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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Life in the Gluten Free Zone

I have been getting lots of comments and questions about how things are going with living gluten free ---And I felt I really needed to get to the point where I’d at least been doing this a month consistently before I could really guage how things are going.

Folks have been supportive!  I’ve heard from so many of you that have food sensitivities in one way or another, and the miracles that have happened when you have eliminated certain triggers from your diet.

I am NOT a celiac sufferer.  My problems are not digestive ---but I am sensitive to the protein found in wheat, barley, rye…and the simplicity of removing them from my diet has proven to be very beneficial.

It gets easier to look for things I CAN have…instead of dwelling on things I CAN’T have.

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This is a shot of my grocery cart at the store just a bit ago….I’ve been gone so much, I felt like I should at least fill the fridge up before I leave for Pennsylvania tomorrow!

((No, the croutons aren’t for me….but for The Hubster!))

One thing I am REALLY super excited about ----Dannon Light & Fit COCONUT VANILLA yogurt!  ASPARTAME FREE!!!!!

I’ve also been cutting OTHER triggers that may have played their own part in my joint pain – and artificial sweeteners are one of those, Aspartame being the WORST of the worst.  And it is in nearly EVERYTHING….so now that Dannon has removed the Aspartame…I’m a happy girl.  I hope that other products are soon to follow.

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Vitamin Water ZERO!

I’ve been drinking a ton of just plain ole water – but for a treat, I really like the “Squeezed Lemonade” Vitamin water – it is very lightly sweetened with stevia.

Those other bottled chillers and ices that I loved? You got it….all aspartame.  I’m making other choices these days…my health and happiness depends on it.

And THESE sweet goodies just came in the mail today from my friend Ila:

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Cornbread, Brownie and Pancake mix…Gluten Free!

I am not wanting to simply replace gluten filled versions with their gluten free counterparts….but there are times when you just HAVE to have cornbread with a pot of chili, or warm brownies and ice cream after a long day…and Sunday morning Pancakes?  I really miss those!  So thank you Ila – I’m anxious to give these a try!

I’ve also found a boat load of recipes on pinterest for gluten free items…but most of them seem to be baked goods and sweets, which means they aren’t really all that good for my diet either --- but in a pinch…it gets me WANTING to spend time in the kitchen creating meals again!

Tonight…it’s pork chops on the grill, salad, baked sweet potatoes and fresh chunks of fruit.

And don’t forget Quilt-Cam at 9pm Eastern!  I’m looking forward to it!

30 comments:

Jenniffier Kramer said...

This is a perfectly timed post for me. I am currently waiting to hear back from the doctor about if my it looks like you have a wheat intolerance turns into a cut all wheat out of your diet. I really appreciate your perspective of focusing on what you can have. Thanks for the gentle reminder of that. I am glad you have started feeling better. That is one thing I am hoping for from the doc are answers that will make me feel better.

Judymc said...

I'm glad you're feeling better due to eating a little differently. I was just diagnosed with diabetes in Dec., so I've just about cut sugar out of my diet. Unfortunately, I don't have the choice to cut out aspartame, but my grown kids have cut it out since it may have a connection to MS and some other diseases. I've lost 22 lbs. and that has really helped me feel better, too. I lost it by cutting the amount I eat at a meal by half. I just want to have a better quality of life and I won't if I don't make myself behave! LOL

La Tea Dah said...

You are doing great on the journey! We have been on this journey for 12 years now. Some days are harder than others, but the rewards are worth it! I love your shopping cart of happy food!

Faith Kayajian said...

So glad to hear that things along your diet change are helping. I too have many food sensitivties and allergies. Aspertame has always been a real problem for me. Migraines after just a few mouthfuls of any product with it. I make myself alot of decaf - iced tea - all year long. Sometimes I will also use flavored herbal teas. Just a different flavor - not the same old water.
Good luck with your quest to be healthier. Faith in ME

Peggy Thompson said...

Good job staying on your new regiment. Feeling better is always great. Gluten isn't my problem, but the pesticides in the food we get at the store has taken it's toll on my body. I was beginning to feel like the bug on the Raid can. Since going almost totally organic has made me a new person. Even my arthritis is much better. The other day a friend who hadn't seen me for awhile came up to me and said how much better I looked and was amazed that I was walking without my cane let alone my walker. When you weigh the balance between paying a little more for your food and the cost of pain pills it breaks even and I'm not all drugged up. I'm glad for you and glad for me. Keep up the good work.

Bunnie said...

Great to hear that you're doing so good on your new diet. Keep it up!! We're cheering for you.
Bunnie - gluten, dairy and egg-free and still eating!

Emma said...

