Day 9- Gluten-free

Wow. How did that happen? Somehow, I jumped to day 9. I guess I have been preoccupied with other projects. I DO remember, however, as I took some mental notes about any snags along the way. Nevertheless, I stayed gluten-free to my own standards.  What does that mean?

Well, a couple of days ago I noticed that the blue corn chips that I was eating with some awesome spinach, artichoke, and cheese dip, were made in a non-gluten-free factory. I think I’m not going to do that again. I didn’t experience any consequences that I was aware of, but, I’m feeling pretty motivated to stay on task in my gluten-free diet.

Other mention-ables

I live near an Italian restaurant. The smells of dough emanates through my driveway and through my doorway. What do you think? Smelling gluten, is that okay? I’m gonna let that one slide. I can appreciate vicariously the Italian delights going on “over there” through my nose – thank you very much! Still, the gluten-y garlic breads, pastas, and pizza doughs are *not* inside of my GI tract. Issue is closed.

Finally, it’s not just the Italian cuisine that hosts some of my previously favorite gluten-filled dishes. I have occasional cravings for Naan bread from an Indian restaurant. Best description:

If there’s anything that will make you fall in love with Indian food, it’s naan. This flatbread from the North of India is juxtaposition at its most beautiful: pillowy and elastic, with dark charred bubbles and a crispy bottom. It’s usually made in a tandoor oven, a clay oven that can reach up to 900 degrees F! That’s hard to replicate at home, but this stovetop version comes pretty darned close…”
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aarti-sequeira/naan-indian-oven-baked-flat-bread-recipe.html?oc=linkback

 

About Indian food:

I’ll put it this way: I love it when my food makes me sweat.

Yesterday, my husband and I got to experience Indian food (tikka masala) with white rice. No bread, no naan – I was too busy LOVING the flavor of my entree to notice. Luckily, he and I are both gluten-free. Wow, that’s rare!

Good advice: Make sure you tell your server that you are gluten-free. Lots of things have gluten hidden in them. You already are putting yourself “at risk” by eating in a restaurant where you can’t check your labels. You have greater assurance based on the way the server responds.  After all, it’s always your choice to get up and leave – so look over the menu first, and discuss it with your server. All in all, I was pretty happy with San Diego’s “World Curry” restaurant. Good prices, good food, and an informed wait-staff. Top that off with its location in Pacific Beach (a fun neighborhood), and management who brings you dessert (coconut ice cream – two spoons) and loves to see your happy face; It’s just obvious they know what they are doing!

Feel free to check out “My Healing Journey” blog (I’ll hopefully create a link when I come back and edit this). At “My Healing Journey” you will learn more about what’s going on with “My Healing Journey.” I’ll be writing it. If you get there first and it’s not there yet… stay tuned. I have updates!

 

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Day 4-

Today is day 4 of my gluten free diet. I love it! Mostly, I love it because I’ve realized how easy it is to be gluten free. If I want cookies, I can have them. I just tried the best gluten free cookies, ever.  Yesterday, courtesy of an awesome employee who could give me his opinion on all the gluten free cookies in the store, I chose.

Trader Joe’s:  Gluten free Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies (very, very tasty. It was on the thin-side for cookies, but the flavor is so amazing; it barely matters that these cookies are flat and a tad bit brittle, because they are heaven in my mouth). They still taste homemade; at least like one’s I’ve made before.

Not that I am all that interested in cookies (I mean they taste good) but, they aren’t high in nutrition-density.

So far, I haven’t noticed any differences in the way I am feeling in terms of my digestive system. As far as my pain levels go – that’s difficult to gauge because I am healing from a spinal disc rupture/herniation. Therefore, I’ve experienced my healing gains as being week to week, regardless of whether or not I have been eating a gluten free diet. I anticipate continued improvements in pain and flexibility, while building muscle strength and core support.

I don’t expect quick results nor immediate feedback from my body about my new gluten-free diet. In fact, there’s the possibility that even after having stopped eating gluten for a certain period of time, some of my digestive problems might even worsen for a time, before they get better. 

I’m going for the long-view here. I want to see how important gluten really is for my nutrition. Do I even need it? And, Can I find increasingly more efficient ways to spend my money while going gluten free. That is, can I get by without the high-priced alternatives?

I think the answer is yes. I will also say that I’m grateful for gluten-free alternatives. When I sample some of those alternatives, I’ll offer my opinion of them here. Otherwise, I may not really crave alternatives all that much. We shall see. I ‘do’ know that when the body wants something (like gluten) it’ll find a way to make you crave something that you’ve forgotten has gluten in it.  I will continue to be watchful, and stick to my plan.

 

 

Day 2 –

Today is Day 2 of my gluten-free diet. The first day didn’t seem so difficult, as in the past, I had been slowly weaning myself off of gluten/wheat dependence before I finally realized that my mind would come up with tons of excuses to crave something specifically breaded. Once I realized how embedded these cravings were, that there was some kind of body-directive being executed from my “second brain,” it strengthened my resolve for a full-on experiment–no gluten for 1-2 months. Right now it’s looking more like 2 or 3 months, just so that I can be sure about it.

I spent some time in the early morning hours lamenting “no more perogies” until I realized that if I really wanted them all that bad, I could find a gluten free recipe online. Also, if I really wanted to have pasta, there are alternative options for me.  I could substitute with either the gluten free varieties easily purchasable at the grocery store, or I could eat rice vermicelli rice noodles instead. The rice vermicelli noodles wouldn’t come with the price markup as the gluten free variety, and are highly appealing.

In the meantime, I’ve picked up a wonderful book that educates me on the processes that are taking place in my body’s digestion. It’s called, The Second Brain, by Michael D. Gershon, M.D.. If nothing else, this book gives me tremendous appreciation for my body and the intricacies of natural processes in the human body.

 

Today is day 1 –

I’m writing this blog as a continuous incentive for myself to change my food habits into ones that are easier on my body. Specifically, I am eliminating gluten from my diet for 1-2 months. This is a decision that isn’t coming from any conviction about the science behind it all, but from a place of empowerment (and a little bit of righteous anger) as I shore up my will, and my desire, to exercise greater freedom from a place of increased wellbeing. 

I am selling it to myself in the following way. I am not curbing myself nor punitively exercising against my pleasure for food, rather I am extricating myself from feeling disempowered, from having my appetite for breads and my heritage of pasta weigh down on my intestines in ways that may have been undue. I especially don’t like the fact that breads, pastas, and wheat & gluten-based foods have had a “hold on me.”

As an Italian, I am re-directing my love and passion elsewhere. This is my choice to take all this awesome energy that I have devoted to the sensory pleasure of eating, and go on an adventure – one with my taste buds, and more intriguingly on adventure into a land of “NO.” I need a long break. I need to see what this relationship with wheat & gluten was really worth.

I’m tired of gluten!!

Let’s see what happens next.

In the meantime, I have compiled some information for revisiting in the event that I should feel the addiction for bread. I’m not necessarily interested in weight loss, but who couldn’t enjoy feeling more trim and fit?!

I’m going for the benefits of happy bathroom habits. I’m going for the benefit of more energy. I’m going for the idea that I can drop the “dead weight” and useless consumption of food that is potentially little more than addiction. Add that I am Italian, and pasta consumption has so many positive associations, I’ll see if an alternative will ever work (so far I have tried and failed in that department).

Please let me know if YOU have any GOOD ideas, any great brands or recipes for my discerning palate to partake.

Some links on wheat addiction:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-wheat-addictive/#axzz2yycrCTJp 

http://thecuriouscoconut.com/blog/is-wheat-addictive-like-heroin