Celiac Disease / Recipes / Uncategorized

The Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Fun-Free Diet

My New BFFs

God help me, my husband and I are going on a sort of cleanse inspired by Beth over at Tasty Yummies. Her recipes are so amazing they have (kind of) convinced me that deprivation is delicious. And so bam, here we are discussing the removal of sugar, dairy, gluten (duh), red meat, or fatty meat, and alcohol from our diet for two weeks.

Granted our initial discussion of this proposition went something like this: Him: “Hey, we should try some kind of cleanse like she’s doing.” Me:Ā  “I can’t eat gluten, bitch, what else are you trying to take away from me??!!” Then I realized that he had a point. I’m not getting any thinner now that I’m actually absorbing all the food I eat and my propensity for whipping up gluten-free treats as “research” has gotten out of hand, yet still awesome.

This means we’re on a two-week health kick, in hopes that it will inspire us (he means me) to be more conscious about eating food that is good for us (me), rather than food that tastes freaking amazing, yet could give me a heart attack.

So far I’ve been in it for 48 hours and I have some questions.

Can one be poisoned by eating too many almonds, or almond products?

If one eats legumes every day for two weeks, will one explode?

Would one cream cheese brownie kill me? Really?

Is my husband secretly trying to control me?

Like most celiacs, being told you suddenly have to give up foods you love in order to live a healthy life where you don’t get sick up to 10 times a day and are in danger of losing your sanity, is kind of a no-brainer. At the same time, feeling deprived is incredibly difficult. I grew up — for a chunk of time — with a single mom on a teacher salary. So I know what it’s like to feel like everyone else’s lunch box looks more appetizing than your own. Or at least I did for a formative part of my youth. Listen, I’m not going to knock Taco Tico’s pinto beans and cheese — that shit was good. But as far as not knowing if mom had money to go to the grocery store, well, I’m not a fan of the worst case scenario when it comes to food.

In fact, the first thing I did when I was diagnosed was to run to Whole Foods, where I heard they kept the gluten-free goods, and loaded up on every kind of weird gluten-free flour and snack there was. Since then I started this blog and began to experiment with all the decadent desserts I was told I could no longer eat. I’m determined like that.

So this is hard.

However, I’ve written out the pros and cons and I’m totally in it. At least for two weeks with a few exceptions: My sister-in-law’s birthday, Halloween, and say I’m at a one-year-old’s birthday party and her mom offers me a slice of brie; I might not say no. However, I’m keeping the sugar/fat/dairy/booze exceptions to a minimum.

So here are the pros: 1) It will help me break some really bad eating habits I’ve gotten myself into, especially after going gluten-free, and 2) I hope to come up with some crazy delicious dinner options that fit into this low-fat, no dairy, no gluten, no sugar box; that I actually want to make on a regular basis. 3) I also hope I start getting that burst of energy everyone told me would happen after I removed gluten from diet. ‘Cuz it has not been happening.

And the cons? I can’t eat cheese, drink wine, or have (gluten-free) pie. I know, I can’t believe I’m doing this either.

But lucky you, if you’ve been dying for some gf recipes and suggestions that are also totally good for you, I’ve got about two week’s worth coming your way. With one wicked Halloween sweet in between. I mean, come on! Who goes on a cleanse during Halloween???? We do, apparently.

How crazy is this?

82 thoughts on “The Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Fun-Free Diet

  1. Two words: sweet potatoes. They will save your sanity, swear to god. I’ve had to drop dairy AND sugar cane because it turns out I’m allergic to them both (being allergic to sugar feels like it is against both god and nature, seriously). Sweet potatoes saved me from losing my mind over the loss of sweet, and I used to hate the things! But a quick, fairly easy recipe for good ones: bake a sweet potato or two until fully cooked, get some orange juice, boil in a pot until it’s reduce to 1/3-1/2 the original volume. Mix the reduced juice into the sweet potatoes and then put it in a pie pan and bake it again until hot. Tastes sweet and tangy. Not sugar by a long shot, but it’s better than nothing.

