Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day Two Gluten-Free

What I'd give for a bagel, toasted and buttered ...

I actually almost forgot myself this morning when I came downstairs after a rough night. I grabbed the newspaper from the front porch, where Ellie leaves it for me, and came into the kitchen, hungry, and thinking about how good my morning bagel would be.

Except, of course, that I'm on my second day of a gluten-free trial.

I still don't have a good breakfast figured out, especially since I have to take my antibiotics two hours before or six hours after having dairy products. (That makes it challenging to eat yogurt.)

Yesterday, I bravely tried one of the gluten-free freezer waffles my neighbor, Joan, had given me. She warned me that her son, Andy, refused to eat them and only wanted fresh waffles off the waffle iron. I figured he just had good taste, since who wouldn't prefer a freshly made waffle to one that had been mass manufactured and frozen?

When I opened the package, the smell alone was almost enough to put me off, but I persuaded myself that once I toasted them, buttered them and smothered them in cinnamon-sugar, they could be made out of newspaper and and I would like them.

I was wrong.

Strangely enough, the waffles did taste like a wad of cinnamon-sugar-covered newspaper ... and the cinnamon-sugar was not enough to persuade me to take a second bite. Bleh!

I ended up eating a banana and some cheese and (rice) crackers for brunch yesterday. The crackers also smelled suspicious, but luckily with a small square of Tillamook Vintage White Cheddar Cheese on top, it turned out to be a tasty breakfast. (I stopped eating orange cheddar cheese in college when I learned during a semester in England that American cheddar is only orange thanks to food coloring. But the Tillamook Vintage White is by far my favorite American white cheddar.)

With my limitations on not eating fresh fruit or veggies while my intestines continue to bleed, it's been challenging to find things to eat that satisfy my tastebuds and my tummy. I know I'll get there, but it's challenging.

For anyone else struggling to go gluten-free, a friend sent me to GlutenFreeGoddess, which has a great starter guide with advice for finding one's way through the maze of switching to gluten-free as well as recipes and such. There's also a good Quick Start Diet guide at the Gluten Intolerance Group's site. I also liked their "easy to find, easy to fix" list of things you can eat safely while you're in transition.

Again, I'd love feedback and advice from folks who are also going down this path or have done recently enough that they remember what it was like at the start. What do you eat for a gluten-free breakfast?


SRR said...

Well, I've never done gluten free breakfasts, but I have done carb free. One idea is to change your mind about breakfast - it doesn't have to be traditional breakfast food. Leftovers from previous meals, a hamburger patty and veggies, and so forth.

I do like eggs for breakfast. A spinach and cheese omelet is a favorite.

Aviva said...

Yeah, I'm not much of an egg person -- one of my many dilemmas. :-) But thanks, that's a good idea about not needing to find breakfast food, per se, just something that I can stomach even if it's not typically eaten in the a.m. Thanks!!

Kathy said...

Hi there,

Hope you are feeling a little better. Breakfast cereals that are
gluten free and mainstream, available at your grocery store--General Mills Rice Chex,Corn Chex, Honey-Nut Chex, Stawberry Chex, Chocolate Chex. I'd stick with
rice and corn if you have intestinal pain for now. Also Post makes Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles.

These are all gluten free. You can
use rice milk (Pacific is good)
which you can find at Whole Foods
and some grocery stores with a gluten free section. If you go there, Joan's bagels are well liked, and they have some gluten
free breads too. You can't toast it in your toaster though, it will
get gluten on it. French toast maybe? And sandwiches.

You are welcome to check out my list of gluten free foods available
at Walmart at my website. If it turns out you are gluten intolerant, I have a guide on my site too.

Good luck, and I hope this helps you.

SharonMV said...

I haven't done gluten free, but I've been dairy free and no/low sugar for several years. So I'm envious of your cheese! Also had to give up garlic due to an allergy. I still need to have Celiac ruled out. Good luck & I hope your gut & you feel better soon.


Jeanne said...


I just sent you some gluten-free links. Hope they help!


Laurie said...

Hi Aviva,

I hear you on the frozen waffles. This is just my personal take, but after 6 years of living GF, I've found what works best for me is to eat foods that are naturally GF, rather than foods that have been altered. I don't like to eat processed good anyway, so that's one bonus, but I find foods like store-bought GF waffles, breads, etc to be dense, full of calories, and they taste awful. We focus on quinoa, polenta, risotto, sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc, and tons of veggies (which I know you can't have yet.)

You probably can't eat oats right now w/ your other stomach issues, but if you can, oatmeal is a good breakfast and gives you the fiber that is hard to get when you eat GF. (There are brands that are processed safely, w/out cross-contamination from wheat).

I live on rice crackers. With hummus they're a "home from work" snack till dinner is ready. In the morning, with a little bit of all-natural peanut butter or almond butter, they're a light breakfast that coats my stomach enough for my massive doses of antibiotics and other meds. (An hour after I take my thyroid med, of course :)

If you eat dairy, cottage cheese with some fruit is a great breakfast-full of protein and low in starchy yuckiness.

