Monday, January 10, 2011

Of Celiac, Survival, and Super Lake Jan 2011




"Every time you eat gluten, said Dr. Juan Pablo,
you do damage to your intestines.
You can never eat gluten again."
With these words I started researching
gluten-free foods on the internet, cleaned out the fridge and
cupboards, changed the dogs food to a rice based kibble,
and ate nothing but eggs, bananas, and peanut butter.

After a week of this, it was time to try to find something to eat!
Over by Ajijic there is a market that carries literally tons of
imported foods and a small health food store
specializing mostly in vitamins and supplements.

I figured the best bet was the imported foods emporium, Super Lake.

I poured over the ingredients list on every product that interested me -
in Spanish!
Everything was expensive.

In the narrow aisles, I was in everyone's way.
Completely overwhelmed, I left,
buying nothing but more eggs and some rice pasta.
(The rice pasta was an expensive disaster.)

More research.
I found I could google 'is Heinz ketchup gluten-free'
and get pages and pages of information.

I went back to Super Lake.
I was STARVING for real food. . .bread, pasta etc.
Starting with the bread, I found only one.
(67 pesos - about $5.58US).
Made of amaranth and flax with sunflower seeds,
it makes unbelievably delicious toast.
Ok, at least now I had a bread.

Super Lake has a complete aisle of them,
right side and left side, endless choices. . .
for most people.

I have two choices.  (89.90 pesos - about $7.49US)

Let me just say, I am THRILLED to have these
two cereals - at any price!

Again, endless choices for most people.

My choice.

I prefer the Ancient Harvest Quinoa.
(61.50 pesos - about $5.12US)
(8 oz.)

Flours and baking mixes fill another whole row.
My choices are the gluten-free options of the Bob's Red Mill line
and over the holidays I even found gluten-free Bisquick.
(107 pesos - about $8.90US)

So, you get the picture, it's not easy.
Of course, all natural foods, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and poultry
are safe, as long as they are not marinated, spice-rubbed,
or otherwise altered with a substance containing gluten.
Every time I shop Super Lake I find more and more
gluten-free products.


  1. Yeah, Pancho!! Glad you are able to find gluten-free products, though expensive. Maybe a run to the border for a carload full! Probably cheaper to buy from Pancho.

  2. I wish such a store existed in Veracruz, but the sticker shock might impair me from buying at first. I wonder why it is so expensive? Perhaps gluten-free is a relatively new concept in Mexico.

  3. Sheila - Wow, a carload full of GF stuff, hog heaven!

    Leah - Sticker shock got me at first too, then hunger kicked in. It's all expensive because it is all imported. Everything imported is more expensive, as you well know. Pancho says there is no one in Mexico manufacturing GF foods. Perhaps there is a business for someone! I joined Celiacos de Mexico (out of Guad) ( and have learned that they estimate 2 million Mexicans have gluten insensitivity too.

  4. I have some of the same issues being vegetarian... but at least I have bread! I do envy you the Bob's Red Mill products, we have nothing like that here in Mazatlán.

    It sounds like you are staying positive and finding substitutes for some of your favorite things, I would love to hear more about your diet.

  5. Nancy - I could easily send you whatever you want from the Bob's Red Mill line. Just let me know. The packages are around 80, 90 100 pesos tho. . .and they are small.
    Super Lake would certainly be an instant hit in PV, Maz, and so many other places, but doubt Pancho is into opening a chain. Maybe tho. SL started as a small family abarrote, if you can believe that. Every time someone asked him if he could get something, he got it. Not only that, he kept ordering it so people could ALWAYS find it. Thats pretty much been his business model and his reason for success with the foreign population.
    Thanks, you will hear more about this.

  6. Holla!
    First: sorry for my bad English; I’m Dutch!
    And thanks for this wonderful info; I’m so glad they sell quinoa up there! (So healthy if you can't have gluten or get to less calcium)

    I found your blog when I was googling Guadalajara and Chapala gluten free.
    I'm from Amsterdam, the Netherlands and have to eat both gluten free and lactose free and having some bad chronicle muscle conditions and next to that too.

    I'm coming over to the Chapala region maybe in February to see if we could live there for a while cause the stress and the weather here in Europe is doing me much harm. As I’m still young (43) but as I'm ill for 15 years now I can’t get a job anymore up here (but have no goverment money either as I was working for myself) so I still need to figger out what to do or live from when we would live there for a while...
    AND: I have even thought about making some gluten free,- lactose free items/foodies and selling them. I'm doing all my baking (bread/muffins/pies/pizza/pancakes/cakes) anyway now up here cause gluten free items are so expensive and lactose free items are almost non existence if you can’t have sojamilk as well...
    You as an expert;
    1. Would there be a market for this amongst the expats or Mexican in the region?
    2. And besides cornflower; is there rice or buckweatflower available somewhere for baking or cans of coconut or rice milk instead of normal milk?
    It’s just a vague idea...
    So looking forward to coming over to the Lake Chapala area!
    And we ofcourse have different products up here in the Netherlands but if you want me to bring an item that you cant find up there and your dying for; (for instance buckweatpasta or cornpasta or buckweatnoodles) please let me know!
    Kindest Regards; Inge

  7. Hi Inge,
    Thank you for your comment and information.
    The short answer is we have just about anything you might want GF, and I have a Mexican friend who is a baker and making awesome GF products. The GF products in SuperLake are expensive but available and I think you might be able to sell products there too. Some of the flours are not available here in MX tho.
    You know, we are not without stress here either, right? Do your homework before coming here and if you come, come for a visit to determine if this is the place for you.
    Good luck with your Celiac and your plans.

  8. Thanks for the info - I am reading a new book - Wheat Belly.

    Wow, I never knew wheat was bad for you. Count me in as a gluten freer - !!!

  9. I love wheat belly. Great book....I've gotten a long list of other books too. Dr rob thimpsons books are really good

  10. I'm on my way to spend a month in chapala today.