{How This Blog Became Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Mostly Vegan} Week 6 and Pantry Staples List

by Valerie on August 15, 2009 · 2 comments

Update June 2010 on How This Blog Became Gluten-Free,
Dairy-Free and Mostly Vegan – I had originally
named this series the Detox Diet Diaries, but my experience with these
changes in my diet, while incredibly positive, has made me decide I
really do not like the concept of  a detox diet.   It is ironic in that
the diet my naturopath put me on was incredibly helpful, and a year
later, it has become clear I have non-Celiac gluten intolerance, as well
as a strong dairy intolerance.  I continue to avoid all dairy and
gluten, as well as other problematic foods such as corn, but have grown
to really dislike the concept of “detox” – the term promotes the concept
of a quick fix, which is just nonsensical.  I firmly believe that the
vast improvements in my health are based on the long-term changes I
and want my posts on the experience to convey this.   
Background: The Detox Diet Diaries recounts my story of doing a detox diet for health reasons and to isolate food allergies which may have been a contributing factor to some of my health problems. This diet involves real food. I am not on the Master Cleanse, or Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest cleanse, or Oprah’s cleanse, nor are my posts on my diet a way to support their actions. As I explained in my background post, I am doing this under the care of a naturopathic doctor.

By Week 6 I felt very “fluent” in the diet in the sense that I knew when to take my supplements without the help of a checklist and what foods were allowed without a list. I had found some new staples I liked and was pleased that some of my pantry staples could stay the same despite the
detox diet, while others had changed a bit.

Lauren of Everyday Revelry had a post this week about staples in her pantry. It inspired me to revisit the pantry staples I had settled on by Week 6 and share them with you. I thought it might be also interesting to list my staples pre-detox diet:

Before: brown basmati, white basmati, arborio {usually but not always organic}
Now: organic medium grain brown rice {from the bulk bins at Whole Foods}
I miss white rice, a lot. I have given up on risotto for now as I cannot wrap my mind around a risotto without butter or white wine.

Lentils and Beans
Before: canned or dried chickpeas, dried red lentils, dried green duPuy lentils, canned or dried black beans {all organic}
Now: same as the above, with the addition of dried adzuki beans and black-eyed peas
That was the category where I saw the least change in my staples. I had rarely eaten black-eyed peas or adzuki beans before, but have been eating them more during this diet as they are supposedly easier to digest. I find that to be the case with the adzuki to a certain extent, but not with the black-eyed peas. Also, I now cook all dried beans with kombu seaweed and that generally makes them easier to digest. The naturopath initially told me about the kombu trick, but since then have read it several places.

Crackers and Chips
Before: Trader Joe’s wholegrain crackers (they are Triscuit like in shape) and, occasionally, blue corn tortilla chips or baked corn chips
Now: Mary’s Gone Crackers Crackers, which are made of quinoa, brown rice, sesame seeds and flaxseeds.

When I initially went on this diet, I was a little sad about the loss of crunchy things, but the Mary’s crackers have really filled the void. They work equally well with hummus and salsa and guacamole and almond butter.


Before: whole wheat pasta or regular pasta – I tended to buy Barilla at Costco, mainly because it was inexpensive, and I liked Barilla.

Now: Tinkyada Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti , Spirals and Penne. I also tried the Organic Brown Rice elbows, but did not love the shape.

I should note that I had to switched to eating pasta once a week years ago, and have stuck to that rule despite the detox diet. I like the brown rice based pasta products, but I don’t like the fact that you have to rinse them in cold water after cooking. It makes tossing the cooked pasta with a raw sauce such as pesto a problem. Now, I reheat the pasta after rinsing it in just a tablespoon of water and add the sauce. If I am using a tomato sauce, I reheat the pasta in the sauce.

Canned tomatoes

Muir Glen Crushed and Crushed Fire Roasted Organic Tomatoes
After: same

This is one of the few things that remained completely unchanged. While I eat the majority of my foods fresh and in-season, the naturopath allowed organic canned tomatoes because they are picked at the peak of the season and full of nutrients, even if they are canned.

Other grains/pastas

Before: whole-wheat bulgur {aka couscous}, occasionally quinoa

Now: quinoa {obviously a grain and not a pasta}

I used to LOVE bulgur, particularly cooked with fruit and herbs or in tabouleh salads. I had had quinoa, but always came back to bulgur. Fortunately, a couple of recipes like this minty quinoa have made quinoa much more interesting. Eventually, I will experiment with making quinoa in the ways I used to make couscous.


Before: green tea and Tazo chai (the teabags)

Now: Trader Joe’s decaffeinated herbal teas. Eventually I will branch out more, but these are very good.

Canned Fish
Before: various Cole’s products and Cento tuna (I really dislike water packed tuna)

Now: American Tuna which is pole-caught wild albacore. Instead of being water packed, it’s steam cooked, so has no water, but also no oil.

I had to cut out the various Cole’s products because they had sauces and/or were smoked and/or the oils were just too heavy. The Cento tuna is also pretty heavy. Those were products I had been slowly cutting out of my diet pre-detox diet, so I just did not buy anymore after I started the diet and instead focused on finding a tuna I liked. American Tuna really fits the bill. It’s delicious.

A note on canned items – I discussed those with the naturopath . When I started on the detox diet, tomatoes were not in season, so she said it was fine to use organic canned tomatoes (as long as they did not have additives) to cook with until tomatoes were in season again. Same with canned beans – the naturopath said eating those was fine as long as I bought organic and rinsed them, and did not rely on them exclusively for legume consumption. As for the tuna, it’s very much an emergency food for me – I eat it maybe once every few weeks, usually if I had planned a non-fish meal and find myself craving fish but don’t have any on hand. Canned tomatoes, canned beans and canned tuna are examples of canned products that, if you buy carefully, can be part of a healthy diet.

Disclaimer: I am just a regular person posting about my experience doing a detox diet for health reasons and, ultimately, to isolate food allergies that may be the underlying cause of said health problems. I am not a medical professional or nutritionist. Please do not use information from these posts to do your own detox diet. Rather, seek advice from a doctor, naturopath or nutritionist to determine what the correct course of action for your health is.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen of A2eatwrite August 18, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Is red rice something that is accessible for you? I was reading a great post about it on Pham Fatale


2 Carolyn August 18, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Wow thanks for this! I love getting pantry lists from others who cook a lot b/c it gives me tons of great ideas.


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