Going Gluten Free: Not Too Pleased About It

I have not been diagnosed with Celiac's nor am I excessively gluten sensitive. But I have always had issues with pain in my joints (knee's especially) and my shins. Constant, dull pain. I thought it was just something I could live with, and I was. I started going to physical therapy when I was 12 and it's been something I've just accepted as being present in my life.  I finally got in touch with a nutritionist to help with my weight loss for the wedding and the increased pain issues I've been encountering over the the winter months. He looked at my daily eating habits and listened to my concerns and my preexisting conditions. I have IBS and Gastritis, which causes me to not absorb nutrients as well as others and certain foods irritate my tummy (tomato, citrus, coffee, dairy etc). He suggested that because of my eating a gluten/carb heavy diet in the winter months, and my other dietary issues, that gluten may be causing some inflammation in my body. Apparently gluten is an inflammatory agent which caused my joints to swell and the pain would radiate out. 

I have been dairy free (mostly...I still LOVE cheese) since high school, when even a few sips of milk would cause problems. But when I knew I was eating something I shouldn't, like pineapple, I would balance it out with a roll or a piece of bread to absorb some of the acid and protect my stomach lining. And in the winter time, when it's so gloomy, I was eating a lot of comfort food which inherently is full of gluten. So when he told me I should add another thing to my list to stay away from, I wasn't happy.

WHAT AM I GOING TO PUT MY PEANUT BUTTER ON. If you say celery or apples, I swear, its not the same!

 However I was willing to give it a chance, so I went with it. Damnit, it worked. My pain has decreased dramatically. Double dammit. Over a month in, and I've only taken my arthritis strength Tylenol twice. I was taking that stuff every other day before!

Alex has been incredibly supportive, helping me find recipes and switching over our kitchen to things that I can eat. Brown rice instead of pasta and corn tortillas instead of flour. Its so difficult to go gluten free! Soy sauce has gluten in it?! Geeze. I'm not looking at everything thing I eat for gluten, because I'm not that sensitive. I am however making conscious choices to move my eating habits in the direction. I like corn tortillas, I love brown rice, they are still carbs anyway. But dang, gluten free bread is dense and chewy. Not like a delicious bagel either...

 Anyway, I've been experimenting in the kitchen with different flours and recipes. Being smarter about what I'm eating and getting lots of support from my friends and family. A few of my co-workers are gluten free so I'm totally squeezing them for all their tips and tricks and how they cope. So I'll be sure to get some of my new gluten free recipes up here once I perfect them.