Donde pongo el ojo pongo la bala.
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Gluten & Dairy Free?

Years ago, I was diagnosed with Lupus. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease. I was basically always sick in every possible way you can imagine. It was kind of hellish.

Fast-forward to about three years ago when a doctor friend suggested I try out an elimination diet. She was amazing — she sent me Metagenics products, recipes, and prayers. A rather whole-istic approach, pardon the pun, but it was a method of helping heal not only the physical, but the spiritual, as well. But I digress!

I immediately started feeling better — I wasn’t perpetually getting colds, I had the energy to work out more, &c. I started doing CrossFit regularly and decided to try out the Zone diet. The Zone is much like everything this friend had recommended: I eliminated white carbs (rice, flour, pasta) and ate carbs with a low glycemic index, lean protein, good fats (avocados and almonds, for example). I had never felt better in my life. After eliminating gluten from my diet, the few times I did choose to have something with a little gluten in it, I would get horribly sick. I would get cranky, sleepy, break out in a cold sweat, be doubled over from stomach pain, and within a day or so, I would inevitably get a cold. I quickly learned to stay away from gluten.

Once I was on this track, I remember reading an excerpt from a health book quoting a study on patients who were often misdiagnosed with Lupus when all they had was a simple gluten sensitivity — I’m not even talking full on celiac disease here, just a simple sensitivity to gluten with constant exposure to it could completely compromise your immune system enough to mimic Lupus symptoms. Isn’t that insane?

The more doctors I spoke to and saw, the more information I obtained confirming what I already knew: I definitely should NOT be eating gluten… nor should I be eating dairy. The gluten bit I could deal with, but the dairy? That just broke my heart. No cheese? No Kefir? No yogurt? I decided to gloss over this bit of medical advice and just stick to the no-gluten portion of it…

However! I have been falling off the wagon the past I-am-not-going-to-admit-how-long. It all started with a non-gluten muffin. It was followed by baking cookies for someone else, which made having flour in the house OK. After that came Pioneer Woman’s delicious Caramelized Onion and Prosciutto Pizza and Cupcakes with the recipe for The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake EVER. It was all downhill from there. I started getting sick ALL THE TIME again, feeling like crap, being cranky, you name it.

Fast-forward, again, to another article — one that George’s mom shared with us when we went to Tennessee (if you’re not pronouncing it tĕn’ĭ-sē’, accentuating the TEN! then you’re not saying it right, folks). The article was written by a woman who had celiac disease and talked about how irritable gluten made her and basically, how it was ruining her life (OK, maybe not those exact words, but I KNOW WHAT SHE MEANT). Everything she wrote about how she was feeling, emotionally and physically, made me want to cry. It’s like there was finally proof that this wasn’t all in my head and other people totally got me. I think that was, as we say in Spanish, “la gota que colmó el vaso” or the drop that made the glass overflow.

And so, this is what we’ve come to:

Goodbye dairy, goodbye gluten, you’ve been terrible friends, you’ve hurt me for years, but it was just so hard to let you go because of all those wonderful times we shared together. Remember that Mexican flan? Remember that beautiful challah I baked? Here I spent an entire life making you look good and taste amazing, and all you did for me was destroy my insides and break my heart. We’re so over. I’ll always remember you fondly, I can’t say I won’t miss you or long to be with you and hold you, look deep into your doughy insides, sprinkle you, grated and lovely all over my omelettes… but you can’t hurt me anymore. I’m stronger than you and I’ve finally learned to cut the things that only harm me out of my life.

*Sigh* And thus concludes day two of being without you. Goodbye, my loves.