Monday, January 3, 2011

Keep calm and carry on, in 2011

Apologies for being MIA. During the holidays I set my laptop aside and kept busy running around, visiting friends and enjoying one of my favorite pastimes...reading actual paper books! But now it is a new year and that means new beginnings...or at least I am trying to make it mean that for me.

2010 was a great year full of major changes. Selling a house, moving across the country, M with a new job, Z in full-time school, new friends. I love where we are now, but I feel I need to really settle into a routine and slow down. I am always rushing around and trying to take on too much. Especially when it comes to eating.

Thanks to one of my good friends, I have come to the self-realization that I have eatlikeamanitis. I eat the way a man, with no will power eats, and that is just no good for my 5'3" self who has a diminishing metabolism. I have tasted and baked so many wonderful gluten-free baked goods this past year, that proved gluten-free can be even better, but it also proved to my waist-line, that I don't need to constantly prove this to myself. One bite will do. Keep calm and carry need to scarf the whole packet of Swedish Fish in one sitting!

I spoke to a good friend and fellow-celiac how when we encounter something that is labeled 'gluten-free', we feel we just have to try it, because we may never see it again. That in today's world it is such a rarity (it is really not, this is just what we are telling ourselves) to see something gluten-free, we have to grab it before it disappears never to find another gluten-free treat on this planet ever again. I mean, before being gluten-free, I could easily walk into a cafe and say no to all the baked goods. But now if something is labeled 'gluten-free' I feel like I must have it. It is irrational I know. And to think back to over the holidays with how much butter, flour, sugar and eggs I used...well, let's just would have been a French patisserie's dream!

I also realize the horrible cliché of starting new things for the new year and most of the time they fail. But I have to think, if I could go gluten-free cold turkey after I was diagnosed in early 2009, I could do anything! Since that day in March I have not (intentionally) had a crumb of gluten, and I survived (knock on plastic cup) I know I can stop eating like a man!

I am not trying to be unrealistic and say I am going to cut out all carbs, sugar and fat.....but I am certainly going to cut down. I am going to avoid most processed gluten-free baked goods, save for some crackers, corn tortillas and chips. I want to start baking my own bread, so that at least the bread I do have can be full of high-fiber carbs like gluten-free oats, millet and buckwheat and avoid items heavy with empty carbs like rice flour and potato starch.

The thing is, I never felt I ate a lot of processed foods, I cook all our meals from scratch and use fresh fruit and veg, but when I look at what I really use, I do add a lot of processed gluten-free items into the mix...especially dessert treats. I am going to swap the donut for a grapefruit! Breakfast will no longer be that quick frozen gluten-free pancake, from Trader Joe's, for breakfast, but a smoothie full of yogurt, fruit and flax. And apples will be back in style at snack time!

I know my body handles dairy fine, but that is where I am an addict and need to cut down as well. I could devour a nice wedge of brie or a huge block of sharp cheddar and that just has to slow down. I am not going to deny myself of it completely, but I need to only have a slice at a time, rather than a week's worth.

Last year, I became obsessed with Zumba. I had a wonderful instructor where I used to live, and she opened me up to a world where working out felt great and it totally transformed me in the 6 months I took it with her. There is nothing I didn't love about Zumba, it is the best mood booster there is! But when I moved I became so caught up in unpacking, new routines that I have totally neglected this. I also used to walk 2-4 miles, 4-5 days a week, have I done this since moving here? Simply put, no.

And since I am no longer in the Arctic midwest, I really have no excuse for not walking during the day. And we have hills here, making it even a better workout! I am going to start back up, while Z is in school, and get back in a Zumba class.

So less maneating, and more moving!

Is anyone else cutting down on processed gluten-free processed foods this year? What are some other resolutions/changes you are starting in 2011?

Happy New Year!