My decision to go without gluten: Day One

Monday, January 19, 2015

I'll be the first to admit that I think cutting out any whole food group sounds ridiculous. I firmly believe that the things we consider part of our food supply were put on this earth for our nourishment...and enjoyment. One of the best things in life is a good meal.

I've been perplexed by the gluten-free trend since I first heard of it. The whole gluten-free thing has been gaining traction for a few years and I've continued to think, WHY would anyone willingly go without cupcakes, bread and pasta?? (Unless they have to for allergy reasons). And aren't whole grains supposed to be good for you?? Then I started hearing - from people I know and trust - how removing gluten from your diet can make you feel better, help digestive issues, reduce swelling in joints, and make you less mentally "foggy." And the more research I've done, the more I've come to understand that gluten is linked to many autoimmune diseases, including Crohn's Disease. Huh.

So I'm here today to say that I am joining the growing number of people who have given up gluten in hopes that it will change my life. Gosh, I hope it does. 

I am actually really excited to start this experiment. After a terrible flare that lasted nearly two months and the constant fear that any old meal will make me sick, I'm willing to try anything. Even giving up cupcakes, bread and pasta - arguably three of my most favorite things on earth.

I've had a few weeks to mentally and otherwise prepare for this lifestyle change. I decided around Christmas time that I'd try it in the new year for 30 days - the length of time it might take to see if it's making a difference. This gave us (yep, hubby's joining me for this experiment!) time to enjoy our favorite foods containing gluten "one last time," clean out the pantry, read up on making the switch to gluten-free and stockpile gluten-free staples.
Left: pantry before the Gluten Purge of 2015
Right: what remains! 

I am so, so optimistic about this change. But I'm also scared out of my mind. What if it works and I'm stuck in a gluten-free diet for the rest of my life? What if I can never again carelessly eat off a buffet at a Super Bowl party or baby shower? You know what? It will be worth it. I pray this works and my biggest worry becomes how to perfect a gluten-free pizza crust rather than how I'm going to manage to get to work when I can't even keep food down due to Crohn's.

Have you tried gluten-free or are you currently living a gluten-free life? What are your favorite resources, recipes, tips and tricks? I would LOVE to hear your advice as I make this change for the next 30 days - and maybe forever.

Wish me luck!


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