Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Grain Free

This is not an inspiring post. It is certainly not about losing weight, unless it is because I am deprived. It is not even about being healthy. It is, in actuality, a rant.
I started eating gluten free about nine years ago. I had to do it. It wasn’t an option. I was dying. I would barely finish my dinner before I had to run to the bathroom just to lose everything I had eaten. I had zero energy, slept almost all day and night, could not climb stairs, and started to have trouble with walking.
I was told by my NP that I might have “celiac sprue”. Nobody calls it that anymore, but this was just at the beginning edge of it being a Thing. She didn’t give me any educational handouts, didn’t refer me to a dietician, and didn’t tell me that I should get a biopsy before going gluten free. She just said to me, “Stop eating wheat.” Never mind that gluten is in WAY more than just wheat!
I went home and used the internet. If I hadn’t had the internet, I probably would be dead today. I am grateful for the resources and education I found there. It saved my life. After two week of eating rice and peas, I ventured into the gluten free world. We learned a new vocabulary, read labels like old ladies, and spent a lot of money. Vitamix, anyone?
I improved for a time, and the world was rosy. Then, I started to have periods where I was as sick, suddenly, as I had been before starting the new lifestyle. It was confusing. Was I getting contaminated? Was it something else? As the episodes became more frequent, I started getting worried. When I could no longer bathe without gasping for air, I knew something was definitely wrong, and that I should see a doctor.
Long story, less long...here I am today with Dysautonomia and all of the strange ass symptoms it involves, and not much of the sympathy or medical research garnered by more well known and understood diseases. You all know the grief process I am experiencing, so let’s leave it at that for now. I really want to talk about chips and bread and cake and stuff. During the last month, I made the foolish decision to cut out all grains. It started because when I was on the trip to Maryland, I felt great...like, almost-normal great. I still couldn’t climb stairs without getting severely short of breath. I still didn’t have much short term memory, but I wasn’t feeling the need to nap all day long. This was a miracle to me! The lovely family with whom I stayed was not eating grains. They eat paleo with some dairy, and while we were there, that is what I ate. A simple solution! I’ll just eat meat and veggies and fruit, and I will be “cured”, and the birds will sing and angels will dance...
Or something like that.
There is a difference...a fine one, but a serious one...between not eating grains because you feel somewhat better and not being ABLE to eat grains because when you do, you can’t wake up and you are a grumpy cat.
By eating no grains, I have now painted myself into a corner where I don’t have the choice any longer. Maybe I want to have cake. Maybe I am hungry right now. Maybe I am hungry often, now. Oh, and with the possible mitochondrial issues, I am supposed to eat often. Can you hear my eyes rolling, dear reader? They are rattling around in my skull, and it is loud because I have no fat with which to muffle the sound.
Yes, yes. I know there are other flours options: coconut, buckwheat, and quinoa. I am assuming I can have tapioca flour, since it is a root. Feel free to disillusion me if I am wrong.
1. All of those are expensive...as is the quantity of meat I am suddenly eating.
2. I am not in the mood to hear about blending those flours, because I spent the last nine years perfecting a gluten-free flour blend. Nine.Years.
3. I am grumpy because I ate a pancake made out of that flour blend. I was hungry. I still am.
4. I am not big on texture, or more accurately, texture is huge. Please don’t suggest I have smoothies. Thank you in advance. You are talking to the woman who tried a liver smoothie two weeks ago. I drank the damn thing because I am stubborn and foolish. Yes, it was stinky and gross.

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