Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Living Without Wheat and Dairy (wherein I do speak of womanly things)

For about a month I have been wheat and dairy free. I chose to change my diet, not because I was allergic or intolerant but because these two foods are my biggest weaknesses. Removing them naturally shakes up my entire life. And my life needed a shakeup. It was hard at first, and occasionally is still hard. I had two days where I cheated ( Kassi's birthday cake, etc) After week 3, though, I tried to cheat and became immediately ill.

The food I cheated with was a beautiful, luscious peach cobbler I had made that day. Fresh peaches, honey, cobbler dough made with our own lard. I had to try it, right? One little serving and my head was all afuzz. My brain hurt, my eyes were fuzzy, and the rest of the evening I had a splitting headache. There can be no mistake, it was the white wheat flour.

This happening left me pretty concerned for my future. I love wheat. I didn't give it up forever, did I?

My big plan was to quit these foods just until Jocelyn, our heifer, calved. It was a good end date, something to look forward to. At any rate I would have copious raw dairy to play with after my end date. I hoped to stick with only raw and cultured dairy from then on. And as for wheat, it was my intention to only eat my sourdough at first. I am not sure it can work out this way.

It's funny, before I quit wheat and dairy the prospect of doing so was terrifying. Certainly I would never do it permanently! Now I am concerned, but not terrified. I guess it is because I have felt firsthand the negative effect wheat has on me.

A month of wheat and dairy freedom, restricting nothing else. My breakfast is typically 3 scrambled eggs with a large fresh tomato, something like that. Lunch is often fresh pico de gallo from the garden and corn chips, a handful of nuts, unlimited fresh fruit. We always have great dinners like last night's: A whole roasted chicken with steamed squash and onions. Lots of water, black coffee, and in the event if an emergency- peanut butter. Very satisfying by the spoonful.

I have lost close to 15 pounds this month. This diet was not entirely about weight loss, though. What does that number mean? What I was looking for was a shift in what I felt was stagnation. Since Rome's birth (two years ago Thursday!) I have felt very off hormonally and physically. I am going to wax all feminine here, but my cycles seemed wrong once they returned. I had terrible ovulation pain, long periods. I was quietly worried about myself. I wondered it maybe it was just my age showing at last- I am 29 this year. Yes, 29 but my skin was all wrong (worse than anything my teens had to offer), my body felt bad, and I could not lose a pound, not even one!

I don't know what my diagnosis is, or even that I care. In this month, my skin has been better than ever. It is like a glow of pregnancy. My clothes fit differently. My period lasted but 4 short days (and I have never in my life had one so short). I am no longer hungry so much. I become full quickly and my brain is clear. I feel like there is more time in the day.

Karl and the kids have not shared my dietary change. Making their food has been hard on me, but it gets easier every day. I think I am a big enough girl now to even make cookies for them. I should be. I should be able to make my own choices about food. Some of you will know what I mean. You make a choice but when the time comes you back down, citing some reason why you're giving up as if it weren't you, right there, giving up. It isn't just about losing weight or eating right. I am 29, and my life is not a series of  excuses. I have made a choice here and whether I stick to it forever or not, I win.

I will update closer to the cow calving. I don't know what I will do about the wheat issue. I know I am not afraid of adding in raw dairy, so I will start there.
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