The $7 pill + going gluten free

I mentioned I was a little nervous about my recent blood test results.  I’ve had them over a week mulling them over.  Okay well, there’s not too much to go over, my doc wrote A+ at the top, threw them at me with a smile and said get outta here.  After of course going over them with me.

Darn near everything is in the green or “optimal” range, with the exception of the gut which we already knew.  I knew it was bad, but I didn’t realize how bad until I saw the results.  They are all in the red or “hyper” range with the liver being the only green.  Great job liver, you’re a fighter yo! 

Now that we know what’s really going on, we are at the ‘throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks’ stage.  IBS is a complex condition with no real cure, but I really believe it’s treatable. 

I’m choosing to work with my primary care doc after being told the prescription I’m on is the my “only option” by 2 different GI Specialist’s.  Which by the way is a $7 pill. One freaking pill, every day.  File that under #stufficantmakeup 

I really don’t like it when people give up on me.  Maybe it’s true from a medicine standpoint, but I feel like there are other options, I just need the right tools and person to help me help myself.

So our first trial is going gluten free for a few weeks.  I have no idea what gluten is, but I like it.  

Surprisingly it hasn’t been as tough as I thought it would be.  Awhile back I went dairy free to see if that would help and that was a lot more difficult.  A big part of me was happy to find out it didn’t make a difference.  I mean, hello fluffy, crunchy, cheesy PIZZA!

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For the last week or so it’s been my mission to navigate the grocery store and restaurants.  I didn’t realize how many things are clearly labeled “Gluten Free” until I actually started looking.

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Yes, when Mike isn’t around to be my personal chef, I eat like a kid.  #iam4

Let’s be real, I thought this stuff was going to taste like flavored cardboard or butt cheese, but so far I’m a fan.  I’m digging Rudi’s cinnamon raisin bread.  The texture is a tiny bit more grainy but I’d be fine eating it GF or not.

And I already raved about California Pizza Kitchens GF pizza.  Yah, I am so going back for more.

I noticed I’ve cut back on processed foods and fill those voids with real food like Cobb salads.  And thankfully potatoes are GF, or I am sure I would die.

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The only thing I’m not a fan of are these brown rice tortillas.  They really do taste like cardboard-texture and all.

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The GF pasta isle at Whole Foods was so overwhelming I called for help via social media

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Thanks to you guys, I picked up a package of Tinkyada for my first go round.  I shall report back. 

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Mike has also been incredible about this whole thing.  He grilled tri-tip, made rice pilaf + steamed spinach with a squeeze of fresh lemon. 

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I haven’t been super strict with products that are wheat free, but are made in factories where cross contamination could occur.  For now I’m just happy to start exploring a whole new food world.

It’s been over a week and so far I don’t feel any different, though I’ve heard it takes a month + to start noticing a difference.

Any other GF friends out there?

How long did it take for you to notice positive changes?

Please share your favorite GF items/meals.

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27 Comments on “The $7 pill + going gluten free

  1. Your will power is amazing. I am terrible when it comes to cutting things out of my diet. When I found out hummus gave me little hives, I did the reasonable thing and ate as much as possible because it’s too delicious to pass up and if I’m going to have hives, I might as well get my bang for my buck and eat as much as I can! I would not survive if I had to go GF or had major allergies ): Best of luck with GF diet!

  2. I would love to hear more about how your GF diet goes/food that you make etc. My husband has minimal stomach problems, but is always exhausted. We decided to start a GF diet. Did it for 2 weeks, and he seemed to be feeling better. We can’t determine whether or not he has a wheat allergy, or something similar, but we think that going GF has forced us to eat healthier in general! It’s a struggle of course when you can’t have the foods you love, so now we have cheat days and he just has to know that it could effect him.

    GF is an interesting concept and I’ve read a lot about it, but it can either help you to eat healthier, but it can also be worse for you since you lose out on certain important fiber. I’ve also read that wheat isn’t actually wheat anymore! The hardest part for my husband was not being able to drink beer (we’re Wisconsin born and raised 🙂 ) I would love to hear more about your GF trial journey and I hope you start feeling better!

