A Food Reunion: My Big Fat Gluten-Filled Week

carpe diem food

I’m drinking the day and eating the pizza.

Because I am having a bit of a carpe diem moment this week.  My doctor ordered me to eat gluten to prepare for a test.

So, for the last week, I’ve been busy with some serious cramming.

And it’s been a dizzying sort of delish, the kind that begins with pizza and well, will probably end with pizza.  Because you can’t have a serious study session without pizza.

pizza crust not gluten free_opt

Gluten-free pizza cannot compete with this crust.


After more than a year of eating gluten-free, I’m having quite the food reunion.

Meet the star of Thanksgiving 2010.

vegan sausage stuffing_opt

My old friend, stuffing.


And her distant, but sweet cousin pie showed up too.


I was so touched when my Pinterest food boards made an appearance at the reunion.  After all, I haven’t known them that long.   It was comforting to see them get along so well with my dear friend the bakery case.


The bakery case, shimmering like a mirage. 


In the corner (of the freezer) I found the last cupcake from my daughter’s birthday last month.  What a treat!

cookie cupcake_opt


Cupcake with a cookie dough center.


I met delightful strangers . . .


Pumpkin whoopie pie 

And pals that always got me in trouble when we hung out. . .

pumpkin scone_opt

Frosting with a little scone.


And no get together would be complete without a few partypoopers. They always show up, right?

 grilled tofu salad_opt

Don’t worry, I ate ’em.


My closest friend, warm crusty bread was there.  I can’t seem to find any photographs, though.  Couldn’t stay still long enough, I suppose.

But believe me, we had plenty of face time.

Good thing, because my gluten party is almost over.  Will you pass me a napkin?  I’ve got a date with exercise.

Just as soon as I emerge from my carb coma.


What food is the star at your party?  

Tell me in the comments! I have three more gluten days to go and I might’ve missed something (it’s possible). 🙂






65 thoughts on “A Food Reunion: My Big Fat Gluten-Filled Week

  1. I have been gluten-free for several years now — well, longer than that. Since 2008. Wow. Long time. I made a doctor-reccomended switch after a bad,bad, bad illness.
    So your post kinda made me break out in a cold sweat. Because even if a doctor told me to eat gluten — I couldn’t do it. I can’t even use the lipsticks that have gluten in it.
    Back in 2008, there weren’t many gluten-free options. Most of the GF foods tasted like sawdust. But just yesterday I had a yummy cupcake. So I’m good gluten-free.
    Most of the time.


    1. So many people have issues with gluten. It’s crazy! I’m glad you figured it out Beth. And you’re right, there are some great gluten free cupcakes. The pizza is the only thing I really miss. 🙂


    2. I’m with you Beth. Even if I was told to eat gluten I wouldn’t. I don’t allow it to touch my hair, skin, teeth or eyelashes…LOL

      I’m that fussy but it’s worth it to keep my skin almost perfect.


    1. I had a sip of Guinness yesterday. My husband nudged me too. 🙂 I’ve never been much of a beer drinker (unless you saw me in college ha ha). The impact of gluten for me seems to be a cumulative thing, so I’m sort of okay. I’m a little nervous that I’m going to feel sick before the time period is up, but so far so good.
      Thanks Jennette!


  2. I personally can’t imagine a world without bread, so I have huge admiration for GF folks. What kind of test required you to go back to eating it? Seems kind of mean – like asking an alcoholic to take a drink as a “test.”


    1. The test is a biopsy of the small intestine. Initially my doctor said the test wasn’t necessary since the treatment is the same whether I am gluten sensitive or have celiac disease. But because of other stomach oddities my gastro doc is doing an endoscopy and said he’d take a snip since he’s in there. But he said I’d have to eat gluten, otherwise it might not be accurate. Luckily my response to gluten is not severe, not in the short term anyway, so I smiled when he said that.


  3. Coleen, I love it! This food post was amazing. I think I licked my computer screen. I’m a sucker for those pastries in the coffee shop! I think the real star of my dinner tables though is always cheese! I love cheese! In every form, flavor and even all by itself. Yum. I could write an homage to that fromage! Is that right? I don’t know but it sounds delectable! LOL


  4. That would be like a week in heaven for me, though I still cheat way too regularly….because gluten-free bread products SUCK. I’ve switched from Udi’s to Schar breads, and Schar is much better…but there’s still that hint of eggy texture, which I just hate (along with all the rest of what makes GF bread products SUCK).

    Okay,I’ll stop complaining about GF breads, but you’re right, whatever they have to offer can’t come close to comparing with ‘real’ pizza crust. However… I did find that Pamela’s bread mix comes in closer than anything I’ve tried so far. It’s a hair on the sweet side though, so it won’t work for mozzarella bread sticks (apparently it makes a great pie crust though). Gluten-Free Pantry is next on the experiment list.

    What goes on my list when I can’t stand it anymore and NEED gluten? Flour tortillas. A wet burrito, with just a little butter…I not picky. I just love flour tortillas.

    I try not to eat a whole lot of it though. I’m learning that gluten causes edema for me, meaning swollen feet and ankles and, surprisingly enough…when that happens, I tend to get out of breath easily (my doctor says that’s a symptom of edema). So mostly I try to be good…but sometimes… You just have to have real bread products. Because GF bread products SUCK.

