Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Going Gluten-Free... FOR SCIENCE!

Everything I've been reading on Hashimoto's keeps coming back to the same dietary requirement/recommendation: give up gluten*.  I've been stalling and rationalizing and being just plain stubborn about it, but after a bad 2-day anxiety flare-up last week, I was ready to try just about anything. (Amazing what a strong motivator irrational fear can be, huh?)

[*The tl;dr version: some doctors believe your body could be mistaking thyroid tissue for gluten - since they're structurally similar - and so ends up attacking both. Give up gluten, and the attacks could stop, allowing your thyroid to heal.]

And since I've heard it can also help with panic - and I'm lactose-intolerant anyway - I decided to give up dairy, too. In for a penny, right?

Still, considering that every meal I eat usually has both dairy *and* gluten in it, this was a Big Deal.

And considering that I am not only terrible at cooking, but also hate doing it, this was a Really Really Big Deal.

So it's been almost a full week now, and I gotta say: This isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and I am so relieved.

I've always equated going gluten-free with going low-carb, for some reason, or at least going awful- carb, with chemical-tasting fake breads and pastas and whatnot - and forget about all the baked-goods and desserts I love. So, the first thing John and I did - and yes, you WILL laugh at me over this - was find a good gluten-free chocolate chip cookie. Because PRIORITIES.

It only took 4 tries with 4 different brands to find an amazing, so-good-I'd-eat-'em-anyway, GF chocolate chip cookie. As soon as I took the first bite, I knew I could do this.

These are the cookies, by the way:

They sell them at Target.
(But I'm still open to recommendations for other brands.)

Next I had to find a proper milk substitute, since it's been the only thing I drink besides water for over 6 years. I already knew I liked sweetened Almond Milk well enough, so once I cut it half-and-half with water it was close enough to pass for my usual 2% milk. SUCCESS.

Next up, sandwich bread. I was dreading this, because the GF bread we've tried before was like crumbly cardboard: completely inedible. I lucked out when John brought home a loaf of All But Gluten, because once toasted, it tastes almost exactly like the white wheat we usually eat.

In fact, I've found this whole thing is a lot less daunting if I just start with what I already eat, and then find substitutions to make it work. I'm not quite as strict with the dairy as I am with gluten, though, so I'm ok with small amounts of whey or even cream in some items.

Some things are already gluten-free, of course, like our favorite burrito bowls over at Chipotle. Leave off the sour cream and cheese, and it's dairy-free, too. (I sub'd with some dairy-free sour cream, which tastes almost exactly the same as the real stuff, and some soy-based "cheddar cheese," which... does not. Ha! It's not too bad, though.)

Everyone keeps saying this is an amazing time to go gluten-free, and I gotta say, they're right. I was like a kid in a candy store once I found the GF aisle at Publix, eying all the stuff I can still eat, and I even found a local vegan bakery that has almost half its menu GF. Including cupcakes. Woot!

Restaurants have been surprisingly accommodating so far, and it's pretty easy to find GF menus on most websites. Which reminds me, quick side note:

This week we've been out at Universal a lot with visiting family, and I have to give major props to the staff at the Three Broomsticks, who I swear turned into culinary superheroes the second we uttered the words "gluten-free." I'd already done my homework online as to what I could eat, but John had a quick question about the ribs. Within seconds, the head chef himself was in front of us, smiling and offering to cook the ribs sans sauce (which has gluten in it) just for us. Then, the server plating our food insisted on replacing our order when she realized she hadn't put on fresh gloves before handling my GF plate.

I was so touched by how conscientious they all were, and more than that, how they didn't make a fuss or act like we were putting them out. I've been afraid of restaurant staff rolling their eyes or getting snippy with me, but so far, knock on wood, everyone's been great.

That said, it's a lot easier to eat gluten and dairy-free at home - or at least it's easier to eat well. (Because who wants a house salad for every meal?) So far John's made us this Rainbow Thai salad:

 Which was awesome, though ours wasn't nearly as photogenic:

 Plus we replaced the mango with mandarin oranges. Mmm.

We disagreed on the dressing, since John wanted more vinegar and I wanted more peanut butter, so in the end we split the recipe and doctored our own versions.

For dinners we've also had hot sandwiches, which John is the master of making, and fruity chicken salad with these to-die-for GF crackers:

We've been eating the crackers for months now, so it was a pleasant surprise when I realized there's a big ol' "GLUTEN FREE" stamp on the bag. (Seriously, you must try them. Crunchy nutty goodness you'll be eating like potato chips!)

It feels pretty strange to be sharing snapshots of our dinners here, but after the response to my gluten-free brownies quip a few posts back, I figured enough of you guys might be interested.

It's too soon to say if going gluten and dairy-free is helping my panic or thyroid issues, but I can at least tell you my stomach feels less awful.  Since I usually have dairy every day, I'm used to being in almost constant GI distress - even when I remember the Lactaid. (This is how much I love milk, you guys.) Now my stomach is quieter, without its usual symphony of gastrointestinal whale song, and all the other bloaty-and-crampy stuff that goes with it.

Fingers crossed this is just the beginning, and in another few months I'll be one of those annoyingly perky GF converts, raving about all my renewed energy and new-found health benefits. ;)

Thanks for all the support and advice, everyone - 'cuz I AM taking notes over here - and I hope my sharing helps encourage some of you out there contemplating the gluten-free switch yourself!


  1. My mom has Crohn's, so I'm fairly familiar with the plight of the gluten/dairy free. If you have a Trader Joe's nearby, they can be a great resource, especially for pantry staples like pasta; I like the corn varieties in particular, plus almond milk and soy ice cream. They also have awesome frozen brown rice -- I know that sounds crazy, but it's delicious. My mom is a huge fan of corn tortillas, which are usually gluten free. Also, a lot of people who can't tolerate lactose are fine with hard cheeses like Parmesan, goat cheeses and yogurt -- and if you find that you're okay with yogurt, Ben & Jerry's peanut butter banana frozen yogurt is basically the best thing ever.
    Hope things continue to go well for you!

  2. There are some very good gluten-free flour blends now, though some of them aren't dairy-free. I use the King Arthur Flour blend, which you can buy or they have the recipe on their website to blend it yourself, which is much cheaper. It's very important to use xanthan gum or something that serves the same purpose (like psyllium husk).

    At least for me, I don't think that being gluten-free is helping with the Hashimoto's. When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's, I had been gluten-free for over five years. I have Celiac, so I'm very careful about gluten. My antibodies were super high anyway. So I've always been pretty skeptical about the gluten/Hashimoto's thing. That being said, obviously if it makes you feel better you should stick with it, and the comorbidity rates between Hashimoto's and Celiac are pretty high.

    Oh, also, are you sure you're lactose intolerant and not casein intolerant? I couldn't handle casein for years after I went gluten-free because my gut was so screwed up, but it healed eventually. As I understand it, the part of the intestines that digest casein are the tips of the villi, so if they're flattened from undiagnosed Celiac, you can lose the ability to digest milk. You may want to try going entirely dairy-free, just to see if it feels different. (The Wow cookies aren't dairy-free, sorry. But Schar shortbread cookies are, and they're delicious.)

  3. Fortunately not a problem with neither gluten nor lactose, but I do have food allergies, so I know all too well what a pain in the ass it can be to read ingredients lists small print and work around stuff in cooking. I was under suspicion of being lactose intolerant, but, turns out, it was apple juice giving me the constant stomach pains and diarrhea. And there's apple juice in EVERYTHING. Even if it says raspberry-rhubarb on the front label, in the ingredient list you'll read "30% apple juice" – which is extremely frustrating. Add to the list nuts (there also is hazelnut in EVERYTHING), soy (needless to say, also in EVERYTHING), everything of the genus prunus (peaches, nectarines, plums ...) and anise and coriander. But! I can still have cheese, and peanuts, and what have you, so it's basically just really frustrating and annoying to work around, and having to read through the ingredients lists taught me a lot of stuff about our food industry and how to cook things from scratch. 8D Oh, and a recipe for that rainbow thai salad please? Pretty please? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease?


    1. Hi Sandra,
      I've found the recipe over on Gimme Some Oven :) It's called Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

  4. I am hoping to be able to add GF foods into my diet once all of my test results come back in 4-6 weeks. Right now, I can have NO soy, dairy, gluten, pork, nuts, gluten-free products, caffeine, alcohol, nightshade veggies, chocolate, sugars except Stevia, the list is ENDless! Been doing ok so far, but I'm only a week into it. On the good new front, I've lost 4.5 lbs and my body fat went from 49.8% to 46%, so I lost FAT and not water! Happy things are working for you! Keep finding good GF things to eat and posting about them. I hope to be able to add them into my diet at some point!

  5. You're just lucky you live in America! I'm in Australia, and my family's gluten, dairy, corn, soy, pork, egg, potato, preservative and many other things free. We can't buy anything

    1. I think that would be super challenging anywhere! I live in Australia with my coeliac partner and it's been getting better and better every year both for groceries and eating out. It can still be difficult in rural/regional areas, but most cafes and restaurants in the major metro areas of Australia have at least one GF option on the menu, if not mostly GF.

      The gluten free fad which many people seem to have gone through is a double-edged sword though. On the one hand, more places now cater for gluten free people, know what it is and can offer options. On the other hand, so many people are only gluten intolerant or eating GF as a lifestyle choice that some places don't realise how careful you actually have to be to ensure the food is properly gluten free (the ever present danger of cross contamination in the kitchen from gloves, knives, tongs, serving spoons etc).

      On the plus side, a university in Melbourne is developing a vaccine for coeliac disease which should be available in the next few years if their tests prove its efficacy. Last I heard it would be avaialble in 2017, but that may have slipped. My partner and I are planning a food holiday to all the places he can't go (or I won't let him go) if he can't eat gluten - China, Japan, France, Italy (France and Italy have very good GF options, but there's no point going if you can't eat the real deal at patisseries and pizzerias!)

