I did an elimination diet after suffering from severe gut pain, and the OB and GI doctors ruled out many things after doing bloodwork, ultrasound, and a CT. I found out that eating wheat products is what’s triggering the gut pain, so it seems I probably have Celiac disease. The CT was done after I went to the ER because I thought I might have had blocked intestines (I’ve had a few patients with that in the past, and it seemed I had all the symptoms except for stuff coming up green, but the massive amounts of disgusting belches had me thinking it might happen soon).

Once I realized that wheat equals pain, it was easy to avoid wheat products the first few weeks. But after a while, I started craving baked foods like bread and muffins, and also pasta. So I had to find a store that sold gluten-free food.

I tried my local Kroger on South Belt, but I wasn’t able to find anything. I found soybean flour at Walmart. But I needed more, so I found Houston Celiac Support Group linking to WHERE TO GET GLUTEN-FREE FOOD In Houston. That’s where I found Erma’s Nutrition Center & Natural Foods Market. The store is on Upper Bay Blvd., between Nasa and St. John’s hospital.

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There were two very pleasant and helpful ladies working there when we went, so I was shown the gluten-free area right way — it’s in the center of the right wall. They had many snacks and pastas, bread and baking mixes, and many individual non-gluten flours. Since I had searched online stores before going, the sticker-shock wasn’t too bad. But after figuring in shipping prices, being able to have them immediately, and spend my money locally, the prices weren’t too awful. But enough so that we’ll be eating more rice and potatoes than pasta!

I’ve only used Pamela’s Baking Mix, and Tinkyada‘s Spaghetti so far, but have been very pleased with how they turned out; even my husband liked the waffles and muffins from the mix, and spaghetti with marinara sauce.

I bought some individual flours so I can make my own GF flour, but either Erma’s didn’t have brown rice flour, or I didn’t look hard enough. I found a few starches at My Quaang on Scarsdale, but didn’t see brown rice flour. Maybe Hong Kong Market will have it — we didn’t go there the same day, even though it’s on Scarsdale also, because I was still pretty high from the pain meds the ER gave me.

If we map out enough gluten-free stores, it won’t be so hard to find for others.

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