Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm a Gluten Free Drop Out!

Yup, I failed! I'm not very ashamed to say it. I could not handle a gluten free lifestyle.

My journey and eventual failure began about a year ago. I developed some health issues of the gastrointestinal nature (I'll spare you the details. You're welcome!). I lived with them for a few months without giving it too much thought. Finally it occurred to me that these issues were not normal. My research on the internet left me with two options.

I was most probably lactose intolerant or had a gluten sensitivity.

Neither of those two options left me with a warm fuzzy feeling. This girl right here LOVES her cheese and her bread! My abdominal love handles  cushioning  plumpness  (fine, I'll admit it) fat would be proof of my long time love affair with both.

I decided that I'd choose the lesser of two evils and promptly broke up with dairy.

For six months, SIX MONTHS I avoided milk, cheese, sour cream, and ice cream! I avoided cereal, because no matter what they say, soy milk is not all that. I passed on Mint Moose Tracks. I ate my favorite Mexican foods without cheese.

And I found very little relief! Certainly not enough to warrant a lifetime without pizza!

I happily reunited with dairy products and received a personal phone call from dairy farmers across the country (ok not really but I'd like to think they appreciated my renewed relationship!).

I returned to the internet and with a giant gulp of air, decided to attempt a gluten free diet.

I have a track record of jumping into things head first without taking the time to look at all options. *insert family and friends saying "DUH!"* And this gluten free diet was no exception.

I did well. In fact I found it to be rather easy to make the changes. Sure I wasn't able to have toast or pizza or a nice warm waffle with butter and maple syrup, but I was making do.

Until I wasn't!

About three weeks into this I began my actual research. I asked my go to experts on the Gluten Free lifestyle (Kate of Not the Crazy One and Tiffany of The Nerdy Baby) some very serious questions.

When in the hell am I going to feel better?

Their answer...awhile! Some improvements after two months, a few more after six months and major improvements within nine months to a year!

WHAT?

This was not information that I had prior to starting this journey. Nor did I know that gluten can be found in SO MANY things. Foods like soy sauce, ketchup, chocolate, gum and ranch dressing!!

The good news is that there are many gluten free options of the foods I love out there. I found this to be true at a number of my local supermarkets. What I also found out was that gluten free foods are not budget friendly.

And so my head first dive into a gluten free diet left me with a few concerns. I was hungry! And I am broke.

My budget just can not handle the increase in food prices. I have very little to work with and I rely heavily on coupons to bridge the gap between what I have and what I need. Gluten Free foods do not always fit into the category of budget friendly. There are certainly ways to do gluten free on the cheap, just not as cheap as I need it to be.

And so, with great reluctance (ok only a little reluctance), I decided to postpone this lifestyle until such time that I can afford to increase my grocery budget.

I grabbed the first sandwich I could find and bit into it. Yep I'm a Gluten Free Drop out and damn it tastes good right now!


I was advised that the book Healthier Without Wheat would have been a great resource for me to read before making dietary changes. I will read this before I try a gluten free lifestyle again.


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