    Okay, so I wasn’t done… 🙂


    1. I hear you Kristy! It’s trial and error finding GF products that you like. I think I have Udi’s brand rolls in my freezer. They are ok, but only if heated until soft–and then I have about a 2 minute window to eat before it turns into a hard sponge. 🙂 I don’t think I’ve seen Schar brand, I will keep an eye out for that. Thanks Kristy 🙂


  5. So glad you got to enjoy some pizza! I am more of a sweets person; hope you made some room for a really good iced brownie!!! yummmmm


  6. I doubt I could eat gluten free. For about 20 years I avoided as much fat in my diet as I could due to high cholesterol, no meat, dairy, eggs, and on and on. Nowadays I eat no red meat, nor fowl. And that’s only because of the lack of humane and sanitary conditions of the breeding pens and slaughter houses. But no gluten? No way!


    1. I am with you on the meat thing. I ate vegan for a couple of years. Now I’m vegetarian for the most part. Mostly I don’t like the idea of meat or the texture. The most difficult part of being GF is traveling–especially when you want to eat whatever the area is famous for. But even in Israel, I found a GF falafel and pita shop. :).


  7. Wow,those are some yummy photos!

    Oh yeah, those pesky carbs. I’m supposed to be on a low-carb diet because of a family history of diabetes. But it’s sooo difficult! Without a doubt, I have to have a pizza fix weekly. And I especially love homemade sweets. If I have the choice between purchasing a box of cookies or a bakery cake from the grocery story or making my own dessert? Oh ho ho, I will go to the trouble to make and bake pudding cakes, chocolate-chip cookies, tirimisu, pumpkin cheesecake, grasshopper pie, mississippi mud pie, frosted fudge brownies…

    My stomach thanks you for this post. 🙂


  8. You are so adorable, Coleen. I love the way you personified foods. That Pinterest board appearance remark made me grin! 🙂 (See??? ;))

    Most of my favorite foods really are healthy, whole foods nowadays. That said, chocolate is one of my gotta-haves. As far as gluten is concerned, if I couldn’t eat it then was instructed to, I’d probably eat some hearty whole grain French toast with pure maple syrup and blueberries. Delish!

    I hope everything pans out well for you, friend, nutrition and everything-wise!


    1. Thanks August!
      I am with you on the whole grains. When I bake I always modify a recipe to add in oats or brown rice flour. Plus, I shave off a few tablespoons of the oil (I like to use coconut or earth balance) and replace it with unsweetened apple sauce, pumpkin or some other puree. Almost every time I tried something store bought this week, I felt like I could taste the additives. I think our tastes adapt to cleaner eating–and it’s hard to go back. A good thing! 🙂


  9. Wow. I saw a lot of yummy things I don’t eat anymore. But for a completely different reason. It makes my tummy poochy. But my weakness was always sourdough bread. Oh how I love it. Yum. That and Marie Calendar’s corn bread. But alas, Marie’s is all gone. So sad. Are you going to get the scope in the intestine test? Are they checking you for celiac?


    1. My family loves sourdough bread. My husband kept telling me this week, you’ve got to eat some! 🙂
      Yes, I’m having an endoscopy. Dr is checking for other stomach weirdness, but he said he will do the celiac biopsy while he’s in there. 🙂


  10. Warm crusty bread is my closest friend, too. While I could live without the sweet stuff, if I were supposed to consume gluten and didn’t have to worry about calories, I’d down homemade chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, and brownies.

    Good luck with the test and the endoscopy, Coleen.


    1. Warm crusty bread sure gets around. 🙂 Homemade cookies rock. They remind me of my mom and after school. Oh and I forgot to mention I made oatmeal scotchies this week too.
      Thanks Pat!


  11. Ha! I can’t imagine going gluten-free. I LOVE bread. One of my favorite parts of visiting Mexico was trips to the fresh bakeries. I love me some empanadas! And now that I thought of it…tortillas…and sopapillas…and chips and salsa. Yeah, just take me to a Tex-Mex restaurant and I can have a glutton gluten feast. LOL.


  12. Hey Coleen,

    Your post is timely. Just got back from my training session. The trainer told me to avoid all grains and dairy for a week. I’m careful with carbs but the idea of no sourdough makes me crazy. I love to bake. I’ll sample but give most of it away. It’s the process I enjoy.

    Enjoy your gluten. Best of luck with the test.


    1. Giving it away is a great idea. I think the people at my husband’s office might love me or hate me–depending on whether or not they just finished at the gym! 🙂
      Good luck with the new food regimen Jennifer!


  13. Get yourself some potato chips right this very second! Go now! Hurry! The kettle cooked are the best!

    Potato chips – food of the Gods!!

    Oh – and French fries! Curly seasoned fries are my favorite.

    French fires – food of the Gods!!

    Oh – and ice cream. You’ve gotta have some ice cream.

    Ice Cream – food of the Gods!!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


  14. Gluten, oh how we love our gluten rich foods. I’ve been considering giving them up, not because the make me sick but I think I’d like to see if I felt even better without them. The brain — and the body — can use all the help we can give them.


