Hi Friends! Local Columbus goer here! Having been Celiac for over 7 years in Columbus, I am well-seasoned on the gluten-free and celiac-friendly scene here. I’ve got your back when it comes to finding Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants in Columbus!
Month: May 2018
Having lived in Ohio’s capital for years with Celiac, I can say I am thoroughly impressed with the gluten-free bakery scene here. If you’re a Columbus local looking to explore your options or you’re a visitor looking for some allies, this list of Gluten-free Bakeries in Columbus is great to add to your toolkit.
Easy Seaweed Salad Recipe
This Easy Seaweed Salad Recipe is so delicious you won’t be able to kelp yourself from it (get it?)! Salads are an amazing way to pack in your vegetables and fiber for the day. There are a few common misconceptions that salads have to be boring, tasteless, or just unappealing. However, this is not the case! Salads can be a great way to nourish your body and keep you feeling full throughout the day.
Featuring 3 vegetables and a 2-ingredient dressing, this salad can be whipped up in a pinch! It’s a good one to keep in the back of your mind for those times where you are scrambling to get a side of vegetables together or you’re trying to quickly pack a lunch you actually want to eat. The tahini dressing will provide healthy fats to help keep you full for longer while the green vegetables will provide you with much-needed micronutrients and carbohydrates to fuel your day. I love adding seaweed to any of my salads because I love the depth and flavor it adds. It is a tasty and nourishing way to spice up your salads.
Easy Seaweed Salad Recipe
- 2 cucumbers (medium to large in size)
- 8 sheets of nori (seaweed paper)
- 2 bunches of kale
- 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
- 1/4 cup tahini
Assembling the Vegetables
- Tear the seaweed into small bite-sized pieces. To do this quickly you can tear multiple sheets at the same time by keeping them in a stack.
- De-stem the kale and chop into bite sized pieces.
- Potato peeler, peel the cucumber into long strips (noodles).
- Combine the nori, kale, and cucumber noodles together in a large bowl.
- Combine the lemon juice and the tahini together in a small bowl using a fork to make sure they are well-combined.
Assembling the Final Product
- After the lemon juice and the tahini are well-combined, pour it over the salad vegetables and mix well.
Do you struggle with finding safe places to eat when traveling to new areas? Are you constantly hunting for safe snacks at the gas station or airport on those long trips? Endure the struggles no more because I am going to share with you my top tips on traveling gluten-free.
My Personal Experience with Celiac Disease
This post is going to be a lot different from my other posts. It’s going to be somewhat informal and it’s going to be a very personal and very real post. I have been living with celiac disease for 7 years now and it has been an eventful journey to the say the least. My personal experience with celiac disease is both negative and positive. Having an auto-immune disease sucks. So does following a diet that most people think is just a “fad diet” (learn why it’s not a fad diet here). Don’t get me wrong, I have grown a love for being gluten-free. What I don’t love is people not taking my dietary choices seriously. Learn about the lessons I learned, the diet philosophies I adopted, the symptoms I endure, the frustrations I have, and why I ultimately don’t hate having celiac disease.
My Dietary Approach
I have one question that ultimately guides my diet and that is “is this gluten-free”. I mean duh, right? However, my personal experience with celiac disease has influenced me to employ a few other dietary tactics to help improve the way I feel and prevent an occurrence of being “glutened”.
1. I ALWAYS read the allergy warning and ingredient list of every processed food I eat (though I admit sometimes I get lazy with foods I trust and then end up missing important label changes).
2. I have accepted that pretty much most gluten-free alternatives are not going to be affordable.
3. Because I’ve accepted the lack of affordability, I don’t really eat gluten-free alternative foods. You won’t find gluten-free bread, pasta, cookies, bagels, etc. in my cabinets. If you do, either I found a really awesome deal at my local grocer, or I have special plans.
4. Because I don’t often eat gluten-free alternatives, my thoughts revolving around my diet don’t typically include those foods. I don’t dwell on the foods that I can’t eat and I don’t dwell on their alternatives. Instead, I focus on the foods that are delicious and naturally gluten-free. So when I think about dinner, I don’t think about how I can make lasagna gluten-free, instead, I think about how I can make a delicious curry or buddha bowl.
Basically, I don’t eat sandwiches, pizza, chicken nuggets, cereal, donuts, pastries, muffins etc. (except on VERY rare occasions). I didn’t switch to a gluten-free diet and just start buying everything I used to eat but gluten-free. However, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy a few packaged gluten-free goodies here and there!
