Wednesday, July 16, 2014

One week (& nearly) gluten free....

Except for a few indiscreet bites of things I knew had wheat in them, here and there this past week, I have been fairing rather well! The hardest part of this new challenge to my new diet turned out not to be giving up beer (after asking around Twitter, I found out that Omission makes an excellent nearly gluten free beer). It was being sick and not turning to the usual comforting carbs I typically grab for.

It started off as bad allergies and tumbled quickly into bronchitis. I wanted nothing more than chicken noodle soup, ramen noodles, and pretzels. Don't ask me why those are my go to foods when down and out, they just are. I found a soup with rice noodles in it that was....ok, but it wasn't chicken so it didn't have that same calming effect. And I did end up eating 2 large sourdough pretzels just to calm my stomach after my first dose of antibiotics.

I am up at the lake this week and my biggest concern had been eating while here. My inlaws also love carbs. But I had volunteered to bring up a lot of my own things as substitutes and they have been trying them out and enjoying them, surprisingly. The first night I was here, we broke out the pancake mix I brought and they were pleasantly surprised. Of course, we cooked those the rather unhealthy MIL cooks her pancakes in freaking Crisco -- so basically anything cooked in Crisco is going to taste good, though, right? Ha. At any rate, they said they looked and tasted just like whole wheat pancakes. I'm very happy they were open to eating them.  I also made them something with zucchini noodles. I wasn't comfortable eating the noodles raw....not that I wasn't comfortable per se, I just love zucchini cooked, so I sauteed them in a smidge of olive oil.

My biggest challenge is breakfasts and lunches. I love crackers and breads. I decided for this first week to get some gluten free crackers, but have not ventured into trying gluten free sandwich bread at this time. I did bring up buns to try for dinner tonight and tomorrow, so fingers crossed. My inlaws do not have any other buns so I hope they forgive me if they are gross. They are Udi's, however, so I think we will be ok.

Some of the foods I have tried this week....

Zucchini noodles with artichoke/walnut/lemon pesto

Greek salad with cucumber spirals

Bob's Red Mill pancake mix (and smoky links)


Omission Pale Ale

Here's to another week of gluten free! I hope this coming week, I partake in a little less "accidental" wheat! That's my goal, anyway!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

On going gluten free....

What an intimidating thing to do, go gluten free. But I recently decided that this is what I wanted to research and possibly try out for myself. Between reading the AntiAnxiety Food Solution and recently starting to read Wheat Belly. I knew it was time that I finally gave this lifestyle thing a try. I'm desperate for a change. Not just for weight loss, but for my overall health. My husband's health -- he has type 2 diabetes and has to be careful with carbs as it is.  You have no idea how eye opening the two books were for me, you guys. NO idea.

I am only on day 2 of this journey. And already on day one, I screwed up by eating Triscuits with my tuna salad, because I hadn't gotten to the store yet for crackers I could eat with it. I feel terrible today. I can't tell if it's because of my allergies or if I already feel whacked in the head from not eating gluten. Is that possible? I know of withdrawal symptoms but this fast? It doesn't seem possible. I am very much thinking today's issues are allergies, because I have drainage, sore throat, and coughing right now. Ragweed is moderate lately on the allergy forecast.  It was also a major part of 2 of my allergy shots (I got one in each arm). It was the side that we could never increase because I'm THAT allergic to ragweed. Rumor has it that people have also seen improvement in their seasonal allergies thanks to going gluten free. And dang it, I'd like to see if that happens to me. OMG, seasonal allergies suck so badly.

It's going to take time to figure out the balance of how to eat now that I'm taking away these wheat calories.  "Should you choose to go further than just removing wheat, you must replace lost wheat calories with real food."* I'm still intimidated of course. But we are already making huge steps to eat better and more "real." We are eating more local foods when we can. And stepping it up to include meats  -- especially meats that are not injected with hormones and antibiotics.

Yes, I realize that this may all be in vain and it may not work for us. Yes, I am well aware that it will possibly be an expensive endeavor.  I am also aware that it may initially cause issues for Dan and I as far as withdrawal symptoms (though, truth be told, I'm not sure how dedicated Dan is to the cause.  He may be rebelling just a tad this week because of the fact that I told him he really needs to step away from beer to make this experiment worthwhile.  He LOVED that piece of information...)

I get asked, why would we want to do this? Some people are actually allergic to gluten and think I'm crazy, telling me that they wish they didn't have to do it this way, so why would I choose to? Because I'm desperate. I'm very desperate. I know I may not lose weight on this. But I want to see some sort of resolution of the anxiety I have dealt with heavily for 12 years.

It's all worth it to me.

- - -
*Davis MD, William (2011-08-30). Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back To Health (Kindle Locations 2938-2939). Rodale. Kindle Edition. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014


You guys, I had a crazy month of June. So crazy that I never got back on here to talk about our home renovation plans. Maybe because that has been the last thing on our minds lately. I will have to do another post on it, but Avery started to FINALLY become a lot more mobile. She's a crawling fool. She's still technically behind as far as gross motor, because she's still not trying to pull to stand -- in fact, when we pull her to stand, it makes her so nervous. We'll have to work on that, getting her used to just being in a standing position. What a nervous little gal.

I resigned from my job last month. I have been on the fence with that for a long time. I have honestly been looking lightly for a new job almost the entire school year. After an interview that didn't go as I had hoped in January, I kind of stopped the serious searching, but it was still on my mind. I had not been happy. I'm not sure why the school jobs are so coveted. Maybe it's because of all the time off that one gets in the summer and holidays. But the pay sucks. And the caseloads, at least in our county, are insanely high (we REALLY needed another OT), so therefore, I had felt like I couldn't really focus and dedicate a ton of time to my students. There is so much that school OT should be involved in -- RTI (response to intervention) and 504 plans...that our county wasn't as involved in. It really stunk. I feel like everything I had learned in continuing education I couldn't even make happen. NO TIME.

I began to feel stressed out about having to do a lot of work from home, at night. I'd tackle a lot at night after Avery went to bed. I had equipment all over the place -- in my car, office, different areas of home. And frankly, I was just done with that. Our house isn't that big. And suddenly we had a ton of baby stuff all over the place as well. And every time we wanted to leave the house for the weekend, I had to unpack my car. INSANE.

I am also looking to go back to a medical model/clinical based practice. I have missed that the most.  I am also considering home health care. Which still would involve some equipment, I imagine, but there is generally less to travel with. I'm nervous about finding work, but excited about the new possibilities.

In the mean time, I escaped a few days earlier than planned for the July 4th holiday and have been enjoying the lake life. Not even thinking about pending financial DOOM.....