Gluten-free since: 2010
Are you completely gluten-free?
What made you decide to go gluten-free?
"I was diagnosed as Celiac."
Take us through a typical day of meals for you on a gluten-free diet.
"My diet honestly did not change that much after my diagnosis. I avoided grainy foods for years before I knew I was Celiac because they gave me a stomachache and I associated them with pain. Breakfast is gluten-free cereal, or a green smoothie with kale and fruit (healthy for everyone, gluten free or not). Lunch is sushi with gluten-free soy sauce, or salad. Dinner is whatever I have in my fridge. I don't use many gluten-free substitutes — I typically just eat things that naturally don't have gluten. I do a lot of stir-frying with chicken, rice, and vegetables. I eat a lot of avocados and eggs. Luckily chocolate and wine are gluten-free and I always have them on hand."
What's the hardest thing about being gluten-free?
"Eating while on vacation. I'm spoiled living in the East Village, so close to great grocery stores and tons of Celiac-friendly restaurants, but this isn't always the case in other parts of the country."
What do you like about being gluten-free?
"Heavily-processed grains aren't very healthy for anyone, and with a gluten allergy it makes avoiding them very easy. There are heavily-processed gluten-free foods as well, but these are not readily accessible and I don't typically buy them."
Have you noticed a difference in your health or the way you feel since going gluten-free?
"Definitely! I had some health problems before I stopped eating gluten and those have cleared up. My skin is clear, and I have more energy."
Do you ever cheat?
"I accidentally eat something with gluten from time to time, but I don't purposefully cheat."
What gluten food do you miss the most?
"I miss beer. This is easier to handle now that I'm not in college anymore, constantly being tempted by beer pong games."
What kind of advice would you offer to anyone who is considering gluten-free?
"For those who have been diagnosed with an allergy: Focus on all of the delicious stuff you still can have, like oysters, guacamole, and goat cheese. For those who are going gluten-free for health reasons: Use this opportunity to get more vegetables in your diet, and avoid using heavily processed, gluten-free substitues."
What are some of your favorite gluten-free brands/foods?
"Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise Flakes cereal, Food For Life Millet Bread, Whole Foods brand gluten-free chocolate chip walnut cookies in their freezer section."
Where are some of your favorite places to eat gluten-free?
"Pala in the Lower East Side has amazing gluten-free pizza and calamari. Even my gluten-eating friends will happily dine here."
Can you offer some advice about eating out at restaurants when you are gluten-free?
"Mexican, Japanese, and Thai restaurants are easily gluten-free accommodating. Beyond that, I usually ask the waitress what can be made gluten-free before even taking a good look at the menu, then I choose from that."
Gluten-free since: 2010