blogs, Glutard, life

Head vs Gut

Whenever people ask me…better yet, whenever I contemplate to myself about what my favorite food is, my answer is always pizza. What is there not to love about pizza? Nothing beats the precise amount of hot delicious gooey cheese layered upon a delicate amount of marinara sauce; and lets not forget about the fluffy (or crunchy) crust that is responsible for keeping this work of art held together.

No matter how many people try to convince me there are delicious glutard pizzas out there in this world, I have yet to find one. Due to my constant disappointment I have had to take a break from my neverending search; yet I continue to stay optimistic and believe that someday somebody will perfect this recipe and will teach me their ways…or at least sell it in grocery stores near me. It is heartbreaking; nonetheless I know if I do cheat on my required diet change, the effects that gluten has on my gut and my bowels are far more devastating.

I have not been formally diagnosed nor do I know the official term to why my gut is so temperamental. What I do know (more like what I constantly learn day to day) is that if I eat certain foods that contain certain ingredients (mainly gluten) my body will have a temper tantrum that makes five year olds jealous. Best case scenario, it will take about a month for my body to be liberated of all side effects.

If I were to claim my every day diet is perfect, that would be a lie. Every day I struggle between eating what I crave and love or eating gut friendly food. The only thing that motivates/requires me to change my dietary habits is due to the painful and uncomfortable side effects that result from my lack of self control . I wish I could provide more insightful ways on how to change ones diet and provide tricks, how to’s, etc…. but I cannot.

A quick disclaimer: I do not believe everybody should be a glutard; to tell you the truth many glutard products contain just as high and in most cases higher amounts of carbohydrates than the products that do contain gluten. So if you are thinking that cutting gluten out of your diet will aid to loosing weight, you should probably rethink that idea. Not to mention, many products that do contain gluten have necessary vitamins and minerals that benefit the body. As many say, consult a doctor before you change your diet; or at the very least, visit credible websites and research the h** out of your diet so you can be somewhat knowledgable about how to keep your body nourished and healthy.

The History Behind the Big Decision 

I always joke that whatever I enjoy eating is exactly what my gut does not tolerate; and sadly enough that statement is true. To tell you the truth, most memories I’ve retained from my 23 years of life have a common ending…me running to the nearest bathroom. It all started with being lactose intolerant. I was not a happy child when I learned I couldn’t binge eat cheese and ice cream without any repercussions. As I grew older I luckily grew out of my intolerance to lactose. For about two years I binged on anything and everything that my college budget could afford. It was not until I was studying in Puerto Rico, when I started feeling the beginnings of my current situation. Not only was I constantly gaining weight, but on top of that I constantly felt uncomfortably bloated…shout out to the copious amounts of Medalla I was drinking and all of the deliciously addicting fried Puerto Rican delicacies.

Other than the fact that I felt like a whale from the 20lbs I gained during my stay in Puerto Rico, I felt more like a pregnant whale due to how bloated I was on top of my weight gain. I stopped liking the photos of myself, I started developing health issues, and I just felt uncomfortable. It was then when I decided to do take action and change my bad habits. A life lesson that my mother and my experiences have engrained in my puny brain, was to start with changing my diet. Many people would be surprised how having a healthy diet can change various health issues. The first thing I cut out was beer. Luckily for me, the only reason I was drinking beer was because it was generally cheaper; because beer is not my go to drink, I happily came to terms that I would just have to pay a couple more dollars extra for something I enjoy more and doesn’t make me feel like a pregnant whale. Although my body was relatively happy for this choice, it wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for. So I spent MONTHS reflecting and researching how certain foods affected me. This usually meant either cutting out certain food groups until I found the corporate; or it meant find certain foods that upset my gut and finding the common ingredient. That is how I came to the conclusion that it was gluten.

I actually discovered my sensitivity a lot sooner than later…meaning I probably knew about a few weeks into my investigation that the corporate was gluten. But I had to gather enough evidence to come to terms with this unfortunate discovery. It is a huge life decision to go completely glutard; I mean gluten in almost everything. If you don’t believe me just visit: https://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/sources-of-gluten/ 

It has been about two years since my discovery. I can say that majority of my diet is gluten free; but like I mentioned earlier sometimes my self control…isn’t that controlled. Although the repercussions I experience are usually a reminder for me to stay on my glutard diet, I try to always remember my mothers mottos: “How you treat your body when you’re young, is how your body treats you when your old.” and “Nobody is required to be responsible to take care of your body, but you.”

Difficulties of Being a Glutard

  • Not being able to eating delicious pizzas, bagels, fresh bread, or amazingly delicious desserts.
  • Having to research gluten free meals in restaurants and not being able to just pick what pleases your tastebuds or cravings.
    • On top of that, trusting that the restaurant will provide you with a gluten free meal. I have had restaurants fail to do so, even after I nicely asked them…in this case it is a good thing I do not have celiacs.
    • Going to restaurants that provide free bread as appitizers, such as Olive Garden. I just to stare at the bread and quietly resent the unsuspecting waiter. I usually stare at it, salivating, and arguing to myself whether or not its worth it…kind of what dogs look like when they see food, or right before their meal, or when they are begging for food.
  • Making tasty meals: More then my fair share of meals were trash bin worthy. However due to my lack of heavy income, I force it down my throat.
    • Having to relearn how to cook and bake with glutard ingredients: I have found that many glutard recipes do not make my tastebuds delighted nor entice me ever to eat it again or try making it again.
    • I’ve also learned that glutard ingredients tend to be more temperamental.
  • Many glutard foods either DO NOT taste the same or have the same consistency; and it is usually a combination of both of those factors.
  • Not being able to eating delicious pizzas, bagels, fresh bread, or amazingly delicious desserts.
  • It makes the time at the grocery store longer. I have to read labels just to make sure what I want to buy does not contain gluten.
  • In my case, my husband is lucky and can eat whatever he pleases. However, he has to learn how to buy, cook, and eat gluten free if we are eating the same meal.
  • Eating in group settings can be difficult due to the fact that most of my friends and colleagues are not glutards. And when everyone wants pizza, I am tortured to watch my friends devour this gift from the baking gods or forced to feel the power of my gut.
  • Did I mention not being able to eating delicious pizzas, bagels, fresh bread, or amazingly delicious desserts!?

The Optimism Behind It All

Although there are many things I have to learn and just deal with in order to be healthy, there are always good things that result from hardships.

  • Due to not being able to find a tasty glutard version of many desserts I no longer eat as many sweets.
  • I am perfecting my few delicious recipes that I’ve made and if I am productive…or if y’all are lucky…. I will someday post the recipes on my blog.
  • I am becoming a tad faster at finding glutard items in the grocery stores and becoming more knowledgeable to what I should order in restaurants.
    • I am also becoming better at reading labels, which is a skill everyone should possess.
  • I am teaching somebody (aka my husband) new things about nutrition, and making him rethink his food beliefs….I do want to reiterate that I do not believe that not every one should be on a glutard diet nor am I technically forcing my husband to eat gluten free. What I am doing is helping him become more aware about nutrition, and teaching him how to be more aware of what he eats.
  • My acne is not as common and skin has been a lot happier.
  • I have been slowly coming to terms with not being able to eat my favorite foods. And when I say slowly, I mean it; and if I could I would emphasize that as much as possible; but at least it is progress!