Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wheat Free

After receiving my endometriosis diagnosis, I started doing some research on the Internet. One site I came across mentioned the "endo diet". It's basically eliminating pretty much all food aside from fruits and veggies.
My mom and family are quite into natural healing, and healthy eating. Granola, is the term some would use, I think. Radical, is probably the term my DH thinks in his head. Being the Libran that I am, I try to find a happy balance. I'm easily convinced of new theories, which is probably why I get walked all over a lot in life. And DH always takes the opposing viewpoint of ANY issue I bring up (read: non-supportive) so he is on the other side of the fence. So....somewhere there's a happy balance.
But that's neither here nor there.
I do believe that much of what we eat greatly affects us. Look around you at all the health problems people have, all the obesity, even mental health problems. We eat more processed food, more genetically modified food, more chemical and hormone saturated food than we did fifty years ago. How can anyone ignore the fact that it's probably related?
And it's hard to go back to a more "natural" lifestyle, although more and more are realizing it, that we need to. It's not only hard to give up the easy food lifestyle we're accustomed to, it's also expensive! I wish I could afford to only buy organic foods. But a bag of organic milk for $8? A few chicken drumsticks for $10? Sorry, but no. It's just not within my means.
So here is what I read, as far as this diet goes (which is meant to reduce, if not, rid one of endo):
  • no wheat (gluten)
  • no dairy
  • no soy (products)
  • no red meat
  • limited  organic chicken and fish
  • no sugars (aside from organic maple syrup or agave)
  • no caffeine (that one will be very difficult)
  • no alcohol (not so difficult, I barely drink three drinks a year) 
  • no eggs (I LOVE eggs!)
I'm sure there was more, but I can't think of it. There's no way I'm going to be able to do all that. I'd starve on nothing but veggies, fruits and nuts. And I would miss cheese.
So much.
But I thought I would try. I would start with one step (or two) and go from there. I will gradually wean myself of some of these things, gradually get them out of my life.
I started with wheat, as this made the most sense to me. First, because my mom has a problem with wheat, my sister has a problem with wheat, and so does my niece, to some extent. It seems to be in the family, although I'm thinking that if you picked ten people out of a crowd at random, and made them eliminate wheat from their diet, I'm betting at least five of them would notice a difference (in their health, I mean, not their palate!) so maybe it's not exactly in the genes...
I've always been somewhat, ahem, gassy. And that seems to run in the family too... I have known since high school that lactose is a huge contributor to that problem, and so I avoid it as much as I can. But I never really thought about other foods giving me that problem. Well, I sort of did, but didn't really care. After all, I do work from home, LOL. No need to worry about it too much.
I also chose to start eliminating wheat because a friend did and lost weight. I'm not deluding myself into thinking that I'll magically drop ten pounds, but I was thinking that if I'm not eating wheat, I'm also not eating cookies, muffins, cakes, buttery crackers, fattening pizzas and starchy pastas. It's like being forced to go on a diet.
So I've been wheat-free (as much as I can, but not 100%, I'll explain later) for 9 days now. Today would be the tenth day. Is the tenth day! I'm not giving up! And what have I noticed so far?
  1. I'm less bloated.
  2. I'm less gassy (although not like, 90% less, so I'm thinking something else is a culprit here...corn maybe? It's in EVERYTHING!)
  3. Aside from today, as I think I may have a cold coming on, I haven't had one headache in nine days. That's unusual for me. 
  4. I can almost move my belt in a notch (it's a little too tight if I do)
One of the less pleasant side effects from this "experiment" has been the discovery that I need to up my fibre intake some other way now. I always relied on whole grain breads, and high fibre cereals in the morning. Since I've replaced the bread with a much less fibrous gluten-free bread, and the cereal with mainly oatmeal, I'm kind of missing out. I won't go into details, don't worry. But I'm going to buy some steel-cut oats this weekend, and experiment with making oatmeal that way, and I'm also going to buy some flax seed or ground flax to add in. That should help.
I hope.
So while I thought I was wheat-free, after researching some more on gluten-free diets, I learned that there are so many products with hidden wheat in them. Like, soy sauce! And, stock (for soups, etc). And malt vinegar. Things you don't really think of. Things I was eating.
Oh well. Now I know.
I haven't baked yet. For the kids, for my family. I've lost the want and will to do that completely. I should though, because they enjoy it, and because DH was complaining about having no treats to eat after I yelled at him for going after my gluten-free ginger cookies I bought. Maybe today.
I hope I can stand the smell of freshly baked cookies.


  1. I hope you find this helps. It's a tough change but since you've already gone 10 days the hardest part is probably over. Why don't you try some gluten free baking? There's a bazillion recipes online and its way cheaper than buying gluten free cookies and stuff. As for all the other stuff on the list, that's basically a vegan diet and there's tons of great vegan recipes out there. I have a couple cookbooks that I LOVE. Does not seem like eating just veggies and nuts.

  2. You do get a lot of fibre from fruit and veggies - you just have to eat MORE of them :) It's hard, I know ...

    I, too, lost the desire to bake. I can't have any, do why bother? I started to bake again, and have (mostly) not eaten any of the dough or baked product.

    I have a link to the Land O Lakes website, where they have a tonne of gluten-free recipes. I've only made the (very yummy) corn bread.

    And I hear ya about the corn. It's in very thing too, and HFCS isn't that great for you either. But ...

    A nice munching cereal is Rice Chex - it's gluten free. Tastes like Rice Krispies :)

    And I had the same, ahem, gassy issues, before going gluten free. Now I know when I've had some, because it comes back with the bloat, LOL!

  3. Wow! Good for you! Stay the course and good luck!