Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Favorite Gluten-Free Bread...

I know, I know. It has been forever ago since I have updated this blog--between school, Simply Bellezza, moving, and church, I've come to find myself busier than I could have imagined.

So, if you are a follower who is not familiar with my more personal blog or my more personal YouTube channel, Emalyce89, then you have missed out on what this year has meant for me. I started off the New Year by attempting the ever-so-popular resolution to lose weight--a desired total of 75 pounds lost this year. I am down approximately 30 or so pounds and did so by beginning the first 35 days or so of the year with a book called The 17 Day Diet, by Dr. Mike Moreno. I won't go much into details about the diet or specifically how it works, but I will say that one of the big changes is to NOT eat any wheat products for the first two cycles (a total of 34 days). In the first month, I dropped a significant amount of weight and have since felt amazingly well. However, upon reintroducing wheat into my diet, I felt nauseated and bloated, in addition to actually gaining weight for the first time in the 2012 weight loss endeavors. Not good.

I noticed that whenever I ate any wheat products, I had these types of digestive symptoms; however, when I didn't eat wheat, I didn't have any digestive issues whatsoever. I linked that to gluten. I haven't been formally diagnosed with gluten-sensitivity, but I do notice an enormous difference. My mom was diagnosed with gluten intolerance (not Celiac's though) nearly six months ago. She had gone through her regularly scheduled colonoscopy to be told that she had numerous amounts of polyps forming throughout her colon. She has had digestive problems for years, including nearly fatal bacterial infections that started from inside her colon. Her doctor attributes these issues to gluten-sensitivity.

Since she and I have similar symptoms regarding gluten, I have come to the conclusion that I need to back off the wheat products and opt for products that are gluten-free and won't upset my sensitive tummy. So how to do that and where to begin?

Well, let's first talk about what gluten is.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains (such as barley), giving it the elasticity and chewiness that you would notice in a slice of white bread. For example, gluten is what gives breads the ability to rise since it holds gases that expand when reacting with yeast. Just as an added tidbit, gluten is not soluble in water, that is, it doesn't dissolve in it. I like to think of this as an oil and water solution--they just don't mix. Gluten will float out and off a ball of dough consisting of wheat flour. Pretty interesting, right?

So I wanted to share with you my latest and yummiest gluten-free discovery. It's pretty popular now, but either way, I think I'll share it with you.

If you are a sandwich lover like me, giving up bread sounds like being cursed to embrace salads for lunch ALL the time! Not true. There are a few different brands that carry gluten-free bread; it becomes more difficult finding one that actually tastes good without being as hard as cardboard.

My solution: Udi's White Sandwich bread.
Simple. Fluffy. Yummy.
It doesn't gum up at the top of your mouth either, which is the best part! (Especially if you are an avid eater of PB&B (that's peanut butter and banana) like I am!) The serving size is two slices (which is 140 calories). Their slices are about 3/4 the size of regular sandwich bread, which is fine as a dieter, being the perfect size for me, but for anyone else who wants to experience a fuller, larger sandwich, this will be a slight problem for you.  The rest of the pertinent dietary information: 3g of sugar, 22g carbs, 3g protein, 1 g fiber. It does contain eggs, so if you are vegan, this is not for you either.

Price: According to the Udi's website, it is $5/loaf; however, depending on where you purchase your groceries, it may be less. I bought mine at Fred Meyer for about $4.50.

I hope this helps you and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below! I'll get back to you when I can!

Having a nummy day,