It’s Working

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a great holiday. Mine was unbelievably busy, as I cooked an entire meal and attended another. I was stuffed when 7pm rolled around. My mother and I made the best turkey of our turkey-roasting careers, and the biggest pan of mashed potatoes known to man. We make a pistachio salad, lovingly known as Fluff in our family, and Brussel sprouts with cranberries. I love Thanksgiving because I love to eat, and I love getting together with my family.

But……….I was bad.

I was weak.

I was irresponsible.

I ate gluten. And a lot of it.

My mom’s homemade stuffing was literally calling my name and I just had to eat a helping. And then another. And we bought these dinner rolls from Sam’s Club that taste like Texas Roadhouse rolls and I had not, not two, but three over the course of the day. Add in the slice of pie I had and it was more gluten then I’ve eaten in the last four months of being GF. Because I can’t lie, I occasionally sneak in gluten, like when I ate a wonton from my favorite Chinese place, or when Oreo came out with the Candy Cane Oreos. I’m usually good at turning gluten things down, but not on Thanksgiving. Nope. I went straight to the Naughty List with what was on my plate.

Friday morning I felt awful. Just plain awful. I didn’t sleep well that night, I woke up with my body feeling like I had weights holding me down, and I felt like I could barely keep my eyes open. I had to be at work early and felt so sluggish and out of it. I had problems focusing and my fingers were swollen so much I had a hard time cutting out paper ornaments for our craft.

As much as I hate to admit it, this GF thing is working. It really is. I still have pain throughout the day, but after a night of I binging on bread, I will physically sick. I guess I need to keep a closer eye on what I put into my body.

Christmas baking will be hard this year, but I’m planning on trying a bunch of different recipes and will report back!!

Schär

GUYS. I found a gluten-free bread that’s delicious! Schär. It’s in this bright yellow package and thy make all sorts of amazing GF things, but their white bread is where it’s at.

The loaf is small, with about 14 slices, and typically runs about $6.50/loaf, which makes me sick to my stomach, but it is great. They have baguettes and buns and breadcrumbs and English muffins. I went with the white bread.

So for lunch I had breakfast. I had Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free cream of “wheat”. It’s actually cream of rice, and if you’ve ever cooked minute rice, you’ve had this cream of rice. It smelled just like rice, looked just like rice. It was basically a super short grain. After adding some almond milk, vegan butter and like 7 Equal packets, I was fooled. Next time I think I’d add a bit more salt than what than what the package called for. It was a bit flat. I popped two slices of my bread in the toaster and slabbed some butter on it. First bite, I didn’t think it tasted like toast. It had the consistency and bite of ciabatta bread, which happens to be one of my faves. It was mildly salty and got delightfully crunchy without being tough.

👍🏼👍🏼

I got some Tofutti American cheese slices and can’t wait to have me a grilled cheese with a bowl of chili on this wonderful fall evening.

Buy the bread!!

Pizza

Fact: I lovepizza.

Pizza hasn’t been as fun since I went dairy-free 2 years ago, but I typically pop a couple Lactaids and jump in. Since my gluten-free days, pizza seems to have been a thing of the past. Unless I want to spend hours making a pizza from scratch.

Fact: I don’t love pizza that much.

I’m all for trying new GF recipes, but sometimes I don’t feel like scouring grocery aisles for that one item Pinterest says I’ll need, but never use again. Plus, my kitchen gets hot when the oven is on.

Anyhow, in the past five days, I’ve tried two separate restaurant gluten-free pizzas!

Up first: PizzaFire

Even pre-GF I was all about PizzaFire because of their vegan cheese option.

SO, I ambled up to the counter (the place was packed at 12:30 on a weekday) and asked for the gluten-free crust. The kind pizza maker first asked if I needed a glove change. How sweet! The GF crusts are even premade in little foil pans so they don’t have to touch the gluten-splattered pizza things (those giant wooden spatulas, I can’t remember what they’re called). It’s awesome that they take great care to be as gluten free as possible. However, I do not have Celiac’s or a gluten intolerance, it’s a voluntary thing, so I said I was good. PizzaFire has a million options for toppings, and I have different tastes than my family so pile on the roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes!!

After waiting a speedy four minutes, a different kind pizza maker hand delivered my GF pizza with a smile and an offer to bring me napkins.

