Quick Update (originally published August 10th, 2011)

This post was copied from my personal blog…  Hence the “I don’t expect this to become a gluten free blog” comment! 

First things first, I don’t expect this to become a gluten free blog, although if I determine that I need to be GF long-term any recipes I post might end up being intrinsically GF.  That said, I am on a bit of a gluten free kick lately.  Just like any new routine, you need to live and breathe it before it can work for you, and I have to right now.  I have to see if this is going to work.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way…  I wanted to write an update.  Yesterday I was super, SUPER careful about what I ate.  I not only cut out gluten but also coffee (since acid can be hard on the gut).  I don’t know how long that’ll last (since I adore my coffee), but I was surprised at how much energy I had at 9 pm.  I’m feeling a little zombie-like this afternoon (3rd day sans coffee) but overall I’m still doing okay, caffeine-wise.

Gluten-wise, I seem to be doing really, really well.  I have actually noticed a visible difference in the amount of bloating I’ve been experiencing.  I’d been living with it for so long that it was “normal” to me, but my stomach area feels less bloaty than it has in probably years.  I really could tell the difference when I was getting dressed this morning – my pants are fitting quite loosely (and I’m certain I haven’t lost any weight).  I also haven’t noticed any dramatic drops in my blood sugar, related to my hypoglycemia.  Is it just because I’m being more aware of what I’m eating, or because more of my GF foods are whole grain (and therefore break down more slowly into sugar), or because part of my condition was related to gluten?  I doubt I’ll ever know for sure – and it could just be a particularly good week.

All I know is that I’m feeling fairly fantastic.

I did have a tiny bit of gluten today.  I didn’t bring my lunch to work and had to make a split-second decision.  I ordered teriyaki chicken with rice and salad.  Of course my friend reminded me that teriyaki has soy sauce in it.  I know that just about all soy sauce (except tamari) has some gluten in it.  But in a sea of sandwiches and pizza, I thought it was probably the best choice.

I did a little research before I left my desk about the options available on campus and found that the chains were woefully unhelpful when it came to GF alternatives.  Rubio’s puts gluten into their steak and chicken.  I mean, I expect it from beer battered fish, but steak and chicken?  At least they have some options available though.  Panda Express’ website says flat out “None of our food is gluten free.”  That’s a big giant eff-you to anyone who happens to have a gluten sensitivity, thankyouverymuch.  The stupid thing is that wheat isn’t necessary in most of this stuff.  I mean, a big fat turkey sandwich, okay.  In the bread.  But in the turkey, and the chicken, and the vegetable dishes at Panda?  Eating out on campus is a far cry from the pleasant experience I had this past weekend at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, where they had an actual GF menu to hand me.

One of my friends told me yesterday that I was getting too into this.  But if I’m going to be living my life without gluten I should, shouldn’t I?  I need to know exactly what’s in what, and where to get what I can actually eat.  And how ingredients are hidden.  And how things affect me.  I should be obnoxiously overinformed.

But getting back to what this post is about…  How I’m feeling.  I’m over whatever knocked me on my face on Sunday.  I’ve gone gum-free (to the best of my knowledge, since those stupid additives are everywhere) and gluten-free (with the exception of the tiny bit in my teriyaki) for the last three days and I’m feeling really good.  Obviously this is early stages.  I could ultimately find that I’m sensitive to eggs, or dairy (although I’ve cut out both at times, to no avail), or something odd that no one would have thought of (after all, who would have thought that bananas would give me heartburn?  but they do).  I just know that, as much of a pain as this is, I feel amazing.  And isn’t that the most important thing?

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