Going into the holidays gluten-free (Part 1)

For months I kept seeing references to the book Wheat Belly, and for months I kept avoiding the book like the plague.  I’ve been a believer in low carb for quite awhile but not so great at sticking to my intentions.  I had a feeling that once I read Wheat Belly it would be a life changer.

It totally was.

I learned a lot about today’s wheat (and grains in general) and the information presented in the book was enough to convince me to back away from the wheat once and for all.  I went a week without it starting in late August and was feeling pretty good, if a bit off-kilter from the novelty of it all.  When we had a Lunch-and-Learn at work that Friday, I decided a few pieces of pizza wouldn’t hurt.

They totally did.

I felt awful after I ate the pizza – bloated, sick to my stomach, tired and achy. I was so uncomfortable. I was shocked by how strong my reaction was.  I’ve done some reading on gluten since and it’s super clear that I have a gluten intolerance.   As long as I was eating wheat regularly I was able to tolerate it to some degree.  My symptoms were more chronic than acute, and could be explained away as age, or a bad day, or something else mundane.  As soon as I stopped it for a time, my body started to heal and rebelled at the re-introduction.

I’ve had small amounts of wheat twice since then, and both times felt miserable afterwards.

When I avoid wheat, I have more energy than before (which I need, because my 5 year old hates sleep). I am sure I would sleep better if small people in my house didn’t wake at least once a night. I don’t have the aches and pains that I had before – I don’t ever need advil.  I never, ever have that awful gross bloated groggy full feeling after meals.

I’m slowly losing weight.  I’m good with slow because I feel like any change that happens slowly will become easier to sustain.  I am not always low carb as I would like, but just not eating wheat makes a difference.

So now I’m reading Grain Brain and contemplating how to bring my gluten-free ways into the holiday season, with the cookies and baked goods and other traditional temptations.  I’m not really tempted – I’m not – but I need a strategy.

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