I'm Not a Celiac but I'm Jacking the Diet

So after going to orientation for Cooking Matters and learning that one of the people in the group followed a gluten free, dairy free and even soy free diet…AND that the organizer budgeted $100 a week for she and her husband (so let’s say $50 a person); I decided to challenge myself on both counts. People who follow a gluten-free diet PRAISE its benefits, so why the hell not?

For two weeks (or more, depending how I feel), I’m going to follow a gluten-free diet and try my best to stay within a $50 a week budget for groceries. 

Let’s not get this twisted…it takes a whole lot more preparation to eat on a specific diet and within a certain budget than you would think. You’ve got to look through a few dozen gluten-free recipes to make the menu, and then make a shopping list to match. It’s a good idea to try to coordinate the menu so different things on the shopping list overlap a few times. Just makes sense.

Yesterday, I completed the first round of recipe planning and grocery shopping for my new diet. 

The results? 

Well…my menu for the week includes a lot of chicken, mushrooms, risotto, quinoa and a ton of veggies for dinner, gluten free cereal and eggs for breakfast and add-0n salads with gluten-free dressing to go with leftovers for lunch. 

As far as shopping goes…the likes of gluten-free soy sauce and chicken stock aren’t easy to find and cardamom is nine bucks a pop so I hope there is an alternative because I didn’t buy it. Budget was split between Trader Joe’s (making life easier with fewer options and clearly marked “gluten free” product signs) and Kroger (which I don’t prefer, but it was closer than Publix and I’ll also be testing out pricing between the two). 

Costs: Trader Joe’s: $34.17, Kroger: $54.93…For a total of $89.10. A whopping $39 over budget. I’m not counting that as a loss though, because most of what was on my list will be used again and again like sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, salad dressing, peppercorns, arborio rice, etc. Those things won’t need to be purchased again since they just keep on giving. Groceries for next week will consist of mostly proteins and fresh veggies, making it (presumably) easy to stay within budget. 

WTF is gluten-free, you ask? Well, it’s a diet absent of the protein gluten which is found in grains like wheat, barley and rye and is designed for people with celiac disease. These individuals have an allergic reaction that causes inflammation in the small intestine if they consume gluten. A few items on the “AVOID THIS” list include: BEER, French fries, cereals (that aren’t gluten free), cookies, pastas, processed lunch meats and tortilla chips, just to name a FEW. 

But this diet is said to be extremely beneficial even if you’re not suffering from celiac disease, so that’s what I’m testing out. Who knows it just may be a new way of life. We shall see…stay tuned for updates and recipes right here…and see exactly what I’m eating everyday when I’m eating it (plus a bunch of other random info, blurbs, outbursts and RT’s) on Twitter: @sdotcurls . 

Until next time folks… Love  life, health and happiness!