  6. Do you have a recipe for the fruity chicken salad?

    1. No, we just winged that one: I chop up apples, grapes, celery, and pecans, then mix 'em in with shredded chicken, mayo, onion powder, and salt and pepper. (And John likes to add worcestershire sauce, too.)

  7. If you haven't tried it, Udi's bread is a favorite in our family. We prefer the whole grain but the white version is good too.

  8. Have you tried goat's milk? My son is allergic to cow's milk, and the nut-milks were unacceptable, Goat's milk tasted "right', and doesn't set off any reactions. It's not cheap.....which is why we have dairy goats now. (The things we do for family!)

    1. Omigosh, you milk you own goats? THAT IS AWESOME. And no, never tried the milk, but I do love goat's cheese!

  9. Good luck with your gluten-free adventure! Glad to hear you're feeling better on the tummy front and hope it helps with the other issues, too!

    I did want to note, though, as a low-carber myself, that low- carb ALSO doesn't have to be horrible! :) We eat lots of amazing food and none of the nastiness you noted! Hehe! You might enjoy Carolyn Ketchum's blog Her recipes are both gluten-free and low carb (and a good number are dairy-free)...and delicious!

  10. I have been following the autoimmune protocol since the beginning of the year to get my hashimoto under control. I have been consistently loosing weight and my synthroid dosage has already been lowered. I'm not sure if it's do to the weight loss or the diet. Hopefully it will continue to go down after my weight stabilizes. The diet is hard initially, because it feels like you can't eat anything. Whenever I try to add anything in that my body doesn't like I get bad stomache aches and bloating. I am hoping that once everything is under control I can get to the standard paleo template.

  11. You can do it, Jen! You'll definitely find there are a lot of great GF options available. I'm sure you've done a lot of reading, but I'd also recommend _Gluten Free for Dummies._ Gluten hides in a lot of odd products, so you'll want to be aware. I once became really ill three hours after a root canal because I swallowed some of the topical anesthetic they had used once I could drink water again. Topical anesthetic. Live and learn. (Not all brands have gluten, but some use it as a preservative.) I thought I'd share some of my biggest GF "a-ha!" products.

    Tate's Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are far and away my favorites. They're pricey (more so on Amazon than in brick and mortar stores), but they taste almost identical to the Silver Palate cookies my mom made me as a child. Tates has other GF cookies, but I've only tried the chocolate chip:

    Against the Grain makes the best baguettes. Again, I buy these in brick-and-mortar in reasonable quantities, so don't let the prices scare you:

    If you're looking to make homemade pizza (I'm not dairy-free, so I can't comment on a good non-dairy pizza cheese), Mozzarelli's crusts taste like the real deal. I live in New York, so I've only been in person, but I assume the ones you can have delivered are delicious as well.

    1. I second Tates, and if memory serves, they also have an amazing ginger cookie with real bits of candied ginger.

  12. There are a lot of great GF options out there right now, but the problem is, they often cost an arm and a leg! If you live near an Aldi store, they are a GF oasis. Lots of very reasonably priced GF options, and EVERY item that is naturally GF, even a carton of eggs, is labeled to say so! No guesswork!

  13. Dairy-free/GF treats to try: Steve's Burnt Sugar Vanilla and Dark Chocolate Salty Caramel ice creams (made with coconut cream), CocoWhip (like Cool Whip, but made with coconut milk), Chocolove Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate candy bar, Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips, and Zen Chocolate Pudding (made with almond milk) are my favorites. Yummy!

  14. So glad to hear, Jen! I know several people who were dragged into being GF kicking and screaming, and once they started feeling better ---- it just got better and better and they have never looked back. Their whole quality of life improved. Thanks for sharing.
    Maureen S

  15. You should check out the "Skinnytaste" website:
    It is a lot of "healthy" food but the recipes are mostly meat and veggies so a lot of them are naturally "gluten-free" without using any weird substitutes. I am dairy-free (but not gluten free) and a lot of the recipes don't have dairy either or it is easy to sub out the dairy! good luck!

  16. I JUST discovered those cookies myself a few days ago! I am trying GF again after a resurgence of GI issues that I am dealing with. If it doesn't do the tricj u nay actually go to a doctor after dealing with it on and off for a couple of years (I hate going to the doctor, so much). Anyway, it's definitely a new way to work your brain in restructuring how you eat. I mean, why is there wheat in taco seasoning?! So unnecessary, but makes you realize you have to check everything. I am going be going with a lot more Korean meals, asian meals are easy to find without gluten, other than some of the noodles, which most of the time cam easily be substituted with rice.

  17. I'm paleo, and have been for years. It's cleared up all kinds of health issues for me. It's a little more strict than what you're going for, but there are a ton of paleo blogs out there with some amazing food - nomnompaleo, againstallgrain, paleomg. And for the science behind all this - She has hashi's, and is also a biochemist so she gets into the why behind all this food stuff and why we eat this way.
    Good luck - it can be rough at first, but soon it will be second nature and you'll feel so great you won't miss any of the stuff you used to eat!
    Katie P

  18. Good luck! I had to go gluten free for a while, and it was a lot less scary than I thought it would be. Dinner was the easiest. Breakfast and snacks I found really hard. "I can't have a sandwich, so how about some cereal. Oh no! I'll make some porridge instead. Obs! I know, a piece of cake! Never mind. I guess I'll just skip breakfast." and so on. Things might have been easier if I was better at planing.

  19. I also have some dietary restrictions, and www netrition com is amazing. They have all kinds of foods for any dietary restriction you can think of, including gluten free. Ch-ch-check it out!

  20. Hey Jen,

    Good for you! My husband is a third generation celiac and we made the switch almost three years ago now. Finding substitutions for almost anything is possible and pretty enjoyable. Because he gets sick from even the slightest cross-contamination, we usually only eat out in places with a dedicated kitchen area and staff trained by an organization like the Gluten Intolerance Guild.
    I'm not sure if there are Aldi grocery stores in FL, but their Live G-free line is consistently delicious and quite a bit cheaper than other places.
    One quick recommendation: if you haven't already downloaded the "Find me Gluten free" app, DO IT! They profile all the restaurants in the area, or any area, that have GF offerings as well as letting you know which have dedicated kitchens, special training, etc. we've survived traveling this way and found a lot of great gems. They also sometimes put up coupons for Gf processed foods.

    Keep going!

    1. Oh, forgot to mention, Glutino brand has been good to us. There pretzels are my favorite on the planet, regular ones included.

    2. Seconding Melody's comment about the Glutino pretzels. Hands down, they're the best pretzels out there. Non-GF friends have had them at my place and bought them instead of non-GF pretzels on their own after.

    3. Thanks, Melody, I just downloaded that app! And the pretzels are on our shopping list. :)

  21. I've been gluten free for a very very long time. The hardest parts are eating out and buying pre-made foods. All that label-reading can make a soul dizzy.

    On the upside, cooking is MUCH easier than baking, and a lot more forgiving. I've stopped being afraid of my stovetop.

    Peanut Butter Panda Puffs is my go-to gluten free cereal. It's a bit spendy (most gf alternatives are) but it's amazeballs.

    After the first few times you use it, Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) stops tasting weird and it's absolutely fantastic as a replacement. Asian foods are a Very Big Deal for me, so finding that I can still have stir fry and sushi at my local restaurant was a big boost. =]

    A lot of pizza places will also deliver GF pizzas, but they're universally tiny, expensive, and baked on trays also used to bake normal pizzas. Unless you trust the joint a lot, don't trust that you're getting something perfectly gf.

    We get our bread from costco, believe it or not. The Essential Baking bread is packed with seeds and is really lovely.

    Oh! And when it comes to pasta noodles, we've had really poor luck with corn based noodles, and so-so luck with rice-based. The Quinoa noodles hold up a lot better for us.

    And make sure you watch out for "barley" or "malt" in ingredient lists. Unpleasant surprise when we found out our chocolates were glutening us.

    If you have any questions or want any recipes or anything, feel free to hit me up!

    1. Have you tried Tinkyada noodles? They are rice based but the closest thing to standard we have found and they are basically foolproof; impossible to overlook and they don't bust apart like corn noodles. My local stores just started carrying Barilla GF and that's a blend; seems good so far but we've only had it once.

  22. Good luck!!

    A lot of vegans swear by nutritional yeast as a parmesan cheese substitute. You can find it in bulk at places like Sprouts or Whole Foods.

    Also, don't be afraid to bake at home, yourself. :) Cauliflower can be turned into pizza dough, rice or tofu can be used to make pancakes.

  23. I'm not gluten or dairy-free-- good thing, since crackers and cheese and ice cream have been some of the only things I've been able to consistently eat with minimal nausea for the entire 9 months I've been pregnant--so I don't really have any advice to offer there. But I did want to comment and say that I'm glad you had such a great experience at the restaurant in particular! I do know a little of the struggle, since I grew up with a mother who has a corn allergy, and has since also had to go both gluten- and dairy-free. She has it a bit tougher due to the corn, because that really is in EVERYTHING, and I remember how difficult it was for her to find places to eat on the rare occasions we'd go on family vacations, and how nervous she was that things like her plain baked potato might have accidentally come into contact with a cooking utensil that had been used for a corn product or something. So I think it's wonderful that the servers and cooks were being so conscientious about making sure your dietary needs were taken into full consideration. She does have to prep nearly all of her own food from scratch, so it's also great that you're finding some things that are working for you in order to avoid that. Best of luck with this!

  24. Bananas and eggs make yummy Pancakes! I hear trader joe's GF chocolate chip cookies are amazing too. Good luck! Hope it helps!