    And if you can have honey? This stuff is AWESOME…and so expensive you cry when you buy it. (http://www.volcanoislandhoney.com/raw-organic-honey/ ) $17 or more for 8 freaking oz. But it has almost no honey taste; it’s more like oozing candy made from sugar. Seriously good stuff, especially for those without sugar. So you can deprive yourself and eat healthy and laugh at the same time. ;-D

    • I just gasped when I read that you’re allergic to sugar. GASPED. Oh lord, lady, I don’t know how you do it. I just want to shove my face into cheesy sugar right now.

      With that said, thanks for the tips! A nutritionist told me if I upped my sweet potato, carrot, squash intake the sugar cravings would diminish. So you’re right ON. And sugar honey? Yes, please.

    • I’m sugar, dairy and gluten free, but I can’t do sweet potatoes. They give me stomach aches every time. As a sweetener, I use Stevia. It’s not cheap but highly concentrated. If you use it you have to use a conversion chart since you don’t need as much as you would if it were regular sugar. Also, I’ve heard some good things about palm sugars, but I’m still researching it.

      • Stevia is cheap when you can buy it at Wal-Mart. Not the typical place that I look, but 180 servings (to go bottle) for $4.

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  7. I didn’t get that burst of energy either after being diagnosed as celiac! I mean, I do feel better, and I do have more energy I guess, but it wasn’t really the life changing miracle cure that everyone had promised!! Maybe I need to get rid of the sugar?!?! šŸ˜¦

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  9. I too am off sugar due to diabetes running in my family and I flat out REFUSE to get it! So, what to do? Stevia and xylitol. Yes you can bake with them, and not only are they plant “sugar”, there are no calories! If you have a sweet tooth, carry on, and still lose weight- add some exercise and enjoy even more.

    • Hi,

      Please don’t take my head off for saying this but, anyone that’s diabetic should stay as far away from high-glycemic foods as possible. Foods like sweet potatoes, bananas, etc. are high sugar foods. They are nothing but heavy starch and when eaten, the starches are quickly converted, in the gut, to simple and complex sugars. Eat a sweet potato? May as well eat 3 tablespoons of sugar.

      Believe me, I fully understand the desire to ‘eat whatever I want’ and it is TOTALLY unfair that we are left out of the food party. [I’m TRUE gluten, sugar, dairy, and soy, free]. But what’s more important?… a long life, free of sickness, to be enjoyed with the people we love [and some we don’t like to be around all that much but have to because they’re family šŸ™‚ or being a total slave to our taste-buds that are controlled by TBB?

      I have a theory, I call it: “The Baby Brain”
      Work with me here…
      We walk through life, living in a highly constructed illusion that we, while we’re awake, are in total and complete control of our bodies, our thoughts, the direction we’re walking, what we say and what we do. It’s a comforting thought to be in control of one’s destiny. But if our conscious mind, as opposed to our sub-conscious mind, is constantly fighting the “right-thing to do”, to eat healthy, [along with many other decisions we make every day] why is something we’re in control of fighting against what we believe to be the right thing to do?
      I believe it’s because, to a large extent, what is actually running the machine we call our bodies, is The Baby Brain. Like the Great Oz, it is the entity-behind-the-curtain, pulling the levers that our conscious brain seems unable to be truly aware of at all times, and in many cases, not as strong as TBB.
      Located within our sub-conscious, is that part of us that wants whatever it wants, whenever it wants it. It throws tantrums,[strong cravings for food, gambling, etc] it lies to our conscious self, [just this once, or just a little will be okay] and tries to fake us out when it benefits TBB.

      The way to fight that is to make yourself as aware as possible that TBB is there, that it thinks it is stronger, and more clever than your conscious self, and is always testing you. Like a child you told can’t have a cookie before dinner for the 12th time, and continues to badger you about that cookie until you give in to it. It’s the battle to show TBB that its methods, desires, and total and complete lack of empathy for the body that houses it, that it [TBB] will be subservient to what is best for the conscious self and the body.

      I completely understand that cravings, where food is concerned, often is biologically based. Example: Candida overgrowth with send strong signals to TBB saying, time to feed me more sugar. I’m just saying that since we can’t control the signals sent to TBB, we can however be made much more aware of the game TBB plays with our conscious self, and stand up to the challenge of dealing with this infant that ‘thinks’ it’s in the driver’s-seat.

