How I Went From a Gluten Glut to Gluten Free
I was diagnosed with a severe form of gluten intolerance this year. I had grown up on homemade bread and fueled myself through college on deep dish pizza. Learning of my diagnosis made me realize I was addicted to foods that were greatly harming me. This made the doctor's revelation even more jolting to me. How in the world was I going to give up my favorite bottom layer of the food pyramid and go gluten-free?
If I just focused on what I was missing out on, I would have never been successful. Instead, I focused on what the doctor told me about my condition. I loved the taste of bread, but my body was suffering because of it. Food sensitivities can be detrimental to your health. The doctor showed me just how much my diet choices were affecting my health and causing inflammation. Personally, this was the biggest reason I could adapt to my new diet. Looking at a sandwich was no longer appetizing when I knew what the wheat would do to my health. Researching my condition took so much temptation away from consuming things that would hurt me.
I love food and I love to cook. I knew any gap in my eating habits would be easy to fill with convenient food that was bad for me. Keeping this in mind, I modified my diet. Instead of focusing on all the foods I cut out, I found new recipes to replace them with. I discovered so many new combinations and tastes that I would have never been able to enjoy as a result. It was fun to try to recreate the foods I liked in ways that were healthier. I found substituting ingredients is a great way to eat foods I really had a hard time giving up. I tried to look at my circumstances as an opportunity to experiment rather than an inconvenience.
I still had occasional cravings for my old diet though. Therefore, the first two weeks of my diet were so important. Constantly trying new gluten-free recipes really helped. I had to keep telling myself that I did not want to eat foods that were on my diet because I knew they would hurt me. It was hard at times. However, with a little sacrifice and help from some rice flour, I made the transition. Once the two weeks were over, my body got used to the new diet. It became easier to say no to foods that were bad to me. I started craving healthier food. It still took a lot of self-control but I was starting to see encouraging results.
I felt amazing. I got away from foods that were toxic to me and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. My mind was clearer, I felt healthier, and I was eating foods that were better for me. I even lost some extra weight. The best part was I did not crave the old foods. The longer I stayed on my gluten-free diet the less I wanted the old one. I am so glad I stuck to the program and made my transition. I have the peace of mind that I am not harming myself. Never in a million years did I think I would be able to give up pizza. But knowing what pizza was doing to me helped me get away from it. Educating myself about my condition and discovering new foods really helped me along. If you are struggling to adjust to a new diet I know what you are going through. Be encouraged by the fact that if a pizza junkie like me can give it up, you can too. Just remember, for every food you struggle to give up there are dozens of recipes to replace it with.