  25. I love Pamela's Products, Dr Lucy's, Kinnikinnick, Mi-Del, Glutino, Enjoy Life (which are all big-8 allergen free), Trader Joe's or Tinkyada rice pasta, and the new Mission GF tortillas (but I still prefer Tortilla Land uncooked corn tortillas for everyday things). Bread, I like the Pamela's mix (and seriously, if you can afford a bread machine, it may be your best bet). Jules Gluten-Free is also a good brand, with some great mixes and flour blends, and she does tend to give dairy-free, egg-free recommendations in all her recipes. There's a magazine, used to be called Living Without, now called Gluten Free & More, that has great recipes and information (and also tries to include dairy-free, egg-free suggestions in its recipes).

    I've been GF for over 8 years now, for anxiety and possible autistic spectrum reasons. It was tough at first, but I totally agree with the "now is a great time to go GF" sentiment. So many mainstream manufacturers are going GF: Chex removed the barley malt from their non-wheat cereals, so now all but Wheat Chex are gluten free; Cheerios just rolled out a new system to make sure their oats aren't cross-contaminated with wheat kernels, so their cereals will be labeled gluten-free sometime this summer. Even Aldi, a low-cost grocer, introduced a GF house brand this past summer (if you can find their GF wraps/tortillas, they are AMAZING).

    On a cake note, Pillsbury just released a GF Funfetti cake mix. ;)

  26. I worked my way into paleo and discovered many foods that bother me. Along with standard paleo stuff, I have to be careful to avoid nightshades or my joints ache like a 90 year old woman. (Note: I am not 90 years old.) From the moment I could drag a chair to the counter as a child I was baking like crazy. So I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to baked goods, and I refuse to accept half the crap paleo people pass off as DELICIOUS! Um, no. And there's not hardly anything I can buy prepackaged. And most of it tastes like crap. So I'll put up some of my favorites and hopefully that will help you, too.

    For coconut milk, Thai Kitchen organic (not the low fat one) has the best taste and fat level in my opinion. Shake the can heartily before you open it to help mix the fat into it.

    Chocolate Custard
    For 4 one cup ramekins
    6 egg yolks
    1 can full fat coconut milk, a little reserved
    ¼ tsp salt
    1/3 c maple syrup
    2 tsp vanilla
    Paste of ¼ c cocoa powder and 2 TBSP warm water

    Topping – Enjoy Life mini chips

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Start a pot of water boiling on the stove. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together except paste and reserved milk. After making your paste, stir that splash of milk into it so that it isn’t clumpy. Then whisk the paste mixture in with the other ingredients. Place ramekins in a casserole dish, pour custard into dishes, and pour boiling water around them. Bake for 30 minutes at least. Check for doneness with a knife or at 160 degrees internally. Take them out of the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top if desired. Allow to cool on a wire rack for a while, then place them in the fridge if eating cold. (Husb likes them hot, I love them cold. SO FLIPPIN GOOD!)

    (adapted slightly from crossfitcu website)

    2 2/3 c almond flour – NOT packed down when you measure it
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 tsp vanilla
    1/2 c pure maple syrup
    2 eggs
    1 c chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)
    1/2 c extra light tasting olive oil

    Mix first three (dry) ingredients.
    In a separate bowl, mix second three (wet) ingredients. Whip together well.
    Mix wet into dry and mix well.
    Add chocolate chips and stir.
    Add oil and stir.
    Spoon out on parchment lined cookie sheets.
    Bake at 375 for 13 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.

    (These taste a lot like Tollhouse choc chip cookies, but are best hot.)

    1. I use Trader Joe's almond flour.

  27. There are a TON of GF recipes on this site, if you have a slow cooker you will be set for a year!

    1. Thanks for this website! I've been looking for more crockpot recipes for a while!

    2. Yes, thank you, Ashley! I've Googled "gluten-free crockpot recipes" (and similar phrases) many times, but have never found this website. So fabulous!

  28. Jen, if you have an Aldi near you, they have recently developed a gluten free line and, so far, everything I've tried is delicious! Their GF bread is good enough to eat without toasting!

  29. Here are some more.

    Creamy Coconut Chocolate Chip Macaroons
    (adapted slightly from Paleo Parents)

    1 package coconut cream concentrate (
    1/3 to 1/2 c maple syrup (not cold from the fridge)
    1 tsp coarse salt (Kosher)
    2 c finely shredded coconut
    1/2 c chocolate chips (optional, they’re also amazing without it, Enjoy Life mini chips)
    1 tsp vanilla

    (They would also be good with dried cranberries or blueberries... or some jam spread on top before cooking. I like the dough warm and raw with chocolate chips, the cooked cookies warm and cold in the fridge with no chocolate chips, and cooked cookies with chocolate chips from the freezer - THEY TASTE LIKE SAMOAS FROZEN.)

    If using coconut cream from Let’s Do Organic, put pouch in bowl of warm water so you can mix it properly before you open it.
    ♥ In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut cream concentrate, syrup, vanilla, and salt until well combined.
    ♥ Fold in the coconut and chocolate chips.
    ♥ Use a rounded table spoon to form 1″ balls and press flat onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. There's no need to space them far apart. (Or just squish them into patties with your hands)
    Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes, until edges brown slightly; allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from tray and shoveling in your mouth (the will fall apart if you move them right away).

    Makes about 24 cookies, after you eat 1-2′s worth of dough.

    My Chocolate Almond Gelato

    1 can full fat coconut milk
    1 tsp gelatin
    1/3 c sugar
    ¼ c cocoa powder Scharffen Berger)
    ¼ c Enjoy Life chocolate chips
    ¼ tsp almond extract
    ½ tsp salt
    4 egg yolks
    ¼ c dry roasted almonds

    Put your storage container and eating bowls into the freezer to chill while you prepare your ice cream. Prep the almonds. Oven preheated to 350, put them in a thin layer on a pan. Cook the almonds a total of 10-12 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven and chop (easier to do while still warm), then place them in the freezer until they are added to the ice cream.

    Put coconut milk in a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let sit for one minute then add in sugar, cocoa, chocolate chips, almond extract, and salt. Warm over low heat until chocolate is melted and everything is combined, stirring frequently with a whisk. If gelatin didn't dissolve completely and left some chunks, pass through a fine mesh strainer. Put in fridge until cold.

    Remove white chunky thing from egg yolks. Whisk until light and fluffy. Stir into chocolate mixture and process in ice cream maker. When almost set, stir in almonds.

    “Peanut Butter” Bars
    Adapted from Primal Cravings

    2 ½ c finely shredded coconut
    2/3 c roasted unsalted almond butter
    1/3 c sunbutter (can use almond butter if you prefer)
    1/3 coconut oil
    ¼ c maple syrup
    ½ tsp salt

    Either 1/3 c mini chocolate chips (Enjoy life) or the following topping:
    ½ c chocolate chips
    Healthy pinch of salt
    Dash of vanilla
    2 tsp coconut oil

    Preheat oven to 350, and toast coconut on a cookie sheet, 8-12 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden colored. (Go ahead and make extra if you like for later or another recipe).
    Beat butters, oil, salt, and maple syrup together. Stir in coconut. Fold in chocolate chips if not spreading the topping on the top. Pour into a parchment lined 8x8 pan and cool in the fridge. Cut into desired size chunks. They freeze really well.

    If you prefer the spread topping, first cool down the bars (without chips) for a couple hours. Microwave the four ingredients on half power for 20 or 30 seconds at a time until the chocolate is almost all melted, and stir until smooth. Spread on top and put back in the fridge.

  30. My husband has an intolerance for lactose as well. Which made him sad as he just loves cheese. The lactose-free brands we tried tasted like greasy cardboard and were twice as expensive. Luckily, we discovered that many kinds of mature cheese, like Emmentaler and mature Gouda, are okay as well. Thank you, internet :)

    1. My friend who is lactose intolerant can eat goats milk cheeses. You may need to check with your doctor, but it may be an option.

    2. Yep, forgot to mention goats milk cheese. I was gladly surprised at what a large variety, from mild to spicy, you can get. And they´re not neccessarily expensive, nowadays even discount supermarkets have at least some kinds.

  31. Aaaaaaaand fudge. Follow the recipe. If you try to cool it down quickly, your fudge will be crazy grainy.

    Crock Pot Fudge (or Ganache)
    (adjusted slightly from My Paleo Crockpot)
    2 qt crockpot (1 1/2 will also work here) - don't go any bigger without adjusting the recipe!

    coconut oil
    2 1/2 c chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)
    1/2 c coconut milk
    1/4 c maple syrup
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tsp vanilla

    Grease the inside of the crock pot well with coconut oil.
    Shake your can of coconut milk and pour the 12 c into crock pot.
    Add the rest of the ingredients except the vanilla extract and cook on HIGH for right at 2 hours. (Mine runs hot, ½ hour on high, 1 on low) Add vanilla, stir and combine it... and then turn the crockpot off. Leave it uncovered for three to four hours until it's mostly at room temperature.
    Once it's at room temperature-ish, take a spoon and stir it for about ten minutes, until that glossy finish that was on it is all gone. Add any other mix ins you want (nuts, flavorings, etc.)
    Pour into parchment lined container and put in the fridge or freezer. Mine didn’t set incredibly well, so freezer did better (it’s the perfect consistency in the freezer).

    1. Oh, and it's super good as a chocolate ganache on top of anything, just gently warm it up again.

    2. Ooo, I have a fudge one too! I just have a milk allergy, so you will need to double check that the ingredients are GF, but it is super easy and Dangerously Delicious! Just get yourself a jar of Jet Puffed Marshmallow Creme and follow the recipe on the jar for Fantasy Fudge, subbing out canned, full-fat coconut milk for evaporated milk and something safe for butter -- I use Blue Bonnet Lactose Free, but any other butter sub should work too. No other changes are needed, but I double the marshmallow just because I like it that way. So creamy! Excuse me, I need to go make fudge now...

  32. Congrats for having the courage to try GF. I can reccomend a great book, "The Pantry Principle" and a great website - Mira Dessy is a good friend of mine with some of the same issues you have. And she does consultations over the phone!

