Monday, August 11, 2008

A Year and Counting.....

Well folks, it has been an entire year, yes one ENTIRE YEAR, since I have intentionally ingested gluten. I am just short of a year anniversary with no dairy also (except for those 3 trips to Cold Stone).

Wow! what a year it has been!

I feel like a mother celebrating her baby's 1st birthday. I have been so busy keeping up with the demand that I am not sure where the time has gone and yet in some ways I am glad the learning curve of the past year is behind me. I have cleaned out my kitchen, reorganized everything, learned a new way of eating, shopping, cooking and storing food. Along the way I found out my 4th child and 2nd son, Alex, also does not tolerate gluten which stepped up the challenge even more.

The results of all my efforts?

  • I have easily lost 20 lbs.

  • My once falling out (I lost about 1/3 of it) hair is back, full and healthy.

  • My depression is gone (I am waiting to see what happens this Winter, it was always worse in the Winter).

  • My arthritis (yes, diagnosed with arthritis in my 30's!), is gone, atleast I haven't felt that awful ache for months.

  • My energy is back! Most days I can go till late into the evening without that overwhelming urge to sleep.

  • My creative side has returned, I once again have energy to cook new things, learn yoga, garden, create this blog, and quilt.

  • My life is back and I really think I got the better end of the deal, no gluten and no dairy but tons of emotional and physical energy, I am happy to give up the gluten (and dairy) for the rewards. In fact when someone pulls that sad, "Oh I am so sorry for you" face I just smile because I know I am the one coming out ahead.

  • I have learned a different way to order when eating out, and am so thankful for good waitresses/waiters who make sure I don't get sick from what I eat.

  • I am also very thankful for a supportive husband and kids who have tried many new foods over the past year: rice milk, rice noodles, araepas, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, tapioca, spring rolls, sushi, gf pie crust, cake, cookies and countless "something I just thought would be good" kinds of recipes that sometimes turned out but sometimes didn't. They all laughed along with me when it didn't.

  • Alex has grown in the last 6 months and is now "average" on the growth chart. He is also much happier.

Here's to next year! I am starting a GF cooking group in my town and looking forward to many more posts on this blog.


Christie CC said...

Hi there,

In my family, we are on our second round of GF living (we were already dairy free).

Congrats on your anniversary and thank you so much for your blog.

My mission is to find a good bread. I have a breadmaker and would like to try some of your recipes. I am currently waiting for some ingredients.

I have a couple of questions for you--one, I had the ingredients for your flatbread, but when I went to make it, I saw the line about a stand mixer, which I do not have. I'm hesitant to buy one until I can be sure I will use it regularly, yk? Is a stand mixer absolutely necessary?

Two, I'm anxious to try your bread flour mix, but do you have any idea what my proportions would be for a 1 lb breadmaker (yes, I wish I had purchased the 2 lb)?

Being a novice, I probably have more questions, but that's what I remember right now.

Thanks again so much and congratulations!


Shirley said...

Congratulations! I love reading others' get well stories! I was 5 years GF in June. I am currently not dairy free, although I went dairy free the first six months, and I'd like to be dairy free again for the weight loss aspect and bloating. I totally agree with your perspective. When people feel sorry for me, I am quick to tell them I am perfectly happy and do not feel deprived in any way. :-)

Gluten Free Heaven said...

Hi Christie,
I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I realized this morning I replied through e-mail and I don't know if you ever got the message. So if this is a repeat just ignore it.

I really think a mixer is worth the investment for making gf breads. It helps to develop a better elasticity in the dough. That being said I know it is an expensive investment. I think it would be worth a try to mix the flatbread in your breadmaker. Just take out the dough before it begins the rising cycle. Or you could find a neighbor or family member who would loan you a mixer for a week. Try a few recipes and see if you think there is a difference in the dough.

Good luck to you!

Gluten Free Heaven said...

Thanks Shirley for your congrats. 5 years! Wow!! That is the longest I have heard of anyone going GF. What advice do you have for the rest of us just starting on this journey?

It is great to know people are reading my blog and that there are people out there who are living this diet also.

Thanks for your comments,

Marla said...

Hey I am so PROUD of you. I know this struggle took truly years to unravel. I am amazed at your persistence. I look up to you a lot. We really need to do lunch and catch up. Give me a call sometime! Love ya!

Christie CC said...


I just found where I left my comment (and you your response after all this time).

Thanks to you! I tried the mix that comes with the breadmaker and it is not nearly as good as Pamela's, Bob's Red Mill or yours.

I have a couple of more loafs of that and then I'm back to yours! Thanks so much. I'm not sure if this is right, but since the breadmaker recipe called for a total of about 2 cups of flour mix, that's how much I put in of the mixes I've made. Seems to work okay, but I can't wait to get back to your mix.

I'll see if I can find a stand mixer to borrow too!