Apr 3, 2014

Gluten and caffeine free update.

A lot of people have asked me how my gluten free/caffeine free journey is going.  So, I thought, instead of responding to every person, I'd just blog about it.

Life without caffeine: 


I love my caffeine.  I feel so drained when I don't have my Dr. Pepper in the morning.  I don't know if it really was the caffeine making me energized, or if it was all in my head.  Either way, I'm dragging.  If you add no caffeine, with no carbs from the gluten free diet (no carbs=no energy), and I'm struggling to make it through the day.  Good news though, I haven't had really bad headaches.  I've been off caffeine for two weeks now, and I've only had one unbearable caffeine withdraw headache.  The rest of the time, my head was sore, but nothing like what I was expecting.  What I WASN'T expecting was how badly I would crave Dr. Pepper.  Right now, I haven't had a drink of a Dr. Pepper in two weeks, and I'd still love one.  I thought it wouldn't take long at all before I stopped missing my morning fizzy drink.  Not true.  I've had very intense cravings for a Coke.  It's starting to subside....a little.  My problem is, I don't feel any better after cutting off the caffeine---because I substituted my Dr. Peppers with Sprites.  Goal for this week?  Get rid of ALL sodas.

Gluten-free living. 

Get ready for a rant, friends, because I'm just going to say it:  being gluten free SUCKS.  I hate it so much.  Do I feel better?  Yes.  Absolutely.  I'm not having any pain whatsoever, which proves to me that my problem was, without a doubt, gluten.  I'm intolerant.  That part is great.

Here's all the parts I severely dislike about being gluten free.

1.  I have NO energy.  No caffeine to wake me up and no carbs in my diet equal a very, very, VERY tired me.  I'm taking a multivitamin and a B-12 complex vitamin to try to give me more energy, but it's not working very well.  As soon as I get home, I want to sleep immediately.   I barely have energy to make it through the day without wanting to fall asleep at lunchtime.  I've got to figure out a fix to this.  Someone mentioned eating more complex carbs.  I'll say this:  eating gluten free is not something you do willy-nilly.  It takes a LOT of planning.  Which brings me to...

2.  Gluten free living is not something you just decide to do.  It's HARD.  If I'm running errands on my lunch break, I cannot just swing through McDonalds and grab myself something to eat.  In fact, I can count on one hand all the fast food places in my town that have gluten free options for an entire meal (meaning, they have more items to choose from than just salad dressings and fries that are GF).  Same thing goes for being at home.  I can't just look in my freezer and pop in a frozen pizza or throw together a sandwich if I'm hungry and want something quick.  Eating gluten free requires a lot of preparation and thought.  And I'm not that kind of person when it comes to eating every single night.

3.  Going out to eat with me is a pain in the butt. It's a lot of "Where can you eat?" questions. I am a fundamental people pleaser to my very core. The idea of picking a restaurant for 7 people to eat at, and possibly dislike, just because I picked it, sends me into panic mode. Once a restaurant is picked, I'm always the last to decide what I want because I'm busy googling every item on the menu to see what the ingredients are in the dish and if I can have it. I'm a pain. Even I don't like eating with me.

4.  I'm fat.  Please, don't start jumping all over me.  Let me explain.  My stomach is feeling better.  I'm not in pain, I'm not running to the bathroom, I'm not miserable.  But I am 10+ pounds heavier and way more bloated than I was before I started a gluten free lifestyle.  I don't know what's causing it.  I'm eating stuff like plain rice and grilled chicken and I have spare tire.  What the heck??  I wasn't this heavy when I was eating McDonald's breakfast and Burger King for lunch.  Maybe there is something in certain GF foods that causes bloating and weight gain.  Whatever it is, I have to find it and ditch it fast.  I'm running out of clothing that fits me and my self esteem (which was pretty low to begin with) is at rock bottom.

5.  People flat don't understand what it means to be gluten free.  I'm not doing this as a diet plan.  I'm not doing this because I want to be "cool" or do the latest fad diet (because well, see #4).  I'm doing it because gluten quite literally makes me sick.  I have a co-worker that just cannot understand this.  Every day, he comes in and tells me that I'll be fine if I have a sausage biscuit that one of our reps just brought in.  Or, if I avoid bread the rest of my life, I'll waste away to nothing.  The second day of being gluten free, he asked if I was going to be a vegetarian too.  Listen, I get it.  People don't understand what gluten is and when you can't have it, it seems like a stupid lifestyle plan to be on.  If I didn't have to do this, I wouldn't be.  But my body rejects gluten and lets me know loud and clear.  Therefore, I don't eat it.  Plain and simple.  I don't like talking about being gluten free. I don't like pointing it out every time someone asks me if I want a bite of their food or offers me something to eat. I don't like drawing attention to myself. I would MUCH rather be happily sitting with a hamburger, bun on, not causing a problem. But, that can't be, so I deal with it.

To answer your questions:  I'm still caffeine and gluten free.  I'm doing really well by resisting all the temptations.  Yesterday, I wanted a cheeseburger so bad that I didn't think I'd be able to keep my car from driving into McDonalds.  Instead, I drove home for lunch and ate chicken salad. Was it better than the cheeseburger would have tasted?  Probably not. But I wasn't sick last night either. It's a daily trade off. I don't get to eat the foods I once loved, but I also am not a slave to my heating pad. One day, I hope I won't even miss those sausage biscuits or that Dr Pepper. It's just not today.


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