      Once you understand where the ‘voices’ come from and that those cravings are coming from ‘a child without any pride of conviction’, coming from a 5 year old having a fit on the floor of the supermarket check-out-lane, coming from TBB that just made you eat half your child’s Halloween-candy booty. Then you can say, NO. I am in control, not TBB. Bit of advice, don’t say that out loud in public šŸ™‚ Then you can begin to truly be the master of your future, your health, your life.

      Best of health.

      • Thanks for your insightful comments.

        Since I’m not a diabetic, I was certainly not recommending these dishes to other diabetics. I hope it’s totally clear that I’m not a doctor, or a dietician, just a girl with a blog and an irritated small intestine.

      • Peveteaux- Sorry about that. I think I clicked ‘reply’ on the wrong comment. Great blog though. Thanks for getting the info out there šŸ™‚

  10. Hi, I am just starting out with trying to cook gluten free and sugar free but sort of lost in the process.

    What main ingredients would you advise that I buy, in regards to “gluten free flours” and substitutes for sugar?

    I have been seeing the Bob Mill’s flours, but don’t know what essentials I will need.


    • Hiya, good luck with this it’s a lot of trial and error. Personally, I’ve started using the all-purpose gluten-free flours. I like King Arthur’s for most things, but if I’m baking something a little bit more delicate I’ll use Cup4Cup or Better Batter. However, you can also use millet flour if you’re making a roux, or a small amount in cooking (not baking). I know other people love rice flours, chickpea flours, quinoa flours, but you should experiment and see what works for you.

      As for sugar, I’ve started using agave and honey to sweeten, and have been shocked by how great things taste. I’m also going to experiment with coconut sugar, but haven’t yet. If you grab some agave, you’ll be set.

      • Hi Pevetaux, I saw your post and just thought that I should mention; I have been sugar free off and on for a while now and I tried coconut sugar for a little over a month and loved the taste of it. However, besides being very expensive, I started to feel like something wasn’t right. I did some research on the foods I was eating and found that coconut sugar is difficult for many people to digest. Once I cut it out, I felt fine again. Mybe it will work for you, but keep a feeler out for it. Good luck in your endeavors!

    • Almond flour is gluten free. Any flour from any grain will contain gluten. Each type of grain has its own gliadin profile.

      The way companies ‘get away with’ calling grain flour ‘gluten free’ is by slight of hand due to the parameters of the regulations written by lobbyists and law-makers within the grain-based industry. The idea that only wheat, rye, oats, and barley contain gluten is completely absurd. Because it is the endosperm within all grain that contain gluten.

      Truth is, all grains contain their own type of gluten. A much more accurate method of gluten detection would be to stop calling it a “Gluten Free Diet” and call it “Grain Free Diet”. This would take the guesswork out of finding a flour to bake/cook with.

      For many people, as little as 20ppm [parts per million] of any gluten will start the fall back into sickness. If they eat beef raised on grain, drink milk from grain fed cows, eat chicken that are fed grain, they remain sick. They get angry because they ‘haven’t had a bite of grain’ and still remain sick.
      Try going TRUE gluten free. No grain, no products that are raised using grain. Pasture raised beef, bison, lamb, chicken is all gluten free. This is how I look at it: When I buy food, if it wasn’t available 500 years ago, I don’t eat it. Plus, no sugar(s), no dairy, no soy. It’s easier than it seems, it’s just not as varied as most people would like.

      Also, and just as important, NO GMOs EVER. GMOs [frankenfood] are extremely dangerous to your system and contain all sorts terrible proteins, DNA from bacterium [Bacillus thuringiensis] and genetically fused pesticides. Monsanto has seen fit to contaminate the world’s grain supply. Wheat, corn, and coming soon to apples, papaya, and more. Your FDA is in complete collusion with Monsanto. Obama has appointed at key posts, ex CEOs, ex lobbyists, and ex lawyers from Monsanto to run the FDA and many other health departments.

      In the end, we HAVE TO BE our own advocates. We must do the legwork.

      Best in health

      • I really liked your article! I am very sick and can’t a apt till June 19 eith a specialist. I can only eat rice and chicken broth. And bananas so far if I stick to it. I’m trying to figure out myself what my system will allow. It’s so hard not to eat. If you have any ideas on foods please let me know I really appreciate it. Boy that really makes sense if the animals had grain it’s not gluten free.

