Sunday, November 30, 2008

my wheat free day

what can you eat? Please note that this is before I went 100% gluten free and was just avoiding wheat. Some products may contain gluten.

Today I had a Clif Bar for breakfast, skipped lunch due to a busy day at work, had Nut-thins for a snack when I got home and shepards pie (potatoes, hamburger, veggies) for dinner. I did have some pumpkin pie and ice cream but was careful to not eat any of the crust. Maggie read each label for the shepards pie as wheat can lurk in sauces like some (not all) soy sauces and such.
Things are tougher as I have to be more conscious about what I am eating on the go... no more ducking in for a quick sandwich... although the brown bag does have gluten free bread that i am excited to try. I've never been a salad fan either so that's out too. It does require more thought and planning then I am used to.

I may modify this but for now I look for things that clearly state the absence of wheat or are simple foods (potatoes, rice, veggies, meats, cheeses). Processed and boxes must be read carefully. Trips to the market have doubled in time as dave and I read labels and talk about what to eat. Although there are a lot of gluten free prepacked food I don't want those to become my life. Plus I don't need to avoid all gluten- just wheat.

Wheat has gluten but not all gluten has wheat. I know that if something is gluten free then it is also good for me as well but I do not need gluten free food- just wheat free. Plus we also have to remember all my food issues as well like seafood!

Thanks to Megs, Kim and Kendra for sending over some blogs...

And we know chocolate is still good for me!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

my wheat allergy

how does an active healthy 29 year old learn that she has a wheat allergy?

~swollen glands and google

This has been a hectic fall between dave's tacoma smashing, car shopping, renewal of contracts and life in general. I was enjoying frequent trips to Merle's Brown Bag and loving the fresh made sandwiches. Life was stressful and my body felt funny. I was always tired and suffering from frequent afternoon headaches. I had trouble focusing at work. So after one really good sandwich I googled my sore throat and swollen glands and found many possible solutions one being a food allergy.

I started to pay attention to these symptoms and when they hit and noticed a trend with some of my favorite foods, the brown bag sandwiches, my homemade mac and cheese and even cereal.
As any good google fan would do I started researching wheat allergies. I've learned that it is now one of the top 8 food allergies in the US and has many symptoms. I did a four day wheat free experiment and felt a surge in energy. My next foray into wheat resulted in a swollen throat and more fatigue. Since then I've been avoiding wheat with a few exceptions. I made homemade mac and cheese and only ate one small dish and felt awful. I bought a wheat free cookie mix and realized life wasn't going to be terrible.

Work was busy so I kept forgetting to make a doctor's appointment. Thanksgiving had me avoiding pie crusts and anything that possibly had wheat and realizing that I couldn't live without knowing. I called on Friday and went in that afternoon. Dave and I went out for my first ski day of the season and while my ski conditioning class had made my muscles ready, my joints hurt from the wheat I ate the day before. We took a few runs then headed in for some lunch. I wanted the doctor to see my wheat symptoms and have wheat in my system for the tests so we ate some hot dogs. Within 20 minutes my mood had changed for the worse and my glands became swollen.

At the Medical center and hour later the nurse took my information. Swollen glands, mood alterations, headaches and more, the doctor arrived and we spoke about what was going on. She was concerned about my anaphylaxis reaction to wheat. "Regardless of how your blood test goes you can no longer have wheat." she told me. The test is very black and white and allergies have many shades of grey. She examined my glands, swallow and throat and offered a script for an epipen. They took my blood but I won't hear about those until next week since the lab had already picked up for the week. The information from the test should tell me how careful I will need to be.

Now life without wheat begins in full swing. This just isn't about avoiding wheat bread or crackers. This means all things with wheat. Go into your kitchen, read some labels and design a day without wheat.