About That Going Gluten-Free Thing . . . 9 Observations From A Newly Diagnosed Gluten-Sensitive Eater

Oh, gluten.  What a troublesome thing you can be.

I’ve been living without gluten in my life for just over six weeks now and it has most definitely been a roller coaster of experiences and emotions.

I wanted to wait a while before talking about my experience because I thought it would be worthwhile to have a bit of actual perspective since getting my initial diagnosis, as well as some solid experience in my post-gluten life.

So, I think it’s time to check in now on how this has all gone down.

Finding out that I was gluten-intolerant and that gluten was likely the cause of many unpleasant, uncomfortable, and downright painful physical experiences I had been having was somewhat tragic for me.  I don’t think it is much of a stretch to say that I was a total gluten-loving person.  My days weren’t complete without pasta, whole wheat breads, tortillas, multigrain pancakes, spelt-filled breakfast pastries, and so on.  I never imagined that gluten intolerance was an underlying cause of my issues and coming to terms with this has not been easy.

It has, though, been enlightening.  I’m had a lot of ups and downs during the last six weeks.  Here are the some of the highs and lows:

1.  First and foremost, going gluten free is hard

Emotionally, it sort of totally knocked me down for a week or two.  I knew I wouldn’t like it, of course, but I wasn’t prepared for the incredible depression it would bring for a couple of weeks.  I almost lost it in a market after spending hours trying to find foods that I could eat (besides fruits and vegetables – that part is easy).

Thank goodness for fruits and vegetables.

Thank goodness for fruits and vegetables.

For me, also having to eliminate other ingredients that tend to be key ingredients in many gluten free prepared foods (garbanzo flour, almonds/almond flour, and yeast, most specifically) was especially disheartening.  I’d pick an item up, read the label, and promptly put it back.  After doing this a few dozen times, it is easy to get overwhelmed.  Watching others order, buy, and eat food freely is disheartening.  Throwing out food you love from your kitchen is frustrating.  Having physical and emotional cravings that, if fulfilled at all, will make you sick is sad.

Plus, there are withdrawal symptoms.  The body aches I experienced were totally unexpected and caught me very much by surprise.  Fortunately, they didn’t last too long.

I’ve gotten better at dealing with all of this, for sure, but in the beginning it is especially hard.  No doubt about it.

2.  Going gluten free is expensive. 

People can offer all the money-saving tips they want.  They’re useful, absolutely, but when you’re staring at an aisle full of regular and whole wheat pasta that costs $1.99 for 16 oz and a couple of gluten-free boxes of pasta that cost $3.99 for 8 or 12 oz, there’s no denying this.  Beyond produce, specialty gluten free items are going to make a hefty dent in your budget.

3.  Gluten free baking is a bit insane.

I don’t know how else to describe it.  I will be totally honest that I have completely lost my baking mojo.  Gluten free flours are tricky (an understatement) and for those who simply think that using a gluten free all purpose mix will do the job – that’s not always true.  It is an entirely new world – one that I have been absolutely intimidated by.

But I miss baking.  Quite a lot.

I’m gathering the courage to dive back into this soon.

Gluten free baking. I will figure this out eventually.

Gluten free baking.
I will figure this out eventually.

4.  Sometimes, other people may find you annoying – and you just have to learn to be okay with that. 

I feel obnoxious when I’m in a restaurant or bakery and I’m asking a million questions about ingredients.  When servers tiredly try to find the answers or those in line behind me get antsy waiting for their turn at the counter, I feel like a schmuck.  And yet, I’m still not always asking all the questions that I should be.  The reality is, though, that gluten free folks aren’t just driven by false paranoia.  Gluten really does lurk nearly everywhere and even a small amount may make you sick.

I have learned this the hard way.  The painful, miserable hard way.

5.  Sometimes, I will find other people annoying.  So annoying that I want to scream at them in a manner that is quite out of my usual civil and polite character.

The rise of gluten free living has resulted in quite a bit of backlash.  I didn’t realize how much until I found myself as a gluten-free person (isn’t that always the case?).  But, let me tell you, people hate gluten free folks.  Not all people, of course, but a lot of them.  I’ve noticed dismissive jokes on television and film.  Articles claiming that no one needs to be gluten free because it’s all made up.  Restaurants mocking the issue (“Our water is gluten-free!”).  And I’ve overheard way too many snide remarks by others (this is more common than you may think).

