G-F Replacements, and Why I Don’t Eat Them

One of the main struggles I’ve heard people complain about when they go gluten-free is the “need” to replace bread, crackers, chips, tortillas, etc., with gluten-free products. The other part of that complaint is how much the replacement products taste disgusting, bland or stale.

I’ve been gluten and corn free since July 21, 2012. The day after I returned from the Walkabout (in which I biked/walked from Key West to Canada, giving solo music and theatrical performances along the way), I went gluten-free. I had been challenged on the Walkabout to try it for 1 week, and see how I felt afterwards. I did it in NYC on a long stopover, and everything changed.

Image credit: Silviu Firulete

So, upon going gluten-free, I cut out all grains completely. No rice, no wheat, no corn, no barley, millet, or any other grains. I also cut potatoes and sweet potatoes to see if there was any affect. I slowly re-introduced some items back in over time to see how it would go. One thing at a time. Wheat and gluten and corn all make my stomach ache, churn and…well, other things we won’t talk about. Very tiny amounts don’t always bother me (like the small amounts in artificial crab), but sometimes do, so I try to avoid even the smallest amounts.

One of the things I tried adding in was rice based gluten-free products. Bread, tortillas, crackers, mixes, etc. I mean, who doesn’t love cookies, brownies, sandwiches and tacos? But as I’ve tried these G-F products, I’ve learned about the processes used to make them, and grimace. Most of these things are so highly over-processed that I can’t bring myself to eat them anymore. Many of them are as bad for you as hotdogs and candy bars!

On occasion, I have used some of them. Usually when I’m having a stomach bug and the only thing I can keep down is the G-F crackers from Aldi.

But I’ve also learned that my body just doesn’t like grains or potatoes. The starches (non-vegetable starches) just don’t sit well with me. I’ve found that I am more bloated, crabbier, re-gain weight, and just don’t feel the best whenever I allow myself to eat potatoes, sweet potatoes or any grain.

So, the healthiest me doesn’t eat grains, G-F substitute products and potatoes. Instead, I use lettuce to wrap meat and cheese, celery sticks with peanut butter, banana chips with peanut butter & jelly, and just don’t add noodles or any other kind of substitute to my marinara sauce. I load that up with veggies and meat, and enjoy it as a full meal all on its own. The one exception I’ll make to grains is rice in sushi. I LOVE sushi. And as rarely as I eat it, it’s okay. That’s the healthiest me.

One of these times, I’ll give a list of substitutes I use or items I leave off for alternative meal items.


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