So... I did it! I made it through my first week of being gluten and dairy free. Some days were easy, some were not. All in all, though, it wasn't too bad. I started last Monday and was pretty nervous about making this huge life change. I did not make smart choices leading up to life as a gluten and dairy free gal as I systematically ate all of my favorite foods in one weekend, from Taco Bell to Papa Johns and everything in between. I knew it wasn't smart and that my digestive system would pay dearly for it, but I felt like I was about to enter the Alcatraz of food eating programs so I had to live free for one more weekend. I may have also had a Sprinkles cupcake in that time. Eating this way is definitely still a learning process. For example, this past Tuesday night I made Jimmy and I gluten free spaghetti with turkey meatballs. The package on the meatballs said they were gluten free, but I didn't even think to check the ingredients for dairy. Well, after we ate I was looking over the package and BAM, Parmesan cheese right there mixed in with that turkey. Then on Thursday night I made salmon, brown rice, and broccoli for dinner and put some soy sauce on my brown rice. Who woulda thunk that gluten is in soy sauce (LAME)?? Like I said, this is definitely a learning process.
Therefore, I present to you: The most important things I learned in week one!
1.) Read all ingredient lists. This can be tedious and annoying but it is necessary. I also found some items in my fridge while I was reading ingredient lists that contain high fructose corn syrup. It frustrates me that this crap is still in well known condiments (Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce-so yum :( and Mt. Olive Bread and Butter pickles--my favorite of all pickles!) I'm still mourning those pickles.
2.) Not all gluten free products are created equally (in taste). I kind of thought, "you've had one brand of bread, you've had them all." Not true. Some definitely taste better than others. Also, all GF breads have a funny smell while toasting... not sure what that is. Hopefully I get used to it.
3.) DF (dairy free) mayo is not great. I have only tried one brand so far (Earth Balance vegan mayo) and it was very sour. I'm not a huge mayo fan to begin with, but I like it in Tuna. Needless to say, I didn't finish my tuna.
4.) I need to learn to give my body time to heal. I think I called my mom on day 3 and said "Hey! What gives? I'm still having horrible bowel problems!" (You should know I said this in a much more colorful way that I will not divulge here... I'm not perfect and I kind of have a potty mouth at times). My mom laughed, reminded me its only been three days, and that Rome wasn't built in a day...or something like that. She's right though. I've always been the type of person to rush things. I want everything perfect or better immediately. I go to the gym once and want immediate muscles, I start a new job and want to know how to do everything right on day 2, and I stop eating gluten and dairy and expect my bowels to sing my praises and stop torturing me. Someone old and of importance once said that patience is a virtue. I'll keep trying to reach that virtue.
5.) And last but not least, I need to thank my friend Gracie at work who lives a gluten free life and gave me many pointers at 3am. She also told me about an app called Find Me Gluten Free that is very helpful when wanting to eat out or even look up foods that you are questioning. Mostly though, she gave me encouragement that I can do this and I am VERY grateful for that.
I will continue on this journey and report back on my progress here. I am compiling a list of good and not so good brands of DF and GF foods that I will share with you when I have enough data. I also meet with Stephanie this week to talk about my progress and next steps. More to come very soon!! Thanks for following this nut case on my road to happier bowels. Nothing means more to me than your support and ability to read.
Until next time,