April 5, 2011

Gluten Free Journey

Warning: this is not a very joyful uplifting post - just keepin it real....
(I am using this blog to keep my journal of this journey to see how and if in time it changes and gets better.)

It has been about two weeks since I went gluten free. It has definitely been a journey.  I thought by this point I would have a more positive outlook on the whole thing but I really am still feeling in deprivation mode.  Everyday I keep seeing things that I can't have.  I find I am hungry a lot of the time which makes my mood horrible.  Also since I have cut out a lot of my carbs (because there is gluten in them) I find I am continually tired. I have done a bunch of research which I will talk about in a bit but it is still not helping my motivation factor.  Hmmm...

This is kind of unlike me because usually when I am presented with a challenge I take it head on and find the solution.  The problem with this challenge is that there is no quick solution, in fact it requires a major life change.  Relearning everything I know about cooking with certain products while feeling like I have no time to do so.

So far I have not noticed a huge change in my health.  I think going gluten free requires some time before big changes can be noticed though. I hope.

I find that going out to eat is more of a burden now then before when it was a delight.  The minute that dreaded question comes up "Would you like to go out to dinner?" I start mulling over places to go coming up with virtually nothing. Getting stressed because I don't want to be the "picky" one or the one that has all these substitutions that the server hates.  We have been out to eat several times in the past few weeks and most times have been OK.  Mostly I feel like a burden to people and not extremely satisfied after the meal. I feel like I missed out.  That being said I have encountered management at restaurants that have been very accommodating, supportive and helpful, which is nice.  I have had a decent gluten free pepperoni pizza, hamburger and Asian noodle dish.

Grocery shopping has been fun.  It is always exciting to find a product that is gluten free. At many of the stores I have visited there have been clear markings on shelves as to what is gluten free and some stores even have lists of all their products that are gluten free.  It is very helpful.  I have had to become much more of a label reader now.  I used to read labels for hydrogenated oils (to avoid) or fat grams or calories but now I am looking for much more than that.  It is amazing that there are SO many ingredients and products that have gluten in them.  I just noticed even my yogurt has gluten!  UUGGHH!!!  In reading the labels more thoroughly I have been surprised at all the food I bought that had MSG in them.  I can't believe I missed that!  This is obviously a good thing coming out of this journey. I am culling products as I find them. There are a lot of gluten free mixes out there for pancakes, cornbread, etc.  There is also a selection of GF breads as well.  I find that everything labeled GF is very expensive for a small amount.  Here are some of the GF foods I have tried:

GF Bread slices really small and like buying a brick.  It is only good toasted with peanut butter not for sandwiches.

Brown Rice Tortillas these were not good. they tasted like paper. I am bummed about this because one of the things I really miss is burritos.

GF Chocolate Brownie mix this was not good.  It was grainy, had a nutty flavor, and was hard to get out of the pan.

GF Cornbread mix this was actually one of the better mixes I have had.  It was like a cross between a biscuit and cornbread.

GF Pancake Mix I haven't tried this one yet

GF Frozen Waffles.  These were not bad but I have to say it is torture to have my family sitting there eating wonderful homemade oatmeal waffles steaming hot off the waffle iron and I get frozen ones. I didn't eat frozen ones before and now I have to. 

What I have gathered from this two weeks is that in order to sustain this avoidance of gluten I have to learn to cook GF from scratch.  Buying mixes and premade stuff is not going to last.  I did not cook that way before and I can't do that now because it is expensive and not as good.  I will learn to make baked goods, entrees, and desserts gluten free and from scratch.  I have found some good websites that inspire me on this journey and give me hope.  My favorite one is 

Gluten Free Girl
I loved her story and would like to get her cookbook

I also want to get this book called Ratio because I think it will help me cook from scratch with different flours and such.

One other thing I need to get back to doing is menu planning.  This time for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I used to only do it for dinners but now especially for me it have to do it for all meals.

I think the biggest motivation for me will be if I start seeing hand feeling health changes and knowing the sacrifice is worth it. I pray it is.

So this is where I am at.  Lately I have been feeling like giving up and just continuing to deal with the health problems.  I miss what I like to eat too much.  I know I can't do this though and I will at least give it until June when I have a follow up with my doc and hopefully I will see changes.  If I don't then I probably will not stick with it.

If you read to the end I apologize for being so whiny on this post but again this is honestly reality for me right now.  I still have hope it will get better most of the time and will just keep putting one foot in front of the other and pray for God's guidance and peace with this.  I will keep you posted!


1 comment:

  1. It WILL get better- it has to :) Only one way to go- up!


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For any and all health advice/suggestions and/or posts on this blog, I do not assume any liability for you. The posts and comments on this blog are not meant to be a substitute for your own practicing physician's care in your life. These posts are based on my experience and research in my own healing journey and are placed here to encourage and help those ailing with their health. We are all individuals and there is not ONE pat answer or resolution that applies to everyone across the board.