I'm glad you're enjoying yourself! I'm still gluten free (3-ish months now) and while having my arm in a sling with hubby having to do 90% of my food prep means I have gone to eating more gluten free grain products, it's still helping me feel better and, in the end, I'm not enjoying them as much as I used to enjoy bread, crackers, etc. Once you've gone without for a little while, it's easier to say no thanks or only eat a bite or two instead of a whole bag!

Jackie said...

We use mixes from King Arthur for pancakes an occasional brownie and their flour mix is amazing to cook with. They are available locally, but we order them by the case directly from them on the web. Still not happy with the cornbread mixes as most crumble...The hubbie is down 3 pants sizes in just a few months and his diabetes is incredibly under better control, Some days no insulin. We all need to keep in mind everything in reason and a carb is a carb. Making healthy choices in Ohio :)

JustPam said...

I started eating low carb (in January) and recently gave up artificial sweeteners. The hardest was Turkey Hill Green Ice Tea. I wrote to them to ask them to find a healthier alternative than aspartame. I cannot believe how much better I feel. There just seems to be too much evidence that we are not really designed to eat those grains.

Unknown said...

Bonnie - I also went wheat free in November and have been feeling so much better. One of the facebook people I follow daily - Gourmet Girl Cooks - makes a meal ever night and posts a picture and recipe. They are all grain free and no added sugar. I have found it really helpful for the day to day meals.
Deb B

Linda K-B said...

If you need an aspartame alternative, Sweet Leaf makes flavored stevia liquid drops. Not sure how many flavors, but I have plain, hazlenut & cinnamon. Just a few drops in my drink.

Miss Carol said...

I'm loving gluten free living! I just made the decision to do it because I was tired of always having an upset stomach. I also have given up anything with artificial sweeteners in it. What a difference I feel in my joints. I like you way of thinking as in what you can have instead of what you cannot have. I have made a wonderful homemade baking mix I keep in the fridge for those days when pancakes or waffles are a must. Keep it simple is my new way of cooking, eating & living.

Joyful Quilter said...

I like gluten free pancake mix better than wheat mix, it has a lot more flavor. Pamela's Brownies are REALLY GOOD, they have bits of dark chocolate chips in them...Yummmm. Glad the gluten free diet is working out for you.

Tami C said...

So glad that you are feeling better after only a month on your new eating plan. I'm going to have to get some of that Dannon Light & Fit COCONUT VANILLA yogurt as that sounds good! Hubby & I are trying to eliminate aspartame from our diet. We both like Crystal Light Peach Mango Green tea and several other flavors that they have. Does anyone have any suggestions to replace the Crystal Light? Maybe I should write to them like JustPam did to Turkey Hill Green Ice Tea. Thanks for the idea Pam!

Missy Shay said...

You should try metromint water, it's my favorite. Just mint and water, they also have cocoa mint, spearmint, peppermint, cherry mint, etc. I love them! Hint is another one I like, just an essence of the flavor and water - no sweeteners. I can't stand stevia -yuck.

Tracy said...

We've been reading the Wheat Belly book and it makes a lot of sense. I'm not about the gluten free but I do believe in cutting out anything artificial as in sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, margarine, preservatives, etc...
My biggest problem would be pretzels! I can't seem to stay away from them although I've cut back on them.

Debbie said...

Jenniffier, Just cut the wheat out of your diet and see how you feel. Doctors and tests can be inconclusive or just plain wrong. There are so many bad things in our foods these days is it just awful. Read any of Dr Loren Cordain's books on the Paleo diet and you will not have any trouble switching to a healthful diet that will make you feel good.

Booky said...

If you can find any of the Gluten Free King Arthur Flour products I guarantee you will love them. No weird after taste. Try some.

deelish10 said...

i have been staying from artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup for years as they give me a headache or worse the bad tummy! since getting diabetes, I have again modified my diet to eliminate foods that have a high glycemic index and after a year of meds, diet and exercise I no longer need meds and with testing can control my diabetes meds free! Yay! I feel good, eat whole foods and don't crave anything. Even chocolate, look for dark chocolate with little or no sugar! I can consume about 9 grams on the package once a day and eat protein with it I am fine. you learn what works, what foods work, and try new ones too. I went to eat out(got tired of my own cooking) and ordered unsweetened ice tea which is not what I got. It took me 3 days to get my glycemic meter numbers back to normal because of some idiot poured me sugar! what a mess... be careful and have some grand meals and remember those fresh fruits and veggies are the best!

Donna said...

Anyone know anything about Nectresse made from monk fruit? I thought about trying it. Aspartame (Splenda) kills my joints. I tried Stevia but didn't like the aftertaste. I don't use much 4 packs to a gallon of tea but it was still awful.

Material Girl said...

