30 November 2012

Another new road ... gluten-free

Gluten-Free was certainly never a road I intended to travel, but it's one I find myself (and my family) on now.  We are in the beginning stages.  As in yesterday was our first day and my youngest child, who it is imperative is gluten-free, blew it by chowing down on some cookies I didn't realize we still had in the pantry.  Baby steps.  Definitely baby steps.

Why are we going gluten-free?

I am one of the reasons.  Perimenopause slammed me head-on almost four years ago, and it has not been kind.  I packed on 25 pounds (from 123lbs. to 148lbs.) all in my stomach.  Hormonal craziness has sent more acne my way than I ever dealt with as a teen.  I read ... okay, skimmed mostly due to the overwhelming content ... Wheat Belly by William Davis and was convinced going gluten-free is worth a try.  I already tried veganism for well over a year only to have the seven pounds I managed to shed find their way back to my stomach, and dairy-free didn't clear up my skin to the extent I hoped.  I have nothing to lose by trying a gluten-free diet.

The other reason is my youngest child.  I stumbled upon this entry on the Wheat Belly Blog, and cried while reading.  The behavioral issues, with the exception of 'general unhappiness/sadness', describe him perfectly.  These behavioral issues first reared their ugly head a year ago.  We have been organic and paid close attention to what we eat for almost eleven years, however, we had no control over the snacks being served at Sunday School, foods served at church potlucks, foods served at a homeschool co-op we attended, foods served at Christmas parties and such, etc.  I desperately wanted my sweet little boy back, so I became the "food police" and did my utmost to make sure no artificial colors/dyes, artificial flavors, or preservatives (like sodium benzoate) was in anything he consumed.  That has worked well until recently.  Now the behavioral issues have returned, and I feel going gluten-free is the next logical step in the process.  To make things easy, the rest of the family is going gluten-free at home as well.

I do still passionately care about the things we consume being organic, and I'm finding that to be a challenge when it comes to ready-made gluten-free products.  I am NOT in favor of genetically-modified ingredients, so reading that most gluten-free foods contain GMO's has me on edge.  I also wish to avoid xanthan gum and guar gum as much as possible.  This will be an interesting journey to say the least.