Gentle change: beginning a new way of eating

Today over lunch one my closest beloveds told me she is considering taking wheat out of her diet. She'd heard from other (non-celiac) people that they felt better, mentally sharper and less fatigued when they abstained from wheat. She is a person with a very rich and busy life. Most of us feel daunted when embarking on changing the way we eat so tonight I'll share one way of looking at gluten-free change.

Don't look to replace all gluten foods with non-gluten replicas. Though gluten-free versions of most foods are available, they tend to be nutritionally bankrupt (e.g. rice bread), disappointing (e.g. rice bread), and/or too expensive for regular enjoyment (e.g. Grindstone bread from Sonoma). Sure you can get gluten-free pizza with a pretty good crust and I do very occasionally in Fairfax (though beware contamination issues).

Maybe light-crusted gluten-free pizza shouldn't be daily fare. The socca version with a chickpea flour crust is probably more nutritious and tastes fantastic. I have linked to a pretty schmanzy version--but I usually make the crust with just chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt. On top I put anything--sautéed chard, sundried tomato pesto, brie, goat's cheese, shiitakes, parmesan sprinkles. One could make it sweet with pear slices and figs and cheese.

My point, before I began rhapsodizing about socca pizza possibilities, is to find out what function is served by the daily gluten foods in your diet. Do you need something delicious and quick in the morning? Do you need a cheese delivery device? Are you looking for something comforting to eat between tasks? Is crunchiness required at lunch? Do you want to feel less anxious and, thus, doughnuts appear?

Once you know what purposes your gluten foods serve, look to replace them with gluten-free items. For example, the quinoa-rice mix that I have made up most of the time can be a savory base, but also a sweet one warmed in an iron skillet with butter, sprinkled in cinnamon, and served with fruit chunks for breakfast.

Sleep is a crucial part of my gluten-free diet. I will continue this post in the future.

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