It’s a bit infuriating, all of this, because underneath much of it lies an assumption that people are choosing to go gluten free solely to participate in some trend – that it is not an actual need or issue.  Let me tell you, those of us who have to do this for health reasons would not likely choose to do this if it wasn’t necessary.  We do it because it makes a significant difference in our health.  Otherwise, we’d still be enjoying our bagels and pizza.

6.  All of the above has been worth it because going gluten free has made a real difference for me. 

Since cutting the gluten (and eliminating or reducing the other foods that were supplemental irritants to my system), I have experienced the following:

  • All kinds of less stomach/intestinal discomfort (This encompasses so much.)
  • Dramatically fewer migraines (I was having severe headaches and migraines about 5 days a week.  In the last 6 weeks, I have had 2 major headaches and 3 minor ones that went away quickly.
  • Less body/joint pain
  • Significantly lower levels of anxiety/stress.  Did you know that 85%-90% of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that is key in the management of such issues) is produced in your gut?  And that if your gut is not healthy, anxiety and/or depression may result?  I didn’t.  But I do now and the evidence of this in my personal experience has been pretty profound.
  • Higher energy levels, less chronic fatigue
  • Fewer allergy and sinus issues
  • Less chronic thirst and dehydration
  • Clearer, visibly healthier skin
  • Increased mental clarity & focus (i.e. less ‘brain fog’)

This list is no joke.  I know that I am still early in the healing process and things are likely to continue to improve further.  Already noticing these changes has made me very hopeful for where I might be even further down the road.

7.  Celiacs and gluten-sensitive people are by and large amazing, welcoming people.

For each of the people who have been frustrating and hurtful to me (see #5 above), there is someone who is incredibly kind.  These are people who ‘get it’; those that truly understand how difficult this is to deal with and who are ready to help with tips, consoling words, and bundles of patience for all the questions that come up.  I am so appreciative of these folks.

8.  I am really fortunate to live in Portland, OR.

One of PDX's wonderful gluten free bakeries.

One of PDX’s wonderful gluten free bakeries.

I love my city for a vast variety of reasons and this is one of the newest.  As limited as my dining out world has become, I know that I have significantly more options by virtue of living where I do.  Portland is incredibly friendly for the gluten free crowd, as well as for those of us who are also vegetarian or vegan.  We have a few dedicated gluten free bakeries and restaurants and many others that are pretty aware and helpful in creating gluten free options.  I only hope this continues to spread to other areas so that my fellow gluten-free eaters in other parts of the country can be so lucky!

Thank you, Portland.

9.  It does get easier.

While I do not deny the reality of observation #1 above, I can also say that it does get less difficult over time.  As I learn and experiment, it does get a bit easier.  As my body adapts and gets further away from the memories of almond butter spread onto a good, thick, toasted bagel it does hurt a little less.  I’m adapting and adjusting and will continue to do so because that’s what people do.

(Though I do really miss that bagel.)

91 comments on “About That Going Gluten-Free Thing . . . 9 Observations From A Newly Diagnosed Gluten-Sensitive Eater

  1. emmarossruns says:

    wow – what an interesting post. Thankfully I don’t have gluten issues, but I have friends that do and have had my eyes opened to how hard it is to cook for them, and that’s only occasionally!

    I’m so pleased that you’re feeling better for it, my bf has something (as yet unknown) wrong with his gut so am sending this to him, so thanks for writing it.

  2. pfstare says:

    I feel your pain. I have just been told I’m intolerant to some foods, but now working up to paying for the full screen. I would love to write out that list of symptoms that you’ve had alleviated. Keep at it, it sounds like it’ll be worth it in the end.

  3. I just started experimenting with going gluten free two weeks ago to see if it will help with some symptoms I’m having. I agree with you, it really is hard! I haven’t been perfect, but I’m learning. Oh, and if you haven’t tried it, I recommend Pamela’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix. I tried it last night and it made a wonderful crust (much better than Bob’s Red Mill GF Pizza Crust). Celeste 🙂

  4. Janet Rörschåch says:

    I so understand what you are going/went through. There are similarities in how the disease manifests itself, and then there are things that are peculiarly your own. Most celiacs have at least one additional food sensitivity/allergy. I have just discovered mine is milk. It does get easier. Please get on amazon and look at Peter Reinhardt’s gluten-free baking book. I have been using it as a resource, and so far very happy about it. Bonus! He has a recipe in there for bagels. 😉

  5. I was diagnosed with celiac disease 3 weeks ago. What you’re sharing is akin to my experiences so far. We will get through this, with the goal of being pain-free and healthy as the prize!

