When I first discovered that I was sensitive to gluten, I continued eating products that made me ill. Why? I had no real clue of what was wrong with me or what I could do about it. Not eating wasn’t an option. At that time in my little world, news stories about gluten intolerance didn’t exist. I don’t imagine there was a single product for sale that didn’t have it in it. We’re going back ten years here and I live in a small rural community in Wisconsin.
Initially, my sensitivity was minimal, sometimes a stomach ache, sometimes not. Most of the time it was after I ate bread which led to my giving up bread in all its forms. Little by little most of what I had been eating for years began to cause me distress. If the product had wheat in it, I was distressed. Nearly 95% of my diet had some form of wheat gluten in it. Every few months I was eliminating something. It started with things that weren’t too terribly crucial like crackers and chips to almost all food except fruit, vegetables, and gluten-free products. I experimented a lot with different things, making sure I was truly allergic. I would give up eating chips, for example, for two or three months and then try them again in small amounts. I tried different types of bread- rye, wheat, white, sourdough- and all of them gave me a stomach ache. I would stop and start them again leading to the same results each time. Eventually, I stopped eating ALL things wheat for 30 days and was symptom-free. So what do I eat? I have tried and have remained symptom-free eating:
Ronzoni gluten-free pasta – this is the best pasta-yum!
Udi’s gluten free bread
Amy’s gluten-free pizzas
Amy’s macaroni and cheese microwave dinner
Most frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables except peas for some reason.
Butter – I prefer unsalted Organic Valley butter
I’m able to eat lunch meat – as long as it is lunch meat by Organic Prairie. Other lunch meats, including hot dogs, have cereal fillers (wheat) that cause me problems.
Udi’s does make gluten free donuts, waffles, and sweet rolls if I would have a sweet tooth (I don’t). I am unable to eat cake, cookies or brownies unless gluten-free.
I eat cut up celery and carrots with every meal and it helps to fill me up. I’ve also started eating spinach, which I’ve never liked, in everything-potatoes, eggs, and salads.
My protein sources, because I do not eat red meat, are natural peanut butter and Organic Valley eggs. This next week I am going to be trying some dishes with lentils in them.
Though this is a drastic lifestyle change, once you realize you’re no longer eating what most people eat, there is some solace in the knowledge you are now eating healthier. The first few weeks I was starving every day all day. It’s getting better, I’m starting to feel better. I will keep updating the list of the products I try that are gluten-free and good.