wheat was a bad choice [experiments in gluten-free eating]

Gluten Free i love carbs. there, i said it. bread, pasta, toast, cereal, pizza. any form you can think of; i want it in my belly. a big ‘ol bowl of oodles of noodles. NOM NOM NOM. i digress… i take digestive enzymes whenever my tummy isn’t feeling so hot, and one night my boyfriend mentioned that he thought i’d be taking them a lot more recently. thinking back on the past few weeks i had taken digestive semi-regularly. he made a suggestion that i may be potentially have celiac or be gluten intolerant. i thought he was joking at first, especially because the one thing i know about celiac is that it involves removing items such as delicious wheat and bread from your diet, but then realized he raised a valid point. i have iron-deficiency anemia that has been flaring up recently so we wondered if there was possibly any correlation between the two. so i worked a little google magic and boom. lo and behold there is a direct correlation. celiac disease prevents the body from properly being able to absorb nutrients such as iron due to intestinal damage caused by the proteins in wheat, rye & barley. after doing some more google searching i found that i also had several other symptoms of celiac disease such as anxiety, stomach pains, fatigue. mixed with the fact that my mom got tested for celiac and her bloodwork came up positive, i may be a potential candidate for celiacs disease and it might not be a bad idea for me to start to shift away from consuming a lot of gluten. note: these discoveries alone do not mean that i have celiacs disease, the could be completely unrelated. i am however getting blood work done to determine if i do have CD.

Gluten Freeregardless of my impending “official” diagnosis i can tell that my body doesn’t tolerate gluten very well. it’s quite ironic timing that i discover this, as my boyfriend had planned on doing ‘gluten-free february’ as part of one of his 30 day challenges. initially, i thought i wouldn’t make much effort to join him in this endeavor, however my tune has now changed. we will be living on gluten-free goodness during the 28 days of february. potentially longer than that for me dependent on how it goes and what my tests show. i have been doing some research to find some recipes for us to make. we’re going to focus on foods that are naturally gluten-free, not just replacements for the food we eat that has gluten in it. you might remember that we started an adventure in slow carb eating a few months ago, which is similar in its dietary restrictions, so this will be less of a shock to me. (not that it won’t be a challenge)

i’m very anxious to see how i feel after a week or so of cutting the gluten out of my diet. i think i will definitely feel better overall. by cutting out foods that weigh me down and are full of processed this and that there is no way i won’t feel better at least a little. my hopes are that is also aides in helping my other woes that have been bringing me down lately. t-minus 2 days til gfree month. we’ve got a pinterest board full of recipes and i’m ready to go. (want to see my collection of recipes? let’s be pinterest friends. (http://pinterest.com/dahl_emma/) i’ll be posting weekly to share how it’s going, favorite recipes, frustrations, thoughts and the like. stay tuned, friends :)

since gluten-free is so “hot” right now, i thought i’d also provide some insight into celiac and gluten-free for your reading enjoyment.

what is gluten-free?

cut and dry, it’s a diet that excludes the protein gluten which is found in grains such as wheat, barley & rye

common misconceptions:

  • The gluten-free diet is a low carbohydrate diet. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending upon how you look at it), there is a gluten-free version of practically every wheat-based carbohydrate-rich food. Examples include cookies, cakes, donuts, pizza, pasta, muffins, rolls, etc. The list literally goes on and on.
  • All gluten-free food is healthy. Just because a food label says “gluten-free” does not mean it is healthy. Many gluten-free foods are made using white rice, milled corn and various starches. These refined grains are not very nutritious. You want to look for gluten-free cereals, breads, and pastas that are made with gluten-free whole grains or have been fortified or enriched—meaning vitamins and minerals have been added to the food.
  • The gluten-free diet is a weight-loss plan. The gluten-free diet is a medically prescribed diet for people who have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and dermatitis herpetiformis (the skin form of celiac disease). Anyone can lose weight by eating fewer calories than their body needs but you do not need to follow a gluten-free diet to do this.

to eat or not to eat:

  • avoid all foods containing gluten, including:
    • Barley
    • Bulgur
    • Durum
    • Farina
    • Graham flour
    • Rye
    • Semolina
    • Spelt (a form of wheat)
    • Triticale
    • Wheat
  • these foods are a-ok

Gluten Free Food List

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