Our Gluten Free Journey

As some of you may remember we started eating gluten free for Sarah’s skin condition back in March. I would love to say we have been exclusively eating gluten free since then, but with Paulie’s birthday, we didn’t do the best. So I guess I should say we’ve been exclusively gluten free for over a month now. I thought I would let you know how things are going for us. 🙂

It has been going better than I expected, and I’m blessed by that. At times it has been an expensive transition, but some of that expensive is my laziness to not want to shop for the best deal. There has been some trial and error, and I know there will be more in the future. The biggest one has been the pasta. We are a huge casserole family since Paul works afternoons and it’s easier for him to take casserole leftovers for lunch. That was one of the hardest changes because of the pasta and cream soups. We do make our own cream soup recipe now, and it tastes pretty good. But the pasta, well that was a bit of a challenge. I have heard good things about Tinkyada brand pasta, but didn’t try it for a while. Finally the other day I made some and this is the first time I can honestly say it didn’t taste gluten free at all.

We have also found a local, family owned business that sells gluten free mixes, spice mixes and other things at a great price. We found them at our local Farmers Market, and they are great people. We bought some of their mixes, but haven’t tried them yet. I plan on using them this week.

I am happy to say we have eaten out twice, completely gluten free, and it was easy to do and very yummy. The first was Red Robin, and honestly I think the waitress knew more about eating GF than we did. 😉 She was so helpful and they made eating GF at a resturant a great first experience. The second restaurant was just Paul and I eating out, and we ate at the Outback Steak house, and they have an exclusive GF menu we could choose food from. The steak was great, and it was so nice to have a lovely evening out, and not worry about what we were eating.

The most stressful time was this past Friday when we invited some friends over for dinner. I was going to do a simple hamburger and hotdog meal, but realized we didn’t have enough for everyone. There was 10 of us all together, with 3 teenage boys and 2 adult men, besides us women. I did my ‘normal’ big crowd meal, and made a pasta bake, using 2 pounds of pasta. It wasn’t until the day they were coming that I realized I had never made a completely gluten free meal for anyone outside of our family. And a pasta meal at that! What was I thinking? It was the first time I was using the Tinkyada brand of pasta too. And though I had heard great things about it, I never like trying new things with company coming over.

I threw together a nice, but GF meal. We had pasta bake, green beans, salad with 3 kinds of dressings, veggies for the salad and homemade chocolate chip cookie bars for dessert. But I was still worried about a non-GF family and what they would think. I didn’t need to worry at all. The pasta went so fast, that I probably should have made more. The cookies only lasted until we all had some, then the teenagers finished off the rest, commenting that they tasted like ‘normal’ cookies.  😉  Even the salad barely had any left when we were all done. This was the first time we’ve had this family over, and it went so much better than I could have imagined. I wanted to take a picture of the yummy pasta dish, but it was gone too quickly. 😉

The other thing we have done is when we visited my parents last week, we packed a GF lunch, and it worked great. We have made a list of GF foods that are easy to pick up at the store for my parents. My dad loves to have food and munchies for us when we visit and he was sad last time that we couldn’t eat any of the cookies he bought for us. So I’ve made a list of the things we can eat, that are easy to find, which I know will be at his house next time we visit. 😉

So all in all I think things are going well. We’ve eaten out twice, completely GF. We’ve had friends over to eat. We’ve traveled a bit. We have found pasta that will work great for us which is sold at WM at a good price. We make a GF all purpose flour blend that works great and can bake just about anything. And we’ve found some treats that we can buy easily at the store for a quick snack (like Hershey bars and Breyers ice cream).

Our next quest is GF flour tortilla shells. We have tried some store bought brands, but we haven’t liked them too much. That local company I mentioned before, sells a pretty cheap GF flour tortilla mix, but I’m not that good at rolling out dough. So our plan is to buy a flour tortilla press. We are trying to decide if we should get the 6 inch one or 8 inch. Sarah and I tend to use the 6″ more, but when Paul makes a taco, he likes the big shells. But either way, when we get one, I’ll definitely take some pictures on how it works.

So over all I am blessed with our GF journey so far. We do have some family plans this summer, but I think we are learning how to pack food that we can eat while with my family. So I anticipate an easy time eating GF with the family. Oh, and if you are wondering if all of this is worth it, yes it is. Sarah’s skin, though not 100% yet, is looking so much better. It is truly and answer from the Lord. Paul and I are also feeling better with some issues that we were having. Now if we can get Paulie to eat gluten free. But that is for another time. 😉

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11 thoughts on “Our Gluten Free Journey”

  1. Great job! It sounds like you are transitioning so well!

    If you are looking for noodles, also try the international foods section of your store. We typically use GF Chinese rice noodles, and the kids like them much better than the ones that look more like wheat noodles and cost much more.

