Gluten free: Day 2

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Me: If I do this for 3 days, people will say that I should have done it for a week. If I do it for a week, people will say I should have done it for 2 weeks. If I do it for 2 weeks, people will say I will have to do it for a year before I see any benefits.

Mike: Even a juice cleanse takes at least 3 days. Be thankful you’re not having just lemon juice and anchovies.

Me: Anchovies? A cleanse is lemon juice and cayenne pepper.

Mike: ……..in England they use anchovies.

Day 2 began with Kashi Indigo Morning cereal, which is cornflakes with freeze dried blueberries and blackberries. I weighed out the serving size on the nutrition label, thought, Aww, that’s adorable, and poured some more. The flavor of the cereal was decent and it has a good crunch. It left my hunger somewhat satisfied, but definitely not full. Fortunately, a cup of coffee finished filling me up. The flakes left kernels stuck in my teeth like I had eaten popcorn, perfect for second breakfast later.

At lunchtime, I tried the brown rice pasta and chicken meatballs. The pasta was a bit chewy, but the taste and texture wasn’t really different from regular pasta. It also reminded me that I really need to bottle my own sauce. Bottled is okay in a pinch, but it always seems to have an aftertaste to it.

That entire day, I felt like a shell of a person. A very, very fatigued shell. On the plus side, my hunger wasn’t as bad as it normally is. The food I ate seemed to sustain me for longer periods of time, and when hunger came, it didn’t suddenly crash.

Gluten free: Day 1

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Today was more positive than I thought it would be. I typically have frosted mini wheats for breakfast because they’re filling, not bad on the sugar to protein ratio, and they help keep me regular. But, of course, I can’t have those. (Also, I was out.) I had oatmeal on hand, so I had that and coffee. During breakfast, I browsed my Whole Foods and Epicurious apps for gluten free recipes. I was happy to find a couple of bread recipes that look easy enough. Lately, Mike and I had been talking about making our own bread anyway. The bread we’ve been using just seems to have so many extras in it when compared with bakery bread. I think the drawback could be the insane amount of money it seems to cost for small bags of different grain flours. But perhaps the cost would even out after making my own. As far as making sandwich wraps, I typically kinda hate cold tortilla style wraps.

Shopping gluten free

I feel pretty fortunate that my local grocery store has a somewhat decent crunchy, organic section. I decided to check it out to see what I could stock up on. I was a little dismayed to see just how few things in that section were gluten free. Fortunately, I was able to grab some brown rice pasta and cereal. I was also able to snag some things to try that were dotted throughout the store: a thai rice noodle bowl; “granola” bars made of fruit, seeds, and almonds; chicken meatballs for pasta. I also grabbed some things to make shepherd’s pie. I was pleasantly surprised to find that our grocery bill wasn’t exhorbitant, although I was only grabbing food for a couple of days. And since this was the first time I was shopping for gluten free food, the shopping trip took longer than normal. If it didn’t specifically say gluten free on the packaging, I had to stand there in the aisle reading the list of ingredients and compare it with a list of okay ingredients I found online.

Lunch

I was trying to make my life easy for lunch, so I grabbed one of these for lunch.
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I paired it with a small salad from the salad bar at the store and my favorite homemade honey mustard dressing. I have to say, I was a little less than enthused to eat the bowl once I opened it.
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Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains
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Dried “vegetables”
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Is that sauce or poo?

Fortunately, it tasted better than it looked. It was a bit too spicy for me, even after I picked out the dried peppers and didn’t use the entire sauce packet. Clearly, I’ll need to make this from scratch. I was pleasantly surprised at how full I felt after a meatless meal.

As the day wore on, I was hungry, but not like I usually am. I’m hypoglycemic, so I’m used to needing protein and being hungry all the time. The worst is when the hunger feels like it’s practically choking me and a hole is burning through my belly button straight to my back. Or when my sugar suddenly plummets and my body starts feeling shaky and panicky. So, while I felt hungry from time to time, I didn’t feel like I needed to shove the nearest snack into my face in a fit of mad desperation. I picked up some non granola granola bars with almonds, seeds, and dried fruit. They’re surprisingly good, but small and expensive. It did a pretty good job of filling me up. (The distraction of finishing preparing for the Daisy meeting helped, too.)

By dinner time, I was in a tremendous amount of pain and had to have afternoon coffee just to make it through the fatigue. I’m sure the stress of preparing for the Girl Scout meeting, which included gluing pictures of Sally Ride and Benazir Bhutto, while shoveling pulled pork into my mouth didn’t help. By the time I got home and finished getting the girls into bed, I was in some of the worst pain I’ve been in in awhile. I had a really hard time falling asleep, but sooner or later I fell asleep to the sound of The Daily Show, and my first gluten free day came to a close.

The gluten free experiment begins

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I’m a little skeptical of elimination diets. Sometimes it seems that going gluten free is more of a fad panacea.
I have a broken arm.
Have you tried going gluten free?

But I have to admit that I’ve known enough people for whom going gluten free has worked or helped to alleviate symptoms. This seems to be particularly true in the fibromyalgia community. So I thought I’d give it a try. I figure I’ll at least be able to say that I tried it, and the worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work. (Or maybe that it does, and I’ll have to get used funny tasting baked goods.)

I’m planning on trying this for two weeks. I’ll blog about each day, but they are remaining in draft form, (including this one) until after the experiment is finished. I’d rather not have several well-meaning people letting me know what I should or shouldn’t do, or telling me how I’m doing it wrong. I think that would just make me throw my hands up in the air, scream that it’s too hard, and send me running to the nearest cupcake.