Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year's Resolve

My New Year's resolution started just over a week early this year. I decided to try eating gluten free for a while.

See, my Mom discovered a few years ago that she is sensitive to gluten and can't have any. And these things do tend to run in the family. I decided to give it a go and see if it can't help my eczema at all. I've had eczema to varying degrees of severity for most of my life and I'm just getting very, very tired of it all. Especially since I started having children and it spread to my hands and (worst of all) the tips of my fingers. When the pads of your fingers are cracked and bleeding and your nail is starting to lift off the nail bed, you are ready to try anything.

So, as we packed the car and settled in for the five hour drive to my parent's house for Christmas, I mentioned to Cory that I thought I would try eating gluten free while we were there, since I knew my Mom would be cooking most things GF already.

It wasn't that bad. Since it was the holidays my Mom kept the house stocked with delicious GF treats - blueberry cobbler, pumpkin pudding, rhubarb custard cake - and lots of ice cream to top it with! The hardest part was actually being surrounded by all the Christmas chocolate and not being able to partake.

But I got through. Mom had cooked a wonderful Christmas goose, which was fantastic. Gravy was thickened with brown rice flour, the stuffing was made with gluten-free bread, and there were lots of desserts I could eat.

Now that we're home, it's not very difficult when I'm cooking. When I planned my menu for the week I barely even thought about choosing gluten free foods. Since so much is naturally GF already, a few very small substitutions will suffice. Use brown rice pasta instead of wheat, thicken sauces with brown rice flour or arrowroot instead of wheat flour, and check the labels on any bottled sauces to make sure they haven't snuck any wheat into them (soy sauce and worchestershire you have to watch for).

HOWEVER, today was my first real challenge. I made our breakfast at home, "breakfast bowls" (just sausage, onion, diced tomato, basil, and beaten eggs all tossed into a bowl, topped with cheese and baked - YUM), and then like every Sunday we went to lunch at a friend's house. She had made a beautiful chicken pot pie. Of course pie is very much out of the question, so for lunch I ate some green beans and a very large helping of salad. It was delicious, and no doubt very healthy, but it was difficult smelling that pie. Dessert came out - platters of cookies and squares and an elegant trifle. I thought about nabbing a rice crispy square to munch on since I was feeling a bit left out, but I reminded myself that I really don't even like rice crispy squares and I refrained.

We left lunch and went to another friend's house for supper (this isn't a usual occurrence, just so happened to be a busy day!). She had made a lovely roast beef dinner with potatoes and peas and carrots. I was happy to be able to eat everything, though I gazed rather longingly at the gravy that I couldn't have.

Dessert was the most difficult moment of the day. A large, homemade, chocolate swirl cheesecake. Cheesecake is my favourite. It was even gluten free! Oh the humanity! I had to steel myself internally and remind myself of why I gave up chocolate in the first place. I remembered how awful the migraine headaches are, and how I'm completely unable to function when one has hit me hard. I tasted a tiny corner of Eli's piece that didn't have any chocolate swirled into it, and let that be enough.

And now? I'm home and devouring corn chips and homemade black bean dip with a relish. I sort of felt like I had earned it after having to hold back all day. And I didn't even mention the New Year's Eve party at the church! Thank God for corn chips.

It's been nine whole days since I ate any gluten. My eczema has not improved, exactly, but it stopped getting worse. Part of me wants this to work so that I don't have to deal with cracked fingers anymore. Another part of me wants it to not work so I can go back to eating yummy gluten!

I will keep you updated...


  1. I also began eating gluten free a few weeks ago! I have noticed that my frequent sinus headaches have stopped so, for now, I'm going to keep on with it! We are also dairy free, so it makes things a little trickier, but it is so nice to see a blogger I follow on the same journey as me!

    Have a blessed evening! :)

  2. We have most meal gluten free (we are not a gluten free family, just like fruits and veggies and brown rice and a little bit of meat in our diet, bread and pasta are just for rare occasion)I have eczema too and it got worse with each pregnancies, I cut milk product out and switch to almond milk instead and seen a huge improvement,

    So I guess I was allergic to milk (eczema for most cases are related to some allergen)

    Hoping your will start to improve soon :-)

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