Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My New Life

Well, a lot has happened in my life over the past month. My chiropractor had been encouraging me to get tested for Celiac disease/gluten intolerance for quite some time. I finally got tested and found out that I do have Celiac Disease. Exactly one month ago I began a gluten free lifestyle.

At first, it was a bit overwhelming. But I am embracing this as a gift from God. I am so thankful that I was diagnosed. I am also extremely grateful that I am feeling so much better. My whole body is responding to not having gluten in my body. The first thing that I noticed was that my fatigue is gone. I have enough energy to make it through the day with out a nap anymore. My stomach doesn't hurt all day long and I just feel soooo much better.

Little by little I am figuring out this whole thing. I started by finding all the things that I could naturally eat that didn't have gluten in them. We ate a lot of chicken, rice, veggies, fruit and tacos for awhile. Then I found some yummy gluten free bread, bagels and flour. After my sweet husband made a delicious roast using ingredients that contained gluten (by accident), I decided that we needed to make a gluten free kitchen.

I spent an entire afternoon reading every ingredient on every product in my kitchen. I found out that the non-stick spray I used on my gluten free cookies had wheat in it. Whoops! I pulled out the soy sauce, bread crumbs, all soups, crackers, pasta, graham cracker crumbs, some spaghetti sauce, some spices, onion soup mix and a bunch more products. I ended up giving almost all of it away.

I had to wipe down everything in the kitchen that had wheat flour on it (ie, the mixer, all the drawers, all cooking utensils). Then I had to go shopping and get my own butter dish (the other one is contaminated with crumbs), cutting boards, squeeze bottle for mayo. I had to get new baking dishes that will bake gluten free food better. Slowly I am getting gluten free ingredients in my kitchen. I never in a million years thought that I would have agave nectar, xanthan gum, tapioca flour, and a bunch of other stuff like that in my kitchen. Here are some pictures of my newly organinzed kitchen.

A couple of my dear friends gave me some gluten free cook books. I have read through two and a half of them and have gotten a bunch of yummy (I hope) recipes. Yesterday I spend the morning reading through recipes and meal planning for the month of August. As well as planning for some delicious desserts. I am enjoying finding great meals that my children and husband love that look and taste great, but are safe for me as well. Here are two dinners that I made that were great and gluten free. I am loving eating healthier and being healthier.

Rotissery chicken, rice and artichoke. Yummo!

These mozzarella sticks and chicken fried steak and gravy are all gluten free. And they taste good too.

Delicious gluten free bread with home made strawberry jam.


Jen Bauer said...

You are amazing, Sarah! I think the only way to do it is just to completely change your eating lifestyle and if your family is on board to do it too, it makes it much easier. Glad you are feeling better:)

bekkielynn said...

I honestly don't know 1 solitary thing about Celiac Disease? Can you tell me about it? What are the symptoms? I am just trying to self-diagnose. Recently they tested my thyroid because i am so tired and have stomach pain.......but it was fine. Hmmmm.....

Sarah Kuhner said...

Sure I'll tell you about Celiac Disease. The main symptoms for Celiac is diarrhea, bloating, gas, and fatigue. When a person with this eats anything with gluten in it damage to the intestines occurs. It causes malnutriion since you can't absorb nutrients. There are also people with allergies to gluten. They have reactions that are sudden and more pronounced. This is rare. Then there is an intolerance to gluten (10-15% of US). These reactions may be delayed and are usually more subtle. It can cause nasal congestion and stuffiness, fatigue, "brain fog", headaches or migraines, stomachaches, rashes, achy joints, and other things. I had most of that too. Once off all gluten those symptoms are (have) disappeared and I feel so much better. You can have a blood test for Celiac and there is a new one that tests for gluten intolerance too. The best test is a biopsy of the intestine. But if you go off of gluten and feel great, then you know what the problem is. Most people feel much better being gluten free! Hope this helps. Keep going until you find the answer. It took me years and years since I just kept ignoring it or just tryed to find out what was causing my fatigue and didn't mention the "embarrassing" symptoms. Sarah