Gluten Free: The Way to Be?

Happy Friday, dear friends!

Today I have three new-to-me food products to share with you.

Before we get to the reviews, a bit of background: over the past ten years or so, I have dabbled in trying a wheat-free diet. Some times are more strict, others more lenient – it’s been pretty sporadic. Overall, the trend for me is that a diet high in gluten containing products (ie anything wheat-based) does adversely affect my system. How? For me, lots of gluten consumption (cereals, bagels, bread, pasta, baked treats) brings on:

  • bloating
  • gassiness (sure you wanted to know that one!)
  • general digestive unhappiness

In the past, I’ve noticed much relief in sticking with corn, oat or rice based products. For example, let’s talk about cereal since it’s a subject near and dear to my heart! Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, even sugared cereals like Cap’n Crunch and Frosted Flakes go down much easier than either Shreddies or All-Bran – those two are no bueno, as Gina (Fitnessista) would say!  

For the past couple of weeks, then, I’ve made three dietary swaps:

1) OUT with Quaker 100% whole grain oatmeal and IN with Only Oats Quick Oats (manufactured by Avena foods in Regina, Saskatchewan).

[Sidenote: until a few months ago, I was under the impression that oatmeal was gluten free (GF). However…

“What about oats?…The problem is possible contamination of oats with other gluten-containing grains.” (source)

Many thanks to Dorry who also discusses a gluten-free diet on her blog, today! That’s where I found the information, above].

purchased at eating well organically, uptown waterloo

First Impression: love the dainty flakes! much smaller in size than Quaker oats.

Price: I was paying $3.69 at Valumart for a box of 12 x individual Quaker 100% oats sachets. My GF bag cost $3.99. At first, I thought that was a bit expensive; however, now I realize just how many servings I am getting out of the bag, and it’s turned out to be more economical by far than the way I was purchasing Quaker.

Taste: the very same as Quaker

Digestability: awesome: no bloating, gas or rumbles

Rating Overall: A+

Try Again? Definitely. Permanent switch predicted.

2) OUT with wheat-based cereals, IN with GF cereals

I’ve tried a number of specifically GF cereals in the past, particularly corn flakes, as well as other varieties picked up at health food stores. But I had never tried:

yes, they're targeted for kids, but when has that ever stopped me before!

First Impression: these look like Kix! (a product not found in Canada, but that I just enjoyed in Aruba last week). The sweet coating (from sugar cane juice, primarily) reminds me of a less-sugared Corn Pops cereal.

Price: $5.39 for a 284 g box – not cheap, but breakfast cereals in general are not that economical a purchase.

Taste: nice…but they don’t rock my world. I do like the crunch factor.

...but i prefer KIX! which are also GF, did ya know!

Digestability: wonderful: no bloating, gas or rumbles

Rating Overall: B

Try Again? likely not

3) OUT with whole wheat bread or bagels and IN with GF white rice bread:

i've never seen bread packaged this way! it's in like a plastic "box"

First Impression: these slices are TINY!!

yes, one slice is literally the size of the palm of my hand - is it bread or melba toast?!

Price: $4.99 and there are 13 slices in my loaf; definitely more cher than regular bread

Taste: absolutely wonderful – the bread is soft, the taste is mild, the texture is delightfully palatable (I’m keeping it in the freezer to stay fresh).

Digestability: divine: no bloating, gas or rumbles

Rating Overall: A- (the size factor is the only knock against this product)

Try Again? yes

Final Thoughts: I will continue to branch out into picking up more GF products, given the positive personal results experienced with switching to the oatmeal, cereal, and bread listed above. I do not plan to devote myself to seeking out a 100% GF diet at this time. A cookie here, a bowl of Kashi Go Lean Crunch there…a serving or two of gluten-containing products per day does not seem to affect me too negatively. I’m eager to do more experimentation, and try some more new-to-me items.

And a future step could include baking GF! Anyone up for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, hehe?!!


Tonight’s project: ripping back the front neckline on A’s sweater:

i'm blocking the front and back of the sweater right now, hence the pins you see there

Given that the neckband is a separate braid that you knit and then attach, I think the neck area needs to be slightly larger. Luckily, this is not a major fix – all in an evening’s work!

Any exciting Friday plans for you? Do enjoy!

Tomorrow is going to be Fashion Saturday!

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  • Kalli  On March 19, 2011 at 10:47 am

    funny that you wrote about this because i just posted about gluten free pasta and how it makes me feel better….maybe i should try other gluten free products? have a great weekend!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 20, 2011 at 4:34 am

      yes! i do recommend giving other GF products a try. a bit of trial and error is involved in finding tastes and textures that you enjoy, and price is a bit more, but the improved digestion is worth it!

