We’ve danced around gluten here in this house for a few years. I’ve gone gluten free with my youngest son for a while, convinced he was suffering from an intolerance. I’ve gone gluten free with various cleanses over the years too. In every instance, we feel better, our skin clears up (my acne, my son’s mysterious rashes) we sleep better and we always declare we’ll never eat gluten again.
Then we do. Every time, gluten sneaks it’s way back into our lives and I regret it every time because the backlash is worse the more I eliminate it. The longer I give it up, the quicker I feel bad and the worse I feel when I let it back in. I can handle a little gluten. Thankfully, I don’t have Celiac disease which is life-threatening and means you must not eat gluten ever. No, my symptoms fall into the intolerance category. I have stomach upset, fog-brain and horrible skin when I eat too much, so it would really be better if I didn’t eat it at all.
But it’s hard. I love a cold beer in the summer. I love the ease of pasta for dinner and I’ve been trained to think the “wheatier” the better, so gluten-free bread and baking has always been difficult for me because in my brain-white is unhealthy.
This time, my daughter and I committed to the Udi’s 14 Day Challenge. We got a box of goodies from Udi’s along with menu plans for two weeks. The recipes were delicious and actually didn’t require a lot of “Udi’s” ingredients which was nice because it meant you could maintain this way of life without buying a whole lot of stuff. In fact, most of the dinner and lunch meals looked like a lot of what I already cook-fresh, simple foods.
We made it through the two weeks pretty well. I think I lapsed one weekend because I didn’t plan well enough. That’s what I really learned about eating gluten free-it’s not impossible but in the beginning it does require some planning and commitment to execution.
What I know now is that I simply adore Udi’s granola. I usually make my own but this is a great alternative with very few ingredients and lots of flavor. The kids gobbled up every sweet they could. The Udi’s Chocolate chip muffins were incredible and I know from previous experience I can’t get enough of their cookies. The whole grain GF bread worked for all three kids’ lunches and I actually like the size of it because it isn’t huge like some whole grain breads, which meant they ate their entire sandwiches and didn’t come home with half-eaten food. The big surprised to all of us was the Udi’s pizza. It was delicious, with a nice crispy crust. Again, I usually make my own, but this was a fantastic alternative for baby-sitter nights.
I know living gluten-free would get easier and I may still work toward it but I will have to really commit to figuring out alternatives to all that I bake on my own. It’s like exercise, I know I feel better when I do it, but it’s still not easy to do! Aren’t we crazy humans? I appreciate that Udi’s is out there trying to make it easier on us.
I appreciate Udi’s for this opportunity to challenge myself and for all that they do to provide delicious alternatives for all those gluten-ous (get it?) foods.
*I was given a sample of Udi’s foods and coupons to try others for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.