Embarking on a new adventure

Standard

And one I’m not terribly excited about nonetheless.

After much reading of books and blogs and much discussion with several friends who’ve made the leap, I am going gluten free, sugar free, and dairy free.   

Immediately.

I am waiting another month, for the good of all mankind, to go caffeine free.

I am in considerable grief about saying goodbye to my favorite food group- processed- and full of confusion as I dropped all the Cokes off at the communal office kitchenette.  I may have to go back in and, with a sharpie, write on all the  bottles “NOT FOR YOU AMANDA.”  And then, most tragically, I ended my quite lengthy relationship with the best, most dependable, tastiest men on the planet (except for you James Franco)- Ben & Jerry.  SOB.

There are several reasons why I’m making this switch- first, there have been studies showing significant improvements in RA patients who follow gluten free diets.  Since I’m not doing well right now, going gluten free definitely can’t make things worse.  So, why not? Second, if the phrase “you are what you eat” is really true, then I am a Chocolate-Caramel-Macchiato-Lean Cuisine-Calzone-Coke-Easy Cheese-Angel Hair Pasta-Bottle of Red Wine-Chicken Wing rather than an actual person. Third, I’ve always had food sensitivities and allergies.  I’m allergic to shellfish and avocadoes- allergic to the point that when I accidentally get these in my system, I immediately develop huge sexy Angelina lips that are so NOT sexy because they are accompanied by some pretty impressive wheezing and (wait for….wait for it) EAR SWELLING.  Let’s just say that I was the complete life of a Superbowl party one year without intending to be.  Cringe. I’m also lactose intolerant.  It would make sense to me that if 3 known foods lead to some very violent reactions in my body, it is possible that another type of food could lead to a less pronounced and immediate reaction.

I’m at the point where something’s got to give and I need to make sure I have all my bases covered.  This is something I’ve been considering for awhile and something that at this moment I feel like I can’t put off any longer.  I’m also dropping the last remnant of dairy in my life (cheeses) and eliminating sugar (at least in a refined form- I’m still eating natural sugars.)

So yes, back to the events of this week.

I have no idea what I’m doing.

My weekly trip to the grocery store yesterday took me over an hour.  I’m usually in and out in 15 minutes- I walk in, grab some oranges, and then head for the freezer section.  But yesterday, I walked in with a list and had to read the ingredients on all of the packaging before I put it in my cart.  I also switched grocery stores- from Harris Teeter to Trader Joe’s because TJ has a more extensive gluten free/ organic selection- so I had NO CLUE where anything was.

I am happy to report that I can eat corn tortillas and found gluten free refried beans and soy cheese.  That is my favorite meal, as disgusting as it sounds.  So, suffice it to say that I shall not starve although I am about as excited at the prospect of “soy cheese” as I usually am about dental work.

My immediate goal for now, besides that whole “I have no freaking clue how to cook thing” or that irritating “so I’ve read the book, now how do I really do it” is to find replacements for the things that I crave and/or eat frequently.  There’s just no way I’m going to succeed at this if I don’t.  And quickly!

To do this, I have emailed our local culinary school to see if they offer continuing ed classes that would help me to better understand what I can eat and how I can prepare it.  And maybe, just maybe, they can include a quick little seminar on Water: Tips For Boiling.  LOL.  

This could be interesting.

I feel like such a dirty hippie. :)

Does Trader Joe’s sell patchouli? 

Note: give me a day or so and I will have my reading materials posted for those who may be interested.  If you’d like to start where I started, do a Google search on “wheat gluten mechanism AND rheumatoid arthritis.”

8 responses »

  1. I am SOOOOO very excited for you! I really believe food is responsible for a lot of the inflammation in our body.

    If you need any food ideas, I would be more than happy to help. I have been gluten, sugar, dairy, and caffeine free(minus green tea) for a while now.

    Good luck! In the long run, I think you will be happy with your choice. :)

  2. A few months ago I started to try to eat as little non processed foods as possible due to my migraines. One of the best pieces of advice i got from someone * yrs ago actually * was to stay on the outer issles of the grocery store. that is where all the non profcess fresh items are.
    when you go into the inner isles you get into the boxed, processd items. Do you have a whole foods near you ? They have lots of gluten free itmes. I have a feeling may have to embark on this journey w/ you depending on what the gastro says. I actually grabbed some gluten free pasta by accident the other day and it was good, my boys actually liked it. I started buying the Organic mac and cheese too , they love it too .
    Good luck , it will take some adjust ment but you can do it !

  3. I am gluten free only so I can still have Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey and a few others :) I know that it has helped me. I can tell now when I have something containing gluten. I feel sluggish and have brain fog. I also do believe it has helped my joint pain some. It isn’t the only thing though. I still have dairy and find no problems eating dairy or red meat, nightshades, or sugar…though some of this is not very healthy. I can only sacrifice one thing right now and thats gluten! I may consider going dairy-free later but I can only do one thing at a time …grrrrr! I know my body is thanking me for taking away one of the culprits that caused me so much trouble…its just hard to give up the convenience sometimes…but you can do it!

  4. Actually I think being a Chocolate-Caramel-Macchiato-Lean Cuisine-Calzone-Coke-Easy Cheese-Angel Hair Pasta-Bottle of Red Wine-Chicken Wing sounds GREAT … but seriously I really hope this works for you. Do keep us posted – I’d love to know how it goes for someone who, like me, kinda in a way doesn’t really want to believe it’ll work … while hoping it does … You know what I mean … if it doesn’t you can get back to the Chocolate-Caramel-Macchiato-Lean Cuisine-Calzone-Coke-Easy Cheese-Angel Hair Pasta-Bottle of Red Wine-Chicken Wing thing. :o)

  5. Good for you for taking control of your health!! I too have arthritis and am gluten, sugar and dairy free (among other things). I post recipes on my blog… it’s maidinak.blogspot.com. You might want to also check out “The Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Recipe Book” by Jessica K. Black, N.D. She’s got some great recipes in there. I wish you all the best. I hope you notice a difference in your health!!

  6. Good luck! I tried this for 5 months! A raw/vegan and gluten free. It did not work for me at all (an dI was actually very shocked by that). I thought for sure a plant based diet with no processed cr@p would ease my RA. I hope you succeed and start to feel better!

  7. Good for you! I am so glad you are making these changes. It’s really so much easier than it seems. After you get used to things it goes much faster in the store and at restaurants. Let me save you a lot of money on nasty gluten-free bread products: ONLY buy Udi brand. Order it online and have it shipped if you must. Every other brand I have ever tried went directly into the trash can. Udi is so, so, so good. Especially the muffins.
    Good luck!!!!!!

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