Gluten-free since: March 2012
Are you completely gluten-free?
"Pretty much. I won't freak out if I eat a stray breadcrumb, but I prefer to steer clear of it completely."
What made you decide to go gluten-free?
"My best girlfriend was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and she inspired me to read more about nutrition related to cancer and other diseases. Everything I had been reading about how wheat has been genetically modified over the years and how your body has a hard time recognizing what it is, which, in turn, causes inflammation, really freaked me out. I tried it as an experiment, and so far, so good."
Take us through a typical day of meals for you on a gluten-free diet.
"For breakfast, I generally have fruit or a rice-based cereal or toast. Sometimes an organic egg, too. For lunch, it's usually some kind of vegetable concoction (salad or otherwise), with plant-based proteins like lentils, chick peas, or quinoa. I eat dairy so hard cheese is a daily staple, too. Dinner is generally some kind of sautéed vegetable with tempeh or brown rice, and if I'm eating out, I'll have a good piece of wild salmon. There are (dangerously) loads of gluten-free sweets out there, so I like Udi chocolate-chip cookies with coconut-milk ice cream as a treat."
What's the hardest thing about being gluten-free?
"Eating out. Pasta haunts me."
What do you like about being gluten-free?
"I never, ever feel bloated. Since I gave it up, I rarely feel tired during the day, and just recently, I've noticed my skin has a luminous glow to it. People have commented on it, too, so I know it can't just be me."
Have you noticed a difference in your health or the way you feel since going gluten-free?
"Yes, things in my body just work better now. I feel like wheat was slowing everything down, and now it just runs more smoothly."
Do you ever cheat?
"No. Even though I don't have a gluten allergy, I just don't want to eat it anymore. A good slice of pizza is another story though…"
What gluten food do you miss the most?
"Pizza and pasta. Nothing compares."
What kind of advice would you offer to anyone who is considering gluten-free?
"To try it and see how your body feels after a few weeks. You can't really know if something will agree with you until you try it."
What are some of your favorite gluten-free brands/foods?
"Udi pretty much makes everything delicious. Arrowhead and Red Mill make amazing gluten-free, high-fiber mixes for muffins, pancakes, and other carb-loaded stuff. And Newman's makes some gluten-free cookies that are pretty amazing, too."
Where are some of your favorite places to eat gluten-free?
"Angelica Kitchen in the East Village, Siggy's in Brooklyn, and my own house."
Can you offer some advice about eating out at restaurants when you are gluten-free?
"Just because you're not eating gluten doesn't mean you can't indulge....I love getting French fries or chocolate pot de creme if I feel like I need something decadent."
Gluten-free since: March 2012