3 Years Gluten-Free

Today is my third anniversary of going gluten-free.  I can’t believe that it has been that long.  It some ways it seems like it has been much longer since I have had a Ho-Ho (well, really, it has been more like 10 years) or a nice, warm piece of Sourdough bread.  I will never forget that first day on the diet, or the night before, when I ate my “last meal”.  My “last meal” consisted of a grilled chicken cheese steak & fries from Charley’s Steakery.  Boy, was it good.   How I felt afterwards, not so good.  The next day, I made my way through the day avoiding all gluten.  It was quite a challenge.  What the heck was I supposed to eat?  I didn’t know anything else.  Was I ever going to enjoy a piece of bread again?  Was I ever going to have a cookie or a piece of cake again?  Would all replacement foods taste like cardboard or sandpaper?  I know that the first roll that I tried was horrible.  I had no idea that you were supposed to toast it first for the best consistency.  I threw the package away.  I should have let Jon use them for hockey practice. ;)  Funny thing, I now eat these on a regular basis…they are the GF French Rolls from Trader Joe’s, and prepared right, they are really good.  Little did I know back then. 

I went through many other foods that I determined were horrible and some that I fell in love with.  I love Van’s Wheat Free Waffles, they were a breakfast staple for the first 6 months or so on the gluten-free diet.  I had to find new favorite foods.  Another staple quickly became black beans, brown rice and cheese.  All naturally gluten-free.  I could eat tortilla chips on the side, as they too, are mostly gluten-free.  (**I have run across one or 2 brands that use wheat starch, so always check labels!)  I was quickly learning that sticking to whole foods, like meats, fruits, veggies and rice, it was pretty easy to follow the gluten-free diet.  Where the difficultly later came was baking.  I think I waited a good year or so before even beginning to tackle some of my beloved recipes GF.  I had quite a few disasters.  There have been many more successes.  Now, I frequently bake GF and usually no one even knows the difference! 

I was amazed at how quickly I noticed a difference in how I felt.  Gone were the cramps and pain that always seemed to be in my stomach.  Gone was the bloating and gas.  I now had a good reason to follow this crazy diet…I actually felt better!  Yes, I had ups and downs, as most do when first going on the diet, but the longer I was on the diet, the better I felt.  I still have days every now & then when things aren’t right with my stomach/digestive system.  Chances are that I have run across some gluten either in my home (Hannah & Aaron are not GF) or eating out someplace.  I can usually tell within an hour or so. 

Eating out has become much easier since I first went on the diet.  I was very intimidated at first and didn’t want to even try to eat out.  I was scared.  The amount of restaurants that now have GF menus is astonishing.  When I first went GF, there were only a handful of places close by that I felt comfortable eating at.  Now, the number of restaurants has almost tripled.  It is amazing.  The increasing awareness of Celiac Disease has really made following the gluten-free diet at home or eating out, much easier. 

So, today I will celebrate my new-found health and well being.  I will celebrate with GF cookies and probably a GF beer, too, though not together. ;)   Now, if I could just find a good, easy GF sourdough bread.   YUM! 

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6 Responses

  1. Happy GF anniversary, Kim. I never thought of it that way. I just celebrated my one year. Thanks for the reminder.

    Julie

  2. Thanks, Julie! :) Happy 1 year to you!

  3. I just stumbled across your blog- what a great site! I ate gluten free when I was breastfeeding my daughter and I felt so much better then! I’m thinking about going back! Thanks for sharing your story! A great article on Gluten-Free Diet

    is that one! Have a great day!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing that article & site! :)

    I know lots of people that are surprised at how much better they feel once they are off of gluten. My sister’s friend is a nutritionist and actually recommends avoiding wheat/gluten to everyone, not just those who have Celiac or an allergy.

  5. I randomly found your blog through another blog. It is nice to hear that you have found new foods to enjoy. Restaurants continue to get better at understanding the diet. I have a list of restaurants on my blog that are familiar with the gluten-free diet.

    http://moreglutenfreeoptions.blogspot.com/

  6. Hi Stacey!

    Thanks for sharing your blog! It is great! I have subscribed to your feed so I can see all updates. :) I am off to check out your restaurant list.

    Kim

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