  33. It's hit or miss, but don't forget to check out the food aisle at TJMaxx/Marshalls - sometimes there are some really interesting options on the shelves -
    As far as the restaurant situation - I have a feeling that because you are in Orlando that the restaurants are better about the contamination issue - they have lots and lots of families coming through with lots and lots of allergies and/or cultural restrictions- and are better educated/used to dealing with those types of requests.

  34. A big cheat for pastas is to go to your local Asian market and buy the rice noodle pastas. The Asian markets are a crap ton cheaper than what you would pay in your local grocery store and if you are lucky you can even get shells, elbows, and varying types of spaghetti noodles.

  35. While not my favorite store, Walmart actually now has a large GF section. Both Costco and Aldis label everything as GF, which is awesome (including meats. Beware of meats, they are usually cured with gluten. ). Costco has some great sausages too.

    There are a lot of pre made options now, but you will likely have to start cooking at least a bit. As long as you have GF soy sauce, asian dishes are the way to go. Rice noodles from the Asian food store are great, and rice in a cheap rice cooker takes some of the fear out of cooking.

    You can do this, but as I said last post, make sure to keep a diary. It helps so much. Good luck, and all us autoimmune disorder folks out here are rooting for you!

  36. When my nutritionist asked me to go dairy-free for a month, she indicated raw milk dairy is ok. Apparently, it's easier on the system. Lots of good raw-milk options at Sprouts, Trader Joe's and Whole foods. Expensive, though.

  37. Good luck on your food journey, it's awesome! My husband has gone gluten-free and is less anxious and depressed now than he was. I notice in myself if my limit my gluten I do much better in a lot of ways. We have been fortunate with our restaurants here in Colorado...they have been helpful in finding us alternates to the whole gluten thing (he's lactose intolerant also). Also I am sure you will learn which restaurants are more accommodating than others. Please let us know how you do after more time (it took him awhile to adjust, but is doing awesome now)

  38. I didn't read through all the comments so if this is a repeat, I apologize, but if you get the chance try cauliflower pizza crust because it is AMAZEBALLS! And I seriously am not a fan of cauliflower, but this thing is amazing. We've been trying to cut out junk food and do the clean eating thing and I had a head of cauliflower I had to use or it would go bad. I remembered seeing someone talk about this and figured may as well try it. Seriously, everyone in our house loved this pizza!

    Make sure you use the parchment paper, because if you don't it WILL stick to the pan. And we had to eliminate the garlic from the recipe because that's my allergy issue (which sucks because that shizz is in everything these days), but it didn't impact the taste at all. I know some friends complain that it's not like real pizza, and you definitely can't pick it up and eat it with your hands, but we personally like it better than the dough crust. Give it a try. Seriously, can't say enough about how much we love this pizza!

  39. Trader Joe's is great for Gluten Free items. And they are not nearly as pricey as GF can be at some other stores. Love that everything is labeled on the shelves too (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, etc.) makes everything much easier. Love their chocolate chip cookies!

  40. Liz Lovely cookies are amazing -- GF and vegan. Canyon House bakery in Colorado makes some wonderful breads. After 25+ years of gluten free living, I've learned the easiest thing is to stick with stuff that's naturally gluten free -- fruits, veggies, rice, millet, quinoa, beans, fish, etc. There are a lot more gluten-free choices out there, but a lot of them are still awful.

  41. Hooray! I'm so glad you're giving it a try, because that's the only way you'll know if it's worth it. People have already mentioned some of my favorite paleo blogs, so I won't repeat, but seriously--there is so much delicious food out there that's gluten and dairy free. Like, food that you would choose to eat regardless. My husband and son are both allergic to dairy, so I know how hard it is to avoid/give up. But a bunch of my skin issues that I thought were just seasonal problems cleared up when I went mostly dairy free myself. You never know. And we also ate GF for my son's first two years, fwiw.

  42. Ditto on Trader Joe's! I get most of my pasta there.

    Also, not to beat a dead horse but if you have an Aldi near by it is worth checking out. You don't have to dig through the labels to find ingredients, as everything in the store is clearly labeled if it is lactose and/or gluten free. My go-to products from Aldi are the gluten free crackers (I swear these are just CrunchMaster in different packaging!), brown rice spaghetti, organic tomato basil pasta sauce (SO GOOD), organic salsa, tortilla chips, and the pizza crust mix (I do the flax + water substitute for the egg). I actually do the majority of my grocery shopping there, and can get a cart full of food that lasts a week and a half for a family of four for ~$100.

  43. I have found that is a great place to shop for almond products. Amazing grain-free granola and a lovely almond flour as well as biscotti and other treats.

    I have been grain-free for 20 years, it has never made any difference to my synthroid levels, yes, I too have Hashimotos. I get the GI problems with any gluten bearing grain but can't eat rice either. I am so tired of reading labels!!! I also get head to toe hives, after one trip in an ambulance and an afternoon in the ER back in 1995 - I am ever so careful now.

    Generic prescription drugs can have wheat/gluten in them - check with your Dr about any prescriptions.

    The last reaction I had was from green tea lemonade at Starbucks - one of their sugar syrups has gluten in it.

    I do make my own yogurt, I stay pretty much dairy free other than that. Most commercial yogurt has been processed for 2-8 hours. I let my 'cook' for 16-18 hours, making it much easier to digest and better for me.

    I really like San Zenone corn pasta, the fusilli shape cooks the best.

  44. I've been allergic to dairy for 20 years. (allergic, not lactose intolerant mind you) It's rough, but not impossible.
    It's a little easier when you have stores and restaurants that will conform to your needs, versus smaller towns (where I'm from) who wish you luck in the hometown grocery.
    I have heard (and read above) that raw milk (ACTUALLY RAW milk) is great for your digestion. I, however, have not tried it. I haven't drank milk in so long, that I actually no longer like the taste. (YUK!)

    My mom recently started the gluten free expedition. She says it has helped her stomach tremendously, but not so much on the weight loss (However, she is 65, so metabolism probably plays a big role).
    Gluten really does cause a plethora of problems. Hopefully this diet will help with your ailments. Your dairy-free and gluten-free peeps are here for support!

    Good luck!

  45. I'm celiac, so I have not had gluten in 3 years. You can do it!!!

    I adore the King Arthur gluten free Pancake mix, yellow cake mix & their gf flour. Their website also has amazing and easy recipes, especially for gf chocolate chip cookies!

    Also, try Udi's gluten free breads. My favorite is their Whole Grain and Cinnamon Raisin. Central Market brand has a wonderful gf cornbread mix. You'll probably have to experiment with the different brands of gf pasta. I've really found that no one likes the same brands, lol.

    Good luck!!! A large majority of my GI ailments cleared up by going gf.

  46. Don't know if my comment will be noticed down here but I have a friend who started a Yahoo group for families who deal with food allergy stuff, to share about recipe ideas and other support for what they heck to eat when you have to sub out your most favorite things (her household is allergic to wheat, dairy, soy and eggs) She's been working on it for nearly a decade now and could give you some really good ideas. And, while she doesn't hate cooking, she is not a gourmet by any stretch. I know she found a great rice pasta that made ME think that it was wheat.

  47. A person I used to hang out with went hardcore GF a few years ago, so we ate a lot of different junk foods in the name of science. Most of the breads fry up nicely with a slather of butter replacement (think grilled cheese sans cheese). A lot of aged cheddar like Cabots are naturally lower in lactose, in case you do want a grilled cheese, btw.
    I highly recommend Talenti sorbets. They clearly mark on their containers their GF status and they are freaking amazing. Try to Blood Orange and thank me later.
    I'm so glad that you are finding ways to make yourself feel better. Best of luck!

  48. My sister-in-law has Hashimotos and went gluten free for awhile. Unfortunately it didn't seem to make any difference for her, and she eventually just had her entire thyroid removed because of her family's history of thyroid cancer. I hope it makes a difference for you!

    I hope the gluten-free thing helps you feel better. Many people think gluten-free is just inherently healthier, but that's not necessarily the case. That's probably why you may unfortunately find some waiters and service people are snippy and frustrated with your needs. Because so many people now say they need the gluten-free treatment when they really don't. Thankfully the fact that it's become a sort of fad diet works in favor of those who actually need to be gluten-free! Now there's a ton of bakeries and products more easily in reach for those who need them (or just like the taste, even). I have a few friends who are celiac, and life is much better now for them than it was 10-15 years ago.

  49. fandom thoughts in no particular order...

    i always give ppl mad props for being proactive with their health!!!

    gluten free is a healthy way to eat but it is also trendy, which has led the the proliferation of lots of GF junk food. enjoy the cookies but be careful not to start eating chemical laden wheat alternatives.

    no adult needs a milk substitute bc no adult needs milk. milk is for babies up to about age 5-7. human babies need human milk. babies humans do not need cow milk and no adult of any species needs any milk whether originating with their own species or another.

    almond milk isn't really nutritious. soy milk is downright dangerous. use fake milk very judiciously or its just all empty calories.

    consider trying real milk, that is, milk that is is straight from the teat, filtered but uncooked. goat milk can be tolerated by those who are sensitive to cow milk and it tastes better. find it on

    i suggest you learn about traditional foods cooking methods. soaking and sprouting grains can make them more digestible. it doesnt remove gluten of course.

    keep using your treadmill desk and for love of all that is nerdy, please spend 10 minutes in the sun in a tank top every day at high noon. start with one minute and build up if you have to.

    i'm glad youre making proactive changes! keep it up and keep us posted.

    oh, and ps: floridafieldstoforks sells the best GF cookies ever, with no fake ingredients. you can go to that site to find the brand name (it slipped my mind) and then see if you can find them closer to orlando. theyre good but theyre not worth the drive to malabar to pick them up!

