down the gluten free rabbit hole

15319194_10154957027115312_2953072245975760710_nSometime this autumn I went vegetarian, as well as wheat free and corn free…the end goal is not just to lose a substantial amount of weight. .there is no real end goal, I expect to keep with this sort of diet forever.  I have lost about 20 lbs so far…and I plateaued about 6 weeks ago…but it’s winter, generally a time that pounds accumulate, right now as long as I don’t gain anything I’m a happy camper.

Meanwhile, on Thanksgiving I went to two homes and ate two turkey dinners with a few trimmings, and last week I had a couple of slices of pepperoni pizza with some work colleagues, and then a couple of days later I didn’t bring food to work so I ate a vended ham and cheese sandwich was tasted pretty good…so that’s the kinda of flexible diet I embrace. I tell people I’m avoiding wheat and gluten, but I am not religious about it. I figure every time I avoid the things I am avoiding, the times I don’t will matter less and less.

Like a lot of people I scoffed at the Gluten Free army, just another one of those bandwagons people climb onto.  YES some people have a sensitivity, but half the planet?  Where I am avoiding wheat of all stripes, with or without gluten, it has become an awfully handy resource.  Metro Portland is a ridiculously easy place to have a specialized diet, much easier than back in the MV.  When choosing a frozen pizza, it isn’t GF or regular? it’s WHICH GF pizza to buy?  My personal opinion is that GF pizza, GF cookies, GF cake….are STILL pizza, cookies and cake…so just swapping out to a the GF version isn’t the same as a healthy diet.  But a GF pizza  still makes a treat from time to time – and there’s even a place that delivers a GF pizza, that ain’t half bad.

15253538_10154955722390312_6201720187086987822_nI did a big purge at first, pressing all my freezer meat and homemade food onto my moms, and slowly I am learning which GF foodstuffs fit into my life.  Between Bob’s Red Mill and now King Arthur’s GF line, one could be happily baking from prepared mixes for a while. but many GF things just aren’t worth the bother, the taste or texture just reminds you it isn’t what it isn’t. Today I pulled off a couple of challenges.  A chicken free chicken noodle soup (with gf noodles) which was delicious, and a Shepherd’s Pie using lentils, also delicious.  Both meals were relatively time consuming,  like everyone else I don’t get much scratch cooking done on days I go to work.   I try to make up for by cooking ahead on my days off.    Sadly I don’t think there will be any soup leftover after tomorrow.

A friend turned me on to Vitacost which carries a lot of products I can’t find locally as well as things I didn’t know existed. Luckily their prices and shipping costs are quite reasonable. They don’t do that thing that Amazon does, by overcharging you to penalize you for wanting something they actually sell.  But if you have an odd diet, they probably have what you are looking for.

Sometimes you don’t know what you are looking for until you see it.  I stopped at a different grocery store last night and found that Snyder’s makes a couple of Gluten Free pretzels which I will probably consume at a ridiculous clip.  I don’t know what it is about working at a computer, but I always feel I need to be snacking on something. And pretzels make the least mess.

So in a few weeks I have moved from the ‘i’m not going to bother with gluten free products”, to “what else comes gluten free and can i eat it?”  Someone JUST opened a bakery at the end of my street….something I would have loved two years ago, now just offers me another thing I need to avoid.  But the baker does have some GF items on the menu… Portland, damn it.



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