I have never been one to want to restrict myself, food wise. I have loved considering myself an Omnivore (and still do). Yet recently, the arrival of my new awesome neighbor and her Gluten Free ways have caused me to reconsider. Reading her post on her GF life made me feel just a tad bit… curious.
She said that eating gluten-free made her feel better. And right AWAY. I thought, damn, I’d like to feel better right away. I’ve been having some aches and pains recently and I don’t know if it’s arthritis or what the heck, but I’d like to feel better. How soon right away I asked? Like a day? A week? She laughed.
So I thought, I’ll give it a try. See what happens.
I stopped with the gluten.
And guess what happened? On one hand, a bunch of nothing. And on the other hand, a LOT.
I have to say, I don’t feel appreciably different. There might be a 10% reduction (or am I imagining?) in my joint discomfort. I very much could be imagining this. So I don’t think I have any appreciable gluten sensitivity or allergy. I don’t think it harms my body. I mean, it doesn’t feel noticeably better or more awesome after 16 days. SIXTEEN DAYS straight!
But the very act of saying, This X thing is not for me, has had an unexpected effect on my mind and my behavior. And that’s always interesting.
A couple of weeks ago, Juniorette developed some very scary health issues which resulted in my taking an o-dark-hundred flight up to her college, and then spending countless hours in the hospital emergency room with her. I was as stressed and upset as I’d been at any time since the day she was born.
I’d say that if this had taken place before my GF pledge experiment, I would have probably eaten everything in sight at that hospital. I would have ravaged the vending machines and prowled the fast food or basically anything I could get my hands on. All in order to tame the wild, hysterical terror that there was something seriously amiss with my child’s health.
But for some reason, this Decision I’d made to be gluten free was stronger than I had ever anticipated. I had promised myself. I had really not even told many people. But I didn’t want to break it for the sake of emotional eating.
After our sixth hour in the emergency room, they brought a tray in that was meant for her. She didn’t feel much like eating. You can have it, Mommy. There was an industrial hamburger on a puffy white bun. A week prior, I would have inhaled that thing faster than you could say JackSh*t . But that.. bun. I texted my friend. She answered: Just the burger no bun?
I cut it in half. I gave half to Juniorette and I ate the other half. Without the bun. I think that little morsel of protein helped me not keel over wailing on that hospital floor. Through that and the many hours that followed.
When the crisis was over (and whewww her situation was not as serious as I’d feared, and her prognosis was good), I did not fall upon the neighborhood bakeries like a wild animal.
This was the first time in a very long time (ever?) that I did not face a very, very, very upsetting situation without the comfort of food.
I have learned a lot during this little Experiment. I learned:
I survived the Thing anyway, without the emotional eating. Maybe even stronger and better.
I don’t really need or miss Gluten. However, doing without it did not do miraculous and awesome things for how my body feels. (well, except for point #4 below)
Therefore, after my first month of GF is over, I will re-introduce it into my life for Very Special Occasions, like once a month. Pizza. The occasional beloved mac and cheese. That sort of thing.
Decreasing the gluten also helped me drop certain poundage I’ve been carrying around since – oh, how long? Since August of 2011. I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to coax this poundage off my body and the GF seems to have done the trick. So YAY.
I think it’s going to have a positive effect on my diabetes, just because of the sheer decrease in carbs consumed. And that can only be a good thing.
My Sixteen Days without Gluten have been very interesting. To say the least. It has been pretty effortless. I intend to continue. But I realize that gluten doesn’t really make me sick so I’m not gonna be all dogmatic about it. I don’t want to be rigid. I can pretty much avoid it most of the time. I have become a good friend of the brown rice and the sweet potato. Which I was anyway, but a little more so now.