How To Shop Gluten-Free And Dairy-Free

“What are you going to eat?” is the often-heard complain about a gluten and dairy-free diet.  Life on a gluten and dairy-free diet is not that gloomy.  It is different.  Not harder.  This is the picture of a sandwich from Udi’s gluten-free breads at http://udisglutenfree.com/

For starters, eating a gluten and dairy-free diet starts with fresh veggie, fruits and meats (not processed, just butchered: no spices ,marinades or any other possible flourishing) plus plain rice ( the actual grains and not the boxed variety).  So far there is nothing different form a regular diet with the exception of processed food.  You do have to check all condiments and spices.

Living a gluten and dairy-free diet involves cooking from scratch and saving a lot of money or buying prepared foods and spending a WHOLE LOT OF MONEY.  Sorry, I took a side street.

I know what are you thinking: “how about my coffee and toast?  I can’t have meat, veggies and rice for breakfast.”  Most regular coffees are gluten-free.  The flavored coffees are another story: most of them have both gluten and dairy.  However, this is the golden rule for allergy-free food:

When in doubt, go without!  Seriously!

Peanut butter, jams, jellies, nuts and dried fruits use flour as thickener or preservatives (in the case of dried fruits and nuts).

We arrived to the nuts and bolts: bread, pasta, cereals and baked goods.  They have to be gluten and dairy-free.  You have two choice: make them or buy them.  There is a plethora of GF fours, mixes, cereals and baked goods.  What am I talking about?  There are gluten and dairy-free bakeries in and around Chicago.  Then, there is Trader Joe’s, Fruitful Yield, Whole Foods Market, Costco and Aldi vying for your buying power.  All you have to do is homework.  Lots of it.  It will serve your health and your pocket.

Going back to your question.  I like Udi’s Whole Grain bread, lightly toasted, with Organic Peanut Butter and Organic Apricot Jam (all of them from Trader Joe’s).  I use coconut cream in my regular Colombian coffee from Costco.

Do you worry about the ingredients in your food and possible cross-contamination problems?  What are your tricks for staying healthy, and sane, following a gluten and dairy-free diet?

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