As I mentioned last week, after years of suffering from an invisible illness, possible misdiagnosis and generally turning into an 80-year-old in a 30ish okay, almost 40ish body, I have finally found an answer to my achy woes. I am now officially in the gluten-free club. I’m actually far more excited than I should be, mostly because I saw and felt significant improvement in just one week. I know it sounds like as seen on TV line, but it’s true.
I have learned a great deal about my body and it’s reaction to just about anything in the past few years, but never really considered gluten an adversary. That’s probably because my preferred diet is bagels, pizza, and cupcakes with some pasta thrown in to shake it up a bit. It’s also because, according to my team of doctors, I eat pretty well compared to the average human. It is due to this shining example I set that it is so hard to diagnose my condition. Apparently I do not shove enough evil glutenous poison in my face to register strongly on tests or give a clear outward indication that it’s lurking inside me.
I have since learned that many celiacs and those with gluten sensitivity test negative and can only discover their lot in life by avoiding gluten at all costs. I won the lottery with a weak positive, so I can only imagine how much fun I’d be having if I got a strong positive. I can say that I consider myself lucky that it’s weak, especially now that I’ve been doing some research and have learned how unlucky many people are because of this.
No, I am not about to rant about the evil of gluten, GMOs, conventionally grown food and the destruction of bee colonies. I am going to say that I am so completely thankful for Udi’s making a soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie and a fantastic pizza crust that both give me hope that I might actually survive this way.
I spent the first day of my new gluten-free existence sitting on the floor in front of my refrigerator, pulling things out, scrutinizing the label, muttering incoherently and swearing at all the food that has just been rendered completely poisonous. Fortunately, we eat a lot of fresh produce, and yes, it’s mostly organic, so it wasn’t too bad. My favorite Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce, however, is NOT gluten free. Sad trombone and sad clown face.
The pantry fared no better even though there’s not a lot in it. All my whole wheat flour (so good for you!) is of course, not on my friend list and my favorite Trader Joe’s maple oatmeal is also not gluten-free.
Whine, whine, whine.
True. But I eat practically the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day and change is not always easy. I was just plain mad when I discovered after a week of eating Nature Valley Oats’ n Honey granola bars that they contain malt. SPOILER: Malt is not gluten-free. Sad trombone again.
It’s now been almost a month and I not only survived a Thanksgiving meal I did not cook, I feel AMAZING. I basically living off salads and gluten-free soup (yep, have to check that, too). It’s not so bad. At least I like salad and soup. I found some great gluten-free pasta by Barilla that I swear you can’t tell the difference in taste and it cooks up beautifully.
So now you’re thinking, well hell if you’ve been eating junk all this time of course you feel amazing when you start eating right. You are correct, however I counter with, “you didn’t know me when I was Vegan.”
I have been an omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, and vegan with no oil (Engine 2 – very interesting with a super yummy “lasagna” and bean salad…seriously). All that time I had all these weird symptoms and now they are GONE. So gone, in fact, that I meet with my team of doctors to discuss backing off some of the prescriptions I have to treat everything we thought I was diagnosed with and, to be fair, may still have, but don’t need to treat as aggressively.
Wish me luck!