Over the last month, I have adopted a (mostly) plant-based diet. I use the word mostly because after I discovered I had an adult-onset gluten allergy, my personal choice about any diet modifications going forward was that I would have the attitude of “everything else is negotiable.” I will always be gluten-free. Perhaps one day my allergy will be rid of me, and if that happens, I will be extremely happy! Being hosted by family or friends, or the occasional outing is difficult enough trying to find options as someone who needs to avoid wheat. My symptoms, I have found, last up to two weeks after an accidental run-in with gluten. Two weeks of discomfort/pain is not worth it to me….at all….for anything…anymore. That said, the gluten-free way will be mine, and I am well aware that when I’m being hosted, special accommodations are being made for me. I always try to express my gratitude and eat what is prepared for me.
I also am someone who can become hyper-fixated on what I eat. It’s never been an eating disorder where I binge or I starve myself. But I love food and for me, that means I often think about it more than the average person. At least that’s my perception!
Given all this backstory, what I mean to say is that I am an inconvenience to myself and others as a gluten-free individual, however, it is a non-negotiable. The modifications I choose in any given season are what I am declaring negotiable. When my very sweet mother-in-law serves me homemade soup with chicken in it (but no gluten), I’m going to eat it. When I’m at a theme park and the gluten-free options are limited, I eat what I can.
What I’m Loving Lately
I’ve been keeping a ton of produce on hand:
1. Potatoes (red and sweet)
2. Onions (Red, Yellow, Vidalia)
4. Bell Peppers
5. Broccoli Crowns
6. Mandarin Oranges
8. Honeycrisp Apples
Additionally, I’m keeping a few pantry staples on hand:
1. Pasta Sauce
2. Canned Beans (Chick Peas & Black Beans)
3. Canned Coconut Milk
4. Jasmine Rice
5. Gluten-Free Pasta
8. Almond Milk (Costco sells them boxed)
9. Peanut Butter
10. Flax Seed/Protein Powder
I’ve been reverting to a handful of staple recipes I modify here and there:
1. Stir Fry
One of the most disappointing things about being a gluten-free person trying to eat plant-based is that SO many (and I mean the MAJORITY) of plant-based meat alternatives contain gluten. I didn’t realize this years ago when I went through my vegetarian phase. I was eating a TON of gluten during this phase of life! This is wild to me. I also struggled horribly with cystic acne. One must wonder…
Dairy-free cheese has come a long way! Violife has made some great options. I find the best price on tempeh at Trader Joe’s (when I go, which is rare). I have yet to find a gluten-free bread option that does not contain eggs (so I let it slide).
I’m overall feeling better. My skin is MUCH better. My digestion is better. My sleep has improved. I think I may have found a diet that works for me, but of course, the flexibility factor is important.
Let’s see if I can keep it up!