gluten-free week.

My morning cup of Rwandan coffee with natural cane sugar and coconut milk (do I sound like an obnoxious health nut yet??).  And my sweet niece, Lina, who Judah and Amie alternately introduce to friends as their sister and their daughter.

I apologize for yet another boring post on my diet.  I promise I won’t do this forever, but I want to keep a record of it.

I have been two-and-a-half weeks gluten-free, and there has been enough change in my health that I’m ready for a long-term commitment.  I never want to go back.

The cravings haven’t been as bad as I expected.  What I crave most is sugar, since I’m avoiding refined sugar right now.  I didn’t realize how much of an addict I am, but sometimes I want sugar so bad I could scream.  The good news is that it makes me want to eat a lot more fruit than I ever have in my life.

It hasn’t all been rosy these past couple of weeks.  There has been a huge difference overall, mainly in my energy level, and the disappearance of that heavy, draggy feeling in my limbs.

I am still taking my allergy meds and my Lexapro, at least for the next six months.  My headaches have still been off-and-on.  One day it was almost back to migraine status.

So this weekend I also went off dairy, at the advice of some websites and friends.  And I feel still more better.  The headaches are gone again and I feel ready to take on the world (or at least India).

When he came home from Rwanda, David said I was a different person.

Don’t get me wrong . . . I’m the same old sinner who has bursts of temper and complains to her husband and gets irritable with her kids.

But, I guess I just didn’t realize how big of a difference it makes in my whole outlook on life to feel good physically.

So.  We have talked, and David is ready to make our home gluten-free.  This week is the Big Purge.

Maybe it’s not absolutely necessary, but it will make my life a whole lot easier.  There is danger of cross-contamination from crumbs and dishes and sharing drinking glasses.  Which, you can imagine with young children how hard that is to control.  And Lilly does a lot of cooking and working in the kitchen and doesn’t get the whole allergy concept, so it is just better to keep gluten away.

Some of you have asked: “Do you think you actually have Celiac disease, or just a gluten intolerance?”

And to that I would say, I don’t know.  I’m guessing I don’t have Celiac, because that is a serious auto-immune disease, and let’s face it, my symptoms aren’t all that bad.  But I’m okay with not knowing.  What I do know is that I feel a ton better now.  The kids and I can get tested for Celiac when we go home in September, which we might do.  But I know that in order to take the test we’ll have to go on a gluten-binge for two weeks prior, and I’m just not sure I can put my body through that.

David read an article last night saying that going gluten-free is a fad in the States right now.  That only about one percent of the population tests positive for Celiac, but other people just somehow “feel better about themselves” by going gluten-free.  And that makes me laugh.  I guess it could be true.  But if it’s a fad that takes away my migraines and anxiety and exhaustion, I’m happy to jump on the bandwagon.

In all honesty though, this past week has been really hard.  I think the honeymoon stage ended and I was faced with the reality of a huge lifestyle change while raising a family in a developing country.  Yikes.  There has been lots of tears.  Lots of, “Why, God??”

But we have been praying, and He has been taking good care of me.  So many of you have encouraged me, and are sending me websites and recipes and care packages of gluten-free baking ingredients I can’t find here.

A friend from our church back home got me a bread machine!  And the women’s ministry in our presbytery is giving money to get me more supplies and a standing mixer!

These things are huge.  Not necessary to survival, I know.  But they will make life so much easier when I’m suddenly the only source of bread and baked goods for my family.

Our eating is pretty simple these days.  But it is so fun to look ahead to the time we can eat pizza dough and pancakes and muffins again.  To the time I can serve our guests yummy, homemade gluten-free treats and surprise them with how good it tastes.

So thanks so much for all your support and prayers!

I turn thirty years old next week, and starting to become healthy is the best 30th birthday gift I could ask for!

8 thoughts on “gluten-free week.

  1. looks like a great situation: good coffee and my little lina. that’s so funny about judah and amie! she also speaks of them too, as well as India as the source of her things (which coincidentally, sometimes it is!).

    glad to hear of the positive shift in health. hopefully it only gets better. we’ve been trying to “detox”. but keep pushing the start date into the future and modifying the conditions… so it’s becoming the detox without beginning or end, that never was and still is.

    1. Ha ha! This cracks me up Alex. Well, it took me a good three months to finally go gluten-free (even though a doctor told me I needed to do it!), so I totally sympathize. If it helps at all, I tried to quit everything at once and just couldn’t do it. It helped to start with just gluten. Then after a few days I felt so much better I wanted to try taking away sugar, then the dairy. Now … I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to nix the coffee! 🙂

  2. It’s true, being gluten free is super hip right now. And all the fitness personalities are now dairy and gluten free, and if they even consider animal products they have to be free-range and local. I mean, I think there’s valid science to back some of this stuff up. And Celiac’s is a sliding scale: I know one little girl who has to carry an epi pen because she’s so allergic to wheat, but her father just gets IBS-type symptoms. Honestly, I’d try it if I were single. I’m very impressed that you’re going to convert your whole family. It’s a BIG undertaking! hey, at least certain foods- like fruits- are so much cheaper over there! Good luck 🙂

    1. Thanks Laur! I am actually realizing the blessing of doing this in India. Dairy for the most part tastes awful here, a lot of sweets are imported (read: expensive) and bread isn’t so great. I have to admit that has helped!

  3. im so impressed with the whole family changing… sure would make things easier! chris is not ready for the plunge and lets face it its easier and convenient here in the states. making two dinners at times is a pain in the butt. i agree the whole gluten free is kind of a fad as is paleo ( are good sources for recipes) but i will admit after taking the plunge for Makai its AMAZING how good i feel and ill never go back. i mean i might have “cheat” days but other than that i feel a ton better myself. crazy how much food affects the whole body… pretty sure there are spiritual implications to that as well! love you friend. btw i went out and bought you some yummy gf/df stuff and will hopefully get it shipped tomorrow!

    1. Good for you girl. I’m so glad you are feeling great. Yeah, my biggest reason for wanting us all to make the purge is the knowledge that one of my kids may have a developing gluten intolerance themselves (or may one day). You are so sweet to send me stuff! Thanks a ton!! 🙂

  4. Hey, I’m so excited about your gluten-free adventure! I can relate to how hard it is to try to stay GF outside America. When we moved to Asia I was sick on and off for months…but with time and persistence, we found things that worked. I have some good recipes I’d like to send you. What flours are available in your country?

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