Things I’ve Learned This Week About Being Gluten Free (originally published August 19th, 2011)

Another post copied from my personal blog, finding a home here!
  1. There is no amount of yumminess that will be worth me eating gluten, at this point.  No layer cake or French baguette or chewy pizza crust.  I’d rather be completely without baked goods than go through another night of cramping and all the other lovely symptoms I have when I eat gluten.  Luckily I don’t have to go completely carbless.
  2. If I want to make sure I get my gluten free food (lunch meat, or bacon, or baked good, or whatever), I need to make sure I give my husband an alternative.  Or hide it.  Otherwise he eats all of it.  Considering that he can still tolerate gluten – and that I know how to ration – this is frustrating to me.
  3. If left to my own devices, I’m fine eating gluten free.  But when going to a party I need to be super aware of what will be served.  And bring myself an alternative, even if I don’t think I need it.  Because it’s no fun watching your friends munching down on food you can’t have unless you have something else to make them jealous with.
  4. Experimentation and research are now a way of life.  I keep learning new tricks to make GF baking easier, tastier, and better texture.  Obviously only being in my third week of this experiment means I haven’t even had a ton of time to experiment, but I know I’ll have to keep it up.
  5. Xanthan gum (or guar gum, or cellulose gum) is in just about every commercial GF baked product there is.  Which means that the only baked products I can rely on are ones I make myself.
  6. There are a ton of people affected by gluten sensitivity or intolerance.  I was in the grocery line this weekend and noticed the guy behind me buying GF cake mix for his celiac son.  The girl behind him said her mom is gluten intolerant too.  The owner of a restaurant I found online said he started getting symptoms when he was 37.  My client for this weekend’s event lives almost exclusively grain-free because she said gluten puffs her up like a balloon.  I’ve had tons of friends share their GF recipes with me.  In other words, it’s not just me.
  7. If I keep eating throughout the day (small things – a bag of cherries here, some carrot sticks there), I don’t think about gluten.  A lot of people say that’s all you think about for months.  Maybe it’s because I jumped right into GF baking too, but I only want it when it’s in front of me (and can resist it just fine most of the time) and don’t worry about it otherwise.
  8. I still feel amazing.  Energy, happy joints, less bloating and tummy troubles, less nasal inflammation…  I can’t believe I lived with the symptoms for so long!!!
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