One of the things I never really wrote about was that I went almost 100% wheat-free for 3 months, from this past June through August. It wasn't because I thought I had a gluten allergy, but because I had researched that it may be possible for wheat to exacerbate the inflammation of endometriosis. As you may know, I underwent the laparoscopy to take care of that at the end of August, but I decided that I wanted to try an experiment for a few months prior to that to see if I noticed an alleviation of symptoms. But what everyone ELSE wanted to know when they found out I was doing this was either a) was I feeling more energetic? or b) was I losing a lot of weight?
The answer, after months of self-control in the face of desperate longing for a bite of a crusty baguette, ended up being: NEITHER.
It's not a very satisfying answer - and I wish I could tell you why - but my venture into the world of essentially gluten-free living resulted in not much at all in the way of tangible benefits, EXCEPT fortunately for the reduced pain I felt each month, which may have been worth it. I don't keep a scale, so I'm not sure if I lost any weight at all, but if I did it certainly wasn't dramatic enough for me to notice. I didn't feel lighter, more energetic or otherwise buoyed, but maybe those differences are something you'd only feel if you were affected by a gluten allergy. I generally eat quite healthy, so perhaps the fact that much of what I had available to me to eat was vegetables & fruit wasn't much of a change for my body. I don't know. I'd love to say I lost 15 pounds and felt amazing...but, meh.
It was incredibly hard, though, and all I kept thinking - what kept me going - was the fact that I WAS DOING THIS BY CHOICE. No doctor had told me to do this, no one was keeping me accountable for this, I was choosing each day to test my own willpower, and it was difficult...there were times I accidentally ate something that broke my plan (if you are looking, it is UNBELIEVABLE how much of our food contains wheat/gluten). But I can't imagine how much of a life adjustment it would be if I needed to do this in order to feel normal and healthy every single day, like it is for many people. Bravo to you, ladies and fellows, because those three months were an incredible challenge. Whole Foods was a lifesaver during that time, with the easy-to-spot labels for every single gluten-free item in the store. Very helpful.
Now I'm toying with incorporating more vegan meals into my diet for other reasons (health, ethics) and am hoping to get to a point where I am eating about 30% vegan, 60% vegetarian, 10% fish and organic local (when possible) lean meat. It certainly looks healthy, doesn't it? But I have to get more active about experimenting with greens and legumes, and I am definitely planning to dive into my very underused resource:
...Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is one GIANT (752 pages!) book full of simple and unexpected ways to cook just about any vegetable you can think of. I plan to use it a lot in these next months, because I think it can help me take a little more ownership of the way food works for us in the SarcomHaus. Excited!