Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Going G-Free

The same weekend I went on crutches, I went off gluten.

I know several people who have Celiac Disease or are gluten-intolerant. I always felt bad for them, because I have a deep love for bread, pastries and cupcakes. I could never live without bread. How would I enjoy a grilled veggie sandwich? A gyro isn't a gyro without the pita! And what about my beloved chocolate chip cookies? No. I couldn't live without gluten.

Oh, how things have changed.

I was curious one day and did a little research on Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance. Turns out the symptoms are quite diverse and those who suffer from these conditions can have any combination of symptoms. I have to mention that just because someone suffers from some of the symptoms for any of these conditions, doesn't mean they have an aversion to gluten because these symptoms are common of other health issues as well. The only way to really know if you have Celiac, are gluten intolerant or have a wheat allergy, is to be tested (which I haven't done yet).

I am in no way whatsoever, an expert on CD, gluten intolerance or wheat allergy, but according to celiac.org, a few of the symptoms of CD include:
  • IBS
  • Early onset Osteopenia/Osteoporosis
  • Fatigue
  • Infertility
  • Depression
  • Migraine headaches
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Vitamin deficiencies 
  • and others....
Noticing that I suffer from some of the symptoms listed for CD and gluten intolerance, I decided to give it a try. Why not? As much as I love bread, if I feel better, then it's worth it.

Except for a few times when I unknowingly ate gluten until it was too late, I haven't had gluten since April 17th. I will not tell a lie, I have had some pretty intense sandwich cravings and Woody has had to listen to be whine about it. (and when he called me out on it, I quickly rebutted with "don't tell me you wouldn't do the same if you couldn't eat sandwiches!" To which he agreed that I was probably right!)

It has definitely been an interesting switch and has made eating out a little difficult. It's been eye opening to learn how many food items actually have gluten in them. It has been good though, because I can't eat sweets like I did, and it's easier to turn them down knowing that I won't feel well the next day than just turning them down because "I shouldn't." I seem to be eating cleaner, more healthy meals because I can't fall back on certain "easy" meals.

I have a lot to learn about the g-free diet, but I'm willing to learn. I know it's really important to be tested because Celiac Disease is much more intense than gluten intolerance, but right now I don't plan on going through it. With all the medical tests I've had over the last few years, I have grown a special kind of intolerance to them and I'm not ready to start a whole new round of them just yet. So, for now I will keep gluten off my plate and see how I feel.

Thankfully it seems oats don't bother my stomach, so at least I can still enjoy a big bowl of yogurt mess in the morning (with my homemade granola, of course!)! Small miracles! (By the way, I am enjoying dairy again after taking a break from it. Maybe this will just be a break from gluten. Who knows!)

A few of my G-free meals:

And another small miracle, we have great gluten free bakeries in this little town of ours!

I had a great workout today! I'd say it ranks as one of my best workouts in the past several months, actually. Unfortunately it wasn't a run, but my legs had good power on the elliptical and I felt equal levels of strength and exhaustion during my strength session. What makes it even better is that I was almost a zombie in the elevator and walking to the gym. I think Woody and I said a total of 10 words to each other from the time we woke up to the time we checked in at the gym. This day is now off to a good start!
  • Do you have Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance? What has helped you adjust to the lifestyle?
  • What gets your day off to a good start?
Today's workout -
35min elliptical
100 crunches
1x40sec plank
2x12 side push-ups (I have no idea what this is really called!)
2x13 leg curl
2x16 let extension
2x18 weighted side bends
1x25sec laying leg lift (again, no idea what the real name is!)
foam roller


Copychic said...

Good luck with the g-free! I've thought about it but admit I"m too much of a pansy to take it on at the moment. I look forward to hearing how it continues to work for you :)

Jamoosh said...

I have heard of people going on a gluten free diet (not because of anything medical) and having very good success. Good luck to you!

Elle said...

My SIL has severe gluten intolerance and lots of food allergies. She has learned to adapt using rice, quinoa, and other grains for breads and crackers and pastas.

I have done wheat free from time to time and find I do like the way I feel - only did gluten free for one week. Thought we should try it in case my husband develops problems as it seems to be be in his family.

It is hard at first - good for you.

gracekelle said...

I can't imagine a life without bread/sandwiches but I will admit I feel better when I don't have it.

I admire your ability to abstain from gluten. It's in everything!

KT80 (Running Like a Girl) said...

My mother-in-law follows a gluten free diet. She had to be most aware of things like salad dressings and soy sauces because they contain wheat in the vinegars and such. Good luck! There are lots of good cookbooks and recipes out there now!

Susan said...

I do have to say, that I feel better when I'm off gluten..... but, darn it, I love bread so much!