Why Me?: Gluten Free

One of my very best friends from college, Katy,  just recently celebrated the first year anniversary of being Gluten Free. She, much like myself, is a regular blogger, however, she posts on a regular basis about how she manages her GF lifestyle on a budget and in the south where gluten is crawling in every delicious meal that we prepare and beer that we drink.


You can follow her here, and you can check out what she’s all about in the rest of this post!

Hello, my name is Katy, and I am gluten-free.

But really. Kristin asked me to spotlight today, and I’m beyond excited to share my gluten-free journey with her readers.

Kristin and I met (and fell in lurve) at Clemson, and have been BFF’s ever since. Even though I’m biologically a year older, she inspires and motivates me every day. We worked flawlessly together in college, and that teamwork has translated to real life. She’s my go-to girl for everything from design critic to drinking buddy to life coach. I’m beyond proud of her and all of her accomplishments, but I’m mostly proud of her ability to stay true to herself, her interests, and her goals in a world of noise and too many opinions.

It was, in fact, Kristin that inspired me to start a blog about how I manage my 20-something, fast paced, budget friendly gluten-free life.

In a nutshell, being gluten-free means that I do not consume any products containing: wheat, rye, oats, or barley. For the most part, its that simple. Read more about how I came into being gluten-free here, but long story short, after years of digestive discomfort, my doctor and I came to the conclusion that gluten was the probable culprit. I’ve been gluten-free for a little over a year now, and it has really changed my life. I feel great, and have no plans on returning to gluten.

When I initially started this thing, I had no idea what to eat, especially when eating out. After lots of research online, in bookstores, and trial and error, I pretty much figured out what worked for me and what didn’t. I noticed that there are tons of gluten-free blogs out there, but I didn’t see one that complimented my lifestyle, so I decided to start my own.

The whole premise behind my blog is in the title: “Why me? The easy, cop-out, short-cut way to be gluten-free”.

  1. First of all, I’m lazy, and I hate cooking. Kristin used to make me dinner often in college. I tried to help, but it was usually me messing things up, and her telling me to go away. Ha! So I needed to find some simple gf recipes if I was going to make an honest go at this thing.
  2. I’m a just-starting-out 23 year old who is on a tight budget, so I need recipes that call for minimal, cheap ingredients.
  3. While I am lazy and cheap, I’m also a bit of a foodie, so I want to eat well, and that means healthy but also it also means yummy.

Here are some of my favorite gluten-free staples from my blog.

Dinner: Teaspoon Tenderloin 

Side dish: Quinoa

Snacks: Chips & Salsa
 

Dessert: Bobby Kennedy Pie
 

Drinks: can’t pick a favorite.
 

Anyway, check out my blog for further gluten-free advice, Atlanta excitement, and a chuckle or two.

Here are some quick FAQ’s featured on my blog last week…

What do you eat for lunches?
Nope, I don’t eat sandwiches, you’re right. During the week, I try my best to bring dinner leftovers from home. Thanks to our handy dandy Google doc meal plan, this usually works out. When it doesn’t, I go grab a quick bite to eat at some gluten-friendly establishment near my office. My faves are Whole Foods, Chipotle, and Farm Burger.


What do you do for dinners?
Meal planning. It’s probably the best thing we’ve started doing, not only my dietary needs, but also for our wallets. Every Monday, we plan out each dinner for that week by scouring Pinterest and the weekly ad at Kroger. We plan for things that have ingredients that are gluten-free, and also happen to be on sale. We also take into account what we already have at home. No food-wasting here! A typical weekly meal plan looks like this:

Aren’t gluten-free products expensive? How do you afford it?
Yes, they are, and no, I don’t. For the most part, I stick with naturally gluten-free things like rice, corn, quinoa, fruits & veggies, meat, etc. We buy the fresh stuff mostly. It really doesn’t cost that much more (especially when its on sale), and we avoid the preservatives and overly processed nonsense. As far as snacks go, I really love these.

What do you miss the most?
Pizza and beer. Boom. I love(d) pizza, but I will say that we’ve found a few great gf pizza places in Atlanta, like Camellis and Do. Mellow Mushroom’s gluten-free crust isn’t bad either. I also miss fast food, but strictly due to the convenience of being able to eat on the road.

Do you ever cheat?
Not intentionally. It’s not worth it, believe me. I’ll try bites of things, or sips of things, but never more than that. It’s not as hard as it seems, I promise.

How do you go out to eat?
I really hate being a burden when I go out to eat, so I try to be as flexible as possible. I can pretty much find something anywhere. After a year, I’ve gotten really good at it. I can decode a menu pretty well. And I will say that when dinner is up to me, I frequent places that I know have gluten-free menus. No thinking required. Also, I can always count on Mexican places to have plenty of options for me. We eat a LOT of Mexican.

There you have it. How I do it in a lazy nutshell.
Thanks Kristin, for being who you are, and inspiring me to do the same. xo

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