I am a huge advocate for individualized nutrition care. Thus, it’s important to keep in mind that while these tactics work for me, that doesn’t mean they will work for you!
When I eat gluten I am sick for days. I’ll spare you the details but symptoms can get ugly and they have progressed quite a lot since being diagnosed.
I am so sensitive to gluten that breathing it in fogs my mind and can ultimately make me sick. I used to work at a bakery and I had to promptly quit my job 3 months in because I started getting sick on my shifts.
My skin reacts to gluten. While this is a topical reaction and not a digestive related reaction (thus possibly attributed to an intolerance to gluten topically not attributed to my celiac disease), It is very real. I need people to wash their hands before touching me after they handle gluten or else I break out in a terrible and itchy rash. I have horror stories from trying out new eyeliners and having sore puffy eyes for days.
My Fears and Frustrations
Every situation where food is involved outside of my home and control is scary for me. Going out to eat and attending events where food is involved is stressful. These situations involve me constantly watching for cross-contamination. I look for people touching bread and then touching other platters of food and I watch for people using the same utensil they served their pasta with to serve the roasted vegetables with. I look for people dipping bread into shared containers of hummus, and for plates of bread being to close to the platters of fruit. It requires me to always ask myself “could crumbs have easily fallen on to this?”. It is exhausting and having people who understand and can help advocate is so helpful and overwhelmingly appreciated.
Going gluten-free definitely is a tiring and sometimes a lonely lifestyle. However, it’s made me realize and achieve a few key things.
1. I wouldn’t be eating nearly as healthy as I am now if it weren’t for going gluten-free. It was a much-needed push to change my lifestyle for the better.
2. I will never forget I showed up to a sugar-free alternative food sampling lab for a class one day and I was filled with an immense amount of dread because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to try anything. However, I was filled with delight and gratitude when I found out that my professor had taken my celiac disease into account. They let me make my own gluten-free muffins with a sugar-free alternative on the other side of the kitchen. It’s little things like that, where people remember my condition and make an effort to include me that makes me realize who cares, and who is a little less invested.
3. Celiac disease is ultimately what sparked my passion for nutrition and dietetics. It is what lead me to the realization of what I wanted to do with my life and for that, I will be forever grateful.
What’s the Difference Between a Plant-Based and a Vegan diet?
With all the different eating patterns out there, it can get hard to keep track of them all. There are two diets that are considered popular in the food world and it might be a bit difficult to tell them apart. While they sound like they are the same, a plant-based and a vegan diet are different from each other. What’s the difference between a plant-based and a vegan diet? To summarize it briefly, the difference is the extent to which an individual takes each lifestyle and eating pattern.
A Vegan Diet
I am a firm believer that any change in your diet is a lifestyle change. However, going vegan is different in that it impacts more than just the food eaten. Vegans eat solely plant-based thus, they don’t eat anything sourced from animals. This means vegans avoid meat, eggs, lard, dairy products, and sometimes even honey. However, vegans apply this avoidance of animal-products to all the things in their life. While avoiding animal-based foods, they also won’t use clothes, shoes, etc. that come from animal too (say goodbye to that leather jacket). Additionally, products tested on animals are also avoided. That eyeliner that was tested on animals? Yeah, that’s not going to cut it. Vegans are dedicated to sourcing products that don’t involve harming animals. Going vegan isn’t just a diet choice; it’s a lifestyle decision made based on moral beliefs.
A Plant-Based Diet
A Plant-Based Diet is not as extreme as a Vegan diet. This diet involves following a similar eating pattern as a vegan. However, a plant-based diet focuses on plant-based foods with limited to no animal products. A plant-based diet also doesn’t involve the same everyday product restrictions (so in this case, people eating a plant-based diet might still wear leather jackets and use hygiene products tested on animal etc.). The choice to follow a plant-based diet is not as morally loaded as it is to follow a vegan diet. Sometimes this decision is made in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle. This is because following a plant-based diet has been proven to provide a ton of preventative and overall health benefits to the people following it (Hever). Other times this decision is made out of respect for animals (much like making the choice to follow a vegetarian diet) without the need to take it to the extreme of avoiding all animal-based products.
Ultimately, the main difference between the two is simply the extent to which they avoid animal products. Vegans will avoid all animal products (even when it comes to clothing and soaps) and plant-based eaters will limit/avoid just animal food products.
Hever, Julieanna. “Plant-Based Diets: A Physician’s Guide.” The Permanente Journal 20.3 (2016): 93–101. PMC. Web. 26 Apr. 2018.