Saturday, August 14, 2010

Is Gluten-Free for Me?

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Go_ahead_its_gluten_free Ever since Kate's post about bread on Monday, I've seriously been thinking of going gluten free.  Do I think I have a wheat problem?  No, but everybody keeps saying they lost weight, and since I hate to diet, I thought I might try this.  (I do think my mother is wheat intolerant and I'm encouraging her to go wheat free for a couple of weeks to see if she'd feel better.  It would be easier if she had a buddy to do it with.)

Here's my problem.  First of all I love bread.  I love rolls.  I love any kind of dessert made with flour.  (Well, I'm not that keen on fruit pies -- but I love meat pies.)

Sm pink bday cake Second of all -- my birthday is coming up in a few weeks and I WILL NOT GIVE UP BIRTHDAY CAKE!  I MUST have something under my candles that tastes delicious.

Here's another caveat:  I love chocolate, but I don't like chocolate cake.  I love white cake and spice cake (especially if it has walnuts and raisins in it).

I'd like to make a gluten-free birthday day for myself.  Anybody got any good recipes?

In the meantime, I've got a bunch of English muffins in the freezer to eat before the great experiment starts.  I'd better go start on that project right now.


Lynn Barry said...

I would not suggest going gluten free is you don't have to. I feel better gluten free, but would love to be able to eat gluten products...they just do all sorts of things to me that are not pleasant. as far as a weight loss means to an end...not for load up on rice and corn and other HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Good luck!

Lynn Barry said...

My comment is missing some of what I wrote, so that is why it reads wrong...Try Betty Crocker cake mix, GLUTEN FREE...good luck. it is commendable that you want to support yor mom, but I don't recommend going gluten free for weight loss. GOOD LUCK!

Amanda from Novel Addiction said...

I know how you feel! Well, sort of. I'm considering trying a gluten-free lifestyle, because so many people I know that have tried it say they feel amazing during the whole process.

But yes, I love bread. Nothing is as wonderful to me as freshly baked bread. And I love to bake cakes, brownies, muffins, anything.. But at the same time, I keep telling myself that it doesn't hurt to just try it. And if it works out, maybe I'll end up liking the way I feel on it more than I like bread.

Leann Sweeney said...

I went gluten free for a good while, but it's the oats, rye and barley (yup FULL of gluten) that cause more problems for me than wheat. Highly refined wheat, as in white flour, I can tolerate. So it's not just wheat you are eliminating. There are excellent gluten free brownie and cake mixes now--very mainstream--as well as lots of frozen entrees that are gluten free. The reason I went back to just the wheat is because I cannot tolerate RICE. Go figure. Weird. And most gluten free things are made of corn or rice.

Dawn Miller said...

If your mother does have an intolerance to wheat it will take about 4 months for the wheat to be completely cleansed from her body.

I am allergic to wheat (and eggs, milk, peanuts, lemons, and citric acid). I cannot just buy gluten free products because of my other allergies. I am a serious label reader.

I can't imagine choosing an elimination diet, but, I don't think it's the worst thing in the world. Oh, but going out to eat...yeah, nearly impossible.

Diane P said...

P.F. Changs has a gluten free menu. Check around & you might find a gluten free bakery.
I went gluten free & most carbs too. It is sure easier this time of year. I don't know how long it will last but I do feel so much better.

Helen Kiker said...

I tried the gluten free bread and did not like it. It is too dense so I guess I will stick to the less healthy kind. Otherwise I do try to balance items from all the food groups & that is the closest I will come to a diet.

Helen Kiker

Nanc said...

We went gluten free and casein free about a year ago after my husband was found to be gluten sensitive and both of us casein sensitive. After much experimentation and LOTS of money wasted on horrible tasting products we found a happy medium. We can all say we feel so much better ;-) It was harder for us to give up cheese (cheese substitutes are awful!!) and we found we enjoy almond and coconut milk even better than cow's milk. Bob's Red Mill makes some wonderful GF products...we use their pancake/waffle mix quite often. Like is all good in moderation and eating whole foods is definitely the way to go...I will say I lost 30 pounds ;-)

Andrea C. said...

