Tall Drink of Nerd: Bye Bye Wheat

 In *Archives, Amy Robinson, Fierce and Nerdy

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a blogumn by Amy Robinson

I’ve attempted to quit a lot of things: TV, sugar, that love I found on Brokeback Mountain.  The TV, sugar and love iStock_000007218931XSmallremain, in healthy moderation. Now I’m giving up wheat. This is not to be cool, because believe me, it’s much cooler to be able to join in the cupcake party than to sit it out.  I quit wheat gluten because it was making me sick.

I haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  I just know that cutting out the wheat makes my joints move more smoothly, my sinuses clear up and keeps the farty bloat down to a minimum.  Celiac sufferers can’t process wheat or barley or rye.  It messes with your small intestine & immune system. That is all the detail I’m going into here, because I’ve already given you more info than you needed on my intestines.  Wikipedia and/or the Mayo Clinic can break it down for you better than I can.  I’m not saying I have CD, just saying I’m sensitive.

Wheat hasn’t been in our house, or my tummy for about 3 months now and I’m feeling fine.  It hasn’t been easy because I love beers, breads and baking.  The main problem with a GF diet (that’s Gluten Free folks) is that my wallet is suffering now.  Trying to replace breads and beers with GF products is pricey, especially during this experimental “what’s good and what’s lame” phase.  So far I’m only attached to 1 beer and 1 hydrox-type cookie.

Look, I’m a cheap, er, frugal shopper.  A trip to any store results in long pauses of peering at labels for ingredients, then bargains.  I’m proud of my skill at buying quality, healthy foods on a budget.  But with all these GF products, I’m relearning how to shop, which is where living in the Internet age comes in super handy.

There are about 10 iTouch Apps for GF restaurants and recipes.  There are about a gajillion blogs by chicks like me, or those with the Celiac diagnosis, who love cookies, pies, and breads but have found a work-around, sans wheat.  My favorite blog right now is Gluten Free Girl and The Chef.  I’ve read her book, which details her journey becoming a foodie, then as a foodie with CD.  Her blog is fun to read and has tons of useful, yummy and phenomenal recipes, but she has an income and expensive habits, which is where we differ.

As a newbie foodie, and bargain hunter, my mission is to go GF on the cheap.  This will probably involve going all Jack Lalanne with fruits/veggies.  But there has to be more.  I swear I’ll make a charming herbed chicken and veggie risotto with a ramen price tag.  Every gourmet success that comes out of my cheap kitchen, I will share with all my under-employed, bloated sisters and brothers.  As God is my witness, we’ll never be hungry, or gassy, again.

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Showing 15 comments
  • keldoo

    Godspeed, sister. I would have a terrible time at this. I am now in love with wheat beers, which goes so well with pizza……I found that when I went vegan my pocketbook went shorter distances in stretching my food dollar. I'm seeing a lot more gluten free items at Trader Joe's, which is inspiring…!

  • keldoo

    Godspeed, sister. I would have a terrible time at this. I am now in love with wheat beers, which goes so well with pizza……I found that when I went vegan my pocketbook went shorter distances in stretching my food dollar. I'm seeing a lot more gluten free items at Trader Joe's, which is inspiring…!

  • jenny

    as a chica living with many a food allergy, I hear ya! while I luckily don't have a wheat allergy, I'm pretty much allergic to everything else besides wheat, and I hear ya when things get pricey. I spend most of my money on food but have found a way to be frugal. it sucks having to read every single label on every single product (and warning to your future self, even 'safe' items don't stay safe,companies change recipes all the time and that can throw your digestive system into crazytown) but in all that reading, price comparison becomes easier and becomes more like a lioness out on a hunt. 🙂 good luck and looking forward to your finds.

  • jenny

    as a chica living with many a food allergy, I hear ya! while I luckily don't have a wheat allergy, I'm pretty much allergic to everything else besides wheat, and I hear ya when things get pricey. I spend most of my money on food but have found a way to be frugal. it sucks having to read every single label on every single product (and warning to your future self, even 'safe' items don't stay safe,companies change recipes all the time and that can throw your digestive system into crazytown) but in all that reading, price comparison becomes easier and becomes more like a lioness out on a hunt. 🙂 good luck and looking forward to your finds.

