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Monday, May 2, 2011

Our Gluten-Free Life: The Stuff We Eat!!

I got an e-mail the other day from a D Mama who had just received the news of her T1 child's celiac diagnosis.  The truth is that I get e-mails like these several times a week.  I remember how hazy it felt in the beginning of our gluten-free journey.  I remember staring at one label after another and feeling like I would never be able to figure out how to feed my child.  So, I decided to copy my reply to her, and turn it into a blog I think of stuff I may have missed or run across new things to add, I'll update this list and let you know!    

First the basics:  A gluten free diet must avoid wheat, barley (this includes malt and malt flavoring as it is derived from barley), rye, and regular oats (there is such a thing as gluten free oats).

Keep in mind that I'm not one to offer my children an extreme diet...meaning I don't force low carbs and I do allow sugar (*gasp* I know!).  I would consider our diet to be healthy and well rounded, but some parents prefer less carbs/organic choices/sugar free, and that's fine.  At first glance, this list may appear carb heavy, but that's because it's the grain we need to replace in a gluten-free diet. 

(Read:  Please don't start lecturing me.  Thank you.)

With that, here goes...

Fruits and Veggies -- We love them!  I use this Salter scale to weigh them out.  It's pre-programmed with a huge database, so I just plop the amount of fruit I think she'll eat, push a few buttons, and it tells me the carbs according to the the weight.  We also participate in a produce co-op.

Milk, Eggs, Yogurt, and Cheese -- We love them all!  (PS -- Velveeta is GF...that's how I make mac-n-cheese, and you'll find the pasta info below.)

Meats -- We eat a lot of chicken, ground turkey, and pork chops.  I haven't ever found gluten in meats, but I do know we're supposed to be on the lookout for HVP/HPP on meat labels.

Rudi's GF Bread  and/or  Udi's GF Bread   Yes they sound similar, but they aren't the same product. We've tried A LOT of GF breads.  These are the best (IMHO!).  I store them in the freezer and take out one slice at a time.  At first glance you might be surprised by the small size, but that's the norm for all GF breads.  My daughter eats half a sandwich for lunch at school -- I usually just take it out frozen, cut it in half, make her sandwich, and it's soft by the time she eats it.  I posted blogs with pictures HERE for Rudi's and HERE for Udi's.

Jules Gluten Free Flour -- This GF flour blend can be used cup for cup as a replacement with great results in most recipes.  It works especially well in baked goods, and I use it all the time as a thickening agent (especially when making cream of chicken soup for casseroles).  It eliminates the need for a million different bags of flour, and allows you to keep one GF flour on your shelf that already contains binding agents.  If you find a GF recipe you'd like to try, you just add up the total amount of flours and replace that amount with Jules GF plus eliminate the xanthan gum (the most common binding agent found in GF food).  This flour has made our journey MUCH easier!

Bakery On Main -- We really like this collection of granola bars and granola products. 

Chex Cereals -- Love them all!  FYI -- You can use Rice Chex to replicate gooey homemade marshmallow treats.  Yum.

Pamela's -- You can count on pretty much anything from this product line to be VERY YUMMY!!!  In addition to the Jules Flour, I also keep a bag of Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix on hand.

Schar -- This is one of my newest favorite brands.  I haven't tried a thing from this brand that I wouldn't want to buy again.  From crackers to pasta to breadcrumbs.  I love everything about these products!!!

GoGo Squeeze -- These are little portable applesauce packets...depending on the flavor, they're perfectly portioned between 10-15 carbs each.  No spoon required!  I toss them in my purse when I know we'll need a snack while we're out an about.  (Thanks for the tip, Lexi!)

Quinoa -- Quinoa is a protein packed GF grain.  We love these pastas!

Blue Diamond -- We love nuts....and these Nut Thin crackers are FANTASTIC!

Kinnikinnick -- They make some great animal crackers and great graham crackers too :)

Glutino -- This is another tried and true line of products.  We especially like their pretzels and crackers.

Emerald -- LOVE these chocolate dusted almonds...and only 4 carbs per serving!

Bob's Gluten-Free Rolled Oats -- Talk to your doctor before incorporating GF oats into your diet.  We began using oats about 6 months after Sugar's dx, and have never had a problem.  I haven't ever had an issue either, but I also didn't have any symptoms prior to my own celiac diagnosis in 2009.

Tortilla Land Corn Tortillas -- HELLO CORN TORTILLA THAT FOLDS LIKE A FLOUR TORTILLA!!!!!!  We love these (and can get them at our Costco!)'s a review with some pictures to prove they fold up nice and pretty!!

For classroom celebrations, I make a batch of THESE CUPCAKES, frost them, freeze in a single layer, then put them in a freezer bag, and store them in the freezer.  I keep half in the freezer at school and half at home.  Wala! One perfectly carb counted, gluten free cupcake ready at a moment's notice :)  I also take these along to birthday parties.

I also refer to THIS INGREDIENT LIST regularly if I'm not sure.  (And I subscribe to the magazine, which I love!)

I wrote this guest post awhile back about how we manage celiac in some common social settings.

My good friend, Kris, also has a T1/Celiac child, and she wrote a great post about some of their favorite things HERE.  Don't miss it!

I've also found a great deal of information from The Gluten Free Homemaker, and some of my other favorite GF/T1 blogs can be found on my blogroll HERE.

We do most of our GF shopping at Sprout's, but have been finding lots of GF shelves popping up at Safeway, Fry's, Walmart, and even Costco!

What else?

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  1. Thank you!! Great timing. Im excited to be on this new adventure!

    Im going to Trader Joes tuesday. Is there a store you find has a better selection?

    Thx for the shoutout too my love!

  2. You are a GLUTEN FREE machine Wendy! Wonderful post and so informative. I hope I won't need it for Joe or Bridget or Dave or I...but am glad I know where to go if I should ever need GF info.

  3. Great Post Wendy! I also love soft corn tortillas made into a quesadilla. They are cheap to buy and easy to make!

    I find the hardest thing with gluten free and diabetes is the higher carb count in the gluten free items.

  4. Oh wow! I just made a very similar post. Great minds! lol

    It's because of YOU that we tried Udi's, by the way. Now Bee (and Ladybug too) can't imagine eating anything else!

  5. Wendy, this post is AWESOME! Packed with helpful information...and it couldn't have come at a better time for me! Thanks!

  6. I have been meaning to thank you for your Rudi's review! I was leary of it, esp. since Udi bread is so good. BUT..I actually like it better than Udi's and I would not have been so willing to try it if it weren't for you. I am a Rudi's convert!

  7. Here is a link for a gluten free/diabetic cookbook:


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While I'm happy to share our experiences with what works, and what doesn't work, for the management of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in our house, please do not mistake anything you read here for medical advice. Decisions regarding your/your child's health care should be made only with the assistance of your medical care team. Use any information from this blog at your own risk.