  6. Alaina Maeve says:

    I definitely identify with a lot of what you are saying. Although my symptoms were far less severe, cutting out wheat has made an incredible difference in the way I feel. And over time, I will say you still have those cravings, but the taste of the gluten-y foods becomes less appealing (really, it’s crazy but it does!), and then there’s the fact that you know you’re going to regret it if you eat just half of that bagel….

    There is a trick to the baking, and I would love to share with you some of my discoveries! It really can become much easier. It just takes a little experimentation, and knowing the rules. 🙂 You’ll get there, and you’ll be making delicious gluten-free goodies to replace those you once held so dear!

  7. This was a really interesting post, thank you so much for sharing. I am not gluten intolerant, but I know a few coeliacs and have always felt bad for them because I can see that people don’t understand the difference between coeliac disease and people avoiding gluten for fad diets or whatever other reasons. Well done for being strong and thank you for sharing your experiences!

  8. EcoGrrl says:

    Great post – the moodiness was really evident when I went off it – and when I tried to have “just a little” months later.

    Only thing I would highly disagree with is the statement that “going gluten free is expensive”. It’s only expensive if you’re trying to duplicate your old eating habits with gluten-free substitutes. I’ve found that the less I try to eat substitute foods like gluten free breads and pastas, I’m actually saving money because I’m focusing on putting whole foods into my body instead of trying to concoct what I used to eat. Sure, the occasional gluten free cookie (a la Tula) is delish and I love going over to Back to Eden for a g/f vegan lunch, but for the most part focusing on working more with whole food ingredients that are okay I’ve found has made me not only healthier but discover foods and recipes I never would have imagined 🙂

    • Thanks! I appreciate that and ate mostly whole foods before going gluten free (and still do). But, I don’t consider pasta a bad thing and love to incorporate it into my meals and I eat a lot of gluten free granola and oats – which are way pricier than the non gluten free variety. There are some things I just don’t want to do without, I guess.

      • I love oatmeal and pasta and am not ready to give them up. I also cook a lot of Asian-style food, so gf versions of oats, pasta, and soy sauce are breaking the budget! For me, I noticed the financial hit initially when buying my own gf versions. Over time, I probably won’t notice it nearly so much.

  9. MiyoWratten says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I know several individuals who are gluten intolerant. While I was aware of their struggles in an abstract way, they never really go into detail – probably because they don’t want to seem like they’re whining or complaining. Your post brought what must be going through their minds, and their daily struggles, to life. Thanks for sharing, and I hope that as time goes on, you find some good solutions to some of your struggles. Hugs to you.

  10. sophiazerg says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I really appreciated your honesty and the great facts. I had no idea about this one: 85%-90% of serotonin is produced in your gut.
    I hope it does get easier for you. In the meanwhile, I’m going to try and master a GF baked good recipe and share it! 🙂

  11. Jessi says:

    I can’t imagine having to change everything you know about eating, baking, shopping and even ordering in a restaurant. Ignore the people who get annoyed by you or the gluten free stereotype in general. The 9 reasons you listed above about how much better you feel is reason enough to not worry about putting them out. Proud of you!

  12. sarah says:

    I hear you on so many of these points! I also avoid gluten, but I’ve been doing it for a while and it’s no longer hard, baking is fun again, and who cares what the naysayers are saying. Please don’t give up on the baking… And here’s an awesome gluten-free pizza crust http://wp.me/P2ceGh-NS (love, love, love this recipe) and a fantastic gluten-free buckwheat crepes http://wp.me/P2ceGh-Oi and finally, a recipe for amazing gluten-free banana bread http://wp.me/P2ceGh-O5 (no garbanzo bean flour, almonds/almond flour or yeast required in any of them). I am a hard-core marathon runner who eats mainly vegetarian and gluten-free and is just having a ton of fun with it — it’s totally possible to have fun with it 🙂 !!!

