It has been seven months now since I have gone gluten-free in hopes of calming my colon to help get me in remission. I figured I would update you to show just how important diet is to treating your IBD.
Back in January I weighed around 240 lbs. I was going to the bathroom 30 times a day with a lot of cramping and having a lot of intestinal pain. I knew I had to change my way of life. So I decided to go on Weight Watchers and go gluten-free. This would be a big change for me as I love my gluten :)
Here it is 7 months later. I am happy to say, it is working beautifully. I am down 25 lbs. Best of all, my Crohn’s is just about in remission. I am only going to the bathroom 3-4 times a day. Still more than normal, but I can live with that. My blood sugar and cholesterol have also come down but still not to acceptable levels. Overall, I have made a real impact on my health for the better.
So what have I learned from this experience. Well, you can definitely live a gluten-free life. There are some hurdles every now and then but nothing that I can’t handle. The biggest challenge so far was travelling to another country to an all-inclusive resort. The food choices were a challenge, and I didn’t eat too much..but I was able to stick to my gluten-free diet.
Now for anyone thinking about going gluten-free but is worried about taste…don’t be. There are a lot of tasty GF products out there. Depending on where you live, your selection might be different from mine but I am sure that you will find some tasty treats. Here are some of the brands I use.
Bread – I have tried a number of GF breads and have found Udi’s Whole Grain to be my favorite. Glutino also a good whole grain but their white bread isn’t as good. Schar’s Deli Style bread reminds me of a Jewish Rye which makes a real good sandwich.
Cereal – I have been sticking with Chex for now as they have a number of different flavors to choose from. Nature’s Path also makes some really good cereal’s but is a little harder to find.
Pasta – I have been sticking to Schar brand pasta but they are limited in their variety. Tinkyada makes a good brown rice pasta also. I recently made a lasagna with their noodles and you couldn’t tell it was gluten-free.
Snacks – This one is going to vary depending on what you are looking for in sweets. I have been sticking to Schar’s Vanilla or Chocolate Wafers. Glutino also makes good wafers but you get more per serving size with Schar. For crunchy snacks, I find myself ignoring potato chips which are usually greasy and have been eating Pirate Booty. They have a number of different flavors and styles. I also have been eating more popcorn. Not only is popcorn GF but it is a whole grain and has recently be found to have more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables. For my desert’s, I have been eating ZenSoy chocolate puddings. They are dairy free and more delicious than Jell-O brand.
Frozen meals – Now of course home-made is healthier than frozen but sometimes you just have to do it. I have found Amy’s brand has some really good meals. I especially like their Spinach Lasagna. Another pasta I like which is frozen is Caesar’s brand gnocchi. I used to love gnocchi and this is one item I can still eat. For pizza, I have been eating Glutino’s Pepperoni pizza. Amy’s makes a good vegetable one that has no cheese. My selection to frozen meals is limited as I can only find GF ones in Whole Foods.
As for meals, most natural foods are gluten-free. Chicken, beef, vegetables, etc. All you have to do is find some good recipes and use your imagination. A simple meal like grilling a beef tenderloin, baked potato and some steamed broccoli is delicious, wholesome, and gluten-free.
So, my journey continues. I am down 25 lbs with another 50 to go. I have a long road ahead and my current medicine is making the journey a little harder but it is still a great learning experience. I think as I come across them, I will post some recipes for anyone looking for some. I recently found a great eggplant recipe that is GF and Dairy free. I will post that real soon. And if anyone has some they would like to share, let me know.