Eating wheat-free was definitely a huge lifestyle change for me. Before I found out I have a wheat intolerance, I ate a bagel sandwich almost daily. I lived on pasta! Pizza was also a favorite of mine.
So here was this new way of eating that I had to embrace. I don’t ever do anything halfway and dove in head first to find out how to eat wheat-free. I became an avid label reader. You would be surprised what has wheat in it that you would never know unless reading labels. I was amazed at how poorly I felt when eating foods that I was certain had no wheat whatsoever. After checking the labels of what made up a recipe, I soon discovered that many soups used for recipes contain wheat. So, I had to stop using them in any recipes and started asking what was in food when I ate away from home.
I quickly learned about rice pasta (and later brown rice pasta). I had to try several different types to find one that I could at least tolerate. In the process I found Tinkyada organic brown rice pasta which I love. It tastes good, does not get mushy like some of the wheat-free varieties and is healthy.
I started eating a lot more fruits and vegetables, which was a great side effect of having a wheat intolerance. I ate salad all the time. I still had to be really careful about eating salad out at restaurants since there are preservatives on the lettuces a lot of times. I noticed that I could no longer eat iceberg lettuce which was fine, anyway, since there is no nutritional value to it.
I was still able to eat meat, potatoes, rice (I gradually switched to organic, brown rice and sweet potatoes over the years since anything white breaks down into sugar in the digestion process… more about that later).
Recently I have adopted eating quinoa. Anytime I eat quinoa, I feel so good. I have no side effects at all. I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, salad (I now make my own salad dressing because the store-bought kind has a lot of sugar and chemicals), organic oatmeal, and sometimes organic meat. I also eat a lot of beans – black, garbanzo, kidney, baked (be careful about buying baked beans in the grocery store. They have a lot of sugar. I get all of my beans at Vitacost because they are cheaper there than my local health food store). I really like making black bean burgers with a ton of veggies in them. I tried making my own pizza and I don’t think I have found a good wheat-free crust yet. We have made it several times at home and it has just been okay. I also drink green smoothies each day and feel really good when I have those. I am finding that the more plant based foods I eat, the better my digestion seems to be.
For snacks, I eat a lot of raw, unsalted almonds, Kind Bars and Lara Bars (both are healthy, unprocessed nutrition bars). I do grab a banana or blueberries quite often as well.
When we go to a party of event, I am usually concerned if there will be anything I can eat without wheat. Most of the time, there is. If I know for sure there won’t be, I will just eat before we go. That way, I am setting myself up for success and know I will not feel sick after eating.
Some supplements that I take to help me with my digestive health are food enzymes and probiotics. I am still in search of really great supplements for both that are affordable and effective. I will post these as I learn what works really well.
The Celiac Disease Foundation has a great website https://www.celiac.org/ you may want to use as a resource about wheat and gluten-free diets.