Posts made in February, 2011

Gluten Free January

Posted by on Feb 1, 2011 in Wellness | 0 comments

Gluten Free January

Ray asked me to go gluten free with him for the month of January, and I reluctantly said yes.  This was the closest I’ve ever come to having a new year’s resolution (I value personal growth, but cave under the pressure of setting goals).  Even though it was only to be for one month, I have a spotty history with diet programs.  I followed a pretty strict nutrition program when I was working out with a personal trainer a few years ago, but otherwise I can’t seem to stick with any big changes.  This time around it was way easier.

First off, understand that I don’t cook, nor do I take much initiative in feeding myself.  (I do enjoy baking for some reason.)  I eat the same thing for lunch every weekday (brown rice, black beans, cheese, tomato, avocado and hot sauce) and it takes everything I have to remember to purchase those items and bring them to work with me.  Otherwise, when Ray is not around, I usually don’t eat, and I mean that literally.  Yeah, I get hungry, but then I’m all eh, I’ll just go do something else.  In cases of extreme hunger I might eat an orange or get takeout.  Guilt prevents me from eating too many ready-made, fast-food items, but I can’t be bothered to feed myself anything else, and that’s a probably a bigger problem for another blog post.  Luckily Ray loves to cook, and he feeds me wonderful, tasty things on a daily basis.  I do most of the cleaning, so we even out.

Ray did a great job of preparing and freezing a ton of gluten free options before and during our gluten free trial, so there was always a tasty chili or filling mashed potatoes waiting to be baked.  We also tested out a few gluten-free restaurant options.

Blue C Sushi
Most sushi is gluten free, you just have to avoid anything with tempura or sauces.  To my surprise, nearly all soy sauce has gluten, but tamari is a gluten-free alternative that tastes almost exactly the same.  Whole Food sells gluten free tamari soy sauce, and Blue C Sushi offers it upon request.

Jet City Pizza
After cooking delicious meals all week, sometimes Ray needs a break.  We tried the new gluten-free pizza dough from Jet City Pizza with Canadian bacon, pineapple and cheese.  The dough was very thin, so we polished off a large pizza, no problem.  I’d totally order the gluten-free dough again, it was quite tasty.  The crust is buttery and a little sweet with a very familiar flavor that tastes a little like a buttered english muffin.

Flying Apron Bakery
This gluten-free bakery in Fremont was just what I needed one day after work.  I was running up to Home Depot and needed some gluten-free energy.  Of course I had nothing at work but my lunch fixins, so I took a little detour and stopped here for a chocolate-dipped macaroon, which was delish.  I picked up an apple turnover for Ray to enjoy later.  It was a bit expensive, but worth the convenience.

My favorite thing about going gluten-free was that it caused me to focus more on ingredients in food.  Sure, wheat flour has gluten and rice does not – that’s easy.  What was eye-opening for me was all of the items that have gluten hiding inside. I’m proud to report that I avoided gluten except for one, stupid mistake.  I went out with some girlfriends and had a couple of mojitos and fajitas without the tortillas, like a good, gluten-free girl.  But when we migrated to a tavern down the street, the only options were beer and wine.  I really hate beer, and I especially hate wine.  But with a few drinks under my belt, I decided to keep the evening going by joining in on a pitcher of Bud Light.  A few glasses in it suddenly hit me that BEER HAS FUCKING GLUTEN IN IT.  Can you believe it?  The one time I accidentally cheat is with BEER. I hate beer.  I much rather would have eaten a doughnut or a pancake.  That said, Bud Light is mostly water so I didn’t beat myself up over it.

After the Bud Light Incident I wondered if I would feel sick or gross after not having gluten for so long.  However, I actually felt no different that night or the next day.  In fact, I felt pretty normal the entire month, leading me to believe that my body likely has no problems processing gluten.

Weight loss is common when first starting a gluten free program, so I decided to do a before-and-after weigh-in to judge my results.  The problem was, I didn’t really feel like finding out my initial weight.  Not to be all dramatic and cliche, but that little number on the scale can hold a lot of power, especially for women.  I’m totally happy with my body and health, but there’s always room for improvement.  Ray suggested that I hold something really heavy while weighing myself so that I would know the difference in my weight, but not the actual weight.  Genius!

Naturally, I chose one of our 25-year-old Fisher speakers.  Those suckers are heavy!

Side note – This set of speakers has been in my family since I was just a little girl.  Here I am around age 5 – see the speaker, with the black cover?  Little did I know that in 23 years I’d be heaving that thing onto a bathroom scale.

After carefully teetering over to the scale, being careful not to drop the thing and crush a toe, the speaker and I weighed in at 179.  (Get this – after all that work to obscure my actual weight, I had a doctor’s appointment the next week.  Where I was weighed.  Oh well, this way is more interesting.)

Four weeks later, the speaker and I weighed in at 178.  Considering my weight normally fluctuates about 5 pounds anyway, the results were decidedly inconclusive.

I all but abandoned my workout routine this month so I wasn’t expecting huge results.  Combine that with the fact that I don’t eat much gluten anyway, and I don’t think Gluten Free January had much impact on my health.  But I’m glad we did it!

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