Anyway, let me know if you have other questions, or check out the GF posts on my blog.

Good luck!

Joan said...

How about some cream of rice cereal with a little butter (real butter)and brown sugar, with a banana on top. This all fits with a low residue, gluten-free diet.

Polenta is another choice, but I always need more to go with it than you can have right now.

Also, risotto is a good option for you right now.

Pick up some rice or soy milk to help with the milk portion of things (the polenta, even cereals).

Perhaps things will improve when you are not on antibiotics any longer and can be more creative.

Joan said...

To respond to Kathy's note, we use rice dream. Be sure to get enriched rice milk for CA and D.

Rex can fill you in on where the best prices are for rice milk, since we go through 1.5 cases a week.

queenofoptimism said...

Glad you are finding great resources and thanks to all who have shared their info. There is hope for me yet!

Just Jenn said...

OH and you should contact the support group Mentor Program Coordinator:
Kristina Squires - 208.484.0544
She would love, love to hear from you.

BTW I often eat buckwheat groats for breakfast - it's a hot cereal. Most grocery stores also carry Cream of Rice. Glutano GF bagels (sold at Lingonberries, haven't seen them at New Seasons) are pretty good.

As Kathy said, Pacific brand rice milk is good. Stay away from Rice Dream as they use barley in their processing. They say it's GF but I've known so many people to get sick from it.

Aviva said...

Kathy: Thanks so much for your suggestions! I found my way to your blog, which is full of great advice too. I'm so glad you found your way here and posted! Thank you! Is all Corn Chex gluten free? I thought I remembered from when my daughter was tiny that it had some wheat mixed in, but I haven't looked since I started the gluten-free thing so I hope I'm misremembering. (Chocolate Chex? Really? Wow!) My husband picked up an imitation Corn Chex that's definitely marked gluten free, but it'd be nice to eat the cheaper, regular version.

Aviva said...


Thanks for the great suggestions! I was thinking that I really need to dig back into your blog because I know you've written about being gluten-free and the challenges, but I don't remember the specifics.

I suspect you're right, and the big change we need to make is not to rely on convenience foods. And that's something I had wanted to do anyway, so I guess this will just spur us into it. I'm sort of glad to hear that rice crackers are a major staple of your diet. I suspect they will be in mine too.


Aviva said...

Sharon: Wow, I've always thought that going dairy free had to be the hardest thing to eliminate from one's diet. There's so many ways they hide dairy in foods that you really have to study labels. And thanks for reminding me to be grateful for what I *can* eat and think less about what I'm giving up. I'm just really crossing my fingers that this is the key and makes a big difference in my health ... Time will tell, I guess. Does being dairy free help you a lot?

Aviva said...

Jenn: Thanks for that warning for Rice Dream! And now I will *have* to make it up to Lingonberries now that I know they have bagels there that are worth eating. (Although I'm so bummed that Kathy is right that I can't use the darn toaster because it's contaminated with gluten. Dang it! My husband says that if this is the cause of my health issues, he will gladly buy me a new toaster for gluten free stuff. :-) And thanks, too, for Kristina's contact info. I will email her tomorrow.

Aviva said...

Thanks Kathy, Jeanne and Q! I'm always amazed (and grateful) for how much support and helpful advice I get through this blog. I can only imagine what it was like going through these kinds of health problems before the Internet existed. I'm so grateful for the research I can do and the resources I find online, and most of all for the empathy and support from folks I've never even met in person.

Just Jenn said...

Yeah, contaminated toasters are the pits. My SIL dropped some bread in ours last year while visiting and I still haven't replaced it yet. Ah well. I'm broiling bread in the oven right now actually. lol...

Kathy said...

Hi Aviva,

I'm glad if I could help and really hope you're feeling better now.

As far as your question on the Chex, the General Mills used to have barley malt, but they became aware of celiac disease and switched to molasses. So now they are gluten free.

Betty Crocker has 4 mixes that
are gluten free now, and they give
a butter substitution guide too.
Just in case you get a hankering for dessert ;)

Hang in there girl...it will get

Anonymous said...

Just came across your page...
Van's blueberry buckwheat frozen waffles are AMAZING!!! They Taste better than Ego's.
AND Udi's bagels are dreamy. They taste like gluten free french bread. Not very bagel-y, but still super delish in the morning with some butter and jelly.
I just learned to make corn meal pancakes and they're awesome... the kids gobble them up.
As for cereals... the cold ones we like are Arrowhead Mills buckwheat maple flakes, and Barbara's crispy brown rice (also great for making gluten free marshmallow crispies).
And for hot cereal, we eat hot brown rice (like oatmeal) or corn grits (excelennt with sharp cheddar).
Along with one of those things we eat some fruit and protein (usually some type of nut butter spread on something toasted) and a glass of almond milk.