This week I am in mourning.
I mourn the loss of my good friend gluten. Looking back, I see now you never had my back like I thought you did. I turned to you in good times and bad. I sought comfort in you. And now, you are gone from my life forever.
Of course, I’m being dramatic. In all honesty, I am grateful to have a solution. I’ve been sick for weeks. Painfully, awfully, sick. And after three weeks of an almost completely gluten free diet I am finally starting to feel better. I’ve been one week completely gluten free, and to make it even harder on myself, I’ve removed all grains and dairy to help my guts heal. I’m desperate… but now I’m also getting hungry. My doctor said I have to eat a minimum of 1300 calories a day. Between how much my stomach hurts and what little options I feel like I have to eat it is hard to eat enough. I feel like I’m eating constantly – bananas, berries, cucumbers, steamed veggies, hard boiled eggs, chicken, nuts…. but you’ve got to eat a lot of those things to add up to 1300 calories. I’m feeling better and better every day though and will start adding rice, quinoa and dairy back into my diet. I haven’t been feeling well so I don’t really ‘crave’ anything yet, but I am having a hard time letting go of gluten.
I feel like my husband doesn’t quite understand how I feel. He has had a food allergy his whole life, so doesn’t think it is a big deal to have to avoid a food or read labels. But, the hardest part in saying goodbye to gluten is that they’ve been my go to for 29 years. Bread, pasta, pizza, cakes, and cookies – all my favorite foods are now off limits. They aren’t called “comfort foods” for no reason. I, we all, have real emotional connections to food. They are connected to memories. To holidays. To our social lives. There are medical conditions where people become overweight due to emotional eating – turning to comforting foods to deal with negative emotions. Or positive emotions. I’ve spent years struggling to maintain my weight because I treat with food. It has been a good week – I deserve a treat. It has been a bad week – I deserve a treat.
I know I will find new things. New comfort foods. New favorites. But right now, this week, it’s hard. When I don’t feel well I lean to comfort foods – bread, grilled cheese, toast, mac & cheese… even chicken noodle soup is now off limits. And yes, there are “gluten-free” replacements out there, but gluten-free bread will NEVER taste the same as real bread. Gluten-free pizza will NEVER taste the same as real pizza. I need to find new, completely different things. Hubby and I now have opposing allergies as many wheat replacements have nuts in them – but after 10 years of avoiding nuts for him, it is kind of nice to enjoy them just for me. I’ll share my new finds and new favorites on this blog as I find them.