Friday, July 31, 2015

Confession: I Suck At Keeping Gluten Free

The very first task I aim to tackle on my Crunchy Checklist is to just eat real food. I have been paleo full time in the past and know how well I felt all around when I was. Yet two years on, I still have a hard time getting and staying on the paleo wagon.

For instance, while I haven't been keeping strictly paleo lately, I had been keeping gluten free. Early in the season my allergies were getting really bad. It was taking me 2-3 allergy pills (meant to take just 1 pill for 24 hour relief) to get through the day, and still I was itchy and sneezy - just not as itchy and sneezy as I would have been without the medication. So I decided to see if going gluten free would help at all. Low and behold it did! Now, it could be the placebo effect, but then you'd think the placebo effect would have worked just as well with the allergy pill I was taking without necessitating a change in my diet. It didn't make my allergies completely disappear, but most days I didn't even need my allergy pill and on days I did just one pill was enough to completely alleviate my symptoms.

Then, just over a week ago, since the grass pollen season is all but over (and because I was craving a sandwich on chewy, yummy, gluteny bread.... *drool*), I decided to chance it with gluten. Over the last week I've had burgers, sandwiches, cookies and other snacks chock full of gluten. It was delicious.

But gluten hates me. First my allergies came back, even though there's hardly any grass pollen around at this time of year. Then my scalp got terribly itchy and dandruffy. Then Wednesday I got terrible abdominal cramping and an IBS flare up right in the middle of baby story time (I barely got through it and ran straight to the bathroom when we were done) and at the end of the day a nice little rash that was itchy with small raised bumps shows up on my elbows and left knee. The only thing that has changed in that time frame is the fact that I was consuming gluten.


It tastes soooo good. But it hates me soooo much.

I know this, and yet still I tempt fate and try it. If I keep consuming gluten I usually find an equilibrium after a while where all my symptoms are minor and manageable (except my seasonal allergies). But I know that what I really, truly need is to just go gluten free, all the time, no exceptions, period. I'm fortunate that I don't have celiac so if I get exposed to trace amounts it is not usually a problem for me. Nevertheless, I should try to be as diligent as a celiac sufferer, even though my reaction is less extreme.

To that end, it is time to knock off one of my Crunchy Checklist To-Dos - Do a Whole 30.

Admittedly I have started the Whole 30 multiple times and quit. Usually within the first week. (Did I mention how much I suck at keeping gluten free??). But I am hoping that you will help keep me accountable. Follow me on Instagram. Make sure my food log photos are all Whole 30 compliant. Follow me on Facebook. Leave some encouragement on the How To Be Crunchy wall. And, of course, you can always join the How To Be Crunchy Paleo Challenge group and do the Whole 30 with me! I know I need some outside support on this one, and the accountability of an audience is why this blog exists in the first place. Are you in?

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