I know that sounds kind of awful, but it really isn’t. There are pretty darn good substitutes for just about everything…except cheese. There are days when I would punch somebody in the mouth for a piece of havarti. I know there’s no logical connection between those two things – well, unless somebody had a piece of havarti and wouldn’t give it to me. I guess then my only recourse would be to punch them in the mouth.
But I digress. I mostly wanted to throw this post up here to update people about what I’m eating. Not that I think concerns about my diet occupy a central place in your lives, but because, in the event that you invite me over for dinner, I don’t want to have to turn down your famous four cheese baked macaroni. DANG, that sounds good right now.
I also want to make it clear that I don’t expect everyone to cook all kinds of crazy things for me at big gatherings. The only thing I need to know is what’s going to be there, so I can plan ahead and bring some extra options for myself if need be. I have the whole hippie food aisle at Albertson’s to choose from, after all. And most of Whole Foods.
So why am I doing this to myself?
Well, the short version of how I got here is that I gave up dairy, gluten, and a few other things in my diet temporarily, and I noticed that a side effect was that I no longer got horrible stomachaches. Understand, I thought it was normal to eat, then have to lie down because of stomach pain. I never thought it was out of the ordinary because it was ordinary for me.
To sum up, I had some tests done, confirmed that these items were causing me problems, and started phasing them both out on a more permanent basis.
I know there’s some controversy concerning the validity of gluten free. Some people think it’s just a trend, while others swear by it. In my case, I’m not convinced it’s for everyone and I’m not going to be offended if you eat bread in front of me. I might jump at you, pry it from your fingers, and run away screaming with it, but I won’t be offended.
All joking aside, though, I can’t deny the results – I avoid it, I feel better. After dealing with a cranky gut for my entire adult life, I’m okay with this diet.
Another side effect I’ve noticed is that I have more energy. My runs are faster, and I recover from them more quickly than I used to. Could it be psychological? I’m open to that, but I doubt it. The parachute of fatigue that used to follow me everywhere is all but gone. That, combined with the happier stomach, is definitely enough to keep me away from gluten and dairy (although I should add here that a little butter is okay).
But if you can’t have gluten and dairy, WHAT THE HECK DO YOU EAT?
Great question. I’m glad you asked!
Here are my current fave foods (and stuff that’s just naturally okay, anyway):
- Sushi. The perfect takeout food, and there is (of course) gluten free soy sauce. No problem.
- Chipotle chicken tacos, corn shell, guacamole and pico de gallo. ‘Nuff said.
- Rice pasta with Ben’s famous (or it should be) meat marinara.
- Petunia’s Pies and Pastries – they make the best thin mint brownie. Catch her at the PSU Farmer’s Market every Saturday! <end commercial>
- Baked. Salmon. (I just drooled a little.)
- Sandwiches made with Rudy’s Gluten Free Bread, lightly toasted.
- Café Yumm sauce on a bowl of rice with avocado, tomato, cilantro, pinto beans, and olives.
- SALAD!! Which is no sacrifice, since I loved salad anyway.
- Chocolate coconut ice cream.
- PF Chang’s gluten free Shanghai street noodles.
- Pizzicato’s gluten free pizza, pomodoro style (topped with marinara, kalamata olives, artichokes, chicken, onion, and tomatoes).
- STEAK. I can have steak and potatoes.
- Cinnamon rolls with frosting from a freakishly awesome bakery in McMinnville (the name of which escapes me at the moment). That’s right. Cinnamon rolls.
- Burgers and fries. Pretty much any barbecue fare, provided marinades are GF.
- Baked asparagus and other glorious veggies. Hey, I see you making that face. Lay off. I like veggies.
- Omelettes and hash browns.
- Chili and GF cornbread.
- Soy mochas and lattes.
- PEANUT BUTTER. The most perfect food ever invented.
- Salt and vinegar Kettle Chips. Oh man.
- And last, but not least, Jesus’s first miracle – wine. I bet it was Chianti. I know the Chianti region is in Italy, but he’s God. He totally could’ve made Chianti if he wanted to.
So yes, it’s kind of hard, but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. There are hard moments, like when I walk by the specialty cheeses at New Seasons (tear), but I’m learning to deal.
And who knows? At some point, my stomach might heal up and decide to let me reincorporate a little bit of gluten and dairy back into my diet.
In the meantime, see you in the hippie aisle.