Gluten Intolerance is a Joke, Right?
Arrrgghhh – how did this happen?
I was one of those people who made fun of everyone getting on the gluten free bandwagon. My husband and I joked that we liked our food with extra gluten…. and then….
My daughter, Erynn, was experiencing a ton of pain (wrists, back, knees, stomach) her senior year and sleeping almost constantly. After several doctor visits and blood work and no explanation, our primary care insisted that she had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. What? That would have showed up before the age of 18. What?
Off to the rheumatologist who sighed, said that the primary care doctor read the blood work wrong. He did an exam. He said she had no signs of rheumatoid arthritis and whatever she was feeling was not this.
Frustrated (you wouldn’t believe how often we have had doctors misdiagnosis – Google seems to be a better doctor these days), we kind of just gave up, although her doctor insisted that even though the specialist said she didn’t have JRA, she still felt it was and wanted a second opinion. You know, even I looked at the blood work results and looked online and it was obvious, that particular result did NOT mean she had RA – juvenile or otherwise.
It’s no secret, Erynn is obsessed with genetics. She had her 23 and Me results back and one result was that she was carrying a gene for celiac and at some point in her life, she may experience gluten intolerance.
Hmm…. That got the wheels turning in my head. Erynn and I decided to go off of gluten for 30 days and see what happened. It couldn’t be that easy. No way could it be something as simple as gluten. I went off of it with her to help understand the diet better. Erynn had a pretty drastic change. Her pain started to go away and she wasn’t sleeping all the time. I can say that I think I felt I had more energy and my skin cleared up, but I didn’t believe it was from the gluten…. so we went back on gluten, and wow! In 24 hours, it was like Erynn and I both had hangovers. I was sick to my stomach, exhausted, and miserable.
We started with a new doctor. She tested for gluten sensitivity (which is often times falsely negative). The biggest surprise is mine came back off the charts – severe gluten intolerance. What? All the jokes I made, and yet here… here it was, clear on paper. But this all made sense. Erynn used to have a lot of issues that we would try diet changes but we never took the breads out of her diet because, after all, bread is harmless, right? It couldn’t be that….. :/ Oh, but it was!!!
While for the past year, we had been pretty keto based in this household (not strict), going GF was not hard. If you are regularly eating REAL foods, natural foods, whole foods, and otherwise proper foods, going off gluten is a piece of cake…. EXCEPT for…. CAKE!!!!
If you ever go gluten free (I encourage everyone to give it a try for 30 days and see your results), the biggest foods to watch out for are baked products, breads, and pastas. We weren’t eating much bread and pasta to begin with, so that was easy to change, but everyone needs a brownie, cupcakes, or other goodies once in a while!
Gluten Free Flour Options
The gluten culprit in baked products comes from the flour (same with soups that use a roux). FLOUR MUST BE CHANGED. I tried several different premade all purpose flours, and honestly, they are okay (fine for rouxs) but my homemade zucchini bread and other baked goods tasted great but were on the crumbly side. *sigh*
I searched and searched or a homemade flour recipe. I found one. I wrote it down and I cannot find where I got it from, but I will share here.
What I do want to say about it is this: It’s amazing! If you have tried gluten free baked products, they feel denser. There is a slight different in texture but it doesn’t have to be a bad difference. This flour makes that difference good, rich, and yummy! It blows my mind to be honest.
Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
- 4 cups white rice
- 1 cup potato starch
- 2/3 cup tapioca flour
- 1/3 cup arrowroot
- 2 tsp xanthum gum
If you do not have a mill of some sort, buy yourself a Vitamix. It will pay for itself a million times over. I’ve had mine for 10 years, and it’s still going strong.
Use the dry blade and work up to the highest setting and make that rice into flour!
Here’s a video the first time I did this…. It’s soooooo satisfying!
Add the potato starch, tapioca flour, arrowroot, and xanthum gum and use a whisk to mix it up. I do this for a few minutes and then place a few cups at a time back into the Vitamix and spin it again.
I use this cup for cup, just like regular all purpose flour.