My gluten free journey

I have been gluten free for almost 20 years. I think I was 19 when I cut it out. Back then we had nothing except for rice cakes, not even nice rice cakes, pretty much circle shaped air. There was also very little information out there about what it meant to be gluten free and how to live with it. We did it though and it has become a way of life for me and ideally I would like to make it a way of life for my family.

I am sure you are wondering how we decided to cut it out? My mom started seeing a homeopath to deal with a few issues she was having, and had been having for years and it was the homeopath who suggested my mom get tested. I think possibly also my brother. When my mom decided to cut it out, I followed suit even though I was never officially tested. I lost 10kg in the first few months of cutting gluten out. I was a student at the time so I wasn’t diet but simply by eliminating gluten I lost weight.

Once you do the initial detox, there is really no point going back. If I would have a slice of bread I would feel it almost immediately. It was just not worth it for me. One year became two which has become 20. I tried to keep each child off gluten for the first year of their life and then slowly introduce it. The homeopath I was seeing many years ago suggested we do this. It worked for most of the kids except Kiara who did react to both gluten and dairy. She still doesn’t really eat bread and never drinks milk. I think our bodies know what it is we need even when we aren’t listening.

Wheat was one of the foods that Cameron is apparently allergic to. We have started slowly cutting it down. Last week we had a bad week and he ended up having pasta and pizza and by Friday he had this constant cough and was feeling horrible. So we are back on track this week and I am back to baking bread daily and making gluten free pasta for him. 

I know there are many of you out there thinking “but people have been eating bread for years, why is it in an issue now”.

Well I don’t actually think the bread is the issue but rather the ingredients of the bread.

Bread is basically flour, water, oil and yeast right?

Have a look at the loaf of bread in your bread bin – what is in that loaf of bread? Is it just flour, oil, water and yeast?

Then have a look at the flour in your cupboard? If it is wheat flour, is it made from only wheat? Probably not, in fact I guarentee it is not.

THAT is the problem.

There are so many other things that are added to our breads, pastas and flours which is what we are reacting to. I am almost certain if I grow wheat in my back garden and make flour, I will eat it without any issues! In fact a few weeks I had made a loaf of gluten free bread and a loaf of gluten bread but using the Eureka Mills flour. I accidentally had a slice of the wrong bread – they looked the same and I was exhausted. I had a very mild reaction. David believes it is because I am talking nonsense but I believe it is because the Eureka Mills flour is a lot more organic that most other flours out there. 

The solution is not to never have bread ever again, it is to rather change your diet to include more organic products. That is what this whole series is about. It is about sharing my journey about trying to get my family to eat more organically while we manage Cameron’s allergies naturally without medication. He has been off all medication for about 3 weeks now and is absolutely fine. We have not had a reaction of any kind. Apart from the cough last week he has been fine!

To start this process off, like I mentioned above I am making our own bread. I have been doing it since I won the bread maker a few weeks ago. I am only using the Eureka Mills flour and have stopped buying bread all together. I am also trying as far as I can to limit the amount of gluten we eat as a family. It is not easy for a few reasons – firstly Jack and Kiara could live off pasta which brings us to the second challenge – gluten free products are not cheap! It is a work in progress but I shall get there. Small steps right?Gluten Free Bread|HarassedMom

A few of you have asked me for my gluten free bread recipe in the bread maker. Gluten free bread is still a bit of a mystery for me but the bread maker actually gets it better than manually make it. I do use a mix though because it is nicer and easier to make. 

My favourite one at the moment is the Natures Source Crusty 4 Flour mix that you can get at Dischem or the larger PnP Hypers.

I don’t mix it as per the pack instructions because they are for manually baking. I simple add 3 eggs, 1 cup of water, 2tbsp oil and a packet of yeast. Add the wet ingredients first and then the dry ingredients, ending with the yeast.

My bread maker has a gluten free setting so I just use that and it comes out perfectly.

Who else is gluten free or has kids who are allergic? I would love to hear what recipes work for you!

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