Friday, January 18, 2013

Another Simple Challenge

A friend sent me a message after reading my blog several weeks ago ... one that really made me think.  He shared his experience with IBS and the relief that living a gluten-free life has brought him and his wife, who has PCOS (read more about their experience here).

While I'm certainly open to try anything that will help, I was a bit skeptical.  I'd tried going gluten-free in the past with no real results (only a two week try - and honestly, I don't think I did it right).  The same day I received the message from my friend, Matt came home from work and said "I think we should give gluten-free another try."  Where the heck did that come from??!!  He proceeded to tell me he had been researching.  Now ... if you know Matt, you know this is really not like him.  He's very laid back and goes with the flow, especially when it comes to what I cook.  So ... with him on my side, we embarked on the adventure ... another challenge to simplify.

My parents went gluten-free about four months ago, hoping to improve their energy and relieve my dad in some way as he deals with fibromyalgia.  They've seen amazing results!!  Same with another friend who has raynauds.  She gave up gluten in December and has only had one attack since!  So what about IBS?  Would it make a difference? (a little more about my IBS story here)

The answer: Yes.  It's been two weeks and I haven't had this much energy in a LONG time.  It's not a cure, but things are definitely not as bad - maybe because I'm getting a ton more fibre using alternative flours.  We also eat a ton of fruit and veggies ... and natural, simpler meals.  I've been researching and the more I learn about digestion, the more it makes sense.  It's certainly a lifestyle change to give up any food - it's not easy ... but it's certainly easier than being diagnosed with bowel cancer ... and that's what I keep reminding myself.

I've found such a wealth of resources and gluten-free products - I honestly don't feel deprived at all!  I hope to post what I learn as I go ... and share all my favourites!  One I've shared already - Meatless Baked Tacos ... they are a real crowd pleaser!  Another resource that has been amazingly helpful is this list of gluten-free ingredients.  This morning I made King Arthur Flour's Gluten Free Brownie Mix, and while I haven't tried any other brands just yet, these are amazingly gooey and good!  You can't tell they're gluten-free at all.  I would say you could even take them to a get-together ... just so you're sure there's a treat you can eat. :)

King Arthur Flour offers many gluten-free mix options, as well as Bob's Red Mill and Trader Joe's - even some of the popular brands are getting their foot in the door, like Bisquick and Betty Crocker, but READ the label ... sometimes they sneak in extra sugar.  Usually companies have posted on their website the gluten contents of their products - there hasn't been one I haven't been able to find.  Restaurants are also expanding their menus to suit this lifestyle.  Chipotle is completely gluten-free except their tortillas.  Boston Pizza offers both gluten-free pizza and pasta.  Exciting stuff!

And what's even more exciting?  I've found a small community of girls in my area that are interested in cutting back their meat and wheat consumption and generally include more nutrient-rich foods as they feed their families. We've decided to form a little group to share and encourage each other.  Our first meeting is in a couple weeks and I can't wait!! :)

I know my body will still go through changes until it fully detoxes from wheat.  I'm excited though ... gluten-free, meat-free seems to be helping!!  I'm so thankful to my friend for his encouragement and to Matt for his support.  It has definitely made a difference ...


  1. I'm excited for you. We have recently heard IBS and Crohn's disease tossed around as a "down the line" diagnosis for our littlest one, and so I've already started thinking about what I can do now for me family that may become a necessity down the road. I'll look forward to more of your recipes and following along as you embark on this journey.

  2. Congratulations, I am glad to hear that it is going well so far.