At first sight, I noticed it didn’t look as good as my mom’s. It wasn’t burnt and bubbly looking around the edges, which is my favorite part. I took a deep breath and grabbed a, still greasy!, slice and dug in. It wasn’t half bad! I could tell it wasn’t quite a pizza crust, but it was still pretty tasty. As it sat longer and the spicy sauce soaked in, it was even better. I couldn’t finish my pizza, but I heated it back up in the oven and it was 100x better. I wish PizzaFire would leave my pizza in just a little longer!

3.5/5 crust stars

Next up: Pizza Hut

They built a Pizza Hut right down the road from my house and it’s basically been our Sunday evening meal 3 of 4 Sundays. I never knew they had GF crusts until about two weeks ago. Hooray!

Downside, only smalls and only marinara. That leads me to believe their other sauces contain gluten 😩😩 I love pizza but I adore pizza heated up in the oven the next day. I had a 30% off coup so I went big and ordered two toppings, wild I know. The crust is made by Udi’s and came in it’s own special Udi’s box! I’m new to GF life, but I presume Udi’s is the GF brand, and I myself have tortillas and bagels in my freezer right now.

Upon unveiling (it’s a big deal), this pizza looked crispy and delicious! This pizza had a little more “crust” to it, something I could easily hold on to. It was a little smaller than the PizzaFire pizza, about the size of a typical tortilla, but the crust is a-mazing. Definitely better than the PizzaFire crust.

4.5/5 crust stars

The Pizza Hut crust was better, but the limited options and pricey toppings throws me off. I’m probably more likely to eat GF at PizzaFire than Pizza Hut, but I enjoyed both!

Being Good

Because I was naughty yesterday, I made sure to be extra good today.

My breakfast consisted of running around like a chicken with my head cut off before getting ready for church and a hot cup of coffee with Coffee Mate’s new Butter Toffee creamer (highly recommend).

For lunch, I went to the same Mexican place I went last night (small town, different company). There I had flautas, corn tortillas with chicken and beef, that are deep fried and crispy.

So far so good.

For dinner we went with coney dogs. My mom has the BEST coney sauce recipe she found in an old Amish cookbook. BallPark hot dogs, be best in my opinion, have been gluten-free for the last 20 years, according to their website. My brother–our resident grill master– barbecued those suckers to perfection, with just the right amount of char. We had bought some squishy-they-were-so-fresh hot dog buns at the grocery store, but those would not be good for me. After my latest trip to Aldi, I grabbed some GF wraps.

I’ve always enjoyed a good wrap, but usually they’re veggie filled and crunchy and cool. This wrap was filled with a hot dog and a mound of coney sauce.

The wrap was……decent. It didn’t have much flavor. Not sure if that is good or bad. I warmed mine up in the microwave to soften them up. Unfortunately, they didn’t soften very much.

These were the wraps I bought.

Maybe I put the wrong thing in them, I mean coney dogs are meant to be in buns, so maybe I didn’t have the right mindset?

Coney dogs in wraps? Would not recommend.

Cheater

Yesterday I cheated.

I am recovering from knee surgery and physical therapy has been beating my butt, and then I walked around Target (bad decision). Saturday I went to lunch and the grocery store. That evening I went to a fancy (semi-stuffy) yet wonderful fundraiser for a free clinic in my town–they had a mashed potato bar, served in martini glasses– and had to do a lot of sitting and standing.

I’d been running around non-stop, which is not good for my knee, or my fibromyalgia. Fibro is all about give and take.

So after the fundraiser, my family and I hit up our local Mexican restaurant for chips and margs. I do not like margaritas because I think they taste like that awful goo they use at the orthodontist to make you a retainer. I opted for water and unlimited chips.

Then my cousin’s husband ordered a Dos Equis. Now, I don’t even like beer. I’m not a huge drinker anyhow, mostly a social drinker. But that beer looked so good and cold in that fancy glass with a vibrant green lime wedge attached to the rim. I asked for a sip. No big deal, just a sip.

Then the waitress came around and I ordered one.

I don’t know what came over me!! Let me preface by saying in my 4 years of being legal drinking age I’ve only ordered a drink 6 different times. Six! Number one, I don’t know much about alcohol, number two, I have no idea what I like because of number one, and number three, drinks are pricey! I’d rather not spend $8 on a juice glass of alcohol I’ll undoubtedly burp up for the following four hours.

Yet I sat flagged the waitress down and ordered a Dos Equis.

Who the heck even am I?

Beer is like the one alcohol with gluten and I chugged, I mean chugged, it down. I’d been doing so good, too.

