Gluten Free… Is For Me?

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My last endocrinologist appointment was on a Friday, I had taken the day off of work and I decided to go to my parents’ house before the appointment to hang out with my mom and sister (my mom is working from home until July 2021, so she was excited to have a ‘new’ person in the house for a change). I had some Cocoa Puffs, some Chex Mix, then I went on my way. My mom was going to come with me, but I figured it would be a short appointment so I told her it was fine, I’d be back soon.

Little did I know, it would be much more insightful (the details are in my one year update). Ultimately, it ended with my doctor suggesting that I try going gluten free to potentially help lower my Hashimoto’s antibody levels. On my way back, I called my mom from the car and let her know. We decided that this would be my last gluten filled day. I had already started off with Cocoa Puffs, might as well go out with a bang.

At first, we thought that maybe I should just decrease my gluten intake, but I really wasn’t having too much gluten to begin with. I decided that, no, I would quit… cold turkey. So, the next day, I was officially gluten free. I made a note of all the things that I could no longer eat: the rolls for pork roll, egg and cheese (big giveaway to which state I’m in), pizza (that was a sad one), most of our freezer foods (that would mean I’d have to start making dinner again), cookies, cake and pie (I was most upset about the pie). I also gathered up a bunch of things to bring over to my parents. Then I made a list of everything I could still eat: my new favorite yogurt, ice cream, Chipotle, Corn Flakes (yes, I actually do like them), gluten free pretzels (which I already really liked), french fires, Sweet Baby Ray’s. So, it wasn’t too bad.

I really didn’t have a hard time adjusting my meals, my work breakfasts were already gluten free. I made minor changes to my lunches. Dinner was the bigger adjustment, because we had started to lean on frozen chicken fingers and since I couldn’t have them anymore, I had to start cooking again. Honestly, that was definitely for the better.

The most difficult thing for me was how to adjust my baking. I like cooking and baking, I even have my own homegrown sourdough starter. Now, I can’t use it. Well, I can, but I can’t eat it! (There is some research that suggests you can eat sourdough if you are gluten free but I haven’t done a deep dive yet. Maybe I’ll do a separate post on it.)

I wanted to try baking right away, because once I set my sights on something, I need to try it right now. I did a lot of research on different kinds of flours, and decided the path with the least resistance was a 1 to 1 flour (meaning you can swap the gluten free flour for the regular flour without having to change measurements or ingredients). I went to the store after work and bought some gluten free waffles and flour.

The first gluten free recipe I ever made was this one, Cinnamon Bread… and it was a hit! I was so pleasantly surprised that I brought half of it to my parents and they loved it! I made it again a few days later and it was eaten entirely by people who weren’t even gluten free. My aunt was pretty impressed too, so impressed that I am now tasked with the honey cake for Rosh Hashanah… yes, that is a big deal.

I also purchased Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day, I’m a big fan of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day, both books are by Jeff Hertzberg, MD and Zoë François. When I saw that they had a gluten free book, I had to have it. My first test was pretty decent, a little under baked but it tasted like bread and the texture was good too! My cat even approved by trying to steal some.

So overall, as I’m writing this, I’m about a month into being gluten free. I’ve tried some gluten free food, done some gluten free baking, and it’s not as difficult as I thought it would be. Personally, it helps me when I know I can’t have something. I’m much less inclined to eat half of a loaf of bread or an extra piece of cake because I know I can’t eat it.

It’s a little more difficult for other people, who forget that I can’t have certain things and try to offer me a slew of wheat products. We’re all learning together.

It has been a good experience so far, I’m positive and excited to do more baking and cooking experiments and I’m looking forward to seeing if there are any real, significant changes to my antibody levels.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Going gluten free. Can it help manage Hashimoto’s disease?

5 thoughts on “Gluten Free… Is For Me?

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