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:sigh: I feel you. I really do. I've been having a pity party as I got glutened over four months via lotion, finally started to feel better (again!) and got glutened at a gluten free restaurant. It's been four weeks, and I still have symptoms. So miserable and vitriolic? That would define me some evenings when I get home and have to cook instead of going out and enjoying some relaxing time my S.O.
I have been broke for years -- I don't eat bread and pizza. Buy frozen vegetables, frozen fruit, bulk meat and dairy. It can be done. I fed myself on 40/week, and I ate well. If you want to bake some things, scrape and save, and then buy a bag of mixed flours or almond flour (healthier choice, IMHO). There is no such thing as "can't." You need to be resourceful. Use coupons. Make connections in your community. It's a family change, not just for you. Think of it this way: if you have it, your daughter probably will to. So imagine it's she who has the confirmed diagnosis. Would you say you couldn't do it then? Of course not. So be willing to do it for yourself, just as you would her. You can do this. I have.
I concur. I used to cry in frustration over my addition to sweets and over-eating bread. But since going gluten-free, I can't have those things that used to trip me up. In many ways, this gluten free "thing" had saved me from some of my worst experiences: smelling bread/rolls/pastries -- unable to resist, I purchase just one, and swallow it so quickly, I barely taste it. I don't have that with gluten free foods, because most of the cravings are gone. In addition, because it's forced me to focus on eating better, I've investigated eating plans that not only are more in line with what our bodies were made to digest, but that also leave me leaner and more focused on being healthy. I love it. <3
Gotta be honest -- I wouldn't want the pill. For one, why would you want to put yet another chemical in your body? And second...the stuff we aren't eating isn't good for you any way. I'd much rather look and feel better -- which I do -- than take a pill so I can pack on the pounds and eat foods that do nothing to help my immune system or abs.
I'm with the whole foods answer. That is what I recently used, and thankfully, my friend knew how to make things for me, so I had a good result. But if you answer that way, and then back it up with actually doing that, not only will you have a solid excuse/reason, you will have an amazing body to go with it! They'll all be jealous.
If you workout, you should get more of a mix of protein and carbs in the morning. Check out Hungry Girl's breakfast egg cups (google her) and other ideas. Also, Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free oatmeal is pretty awesome cooked up. 10 minutes, and you don't have to stand there and watch it, or 2 minutes in the microwave.
Tofu has never bothered me in the past. So that's not to say that couldn't be new, but I think given the extreme changes in diet with getting rid of all simple carbs and limiting complex -- within reason -- is the blame. I'm just not sure how to counteract it.
I ran into a family of 11 (you read that right) this past weekend, and they are all gluten-free. We were discussing cost. Some thoughts from that conversation:
What are the costs we are referring to? Boxed mixes? Breads? Pastas? Now here's the bigger question -- do we need these things? I know, I know, we like them, but really, are processed foods good for us? Regardless of gluten free status, we should be eating whole foods, good sources of protein and fiber. These things are a bit more expensive than boxed foods, but since it is what we should be doing, does it matter that gluten-free costs more? Eating well and protecting your body costs a little more than a box of macaroni and cheese. And I don't mean to be flippant -- just, well, it's something to think about.
Second: If you eat out less, which we usually do when gluten free, it should ease up some cash in the budget, and buying bulk when you can also makes it easier. If you eat good foods, you also will eat less, and be full faster and longer. These things will shrink your budget as well. I'm single, and I don't make a lot of money. But I'm able to eat a good whole-food diet by utilizing specials, coupons, and sales. I also buy bulk with a friend and then we split it.
Just some ideas. Sometimes, we make the arguments that it is more expensive, but forget to look what we are arguing for: Hamburger Helper? Mac and cheese? Pre-made, chemical-laden dishes that we know we shouldn't eat anyway, but we do because, in theory, it's cheaper. But in the long run, with high sodium and sugar spikes rampant in our system, I don't think it works out to be cheaper.
I recently limited all my carbs and have eliminated all grains from my diet. Most sugars, as well. I eat mainly meat, tofu, and vegetables, with an apple or berries thrown in daily. I take supplements in the form of an organic multi-vitamin, acidophilis, and fish oil. I've limited my dairy for the last two years, but I do have a little more than I did previously, which is where my suspicion lies, but I'm wondering if anyone else has any other suggestions? Is there something I might be missing? A vegetable I should be eating? I eat mainly broccoli, green beans, salad with spinach, romaine, and arugala, celery. I also have a serving of nuts a day. I feel great otherwise, and this is the first time I've not had sugar spikes all day long. So I'm happy on it, just concerned with the bowel issues. Prior to this, unless I'd been glutened, I had no bowel issues.
Newbie: I'm so glad to hear that you are joining the rest of us in talking with a professional and publicly here about mental health! Here, here! In exchange: I have ADD (much better now gluten-free), depression issues involving suicidal tendencies (thankfully relieved for now), PTSD, and an anxiety disorder. I call them "Jumbled Letters." They mean only the power I choose to give them.
