Saturday, September 25, 2010

Why Gluten Free?

I was recently asked why I was dipping my big toe (painted pink of course!) in the GF swimming pool.  And that is a very fair question.  I've never been tested for celiac disease.  I am not certain I have it.  But I am not certain I do not have it either.  I have nearly all of the symptoms.  Some more severe than others.  I have had stomach issues my entire life but always brushed them off in the past.  I am 99% sure that I have an intolerance to oats though.  On the severe end of that issue.  Which stinks because I love hot oatmeal in the winter months.  But two hours later when I am doubled over in pain...notsomuch.

I am honestly more curious than anything else.  My goal is to be living gluten free by the first of the year (so January 2011).  I thought it was going to be terrible.  I've attempted this several times over the last three years.  And clearly failed.  Miserably.  So this time, I tried something different.  I told myself that I didn't have to eliminate anything.  Not one thing.  Instead, I was going to be diligent to add in gluten free foods to my lifestyle.  My theory is that I will gradually find equal or better replacements for everything gluten-full in my life.  But as I am not restricting anything either, it is easier for me to get on board with this new, self-imposed experiment. 

Did you catch that I said I have tried this several times over the last three years?  It's true.  The first time, I went to the grocery store and bought GF breadsticks.  I don't know why as I don't ever eat breadsticks of the gluten-full variety.  But for whatever reason, that seemed like a good choice to me.  Well they were horrible.  Dry and flavor-less.  I was eating gluten by the end of the day.  This has happened several time since then.  And while I am learning that there are in fact a lot of really great pre-made GF products out there (and by out there, I mostly mean out there on the internet and not in my limited Upstate NY regular grocery stores), I have had my eyes opened up by discovering some amazing bloggers.  Who make the most amazing meals.  Amazing to gluten full and gluten free, alike.

Funny enough, one of the first blogs I started reading waaay back in the day was Gluten Free Girl.  I read her blog before she even got married.  I had a friend who was diagnosed with celiac disease and was searching for resources to help her.  Found GFG and kept reading because she's just plain cool. 

But now I am really trying to make this change for myself.  For my health.  And the only way it will ever happen is if I am able to find equally delicious recipes along the way.  Food is pleasure to me.  I am on a mission to fall in love with new GF foods over the next few months.  I know there will be some flops.  And I promise to fill you in as they tend to be learning lessons. (plus this blog is mainly for me to keep a record of recipes)

Oh and I am also on a mission to lower my cow dairy intake.  Not eliminate.  I will never eliminate butter.  But I am doing a pretty good job so far of reducing my intake by at least 50%.  Probably more at this point.  Almond milk is my new best friend.  Soy milk is not.  Ew.

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