Sunday, May 26, 2013

First foray in being gluten-free

I woke up with such a healthy attitude this morning about the whole Celiac disease, gluten-free life that I am embarking on.  I don't have all of the test results back from the doctor's office yet, so I don't even know if I'm officially going down that road.  Even if I'm not, anything to feel better is something I'm willing to try.  I've just been suffering too long from intestinal issues, which I really could have sought medical advice for sooner but I stubbornly did not.  I was losing so much weight so fast on Optifast that I couldn't pull back from that trajectory that I was on.  Anyway, I did some shopping and realized how much of a challenge it is to eat this way.  It's not impossible, but it's going to require much more diligence on my part.  I decided to have a great breakfast to start out my day.

Yesterday, as I was strolling up and down the isles at Target in the bread section, I spotted a package for making gluten-free pancakes.  Yum!  I had heard some of the gluten-free foods don't taste that great, but we must remember that I spent ten solid months of being on the Optifast shakes.  I was able to make them taste pretty good, so how bad could these be?  Besides, I'm adventurous enough to at least give it a try.  If I hate the pancakes, then I can say I at least tried them and move on.  It's been a little hard to distinguish which foods are truly gluten-free and which ones still continue to be products I shouldn't be consuming.  I found an app on my iPhone where I can scan the bar code of a food or do a search and it will tell me if it's safe for me to eat.  If it's not, it gives me alternatives.  So my plan was to have a couple of gluten-free pancakes and half cup of strawberries.  So I pulled out my griddle, grabbed a huge bowl and got to whipping up my breakfast.  I definitely could tell the difference in the consistency of the mix.  I was reading the label for the pancake mix before I got started and I found an interesting note that said:  Manufactured on dedicated Gluten Free equipment in a Gluten Free room.  In the research that I have done so far, we do have to be careful about things cross-contaminating.  Someone even made the comment to me that I really should be buying new dishes, utensils and cooking equipment to prevent contamination.  For now, I'll wash everything in hot water and be careful to sterilize.  So here are my little pancakes.

I remember a time when the griddle didn't seem big enough to handle all the pancake batter I would put on there to gobble up.  This picture sure shows how far I've come.

I put the strawberries on a plate, threw two of the pancakes on there and put a dab of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter on them.  I went to grab my bottle of sugar-free syrup that I had in the house so that I could add them to the pancakes.  Before I did that, though, I scanned the bottle with the app on my phone and it told me I should avoid that food because it contains gluten.  In sugar-free syrup?  Seriously??  I looked at the alternate choices it gave me for syrup and it suggested some maple syrup being sold at Ralphs, which is right down the street.  Only problem is that one serving of that syrup contains 53 grams of carbs.  A normal serving has no more than 15 carbs.  Holy smokes.  I decided going without syrup wouldn't kill me.

In the end, I really did enjoy my pancakes.  I love strawberries, so it was a great combo for breakfast.  My lesson in this is that I need to spend as much time as I can experimenting, reading labels and asking other people for help as the need arises.  The hardest part with this is that the list of foods should really be called "ingredients to avoid" because that's much more complicated than telling me not to eat wheat products.  Looking at that sugar-free syrup, I still can't see what item made it something to avoid but I'm sure I'll learn in time.  One of the things I do like, however, is the black and white nature of foods either being gluten-free or not.  If they aren't, I can't eat them.  That's a pretty simple concept that sometimes alludes me when I'm trying to figure out how to eat my food like normal people do instead of someone who was on Optifast.  It's just a different experience for me. 


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