Monday, November 12, 2007

Starting a ‘Wheat-Free’ Diet

A friend of mine just had her son diagnosed with a wheat allergy. Talking to her brought back all of my memories of when I was diagnosed with my allergy. The diagnosis usually means everything you are use to taking for granted in your panty is now off limits and you have no idea what to put in its place. When I was diagnosed in 2002 it was hard to find anything in the local stores or restaurants. Often if you asked for wheat-free they handed you white bread instead of whole wheat. Today there are restaurants like Boston’s Legal Seafood who have gluten-free menus and some of the chain stores have a shelf if not a section or two dedicated to wheat-free and/or gluten-free. When I was first diagnosed my husband joked I was on the Atkins diet since it seemed all I could eat was salad and meats. Now there are many more options, some more tasty than others.

If you are tested positive for wheat ask to test your doctor to test you for spelt too. Spelt is an ancient relative to wheat but for some reason about 50% of the people allergic to wheat, like me, can eat it. Spelt does contain gluten. Here is more info on spelt can be found at Wikipedia. Spelt can be substituted for wheat in most recipes. It cost more then wheat but less then the gluten-free mixes.

My Favorite Local Stores:
Healthyway Foods
Trader Joe’s
Whole Foods
My Organic Market (MOM)

Favorite Gluten-Free Foods:
Pasta: Ancient Harvest – quinoa/corn spaghetti & elbows
Cookies: Pamela’s chunky chocolate chip
Spice cake & quick mix: Gluten-Free pantry - (I have more mixes to try. I just haven’t had a chance to make them, yet.)
Chocolate dipped doughnuts & plan bagels: Kinnikinnick

Favorite Website:
Gluten-free Girl: has a bunch of links which are helpful and her outlook on Celiac Disease is so positive that reading her blog is just uplifting.

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