This is my first post, I have been gluten free since July 4th (My Independence Day!!). I wanted to reply to this, because what we eat is so similar. I am a vegetarian who eats some fish (pescatarian). I also love green tea.
I started my gluten free adventure after 8 weeks of severe fatigue, and after my doctor ran a bunch of tests (all negative). I mentioned to my GP that a few years ago, when my neurologist tested me for anything she could think of for a year for a peripheral neuropathy (numb foot disease), that it could be celiac disease but that she didn't think so. So my GP suggested that I try an elimination diet. I did a bunch of research, and this is what I came up with that supported what I could eat and live with.
It eliminates most of the major food allergens: gluten, corn, potatoes, soy, citrus, strawberries, grapes (yeast), yeast, tomatoes, potatoes, caffeine, eggs, dairy, peanuts, alcohol, sugars, mushrooms, peppers, etc.
It also gives you a 7 day menu plan to help you figure out what to eat. (Please note that if you look carefully some of the recipes use ingredients that are not allowed! Oh, well.)
What it left me with is beans, rice, fruits & vegetables (except those listed above), nuts, a few oils, and brown rice syrup, agave syrup and stevia as a sweetener. They also allow meat and fish, but I don't eat meat and I chose to leave out fish (I don't really like it that much). Nothing processed. I could live with that. I also want to add quinoa and buckwheat, I just haven't done it yet.
After 6 days on this diet, I "woke up!". I didn't even realize how bad a brain fog I was under. The terrible fatigue was gone!! I knew that it had to be the gluten. So after 10 days on the elimination diet, my doctor wanted me to go back on for 5 days of a gluten diet, to get the celiac panel blood test. That was HORRIBLE! I just tested bread at first, and the symptoms returned quickly, and worse than before. I was very, very happy to get back on the elimination diet. Again, I woke up after 6 days. Please note that my blankety- blank blood test came out negative anyway! I am waiting on results from Enterolab.
It took me a little bit to figure out how to do this simply, and not have to spend so much time cooking. Brown rice takes a while to cook and so does dry beans. I didn't want to trust anything canned yet. I wanted to keep it very clean and simple. So I made up 3 cups of brown rice at a time, and froze what I wasn't going to eat in the next few days. (For great brown rice, saute up a few cloves of minced garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil, then add the dry rice and stir to mix in the good garlic flavors. Then add your water and sea salt). A different day, I would make up a bag of some kind of bean (soak overnight, or boil 5 minutes and let sit for an hour, and then simmer for 1 to an 1 1/2 hours with sea salt and a bay leaf), then saute up 2 cups of that, for a few day's meals, with onion, olive oil, cumin and turmeric, maybe some other veggies, and then freeze the rest of the beans plain for later. Another day, I cooked up a few sweet potatoes or acorn squash, and again froze what I wasn't going to use. Another day, I would cook up lentil soup and split pea soup, and freeze those in lunch size containers. That covers the basics. For breakfast, I roasted some brown rice in pan ( 1/2 bag) for 10 minutes, then used a clean coffee grinder to make creamy rice cereal. (1/3 cup rice, 1 cup water in the microwave for a few minutes). That needs to be stored in the refrigerator. I eat that with blueberries and walnuts and coconut milk. I LOVE coconut milk. It feels very healing. I also sometimes eat Lundberg brown rice cakes with cashew butter and apple butter. Cashew butter is wonderful! For lunch generally, I eat some form of rice and soup or beans (already in the refrig or freezer), a salad with olive oil and rice vinegar or steamed broccoli, and cut fruit with brown rice syrup and shredded coconut. I often put pumpkin seeds on the salad. For dinner, either some form or rice and beans or a broccoli garlic pasta (rice pasta cooked 8ox, steamed broccoli. Saute a generous amount of olive oil and 2 or 3 cloves of garlic minced. Add pasta and broccoli, and then throw in some of the plain cooked beans, and walnuts. Then that will also have left overs. I also like stuffed acorn squash, cooked spicy beans (from above) sauteed up with rice, onions, apple, currants, walnuts, a little brown rice syrup and more cumin and turmeric and stuff the squash with that. I also eat a lot of avocados, and dates for a sweet treat. Apples or celery with cashew butter are great too, as are the rice cakes.
I have started testing some foods. Some were fine, some weren't. I keep a detailed food journal. I test one thing for 2 meals of the day (if there is no immediate reaction) and keep the rest of the diet simple for 2 more days. If nothing happens, I can eat it. I try to stick to the restricted elimination diet, when I test new things or after I see symptoms from something, I eat simply till it goes away. Eating this way makes me feel great! I would not survive on the paleo diet, or the rotation diet, or trying to eat without brown rice. The funny thing is that all food cravings went away on this plan. The only thing is that sometimes after eating plenty, I will still feel a little hungry, and usually a spoonful of cashew butter or some coconut milk will heal it. It is a much lower fat level or something.
For the green tea issue, I just went to decaf green tea, and that solved that problem.
I started using 2 cookbooks that work pretty well with this, one is the Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook:
I have been off of sugar for years, and her recipes use almond flour, agave syrup and grapeseed oil. Very delicious desserts can be made with that, and the recipes are simple. I have been a bit intimidated by some of the gluten free recipes with 4 or more flours to mix.
Here is another one I just got, that looks great, the Gluten Free Vegan by Susan O'Brien (sorry I couldn't find a link that wasn't banned).
I haven't made anything from there yet, though. I would not have been able to go back to meat to feel better. I have about 23 years off of meat.
I wish you luck and I hope you start to feel better! Clean, simple, whole grain, fresh foods is the way to go!!! And if you want to test out the processed foods as needed very slowly and with caution.