Tag Archives: gluten free diet

30 Lessons from The Whole 30

whole 30 lessonsOkay, 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.

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Week 2 on The Whole 30, Or, Why Am I Crying?

paleo recipes

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 . . .

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My Week (Or Two) in Paleo

paleo recipesIt 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.

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What to Expect at the Celiac Disease Foundation Expo: Books, Cookies & Dinosaurs

celiac disease foundation expoOkay, at least one of those things. And me! Me! I’ll be up in Pasadena this weekend at the CDF Conference and big ass gluten-free expo selling my books to the FIRST PEOPLE IN AMERICA. Whoo-hooo! So line up, celiacs. But don’t expect cookies or dinosaurs. That was totally false advertising to lure you in. Not unlike when you flip through the Anthropolgie catalog and you’re all, “If I bought that blouse, I could swing in a hammock overlooking a rain forest!” Just books.

Although I’m guessing you’ll get your fill of gluten-free goodies up in the expo. These gluten-free cookies? These are King Arthur’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix that my husband whipped up to provide my girl with a gluten-free cookie for a field trip. Sure they were delicious, but something is a little funny here in the court of King Arthur. You see, you have to provide your own chocolate chips. Luckily, we always have chocolate chips in my house so we were cool. It just seemed a bit, I don’t know, odd. I conveniently missed the note on the box of the gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix that said, “make it special with your add-ins” and then took a second look and realized it actually said “gluten-free cookie mix.” Sorry, I was just distracted by that delicious looking chocolate chip cookie on the box. Don’t be fooled fellow gluten-freers! And bring your own add-ins.

Do you know one very special thing I AM bringing with me to the expo (besides, of course Gluten Is My Bitch: Rants, Recipes, & Ridiculousness for the Gluten-Free)?

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Celiac Disease Turns Out to Be Awesome

gluten-free kidsIf 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—

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My Mom & Gluten

urlSometimes 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

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10 Things I Learned From the Gluten-Free Diet

gluten-free cupcake

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

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Oh, Hell It’s a Gluten-Free Diet: Week 3

gluten-free cleanseTomorrow I begin my third week of serious calorie restriction, you guys. Which is why I’m writing this with a delicious peaty Scotch in my hand. I know. My trainer is going to KILL me.  But that’s it. I’m back on and truly committed to my lunches of gluten-free miso soup and cucumbers for the rest of the week. Do you see how sad that is? This is why I’m drinking Scotch right now.

Booze (and maybe steak) is kind of the biggest cheat one could have on this diet. After all, my other cheat happened last week and it looked like this -

gluten-free dietYep, my Friday night dinner cheat was a salad with roasted vegetables, not steamed. You know what? It was totally delicious. I loved it, and wanted to marry it. And it was super simple. I just threw a bunch of vegetables on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted them up. A simple vinaigrette on the mixed greens and roasted vegetables dangling all over the leaves.

Who AM I?

I’ll tell you. I’m someone who still doesn’t think — no matter how good this looks — that gluten-free quinoa pilaf is an acceptable meal. See? Continue reading

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Oh, Hell It’s a Gluten-Free Diet: Week 2

gluten-free dietThis is not a meal. Is it delicious? Yes. Is it nutritious? Well, duh. But it still isn’t going to count as breakfast. Except it does, and I wasn’t even all that hungry after! What?!? I know. Clearly, this whole reset thing is tricking my brain into thinking that I don’t need pleasure at mealtime any longer. Win?

It’s week two people, and it’s all fruits and vegetables, all the time. Can you believe I’m still doing this? Me neither, but I’m kind of okay. My trainer keeps on keepin’ on and allows me to bitch and moan whenever the mood strikes me. Which is daily. Other than that, it’s kind of like putting my head down and doing some gluten-free, and vegan grazing.

I’ll be honest. For about 70% of the day I’m all, oooh, my sweet potato and red pepper bisque is sooo delicious. Lookee!

gluten-free dietThen the other 30% of the time I’m yelling at my husband because what I really want is ricotta and honey on a crostini with a glass of vino. Or a steak. Why don’t I want cake? That, I’m not understanding. I thought my sugar craving would be my doing-in. Yet I’m still not trying to justify eating a gluten-free donut.

Also, I’ve been perfecting my sushi making. I did use a dull knife to cut this roll up, so I’m not going to show you the final result until my big “Gluten-Free Sushi” post I’ll do at some point when I’m thinking more clearly. So here’s the beginning -

gluten-free dietThis is yet another delicious addition to my family’s dinner rotation I’ll be sticking with after I’m done with this crazy situation I signed up for. It’s not that hard, and is super delicious.

Even though I’m mourning my wine and cheese, I still have to say that sweet potato and roasted red pepper bisque rocked my world a little bit. So I’m going to tell you how you too can whip this healthy soup up right in your own kitchen. It’s probably cold and all where you are, so enjoy this gluten-free warm up. And whatever other meat-, chocolate-, or cheese-filled treats you’ve got on tap for this week. Lucky jerks.

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Gluten-Free Diet Remorse

gluten-free diet remorse

No one can complain with a gluten-free Chipwich in your mouth

Hello, GIMBers! I’m feeling a little weak from my whole reset/vegan’ish situation and it’s making me ponder that other time I had to cut out a major food group. Which was, coincidentally, two years ago last week! Happy horrible going gluten-free anniversary to me.

But I’m not the only one who was upended by this dramatic change, I have a family and all. When you’re diagnosed with celiac disease, the advice is to remove all gluten from the home; which means your roommates are going on the diet too. If you decide to go on a gluten-free diet — whether forcibly, or otherwise — you have to stop and consider the other people living in your home. I mean, I didn’t. But you totally should.

Granted the kids still have Cheerios and normal bagels, and I’m totally suspicious that my husband shoves as much gluten into his gullet every day at lunch, but other than those exceptions we’re kinda’ a gluten-free household. So I decided to sit them down and let them know I feel their pain, and what is that pain, exactly? It turns out, I’m cramping everyone’s restaurant dining style. Continue reading

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