(In which Emily from Tanglewood reaches out into the NDiN for GF guidance…)
In the words of the great Liz Lemon, “Blerg.”
Three months ago I decided to drop gluten (and as a result, wheat) from my diet just as a sort of… experiment. I’d had a number of friends tell me I should give it a go, as I’ve always had issues with lethargy, anemia and general grumpy-wumpiness (official terms, here).
I had actually thought for a little while that I had blood sugar issues because, as I was constantly sampling a number of my very-sugar-oriented baked goods while balancing recipes (for the market-bakery business that lasted a season before I discovered the following) I would feel seriously ill… the only way I could describe it was feeling “poisoned”, like the effort to move the muscles in my body was too much to handle.
So, for whatever reason I never actually believed the problem could actually be wheat. In fact, I think I was in blatant denial.
I’ve now been almost three months without any wheat at all (cold turkey) and with only a handful of accidental-glutenings (damn, you barley malt!). I can’t tell you how amazing I feel physically, and how emotionally depressed I can get. HAH!
You have to understand, one of my favorite smells in the whole world has always been the warm wheaty smell of fresh bread. I’m one of those people who would shove my nose into the bread case at the store even if I wasn’t buying bread. I’m one of those people who pokes my finger into the crust of a baguette (after buying it of course) just to enjoy the crisp flakey crunch and squishy, webbed gluten-y interior. I’m one of those people who had a serious breakdown when I finally realized just-how-REAL this sensitivity to gluten thing is.
I’m being honest here. There was crying, moping, extra naps, slacking at work… in fact, there still are on occasion. (I admit, I’m a woman of serious tantrums.)
So today I come to you, readers, looking for others who might have suggestions for a GF newb.
I haven’t been tested for celiac because I can’t bring myself to go back on a wheat-diet that is going to make me sick for six weeks before getting tested. I just know that wheat=icky and gluten=also icky.
What are some of your favorite gluten free holiday recipes? I’ve been so depressed by this whole revelation that I’ve put all of my baking on hold and only today have I ventured into the realm of GF baking (with some uber-chewy banana bread muffins). I hope to get into more of the confections aspect of my love for sweets later this winter… (my plan is to learn to temper chocolate and then make the perfect truffles using local fruit jellies and creams).
Oh! I’ve heard that some people who are only wheat sensitive have found they can go back to stone-ground ancient-grain-wheat (as opposed to modern variety) after a long period of eating wheat-free. Has this been anybody’s experience?
I will admit, living gluten-free has been frustrating, but I have had serious health benefits from it. My chemical depressions is nearly absent (despite also being a SAD sufferer), I’ve lost 11 pounds in a very trim-and-healthy way, I have more energy than I’ve ever had and I am down to one migraine a month (where before I was having at least one a week). I’ve also got my regular headaches under control as well. Before all of this I found myself dreading taking on new horseback riding students. I put off answering emails, returning phone calls, accepting training clients… mostly because I couldn’t be sure that I wasn’t going to feel up to following through with the scheduling I was going to have to make.
Now I’m just about booked solid in a comfortable, healthy and energetic schedule, and as a result I have more inquiries than ever just from word of mouth. Obviously it’s worth it… but still… I could use some serious coaching in how to get past the longing… and craving… and daydreaming.