    1. I agree with you about milk consumption. I always have to explain to people that we, as adults, lose the ability to break down "nutrients" in milk. We don't need it. Just like cats no longer need milk when they're older. (it just messes with our digestive tracts)

  50. ugh, meant RANDOM thoughts but i am your fan so perhaps you will excuse my freudian slip LOL

  51. <= Some of the best gluten free chocolate chip cookies I've had. Pull them out of the oven a few minutes early so they stay soft and chewy and ENJOY!

  52. It sounds like you are off to a great start!
    I haven't skimmed the comments, but I imagine they are loaded with product recommendations.
    My daughter needs to be gluten free and as an avid baker I was pretty unhappy about it until we found the King Arthur's Flour mixes.
    I have not had a negative experience with any of them. They are absolutely delicious. Really the only gluten free products where I do not miss the gluten. I think some of the mixes are at target, but I've seen them at our regular grocery store too. They make a baking mix that is functionally similar to self-rising flour.
    So far we've tried the muffins, white cake, chocolate cake, brownies, cookie mix (which I adapted to make roll out cookies too), pancake mix, and baking mix.
    Another quick and easy dessert is a fruit crumble made with GF oatmeal topping.

    Also, the maple squares by the cookie company you posted a picture of above are pretty good.

  53. I only skimmed the comments here, so I don't know if someone's already mentioned it, but Pamela's makes the BEST GF cake mix. I believe most, if not all of them, are dairy free as well, and don't call for any dairy ingredients to be added. The rest of my family, who don't even have to eat GF, actually prefer Pamela's cakes over the major gluteny brands. For any from-scratch baking, I've found a blend of flours work best rather than any single kind of GF flour. My favorite mix of flours is corn starch, tapioca starch, and potato starch. The tapioca and potato starches may also be labeled flours - same thing. No need to go with trendy stuff like quinoa and teff flours unless you really want to.

    I still don't really enjoy cooking, but I had to do it when I was diagnosed with Celiac, and it got easier. It's definitely easier to find GF products now than when I was diagnosed, which was only about 8 years ago. Be careful at restaurants though, as some don't take cross-contamination into consideration when preparing GF meals. I know some people don't trust big chain restaurants, but I love PF Changs. They take their GF dishes very seriously, and even have a part of their website dedicated to it. I've never had a problem there. It sounds like Universal knows the drill, and Disney is really good about it too. I've never been to Disney World, but I used to go to Disneyland a lot, and that was the one place I could spend a whole day out of the house and not have to bring along a truckload of my own food. Good luck! I hope it helps you feel better!

  54. Udi's (NOT Rudi's they also do GF but aren't as good) is the best GF Bread I've found but it's really pricey $5 - $6 a small loaf depending on where I get it. Do NOT even bother with the Van's brand toaster waffles. So nasty I threw out half the box. Better to make them at home with GF Flour or a GF mix.

  55. A friend started a gluten free company and will send info and samples about gluten free products so you do not have to spend money on something you may not like. Check it out!

    -Donna W.

  56. Have you tried Glutenwize's cookies? They're absolutely amazing, and they're on sale right now.

  57. Given your other blog, I'm assuming the answer is yes... but have you tried the beautiful desserts known as "flourless chocolate cakes" yet? I'm not on a Gluten Free diet, but that cake is still basically one of THE BEST THINGS EVER. (It's a very dense, /verrry/ chocolaty experience. Especially if you use a ganache as the frosting. :) ) (This is my default recipe. For some reason I was having technical difficulties getting to the live site so I'm using the Google Cached link...

  58. Glutino's pretzels are amazing. Nice and buttery and crunchy. Good Luck.

  59. Glutino's pretzels are amazing. Nice and buttery and crunchy. Good Luck.

  60. Try Daiya for dairy-free cheeses that taste almost like cheese!

    1. I second this suggestion. The Daiya brand is the best non-dairy cheese and you can be sure there is no casein or whey or any other dairy products in it, unlike some nut cheeses you can buy...

  61. King Arthur also makes the absolute best gf cake mix. In the seven and a half years since I was diagnosed, I have tried just about every cake mix out there, and nothing beats King Arthur. My gluten eating extended family can't even tell it's gf!

  62. I like SamMills gluten free corn pasta is the closest to "real" pasta that I've found. It doesn't get mushy like some of the rice pastas do. Aldi's has a lot of gluten free products that are pretty tasty as well.

  63. Jen,

    I'm SO happy that you've decided to try going GF. I know what you mean about it being scary at first - I ADORE cookies and baked treats of all kinds - but it really hasn't been as big of a deal as I thought it'd be. For a start, my family and I eat a TON of rice and that's gluten-free and super easy to add yummy stuff to.

    Also, if you're still on the hunt for bread brands, I simply must suggest "Sami's Bakery". Their stuff isn't exactly cheap, but we get it for toast and sandwiches every so often and it's absolutely delicious.

    If you're looking for pasta, try finding a brand made with a blend of rice and corn flour. That seems to be the nicest both taste- and texture-wise so far!

    I can't wait to hear more news of your discoveries! :)

  64. I tried going gluten-free for a while but I just couldn't do it. I DID have a lot less heartburn and acid reflux though. I may try it again sometime, but not until after I have this baby cause right now everything I eat gives me heartburn so I may as well enjoy my bread. :P

  65. You may know this, but Disney world is similarly prepared for GF DF guests. They will also send out a chef and prepare your good separately, etc

    1. Agreed! We've had amazing experiences with our daughter's gluten free diet at Disneyland.

  66. Well, welcome! The wiiide world of gluten-free stands looming before you. Cooks Illustrated has a gluten-free cookbook, which has some great recipes/ideas. I love Namaste foods mixes, which I believe are dairy free as well as gluten free... I just found their flour at my latest Costco visit. Pamela's has amazing ginger cookies, and the bionaturae pasta is good. I also have a gluten-free blog which has a really good chocolate cake recipe on it. I will be updating more as the summer continues... It has fallen by the wayside a little. Watch out for teas, particularly herbal teas. I have gotten glutened by tea before. Fox Barrel has a great blackberry pear cider.

  67. I had to go dairy free for a year because my youngest was allergic to casein protein and he was nursing, so when I'd eat dairy, he'd nurse and get sick from my milk. Talk about feeling like a horrible mom! A couple of lifesaving substitutes are Earth Balance spread, the no-soy one in the pink container is a dead ringer for butter. It's seriously good. And a great recipe for Nacho Cheeze (non-dairy) is:
    2 C peeled, boiled, cubed potatoes. Russets work the best
    3/4 C peeled, boiled, chopped carrots.
    1/2 C nutritional yeast flakes
    1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
    1/3 C water
    1 TBSP lemon juice, (the juice from the can of pickled jalapeno peppers is realllly yummy as an alternative)
    1 1/2 salt
    Boil potatoes, carrots. Drain. Add everything in your blender (it's pretty thick so I use my MIL's old Vitamix, but blender worked fine for awhile until I burned out the motor. Whoops.) Blend.
    The second I tried this recipe, I knew I'd be able to hack dairy-free.
    I did not like having to give up dairy. It was very hard, but it was worth it to be able to breast feed my kidlet without him getting sick, so I can understand your trying to fix your anxiety in a dietary way. It may seem hard at times, but if it helps it will be SO, SO, SO worth it. Best of luck in your endeavors.

    1. Whoops! 1 1/2 tsp of salt

  68. At king soopers they have some delicious rice crackers in the Asian food section. Not sure what the brand is, but it has a turtle on it. :P They're not quite as flavorful as the ones you pictured but they are very nummy for plain ol' salty crunch. Also I bet they would be really good with some tuna salad on there. I'm sure you already know, but lots of Chex flavors are gluten free. (The cinnamon is the best)
    Also one of the youtubers I follow swears on the gluten free chocolate dessert at Outback steakhouse (Not 100% sure what it is, a brownie or cake maybe?). Good luck!!!

  69. Someone may have recommended this to you already but my favorite brand of bread is Udi's. It's hands down the best gluten free bread I've tried. I also have Hashimoto's and have found going gluten free to be very helpful in controlling some of the disease's symptoms like crushing fatigue. Udi's also has a great line of desserts. Their gooey butter cake tastes just like the one my aunt makes, no joke. They also do bagels and English muffins. I'm an amateur cake artist and the first thing I did was experiment with gluten free flour blends. I love Andrea's Superfine Gluten Free Flour. It mimics cake flour pretty closely and already has Xanthan gum in it so you don't have to add any extra or figure out the correct amount. I have made gluten free cakes and cookies for people that have paid me (because they couldn't find a bakery to do it or a good store bought one) and they told me they couldn't tell the difference. The texture of the cake may be a bit more dense but slather some homemade buttercream on it and no one will complain! This flour is that good, I swear. It works really well for chocolate chip cookies too. I love white rice flour for a certain chocolate cookie I bake. Not sure why, it just has a texture that's perfect for that cookie. And I taught myself to make macarons because they're made with almond flour and sometimes a girl just needs a cookie sandwich with buttercream in the middle.

  70. I've been gluten free for 14 years because I have celiac. My favorite brands: Pamela's (seriously, anything of theirs), Udi's or Whole Foods for bread (in the freezer section), and there is a baguette that I LOVE - I'm not sure the brand but they come in a plastic bag with light purple on it and it's a pack of 2, in the freezer. Anything by that brand is also awesome!

    If you bake, I would stay away from Bob's Red Mill brand flours. I'm not sure what it is, but they just don't substitute into recipes well.

    I know your experience was with Three Broomsticks; but, honestly, every single place I ate at Universal (over a total of 5 days) was AWESOME about the gluten allergy. At one place, the chef, himself, made my meal and kept is separate from everything else. Then he hand delivered it to me. (I have stories like this from almost every place I ate while at Universal). I can not say enough good things about my eating experience while there.

  71. Ditching gluten and dairy was way easier than I thought it would be and I was a major cheese addict! It has helped me sooo much, and I didn't really even realize how bad I felt while I was consuming so much of it! The absolute best thing for breakfast that I've found (and I'm usually a skip breakfast person), is the Glowing Green Smoothie! You get loads of fresh veggies and fruit to start the day right, and it has become easier to make healthier decisions since incorporating it into my routine!

