The (Kind of) Gluten-Free Lifestyle

As most of you probably know, Aaron has been on a relatively “gluten-free” diet since our marathon training began 2 months ago.  Two months in, he’s still sticking with it.

(First, please remember that we are not dietitians.  We also have not consulted a doctor despite my insistent nagging.  Don’t sue me!).

For as long as I’ve known him, Aaron has had lots of digestive issues (and he loves when I talk about it on the blog!), bad allergies, and migraines. I finally convinced him that most peoples’ bodies don’t react to food the way his was and that maybe he had something in his diet that needed to come out.

Since gluten-free seems to be so trendy right now (either for intolerance reasons or diet reasons) we started there.

So, Aaron eliminated gluten out of his diet cold-turkey aside from the occasional beer, because, you know.  (And yes, we are aware of gluten-free beer, but Aaron is a big stout person, and gluten-free stout doesn’t appear to be on the market at Trader Joe’s!).

And, like that, his digestive issues and migraines went away.   We aren’t in his peak allergy season right now, but studies suggest that eliminating wheat reduces allergy symptoms.  He also lost about 10 pounds right away which will always make me angry/jealous.

I am pretty confident that I do not have a gluten intolerance. However, I have cut down on my consumption of wheat/gluten stuff just because it seems silly to buy it if I’m the only one eating it.  And, I do feel (just a little bit) bad when we go to a restaurant and I order a huge, amazing, heaping plate of the best pasta and Aaron is stuck with grilled fish and steamed carrots.

But, this week, we’ve actually pretty much run out of wheat in our house aside from some frozen Bertolli that sits sadly in the freezer.  I have been wheat free since Monday! I’ve also lost a couple of pounds since Monday, which of course I’m not complaining about.

Going gluten-free hasn’t been the easiest thing to do, obviously.  We are running a heck of a lot, and we do need energy, so not having a constant supply of “carbs” has been challenging.  And for Aaron, anytime he has even a bit of wheat, his reaction is about 10 times worse than it was before he eliminated it from his diet.  The other day I gave him just a bite of breakfast burrito, and the tortilla made him pretty uncomfortable.

But, we are really making better food choices.  We have to actually THINK about every little thing we’re eating because gluten can be very sneaky, hiding in sauces, dressings, and soups.

I don’t even know the last time we had pizza (SAD), and even beer consumption has gone WAAAAY down.  And we’ve replaced all of the creamy salad dressings with balsamic vinaigrette.  We usually would grab something like a chicken sandwich from Wendy’s once a week, but I  don’t think we’ve done fast food since the beginning of June. So, even though I’m not a complete convert, I am eating healthier regardless.

There are a ton of resources out there if you think you might have an intolerance to gluten. Whole blogs are dedicated to recipes and living the lifestyle.  Gluten Free is Life has been one of the most comprehensive I’ve seen.   This whole process, at the very least, has made us much more likely to look at the ingredients in our food and be more aware of how we feel after we eat something.  And Aaron feels better, which is a very good thing!

On an unrelated note, a nice man completely passed me during my run this morning.  Just came out of nowhere and passed me with no effort.  Consider my ego sufficiently deflated.

Happy Thursday!

9 thoughts on “The (Kind of) Gluten-Free Lifestyle

  1. Glad to hear Aaron is doing better. After going GF for a month and missing how great I felt I’ve been considering going in that direction again but like you mentioned when you’re training and needing carbs, it’s just SO much easier to grab the convenient foods that aren’t GF.

    In any case, congrats on making good food choices!

    • You may have said before, but are you gluten intolerant? If you aren’t, did you notice a huge difference when you went gluten free? So far I haven’t felt different aside from losing all that weight. It really is limiting our carb options, though. We have these little edamame crackers, and I have to eat a whole bag in order to fell satisfied after some of these runs. We used to cook up pancakes. I miss pancakes.

  2. Jack can’t have gluten and when he does, it’s like he’s tripping on acid for a week, so we obviously don’t let him have it. Do you like brown rice? It’s a great source for carbs for you and there’s a lot of things you can do with it.

    Re the man passing you, it’s only a race during a race. You don’t know what his workout was or at what stage of it he was at. I get passed maybe once or twice a year during training runs and when it happens, I just remind myself that it’s only a race in a race and I just need to focus on the workout I’m getting.

    • On Tuesday, we actually ate a veggie burger on a bed of brown rice instead of a bun! Definitely different, but it did taste ok. And the man passing me was only noteworthy because I bragged quite publicly the day before about how some guy kept trying to pass me until he gave up!

  3. Hey Amy! So I’m getting my little plug in here that I AM a dietitian (or soon to be) and I have also been gluten free for 6 years (I unfortunately have celiac sprue which keeps me far away from anything with gluten). It is really difficult when you first start gluten free because your reaction to it does increase in some cases. Another problem food group for people starting gluten free is dairy products because they have similar proteins in them to gluten.

    It is difficult to be athletic and gluten free-but totally do-able. Have you checked out the baked goods at Whole Foods? Sunflower market carries some, too, and is cheaper than Whole Foods. I guess you just have to plan ahead more and you’re right, stay in to eat more.

    Also, for pancakes, try Pamela’s pancake mix. It is so delicious (no allergies to almonds, right?)!! Let me know if you have questions or anything!! It’s part of my job description! ha ha

    • Do you even need to ask if I’ve checked out the baked goods section at Whole Foods???

      I think I remember you saying that you were gluten free. I’m actually lactose intolerant (what an awesome couple we make!), so we don’t really eat dairy anyway, but good to know about the correlation. Thanks for the pancake recommendation! I’ll pass it along to Aaron because as you may remember, I am kitchen deficient!

      And by the way, I have never been more excited to see someone graduate/pass tests! You’re almost there!

      • Thanks for the support Amy! And yes, I do remember that you don’t know where the forks are in the kitchen…

  4. I need some inspiration to maintain a gluten free lifestyle… cuz I’m waaaaaaay to lazy to keep it up, even though I NEED too. Really, I shouldn’t complain because we live in Traders Joes parking lot and Whole Foods is setting up shoppe two seconds away, so I have access to all the healthy GF food in the world. I wish this thing would let me underline the world lazy, cuz that’s just what I am 🙂

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