August 27, 2014

My Gluten Free Life {in Sacramento}

I have been living gluten free for over one year. I have had my ups and downs. I struggled, felt lonely, crazy, and even felt like I was the worst and most complicated friend or person ever. I mean, when invited to a dinner party, or going to a restaurant or even date I would take forever to order {unless they had a gluten free menu, or offered gf options}. Over time I learned which restaurants to choose, which dressings were good, what to look for when reading labels, what to avoid altogether, what to bring with me, and how to substitute certain ingredients when cooking my own meals.

Not everything labeled gluten free is bad. Just because it says gluten free on the box or jar doesn't mean that it is the only option. I have learned that regular jars or boxes not saying gluten free sometimes still do not contain any wheat, barley, malt, or rye; they were still okay and mostly cheaper. All-Purpose gluten free flour costs around 10 bucks. 10!!!! TEN!!! Holy mother of flour. I don't bake that often, and when I do {especially since living with this diet} I use already prepared mixes. This saves me money, time, and trouble. I did find a smaller and cheaper bag of gf flour and it's been helping me bake and cook if needed.

When I started this life {or was forced to live it}, a fellow blogger asked me to share gluten free recipes. Thing is I don't cook differently. Fruits, veggies, fish, fresh meat, and rice are already gluten free. No need to substitute anything. I can marinate my own meat or fish. I can buy sauces, dressings, dips that do not contain gluten OR I just make my own.

I swapped my favorite chips to a brand that is gluten free. I have not gone back, except once. I tried one BBQ chip from my former favorite chips brand, and then ate a gluten free one and oh boy was I astonished. My new found love for this gf brand {kettle chips if you must know} was worth the extra penny or drive. So much more flavor!!! My favorite person agrees with me, and won't even buy anything else if I crave my backyard barbecue chips. At least I don't have to go crazy not ever eating chips again, or cupcakes {I found a great bakery in Reno with the best coffee cakes, THE best}.

Living in Southern California I had practically no issues finding restaurants, or gf items in stores. I learned to call ahead or look online first so I knew if a restaurant offered gluten free choices/menus. Sometimes I would forget and then had to find courage to ask if they had gluten free pasta or options. Eating out has always been a challenge but it has gotten easier and better over time. If you have allergies you know it is not easy to go to restaurants. I am a foodie. I love food. Knowing I can't eat everything makes my heart ache.

Living in Sacramento is a whole different story. I had to start all over again. I had to find a gluten free bakery, restaurants and stores that may offer gf options and won't kill my small budget. Let me tell you, it's not that easy. I found a few spots and I am slowly adjusting. Also, I don't want to go to a grocery store that is solely focusing on gluten free items because we all know those stores charge more. I basically have to go to five different places in order to get all my grocery shopping done. Fantastic. At least I get food that won't kill me, and at least I have Ryan Gosling making sure I am okay and gluten stays away from me.

Seriously, I have been doing fine, doing much better than a year ago. I still have my moments. This is normal. I learned to live with it. People in my life know that I have a food allergy and they go out of their ways to get me a gluten free corner in their pantry. They are considerate and make sure I can enjoy food while eating out. Personally, I feel better and stronger. I am still rolling my eyes when I see only fried food or regular pizza dough offered. Sacramento needs to get its healthy stuff going, and that fast! Ha! Joke aside, I'll be exploring more. But now, let me go out and buy some grocery may take me up to three hours. My life!

images via 1 | 2 |


Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Aw man that must be rough. I know I take all of the options in SoCal for granted just bc I'm so used to it. I would love to go gluten free to see of it could have me lose weight... plus I hear it can cause headaches and with my history with them, I NEED to see if it'd help.

Krysten Quiles said...

At least you're doing your homework. Around here a lot of people do GF as a diet and they have no idea what does or doesn't contain gluten; they rely on other people to help them.

Meghan said...

It certainly isn't easy to be GF, despite all of the options. It takes a lot of planning and organization!

Mree said...

That must be tough. I think more and more places are offering gluten free items. Hopefully, Sacramento will get them soon!!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

There's a GF place in Roseville. I can't remember the name but it's a little bakery/deli. It's near the Hobby Lobby.


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