I know I'm a little late to the "giving up something for Lent" game, but better a late start than never starting at all, right?
Today, I'm going to be giving up all Cokes (for me, this technically means Dr. Pepper. In the South, all sodas are Cokes. Yes, this makes complete sense). I'm the type of person that gets terrible caffeine related headaches if I haven't had a Coke (again, Dr. Pepper) by 10 am. This is going to be reallllly sucky for me. But for a solid week, I have woken up every single morning with a massive headache. How do you wake, from a restful night of sleep, with a headache already? I have been having some dizzy spells and feeling all around sluggish and yucky lately. Combine that with my constant headaches, and I've decided I need to give up the caffeine as step one in figuring out what I can do to make myself feel better.
On top of that, starting today, I'm on a STRICT gluten free diet. I feel like crap 90% of the time. 100% of the time after I eat, I'm miserable. I'll spare you the details, but it leaves me feeling like food is my enemy. I don't like feeling this way. I like to cook, I like to find good recipes, and I like to leave a meal feeling satisfied and in a good mood. Lately, that's not been the case with me. I've left a meal, dreading what was coming next...will I need a heating pad? Will I be in intense pain? And the answer is simple. A few years ago, I was having the same kind of pains and after multiple evaluations, scans, consultations, tests, the specialist still couldn't give me any kind of diagnosis. But he did suggest going on a gluten free diet. Keep in mind, this was before Celiac's or gluten intolerance was really well known. I fully believe, without being diagnosed, that I am gluten intolerant. For a short time, I was strictly gluten free. And it was HARD. No bread, no breading, no flour, no oats, no wheat....do you see where I'm going with this? Going out to eat with a gluten intolerance is very near an impossibility. "What about salads?" you say. Well, my stomach obviously hates me, because I also have IBS. Which makes eating lettuce and some green veggies pretty miserable too. So I'm looking at options like grilled, plain chicken (because some sauces can contain gluten ingredients as thickeners) or grilled, plain fish. Blah. And don't even get me started on eating at home. If you look up "gluten free recipes" on Pinterest, the majority of them call for ingredients I can't even pronounce. Xanthan gum, millet, guar gum....what in the world? Something tells me these ingredients aren't readily available on the shelves of my local Walmart. So what's a gluten intolerant, mom of a 2 year old, semi-pathetic cook to do? Don't be surprised if you see this blog introducing more mom-on-the-go gluten free recipes. Because I cannot look at another recipe that wants me to add amaranth flour. I just can't.
As hard as it is, and as flavorless as it can be, I cannot be miserable anymore. I hate feeling bad, I hate dreading meals and I hate hating food. So, gluten free, I go. If you have any fantastic gluten free recipes that are EASY, send them my way. A lot of foods are naturally gluten free, so I see a lot of fruits and veggies and meats in my future. Not to mention a whole lot of processed foods leaving my routine. They won't be missed.
And while you're sending me gluten free recipes, send some prayers my way. Because I have a feeling I'm NOT going to be a very nice person while I'm going through my caffeine withdraws. Please know, in the next week, if I snap at you or say hateful things, I don't mean it. I love you. That's just the lack of caffeine in my body talking.
Wish me luck!