Gluten-free beer is made from ingredients that do not contain the grains barley and wheat that normal beers include. These ingredients, even in small amounts, can cause violent health reactions in those who have a gluten intolerance. Brewers who produce gluten-free beers are required to test every batch for gluten and record levels for each batch.
While I have cut down on the amount of beer I consume due to the reaction my body has to do since eliminating gluten, I haven’t eliminated it from my diet completely. I have taken the opportunity to try a couple of gluten-free beers that are available in Toronto and you might understand why I have been putting off eliminating regular beer from my diet:
Nickel Brook Gluten Free
This pale ale is made with a blend of sorghum, demerara sugar and pear juice was the first gluten-free beer made in Ontario!
Available at the LCBO in 6-packs for $13.50 or in 473 mL cans for $2.95 each.
Snowman Gluten-Free beer was brewed for gluten-intolerants who actually like beer, as opposed to a drink to have instead of beer. They have experiemented with a number of gluten-free grains to produce a brown ale, a pilsner, American pale ale, and a British-style amber. This beer is nearly impossible to find in Toronto, though I have spotted it on occasion at the Rhino.
Looking for other ways to get tipsy without getting sick? Stick to distilled spirits or wine. Remember to double-check your labels and don’t be afraid to call the manufacturer if you have any questions.
A year ago, if you told this girl she would be giving up fresh pastries, pastas, bread, and pizza she would have laughed in your face.
Now, more than 2 months in, I’m beginning to really see the benefits of a gluten-free diet. And while I don’t think I will ever stop missing thick crust doughy pizza or a fresh pastry, I’m trying to manage my cravings.
At the end of last year I tried a 3-day juice cleanse and despite really missing food and the social routines that surround it, I felt absolutely great. When I was done the cleanse and began reintroducing food, I decided to try to avoid gluten as a test to see how I felt. After a few successful weeks (which were way easier than I anticipated), I noticed that I hadn’t felt bloated and I was consistently losing weight, and more importantly, feeling better. After surviving Christmas with my new restrictions, I knew this was something I could adopt consistently.
My Game, My Rules
I won’t pretend to know what it’s like to be celiac or have a gluten intolerance. While eating anything with gluten now makes me quite uncomfortable, I know that I can eat it whenever I want to. I also have a short list of cheats that I can also decide to eliminate at any time. My list of allowable foods include things made with spelt flour (which is on a weird spectrum of gluten-free where some people allow it and others don’t), soy sauce, beer, rye, and whiskey.
In exchange for my cheats, I try not to substitute my favourite gluten-filled foods with gluten-free alternatives. In addition to feeling better, part of this challenge is to eat healthy in general. Eating gluten-free has encouraged me to eat way more fresh fruits and vegetables and protein in the form of meat and nuts. It wouldn’t be eating any healthier if I ate equal amounts of gluten-free pizzas, pastas, and breads!
Despite feeling like this some days (and I can’t imagine how my
personal chef boyfriend feels about it), I am really happy with my decision to eliminate gluten from my diet. I hope to share with you some challenges and frustrations in eating gluten-free, some great recipes, and my own personal story in living gluten-free.
Here are my adventures in gluten-free gluttony.