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Do I Have To Give Up Pizza!?

Pizza Crust1I love pizza and have eaten it all my life. Unfortunately, I developed a gluten intolerance, and much to my unhappiness, was told I couldn’t eat pizza crust anymore.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but that’s when I first began to understand the full impact gluten intolerance would have on my life.

But the real point I am trying to make is that I had to start questioning everything I ate. Actually, I had to start questioning everything, including non-food items.

Did you know that gluten can be found in some of the glues they use on stamps and envelopes? Or that it can be found in herbal teas that I used to drink daily?

Actually, I couldn’t eat pizza for several reasons. Pizza crust has gluten in it, but so does the pizza sauce. Gluten is frequently in the thickener used in sauces. Even the filler used in the sausage might possibly contain gluten.

No wonder I was experiencing so many symptoms before I discovered I was intolerant of pizza!

By the way, if you are reading this because you suspect you are gluten intolerant, but don’t know for sure, I can tell you about some of the common symptoms.

The first and worst symptom is normally the diarrhea which occurs every time you eat. That is exactly what happened to me. I got chronic diarrhea and started losing a lot of weight. I thought I had picked up a virus of some kind, but it was due to developing a gluten intolerance.

Obviously it’s not good to have diarrhea for any length of time, because it means food is not being absorbed. It also causes dehydration. If you have this symptom along with fatigue or a bloated abdomen, you should have a doctor test you for Celiac disease.

I got off track a little bit, because I really want to finish telling you about pizza…

I decided I could not give up pizza. I love it too much to give it up. We all have our addictions and mine is pizza.

So I began looking for pizza recipes that used gluten free ingredients. I was really surprised at what I found. There are many different pizza recipes – I am obviously not the only gluten intolerant pizza lover!  If you’re a member of the Gluten Free Club you can see a whole bunch of my favorite pizza recipes under the Recipes heading (this one is my favorite: Herbed Pizza Crust).

In the gluten free pizza recipe, substitution ingredients are easy to find. Instead of wheat-based flour, I use gluten free rice and tapioca flours blended together.

I had to buy gluten free dry yeast, gluten free baking powder and gluten free vinegar. But all these ingredients can be used in other recipes also.

The only difference between mixing my gluten free crust ingredients versus ingredients for a gluten-filled crust is the gluten free recipe requires more water.

As for the sauce,  you can buy gluten free pizza sauce at the health food store, or make a batch up of my Marinara Sauce for your pizza – then freeze any leftovers in small containers for next time you get your pizza craving.

I know you are probably thinking that this sounds like a lot of trouble. But you will discover, as I did, that a gluten free diet is very limited if you don’t cook your own favorite foods.

I would much prefer to be able to order a pizza at a restaurant of course, but I can’t. I don’t want to sound too abrupt or insensitive, but you have to get used to the idea that with gluten free living you will have to go to a lot more trouble if you want to eat a varied diet.

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