I haven't had anything with wheat or gluten in it for just over a week now, and either it's working, I am enjoying one HELL of a placebo effect, or coincidentally a lot of chronic health things decided to improve at once for unrelated reasons during my trial separation from All Things Wheaty.
So far I've stopped being bloated all the damn time (and I don't mean the kind of bloated where only I notice, I mean the kind of bloated where you consider calling in sick to work because you can't close any of your pants, even your Fat Pants, and finally you show up wearing maternity pants circa 2001), my eczema on my elbows that I consider A Part Of Life (it itches once in a while, and strong steroid creams will beat it back, as will systemic steroids...generally it doesn't bother me much and if this was the only change I noticed I'd probably have a grilled cheese sammich on the stove RIGHT NOW) is gone, my various aches and pains are much better than usual especially considering that it's super-cold out, and I have a little more energy than usual. Oh and I lost five pounds.
Originally I thought I'd try going wheatless for a week, but now I'm thinking I'll go a month just to see what else might improve and/or give my various ailments time to come back in case this is a random improvement thing.
With that in mind, I decided to investigate my options as far as bread goes...if this was just a week-long thing I'd stick with whole non-glutinous grains for my carbs (oats! sesame seeds! TEFF--if you haven't seen Teff yet you should check it out--it's the teeeeeniest little grain EVAR), but if I'm going to go a month I figure I might actually die without a grilled cheese sammich want the option of bread in case everyone else is having some with a meal. I've worked in hospital kitchens where they served gluten-free bread before, and it was dry, misshapen, awful-looking stuff. Being as how I like to bake, I thought I might just make my own bread, which would allow me to shape some of it into burger buns, dinner rolls, etc. (or so I thought). So far I've learned two things: 1) You don't shape gluten-free bread. GLUTEN-FREE BREAD SHAPES YOU! The lack of gluten means that you don't knead the stuff, you mix it, and you don't form it so much as pour it into pans. Bummer. 2) The various ground carbs you use in place of flour (rice, tapioca, potato, etc.) tend to be called "starch," not flour, which...well. Gluten-free crusaders bang on about how gluten = glue and OMG SO BAD FOR YOU, CELIAC OR NOT but starch is...well...starch...and I think the take-home lesson here is that bread/processed grain isn't so great for you. So I haven't actually baked any gluten-free bread yet, although I tried some gluten-free pancake mix and it was...surprisingly delicious! Possibly even preferable to regular pancakes.
I'm starting to get the sinking feeling that, like that time I started butchering my own meat, this will be one of the "MFA Mama being a dick about food" phases that turns into permanent changes in the way I eat.
But at least my pants fit.
How are all of YOU?