I have been wondering how you've been making out and if you've noticed a difference yet, so good to hear that you are feeling better.
I had been having a lot of gastrointestinal problems occasionally but the past year it got a lot worse, and the past 6 months I'd been getting sicker and sicker, lost almost 20 lbs. in a short while and I'm pretty tiny and didn't weight very much to begin with so 20 lbs was a lot for someone my size to loose. Thankfully I finally got some where with some different tests, on March 20th I had a Endoscopy where they took a biopsy to test for celiac disease, I finally got my results on the 15th and I tested positive for celiac disease, so it was a little overwhelming at first but I've been to see a dietician and she's helped me a lot, and I'm learning what ingredients to look out for in all kinds of foods that I never ever would have thought contain gluten. But I am getting somewhere and learning what I can and can't have, I am so happy that at least I finally have an answer as to why I had been so sick lately, and I'm looking forward to feeling better. There are some gluten free foods that I do not like at all and some that are ok, but as time goes on I will find out what ones are good and what ones are not so good, living in Canada it is a little harder to find some of the products that are available in the US, but there are a couple stores with in 20 minutes of me that carry a fair bit of product and I'm hoping to get to the city soon and find more GF foods.
Looking forward to Quilt Cam as always. Thank-you Bonnie.

Gwen

suzanne, dutchess county NY said...

I am so glad this is working for you. I have always stayed away from aspartame, but as you say it's in everything. There is a documentary on Netflix that is a must see! Really shocked me what aspartame is linked to and the politics involved.
I recommend people should watch it. Packaging doesn't always stay aspartame , it has many other names.

sarahkatequilts@gmail.com said...

I second this! My tests for a dairy intolerance/sensitivity/whatever still show up inconclusive but the drastic difference in my health was enough for the allergist to advise me to "Never eat milk products again." Even my allergist says most testing for food "anythings" are inconclusive. People with anaphylaxis can show up negative repeatedly on tests for allergies to foods that they know are a trigger.

It gets easier too. I did it similar to what Bonnie did, gave myself 1 month to start to see how I felt. That quickly turned into 1 year and now I can't remember what I was worried about! Just 2 more cents from someone whose been there! Good luck :)

sarahkatequilts@gmail.com said...

I read your comment and thought you might appreciate this link: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com

She makes a lot of sugar free versions of her recipes without using aspartame and other sweeteners. They taste just like the real thing! I eat sugar but I can't have it every day so these recipes have been a lifesaver for me. And congrats on the weight loss and improvement in your health, that is must feel awesome! :)

Nola G said...

I've been wheat-free and almost grain-free for nearly 7 years and have not had a flare-up of my Crohn's Disease in this time. It is truly amazing how many health issues disappear when you stop eating wheat. Just don't get into the trap of trying to replace it with 'gluten-free' foods that contain rubbish like potato starch and tapioca starch. I used to visualize eating wallpaper paste because that's what you are doing. You lose your desire for those foods pretty fast. Yuck!

Ruth said...

DH & I started a diet due to his recently diagnosed liver disease, but that's not why I'm commenting. I am glad you aren't eating anything with aspertame in it. A dear friend and guild member who used to be the head doctor in the NICU unit of children's hospital got brain damage due to drinking too much diet coke containing aspartame. She had to give up practicing medicine and had to wear something over her ears to mitigate the sound. A loud sound could send her to the floor. She was in and out of the hospital a lot, but through it all she discovered quilting and made lots of quilts for others. Her passion was making quilts for the hospital and now our guild donates to children's hospital as our major contribution. Unfortunately, our friend passed away last year - just about a year ago - but we are energized to continue the work for all children of all sizes.

Josie McRazie said...

Keep it up! I feel ya! Apsartame gives me migranes! Like wretching knock me out migranes! The worst wad when I was working at the mall and the sweet young kids I worked with decided to half and half my Dew with diet! Man less than a half hour and I had to have my honey come get me!

pattiespea said...

I am not diabetic and do not have a gluten problem. I have a problem with triglycerides. high starch foods and sugar makes them rise until I am in danger of a heart attack or a stroke. I have had to eliminate potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, and sugar. Anything with flour in it is a high starch food. I miss my bread and my corn bread, but am told that I can have it once in a while, just not every day. I no longer crave sweets, yah!!!!

Teresa said...

This is a great time for me to read this post. Our daughter who is diabetic has gone pretty much gluten free. She said she feels so much better and has more energy. She is trying her best to get in a position where she can get off her insulin. I have so many health problems that could be helped (so they say) by going gluten free. Such as, fibromyalgia, RA, lack of energy, depression, etc. I have been told by friend that I need to get off the Aspartame, too. I drink a couple of diet Pepsi's per day and love the Hawaiian Punch SF water additives. But of course, they have Aspartame. I am trying to drink more plain water and less of anything else. I am addicted to carbs, so it will be hard for me to stop this all together, but I want to and need to. Wish me luck.

Joanne Lavallee said...

Thanks for the heads up about aspartame! I didn't realize it was one of the inflammatory thingy ma bobbies, that definitely could have been the reason for the endless headache I've had for days.