I’m finally getting around to posting a gluten-free update a few months late, but hopefully with some helpful thoughts about what I’ve learned these past few months. First I’d like to point out that for the most part, this past month I’ve NOT been gluten free. I’d love to say it was part of my experimentation with gluten – testing how my body reacts with and without gluten etc, but the honest answer is I’ve just slacked after a few special occasions presented themselves.
Overall, I’m pretty unhappy with my body when I am “gluten-full” as my son calls it, but I think the break I gave my body for the time I did go without gluten made my symptoms more manageable this time around. I think this is partly why it’s been so easy to slack on my commitment to staying gluten free. I’m not happy to think that I’m reversing any healing that took place in my gut, so even writing this out makes me kinda bummed.
As far as difficulty, I didn’t find it terribly hard to consistently eat gluten free. I’m comfortable experimenting in the kitchen and so it felt like a fun opportunity to try new foods, and converting some of my staple family recipes into gluten-free versions was a fun challenge as well. Also, since I am thankfully just experiencing a sensitivity to gluten and not a full on intolerance it really wasn’t a stressful situation for me to adjust/omit menu items when I went out to eat either. I wasn’t for example, too concerned about food prep and possible cross-contamination, so that also made it a little easier.
I often thought about what a nightmare it would be though and I highly sympathize with those who do have to navigate socially with any type of food allergy. Because, really for the most part I didn’t find much cooperation from the food service workers I encountered and I felt they had an overall lack of knowledge on food allergies. I was encountered with many shrugs and “you’ll have to look at our website / speak to our manager /call this 1800 number” etc. each time I did go out to eat. With the exception of my local Wegman’s Food Market I really didn’t find many places that catered to gluten-free living.
That said, my intention from here on out is to continue to eat gluten free 90% of the time and only indulge on special occasions here and there. I absolutely feel better when my diet is clean (I know, duh). The fact of the matter is I sleep better, I’m not constantly bloated and uncomfortable, my skin clears up, and the aches in my bones go away and that makes it worthwhile. I didn’t find that it made much difference to my weight after the initial few pounds I lost mostly due to the fact that I lost much interest in snacking.