Where else do I shop?

I mentioned in my previous post that sometimes I shop online for things I use. Most of these products are not your run-of-the mill supplies to be picked up at the local grocery market. However, some of these shopping places are just places that have super quality product and I am a sucker for quality.

I was fortunate enough to be referred to U.S. Wellness Meats through Neely at The Paleo Plan. Everything I have ordered from them has been amazing. Beef, chicken, bacon… all have been delicious and super high quality.

Another wonderful source for delicious beef is TX Bar Organics. Again, super high quality and super high flavor!

I do keep some grain products on hand for things like breading pork chops (the only way my son will eat them) okra, and eggplant Parmesan. Of course with no gluten, I have to get creative. I buy organic yellow cornmeal from King Arthur Flour. For gravy, the absolute BEST flour I have found is garbanzo bean flour. It dissolves like a dream (never any lumps) and thickens beautifully. It doesn’t have a super strong flavor, but it does have a slight chickpea flavor which gives gravy an earthy flavor that wheat flour cannot POSSIBLY add. Try making turkey gravy with it sometime, it’s the best EVER.

I have amazing gluten free all-purpose flour that I get from Jules Gluten Free. It truly is a cup for cup replacement and her blend really acts like regular wheat flour, only better! No pain for Mama. I love it.

I buy coconut oil to fry in, and avocado oil for drizzling on vegetables. My gluten-free pretzels, certified gluten-free oats, and that garbanzo bean flour are all purchased at VitaCost. Vitacost has an EXTENSIVE gluten-free pantry, and they run grocery specials all the time. So if you’re in the mood to try something new, you can order it from Vitacost and save money.

Amazon has a vast array of vendors as well… with all kinds of groceries for special dietary needs. I have rarely had a problem with Amazon or any of its vendors, so don’t be afraid to grocery shop there.

Isn’t the internet great?

By the way, none of the websites I am referring have paid me a dime, they don’t even know who I am. I’m just another consumer who believes in sharing great product finds.

So how about you? What fabulous food finds have YOU found online? Share your favorites, please!

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YES, I do go out to eat!

The big question I often get is “So, since you’re allergic to wheat, I guess you don’t eat out do you?”

Yes, I eat out. It’s not every day, and I am selective about where I will eat, but it’s a food allergy… I’m not giving up my social life! Most of the time, I cook at home, but sometimes when the spouse and I find people silly enough to be our friends, we’ll want to venture out for a meal.
Such was the case last night. We decided to take some friends to a local seafood restaurant. It’s Southern Maryland after all… Well of course the restaurant specializes in things like crab cakes, and fried shrimp, and fried fish. They also have amazing burgers, and pulled pork sandwiches.

You can see my dilemma.

This happens a lot. However, I have become very adept at ordering broiled/grilled protein, a salad, and the vegetable of the day. And while I USED to be reluctant to rock the boat, or special order my food, I’ve gotten very good at it now. I am no longer afraid to ask the difficult questions about how a meal is prepared, and to explain to my server that I am allergic to wheat, and what will happen to me if I ingest gluten. I’m finding that a lot of servers and restaurants are more aware and educated about food allergies. They are also more willing to accommodate special dietary needs.

A pound of steamed shrimp would have cost me over $20. However, the FRIED shrimp were on special…a substantial savings of money and including two side dishes! A chat with my server, Michelle, and she brainstormed the answer in the form of my shrimp being coated in Old Bay and then grilled, surrounded by a delicious tossed salad (no croutons!) and a vegetable medley of locally grown summer vegetables. You can bet her effort was appreciated, and my appreciation was reflected in her tip.

Again, it all goes back to keeping it simple. No complicated sauces, no difficult preparations, and a willingness to assert myself and ASK for information and modifications to accommodate my dietary needs. After all, if I don’t advocate for my own health, who will?

Now, who wants to take me out to dinner?