We’re totally stealing this question from delagar.
I’ve been sick for about six months now. My PCP has no real idea what’s wrong — she thinks maybe a parasite, though two long courses of antibiotics have not really cleared up the issue. Her next move is to send me for (expensive) tests.
These tests will mean $$$, and that will be $$$ out of my pocket, obviously, since my health insurance has a huge deductible. (It’s something like $5000, though I’ll admit I haven’t checked the exact number yet. I don’t even want to know at this point.)
So before I agree to the expensive tests, I’m think I’ll try other things. According to Doctor Google, one other thing that might be wrong is a gluten allergy. I know going gluten-free is very woo, but I’m trying it. It’s better than putting a couple thousand dollars on the credit cards.
On the other hand, my current diet is very gluten-heavy.
So! Recommendations for gluten-free foods?
Cheap gluten free foods, if possible. (Currently I am living on oatmeal, oranges, and potatoes. I can see that this diet will get old fast, however.)
Here’s a thread from when I was allergic to wheat during pregnancy: https://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/wheat/
Words of wisdom:
Don’t think of it as you *can’t* have wheat things, think of it as you get to try new things you wouldn’t have had before. (It’s hard, but… )
Non-wheat versions of things that are normally wheat are generally pretty expensive. There are a lot of inexpensive foods that aren’t “new-American” that never had wheat to begin with. Focusing on these feels less like deprivation. (Much like eating things that are naturally sugar or fat free feels less like deprivation than their artificial versions.)
Arepas are one of those new things you should absolutely try. They’re wonderful. If you can do cornmeal there are many amazing inexpensive things you can do with it. Arepas are my favorite. Super simple to make from scratch too– easier than pancakes.
Most fancy noodles that mimic Italian noodles are expensive. Cheaper option: Chinese rice noodles. These are usually naturally gluten free and they’re kind of like angel hair (and reasonably priced). They’re better with Asian food than Italian sauces, but they do help with a noodle craving.
When I wanted Italian, instead of rice noodles, I would often use beans. This didn’t spark joy, but it also allowed me to eat spaghetti sauce with the rest of the family and wasn’t weird like trying the rice noodles. Polenta is also a reasonable substitute for putting under Italian sauces.
Rice is great.
Veggies and stews and soups are good. Just don’t focus on the lack of rolls or crackers.
Corn tortillas are helpful– but make sure you read labels and the ones that have no gluten you usually have to double up on (two tortillas) or they fall apart.
Rice cakes with melted cheese on top are pretty good.
Real labels very carefully– wheat/gluten shows up in the oddest places. Like Worcestershire sauce. Or frozen sweet potato fries. (I would throw said object up and be unable to eat it again for another 12-15 months, even after the pregnancy and allergy had passed.)
There are some pretty good and reasonably priced gluten-free toaster waffles out there. But most other stuff is expensive or yucky (or both!). Even the best gluten-free pizza (expensive, small, not as good as real pizza) is only good while it is still hot and turns disgusting as a leftover.
For desserts– things naturally made with oats or rice flour tend to be better (and less expensive) than things made with gluten-free mixes. Almond flour tends to be a bit more expensive (best price for us is TJ’s in the city), but makes pretty good cookies if you need a cookie fix and like chewy cookies. If you google gluten free oat bars, there are a lot of options that mix oats and peanut butter. I liked adding jam and chocolate to these kinds of recipes (or you could just flat out make dump cookies, though they are far too sweet for my palate these days). And, of course, you still have a wide range of fruit and milk desserts available to you.
Larabars, at around a dollar a piece, are ~200 calories of life saving goodness. I wanted to kiss my OB after she recommended them and I was full for the first time in what seemed like forever.
Good luck! Restricted diets are no fun, but once you figure things out they become more bearable.
Do you have any advice for Delagar? Recipes for cheap, easy, gluten-free goodness?