Sunday, August 16, 2009

If the New York Times Writes About It, Will People Listen?

I just came across an article from The New York Times about how living with celiac's disease is expensive. Duh. Spending $7 on a loaf of bread or even a mix to make bread is not necessarily the bargain of the week. Whenever I meet newly diagnosed people, I always tell them to plan on adding AT LEAST $100 to their grocery budget for the month. Sometimes if things are on sale and I am trying to stock up, I'll spend more. I also tell them to add AT LEAST one hour to their shopping trip times. Reading every label just to make sure is safe, but hard to do when you have three of your five children launching themselves from the grocery cart to get to the M&Ms. So I wonder if celiac's disease will ever become mainstream enough that our favorite food producers can lower their prices down to the working man's level. I sure hope so.

So living with celiac's disease is hard. Shopping for celiac food may be just as hard. Has anyone else out there found an extremely valuable ingredient, only to find it sold out the week of Thanksgiving when you are in charge of the green bean casserole? Have you made separate trips to other stores just to track down that ingredient? Have you resorted to buying cases of Jo-sef Gluten Free Graham Crackers just so you wouldn't have to pay shipping three times a year? Have you hoarded all of the cans of Progresso Creamy Mushroom soup and weighed each recipe on whether or not it was soup-worthy? Sadly, I have participated in all of these activities. I love being healthy, but sometimes eating healthy is not time-efficient.

One of the things this article touched on was the idea of finding things to eat that naturally don't have gluten in them, and tailoring your menus around them. I know there are some experts out there, and I want to know: what are your favorite naturally gluten-free food combinations? It's the ultimate menu challenge. Thinking outside the box of traditional favorites and coming up with new menu stars is what we celiacs folks are known for. It's a talent I want to work on. Here are some of the meals that I like to eat when I'm out of gluten free packages:

Hamburgers in lettuce wraps with all the fixings
Chicken and Red Rice (recipe coming this week)
Eggs cooked with canadian bacon, spinach, tomato, avocado, onion, whatever I have that I can throw in (frittata, but not)
Lunchmeat spread with mayo, mustard, and wrapped with a green onion with potato chips and tapioca pudding
Steak and Mashed Potatoes!
Tuna on mixed greens with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Tacos with my own seasoned meat (not a packet) on corn tortillas

These are just ones I thought of off the top of my head. (And don't think I'm not cringing that I don't have photos to go with them.) I would love to hear from you. What ways have you circumvented your gluten intolerance? What do you love to eat that isn't made by anyone else but Mother Nature?

Happy eating!

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