  13. Stephanie says:

    No real baking suggestions– I just don’t do much anymore unless it’s the “flourless” recipes that depend on eggs, usually. Mostly I find baking to be a pain with so many ingredients, and I really dislike the gums that are often used. I’ve become more accustomed to the texture and flavors of GF bakery, but it still doesn’t seem worth the effort/calories much of the time. I’ll just take some chocolate, thank you.

    I will semi-agree with #1, but only if you’re doing a one-to-one trade. Pasta is a luxury. For example, I’ve been moving the last couple of weeks and have eaten three loaves of bread whereas I would normally be depending on rice, sweet potatoes, corn tortillas, cornbread (baking success!), cream of buckwheat, etc. The bread is considerably more expensive than the alternative staples are, but much more convenient when your kitchen is in boxes! There is also the trade-up to brand names, i.e. advil vs store brand, when you don’t want to (or can’t) try to track down the manufacturer’s ingredient sources. On the other hand, I eat out far less than I did before and that is healthier for my budget.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with this. I’m a bit sad to hear that you don’t do much baking anymore – but it sounds like you’re doing just fine for the most part!

      And, I need to have my pasta – maybe it’s because I’m a runner and I am the stereotype! 🙂

  14. Anneli says:

    Thank you for sharing! I am trying to be vegan mostly because some of my family members have Alzheimer’s and through my reading I have learned that there is less incidence of this horrible disease in populations that eat a mostly vegan/ whole food diet. Recently (like in the past few weeks) my son who is 20 still at home until September was tested and found out he is allergic to cow’s milk, eggs, sesame, soy, and peanuts. We knew about the peanut, but, we couldn’t figure out what else was giving him the horrible stomach aches and diarrhea. So, now grocery shopping has become an even longer chore!! Reading all those miniscule ingredients (I need to bring a magnifying glass with me) what a pain! So, I’m basically trying to cook for us and shop for us avoiding all those items. Thank goodness we don’t have to avoid gluten too! I sometimes feel there would be nothing but fruits and vegetable left. So, I can imagine what you are going through trying to find recipes and food to eat, so, you can have some variety. Continue to post and share your journey as it helps encourage us all along!

  15. Roar Sweetly says:

    I am not gluten-intolerant, but I love this article…so honest and so practical. I am looking forward to reading your thoughts one year on. It’s really difficult to make such a change, and I am very inspired by your journey so far.

  16. krrichar says:

    PREACH! So proud of you for staying strong, especially through those ‘haters.’ It definitely becomes obnoxious when you see articles online or shows mocking the ‘gluten free’ lifestyle.

    Honestly, all I can think of is the fact that people are a little jealous that you can listen to your body, and despite what you are craving, despite what feels easier, and despite what you used to love, still overcome and eat what your body truly needs to feel right.

    I manage to eat gluten free without buying many GF substitutes, if you do that you can keep that grocery bill in check.

    PS why do you have to eliminate garbanzo bean flour??

    • Thank you! I had a food reactivity test as part of this and reacted really strongly to garbanzo beans. My doctor thinks it is something I likely can add back in to my diet in moderation in the future, but I have so much intestinal damage right now that I need to cut out all the irritants to heal. So, hopefully it will come back someday! I’d love some hummus!

  17. locutus08 says:

    You are quite correct that it is a major life transition, and you truly don’t realize how prevalent gluten is until you start reading labels and researching food. It is daunting, but does get easier. My partner and I have been eating gluten-free for the better part of the past year, in large part due to her health concerns. She is a major foodie as well, so the transition was particularly difficult on her cooking mojo! If you are looking for recipes and suggestions, feel free to check out her blog- http://whatifgourmet.com/ . I wish you all the best, and keep up the faith… the health impact has clearly already been profound for you, and it will continue to get better! In the end, I’m sure giving up gluten will allow you to continue move, eat, and create 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!

  18. cquek says:

    This was a really interesting post, thank you so much for sharing.

  19. Best wishes for you, and I hope this link helps you with your gluten-free budgeting:


  20. I witnessed the “people think you’re a pain” thing first hand. My friend has celiac and we were at another friend’s vacation house for the weekend. She used the toaster which had some crumbs from everyone else’s bread in it and some must have gotten on her gluten free bread. She didn’t realize it but after about an hour, she started getting bad stomach pains. People were like “Oh she’s just faking etc”. but her stomach was distended like she was 6 months pregnant! I don’t think you can fake that! She was so uncomfortable and the thought that these others were so insensitive to her made me fume!!

