Friday, November 02, 2007

not so wacky: gluten-free eating

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Now that I have more time and energy to focus on healing myself, I am coming back around to the idea of giving a gluten-free diet a fair try. My primary care doctor has been in favor of this for a while now. We discussed it again at my appointment on Tuesday, and I think she was pleased I've come around to the idea. I have committed to trying it for at least a month, then I will re-evaluate my symptoms and decide whether it makes sense to continue. I will be keeping a food diary to track my progress.

I don't even consider this a particularly wacky option, but some of you might. Compared to trying energy therapy / medical intuition (you can read about that here: My Adventures in Medical Intuition) a gluten-free diet seems like a common sense strategy.

But I'm not going to lie: It's scary. Although I know there are plenty of foods I can eat, eliminating gluten from my diet puts many of my favorite foods out of reach until I learn how to adapt them to my needs. Today I went to the grocery store (local co-op, actually), and I'll admit I became a bit depressed strolling past all the beautiful fresh baked breads, the pasta and the yummy chips and snacks, which are now off limits. I distracted myself by throwing fruit leather and fistfuls of Endangered Species organic, fair trade chocolate bars (confirmed gluten free) in my basket. But I'm still craving pizza and bread.

One curious obstacle I have observed so far in my intense scrutiny of food labels is the difficulty of finding products that are labeled both MSG and gluten free. MSG is one of my worst migraine triggers, so it is essential that I avoid products that may contain it. I hope this won't be problem once I am better educated about the available choices.

There are so many good resources on the web, so I don't feel alone or completely in the dark. I'm reading as much as I can and trying to take things slow to avoid becoming overwhelmed or so frustrated I want to give up.

Here are some of the resources I'm finding most useful so far:

- Celiac Chicks
- Cooking & Baking Gluten Free: Tips from Karina
- Gluten-Free Diet Boot Camp
- Gluten-Free Girl
- I Ate a Pie's Gluten-Free Food Reviews
- Karina's Kitchen: Recipes from a Gluten-Free Goddess
- Safe Food List
- University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center
- Unsafe Food List

Have you tried a gluten-free diet or are you currently on one? What have your experiences been like? Do you have any good resources (online or offline) to share? I'd love to hear from you.

Related posts:
- Gluten Glutony

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