So tonight, I finish the week of gluten-free eating. I will break the fast at dinner tonight. What did I learn? Glad you asked!
I can sustain the same level of physical activity while gluten-free. I did run one less mile this week, but that was because we did the challenge in kettlebells and my body ached too much to push it hard. Can’t blame my aching legs on lack of gluten.
Gluten-free can mean less fiber from grains so I found I needed to eat more fruits and vegetables to keep “squeaky clean”. TMI?
I did not lose any weight on this regimen. Of course, baking tasty treats like the black bean cake and yesterday’s fudgy brownies (with pecans) probably didn’t help. It did make us happy, though!
Eating this way meant I needed to read labels, something I rarely do. I tried to avoid “snacky” foods, because often those had wheat in them. Plus I didn’t need the extra salt.
Eating this way on a permanent basis would mean I would need to get more creative and come up with ways to make the food I’m used to eating actually taste good. For example, I didn’t even attempt a gluten-free pizza last night. Too disappointing and expensive. I ate something else – chicken, quinoa and half a yam – while the rest of the family scarfed down pepperoni, sausage and olive pizza. I figured I could give up one pizza night out of the 8+ years we’ve been doing it.
Yes, I did have some more lucid mornings. I did have weird dreams, though – one with President Obama and another one where I was almost late to a funeral. It was the lack of gluten, I reckon. At least I didn’t dream about bread. I also did not crash as hard in the later afternoon, the usual “lull” in the day. I did not find that the difference was really enough to make me want to give up gluten forever. And it wasn’t until Thursday that the craving for bread hit me between the eyes. It felt like when I’m fasting: I tried to bargain with myself. It won’t matter if I eat this one thing; I can get back on board with the next meal. But I hung in there, determined to see what would happen if I gave myself a chance.
And I’m glad I did. I have real empathy for people with this sensitivity. It’s much easier now to find alternatives to gluten, but it is not cheap. It takes some forethought and work to make a lifestyle out of this. But it is doable. I might even get back on the bandwagon now and then to mix it up. Heck, I have some leftover tortillas to finish. Thanks for those who offered recipes and suggestions. You helped make it possible!