Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Going Gluten Free

It's spring time. Ignore the empty coke bottle planters
and dead grass. My yard is a hot mess. 

I’m going through a dietary transition. A permanent transition, which makes it all the more harder.

After extensive research and an elimination diet, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a gluten sensitivity, and my doctor agrees that giving it up seems to be a good idea.

I don’t want to sound like I’m jumping on the fad wagon. Going gluten free is all the rage right now, but I’d really rather have no part of it. I like wheat bread, pasta, cookies, etc. Bye-bye deliciously glutenous items of goodness.

Now, I eat rice bread, bean sprout noodle things, and cookies by brands like Glutino. None of which are too horrible. The bread has been an interesting change (gluten-free bread neither bends the same nor seems to have a reasonable expiration date—the first kind I got was supposed to last 3 months or something). The noodles aren’t bad; I used to eat Chinese takeout all the time, so that wasn’t anything new, but I do miss the taste of regular angel hair pasta. There’s no real complaint in the sweets aisle, except I’ll miss the things that can’t be realistically replicated—I’m looking at you Oreos and Pringles.

And I didn’t even make the transition right. I’d been suspecting gluten was the cause for some of my aliments for months now, but I never had the determination to actually commit to the change. It’s a lot to take in. You have to learn your labels, learn what sauces and dressings are no longer available to you, what seasoning packs aren’t available to you. But, after a rather glutenous week followed by days of feeling like complete and utter crap, I went cold turkey. Friday night was the last time gluten passed these lips.

And it’s been kind of amazing. In the past week, I haven’t been bloated, felt nauseous, needed to take any gas relief medication, and my body hasn’t ached. It’s like the first day after a really bad cold when you can finally breathe through your nose again.

I feel like I can exist in my body again.

Anxiety has all but disappeared. In the midst of feeling like crap the week before last, I had to run out of a Barnes and Noble because I thought I was going to pass out. This past weekend, after the change, the hubs and I went to an artisan fair and numerous shops where I never felt the need to bolt.

The change that just a week has brought on gives me so much hope for the things that can’t immediately change. Like maybe one day, I’ll be able to retire the hormones and live medicine free again. Maybe I can finally start losing weight. Maybe I can stop worrying about being sick or feeling out of it or spending whole days at my house in pajamas because my anxiety is on red alert.

It seems like a big deal, all the things I can’t have, but it’s really not. I’ll never have my family’s pie on holidays again, but I’ve spent an entire week without nausea, and that isn’t something I’ve been able to say for years.

I’ll just have to dust off my baking skills and try to replicate all the stuff I think I’m missing.

Anyone else give up gluten? What have been your results? Any tips for cheaper grocery bills?


  1. Ugh, I feel you. I think (no formal diagnosis yet, but I have all the symptoms) that I have PCOS, which is a big indicator of pre-diabetes, besides being the reason my lady-parts aren't doing their thing. I'm facing some pretty major diet changes as well- no sugar, no white bread, no soda, no white rice- I'm just starting, but it feels like an uphill battle.

    1. Oh man, PCOS sucks. I got tested for that. Thankfully, I don't have it. My lady parts got out of whack because of a bum thyroid and, as we now suspect now, gluten issues. I have a reoccurring affair with pop. I don't drink it for months, and then I have a week where I go to town. I gave up most processed foods, outside of dressing and such, a while ago, which sucked. It's all fresh, or fresh frozen, all the time, except one day a week where I'll have a bit of candy. Goes to show how hard it is to fully commit to something. I hope it goes well for you and everything works out!

  2. I know it doesn't seem cheaper at first, but stick with fruit, veggies and proteins and bulk it up with rice, beans or quinoa- in fact, I love quinoa for the fact that a little goes a hell of a long way and I think it's better tasting than rice since it often takes on the flavor of anything you cook with it. I'm also a big fan of soya/tofu for that reason too. Using GF substitutes is pricey and they're pretty much just hollow calories that will make you hungry again quickly but they're pretty tasty for the occasional treat. I used to try to buy all my fruit and veg at the farmers market- they usually have the best deals, you can buy more and it's all much fresher than you find at the grocery store. (plus you're helping out a local mom & pop's business! yay for supporting local industry!) Also, look out for specials in the grocery store on produce and buy what's in season. I used to stock up when my local stores did 10 for $10 days on frozen veggies and coupons were my best friends when it came to buying canned foods like tuna or beans or dairy products like yogurt and cheese. Hope this all helps and good luck! (btw, thanks for the comment on my blog. <3 )