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Tabasco

Typical Menu...?

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Assuming that I may be going gluten free soon, what is a typical meal plan? Is it easily do-able? Do people typically lose weight or gain when they switch? I have at least 20 lbs to lose (probably more like 40) and have had such a hard time since 40 yrs old. I'll be 45 soon and it seems that I'm gaining more and more. I know I should exercise but some days I just feel like what's the use? I can't keep it off anyway.

ARGH!!!

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Many people gain after going gluten-free because they're suddenly absorbing calories they weren't before. Although there are also cases of people losing, it's more rare than gaining. Exercise and diet control are really your only options.

A typical menu is whatever you make of it. Mine is a lot like I ate before, but no gluten. A lot less fast food, which should help your weight some. The biggest challenge for me was not being able to just grab a sandwich since I can't stand gluten-free bread. For me the answer is using corn tortillas for "sandwiches" or mini-pizzas and making enough of main courses to have leftovers for lunch.

richard

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Since it is summer, my typical menu is whatever is ripe in the garden. I juice fruits and veggies for breakfast, have nuts or gluten free muffin for snack, stir-fry with rice or rice noodles for lunch (usually left over from dinner night before), fruit or veggies for snack...

In the beginning I spent about 3 days trying to figure out what I can't eat, and then it dawned on me to start looking at everything I CAN eat, and there is a lot more that I can than I can't. I love to cook, so this was just a new reason to find recipes... if you don't like to cook or haven't built up your skill set, I'm sure this can be a lot more frustrating.

The biggest help for me was de-glutening my kitchen. Everything went in a box for a food drop off and now I know that I can eat whatever is in the house (except for a small shelf that my hubby is finishing off). When it comes to grocery shopping, stick to the outer aisles of the store, i.e. produce & meat are both safe. The more something has been processed, the more likely it is to have had a gluten product added.

Google some restaurants in your area that are gluten free so you know in advance what your options are. Find a handful of recipes that you can go to for quick meals, and make extra so you can make your own frozen meals.

You will get the hang of it, it just takes time, persistence and patience. Be gentle with yourself as you learn the ropes!

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I did lose weight in the beginning, not a whole lot, but I didn't really need to lose any. In the beginning it was because I was eating so much healthier. I put back on about 4 or 5 lbs, but it was fine. I've found my weight to be much more stable since going gluten-free.

At first I made a lot of stuff ahead of time and kept it in the fridge... because I did find I ate as much if not more. That way I had stuff to just grab n go. I try to do that now, although I'm not as good as I used to be. Of course, I buy completely different stuff at the store now, so I guess I cook a little less but still have a lot of stuff to grab.

I usually eat some sort of leftovers for lunch from the previous night's dinner. Breakfast can be a challenge, but I'm not a big breakfast eater. My old standby is an apple with peanut butter, or some fruit with some sort of protein. If I make pancakes for my family and we have some leftover, I'll usually eat those with some peanut butter on top (Can you tell I'm a peanut butter junkie :ph34r: )

I didn't find dinner to be too challenging, but we were never bread eaters anyway. Meat, veggies, gluten-free pasta.... pretty much endless.

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Assuming that I may be going gluten free soon, what is a typical meal plan? Is it easily do-able? Do people typically lose weight or gain when they switch? I have at least 20 lbs to lose (probably more like 40) and have had such a hard time since 40 yrs old. I'll be 45 soon and it seems that I'm gaining more and more. I know I should exercise but some days I just feel like what's the use? I can't keep it off anyway.

ARGH!!!

Hi Tabasco,

I generally post a gluten free menu plan (for dinners only) on my blogsite every week. The blog has a link to my own Gluten Free Recipe Archive blog plus links to many other gluten free blogs with tons of wonderful easy recipes AND menu plans. If you're interested you can click on "nasalady" and go to my profile, then click on "Visit My Website" right under my picture.

If you do go to my blogsite, at the top on the right hand side under "FAQ" there are a number of helpful links, including one to a step-by-step guide to going gluten free and getting rid of all possible sources of gluten in your kitchen (this is non-trivial!).

Anyway, a typical gluten free dinner might consist of steak, baked potato, and green salad with gluten free dressing. Or maybe chicken or beef enchiladas made with corn tortillas (naturally gluten free) and homemade gluten free enchilada sauce and a salad or veggie. Or even a breakfast dinner with scrambled eggs, sausage or bacon, and blueberry pancakes made with Pamela's Gluten Free Baking Mix.

You'll find that you can still eat a lot of the foods you normally eat. You just have to check labels carefully and learn to use Google to check specific brands. For example, type "Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing gluten free" into Google and you'll get a number of helpful links which will tell you what you need to know (yes, Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing is gluten free). Every once in a while Google doesn't give you the info and you have to call or email the company....but that's rare.

Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market sell lots of gluten free items, including pastas....check out their websites for lists of gluten free foods.

The whole bread thing is up to you. As one poster said, most gluten free breads sold ready made in the markets are really nasty. But many people choose just not to eat breads and to stick with things like corn tortillas. If you want to lose weight, the less bread you eat the better. Avoid processed food and stick to meats, veggies and fruit and you will lose weight.

But if you eat a lot of sandwiches, and you really want decent bread, you will probably have to make it yourself, as I do for my family. I have a good bread machine (Zojirushi) and I've programmed it using the program for gluten free bread in Annaliese Roberts Gluten Free Baking Classics cookbook. I like to use Pamela's Amazing Wheat Free Bread Mix. The bread is really good and tastes very much like wheat bread. It doesn't crumble or dry out like most gluten free breads do.

