Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Alton Brown's basics on celiac and living gluten-free

This link was posted on Facebook by the lovely Jules Shepard (who I have been lucky to meet in person) of Jules Gluten Free Flour, and I just wanted to pass it on and share it with others.

I thought this was a good clip to share with family members and friends who may be totally confused when you talk to them about gluten and celiac and think it is all nonsense. This puts it in fun, simple terms and may shed some light on why we really do have to ask 20 questions when we go out to eat.

Check the video out. It is not you have no excuse!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dear Dairy...

Wow, I have been a major, big time slacker! It has been two months since my last post, and what is my excuse? Well, I suppose I could come up with a my daughter's busy social calendar, my volunteer hours that I put into her school and the neighborhood, and taking every opportunity I can to do some paying work (with husband being recently laid off). Oh, and let's not forget the major redistriciting going on in Atlanta right now...but I won't even get into that, because it is not pretty, and I don't want it to take any more of my time than is already has.

I did think about writing though, all the time, and if I wrote for every time I actually thought about writing..well, you would have a lot to read. I have some great recipes coming hoppin' john pasta, chocolate chip pancakes and baked donuts....yum!

So, last time we left off with being 2/3 the way done of my dairy-free month. Final thought: I hated it. I am not going to lie or beat around the bush, it sucked. I found it extremely more difficult, mentally, than going gluten-free. I found that I could easily do without cheese on a sandwich or in my eggs, but I missed yogurt and I missed sprinkling goat cheese on my pasta.

Pounds lost as a result of a dairy-free month: a big fat freaking ZERO

I heard many people say how great I would feel with taking it out of my diet. But for me that was just not the case. Actually, I felt worse. And I will tell you prepared...this is a little bit TMI...

So, before being gluten-free, I shall I saw...not "regular" in terms to going #2. I just thought it was normal to only go every other, or every 3 days, I didn't know any different. Once, I went gluten-free, I was magically (almost) normal. I was longer no constipated, and it felt so much better. I discovered after going dairy-free last month, I was eating much more fiber than usual and my body did not take kindly to this. I was also using coconut like it was going out of style...coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut milk and macaroons. Coconut overload perhaps? My body protested my lack of dairy but shutting down and going back into irregular mode. Not comfortable! I know some people have the opposite problem with too much fiber, unfortunately, I am not one of those, I never have been.

I do not want to taste coconut for a while!

Of course then I was scared what my body would do when I added dairy back in, and was worried that I made a horrible mistake with this crazy experiment of mine.

Because I was literally in so much pain from fiber-overload, I ended my dairy-free challenge a day early. I just couldn't handle it any longer. I actually had one night I was about ready to jump in the car and take myself to the ER for an emergency enema. It was that bad!

My first venture back into eating dairy-full was a chai latte from Starbucks. Yum! It tasted so good, because let me tell you...I asked for it with water during my month of dairy-free chastity, and it was just nasty!

I am going to let you in on one of my tricks for when I really need to "go". My own form of a laxative, without the buying-a-laxative part. This is true, so don't laugh.....I drop my daughter off at school, I drive to Target, I order a grande chai latte from the Starbucks within the Target, I lazily shop around and without fail...every time I reach the garden/holiday section at the opposite end of of the hits me - I have to go! And this time was no exception, it worked like a charm! It may be mental, it may be the the excitement when I see Target holiday items on sale, whatever it is, I am not questioning it, and just going with works!

My first dairy-filled meal was baked eggplant and pasta full of mozzarella cheese. And the best part was that my body did not reject it.

My month without dairy did help me see that I don't need to have dairy with everything. That burrito bowl is just as good without cheese, and on my pasta I don't really need a handful of cheese. I have definitely learned to be more conservative with my cheese use, but I am also very grateful to eat my yogurt again. My body definitely doesn't like any drastic changes to my diet.

For anyone else who has gone dairy-free for just a little while, or permanently, how did you feel?