Today I started my new gluten free diet, I have been resisting this for over two years. Mainly because I’m not sure that gluten is the cause of my problems. Also because it’s expensive, not to mention the fact that I have to cut out many of my favourite foods – no more fresh bread for me. Add in the fact that I have successfully maintained a four stone weight loss for eighteen months, instead of piling the weight back on as I usually do. Then perhaps you can understand my reluctance to change anything in my diet, lest I should start overeating again. I have also been tested for coeliacs disease three times and each time it’s been a negative result.
So why on earth am I going gluten free? Well I have been suffering from chronic IBS for the last two and a half years and despite being tested for everything under the sun including a CT scan of my abdomen and the ever charming colonoscopy. Nothing has been found to be wrong with me except chronic IBS. In many ways I am so relieved, my heart goes out to the sufferers of Crohn’s Disease, or Ulcerative Colitis and I’m beyond grateful it isn’t Bowel Cancer. On the flip side I have long been hoping for a magic pill to cure me of all my symptoms. Particularly the appalling stomach cramps which are currently only manageable with tramadol, co codamol and morphine. Sadly there is no such cure heading in my direction and the fact that I have had to (temporarily I hope) give up my daily glass of wine has only added insult to injury. So perhaps giving up the gluten is long overdue?
This morning I made my first bowl of porridge that didn’t come in a sachet marked ‘for beginners’ and accidentally made twice as much as I needed. Who knew my measuring cup was so big? With my diet in mind I made myself leave half in the bowl and ran away to hide under my duvet, until it was too congealed for me to hoover up like the piggy I am.
Lunch was two ‘soft’ bread rolls from Marks and Spencers, I use the term soft very loosely, because although that was exactly what was stated on the packet, what I found inside were two solid frisbees that T would have loved to have taken to the park. In short they were inedible and it takes a lot for me to not eat food. To my joy Tyrrells crisps are gluten free but are not enough to satisfy the fat girl inside of me. In vain I searched my kitchen cupboards for something to eat, dried cereal? Nope, we have five different boxes and all contain gluten. I found a bag of assorted mint sweets, hooray they are just sugar right? Wrong again there is barley in there somewhere and that contains gluten too! I could go on but I won’t bore you with the list of foods that contained my new nemesis gluten. Finally I remembered the gluten free coconut macaroons I had bought and allowed myself half of one.
By this time I was grumpy and to add to my frustration I had remembered the two tubs of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream sat in my freezer. They have been happily sat there for nearly a month now, untroubled by me, but now they might be forbidden fruits, they were all I could think about. Sod it I thought, who says crisps, half a macaroon and ice cream aren’t a healthy balanced lunch? One quick Google later and hooray there are quite a few B and J’s ice cream flavours which are gluten free. Naturally the two different flavours in my freezer were not …..
On the bright side a lot of chocolate is gluten free and there is a chance that I will be gluten intolerant and cured of all my ailments because yipee, wine is gluten free. My fellow gluten free warriors I salute you and hopefully I won’t crumble when my husband eats the ice cream. Apparently he is nobly doing it for me, thus removing all of the temptations in our kitchen. I remain wholly unconvinced.