Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

14.5.2016 | 01:18

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But it doesn’t have to be….

I’m specifically referring to “trigger foods” here, gluten in particular.

So many people seem to give up before they even begin:

“Oh, I could never give up bread!”


“But what will I eat, if I can’t have bread/bagels/pasta/cookies/crackers?”

First of all, you don’t necessarily have to give up any of those foods; you certainly don’t have to give up all of them.

And you don’t have to rely on processed, mass-market gluten-free products that are filled with starchy, sugary … and let’s face it, bad-tasting substitutes.

I remember the first gluten-free pizza I tried, with a rice flour crust … chewy, gummy … ick.

Of course, my alternative wasn’t so great either:  a spelt crust.

Spelt is a bit tricky.  It’s wheat-free, but not gluten-free.  There’s a difference.

Some people can tolerate spelt, but others can’t.  And it can come down to more than whether or not you have Celiac Disease.

Debra and I eventually moved on from spelt too, although it took a while.

a gluten free breads on wood background

I won’t lie to you:

Giving up gluten can be really difficult for a lot of people.

Let’s face it:  A lot of our favorite “comfort foods” just happen to be made with flour and sugar….

It’s not just a matter of “Eat this, not that” – there’s a mindset aspect that many people genuinely struggle with.

These might be favorite foods from childhood, or family recipes handed down for generations.

It can be difficult to let go, physically and emotionally.

That’s where having a guide can come in handy.

Debra and I have been gluten-free for several years now.

We started out wheat-free, but eventually realized that even that wasn’t enough.

Neither of us has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease – and I’m not about to start eating gluten-containing products, a necessary part of the testing process, to find out for certain.

But we’ve both felt better since removing gluten from our diets.

When we were first introduced to the “gluten-free” concept – by a naturopath, in 1999 – there wasn’t such a thing as gluten-free beer.

Or if there was, it wasn’t as easy to find as it is now….

Gluten Free loaf of breads on display in a health food shop.

There were a lot of processed gluten-free products on the market, but most of them were filled with sugar, potato starch, rice flour … a lot of high-glycemic, unhealthy “filler” ingredients.

There weren’t a whole lot of Paleo products available at the time – so we didn’t have all the options made with stevia, xylitol and erythritol for sweeteners.

We didn’t find cookies and breads made from coconut and almond flour on store shelves….

We had to create our own recipes, tweaking the ones we had with healthier substitutions.

And guess what?

It didn’t hurt the taste at all!!

We would frequently make baked treats to share with friends and family, since we couldn’t eat their versions.

We received “rave reviews” – including from our step-father, who is a retired professional baker….  (If we can come up with goodies that meet his high standards, we must be doing something right!!)

gluten free chickpeas flour in wooden scoop

Yes, you can find a huge variety of gluten-free goodies at your local grocery store these days, and if you need them to help you get over the first hurdle then don’t hesitate.

But there are healthier options out there, and they aren’t as hard to find as they used to be.

Or hard to make, for that matter….

So yes, breaking up can be hard to do, but it doesn’t have to be.

Not if you have an experienced guide at your side, steering you past the gluten-free junk to the healthy food beyond….

Gluten free label or badge


  1. Cynthia
    May 14, 2016 | 2:03 pm

    I have been trying recipes with Teff flour lately. It is fantastic!

    • daletchworth
      May 14, 2016 | 5:28 pm

      Glad to hear that, Cynthia! I’m hoping to try Teff in some recipes at some point. Debra

  2. Jace
    May 14, 2016 | 6:48 pm

    I love being gluten free. It’s been about 5 years now and it’s pretty easy. In the beginning it’s all about trying something new and being willing to fail. If something doesn’t taste good then on to the next.

    • daletchworth
      May 15, 2016 | 12:59 am

      Definitely very easy after doing it a while, Jace. Yes, lots of “trial and success,” whether it was trying processed gluten-free foods or figuring out how to adapt recipes — from “Better Homes & Gardens” Cookbook. I kid you not — I had that cookbook for YEARS. 🙂 Debra

  3. Lisa Marie
    May 17, 2016 | 1:37 am

    I love that you touch on how there’s a mental hurdle to get over. I see this with my italian parents who think its “sacrilegious” to not eat macaroni on Sunday.

    A lot of times resistance to change is just because of comfort and tradition

    • daletchworth
      May 17, 2016 | 8:05 pm

      Lisa Marie — If it were simply diet, I think we’d all be healthier in no time. There’s so much more to it. Diane and I can relate to that having “macaroni on Sunday” — our grandfather was Italian. Debra 🙂

  4. Andrea Caprio
    May 18, 2016 | 4:43 pm

    I live 99% gluten free and though no allergy, I just feel better without. I love to re purpose a “normal” recipe with gluten and sugar free alternatives, or find products to replace a gluten product.

    • daletchworth
      May 18, 2016 | 8:39 pm

      Andrea, I love doing that with recipes too. Give me a good, basic recipe to start, and then I like tweaking it this way and that. It’s part of the fun (and it used to be out of my comfort zone). Debra

  5. Brad
    May 18, 2016 | 5:51 pm

    You captured the nuances really well here!

    Today being gluten free is easier than ever before. We have plenty of options but like you said, not all of them are good substitutes – taste, texture or quality. Still, it makes a transition easier. That being said, as you also mentioned there is a psychological attachment to gluten. I used to be known as the sandwich making king. Dagwood deluxe stacks were my specialty. Well, when I stepped back and realized my love (addiction) of gluten was causing me pain, I was able to get over my sandwich attachment.

    • daletchworth
      May 18, 2016 | 8:41 pm

      Having so many GF options out there can make it too easy, yes, in some respects. But transitioning can be very difficult, and anything that helps seems good to me, at least short-term. Dagwood, huh? Brings back memories! Debra 😉

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