Makin’ it Work

All I wanna do is sit on my butt.  Seriously.

I work at the local cupcake store (that will be my only shameless advertisement, I promise.) and every single time, it never fails to drain me.  To make it even better, of course my busiest work days always fall in line with the days I have the most homework.  Funny how that works out, right?

I’m on my feet running back and forth, back and forth, kitchen to the counter, counter to kitchen, etc., etc., etc.  By the time I’m done at 7:30 I’m ready to call it quits.  I’m also starving…after smelling, making, and looking at cupcakes all night.  Who would complain, though?

Either way, once I plop down in my room, all I want is food.  Fast.  Here was my dinner of choice tonight:

Mmmmmm…potatoes.  I love anything having to do with a potato.  Why?  Couldn’t tell ya.  Broccoli, though? Eh, I could do without.  Smother it in a thick (flour-free), cheesy sauce and it’s got my name written all over it.  I was so, so SO happy to find another frozen thing I could pop in the microwave.  This thing isn’t the most amazing thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, but I’m not complaining.  It gets the job done.  (It’s on sale a lot, too ;))

I’d call that a success.

Doesn’t say gluten-free? Look again.

One of the most important things I learned was that even if a product isn’t plastered with the words “Gluten-Free!” it doesn’t mean that it absolutely is not.  Unfortunately, I didn’t learn this for a while.  Since gluten isn’t one of the top 8 allergens, it isn’t listed at the end of the ingredients list.  Wheat is, which automatically rules things out.  But of course, things have to be made even more difficult.  Isn’t that always how it works?  Even when wheat isn’t listed at the end, sometimes barley, malt or rye can be hiding there, so don’t be fooled.

But, if you take the time to read every single ingredient, you can find some great things that you never knew were normally gluten-free.  My grocery trips went from an hour to an hour and a half once I started eating gluten-free just because of all of those labels!  It definitely goes faster once you can recognize right away what’s you can and can’t eat.

So, here is my list of things that aren’t marked gluten-free, or they are but you never would have thought to look at them. 🙂

DISCLAIMER: Some of the items I post may contain oats!  My doctor approved me eating oats, but some people aren’t.  So if you’re not sure if oats are good for you, ask your doctor to see if you’re recovered enough to start adding oats back in to your diet!

Here is one of my favorite new things to eat for breakfast:

Living on campus makes eating breakfast a very complicated task.  Well, I suppose I could wake up early enough to eat breakfast in the cafeteria, but that’s not really a logical option in my mind…add in the fact that it must be gluten-free and it’s a bit of a handful.  So, a couple weeks ago as I was perusing the cereal aisle, I found this guy!  All you need is this box and some milk.  You can even bring it along with you.  I like that.  I read the ingredient list and all it really is is milk, inulin (fiber), cocoa and lots of different nutrients.  Tons of potassium, protein and fiber.  It’s like a dream come true for a college student.  Just make sure when you’re looking in stores that you do not buy the Malted Milk variety.  Obviously, malt is not gluten-free.  One more variety you can’t buy (I promise it’s just one) are the pre-made versions.  For some reason (why!?) they include barley in these.  But don’t worry, you can still choose from plenty other kinds. 🙂  Also, the Carnation website isn’t updated and it lists wheat starch at the end of all of the powder mixes.  On the box I have, wheat starch is no longer listed in the ingredients.  So, drink up!

Here’s another thing I am so, so, SO glad I found:

This is an amazingly delicious, simple frozen meal.  I almost jumped up and down with joy when I found this beauty.  (The way to find new things is honestly just to spend forever in the grocery store reading the backs of things to see if it’s gluten-free. Sad, but true.)  On the nights that I work at my local cupcake store, I get back too late for dinner so I really need something quick (because I’m starving after work) and yummy.  All it takes is a couple of minutes in the microwave and you get a nice, easy beef and potatoes meal with an AMAZINGLY (I know, I said it again, but it’s the best word I can think of) yummy sauce.  A plus is that it’s only 220 calories.  It’s not loaded with sodium like lots of other prepackaged things.  I really recommend giving this one a try.  Here’s the ingredient list if you want to make sure 😉

 I have a few more things I like to eat that aren’t listed as gluten-free, but I’ll save those for another time. 🙂