    I’m glad it’s working for Sarah!

    I went out last month too. It’s so nerve-wracking for me, because any gluten at all will cause me trouble. But it was good and I didn’t get sick. 🙂 I still prefer to eat at home, though, both for the stress factor and the cost.

    So glad that you are finished your school year completely. I’m hoping we’ll be there by the end of the month. Maybe the girlies will be finished by the middle of the month. We don’t do portfolios, and rather save everything. You make it look easy, and with a portfolio I’d have all I need for legal reasons, which is why we save all we do now. I just have to be able to prove that they are learning.

    The haircuts are cute!

  2. Yay! I am glad it is helping. That makes it all worth it. I am glad you found some options, too. Keep up the good work!

  3. Hi, JoAnn,

    Good for you! We had to make this transition in our family years ago, and I know what a challenge it can be. Every success is such a help and adds to your repertoire of good stuff. Fortunately there’s a lot of stuff on the market now that makes it easier. And I’ve found in my travelling this year that restaurants everywhere are getting on the bandwagon to offer GF options to diners–that’ll definitely create come-back customers!

    Keep up the good work!

  4. I’m sure you’ll love the baking mix. We’ve made the pizza 3x already, and this morning Miss 15 got creative and used the baking mix to make banana sticky buns (adapted from the Celebrations cookbook). We use the butter version, but we’re using a lot of butter these days and maybe that’s not so good, but it sure is yummy!

  5. Anna had shared with me about this. I’m sorry. I do have a very yummy Brazilian cheese roll recipe that is totally 100% GF. It’s also very simple to make. I have cookies too. We have a starch in my country that is widely used as flour in baking all sorts of things.
    BTW, we need to chat soon, whenever you have the time.
    We all need to eat less gluten stuff, it’s better for our health.

  6. I hope you’re feeling better.

    I had a terrible day yesterday, and spent the afternoon in bed, but felt much better after Miss 10 gave me some lemon juice and water. Perhaps I was dehydrated, but it sure felt like a flu: achey, sore ears, sore eyes, sore head, sore throat, sore neck….

    All that to remind you to keep on drinking enough. It can make a huge difference in how you feel.


  7. Congratulations on your 19 year anniversary. You are just one month ahead of us! We’ll celebrate 19 years July 9th. I think the trip idea sounds fabulous!

    We’ve been eating gluten free for years. Have you discovered Udi’s brand breads? They are usually refrigerated and are the best GF breads I’ve found. I lost a lot of weight when I first went GF, but now it’s easy to eat carbs again :). I’m glad your daughter and you and your dh are getting good results from all your hard work!

  8. My son also has some skin rash issues that we are trying gluten free to see if it helps. We are only on day 2 of our gluten free diet and I am encouraged that your daughter is improving on her GF diet. Any tips for me?

    1. Hi Wendy,

      Sorry you have a child dealing with skin issues too, it’s never easy. My biggest tip is always check labels, learning all the hidden words for wheat/gluten. By law if there is wheat, the ingredient have to say it, but if it’s an odd gluten containing ingredient, they don’t have to list that as wheat. Also, buy what you need to at the beginning to not feel deprived. Going GF is hard enough, but feeling like you can’t have your favorite _____________ (fill in the blank) makes it much harder. We did spend more at the beginning, just getting extra things to make it easier. Now we don’t do that as much, or we make it from scratch.

      I hope things go well for you. Please stop by again and let me know how its going. 🙂

      1. Thanks, JoAnn. I appreciate the tips. I made gluten free bagels this morning, from a gluten free mix, and we really enjoyed them. My son’s skin is not looking any better yet. How long do you think before we see any improvement? I know it has only been a week but I an anxious for him to feel better…I’m sure you understand that.;)
        By the way, I saw the fencing pics, my son also takes fencing!

        1. I wish I had better news, but it took a month or so before we started seeing any improvement, and even then it was very light. It seemed to be trying to find a combination of not getting cross contaminated and some cream or lotion to help with the itching and redness. Its not perfect, we are still dealing with it, but we’ve also found out Sarah is dealing with something else too, so her skin issues may be a combination of gluten and something else. Some say gluten stays in your system for months. That was always the hardest part.

          And that is cool that your son fences too. I know Sarah is really enjoying it. 🙂

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