So...How do you figure out what to eat?
After I'd had a vertiable pity party for myself in the first few days of my diagnosis, I figured I needed to eat. I wanted my body back and this diet was the way to do it. All I could think of was what I couldn't eat. I'd go to my fridge and only see things I couldn't eat. I'd walk around campus and see things i couldn't eat. I'd drive around town and smell things I couldn't eat. It dawned on me at some point that I needed to figure out how to eat because I would be starting a new semester in two weeks, and I was about to have to hang out with family for the holidays and somehow not eat cookies. Or gravy. Or bread. I would not be able to bring a sandwich to school or work. I started to panic a little.
So, I took a deep breath and sat down and started a list of what I COULD eat. It was short at first, but I carried it with me, and every time I thought of a meal I could eat, I scribbled it down. If I didn't have paper with me, I'd email myself the idea. I sat down with several cookbooks and read through the ingredients to see what I could substitute and then added it to my list of foods I could have. I would go out to eat specifically to go over the menu for ideas to later look up online.
Very quickly, the list was huge, and I felt amazingly relieved. Just having a list at my fingertips when I felt down made me feel like my life wasn't out of control.
So here is how to make your own list.
1. Of the foods that you 'used to eat,' which ones could you eat with a CF bread, or CF salad dressing, or without dairy and garlic? See below for ideas.
2. Get out your favorite cookbooks and go through the ingredients. Check my SUBSTITUTIONS page to see what you can sub out.
3. Go to the bookstore and find some good allergy cookbooks. There are some great books for gluten-free living which can help you if you know how to substitute for eggs and dairy. Just check out my substitutions page again.
4. Go out to eat or look up restaurant menus online. If you've never been a fan of ethnic or 'international' foods, NOW IS THE TIME TO GET OVER IT. Asian, Indian, provencial French, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern foods are often Wheat, Egg, and even Dairy free (although you will need to watch out for garlic!) Then go to websites like Epicurious.com and look up the recipes to the foods that sound interesting.
5. Ask friends and family for ideas. Sometimes they have great ideas. Sometimes.
So here is a short list of what I eat:
- power shakes -- protein powder (soy, rice, hemp, etc) plus nuts/seeds/peanut butter, frozen fruit, half a banana, and water or “milk” to taste. Stick it in a blender and take it with you in a mason jar or jam jar or whatever.
- Odwala, Bolthouse Farms, etc. make Soy shakes for hurries -- check the ingredients because some of their products use whey powder in addition to the soy but don’t say so on the front.
- CF Cereal or granola with “milk” -- try adding nuts or fruit for more bulk. There are plenty of gluten-free cereals -- and many that don’t have wheat and just aren’t labeled in big letters on the front that they are Casein-Free. Check your labels and watch out for kasha, kamut, and spelt -- these are all wheats.
- I used to love malt-o-meal and cream of wheat -- now I make my own version using a coffee grinder!
- QUICHE! -- yes. I did just write that. I created a CF quiche and will post it at some point.
- Ham steak
- Home-made sausage (bison, turkey, beef, chicken, whatever you like or have in your house!)
- CF pancakes. yup.
- GF oatmeal with Hemp seeds and honey
- Pumpkin bread, banana bread, cinnamon rolls, peach bread...
- fruit and nut muffins
- apples or cellery and peanut/nut butter
- corn chips and salsa or guacamole
- popcorn or other corn chips -- watch out for cheese-flavored ones!
- nuts and dried fruit
- lunchmeat rolled in lettuce with mustard
- some granola, power bars, and sesame bars at the store are CF (but they may not be gluten free)
- sliced veggies or fruit
LUNCH AND DINNER
- potatoes -- mashed, baked, etc.
- sweet potato/yam - mashed, baked, etc.
- quinoa -- serve in place of rice, or use to make Tabbouleh...
- veggies -- baked, grilled, steamed,
- CF buns
- root veggies like parsnip, rutabaga, turnip, and even cauliflower can be roasted or mashed
- Winter squash -- stuffed, baked, mashed, etc.
- refried beans
- Any kind of Salad -- no cheese, check dressing ingredients. Or make your own dressing!
- Sandwiches with CF bread -- use mustard and Soy mayo.
- Chicken or tuna salad using soy mayo
- sausages with sweet mustard, or fried greens
- chicken baked with different spice mixes with veggies/rice on side
- Chicken baked with acorn squash, pecans, cranberries, raisins, shallots, and sherry
- Burgers with CF buns, or “Everything but the bun Burger” with mustard, ketchup, and soy mayo, lettuce, onions, etc.
- BBQ anything
- rotisserie chickens -- check ingredients
- grilled meat and veggies
- Tacos, enchiladas, fajitas -- no cheese or sour cream, check spice packages for garlic, or make my own spice blends. Cheat with goat yogurt or goat/sheep cheese?(ASK YOUR DOCTOR) Or if you need something creamy, make guacamole!
- Taco salad with chips
- Chimichurri steak/chicken/fish
- Chicken tortilla soup
- crock pot enchiladas
- one-dish chicken bake (chicken, tomatoes, onions, green onions, olives, Herbs d’Provence)
- French onion soup with CF bread to dip
- Winter Squash soup with pine nuts or chicken
- French tomato-cream with pasta and chicken/shrimp.
- Dirty Rice
- Roasts! Lamb or Beef with carrots, onions, shallots, celery, potatoes, etc.
- Pot Pies or shepherds pies
- Rice pasta with marinara sauce, maybe with meat/sausage
- rice pasta with sardine-caper-wine sauce
- spaghetti squash and sauce
- lasagna made with thin sliced summer or pattypan squash instead of pasta
- spicy vodka noodle bake
- Brats with sour kraut -- with CF buns or just plain.
- sliced sausage pan-fried with chopped apples
- Icelandic Lamb with white wine butter
- Lox with crackers or toast
- Rice-paper spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce
- Stir fry
- Pad thai
- Coconut curry
- Noodle bowls (Pho)
- Asian chicken salad
- Teriyaki anything
- (so much more...especially when you stick to Vietnamese, Thai, and Japanese. Chinese is harder because the recipes have a lot of egg and wheat).
It is "stressed" spelled backwards
- ice cream (made from coconut, nut milks, all sorts of stuff)
- cookies galore!
- cakes and icings!
- carmel corn
Start your own list. You'll be quite comforted!