The more I research the different symptoms I have with my stomach, the more I am leaning toward gluten as being the final culprit in my long attempt to settle my tummy issues once and for all. So far, I have cut out all meat and pretty much all dairy (except for the occasional sprinkle of cheese on my bowl of potato soup!), and I have severely limited my caffeine and sugar intake. So my next step in finding out what all the doctors haven't been able to tell me is to try going gluten free - for awhile anyway.
This week, the plan is to eat completely gluten free in an attempt to give my tummy a break, try to pinpoint if that is indeed the case of my tummy problems, and to see if one actually CAN live without gluten. As I have said before, I don't mind giving up meat one bit, because I've never really been just crazy about the taste anyway. But homemade bread, on the other hand, is a different story all together! When I make a loaf and the smells begin to fill my entire house, I just long for the moment when it emerges from the oven and I can cut off that first heel slice, slather it in butter, and chow down! I love bread with my winter soups and with my everyday lunch sandwiches. We have biscuits with supper on occasion, and I sometimes fix toast with our breakfast. Several times each week, I make waffles and muffins for breakfast. I LOVE chocolate/chocolate chip/banana muffins made with half white and half whole wheat flour! The smell is intoxicating! And a homemade waffle slathered in peanut butter and drizzled with honey is just fantastic!
I have no idea how I am going to make it this week without eating these delicious foods! Bread is a comfort food to me, and it's a good filler. If I'm still a little hungry after eating, a slice of toast to finish off the meal usually does the trick. Plus, I have been making homemade cookies with the kids lately, and of course I want to try one when they are finished cooking! So I am not really sure how I am going to be able to resist the temptation. But I am going to try my best!
Last night we went grocery shopping. So in addition to all my veggie foods, I stopped by the gluten free section to see what was offered. I have never really given much more than a glance at those shelves up to this point, but last night I just stood there and looked at each and every item. I couldn't buy one of everything, and didn't really want to, for that matter. If they tasted terrible, I didn't want to waste a ton of money on things that would end up being thrown away. So I chose two packages of noodles, a few bags of different types of flour (brown rice and sorghum), a bag of gluten free oats, and one package of mixed flours that will make some yummy french bread. Hoping that bread looks as good in person as it does on the box! So I am now set for the week.
I started on this first attempt today. I call this my first attempt, because it seems that everything I try, as far as my diet goes, takes a few tries before I fully commit to it. I'm hoping that won't be the case with this, but I'm leaving myself a way out just in case! This morning for breakfast, I had cereal. That's pretty normal for me. But when we went shopping last night, I picked up a few boxes of Chex cereal, because most of their cereal is labeled gluten free. YAY for cereal! Topped with some delicious rice milk, I was set. For lunch, I made a crock pot full of cheesy potato soup. By the time we got home from church, it had the house smelling GOOD! This is generally a meal I would LOVE to have a slice of homemade bread with, because cheesy potato soup just SCREAMS "Eat me with bread!" BUT, I resisted. I ladled out a bowl for me and added some vegan cheese to it, topped it with a little veggie "sausage" (from Morningstar Foods), and I had a great lunch! I was actually glad I skipped the bread, because, after eating a whole bowl of that filling goodness, I was stuffed! But my tummy didn't hurt after eating, which is unusual. For supper tonight, I am making quinoa stuffed bell peppers. I'm using the recipe on the quinoa box, and it looks very yummy. It's vegan and gluten free, so we have a win-win meal here! And I'm planning to broil some fish for the rest of my bunch. All in all today, my tummy feels much better. No gluten for just one day has made a difference. I am hoping that, by the end of a week, I will be able to tell a tremendous difference!
My attempt will be to blog about my week at least every few days to tell things like how I feel, if I can see any changes, the different types of foods I am choosing, and anything else that comes up. Also, I'll let you know how those gluten free pastas really taste, and if the french bread turns out great or if it's a bomb! If you have any great gluten free cracker or bread recipes, PLEASE leave me a comment and include the recipe! I need all the help I can get right now.