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sandsurfgirl

It's Really Sinking In

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All of the food related traditions that I will never ever get to do again. Every year we go to Solvang and eat danishes and abelskivers and the most amazing waffles you can ever imagine. Of course I would always be sick after that trip and not know why. But still!

It makes me so sad. I mean there are some things that really ARE about the food and not just the company. That whole trip is about the food and all the yummy stuff you can't get anywhere else. Not that I don't love being with my family there, but seriously the food is central to the experience. I have friends who will drive 3 hours one way just to pick up fresh danishes and then drive back home later that afternoon. People will go there just for lunch and then drive all the way back, spending their whole day on the road.

I was sobbing my eyes out the other day realizing I can't ever drink a pint of Guiness or a black and tan at the local Irish pub by the beach again. I mean, that is central to the experience of that place!!! I was watching a travel show about Ireland and I could not stop sobbing when he was going on and on about a "proper pint" and Irish stew.

There is this amazing place called Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. People wait in line down the block to get that fried chicken and those waffles. Never again. There's not even any point in going there because it truly is about those waffles and that chicken. I mean it's a quintessential L.A. experience to eat there and it's no longer for me.

I am such a foodie and nice restaurants are such a HUGE part of our life. I never thought I would mourn the loss of Waffles. I mean I know I can make gluten free waffles, but I can't have THOSE waffles at those restaurants and have those experiences at those restaurants.

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I know, this sucks. The only thing that gets me through it is knowing how sick I would make myself if I didn't stick to the diet. Going out with friends, family, coworkers, whatever is awkward, vacationing becomes difficult...I had a breakdown in superstore the other day. There's not really much advice anybody can give on this subject, but I, and I'm sure many others, know exactly how you feel. That's what this forum is for :)

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sandsurfgirl - you are right to grieve that. Don't be ashamed. That's a normal part of the experience, and you are losing something that you valued very much. There's no shame in that.

When you are ready, you are going to find new experiences. On that same beach - where the pub is - are other stores, other things going on that you might not have noticed because you already had a tradition. You will find a new one. The chicken and waffles might be lost to you, but there are other things nearby that have much appeal, I assure you. Those will be your new traditions. I know it's not much comfort right now, but it will get better. I've found new restaurants I would have never tried...I only go out now and then, so I value it so much more than when we went to a restaurant or grabbed takeout because we were sure we didn't have time to make anything. I'm looking forward to checking out new hotels, because I will need a kitchenette no matter where we go. And imagine the fresh food markets that are out there but were over-looked, because we were focused on other things we were accustomed to.

As you feel better and your body starts to feel normal again, those things won't be so hard on you. And you will create new traditions and learn to recreate some of these dishes. But it's ok to feel like crap about losing out on this stuff. Take your time and mourn them, and then later, when you are feeling stronger, focus on rebuilding your traditions. :hugs:

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instead of the tour of Guiness take the tour of the Jameson distillery. ;)

Find other stuff to do. Ask the waffle place if they can add a gluten free option.

Life is not over. Its just a new road.

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There are different ways of coping with this. I tell myself "sure! eat that! you can have anything you want. Just be fully aware that you will be sicker than crap afterwards. Is what you plan to put in your mouth really worth how you will feel? For me, that takes away the 'can't', and reminds me that I am choosing to live this way.

Is the beer really central to the place? Or has it just become a symbol of the fun you have?

Do you really travel for the food? Or for the fun of traveling together to do something silly?

Work on separating the experiences in your mind. I have just as much fun at the pub with a glass of wine as I did with a pint of beer.

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I guess I can't really add very much to what others are saying. Only put it in different words. It really is just our own little world - our own traditions that we tend to cling to. We get into a comfort zone of sorts, and it becomes our "normal". It becomes what we perceive as fun, or exciting, or "the thing to do". Any change of this kind can be a paradigm shift. It is never completely comfortable to switch gears like that.

