The -free Diet

I realized today that I am starting week 3 of being gluten-free and dairy-free.  What happened to egg-free?  I’m adding those back in this weekend.  I’ll likely stay dairy-free except for occasions when we’re out and it can’t be avoided.  Or I just want cheese, even if it does make me phlegmy.  I also realized that I’m not missing a lot being gluten-free and won’t be too upset if I do react badly when I start adding it back in my diet.

The fact that I went sugar-free, refined-free, and processed-free helped with going gluten-free.  There are more processed and refined foods with gluten in them than we realize.  You can’t just look for the wheat, oats, spelt, kamut, rye, and barley.  It’s in a lot of things that we don’t even realize.  Sauces.  Flavorings.  Colorings.  Salad dressing.  So, taking all that out already opened the door to make it easy for me to try going gluten-free for a few weeks.  There is freedom in -free diets.

I shared a few weeks ago about my caving in and getting a burger, onion rings, and cherry limeade from Sonic and how I felt the next day.  I’ve been thinking about something my friend, Masaru, said when I was talking about how I felt after that cheat – “Your body forgot how to handle it.”  Did my body forget how to handle it?  Really?  I don’t recall my body reacting the same way after not having a banana for 3 months.  Or brussel sprouts.  Or corn.  Or grapes.  No, I believe Masaru was wrong.  Sorry, Masaru.  My body reacted that way because it knew it wasn’t supposed to have it.  That it was toxic for me.  That the food I cheated with doesn’t talk to my body the way whole foods does.  Something for me to remember the next time I want to cheat like that.

Oh yes, I’m sure I’ll cheat now and then.  But, I won’t go overboard and it won’t be a continual cheat.  It will be interesting to see how I handle going on vacation and eating out a lot.  Good times.  As it is, the times I’ve been out to eat, it’s hard to figure things out.  This last Tuesday, I went to a lunch meeting with my boss, a co-worker, and a woman we are collaborating with from ITT’s new Nursing program.  Really the only thing I knew I could be good with on the menu was a salad.  The waitress takes our order.  “I’ll have the 1979 salad.  No cheese.  No croutons.  No dressing.”  There was a chorus of “wows” around the table.  Cheese=dairy.  Croutons=refined, processed, and gluten.  Salad dresssing=anyone’s guess.  I’m sure I could have asked the waitress to find out what was in it.  But, I eat salads without dressing a lot anyway.  Plus, there was ham and green olives in the salad.  It wasn’t totally bland.

I’m excited to see what happens in a week and will definitely share the results.  Even the results this weekend of adding eggs back in.   I’m hoping it will be one less -free that I need to be.