Health and taste for all! I feel like that should be a campaign slogan for me. Alright alright, camel may not be for everyone. But I promise you it was delicious! And it is actually not that bad for you either.
Today, I have some thoughts on the availability of gluten free foods.
As someone with Crohn’s, a foodie, a young professional, and an athlete, I am simultaneous greatly concerned with proper nutrition, happy digestion, great taste, and budget. Luckily, these criteria don’t have to be exclusive. As a blogger, a blog-reader, and someone who is curious about new products (ok ok, I hunt them down like the dogs they are and make them beg for mercy), I tend to know about new products on the market that aim to deliver on my 4 requirements (nutrition, digestions, taste, price).
But unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky–they
have lives don’t realize that they have access to such products or that such items even exist. Until recently, many products that cater to particular dietary limitations (such as gluten and dairy intolerances in addition to nut allergies) were hard to come by on the mass market.
Well, Walmart is doing something about it. We all know that I am a big supporter of small businesses and buying local–from Swirlgear to Tasty Makes to Social and more–but I am an even bigger supporter of making sure that nutrition is available to all. Not everyone has the benefit of a Whole Foods (I didn’t until recently lol. Before that I had to go a whole 1/2 mile…) or health foods store nearby if they had gluten allergies. But the majority of us do have a Walmart in our vicinity!
Though I grew up in the middle of Atlanta, when we sold our house my mom relocated to our lake house, which is pretty far removed from any sort of major city. My mom has had a variety of IBS issues over the years, and though she does not have Celiac’s, she has found that being mindful of gluten in foods has been extremely beneficial for her. But living out in the country makes it hard for her to get her GLUTEN FREE pizza (you wonder where I get my pizza love from???) and snack fix. Luckily there is a Walmart near where we keep the horses! And even more fortunately….
Recently Walmart has started Walmart Gluten Free For Less, a campaign to help make gluten free foods more plentiful and more accessible to all. And you know me–I’m all about education and making people more self-sufficient and informed consumers! Walmart is starting to stock up on gluten free goodies from Udi’s, Vans, Nature’s Path, Glutino, Clif Bar, and Quaker. Plus, they are encouraging diners to share recipes on social media, online, and among their friends (tag #GFWalmart) ! See, you don’t have to have a blog or read a blog to great ideas and information! And you don’t have to drive 100 miles to get the foods that make your heart and stomach happy.
I went a little the south of the city to take part in Walmart’s Gluten-Free for Less event. I think that I caught them at just the wrong time, unfortunately–they were cooking the pizza and there was a little bit of a cluster around the Quaker Popped! snacks! But I was happy to see that–even if people were originally just stopping by for a sample, the demonstrators were able to take the chance to engage them and inform them a bit about the product.
So rather than having great pics, I have some fantastic creeper pictures for you 😀 But luckily, I have a fantastic recipe utilizing the Quaker Popped! snacks coming up for you, and you know that you can get them at your nearest Walmart store!
Part of the reason that I started this blog was to have a conversation with people–to talk about the fact that you can have a chronic illness but still live your life. Part of that is being able to eat things that you love and that work for you. Sure, there are times when I might “downgrade” my diet to foods that are more easily digestible, but I am fortunate to have access to the food that works for me when I need to. Furthermore, having options makes all the difference–feeling trapped in your diet, your condition, whatever it may be truly is stultifying. That is part of the reason that I learned to cook, and now it is one of my passions, part of the way that I connect with people.
I can only hope that maybe an event like this might plant a small seed in someone else. Maybe they won’t find their passion, but I just hope that they realize that they have more options than not feeling well. No one deserves to live like that just because they don’t have access to the right tools.
This post is sponsored by AMP/Walmart/Swerve as part of a Gluten Free foods campaign. All opinions are of course my own.
Those of you with specialty diets, is education, budget, taste, nutrition, or accessibility the greatest hindrance for you?
Is it hard for you to find products that fit your diet and lifestyle? When you find products that fit you, how does it make you feel? How has it opened up your life?