For Lent this year, I gave up all dairy products for 40 days. This included cheese on pizza, ice cream, converting to almond milk and drinking smoothies that were 50% water. It wasn’t as bad as I had thought it was going to be, and actually came naturally to me. I used to fight my parents when they would make me drink dairy milk with my dinner. So I was looking forward to removing it from my diet completely.
I felt better, I did. But I didn’t feel all the way better. I still was getting stomach aches from eating almost 2-3 times a day. It came down to dreading when I needed to eat. Obviously, dairy wasn’t the culprit. But what was it??
One day at work I was eating a clean lunch of diced avocado, diced tomato, cilantro and a bit of lime juice (aka guacamole) and decided that it would be best served with a small bag of multi-grain Sun Chips. Lunch was great, extremely yummy and overall healthy. It wasn’t until approx 20 min later that I had one of the worst stomach aches. 😦 I explained what I ate to one of my co-workers and her first response was “Have you ever thought you have a Gluten allergy?” — then it clicked, maybe I did. Maybe I should try to avoid all Gluten products and see where it took me.
But geeeeeez Gluten is in EVERYTHING! Pizza crust, bread, tortilla chips, pasta, taco shells, muffins.. and my absolutel favorite: BEER.. yea… EVERYTHING!!!
What is Gluten, you might ask? Well check out the Wikipedia page here. Or I can make it easy and just tell you..
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain spices, including barley and rye. Gluten give elasticity to dough helping it rise and keep its shape – often giving the final product a chewy texture.
Anyways, because I really wanted to stop the stomach aches — and I enjoy a challenge — I decided to try it. Give up everything wheat, barley and rye. Including beer. AHHHH!
My boyfriend Bryan was very sweet and bought me a “gluten free starter kit” and beautiful purple tulips for encouragement and a kick start. Luckily, I was in the middle of an Advocare 10 day cleanse so I wasn’t allowed to eat processed foods. The cleanse made it a bit easier to progress into my new “GF lifestyle”.
All in all, I’ve learned the following from living Gluten Free:
- Beer should not give you a stomach ache, if it does – you might want to try a GF test
- Hard Ciders are good, but sugary
- Bread that is gluten free is much dryer than Gluten-ee bread
- GF pasta isn’t that different than regular pasta
- People really do not understand what GF is and why you would ever want to do it (aka, they ask a lot of questions and think your crazy)
- My breakouts have cleared up A LOT!
- Eating meals and not having a stomach ache after is the best feeling ever
- GF beer is available but some are absolutely disgusting!
- Most restaurants don’t offer GF options, so going out to eat is particularly difficult (I’m hoping this will change)
- I crave a cupcake now, more than ever!
I’ve made it almost 4 weeks with my new GF lifestyle and I think I’ll be continuing it for a while after. It just feels so good!! 🙂
Are you GF? Do you have any advice you’d like to share? I’m always looking for recipes, hints, suggestions to make it easier. Please share in the comments section 🙂
Be Healthy all!