As of today, I am 286 days gluten-free – but who’s counting.
Why would I “choose” to be gluten-free?
To be honest, it wasn’t really a choice, it was by doctor’s orders.
I had been aware for quite a while that I may be “sensitive” to gluten; the green apple scours was a pretty good hint. Eventually, I realised, denial isn’t just a river in Africa and burying my head in the sand wasn’t about to fix my continuous pain in the belly. I needed to find a fix or a fixer.
Fast forward to 2018 and as I was listening to a podcast about inflammation.. did you know inflammation is the root of all evil and should be controlled at all costs? No, well neither did I.
So I do whatever Gen X’er worth their salt would do and Google “Inflammation Doctor Australia”. As it turns out I should have just searched for “Australia’s most expensive doctor” and saved some time. Anyhoo, I found a doctor in Sydney who is trained by the guy from the Podcast and I booked a flight. Long story short – $3500 worth of independent testing later (I suffer from Migraines too but that is another story) I am sitting with the doc and being shown the extent of my “sensitivities”.
Woah, my intolerance to wheat, dairy, eggs and a whole bunch of my other staples was off the charts. The good news is, all of my other tests are clear. The weird part is, I suspected all of this already, but it was great to have solid confirmation that would hopefully lead back to another solid…yep…my stool.
I was reeling, how the heck was I, a red-blooded Aussie bloke going to be one of those gluten-free people and not just that, dairy and eggs!!! I couldn’t believe he was saying this to me, HOW?? DAIRY???? (Sorry, I had to, I am a Dad at the end of the day).
He put me on a meal plan and a plane back to Queensland.
The lack of choice
The hardest part, even just a year ago, was the lack of choice of what I could eat, it was seriously bland.
We took the back to basics approach and went for meat and three veg for lunch and dinner.
Ironically, the hardest one was breakfast.
Remember, no gluten, eggs or dairy.
It was gluten-free cornflakes and coconut yoghurt for me. Now, I have a pretty simple palate but even I was bored of this after 286 days. Of late, I have been able to reintroduce a few things. I now have a small splash of milk in my tea and I can eat some things that contain egg.
In saying that, gluten is still well and truly off the table and cracking an egg on my forehead and downing it for lunch is a no-no. So when our friends at Woolworths sent over some new options for me to test I was excited, to say the least. The way that big retailers like Woolworths are responding to demand from the market is great to see. The range of products grows month on month which makes living as GF much easier.
Over the past couple of days I have road-tested:
Free From Gluten Pizza Base
Free From Gluten Bagels
Now, the following new breads are NOT Gluten Free, but my wifey person (Jody from Stay at Home Mum) got to try the new range of Wholefood breads from the Macro range, and she loves them, particularly the Pumpkin and Sweet Potato variety.
Mango and Coconut Protein Bowl
The Ancient Grain Loaf is Jody’s favourite of the bread so far, although she’s really looking forward to trying the Linseed and Sunflower Low Carb, too. The Croissants actually tasted just like Gluten heavy croissants, so that is a win, although I must admit to not being a Croissant Connoisseur, so Jody confirmed that for me. The bagels were delicious also – and it’s great to have a few different options for breakfast other than just gluten free bread or cereal. The pizza base is in there because, well, who doesn’t love a breakfast pizza right?! It was definitely a winner with the whole family!
The Protein Bowl Mango and Coconut wasn’t GF so the boys road-tested that one for me and loved it. It will be great for overnights on the boat or a camping trip, too.