Friday, March 6, 2009

On Being Gluten Free

Good morning & Happy Friday! The temperature is finally above freezing - is it possible that spring is here, finally? I certainly hope so!

Well, I have been Gluten Free for 5 days and so far it's going pretty well. I got my test results back from the doctor & the Celiac test was negative... which didn't really surprise me that much as the doctor had warned me that the test might come back negative but I should still continue to remove Gluten from my diet. She said to try it for 4 weeks and see how I feel - if I feel better, we've found the culprit. If I don't, she'll refer me to a GI Specialist and he/she will probably do a scope of some sort to rule out other possibilities.

So how is it going so far? Pretty good. I will say - this is definitely not a diet adjustment for the lazy. I'm not expert on this, unlike my cousin Suzanne who's been dealing with this for much longer, but so far I've learned to just basically stay away from anything processed. And stay away from lists of ingredients that I can't pronounce. Which is probably something everyone should do regardless of their dietary needs. I was eating Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones for multiple meals each week, and that is no longer an option for me, so that's a bit of an adjustment, but an adjustment for the better. Going Gluten Free will force me to go grocery shopping more often, eat more produce, and cook more of my own meals. I know those are habits that everyone should have and I am sure some people will read that & think - 'you weren't already doing those things?' I know I should have, but the answer is no. My weekends are usually filled with homework meetings and paper writing, etc, so sometimes I just don't find the time to go to the grocery store as often as I should. This will change, though. And I am looking forward to cooking more as it is something I do really enjoy when I take the time to do it.

I don't know if it's the warmer temps or the removal of gluten, but I already feel sort of different. Which doesn't seem possible since the doctor said I probably won't notice a difference for 2 weeks. But I feel less tired. Especially in the mornings. Last fall, on the days I would drive into work, I would struggle to stay awake on the drive in. Sometimes I'd drive with my eyes sort of half open and when I got into downtown and was waiting at a stoplight, I would close my eyes, count to 10, and re-open them to see if the light had turned from red to green. Sounds silly, but I always felt so exhausted. The last couple of days, I haven't felt like I had that 'veil of exhaustion' hovering over me. Again, it seems odd that I'd notice a difference this quickly, but we'll see if this continues!!

My toughest meal of the day is definitely breakfast. I was a cheerios or oatmeal kind of girl & those are just not options anymore. There is a GF oatmeal, but I hear it is pretty pricey so I am trying to come up with some more economical options. I've been eating really, really random things. Like Cherry Tomatoes. I plan on making a big batch of brown rice this weekend in my rice cooker (a must-buy if you don't own one!) and will start eating that for breakfast next week. I know it sounds kind of abnormal to eat something like that for breakfast, but I need something fast and easy, and something with some substance to it. Even though I am feeling less tired these days, I don't quite have the discipline to get up early enough to make myself an egg white omelet or something like that, so the brown rice will have to do for now.

I'm going to Trader Joe's this weekend to check out their GF section and looking forward to cooking up some GF pasta this weekend!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Amber said...

Oh wow, that does sound like a lot of work. I'm sure it will be tough for the first few weeks but then it will just become a habit for you to avoid gluten! I hope it makes you feel better in the long run!

Jess said...

Good luck! It does sound like a lot of work, but if it's going to be make you feel better in the long run, then it is totally worth it.
I understand not having the energy to cook nutritious meals everyday. Between work, school, etc it's a very difficult thing to balance.

Shoshanah said...

Have you tried having fruit for breakfast?

And I am so happy that it is starting to get warm. Yeah!

qwerkyqook said...

Hey Lisa! Brown rice for breakfast is awesome! Here are my two favorites.

Into a sauce pan:
A big ladle full of pre-cooked brown rice
Pomegranate juice, or pomegranate juice cocktail to cover the rice
Heafty dash of cinnamon
Less zealous dash of ginger
Dried cherries and dried cranberries

Simmer till juice has condensed and rice/berries have softened
occasionally I add a handful of frozen blueberries at the end, and heat till they just burst

Remove from heat
Put in your favorite colorful bowl*.
Add a swirl of pure maple syrup
Top with shredded coconut.

#2 basically the same procedure except vanilla soy milk, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, coconut, and agave nectar. you could add raisins too! Kind of like Chai right?

Anyways, brown rice will save your life at the beginning. Rice chex are gluten free too!- check the box though, because some are made with malt. Also, make sure you get new wooden spoons and cutting boards, then run other dishes through the dishwasher. Plastic and wood holds on to gluten forever, so if you mix up your rice with your old wooden spoon, your glutening your pot!