Friday, December 28, 2012

Our Gluten-Free Trial

As I mentioned in previous posts, my 15-year old daughter decided to finally try going gluten-free. She was starting to have daily stomach complaints, pain, bloating and we'd suspected at least wheat before, and she was desperate for some relief, so she went for it. First evening, pain ended up worse than before, but within a few days, she had no pain, her stomach was flattest its been in ages and she was feeling good.

We lasted about a week and a half gluten-free before holiday celebrations hit and she decided to indulge here and there. And so did I. ;) But to backtrack, the first day of going gluten-free was okay, the next two days were very hard to make the switch. After that, it didn't seem like a huge deal. Yes, I had my evenings where I was going, "Oh my gosh, what are we going to eat?" but I figured things out. With the internet, you can find just about any recipe you want by listing ingredients you have on hand that you think would go well together! I managed to find this one evening:

I slightly modified it (didn't have tomato paste, for example) but it was definitely a keeper recipe!  And if you use vegetable stock (Campbell's vegetable broth is gluten-free; the chicken broth isn't), the recipe is not only gluten-free, but vegan, as well.

Since being back on wheat, I'm feeling blah again. But since so many of the wheat things around here are junk (German lebkuchen, for example, and stollen) with sugar, hard to know how much of it is wheat and how much of it is sugar. I don't have any desire for bread though. Nor the baked goods I had intended to make and haven't. I'm eager to get back to the wheat-free/gluten-free eating we were doing. I have this aversion now, which I should probably pay attention to!

My mother tried to tell me that it wasn't healthy to be on a gluten-free diet if you didn't need to be on it. My mother's an intelligent woman, but she doesn't seem to realize that what she said makes no sense. She's just going off of something she read somewhere. If celiacs can be healthy on a gluten-free diet, there's no reason others can't be. This isn't like the recommended diabetic diet where it's playing around with your blood sugars; it's just a matter of having gluten in your system or not. Since I definitely felt better being wheat/gluten-free (I hardly eat other gluten than wheat, so hard to know if it's wheat or gluten), then, by golly, I'm going to aim to pretty much eliminate wheat from my diet regardless of what certain experts may say (other experts say none of us should be eating gluten)! I'm thinking about convincing--or forcing--my 12-year old son to try, too. He has absolutely horrid dry skin on his hands every winter. We tried eliminating dairy last winter or the winter before and it had no effect. Something in his system is causing this! It's so bad that if I don't make sure he gets hand cream on his hands, they end up cracking and bleeding. And, yes, I have to make sure cream gets on him because he doesn't seem to pay any attention to it until it does start cracking and bleeding.

There has been some good things so far about going gluten-free:

  1. Improved health.
  2. Increased knowledge about using things such as digestive enzymes. Definitely helps my daughter and I've taken some a couple of times and I find my intestinal area seems flatter than usual--less inflammation?
  3. Increased experimentation with recipes. Rather than eating the same old, same old, I've been forced to go beyond, find new recipes, try different things. Things I had wanted to do in the past but it took my daughter's health to really push me through the comfort zone barrier.
  4. Seeing how we did reasonably easily manage to make the switch--yes, we still had our moments of going "Arrrrrrgh!"--it has me thinking more about my switching to a vegan (or beegan--using honey) diet and at least 50% raw. It can be done; it'd be nice if it didn't take a health crisis to finally do it.

I'll leave you today with just some of my finds during my gluten-free search:


  1. I think most people can benefit from a gluten-free diet, as long as they don't consume too much of the gluten-free substitutes (processed sugary bake goods and such). You are definitely on the right track.

  2. Thanks, Shannon! There's a growing amount of literature out there saying that gluten is a problem for many people, and wheat especially. I think a lot of people would find they feel better without it.