    • Things like this can be tough, I hope your husband can figure out what’s going on. Mike would cry if he couldn’t have beer so I feel your (and his) pain. Lol.
      I stick to a low fiber diet so I’m not worried about that, I just don’t prefer to eat cardboard. 😉

  3. Oh my God, I know, right?? Food for Life has decent GF English Muffins, but their tortillas are DISGUSTING. I tried warming them up, nope! Cardboard. I tried drying them out for chips? Nope! DISGUSTING. The pasta you picked, however, is awesome! I love the brown rice noodles. They cook decent, just make sure you stir them, they tend to stick! The corn and quinoa noodles are good, too, but I can’t have corn, and I’m also super allergic to quinoa. (Lesson learned!) Udi’s sandwich bread is awesome for sandwiches, but don’t toast it, it burns. I use Food for Life Rice Dream Bread for toasting, I need to find it again, it is also awesome! Good luck! That shit is expensive! Oh, and Van’s waffles are nice, too. Hy-Vee has cheaper ones as their knock off brand.

  4. The Ancient Harvest quinoa pastas hold up pretty well in the boiling process. The rice ones tend to fall apart and mush together and then congeal and harden. However, like you said, they just taste a little grainier 😛

  5. I have a few friends that are gluten free. I’ve also helped some of my clients make the transition to gluten free diets as well. I am happy to share my resources with you.

    It is a change, but a good change that will help you feel better. It is a good idea to keep a food diary so you can accurately track your progress.

    I love the Tinkyada pasta. The spiral pasta is what I add to my minnestrone soup to make it gluten free. Also, I use buckwheat soba noodles for curry dishes.

    Here is a sample two week menu guide I made for a client that is gluten free. You will still be able to enjoy some of the food you love.

    Week 1:
    Mon: Chicken curry with rice ( or gluten free buckwheat soba noodles)
    Tues: Minnestrone soup with a side salad
    Wed: Chicken legs with thyme butter and roasted vegetables
    Thurs: Spanish Torta with garlic mayo
    Fri: Rice pasta with red sauce and green salad
    Sat: Chicken enchaladas ( gluten free corn tortillas) topped with avocado and greek yogurt ( substitute for sour cream)
    Sun: Pork Loin (or beef brisket) with roasted vegetables

    Week 2
    Mon:Turkey ginger meatball soup with green lentil salad
    Tues: Corn tortilla quesadilla with tomato, avocado, mango salad
    Wed: Turkey chili
    Thurs: Chicken satay with spring rolls
    Fri: Tuscan Bean Soup
    Sat: Lamb chops with forbidden rice with African spices
    Sun: Roasted chicken and vegetables.

    Resources:
    King Arthur flour website
    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free

    Bob’s mill:
    http://www.bobsredmill.com/Gluten-Free

    I also recently discovered this cook book :
    Artisanal gluten-free cooking by Kelli and Peter Bronski

    The library is also a great source to find cookbooks to try them out and best of all it’s free!

    A podcast I found useful is Jennifer Fugo’s Gluten free school. It’s on Itunes.

    Good luck on your Gluten free journey.

  6. The Trader Joe’s brown rice tortillas are amazing! I like them better than regular tortillas anyways. I find Sprouts the best place to shop for GF although it’s not budget friendly. So I just go there to fill in the gaps of what I can’t buy at a regular super market. My only advice is please give it a little longer than a few weeks. I didn’t start to really see a difference until about 3 months. It takes a while for that inflammation to go down. I have been GF for 2 years and feel amazing! My stomach issues are pretty much non existent if I stick to it. Every now and then I chance it and eat gluten. Sure enough within the next 24 hours horrible stomach issues. Good luck!

  7. Be careful with french fries – they are often dusted with flour to give them that texture on the outside…I did GF for a year, and I’m not sure it really helped my IBS. I had so many other things going on (in addition to IBS) that it’s hard for me to assess. I try to avoid processed foods in lieu of real food, because processed foods make my stomach go bananas. Good idea to try things out and figure out what works for you! For a while I found that Align really helped as well, but I don’t take it anymore.

  8. I to have IBS, in terms of your blood work what results were off the charts for you-I’m not sure my doctor ever did blood work specifically testing for anything related to my stomach?

    • They are a bunch of long terms I can’t even pronounce. Ha! I just remember him saying the liver looks excellent (the only green) considering all of the others.

  9. Good luck! I try to eat GF because some researchers think it helps with a condition I have.
    I’d recommend trying to stick with foods that are naturally GF. For instance, I eat corn tortillas and love them. Instead of burritos, I eat burrito bowls or have tacos on the corn tortillas. Corn chips are also, typically, GF.
    Be especially careful not to get fooled by labels. My hubby was so proud he found GF tortilla chips; little did he know they were twice the price of our usual brand which is GF but just doesn’t slap the label on the package. Just learn to read ingredient lists.

  10. I have toyed with the idea of trying to go GF to help with my stomach issues, but never have. That is so great that Mike is on board and has been able to help you through it! That always makes it a lot easier when you have someone helping you.

