Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Being Gluten Free - the amateur edition

WARNING: if you're hungry, you might want to wait and read this until you're full. There are a lot of food photos! 

I've been dairy free for the last four years and after slightly introducing it again and reacting horribly, I took a closer look at my diet. I was often so bloated I looked about 5 months pregnant, got stomach cramps, and was terribly, ahem, irregular. 

When I got back from New Zealand I made the decision to cut gluten out of my diet to see what difference that'd make. Within a week I was noticing a huge difference! 

I'm now in week 4; my skin has cleared up loads, I'm a lot more regular, the bloating has pretty much disappeared and I just feel better. 

So here I am, dairy and gluten free, being one of those annoying people to cook for or take out for dinner, and having to become more creative and aware in the kitchen! 

Gluten free bread, ham, rocket, hummus and goats cheese
To be honest though, I don't actually mind. I've noticed too much of a difference for it not to be worthwhile, so I'm happy to carry on my merry way!

I'm not a 'breakfasty' person, but this muesli is lush! 
The things I've found the hardest have been having to shop for a 'gluten free life'. I'm getting the hang of it pretty quickly but having to check the labels of a lot of stuff whilst I get to learn, know and have favourite brands can be somewhat painstaking. 

Baked salmon, rocket, and roasted potatoes
I've definitely been eating a whole load healthier and having to think of different things to cook, but that challenge has been kinda fun! Like cooking proper fish, I don't remember the last time that ever happened! But it was delish! 

This pizza, it was the best. I couldn't find proper pizza bases at the small Sainsburys near my house, you can get them in your online shop or possibly at a bigger store, but the pita breads were actually perfect! They tasted just as good the next day and were a choice leftover lunch! 

Gluten free pita breads, bacon, red peppers, goats cheese, olives, tomato paste and rocket! 
Gluten free pasta was one of the first gluten free things I bought, but I hadn't gotten around to cooking some until recently. It cooks normally, however I found it to be slightly dry the next day, so maybe add some olive oil before fridging it! 

Gluten free pasta, yellow peppers, olives, chorizo, rocket, tomato based sauce
 In terms of snacks, I'm not a huge snacker. I normally just wait for the big meals or have fruit. But when I feel like a snack, it's gotta be good! I found some gluten free rice cakes, threw some hummus and goats cheese on top and voila! Here we have the most boringest looking beige snack. Ever. It was pretty tasty, so putting the beige aside, I was quite happy munching on a few of these! 

Gluten free rice cakes, hummus, goats cheese
 Now, this is a classic Nikki concoction. A not-how-it's-meant-to-turn-out meal, which turned out to look like vomit but taste amazing! The lentils went too mushy, so I added borlotti beans and whatever was left in the fridge. The soupy texture was actually alright and there was enough substance for it to not be really runny.

Red lentils, borlotti beans, chorizo, green peppers, mushrooms, and add whatever spices/herbs you want!
I love chick peas, all the different kinds of beans, I've started experimenting with lentils and am going to try quinoa next! 

So as a newbie to being gluten free, I'm enjoying it quite a bit. It can be hard, either to find a meal on the menu you can have, or something specific at the supermarket, but it's all good! 

Persevere! It's worth it! 

What are your favourite gluten free meals? I'd love some more inspiration! 

1 comment:

  1. I'm SO glad to hear that it's made a big difference for you! And that muesli looks LUSH - save me a bite for when I come :-)