    I was very nervous about eating out, but I've found most places very accommodating! I usually get some kind of salad and one or two gluten-free, dairy-free sides--perfect meals!

    I highly recommend the book The Beauty Detox Solution (forgive the trendy name)-it's a fantastic gluten-free, dairy-free lifestyle transition book!!! There's even a very informative, and supportive, Facebook group called The Beauty Detox Foods, if you don't want to commit to buying the book! Lots of the members have Hashimoto's, and they are super helpful with recommendations of brands, recipes, products, etc.

    I remember you talking about ditching sodas a while back, and if you haven't stuck to it, start ditching them again! Replacing all your drinks with fruit infused water (super easy to make yourself), plain water, and tea will help as well.

    Also, I'm visiting Disney and Universal in August, so I'm loving all these comments about how fantastic they are about gluten free menu items!

  72. I've been dairy/egg/fish free for my whole life due to allergies. So I know how annoying it is to find out something you REALLY want turns out to be something you REALLY can't have. One of my fav brands is Enjoy Life So good.

  73. Enjoy Life makes the *best* chocolate-chocolate chip cookies. They are so good (especially when used for s'mores. Vegetarian Times often has gluten free recipes and they have a list at the back of each magazine showing which recipes are gluten free and which have no dairy.

  74. Hi Jen, one of the best things I found for lactose free diet was coconut ice cream. It's made with coconut milk instead of real milk and tastes way better than the soy and almond milk alternatives

  75. One of my good friends baby was allergic to gluten, soy, and dairy. Because she was breast feeding, she also had to cut it out of her diet. She is an amazing cook and loves her sweets and experimented with a lot of products and recipes. Would you interested in an email with her favorite recipes and products?

  76. Glad you're having success with the new eating style (it's not a diet). My lactose-intolerance makes me avoid dairy most of the time. Lactase enzyme pills weren't helping at all, so I cut out dairy in my daily food. Now when I eat out or at a party I can take the pills and they work, and I don't feel left out or like I'm inconveniencing anyone. I have not found any cheese substitute that is worthwhile. For butter I use earth balance Original Buttery spread. I've found it works perfectly for baking and cooking. And I just read about using coconut milk for whipped cream - chill a can of coconut milk overnight, scoop out the cream that gathers on top and whip it. Whip it good!:)

  77. I got diagnosed with celiac disease in November, so I'm familiar with what you're going through.

    Be really wary of gluten-free breads and such, just because a lot of them have a LOT of sugar added. I actually haven't had bread since I was diagnosed with one exception: there are two restaurants that have gf buns for hamburgers.

    Amy's gf burritos and wraps are my favorite but I've been trying to cook more. I generally just end up throwing eggs and veggies in a casserole. There's a great flourless crepe recipe if you like bananas- just banana, egg, and baking powder. I add cinnamon and nutmeg too, because baking powder has an aftertaste.

    Good luck, I hope it works!

    1. Just a thought: the aftertaste may be alleviated by using aluminum-free baking powder.

  78. Another product rec... Eggo's make gluten free waffles now and they are lower in calorie and higher in fiber and taste than Ian's.
    Also we love the brown rice quinoa pasta from Trader Joe's but NOT from other places.
    And, like some of the mama's I had to cut out dairy while nursing.
    This dairy free ranch dressing was one of my favorites.
    - Plain Coconut Yogurt and Mayo to equal 1.5 cups (the ration of yogurt to mayo is up to you)
    - 1.5 tsp lemon juice
    - 1/2 tsp dill
    - 1/2 tsp chives
    - 1/2 tsp dried parsley
    - 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    - 1/4 tsp onion powder
    - 1/8 tsp salt
    - 1/8 tsp ground pepper

    If you want to make it mexican ranch sub the lemon juice with lime juice, add chopped cilantro, and chipotle powder

  79. Congratulations on your new food regimen. The comments are very interesting and informative. I just have a random comment on your site - I just noticed that your comment section is right-justified. I think that's such a clean, attractive presentation. Back in the 80's publishing became enamored of the ragged-right typesetting, which I find sloppier and harder to read. Anyway, good luck continuing your health journey.

  80. My children and I were GFCF for about four years in an effort to aleviate some of their Autism Spectrum symptoms. If you look for Feingold Diet recipes, you will find tons of stuff to make. my favorite is my Lemon Chicken. if you are at all good with Americanized Chinese food, you will enjoy it. Best luck on this dietary change. We found it very overwhelming and not at all sustainable, but I know tons of folks who've eaten this way for years. 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces (original recipie called for leaving these whole)
    1/2 cup plus 2 tbs cornstarch
    3/4 cup water
    2 large egg yolks
    2 tbs canola oil (i just coat the bottom of the pan plus a little)
    3 tbs brown sugar (i just more, just not sure how MUCH more, because i eyeball it)
    1 tbs peeled grated ginger (again, i eyeball this one. just grab what looks like a decent finger of ginger and go to town)
    1 cup low sodium chicken broth (tried it tonight - water works just as well here)
    1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (another eyeballed ingredient. be careful, cause too much is TOO MUCH)
    1 tsp lemon zest (another eyeballed ingredient. i just zest an entire lemon over my pan as things bubble)

    mix 1/2 c cornstarch, 1/4 cup water and egg yolks. wisk it for what seems like forever, it will be smooth eventually. throw all of your chicken pieces into this batter, and mix well with your hands. before you started this process, you should have put your oil on - Mediumish - cause it needs to be pretty hot here in a second. being sure that each piece is well coated with batter, add pieces one by one to your hot oil, making sure not to crowd the chicken in the hot oil. when i make this at home, i usually end up cooking three or four batches. the chicken will cook pretty quickly, make certain to turn it a few times to keep your browning even. a good note here is that this batter cooks up into a really pale golden yellow, so don't try to brown anything or you'll end up with grossness. also know that you don't have to stress too much on cooking the chicken through entirely. i'm paranoid about not cooking things through, so i have a couple of steps set up to avoid that.

    as the batches of chicken (pale golden yellow, remember!) finish, pull them out and drain them on a plate lined with paper towels or on one of the cooling racks you have for baking. after they've drained nicely, leave the chicken to warm (and finish cooking if you messed up) in a low temperature oven. repeat until you are out of chicken.

    once all of the chicken is out of the pan, take a look at the amount of oil you have. you need to have like 2 tbs or so of oil in there, so drain a bit if you need to. i've never had to add more. add the remaining cornstarch, brown sugar, ginger, broth and water to the oil in the pan. stir a lot while you cook this mix over medium. eventually, everything will come to a boil. Cook this at a simmer for a few minutes (3ish) until thickened but not THICK... just thicker. remove from heat and add lemon juice and zest. taste it, is it yummy? if so, throw your chicken pieces in and put the skillet back on the heat for a few minutes to finish the sauce off and heat the chicken through.

    serve with rice and veggies of some sort. be prepared to have people tell you how amazing your chicken is.

  81. I must have a different Trader Joe's than those recommending it, because the ones in my area are absolutely terrible at finding gluten-free stuff. Maybe one cereal out of the whole aisle will be GF, maybe one brown rice pasta. And that's it. I have more luck at traditional grocery chains than I do there.
    For books, The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide by Tricia Thompson and The Gluten-Free Bible by Jax Peters Lowell are both good. 250 Gluten-Free Favorites by Donna Washburn is a good cookbook, which also does some dairy, sugar and egg free recipes.

  82. I like the Namaste perfect flour blend. Good for all general baking.

    Also, our Whole Foods will let you try stuff before you buy it! Seriously, we went up to the counter with a couple packages of GF "oreo"s, and they opened them up and let us sample them.

    1. Also meant to say that Whole Foods has a ton of GF products, even store brand items like bread.

      If you like the Udi's bread, but dislike how ridiculously tiny it is, try and buy the deli size loaf from Jason's Deli. I've done that many times, and cost per ounce is cheaper than the grocery store.

  83. We made the Thai peanut salad a while back and LOVED it. A good site for recipes is LOADS of ideas and grain free versions of stuff. We made their orange chicken the other night and it was AMAZING.

    Cauliflower rice is also straight up delicious as well.

  84. When my husband developed really nasty allergies to nightshade peppers it was a huge change, not just diet-wise but emotionally as well. So it might not happen this way for you, but if it does, know it's normal!
    There's a honeymoon period, you've found the cause and you're making Good Choices and helping your health! This is awesome!
    Then there's anger. Every time you see a food you can't eat you'll get mad, and feel like they personally poisoned it just to mess with you.
    There's sort of obligation, you'll read labels just to see if you can eat it and maybe you should get it, just because you can and there's so much you can't.
    There's grieving and bargaining that maybe this one time you can have something you can't.
    There's the fact everyone takes your dietary restrictions as a personal challenge, and that's terrifying because if they mess up you're the one who pays. Plus there's almost no way they've spent as much time and effort researching and studying and knowing all the weird places gluten can hide or ways stuff can become contaminated.
    There's also the fact everyone considers themselves an expert on your dietary restrictions and will sometimes happily mansplain it to you.

    But it gets better, it really really does. In time it just becomes habit and it's normal and it's worth it.

  85. RP pasta has a line of fresh gluten-free pastas that are so unbelievably good, you would never know. And I'm Italian, so limiting my gluten intake has been rough, especially since I am also lactose-intolerant...the gluten is a trigger for my IBS. But RP has saved my sanity. Also, Nature's Path waffles are addictive, they have ones with quninoa and amaranth that are soooooo....gooooood....
    Really like the King Arthur GF flour, though it does have an off-putting smell and taste when in raw dough form that luckily goes away.
    Be careful of your egg intake if you are lactose intolerant, they is lactose in eggs. I have been led astray by Eggs Benedict once or twice...
    Find an olive oil/vinegar tasting room and get some crazy infused ones to make your own marinades...and if you find butter olive oil - OH MY GOD, put it on everything!

