How to Deal With Emotions Being Newly Gluten-Free

emotion in gluten free bread

It’s the second month of 2019. How are you holding up on your gluten-free diet? 🙂

We know. Taking on a diet that is different from everyone else’s can be a challenge.

Being diagnosed with Celiac disease, or non-Celiac gluten intolerance is a positive development, since formerly mysterious symptoms that you experience can now be controlled, and you can finally take charge and live a healthier life. But with this new realization come emotions that you also in a very real way have to battle with on a daily basis: from frustration of not being able to eat what you want, to the anxiety of being excluded. 

So, how do you cope? 

The Restaurant Anxiety

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You don’t want to be thought of as a picky eater. As a matter of fact, you want other people to be comfortable around you while dining out. Or at least, not to be a consideration for others all the time, whenever you are dining out with friends or co-workers. This can be a cause of major anxiety for someone new to a diet not adhered to by most people around them. The feeling of social exclusion can be wearing. 

How to Deal:

Consciously and actively remind yourself of the positive effects of taking on your new diet. You would no longer have to deal with the symptoms such as headaches or diarrhea, and you are actually doing something to be healthy. Keeping a journal to write down things you are grateful for in this diet, can be a major help. If you are not used to journaling, simply creating a bulleted list tucked away in your phone, which you could peruse when you feel anxiety bubbling up, could be the difference between an anxious lunch and a relaxed one.

If you are not yet very skilled in scouting what’s gluten-free on a standard menu, make some time to know which Gluten Free restaurants are in your school or around your workplace. In a group setting, there will almost always be a pause to consider where the group is dining out. Occasionally be the one to suggest a place where you know there are options for you. A place where people with regular diets can be comfortable, too. Focus on the fact that you are simply suggesting somewhere to eat, not being picky. Other people may even thank you for being quick about it.

Frustration: I can no longer eat everything I want.

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Frustration of not being able to eat what you want is one of the major emotions to deal with when first starting out on a gluten-free diet. You have done your research and now have the list of what to eat nailed down. But along with that is acquiring an even more vast knowledge of what you cannot have. Watching other family members chow down a nice regular sandwich or that delicious cake is an experience you will be very familiar with.

How to Deal: Realize that flavor is not synonymous with gluten. There are delicious gluten-free options available for you, as well. As you get more acquainted with this new diet, you will very soon try a myriad of different food options that will be very agreeable with your taste buds, as well as your diet. Food that you will even crave for. That sandwich? You can have one at home with your own gluten-free bread. That cake, well think, “I’ll buy one from that gluten-free place I know, or even make it one better: I will make one myself in that yam flavor I cannot get just anywhere. It will be delicious.”

The Grocery Battlefield

girl in gluten free shopping in store

Unarmed, it can be very intimidating walking into a grocery store not knowing what to put in your shopping cart. Looking at the back labels of food can make your grocery shopping take twice as long.  It can leave you shrouded in misery going up and down the aisles looking for but not finding exactly the things you need. It’s not unusual to feel yourself welling up with the overwhelming emotion and stress of it all.

How to Deal:  Firstly, know your enemy. You can read our previous post on what to watch out for in a Filipino grocery store, such as stealth gluten. Being fluent in gluten vocabulary can immediately shrink the stress of complicated food label reading in half. Easily spot gluten, and easily eliminate it.  You can also make this chore more convenient by first doing some scouting online. You can have gluten free food delivered to you at home from shops that offer a wide range of gluten-free options and can drop it right to your doorstep.

Being on this new gluten-free diet is a definite change and you would have to deal with different emotions that go along with it. But at the end of  the day, what would make this gluten-free transition a lot easier for you is allowing yourself to lean into them. Everyone on this diet will have similar experiences as you. Just like gluten in your diet, you can take control of it and soon eliminate them from your life. 

How do you deal with your own emotions in this diet? Feel free to share it with us in the comments! 🙂

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Christmas Gluten-Free Gift Set

Christmas and the accompanying food festivities are fast approaching. It is tough enough that we have to look for gluten-free options for the holidays. But to shop for a great gift for someone who is gluten-intolerant? It can be another challenge altogether. Why  not give them this perfect gift? This is a Gluten-free gift set made especially with yours and their needs in mind:

Gluten-Free Holiday Gift Set

Christmas Gluten-Free Gift Set

 

Each bag contains:

Gluten-Free Seasoning

Gluten Free Spaghetti

Gluten-Free Zero-Calorie Noodles

Fruit Crisps (2 variants)

Organic Coconut Spread Seasalt

Lentil Chips Creamy Dill

These are  great as giveaways: they can be kept at room temperature and so can be opened at anytime, perfect for storing in advance to be ready for your family events.

Have them delivered to you. If you want to create an element of surprise, the company that makes this can also deliver to your lucky recipient’s door.

Visit their site to order: GERALD.ph

Happy Holidays!

