The One-On-One: Goodbye, Gluten! (It's been fun.) - Pt. 1
We chat with Cov-alum Jennifer Fisher about saying sayonara to pizza, pasta and carbs and salutations to her "survivor diet." Because haven't you heard? Gluten-free is the new kale.
“Can I please get a large half pepperoni and mushroom, half roasted red pepper, sundried tomato and sautéed onion pizza? And do you guys do gluten-free crust?”
My friend looked at me puzzled and disgusted, “since when are you gluten-free?” she asked.
Embarrassed and at the possibility of looking like a complete idiot, I covered the phone and moved it away from my mouth, “I’m not, but I hear it’s, like, really good for you!”
Much like kale and more recently, kale chips (don’t pretend you haven’t tried making them!) it seems everyone has jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon. This mysteriously made-out-to-be-better-for-you thing that suddenly swept the world by storm seems to be the topic of conversation at every dinner party nowadays –that, and GIRLS oh, and of course, Pilates and going gluten-free. In part one of our investigation, we chatted with Coveteur and jewelry designer extraordinaire, Jennifer Fisher about saying goodbye to the good stuff (because we all know carbs are actually a girl’s best friend) and embracing a diet that eliminated gluten from the picture. And yes, we got the full scoop on where to dine, how to get the most decadence (sans the guilt) for your buck and of course, the benefits of being baguette-less. If giving up Bar Pitti pasta means getting rid of the “extra ‘padding’ on the sides of [our] leather pants” then sign us up!
The Coveteur: How did you start eating gluten-free? Was it out of necessity (like an allergy), or curiosity?
Jennifer Fisher: I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis (hypoactive thyroid), so for me it was not at all about fitness or losing weight. It was a necessity for my blood and regulation of my thyroid. I also don't eat sugar and stick to low glycemic fruit like berries.
TC: What are you favorite spots to get gluten-free grub in N.Y.C? Is it difficult to find places that do gluten-free options?
JF: Originally it was impossible to find gluten-free options (that was eight years ago), and I was eating bread that had the same consistency of a ten-pound brick, which, needless to say, was tough to stomach. It was basically –as my friends would refer to it –my "survivor" diet: protein, vegetable, nuts, and anything you could scavenge for. We are always ordering dosas from Hampton Chutney Co. across from the showroom, we also order the kale avocado salad in bulk from Juice Generation on a daily basis.
TC: What is your favorite gluten-free "junk foods"? How do they measure up to the real thing?
JF: Gluten-free bread and rice or corn pasta are my faves, because now they taste like the real deal. Naked Pizza is the best in the city! Dark chocolate is my nightly dessert and the hands-down best chocolate in N.Y.C. is by a small company called the Chocolat Moderne Bistro Bar –the Banane Flambée is insanity.
TC: How do you change up recipes to make them gluten-free?
JF: I am always cooking and I tend to stick to rice dishes versus pasta for the kids when we have family dinner. All of my meals are now very protein-driven versus grain, so it’s rarely an issue. For anything Mexican, I substitute the best corn tortillas I can find (my mom ships them from California when she can).
TC: Is it difficult to stay disciplined and avoid gluten?
JF: When we have late nights out and the morning after when you are feeling not-so-amazing, that is when I just want a baguette and eggs, but I modify it now with gluten-free bread or corn tortillas. I eat a ton of cheese; it gives you the decadent feeling without the guilt. My doctor's mantra is "cheese, cheese, cheese" when I’m feeling weak.
TC: We hate to tease, but… which foods do you miss the most?
JF: A big ol' fat bowl of Rigatoni Pitti pasta from Bar Pitti (which I admit I occasionally cheat with, but pay dearly the next day). It's painful afterward, and I always swear I will never do again. But, of course, six months later we all know what happens.
TC: What benefits have you noticed so far?
JF: My headaches are gone, I have one hundred per cent more energy, and yes, the bit of extra "padding" on the sides of my leather pants is smaller...
- Stacie Brockman
All photos via our uber-healthy friends over at Pressed Juicery's The Chalkboard, who make going gluten-free look glam.
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Inspired by health-obsessed, kale eating, cleanse-doing Coveteurs