Monday, February 23, 2009

Gluten free pit falls

When I first went gluten free I had been sick for a long time. Every piece of food I put in my mouth made me sick. Teetering on the brink of insanity, wondering how much longer I could stand never feeling good. Doctors didn't seem to help. They had no answers. I was getting desperate.
Finally, I would drive home from work each night and talk to God. I said I needed answers, that I didn't care what was bothering me, but I had to know. I prayed for answers.
So, after another show down with my doctor (You know the kind where you insist there's something wrong and the doctor offers you Valium-or whatever the latest anti anxiety drug is-and you tell the doc its not nerves, there's really something wrong...etc) Okay, then I kinda yelled at him because I really felt he wasn't listening. When I said that even bread made me sick he stopped and said that magic word; Celiac.
Two weeks later I'm mastering the diet and feeling better. (Not great, but definitely better.) And then I discovered ...FOOD!
Something I haven't really enjoyed in years. And I found out a most dangerous thing; Breyer's Ice Cream. (Check the label but most flavors are GF.) And those Whole Foods GF cookies. The more I explored the gluten free land the more I found I could eat safely. However, safe did not always equal healthy. Lots of the GF foods were high in sugar and fat and calories.
Through out the whole time I was sick I still had a problem with weight. I often wondered how I could be so sick all the time and still not lose weight. My new doc had a theory on this one; Starvation mode. Since food made me sick, Whenever my tummy was upset (like any day that ended with a Y)I would go all day without eating and basically starve myself until I was safely home. So, the human body, wondrous creation that it is, held onto the calories because it thinks it's starving.
Hmmm, could be possible? I've read that bodybuilders eat six or eight times a day to maintain their energy. Could this be a key? And if so, how long does it take the body's metabolic clock to recalibrate into a fat burning machine?
Are you a Celiac who needs to shed a few pounds? Tell me your weightloss secrets!


stormydirector said...

I COMPLETELY relate! I was in the hospital for about 5 months -literally couldn't eat or drink a thing (not even a sip of water!) from November to April! The only thing I ate, despite how I barfed it up right after, was the weekly sacrament -a sip of water and a crust of bread.

My doctors did end up telling me it was in my head and I yelled at them that it wasn't. I pulled the IV out of my arm and checked myself out of the hospital. When my doctor threatened that I would die if I went home, I told him I'd rather die in my family's company than his.

Two months later, one blessed doctor didn't give up on me and randomly checked for Celiac. Like you, I was quickly on the road to recovery. Same story...after not eating for five months, my attitude was "it's not what I can't eat, it's what I CAN eat!".

Oddly, during my starvation period, I didn't lose a single ounce! I was extremely overweight and no one could explain it. Then the minute I start eating like a Celiac, the pounds are just dropping. I've lost over 50 pounds since my diagnoisis two years ago and it's still coming off.

For me, when I really want to trim down, I eliminate all dairy and sugar. I can only tolerate those in tiny bits anyways so it's not hard to let them go for awhile. I usually eat rice and eggs, fruits and vegetables when I'm wanting to slim down. I usually snack on GF tortilla chips and homemade salsa.

I've never been a fan of bread so when I was told I had to eliminate it, I was fine with that. I've found that I'm naturally averted to the things I'm allergic to. So I have to listen to my body. Any time I have a craving and go "against my gut" I regret it.

I'm not big on exercise, so the weight loss is definitely associated with my diet. I eat a lot, I'm a lover of food, but I find that when I've eaten something I'm allergic to (whether I know it or not), I do the same thing and avoid food. I realized last night that I hadn't eaten in two days -the thought of food just made me feel sick. And that's not like me.

Yeah, when I eat less, I gain more. And when I eat more of what I'm supposed to, I lose pounds.

Perhaps you could try focusing on fruits and veggies (sounds basic, I know!) and make your main courses out of eggs. I tend to eat the same kinds of foods, I just learn to prepare them in a thousand different ways.

Omelettes, fried eggs, scrambled, eggs benedict, soft boiled, hard boiled...Add some sauteed veggies like onion, squash, zucchini, bell peppers, green onion, and then learn the beautiful secrets that your spice cupboard holds and you will discover a world that is just as delicious and satisfying as it is healthy.

Hope this helps!

Aimless Writer said...

When I first read your post my main thought was "Here's a person who understands me!"
Starvation mode is normal for me if I want to have a life.
I'm also a very finicky eather. (Imagine that?) I don't like eggs, peppers or anything spicy. But taking it down to the basics sounds like a good idea. I'm trying to eat something every two hours or so to try to speed up my metabolism. Its hard. I think I'm a food-a-phobic! lol
All those eggs! Do you eat meat?