Also, there is a WONDERFUL microwave bread recipe for gluten free "buns" that was first posted in this forum....here is the link to the topic (which is 6 pages long and has TONS of really great variations on the original recipe):

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.php?showtopic=56641

I use this recipe for hamburger buns and sandwiches too....it's amazing!!

Anyway, sorry for my verbosity.... :lol:

Good luck with everything! Keep us posted!

JoAnn

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I wasn't much of a cook before our son was diagnosed, but I did know how to make more than I realized. I sat down one day and made an Excel spreadsheet (it doesn't have to be a spreadsheet, it just works better for me that way) of all the things I knew how to make. It included everything from breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, desserts, snacks, etc. Then I went through to see what I could still make with no adjustment, little adjustment, or not at all. I was surprised that there wasn't one thing that had to be removed. I was even more surprised that it didn't take that much effort to convert the few that needed converting to gluten-free. This helped me tremendously.

But back to your question. Here are some of our "regular" meals:

Pot roast and veggies

Spaghetti/veggie/salad

Lasagna/veggie/salad

Tacos/Nachos/Quesadillas

Turkey/Mashed potatoes/veggies

grilled meat (shrimp, steak, chicken marinated in Italian salad dressing, hamburgers)

pulled pork

sloppy joes

quiche

tuna casserole

eggplant parmesan

baked chicken (breaded)

pan fried pork chops (breaded)

We always have at least one veggie, in the winter we usually have a potato or rice or bread/muffin, and we almost always have fruit of some sort (fresh or canned).

Unfortunately, we all too often have dessert (this nasty habit started after diagnosis). This can be cake, cookies, cobbler, pie, pudding, etc.

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Thanks y'all!!!

Basically regular foods but no bread or pasta. (A real killer for me. Being from New Orleans we love to eat bread with everything!!!)

I think it's the hidden gluten that will be the hardest to maneuver around.

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I don't mean to be evil, but ... think about what you have always made. Was it pre-processed stuff? Then you have a lot of relearning to do. Otherwise, most everything is easily adaptable.

For example, I made the most delicious chicken tonight. Chicken pieces with the skin on - pull the skin up and slide fresh basil leaves and garlic underneath (I don't find this to be "fussy" since it's that-time-of-year for basil), along with minced garlic. Take a lemon and slice off 4 pieces and put them on top of the chicken. Squeeze the rest of the lemon over the chicken. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-60 minutes. Throw some potatoes in the oven next to the chicken pan - bake until done and serve w/normal accompaniments. We had salad to go with - lettuce and spinach and tomato and peppers and mushrooms ... it really IS easy once you get unafraid of "cooking" as opposed to "throwing stuff together".

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Thanks y'all!!!

Basically regular foods but no bread or pasta. (A real killer for me. Being from New Orleans we love to eat bread with everything!!!)

I think it's the hidden gluten that will be the hardest to maneuver around.

We eat a great deal of pasta and bread. It's just gluten-free pasta and bread. We used to eat a lot more of it right after diagnosis because I was overcompensating, but we still eat it a lot. Lasagna is one of my favorites to make a freeze leftovers for quick future meals. Spaghetti and alfredo with store bought sauce are good "emergency" quick meals. I just made penne noodles with homemade alfredo sauce last night and it was fabulous. No way would anyone ever be able to tell it from its gluten counterpart.

As for breads, they do take more time. If you can afford them, Joan's Gluten Free Bakery has fabulous english muffins and bagels. Quick breads (no yeast) make nice additions to meals. We've been eating zucchini bread around here the last two weeks because it's in season. Banana bread is another of our favorites. We make blueberry muffins that are out of this world, better than any I ever ate with gluten. Then there is the yeast bread that takes more time, but is worth the effort. And for things like french toast we use Gluten Free Pantry sandwich bread mixes and I slice and freeze (with Saran Wrap between the slices) slices and just pull out what we need.

Bread and pasta are far from gone...they're just made differently.

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As for breads, they do take more time. If you can afford them, Joan's Gluten Free Bakery has fabulous english muffins and bagels. Quick breads (no yeast) make nice additions to meals. We've been eating zucchini bread around here the last two weeks because it's in season. Banana bread is another of our favorites. We make blueberry muffins that are out of this world, better than any I ever ate with gluten. Then there is the yeast bread that takes more time, but is worth the effort.

If you don't mind my asking.....could you post one of those "yeast bread, but worth the effort" recipes, if it's not too much of a pain!?

I agree with the zucchini and banana bread options; those are super-yummy and you cannot tell the difference from "regular". I haven't quite mastered the regular bread for sandwiches thing yet. I would like to try the Joan's gluten-free Bakery english muffins and bagels though, do you order them online?

One other thing I've done and is pretty good is use the "kinnikinnick" frozen pizza crust, drizzle on olive oil and seasonings, then bake for quick breadsticks-they're really good, reminds me of pizza hut breadsticks, maybe better. Hubby hates gluten-free, and loved them.

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I'd be happy to post our favorite bread recipe. It's a hearty, multi-grain bread, not a light and fluffy "white" bread kind of thing. We like it fresh from the oven on day one and then toasted when it starts to dry a bit. Then I cube any leftovers and freeze them for stuffing.

Yes, Joan's are mail order. The shipping is expensive because the bagels are frozen dough so they ship it with dry ice in an insulated cooler, but we just order a ton at a time to help reduce it some.

I'll post the recipe later tonight when I have more time to type it in.

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