I'm still tweaking my diet, but here are a few solid conclusions:

Gluten = bad for me - it makes me very sick. You do not want details.
Peppers (chili peppers, bell peppers, red peppers, cayenne) = even worse than gluten - oh, my goodness, the rash, the swelling, the inflammation, the nausea.
Sugar = bad for me - sadly, this one gives me mood swings and increases my hunger.
Nightshades - bad for me - related to peppers (most peppers are nightshades) but not all nightshades are so severe. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, paprika, and pimentos appear to give me eczema.

Still up for debate:

I've been eating all of those, and clearly something is still not right. At the moment I'm eliminating pork, to see if that's the culprit. I hope that's the culprit, because I don't want it to be any of the others...
zellandyne: (Default)
( Aug. 3rd, 2009 10:45 am)
Seems like lots of my friends are trying the gluten free lifestyle these days, so here are a few of the tricks, tips, and items I've found really useful:
  • Leftovers - I always make enough for leftovers, because having something quick to eat for lunch or a snack the next day is priceless
  • Tinkyada Gluten Free Pasta - this is a godsend. I love the macaroni, the penne, and the fettucini. The texture on thinner noodles doesn't quite work for me. Always, cook it for a couple of minutes less than the package says. Stir regularly.
  • Amy's Gluten Free frozen meals - Wholefoods carries them, so do some Safeways near me. Pricey, but safe. Mac n Cheese is the best.
  • Trader Joe's Gluten Free Boxed Mac and Cheese - it even has dayglo orange cheese sauce!
  • Rice flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum
  • Using rice flour and egg, you can make onion rings, fried fish, fried chicken, etc - and it will taste as good as the gluteny stuff
  • Gluten free baked goods are always better toasted
  • Wholefoods has a whole gluten free baked goods refrigerated section
  • Quinoa is a great alternative to couscous
  • Almond flour is great, but most store brands are too grainy and need to go through a food processor. Buying online can be a lot better.
  • Cream of buckwheat - for those who like hot cereals, this is a good choice

Websites with good gluten free recipes:
Elana's Pantry - gluten free and mostly sugar free - she uses agave nectar and lots of almond flour
Karina's Kitchen/Gluten Free Goddess - some great stuff here, also vegetarian
Gluten Free Mommy - some nice recipes here
Gluten Free Girl - has some interesting stuff, but I mostly use it as a starting off point and do my own modifications

Since November, when I began the elimination diet I have:
Slept better
Had more energy
Had much less stomach upset
Had fewer headaches
Had clearer skin
Gotten rid of a rash on my neck and chest that I thought was acne
Had less congestion
Had less itchy ears (my ears used to itch all the time)
Lost weight without much effort at all

I think this is made of win. In exchange for these benefits I merely need to refrain from eating:
Gluten in all forms
Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc (they give me migraines)
Tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant (they give me eczema - I will compromise on this one occasionally)
Sugar (gives me UTIs - no fun at all)

I'm still not sure about:

All in all, that's not too bad. Eating out is complicated, because restaurants frequently don't understand. Even when they try to accommodate they sometimes forget things, like that alfredo sauce is made with flour, so even if you replace the pasta with risotto, there will be a problem. It requires hyper vigilance on my part. In this endeavor, my natural OCD (which I have now had diagnosed - so, yes, I do have OCD as I always suspected) comes in handy.

As far as the weight loss, I have lost the 20 pounds I gained since I moved to the bay in summer 2007. I intend to continue losing weight and getting back to the shape I was in before the tonsillitis of doom. That would be another 17 pounds. We'll see if that's viable or not. As is, I've lost twenty pounds over 7 months, which seems like a good and healthy pace to me.

It's nice to feel healthy for a change!

20 / 20 pounds. 100% done!
zellandyne: (health 2)
( Jan. 22nd, 2009 01:04 am)
[livejournal.com profile] amoken and I baked cookies tonight. Short bread cookies, using a combination of rice flour, millet flour, sorghum flour, and tapioca flour. For the sweetener, agave nectar. For the butter, ghee (which is butter with the milk solids removed). For the binding agent, xanthan gum (so that [livejournal.com profile] krchicken can eat them - speaking of which, I have cookies for you, [livejournal.com profile] krchicken).

Result? Surprisingly pleasant. They're sweet and crumbly, as short bread should be. Rich, as well. The texture is a little bit weird, but I think that's the xanthan gum, which, to be fair, [livejournal.com profile] simransmiles warned me would be the case. Her recommendation, which I will take next time, would be to use an egg instead.

Even with the current texture, they taste good. They would make an excellent crumb topping for a berry cobbler, so perhaps I'll bake one of those this weekend.

I am pleased.

Tomorrow, I test goat cheese. Hope, hope, hope that I can tolerate it. I would dearly love cheese in my life again.
I am feeling much better. My sleep - which was very restless, is improving. My energy in the morning is just amazingly better than it was. I'm not hopping excitedly out of bed, but I feel capable of getting up and getting stuff done. So, good.

Also, I am clearly sensitive to something I'd been eating on the diet. Not sure if it's the rice cakes or the nut butter I ate for breakfast every day in early December, but it's certainly one of those two.

And, in other news, my gradual weight loss continues. Here's the progress I've made towards my prefered goal since I started this diet (which was not originally intended for weight loss) shortly before Thanksgiving:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11 / 20
While in LA with my folks I was able to stay on diet pretty well - broke for Christmas day, but that was it. And my mother made a definite effort to have food on hand for me that I could eat. I had an adverse reaction to chocolate again - I break out and get headaches. She actually noticed the breaking out, asked if that was a reaction to something I ate, and really just was much more supportive than I expected. That was heartening. My father was actually also a lot more supportive than I expected about the diet (he is usually very anti-alternative medicine).

In Wisconsin with Navarre's family it was much, much harder. They really didn't seem to understand that no dairy meant no, I could not eat hashbrowns with cheese on them. And no, I really could not have chocolate chip cookies which contain wheat, eggs, sugar, butter, and chocolate - all of which are on the no fly list. I found myself in a corner where I had to eat some strange oreo-cookie mashed up with cream cheese thing his brother's fiancee made if I was to avoid offending her. And then I did have alcohol on NYE.

So, I was not able to stay on diet. I tried. And we limited how much I broke the diet. But. The last three days I've woken up feeling as fatigued as I was before the diet started. Getting out of bed has been torture and it takes me several hours to get going.

This is actually kinda good. It confirms that the diet did make a change, and this onset of fatigue is much more drastic evidence than the slow improvement I got when I started. This also means that something I ate while in Wisconsin is definitely the culprit. So, it's either wheat, dairy, sugar, or alcohol. I'm really hoping it's not dairy...


zellandyne: (Default)


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