Perhaps it's similar to how we might become comfortable with driving a certain vehicle, and then suddenly that vehicle is lost in an accident or something. The new vehicle we end up with often feels uncomfortable, awkward, or like it just doesn't fit us somehow. Even if it doesn't have some peculiar quirk that we put up with from the old one, and wished it wasn't that way. Only with time does it become familiar enough to seem perfectly normal.

I often wonder if the way we feel about adopting a gluten-free diet has any resemblance to how someone feels when they find out they are allergic to peanuts or corn, etc. Is it really all that different? Imagine how a Mexican child feels when they realize they can't have corn? Think of all the traditional Mexican foods they can't have. But there are plenty of cultures that developed without corn. They didn't miss it because it wasn't something they had to begin with. They didn't have to adapt. And until George Washington Carver got people to notice peanuts, most people completely ignored them. It makes me think about how the Spanish invaded Mexico, and ended up going gaga over the food, to the point that it nearly cost them the war. But they didn't travel all that way for the food. It wasn't as if the Spanish people were clamoring for new cuisine. Nobody cared until they knew what they didn't have.

Maybe it's similar to some degree to an addict trying to kick a smoking or drinking habit. It can be tough to part with something which has become a part of everyday life, even when it's harmful.

So, once gluten-free becomes your normal, you may look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. But until then, you'll miss it, and that's normal too.

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I grieved at first but now that I feel so much better, I am over it. My lifestyle has completely changed. I found a group of women who go out for just coffee. I can drink that every once in a while.

I gave up so many foods besides gluten because of other sensitivities. At first it seemed impossible but it is working. I way the pros and cons of giving up so many foods and believe me, feeling better is top on my list. The pros definitely outway the cons. Some day I should be able to bring back a lot of the foods I eliminated, knowing that gluten foods will never be allowed.

Hang in there, it will get easier.

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There are different ways of coping with this. I tell myself "sure! eat that! you can have anything you want. Just be fully aware that you will be sicker than crap afterwards. Is what you plan to put in your mouth really worth how you will feel? For me, that takes away the 'can't', and reminds me that I am choosing to live this way.

Is the beer really central to the place? Or has it just become a symbol of the fun you have?

Do you really travel for the food? Or for the fun of traveling together to do something silly?

Work on separating the experiences in your mind. I have just as much fun at the pub with a glass of wine as I did with a pint of beer.

This. This times 100.

Those experiences aren't JUST about the food, even though it really really seems that way until you figure out how to take the food out of it. Ask yourself this question: would you do those things - drive three hours to get a danish, go have a Guiness at the pub *just* for the Guiness, wait in line for an hour for chicken and waffles - BY YOURSELF? If you don't generally do these things by yourself, then they're not just about the food, they're about the people too.

I'm not trying to dismiss the food side of it. That is a BIG thing to lose, and it's only fair to grieve for that loss.

But it's helpful to find the other aspect of it. The camaraderie, the enjoyment of others, the shared silliness, and so forth - those are all independent of the food. Perhaps losing the food aspect of it means that there is too much lost to find the rest of it enough, but it's worth trying to explore. (I'm pretty sure coming to appreciate the experience without the food in my mouth took a couple years. This is an attitude change, and one that is not shared by most people. It takes a long time to develop.)

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You all are so wise. Thanks so much for all your kind and thoughtful words.

It truly is a paradigm shift and it is akin to allergies. I do have to be grateful that I don't risk anaphylaxis, just really awful stomache aches and brain fog, which is certainly awful, but won't kill me on the spot.

This morning we left my kids' gymnastics classes and I wanted to just grab some food somewhere and head to Costco. It's near my house so I chose to go home and eat instead to avoid hassles.

As I was driving past our usual food stops, I thought "Wow that is all GARBAGE that we were eating." I could stop there and get a burger with no bun, or whatever is gluten free, but it really became apparent to me in a way that it hadn't before that it's not just my health that's affected, it really is the whole family. I'm being forced to think hard about what we eat and in turn my kids are going to benefit. After pouring over the ingredients lists on some fast food items, I realized recently how much chemical laden ICK is in supposedly healthy foods like a chicken salad. Home cooked food really started to look better to me.