  86. I recommend:
    * Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate mini chips
    * Dandies air-puffed marshmallows
    * Earth Balance Soy Free buttery spread
    * Tofutti Sour Supreme non-dairy imitation sour cream
    * Field Roast Chao vegan cheese slices (closest thing to tasting like real cheese I've ever had)
    * "babycakes Covers the Classics; Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles" by Erin McKenna

  87. Good for you, Jen! I have been GF for 8 years--or a GLUTARD, as my brother calls me! It has made a HUGE difference in my health & well-being. I echo everyone else's recommendation for Udi's from Costco; it's standard bread size, makes GREAT toast and is decent for sandwiches. I also have a bread machine & use Pamela's bread mix. It takes 5 minutes to put in the ingredients & even my non-GF friends LOVE this bread. Tastes awesome! (There are some out there that the taste is bad or the texture is abysmal.A friend once said of a particular brand, "It would have been easier and cheaper to just take a mouthful of sand.")

    The coconut cream at Trader Joe's is a good cream substitute for coffee. I also used it to make an icing for a GF carrot cake for someone who was also GF & off dairy.

    The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam uses almond flour. Her website is elanaspantry com. Lots of great recipes if you want to try your hand at cooking/baking. The great thing about this cook book is that you don't have to do any flour blends. The one thing I would caution about is substituting corn for wheat. There are some GF experts (Dr. Osborne for one) who say that corn gluten is similar to wheat gluten and to avoid it; especially GMO corn.

    If you have Red Robin restaurants where you are, they are very allergy friendly! I've never gotten sick from eating there. Silver Diners have a GF menu & quinoa pancakes that are delicious.

    WHY ISN'T MY BRAIN WORKING? by Dr. Datis Kharrazian goes into a lot of brain chemistry and the relation to food. He addresses gluten, etc. You've prolly read GRAIN BRAIN or WHEAT BELLY, both good resources, too. I wish you all the BEST for your GF/DF adventure! :-) H.

  88. Do you have an ALDI grocery store in your area? They have a TON of GF food. I heard their wraps (theirs are rectangle rather than circular) are pretty darn good. My daughter was Dairy free & soy free for almost an entire year while we were trying to clear up some fluid build up behind her ear drum. The almond milk was quite tasty, and she loved it when we mixed in chocolate or coffee (I'm from Rhode Island, coffee milk, specifically Autocrat, is the state drink) syrup for her. She didn't even notice. Good Luck with your GF/DF journey, and keep up your amazing work!!

  89. I just started eating GF too! So far, my favorite bread has been made by Canyon Bakehouse. It's so good, I had to check the label a lot to make sure I didn't pick up the wrong thing. It has been the brand that is closest to real bread. You can get it at Target and I'm sure at Publix (how I miss thee, Publix)...anyway...
    Erin McKenna's bakery at Disney Springs is good, but the thing I liked the best were the cookie sandwiches. When Sprinkles comes to town, try their GF red velvet...awesome!!!
    I'm sure there are other things I've tried that are good, but these items stand out to me most because they are like "the real thing"
    I really do feel better being least I'm not puffy all over like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man! :)

  90. Trader Joes has the best frozen waffles. I have been GF for about three years and it is amazing how many options are popping up in just the the last year. I hope this "fad" doesn't fade as for once I don't feel so deprived. I remember telling an acquaintance once that I would rather die than give up gluten. Hahahaha...guess that means I am dead? ;-) Welcome to GF land. I think in the end, everyone will discover they all have a gluten issue of some sort. Makes you say hmmmmmmm

  91. Just going to pop in here to say this: Just because it's gluten free doesn't mean it's good for you! Don't get sucked in by the fad and make this assumption. Going gluten free can be a great way to control some issues, but it is important to make sure that the substitutions that you are making truly are healthy ones. It might not be a bad idea to talk to a nutritionist/dietician just to make sure that you are making sure you are getting a well rounded diet. My mom got diagnosed with a liver condition, so she went gluten/lactose/sugar/caffeine free as an experiment - she wound up adding the gluten and caffine back, but she feels much better after she cut down on the sweets and dairy. Hope you find what works for you!

  92. Also, that thai salad looks super tasty! Good job, John!

  93. Hi Jen;
    Things present themselves to you in the universe for a reason, I think. We're taking a quick trip to Toronto to help the hubbie's parents, and have a quick flying visit with the Turtle who's living there while at University. She just got a part time summer job at a place called Bunner's in Kensington market, which is a vegan gluten free bakery! Some of the pics on Instagram are amazing....going to try the lemon coconut cream pie cupcake while I'm may convert me! They also have a cookbook I hear, so it may stir me out of my comfort zone and seek some healthier alternatives. (The man is a bread hound....) I'll let you know what it's like! K

  94. If you or John doesn't mind baking, and you like peanut buttery sweets, you can make some pretty yummy peanut butter cookies with just peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda (optional), and vanilla (optional). I'm not gluten- or dairy-free, and I still like to make these.

    This is the recipe I like to use (frequently with chocolate chips involved!): Flourless peanut butter cookies. But you can find lots of similar ones online!

  95. Jenn - Good luck on the road to gluten-free eating! As a lover of all things bread and pasta, I was devastated when I realized 5 years ago that gluten was not my friend. Fortunately for me, my mom has been living the lifestyle since the '70s and my twin sister for the last 10 years has been gluten-free as well (maybe that isn't fortunate for them, but at least we are in good company). It is awesome to see all of the support, suggestions and recipes - which I'm taking note of many. Something else we found that we needed to avoid is Modified Food Starch. I know for us it has the same affects as eating anything made from wheat flour. I don't know how this factors in for you, but something to think about and try cutting out. Keep us posted on how you are doing!

  96. Jen, I've been reading your blog for years, but I'm a lurker on everything I follow (one of my anxiety triggers is sharing my opinions with anyone other than my closest friends). I just want to say a few things, because you're so awesome. Thank you for saying all that you have on anxiety, agoraphobia, Hashimoto's and all of this stuff. You're so sweet and honest and real. It's lovely seeing you walk through so much of the same things I have with such grace. Thank you for sharing as much as you do.
    Also, I have Hashimoto's too, as well as Grave's disease, which is the opposite auto-immune thyroid disease of Hashi's. My antibodies were out of control but the thyroid numbers were all good because the two were acting against each other. I still had symptoms of both diseases. On advice from a friend with Hashi's, I cut most things out of my diet. For 30 days, I ate only fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and eggs. My friend has a problem with gluten too, but I do not. As I added things back in, it wasn't the gluten that made all my symptoms return but corn. I share this in case it's something that could help you too. Corn syrup and HFCS are by far the worst but if you want to try cutting corn out, you should watch out for any variety of corn (starch, flour, etc) and also, modified food starch, maltodextrin, dextrose, and citric acid. White vinegar is also made from corn but doesn't seem to affect me in food, just in cleaning products.
    Just thought I'd give you another option, in case you need it. I hope you figure out what works. And I'm so glad you've had such great service at restaurants, so far. Usually the managers will bend over backwards to be helpful. I've had some pretty indifferent servers and some really great ones. Thankfully no awful ones. Every manager that I've talked to has been great. I've had food packages brought to me so that I could read the ingredients, because the staff didn't want to make a mistake. And my food remade because they realized they maybe used the wrong dressing.
    Anyway, thanks. I love reading all your posts; these about your health journey just really strike a cord with me.

  97. tl;dr all of the comments, so ignore/don't publish if someone has already shared. can get those yummy crackers at Costco (if you have a membership) than at the grocery store.

    I'll be checking your progress. I, too, have Hashimotos and anxiety, a history of depression, and a family history of autoimmune issues. I tested negative for celiac but I'm still on the fence about whether I trust the links between glucose and other issues. I've tried going avoiding it, but it doesn't last long because I love wheat in certain things so much. But if you give it a try and it works I may be more willing to give it a longer try. Good luck!

  98. Not sure if you will see my comment WAY down here, but glad to see you struck gold on the helpful advice, GF is tough, I am supposed to, and often don't, and pay for it. Anyway, I have an odd question for you, on the pic you posted of the Rainbow Thai Salad (which I think looks much more appetizing than the "official "photo) you have assembled the salads on some of the most gorgeous plates I have ever seen! PLEASE share who the manufacturer and/or model of the plates might be? And better yet tell me you got them at a discount store (I love your cost-saving hints!) Thanks for doing this site, my husband got me hooked, he has followed you for ages, this place rocks.

    Anaheim, CA

  99. I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC in Downtown Disney. It is near the new Boathouse - it used to be Babycakes NYC when it was in the Marketplace side with Pollo Compero (sp?). It is all Gluten Free/Vegan baked goods (cupcakes and such). Here's a good overview -

  100. I think I saw one comment here for Amy's in the frozen section at the grocery store. My Walmart carries a HUGE variety of Amy's frozen meals (perfect for those that need dairy, lactose, gluten free things, but don't have time to or hate to cook). Their Pad Thai uses cashews and is dairy and gluten free. I choose it over local restaurant Pad Thai because I know it doesn't carry High Fructose Corn Syrup (after years, found out it was a trigger for migraines for me) AND it tastes amazing. WM carries them way cheaper than anyone else, as well.

    So proud of you and inspired by you and the way you're handling this with humor and dignity. It could be so easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for yourself and just whining. Instead, you still manage to find irony, humor, and joy in things. LOVE your blog!! Keep it up!