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  12. Heads up….Be careful with Agave…Most all nectar sold are heated——heated agave is extreemly high in fructose (4919 mg vs 442 mg glucose in one oz) Fructose promotes high blood cholesterol levels decreases insulin sensitivity (blood glucose levels may rise and cause serious health issues) and increases visceral adoposity *organ fat* (it gives a nice beer gut) can cause fatty liver disease and also may accellerate type 2 diabetes and raise blood pressure.

      • lol, I know how you feel. I am new to all this “change my ways” thing. I am learning leaps and bounds… don’t be discouraged! Just take the knowledge you acquire and put it to good use… There are so many things we can eat. The hard part is learning to cook all over again~
        Think about all the good that comes from knowing all this stuff, and how many others you can help in the process.

  13. Just creeping your blog looking for sweet posts I can use in our upcoming local celiac newsletter up in Edmonton, AB Canada. Any chance I can use this one? I’d have to make a few word changes to make it family-friendly (sadly), but I’d make sure to link the article back to the blog. šŸ™‚

  14. I am so confused- I havent been diagnosed with celiac, however i am seeing an acupuncture practioner, she is amazing- i suffer from migraines- she told me today after a few visits- no sugar no dairy no gluten- what in the world can i eat- can someone point me in the right direction on a basic food list or website ?

  15. I suffer from migraines as well. Start with a paleo diet. Go back to the basic. Clean eating, take out processed foods, gluten, dairy and sugar and see how you do. I did that…I was amazed at how my body responded, migraines went away, joint pain went away, and intestinal issues cleared up. Good luck.

  16. I need help.i cannot eat sugar,wheat,gluten,fruits,dairy because i get diarrhera and i dont like meat i eat a little fish i have been tested for celiac,crones disease i get cravings for sugar i hve been tested for diabetes all the tests that i have have returned negative and i im going through the menopause could someone please help????.

      • One good thing about paleo / Archevore: there’s some really delicious food that we were ‘supposed’ to give up but that turns out to be healthy: e.g. a nice juicy steak (or even full-fat hamburger), eggs, loads of butter, etc. So, no will power required on that front. Adding lots of good fat (e.g. butter & coconut oil) to baked goods improves flavor, so makes it easier to reduce the sugar.

        The big change is to stop thinking about these foods as “artery clogging” or “a heart attack waiting to happen”. These foods are also more filling, which helps displace less-good alternatives. The Archevore list breaks things down nicely into a set of steps — following even some is better than the “standard American diet” (“SAD”).

        Anyway, your blog has clearly struck a chord. It’s likely that even non-celiac’s would benefit from giving up gluten. Kudos for sharing.

  17. Hi,
    The only prtoblem I have is wobbly legs or ataxia. No pain or stomach problems, Is this still dairy and gluten intolrerence problem?

    • That’s awful. I don’t know about dairy, but gluten can certainly cause problems outside the stomach area in a big way. You’ve got to find a rheumatologist and explain what’s happening.

    • I’m pretty sure that (nearly?) all food sensitivities / allergies can cause problems that are completely unrelated to digestion: headache, rash, joint pain, and beyond.

      I know absolutely nothing about ataxia … but a quick Google search turns up a very interesting scientific paper in what appears to be a reputable journal: http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/126/3/685.full Among other interesting tidbits: “It has been estimated that for every one patient with coeliac disease who presents with gastrointestinal complaints, there are seven patients with coeliac disease who have no gastrointestinal symptoms (Fasano, 2001)”

      Good luck.


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  19. Hi…I am Celiac….and I find if I eat a lot of sugar or any for that matter, it is like poisoning myself….so stay away as much as possible….not worth it….also to the person who says they can’t eat anything because of diarehea……sounds to me she has a bad bad case of yeast build up in her body….it is all encompassing, these feelings and these allergies….yeast is the first problem….then, the intolerances begin with the others…..good doctor in birmingham, alabama, of all places that can get you on the right track if you are interested….Matthew Parker, Heritage Family Medicine…he has helped me so much…..thanks for listening….Felicia

  20. I have been on the Lady Soma Detox 3 times in the past year and have experience exceptional results each time! I feel so clean internally afterwards, plus I have higher levels of energy and clarity of thought. The 7 days of cleansing is intense but the results are worth the effort!

