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Sunday, 11 January 2015

Going Gluten-Free


As I wrote last week, maintaining my health is a crucial goal for 2015. One of the ways I plan to do this is by going gluten-free. I don't have celiac disease, but I do have Multiple Sclerosis. I manage my symptoms well in general, but am willing to try anything (within reason) to improve my odds.


Going Gluten-Free
Photo courtesy of ongjulian via Wiki-Media Commons


There has been much speculation about a connection between MS and gluten sensitivity over the past almost twenty years. I read about another such medical study, back in the fall and decided that it was time for me to consider making this change.

In my world, this was no small consideration either. I am the person who could live (and has lived) on tea and toast. Or, if I had to eat something more nutritious, soup and toast. A sandwich is always a quick and easy meal, especially when packing a lunch. Not to mention my fondness for Saturday morning bagels and the 'low-fat' banana chocolate coffee cake at Starbucks! I don't have a particularly sweet tooth, but do love that squishy mouth-feel that anything fresh-baked seems to have.

The Hubby does have a sweet tooth, and he still packs a lunch for work. If I were to consider going gluten-free, I couldn't expect him to do the same. Therefore, we would still have to buy all of the bread, bagels, wraps, pitas and so on. My willpower would never be strong enough to resist, if all that were there for the taking! However, I did mention to him that I was considering the idea, and to my surprise, he said he would join me!

As well as being a New Year, we wanted to start this new plan once all the holidays were behind us. It didn't seem wise to try this while tourtieres (meat pies), rum cake and mince pies were the order of business! This also gave me some time to think about how we would replace all the wheat in our diet.

This has led to some creative ideas – portobello mini pizzas, anyone? (Yummy, by the way!). I even created my own recipe for Turkey a la King, making a white sauce with quinoa flour. I was going to share the recipe, even though I'm so far from being a food blogger (just the idea makes me giggle!). However when I made it the other evening, I forgot to take photos – and a recipe without them is just blah.

Lunches have been the most difficult to accommodate so far. Being winter, we have increased the soup quotient (my love for soup extends beyond eating it with toast – I could seriously live off soup). Salads are the other obvious option, and while I love them in the summer-time they lack appeal when what you crave is something that will stick to your ribs. New this week was home-made Egg Fried Rice – a success, so we'll keep it in the repertoire!

We have been doing this now for almost two weeks and it is going better than I imagined it would. To me, it's an encouraging sign that we can stick with it for the long haul. I would like to give it a fair trial – at least six months to a year – to see if it makes a difference for the better. I'll post a follow-up in the summer, perhaps finally share my recipe then! 

In the meantime, if you have gone gluten-free I'd love to hear how your experience was, plus any meal ideas you may have, especially for those pesky lunchtimes!


12 comments:

  1. I've heard this is probably good for the type of RA I have but I gave up cigarettes this year please don't take my bread too! Just the thought makes me sad. I am very interested in how it works for you and maybe after this nightmare I will deem myself strong enough to give it a shot!

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    1. No Rena, you don't want to make too many changes all at once! Believe me, this is a tough one for me. I've thought about it on and off for a while, and if it wasn't for my health, there's no way I'd even entertain the idea!

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  2. You don't have to give up breads as some fantastic gluten free bread options exist. Check out the products from Udi's. And now I can finally say I know of someone who actually eats (or ate) mince pie. Bleeeeech. You can have my slice!

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    1. Thanks, Kymberly! I have heard of the Udi's products and do plan on trying them at some point. I want to break my habit of reaching for the bread at every opportunity though, as I would need a second mortgage to pay for it (quite a bit more expensive here in Canada). As for the mince pies - being originally British, we were raised on that stuff - what can I say, except I'd happily take your slice - Yum!!

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  3. A friend of mine owns SimplyRadGranola (dot) com. She has gluten free granola, but also gluten free breads, cakes, etc. Truly - you don't know they are gluten free. You may want to check her out. (Her website only shows the granola - but if you fill out a contact form - she'll be able to tell you about her other offerings.)

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! I will check this out! I do want to get out of the habit of automatically reaching for bread as something quick and easy to eat, but it would be nice to have a treat once in a while!

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  4. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about going gluten-free but I am really interested in hearing about your results! Goog luck!

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    1. I've heard the same, Cher-Ann. I've also seen how difficult it can be, through family members who have Celiac Disease. It was not an easy decision, but the accumulating information on a link with MS was enough for me to decide to try.

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  5. Way to go Donna! It is so difficult to change way of living but you are on your way! So good that your husband is coming along. Good Luck!

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    1. Thanks, Eva! So far, so good. It's a big help that my husband is doing it too. I'd never have this much willpower otherwise!

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  6. I gave up carbs & sweeys just to feel better & lose weight. Daily hubby has rolls, bread, cake, danish, etc fresh in the house. Ive learned to ignor it. I say its not good for me & that ends discussion. or Im not allowed & now I dont want it.

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    1. Well done, you! You have more willpower than me, that's for sure!

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