So I’ve been on a gluten-free diet for two weeks now. Honestly, I didn’t expect a simple shift in my diet to change things quickly. Having been on plenty of forums for those with food allergies, I knew that it could take awhile to see changes.
But honestly, I’ve seen a lot of changes for the better. That said, it doesn’t mean it’s been easy. I’m still trying to figure out a balance in my meals to make them be more satisfying. While I’m getting enough food, I find that I’m hungry more often. Then there are the cravings.
I live in a house with lots of people who do include gluten in their diet. So there are boxes of Girl Scout Cookies I can’t eat, and loaves of sourdough bread I can’t have. It’s made things tricky.
Friday night is Pizza night. Without fail, there will be pizza. I bought a gluten-free pizza mix and used an egg substitute to make a crust that both the Little Kidlet and I could enjoy. I had already about Daiya, which is a spiffy vegan/allergen-free cheese. Having been a vegetarian, I can tell you that most fake cheeses are soy based (so definitely not what the kidlet could eat) and usually don’t melt. Thanks to some ingenuity… Daiya melts. And while the mozzarella tasted a bit cheddary, it had the right mouth feel for cheese and the melt factor.
And for the first time in his life, my son ate pizza. This sounds like nothing to most of you- but considering his diet has been limited to a handful of dishes that he loves, anything new is major. Especially since he’s been staring at the regular pizza for the last two weeks with longing in his eyes. He wasn’t too thrilled with it hot, but he did eat a cold slice the next day- and loved it. (I admit, I thought more about how the crust didn’t taste like regular crust to really enjoy it. Which is bad of me, and not the way to approach this at all)
Saturday night, TheBoy took me out to eat. His mother offered to watch the boys, and suddenly I realized that I had to find a restaurant that could accommodate me with more than a salad. I didn’t want to call a dozen restaurants and grill them on a Saturday night, so I started googling. Which led me to a list of chain restaurants in town.
I don’t want to seem like a snob. But chain restaurants don’t excite me any more. I love the town I live in, and TheBoy and I have been making a concerted effort to dine at independently owned restaurants to try to more directly support the local economy. We’ve discovered some wonderful restaurants- I just have to figure out which of them I can eat at now. So I chose Outback Steakhouse off the list, having discovered that they had an extensive gluten-free selection. Seriously. It’s impressive. Even more reassuring, the menu actually broke down how to ask for certain things like salads to be prepared. I downloaded the menu on my phone so that I knew I wouldn’t forget what exactly I was supposed to ask for with my salad.
I had a steak, mashed potatoes and a salad (no croutons and prepared in a separate bowl from other salads). While I believe the sudden revelation that I am on a gluten free diet scared our waitress (who I believe was expecting me to die if anything went wrong with the meal), we had a wonderful time. It certainly gave me the confidence boost for dining elsewhere, as well as asking local eateries what they have that’s gluten free. And asking them if they couldn’t try to make more of their items accessible for those on gluten-free diets.
(That picture up top? That was snapped at our dinner. So’s the one of TheBoy to the right)