Celiac Disease / Uncategorized

10 Things I Learned From the Gluten-Free Diet

gluten-free cupcake

Brought to me by a very lovely writer of mine at my job, this is Sweet Arleens, ya’ll!

So the first thing I cooked up in my Dutch oven the second I was finished with this gluten-free reset diet situation was gluten-free short ribs and black beans (recipe later). I also had some gluten-free Omission beer, and a gluten-free cupcake, as seen above. Not coincidentally, I also had a wicked gluten-free stomach ache because apparently you’re not supposed to indulge in such an extravagant manner after eating three weeks of vegetables. But you guys, the main thing I learned from this cleanse-y, restricted diet thing? I fucking love food. 

The happiest I’ve been in three weeks was the day I woke up and said, “Oh my god, I can eat cheese again!” I picked up some brie, some cotswald cheddar with chives, a little Parmesan and gouda mixture, and I have some burrata just waiting for me in the fridge. Not much makes me happier than knowing a good meal is only moments away. Or a good appetizer. I’m not picky. That scenario did not happen so much for me on my restricted diet.

Still, it was a really great experience for a few reasons. One, I lost five pounds. But even more importantly, I learned some big time gluten-free life lessons. You wanna’ know what they were? Read on!

1. Did I mention that I’m the kind of person who derives intense joy from the act of enjoying a meal with loved ones? Yeah, that’s important to me and this experiment confirmed it.

2. Yet I don’t have to eat nachos three times a week in order to experience that joy. In fact, that habit was just allowing me to experience the joy of a widening ass.

3.  Variety truly is the spice of life, no matter how much of a cliche that saying actually is.

4. Yet, preparing vegetables in a variety of ways is also pretty damn awesome. (Ohmygod, who am I?)

5. I kind of need meat in order to maintain any kind of energy. Also, coffee.

6. But I don’t need to eat meat every day, or even every other day. Coffee, however, is staying in my daily diet.

7. Preparing three meals a day is really for people who don’t have a full-time job with an insanely long commute, two small children, a husband who would appreciate at least some kind of acknowledgement, and a book coming out in a few months.

8. Although there is something very handy about having a lunch prepped and ready to go rather than spending too much time trying to figure out what’s close to your office AND gluten-free, five days a week.

9. I can’t tell the difference in the morning whether I’ve had zero alcoholic beverages the night before or 2-3.  I’m still tired.

10. I also can’t tell the difference between enjoying a glass of wine during the week, and not enjoying a glass of wine during the week. Most of the time. Some nights though, damn.

The fact is, I really did re-set my eating and drinking habits. I also am inspired to spend more time exercising if I’m going to be back on the sugar, cheese, and meat train. The other weird thing? I’m actually not craving sugar nearly as much as I was before. In fact, that’s the one food group that I’m still barely dipping into. Giant gluten-free cupcake excluded.

At the same time, I’m — for lack of a less annoying word — truly a foodie. I really, really, really, dig trying new foods, cooking new foods, and shoving those new foods directly into my pie hole. I could never go vegan, or cut out sugar completely. I can, however, modify my diet so I don’t feel guilty about my 8th piece of gluten-free pie in a week. Win?

Would you do this craziness?

6 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned From the Gluten-Free Diet

  1. I was in pain for you with that diet. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m going to be a Vegan because of the gluten problems, the dairy problems and the soy problems. I explain, politely, that not being able to eat gluten doesn’t mean I can’t have meat. I like meat. It’s generally free of the Tummy Trouble Trifecta. I like vegetables. A lot. I’d pick a salad over a dessert most of the time (weird… I know).

    I’ve recently cut back my alcohol consumption to Friday’s only in effort to drop the last 21 pounds. I work out 7 days a week. I already have enough items from my diet that I CAN’T/SHOULDN’T have… I try not to cut out a lot more.

    • I’m a big proponent of the “don’t make me stop eating one more thing” philosophy. I like to think of these three weeks as my “lost almost month” and go about my business.

  2. “Preparing three meals a day is really for people who don’t have a full-time job with an insanely long commute, two small children, a husband who would appreciate at least some kind of acknowledgement, and a book coming out in a few months.”

    A-freakin’-men. I don’t have a book coming out, but if I did I might hang myself with string cheese. (HOW did you live without CHEESE?!?!)

  3. Yeah I am no gluten, no dairy, no soy also. I am sick of the word no. But I DO try to consume the remaining foods I can eat in moderation…. like alcohol and coffee. Are those foods?! I’m learning to live this new way, slowly… s l o w l y. The upside is that I feel less like a pile of poo and more like a human, so yay!

  4. Many kudos for sticking to the diet/cleanse, I bet you look fab.
    I, too, fed up with the no’s. Give up coffee? After having to forego said brew for months after hospitalization (and the many many things I can’t have anymore gluten included…) I can say that the only way you could get my daily fix of mocha latte goodness is to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

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