    Needless to say, I have a few less friends now…and that’s a good thing.

  21. I think that people who need to be gluten-free get all the bad mojo from the folks who refuse to get tested, but insist they have allergies. They could very well, but since they are choosing not to get medical care, it comes across as whining. On the other hand, if someone is feeling unwell and doesn’t know why, they might want to delay medical tests and try some strategies on their own. Wouldn’t it be nice if those folks would tell their friends and co-workers, “I’m going gluten-free for a month to see if it helps” instead of saying, “OMG, you can’t have bread in our shared office” – when they don’t have a diagnosis yet? Kind communication would make so much difference.

    • That is a great way to approach it. I guess in my experience, that is how it is generally approached. I haven’t really encountered the other kind, though I’m sure it happens. There’s always a broad spectrum!

  22. […] About That Going Gluten-Free Thing . . . 9 Observations From A Newly Diagnosed Gluten-Sensitive Eate… (moveeatcreate.com) […]

  23. inkabink says:

    Not sure if you need any help finding recipes, but I enjoy this blog a lot and paleo stuff tends to exclude gluten by definition: http://nomnompaleo.com/

    good luck from Eugene!

  24. I thankfully don’t have an actual gluten issue, well not a diagnosed one anyway. I tried going gluten free for a month, to “see if it made a difference”. And I must report that it certainly did! I felt lighter and clearer and all that good stuff. BUT I was just miserable without real bread. I tried all the fancy high end gluten free offerings and just found them nasty and don’t even get me started with the pasta!!

    I recently just completed a one month “Vegan Challenge” and believe me THAT was WAY easier than trying to be gluten free! I applaud your conviction!

  25. callmejagi says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I’ve been leading a G-free diet since I was 16 (24 now) and it was incredibly difficult because nobody really knew what it was or why I would ask so many questions at restaurants and especially bakeries. I would try to explain my condition and they would look at me like I was a weirdo! I hope people that read this post will understand how hard it is for us G-free eaters and how every meal you eat can determine the rest of your day (because of the discomfort that will cause if you eat something with gluten). For me even now everyday is a battle but knowing that there’s a lot more of us out there comforts me! ^.^

    Great post, really enjoyed it~

    • Thank you for sharing that with me! It sounds like you’ve done a fantastic job with the GF life. I hope I’ll continue to get the hang of it over time.

      • callmejagi says:

        Thank you ^.^ I promise you’ll get the hang of it eventually, it’s used to it that takes a while but your stomach will really appreciate it! Hope you are well~

  26. Red Hen says:

    Hi MEC! just letting you know that I`ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. There are certain requirements for this as you`ll see on my most recent post.

    Well done on giving up gluten. I should but I can`t do it just yet!

  27. Joanne says:

    I am SO SO SO glad that you have figured out what was wrong and are healing yourself! I can only imagine how hard it is but at least you have the resources to be able to still create delicious food for yourself!

  28. URBAN BAKES says:

    I’m really glad you wrote this post and am terribly sorry you have to go through these obstacles to try to basically survive. We all need to eat, right! It’s difficult for someone who does not have CD to understand the reality of struggles with one who has been diagnosed for this disease. I’ve studied dietetics in college so I am fully aware that celiac and gluten-free go hand-in-hand. But what I don’t understand is why this is a fad!?! In agreeance with No. 5, it urks me to hear people tell me/others that gluten is bad for you and when I ask, “oh yea, what scientific evidence have you read or heard from stating this fact,” they can’t answer. CD should not be taken lightly or be ridiculed by those who think you’re being a “pain in the ass” by asking questions of what’s in the product. You have to. With so many allergies/intolerance out there, it’s a shame people are not educated enough on this matter but at the same time, I can’t completely blame them either. Major food companies advertise items like yogurt as being gluten-free or water having 0 cal. Really?! No wonder why people think it’s bad. People who legitimately have this disease would have been educated on it by their MD or registered dietitian (RD) to know there’s no flour in yogurt! (just using this as an example) I could go on and on about this so I’ll stop here and tell you that I’m happy you’re feeling better even though this may be a daily struggle. And hey, if you make any gluten free desserts, I’ll be happy to read and try them as many of my friends are dietitians, they too would love to know to pass on to their patients 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment! As I start to get the hang of gluten free baking, I will certainly post some dessert recipes. I’m thinking about making a rhubarb crumble tonight, so we’ll see how it goes!