Adlai Stewed in Coconut and Curry

Adlai Stewed in Coconut and Curry

When your grain options are limited due to gluten sensitivity (goodbye, wheat, barley,  rye and all of their forms), what is there left to eat? Still a lot, if you are really looking, but we have to gain where we have lost, don’t we? Adlai or also known as Job’s tears or pearl barley (because of it’s nice pearly shape) is a gluten-free grain you should add to your shopping list.  It is a family of grasses where wheat and rice also come from but other than being gluten-free, it is also low in the glycemic index, so, better for your blood sugar than white rice.It also has a nice texture that is slightly chewy yet firm and al-dente to the bite–like rice shaped pasta grains.

How do you cook them? You can  try this recipe right here!  You can also add it to your salads, soup  or stews. 🙂 Let’s get started!

INGREDIENTS

3 cups or 15 oz cooked Adlai grains
1 coconut milk from 1 medium sized coconut grated and expeller-pressed)
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
3 medium shallots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 chile (siling labuyo), de-stemmed, sliced and seeded
2 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
1 tsp curry powder
5 cups water

DIRECTIONS

Start by sauteing the onion until fragrant. Add the garlic, shallots and chile. Saute for another 3 minutes. Add the curry powder and then add the coconut milk. Simmer for 2 minutes and add adlai grains to the pot. Continue to simmer on low heat until tender, around 30 to 40 minutes.

You can choose to soak the adlai grains for at least half an hour before you start cooking to speed up the process.  Once Adlai is tender, that’s it! Add some more sliced chiles on top or toasted coconut to add more interesting twist and crunch to the dish.

Enjoy with a side of meat or on it’s own as a nice vegan dish!

Sugar-free & Gluten-free Ideas for Halloween!

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In our diet, it’s not always just gluten we’re worried about, right? On Halloween, along with our concern for gluten, we also have  just as important, if not much more pressing health concern during this time of the year: sugar.

Parents out there, tempting as it may be to let loose a bit and let your kids go with all the rainbow colors of candy, we must remember that too much sugar has actual consequences to a child’s health.

It is not just the sugar rush that we’re talking about. Sugar has a much more negative effect on the body that is important for us to know.

image4Dental decay is an obvious one. Sugar is known to speed up breakdown of teeth as it fuels the bad bacteria in the mouth. Though younger kids naturally lose their baby teeth, it is important to take care of them as you would permanent ones as the bacteria on the surface of baby teeth can attack the healthy ones still under the gum surface, which can adversely affect their growth by the time they’re ready to come out.

Study also finds sugar lowers the immune system to up to five hours after consumption. Ever notice that close to midnight or when you’ve been up all night, eating sweets has the effect of making your throat scratchy and making you feel like you’re coming down with something? That’s because sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bad bacteria in our bodies.

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Sugar as fructose  and glucose that are in abundance in Halloween candy also has the effect of make one feel famished. Munching on sweets makes your brain resist leptin, which is the protein that help signal the body that it is full. Anytime sweets are introduced in the diet, it makes it easier to eat too much. Partnered with the fact that sugar is highly addictive, it can lead to complications and diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Though Halloween is just one night a year, letting kids loose on sugar, and having candy in the cookie jar for weeks after, can introduce kids to sugar eating habits and that would be extremely harmful for them in the long run.

Here are a few tips to make this Halloween a little less about the sugar and a bit more about the fun:

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Consider giving out inedible treats like Halloween accessories like glow sticks, colorful bracelets, that they can have fun with while out in the streets at night. Just remember not to give out things that little kids can choke on. You don’t have to worry about  sugar here, and gluten, even.

 

 

Have the tradition of a contest of who can bring home the most candy. That way, kids will have the motivation not to eat any of the candy until they get home, so that you may get a handle on what and how much sweets your kids actually consume.

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Though a bit more out of the way, if you are visiting houses of people you actually know, like friends or relatives, have a deal with them to give out healthier and sugar-free (and gluten-free!) treats to your kids, or prepare something you yourself approve of, and hand them out to house owners before you set out for the night with your kids. It can just be between adults.

Remember that sweets and edibles during Halloween can just be a portion of the fun. Make other fun highlights such as creating costumes, decorating, and storytelling with your kids, that will focus more on the activities rather than the sweets.

Remember, with your kids health on the line it pays to keep the effort to be healthy even on Halloween. 🙂

Mother and Daughter Painting a Pumpkin

 

References:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Albert Sanchez, J. L. Reeser, H. S. Lau, P. Y. Yahiku, R. E. Willard, P. J. McMillan, S. Y. Cho, A. R. Magie, and U. D. Register. – Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. – The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Inc. 1973., Copyright © 1973,http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/26/11/1180.abstract\

The Skimy on Obesity – UCTV Prime http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=23717

 

Quick & Easy Breakfast Ideas

Let’s face it: most of us hardly ever have time for a proper meal in the morning. Whether it is to squeeze in a few extra minutes of shuteye before heading off to our day, or our to-do lists are simply too long  to make room for a pause in the morning. So, we racked up a few practical ideas here that you can try as quick breakfast options sans the need to deal with your gluten allergy, or celiac disease symptoms. It’s important to keep your energy high first thing in the morning to get things done, don’t you agree? And gluten should be one less thing to worry about at this most important meal of the day.

