Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm gluten free now where the hell do I shop??

1.“How the hell do I grocery shop?”
2.“Where the hell do I grocery shop?”
3.“How do I know if something is gluten-free?”
4.“Eeeek, my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/son/daughter/cousin/friend/ aunt/ uncle is eating a treat!! I want one!!!”
5.“OMG, can I eat at restaurants?”
6.“How do I go camping and eat gluten free?!”

Common questions to the newly gluten-free-er and common questions that have popped through my mind in the past couple months.

How the hell do I grocery shop?
-Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan.  As simple as that sounds, it’s very important.  A lot of families already do weekly meal plans, and I especially encourage it to those that are eating a special diet.  Every Sunday I sit down and create a plan for what I will be making for supper each day that week.  The website, Pinterest, has a huge impact on the meals I like to make and experiment with.  If you haven’t checked it out, definitely do it.  There are also many great books you can buy or check out at your local library.  After I write down the meals I will be making for that week, I write down the ingredients I need for each meal.  Sunday night I head to the grocery store and purchase all of the ingredients I will need.  The biggest positive regarding meal planning is the amount of money and time you will save instead of going to the grocery store every day.

Where the hell do I grocery shop?
Oh, yay! I just love this question!  Up until a couple days ago, I was quite hopeless when it came to finding gluten free products in Saskatoon.  Then one sunny day in Saskatoon I decided to venture on outside and find gluten free groceries.  These are the ones that I have been to so far:

1. Bulk Barn – I’ve already went over Bulk Barn, but I will remind you that this store is great for baking needs (such as flours), teas, vitamins, some supplements, snacks etc.

2. The Griffin Takeway – WOW!  The Griffin Takeaway started out as a small business, and has turned into a completely gluten free (and mostly vegan) bakery/deli.  Over the weekend I purchased a few items, including a gigantic chocolate cream puff!! A-MAZING! It was way better than any regular cream puff or desert I’ve ever tasted.

3. Your local grocery store – in almost every grocery store there will be a small section of gluten-free food items.  So far, I have noticed that Safeway, Walmart, and Superstore have gluten-free sections, although I couldn’t find one at Sobeys.  

4. Dad’s Organic Market – Hello heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Dad’s used to be a small nutrition store that carried mostly vitamins and supplements but purchased the property next door (which, hilariously and immaturely enough, was a sex toy shop), knocked down the walls, and expanded into a full grocery store.  They carry everything from organic fruits and vegetables, to vitamins/supplements, to organic shampoo/conditioner/soap, to meat and fish, and other many other items.  Most of the groceries that they carry are gluten free and almost all of the meat that they carry is purchased from local farms.  Let’s just say I spent way too much money.  I came out with waffles, coconut milk yogurt, granola, buns, burgers, breakfast sausage, and cereal.

Also, I discovered an app for my iphone called GFshopping.  It has been very helpful in finding restaurants and grocery stores that have gluten free product.

How do I know if something is gluten-free?
-Not everything is labelled gluten free, but, as of July 1st, 2012, all manufacturers will have to label their food items as to whether they contain gluten.  Of course, it will probably take about a year for all of the old food items to get off the shelves, but this is a big step!

“Eeeek, my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/son/daughter/cousin/friend/aunt/uncle is eating a treat!! I want one!!!”
-I, myself, try not to eat a lot of sugars other than the natural kind, but of course I crave a good pastry once in awhile.  The Griffin Takeaway is a great place to get pies, cakes, puddings, pastries etc.  The Bulk Barn, Dad’s, and grocery stores that contain gluten free items will have cookies, bars, gluten-free chips, rice cakes etc.  My mom’s lovely cousin also pointed out to me that Chapman’s Ice Cream is gluten-free.

“OMG, can I eat at restaurants?”
Yes! You absolutely can!  The restaurants with gluten-free menus I have eaten at so far are The Spadina Freehouse, The Rook and Raven, Keos, The Berry Barn, and La Bamba.  Check out this website for a list!  You will notice that it’s a long one!  And, if you ask, servers are usually good about letting you know if something on the menu contains gluten.
Berry Barn:

“How do I go camping and eat gluten free?!”
Blaine and I are going camping to Banff, Alberta at the end of the month, and we usually head to the lake every weekend during the summer.  So it was a scary moment for me wondering if I’d be able to eat “camping food” while at the lake.  But again, with the help of Dad’s Nutrition and some other gluten free grocery places, it won’t be a problem.  For instance, I’m heading to the lake this weekend.  For groceries I am bringing burgers, buns, eggs, sausage, and perogies from Dad’s, as well as steak, potatoes, chicken kabobs and gluten free snacks I found at Safeway.  Easy peasy!

A few weeks ago I went for an appointment with a Naturopathic doctor.  Obviously we discussed my diagnoses, but we also discussed the connection between the mind, gut, and gluten.  She explained to me that the mind and gut are very connected so if one is sick, the other is usually sick as well.  I found it very interesting, so I did a little background research.  Not only does gluten cause physical problems, it also causes depression, anxiety, and mood swings.  Not many people realize that gluten-intolerance is actually primarily a neurological disease, not a physical one.  There has been a vast amount of studies done on a variety of people who have mental health problems, issues concentrating, or memory problems.  These studies have shown that a lot of these types of people also have gluten sensitivity, and, when they changed to a gluten-free diet, their symptoms greatly improved.  It takes about 6 months for your body to completely rid of gluten and I’m very interested to see how my brain feels at that time.

I will leave you with a recipe for the greatest summer salad of ever.

Black Bean, Corn, and Red Pepper Salad

-2 15 ounce cans of black beans – rinsed and drained
-2 cans of kernel corn (or fresh corn)
-1 minced garlic clove
-1/4 cup minced shallots
-2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-1 tbsp sugar
-6 tbsp olive oil
-4 tbsp lime juice
-Avocado, chopped


Have a lovely weekend!

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