    1. I agree Sheila! I feel better overall when I’m eating a little cleaner. A lot of the time the “fun” foods are about nostalgia. But a stomach ache or food hangover is usually not worth the indulgence. Usually. 😉
      Thanks Sheila.


  15. See, now I wouldn’t have even known potato chips were off limits – where’s the gluten in a potato? I’m filled with admiration for anyone who can be gluten free. I seriously don’t think I could do it (although I suppose you can amaze yourself with what you can do if it makes you feel better.) I’d have to go with recommending every kind of delicious, crusty bread, and also bagels (especially raisin or pumpernickel raisin!) – gather ye rosebuds and all that 🙂


    1. Most chips are fine. However french fries are usually not, because they are fried next to things like gluten coated mozzarella sticks.
      I have to say the eating gluten thing was really only fun for the first couple of days. I guess it takes a little abandon to make me want my routine back! Kinda like looking forward to going home after a vacation.
      Still crusty bread will always have a place in my heart. 🙂
      Thanks Susanna!


  16. Coleen, didn’t this make you sick? I’d be on the floor with migraines and abdominal cramps. They can’t test for Celiacs unless you’re eating gluten – or so I’ve heard – so I’ve bypassed the testing entirely.

    What are you eating gluten for? I kept looking for the test in your post, but it’s mysteriously missing. 🙂


    1. Hey Jenny, For me gluten intolerance seems to be a cumulative issue–and possibly related to my neuro problems. Some studies show that gluten can be a neuro toxin for some people. I’m not having bad side effects, but I have to admit I’m not enjoying the gluten as much as I was the first few days! Anyway I’m having an endoscopy for other reasons and dr said he could do the celiac biopsy while he’s in there. So I had to eat gluten, but he left it up to me. I’d really like to know if my small fiber neuropathy is celiac related so that’s why I’m doing this. 🙂 Right now my SFN is idiopathic which means it could be progressive until we figure out what’s causing it. It’s all a big puzzle. The pizza was a small, temporary silver lining. 🙂
      Thanks Jenny!


  17. Wow. I don’t have to avoid gluten, but I am carb addicted. Someone telling me I can’t have it brings out the two year old in me and I HAVE to have it. :/ Warm chocolate chip cookies are my downfall right now, but it could be any of the above mentioned foods. Oh, and pasta! Yum. Okay. That’s enough. I just ate! I am NOT hungry . . . I am not hungry . . . i am not . .. .


  18. Looking at all those pictures might have been a mistake. Now I’m drooling. At least my husband has chosen pizza for this birthday dinner later this week, so I have that to look forward to. I hope you let us know how the tests turn out.


  19. Generally I am disciplined about eating, except when it comes to Veggie Biriyani. The fact that it is Veggie may sound vaguely comforting, but because the dish is usually like 90% basmati rice and thus a massive carb/starch overload, it is a decidedly cold comfort. I try to limit myself to one Veggie Biriyani from my local Indian restaurant per week, but this week I rewarded myself for getting some recording done on Tuesday and today I’m, well, rewarding myself again.


    1. I know what you mean about some of those veggie dishes! There’s one I love at a Thai place, but I’m sure the coconut milk in it makes the calories astronomical! But a great reward. 🙂 Thanks Chris.


  20. Delicious post, Coleen! I’m craving for cookies now. Like Lynette, I’m totally addicted to carbs. I love warm bread, pizza and all sugary stuff. But I’m considering to reduce gluten in my diet since it makes me really tired and I’ve been having heart burn afterwards. Small steps, I guess. Whole grain bread and veggies instead of potatoes, rice and pasta will be the first change.


    1. I used to call some carb foods “sleeping pills” simply because of the energy crash that followed! You’re rignt, whole grain usually keeps the blood sugar more stable. Thanks Reetta!


  21. Oh, what a feast you’ve been having. It all looks quite divine. But what is Vegan Sausage Stuffing? I’d love the recipe for that… I’m not vegan, but I am always on the lookout for good vegetarian savouries (I agree that there is no good substitute for cheese – same for eggs).

    Hope you are feeling okay after all that – I can imagine it might be a shock to the system. But glad you got to treat the taste buds 🙂


    1. Yes, it was all about the taste buds!
      This stuffing takes a little time, but it’s easy.
      Saute a small onion and handful of chopped celery
      Add in about a cup of chopped mushroom
      Add garlic, rosemary,sage, thyme, salt and pepper to taste
      Then add in half a loaf of favorite bread (about 1/2 lb), cut in chunks and toasted (if not day old)
      Saute a tube of Gimme Lean veggie sausage and add to stuffing mixture
      Pour in 1.5 to 2 cups of warmed veggie stock, enough so it’s not dry, but not so much that it turns soggy
      Put in a casserole pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy on top.


  22. I hope the tests went well. I told my hubby about your gluten fest. I still eat gluten, but hubby’s doctor recommended he stay away. It’s made a difference in some symptoms, but it’s so difficult to pinpoint a few things. Good luck. I agree 1000 percent. There is no substitute for pizza crust.


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