Gluten-Free

Carlsbad 062Well, friends, you may notice some changes in the recipes I post in the coming weeks/months. After some consideration and discussions with family and doctors, I have decided to try a gluten-free diet.

You see, for as long as I can remember, I’ve had a “touchy” stomach. I’ve visited doctors in the past regarding it, but have never seemed to find a solution to alleviate my troubles. As I have several immediate family members that are gluten intolerant, I asked doctors about the possibility. They conducted a blood test. It was negative. And so it was decided that this was not the issue (In spite of the fact that many celiacs show negative on the blood tests). The medications that were given to me didn’t work, so I had resolved to “put up with it,” and moved on. My discomfort was an inconvenience, but that was all. 

Over the past year, however, I felt that my body was changing. More “inconveniences” cropped up. Fatigue. Increased “tummy” issues. Heartburn. Tingling, numb fingers. And the brain fog…I couldn’t concentrate. It was like someone had covered my eyes with a blanket. I was eating healthily, loads of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and I rarely ate processed foods.  But I haven’t felt well. I visited the doctor again. Other than a vitamin B12 deficiency, he did not find anything wrong with me.

After discussing this with family, I opted to visit a gastroenterologist, one that is aware of celiac disease. I have an appointment next month. Hopefully together we can find some answers.

In the meanwhile, since many of my symptoms could point to a gluten intolerance, I opted to go gluten-free. It certainly won’t harm me, and I might just find my way down the road to feeling well again.

What is celiac disease, you might ask? Celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, is a genetic autoimmune disorder of the small intestine. It is caused by a reaction to  gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat, rye, barley, durum, graham, semolina, bulgur, spelt, farro, and kamut. Commercial oats also contain gluten due to cross-contamination with wheat in processing. (Find out more information at the Celiac Disease Foundation.) The remedy? A gluten-free diet.

What, no wheat? This means no wheat flour, right? No bread? What can you eat, then?

The gluten-free diet for celiacs is a lifelong diet, and many are overwhelmed with the limitations. To go gluten-free, for most people, means re-thinking the way you eat.

But there is a lot I can eat. It’s easiest to start with whole, unprocessed foods. (The way I enjoy eating anyway!) Fresh, all-natural chicken. A juicy, meaty steak. Fresh eggs. Steamed broccoli. Baked squash. And this time of year, sweet strawberries, blackberries, or a peach, dripping with sweet juice. Steamed brown rice, or a creamy risotto, can be comforting. I do feel lucky, however, that due to the presence of this condition in my family, I have already educated myself on what is gluten-free, for the most part. I’m also thankful that I have a great blog family that includes a wealth of gluten-free people – I may be relying on you all for support and answers to questions!

Fortunately, many retailers are becoming savvy about gluten-free diets, and are selling many gluten-free products. There are rice pastas, gluten-free cookies and crackers, and baking mixes. One day soon, I hope to delve into gluten-free baking with the wealth of alternative flours available.

So, my friends, you will see plenty of gluten-free recipes appear on this blog. In fact, I have already categorized quite a few existing recipes as gluten-free.  Many will be naturally gluten-free, some will be altered in order to accomodate my needs. But I will promise you one thing. Those recipes definitely won’t be compromising on taste.

Comments

  1. Jess says

    Hi there, I think you’ll have lots of fun with gluten free. Sprouts has some delicious options.
    I have had tummy problems for years and went on an elimination diet last year. During that time, I felt better than ever. It’s hard to get Dr’s to figure out tummy troubles for some reason. I thought it was going to be difficult to not eat what was brought into the office or go to lunch with the girls for a while, but what ended up happening was people became jealous of my meals.
    I’m looking forward to your upcoming recipes.

    Thanks!
    jess

  2. says

    Wow! I’ve had a very similar experience, and decided to go gluten-free (at least for a while) last week. I’m not worried about cooking, but it is daunting walking into a store or restaurant and realizing that you can’t have 95% of what’s there. I’ve tried to cut out all preservatives/additives over the past year, but in an emergency I could always grab some kind of packaged snack. It’s weird knowing that I “can’t” have most things anymore (at least until I figure out if this is going to be permanent). Good luck making the transition, and it’s nice to know that I’m not alone!!

  3. says

    Hi Alta! Leaving another comment over here. I love your story. When undergoing fertility treatments with my two-year-old, they suggested I go on a gluten free diet (I suffer from autoimmune diseases). I am so thankful for that time because it is what taught me how healing an unprocessed, whole foods diet can be. I’ve since reintroduced gluten into my diet, but never in the processed form. Who know if that is what worked…but I now am a mommy to two little girls born 19 months apart. (PS- my hubby and I used to live in Addison. I love North Dallas.)

  4. says

    Hello Alta!!

    I have had a lot of your symptons as well,..;fatigue, tinlling fingers, my stomach was upset most of the time & I had been eating very well & healthy too,..like wholegrain spelt breads, etc.
    I am gluten sensitive too. I have been living gluten free since 6 weeks now & I am blogging gluten free ever since! I have tons more energy & I am losing weight at the same time too. I also am living cow caseine free! I so love your tasty & COOL foodblog!! Yeah!!

    I will be making some of your fab recipes!! You are 1 year ahead of me in trying those GF fab recipes!

  5. Robyn says

    Hi Alta,
    I am doing the same thing that you did right now. Eliminating gluten from my diet and having bloodwork done. I know that it has only been a few days since cutting these grains out but I am feeling good about it and love to see how big of a support network of other GF Foodie’s are out there! I look forward to reading your blog like I read the news…everyday.

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Robyn, I hope that you can find wellness again soon! Please feel free to contact me with ANY questions – it’s definitely a process!

  6. Michelle S. says

    Autoimmune diseases run on both sides of my family and my grandma has celiacs. I, too, had the negative blood tests, but just had a feeling it was the gluten, so I went gluten free. I felt better and was at my lowest weight ever. I was living mostly off of salads. Then we moved and I fell off the wagon. Now I’ve been on and off again for the past 3 years. My cousin just recently went gluten-free as well, so it’s getting more “popular.”

    Combining gluten-free and dairy-free is definitely the hardest part. I love your recipes and reading about other with this issue that have been successful. I’ve just started back on the lifestyle change and hope to make it permanent. I’ve learned this is not a baby step process, it’s all or nothing. Even a little gluten affects me after I’ve gone without it.

    So, thanks for the inspiration and shared recipes!

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Michelle – I hope you can find your way towards permanent gluten-free lifestyle changes. It is hard at first, but if you have issues with gluten, eliminating it from your diet for good will give you so many benefits. From what I’ve read, celiac disease, especially untreated, can contribute to additional autoimmune diseases. If you can keep those at bay by conforming to a gluten-free diet, that would be SO good for you. Please contact me anytime for recipe and menu ideas, as well as any other gluten-free tips. I’m happy to help.

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