Oh well. It went down the hatch and I even giggled as I placed my empty cup down. I was like “Hah! Gluten does nothing to me!” *eye roll*

Won’t be making that mistake again. 😂😂

Yogurt

I’m not a huge breakfast person. In the mornings I like cereal. I am a huge breakfast for dinner fan, but other than that, I like my morning breakfast to be a little lighter.

After my latest run to Target, I stumbled upon Silk brand almondmilk peach yogurt!

I’ve tried the Silk soy yogurts before and I wasn’t a fan. I just can’t like soy milk. Buuuuut I do like almond milk. And peaches.

I added my new GF granola as well! Since my tougher was peach, I went with the raisin almond honey granola.

First bite of yogurt and I already knew it was 100x better than the soy yogurts. It tasted like any other yogurt, which was nice. And the granola was delicious! Sweet and crunchy.

A+ breakfast 👍🏼

Also, if anyone is interested in a terrific fantasy novel, I suggest the A Court of Wings and Ruin trilogy by Sarah J Maas.

Lunch

Since going gluten-free, I become acutely aware of what I eat. Not like one of those fitness nuts, but just trying to figure out if I’m good to eat this or not. And I thank the gluten-free gods that Chipotle is practically gluten-free. Obviously, the burrito shells are out of the question, but chips? Good to go. I love Chipotle’s chips with that chunky salt and like squeezed all over them. 👌🏻 *Italian smooch sound*

Since going GF I’ve consumed a whole lot of rice. It’s so easy to make and I loathe peeling potatoes. I’ve purchased some quinoa but I’m hesitant to try it out. The last time I tried quinoa it was crunchy and dry as what.

All a learning process, I suppose.

Clarification

At 1:38am this morning I was wide awake thinking about the title of my blog. I can’t tell if it means I love gluten-free bread, or if I’m gluten-free and love gluten-filled bread.

So, to clarify, I am living gluten-free but looooooove gluten-filled bread. Give me all the gluten ya got. I’m using this blog to figure out the best GF breads and rolls and bagels the world has to offer.

Really wish I could sleep, because this was a silly reason to be kept awake.

Aldi

If you don’t have an Aldi near you, I am so sorry.

I live and breathe for Aldi. They have so many cool finds there! My Aldi, because I swear all of them are different, just started carrying a ton of cool Indian options! I found an 80z bag of Jasmine rice for $4.89, as well as premade Indian sauces, like curry.

On top of having great prices, Aldi also has a great selection of gluten-free items! Today, I got spaghetti and rigatoni, crackers, granola, “nutrition-grain” bars, chili lime chips, wraps, all-purpose mix–think GF Bisquick–, and a two styles of pretzels! Their brand is called LiveGFree and it comes in adorable blue packages, most completely gluten and nut free, some also dairy free. Awesome, right?!

Aldi also has a variety of GF chips, including sweet potato, which definitely went in my cart. I also got some pretty cheap quinoa, even though I’ve yet to find a way I like to eat it. Gotta keep trying though.

Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Marisa and I’m starting a gluten-free diet because I have fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed at 23, young by most doctor’s standards. I tried several prescriptions and had some nasty side affects like chronic insomnia, vertigo, ridiculous amounts of sweating and overall grouchiness. After two years of trying new medicines, I have decided to go the natural route, and after reading so many different articles on fibro, the consensus was gluten-free. And hat terrified me, because I love bread. Like, love bread. I want to live inside a Panera, I have wet dreams about the homemade bread my grandma made when I was little, I am best friends with the folks at my local bread oven. Love bread. But once I started researching GF diets I realized gluten is everywhere. I always laughed when I looked at a ketchup bottle and it said gluten free in blocky letters, like, duh. It’s just tomatoes. Now I find myself trying to casually read nutrition labels or do a quick internet search to make sure I’m staying GF. Did you know some chicken broths had gluten? Because I didn’t. Why would I think that? And pepperoni? Or lunchmeat in general? And the best part of every snack mix, the rye chips??I was overwhelmed. Now, I don’t have celiac’s disease or gluten-intolerance (thank the Lord), but I was trying to avoid as much gluten as possible. And it sucks.I truly am lactose-intolerant, so now when I head out to eat I have even more limited options! Before it was avoid cheese and ranch dressing (way harder than it should have been). Now I’m like “I’ll have a salad, no cheese, no croutons” because it’s exhausting, and, I’m not gonna lie, a bit embarrassing to have to customize every meal I order so I’m not pooping my guts out later on. Once you’re off gluten, a little gluten tears. you. up. It’s not pretty. So I sat down at my kitchen table and opened up my handy dandy helper, Pinterest, put my big girl panties on and ate my last slice of French bread.