So I've been pretty focused on eliminating wheat products from my diet lately, but admittedly, it's been an on-again, off-again relationship for about two years now. I haven't been diagnosed as being gluten intolerant, I haven't taken that step, but I definitely feel better when I'm not eating so much regular bread, pasta, or crackers. The sluggishness, the bloating, the headaches... Not there when I don't eat the stuff.
Since being introduced to the gluten-free world by a girlfriend back in 2020, I've sampled and reviewed a number of gluten-free products in tinkering with my diet. Some foods I've really enjoyed with such products very similar in taste and texture to their wheat-based counterpart. Some foods I've tried really sucked, or were "eh" and not repeat buy worthy. A common problem with gluten-free options is the higher price tag which in many cases is cost-prohibitive in my book. Have you seen how much a loaf of gluten-free bread costs?
It's tough to have a cheeseburger with a GOOD gluten-free bun that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Pizza, my favorite food has been a challenge to stay away from because gluten-free options haven't compared favorably, although they have improved. Pasta dishes in the past too were not so good with gluten-free alternatives, but there's been some solid progress there.
New products are being introduced every day now it seems, that cater to a gluten-free diet. I love cheese wrap products as an alternative to flour tortillas for example. They are not only tasty, but they cost about the same as a package of gluten-free tortillas. I've never been impressed with 'fake' flour tortillas, they lack the versatility, durability, and flexibility of the real deal in a variety of preparations. They crumble, they fall apart, and they don't fold, brown, or crisp up as well.
Traveling makes sticking to a gluten-free diet tougher. Yes, more and more restaurants are including gluten-free options on their menu, but it's still a challenge eating right when on the road. In recent travels, about half my meals included wheat, simply because I didn't plan ahead or care to choose more thoughtfully. Lesson learned. After this latest trip, I don't need an official diagnosis from a doctor. My body gave me a proverbial slap upside the head. Next trip, I'll plan ahead a little more diligently, pack more snacks, I'll order smarter from a restaurant menu and I have to learn to say "No thank you," or just pass on the wheat options being served up at the dinner table of family and friends.
So in moving forward, I'll be doing a daily diary of going gluten-free, including my meal menu and the review of any new gluten-free products I sample in taking this journey. I'll be taking a special focus on eating gluten-free in restaurants, what options are available, and what to do when the restaurant isn't exactly gluten-free friendly.
The Bachelor on the Cheap Gluten-Free Challenge 2023!
$pend Wisely My Friends...
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