  101. I have been away and was just getting caught up on your blog and found this one. I have been dairy, Gluten, AND refined sugar free since November and cannot express enough in words how this has changed my life for the better. Anxiety,severe weight gain, ungodly hair growth, poor sleep and general irritability- ALL GONE. NOt going to lie to you it is hard at first, and there were days in the beginning I cried because I wanted sugar so bad, but now I would never go back. Ever. The way I eat has changed drastically and at first I thought that I would never be able to eat out again, or go to parties, ever be social the same way again ( I also gave up alcohol, but that was a no brainer because a. it's sugar, and b. I hardly ever had a glass of anything anyway). My husband is a super hero- he took over cooking and was even more vigilant than I was when it came to reading labels and what things contained. He still does all of this for me, even though now it is second nature. Long story short, I don't have attacks, I have gotten a little "nervous" but nothing I couldn't handle, I lost 45 lbs, and it's still just vanishing (exercise is the demon's hobby, not mine), the hair has stopped growing, lightened up/fell out, I sleep like a baby, and I now have the patience of a saint! That's not to say some days it still isn't hard, and that my mouth starts salivating at the mere mention of some of my favorite goodies, but I just step back, and remind myself what life was like on the other side. I also keep a sign at my desk to remind me how far I have come, and I get through it. If you ever need some recipes, tips, or just moral support- I am here at your beck and call :)

    This is what I have posted at my desk:

    If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started.
    When I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now.
    Don't stop.

  102. I have been away and was just getting caught up on your blog and found this one. I have been dairy, Gluten, AND refined sugar free since November and cannot express enough in words how this has changed my life for the better. Anxiety,severe weight gain, ungodly hair growth, poor sleep and general irritability- ALL GONE. NOt going to lie to you it is hard at first, and there were days in the beginning I cried because I wanted sugar so bad, but now I would never go back. Ever. The way I eat has changed drastically and at first I thought that I would never be able to eat out again, or go to parties, ever be social the same way again ( I also gave up alcohol, but that was a no brainer because a. it's sugar, and b. I hardly ever had a glass of anything anyway). My husband is a super hero- he took over cooking and was even more vigilant than I was when it came to reading labels and what things contained. He still does all of this for me, even though now it is second nature. Long story short, I don't have attacks, I have gotten a little "nervous" but nothing I couldn't handle, I lost 45 lbs, and it's still just vanishing (exercise is the demon's hobby, not mine), the hair has stopped growing, lightened up/fell out, I sleep like a baby, and I now have the patience of a saint! That's not to say some days it still isn't hard, and that my mouth starts salivating at the mere mention of some of my favorite goodies, but I just step back, and remind myself what life was like on the other side. I also keep a sign at my desk to remind me how far I have come, and I get through it. If you ever need some recipes, tips, or just moral support- I am here at your beck and call :)

    This is what I have posted at my desk:

    If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started.
    When I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now.
    Don't stop.

  103. Just a quick note to encourage you to consider taking up cookery. I had to learn from scratch after my husband's heart attack, so it's possible to go from ignoramus to modding recipes on the fly on just a few years.

    And, to second other posters you'll eat better and better for you (with the packaged stuff handy for when you're crunched for timr & energy.)

    Since you seem to have the Maker mindset (you plural - Jen & husband) swing by your local library and grab as many back issues of Cooks Illustrated as you want to read in a week (usu. check-out period). They have the awesome experimental attitude toward cooking, and once you start to understand HOW the kitchen chemistry works you can start tweaking your own recipe,

    In the mean time here is an uber hear healthy, gluten and dairy free recipes:

    White bean dip (a meal with corn chips)
    1/4 c olive oil
    2 cloves garlic
    2 cans white beans, rinsed & drained
    2 tblsp lemon juice (fresh is best)
    2tbls. Kosher salt
    3 sprigs rosemary

    In a 10" frying pan on med. heat, stir olive oil & garlic until fragrant, try not to let the garlic brown, so keep it moving ~ 1 min.
    Pour oil mix into a food processor (the little mini I got at Cosco works fine)
    Add beans, lemon juice and salt and whirl until smooth.
    Now, if you want to get fancy, do the same thing with another 1/4 cup olive oil that you did to the garlic: sauté it for 1 min until the oil is all rosemary flavored. Pull out the sprigs and drizzle the hot oil on top of the dip. Or, if you're kind of lazy, like me, just stip the needles off the sprigs and sprinkle on the dip. It tastes best after sitting overnight in the frige by the way, just let it come to room temp before serving.

  104. I've been lactose intolerant since middle school, but my level of tolerance has gotten lower over the years, and now I can't have any dairy products at all, not even when I take Lactaid (but I can still have cheese oddly enough.) It's been hard because I LOVE ice cream and cereal (no, not together!), but I've been able to figure out ways to get by. Cool Whip has very little dairy in it, and it's a good substitute for ice cream if you freeze it. If you're used to having a quick cereal breakfast in the morning, stock up on bottled fruit smoothies. They taste good and are filling, especially if they have protein added. Some of them do have dairy, but most don't, so check the label. And one more thing: try taking gummy calcium supplements. They'll replace what you'd normally get from milk, and they taste really good!

  105. I'm 32 and was diagnosed as Celiac almost 12 years ago and let me tell you....its sooooo much easier being gluten free now. I started out making my own bread and about time consuming!! After 12 favorite pasta brand is Tinkyada...tastes just like the "real" thing (just have to rinse it in cold water after you cook it). The crackers you posted about are excellent!! Also try Nut Thins, they are made with almonds. Usually the breads are better when toasted. Watch out for Soy Sauce and Teriyaki sauce. If you're going to Dragon Con this year, it might be difficult finding foods. Lots of places to eat...just not a lot of GF options. Last year was my first year going and I could only safely eat at 4 places (mellow mushroom, hard rock, chick fil a, and a shwarma place....if anyone has any other suggestions I'm all ears). Kroger also has a great Natural Food section....GF is even beginning to crop up in walmarts. Well..thats all I can think of for now. Good luck!!

  106. Um. Shoot. My comment went away. Okay. Here's the tl;dr -

    Luna & Larry coconut bliss ice cream (salted caramel chocolate and mint galatica are my faves), Steve's coconut milk ice cream - both of which are the best non dairy ice creams I've found. Not all watery and bleh like most.

    GF products - Canyon Bakehouse bread and other products. So good I don't even have to toast them for them to be really good.

    Bob's Red Mill - pancake mix and brownie mix.

    Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough - scoop and bake kind found near the cinnamon rolls. Super delicious GF chocolate chip cookies. Possibly, the best I've found.

  107. My nephew is gluten sensitive, and a GF diet has done serious wonders for him. Really, cake and bread are the 2 things my sister regrets, but mostly it isn't that hard to live GF these days.

    This (with the addition of choc chips) is a really wonderful GF cookie recipe:
    It's good as a peanut butter cookie, but choc chips make everything better!

    (I know, you don't like to cook, but these are suuuper easy.)

    (the freaking out, licking the melted chocolate off the plate and then having to melt another one is very important.) *also good with alcohol instead of coffee
    *GF, but does contain small amounts of lactose

    If you are feeling up to a challenge, take a can of coconut milk and scoop out all of the solid white cream; drink the rest or put it in soup or use it in rice. Use your mixer to whisk the coconut cream until it is light and fluffy like whipped cream. Add a little sugar and vanilla, then use it in the recipe above. (or eat it all with a spoon by accident.)

  108. Oh, I forgot. As long as you use a GF cereal, rice krispie treats are GF. They are naturally GF, but aren't certified as such, like oats, they aren't all made in a GF facility. But, they do have actual GF rice krispies, or there are several GF puffed rice cereals.

    While I'm blathering, at Christmas I buy a chocolate GF krispie cereal, and add crushed peppermint candies. Everyone loves them, esp the GF nephew. So easy to do (and the lactose free "butter" spreads all make perfectly good krispie treats, and I hear that coconut oil does too).

    There are a ton of yummy things you can do - add some crushed GF pretzels, add freeze dried fruits, add peanuts, stir in peanut butter, stir in peanut butter into the marshmallows AND add chocolate chips with the cereal, stir in a little lemonade mix, stir in mint extract or almond or hazelnut or whatever sounds yummy.

    Hah! I found a website to give you ideas:
    I must now try the carrot cake ones...

    I make a lot of desserts to take down to my sister's GF household for dinner, and rice krispies and jello are my 2 go to desserts when I don't have much time/energy.

  109. Hey, I just we "Gluten Free--For Science!" last month! I also cut out all soda (especially diet) since I was drinking way more than I should've been. And guess what???!!!


    Ugh.....super disappointing. I really need help with my BRAIN working better. I was hoping for the energy and mental clarity and possibly the weight loss aspects.....but nope on all accounts. But I was honestly shocked at how easy it was to go gluten-free, and I didn't even replace grains, I just ate more nuts, fruit, veggies, etc. I had GF pasta once and tried to make GF muffins but they were terrible, even with the "amazing" Bob's Red Mill flour mix. Anyway..................I wish you luck with your experiment! And thanks so much for sharing!!! I have a friend experiencing out of the blue panic attacks and wanted to share your site with her.

  110. If you are willing to do your own baking, I have to recommend Domata flour. It can be used to replace regular flour (including in the Tollhouse cookie recipe!) and tastes just like wheat flour. I had a boyfriend with Celiac's and that was how I still managed to get to his heart through his stomach.

  111. You might like one of my favorite recipe websites, Chocolate Covered Katie. Everything on there is dairy-free and nearly always can be made gluten-free as well. Plus everything I've made from it has tasted really good. There are desserts, breakfast recipes, meals, and a lot of other stuff, and most of it doesn't have too many weird ingredients or complicated directions. I've been trying to cut back on dairy, so I really like finding ways to keep eating chocolate baked goods without that. Best of luck with the new diet!

  112. For non-diary cheese, the best I've found is Tease brand (you can find it at Whole Foods). I also second Larry and Luna's for ice cream - it's amazing!

  113. Kinnicinick makes excellent bread (their soft line is delicious!) Glutino makes tasty English muffins and almost anything that Udi's produces is yummy! Gluten-free for 6 years and a fellow thyroid/anxiety peep :)


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