Okay, so I made it 27 days. Or 26 with a slice of cake, oh and that thing on day 20 when I had a tortilla and a couple of cocktails. What I’m trying to say is, I’m not perfect, people. I know you totally thought I was due to this, this, and this. But alas, I know I’m breaking hearts by confessing that I could not do it for the whole 30. Or just telling you something you already knew about me because of this.
I do have to say I’m mostly glad I did this Whole 30. I’m really glad I read the book, and I feel like I’ve learned a bit more about what food does to the ol’ bod, and what works better for me and what’s not-so-hot. It was great eating whole foods because there was zero chance of getting gluten’d, and I’ll certainly continue to do this almost all of the time. I have to say I only got like two days of that “super energy” feeling, but I’m a low key gal and I always have been. My low blood pressure proves it, like with science.
I was disappointed that I didn’t feel like super woman, and also that my skin never got one bit better, and maybe even worse? Still, it was also a good lesson in connecting emotions and eating, and how that business all works. Whoo-boy, did that kick my ass. And it was interesting learning about inflammatory foods and how they can make the belly feel not so hot. Admittedly, I already knew about the gluten thing. So this extreme maybe wasn’t meant for someone like me in a revelatory manner. But hey, I did learn other stuffs! Like 30 things at least.
Pulled out this paleo fave again, delicious, but still sad
Okay, not so much crying. But it has been a weird adjustment to this grain-free, legume-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, booze-free diet. I’ve found myself doing lots of “big picture” thinking and feeling very emotional. I feel like this must be a bad time to make any life altering decisions because right now I just keep thinking about quitting my job and starting an urban farm. Which is SO NOT ME. I’ve also started an internal war against cereal. I say internal, because so far it’s just me saying in my head, “Cereal. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.” And then letting my kids eat Cheerios.
What I’m trying to say, is I think I’m getting a little punchy on The Whole 30. That, and super duper tired. In fact, I got home from work early on Friday, ran some errands, and promptly passed out around 4 p.m. That shit can’t continue. Of course maybe if I was an urban farmer I’d have time for that afternoon nap . . .
It seems I’ve picked up some bad eating habits what with the traveling, the working a ton, the two kids who convince me that yes, nachos three times a week is a FANTASTIC idea. (Yes, I did just blame my kids for my nacho consumption.) I think you know I lack discipline on a good day, or maybe you haven’t noticed this, this, or this. The point is, drastic measures need to be taken in order to make actually pay attention to how I eat. At the same time, those of us who have to give up gluten get pretty insane when thinking about giving up anything else. Or maybe that’s just me.
At first I thought, “Hey! Juice cleanse!” Then you fine people were all, “Honey, don’t.” And that’s when I thought, hmmmm, maybe I could do a paleo thing for awhile, make me pay attention to my dairy and sugar intake, and then you know, get into a better pattern with the food stuffs. So I did! Or rather, I am. I’m in the middle of it and it’s not all bad. It’s really not.
After scouring Nom Nom Paleo and Everyday Maven for super fab recipes, I created a two week meal plan and it has been so far, so damn good. Here’s what I’ve been eating.
If you almost threw up reading that headline, know that I’m with you. Still. It turns out that I’ve discovered the most useful thing about having celiac disease—you can help other people when they receive the same diagnosis. Which is what just happened. But before I get all wise and zen-like, let me just say this—
Sometimes you really don’t want to write things down. Like, you can live with it in your head. You can deal with the theoretical, but when it happens IRL, and then you go around having to say it out loud to people, wow, does it suck. Believe it or not, I’m not talking about my own celiac disease, and how it knocked me on my ass, because I get knocked down and I get up again since I’m living the way Chumbawamba taught me.
Nope, this is about someone else. My mom. My mom who has been suffering from dementia, weird vision problems, weight loss, and a severe loss of coordination. A woman who lived independently on over 40 (maybe 60? I suck at remembering numbers, and/or guessing the measurements of things) acres of farm land, took up photography after retiring from her incredibly satisfying career as an English teacher, and traveled alone by car across the American West after my stepfather passed away unexpectedly. A woman who suddenly couldn’t do jack shit. This was seven years ago.
As you might imagine, the past seven years have been frustrating (“There’s nothing wrong with me, everyone my age forgets where they’re going when they drive.”), and eventually tragic as she had to be moved from her home, first in with my older brother, and eventually into an assisted living facility. All along we were asking, “Did she have a stroke? Is it early onset Alzheimer’s?” We were repeatedly told no, until eventually we were told that it must be a very rare form of Alzheimer’s and she now has brain damage in a very specific part of her brain. And then I came across this article about gluten ataxia in Living Without magazine. Continue reading
Brought to me by a very lovely writer of mine at my job, this is Sweet Arleens, ya’ll!
So the first thing I cooked up in my Dutch oven the second I was finished with this gluten-free reset diet situation was gluten-free short ribs and black beans (recipe later). I also had some gluten-free Omission beer, and a gluten-free cupcake, as seen above. Not coincidentally, I also had a wicked gluten-free stomach ache because apparently you’re not supposed to indulge in such an extravagant manner after eating three weeks of vegetables. But you guys, the main thing I learned from this cleanse-y, restricted diet thing? I fucking love food.
The happiest I’ve been in three weeks was the day I woke up and said, “Oh my god, I can eat cheese again!” I picked up some brie, some cotswald cheddar with chives, a little Parmesan and gouda mixture, and I have some burrata just waiting for me in the fridge. Not much makes me happier than knowing a good meal is only moments away. Or a good appetizer. I’m not picky. That scenario did not happen so much for me on my restricted diet.
Still, it was a really great experience for a few reasons. One, I lost five pounds. But even more importantly, I learned some big time gluten-free life lessons. You wanna’ know what they were? Read on! Continue reading