  • ernessa

    Seriously, good luck with this. We're so lucky to live in the land of Trader Joes. I bet you can do it. I'm thinking rice everything. 🙂

  • ernessa

    Seriously, good luck with this. We're so lucky to live in the land of Trader Joes. I bet you can do it. I'm thinking rice everything. 🙂

  • Joshua

    I really enjoyed reading this, but it does hit a little close to home for me. My grandmother, who I was closer to than anyone in the world just about, passed away about 4 years ago from Celiac disease. Information about the disease was more scarce and there wasn't a lot of awareness surrounding it. She was up in years and doctors couldn't seem to figure out why she kept losing weight after all sorts of testing. Finally, near the end my mother (who works in the medical field) was able to figure out the symptoms and get doctors to concur, but it was already too late. While I can't deny a twinge of sadness when I pass the gluten-free section at the grocery store or see a post like this, it's usually replaced by a happiness in knowing that a lot of families now won't have to go through the same frustration and heartbreak that we did. Thanks for writing this 🙂

    • AmyQOTWF

      Thank you so much for sharing the story of your Grandmother, Joshua. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Joshua

    I really enjoyed reading this, but it does hit a little close to home for me. My grandmother, who I was closer to than anyone in the world just about, passed away about 4 years ago from Celiac disease. Information about the disease was more scarce and there wasn't a lot of awareness surrounding it. She was up in years and doctors couldn't seem to figure out why she kept losing weight after all sorts of testing. Finally, near the end my mother (who works in the medical field) was able to figure out the symptoms and get doctors to concur, but it was already too late. While I can't deny a twinge of sadness when I pass the gluten-free section at the grocery store or see a post like this, it's usually replaced by a happiness in knowing that a lot of families now won't have to go through the same frustration and heartbreak that we did. Thanks for writing this 🙂

    • AmyQOTWF

      Thank you so much for sharing the story of your Grandmother, Joshua. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • shauna

    Amy, I'm so glad you find our website useful. Let me tell you — we don't have much of an income. Right now, it's all going into gluten-free flours, seemingly, so that we can make these recipes foolproof for people like you.

    But most of what we eat during the day, the stuff that doesn't need to go onto the blog, is cabbage and apples, local salmon, braised kale from the farm stand. You don't have to have a lot of money to eat well.

    Let me know if there's anything we can do to help!

    • AmyQOTWF

      Wow! Shauna on my blog 🙂 Thanks for everything you've done for people who have to live gluten-free. Your book made me drool. Then I started shopping and the price of a teeny bag of xanthan gum just poked a hole in my hungry balloon. Living in LA is expensive to begin with, and it is really daunting to start down the GF road on double unemployment.

      Thanks for letting me know about the daily eats. I'm sure you two do something simple and fabulous with them. I check your blog every few days and just want to head to the kitchen (or the farmers market.) Now that you mention kale, that'll be on my list for the store tomorrow (I'm very impressionable.) Thanks for being inspiring as a gal living with CD and absolutely enjoying food as well.

  • shauna

    Amy, I'm so glad you find our website useful. Let me tell you — we don't have much of an income. Right now, it's all going into gluten-free flours, seemingly, so that we can make these recipes foolproof for people like you.

    But most of what we eat during the day, the stuff that doesn't need to go onto the blog, is cabbage and apples, local salmon, braised kale from the farm stand. You don't have to have a lot of money to eat well.

    Let me know if there's anything we can do to help!

    • AmyQOTWF

      Wow! Shauna on my blog 🙂 Thanks for everything you've done for people who have to live gluten-free. Your book made me drool. Then I started shopping and the price of a teeny bag of xanthan gum just poked a hole in my hungry balloon. Living in LA is expensive to begin with, and it is really daunting to start down the GF road on double unemployment.

      Thanks for letting me know about the daily eats. I'm sure you two do something simple and fabulous with them. I check your blog every few days and just want to head to the kitchen (or the farmers market.) Now that you mention kale, that'll be on my list for the store tomorrow (I'm very impressionable.) Thanks for being inspiring as a gal living with CD and absolutely enjoying food as well.

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