In the Middle of Me is my Tummy. You would think after all these years, that my Tummy and Me would be like, “this”. (Imagine crossed fingers.) Oddly, it seems I do not know my Tummy as well as I thought I did. It seems my Tummy prefers a gluten-free existence. Who knew? All those years of bread and beer and wheat cereals . . . .
A lot of people express sympathy when I tell them I am gluten-free and ask how I’m doing. I’ve actually found gluten-free to be pretty easy. So far today I had strawberry/banana peach smoothie (with whole milk and whole milk yogurt), about 16 ozs, for breakfast; hashbrowns (from fresh potatoes) with butter and olive oil and steak fajitas with corn tortillas for lunch. I had a major iron craving today, probably continued recovery from the 50 States. Likely a burger or two in my immediate future. 😀 Or maybe all beef chili. 🙂
General rundown of gluten-free me?
- Breakfast is probably easiest—Cheerios, grits, hashbrowns, granola and fruit with yogurt. (Yes, the original granola, “real” granola, is gluten free.) Omlets, sausage, bacon. Cooking at home? Pancakes with gluten-free flour mix.
- Lunch? Soups, stews, salads, gluten free crackers and cheese, anything in a corn tortilla, lettuce wrap burger and fries, brat with sauer kraut and mustard eaten with a knife and fork throw away the bun. (Throwing away the bread, or asking for a sandwich on lettuce is an easy substitute when eating out.) Homemade quiche with a rice and cornstarch crust is good, too.
- Dinner—any of the above and more. Steak and baked potato, fish and fries, anything with rice, fried chicken with corn flake batter, anything hold the bread.
- Dessert—ugh, this is hard. Ice cream—the traditional flavors—is a reliable old friend. I am rediscovering candy, chocolates and gluten-free desserts. Fresh fruit is a nice treat.
- Snacks—a piece of fresh fruit, trail mix, nuts, candy, potato chips, a glass of milk.
- A drink? Wine or liqueur.
Bummers include missing actual burgers instead of lettuce wrap, goodbye beer, bagels. I was seriously missing pizza until I found a few restaurants that offered gluten-free crusts. Burgers are tough because my weekly burger was a big part of my summer iron supply. In the winter I eat a lot of beef stew, but in the summer it seems too hot for stew.
Surprises? Plenty. “Hidden gluten” is one of the toughest parts of gluten free. Gluten in tea bags (yes, tea bags), soy sauce, Mary Kitchen Roast Beef (but not Corn Beef) Hash, Rice Krispies. (There are gluten-free Rice Krispies for home use, but forget Rice Krispie Treats from commercial bakeries.) Beef jerky is also out as a snack most of the time because most beef jerky is made with soy sauce which contains wheat and therefore gluten. L Some caramel candies also have flour as a thickener and therefore gluten.
In the American diet, carbs are all around us. Potatoes, rice, corn and oats the obvious. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and even a lot of dairy has carbs. Most Americans would be better served by reducing carbs, not necessarily Atkins, but just cutting back a bit.
On various trips this year, I’ve been surprised how easy it has been to eat on the go and keep the gluten out. I think part of this is that a lot of places have more traditional eating patterns, taking time to sit down and eat, a lot more steak and fries, finish your corn and lima beans. But there does seem to be a lot of awareness generally about gluten-free and I always seem to find something good on the menu.
I shouldn’t make gluten-free sound so simple; there is a lot more to it. Overall, I think it has made me think a lot more about how I eat and I enjoy my food now more than I used to. I’m also eating more fresh food to avoid “hidden gluten.” And I’ve lost about 15 pounds and two sizes. I’m also positive that I am eating less overall now. Thus, the weight loss and size drop.
So, oddly enough, in the 21st century, I find myself circling back to a mid-20th century diet of meat and potatoes, eggs and cheese, milk and yogurt and fruit, corn and oats. It makes my Tummy happy, though, and if Tummy is happy, I’m happy. 🙂