Saturday, August 27, 2011

To gluten free or to not gluten free?

For awhile now I have been contemplating trying out a gluten-free diet.

On the lupus message boards there are a ton of people who either have a diagnosed gluten allergy/intolerance or have Celiac disease.  Also, did you know that those are not the same?  Before I started looking into this I thought Celiac disease was just a fancy name for gluten intolerance... then I became jealous since lactose intolerance didn't have a fancy name.  Now I feel better.

Back in 2006 an allergy panel was done on me by the wonderful doctors at Shriner's hospital in Spokane.  Gluten did not come up on the panel- unlike corn, dairy, and eggs.  Most of which, I ignore by the way.  The only one of those I notice to have ever bothered me is dairy, so I stick to small amounts of cheeses and Greek yogurt/Kefir and no milk.

Back to the point, there are others on the board who have neither of the above afflictions, but tried the gluten-free diet and stuck to it for the health benefits.  Since wheat is in damn-near everything here in the US (Go America!), eliminating gluten usually means cutting out processed foods, avoiding a large amount of baked goods, and turning down anything that's dunked in batter and deep-fried.

...anyone else hungry right now?  Anywho...

The result?  While avoiding all of those things, you're cutting out fats, sugars, and probably filling your plate a bit more with fruits, vegetables, and proteins.  Supposedly, you feel healthier, have more energy, and your digestive system is happier.

And who doesn't like a happy poop?

I'm gross, I make no apologies.  Just be thankful I didn't post a picture.

Plus, I could lose weight!  I've been a bit stuck in my weight loss goal, so the possibility of moving forward is appealing.

So, obviously I have a lot of things to ponder.  The first thing I did was very important to my well being and was the only first step I could have taken in this process:

(Source-Gluten Free Mommy)

I Googled gluten-free pizza.  I tried a polenta pizza crust once at a friend's suggestion and a part of my soul died.  There exists various gluten-free pastas that I can deal with (soba... mmmmmm), but if my pizza crust has a weird texture, an icky taste, or can't support a healthy amount of sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil, then I can't hack this gluten free thing.  That picture looks pretty damn good, though.  I will have to experiment with various recipes at least once a week if I go through with this.

The next thing I did (which all people who aren't neurotic should do first) was I sent an email to my Rhemy.  Any change in diet or regimen should be cleared with your doc.  This is especially so, as he may want to run any tests for Celiac or gluten-intolerance.  Cutting them out ahead of time would mess up the tests, apparently.

So, until I hear back from my MD, my diet is pretty normal, as you will see in my WFD post tomorrow.  Tonight we're rocking one of those frozen Chinese-esque meals from Coscto.  Stuffed full of wheat and preservatives.  Maybe I'll even have a beer, just to enjoy my freedom now in case I happen to chose to walk down that path.

Have you ever eliminated anything from your diet that you thought you couldn't live without?
and.... Any tried and true gluten-free recipes you'd care to share? 

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