  29. sarahjmir says:

    Glad you shared this – a friend and her daughter have both recently had to switch to a gluten free diet and I know it has been very hard on them both. The little one is so much fun to feed – not picky at like most 18 month olds are but I do miss baking muffins for them so whenever you have the gluten free baking thing figured you will have a v eager disciple in me!

  30. shinyinlove says:

    I have to agree with you that GF peeps are great. I started being GF in Montana and it was a real challenge. It took me a while to get GF baking down but I feel pretty good about it now. Also, we lived in Portland for a year and I found it to be very GF friendly in comparison to small town Montana. Just keep up the drive to stay GF and it gets easier. Oh, and as for flour mixes, gluten free mama almond flour works pretty well as a substitute in regular recipes. You can buy it at new seasons. However, it’s price will encourage you to developer your own baking and cooking alternatives. Great blog by the way!

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I can’t eat almonds, either, so unfortunately almond flour isn’t an option for me. But, thank goodness for New Seasons! They are such a resource around here.

  31. Yes, it DOES get easier! I’ve been gluten-free for over a year now and, while the adjustment is a difficult one, you’ll find your stride in this new way of eating. And it will continue to be SO, so worth it. Good luck to you! 🙂
    -Emily K.

  32. This is a really great list and totally understandable! Going GF IS hard at first… and I felt many of your frustrations when my daughter was diagnosed with celiac two years ago and our family went GF (and, um, sometimes still do!) but with time it DOES get easier… and you will find your baking mojo again! It took me a while too, but I had no choice because my daughter has a sweet tooth, ha, and so does my husband. My advice is to start small, don’t go crazy trying to make your own flour blend. It took me a year to get that brave, though I know others who didn’t wait nearly that long 🙂 Be easy on yourself in all aspects. It’s smart and brave to take care of your body, especially in the face of so many challenges, but soon it will be second nature. Though the price of pasta and bread will always suck, doh. Best of luck to you!

  33. TasteThat! says:

    It’s truely amazing how diet affects our bodies, and how many of us I suspect have been basically poisoning ourselves for years. Feeling like you have that control back over your body is empowering. I too experienced headaches and migraines several times a week, as well as twingey pains in my side, gas/bloating, dry skin, and other things – all which virtually disappeared after cutting grains and dairy (among other things) from my diet. You don’t realize what feeling good is, until you realize that your baseline was feeling terrible!

  34. Just wondering if you have tried einkorn flour? I am gluten sensitive (not intolerant) and can handle einkorn without any symptoms – in fact I feel really good after I eat it. There is a lot of research on it but nothing conclusive yet – all I know is that I can eat it no problem and it is delicious! If you are gluten sensitive (and not intolerant) you may want to give it a look!

  35. Halo says:

    This really resonated with me. As someone who had to give up gluten about 3 years ago, I can empathize with all the reactions you’re going through! You are right though, it is totally worth it, this is your health at stake after all.

    Here’s another little note that may surprise you: some baking works out better gluten free. Not all of it, and yes it can be hard to make the switch when you’re used to batter and doughs reacting in a certain way and they no longer do, but stick with it! Prior to diagnosis I catered parties and events for friends, using wheat flour to make cupcakes etc. Post diagnosis, I still do, and the cupcakes I make score HIGHER on taste tests. It doesn’t seem like much, but having spent 3 years wondering whether my baking tasted “good for gluten free” or just “good”, it was a real relief!

    Wishing you the best of luck, and an absolute bucketload of patience to deal with supermarkets and people! Halo X

  36. I find a lot of similarities with me going vegetarian and cooking mostly vegan at home. It’s surprising how many things contain animal products. For me, the only way I have become less frustrated is to make time to cook whole foods, instead of trying to find substitutes for prepared foods. When I cook my own lentils, beans, and legumes I not only feel better but I am actually full! Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules” talk about eating real food, not food like substances ( things that are processed, shaped and colored to look like food. This has recently become a guiding principle for me. If I stick to whole foods, no frustration about ingredients or additives.
    Ultimately, it’s about what makes YOU feel healthier, so don’t let the naysayers or the eye rolls get to you!

