When I got this LJ, I used it for ranting, decompressing, and letting the crazy out. At the time, I needed that outlet. But in the last four years, two things have made big changes in my life that have seriously calmed me down.
1. I got a job where I don't have to deal with the general public.
2. I went gluten-free.
Now, I've seen conflicting reports as to whether or not a gluten-free diet actually helps with behaviour problems. Anecdotal reports say yes. Scientific reports say "reply hazy, try again." I just know that in the four years I've been gluten-free, I've been much more stable.
However, going gluten-free has brought its own set of trials. I used to bake. A LOT. I had to relearn everything I knew. I had to learn about new flours, binders, gums, ratios, and techniques. But I've gotten a handle on most of it.
I had to learn to go without old comfort foods, or learn how to make them gluten-free. I had to seriously adjust my grocery budget to fit the new foods. And I had to get used to the fact that sometimes, I'd spend my money just to find the food I bought was terrible.
That last point was a sticking point. Gluten-free foods are so much more expensive than their wheat-based counterparts, and I hate when I spend money on something just to find out it's terrible.
So, this journal is going to convert from my place to rant about the world, to my place to review the new gluten-free products I pick up and recipes I try. Most of the mainstream grocery stores around here are adding gluten-free food sections, with some brands I've seen, and some I haven't. A number of mainstream brands are adding gluten-free versions of their products. My plan is to review based on look, texture, taste, and value. Obviously, I can't compare value against the wheat-based counterparts, but look, texture and taste I can (with Matt helping in the taste category if it's something I haven't had wheat-based before). My goal is to review two products a week.
If I'd thought about it earlier, I had four new gluten-free products this week. Three of them were very good; the third was a "meh." The review efforts start in earnest Monday. So, be on the lookout.