There are all sorts of gluten free baked goods out there now - I don't know if they taste any good. I think about doing it too, but I love bread as much as you do Lorna!

Carla said...

You don't have to give up cake to go gluten free! There are tons of great cake recipes all over the Internet. I'm not a big cake lover, but love things like carrot cake and chocolate mousse layered cake, etc.

I agree with Dawn, above, that it will take longer than 2 weeks for your mother to tell if going wheat free will help her, but she may find that her mood has improved in a short while. Food allergies can cause depression and a host of other symptoms.

Our bodies are not made to digest gluten or dairy. We are the only mammals that drink milk from other mammals. I am gluten-free, but need to go back to being dairy free. I do my best to have less dairy now-a-days, but need to just go cold turkey!

I will post a request for cake recipes for you in our new gluten-free recipe forum. I hope you can get some good recipes for your birthday cake. Happy Birthday!!!

I wish you luck on your new adventure! Keep us posted on your journey!

Linda McDonald said...

Happy Early Birthday! I don't blame you for not wanting to give up your birthday cake. A birthday needs a cake. :) I don't really know much about going gluten free, though I do love breads, muffins, cakes, etc. Though I am working on losing some weight, I am just trying to cut out fast food and eat a bit healthier as well as exercise a bit more. I don't think that I have any problems eating foods that aren't gluten free, so for now gluten free isn't for me.

Vickie said...

I've not eaten nor seen a recipe for gluten free cakes, but I know there are highly successful bakeries that specialize in gluten free or wheatless cakes. I've seen them on FoodNetwork and they look spectacular. Good luck to you.

Sandra said...

My daughter has Celiac disease and although I do not have the disease I eat gluten free. I have found that I do feel better and am more energetic if I stay away from gluten. I really believe that wheat is something no one should eat because the stuff we get today is so adulterated and mutated that it is actually harmful to our health. If you must eat wheat then I think the ancient forms like kamut, spelt, emmer or einkorn do not have the bad effect on our immune systems that modern wheat does.

I've lost about 15-20 lbs since going gluten free but it's not from cutting out gluten, it's because I eat fewer carbs now. I don't eat all of the processed breads and goodies out there. Personally I think all those bread and cake mixes taste horrible. Most have tapioca in them and I loathe the taste of tapioca. If I want bread I make a healthy loaf from flours like amaranth, teff, sorghum and buckwheat, slice it and keep it in the freezer and take out a piece occasionally. I've learned to cut back on carbs, appreciate protein and veggies more and the pounds fell off.

Not that I don't indulge myself occasionally. I have a great cake recipe that is not as easy to make as one from a box but it tastes fantastic and you can feed it to gluten eaters and they'll never know. I have the recipe listed on my web site. There's also a cup cake version. The cake texture is like pound cake so it frosts better but the cup cakes are light and fluffy. Either of these recipes are worth the extra effort. The cake version is at

Maggie Sefton said...

I believe Kamut bread is gluten free. But I haven't seen it in the freezer section of Wild Oats, now Whole Foods, or my other specialty grocery stores. If you find it, let us all know. Kamut bread actually tasted GOOD. It's made from a high protein South American grain. Been around for centuries but people are only recently hearing about it.

Risa said...

The best baking mixes for gluten free baking are Pamela's. they are a great texture and have less sugar than the Betty Crocker cake mixes. Most manufacturers add more sugar to the mixes to make it taste good so be careful with boxed mixes...esp if you are doing gluten free to lose weight. Elana Amsterdam has a good blog Elana's Pantry and her almond flour cook book is great.

Jill said...

The thing about going gluten-free in terms of weight loss is that it's essentially the same idea as the Atkins diet; most stuff with gluten is also a carb. However, with all the gluten-free products springing up nowadays, they replace many of the sugary desserts - so people eat them - and then wonder why they aren't losing weight.

Personally I would not cut out gluten unless you already have a demonstrable intolerance to it. Why? Well, because, similar to dairy, if you cut it out completely you will create an intolerance. Then, when you go to eat something with it again, you'll get sick, and it's a perpetuating cycle. I would cut the wheat down to a minimum, but not out completely. Increasing protein and vegetables should make a difference where weight loss is concerned without doing anything radical.