Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And So... This Gluten Thing

Shortly after giving birth for the second round, I found myself feeling nearly-always bloated, struggled to lose the extra weight, fatigued (beyond the usual “I have 2 babies now – AHHHH!” fatigue), experiencing cramps of 2 kinds… lower digestion issues, as well as feeling like my period was just around the corner on a far-too-regular basis… I had other weird hormonal symptoms, as well as general indigestion that only seemed to be stifled by – well – by waking up in the morning, having not eaten food in more than 8-10 hours.

Finally – 8 months into this, I figured out it wasn’t just “I’m trying to get my body back after having another baby 17 months following the first baby…” post-pregnancy after-math. Visited the doc, whose instincts are rather admirable. I described my daily ordeal, and she scheduled some tests. She felt there were 2 sets of symptoms, and suggested that in the meantime, I also avoid gluten in my diet for about a week to see if it made any difference for me.

All I have to say is – 48 HOURS. Holy Shit Mama – I’m a whole new girl! Hey – some of these pants fit me again too… So NOW what?

My symptoms all but disappeared. I couldn’t believe it… Feeling good, but now I had this new hurdle to traverse. Recognizing (after some intentional and unintentional home-drawn ‘tests’ of my own) that even the hormonal indications were a result of my gluten intolerance, I decided it was in my best interest to continue to avoid it. I’m not the sweetest, most patient person when my hormones are all whacked. (Not to mention, continued gluten ingestion, when rejected by the bod, eventually degrades the body’s ability to absorb any nutrients from your food consumption – and this only worsens over time. Light-bulb-moment: No wonder my second babe couldn’t handle my breast milk, in spite of my other diet adjustments.)

Gleefully, my research highlighted many favorite foods that I would not have to give up, or that could be fairly easily substituted. (Joy!)

Even though substitutions exist – and it’s becoming a much more common and better-understood prob – I do miss my ability to eat certain things… such as Pizza… (Particularly the Trader Joe’s Organic 4-cheese variety, that my husband scents the house with on a regular basis during baking), and cookies (they do make them gf – but man – just NOT the same…so far, anyway.) I also miss cake (though I’m looking forward to trying a well-reviewed box-mix newly available. A good friend also has a pretty darn good gf home-made recipe. These just aren’t as readily available. If you don’t make it yourself/ are a guest for someone’s celebration-involving-cake, chances are – you don’t get to indulge.)

BUT – the silver lining (which I always strive to locate) is this: I’m forced to eat healthier [ie: no doughnuts, cake, cookies, or anything breaded & deep-fried.] In some cases it’s rather ironic, however. No whole-grain bread for this bread-loving diva anymore! Make that – NO bread…at all. (Well, except for the gf varieties. You can’t miss them – they are either frozen, and/or weigh the equivalent of a brick. Their texture is pretty much instant-cornmeal-like-crumbs-in-your-mouth, causing you to beg for anything moist to help get it down. Really? I’m SO over that.)

TIP(S)! Check out Trader Joe’s for a 7+ page list of Gluten-Free (gf) foods!
*Also – if you’re a fan of nutrition, but frown upon the inflated prices – check out TJ’s main page for their awesome array of organic and all-natural goods at fabulously-fair prices!

Check out these blogs for all kinds of great GF-related info, tips, answered Q’s!

A QUOTE: "This is the sixth book I've written, which isn't bad for a guy who's only read two."
~George Burns

WHIDFML: After making my daughter's b-day cake recently, I kept some of the (gf) frosting for me! It's frozen, and I take out a spoonful every time I'm feeling cake-deprived!


  1. My daughter has Celiac's disease. First, if you call Betty Crocker, you can receive a free coupon for their new cake mixes. I have mine in the pantry and as of yet have not tried it.

    Also I have the BEST peanut butter cookies that are better than the regular cookies and completely gluten free. We make these instead of the regulars and you won't be sorry!

    GF Peanut Butter Cookies

    2 cups of peanut butter (creamy)
    2 eggs
    2 cups of sugar
    2 tsp of vanilla

    Mix it all together and put them on your cookie sheet with the classic fork-dipped sugar impression. Then, bake at 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes. These take longer than regular cookies, but once you figure out the proper time... it's not a problem. I think there is also parchment paper used with this one...

  2. Can't wait to try this recipe! :) Thanks much!!