I think that with any grief process there might always be a pang in my heart about those certain special foods. Even if I end up being one of the lucky ones who isn't sensitive to every crumb, it's just not worth it to me to know that my insides are being destroyed to cheat or get lazy. Of course I say that now 2 weeks into the diet, but after 40 years of being so sick, I can't imagine that I will forget how it feels to feel that way all that time. I can't think of a time in my life when I've felt stellar and really really healthy. Even in college when I was dancing nearly 4 hours per day I always had some sort of pain in my stomache, embarrasing gas, brain fog, fatigue, allergy symptoms or something. The joint and muscle pain was unbearable at times, and I would dance through the pain just gritting my teeth. At times I've felt relatively good as it waxed and waned, but for the most part I've always known there was something just not right. I don't think any waffles are worth that.

But I still feel sad to say goodbye to those "old friends."

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It's okay to grieve. It is a loss, no matter what anyone says. I mean, yes you will re-adjust but it is a major change as well. I tend to be the personality type that...is somewhat against the "get over it and move on instantly" attitude...people should face reality and grieve when something sucks. Not wallow in forever...but yes, it IS a loss.

For me, often times, I used to feel the food was the best part of certain events. Parties. Even going to plays sometimes...the best part was intermission when you could eat cookies or something. :lol: Food was something I looked forward to. I was lucky in the sense that I am naturally thin, so I could pretty much eat what I wanted, too (although my mom was rather strict about staying healthy and not eating at on of junk food). Eventually, from about 16 years on, eating got less and less fun as I was getting more and more sick, feeling more and more helpless about what was causing it. Helpless and eventually hopeless. Eating wasn't fun anymore. I'd see a piece of pizza and feel some dread. I'd eat it and, while everyone else is all sitting around laughing, suddenly there is this pang in my abdomen. Stupid me thought it was the grease...so I began eliminating anything greasy, etc. So basically...that's what keeps me going now. I remember how hopeless and helpless I was near the end. Now I don't have to have that sword of Damocles hanging over my head, never knowing when I would get sick next, without having any control over it or any clue what was going on.

I don't even miss that many specific foods (I do crave Pizza Hut personal pan pizza though, and miss toasted sourdough bread)...but what I mourn the loss of is the FREEDOM to eat food. The fun of going some place and being able to enjoy the food, because yes, to me, eating and snacking WAS half the fun. Food is something to look forward to. And 75% of that is taken away with this diet, because of how restricting it is. I still eat good tasting food on this diet...but when it comes to having the freedom to go out and eat, enjoy food provided by other people, etc...it's gone.

Mleeaaccchgggh.

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try googling:

gluten free dining

gluten free bakery

and the name of the town you're interested in, and it should pull up some options.

There ARE places to go to find gluten free prepared food, and it's perfectly edible for the regular gluten eater, too. It's merely a question of finding new places to enjoy yourself at.

Davis, CA has Steve's Pizza which has a gluten free crust option, and another restaurant, the Farmer's Kitchen I think it's called, which is completely gluten free. And it's good.

San Francisco Bay Area has Mariposa Gluten free bakery in Oakland/Berkley.

Sacramento has the Pilot House in Old Town Sacramento, a floating restaurant on a ship with some gluten free menu meals.

Cameron Park in Eldorado County in the foothills has a gluten free bakery, Anza.

Many Thai restaurants can do a gluten free pad thai, and good sushi place can do gluten free sushi.

there are lots of health food stores in CA, many of which might carry baked treats

list (scroll down to CA) http://www.greenpeople.org/NaturalFood.html

I've even dropped into a grocery store at Pt Reyes Station and have found enough off the shelf (gluten free crackers, cheese, and cookies ) to be able to throw together a beach picnic.

No need to feel deprived once you get the hang of it : )

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