    I am very careful to drink plenty of purified water (8 – 10 cups) each day during and after the cleanse. I really love how I feel during and after the detox – it’s amazing!!

  21. My health went downhill slowly, but snow balled recently. My liver enzymes were 222, normal range is 0-31, my immune levels very low where they wzntef me to have a blood transfusion, I refused.
    My celiac panels came back 44, moderate to severe is 20-30. I have been gluten free for 3 months, just hate the sugar.

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  25. I feel for you, I’m gluten wheat and starch intolerant, and am waiting hydrogen tests for fructose and lactose, and the others (can’t do soy or chickpeas etc) I keep eating the wrong thing because the lists are so conflicting but OMG I can’t eat ANYTHING nice šŸ˜¦ LOL. I am truly stuck, everything says do gluten free but it’s padded out with starch so gluten free has the same effect as potatoes, muffins, bread etc. I’m hopeful that a dietician can help me, and if you have any suggestions on what I can snack on then don’t hold back šŸ™‚ Any guidance would be gratefully accepted.

    • Oh lordy, Debs. I think the Whole 30 Diet is for you. Have you seen that book “It Starts With Food”? That’s a good place to go first, and I have a few Whole 30 recipes on my site as well. UGH. So sorry.

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  47. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am 55 years young and was diagnosed with celiac in 1964! Sounds old lol ! I still suffer with symptoms over the years of trying to stay gluten free. Growing up in a world of not having anything bought but mom cooking everything for me all by hand with what she could buy. Difficult for her to be sure.
    With our knowledge today , ability to get information and to be able to buy everything gluten free & pre made I wonder if my age is creating more health problems or if my celiac isn’t under control completely. I am not much of a cook or a baker. So I tend to buy convienient foods.
    How do you feel about this scenario – 1 family member is celiac the rest of the family isn’t. Should the whole family be eating gluten free at home only?
    I recently heard that if the house isn’t gluten free the. The celiac patient isn’t either. True?

    • That’s a great question, Debora. And I can’t believe you were diagnosed in 1964!!!! You were one of the few that had a doctor knowledgeable enough to take care of you at that time. So crazy.
      It is important to keep a clean gluten-free kitchen if you have a celiac family member. Someone has to be incredibly diligent for that to work if you ever bring in gluten for other family members, however. As the resident cook and celiac, I keep our kitchen about 98% gluten-free. The kids love farfalle pasta for some reason, so occasionally I buy that for them and we have one pot to cook anything in it that has gluten. It is cleaned separately and my husband takes that job on (also one strainer that is for gluten pasta only). When we have bagels they are gluten-free unless my husband has gone out to buy the kids and himself a bagel they’re eating right away. Again, keeping things clean, separate and controlled is the key here. While I would be happy to have a 100% gluten-free household, I have no problem with keeping up with the tiny bits of gluten that make their way into my home. And yes, even though I’m gluten-free I have symptoms quite a bit simply because I dine out and can’t control the kitchen no matter how many questions I ask. We’re only 100% safe if we have zero gluten in our homes and never eat outside of our homes. I, however, don’t think that’s any way to live. Good luck!!!!!! And thanks for weighing in.

  48. I need ideas for recipes that are both gluten and dairy free and great to serve at birthday parties. And it’s because I have a special needs friend that has celiac disease and he can’t have anything with dairy in it at all. And all his parents ever feed him are 2 slices of Sunbeam bread toasted, a banana chopped, sometimes gluten free cookies. And a handful of Lay’s Classical Potato Chips with real Hellman’s mayonnaise. And a small kids’ size sippy cup with a little bit of both water and apple juice or just water in it. PLEASE HELP I NEED ADVICE.

    • Hi Faith, I’m actually working on a book right now that tackles food for kids (lunches, parties, etc.) that covers the 8 main allergens (gluten and dairy are of course part of that). I’ll be doing a lot of research and recipe testing coming up so please stay tuned!

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