Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gluten Free is the Way for Me!

Although I do not have celiac disease (YAY) I do have sensitivity to gluten and a few other things as well. In an experiment, suggested by my doctor, I went gluten-free in September of this year. To say I noticed a difference is an understatement! I noticed  a major change!

As I have also been trying to lose weight I quit using some other foods, mainly sugary foods and almost no soda pops, diet and otherwise. I didn't really like sugary sodas but have a true love of sweet tea. I dropped sweet tea and diet sodas are only allowed about once a month. When I crave one badly I give in but it has to be a real craving that I just need to get past. It has become easier to give these things up when I have noticed the changes in my health.

One of the first things I noticed was a drop in pounds. Of course this is normal when one goes on any reasonable diet. However, I lost a significant chunk of fat in one month. The doctor was even shocked! She was the one who suggested the gluten change and wholly supported the diet soda reduction.

The other things I noticed may be in the TMI category but here we go. Bloating after eating has been reduced about 90% of the time. I do not normally eat large meals not only for dietary reasons but also because I can't consume large amounts of food without feeling sick, grumpy, and tired. It is not worth all these things to eat all that food and suffer the consequences. Gas attacks are lessened and bowel movements (you were warned) are more consistent and normal. While I still get irritable bowel or IBS, this mainly happens after eating at a restaurant. There must be mystery things in the foods in restaurants which cause this to happen. There have been some close calls to make it to a bathroom in time and it is unnerving. 

Cooking more at home helps because it is just not worth the trouble and inconvenience. Lastly, a concern I have had was why my skin was getting so patchy and blotchy. My facial tones were varied with a lot of red patches and my overall skin was way too dry. Now that I have made dietary changes there have been big changes in both these areas. While this may not all be associated with gluten, it is likely to be one of the main culprits. I say this because I have not had anything else stop the ruddy skin tone. Using the best products for skin care, as a Mary Kay regular, I knew something else was the culprit. Now we know the real story.

An adventurous person, as well as curious, I am trying all kinds of products and recipes. Converting recipes has been a normal process for me and at  some point I may try making a cookbook of all the things I have tried and succeeded with cooking. We don't need to talk about the flops...fortunately there aren't too many thus far.

Today I tried my first gluten free pizza kit made by Bella Lea. I heard about it from a friend who raved about how wonderful it is! It was absolutely wonderful! It came with a round cooking paper which is what you work your dough on as well as place in the oven. The suggestion was to preheat a pizza stone or use the oven rack. For safety reasons using the direct rack of the oven doesn't work for me. Maybe it has to do with not having a lucky history with things running over. What I did, since I don't have a pizza stone, is preheat a round pizza pan while I made the dough and prepped toppings. I followed the package directions and mixed the dough and while this was happening I had some sliced mushrooms and bell peppers in a slow simmer on the stove. While the dough was rising I finished up the toppings and got ready for the dough adventure.

I braced myself because historically patting pizza dough has been a messy adventure. Imagine the pleasant surprise when the dough was quite manageable so that no rolling pin was needed. Okay now, this is where I messed up. Although I read the box, I somehow glanced over the part where it says to cook the crust for a little while before adding the toppings. I proceeded to add the sauce, which was included, and all the toppings I wanted and then did as they said to do in the last part. I slid the completed pizza onto the heated pan and put it in the oven. This was when I was made aware that I did follow the directions correctly. So I added the two times they had for each process and baked the pizza minus two minutes to play it safe. It came out just as if I had followed the directions! Whew!! And was it ever tasty! YUM YUM!!

My most recent find is Katz Gluten Free foods and soon I expect my free sample pack to come! As products are tried they will be reviewed. Stay tuned!