Monday, November 16, 2009

Gluten-free diet: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Eating gluten-free is a total pain in the ass, especially when you're first learning. There's a lot of frustration, mix-ups, and starvation. There's a lot of effort and aggravation--and slip-ups.

In my first month of being gluten-free, for instance, I drank non-alcoholic beer frequently, never imagining I was guzzling gluten. Slowly, I'm learning. I try not to beat myself up or worry. I'm doing the best I can. That's my motto. And, about half-way through my third month, I am actually feeling better.

Now that I have my own home, which means my own kitchen, it's much easier to work on eating gluten-free than it was when I was living in the camper. Living in rural Maine, I don't have easy access to gluten-free products or other necessary supplies, but now that I have my own space, I can bulk buy and store multiple loaves of rice-based bread or tofu steaks in my freezer, if I want to.

Because I'm also a vegan-leaning vegetarian who eats fish and "happy" chicken, but who gets sick from eggs and most dairy and is allergic to onions, I'm extra-special pinched when it comes to feeding myself. Most gluten-free cookbooks rely heavily on meat dishes; most vegetarian cookbooks rely heavily on gluten-infested breads, pastas, and fake meat products--or the dreaded hummus or mushroom-based meal. (I don't like most hummus or mushrooms and I can't stand olives, goat cheese, or sundried tomatoes. Gag me.)

With everything that's been going on in my life since the advent of the gluten-free diet decision, I haven't had the energy or time to dig up recipes that are palatable and realistic. Living where I live, it's not easy to find a daikon radish or some ghee. Or seitan? Forget about it. Plus, have I mentioned? I am a terrible cook. No. Really. I am. I burn toast. I under cook and over cook. I make good flavors go bad. It's a giant comic tragedy almost every time I try to make food.

But, I *have* to eat. And I have to eat healthy. So, in a gesture of solidarity with anyone else out there with the same dietary restrictions as me, I offer a sample menu. Here's what I ate today:

1 bowl gluten-free organic cereal with rice milk, sort of a knock-off yet pricier version of Cocoa Crispies.
Lots of water
1 glass water doused with packet of Emergen-C
1.5 cups coffee with two raw sugar cubes
1 bowl homemade vegetable soup, leftover from a surprisingly successful attempt at cooking (by me) this weekend. You can find the recipe on page 251 of The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.
1 gluten-free "french roll" (really more like a biscuit) toasted (so as not to be frozen any more) with organic raw honey and smart balance margerine. (So yummy!)
one large serving organic jasmine rice, frozen (microwaved)
one gluten-free, vegetarian chili meal, frozen (microwaved) ("Helen's Kitchen Simple Health Hearty Bean Chili with Vegetables & TofuSteaks")
dollop all natural sour cream
3 Junior Mints Deluxe Dark Chocolate Mints (both gluten-free and vegan, I think)
1 sandwich made with gluten-free bread (frozen) toasted, with melted almond-based vegan cheese and vegenaise, and a leftover tofu steak (originally frozen, also Helen's Kitchen brand and totally delicious)
Two organic celery stalks
Handful of Lay's potato chips

I'm still hungry, but it was a successful day--the kind of day that makes me think I can actually do this.

This content is copyrighted. If you're reading it on Facebook, it was imported from my blog at Graychase.com. Read the original here.

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