Monday, November 28, 2011

Deliberate Self Care: Going Gluten Free

gluten free

Back in September I brought one of my kiddos to a holistic chiropractor who did the arm-thingy and concluded that my son has gluten sensitivities. The "arm-thingy" refers to applied kinesiology. I don't understand it. The chiropractor put a vial in my son's hand, had him hold his other arm out and resist. The chiropractor pushed it down easily, stated that it "blew weak" and said that that indicated gluten sensitivity. He suggested that we cut back on our gluten intake. Since my husband I tend to be skeptics about stuff like this and were relectant to change anybody's diet based on an arm trick, we went ahead and had a test run by a third party. Sure enough--two weeks later the results came in that my son IS gluten sensitive. The results also stated that gluten sensitivity is usually genetic and that family members should be tested as well.

We decided as a family that if one of us was going to suffer we were all going to suffer (1 Cor. 1:26). So our new diet began.

I won't lie. It's been hard. The beginning was difficult especially. There really is no decent gluten-free substitute for sandwich bread (not store bought anyway). Without the gluten the stretchy springy quality of the bread is gone. Most bread is OK if it's toasted, but one can only take so much toasted bread. For awhile there I was making bread using bread mixes, but a lot of the bread mixes contain bean flour which has a weird aftertaste. A lot of the recipes call for combinations of corn starch, tapioca starch, rice flour, sorghum starch, and so forth. After awhile I was slaving away making these less than stellar loaves thinking to myself, "who really needs this much starch anyway?" and I came to the realization that flour is basically wheat starch. Hmmmmm. That was the turning point for me. Now when I walk through the bread aisle at the store, bread is just not all that appealing to me anymore. I don't crave it like I used to.

What I do crave is the convenience of buying a package of muffins to eat on Saturday morning, or reaching for a box of mac and cheese, or not having to read labels all the time. I miss eating out at restaurants. I miss the ease of the pre-gluten-free life. On the other hand, I do like that I've been forced to stay away from the boxed and processed stuff (fake food). The gluten-free life has been wonderful in terms of making me slow down and take the time to plan ahead make my family home cooked meals and feed them whole foods and foods that don't irritate their (and my, as it turns out) sensitive gut lining. That's the kind of mom/wife I always wanted to be anyway.

By the way, even though I didn't get tested, I now know that gluten doesn't agree with me. After three weeks of being gluten-free we went off the diet for meal at KFC. Aside from how bland and colorless the food looked on my plate (chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes, gravy, and even the green beans were a varying shade of beige), about half an hour after the meal, it sat in my stomach like a rock and I felt grosser than gross. So, yeah, I'm done with gluten. (cue the music) " No turning back, no turning back...."

9 comments:

JustJoan said...

My daughter was just diagnosed so we just started this. We made it through Thanksgiving weekend almost gluten-free. It's not going to be easy, but I already feel better. (And I have to say I cheated today after she went to school....I stopped on the way to work for coffee cake! Bad mama.)

BoogaJ said...

My daughter and I were both diagnosed with Celiac Disease about a year ago and our family has gone completely gluten free. After a year, I find the diet very easy to follow, so hang in there. And if you have any questions, just email me! I'm happy to share recipes, tips and such.

all4dolls said...

I was also told to go off of gluten after doing the muscle test and feel so much better. You are right about the breads. Yuck! I have found a mix that makes great biscuits, though. Today I bought a gluten free frozen mac-n-cheese dinner. Haven't tried it yet.

JLG said...

Well I just found your blog by looking for a bean bag chair tutorial! So thanks for that but I also just read your post about going gluten-free. My older sister figured it out for herself (with my help!) about 4 years ago. Since then we have also figured out that my 3 1/2 yr old daughter has the same issues. We have been pretty much gluten free for 2 years now. Anyway there are tons of recipes out there and it is a hard transition but I wish you well with it! There is a lot more stuff now than there was 2 years ago! If you need any suggestions let me know! I have a great pumpkin muffin recipe and a pancake one too!

Thanks again and good luck!

Julie said...

We've been grain free for about 6 weeks now and it has made a huge difference for my husband. he has Type II diabetes and was constantly hungry and drank Diet Coke in obscene amounts. Since going grain free, he doesn't have those cravings anymore and has lost 14lbs! Of course, he was already not eating any sugar. I really like elanaspantry.com and i bought her cookbook. I made a carrot cake from it for TG and it was very, very good.

Anne-Marie said...

Oh my, this is a big decision. I would never miss the KFC, that's certain, but whole grain bread with nuts and raisins.. This is my favourite thing in the morning ...look :-( http://www.premieremoisson.com/Produits/Boulangerie/Nos-pains-au-levain/

Lots of my colleagues at work have reduced on Gluten. I know it is a good move but I am not ready for that one.

perdoozy said...

My sister has been gluten free for 6 years now and she NEVER cheats, ever. Also, my 15 year old son has Crohn's Disease so we really adhere to a strict diet. My two favorite cookbooks are "The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook" by Elana Amsterdam, and "The Gluten-Free Kitchen" by Roben Ryberg. The almond flour one has much healthier recipes and covers sweets, baked goods, dinner entrees and more... the other one is mostly baked goods but things don't turn out too sandy and we like the end results. If you ever get the urge for a delicious donut, Kinnikinnick is the way to go... in the freezer section at the health food store. Good luck!

Jean C. said...

Just read your post on going gluten free... I've received a book for Christmas called "Healthy Bread in Five minutes a Day" Jeff Hertzberg M.D. and Zoe Francois. They really take apart each type of grain etc. and what is good for gluten free ingredients etc... you may want to check it out! Good Luck!

sarafoop said...

Can you get Udi's gluten free bread where you are? It's especially good when fresh. We also like the Glutino crackers and pretzels, Pamela's cookies and even Betty Crocker has gluten free mixes now. It's so much easier to be gluten free than it was even five years ago.