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On Going Gluten-Free, Again

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A couple of years ago, I really started doing some research into gluten, and the way our body processes it. I decided to cut it out for a bit to see if it made a difference in how I felt, and it did! I even had my whole family eating [mainly] gluten free, and it was great. So why did we ever stop? Well, life, really. Life gets busy so home-cooked meals get passed over for convenience foods. Parties and get-togethers happen with lots of burgers, hot dogs, and cake, which, of course, all contain gluten. We just fell off the wagon of gluten-free eating, and we can all tell a difference in how we feel.

So why back to the gluten-free then? Well, towards the end of last year I started noticing that something wasn’t right with me. I ignored it for as long as I could until I ended up with several trips to the emergency room, and more nights than I can count where I laid curled up praying for God to either heal me, or take me. Real life. It was bad. After several doctor’s visits, multiple tests, and LOTS of prayer, the doctors have determined that there is nothing [seriously] wrong with me. Yep, gotta love when you think you’re having a heart attack, and feel like you’re dying, and they tell you that nothing is wrong. SOMETHING is making me feel this way. [They] DID tell me that my iron is extremely low, and that could be what’s been causing all of my problems. I’m now taking a good bit of iron daily to help replenish my stores that are depleted. I’ve also been told I have some gastrointestinal problems, which I knew, which brings me to the gluten-free. To hopefully help aid in the solution of what’s going on in my belly, and knowing that in the past we ALL felt better with gluten cut out of our diets, we’ve made the decision to go back to a relatively gluten-free diet.

Is it hard? Well, yes, and no. If you plan accordingly [as with any good thing], then it’s easy to eat a gluten free diet without hiccups. It calls for a lot of reading labels and just being aware of what you’re putting into your mouth. It’s hard when you go to social events and the table is laced with cakes, breads, and other treats that all contain gluten. Living in a small town also makes it hard. We don’t have Whole Foods where the aisles are packed with gluten-free options. We have a local grocer that does have a wide-ish selection of gluten-free foods, but they are pretty pricey, and that’s not easy to do on a single-income. My best option is online shopping! Vitacost is my favorite website because they run specials ALL the time on their foods, and usually offer discounts if you buy in bulk. Plus, with my favorite website, Retail-Me-Not, I can always find some kind of coupon for an extra percentage off of my order.

Just to clarify, gluten-free foods are not necessarily “healthier” in terms of losing weight. All of my favorite carbs that I love that are packed with gluten can be found in the gluten-free section, but they’re still carbs, and any carb eaten in excess will cause you to gain weight. So if you decide to go gluten-free, but just simply replace all of your favorite carby foods, don’t expect to lose weight! Just sayin’.

Here’s a new-ish recipe that I made the other night to celebrate our transition back into a gluten-free lifestyle. I don’t have a name for it, but I guess I’d call it Cajun Pasta, or something like that! I’m not a food blogger, and never will be, but I need a way to keep up with my recipes so that I can make them again. Paper gets lost around our house so the internet it the perfect place to store my recipes! Feel free to give this one a try and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

8oz Penne pasta, gluten-free, cooked according to instructions

1 package Cajun sausage, cooked in skillet

1 can mild Rotel, drained

A dash of Tony’s seasoning [about 1 tsp]

A dash of oregano [probably 1/4 to 1/2 tsp]

A dash of cumin [probably 1/2 tsp]

A dash of garlic powder [literally a dash]

2 TBS butter

Salt and pepper to taste

{I’m totally not one to measure everything out, and just judge based on taste, so adjust accordingly!}

IMG_3462

sausage and rotel

 

simmering pasta

cooking pasta

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. While it’s cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add in sausage, cut into bite sized pieces. Cook 5 minutes, then add Rotel [drained] to skillet. Continuing cooking for another 3-5 minutes. Add in butter if you’re using a cast iron or skillet that isn’t non-stick. Season with spices, salt, and pepper. Once pasta is finished, drain, and add to skillet with sausage and rotel. Add in butter and stir, then let simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.