Going Free

We have returned from our mini-cation to Denver…it was a great trip, Elsie met her Colorado family, I met my new nephew, and per usual we spent the bulk of our time planning what to eat, making food, and gorging our selves.  We had a fabulous Mother’s Day Brunch with all the fixin’s–Wendy Egg Casserole, French Toast Casserole, Spinach/Strawberry/Blue Cheese Salad, Cheesecake, Birthday cake…yum!

Ironic that in the land of the “gluten free” we feasted on wheat products the entire time.  My sister Chris has been gluten free for a couple of years now and raves about how much better she feels.  She assured us it is really just a habit change, and once we are used to it, it really does not seem like so much work. Brad and I have considered going sans gluten and dairy for a while now to help ease his digestive woes (he also has a family history of Celiac Disease).  Brad is not technically allergic to dairy or gluten, but several cousins of his who have the same issues report that a gluten free diet really helped to ease their digestive tumult.

So why have we not done this before? Truthfully, it just seemed like too much work. More planning of our food?! Really?! I feel our lives are already consumed with this.  But we finally pulled the trigger. We started our trial month of gluten and dairy free yesterday, which worked out well as returning from vacation I urgently needed to go to the grocery store.  Now let me preface that I have a stomach of iron and I am confident I do not have a gluten or dairy sensitivity–but I feel it is important that our family eat in a unified nature.  And I refuse to cook two separate meals!  And I do believe there will be health benefits for myself as well.  I have a couple of cheats though–for now I am not ready to give up cream in my coffee and I can not envision a life without yogurt. Yogurt is my safety net, and actually it is the one food I introduced Brad to that he reports often eases his sensitive stomach and bowels.  We have rationalized Brad’s yogurt eating in that we are not following a diet of “rules” that don’t make sense–Brad’s body seems to like yogurt so why arbitrarily cut it out? Topped off by the fact that we absolutely do not eat over processed, over-sugared yogurt treats.

Shopping was a success…lots of fruits and veggies, a couple of “gluten-free” replacements for some items we depend upon (instead of wheat tortillas we went for brown rice tortillas, instead of traditional crackers we tried a lentil cracker, instead of milk we went for hemp milk). We skipped the majority of the dairy aisle (except for eggs, yogurt, and my half-and-half), which actually saved us buko bucks as we have traditionally been crazy for cheeses of all kinds.

We found we really didn’t eat much differently yesterday…Breakfast was a pumpkin/pineapple/strawberry smoothie, lunch was guacamole with lentil crackers, and dinner was wild rice, chicken, sauteed kale, and baked sweet potatoes with pecans and splash of brown sugar.  My hope that going gluten and dairy free opens up our diet for more fresh fruit and veggies at every meals. Yes, absolutely there will be times when we miss the ease of pasta (but we do love spaghetti squash!), or the treats of the traditional gluten and cheese world (pizza!), but at the moment we are excited and motivated in our new endeavor.  Wish us luck1