  • Zo  On March 19, 2011 at 9:33 am

    This is really interesting (and those Leapin’ Lemurs are cute!). It’s always just interesting when you can really pinpoint the effects certain foods have on you (although the ones that don’t make you feel good, not so much fun!).I’ve been toying around with trying to change my diet a bit (I think I might need more protein since I tend to be a carb queen…but I’m not a big meat eater, so….)

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 19, 2011 at 10:08 am

      that’s interesting that you’re not a big meat fan – me, neither. even as a little girl, really did not enjoy ham, roast beef…i would naturally pick carbs any day! have you tried tofu, beans, eggs, etc for alternate proteins? i’m not vegetarian but non-meat protein sources are quite palatable!

      • Zo  On March 19, 2011 at 10:32 am

        I have..but I think I just don’t have them enough..or I overestimate how much protein is in things…I noticed peanut/almond butter has 7 gms a serving (2 tablespoons)..which might explain why I’m hungrier after eating a 2 tbs. pb sandwich than say if I have two hard boiled eggs..which are about 6 g protein each..)

  • Johanna  On March 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Oh boy… this sounds like a page or two out of my own book. You’ve described many familiar symptoms that I experience. I’m naturally beginning to swing away from breads (although Ezekiel bread is still a winner). On top of that I can also get very similar and unpleasant symptoms from eating certain types of sugar. I haven’t tested this item by item but I know that when I was on a candida cleanse (wheat/dairy/sugar free) a couple of years back (for about 8 months), it did WONDERS for my digestive system and overall health. If it weren’t for the fact that I was spending hours each night in the kitchen preparing food all the time (my favourite place in the whole world – NOT), I would be tempted to keep it up. But do I see myself constantly trying to modify to find a better balance? You bet. Digestive unhappiness, begone!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 19, 2011 at 4:07 am

      wow! i truly find it fascinating how we are all experiments of one, with unique tolerances and preferences. thanks for sharin, jo! you may wish to check out lisa’s blog (fellow commenter to this post) as she has some dealt with candida issues, too. hehe, i hear you: lots of kitchen work prep for a diet or way of eating? no thanks, too!! (notice i bought my rice bread, i did not whip up a loaf!!!) 🙂

  • Peggy  On March 18, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I know so many people that have to eat gluten free that I’m always looking for products that can help them out! Thanks for the tips!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 18, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      thanks for commenting! isn’t it wonderful how the world becomes a smaller place, thanks to internet connections and the sharing of ideas!

  • Lisa @ Thrive Style  On March 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I am trying to be gluten free, and I definitely feel better without gluten. I am probably similar to you—gluten doesn’t actually make me sick like it does a lot of people, but it doesn’t get along great with my digestive system!

    It’s such an exploration, isn’t it?!

    Trying products will inevitably lead to some winners, some losers, and some so-so finds…thanks for the reviews. I always look at those kinds of products in the store, and sometimes try things.

    I guess you’re well back into the swing of everyday life after vacay 🙂
    There are two raw restaurants in Toronto that I’ve been to that have lots of yummy gluten free options!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      yes – you’ve hit the nail on the head with how gluten makes me (and you) feel – it’s not life-debilitating, i just feel *better *with less/little gluten! i actually like the trial-and-error of assessing different products! some cookies i tried a while back were sooo dry! win some, lose some! vacation?? was i on vacation??!! enjoy your end-of-march-break weekend, lisa!

  • Johanna B  On March 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I’ve been gluten-free for about a year and a half now. Gluten-free products tend to be a lot more expensive in general. My favorite bread is Udi’s Whole Grain and it’s over $5 a loaf. The loaves aren’t very big but it’s so nice to still have a sandwich sometimes. I try to eat naturally GF foods but sometimes convenience wins out and I purchase processed items. Have you read any of these blogs: Gluten Free Easily, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, or Elana’s Pantry? There are many good GF blogs. Check them out if you have time. I’m so excited I’m getting my hair cut this weekend. Hope you have a fun weekend as well.

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      oh wow, thanks for those blog links, johanna! i am not familiar with any of them, so i will check those out asap, for sure. i haven’t heard of that bread brand…i’ll google it! enjoy your haircut – always nice to be pampered a bit!

  • Holly  On March 18, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I think Dorry also posted about Puffins — so you have that cereal in Canada? I think the cinnamon ones are really tasty.

    Those bread slices are super tiny (or have I just been eating mammoth sized pieces?)

    Have a nice weekend Cathy!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      yes! i saw the photo on dorry’s blog (i provided a link in my post, too). puffins are SO WONDERFUL!!! we can get “original,” “peanut butter,” and yes, the “cinnamon” here. i like to mix all three in one bowl when i have them! enjoy your weekend, too, holly!

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