If you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac, you have a wheat/gluten intolerance, or you’re just interested in learning more about how to incorporate more natural gluten-free foods into your diet, this post is for you. Also, if you’re interested in winning a starter-pack of my fave gluten-free products from Bob’s Red Mill, you’ll also want to stick around.
My backstory on going gluten-free
I spent much of my childhood & teenage years struggling with “stomach issues.” It seemed after every time I ate, I had one tummy trouble or another. Nothing too serious, but the constant discomfort after eating was the norm.
When I went vegan 6 years ago, I felt like a changed woman. No longer did I experience the nausea, the queasy bloated feeling, or stomach cramps after eating. I think this was in large part due to eliminating dairy products (that never agreed with me, but it took going vegan to figure that out!), but the dramatic shift to making vegetables, fruits, & other whole plant foods the staples of my diet helped quite a bit, too.
I had a feeling for a long while, though, that wheat/gluten was also something that my body could not tolerate. After eating gluten-heavy meals, it was not uncommon to experience headaches, sleepiness/lethargy, nausea 3-4 hours after eating (I now suspect it was because once the gluten hits my intestines, it has a hard time processing), stomach cramping, acid reflux & heart burn. I ignored it. I loved bread–warm & crusty–too much!
But this past winter, after realizing that Salem (10 months at the time) also has a intolerance, I decided it was time to have the courage to make the change. Hers manifested itself through severe eczema, diarrhea, & a rash around the mouth. At the time, I was still breastfeeding which made it even more important for me to eliminate gluten since irritating foods transfer through the milk. I decided it was time to make the change for my sake & for my daughter.
It’s been over 8 months. I no longer deal with any adverse reactions after eating. It’s bliss.
I have, from time to time, indulged in some Fieldroast or seitan, or wheat bread, & I always regret it later. I’ve learned the hard way–no food is that good, that I want to experience the side effects of eating a food that body does not know quite how to process.
This begs the question, do I think wheat or gluten are bad for everyone? No. But I think many people, while not Celiac, have a difficult time processing gluten & could benefit from replacing with gluten-free options.
If you suspect you may have an intolerance, go without it for 2 weeks, then reintroduce into your diet & see how you feel. If there’s no noticeable difference (it may take some time to pinpoint, trying to figure out allergies or intolerances is not an exact science), most likely you’re just fine eating gluten. And happy day! There are so many delicious foods that are made with the stuff, your life will be, in many ways easier because you can eat it.
However, one of the lovely things I’ve discovered since going gluten-free is realizing the sheer number of foods that are naturally gluten-free. And realizing that nowadays, there’s such a community of support for those who need/want to eat gluten-free.
One of my favorite brands since becoming vegan, & even more so, since becoming gluten-free, is Bob’s Red Mill. Their products are clean, whole, natural. I met some of the company’s representatives at BlogHerFood ’12 & was impressed with how much they care about producing quality, organic products. How much they care about people before profit. They care about being fair. And they deliver a bounty of products I just can’t get enough of. Theirs is a brand I can whole-heartedly endorse.
If you’re new to gluten-free flours, you know you don’t just use one flour. You use a combo of flours (unless, of course you’re using Bob’s gf all purpose flour mix) which have to be in the right proportions in order for goods to bake properly. It may seem intimidating (I admit, it is), but after some experimentation, the right ingredients, & some good recipes up your sleeve, you’ll be a gluten-free baking pro in no time.
5 Bob’s Red Mill products that I ♥
♥ organic buckwheat flour: Add to pancakes, breads, homemade pastas for a unique twist on old faves.
♥ black bean flour: Add to thicken soups & dips. Adds protein, fiber, & earthy, delicious flavor.
♥ gluten-free all purpose flour: Replace white flour, cup for cup, with this flour. Having a trusty, gf all-purpose flour makes taking your old recipes & making it gluten-free super easy. Takes all the guess work out, since sometimes gluten-free baking can seem more like a science experiment (especially if you’re new to it all) rather than culinary creation.
♥ organic coconut flour: A rich, grain-free flour that has a natural sweetness which makes it especially good in cookies, pie crusts, bars.
Want a chance to win these awesome products? Yes? Perfect. Here’s your chance.
I’d love to share with one lucky reader this “starter pack” of my top picks.
Thanks to the wonderful people at Bob’s, I’m able to share some of my favorite products with one of you.
1. In the comments below answer the following questions:
Have you tried any of these flours? Which one(s)?
Why are you interested in trying these flours? Tell me your story.
2. For additional entries:
♥ Share the giveaway on twitter or fb.
For tweets: Make sure to include the link to this page & my twitter handle @bringjoyj, so I can give you proper credit
For fb: Make sure to include Bring Joy Blog in your post, as well as the link to this page
♥ Become a follower on twitter &/or like my fb page.
♥ Follow me on pinterest.
3. You may enter as many times as you’d like.
You don’t need to enter a separate comment to let me know you’ve tweeted about the giveaway or shared on fb, but please use a separate comment below, to let me know if you became a follower on twitter, fb, or pinterest.
I’m going to pick the winner personally, so the more entries, the more personal, the more convincing, the better.
May the best (most-motivated/convincing) reader, win!
Giveaway open through noon, Friday 8/31.
I’ll announce the winner the afternoon of Friday, 8/31.
Make sure to check back to see if you won.
Winner will have 24 hrs. to send me contact info,
otherwise new winner will be drawn.