Gluten Defense vs. Gluten Cutter

I have been recently taking various gluten digesting enzyme pills in case of cross contamination whenever I eat at restaurants. Yesterday, I decided to compare and contrast.

The first pill I have ever tried is Gluten Defense. You can get these for about $16.99-$19.99 at the Vitamin Shoppe. It comes in a bottle of 120 pills that you have to take 1 or 2 of at a time whenever you eat anything questionable. They are not made to digest gluten foods completely — they just eliminate the chances of cross contam making you sick. They contain different enzymes such as protease, lipase, amylase, lactase, and a natural vegetable capsule. I like these because I can have dairy with them, too, and I feel pretty good after having them with a questionable meal.

Yesterday, I had bought Gluten Cutter from Wal-Mart. It’s $9.99 for a blister pack of 30 pills and claims that you can eat gluten foods with it. It has similar ingredients but also includes ginger, licorice root, and peppermint oil. You also can take 1 or 2 pills depending on your liking. However, it does not claim to be effective for letting Celiac patients eat gluten foods in their entirety. I took two last night and felt SO WEIRD. I took one with a meal today instead of two and I feel better, but I keep burping up peppermint oil. Haha.

I think that cost-wise, they’re about the same, depending on how fast you use the pills and how frequently. I may experiment some more with Gluten Cutter to see how I feel over time, but in terms of being useful, I do know that my sister will make good use of them since she only has a gluten sensitivity and not actual Celiac disease. However, the two of us still carry lactaid with us for gluten free non-dairy items. 🙂


There will be an update in the coming weeks!

What the hell is GLUTEN?! What do I need to avoid?

Some of my friends have come by to catch up with me lately and are telling me that their doctors are suggesting that perhaps they have a gluten sensitivity. Other friends have or know someone with Celiac disease and want to know what not to feed themselves or their friends. Someone had messaged me the other day asking for a basic gist of what to eat and what to avoid. Here is what I told them:

The first thing to know about a gluten-free diet is that you cannot have any wheat, barley, rye, and most oats. Instead of focusing though on what you cannot have, I’d like to think of it as reevaluating what you can actually eat. All of these are naturally gluten free:
– veggies
– fruits
– dairy
– meat
– beans

Things with hidden gluten or have gluten that are common in our diets are:
– flour tortillas, breads, pastas [all of which have gluten free versions made of corn or soy]
– cereal [except for rice chex].  Rice crispies are notorious for having hidden gluten in malt.
– most candy
– soups
– gravies

Look for items that say “gluten free” if you’re not sure. Some will say “processed in a facility that handles wheat,” and you should avoid those. Good things to do is to replace all of your breads and pastas with corn tortillas and/or rice. Everything else can remain the same. Great fast food choices that are gluten free are:
– protein style burger from in-n-out
– crunchy taco from taco bell
– most salads [avoid the ones with fried chicken]
– ice cream [not in a cone]
– french fries are usually okay

You’re going to have to give up all of these:
– chicken nuggets
– fried everything [if at home, you can fry anything in cornstarch and it works just fine]
– most pastries [look up gluten free bakeries, they are wonderful!]
– noodles [except for pho and vermicelli and gluten free variations!]
– most processed foods

Mexican cuisine is generally gluten free [yay!!!] and Chinese food is not. HAHA! A good breakfast to counter IBS is maybe brown rice steamed with milk and cinnamon or some rice chex with milk. Lunches can be steamed veggies with meat and rice or salads. You don’t have to go totally carb free either even though it will seem like that. Rice is your friend, and so is corn in most cases.


So there you have it, a quick breakdown of what my daily diet is like. Since I heavily consume Japanese food, I make sure to use Tamari gluten free soy sauce. Kikkoman also has a gluten free version that tastes exactly like the real thing. Others use liquid aminos. Luckily, my boyfriend works at a Japanese restaurant and can order these in bulk for me instead of breaking the bank at the store. You can also order liquid aminos in bulk online! 😀

So much has changed since I found out that I was intolerant to gluten products. Before, I had been an active and fit individual. I was lean and healthy-looking, but regardless of my everyday workouts and efforts to maintain a healthy diet, I had suddenly put on 30 lbs. Old friends thought I was pregnant. I no longer had a menstrual cycle. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t breathe and I was constantly fatigued and having stomach aches. And then one day I felt like I was going to die, and I went to my oriental medicine doctor to get treatment. He suggested a gluten free diet and to check with my regular doctor. I did that for a week, lost 8 lbs immediately, and I no longer had a pregnant-looking belly.

Fast forward a year and a half, and here I am now. I’m 20 lbs thinner, just 10 lbs away from where I had been, and I feel so much better. I have energy, I can breathe, and I bleed every month (sorry if that’s TMI, folks!), haha!

If any of you are unsure about a particular food being gluten free, feel free to comment. I’d be happy to help you. While I am still learning, I can’t guarantee that I know what I’m talking about 100%, but I do try to use common sense and available resources to find answers. :]

Photos to come soon! 😀

Parmesan Cheese Crisps — Cheezit’s Gluten-Free Cousin

The first thing I get asked usually, or told, rather, is, “Kat! I have a gluten sensitivity and I can’t eat any snacks! This sucks! What can I do?” And for some weird reason, the majority of people that tell me this have told me that they miss Cheezits.

Well screw Cheezits.

Here is a fast and easy recipe that you can make at home that kicks Cheezits’ gluten-y butt!

What you  need:
1 block of parmesan cheese (not the cruddy pre-shredded stuff in a container unless that is all you can get)
A cheese grater or something similar that can make relatively fine shreds
A cookie/baking sheet
Parchment paper
Your oven

What to do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Shred your block of cheese. A fine grate is preferable to allow the cheese to bake together better.
3. Take your parchment paper and place it on your baking sheet. Scoop piles of cheese onto the paper in the size that you would like.
4. Bake the cheese piles until golden brown and crispy. Cheese will start melting together first and then crisp.
5. Let cool and enjoy!

Not only are these cheese crisps gluten free, but they’re probably way more low-calorie than your average store-bought cheese cracker, and they taste EXACTLY THE SAME. You also have the flexibility of sizing them the way that you like to control your portions as you like. Bon apetit! ❤ 

I am constantly asked why I cannot just eat at potlucks or catered lunches…

And the reason being is that I have Celiac Disease.

It’s not a huge deal, really. It’s just that I need to carefully find out what ingredients are in almost everything that I eat. (On top of that, I have tons of food allergies that are serious and also random and strange — coconut, chamomile, coffee, chipotle peppers ONLY in dried chipotle form, dairy on occasion, and almonds only if I consume too many.) I have to sadly decline and either eat my packed emergency meal or go elsewhere for a while and find my own food until meal time is done for everyone.

People think I spend a fortune on food, which to a degree is true, but not entirely. Eating gluten free is not as expensive as it is cracked up to be.  You can avoid gimmicks (all of those stupid things marked “gluten free,” such as specially branded corn tortillas are a load of pishposh — you can get corn tortillas at any supermarket, and I can guarantee you that 90% of corn tortillas on the market are likely not gluten-tainted), and start buying natural foods. Fruits, vegetables, and proteins are generally not gluten free in their natural states. Neither are rice, corn, quinoa, millet, amongst other things. A gluten free meal can be cheap and easy to prepare.

With that, I would like to offer you all some recipes that I would to share, epiphanies in my gluten free journey, and silly confessions of a Celiac living a busy Los Angeles lifestyle.

I present to you