered spirulina
    raw honey or agave (optional)


    Place bananas, milk and spirulina in a blender and blend until smooth.  Taste and add honey or agave if desired.  Makes one large or two small smoothies.  Source:

    This post is linked with Slightly Indulgent TuesdayTasty TuesdayPennywise Platter Thursday, and Food on Fridays.


    1. I'll have to check out Chipotle. I've never heard of it before, but I looked it up. There's one pretty close by. I don't eat out very often, but it's good to know there's somewhere I can go and not feel guilty about it.

    2. I hope you like it. Whenever I stop in, I tell them I'm GF and everyone removes their gloves and cleans the counter before they serve me. The staff I've encountered has been very conscientious.

    3. We love Chipotle. But with GFCF (no gluten and no dairy) we find that we like to go when they aren't busy, because we like to get our guacamole from a new, fresh container in the back. With the container on the front line, there's some serious cross contamination issues with the dairy items (especially the shredded cheeses) which are always located immediately before the guacamole. As long as we get our guac from the container before it goes out on the serving line, we've had no problems. If it's really busy in a particular restaurant when we're in, we just skip getting guac that day. Chipotle has been wonderful for us both here in Oregon and visiting in Maryland and Colorado.

    4. I like all your points. I've not eaten at Chipotle, but my GF son has eaten there many times without problems. I don't make too many smoothies in the winter, but you have me thinking about one today.

    5. Woah!! What a gem of a site. I LOVE that you provide information. Im all about the recipe writing but get lazy with this part of everything. Will be adding you to the blog roll!

      ps- This recipe needs to become part of seasonal sundays tomorrow! Its perfect! :)


      I just transferred my blog to Could you come over & update & change your rss? Could you also update my old blog for my new one on your bloglist?

    7. We really enjoy Chipotle too, but a couple words of caution. They use soybean oil (and it's not organic so it almost certainly contains GMOs). It's on every single thing except: Carnitas (the pork), the dairy (but that's all pasteurized), and the guac, lettuce and all salsa except the corn/bean one. So I always get a bowl with lettuce, carnitas, fresh pico (tomato salsa) and guacamole. It's soy free and should be GMO free, although I'm sure the pigs eat GMO feed. (They are hormone and antibiotic free though, which is a big step up, unfortunately they are not pastured nor organic) Still beats any place around, hands-down!

    8. Thank for the info Amy and Elisabeth. Had no idea about the soy!

    9. What a wonderful post! Towards the end of 2010 I went vegan to try and deal with my Rheumatoid Arthritis. Then in very late December my son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies. As soon as we eliminated them all (wheat, barley, apples, oranges, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and pecans) his constant sinus infections and diarrhea went away. We are still struggling with the change-over some days, but seeing results so we continue. Thanks for the reminder of the good points and the hope that things will continue to get easier!

    10. I've been gluten free since 2001 and I agree that the simplest recipes are usually the best. Thanks for the video on Dr. Hyman. I will check out what he is doing.. Looks interesting. Thanks for the great post.


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