Well, I've been gluten-free for a whole week, and I have to say, it's not as troublesome as I expected. I think it helps that gluten-free diets seem to have gone really mainstream lately. My local Stop&Shop has a whole gluten-free section, with prices that are cheaper than Whole Foods. I actually found that surprising, since usually everything at Stop & Shop is more expensive that other places. I made a loaf of gluten-free bread that was delicious (as well as a batch of English muffins that were decidedly not so much). I made some amazing flourless peanut butter cookies for Nick (and me, let's be honest) as well as a delicious batch of gluten-free snack mix. I learned to look for hidden gluten in foods and condiments, and while I'm still working on making sure I'm getting things right, I think I'm doing alright.
And I feel good! I've had some mild stomach disturbances, but that could be because I'm healing. Or this all could be in my head... but regardless, I'm sticking with it. The true test, I think, will come when I eat something with gluten on purpose to see if it makes me sick. I'm going to wait at least another week before I try it. Another unexpected benefit is that I've lost 4 pounds. Now maybe I was bloated or something when I started, but I'm still happy about it! Believe me, with all the cold weather, I haven't exercised at all, so losing weight was a total accident.
I'm already planning long-term for being gluten-free. Today, since we're snowed in with a foot or so of snow and more expected, I'm prepping more meals based on an idea I read about here. I've already made two mini meatloafs (2 servings each) and 2 packs of meatballs. Today, I did two chicken breasts with fajita seasoning. One will be cooked up for fajitas with corn tortillas; the other will make a lovely pot of my famous tortilla soup. Next, I am making chicken enchiladas and a dish called King Ranch Chicken, which is like lasagna made with corn tortillas and a white sauce.
I've been cooking almost every day, which is great when I'm not working, but since I start classes again on Jan. 24 (yay!), I figured I'd try this food prep method to make it easier when I'm busier. I'm trying to stay far away from overly processed foods, and if I do the prep, at least I know for sure what's in it. We haven't tried any frozen gluten-free meals just yet, and I'm sure there are some available, but I'm not rushing to fill my house with expensive processed foods when I can just as easily make it myself. I worked as a cook for many years, and I love to do it. All of these frozen items (which should keep for 2 - 3 months) will be for those inevitable days when I just don't feel like cooking.