thought i’d never say this, but i’ve sworn off gluten. eeks! yeah, adding another thing to my must-not-eat list. first, coffee: my morning ritual; and now gluten: hidden in everything i eat from croissants to soy sauce to my favorite lip balm!
this drastic yet absolutely necessary change in my diet stemmed from the advice i took from a dear ND friend of mine. in the beginning of march, on her recommendation, i scheduled a visit to a local ND (naturopathic doctor) in the dog patch of SF. i walked out of the clinic 2 hours later, overflowing with new knowledge about my body and a better idea of what may actually be causing my hyperthyroidism. i was bright-eyed and hungry with a leaflet outlining all the benefits of being on a gluten free diet, and a sheet of my new daily ritual that included a smorgasbord of daily vitamins, supplements & dietary black list:
ABSOLUTELY NO GLUTEN. and LIMIT: soy & dairy
shit was right. i knew my diet, prior to my gluten purge, was not great. before my visit to the ND, i ate whatever the hell i wanted to eat.. because i never gained any weight! …i mean, wouldn’t you? fried food was my weakness: turon (my favorite filipino dessert), chicken strips, lumpia (another filipino staple), calamari, fried wontons over a salad. woe’s me! it’s making my mouth water just thinking about it. i probably ate myself into hyperthyroidism. you know what they say: too much a good thing… can be bad. it was about time to move towards a healthier life.
i’m almost 3 months into this new lifestyle, and what a wild ride it’s been! grocery shopping has never been so challenging or anxiety-provoking. i can only buy so much gluten-free stuff from safeway or trader joe’s… so whole foods has been a lifesaver – though the food there costs me an arm and a leg. with an increase in my grocery bill, nights out to eat have diminished, which isn’t so bad since most restaurants either don’t offer gluten free alternatives or don’t even have the foggiest idea what gluten even is!! i find quite shocking since so many people are turning to gluten free eating.
i can honestly say that just in the past 2 months, i’ve discovered that gluten is my new enemy in this world. i didn’t believe it at first, but 2 weeks into the gluten free diet and i was starting to see the light – literally. by eliminating all gluten in my meals, snacks & drinks, i no longer felt weighed down by my food. food comas were a thing of the past, my thyroid symptoms were subsiding and i was sleeping at a “normal” time of the night. probably cuz i also cut out caffeine. oh, but wait – here’s the kicker, folks: no more breakouts. WTF!?!?! so amazing. if i had known that gluten was causing me to breakout all these years, i would’ve dropped gluten like a hot potato a long time ago! being gluten free is a lifestyle decision that isn’t necessarily for everyone, but i’ve learned that gluten isn’t something we should be consuming so heavily in our bodies. i definitely recommend that everyone should try to eat gluten free for a least 1 month out of their lives to observe the changes in their bodies. it will be eye-opening. going gluten free is a commitment i’ve made to my health, to my well-being, and to my future. i’m not going to say it’s easy. i slip up every now and then… taking a taste of something i shouldn’t here & there. i’m only human.
one of the most exciting effects of my new gluten free diet is the impact it’s made on those around me. my family & fiancé, jeff, have started to eat less gluten. for dinner a couple weeks ago, i cooked pasta with italian sausage & mushroom in tomato sauce (entirely gluten free) with the option of g-free & regular pasta. the g-free pasta won by a landslide based on taste & texture. it’s a great feeling. my mom also started making her signature filipino dishes with tamari sauce instead of soy sauce, which contains gluten. the tamari sauce is actually more flavorful! try it! she has been one of my biggest supporters in my latest lifestyle change, gifting me with a 6-month subscription to an online gluten free recipe & meal planner site. she’s so thoughtful! i have an awesome mom! the strong support system i have in my mom, dad, sisters & fiancé has really made my lifestyle change less stressful. again, i am reminded that i am truly blessed!
a couple of fun g-free links to wet your palette:
never thought i’d actually be hearing myself say that i am gluten free, but here i am and i feel amazing!