After having CDiff my colon just couldn't handle anymore gluten and dairy (both of which can trigger your body's immune response + lead to inflammation). In the early weeks of radically changing my diet, I struggled SO BAD with what types of food to buy for home. Everything I had typically gotten at the grocery before either had gluten or dairy or way too much sugar + preservatives. Needless to say, over the last 8 months I have tried LOTS of different types of products! But today I’m gonna break it down to my top ten favorites to keep in your pantry and fridge when you’re looking for some AWESOME healthy alternatives.
1) Rao’s Tomato and Basil Marinara
Rao’s marinara comes straight from Italy and you can totally tell!! The typical store bought marinara has added sugar or high fructose corn syrup and all kinds of other ingredients like “natural flavorings”, soybean oil, and unhealthy preservatives. I used to ALWAYS buy Prego but after changing my diet I knew I needed to find a better alternative + Rao’s tastes even better than what I had been eating!!
2) Banza Pasta
Mmmmmmmm!!!! I can’t get enough of Banza chickpea pasta! ALSO they sell this in bulk at Costco which is a big win for me considering how often I have pasta nights lol. Be careful not to boil it too long, because the chickpea pasta will tend to fall apart when overcooked. All in all I’ve found this to be my favorite gluten free alternative to pasta PLUS it’s loaded with protein from the chickpeas!
3) Oatly Oat Milk
Almond milk has never been my favorite milk alternative, so when I became completely dairy free, I knew I would need to find a more tasty option. I sampled cashew, coconut, and soy milk but didn’t just loooovvee any of them. Not gonna lie, Oatly probably attracted me mostly with their marketing, but I am so glad they did! Their oat milk is super creamy like real milk and makes pancakes and cupcakes taste just like ones made with cow’s milk. Oatly is a little hard to find in stores, so I always stock up when I’m at my parent’s Whole Foods in Georgia!
4) Healthade Kombucha
Ahhhhh Healthade, you are just too good to me. Kombucha definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but PLEASE pour me an extra glass! Healthade is organic, non-GMO, GF, vegan, certified raw, and much much more. My favorite flavor is the “Power Greens” which has wheatgrass, spirulina, and camu camu. If you’re looking for just a classic booch, go with the Pomegranate flavor which is my second fav! It's super important when recovering from C-Diff to introduce more probiotics into your diet, and kombucha is such an amazing source!
5) Panda Puffs Cereal
Okay, if I told you I only ate this occasionally I'd be lying. I wish I could say that I eat a wonderfully balanced breakfast every morning, I just don’t. Most of the time I tend to be running late, and cereal is such a quick + delicious option for me. Panda Puffs are organic, non-GMO, and gluten free + taste JUST LIKE REESE’S PUFFS!!! Run to the store and buy a box ... you'll love it!
6) Once Upon a Farm Baby Food
“But Grace, this is baby food? Why the heck is it on your Top 10 list of foods?” Okay okay, I get it, I’m weird, but Y’ALL this stuff tastes amazing. The yummiest flavor is the “Wild Rumpus Avocado” which has pineapple, banana, avocado, and spearmint. These little pouches are a great pick me up for a midday slump and a quick snack. It’s like a mini smoothie on the go!!
7) Amy’s Vegetable Soup
When I first started eating healthier, I struggled to find good/wholesome things to keep in the pantry for when I’m in a time crunch. This vegetable soup is such a good side or snack with any meal! It practically tastes homemade because the veggies in it are so fresh! Amy’s Kitchen makes a ton of great foods, but this one is definitely at the top of my list!
8) Skinny Pop Popcorn
Who doesn’t love a good movie night?! And you can’t have movie night without popcorn! Finding a non-dairy/non-GMO + yummy popcorn was hard, but this Skinny Pop that pops up in its own box really hits the spot. It tastes so buttery and delicious you would never know it's non-dairy!
9) Fitaid Recovery drink
Fitaid was actually a must have in my fridge long before I made the commitment to clean up my diet. I love the boost of energy it gives me from the green tea + the amazing blend of vitamins is a huge bonus! If you’re ever dragging halfway through the day Fitaid is the best way to snap out of it. Fitaid is typically sold as an after workout recovery drink, but TBH I like the extra vitamin and energy pick-me-up at any point before 3 PM (because ya girl doesn’t wanna be up all night hyped on caffeine).
10) last but most certainly NOT least, Simple Mills EVERYTHANG!!!
Simple Mills was founded by Katlin Smith who’s mission was to create foods with handpicked ingredients to nourish your body (nothing artificial EVER). They are truly a game changer in the gluten free world and deserve MAJOR shoutouts! Not only are they gluten free, but their ingredients are so REAL + SIMPLE + NATURAL! The photo above includes my main pantry staples like banana bread mix, cake mix + icing, almond flour crackers, toasted pecan cookies, and pancake mix! These are my top Simple Mills faves, but I could name so many more of their products that I’m truly obsessed with. You will never be disappointed with ANYTHING they make!!
So there you have it ... My Top 10 go-to's! Feel free to comment with questions or check out my Instagram for more suggestions (@sweatyhappyhealthy). The good news is these days there are a multitude of great options out there for anyone with dietary restrictions or for those just looking to eat healthy. So enjoy friends!