Going gluten-free

I’m not going to get into all of the kooky details, but my doctor thinks that I might have a gluten sensitivity and asked me to go gluten-free for three weeks.

When I learned that I was intolerant to dairy, I handled it pretty well.  I was never a huge ice cream lover and could take or leave cheese.

This potential gluten thing, however, is not making me a happy camper.  I’m honestly not sure if I can go without my movie theater butter popcorn (which contains LOTS of nasty stuff).  It is my number one indulgence, and I watch movies simply because I want an excuse to eat it.

Naturally, Michael and I had a farewell bucket of popcorn on Saturday (OK, fine….two buckets) just in case popcorn and I are separated forever.

Until now, I never paid attention to gluten-free eating and didn’t realize just how many foods contain gluten.  It’s in practically everything- even toothpaste and lip gloss!

It took me twice as long to shop for groceries this week because I had to inspect every single label.

Even though I’m not happy about this, there could be worse problems, and I’m sure I’ll manage just fine…even without popcorn.  And I really feel for people who have Celiac disease or extreme sensitivities.

Over the course of the past few days, I’ve found some resources that might also help you or a relative who is gluten-free:

  • Gluten-free-diet.org- Provides a simple breakdown of foods that contain gluten and those that don’t.  There’s also a sample menu to follow.
  • Celiac.com- An incredible comprehensive resource for all things gluten-free.
  •  Gluten-free Everyday Cookbook- This got great reviews on Amazon, and it contains more than 100 recipes for main courses, soups, pastries, and desserts.
  •  The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide- This book was written by Elisabeth Hasselbeck, one of the co-hosts of The View.   Elisabeth has Celiac disease, so her book really provides a first-hand account of what it is like to live gluten-free.  In fact, she made some recipes from the book on yesterday’s show, including penne, buffalo chicken tenders, pulled pork sandwiches, sweet and sour chicken, and cupcakes.    You can even find some of the recipes on the official website of The View, as well as more information about the book.
  • iHerb.com-  I order from this site all of the time, but I never looked at their gluten-free products until now.  They have natural candies, pasta, condiments, chips, snack bars, flour, crackers, and much more.
  • Gluten-Free Registry- This is a database of restaurants across the United States that have gluten-free options.  You can even search by city!

Do you have a gluten sensitivity?  If so, please share any tips you might have about making the transition.  I could really use them.  To be honest though, I’m still keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed that I don’t have a sensitivity after all.

Have a wonderful day!

(PS- I totally forgot to acknowledge it, but The Grass Skirt celebrated its one-year anniversary this past Sunday.  Thank you to all of my wonderful readers.  Without you, I’d basically just be talking to myself right now. ;) )

20 Comments

  1. Michelle

    I might be about to make your day, popcorn is gluten free! Even movie theater popcorn (sans the butter topping which is gross anyway) according to this very helpful article:
    http://thesavvyceliac.com/2010/10/18/movie-theater-popcorn-a-gluten-free-do-or-dont/

    Same with baked tostitos, corn tortillas, etc – anything with corn is fine. Wasn’t aware of the toothpaste or lip gloss issue (random!) but I think in our case where we’re just trying to eliminate the bulk of gluten, a trace amount is fine. Same with those products that can’t officially be labeled gluten free but really have no wheat ingredients but they might have touched equipment that processes wheat – my girl said that’s totally fine.

    Still was SO hard doing that first grocery shopping though, I feel your pain. And because it’s the first week, I keep having to remind myself about it so I don’t slip up (like when someone in my office put out a bag of pretzels yesterday and I almost went to grab one!)

    Good luck, hopefully we both can go back to normal soon! xo

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    Thanks Michelle!!! :) We actually eat the nasty butter popcorn (I know, I know). It isn’t good for me being dairy intolerant, but I do it anyway. I cannot imagine not eating the Movie Theater Butter popcorn, but if I want popcorn badly enough, I guess that I can suck it up and deal with it. :)

    Michelle Reply:

    Ah ok! I found some other article that said Pop Secret Movie Theater Butter popcorn is gluten free also so maybe that can be a good substitute :)

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    You’re my hero today. That is my favorite popcorn!

    Julie @Savvy Eats Reply:

    If you get a popcorn maker, you can make your own (gluten free) butter popcorn! It is cheaper, too :)

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    I have TWO popcorn makers from my wedding shower that I’ve never used. Looks like I need to dust them off! :)

  2. I don’t have Celiac but I do have Crohn’s and just feel BETTER not eating gluten. I limit myself to about 90% GF and find myself cheating here and there, just a little. I blog GF so feel free to check out my site: thegreenleanbean.blogspot.com
    I feel your pain for losing popcorn – I love the stuff! My tummy doesn’t unfortunately. Why don’t you try an organic butter free brand. Take Earth Balance (tastes very similar to butter!) and melt a good amount, then pour on top and add your own salt. You may just not miss the buttery junky movie kind!

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    Thanks for the great suggestion! And I’ll definitely check out your blog regularly. :)

  3. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year! Congratulations! It seems like only yesterday that I was reading your first post.

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    I know! It really is hard to believe!

  4. I have a girlfriend with Celiac disease and she references Celiac.com quite a bit. She also has stated that Whole Foods has a whole gluten free aisle – not sure if you have one near you or not. Hang in there!

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    We’re getting a WF this year!!! :)

  5. Check This Out – Gluten Free Chocolate Cake – http://frugalfeeding.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/flourless-gluten-free-chocolate-cake/

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    My stomach is growling now!

  6. This is going to sound so dumb, but I had no idea that popcorn had gluten in it. I totally hear you on the popcorn thing; I swear my husband I have it every night (and not ashamed!)

    Another good spot for gluten free stuff is: http://www.easyeats.com/

    I hope your venture goes good whether it means cutting it out completely or just taking a 3 week break :)

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    Apparently, not all popcorn has gluten? I’m thoroughly confused! Haha. It sounds like you and your husband would be best friends with me and my husband. We’re popcorn crazy! Ok, it is MAINLY me, but still… :)

    Thanks for your support. I really appreciate it!

  7. For more gluten-free resources, check with fellow Charlotte bloggers CookingWithErin.com (Erin, mostly gluten-free), CafeTerraBlog.com (Terra), PeanutButterRunner.com (Jen), and SweetTaterBlog.com (Katie).

    Good luck with your transition, Erin!

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    Thanks Scott! I already read Katie and Jen’s blogs, so I’ll have to check out the others also.

  8. Looks like you’re not going to have too much problem after all. It’s great that a lot of people are suggesting many options. At least, you will still have your dose of popcorn. :-)

  9. Lynda @healthyhobokengirl

    Oh my poor Erin!!

    I’m just catching up on your blog and can’t believe you have to go gluten free.

    This will make you feel better….try out Angela’s 5-Ingredient Date Squares from ‘oh she glows’ blog!!

    I’ve made them and can’t stop talking about them!!! They’re easy, no bake and best of all gluten free!

    Also the gluten free sesame seed English muffins (in the green pkg) are out of this world toasted-crunchy and delicious! I think the brand is ‘food for life’.

    Good luck my friend!! Thinking of you!!

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