Gluten-Free Favorites

For the entire year of 2018, I consumed less gluten but I didn't understand that what I needed to be doing was eating ZERO gluten for my Hashimoto's symptoms to be alleviated. I mostly didn't want to be a nuisance to my friends and family at meals. And I was going to Paris! Croissants! Baguettes! It wasn't until I got really sick around the holidays that I realized I needed to do some more research on my symptoms. My new year's resolution for 2019 was to fully commit to going gluten-free and I couldn't even commit. I went to NYC and had Ess-a-bagels a month into the year. I re-committed around March and felt the intense brain fog I had been experiencing lift like a hangover cure about three weeks later. This experience in itself prompted me to stay gluten-free since that time and I have only ever had gluten on purpose one time that I know of (Din-Tai-Fung in Sydney, Australia), though I'm sure I have had it on accident.

Finding good gluten-free options can be a challenge as although being labeled as gluten-free, it can often lead to a stomach ache or the taste just being completely off. Here are a few of my favorite gluten-free finds in and around Orange County that satisfy my tastebuds.

Pizza: I haven't found a dough my stomach agrees with to bake them at home, but Tidepools in Newport Beach, CA left me daydreaming over their Single Fin Pesto pizza (pictured above).

Burger: Shake Shack! I just discovered the closest one to me is in Long Beach, CA I ate my weight in shake shack burgers this summer in NYC after discovering that they had a gluten-free bun. While other burger joints may have a lettuce wrap option, their bun delivers the authentic cheeseburger experience I'm looking for.

Pasta: My go-to meal to cook at home these days is Cacao Y Pepe with gluten-free spaghetti, parmesan, black pepper, basil-infused olive oil, and salt. The Barilla gluten-free spaghetti cooks up nicely and has the perfect texture and taste.

Bread: Trader Joe's Multigrain Brown Rice Bread when toasted has the perfect texture. It's a bit chewy, which I like and it's perfect for avocado toast and tuna melts!

Soy Sauce: While I have a gluten-free version of soy sauce in the fridge, I actually prefer Trader Joe's Coconut Amino's as a substitute. Last week I brought the bottle with me to the Sushi restaurant I ate at (outside) and forgot to grab it when I left. The waitress found me in the parking lot to deliver it back to me! Good thing I had stopped to chat with my lunchmate for a few minutes before leaving.

Beer: Glutenburg! Based in Montreal, Canada, this gluten-free beer is found at Bevmo and their blonde ale is my go-to when I'm craving a beer. I miss being able to go to breweries and try their various types of beers. Usually, I tag along and hope they have a cider on tap. According to their website "the microbrewery enjoyed its very first international success at the 2012 World Beer Cup, where Glutenberg beers won all three medals in the “Gluten-Free Beer” category at the world’s most prestigious brewing competition." (beer image source)

Yes, I still miss croissants and bauguettes and don't regret devouring them in Paris, but finding good gluten-free alternatives has been good for my soul. Comfort food is real and sometimes a beer with your tacos just hits better!

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