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My Gluten Free Lifestyle

My Gluten Free Lifestyle

by Monica D'Agostino

When I first started eating a gluten-free diet, things seemed both overwhelming and frustrating. All the foods I used to love eating, now seemed off limits. I spent the first while trying to find replacements for my favourites foods such as breads and treats. I quickly learned that although these were the obvious food items that contained wheat flour, wheat flour (and therefore gluten) was hidden in a lot of other foods that I enjoyed, including soy sauce, sauces and gravies, and even sausages. I found that reading about a gluten free lifestyle by analyzing recipes and trolling through the internet was very helpful in ways of learning how to eat gluten free. Although I am not a true celiac, I do have gluten sensitivity. I find eating gluten free makes me feel healthier, and the tummy troubles that I have always dealt with seem to be under control.

I am a true foodie. My background is in Food Nutrition and Consumer Studies where I attended Ryerson and majored in Food Science and Marketing. Then landed my first position in quality control at Lipton’s were I was exposed to what was involved in commercial food processing. From here I worked as Flavour Technologist which developed my both my creativity and my taste palate. My first project was developing a new orange juice flavour for a major account. We had over three hundred orange flavours and then had to develop a new improved one. So in distinguishing flavours, I also became a self-proclaimed food snob. I like quality foods that taste good. So in eating gluten free I want to enjoy great tasting food. Now starting my own company, Indulgables, we take ordinary ingredients and make extraordinary treats. Our mission is to use high quality ingredients, make great tasting treats, that supports a gluten free lifestyle.

So if you too have to live a gluten free lifestyle or at least limit the amount of wheat flour from your diet, I would like to share a few suggestions that I ran into both personally as well as for Induglables.

Spelt flour is often mistakenly labeled as “Gluten Free”

In fact, spelt comes from an ancient strain of wheat which of course contains gluten. Although it contains gluten, the levels of gluten are in much lower dose than that of the modern wheat we now use. Therefore there are some people that have a milder sensitivity or intolerance to gluten can tolerate goods made with this wheat. I myself cannot and those with Celiaca’s definitely should stay away from eating anything made from this flour along with all other forms of wheat ( Kamut, wheat berries, farrow, eikorn, burgar, freekeh) rye, barley, and to a certain degree oats. Rice, corn, sorghum flours are good options.

Oats themselves are gluten free

However they are normally grown and processed in the same facility as wheat, causing major cross contamination issues for some and should be avoided by Celicas. It’s now possible to find certified gluten free oats which have been grown, harvest and processed away from any wheat source. This may be good news for some people, including me. Oats contain a protein called Avenin, which is not a form of gluten but may still affect some people the same way as gluten does. For those that would like to enjoy a warm bowl of porridge on those cold winter mornings, I suggest millet or quinoa. They are not quite the same but a good alternative. Gluten free baking can be a challenge. I make my own gluten free flour mix as I haven’t had success with store bought gluten free flour mixes, and they area so overpriced.

For my next month blog I will offer my flour mix and gluten free baking secrets.

Remember, be positive, yes its hard work, but it’s worth it if you feel better!

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