The Gluten Affair

gluten-free-symbolWell, it has been awhile since I posted anything.  What’s been going on?  Besides working a lot, I’ve been trying to get healthy again.   Several weeks ago my stomach issues started reaching new heights.  I couldn’t eat, had major digestion issues, my tummy was ridiculously bloated, and overall felt like I was just really sick, all the time.   I knew what it was before I knew what it was, really.  Having studied nutrition, the symptoms of gluten intolerance are pretty familiar to me.  But as a chef, and someone who personally has viewed the influx of gluten dieters as a ridiculous trend, I didn’t want to admit it or become one of those “does this have gluten in it?” people.  But I felt so sick that something had to give.   So I’ve cut it out of my diet and basically done a 180.  My bloated tummy has calmed down, I feel clearer, and my digestive system is about 75% better.  It’s not an overnight thing but my symptoms have improved dramatically.

I think the reason it got so bad at that point is because I was eating more sandwiches than normal, and crouton filled salads.  We also tended towards a lot of chinese food, and soy sauce is a gluten minefield.  It’s not so hard now to avoid it, but many of the exciting recipes I had planned for the blog were glutenous and I don’t want to make stuff just for me to eat by myself.  I’ve been eating really boring, whole foods at home so there hasn’t been a lot to blog about, and many of my catering jobs included things that have already been featured here.   I don’t want to make this a gluten-free blog but I might have to feature one or two recipes a week that are specifically wheat-free.

That said, if you are considering going gluten free as a diet and don’t have symptoms, don’t do it.  You won’t lose weight, most likely, especially if you use replacement foods like gluten free cookies, crackers, and cakes.  Just eat healthily and cut back on simple carbohydrates.   If you do have the symptoms of gluten intolerance, either cut it out of your diet, see if you improve, or continue to eat it and go to your doctor to get tested.  If you don’t have gluten in your system when you go for an allergy test, they won’t be able to tell if you are intolerant.

I’d also like to make a quick little list of the places I have eaten recently that have been awesome about dealing with my newfound allergy:

Benihana

Ruggle’s Green

Gigi’s Cupcakes

The Olive Garden (don’t judge me.  It’s my boyfriend’s favorite.)

Saltgrass Steakhouse

Standout:  P.F. Chang’s.  This place, while I don’t really adore the food, goes above and beyond for gluten allergies, down to special packets of tamari soy sauce and labeling everything clearly.

So, to sum up, I’ll be back blogging now that I have things figured out and a bit of a break in huge catering gigs.  Keep checking back here for recipes, tips, and more!  XO

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One thought on “The Gluten Affair

  1. Dinner of Herbs June 11, 2013 at 8:32 PM Reply

    I’m with you on thinking that the gluten-free craze is ridiculous. The one upside is that it is making life much easier for people who actually have Celiac’s disease, since gluten-free options are now much more widespread and even popular. That aside, I am glad you are feeling better!

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