On Saturday I celebrated being one-year gluten free. It’s funny how after a year it really has become a natural thing.
I have decided that if I have a hankering for one of the things that I’ve missed most (pizza, nutmeg muffins or a good sandwich) while being G-free I will have it as a treat. And then when I’m done, I’ll be G-free again.
I’ve learned a few things this year. One is to try not to be too paranoid. If I accidentally eat some gluten it’s not the end of the world. That doesn’t mean I’ll just eat something even though it might have gluten. It means if I accidently eat something with gluten and realize it after, I don’t get distraught over it. But I won’t eat something if I don’t know whether it has gluten or not.
I’ve learned that processed food probably has gluten in it, so it’s just best to stay away from it. This is a good standard even if you don’t have a problem with gluten.
Gluten products have gotten better over this year. I can have pretty good pizza, and okay muffins. I’ve discovered chestnut flower, which can be made into really great crepes, especially when my friend Isa’s mom is visiting from France. Early in the year, I would think something g-free tasted really good and make Matt try it. He’d respond with, “You haven’t tasted gluten in a while.” Now he tries things and says that’s not bad. It’s a clear improvement.
Going forward, I’d like to say that since gluten isn’t good for me that I never want to eat it. And some days I feel that way, but since it looks like I may be g-free long term, I’d like to have pre-selected cheat days throughout the year. These will include: Christmas, Thanksgiving, my birthday, and when we travel. Perhaps I’ll allow myself a floating gluten holiday. I’d also like to try to eat less g-free products. Even though they are getting better, they still have a lot of sugar. But I’ve generally always wanted to eat less processed foods so this is something I often consider working on.
People ask me if I feel better. It’s so hard to say. Matt will tell you I definitely feel better. My antibodies for Hashimotos have dropped consistently each quarter when I’ve gotten my blood drawn. Last time my thyroid numbers were back in the normal range. (Fingers crossed that they are there again next time my blood is drawn.) Not being hypothyroid makes me feel much better. Sometimes there are little things that I don’t notice, but Matt does. For example, I used to complain about my stomach feeling sore after I ate. I rarely complained about that this year. And I don’t miss that feeling. It wasn’t so terrible I couldn’t live with it. I didn’t even notice when it stopped happening, but I can remember.
Mostly, when I stop and think about what I’ve learned from researching gluten is that I don’t think it’s good for most people. Maybe I’ve just needed to tell myself that so that I feel better, but I don’t think so. I’ve become frustrated by how altered and unnatural our food supply is in the United States. It’s nice that we can feed a lot of people, but what’s the point when none of it is real?