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Gluten-Free Challenge: Interview with Curt Steinhorst

August 4, 2011

Curt Steinhorst

The newest member of our Urban Acres crew, Curt Steinhorst, was kind enough to share his experience in eating gluten-free.  Check out what he has to say…

Curt, tell us your gluten-free story…how and why did you start eating gluten-free?  How long have you been gluten-free?
I was a bit of a weird case for doctors. I ate generally “healthy,”  stayed in good shape, was a pretty happy and confident person, and yet, my immune system was terrible. I caught everything in the air, and would often feel “not well” even when I wasn’t sick.  I had two sinus surgeries, years of allergy shots, changed my diet, did a cleanse, tried acupuncture, took asthma medication (they thought I wasn’t getting enough oxygen) – pretty much everything and anything.  I then began having “stomach issues” that became constant over a several month period.  At this point, I was finally diagnosed as gluten intolerant by a doctor. This was about 2 years ago.  I share my story so people understand that oftentimes gluten intolerance doesn’t first show itself as a stomach condition. Gluten is hard to digest and for many harms the intestine, causing nutrient malabsorption, which makes the body unable to defend itself (even if you are putting great things in your body).

What have been the best parts about being gluten-free? The most difficult?
The best – how I feel, easily.  It also requires me to stay away from simple carbs, which are no good anyway.   The worst – giving up beer.  I cheat on beer occasionally. It just tastes so good!

How do you survive eating out?
I know the places that support gluten-free habits, and I usually suggest those.  The good news is that many restaurants have become aware of it, so it’s not nearly as hard as some might think.  As someone who has trouble making menu decisions, it actually makes my life easier because it eliminates a decent majority of the menu.

How do you go about grocery shopping gluten-free?
Pretty simple – stick to veggies and basic meats.  It’s healthier anyway.  I occasionally will go crazy with spaghetti/pasta, and there are some alternatives that you would have no idea are different (though cooking them requires more precision).  I recommend the Ancient Harvest brand quinoa pasta that you can get at Urban Acres.

What are your favorite gluten-free products?
I tend to try and stay away from “gluten free products” because what that means is “we have made high-starch products available to you”- which I don’t really need anyway. With that said, I’ve recently learned of Wholesome Foods Bakery, which Urban Acres is now carrying, and they do an amazing job (and have really healthy ingredients). Their cookies and brownies are better than my grandmother’s non-gluten-free ones, and that’s saying something.

Please share one of your favorite gluten-free recipes with us.|
Any grilled chicken plus a salad (with a simple vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar and olive oil) and roasted veggies.  That’s my staple, it’s gluten free, and it’s great.  Here’s another recipe I love:

Gluten-Free Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

Sauté some garlic in olive oil.
Chop up some peppers & add them to sauté.  I use three or four different kinds of peppers – bell & poblano & jalapeño.
Add salt & pepper and some oregano if you have it.
Cook some black beans, just canned or whatever.
Cook quinoa.
Drain beans & add to pepper mix.  Let that cook for a minute.
Then add the beans, peppers & quinoa all together & stir it up.
Cook turkey bacon and slice it up (Applegate Farms is what I use) – for vegetarians, no need.
Scoop mixture into butter lettuce leaves and (optional) add Sriracha sauce for a little spice.

Can you share any other words of encouragement or tips for our readers?
The more doctors are finding out about gluten’s role in our digestion, the more I have heard from MD’s and DO’s that taking gluten out of the diet is a good move health-wise for everyone.  It’s just not easy to digest. If you are feeling sick often and/or have digestive issues, I’d strongly consider going gluten-free.  Be warned though, it takes months for the intestine to restore full function (L Glutamine and Probiotics help!), so don’t expect immediate results.  In the end, though, I am confident you’ll find it to be worthwhile and not as difficult as you might have imagined.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 5, 2011 5:29 am

    great article!

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