225 – The “Ease” of going gluten free

16 01 2011

I won’t say it was easy to give up gluten. Look at my post from about a week ago – I went on a gluten binge. So – I obviously still struggle at times. But – I have to count myself as one of the lucky ones. My husband and I have played with our diets quite a bit trying to eat more healthy options – increasing the fruits and vegies and decreasing the processed carbs. We went on the Zone diet for about a year to help improve our physical performance. Going on the Zone diet, I think, is what really prepared me for going gluten free. Within a month or two of following the Zone strictly, I no longer craved breads and pastas. When I ate pasta after a few months – I felt so heavy, uncomfortable and bloated that I didn’t ever want to eat it again.

That was back in 2008. Flash forward to 2009 (I know – big jump!), and I was getting heavier, getting depressed and spending a lot of time away from my husband (because of his job). I was eating ice cream on an almost daily basis – I was craving and eating hostess cupcakes, reese’s peanut butter cups, and my favorite meals were pizza and burgers. I went to Uganda in early 2010 and spent 2 1/2 months eating nothing (almost…) but starches – breads, rice, potatoes – for every  meal! I was so sick of bread. I just wanted vegetables – broccoli, carrots, greens. You name it – I was craving it!

I left Uganda at my heaviest weight ever. I was 167lbs, and I felt like s&*T! I was ashamed of how I looked and felt – my stomach was in a constant state of bloating, gas and pain – and I hated getting naked. I didn’t want to look at myself in a mirror, let alone make my husband look at my nastiness. It was time to do something. The intention was not to go gluten free. I didn’t think I had any issues with gluten or any other food or food category. Boy – was I wrong!

My sister introduced me to the concept of food allergies and sensitivities and convinced me that it was a good idea to do an elimination diet. I will forever be indebted to her, and as thankful as humanly possible, for helping me through this. The elimination diet was painful. It was a struggle. I hated giving up all these foods that I was craving. I still struggle. I learned about addictions to foods – especially sugar. I learned about the emotions that were driving me toward food as comfort.

I was amazed when I started my elimination diet and my headaches went away. The edema that I thought was natural in my legs went down. I had more energy, my depression fog lifted, and I felt more alive and vital. I couldn’t believe how much food had affected me.

Now – after being gluten free (besides the massive binge last week!) for about 4 months, I can’t see any other way of living. I am lucky that I don’t crave a lot of the crappy foods and I never did eat a lot of processed non-food crap that they sell in most grocery stores. My husband loves my new sense of creativity in the kitchen, and hasn’t been missing gluten either. We have found so many great recipes that are naturally gluten free, or that are really simple to make gluten free. I even made 9 different batches of gluten free cookies for the holidays!

I am amazed at how easy it can be to be gluten free. It was difficult at the beginning, but now it really isn’t as hard as I thought. It is a lot harder to be dairy and sugar free. Those are where I am struggling the most right now.

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One response

18 01 2011
Rissa Ree

“My sister introduced me to the concept of food allergies and sensitivities and convinced me that it was a good idea to do an elimination diet. I will forever be indebted to her, and as thankful as humanly possible, for helping me through this.”

In no way are you indebted to me sister! This was and is shared out of pure love! Your desire and determination are what truly pulled you through this! I only provided a signpost and a template. You’ve gone above and beyond and I admire and respect that!

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