So here we are, two months after going gluten free and there have been some updates. Six weeks after going completely gluten free and I was doing great. I was sticking to it even though I missed regular bread like crazy. I also felt sooo much better! I wasn't completely exhausted at the end of the day and just in general, felt like I had more energy. It was an interesting experience to get our diet changed to accommodate this. Lots and lots of label reading taught us that so many things have traces of wheat in them. With the holidays coming up, any type of cream soup was out. Not my hash brown and green bean casseroles! I mentioned this to a woman I work with who's son has celiac disease and she gave me a great alternative. Later that week I found a similar thing on Pinterest so I tweaked them both a bit and made my own mixture of, what I call, my Cream of Whatever soup. It's a bit more work then just opening a can but I like knowing exactly what's in our food so no mystery chemicals and I think it has a bit more flavor as well.
Jen's Cream of Whatever Soup Mix:
2 cups non-fat powdered dry milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup instant low sodium instant chicken bouillon flakes
2 tbsp dried onion flakes
Combine all ingredients into a large plastic storage bag and mix well. I wrote the directions on the outside of the bag so it's ready to go when I need to make a new batch.
When you need a can of Cream of something soup, add 1/3 cup of the mix to 1 1/4 cup cold water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat stirring constantly. Trust me on the stirring constantly part. It takes about five minutes or so for the mixture to thicken. When it's thickened up, add it to your recipe as you would do with regular cream soup. Done! Like I said, easy, tasty, and no mystery ingredients.
Now on to the good stuff: pasta, cupcakes, and bread. I don't care what the packages say, it will NOT taste like regular bread. Accept that now and deal with it. The more you acknowledge it will be different, the more able you are to eat it. Pasta was the easy part. Gluten free pasta has a bit of a different texture but overall, pretty tasty. Even my Italian husband said it was good. Cupcakes are a different story. Gluten free flour has a different consistency that almost makes baked goods more dense and less moist. It's not bad but it is easier for me to avoid cupcakes now. That's a miracle in itself.
Bread. Delicious soft chewy bread with a nice crust...mmm. It doesn't exist in gluten free, sorry. I tried several types of bread. Several literally crumbled in my hand like stale crackers. Made it difficult to eat a sandwich that way and they were pretty gross. The best I found was Udi's. Their White Sandwich Bread tastes as close to the real thing as you can get. It's a bit more dense, kind of like a potato bread. Winner! They have a bunch of other products that are equally as good, like hot dog and hamburger buns, rolls, and blueberry muffins.
My other favorite bread product is Van's waffles. I've been eating these for breakfast every morning and they are delicious. Even if I wasn't gluten free, I'd still be eating them.
So, six weeks into it, feeling good then the doctor who runs my department told me he would call a colleague of his who is a very well known endocrinologist and get me in to see him. When I called, this doctor was booking six months out. When my doctor called, I got in to see this new guy in two days. It's handy having connections. He and his residents were very surprised my other physician didn't adjust my meds when my TSH kept rising. He felt confident that by upping my meds (by a substantial amount) would help so the next day I started a new dosage. I did tell him about all my diet changes and I was advised to go back to my regular diet to see if the medication helped on it's own. I am not ashamed to say I went home and had a large bowl of fettuccine alfredo and it was heavenly.
So here I am, a month back on my regular diet and I'm exhausted. I feel like crap again and am really hoping I start feeling better soon. I get my levels checked again at the beginning of February so that's when we'll see if it's working. Oddly enough, I'm still mostly gluten free. Breakfast, lunch, and most of the time, dinner are sans wheat. I loosen up a bit on the weekends but it's weird how quickly it can affect me. Granted, I've never been tested for an allergy to wheat but I wouldn't be surprised if I had a mild one.
So there's my gluten free adventure so far. Stalled right now but I won't be the least bit surprised if I decide to go back completely gluten free after February. It wasn't easy but I can't argue with how much better I felt.
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