Girlfriend, you and I must put on a pancake competition. I make some pretty awesome ones too! I switched over to Pamela's mix, then to Bisquick gluten-free. Both are very tasty. I add chocolate chips, peanut butter chips - you name it. It took some getting used to, working with different flours, but I'm good at it now.
Please hang in there. We welcome you here -- and there is nothing you've thought of that we haven't. Trust me. I have days when I've gotten into something that made me really sick, and I think, I should just have some more while I'm already sick. But then the reality of the damage to my body occurs to me -- a friend of mine almost died from this. And just like I gave up tanning because of a friend with skin cancer, I gave up gluten because I want to live well, regardless of the length of time.
Just started doing a combination of Atkins, South Beach and the Paleo diet (depends on my mood and day). I'm VERY active. Feel great, and dropping body fat like nobody's business! Highly recommend. Watch "Fathead" on Hulu. It will help explain the logic behind it.
I have read through your honest emotions, OP, and the responses here. I wonder if anyone might agree that we have placed way too much importance and control in the hands of our obsessions. It’s just food! I say this as someone with an eating disorder. I am slowly breaking free from this, but it’s taken years.
But my initial impression, Newbie, is to ask if you have had some psychological counseling? You have been through a hellish ordeal, and as I read your posts, the pain of it is leaking through. I strongly suggest attending some therapy if you aren’t already. We are all a work in progress, and I recently had to return after many years on my own (mentally) to work on some more of the toxic crap that can get churned up in our heads. So I hope you will consider this, as I know what it is to go through hell and feel like nothing ever gets better.
The other thing to consider: do you like your life? What is it worth to you? Is it really worth bread? Is that the value you would place on it? If so, please see my second paragraph. Remember that we’ve all been there. We had to grieve the loss of our favorite foods too. But when someone hands you what might be the answer to all of your health issues – certainly several of them – and your response is, I’d rather have a roll, it’s time to gain some perspective. Again, I think you’ve been through so much BLEEP in your life that you are just overwhelmed with one more thing. But this “one more thing” might be an answer you’ve been waiting for.
Reality is, bread doesn’t taste as good as you think it does. It’s just one food. And given your diet, it would do you some good to add in some new foods! Yes, bread is yummy, but it’s just bread. It’s not ambrosia. If you start enjoying some gluten-free bread options – homemade ones – you will find that you have never truly tasted the joy of bread. The mixture of grains and textures will blow your mind.
Start really digging into your vegetarian diet, and if your husband is unhappy with your choices, don’t go to dinner with him. Why should you have to be miserable so he is happy? How does that even make sense? You are an individual. If he cannot – or chooses not – to respect that, let him go his way with his food, and you can call up a girlfriend who cares and go to a different restaurant. I went through something a little bit like you did, and quite honestly, I stopped caring. I wanted to feel good. So if he didn’t like it, that was his issue. I now am divorced and dating someone who goes out of his way to ensure that I can remain healthy and still enjoy eating out together. What a change! But you must put yourself first, and enjoy your life. Do not let food, or anyone else, take that away from you.
I honestly hope you can see how valuable you are as a person, and that it doesn’t have to surround food. You clearly have passions in life – your issues with factory farming, for example. Put your focus there, and let food be the fuel to get you where you want to be, not the pit-stop that you never leave.
I do know the feeling. My dream is travelling more, and when I first realized I couldn't have gluten, I thought I would never travel again. But...
Perhaps we spend too much time focused on the foods we eat. Surely the countries you travel to offer other pleasures. And I'm told Italy is amazing for the gluten free among us because of their awareness. Because I've eliminated even gluten free grains and breads from my diet, my appreciation for meats and vegetables has increased ten-fold.
Because when I get gluten I get so sick, it doesn't even appeal to me any more. Every now and again I get a whiff of something really lovely...but I enjoy the smell, without the conclusion of illness. I got royally sick in NYC this past Christmas, which ended up with me vomiting in the middle of 5th Avenue's shopping district. Can we say humiliation? I've never cheated, but up until that point, I had a lot of temptation issues. Being that sick for two days, which resulted in public humiliation in my favorite city (for the second time, as I'd gotten sick years ago in the Port Authority, but I didn't know what caused it back then -- I do now!)...I have NO desire to cheat. I enjoy the scents and images of good foods. I appreciate their enjoyment for others. But read some books about when wheat was added to the human diet, and the end result of our health. It gives you a new perspective.
And so much can be made with alternative flours, if you so desire.
There's no denying that travel is challenging. But it will force you to try new things and find enjoyment in things that you might miss otherwise because you are so focused on the next good meal.
Hang in there. And allow yourself time to grieve. You are allowed to be angry, resentful, bitter and confused. We all were. But as you move out of that period, you will be able to embrace the new alternatives you would never discover otherwise.