Going Gluten Free – Reflections

Good Monday morning, my beautiful readers! :)

If any of you are common readers of my blog [which you all should become, justtt sayinn' ;) ], you will remember that due to some health issues, primarily with my stomach, I evaluated my symptoms and decided to tackle a gluten free experiment, to see if I was gluten intolerant.

The day that I decided to go gluten free was exactly four weeks ago, today. Here are some things I have observed.

  1. I do feel better, without having gluten in my diet. I had already, for the most part, eliminated a large portion of gluten from my diet before going totally GF, because a lot of these foods were things I knew hurt my stomach, such as pizza and large quantities of sweet treats like  cake and cookies. For over a year preceding going gluten free, I would often eat meals, and respectively be doubled over in stomach pain a few minutes later. This has happened much less. I also think I have been slightly less moody. My boyfriend will even attest to this.. I hope! ;)
  2. It has been hard! A lotttt of things have gluten! I never would have imagined so many things contained gluten. Many marinades I often use in cooking and Pam cooking spray have gluten. Who would have thought? I have also been super busy in the past month. I have spent a lot of time with relatives, and have taken two trips out of town. Eating out in an unfamiliar setting is definitely tough. I fell into a grilled chicken salad rut while visiting DC, and at one point I thought that if I saw another chicken salad, I was going to hurt someone. [okay, not really] I have also struggled with getting other people to understand my dietary restrictions. Not many people understand why I have cut gluten from my diet, and from this I either get one of two extremes. People either scoff and believe it is unnecessary, or they are extremely supportive and willing to help and offer me alternative food choices. Oh, and taking my own meal to my own grandmother’s pasta dinner sucks.
  3. I probably have not gone “zero gluten.” I am still realizing, almost every day, more and more things that contain gluten. That stuff is sneaky! I also have had a few instances where I have given into temptation and have been forced to “pretend” things don’t contain gluten. I have not eaten a lot at all, but I definitely had to snag a perfectly, golden fried, crispy, amazing french fry from my brother, and have been unable to not take just one bite of a cookie sitting in front of me. Oops! We can’t all be perfect!
  4. I did not have life changing results. I have heard many stories of people dropping gluten from their diet and having a complete 180 with their health. This was not my case. While I do feel significantly better, I did not have an experience such as Shauna, who did not even feel truly alive when her diet included gluten products. I think that it is a miracle that people like her have uncovered the mystery behind their health issues, but I think this may be because I do not have a significant enough intolerance to gluten as people like Shauna do.
  5. I have had trouble eating enough. Yea, I cannot believe that just came out of my mouth. I eat. A ton, trust me. But by eliminating gluten filled products, I have accidentally reduced my caloric intake. I have lost a couple of pounds since going gluten free, and I should not lost any more. I have struggled with being overly concerned with calorie counting, so this has been a bit of a struggle for me.
  6. I do not like gluten free flour. I just don’t. Everything I have baked I have thrown away. If you have suggestions, let me know!
  7. I cook more! Which is a good thing! I love learning to cook, even though my skills aren’t quite up to par yet! ;)

Questions for the Day:

  • Do you have a special dietary restriction? How do you deal with people’s reactions?
  • Do you have any tips for gluten free baking? What are the best flours?
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About Sweet and Savvy

My name is Savannah and I am a teenage girl and a complete optimist with passions for learning, helping people, nutrition and enjoying every minute of life to its fullest!

Posted on August 15, 2011, in Dietary Needs, Gluten Free, Random Tangents. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I don’t have an dietary restrictions (well I’m lactose intolerant, but whatever!), though I don’t eat cake/chocolate/sweets. Now THIS is when I get a ton of dirty looks from people. Like, every year since I’ve stopped eating cake, on my birthday my aunt always bugs me “aren’t you going to get a cake? well, why not?” I always tell her “i haven’t had it in years. If you want cake, go get some. But I don’t want any” Its hard dealing with people!! I just always tell myself that what I’m doing is best for my body.

  2. This was really interesting for me to read, thank you for sharing your experiences thus far!
    I get rather errr gassy (tmi) from a lot of foods, especially anything with spice or beans…so I try to avoid those. It’s not really a dietary restriction though, I just can’t be around people after eating that type of stuff! Ew sorry :)

  3. So glad you feel better! At least now there are alot more gluten free options (a pizza delivery by my house even has gluten free crust now). But I’m sure it can be so hard to maintain gluten free all the time. I’m lucky I don’t have any dietary restrictions, knock on wood.

  4. Maybe your lactose intolerant if things like pizza, cake and cookies give you a stomach ache. My dad’s lactose intolerant and he takes Lactaid when he eats dairy.

  5. I’m lactose intolerant, and it was pretty hard to readjust what I ate but after awhile my body got used to it, and stopped craving dairy products. It just takes a lot of time and a positive attitude! :) Oh, and maybe get yourself some gluten free cookies. That will help too ;)

  6. I’m so sorry that going gluten free has been so hard! I can’t even imagine going gluten free – it would be so hard! I think the only thing that would be able to save me would be oatmeal. I’m lactose intollerant. I know that since I’ve given that up, I’ve been much happier. :) I think becoming allergic to something like nuts or oats or chocolate would really ruin me. I love them so much!

  7. Thanks for sharing this – it was very interesting to read! :)

    I don’t have any intolerances, but I still experiment with gluten/lactose free foods because I think it’s fun and different. I actually always make my pancakes with brown rice flour because I like the texture/flavor better. Have you used brown rice flour?
    <3 <3

  8. i’m glad you’re feeling better. you really should be tested for celiac disease if you think that you are experiencing those symptoms of gluten intolerance (abdominal pain, steatorrhea, signs of vitamin/mineral deficiencies) . unfortunately, the test only works if you are still consuming gluten (which it sounds like you are, to some extent). a number of people with celiac disease cannot even use toasters which have toasted bread that contains gluten. while celiac disease is more common than was previously thought, you really want to make sure you have the correct diagnosis (versus perhaps Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) before making such a drastic change to your diet. good luck, and feel better!

  1. Pingback: Saturday Scones and a Salad Monster « Sweet and Savvy

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