  11. Ancient Harvest makes good pasta made from quinoa…they have all different types and I can’t tell the difference between that and the gluten containing kind, so maybe try that. As far as symptom relief….I think it was pretty fast for me, but it took my mom a month to feel better. She has celiac and it even made her liver enzymes elevated. After a month of no gluten everything returned to normal. If she accidentally eats gluten now, she’s sick for a solid two weeks. Hang in there and I hope you feel better. It would be nice to just be able to make dietary changes rather than take a medication.

    • I’m so happy for you & your ma! Agreed with the dietary changes > RX. Crossing my fingers we can transition to that soon.

  12. It’s awesome that u have taken your health back instead of taking a pill. I have not had to go gluten free but I work in a health food store and like to try GF products. I have GF brownies baking as I type this! It seems like u are on the right track and u really just have to keep trying different products till you find ones that u like best. I eat a lot of quinoa and always have some in the fridge. U can mix the water with some chicken stock to make it tastier, then u can mix quinoa with just about anything. Salads, soups…. I think bread is the hardest, a lot of it tastes bad. There is a local bakery that makes cocunut bread with no yeast or flour. It’s awesome.

  13. Hope this works for you, lady! I have eaten paleo which is basically, dairy and gluten free (without the processed stuff) and it gets easier as it goes.

  14. I haven’t done much research into this yet because I typically try not to eat any prepackaged foods and stick with a mostly moo paleo diet (although do occasionally eat some GF mac and cheese or something), but there are a lot of newer studies out that say it’s not the gluten that causes so many issues but some other protein? And that can be in a lot of GF dishes still as well. I don’t know if it’s something you’d actually be interested in reading, but I know I’ve seen a few articles on it and just haven’t committed it to my memory yet, despite reading all of them. Good luck on your IBS quest!

  15. Have you heard of or tried a low FODMAP diet? I was also diagnosed with IBS a few years ago and tried GF but it didn’t really seem to help. Recently I was referred to a new dietitian who put me on a low FODMAP diet and it made soooo much difference – I felt 1000 times better. Unfortunately it’s hard because the first thing you have to do is an elimination diet which means cutting out ALL FODMAPs for about 6-8 weeks, then you get to introduce foods one at a time to see which one causes you issues. The effect of FODMAPs is cumulative so just cutting out one usually doesn’t work. Common FODMAPs are wheat, lactose, onion, garlic, fructose, sugar alcohols (sorbitol, mannitol) – it’s a pretty long list! There’s been a lot of research done on FODMAPs and IBS out of Australia in the last few years and it’s showing great results.

  16. My hubby is GF and has been for about 7 years. He had been so sick for so long that it was almost instant relief when he went GF, but he has a true allergy, not IBS, so that may make a difference. We have found that Asian food is pretty great since the noodles are rice, and Tamari is a great GF soy sauce, Mexican food is also pretty easy since flour tortillas can be replaced with corn. He is dairy free though as well, so no cheese. While we don’t eat strict Paleo we have found Paleo to be pretty awesome since it’s GF, Dairy Free, lot’s of other things free, makes for easy recipe following for me not having to convert/switch things out. Franz Bread makes a really good GF bread I can only find it at Fred Meyer up here (WA state). My #1 piece of advice is read every label, even if you think it’s safe, it’s scary how much gluten there is out there! Good luck, I hope this helps you because it’s really not a bad way to eat/live!

  17. I’m surprised you haven’t tried GF before with your gut issues! It has helped mine soooo much. It’s like I have a whole different system. My arthritis has gotten significantly better and my iron counts are finally going up. And without going into TMI territory, there are daily benefits as well which are just delightful. 🙂
    It’s not nearly as hard as it seems to stay gluten free. There are tons of replacement options, but more so than that, it makes you think outside the (bread) box a little more when planning your meals. I find myself adding more vegetables as side dishes instead of carbs and that’s always a good idea! Jovial is my favorite GF pasta but Tinkyada is a close second. I also eat more polenta, quinoa, risotto, and rice than I used to because they are natually GF and good carb options. I’m training for my first marathon so I need me some carbs! Nut Thins crackers are yummy and I’d recommend looking for local bakeries that have gluten free options. GF brownies are almost always good, cupcakes are usually yummy and buckwheat crepes can usually be found.
    Side note: I noticed improvement about a month after I went gluten free but I kept noticing benefits for at least a year after and some of my issues are still (slowly) improving. So be patient, it can take a long time for your gut to heal itself if it has been reacting to something.
    Good luck with your GFness….I hope it yields some good results for you!

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