Healthy Living Project #2
Food Journals, Gluten Free Meals and Eliminating Acid Reflux

I was going to start by telling you how we’ve adjusted our cooking and meal plans by eliminating gluten from our diet, but I paused over the word adjustment.

Initially it seemed like we would change our shopping habits drastically….but we are finding we’ve had very little adjustment. In fact, it’s all been relatively easy. We eliminated wheat from our diet April 4th and so far, we have seen much improvement in our health.

Today I want to tell you about meal plans, the difference between gluten free and wheat free, food journals and our journey overcoming a wicked case of acid reflux.

Gluten Free vs Wheat Free
When I heard the term gluten free I thought that also meant wheat free. It's a wee bit confusing sometimes, but here is the way to differentiate. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. While all wheat contains gluten, not all gluten comes from wheat. The term is used interchangeably at times. If you have a wheat sensitivity that's a different animal altogether from being gluten intolerant.

Gluten may be found in crazy places you'd never think to look. There are a number of non-food products where gluten is used because it acts as a binder. It's in some sunscreens, makeup, shampoos and conditioners as well as certain vitamins and medicines. For now, we are focused only on food products which have wheat and gluten. Remember, all wheat has gluten so this project is about cutting the wheat out of our meals.

Good Meals - No Deprivation!
As I mentioned in previous posts, we grill, bake or roast meats and we eat fresh fruits and vegetables. No change was needed there. Easier than telling you, let me show you some dinners we have had, all gluten free. Some are old favorites. They are all deadly simple to get on the table.

Boiled Shrimp, oven roasted tomatoes and corn on the cob.
Ok, you would have to roast the tomatoes earlier in the day or the evening before but, even that is easy and you don't have to tend to them as they roast. Click here to see how I roast them.

Bolognese: One night using rice pasta and another night using Mueller's pasta. The first photo shows the gluten free pasta from Muellers. It has the exact same texture as the other pastas made with wheat flour. This is ideal for dishes where you want to add clams or chopped veggies rather than a meat sauce. You couldn't tell the difference.

Another night we had the leftover Bolognese with rice pasta. Have you ever had rice noodles from a Chinese retaurant? They are almost translucent and have a sticky consistency. Well......I have to rave about this brand of rice pasta because it was absolutely delicious. The brand is Tinkyada. We found it in the Greenwise section of our local grocery store (Publix). It's not mushy and has a wonderful taste and texture. I was sad to think we may have to give up pasta but now, no worries!

Here is another good meal and one that didn't take long to get on the table. Pork steak wrapped with bacon, sweet potato and field peas.

Desserts we have enjoyed so far are frozen yogurt or fruit mixed with cream or whipped cream. We have been slacking off desserts lately, but when I am ready to try GF pie crust we can still enjoy a slice of apple or pumpkin pie.

Here is something we had a while back. Peach frozen yogurt with fresh strawberries and blueberries. This is my bowl as I drizzle chocolate on mine. Doug is a purist, no chocolate on his frozen treat :-)

Note: We don't have dessert every evening and that's a good thing. Too many calories for one thing. When we do enjoy a sweet it's rarely shop bought, it's homemade and pure ingredients. A small portion of anything with natural and pure ingredients is waaaay better for your occasional indulgences.

He waits to see if we might drop a tasty morsel. He was unsuccessful.

Food Journals
I am big fan of journaling. I journal to record ideas, vacations, wine pairings, books and meals. When we decided to eliminate wheat from our diet, I started a food journal to detail what we ate. This is so helpful when an acid reflux flare-up occurs. You simply note what you ate and see if it's a reoccurring problem.

There have been two times when Doug needed a few Tums. Looking at the journal we can pinpoint key foods which caused a reaction. Grits and possibly Udi's pizza are the culprits identified. Both times we had grits for breakfast and a (supposedly) gluten free pizza by Udi's brand for lunch.

Coming up is Wine Wednesday (Yea, wine is wheat free!)and a wicked flourless chocolate cake.


Debra Eliotseats said...

I want to eat like that!

Debra Eliotseats said...

Tina, you should check out this website, too, if you don't know Rachel already:

~~louise~~ said...

Kudos to you (and Doug) Tina! You guys seem to have everything under control in the Gluten Free department.

I keep suggesting to my daughter that she keep a journal for my grandson who is 9. He has terrible, terrible acid reflux attacks. She does try to eliminate the culprits but then another pops up. I'm wondering whether she she should try GF for him. I'll try again and point her in your direction!

Thank you so much for sharing, Tina...Everything looks yummy!

Lord of Squirrel Head Manor said...

Louise, if your grandson goes gluten free for his acid reflux, they need to give a couple of weeks for it to get out of his system. I had great improvement beginning the tenth day of being wheat/gluten free.

Joanne said...

Good for you for tracking all of your progress!! You guys are doing great! (And I'm pretty sure the Udi's pizza is actually gluten-free...they are one of the most prominent GF brands and I can't imagine they would risk their reputation by having something that's not actually GF in their product)

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