Notes from the Fox Den
Hello and welcome to the Fox Den!
In last month’s edition of Notes from the Fox Den, I talked about my recent diagnosis of gluten and dairy intolerance, along with how overwhelming it could be. Although it can still be overwhelming at times, overall, I feel like I am slowly adjusting and learning what I can eat, and what works for me.
Since being diagnosed, I have discovered several of my friends are either struggling with gluten intolerance or wanting to cut down on gluten for other health reasons. And at their encouragement, I am writing this edition of the Fox Den to give a review on some of the products I have tried.
Please note, these are just my opinions and I, nor the Cherokeean, are receiving any form of compensation from the brands that I am about to list.
•Sweet treats and desserts.
Nada Moo has to be the best gluten/dairy free ice-cream that I have tasted so far. Their ice-creams are made with coconut milk, but there is not an overwhelming flavor of coconut, or an aftertaste when you eat it. The Rocky Road flavor is my favorite and taste as good as regular name brands. It has a very creamy texture and is blended well. Nada Moo is a Texas based company out of Austin and you can get their ice-cream at Break n Bread in Jacksonville or by ordering directly from their website.
Enjoy Life makes amazing allergy friendly cookies. They boast their cookies are free from gluten, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, casein, soy, egg, sesame, sulfites, lupin, mustard, fish, shellfish and crustaceans. I have found both soft baked and crunchy cookie varieties in double chocolate, chocolate chip, ginger spice and sugar. These cookies are amazing, even my non gluten sensitive friends and co-workers like these cookies. You can find these delicious treats at Brookshire Bros. I noticed that Brookshire Bros. has several brands and flavors of gluten free cookies, but Enjoy Life was also dairy free, so I am not able to eat those.
Walmart has several varieties of gluten free and dairy free candies. Yum Earth organic strawberry licorice is dangerously good. It is easy to eat the entire package without realizing it. The texture is a little different than most gummy/licorice type candy, but the flavor is spot on.
Breakfast, for me, is the easiest meal of the day as I have found so many things that I can eat and I like. As long as I am using a dairy free butter, I can still enjoy scrambled eggs, and bacon or sausage (just have to watch out for nitrates as they can contain gluten). Vans makes some amazing gluten and dairy free waffles. I have tried both the regular and blueberry flavors and have liked them both. These are available at both Brookshire Bros. and Walmart.
For a quick fix, I can have Rice or Corn Chex cereal with lactose free,soy, almond or coconut milk. This is like a mega win for me because Rice Chex has always been one of my favorite cereals. Trust me, it is the small victories that count as those are the ones that make you feel like you aren’t compromising as much.
Udis makes coffee mug muffin and cake mixes that are gluten and dairy free for those morning that you only have a few minutes, but want something hot. The blueberry muffin tastes great and I really didn’t feel as if I was missing out on anything. Four packets come in a box and I found them at Walmart.
For the coffee lovers, Coffee Mate creamers are gluten free and dairy free. For this I am extremely grateful. I can still have my peppermint mocha and pumpkin spice coffee creamers each morning.
•Lunch and dinner
For me, these have been the hardest meals to adjust to and plan for. Mr. Fox and I love to eat out and that is something that takes a lot of planning when you are gluten free and dairy free. Quick runs through a drive thru at a fast food restaurant are nearly impossible as you have to worry about coatings and seasonings.
Pretty much any hamburger chain I can get a patty, but have to skip the bun, cheese, pickles and condiments. Most chicken places are a no-go not only because of the breading, but because they use the same fryer and I have to be leery about cross contamination. Here is what I have discovered I can eat without a reaction:
Whataburger french fries, Sonic tator tots, a shredded chicken crunchy taco from Taco Bell, and Schlotzsky’s, Jersey Mike’s and Subway offer gluten free sandwiches.
For quick fixes at home, Tyson makes gluten and dairy free chicken strips and nuggets that taste good. I pair that with Amy’s microwave gluten and dairy free macaroni and cheese. Please trust me when I say that stuff is the bomb!
Of course, any meat is an option. I just have to read spice packets closely before seasoning.
As I also have diverticulitis, I do have to be careful with fruits and vegetables as I have to watch out for seeds and husks (no corn, peas, strawberries, etc.)
Again, these are just some of the things I have found that work for me. For anyone new on this journey, just remember, reading labels is a must, but it gets easier. Also, I received a lot of help and information from the staff at Break n Bread, so go see them.
Until next time, keep smiling!
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