    • Thank you so much and I agree with the similarities (I am plant-based, too). I eat mostly whole foods, but man, sometimes I just need some healthy crackers that someone else has made for me! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience.

  37. Veggie Kate says:

    I was going to say #9, then saw you said it first 😉 Hang in there! With anything, it’s setting new habits and new lifestyles. Great blog post – I’m sure others trying to begin going GF will find it helpful!

  38. Jim Brennan says:

    A great, honest and informative post. Best part of all is your health improvement. I was blown away being diagnosed with celiac almost five years ago, but find now that the gluten-free diet is definitely healthier. And, there are many more choices today than there were five years ago; the products are getting much better too. And, now I make my own bread; yeah, me, a guy.

    • I love that! I have made biscuits so far, but that’s all. I’ve been eyeing gluten free bread recipes, though, and will give it a go sometimes soon. The tough part is I can’t have yeast, either, so yeast free breads are a must. But, I think I’m up for the challenge!

  39. Thanks for writing this, I completely identified with each of your observations! I’ve been gluten-free for 7 months and I still feel like I’m adapting to the change. I remember almost fainting in public on the first week because my body felt weak and “hungry” for gluten, and yes, I totally get that feeling of being the annoying person who can’t eat like the rest of the crowd! It helps to be part of a community either online or in your city with people who know what you’re going through. However, it gets easier in time, and I actually enjoyed from the beginning the challenge of learning to bake with completely new ingredients. All in all, it get’s more fun once you’ve passed the first 2-3 months of despair!! Looking forward to seeing your new gluten-free recipes and don’t hesitate to stop by if you’re looking for some yeast-free, gluten-free (and grain-free while you’re at it) baked goods recipes.

  40. alinagk says:

    I’m vegan, and I have mild nut allergies. I can only imagine if I decide to go gluten free one day, then people will stop talking to me:)

    • Ha! It’s true. pretty much. I’m vegetarian and mostly vegan (I do eat things honey and will eat something if it’s served to me with an egg in it, for instance), and between that combination, it’s unreal the responses you get!

  41. halcyonandon says:

    Hello, lady! Thanks for liking my blog. I can totally relate to this, as I am a rare gluten-sensitive type with minimal intestinal symptoms. This makes it easy to sometimes feel like it must be all in my head, and people who question/criticize me will zero in on my lack of dramatic intestinal drama.

    However, after visiting many doctors and going through multiple g-f trials (now I’ve been free of it over a year) I can confidently say that I too am free of much of the misery you experienced. I used to have frequent crushing migraines and sinus infections, widespread muscle pain, heavy fatigue, depression and anxiety, perpetual “brain fog”, and an ever-increasing list of allergic reactions to things that had never bothered me before (detergent, shampoo, menstrual pads, cleansers…). It was only when I read that celiac and gluten intolerances sometimes have predominantly neurological forms that I thought to try cutting it for my headaches, and man. SO GOOD. I never realized how sub-par I felt before! It was like having spiderwebs cleared out from my brain, my eyes, my body.

    That’s why, when people hate on my gluten-free-ness, I don’t care. I eat what I want. And the way I see it is, even if I had NO HEALTH BASIS FOR NOT EATING GLUTEN WHATSOEVER, I could still choose to not eat it and nobody anywhere gets to have a say in that. People choose not to eat lots of different foods they could eat (dairy, lard, randm things they dislike) and that’s their business. Who cares why I don’t eat gluten?

    I DON’T.

    And I’m not sorry. 😉

  42. glyn50 says:

    Welcome to the gluten-free community! It does get easier, and once you figure out how to deal with the fact that most /nearly all the prepared foods in the gluten-free market make up for gluten with SUGAR (boo! hiss!) you’ll come to enjoy the lifestyle. Don’t give up. The reduction of joint pain alone is worth it. All the best to you, Glyn

  43. […] About That Going Gluten-Free Thing . . . 9 Observations from a Newly-Diagnosed Gluten-Sensitive Eate… : My personal thoughts and experiences in this still fairly new journey for me. […]

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