Eggs

gluten free breakfast eggs with asparagus

Sunny side up, scrambled, or made into a nice omelette, you cannot go wrong with this breakfast item. You can mix in your selection of veggies, add basic spices and herbs and you can have a filling meal in a matter of minutes. A quick trick is to boil a couple of eggs, peel them, dice and mix in with tomatoes, asparagus, a pinch of salt and pepper, and you’re good to go. Healthy, quick, and hassle-free.

Fruits

gluten free breakfast fruits

This seems like a no-brainer but if your time is scarce, you can forget a basic gluten-free item like this. Ready to eat fruits are convenient, and the quickest of quick meals. Make a berries mix, or grab a convenient apple, or a couple of bananas, or dalandan (they’re one of the remaining cheap ones you can find around street markets or groceries around Metro Manila), before going out to run your errands. If you’re really pressed for time, you can finish these while on a drive, or at your desk at work.

Gluten-free pancakes and waffles

gluten free pancakes with raspberries

This is great if you have gluten-free flour lying around. If not, you can also do mashed banana, mixed with gluten-free oat flour, and eggs as replacement. Fry these in a bit of oil, add some berries, or pour into your waffle maker and finish with syrup. You can even make a sandwich out of these with nice spread or fruit filling. Pack them in sandwich bags and you’re done!

Gluten Free Sandwich or Toast

gluten free sandwich

Gluten-free breads are now thankfully easier to come by. Drop by your healthy food store or look for gluten-free breads online. We have a selection for you at GERALD.ph and you can get them home delivered. If you’re serious about eliminating gluten,  this should already be a staple item in your pantry.  Spread a nice jelly filling, peanut or other nut butters, or chocolate spreads. 

Why not try these to rev up your day unglutened? Let us know how it works out! 🙂

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Rice

Here is an excellent gluten-free version of our favorite cauliflower rice recipe! If you are also worried about calories, aside from gluten, this is a great meal substitute for your usual gluten-free pasta or rice.  Excellent to pair with meat or seafood. It is a staple for those on a keto diet, but just as excellent if you also can’t have gluten. You can also try it without the egg or meat for a vegan healthy dish! Ready? Let’s get cooking!

INGREDIENTS

2 packs of Cauliflower

1 medium-sized carrot, shredded

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 bunch of spring onions, chopped

2 chicken breasts (optional)

salt & pepper to taste

2 tbsp. sesame oil

1 egg (optional)

2 to 3 tbsp gluten-free seasoning

6 to 10 pieces of broccoli florets

3/4 cup frozen peas

 

DIRECTIONS

Chop cauliflower finely using knife or use a food processor to achieve rice-size pieces.

Season the chicken and fry until cooked through (15 to 20 minutes cooking time.) Let cool, and shred it using a fork or cut into small cubes.

In the same pan, sauté  garlic, and then add the cauliflower. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat, making sure to mix to avoid burning. Scramble egg in by directly breaking egg into the pan and mixing.

Mix in the carrots, broccoli, chicken, peas, and spring onions mixing continuously. Cook for about 5 more minutes or until the veggies are soft enough to your liking. Add the gluten free seasoning and sesame oil. Add slices of chili if you want your rice with a bit of a kick. Plate and serve with your favorite side of gluten-free seasoned meat or seafood.

Enjoy!

 

Quick Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce

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We’ve got another quick and delicious gluten-free pasta recipe for you. This is great for when time is not your friend, since it only takes minutes to prepare! Using gluten-free canned ready meals like some of the gluten-free items of Amy’s brand of organic food, cuts your meal prep time in half. Try this for your lunch this weekend! Definitely, yummy!

INGREDIENTS

1 can of Amy’s Gluten-Free Tomato Bisque

1 pound dried  Gluten-free Pasta (Fusilli, or Penne should work nicely)

4 tbsp salted butter

3 tbsp gluten-free flour

2 cups whole milk

1 cup shredded cheddar

½ pound sliced button mushrooms

3 medium sliced shallots,

A few stems of fresh thyme, washed and dried

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS

Prepare gluten-free pasta as instructed in the pack. While boiling, move on to prepare the sauce.

In a sauce pan, melt butter in low heat and slowly whisk in the flour, and then the milk a little at a time, until fully combined. Adjust heat to medium to simmer, making sure to keep an eye on the mixture to avoid burning, whisking continuously.

Empty the can of gluten-free tomato bisque soup in the sauce pan, and let simmer. Add the cheddar, salt and pepper, and set aside after 1 minute. Cheddar is a gluten-free cheese, lucky us! Only, be careful to use real cheddar and not processed cheddar to avoid any additives that can contain gluten.

In another pan, sauté  shallots until translucent, and then add the mushrooms. You can do a few pieces of mushroom at a time so they have enough space in the pan to get sufficiently browned. You’ll get much more flavor in the dish, this way. Add salt and pepper to your liking.

When the pasta is al dente. Mix in theother ingredients: tomato sauce mixture, shallots and mushrooms. On medium heat, allow to simmer to let the water evaporate, leaving you just enough liquid so that your pasta is creamy but no longer runny.

Serve and enjoy!

 

Recipe from Amy’s, adapted and made gluten-free.